Main Crime and Punishment: A New Translation
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INTRODUCTION The decade of the 1860s was one of the most turbulent in Russian history. Russia’s ignominious defeat in the Crimean War had exposed the deficiencies of the autocracy; the accession of Alexander II to the throne in 1855 promised significant changes. His reign is known as “the era of great reforms.” Organs for local self-government (zemstvos) were established to deal with local economic needs; judicial reforms were instituted to promote the speedy and equitable administration of justice; and military reforms were enacted to modernize the Russian army. The greatest and best known of Alexander’s “great reforms” was, of course, the long-awaited emancipation of the serfs in 1861 (two years before Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation freeing the slaves). Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment was first published in the literary journal the Russian Messenger in twelve monthly installments during 1866, in the middle of this turbulent decade. The novel reflects the social upheaval and the major changes in Russian society after centuries of serfdom. With growing migration to the cities, poverty became a constant hardship for new urban dwellers. There was an increase in violence as a result of difficult economic conditions. The murder rate rose, and the Russian press reported on horrendous crimes in graphic detail. Drunkenness, prostitution, disease, unemployment, family breakups, and abandoned children all came to typify the nature of Russian reality in the 1860s. A new generation of young people advanced a variety of radical new ideas. The liberal “men of the ’40s” were gradually replaced by the radical “men of the ’60s.” Ivan Turgenev’s novel Fathers and Children (1862) popularized the figure of the “nihilist” (a person who rejects all established religious and moral principles) in his hero Bazarov. Nikolai Chernyshevsky, in his controversial work What Is to Be Done? (1863), developed a theory of rational egoism based on the ideas of English utilitarians and French utopian socialists. Active polemi; cs between the older generation and the “new people” were carried on in the press. Dostoevsky was strongly opposed to these radical new ideas and challenged them in considerable depth in his journalistic writings and in his fiction. Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky was born in 1821 at St. Mary’s Hospital for the Moscow poor, where his father served on the staff after a career in the Russian army medical service. His grandfather had been a Uniate priest, and the family claimed to have descended from seventeenth-century nobility. Dostoevsky’s mother was the daughter of Moscow merchants. From 1837 to 1843, the young man attended the Military Engineering School in St. Petersburg, followed by a brief period of government service. In 1839, while still at school, Dostoevsky learned that his father had been murdered by peasants on the small estate he had recently purchased just south of Moscow. The exact circumstances were unclear, but the event made an enormous impression on the young man and was reflected in his later writing. During this time, Dostoevsky read widely in Russian and Western literatures. Among Russian writers, he read the works of Karamzin, Pushkin, and Lermontov. He especially admired Gogol, whose intensely imaginative writings emphasized the plight of the downtrodden “little people” of the capital. Among European authors, Dostoevsky read Homer, Shakespeare, the French dramatists, Diderot, Voltaire, Hugo, Zola, Balzac, Goethe, Schiller, and Dickens. In 1844, Dostoevsky resigned his position in the service and decided to try his luck in the literary world of St. Petersburg. His first endeavor was a translation of Balzac’s Eugénie Grandet, a novel focused on greed, money, love, obsession, and self-sacrifice. Dostoevsky’s first original work was an epistolary novel entitled Poor Folk (1846) about an impoverished copy clerk who is hopelessly in love with a young woman he can never possess. The preeminent Russian critic Vissarion Belinsky was delighted with the work and proclaimed that a “new Gogol” had arrived on the literary scene. Unfortunately, his second work, published the same year, was much less well received. The Double, a psychological tale of fantasy, obsession, and madness, was dismissed by the critics because the author appeared to have abandoned the social and political themes that characterized Poor Folk. Some years earlier, Dostoevsky had begun attending meetings of the Petrashevsky Circle, a literary discussion group in St. Petersburg organized by Mikhail Petrashevsky, a follower of the French utopian socialist Charles Fourier. The members of the circle included writers, teachers, students, minor government officials, and army officers. While differing in their political views, most of them were opponents of the tsarist autocracy and Russian serfdom. At one meeting in 1847, Dostoevsky read aloud Belinsky’s forbidden “Letter to Gogol,” in which Gogol was pilloried for giving up progressive social themes in favor of religious conservatism. The meeting was interrupted by the police and the participants arrested. Dostoevsky was interrogated, jailed, and condemned to death. He was led out to a parade ground to be shot, but at the last minute a reprieve arrived and he was spared execution in a gesture epitomizing Tsar Nicholas I’s cruel flair for melodrama. Dostoevsky’s sentence was commuted to hard labor and he spent the 1850s first in a prison labor camp and then in exile as an army private. He was permitted to return to St. Petersburg some ten years later under the more enlightened reign of Alexander II. Upon his return, he wrote and published a prison memoir entitled Notes from the House of the Dead (1860–62), in which he described his own experience as well as the lives of the variety of prisoners he’d encountered in Siberia. One year after that, he published his Notes from Underground (1864), the first part of which was a spirited polemic against Chernyshevsky’s rational egoism and utilitarianism as expressed in What Is to Be Done? The second part of this deeply probing work, an effort to explain how and why the hero has taken refuge in the underground, reveals the underground man’s character in three distinct novelistic episodes. This strange work has been described as a “prologue” to the author’s “five-act tragedy”—that is, as an introduction to Dostoevsky’s five major novels written between 1866 and 1880: Crime and Punishment (1866), The Idiot (1868–69), Devils (or Demons or The Possessed, 1871–72), The Raw Youth (or The Adolescent, 1875), and The Brothers Karamazov (1880). Crime and Punishment (1866) has long been considered the quintessential Russian novel. When it was translated into English in 1886, the critical reaction to it was mixed: on the one hand, it was greeted as a “work of extraordinary excellence, as a novel of a hitherto unknown stirring realism”; on the other hand, the book was condemned as “incoherent and inartistic.”* There is no doubt that Crime and Punishment remains the single most widely known Russian novel. In addition to capturing the attention of a large general readership since the time of its appearance, it continues to be included every year in numerous college and university courses, not only on Russian literature, but also on Russian history and culture, and in surveys of the European novel and world literature. The book has also been widely adopted for use in secondary schools. Students of all ages and backgrounds respond with passionate attentiveness to this classic text; its literary, historical, cultural, and spiritual values still speak to them and provoke vigorous, wide-ranging discussions. The novel is also a popular choice of book clubs, reading groups, and study circles. In a curious twist of fate for the novel’s reputation, when the young “hacker/whistleblower” Edward Snowden was restricted to the transit area of the Moscow airport, his lawyer thoughtfully provided him with appropriate reading material to occupy his time and prepare him for what might turn out to be a longer stay in Russia. To that end, he presented Snowden with works by three Russian writers, including only one novel: Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment. A translator of Dostoevsky faces many challenges and choices. Modern literary Russian consists of a splendid amalgamation of the spoken dialect of the Eastern Slavs (the so-called Old Russian) and the ancient written language of the Russian Orthodox Church (known as Old Church Slavonic). This linguistic blend has, since the time of Pushkin, provided an exceptionally rich source of images and diction for Russian writers. For example, early in Dostoevsky’s novel (part I, chapter 2), his hero, Raskolnikov, stumbles into a tavern and encounters the extravagantly morose figure of Marmeladov, who immediately senses a sympathetic listener and promptly launches into his long, pathetic life story. Taunted by rude remarks from the tavern keeper and some inebriated patrons, Marmeladov concludes with what can only be called a “sermon,” in a proclamatory biblical style that weaves quotations from the Gospel into his own speech, and that before our very eyes improbably but effectively transforms him into his own literary version of Christ. Marmeladov goes so far as to impersonate Christ and to speak in what he takes to be His voice. This combination of solemn rhetorical eloquence and grotesque comedy is unparalleled in literature. It introduces the principal religious theme of the work, one that will appear in Raskolnikov’s first dream, in all of his epiphanic moments (usually as he wanders around St. Petersburg), and reach its final form in the frequently misunderstood, much maligned, but clearly indispensable Epilogue to the novel. In this translation, I attempt to express the richness of registers or tones—and thus the extraordinary poignancy—of such decisive moments. Dostoevsky’s characters must be seen as unmistakably distinct individuals—not only the main figures (Raskolnikov, Sonya, Svidrigaylov, and Porfiry Petrovich), but also the secondary ones (Marmeladov, Razumikhin, Dunya, Luzhin, etc.). Each character speaks in his or her own Russian idiolect. It is the translator’s task to capture the distinct characteristics of their individual speech. Even the least important figures prove to be altogether unique and engaging; for example, the drunken peasants in Raskolnikov’s first dream, though totally illiterate, are made vividly and hilariously present by virtue of the quirkiness of their speech, which is rude, abusive, and riotous. In addition, this version attempts to convey Dostoevsky’s fine and subtle sense of humor. His descriptions and dialogues brim over with wit, irony, and sarcasm. The playful repartee between the hero Raskolnikov and the examining magistrate Porfiry Petrovich provides numerous opportunities for the author to display, and the translator to convey, that cunning humor. However, in order to do so, the translator needs to develop a genuine feel for the subtle tone and a sense of the delicate timing, and also be able to express the author’s quick and unexpected shifts in diction. There are numerous ways to read Crime and Punishment and endless riches to be discovered when rereading the book. I would like to call the reader’s attention to just a few of these. During the course of the novel, Raskolnikov has a series of disturbing dreams. These episodes are of crucial importance in characterizing the hero, exploring his motives, revealing his conscience, and developing the book’s defining themes. From the first dream of the beaten mare in part I to the final dream of the Asian plague in the Epilogue, Raskolnikov’s “subconscious” is sending the hero and the reader important communications, reports from hidden dimensions of his experience that must not be ignored.† I would also like to draw the reader’s attention to what I would refer to as the many “-cides” of Dostoevsky. The critic Mikhail Bakhtin reminds us that while Tolstoy writes at length in his fiction about the subject of death, Dostoevsky writes novels about murders. Crime and Punishment begins with a double homicide; it contains allegorical suicides (“I killed myself,” says Raskolnikov to Sonya, “not the old woman”), as well as an actual suicide and an attempted suicide; one critic even develops the theme of Raskolnikov’s displaced, allegorical “matricide” in killing the pawnbroker, as well as his culpability in his own mother’s death as described in the Epilogue.‡ That Epilogue continues to puzzle many readers. Does it represent a significant departure from the text? Is it merely an artificial way to end the novel and the hero’s suffering? Or is it justified by the hero’s striving for some ultimate illumination, moving beyond the partial illumination provided by the numerous epiphanic moments he experiences during the course of the action? In the author’s Notebooks containing plans and drafts of the novel, we find the fascinating hint of an alternative conclusion: “The End of the Novel: Raskolnikov goes to shoot himself.”§ In view of this darker possibility, the reader is free to make up his or her own mind about the meaning of the Epilogue and its appropriateness as the last word in this extraordinary novel. A work preoccupied with murder and its implications, Crime and Punishment is first and foremost a fascinating detective novel—but one in which we know from the very beginning who committed the heinous crime. As one critic wittily observed, the novel is not a “who dunnit?” but rather a “why he dunnit?” On this, the 150th anniversary of the work’s publication, it is altogether fitting to present a new translation as an act of celebration. I offer this version to the reader in the hopes of helping extend the life of this irreplaceable book as far into the future as can be imagined. Michael R. Katz Middlebury College December 2016 * Helen Muchnic, Dostoevsky’s English Reputation, 1881–1936 (New York: Octagon Books, 1969), 10. † For a detailed discussion, see my Dreams and the Unconscious in Nineteenth-Century Russian Fiction (Hanover, NH: University Press of New England, 1984), 95–105. ‡ Edward Wasiolek, “Raskolnikov’s Motives: Love and Murder,” American Imago 31 (Fall 1974): 252–69. § The Notebooks for “Crime and Punishment,” edited and translated by Edward Wasiolek (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1967), 243. NOTE ON THE TRANSLATION The edition used for this translation is volume 6 of Dostoevsky’s Polnoe sobranie sochinenii v tridtsati tomakh (Complete Collected Works in Thirty Volumes) published in Leningrad by Nauka in 1973. I am indebted to my predecessors and to their versions of Crime and Punishment: we all learn from each other, and translation becomes a collaborative enterprise. I wish to express my sincere gratitude to my colleagues and students at Middlebury College: in particular, Professor Stephen Donadio for his unflagging encouragement and wise advice, lecturer emerita Alya Baker for her invaluable help with the original text, Christopher Ross for his excellent editing and proofreading, and Matthew Blake for his numerous questions and suggestions; and to my wife, Mary Dodge, and our daughter, Rebecca Esko, for their continued love and support. I am also grateful to Carol Bemis, my editor at Norton, and her staff for guiding this work through to completion. NAMES OF PRINCIPAL CHARACTERS Raskólnikov, Rodión Románovich or Románych (Ródya, Ródenka, Ródka) Pulkhériya Aleksándrovna—his mother Avdótya Románovna (Dúnya, Dúnechka)—his sister Razumíkhin or Vrazumíkhin, Dmítry Prokófich—his friend Alyóna Ivánovna—the pawnbroker Lizavéta Ivánovna—her sister Marmeládov, Semyón Zakhárovich or Zakhárych—former civil servant Katerína Ivánovna—his wife Sófiya Semyónovna (Sónya, Sónechka)—his daughter Three other children: Polína (Pólya, Pólenka, Pólechka) Lénya (Lída, Lídochka) Kólya (Kólka) Svidrigáylov, Arkády Ivánovich—landlord; Dunya’s former employer Márfa Petróvna—his wife Lúzhin, Pétr Petróvich—Dunya’s fiancé Lebezyátnikov, Andréy Semyónovich or Semyónych—his friend Porfíry Petróvich—examining magistrate; distant relative of Razumikhin’s Lippevékhsel, Amáliya Ivánovna—Marmeladov’s landlady Zosímov—a doctor Zamétov, Aleksándr Grigórevich—chief police clerk Ilyá Petróvich—nicknamed “Pórokh” (gunpowder)—police lieutenant NOTE ON THE CHARACTERS’ NAMES Raskolnikov raskól = schism; raskólnik = schismatic or dissenter Razumikhin rázum = reason, good sense Marmeladov marmelád = jam, jelly Sofiya “wisdom” (Greek) Luzhin lúzha = puddle, pool Lebezyatnikov lebezít’ = to fawn, cringe I In the beginning of July, during an extremely hot spell, toward evening, a young man left his tiny room, which he sublet from some tenants who lived in Stolyarnyi Lane, stepped out onto the street, and slowly, as if indecisively, set off towards the Kokushkin Bridge. He had successfully managed to avoid meeting his landlady on the staircase. His small room, more like a closet than an apartment, was tucked under the roof of a tall five-story building. The landlady of the apartment, who rented him this room and provided both dinner and a servant, lived below in a separate apartment on the same staircase; every time he left to go out, he had to pass the landlady’s kitchen door, which was almost always left open onto the landing. Every time the young man passed, he felt a painful and fearful sensation, one that he was ashamed of and that made him wince. He was deeply in debt to the landlady and was afraid to face her. It wasn’t that he was so fearful and cowed; in fact, it was just the opposite; but for some time he had been in an irritable and anxious state, similar to hypochondria. He had become so absorbed in himself and so isolated from others that he was afraid of meeting anyone, not only his landlady. He was crushed by poverty, but even his constrained circumstances had ceased to burden him of late. He had completely stopped handling his own everyday affairs and didn’t wish to deal with them. He was not actually afraid of his landlady, no matter what she intended to do to him. But to stop on the staircase, put up with all sorts of nonsense about ordinary rubbish that didn’t concern him at all, her constant pestering about payment, her threats and complaints, and, in the face of it all, to have to dodge her, make excuses, tell lies—no thank you; it was better to slip past somehow, like a cat on a staircase, and steal away unnoticed. However, this time the fear of meeting his creditor surprised even him as he made his way out to the street. “What sort of feat am I about to attempt, yet at the same time I’m afraid of such nonsense!” he thought with a strange smile. “Hmm . . . yes . . . everything lies in a man’s hands, and still he lets it slip by, solely out of cowardice . . . that’s an axiom. . . . It would be interesting to know what people fear the most. Most of all they fear taking a new step, uttering a new word of their own. . . . But I’m babbling too much. It’s because I’m not doing anything that I’m babbling. That may be the case: I’m babbling because I’m not doing anything. And it’s in the last month I’ve learned to prattle, lying for days and nights in my corner, thinking about . . . ‘once upon a time. . . .’ Well, why am I going out now? Can I really be capable of doing that? Is that really serious? No, it’s not serious at all. So, I’m amusing myself for the sake of fantasy: games! Yes, that’s it, games!” It was stiflingly hot outside; moreover, the stuffiness, the crush of people, lime plaster everywhere, scaffolding, bricks, dust, and that particular summer stench, so familiar to every Petersburg resident lacking the means to rent a summer dacha—all this suddenly and offensively struck the young man’s already distraught nerves. The unbearable stench of cheap taverns, which were particularly numerous in this part of the city, and the drunkards encountered constantly, despite its being a weekday, completed the repulsive and grim scene. For a moment, a feeling of the deepest loathing flashed across the young man’s delicate features. Incidentally, he was remarkably handsome, with splendid dark eyes and dark brown hair; he was taller than average, slender, and well built. But soon he seemed to slip into profound pensiveness, even, it would be more accurate to say, into a state of oblivion. He walked along not noticing his surroundings, not even wanting to take notice of them. From time to time he merely muttered something to himself, from his penchant for monologues, which he immediately acknowledged to himself. At that moment he himself was aware that at times his thoughts were confused and that he was feeling very weak: it was the second day he’d eaten hardly anything at all. He was so poorly dressed that someone else, even someone used to seeing such, would be ashamed to appear on the street during the day wearing such ragged clothes. However, the district was one where it was difficult to shock anyone with one’s apparel. The proximity of the Haymarket, the abundance of certain establishments, and, primarily, the population of tradesmen and craftsmen, all crowded into these streets and lanes of central Petersburg, sometimes filled the general panorama with such subjects that it would be strange to be surprised at all on meeting another such figure. But so much malicious contempt had already accumulated in the young man’s soul that, in spite of all his own sometimes very immature squeamishness, when he was out on the street he was not in the least embarrassed by his tattered clothes. It was another matter altogether when he met some of his acquaintances or former comrades, whom, in general, he didn’t much like seeing. . . . However, when one drunkard, who for some unknown reason was being transported somewhere along the street in an enormous cart harnessed to a huge dray horse, suddenly shouted to him, in passing, “Hey, you, you German hatmaker!” and roared as loud as he could, pointing his finger at him—the young man suddenly stopped and violently grabbed his own hat. It was a tall, round top hat bought at Zimmerman’s shop, but already worn out, and now of a completely faded reddish-brown color, with many holes and stains, lacking a brim, and leaning to one side at a most unattractive angle. However, it was not shame that seized him but a completely different feeling, more resembling fear. “I knew it!” he muttered in confusion. “That’s exactly what I thought! This is the most disgraceful part! It’s just this kind of foolish thing, a really trivial detail that can spoil the whole plan! Yes, a hat that’s too noticeable. . . . It’s funny-looking, and therefore noticeable. . . . With my tattered clothes I really need a peaked cap, even an old one, flat as a pancake, not this monstrosity. No one wears hats like this; it can be recognized a mile away and remembered . . . that’s the main thing, remembered afterward, and there’s your evidence. One has to be as inconspicuous as possible. . . . Details, details are the main thing! It’s the details that always ruin everything . . .” He had only a little way to go; he even knew exactly how many paces it was from the gate of his own building: seven hundred and thirty. Once, when entirely lost in his daydreams, he’d happened to count them. At the time he himself still didn’t believe in his dreams and was merely irritating himself with their repugnant, though seductive audacity. Now, however, a month later, he’d begun to regard them in a different light, and in spite of all his mocking monologues about his own powerlessness and indecisiveness, he’d grown accustomed, even against his will, to considering this “repulsive” dream something of a feat, although he still didn’t believe in it himself. Now he was even on his way to carry out a trial run of his endeavor; with every step his agitation grew stronger and stronger. With a sinking heart and nervous trembling, he approached an immense building, one wall of which opened onto a narrow canal, the other onto Sadovaya Street. This building consisted of small apartments inhabited by all sorts of tradesmen—tailors, locksmiths, cooks, various Germans, streetwalkers, low-ranking civil servants, and others. People entering and leaving the building kept darting under both gates and across both courtyards. Three or four doormen worked there. The young man was very pleased when he didn’t encounter any of them and managed to slip unnoticed right through the gates and directly onto the staircase. The staircase was dark and narrow, “a back entrance,” but he knew that already, having studied it, and he liked this whole setting: in such darkness even casting a curious glance wouldn’t be dangerous. “If I’m so afraid now, what would happen if I somehow managed to commit the actual deed?” he thought inadvertently as he climbed up to the fourth floor. Some ex-military porters blocked his way as they carried some furniture out of one apartment. He already knew that a German, a civil servant, had been living there with his family: “It must be that the German’s moving out now and, consequently, on the fourth floor, on this staircase, on this landing only the old woman’s apartment will be occupied for a certain time. That’s good . . . just in case,” he thought again and rang the old woman’s bell. The bell jingled feebly, as if it were made of tin and not copper. Such bells could be found in almost all similar small buildings. He’d already forgotten the ring of this bell, and now this particular sound suddenly seemed to remind him of something and summon it clearly into mind. . . . He even shuddered, since his nerves had been so frayed of late. A few moments later, the door opened a tiny crack: the inhabitant peered out at the caller with visible distrust, and all that could be seen in the darkness were her flashing beady eyes. But, seeing so many people on the landing, she felt emboldened and opened the door wide. The young man stepped across the threshold into a dark vestibule divided by a partition from a tiny kitchen. The old woman stood before him silently, regarding him inquisitively. She was a small, dried-up miserable old woman, about sixty years old, with piercing, malicious little eyes, a small sharp nose, and her bare head. Her light blond, slightly grayed hair was thickly smeared with grease. Around her long, thin neck, resembling a chicken leg, was draped some sort of flannel rag, and over her shoulders, in spite of the heat, a worn-out, faded fur-trimmed jacket hung loosely. The old woman kept coughing and wheezing. It must have been that the young man glanced at her with some special sort of look, because her former distrust suddenly flashed in her eyes again. “Raskolnikov, a student. I was here about a month ago,” the young man hastened to mumble with a slight bow, recalling that he should be more courteous. “I remember, dearie, I remember very well that you were here,” the old woman replied distinctly, as before not taking her inquisitive eyes from his face. “So, ma’am, here I am again about the same sort of thing,” Raskolnikov continued, a little flustered and surprised by the old woman’s distrust. “But maybe she’s always like this, and I just didn’t notice it last time,” he thought with an unpleasant feeling. The old woman was silent, as if lost in thought; then she stepped to one side and, pointing at the door into her room, she said, allowing him to pass: “Go in, dearie.” The small room, into which the young man stepped, with its yellow wallpaper, geraniums, and muslin curtains on the windows, was at that moment brightly illuminated by the setting sun. “Then, of course, the sun will be shining the same way!” flashed through Raskolnikov’s mind, and he cast a swift glance at everything in the room to take it all in and remember its arrangement. But there was nothing special in there. The furniture, all very old and made of yellow wood, consisted of a sofa with an enormous carved wooden back, an oval table in front of it, a dressing table with a pier mirror standing between the windows, chairs along the walls, and two or three cheap pictures in yellow frames depicting young German ladies with birds in their hands—that’s all the furniture there was. A lamp was burning in the corner in front of a small icon. Everything in the room was very clean: the furniture and floors had been polished to a high gloss; everything gleamed. “Lizaveta’s work,” thought the young man. It was impossible to find even one speck of dust in the whole place. “This is the kind of cleanliness that can be found in the apartments of wicked old widows,” Raskolnikov thought to himself, and with curiosity he cast a sidelong glance at the cotton curtain hanging in front of the door into a second little room, which contained the old woman’s bed and dresser, and into which he’d never looked. The whole apartment consisted of these two rooms. “What do you want?” the old woman asked sternly as she entered the room; as before, she stopped in front of him so she could peer directly into his face. “I’ve brought something to pawn—here, ma’am!” He took from his pocket an old flat silver watch. There was a globe depicted on the back of the case. The chain was made of steel. “Time’s up for the last pledge you brought. The month ended two days ago.” “I’ll pay you the interest for another month; have patience.” “It’s up to me, dearie, whether I have patience or decide to sell your item now.” “How much for this watch, Alyona Ivanovna?” “You come here with rubbish, dearie; it’s worth almost nothing. Last time I gave you two rubles for that ring, but you can buy a new one at the jeweler’s for a ruble and a half.” “Give me four rubles. I’ll redeem it; it was my father’s. I’ll be getting some money soon.” “One ruble and a half, sir, with interest in advance, if you want it.” “A ruble and a half!” cried the young man. “As you wish.” And the old woman handed him back the watch. The young man took it and was so angry that he was just about to leave; but then he reconsidered, remembering that he had nowhere else to go, and that he’d come for a different reason. “All right!” he said rudely. The old woman dug into her pocket for her keys and went into the other room behind the curtain. The young man, left alone in the middle of the room, listened carefully and tried to imagine what she was doing. He could hear her unlocking the dresser. “It must be the topmost drawer,” he thought. “She must carry her keys in her right pocket. . . . All of them as one bunch, on a steel ring. . . . And there’s one key that’s bigger than all the others, three times bigger, with a notched tip; it’s not for the dresser, of course. . . . Therefore, there must be some kind of box or chest. . . . That’s odd. All chests have that kind of key. . . . But this is all so vulgar . . .” The old woman came back. “Here you are, dearie: if I take ten kopecks per ruble* per month, that comes to fifteen kopecks for one and half rubles for the month ahead. So, at the same rate for the last two rubles, you still owe me twenty kopecks in advance. In all, then, it comes to thirty-five kopecks. So now, in exchange for the watch, you get one ruble, fifteen kopecks. Here, take it.” “What? Only one ruble and fifteen kopecks now?” “Exactly.” The young man didn’t argue and took the money. He looked at the old woman and was in no rush to leave, just as if he wanted to say or do something else, but it seemed as if he himself didn’t know precisely what . . . “In a few days, Alyona Ivanovna, perhaps I’ll bring you something else . . . a fine . . . little . . . silver . . . cigarette case. . . . As soon as I get it back from a friend . . .” He became flustered and fell silent. “Well, dearie, we’ll talk about it then.” “Good-bye. . . . Are you always home alone? Your sister’s never here?” he inquired as casually as possible, passing though the hall. “What business do you have with her, dearie?” “Nothing special. I merely asked. And now you’re. . . . Good-bye, Alyona Ivanovna.” Raskolnikov left in an absolute confusion that kept growing more and more intense. As he went down the staircase, he even paused several times, as if suddenly struck by something. Finally, now out on the street, he exclaimed: “Oh, God! How repulsive this all is! Can I really, really . . . no, it’s rubbish, absurdity!” he added conclusively. “How could such a horrible thing enter my mind? Yet my heart seems capable of such filth! The main thing is: it’s filthy, foul, vile, vile! Yet for the last month I’ve been . . .” But he couldn’t express his agitation, either in words or exclamations. The feeling of infinite revulsion that had begun to oppress and torment his heart as he’d been coming to see the old woman had now reached such proportions and was so palpable that he didn’t know where to hide from his anguish. He walked along the sidewalk like a drunk, without noticing the passersby, and bumping into them; he came to his senses only at the next street. After looking around, he saw that he was standing next to a tavern, the entrance to which was down a staircase leading from the street level, into the cellar. Just at that moment, two drunks emerged from the door, supporting each other and cursing, and climbed up to the street. Without much thought, Raskolnikov went right down the stairs. He’d never frequented taverns before, but now his head was spinning; besides, he was suffering from a burning thirst. He felt like drinking a cold beer, all the more so since he attributed his sudden weakness to the fact that he was hungry. He sat down at a sticky table in a dark, dirty corner, ordered a beer, and gulped down the first glass. Everything receded immediately, and his thoughts became clear. “It’s all rubbish,” he said hopefully. “There’s no reason to get so distraught! It was merely physical upset! One glass of beer, a piece of rusk,† and then, in a minute, my mind grows strong, my thoughts grow clear, and my intentions are reinforced! Ugh, what nonsense it all is!” In spite of this contemptuous disdain, he seemed cheerful already, as if suddenly liberated from some terrible burden, and he cast his eyes amicably over those present. But even at that moment he had a distant premonition that all his assurance of better times was also morbid. Not many people were left in the tavern at that time. Besides those two drunks he met on the staircase, a whole group left right after them, about five men with an accordion and a young girl. Afterward it became quiet and spacious. There sat: one fellow who looked like a tradesman, drunk, but not too, nursing his beer; his large, fat pal, wearing a short jacket, sporting a gray beard, very intoxicated, dozing on the bench; from time to time this fellow would suddenly, as if half asleep, start snapping his fingers, fling his arms out wide, and jerk the top half of his body around without getting up from the bench, meanwhile warbling some nonsense as he tried to recall a few lines, something like: I loved my wife for one whole year, For one who-ole year I lov-ved my wi-fe . . . Or, suddenly rousing himself, he would begin again: As I walked along Podyachesky Lane, I found my former wife . . . But no one shared his merriment; his taciturn companion even regarded all these outbursts with hostility and distrust. There was one other man there; from his looks he might have been a former civil servant. He sat apart with his glass of vodka, occasionally taking a drink and glancing around. He was also in a state of some agitation. * One ruble was equivalent to 100 kopecks. † A hard, dry biscuit. II Raskolnikov was not accustomed to the crowd, and as has already been said, he’d been avoiding any social contact, especially of late. But now, for some reason, he was suddenly drawn to people. Something was happening within him, something new, and at the same time he felt a kind of yearning for people. He was so exhausted from his whole month of concentrated melancholy and gloomy agitation that he felt like taking a breath in another world, wherever it was, and in spite of the filth of his surroundings, he now remained in the tavern with pleasure. The owner of the establishment was in another room but frequently entered the main room, coming down the stairs from somewhere above, indicated first by the appearance of his fashionable shiny boots, with their large red tops. He was wearing a light coat and a terribly stained black satin vest without a tie, and his entire face seemed smeared with oil as if it were an iron lock. Behind the bar stood a lad about fourteen years old, and there was another, younger boy who served food if anyone ordered something. There were sliced pickles, black rusks, and pieces of fish; it all smelled very bad. It was so stuffy that it was even unbearable to sit there; everything was so saturated by the smell of alcohol that it seemed a person could become drunk in about five minutes just inhaling the air. Sometimes meetings occur, even with completely unfamiliar people in whom we begin to take an interest right from the first glance, somehow suddenly, unexpectedly, before one word is spoken. That was precisely the impression made on Raskolnikov by the patron who was sitting alone and who looked like a former civil servant. Several times afterward the young man recalled this first impression and even ascribed it to a premonition. Raskolnikov kept glancing over at the man, particularly, of course, because the man was staring persistently at him; it was obvious that the man very much wanted to strike up a conversation. The civil servant regarded the others in the tavern, even the owner, as somehow ordinary; he was even bored by them; at the same time, he felt a trace of haughty scorn, as if they were people of a lower order or a lower cultural level, to whom there was nothing to say. He was a man already past fifty, of average height and solid build, with graying hair and a large bald spot, a yellow, even greenish face swollen by constant drunkenness, puffy eyelids under which shone, like little slits, tiny but animated small reddish eyes. But there was something about him that was very strange, even some kind of enthusiasm glowing in his eyes—perhaps also meaning and intelligence—and at the same time there also seemed to be a trace of madness. He was dressed in an old, completely worn-out tailcoat, missing most of its buttons. Only one was still holding on somehow, but that was how he fastened it, apparently hoping to maintain some shred of dignity. His shirtfront protruded from under his heavy cotton vest, all wrinkled, soiled, and stained. His face had been shaved, like a civil servant’s, but a long time ago, and his gray whiskers had already begun to grow back densely. There was indeed in his bearing something to suggest a solid civil servant. But he was anxious, raked his fingers through his hair, and sometimes supported his head with both hands, resting his elbows, in their frayed sleeves, on the soiled, sticky table. At last he looked directly at Raskolnikov and said, in a loud, firm voice: “Do I dare, my kind sir, address you with a decent question? Even though you don’t appear to be a person of consequence, my experience tells me that you’re an educated man and not accustomed to drink. I myself have always respected education combined with heartfelt feelings, and in addition, I’m a titular counselor.* Marmeladov—that’s my name; a titular counselor. Dare I ask if you’re also a civil servant?” “No, I’m a student,” the young man replied, in part surprised by the man’s particularly ornate speech, and by the fact that he’d been addressed so directly, so point-blank. In spite of his recent momentary desire to seek some connection with other people, at these first words directed at him he suddenly sensed his usually unpleasant and irritating feeling of revulsion toward any unknown person who intruded upon or merely wanted to impose upon his person. “A student, naturally, or former student!” the civil servant cried. “Just as I thought! Experience, my dear sir, repeated experience!” And, as a sign of boasting, he pointed a finger at his own forehead. “You were a student or you’ve studied at the university! Allow me . . .” He stood, nodded, grabbed his carafe, his glass, and sat down next to the young man, at a slight angle away. He was drunk, but spoke volubly and boldly, losing track only occasionally and dragging out his words. He fell upon Raskolnikov even with some voraciousness, as if he also hadn’t spoken with anyone for a whole month. “Kind sir,” he began almost solemnly, “poverty is no vice; that’s a known truth. I know even more so that drunkenness is not a virtue. But destitution, dear sir, destitution—that is a vice. In poverty you can still preserve the nobility of your innate feelings, while in destitution you never do and no one does. For destitution you’re not even driven away with a stick—you’re swept out of human company with a broom so that it will be even more humiliating; and that’s fair, for in my destitution I’m the first one prepared to humiliate myself. Hence, the tavern! Dear sir, a month ago a certain Mr. Lebezyatnikov gave my wife a beating; but my wife is not like me! You understand, sir? Allow me to inquire further, just so, even out of mere curiosity: have you ever spent a night sleeping on a hay barge on the Neva?” “No, I haven’t,” replied Raskolnikov. “Why do you ask?” “Well, sir, that’s where I’m coming from; it’s already my fifth night . . .” He filled his glass, drank it down, and fell to musing. And it was true that here and there some small strands of hay were sticking to his clothes and even to his hair. It was very likely that he hadn’t washed or changed his clothes in those five days. His hands were especially grimy, greasy, and reddish, and his fingernails were black. His conversation seemed to arouse general, though listless attention. The boys behind the counter started giggling. The tavern keeper, it seemed, purposely came down from the upper room to hear this “amusing fellow,” and sat a ways off, yawning lazily but ostentatiously. Obviously, Marmeladov had been known here for a long time. He had probably acquired this proclivity for ornate speech as a result of frequent conversations in taverns with various strangers. In some drunkards this habit becomes a necessity, primarily among those who receive harsh treatment at home and who are ordered about. That’s why in drunken company they always seem to crave justification, and if possible, even respect. “What an amusing fellow!” the tavern keeper said loudly. “How come you don’t work, huh, if you’re a civil servant? Why don’t you serve?” “Why don’t I serve, my dear sir?” Marmeladov seized on the question, turning exclusively to Raskolnikov as if he’d posed it. “Why don’t I serve? Don’t you think my heart aches over the fact that I grovel to no avail? When, one month ago, Mr. Lebezyatnikov beat my wife with his own hands, as I lay there drunk, don’t you think I suffered? Allow me to ask you, young man, has it ever happened that you had to . . . hmm . . . beg for a loan of money without hope?” “It has . . . but what do you mean without hope?” “I mean completely hopelessly, knowing in advance that nothing will come of it. For example, you know beforehand, absolutely, that this most well-intentioned and most useful citizen won’t give you money under any circumstances because why, I ask, why should he? After all, he knows I won’t pay it back. Out of compassion? But Mr. Lebezyatnikov, who’s a follower of the latest ideas, was explaining to me just the other day that in our era compassion has even been prohibited by science and that this is already being done in England, where they’ve developed political economy. Why then, I ask, should he give me anything? Yet, knowing beforehand that he won’t, you still set off on your way and . . .” “Why do you set off?” added Raskolnikov. “What if there’s no one else to see, nowhere else to go? Everyone has to have somewhere to go. Because there comes a time when it’s absolutely essential to go somewhere. When my only daughter went out for the first time with a streetwalker’s yellow ticket,† then I went out, too. (My daughter makes her living by streetwalking, sir . . .),” he added in parentheses, regarding the young man with some anxiety. “Never mind, my dear sir, never mind!” he hastened to declare immediately, even with apparent calm, when the two lads standing at the bar chuckled and the tavern keeper smiled. “Never mind, sir! I don’t take offense at their heads nodding, because everyone knows everything already; nothing’s secret, that shall not be made manifest; I regard all this not with contempt, but with humility. Let it go! Let it! ‘Behold the man!’‡ Allow me, young man, can you. . . . But no, it should be explained more powerfully and imaginatively: looking at me at this very moment, it’s not a matter of can you, rather it’s dare you state positively that I am not a swine?” The young man uttered not one word in reply. “Well, sir,” the speaker continued steadfastly, even with a reinforced sense of self-respect, having paused to let another outburst of laughter in the room die down. “Well, sir, I may be a swine, but she is a lady! I am made in the image of a beast, but my wife, Katerina Ivanovna, is an educated person, born the daughter of a field officer. I may be a scoundrel, but she’s been raised with a noble heart and brought up with magnanimous feelings. Meanwhile . . . oh, if only she pitied me! My dear, dear sir, every man needs to have at least one place where he’s pitied! And while Katerina Ivanovna is a generous woman, she’s unjust. . . . While I myself understand that when she pulls tufts of my hair, she’s doing so from a feeling of pity in her heart (for, I repeat without embarrassment, she does pull tufts of my hair, young man),” he confirmed in a dignified tone after hearing laughter once again, “but, my God, what if even once she. . . . But no! No! It’s all in vain, and there’s nothing more to be said! Nothing at all! For more than once have I got what I wanted, more than once have I been pitied, but . . . but such is my nature, I’m a born beast!” “That’s for sure!” observed the tavern keeper, with a yawn. Marmeladov resolutely banged his fist on the table. “Such is my nature! Do you know, sir, do you know, that I even pawned her stockings? Not her shoes, sir, since that would have resembled the normal course of events, but her stockings, I pawned her stockings, sir! I also hocked her mohair shawl, a gift, an earlier one, her own, not from me. We live in a chilly corner, and this past winter she caught a cold and began coughing, even spitting up blood. We have three small children, and Katerina Ivanovna works from morning to night, scrubbing and washing and bathing the children, since she’s used to cleanliness from early childhood, but she has a weak chest and is predisposed to consumption—that I feel. How can I not feel it? And the more I drink, the more I feel it. That’s why I drink, because I’m seeking compassion and feeling in this drinking. . . . It’s not joy I seek, only sorrow. . . . I drink because I genuinely want to suffer!” And then, as if in despair, he rested his head on the table. “Young man,” he continued, raising his head again, “I can read some sorrow in your face. I saw it when you entered, and that’s why I turned to you right away. In telling you the story of my life, I don’t wish to parade my disgrace before these idlers here, who know it all already; I’m seeking a sensitive, educated man. Do you know that my wife was educated in a provincial school for children of the nobility, and at the award ceremony she was chosen to perform the shawl dance§ in the presence of the governor and other distinguished guests, for which she received a gold medal and a certificate of merit? A medal . . . well, we sold that medal . . . a long time ago . . . hmm . . . the certificate’s still in her trunk, and she recently showed it to our landlady. Even though she has endless quarrels with the landlady, she wanted to show off to someone and tell her about those happy days in the past. I don’t condemn her, I don’t, because these things are preserved in her memory, and all the rest has turned to dust! Yes, yes; she’s a hot-tempered woman, proud and obstinate. She washes the floor herself and has only black bread to eat, but she won’t tolerate any disrespect. That’s why she wouldn’t tolerate Mr. Lebezyatnikov’s rudeness, and when he gave her a beating, she took to her bed more as a result of her feeling than from the actual blows. She was already a widow when I married her, with three children, each smaller than the other. Her first husband was a cavalry officer, and she married him for love and ran away from her parents’ house with him. She loved her husband dearly, but he took to gambling, ended up in court, and soon died. He’d begun beating her toward the end; although she didn’t let him get away with it, about which I have detailed documentary evidence; she weeps to this day when she remembers him and reproaches me. I’m glad, very glad that even in her imagination she can see herself as being happy for a while. . . . After his death she was left with three young children in a distant and dreadful provincial town, where I was also staying at the time; she was living in such hopeless poverty—even though I’ve had many different experiences, I can’t even begin to describe her situation. Her family refused to help her. Besides, she was proud, extremely proud. . . . And then, my dear sir, then, being a widower myself, and having a fourteen-year-old daughter, I proposed to her because I couldn’t bear to see such suffering. You can judge for yourself the degree of her misfortune, that she, an educated and well-brought-up woman from an eminent family, agreed to marry the likes of me! But she did! Weeping and wailing, wringing her hands, she did! Because she had nowhere else to go. Do you understand, do you really understand, dear sir, what it means when a person has nowhere else to go? No! You don’t understand it yet. . . . For one whole year I fulfilled my obligation devotedly and devoutly and never touched the bottle”—he pointed to the bottle—“because I do have feelings. But even then I couldn’t please her, even with that; it was afterward, when I lost my job, which wasn’t my fault, but it happened because of changes in the department that I turned to drink! It’s already been about half a year, after our wanderings and numerous misfortunes, since we finally turned up in this splendid capital with all of its many monuments. And I found a job here. . . . I found one and then I lost it. Do you understand, sir? This time it was my own fault, because I had reached the end of my rope. . . . Now we live in a little corner, at our landlady’s, Amaliya Fedorovna Lippevekhsel, but I don’t know how we manage to live and pay her. Many others live there besides us. . . . It’s Sodom, sir, of the most hideous kind . . . hmm . . . yes. . . . Meanwhile my daughter from my first marriage has grown up; I won’t describe what she had to suffer while growing up, my daughter, from her stepmother. Because although Katerina Ivanovna is filled with kindly feelings, she’s a hot-tempered and irritable lady, and she can snap. . . . Yes, sir! There’s no reason to recall it! As you can well imagine, Sonya received no education. About four years ago, I tried to read some geography and world history with her; but since I myself was weak in those areas and we had no suitable textbooks, and the books we did have . . . hmm . . . well, we don’t even have those books now, all our reading ended then and there. We stopped at the Persian king Cyrus the Great.¶ Then, once she was older, she read some books of romantic content as well as several others, given to her by Mr. Lebezyatnikov. One was Lewes’s Physiology.# Do you happen to know it, sir? She read it with great interest and even read some passages aloud to us: and that was her entire education. Now I’m turning to you, my dear sir, on my own behalf, with a confidential question of my own: in your opinion, can a poor but honest girl earn a living by honest work? She can’t earn even fifteen kopecks a day, sir, if she’s honest, since she possesses no special skills, and that’s even if she works all the time! Besides, the state councillor Ivan Ivanovich Klopshtok—have you ever heard of him? Not only hasn’t he paid her yet for the half dozen fine cotton shirts she made him, but he even drove her out with insults, stamping his feet and calling her names, claiming that the collars were the wrong size and had been sewn in crooked. Meanwhile the children go hungry. . . . And then Katerina Ivanovna, wringing her hands, paces the room, her face flushed with the red blotches that always accompany that illness: ‘You live here with us,’ she says, ‘like a sponger; you eat and drink and enjoy the warmth, but what’s there to eat and drink when these little ones haven’t seen a crust of bread for three days?’ I was lying there at the time . . . why not say it? I was a little drunk, sir, and I heard my Sonya (she’s very meek and has such a soft voice . . . she’s fair-haired and her face is always so pale and thin), say: ‘Oh, Katerina Ivanovna, must I really go out and do that?’ Meanwhile, Darya Frantsevna, a malevolent woman well known to the police, had reported her to the landlady several times. ‘So what?’ replied Katerina Ivanovna, with a mocking laugh, ‘What are you saving yourself for? What a treasure!’ But don’t blame her, don’t, dear sir, don’t blame her! She wasn’t in her right mind when she said it; she was agitated, sick, and the children were crying because they hadn’t eaten, and she said it more as an insult than as what she really meant. . . . Because Katerina Ivanovna is the sort of person who, as soon as the children begin crying, even when they’re hungry, begins to beat them right away. And then I saw how Sonechka, around six o’clock, got up, put on a kerchief, her hooded cloak, and left the apartment; she came back at nine. She walked in and went straight up to Katerina Ivanovna and silently put thirty silver rubles down on the table in front of her. She didn’t utter one word as she did, didn’t even look at her, but merely picked up our large green shawl (we have one that we use), covered her head and face completely, and lay down on the bed, facing the wall, but her whole body and her little shoulders were trembling. . . . Meanwhile, sir, I lay there, in the same condition as before. . . . And then I saw, young man, I saw how Katerina Ivanovna, also without saying a word, went up to Sonechka’s bed and knelt there all evening, kissing her feet; she was unable to stand, and then, embracing, they both fell asleep together . . . both of them . . . both of them . . . yes, sir . . . while I . . . I lay there drunk, sir.” Marmeladov fell silent, as if his voice had broken off. Then he suddenly filled his glass, drank it down quickly, and grunted. “Since then, sir,” he continued after a brief pause, “since then, as a result of one unfortunate incident and the fact that some ill-intentioned people informed the authorities, which Darya Frantsevna had encouraged because she felt as if she hadn’t been treated with appropriate respect, since then my daughter, Sofiya Semyonovna, was compelled to obtain the yellow card of a prostitute, and as a result has no longer been able to reside with us. It was the landlady, Amaliya Fedorovna, who wouldn’t allow it (Darya Frantsevna had previously encouraged her in this), as well as Mr. Lebezyatnikov . . . hmm. . . . That entire episode with Katerina Ivanovna occurred because of Sonya. At first he himself tried to have his way with her, and then he suddenly became very touchy: ‘How can I, such a cultured person,’ he says, ‘continue to live in the same apartment with a person like her?’ Katerina Ivanovna wouldn’t tolerate it and got involved . . . and thus the incident occurred. . . . And now Sonechka stops by mostly after dark, comforts Katerina Ivanovna, and leaves whatever money she can. . . . She lives in the apartment of the tailor Kapernaumov, renting a room from them; he’s lame and afflicted with a speech defect and his entire large family has the same defect. His wife has it, too. . . . They all live together in one room; Sonya has her own room, with a partition. . . . Hmm, yes. . . . These people are very poor and all afflicted with this speech defect . . . yes. . . . One morning I’d just woken up, sir, put on my ragged clothes, raised my hands to heaven, and set off to see His Excellency, Ivan Afanasevich. Do you happen to know His Excellency, Ivan Afanasevich? No? Then you don’t know such a virtuous man! He’s like wax . . . wax before the face of the Lord; he melts like wax! After hearing me out, he even grew tearful. ‘Well, Marmeladov,’ he says, ‘you’ve disappointed my expectations once before. . . . I’ll take you on again as my own responsibility,’ that’s what he said. ‘Remember this,’ he said, ‘and now go away!’ I kissed the dust at his feet, mentally, because he wouldn’t have allowed it, being a person of such high rank and modern ideas about public service; I returned home, and when I announced that I’d been reinstated in my job and would be receiving a salary, Lord, what a commotion it caused!” Marmeladov paused again, overcome with strong emotion. Just then a whole group of men entered from outside, already quite drunk, with the sound of a rented accordion and the soft, cracked voice of a seven-year-old child singing “The Little Farm.” It grew loud. The tavern keeper and the waiters attended to the new arrivals. Marmeladov, who didn’t pay any attention to these people, continued his story. He already seemed very weak, but the more intoxicated he grew, the more talkative he became. His recollections of his recent successes at work seemed to invigorate him, and some were even reflected in his face by a sort of radiance. Raskolnikov listened attentively. “This took place, good sir, about five weeks ago. Yes. . . . They’d both just found out, Katerina Ivanovna and Sonechka, good Lord, and it was as if I’d been admitted to the heavenly kingdom. It used to be that I’d lie around like a beast, and receive only abuse! But that day: they walked around on tiptoe and kept the children quiet: ‘Semyon Zakharych is tired from his work; he’s resting: shh!’ They’d serve me coffee before I went off to work, and they’d even heat up some cream! They began to buy real cream, do you hear? I have no idea how they scraped the money together to provide me with a decent uniform, eleven rubles and fifty kopecks. Boots, the finest calico shirtfronts, and a uniform: they threw it all together splendidly for eleven and a half rubles. The first day, I arrived home from work in the morning and saw that Katerina Ivanovna had prepared two courses, soup and salted beef with horseradish, something we’d never even dreamt of before. She doesn’t own a dress . . . that is, none at all, sir, and now she looked as if she were going out visiting; she was all dressed up; it wasn’t as if she had anything to use, she did it all from nothing; her hair was done up, she had a clean white collar and sleeve covers; she looked like a completely different person, much younger and prettier. Sonechka, my little sweetheart, had merely provided the money, while for the time being, she said, she thought it wouldn’t be proper for her to visit us too often, except after dark, so no one would see her. You hear, do you hear? I came home after dinner to have a little rest, and what do you think? Katerina Ivanovna simply couldn’t resist: a week before she’d had a really terrible quarrel with the landlady, Amaliya Fedorovna, and now she’d invited her to come for a cup of coffee. They sat there for two hours whispering all the time: ‘Now,’ Katerina says, ‘since Semyon Zakharych is back at work and receiving a salary, and he’s even been to see His Excellency; His Excellency came out himself, told everyone else to wait, while he took Semyon Zakharych by the arm and escorted him into his office. You hear, do you hear? “Of course,” he says to him, “I remember your service, Semyon Zakharych, and although you displayed a fondness for that trivial frailty, now, since you’ve made a promise, and besides, without you things had started to go badly.” (You hear, do you hear?) “I hope,” he says, “now on your word of honor,”—that is, all of it, I tell you, she made up the whole story, not as a result of thoughtlessness, sir, but so she could boast a bit! No, sir, she herself believed the whole thing; she was consoling herself using her own imagination, so help me God! I don’t condemn her; no, I don’t condemn her for this at all! When, six days later, I brought my first wages home—twenty-three rubles and forty kopecks—when I brought it all home, she called me a sweetie: ‘You’re such a sweetie,’ she said! We were all alone, sir, do you understand? Well, it’s not for my looks, and besides, what sort of husband am I? No, she pinched my cheek: ‘You’re such a sweetie!’ she said.” Marmeladov paused, was about to smile, but suddenly his chin began to quiver, though he restrained himself. This tavern, his debauched appearance, his five nights on a hay barge, his bottle, and, at the same time, this painful love for his wife and family disconcerted his listener. Raskolnikov attended intensely, but with painful emotion. He was annoyed with himself that he’d dropped into the tavern. “Dear sir, dear sir!” Marmeladov exclaimed after recovering. “Oh, sir, you may find all this amusing, as do the others, since I’m only upsetting you with the foolishness of all these petty details of my domestic life, but I don’t find it amusing in the least! That’s because I can feel it all. . . . I spent the rest of that entire heavenly day of my life and all that evening in fleeting dreams: that is, how I’d arrange everything, outfit the children, provide peace of mind to my wife, and return my only begotten daughter to the bosom of the family from her disgrace. . . . And more, much more. . . . It’s permitted, sir. Well, sir, my good sir”—Marmeladov suddenly seemed to shudder, raise his head, and stare at his listener—“well, sir, the next day, after all these daydreams, that is, exactly five days ago, toward evening, by clever stealth, like a thief in the night, I stole the key from Katerina Ivanovna’s box, took out what was left of the money I’d brought home, I don’t recall how much it was, and now, look at me, all of you! I’ve been away from home five days; they’re looking for me, it’s the end of my job, and my uniform is left in some tavern near the Egyptian Bridge; I traded it for these clothes . . . and it’s the end of everything!” Marmeladov struck his fist on his forehead, clenched his teeth, closed his eyes, and placed his elbow firmly on the table. But in a moment his face suddenly changed; he glanced at Raskolnikov with some sort of assumed cunning and feigned insolence, started laughing, and said: “I visited Sonya today. I went to ask her for some money to buy a drink so I could get rid of my hangover! Tee-hee!” “Did she really give you any?” someone who’d just come in cried, then burst out laughing. “This bottle was bought with her money, sir,” Marmeladov uttered, addressing Raskolnikov exclusively. “She gave me thirty kopecks, with her own hands, her last coins, all there was, I could see for myself. . . . She didn’t say a word, merely looked at me in silence. . . . That doesn’t happen here on earth, but up there . . . they grieve over people, they weep, but they do not reproach them, they don’t! But that hurts more, sir, much more, sir, when they don’t reproach them! Thirty kopecks, yes, sir. But she needs them herself now, doesn’t she? What do you think, my dear sir? Now she has to keep herself clean. This extra cleanliness costs money, do you understand? Do you? Well, she also has to buy makeup, doesn’t she? Starched petticoats, the kind of stylish shoes that display her little feet when she has to step over a puddle. Do you understand, do you, sir, what this cleanliness means? Well, sir, I, her own father, took those thirty kopecks to ease my hangover! And I’m drinking, sir! I’ve already spent it all on drink, sir! Well, who would feel sorry for the likes of me? Eh? Do you feel sorry for me now, sir, or not? Tell me, sir, do you feel sorry or not? Ha, ha, ha!” He wanted to refill his glass, but there was nothing left. The bottle was empty. “Why should anyone feel sorry for you?” demanded the tavern keeper, who’d turned up next to them once again. There was a burst of laughter and even some cursing. The listeners laughed and cursed, and even those who weren’t listening joined in, simply looking at the sorry sight of the former civil servant. “Sorry? Why feel sorry for me?” Marmeladov cried suddenly, standing up, his arm outstretched, now genuinely inspired, as if he’d been waiting for those words. “Why feel sorry? you ask. No, there’s no reason to feel sorry for me! I should be crucified, nailed to a cross, not pitied. But crucify me, oh Judge, crucify me, and after having crucified me, then feel sorry for me! I myself will come and ask to be crucified, for it’s not joy I seek, but sorrow and tears! Do you think, oh, shopkeeper, that your bottle has afforded me any pleasure? Sorrow, sorrow is what I sought in its depths, sorrow and tears, and I found them and tasted of them; but He who has pitied all men and who has understood everyone and everything, He will take pity on us; He and no one else; He is the judge. He will come on that day and He will ask: ‘Where is thy daughter who sacrificed herself for her wicked and consumptive stepmother and for a stranger’s little children? Where is thy daughter who pitied her earthly father, a useless drunkard, and who was not dismayed by his beastliness?’ And He will say: ‘Come forth! I have already forgiven thee. . . . I have forgiven thee once. . . . Thy many sins are now also forgiven, for thou hast loved much. . . .’ And He will forgive my Sonya, He will; I know that He will forgive her. . . . Just a little while ago when I was with her, I felt this in my heart! And He will judge and forgive everyone, both the good and the evil, the wise men and the humble. . . . And when He has finished with everyone, then He will summon us, too: ‘Come forth,’ He will say, ‘even ye! Come forth, ye drunkards, come forth, ye weaklings, come forth, ye shameless ones!’ And we will all come forth, without shame, and we will stand before Him. And He will say, ‘Ye are swine! Ye are made in the image of the beast and ye bear his mark; but ye also shall come forth!’ And the wise men and the learned men will exclaim, ‘Lord! Wherefore do You receive these people?’ And He will say, ‘I receive them, oh, ye wise men, I receive them, oh, ye learned men, because not one of them hath ever considered himself worthy. . . .’ And He will stretch forth His arms to us, and we will kiss His hands . . . and we will weep . . . and we will understand all things! Then will we understand all things! And everyone will understand . . . even Katerina Ivanovna . . . she, too, will understand. . . . Oh, Lord, Thy kingdom come!” Deep in thought, he sank down on the bench, weak and exhausted, looking at no one, oblivious of his surroundings. His words made quite an impression; silence reigned for a moment, but soon the previous laughter and curses resumed. “Know-it-all!” “Damned liar!” “Bureaucrat!” And so on and so forth. “Let’s go, sir,” Marmeladov said suddenly, raising his head and turning to Raskolnikov. “Take me home . . . to Kozel’s house, in the courtyard. It’s time . . . to Katerina Ivanovna . . .” Raskolnikov had been wanting to leave for some time; he himself had even thought about helping the other man get home. Marmeladov’s legs were much weaker than his words, and he leaned heavily on the young man. They had only about two or three hundred paces to walk. The closer they got to his house, the more and more the drunken man was overcome by embarrassment and fear. “I’m not afraid of Katerina Ivanovna now,” he muttered in agitation. “It’s not that she’ll begin tearing out my hair. What do I care about my hair? It’s nothing! That’s what I say! It’ll even be better if she begins tearing it out! That’s not what I’m afraid of. . . . I’m . . . afraid of her eyes . . . yes . . . her eyes. . . . I’m also afraid of the red blotches on her cheeks . . . and then—I’m afraid of her breathing. . . . Have you ever heard how people with this illness breathe . . . when they’re distraught? I’m also afraid of the children’s crying. . . . Because if Sonya hasn’t fed them, then . . . I don’t know what! I just don’t! But I’m not afraid of a beating. You should know, sir, not only are such beatings not painful, I even enjoy them. . . . For I myself couldn’t do without them. It’s better that way. Let her beat me; it relieves her soul. . . . It’s better that way. . . . Here’s the house. Kozel’s house. He’s a locksmith, a German, he’s rich . . . lead on.” They entered from the courtyard and went up to the fourth floor. The farther they climbed, the darker the stairs became. It was almost eleven o’clock, and even though at that time of year there’s no real night in Petersburg, it was very dark at the top of the stairs. The small sooty door at the end of the stairway, at the very top, was open. A candle stub lit the poorest of rooms, only ten paces long; it was entirely visible from the hallway. Everything was thrown about and in disarray, especially the children’s clothing. A bedsheet with holes in it had been hung across the back corner. Behind it, most likely, stood a bed. There were only two chairs in the room itself and a very tattered oilcloth sofa, in front of which stood an old kitchen table made of pine, unpainted and uncovered. At the edge of the table was a partially burned tallow candle stub in an iron candlestick. It turned out that Marmeladov lived in a separate room, not in that corner; his room was one through which people had to pass. The door to the farthest rooms or cells, into which Amaliya Lippevekhsel’s apartment had been divided, stood slightly ajar. There was a great deal of noise and shouting. There was loud laughter. It seemed that people were playing cards and having tea. Sometimes the most indecorous words emerged. Raskolnikov recognized Katerina Ivanovna immediately. She was a terribly emaciated woman, thin, rather tall and elegant, with lovely dark brown hair still, and real red blotches on her cheeks. She paced back and forth in her little room, arms folded across her chest, lips parched, gasping unevenly for breath. Her eyes were shining as if she had a fever, but her glance was sharp and steady, and her consumptive and agitated face made a morbid impression in the last light of the flickering candle end quivering on her face. She seemed to Raskolnikov to be about thirty years old and was certainly no match for Marmeladov. . . . She didn’t hear and didn’t see the men entering; she seemed to be in some sort of stupor in which she neither saw nor heard anything. It was stuffy in the room, but she hadn’t opened the window; there was a stench emanating from the staircase, but the door stood open; waves of tobacco smoke wafted in from the inner rooms through the open door; she was coughing but hadn’t closed the door. The youngest girl, around six years old, was asleep on the floor, sitting up somehow, hunched over, her head resting on the sofa. The little boy, a year older than her, was trembling in the corner and crying. He’d probably just been beaten. The eldest daughter, around nine years old, was as tall and slim as a matchstick, wearing only a wretched, very tattered blouse, and draped over her bare shoulders a decrepit cotton shawl that had probably been made for her about two years ago, because now it didn’t even reach her knees; she stood in the corner next to her younger brother, embracing his neck with one long arm, desiccated as a matchstick. She seemed to be comforting him, whispering something to him, doing all she could so he wouldn’t start whimpering again, while at the same time she followed her mother with her very, very large dark eyes, which seemed even larger on her emaciated and frightened little face. Marmeladov, before entering the room, sank to his knees in the doorway, while he pushed Raskolnikov forward. The woman, noticing a stranger, paused distractedly in front of him; having returned to her senses momentarily, she seemed to be wondering why he’d come in. But most likely she imagined that he was heading into the other rooms, since theirs served as the passageway. Realizing this and not paying any more attention, she went to the hall door to close it; then, catching sight of her husband kneeling on the threshold, she suddenly screamed. “Ah!” she cried in a rage. “So you’ve come back! You crook! You monster! Where’s the money? What’s left in your pocket? Show me! And your clothes? Where are your clothes? Where’s the money? Tell me . . .” She rushed at him to begin searching. Marmeladov obediently and calmly raised both his arms to the sides to make it easier to search his pockets. There wasn’t a kopeck left. “Where’s the money?” she screamed. “Oh, Lord, did he really spend it all on drink? There were twelve silver rubles left in the box!” Suddenly, in a rage, she grabbed hold of his hair and dragged him into the room. Marmeladov himself made it easier for her, crawling on his knees meekly behind her. “Even this gives me enjoyment! Even this isn’t painful, but en-joy-ab-le, my dear-est kind sir,” he cried, being shaken by his hair and even bumping his forehead once on the floor. The child who was asleep on the floor woke up and began crying. The little boy in the corner couldn’t restrain himself, began shaking, burst into tears, and, in a terrible fright, almost a fit, rushed to his sister. The older girl, half awake, trembled like a leaf. “Drank it up! All of it, he drank it all up!” the poor woman shouted in despair. “And those aren’t his clothes! They’re hungry, hungry!” (Wringing her hands, she pointed to the children.) “Oh, what a cursed life! And you, aren’t you ashamed?” she said, turning suddenly on Raskolnikov. “From the tavern! Were you drinking with him? Were you drinking with him, too? Get out!” The young man hastened to leave without saying a word. Besides, the interior door swung open, and several curious onlookers peeked in. Impudent people in skullcaps were stretching their heads forward, laughing and smoking cigarettes or pipes. There were people wearing bathrobes, some left completely unfastened, or wearing almost indecent summer clothes; others held cards in their hands. They laughed especially heartily when Marmeladov, being dragged by his hair, cried that he found it enjoyable. They even began coming into the room; at last one could hear a sinister screech: it was Amaliya Lippevekhsel forcing her way through to impose a sort of order and to frighten the poor woman for the hundredth time with her insulting command to vacate the apartment by the following day. As he left, Raskolnikov managed to shove his hand into his pocket, grab the change left from the ruble he’d cashed at the tavern, and place it on the windowsill unobserved. Then, once on the staircase, he reconsidered and wanted to return. “What a foolish thing I just did,” he thought. “They have Sonya, and I need the money myself.” But after some thought, he realized that it was already impossible to take it back and he wouldn’t do it, anyway; he gave up and returned to his own apartment. “Sonya also has to buy makeup,” he went on, grinning sarcastically as he walked along the street. “This cleanliness costs money. . . . Hmm. But maybe Sonechka won’t make any money today, because there’s always risk involved, hunting for valuable game, prospecting for gold. . . . Without my money, they might still have nothing at all tomorrow. . . . Ah, that Sonya! What a gold mine they’ve discovered! And they mine it! I’ll say they do! And they’ve gotten used to it. They shed a few tears and then they got used to it. Man’s a scoundrel: he can get used to anything!” He started musing. “But what if I’m wrong?” he suddenly cried inadvertently. “What if man’s really not a scoundrel, in general—that is, the whole human race; that would mean that all the rest is prejudice, merely imagined fears, and there are no boundaries, and that’s how it should be!” * A fairly low rank in the Russian civil service, corresponding to that of a captain in the army. † Prostitutes in Russia were registered with the police and required to carry yellow identity cards. ‡ Pontius Pilate’s words in John 19:5 when presenting Jesus to the crowd. § A dance associated with upper-class young ladies, especially those educated in socially desirable finishing schools. ¶ Cyrus was a Persian ruler in the sixth century B.C.E. # George Lewes (1817–1878) wrote The Physiology of Everyday Life (1859); it was translated into Russian in 1861 and became very popular among Russian progressives. III It was already late in the day when he awoke after a disturbed sleep, but the sleep hadn’t fortified him. He woke up feeling aggravated, irritable, and spiteful and looked around his small space with contempt. It was a tiny closet of a room, some six paces long, and it had the most pitiful appearance, with dusty yellowish wallpaper peeling away in many places. The ceiling was so low that even a slightly tall man would find it unnerving, and it always seemed to him that at any moment he might bump his head against it. The furniture suited the room: there were three old chairs, not in good condition, and a painted table in the corner holding a few books and notebooks. A glance at even one volume, all covered in dust, would make it clear that it had been a while since anyone’s hand had touched these books. Finally, a large, ungainly sofa took up almost the entire wall and about half the width of the whole room; at one time it had been covered in chintz, but now it was in tatters and served as Raskolnikov’s bed. He often slept on it just as he was, without undressing, without a sheet, covering himself with his old shabby student’s overcoat, with one small pillow at the head of the bed, under which he would place all the linen he owned, both clean and dirty, so that his head was raised a bit. A small table stood in front of the sofa. It was hard to sink lower or become more slovenly, but Raskolnikov found this aspect even pleasant in his current frame of mind. He had definitely withdrawn from everyone, like a turtle into its shell, and even the face of the servant, who was obliged to wait on him and who would sometimes enter his room, aroused his bile and occasioned tremors. That sometimes happens with those monomaniacs who are too focused on something. The landlady had stopped providing him with food about two weeks ago, and up to the present he hadn’t taken it upon himself to have it out with her, even though he went without his dinner. The cook Nastasya, the landlady’s only servant, welcomed the lodger’s mood and had completely stopped sweeping and straightening his room, except that about once a week she would sometimes take a broom to it, as if by accident. It was she who had just awakened him. “Get up! Why are you sleeping?” she yelled at him. “It’s past nine o’clock. I brought you some tea. Do you want it? You’re wasting away!” The lodger opened his eyes, shuddered, and recognized Nastasya. “Is that tea from the landlady or what?” he asked, slowly and painfully raising himself up a bit on the sofa. “The landlady! Ha!” She placed her own cracked teapot in front of him, with its diluted tea and two yellow lumps of sugar. “Here, Nastasya, take this, please,” he said, fumbling in his pocket (he’d been sleeping in his clothes), and he pulled out a handful of copper coins. “Go buy me a roll. And get me a little sausage from the sausage maker, the cheapest sort.” “I’ll bring you a roll in a moment, but wouldn’t you like some cabbage soup instead of sausage? It’s from yesterday and it’s good. I saved you some, but you came home late. It’s good cabbage soup.” When she’d brought in the soup and he’d set about eating it, Nastasya sat down on the sofa next to him and started chatting. She was a peasant woman and very talkative. “Praskovya Pavlovna wants to complain to the police about you,” she said. He winced deeply. “To the police? What does she want?” “You don’t pay her any money and you won’t vacate the room. It’s clear what she wants.” “Oh, hell, that’s all I needed,” he muttered, grinding his teeth. “No, that’s not . . . a good thing right now. . . . She’s a fool,” he said aloud. “I’ll go see her today. I’ll talk to her.” “She may be a fool, just like I am, but what about you? Are you clever, lying here like a sack, with nothing to show for it? Before, you said, you used to teach children; why don’t you do anything now?” “I do . . .” Raskolnikov said reluctantly and harshly. “What do you do?” “I work . . .” “What kind of work?” “I think,” he replied seriously after a little pause. Nastasya simply collapsed in laughter. She was easily amused, and when she found something funny, she laughed inaudibly, her whole body rocking and shaking until she felt sick. “Have you thought up a lot of money?” she was finally able to utter. “Without boots, you can’t go teach. Besides, I spit on them.” “Don’t spit into the well you drink from.” “They pay me almost nothing to teach children. What can you do with kopecks?” he continued reluctantly, as if replying to his own thoughts. “You want all your capital at once?” He regarded her with a strange look. “Yes, all my capital,” he replied firmly, after a slight pause. “Well, better to go slowly, or you’ll scare me; I’m already very frightened. Should I get you a roll, or not?” “As you like.” “Oh, I forgot! A letter came for you yesterday while you were out.” “A letter! For me? From whom?” “I don’t know from whom. I paid the mailman three kopecks. Will you pay me back?” “Bring it to me, for heaven’s sake, bring it!” Raskolnikov cried in great excitement. A minute later, the letter appeared. Just as he thought: it was from his mother, in Ryazan Province. He even turned pale as he took it. He hadn’t received any letters in some time; but now something else suddenly took hold of his heart. “Nastasya, go away, for heaven’s sake; here’s your three kopecks, only go away right now, for heaven’s sake!” The letter trembled in his hands: he didn’t want to open it in her presence: he wanted to be alone with the letter. After Nastasya left, he quickly raised the letter to his lips and kissed it; then for a long time he gazed at the handwriting of the address, at his mother’s familiar, beloved, tiny slanted writing, she who’d once taught him how to read and write. He took his time; he even seemed afraid of something. He finally opened it: the letter was long, thick, and weighed almost a full ounce; two large pieces of writing paper were covered with tiny script. “My dear Rodya,” his mother wrote. “It’s been more than two months since I’ve written you a letter, as a result of which I’ve suffered, at times even lost sleep, wondering about you. But most likely you won’t blame me for my unintended silence. You know how I love you; you’re all we have, Dunya and I, you mean everything to us, all our hope, all our aspiration. I was so upset when I learned that you’d left the university several months ago because you were unable to support yourself, and that your lessons and other sources had ended! How could I help you with my pension of only one hundred and twenty rubles a year? As you well know, I’d borrowed those fifteen rubles I sent you four months ago from our local merchant Afanasy Ivanovich Vakhrushin, on the promise of my pension. He’s a good man and was your father’s acquaintance. But in giving him the right to receive my pension for me, I was obliged to wait until I repaid my debt, and that’s only just happened, so all this time I haven’t been able to send you anything. But now, thank God, it seems I can send you some more; in general, we can even boast of good fortune now about which I hasten to inform you. In the first place, could you guess, dear Rodya, that your dear sister has been living with me for the last month and a half, and we’ll no longer be separated in the future. Praise the Lord, her torments have ended, but I’ll tell you everything in order, so you’ll know what’s happened and what we’ve been keeping from you up to now. When you wrote to me about two months ago that you’d heard from someone or other that Dunya had to endure much rudeness in Mr. Svidrigaylov’s house and you asked me for a more detailed explanation—what could I write to you at that time? If I’d told you the whole truth, you’d probably have dropped everything and rushed to see us, even come on foot, because I know your character and your feelings, and you wouldn’t have allowed your sister to be insulted. I myself was in despair, but what could I do? Even I didn’t know the whole truth then. The main difficulty was that Dunya, who’d entered their household last year as a governess, had received an advance of one hundred rubles, on the condition that a certain amount would be deducted from her salary each month; therefore, she couldn’t leave her position until she’d repaid her debt. This amount (I can now explain it all to you, precious Rodya) she’d accepted mostly so she could send you sixty rubles, which you needed then and which you received from us last year. At the time we deceived you, writing that it had come from Dunya’s savings, but that wasn’t so. Now I’m telling you the whole truth because everything’s suddenly changed, by the will of God, for the better, and so you’ll know how much Dunya loves you and what a precious heart she has. As a matter of fact, right from the start Mr. Svidrigaylov treated her very rudely and made various impolite remarks and insults to her at the table. . . . But I don’t want to dwell on these agonizing difficulties and upset you for no reason, since all of that’s stopped. In brief, in spite of the kind and generous treatment by Marfa Petrovna, Mr. Svidrigaylov’s wife, and all the servants, Dunechka had a very difficult time, especially when Mr. Svidrigaylov, following old regimental custom, was under the influence of Bacchus. But what happened afterward? Just imagine that this madman had conceived a passion for Dunya sometime earlier, but had been concealing it under the guise of rudeness and contempt for her. Perhaps he himself was ashamed and horrified to see that he himself, at his age and as the father of a family, harbored such frivolous hopes; therefore, he inadvertently took his anger out on Dunya. Perhaps by his rude treatment and mockery he wanted to hide the whole truth from other people. But, in the end, he couldn’t restrain himself and dared make an open and vile proposition to Dunya, promising her various rewards; moreover, he said he would forsake everything and go to another village with her or, perhaps, even abroad. You can imagine her suffering! It was impossible for her to leave her position at that time, not only because of her financial obligation, but because she wanted to spare Marfa Petrovna, who might suddenly conceive a hatred for her, and consequently arouse discord in the household. It would create a huge scandal for Dunechka; she’d never be able to escape it. There were many other reasons why Dunya couldn’t consider removing herself from this horrible house earlier than six weeks. Of course, you know Dunya, you know how clever she is and what a strong character she has. She can tolerate many things and find so much generosity within herself even in the most extreme circumstances, so as not to lose her strength. She didn’t even write to me about all this so as not to upset me, though we often exchanged news. The finale was unexpected. Marfa Petrovna accidentally overheard her husband imploring Dunechka in the garden. Misinterpreting the whole affair, she blamed Dunya for everything, thinking that she was the cause of it all. It occasioned a terrible scene right there in the garden: Marfa Petrovna even struck her, and didn’t want to listen to reason. She shouted for a whole hour and finally ordered that Dunya be sent back to me in town on a simple peasant’s cart, onto which they tossed all her things, linens, dresses, in any which way, untied and unpacked. Then it began to pour down rain; Dunya, insulted and disgraced, had to make the trip, all eleven miles, with a peasant in an open cart. Now just imagine, how and what could I write in reply to your letter that I’d received two months ago? I myself was in despair. I dared not tell you the truth because you’d be so unhappy, bitter, and angry. And what could you do? You might have gotten yourself into trouble; besides, Dunya wouldn’t allow it. I couldn’t just fill my letter with nonsense about this and that, when I felt such sorrow in my soul. Rumors about this episode circulated through the whole town for an entire month, and it reached the point where Dunya and I couldn’t even go to church because of all the contemptuous looks and whispers. Remarks were even uttered aloud in our presence. All of our acquaintances shunned us, and everyone stopped greeting us. I learned for certain that some merchants’ shop assistants and some office clerks wanted to insult us in the worst possible way by tarring the gates of our house so that the landlord would demand that we vacate our apartment. The cause of all this was Marfa Petrovna, who’d managed to denounce and slander Dunya in every household. She was acquainted with everyone in town, and during that month she visited town continually. She’s somewhat talkative and loves to go on about family matters, especially complaining about her husband to each and every person, which is not a good thing; so she spread the whole story in a very short time, not only in town, but throughout the district. I fell ill, but Dunya was stronger than I was; if you’d only seen how she endured it all and how she consoled and reassured me! She’s an angel! But, by God’s grace, our torments ended. Mr. Svidrigaylov thought better of it, repented, probably taking pity on Dunya, and presented to Marfa Petrovna clear and complete evidence of Dunya’s innocence, namely this: a letter that Dunya had felt compelled to write and convey to him, even before Marfa Petrovna came upon them in the garden, one that remained in his possession after Dunya’s departure. The note asked him to cease these personal declarations and secret meetings that he’d insisted on. In this letter she reproached him in the most impassioned way and with total indignation for his dishonorable treatment of Marfa Petrovna. She reminded him that he was a father and the head of a household, and, finally, she said how vile it was for him to torment and distress a young woman who was already in distress and defenseless. In a word, dear Rodya, this letter was so nobly and poignantly written that I sobbed while reading it and to this day can’t do so without shedding tears. Contributing to Dunya’s exoneration came the testimony of those servants who saw and knew much more than Mr. Svidrigaylov supposed, as always happens. Marfa Petrovna was completely astounded and ‘once again crushed,’ as she herself acknowledged; on the other hand, she was fully convinced of Dunechka’s innocence. The very next day, Sunday, heading directly to church, she tearfully implored Our Lady to give her the strength to bear this new ordeal and carry out her duty. Then, right after church, without making any stops, she came to us and told us everything. She wept bitterly and, with full repentance, embraced Dunya and begged her forgiveness. That same morning, without tarrying, she set off right from our house to all the households in town, and in each one, shedding tears, she restored Dunya’s innocence and the nobility of her feelings and behavior in the most flattering terms. She showed everyone Dunechka’s handwritten letter to Mr. Svidrigaylov, read it aloud, and even allowed people to make copies of it (which, it seems to me, was going too far). In this way it took her several days to visit everyone in town, so that some people felt offended that she was partial to others. Lines were formed since she was expected in advance at every household and everyone knew that on such and such a day Marfa Petrovna would read the letter there. At each reading, people would line up who’d already heard the letter read several times in their own homes and in those of their other acquaintances. In my opinion, much of this, very much, was unnecessary; but such was Marfa Petrovna’s character. At least she fully restored Dunechka’s honor. All the vileness of this affair left an indelible disgrace on her husband as the main culprit, so that I even began to feel sorry for him. People dealt too severely with that madman. Soon Dunya was invited to give lessons in several households, but she refused. In general, people suddenly began treating her with special respect. All of this served principally to further the unexpected circumstance by which, one can say, our entire fate is now being altered. You should know, dear Rodya, that a suitor has proposed to Dunya and she’s already given her consent, which I’m writing to inform you about immediately. Even though this matter was conducted without your advice, you probably won’t bear any grudge either against me or your sister, since you yourself will see, from the facts, that it was impossible to delay or wait for your answer to arrive. Besides, you yourself couldn’t have judged it accurately without being here. This is how it happened. He’s already a court councillor, this Petr Petrovich Luzhin, a distant relative of Marfa Petrovna’s, who herself helped a great deal in this affair. It all began with his expressing a desire through her that he wished to make our acquaintance; he was received properly, had some coffee, and the next day sent a letter in which he very politely stated his proposal and asked for a swift and definitive answer. He’s a practical, busy man, just about to leave for Petersburg, so he values every minute. Of course, at first we were very surprised, since all this took place so swiftly and unexpectedly. All that day we pondered and considered it together. He’s a reliable, well-to-do person, works in two places, and has already amassed some capital. It’s true that he’s forty-five, but he has a rather pleasant appearance and can still be attractive to women; he’s also an extremely solid and decent man, only a little gloomy and a bit arrogant. But perhaps it only seems that way, at first glance. I advise you, dear Rodya, when you meet him in Petersburg, which will happen quite soon, not to judge him too quickly and heatedly, as you sometimes do, if at first glance you think something about him is not quite right. I say this just in case, although I’m sure that he’ll make a pleasant impression on you. Besides, in order to determine what sort of person he is, one must deal with him gradually and carefully, so as not to fall into error or prejudice, which is difficult to correct or smooth over afterward. And Petr Petrovich, at least from many indications, is an extremely respectable man. On his first visit, he stated that he was a positive person; he shares to a large extent, as he himself explained it, ‘the convictions of our younger generation,’ and he is an enemy of all prejudices. He said a great many other things because he seems a bit vain and very much likes to be listened to, but that’s almost not a fault. Of course, I understood very little, but Dunya explained to me that although he is not a well-educated man, he is clever and, it seems, kind. You know your sister’s character, Rodya. She’s a strong young woman, sensible, patient, and generous, although she has an impassioned heart, as I’ve come to know well. Of course, there’s no particular love involved, either on her side or on his, but Dunya, in addition to being a clever young woman, is also a lofty creature—an angel. She’ll consider it her duty to make her husband happy, and he, in turn, will concern himself with his wife’s happiness, which, for the time being, we have no major reason to doubt, even though, I must admit, this whole affair was concluded rather quickly. Besides, he’s a very prudent man and of course will realize that his own conjugal happiness will be more assured the happier Dunechka is with him. As for the fact that there are some irregularities in his character, some old habits, even some disagreement in their views (which can’t be avoided even in the happiest of marriages), on that count Dunechka told me that she’s relying on herself and there’s no reason to be concerned, that she can tolerate a great deal on the condition that their future relations will be fair and honest. For example, he seemed a bit harsh to me at first; but that could be precisely because he’s such a straightforward man, and it’s absolutely so. For example, during his second visit, after he’d already received her consent, he expressed in our conversation that previously, even before he knew Dunya, he’d intended to marry an honest young woman, but one without a dowry, and certainly one who’d already experienced poverty; because, as he explained, a husband should in no way be obligated to his wife, and that it’s much better if the wife considers her husband to be her benefactor. I’ll add that he expressed himself a little more gently and affectionately than I described, but I’ve forgotten his exact words, and recall only the idea; besides, he said it without any premeditation. Obviously it just slipped out in the heat of conversation, so that afterward he even tried to correct himself and soften it. But it still seemed somewhat harsh to me, and I conveyed this to Dunya later. But she replied, even somewhat annoyed, that ‘words are not the same as deeds,’ and of course that’s fair. Before deciding, Dunechka didn’t sleep the whole night; supposing that I was already asleep, she got out of bed and spent the whole night pacing back and forth in the room. Finally she knelt down and prayed fervently in front of the icon for a long time; in the morning, she announced to me that she’d made a decision. “I’ve already mentioned that Petr Petrovich is now heading to Petersburg. He has important business there, since he wants to open a public lawyer’s office in the capital. He’s been engaged for a while in various legal actions and lawsuits, and a few days ago he won an important case. He has to go to Petersburg because he has an important matter pending in the Senate. Thus, dear Rodya, he might prove extremely useful for you in all sorts of ways; Dunya and I have already supposed that you, even from this day forward, might definitely launch your future career and consider your fate now clearly determined. Oh, if only this were to come to pass! It would be such a benefit that one would have to regard it as nothing other than a gift to us directly from the Almighty. Dunya dreams only about this. We even dared mention a few words on this account to Petr Petrovich. He expressed himself cautiously and said that of course, since he wouldn’t be able to get along without a secretary, naturally it would be better to pay a salary to a relative, rather than to a stranger, if that person turns out to be competent to carry out his duties (as if you could turn out to be incompetent!). Then he expressed his doubt that your studies at the university would allow you time to work in his office. The matter was left there for the moment, but now Dunya can think about nothing but this. For the last few days, she’s simply been in a sort of excited state and has devised an entire scheme about how you could become Petr Petrovich’s comrade and even his partner in his legal affairs, all the more so since you yourself are studying law. I’m in complete agreement with her, Rodya, and share all her plans and hopes, seeing their complete likelihood. In spite of Petr Petrovich’s present, extremely understandable evasiveness (because he doesn’t know you yet), Dunya’s quite sure that she’ll manage it all by means of her good influence over her future husband, and she’s convinced of that. Of course, we were careful not to let anything slip out about these future dreams of ours, especially about your becoming his partner. He’s a pragmatic person and might take it very coolly, since all this might seem to him to be only dreams. Similarly, neither Dunya nor I have said a word to him about our strong hope that he would help us support you financially while you’re at the university. We didn’t talk about it, first because it might happen later of its own accord; probably, he himself, without unnecessary words, will propose it (as if he could refuse this to Dunya), all the more so since you yourself might become his right-hand man in the office and then you would receive this assistance not in the form of charity, but as earned income. That’s what Dunya wants to arrange and I agree with her completely. The second reason we didn’t say anything was because I particularly wanted to put you on an equal footing with him at our impending meeting with him. When Dunya told him about you with such enthusiasm, he replied that one must first take a close look at anyone to form a judgment about him, and that he would reserve for himself the right to form his own opinion of you until he made your acquaintance. You know, my precious Rodya, it seems to me, for several reasons (however, by no means related to Petr Petrovich, but just so, for some of my very own, personal, perhaps even old-womanish whims)—it