Crime and Punishment - - CONTENTS -

“Can this be still a dream?” Raskol­nikov thought once more.

He looked care­fully and sus­pi­ciously at the un­ex­pected vis­i­tor.

“Svidri­gaïlov! What non­sense! It can’t be!” he said at last aloud in be­wil­der­ment.

His vis­i­tor did not seem at all sur­prised at this ex­cla­ma­tion.

“I’ve come to you for two rea­sons. In the first place, I wanted to make your per­sonal ac­quain­tance, as I have al­ready heard a great deal about you that is in­ter­est­ing and flat­ter­ing; se­condly, I cher­ish the hope that you may not refuse to as­sist me in a mat­ter di­rectly con­cern­ing the wel­fare of your sis­ter, Av­dotya Ro­manovna. For with­out your sup­port she might not let me come near her now, for she is prej­u­diced against me, but with your as­sis­tance I reckon on...”

“You reckon wrongly,” in­ter­rupted Raskol­nikov.

“They only ar­rived yesterday, may I ask you?”

Raskol­nikov made no re­ply.

“It was yesterday, I know. I only ar­rived my­self the day be­fore. Well, let me tell you this, Ro­dion Ro­manovitch, I don’t con­sider it nec­es­sary to jus­tify my­self, but kindly tell me what was there par­tic­u­larly crim­i­nal on my part in all this busi­ness, speak­ing with­out prej­u­dice, with com­mon sense?”

Raskol­nikov con­tin­ued to look at him in si­lence.

“That in my own house I per­se­cuted a de­fence­less girl and ‘in­sulted her with my in­fa­mous pro­pos­als’—is that it? (I am an­tic­i­pat­ing you.) But you’ve only to as­sume that I, too, am a man et ni­hil hu­manum... in a word, that I am ca­pa­ble of be­ing at­tracted and fall­ing in love (which does not de­pend on our will), then ev­ery­thing can be ex­plained in the most nat­u­ral man­ner. The ques­tion is, am I a mon­ster, or am I my­self a vic­tim? And what if I am a vic­tim? In propos­ing to the ob­ject of my pas­sion to elope with me to Amer­ica or Switzer­land, I may have cher­ished the deep­est re­spect for her and may have thought that I was pro­mot­ing our mu­tual hap­pi­ness! Rea­son

is the slave of pas­sion, you know; why, prob­a­bly, I was do­ing more harm to my­self than any­one!”

“But that’s not the point,” Raskol­nikov in­ter­rupted with dis­gust. “It’s sim­ply that whether you are right or wrong, we dis­like you. We don’t want to have any­thing to do with you. We show you the door. Go out!”

Svidri­gaïlov broke into a sud­den laugh.

“But you’re... but there’s no get­ting round you,” he said, laugh­ing in the frank­est way. “I hoped to get round you, but you took up the right line at once!”

“But you are try­ing to get round me still!”

“What of it? What of it?” cried Svidri­gaïlov, laugh­ing openly. “But this is what the French call bonne guerre, and the most in­no­cent form of de­cep­tion!... But still you have in­ter­rupted me; one way or an­other, I re­peat again: there would never have been any un­pleas­ant­ness ex­cept for what hap­pened in the gar­den. Marfa Petro­vna...”

“You have got rid of Marfa Petro­vna, too, so they say?” Raskol­nikov in­ter­rupted rudely.

“Oh, you’ve heard that, too, then? You’d be sure to, though .... But as for your ques­tion, I re­ally don’t know what to say, though my own con­science is quite at rest on that score. Don’t sup­pose that I am in any ap­pre­hen­sion about it. All was reg­u­lar and in or­der; the med­i­cal in­quiry di­ag­nosed apoplexy due to bathing im­me­di­ately af­ter a heavy din­ner and a bot­tle of wine, and in­deed it could have proved noth­ing else. But I’ll tell you what I have been think­ing to my­self of late, on my way here in the train, es­pe­cially: didn’t I con­trib­ute to all that... calamity, morally, in a way, by ir­ri­ta­tion or some­thing of the sort. But I came to the con­clu­sion that that, too, was quite out of the ques­tion.”

Raskol­nikov laughed.

“I won­der you trou­ble your­self about it!”

“But what are you laugh­ing at? Only con­sider, I struck her just twice with a switch—there were no marks even... don’t re­gard me as a cynic, please; I am per­fectly aware how atro­cious it was of me and all that; but I know for cer­tain, too, that Marfa Petro­vna was very likely pleased at my, so to say, warmth. The story of your sis­ter had been wrung out to the last drop; for the last three days Marfa Petro­vna had been forced to sit at home; she had

noth­ing to show her­self with in the town. Be­sides, she had bored them so with that let­ter (you heard about her read­ing the let­ter). And all of a sud­den those two switches fell from heaven! Her first act was to or­der the car­riage to be got out .... Not to speak of the fact that there are cases when women are very, very glad to be in­sulted in spite of all their show of in­dig­na­tion. There are in­stances of it with ev­ery­one; hu­man be­ings in gen­eral, in­deed, greatly love to be in­sulted, have you no­ticed that? But it’s par­tic­u­larly so with women. One might even say it’s their only amuse­ment.”

At one time Raskol­nikov thought of get­ting up and walk­ing out and so fin­ish­ing the in­ter­view. But some cu­rios­ity and even a sort of pru­dence made him linger for a mo­ment.

“You are fond of fight­ing?” he asked care­lessly.

“No, not very,” Svidri­gaïlov an­swered, calmly. “And Marfa Petro­vna and I scarcely ever fought. We lived very har­mo­niously, and she was al­ways pleased with me. I only used the whip twice in all our seven years (not count­ing a third oc­ca­sion of a very am­bigu­ous char­ac­ter). The first time, two months af­ter our mar­riage, im­me­di­ately af­ter we ar­rived in the coun­try, and the last time was that of which we are speak­ing. Did you sup­pose I was such a mon­ster, such a re­ac­tionary, such a slave driver? Ha, ha! By the way, do you re­mem­ber, Ro­dion Ro­manovitch, how a few years ago, in those days of benef­i­cent pub­lic­ity, a no­ble­man, I’ve for­got­ten his name, was put to shame every­where, in all the pa­pers, for hav­ing thrashed a Ger­man woman in the rail­way train. You re­mem­ber? It was in those days, that very year I be­lieve, the ‘dis­grace­ful ac­tion of the Age’ took place (you know, ‘The Egyp­tian Nights,’ that pub­lic read­ing, you re­mem­ber? The dark eyes, you know! Ah, the golden days of our youth, where are they?). Well, as for the gen­tle­man who thrashed the Ger­man, I feel no sym­pa­thy with him, be­cause af­ter all what need is there for sym­pa­thy? But I must say that there are some­times such pro­vok­ing ‘Ger­mans’ that I don’t be­lieve there is a pro­gres­sive who could quite an­swer for him­self. No one looked at the sub­ject from that point of view then, but that’s the truly hu­mane point of view, I as­sure you.”

Af­ter say­ing this, Svidri­gaïlov broke into a sud­den laugh again. Raskol­nikov saw clearly that this was a man with a firm pur­pose in his mind and able to keep it to him­self.

“I ex­pect you’ve not talked to any­one for some days?” he asked.

“Scarcely any­one. I sup­pose you are won­der­ing at my be­ing such an adapt­able man?”

“No, I am only won­der­ing at your be­ing too adapt­able a man.”

“Be­cause I am not of­fended at the rude­ness of your ques­tions? Is that it? But why take of­fence? As you asked, so I an­swered,” he replied, with a sur­pris­ing ex­pres­sion of sim­plic­ity. “You know, there’s hardly any­thing I take in­ter­est in,” he went on, as it were dream­ily, “es­pe­cially now, I’ve noth­ing to do .... You are quite at lib­erty to imag­ine though that I am mak­ing up to you with a mo­tive, par­tic­u­larly as I told you I want to see your sis­ter about some­thing. But I’ll con­fess frankly, I am very much bored. The last three days es­pe­cially, so I am de­lighted to see you .... Don’t be an­gry, Ro­dion Ro­manovitch, but you seem to be some­how aw­fully strange your­self. Say what you like, there’s some­thing wrong with you, and now, too... not this very minute, I mean, but now, gen­er­ally .... Well, well, I won’t, I won’t, don’t scowl! I am not such a bear, you know, as you think.”

Raskol­nikov looked gloomily at him.

“You are not a bear, per­haps, at all,” he said. “I fancy in­deed that you are a man of very good breed­ing, or at least know how on oc­ca­sion to be­have like one.”

“I am not par­tic­u­larly in­ter­ested in any­one’s opin­ion,” Svidri­gaïlov an­swered, dryly and even with a shade of haugh­ti­ness, “and there­fore why not be vul­gar at times when vul­gar­ity is such a con­ve­nient cloak for our cli­mate... and es­pe­cially if one has a nat­u­ral propen­sity that way,” he added, laugh­ing again.

“But I’ve heard you have many friends here. You are, as they say, ‘not with­out con­nec­tions.’ What can you want with me, then, un­less you’ve some spe­cial ob­ject?”

“That’s true that I have friends here,” Svidri­gaïlov ad­mit­ted, not re­ply­ing to the chief point. “I’ve met some al­ready. I’ve been loung­ing about for the last three days, and I’ve seen them, or they’ve seen me. That’s a mat­ter of course. I am well dressed and reck­oned not a poor man; the eman­ci­pa­tion of the serfs hasn’t af­fected me; my prop­erty con­sists chiefly of forests and wa­ter mead­ows. The rev­enue has not fallen off; but... I am not go­ing to see them, I was sick of them long ago. I’ve been here three days and have called on no one .... What a town it is! How has it come into ex­is­tence among us, tell me that? A town of of­fi­cials and stu­dents of all sorts. Yes,

there’s a great deal I didn’t no­tice when I was here eight years ago, kick­ing up my heels .... My only hope now is in anatomy, by Jove, it is!”


“But as for these clubs, Dus­sauts, pa­rades, or progress, in­deed, maybe— well, all that can go on with­out me,” he went on, again with­out notic­ing the ques­tion. “Be­sides, who wants to be a card-sharper?”

“Why, have you been a card-sharper then?”

“How could I help be­ing? There was a reg­u­lar set of us, men of the best so­ci­ety, eight years ago; we had a fine time. And all men of breed­ing, you know, po­ets, men of prop­erty. And in­deed as a rule in our Rus­sian so­ci­ety the best man­ners are found among those who’ve been thrashed, have you no­ticed that? I’ve de­te­ri­o­rated in the coun­try. But I did get into prison for debt, through a low Greek who came from Nezhin. Then Marfa Petro­vna turned up; she bar­gained with him and bought me off for thirty thou­sand sil­ver pieces (I owed sev­enty thou­sand). We were united in law­ful wed­lock and she bore me off into the coun­try like a trea­sure. You know she was five years older than I. She was very fond of me. For seven years I never left the coun­try. And, take note, that all my life she held a doc­u­ment over me, the IOU for thirty thou­sand rou­bles, so if I were to elect to be restive about any­thing I should be trapped at once! And she would have done it! Women find noth­ing in­com­pat­i­ble in that.”

“If it hadn’t been for that, would you have given her the slip?”

“I don’t know what to say. It was scarcely the doc­u­ment re­strained me. I didn’t want to go any­where else. Marfa Petro­vna her­self in­vited me to go abroad, see­ing I was bored, but I’ve been abroad be­fore, and al­ways felt sick there. For no rea­son, but the sun­rise, the bay of Naples, the sea—you look at them and it makes you sad. What’s most re­volt­ing is that one is re­ally sad! No, it’s bet­ter at home. Here at least one blames oth­ers for ev­ery­thing and ex­cuses one­self. I should have gone per­haps on an ex­pe­di­tion to the North Pole, be­cause j’ai le vin mau­vais and hate drink­ing, and there’s noth­ing left but wine. I have tried it. But, I say, I’ve been told Berg is go­ing up in a great bal­loon next Sun­day from the Yusupov Gar­den and will take up pas­sen­gers at a fee. Is it true?”

“Why, would you go up?”

“I... No, oh, no,” mut­tered Svidri­gaïlov re­ally seem­ing to be deep in thought.

“What does he mean? Is he in earnest?” Raskol­nikov won­dered.

“No, the doc­u­ment didn’t re­strain me,” Svidri­gaïlov went on, med­i­ta­tively. “It was my own do­ing, not leav­ing the coun­try, and nearly a year ago Marfa Petro­vna gave me back the doc­u­ment on my name-day and made me a present of a con­sid­er­able sum of money, too. She had a for­tune, you know. ‘You see how I trust you, Arkady Ivanovitch’—that was ac­tu­ally her ex­pres­sion. You don’t be­lieve she used it? But do you know I man­aged the es­tate quite de­cently, they know me in the neigh­bour­hood. I or­dered books, too. Marfa Petro­vna at first ap­proved, but af­ter­wards she was afraid of my over-study­ing.”

“You seem to be miss­ing Marfa Petro­vna very much?”

“Miss­ing her? Per­haps. Re­ally, per­haps I am. And, by the way, do you be­lieve in ghosts?”

“What ghosts?”

“Why, or­di­nary ghosts.”

“Do you be­lieve in them?”

“Per­haps not, pour vous plaire .... I wouldn’t say no ex­actly.”

“Do you see them, then?”

Svidri­gaïlov looked at him rather oddly.

“Marfa Petro­vna is pleased to visit me,” he said, twist­ing his mouth into a strange smile.

“How do you mean ‘she is pleased to visit you’?”

“She has been three times. I saw her first on the very day of the funeral, an hour af­ter she was buried. It was the day be­fore I left to come here. The sec­ond time was the day be­fore yesterday, at day­break, on the jour­ney at the sta­tion of Malaya Vishera, and the third time was two hours ago in the room where I am stay­ing. I was alone.”

“Were you awake?”

“Quite awake. I was wide awake every time. She comes, speaks to me for a minute and goes out at the door—al­ways at the door. I can al­most hear her.”

“What made me think that some­thing of the sort must be hap­pen­ing to you?” Raskol­nikov said sud­denly.

At the same mo­ment he was sur­prised at hav­ing said it. He was much ex­cited.

“What! Did you think so?” Svidri­gaïlov asked in as­ton­ish­ment. “Did you re­ally? Didn’t I say that there was some­thing in com­mon be­tween us, eh?”

“You never said so!” Raskol­nikov cried sharply and with heat.

“Didn’t I?”


“I thought I did. When I came in and saw you ly­ing with your eyes shut, pre­tend­ing, I said to my­self at once, ‘Here’s the man.’”

“What do you mean by ‘the man?’ What are you talk­ing about?” cried Raskol­nikov.

“What do I mean? I re­ally don’t know .... ” Svidri­gaïlov mut­tered in­gen­u­ously, as though he, too, were puz­zled.

For a minute they were silent. They stared in each other’s faces.

“That’s all non­sense!” Raskol­nikov shouted with vex­a­tion. “What does she say when she comes to you?”

“She! Would you be­lieve it, she talks of the silliest tri­fles and—man is a strange crea­ture—it makes me an­gry. The first time she came in (I was tired you know: the funeral ser­vice, the funeral cer­e­mony, the lunch af­ter­wards. At last I was left alone in my study. I lighted a cigar and be­gan to think), she came in at the door. ‘You’ve been so busy to-day, Arkady Ivanovitch, you have for­got­ten to wind the din­ing-room clock,’ she said. All those seven years I’ve wound that clock every week, and if I for­got it she would al­ways re­mind me. The next day I set off on my way here. I got out at the sta­tion at day­break; I’d been asleep, tired out, with my eyes half open, I was drink­ing some cof­fee. I looked up and there was sud­denly Marfa Petro­vna sit­ting be­side me with a pack of cards in her hands. ‘Shall I tell your for­tune for the jour­ney, Arkady Ivanovitch?’ She was a great hand at telling for­tunes. I shall never for­give my­self for not ask­ing her to. I ran away in a fright, and, be­sides, the bell rang. I was sit­ting to-day, feel­ing very heavy af­ter a mis­er­able din­ner from a cook­shop; I was sit­ting smok­ing, all of a sud­den Marfa Petro­vna again. She came in very smart in a new green silk dress with a long train. ‘Good day, Arkady Ivanovitch! How do you like my

dress? Aniska can’t make like this.’ (Aniska was a dress­maker in the coun­try, one of our former serf girls who had been trained in Moscow, a pretty wench.) She stood turn­ing round be­fore me. I looked at the dress, and then I looked care­fully, very care­fully, at her face. ‘I won­der you trou­ble to come to me about such tri­fles, Marfa Petro­vna.’ ‘Good gra­cious, you won’t let one dis­turb you about any­thing!’ To tease her I said, ‘I want to get mar­ried, Marfa Petro­vna.’ ‘That’s just like you, Arkady Ivanovitch; it does you very lit­tle credit to come look­ing for a bride when you’ve hardly buried your wife. And if you could make a good choice, at least, but I know it won’t be for your hap­pi­ness or hers, you will only be a laugh­ing-stock to all good peo­ple.’ Then she went out and her train seemed to rus­tle. Isn’t it non­sense, eh?”

“But per­haps you are telling lies?” Raskol­nikov put in.

“I rarely lie,” an­swered Svidri­gaïlov thought­fully, ap­par­ently not notic­ing the rude­ness of the ques­tion.

“And in the past, have you ever seen ghosts be­fore?”

“Y-yes, I have seen them, but only once in my life, six years ago. I had a serf, Filka; just af­ter his burial I called out for­get­ting ‘Filka, my pipe!’ He came in and went to the cup­board where my pipes were. I sat still and thought ‘he is do­ing it out of re­venge,’ be­cause we had a vi­o­lent quar­rel just be­fore his death. ‘How dare you come in with a hole in your el­bow?’ I said. ‘Go away, you scamp!’ He turned and went out, and never came again. I didn’t tell Marfa Petro­vna at the time. I wanted to have a ser­vice sung for him, but I was ashamed.”

“You should go to a doc­tor.”

“I know I am not well, with­out your telling me, though I don’t know what’s wrong; I be­lieve I am five times as strong as you are. I didn’t ask you whether you be­lieve that ghosts are seen, but whether you be­lieve that they ex­ist.”

“No, I won’t be­lieve it!” Raskol­nikov cried, with pos­i­tive anger.

“What do peo­ple gen­er­ally say?” mut­tered Svidri­gaïlov, as though speak­ing to him­self, look­ing aside and bow­ing his head. “They say, ‘You are ill, so what ap­pears to you is only un­real fan­tasy.’ But that’s not strictly log­i­cal. I agree that ghosts only ap­pear to the sick, but that only proves that they are un­able to ap­pear ex­cept to the sick, not that they don’t ex­ist.”

“Noth­ing of the sort,” Raskol­nikov in­sisted ir­ri­ta­bly.

“No? You don’t think so?” Svidri­gaïlov went on, look­ing at him de­lib­er­ately. “But what do you say to this ar­gu­ment (help me with it): ghosts are, as it were, shreds and frag­ments of other worlds, the be­gin­ning of them. A man in health has, of course, no rea­son to see them, be­cause he is above all a man of this earth and is bound for the sake of com­plete­ness and or­der to live only in this life. But as soon as one is ill, as soon as the nor­mal earthly or­der of the or­gan­ism is bro­ken, one be­gins to re­alise the pos­si­bil­ity of an­other world; and the more se­ri­ously ill one is, the closer be­comes one’s con­tact with that other world, so that as soon as the man dies he steps straight into that world. I thought of that long ago. If you be­lieve in a fu­ture life, you could be­lieve in that, too.”

“I don’t be­lieve in a fu­ture life,” said Raskol­nikov.

Svidri­gaïlov sat lost in thought.

“And what if there are only spi­ders there, or some­thing of that sort,” he said sud­denly.

“He is a mad­man,” thought Raskol­nikov.

“We al­ways imag­ine eter­nity as some­thing be­yond our con­cep­tion, some­thing vast, vast! But why must it be vast? In­stead of all that, what if it’s one lit­tle room, like a bath house in the coun­try, black and grimy and spi­ders in every cor­ner, and that’s all eter­nity is? I some­times fancy it like that.”

“Can it be you can imag­ine noth­ing juster and more com­fort­ing than that?” Raskol­nikov cried, with a feel­ing of an­guish.

“Juster? And how can we tell, per­haps that is just, and do you know it’s what I would cer­tainly have made it,” an­swered Svidri­gaïlov, with a vague smile.

This hor­ri­ble an­swer sent a cold chill through Raskol­nikov. Svidri­gaïlov raised his head, looked at him, and sud­denly be­gan laugh­ing.

“Only think,” he cried, “half an hour ago we had never seen each other, we re­garded each other as en­e­mies; there is a mat­ter un­set­tled be­tween us; we’ve thrown it aside, and away we’ve gone into the ab­stract! Wasn’t I right in say­ing that we were birds of a feather?”

“Kindly al­low me,” Raskol­nikov went on ir­ri­ta­bly, “to ask you to ex­plain why you have hon­oured me with your visit... and... and I am in a hurry, I

have no time to waste. I want to go out.”

“By all means, by all means. Your sis­ter, Av­dotya Ro­manovna, is go­ing to be mar­ried to Mr. Luzhin, Py­otr Petro­vitch?”

“Can you re­frain from any ques­tion about my sis­ter and from men­tion­ing her name? I can’t un­der­stand how you dare ut­ter her name in my pres­ence, if you re­ally are Svidri­gaïlov.”

“Why, but I’ve come here to speak about her; how can I avoid men­tion­ing her?”

“Very good, speak, but make haste.”

“I am sure that you must have formed your own opin­ion of this Mr. Luzhin, who is a con­nec­tion of mine through my wife, if you have only seen him for half an hour, or heard any facts about him. He is no match for Av­dotya Ro­manovna. I be­lieve Av­dotya Ro­manovna is sac­ri­fic­ing her­self gen­er­ously and im­pru­dently for the sake of... for the sake of her fam­ily. I fan­cied from all I had heard of you that you would be very glad if the match could be bro­ken off with­out the sac­ri­fice of worldly ad­van­tages. Now I know you per­son­ally, I am con­vinced of it.”

“All this is very naïve... ex­cuse me, I should have said im­pu­dent on your part,” said Raskol­nikov.

“You mean to say that I am seek­ing my own ends. Don’t be un­easy, Ro­dion Ro­manovitch, if I were work­ing for my own ad­van­tage, I would not have spo­ken out so di­rectly. I am not quite a fool. I will con­fess some­thing psy­cho­log­i­cally cu­ri­ous about that: just now, de­fend­ing my love for Av­dotya Ro­manovna, I said I was my­self the vic­tim. Well, let me tell you that I’ve no feel­ing of love now, not the slight­est, so that I won­der my­self in­deed, for I re­ally did feel some­thing...”

“Through idle­ness and de­prav­ity,” Raskol­nikov put in.

“I cer­tainly am idle and de­praved, but your sis­ter has such qual­i­ties that even I could not help be­ing im­pressed by them. But that’s all non­sense, as I see my­self now.”

“Have you seen that long?”

“I be­gan to be aware of it be­fore, but was only per­fectly sure of it the day be­fore yesterday, al­most at the mo­ment I ar­rived in Peters­burg. I still fan­cied in Moscow, though, that I was com­ing to try to get Av­dotya Ro­manovna’s hand and to cut out Mr. Luzhin.”

“Ex­cuse me for in­ter­rupt­ing you; kindly be brief, and come to the ob­ject of your visit. I am in a hurry, I want to go out...”

“With the great­est plea­sure. On ar­riv­ing here and de­ter­min­ing on a cer­tain... jour­ney, I should like to make some nec­es­sary pre­lim­i­nary ar­range­ments. I left my chil­dren with an aunt; they are well pro­vided for; and they have no need of me per­son­ally. And a nice fa­ther I should make, too! I have taken noth­ing but what Marfa Petro­vna gave me a year ago. That’s enough for me. Ex­cuse me, I am just com­ing to the point. Be­fore the jour­ney which may come off, I want to set­tle Mr. Luzhin, too. It’s not that I detest him so much, but it was through him I quar­relled with Marfa Petro­vna when I learned that she had dished up this mar­riage. I want now to see Av­dotya Ro­manovna through your me­di­a­tion, and if you like in your pres­ence, to ex­plain to her that in the first place she will never gain any­thing but harm from Mr. Luzhin. Then, beg­ging her par­don for all past un­pleas­ant­ness, to make her a present of ten thou­sand rou­bles and so as­sist the rup­ture with Mr. Luzhin, a rup­ture to which I be­lieve she is her­self not dis­in­clined, if she could see the way to it.”

“You are cer­tainly mad,” cried Raskol­nikov not so much an­gered as as­ton­ished. “How dare you talk like that!”

“I knew you would scream at me; but in the first place, though I am not rich, this ten thou­sand rou­bles is per­fectly free; I have ab­so­lutely no need for it. If Av­dotya Ro­manovna does not ac­cept it, I shall waste it in some more fool­ish way. That’s the first thing. Se­condly, my con­science is per­fectly easy; I make the of­fer with no ul­te­rior mo­tive. You may not be­lieve it, but in the end Av­dotya Ro­manovna and you will know. The point is, that I did ac­tu­ally cause your sis­ter, whom I greatly re­spect, some trou­ble and un­pleas­ant­ness, and so, sin­cerely re­gret­ting it, I want—not to com­pen­sate, not to re­pay her for the un­pleas­ant­ness, but sim­ply to do some­thing to her ad­van­tage, to show that I am not, af­ter all, priv­i­leged to do noth­ing but harm. If there were a mil­lionth frac­tion of self-in­ter­est in my of­fer, I should not have made it so openly; and I should not have of­fered her ten thou­sand only, when five weeks ago I of­fered her more, Be­sides, I may, per­haps, very soon marry a young lady, and that alone ought to pre­vent sus­pi­cion of any de­sign on Av­dotya Ro­manovna. In con­clu­sion, let me say that in mar­ry­ing Mr. Luzhin, she is tak­ing money just the same, only from

an­other man. Don’t be an­gry, Ro­dion Ro­manovitch, think it over coolly and qui­etly.”

Svidri­gaïlov him­self was ex­ceed­ingly cool and quiet as he was say­ing this.

“I beg you to say no more,” said Raskol­nikov. “In any case this is un­par­don­able im­per­ti­nence.”

“Not in the least. Then a man may do noth­ing but harm to his neigh­bour in this world, and is pre­vented from do­ing the tini­est bit of good by triv­ial con­ven­tional for­mal­i­ties. That’s ab­surd. If I died, for in­stance, and left that sum to your sis­ter in my will, surely she wouldn’t refuse it?”

“Very likely she would.”

“Oh, no, in­deed. How­ever, if you refuse it, so be it, though ten thou­sand rou­bles is a cap­i­tal thing to have on oc­ca­sion. In any case I beg you to re­peat what I have said to Av­dotya Ro­manovna.”

“No, I won’t.”

“In that case, Ro­dion Ro­manovitch, I shall be obliged to try and see her my­self and worry her by do­ing so.”

“And if I do tell her, will you not try to see her?”

“I don’t know re­ally what to say. I should like very much to see her once more.”

“Don’t hope for it.”

“I’m sorry. But you don’t know me. Per­haps we may be­come bet­ter friends.”

“You think we may be­come friends?”

“And why not?” Svidri­gaïlov said, smil­ing. He stood up and took his hat. “I didn’t quite in­tend to dis­turb you and I came here with­out reck­on­ing on it... though I was very much struck by your face this morn­ing.”

“Where did you see me this morn­ing?” Raskol­nikov asked un­easily.

“I saw you by chance .... I kept fan­cy­ing there is some­thing about you like me .... But don’t be un­easy. I am not in­tru­sive; I used to get on all right with card-sharpers, and I never bored Prince Svir­bey, a great per­son­age who is a dis­tant re­la­tion of mine, and I could write about Raphael’s Madonna in Madam Prilukov’s al­bum, and I never left Marfa Petro­vna’s side for seven

years, and I used to stay the night at Vi­azem­sky’s house in the Hay Mar­ket in the old days, and I may go up in a bal­loon with Berg, per­haps.”

“Oh, all right. Are you start­ing soon on your trav­els, may I ask?”

“What trav­els?”

“Why, on that ‘jour­ney’; you spoke of it your­self.”

“A jour­ney? Oh, yes. I did speak of a jour­ney. Well, that’s a wide sub­ject .... if only you knew what you are ask­ing,” he added, and gave a sud­den, loud, short laugh. “Per­haps I’ll get mar­ried in­stead of the jour­ney. They’re mak­ing a match for me.”



“How have you had time for that?”

“But I am very anx­ious to see Av­dotya Ro­manovna once. I earnestly beg it. Well, good-bye for the present. Oh, yes. I have for­got­ten some­thing. Tell your sis­ter, Ro­dion Ro­manovitch, that Marfa Petro­vna re­mem­bered her in her will and left her three thou­sand rou­bles. That’s ab­so­lutely cer­tain. Marfa Petro­vna ar­ranged it a week be­fore her death, and it was done in my pres­ence. Av­dotya Ro­manovna will be able to re­ceive the money in two or three weeks.”

“Are you telling the truth?”

“Yes, tell her. Well, your ser­vant. I am stay­ing very near you.”

As he went out, Svidri­gaïlov ran up against Razu­mi­hin in the door­way.

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