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The Brothers Karamazov

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Chapter I.
At Grushenka’s


Alyosha went towards the cathedral square to the widow Morozov’s house to see Grushenka, who had sent Fenya to him early in the morning with an urgent message begging him to come. Questioning Fenya, Alyosha learned that her mistress had been particularly distressed since the previous day. During the two months that had passed since Mitya’s arrest, Alyosha had called frequently at the widow Morozov’s house, both from his own inclination and to take messages for Mitya. Three days after Mitya’s arrest, Grushenka was taken very ill and was ill for nearly five weeks. For one whole week she was unconscious. She was very much changed—thinner and a little sallow, though she had for the past fortnight been well enough to go out. But to Alyosha her face was even more attractive than before, and he liked to meet her eyes when he went in to her. A look of firmness and intelligent purpose had developed in her face. There were signs of a spiritual transformation in her, and a steadfast, fine and humble determination that nothing could shake could be discerned in her. There was a small vertical line between her brows which gave her charming face a look of concentrated thought, almost austere at the first glance. There was scarcely a trace of her former frivolity.

It seemed strange to Alyosha, too, that in spite of the calamity that had overtaken the poor girl, betrothed to a man who had been arrested for a terrible crime, almost at the instant of their betrothal, in spite of her illness and the almost inevitable sentence hanging over Mitya, Grushenka had not yet lost her youthful cheerfulness. There was a soft light in the once proud eyes, though at times they gleamed with the old vindictive fire when she was visited by one disturbing thought stronger than ever in her heart. The object of that uneasiness was the same as ever—Katerina Ivanovna, of whom Grushenka had even raved when she lay in delirium. Alyosha knew that she was fearfully jealous of her. Yet Katerina Ivanovna had not once visited Mitya in his prison, though she might have done it whenever she liked. All this made a difficult problem for Alyosha, for he was the only person to whom Grushenka opened her heart and from whom she was continually asking advice. Sometimes he was unable to say anything.

Full of anxiety he entered her lodging. She was at home. She had returned from seeing Mitya half an hour before, and from the rapid movement with which she leapt up from her chair to meet him he saw that she had been expecting him with great impatience. A pack of cards dealt for a game of “fools” lay on the table. A bed had been made up on the leather sofa on the other side and Maximov lay, half‐reclining, on it. He wore a dressing‐ gown and a cotton nightcap, and was evidently ill and weak, though he was smiling blissfully. When the homeless old man returned with Grushenka from Mokroe two months before, he had simply stayed on and was still staying with her. He arrived with her in rain and sleet, sat down on the sofa, drenched and scared, and gazed mutely at her with a timid, appealing smile. Grushenka, who was in terrible grief and in the first stage of fever, almost forgot his existence in all she had to do the first half‐ hour after her arrival. Suddenly she chanced to look at him intently: he laughed a pitiful, helpless little laugh. She called Fenya and told her to give him something to eat. All that day he sat in the same place, almost without stirring. When it got dark and the shutters were closed, Fenya asked her mistress:

“Is the gentleman going to stay the night, mistress?”

“Yes; make him a bed on the sofa,” answered Grushenka.

Questioning him more in detail, Grushenka learned from him that he had literally nowhere to go, and that “Mr. Kalganov, my benefactor, told me straight that he wouldn’t receive me again and gave me five roubles.”

“Well, God bless you, you’d better stay, then,” Grushenka decided in her grief, smiling compassionately at him. Her smile wrung the old man’s heart and his lips twitched with grateful tears. And so the destitute wanderer had stayed with her ever since. He did not leave the house even when she was ill. Fenya and her grandmother, the cook, did not turn him out, but went on serving him meals and making up his bed on the sofa. Grushenka had grown used to him, and coming back from seeing Mitya (whom she had begun to visit in prison before she was really well) she would sit down and begin talking to “Maximushka” about trifling matters, to keep her from thinking of her sorrow. The old man turned out to be a good story‐teller on occasions, so that at last he became necessary to her. Grushenka saw scarcely any one else beside Alyosha, who did not come every day and never stayed long. Her old merchant lay seriously ill at this time, “at his last gasp” as they said in the town, and he did, in fact, die a week after Mitya’s trial. Three weeks before his death, feeling the end approaching, he made his sons, their wives and children, come upstairs to him at last and bade them not leave him again. From that moment he gave strict orders to his servants not to admit Grushenka and to tell her if she came, “The master wishes you long life and happiness and tells you to forget him.” But Grushenka sent almost every day to inquire after him.

“You’ve come at last!” she cried, flinging down the cards and joyfully greeting Alyosha, “and Maximushka’s been scaring me that perhaps you wouldn’t come. Ah, how I need you! Sit down to the table. What will you have—coffee?”

“Yes, please,” said Alyosha, sitting down at the table. “I am very hungry.”

“That’s right. Fenya, Fenya, coffee,” cried Grushenka. “It’s been made a long time ready for you. And bring some little pies, and mind they are hot. Do you know, we’ve had a storm over those pies to‐day. I took them to the prison for him, and would you believe it, he threw them back to me: he would not eat them. He flung one of them on the floor and stamped on it. So I said to him: ‘I shall leave them with the warder; if you don’t eat them before evening, it will be that your venomous spite is enough for you!’ With that I went away. We quarreled again, would you believe it? Whenever I go we quarrel.”

Grushenka said all this in one breath in her agitation. Maximov, feeling nervous, at once smiled and looked on the floor.

“What did you quarrel about this time?” asked Alyosha.

“I didn’t expect it in the least. Only fancy, he is jealous of the Pole. ‘Why are you keeping him?’ he said. ‘So you’ve begun keeping him.’ He is jealous, jealous of me all the time, jealous eating and sleeping! He even took it into his head to be jealous of Kuzma last week.”

“But he knew about the Pole before?”

“Yes, but there it is. He has known about him from the very beginning, but to‐day he suddenly got up and began scolding about him. I am ashamed to repeat what he said. Silly fellow! Rakitin went in as I came out. Perhaps Rakitin is egging him on. What do you think?” she added carelessly.

“He loves you, that’s what it is: he loves you so much. And now he is particularly worried.”

“I should think he might be, with the trial to‐morrow. And I went to him to say something about to‐morrow, for I dread to think what’s going to happen then. You say that he is worried, but how worried I am! And he talks about the Pole! He’s too silly! He is not jealous of Maximushka yet, anyway.”

“My wife was dreadfully jealous over me, too,” Maximov put in his word.

“Jealous of you?” Grushenka laughed in spite of herself. “Of whom could she have been jealous?”

“Of the servant girls.”

“Hold your tongue, Maximushka, I am in no laughing mood now; I feel angry. Don’t ogle the pies. I shan’t give you any; they are not good for you, and I won’t give you any vodka either. I have to look after him, too, just as though I kept an almshouse,” she laughed.

“I don’t deserve your kindness. I am a worthless creature,” said Maximov, with tears in his voice. “You would do better to spend your kindness on people of more use than me.”

“Ech, every one is of use, Maximushka, and how can we tell who’s of most use? If only that Pole didn’t exist, Alyosha. He’s taken it into his head to fall ill, too, to‐day. I’ve been to see him also. And I shall send him some pies, too, on purpose. I hadn’t sent him any, but Mitya accused me of it, so now I shall send some! Ah, here’s Fenya with a letter! Yes, it’s from the Poles—begging again!”

Pan Mussyalovitch had indeed sent an extremely long and characteristically eloquent letter in which he begged her to lend him three roubles. In the letter was enclosed a receipt for the sum, with a promise to repay it within three months, signed by Pan Vrublevsky as well. Grushenka had received many such letters, accompanied by such receipts, from her former lover during the fortnight of her convalescence. But she knew that the two Poles had been to ask after her health during her illness. The first letter Grushenka got from them was a long one, written on large notepaper and with a big family crest on the seal. It was so obscure and rhetorical that Grushenka put it down before she had read half, unable to make head or tail of it. She could not attend to letters then. The first letter was followed next day by another in which Pan Mussyalovitch begged her for a loan of two thousand roubles for a very short period. Grushenka left that letter, too, unanswered. A whole series of letters had followed—one every day—all as pompous and rhetorical, but the loan asked for, gradually diminishing, dropped to a hundred roubles, then to twenty‐five, to ten, and finally Grushenka received a letter in which both the Poles begged her for only one rouble and included a receipt signed by both.

Then Grushenka suddenly felt sorry for them, and at dusk she went round herself to their lodging. She found the two Poles in great poverty, almost destitution, without food or fuel, without cigarettes, in debt to their landlady. The two hundred roubles they had carried off from Mitya at Mokroe had soon disappeared. But Grushenka was surprised at their meeting her with arrogant dignity and self‐assertion, with the greatest punctilio and pompous speeches. Grushenka simply laughed, and gave her former admirer ten roubles. Then, laughing, she told Mitya of it and he was not in the least jealous. But ever since, the Poles had attached themselves to Grushenka and bombarded her daily with requests for money and she had always sent them small sums. And now that day Mitya had taken it into his head to be fearfully jealous.

“Like a fool, I went round to him just for a minute, on the way to see Mitya, for he is ill, too, my Pole,” Grushenka began again with nervous haste. “I was laughing, telling Mitya about it. ‘Fancy,’ I said, ‘my Pole had the happy thought to sing his old songs to me to the guitar. He thought I would be touched and marry him!’ Mitya leapt up swearing.... So, there, I’ll send them the pies! Fenya, is it that little girl they’ve sent? Here, give her three roubles and pack a dozen pies up in a paper and tell her to take them. And you, Alyosha, be sure to tell Mitya that I did send them the pies.”

“I wouldn’t tell him for anything,” said Alyosha, smiling.

“Ech! You think he is unhappy about it. Why, he’s jealous on purpose. He doesn’t care,” said Grushenka bitterly.

“On purpose?” queried Alyosha.

“I tell you you are silly, Alyosha. You know nothing about it, with all your cleverness. I am not offended that he is jealous of a girl like me. I would be offended if he were not jealous. I am like that. I am not offended at jealousy. I have a fierce heart, too. I can be jealous myself. Only what offends me is that he doesn’t love me at all. I tell you he is jealous now on purpose. Am I blind? Don’t I see? He began talking to me just now of that woman, of Katerina, saying she was this and that, how she had ordered a doctor from Moscow for him, to try and save him; how she had ordered the best counsel, the most learned one, too. So he loves her, if he’ll praise her to my face, more shame to him! He’s treated me badly himself, so he attacked me, to make out I am in fault first and to throw it all on me. ‘You were with your Pole before me, so I can’t be blamed for Katerina,’ that’s what it amounts to. He wants to throw the whole blame on me. He attacked me on purpose, on purpose, I tell you, but I’ll—”

Grushenka could not finish saying what she would do. She hid her eyes in her handkerchief and sobbed violently.

“He doesn’t love Katerina Ivanovna,” said Alyosha firmly.

“Well, whether he loves her or not, I’ll soon find out for myself,” said Grushenka, with a menacing note in her voice, taking the handkerchief from her eyes. Her face was distorted. Alyosha saw sorrowfully that from being mild and serene, it had become sullen and spiteful.

“Enough of this foolishness,” she said suddenly; “it’s not for that I sent for you. Alyosha, darling, to‐morrow—what will happen to‐morrow? That’s what worries me! And it’s only me it worries! I look at every one and no one is thinking of it. No one cares about it. Are you thinking about it even? To‐morrow he’ll be tried, you know. Tell me, how will he be tried? You know it’s the valet, the valet killed him! Good heavens! Can they condemn him in place of the valet and will no one stand up for him? They haven’t troubled the valet at all, have they?”

“He’s been severely cross‐examined,” observed Alyosha thoughtfully; “but every one came to the conclusion it was not he. Now he is lying very ill. He has been ill ever since that attack. Really ill,” added Alyosha.

“Oh, dear! couldn’t you go to that counsel yourself and tell him the whole thing by yourself? He’s been brought from Petersburg for three thousand roubles, they say.”

“We gave these three thousand together—Ivan, Katerina Ivanovna and I—but she paid two thousand for the doctor from Moscow herself. The counsel Fetyukovitch would have charged more, but the case has become known all over Russia; it’s talked of in all the papers and journals. Fetyukovitch agreed to come more for the glory of the thing, because the case has become so notorious. I saw him yesterday.”

“Well? Did you talk to him?” Grushenka put in eagerly.

“He listened and said nothing. He told me that he had already formed his opinion. But he promised to give my words consideration.”

“Consideration! Ah, they are swindlers! They’ll ruin him. And why did she send for the doctor?”

“As an expert. They want to prove that Mitya’s mad and committed the murder when he didn’t know what he was doing”; Alyosha smiled gently; “but Mitya won’t agree to that.”

“Yes; but that would be the truth if he had killed him!” cried Grushenka. “He was mad then, perfectly mad, and that was my fault, wretch that I am! But, of course, he didn’t do it, he didn’t do it! And they are all against him, the whole town. Even Fenya’s evidence went to prove he had done it. And the people at the shop, and that official, and at the tavern, too, before, people had heard him say so! They are all, all against him, all crying out against him.”

“Yes, there’s a fearful accumulation of evidence,” Alyosha observed grimly.

“And Grigory—Grigory Vassilyevitch—sticks to his story that the door was open, persists that he saw it—there’s no shaking him. I went and talked to him myself. He’s rude about it, too.”

“Yes, that’s perhaps the strongest evidence against him,” said Alyosha.

“And as for Mitya’s being mad, he certainly seems like it now,” Grushenka began with a peculiarly anxious and mysterious air. “Do you know, Alyosha, I’ve been wanting to talk to you about it for a long time. I go to him every day and simply wonder at him. Tell me, now, what do you suppose he’s always talking about? He talks and talks and I can make nothing of it. I fancied he was talking of something intellectual that I couldn’t understand in my foolishness. Only he suddenly began talking to me about a babe—that is, about some child. ‘Why is the babe poor?’ he said. ‘It’s for that babe I am going to Siberia now. I am not a murderer, but I must go to Siberia!’ What that meant, what babe, I couldn’t tell for the life of me. Only I cried when he said it, because he said it so nicely. He cried himself, and I cried, too. He suddenly kissed me and made the sign of the cross over me. What did it mean, Alyosha, tell me? What is this babe?”

“It must be Rakitin, who’s been going to see him lately,” smiled Alyosha, “though ... that’s not Rakitin’s doing. I didn’t see Mitya yesterday. I’ll see him to‐day.”

“No, it’s not Rakitin; it’s his brother Ivan Fyodorovitch upsetting him. It’s his going to see him, that’s what it is,” Grushenka began, and suddenly broke off. Alyosha gazed at her in amazement.

“Ivan’s going? Has he been to see him? Mitya told me himself that Ivan hasn’t been once.”

“There ... there! What a girl I am! Blurting things out!” exclaimed Grushenka, confused and suddenly blushing. “Stay, Alyosha, hush! Since I’ve said so much I’ll tell the whole truth—he’s been to see him twice, the first directly he arrived. He galloped here from Moscow at once, of course, before I was taken ill; and the second time was a week ago. He told Mitya not to tell you about it, under any circumstances; and not to tell any one, in fact. He came secretly.”

Alyosha sat plunged in thought, considering something. The news evidently impressed him.

“Ivan doesn’t talk to me of Mitya’s case,” he said slowly. “He’s said very little to me these last two months. And whenever I go to see him, he seems vexed at my coming, so I’ve not been to him for the last three weeks. H’m!... if he was there a week ago ... there certainly has been a change in Mitya this week.”

“There has been a change,” Grushenka assented quickly. “They have a secret, they have a secret! Mitya told me himself there was a secret, and such a secret that Mitya can’t rest. Before then, he was cheerful—and, indeed, he is cheerful now—but when he shakes his head like that, you know, and strides about the room and keeps pulling at the hair on his right temple with his right hand, I know there is something on his mind worrying him.... I know! He was cheerful before, though, indeed, he is cheerful to‐day.”

“But you said he was worried.”

“Yes, he is worried and yet cheerful. He keeps on being irritable for a minute and then cheerful and then irritable again. And you know, Alyosha, I am constantly wondering at him—with this awful thing hanging over him, he sometimes laughs at such trifles as though he were a baby himself.”

“And did he really tell you not to tell me about Ivan? Did he say, ‘Don’t tell him’?”

“Yes, he told me, ‘Don’t tell him.’ It’s you that Mitya’s most afraid of. Because it’s a secret: he said himself it was a secret. Alyosha, darling, go to him and find out what their secret is and come and tell me,” Grushenka besought him with sudden eagerness. “Set my mind at rest that I may know the worst that’s in store for me. That’s why I sent for you.”

“You think it’s something to do with you? If it were, he wouldn’t have told you there was a secret.”

“I don’t know. Perhaps he wants to tell me, but doesn’t dare to. He warns me. There is a secret, he tells me, but he won’t tell me what it is.”

“What do you think yourself?”

“What do I think? It’s the end for me, that’s what I think. They all three have been plotting my end, for Katerina’s in it. It’s all Katerina, it all comes from her. She is this and that, and that means that I am not. He tells me that beforehand—warns me. He is planning to throw me over, that’s the whole secret. They’ve planned it together, the three of them—Mitya, Katerina, and Ivan Fyodorovitch. Alyosha, I’ve been wanting to ask you a long time. A week ago he suddenly told me that Ivan was in love with Katerina, because he often goes to see her. Did he tell me the truth or not? Tell me, on your conscience, tell me the worst.”

“I won’t tell you a lie. Ivan is not in love with Katerina Ivanovna, I think.”

“Oh, that’s what I thought! He is lying to me, shameless deceiver, that’s what it is! And he was jealous of me just now, so as to put the blame on me afterwards. He is stupid, he can’t disguise what he is doing; he is so open, you know.... But I’ll give it to him, I’ll give it to him! ‘You believe I did it,’ he said. He said that to me, to me. He reproached me with that! God forgive him! You wait, I’ll make it hot for Katerina at the trial! I’ll just say a word then ... I’ll tell everything then!”

And again she cried bitterly.

“This I can tell you for certain, Grushenka,” Alyosha said, getting up. “First, that he loves you, loves you more than any one in the world, and you only, believe me. I know. I do know. The second thing is that I don’t want to worm his secret out of him, but if he’ll tell me of himself to‐ day, I shall tell him straight out that I have promised to tell you. Then I’ll come to you to‐day, and tell you. Only ... I fancy ... Katerina Ivanovna has nothing to do with it, and that the secret is about something else. That’s certain. It isn’t likely it’s about Katerina Ivanovna, it seems to me. Good‐by for now.”

Alyosha shook hands with her. Grushenka was still crying. He saw that she put little faith in his consolation, but she was better for having had her sorrow out, for having spoken of it. He was sorry to leave her in such a state of mind, but he was in haste. He had a great many things to do still.

Chapter II.
The Injured Foot


The first of these things was at the house of Madame Hohlakov, and he hurried there to get it over as quickly as possible and not be too late for Mitya. Madame Hohlakov had been slightly ailing for the last three weeks: her foot had for some reason swollen up, and though she was not in bed, she lay all day half‐reclining on the couch in her boudoir, in a fascinating but decorous déshabillé. Alyosha had once noted with innocent amusement that, in spite of her illness, Madame Hohlakov had begun to be rather dressy—top‐knots, ribbons, loose wrappers, had made their appearance, and he had an inkling of the reason, though he dismissed such ideas from his mind as frivolous. During the last two months the young official, Perhotin, had become a regular visitor at the house.

Alyosha had not called for four days and he was in haste to go straight to Lise, as it was with her he had to speak, for Lise had sent a maid to him the previous day, specially asking him to come to her “about something very important,” a request which, for certain reasons, had interest for Alyosha. But while the maid went to take his name in to Lise, Madame Hohlakov heard of his arrival from some one, and immediately sent to beg him to come to her “just for one minute.” Alyosha reflected that it was better to accede to the mamma’s request, or else she would be sending down to Lise’s room every minute that he was there. Madame Hohlakov was lying on a couch. She was particularly smartly dressed and was evidently in a state of extreme nervous excitement. She greeted Alyosha with cries of rapture.

“It’s ages, ages, perfect ages since I’ve seen you! It’s a whole week—only think of it! Ah, but you were here only four days ago, on Wednesday. You have come to see Lise. I’m sure you meant to slip into her room on tiptoe, without my hearing you. My dear, dear Alexey Fyodorovitch, if you only knew how worried I am about her! But of that later, though that’s the most important thing, of that later. Dear Alexey Fyodorovitch, I trust you implicitly with my Lise. Since the death of Father Zossima—God rest his soul!” (she crossed herself)—“I look upon you as a monk, though you look charming in your new suit. Where did you find such a tailor in these parts? No, no, that’s not the chief thing—of that later. Forgive me for sometimes calling you Alyosha; an old woman like me may take liberties,” she smiled coquettishly; “but that will do later, too. The important thing is that I shouldn’t forget what is important. Please remind me of it yourself. As soon as my tongue runs away with me, you just say ‘the important thing?’ Ach! how do I know now what is of most importance? Ever since Lise took back her promise—her childish promise, Alexey Fyodorovitch—to marry you, you’ve realized, of course, that it was only the playful fancy of a sick child who had been so long confined to her chair—thank God, she can walk now!... that new doctor Katya sent for from Moscow for your unhappy brother, who will to‐morrow—But why speak of to‐ morrow? I am ready to die at the very thought of to‐morrow. Ready to die of curiosity.... That doctor was with us yesterday and saw Lise.... I paid him fifty roubles for the visit. But that’s not the point, that’s not the point again. You see, I’m mixing everything up. I am in such a hurry. Why am I in a hurry? I don’t understand. It’s awful how I seem growing unable to understand anything. Everything seems mixed up in a sort of tangle. I am afraid you are so bored you will jump up and run away, and that will be all I shall see of you. Goodness! Why are we sitting here and no coffee? Yulia, Glafira, coffee!”

Alyosha made haste to thank her, and said that he had only just had coffee.

“Where?”

“At Agrafena Alexandrovna’s.”

“At ... at that woman’s? Ah, it’s she has brought ruin on every one. I know nothing about it though. They say she has become a saint, though it’s rather late in the day. She had better have done it before. What use is it now? Hush, hush, Alexey Fyodorovitch, for I have so much to say to you that I am afraid I shall tell you nothing. This awful trial ... I shall certainly go, I am making arrangements. I shall be carried there in my chair; besides I can sit up. I shall have people with me. And, you know, I am a witness. How shall I speak, how shall I speak? I don’t know what I shall say. One has to take an oath, hasn’t one?”

“Yes; but I don’t think you will be able to go.”

“I can sit up. Ah, you put me out! Ah! this trial, this savage act, and then they are all going to Siberia, some are getting married, and all this so quickly, so quickly, everything’s changing, and at last—nothing. All grow old and have death to look forward to. Well, so be it! I am weary. This Katya, cette charmante personne, has disappointed all my hopes. Now she is going to follow one of your brothers to Siberia, and your other brother is going to follow her, and will live in the nearest town, and they will all torment one another. It drives me out of my mind. Worst of all—the publicity. The story has been told a million times over in all the papers in Moscow and Petersburg. Ah! yes, would you believe it, there’s a paragraph that I was ‘a dear friend’ of your brother’s ——, I can’t repeat the horrid word. Just fancy, just fancy!”

“Impossible! Where was the paragraph? What did it say?”

“I’ll show you directly. I got the paper and read it yesterday. Here, in the Petersburg paper Gossip. The paper began coming out this year. I am awfully fond of gossip, and I take it in, and now it pays me out—this is what gossip comes to! Here it is, here, this passage. Read it.”

And she handed Alyosha a sheet of newspaper which had been under her pillow.

It was not exactly that she was upset, she seemed overwhelmed and perhaps everything really was mixed up in a tangle in her head. The paragraph was very typical, and must have been a great shock to her, but, fortunately perhaps, she was unable to keep her mind fixed on any one subject at that moment, and so might race off in a minute to something else and quite forget the newspaper.

Alyosha was well aware that the story of the terrible case had spread all over Russia. And, good heavens! what wild rumors about his brother, about the Karamazovs, and about himself he had read in the course of those two months, among other equally credible items! One paper had even stated that he had gone into a monastery and become a monk, in horror at his brother’s crime. Another contradicted this, and stated that he and his elder, Father Zossima, had broken into the monastery chest and “made tracks from the monastery.” The present paragraph in the paper Gossip was under the heading, “The Karamazov Case at Skotoprigonyevsk.” (That, alas! was the name of our little town. I had hitherto kept it concealed.) It was brief, and Madame Hohlakov was not directly mentioned in it. No names appeared, in fact. It was merely stated that the criminal, whose approaching trial was making such a sensation—retired army captain, an idle swaggerer, and reactionary bully—was continually involved in amorous intrigues, and particularly popular with certain ladies “who were pining in solitude.” One such lady, a pining widow, who tried to seem young though she had a grown‐up daughter, was so fascinated by him that only two hours before the crime she offered him three thousand roubles, on condition that he would elope with her to the gold mines. But the criminal, counting on escaping punishment, had preferred to murder his father to get the three thousand rather than go off to Siberia with the middle‐aged charms of his pining lady. This playful paragraph finished, of course, with an outburst of generous indignation at the wickedness of parricide and at the lately abolished institution of serfdom. Reading it with curiosity, Alyosha folded up the paper and handed it back to Madame Hohlakov.

“Well, that must be me,” she hurried on again. “Of course I am meant. Scarcely more than an hour before, I suggested gold mines to him, and here they talk of ‘middle‐aged charms’ as though that were my motive! He writes that out of spite! God Almighty forgive him for the middle‐aged charms, as I forgive him! You know it’s— Do you know who it is? It’s your friend Rakitin.”

“Perhaps,” said Alyosha, “though I’ve heard nothing about it.”

“It’s he, it’s he! No ‘perhaps’ about it. You know I turned him out of the house.... You know all that story, don’t you?”

“I know that you asked him not to visit you for the future, but why it was, I haven’t heard ... from you, at least.”

“Ah, then you’ve heard it from him! He abuses me, I suppose, abuses me dreadfully?”

“Yes, he does; but then he abuses every one. But why you’ve given him up I haven’t heard from him either. I meet him very seldom now, indeed. We are not friends.”

“Well, then, I’ll tell you all about it. There’s no help for it, I’ll confess, for there is one point in which I was perhaps to blame. Only a little, little point, so little that perhaps it doesn’t count. You see, my dear boy”—Madame Hohlakov suddenly looked arch and a charming, though enigmatic, smile played about her lips—“you see, I suspect ... You must forgive me, Alyosha. I am like a mother to you.... No, no; quite the contrary. I speak to you now as though you were my father—mother’s quite out of place. Well, it’s as though I were confessing to Father Zossima, that’s just it. I called you a monk just now. Well, that poor young man, your friend, Rakitin (Mercy on us! I can’t be angry with him. I feel cross, but not very), that frivolous young man, would you believe it, seems to have taken it into his head to fall in love with me. I only noticed it later. At first—a month ago—he only began to come oftener to see me, almost every day; though, of course, we were acquainted before. I knew nothing about it ... and suddenly it dawned upon me, and I began to notice things with surprise. You know, two months ago, that modest, charming, excellent young man, Pyotr Ilyitch Perhotin, who’s in the service here, began to be a regular visitor at the house. You met him here ever so many times yourself. And he is an excellent, earnest young man, isn’t he? He comes once every three days, not every day (though I should be glad to see him every day), and always so well dressed. Altogether, I love young people, Alyosha, talented, modest, like you, and he has almost the mind of a statesman, he talks so charmingly, and I shall certainly, certainly try and get promotion for him. He is a future diplomat. On that awful day he almost saved me from death by coming in the night. And your friend Rakitin comes in such boots, and always stretches them out on the carpet.... He began hinting at his feelings, in fact, and one day, as he was going, he squeezed my hand terribly hard. My foot began to swell directly after he pressed my hand like that. He had met Pyotr Ilyitch here before, and would you believe it, he is always gibing at him, growling at him, for some reason. I simply looked at the way they went on together and laughed inwardly. So I was sitting here alone—no, I was laid up then. Well, I was lying here alone and suddenly Rakitin comes in, and only fancy! brought me some verses of his own composition—a short poem, on my bad foot: that is, he described my foot in a poem. Wait a minute—how did it go?

A captivating little foot.

It began somehow like that. I can never remember poetry. I’ve got it here. I’ll show it to you later. But it’s a charming thing—charming; and, you know, it’s not only about the foot, it had a good moral, too, a charming idea, only I’ve forgotten it; in fact, it was just the thing for an album. So, of course, I thanked him, and he was evidently flattered. I’d hardly had time to thank him when in comes Pyotr Ilyitch, and Rakitin suddenly looked as black as night. I could see that Pyotr Ilyitch was in the way, for Rakitin certainly wanted to say something after giving me the verses. I had a presentiment of it; but Pyotr Ilyitch came in. I showed Pyotr Ilyitch the verses and didn’t say who was the author. But I am convinced that he guessed, though he won’t own it to this day, and declares he had no idea. But he says that on purpose. Pyotr Ilyitch began to laugh at once, and fell to criticizing it. ‘Wretched doggerel,’ he said they were, ‘some divinity student must have written them,’ and with such vehemence, such vehemence! Then, instead of laughing, your friend flew into a rage. ‘Good gracious!’ I thought, ‘they’ll fly at each other.’ ‘It was I who wrote them,’ said he. ‘I wrote them as a joke,’ he said, ‘for I think it degrading to write verses.... But they are good poetry. They want to put a monument to your Pushkin for writing about women’s feet, while I wrote with a moral purpose, and you,’ said he, ‘are an advocate of serfdom. You’ve no humane ideas,’ said he. ‘You have no modern enlightened feelings, you are uninfluenced by progress, you are a mere official,’ he said, ‘and you take bribes.’ Then I began screaming and imploring them. And, you know, Pyotr Ilyitch is anything but a coward. He at once took up the most gentlemanly tone, looked at him sarcastically, listened, and apologized. ‘I’d no idea,’ said he. ‘I shouldn’t have said it, if I had known. I should have praised it. Poets are all so irritable,’ he said. In short, he laughed at him under cover of the most gentlemanly tone. He explained to me afterwards that it was all sarcastic. I thought he was in earnest. Only as I lay there, just as before you now, I thought, ‘Would it, or would it not, be the proper thing for me to turn Rakitin out for shouting so rudely at a visitor in my house?’ And, would you believe it, I lay here, shut my eyes, and wondered, would it be the proper thing or not. I kept worrying and worrying, and my heart began to beat, and I couldn’t make up my mind whether to make an outcry or not. One voice seemed to be telling me, ‘Speak,’ and the other ‘No, don’t speak.’ And no sooner had the second voice said that than I cried out, and fainted. Of course, there was a fuss. I got up suddenly and said to Rakitin, ‘It’s painful for me to say it, but I don’t wish to see you in my house again.’ So I turned him out. Ah! Alexey Fyodorovitch, I know myself I did wrong. I was putting it on. I wasn’t angry with him at all, really; but I suddenly fancied—that was what did it—that it would be such a fine scene.... And yet, believe me, it was quite natural, for I really shed tears and cried for several days afterwards, and then suddenly, one afternoon, I forgot all about it. So it’s a fortnight since he’s been here, and I kept wondering whether he would come again. I wondered even yesterday, then suddenly last night came this Gossip. I read it and gasped. Who could have written it? He must have written it. He went home, sat down, wrote it on the spot, sent it, and they put it in. It was a fortnight ago, you see. But, Alyosha, it’s awful how I keep talking and don’t say what I want to say. Ah! the words come of themselves!”

“It’s very important for me to be in time to see my brother to‐day,” Alyosha faltered.

“To be sure, to be sure! You bring it all back to me. Listen, what is an aberration?”

“What aberration?” asked Alyosha, wondering.

“In the legal sense. An aberration in which everything is pardonable. Whatever you do, you will be acquitted at once.”

“What do you mean?”

“I’ll tell you. This Katya ... Ah! she is a charming, charming creature, only I never can make out who it is she is in love with. She was with me some time ago and I couldn’t get anything out of her. Especially as she won’t talk to me except on the surface now. She is always talking about my health and nothing else, and she takes up such a tone with me, too. I simply said to myself, ‘Well, so be it. I don’t care’... Oh, yes. I was talking of aberration. This doctor has come. You know a doctor has come? Of course, you know it—the one who discovers madmen. You wrote for him. No, it wasn’t you, but Katya. It’s all Katya’s doing. Well, you see, a man may be sitting perfectly sane and suddenly have an aberration. He may be conscious and know what he is doing and yet be in a state of aberration. And there’s no doubt that Dmitri Fyodorovitch was suffering from aberration. They found out about aberration as soon as the law courts were reformed. It’s all the good effect of the reformed law courts. The doctor has been here and questioned me about that evening, about the gold mines. ‘How did he seem then?’ he asked me. He must have been in a state of aberration. He came in shouting, ‘Money, money, three thousand! Give me three thousand!’ and then went away and immediately did the murder. ‘I don’t want to murder him,’ he said, and he suddenly went and murdered him. That’s why they’ll acquit him, because he struggled against it and yet he murdered him.”

“But he didn’t murder him,” Alyosha interrupted rather sharply. He felt more and more sick with anxiety and impatience.

“Yes, I know it was that old man Grigory murdered him.”

“Grigory?” cried Alyosha.

“Yes, yes; it was Grigory. He lay as Dmitri Fyodorovitch struck him down, and then got up, saw the door open, went in and killed Fyodor Pavlovitch.”

“But why, why?”

“Suffering from aberration. When he recovered from the blow Dmitri Fyodorovitch gave him on the head, he was suffering from aberration; he went and committed the murder. As for his saying he didn’t, he very likely doesn’t remember. Only, you know, it’ll be better, ever so much better, if Dmitri Fyodorovitch murdered him. And that’s how it must have been, though I say it was Grigory. It certainly was Dmitri Fyodorovitch, and that’s better, ever so much better! Oh! not better that a son should have killed his father, I don’t defend that. Children ought to honor their parents, and yet it would be better if it were he, as you’d have nothing to cry over then, for he did it when he was unconscious or rather when he was conscious, but did not know what he was doing. Let them acquit him—that’s so humane, and would show what a blessing reformed law courts are. I knew nothing about it, but they say they have been so a long time. And when I heard it yesterday, I was so struck by it that I wanted to send for you at once. And if he is acquitted, make him come straight from the law courts to dinner with me, and I’ll have a party of friends, and we’ll drink to the reformed law courts. I don’t believe he’d be dangerous; besides, I’ll invite a great many friends, so that he could always be led out if he did anything. And then he might be made a justice of the peace or something in another town, for those who have been in trouble themselves make the best judges. And, besides, who isn’t suffering from aberration nowadays?—you, I, all of us are in a state of aberration, and there are ever so many examples of it: a man sits singing a song, suddenly something annoys him, he takes a pistol and shoots the first person he comes across, and no one blames him for it. I read that lately, and all the doctors confirm it. The doctors are always confirming; they confirm anything. Why, my Lise is in a state of aberration. She made me cry again yesterday, and the day before, too, and to‐day I suddenly realized that it’s all due to aberration. Oh, Lise grieves me so! I believe she’s quite mad. Why did she send for you? Did she send for you or did you come of yourself?”

“Yes, she sent for me, and I am just going to her.” Alyosha got up resolutely.

“Oh, my dear, dear Alexey Fyodorovitch, perhaps that’s what’s most important,” Madame Hohlakov cried, suddenly bursting into tears. “God knows I trust Lise to you with all my heart, and it’s no matter her sending for you on the sly, without telling her mother. But forgive me, I can’t trust my daughter so easily to your brother Ivan Fyodorovitch, though I still consider him the most chivalrous young man. But only fancy, he’s been to see Lise and I knew nothing about it!”

“How? What? When?” Alyosha was exceedingly surprised. He had not sat down again and listened standing.

“I will tell you; that’s perhaps why I asked you to come, for I don’t know now why I did ask you to come. Well, Ivan Fyodorovitch has been to see me twice, since he came back from Moscow. First time he came as a friend to call on me, and the second time Katya was here and he came because he heard she was here. I didn’t, of course, expect him to come often, knowing what a lot he has to do as it is, vous comprenez, cette affaire et la mort terrible de votre papa. But I suddenly heard he’d been here again, not to see me but to see Lise. That’s six days ago now. He came, stayed five minutes, and went away. And I didn’t hear of it till three days afterwards, from Glafira, so it was a great shock to me. I sent for Lise directly. She laughed. ‘He thought you were asleep,’ she said, ‘and came in to me to ask after your health.’ Of course, that’s how it happened. But Lise, Lise, mercy on us, how she distresses me! Would you believe it, one night, four days ago, just after you saw her last time, and had gone away, she suddenly had a fit, screaming, shrieking, hysterics! Why is it I never have hysterics? Then, next day another fit, and the same thing on the third, and yesterday too, and then yesterday that aberration. She suddenly screamed out, ‘I hate Ivan Fyodorovitch. I insist on your never letting him come to the house again.’ I was struck dumb at these amazing words, and answered, ‘On what grounds could I refuse to see such an excellent young man, a young man of such learning too, and so unfortunate?’—for all this business is a misfortune, isn’t it? She suddenly burst out laughing at my words, and so rudely, you know. Well, I was pleased; I thought I had amused her and the fits would pass off, especially as I wanted to refuse to see Ivan Fyodorovitch anyway on account of his strange visits without my knowledge, and meant to ask him for an explanation. But early this morning Lise waked up and flew into a passion with Yulia and, would you believe it, slapped her in the face. That’s monstrous; I am always polite to my servants. And an hour later she was hugging Yulia’s feet and kissing them. She sent a message to me that she wasn’t coming to me at all, and would never come and see me again, and when I dragged myself down to her, she rushed to kiss me, crying, and as she kissed me, she pushed me out of the room without saying a word, so I couldn’t find out what was the matter. Now, dear Alexey Fyodorovitch, I rest all my hopes on you, and, of course, my whole life is in your hands. I simply beg you to go to Lise and find out everything from her, as you alone can, and come back and tell me—me, her mother, for you understand it will be the death of me, simply the death of me, if this goes on, or else I shall run away. I can stand no more. I have patience; but I may lose patience, and then ... then something awful will happen. Ah, dear me! At last, Pyotr Ilyitch!” cried Madame Hohlakov, beaming all over as she saw Perhotin enter the room. “You are late, you are late! Well, sit down, speak, put us out of suspense. What does the counsel say. Where are you off to, Alexey Fyodorovitch?”

“To Lise.”

“Oh, yes. You won’t forget, you won’t forget what I asked you? It’s a question of life and death!”

“Of course, I won’t forget, if I can ... but I am so late,” muttered Alyosha, beating a hasty retreat.

“No, be sure, be sure to come in; don’t say ‘If you can.’ I shall die if you don’t,” Madame Hohlakov called after him, but Alyosha had already left the room.

Chapter III.
A Little Demon


Going in to Lise, he found her half reclining in the invalid‐chair, in which she had been wheeled when she was unable to walk. She did not move to meet him, but her sharp, keen eyes were simply riveted on his face. There was a feverish look in her eyes, her face was pale and yellow. Alyosha was amazed at the change that had taken place in her in three days. She was positively thinner. She did not hold out her hand to him. He touched the thin, long fingers which lay motionless on her dress, then he sat down facing her, without a word.

“I know you are in a hurry to get to the prison,” Lise said curtly, “and mamma’s kept you there for hours; she’s just been telling you about me and Yulia.”

“How do you know?” asked Alyosha.

“I’ve been listening. Why do you stare at me? I want to listen and I do listen, there’s no harm in that. I don’t apologize.”

“You are upset about something?”

“On the contrary, I am very happy. I’ve only just been reflecting for the thirtieth time what a good thing it is I refused you and shall not be your wife. You are not fit to be a husband. If I were to marry you and give you a note to take to the man I loved after you, you’d take it and be sure to give it to him and bring an answer back, too. If you were forty, you would still go on taking my love‐letters for me.”

She suddenly laughed.

“There is something spiteful and yet open‐hearted about you,” Alyosha smiled to her.

“The open‐heartedness consists in my not being ashamed of myself with you. What’s more, I don’t want to feel ashamed with you, just with you. Alyosha, why is it I don’t respect you? I am very fond of you, but I don’t respect you. If I respected you, I shouldn’t talk to you without shame, should I?”

“No.”

“But do you believe that I am not ashamed with you?”

“No, I don’t believe it.”

Lise laughed nervously again; she spoke rapidly.

“I sent your brother, Dmitri Fyodorovitch, some sweets in prison. Alyosha, you know, you are quite pretty! I shall love you awfully for having so quickly allowed me not to love you.”

“Why did you send for me to‐day, Lise?”

“I wanted to tell you of a longing I have. I should like some one to torture me, marry me and then torture me, deceive me and go away. I don’t want to be happy.”

“You are in love with disorder?”

“Yes, I want disorder. I keep wanting to set fire to the house. I keep imagining how I’ll creep up and set fire to the house on the sly; it must be on the sly. They’ll try to put it out, but it’ll go on burning. And I shall know and say nothing. Ah, what silliness! And how bored I am!”

She waved her hand with a look of repulsion.

“It’s your luxurious life,” said Alyosha, softly.

“Is it better, then, to be poor?”

“Yes, it is better.”

“That’s what your monk taught you. That’s not true. Let me be rich and all the rest poor, I’ll eat sweets and drink cream and not give any to any one else. Ach, don’t speak, don’t say anything,” she shook her hand at him, though Alyosha had not opened his mouth. “You’ve told me all that before, I know it all by heart. It bores me. If I am ever poor, I shall murder somebody, and even if I am rich, I may murder some one, perhaps—why do nothing! But do you know, I should like to reap, cut the rye? I’ll marry you, and you shall become a peasant, a real peasant; we’ll keep a colt, shall we? Do you know Kalganov?”

“Yes.”

“He is always wandering about, dreaming. He says, ‘Why live in real life? It’s better to dream. One can dream the most delightful things, but real life is a bore.’ But he’ll be married soon for all that; he’s been making love to me already. Can you spin tops?”

“Yes.”

“Well, he’s just like a top: he wants to be wound up and set spinning and then to be lashed, lashed, lashed with a whip. If I marry him, I’ll keep him spinning all his life. You are not ashamed to be with me?”

“No.”

“You are awfully cross, because I don’t talk about holy things. I don’t want to be holy. What will they do to one in the next world for the greatest sin? You must know all about that.”

“God will censure you.” Alyosha was watching her steadily.

“That’s just what I should like. I would go up and they would censure me, and I would burst out laughing in their faces. I should dreadfully like to set fire to the house, Alyosha, to our house; you still don’t believe me?”

“Why? There are children of twelve years old, who have a longing to set fire to something and they do set things on fire, too. It’s a sort of disease.”

“That’s not true, that’s not true; there may be children, but that’s not what I mean.”

“You take evil for good; it’s a passing crisis, it’s the result of your illness, perhaps.”

“You do despise me, though! It’s simply that I don’t want to do good, I want to do evil, and it has nothing to do with illness.”

“Why do evil?”

“So that everything might be destroyed. Ah, how nice it would be if everything were destroyed! You know, Alyosha, I sometimes think of doing a fearful lot of harm and everything bad, and I should do it for a long while on the sly and suddenly every one would find it out. Every one will stand round and point their fingers at me and I would look at them all. That would be awfully nice. Why would it be so nice, Alyosha?”

“I don’t know. It’s a craving to destroy something good or, as you say, to set fire to something. It happens sometimes.”

“I not only say it, I shall do it.”

“I believe you.”

“Ah, how I love you for saying you believe me. And you are not lying one little bit. But perhaps you think that I am saying all this on purpose to annoy you?”

“No, I don’t think that ... though perhaps there is a little desire to do that in it, too.”

“There is a little. I never can tell lies to you,” she declared, with a strange fire in her eyes.

What struck Alyosha above everything was her earnestness. There was not a trace of humor or jesting in her face now, though, in old days, fun and gayety never deserted her even at her most “earnest” moments.

“There are moments when people love crime,” said Alyosha thoughtfully.

“Yes, yes! You have uttered my thought; they love crime, every one loves crime, they love it always, not at some ‘moments.’ You know, it’s as though people have made an agreement to lie about it and have lied about it ever since. They all declare that they hate evil, but secretly they all love it.”

“And are you still reading nasty books?”

“Yes, I am. Mamma reads them and hides them under her pillow and I steal them.”

“Aren’t you ashamed to destroy yourself?”

“I want to destroy myself. There’s a boy here, who lay down between the railway lines when the train was passing. Lucky fellow! Listen, your brother is being tried now for murdering his father and every one loves his having killed his father.”

“Loves his having killed his father?”

“Yes, loves it; every one loves it! Everybody says it’s so awful, but secretly they simply love it. I for one love it.”

“There is some truth in what you say about every one,” said Alyosha softly.

“Oh, what ideas you have!” Lise shrieked in delight. “And you a monk, too! You wouldn’t believe how I respect you, Alyosha, for never telling lies. Oh, I must tell you a funny dream of mine. I sometimes dream of devils. It’s night; I am in my room with a candle and suddenly there are devils all over the place, in all the corners, under the table, and they open the doors; there’s a crowd of them behind the doors and they want to come and seize me. And they are just coming, just seizing me. But I suddenly cross myself and they all draw back, though they don’t go away altogether, they stand at the doors and in the corners, waiting. And suddenly I have a frightful longing to revile God aloud, and so I begin, and then they come crowding back to me, delighted, and seize me again and I cross myself again and they all draw back. It’s awful fun. it takes one’s breath away.”

“I’ve had the same dream, too,” said Alyosha suddenly.

“Really?” cried Lise, surprised. “I say, Alyosha, don’t laugh, that’s awfully important. Could two different people have the same dream?”

“It seems they can.”

“Alyosha, I tell you, it’s awfully important,” Lise went on, with really excessive amazement. “It’s not the dream that’s important, but your having the same dream as me. You never lie to me, don’t lie now: is it true? You are not laughing?”

“It’s true.”

Lise seemed extraordinarily impressed and for half a minute she was silent.

“Alyosha, come and see me, come and see me more often,” she said suddenly, in a supplicating voice.

“I’ll always come to see you, all my life,” answered Alyosha firmly.

“You are the only person I can talk to, you know,” Lise began again. “I talk to no one but myself and you. Only you in the whole world. And to you more readily than to myself. And I am not a bit ashamed with you, not a bit. Alyosha, why am I not ashamed with you, not a bit? Alyosha, is it true that at Easter the Jews steal a child and kill it?”

“I don’t know.”

“There’s a book here in which I read about the trial of a Jew, who took a child of four years old and cut off the fingers from both hands, and then crucified him on the wall, hammered nails into him and crucified him, and afterwards, when he was tried, he said that the child died soon, within four hours. That was ‘soon’! He said the child moaned, kept on moaning and he stood admiring it. That’s nice!”

“Nice?”

“Nice; I sometimes imagine that it was I who crucified him. He would hang there moaning and I would sit opposite him eating pineapple compote. I am awfully fond of pineapple compote. Do you like it?”

Alyosha looked at her in silence. Her pale, sallow face was suddenly contorted, her eyes burned.

“You know, when I read about that Jew I shook with sobs all night. I kept fancying how the little thing cried and moaned (a child of four years old understands, you know), and all the while the thought of pineapple compote haunted me. In the morning I wrote a letter to a certain person, begging him particularly to come and see me. He came and I suddenly told him all about the child and the pineapple compote. All about it, all, and said that it was nice. He laughed and said it really was nice. Then he got up and went away. He was only here five minutes. Did he despise me? Did he despise me? Tell me, tell me, Alyosha, did he despise me or not?” She sat up on the couch, with flashing eyes.

“Tell me,” Alyosha asked anxiously, “did you send for that person?”

“Yes, I did.”

“Did you send him a letter?”

“Yes.”

“Simply to ask about that, about that child?”

“No, not about that at all. But when he came, I asked him about that at once. He answered, laughed, got up and went away.”

“That person behaved honorably,” Alyosha murmured.

“And did he despise me? Did he laugh at me?”

“No, for perhaps he believes in the pineapple compote himself. He is very ill now, too, Lise.”

“Yes, he does believe in it,” said Lise, with flashing eyes.

“He doesn’t despise any one,” Alyosha went on. “Only he does not believe any one. If he doesn’t believe in people, of course, he does despise them.”

“Then he despises me, me?”

“You, too.”

“Good,” Lise seemed to grind her teeth. “When he went out laughing, I felt that it was nice to be despised. The child with fingers cut off is nice, and to be despised is nice....”

And she laughed in Alyosha’s face, a feverish malicious laugh.

“Do you know, Alyosha, do you know, I should like—Alyosha, save me!” She suddenly jumped from the couch, rushed to him and seized him with both hands. “Save me!” she almost groaned. “Is there any one in the world I could tell what I’ve told you? I’ve told you the truth, the truth. I shall kill myself, because I loathe everything! I don’t want to live, because I loathe everything! I loathe everything, everything. Alyosha, why don’t you love me in the least?” she finished in a frenzy.

“But I do love you!” answered Alyosha warmly.

“And will you weep over me, will you?”

“Yes.”

“Not because I won’t be your wife, but simply weep for me?”

“Yes.”

“Thank you! It’s only your tears I want. Every one else may punish me and trample me under foot, every one, every one, not excepting any one. For I don’t love any one. Do you hear, not any one! On the contrary, I hate him! Go, Alyosha; it’s time you went to your brother”; she tore herself away from him suddenly.

“How can I leave you like this?” said Alyosha, almost in alarm.

“Go to your brother, the prison will be shut; go, here’s your hat. Give my love to Mitya, go, go!”

And she almost forcibly pushed Alyosha out of the door. He looked at her with pained surprise, when he was suddenly aware of a letter in his right hand, a tiny letter folded up tight and sealed. He glanced at it and instantly read the address, “To Ivan Fyodorovitch Karamazov.” He looked quickly at Lise. Her face had become almost menacing.

“Give it to him, you must give it to him!” she ordered him, trembling and beside herself. “To‐day, at once, or I’ll poison myself! That’s why I sent for you.”

And she slammed the door quickly. The bolt clicked. Alyosha put the note in his pocket and went straight downstairs, without going back to Madame Hohlakov; forgetting her, in fact. As soon as Alyosha had gone, Lise unbolted the door, opened it a little, put her finger in the crack and slammed the door with all her might, pinching her finger. Ten seconds after, releasing her finger, she walked softly, slowly to her chair, sat up straight in it and looked intently at her blackened finger and at the blood that oozed from under the nail. Her lips were quivering and she kept whispering rapidly to herself:

“I am a wretch, wretch, wretch, wretch!”

Chapter IV.
A Hymn And A Secret


It was quite late (days are short in November) when Alyosha rang at the prison gate. It was beginning to get dusk. But Alyosha knew that he would be admitted without difficulty. Things were managed in our little town, as everywhere else. At first, of course, on the conclusion of the preliminary inquiry, relations and a few other persons could only obtain interviews with Mitya by going through certain inevitable formalities. But later, though the formalities were not relaxed, exceptions were made for some, at least, of Mitya’s visitors. So much so, that sometimes the interviews with the prisoner in the room set aside for the purpose were practically tête‐à‐tête.

These exceptions, however, were few in number; only Grushenka, Alyosha and Rakitin were treated like this. But the captain of the police, Mihail Mihailovitch, was very favorably disposed to Grushenka. His abuse of her at Mokroe weighed on the old man’s conscience, and when he learned the whole story, he completely changed his view of her. And strange to say, though he was firmly persuaded of his guilt, yet after Mitya was once in prison, the old man came to take a more and more lenient view of him. “He was a man of good heart, perhaps,” he thought, “who had come to grief from drinking and dissipation.” His first horror had been succeeded by pity. As for Alyosha, the police captain was very fond of him and had known him for a long time. Rakitin, who had of late taken to coming very often to see the prisoner, was one of the most intimate acquaintances of the “police captain’s young ladies,” as he called them, and was always hanging about their house. He gave lessons in the house of the prison superintendent, too, who, though scrupulous in the performance of his duties, was a kind‐ hearted old man. Alyosha, again, had an intimate acquaintance of long standing with the superintendent, who was fond of talking to him, generally on sacred subjects. He respected Ivan Fyodorovitch, and stood in awe of his opinion, though he was a great philosopher himself; “self‐ taught,” of course. But Alyosha had an irresistible attraction for him. During the last year the old man had taken to studying the Apocryphal Gospels, and constantly talked over his impressions with his young friend. He used to come and see him in the monastery and discussed for hours together with him and with the monks. So even if Alyosha were late at the prison, he had only to go to the superintendent and everything was made easy. Besides, every one in the prison, down to the humblest warder, had grown used to Alyosha. The sentry, of course, did not trouble him so long as the authorities were satisfied.

When Mitya was summoned from his cell, he always went downstairs, to the place set aside for interviews. As Alyosha entered the room he came upon Rakitin, who was just taking leave of Mitya. They were both talking loudly. Mitya was laughing heartily as he saw him out, while Rakitin seemed grumbling. Rakitin did not like meeting Alyosha, especially of late. He scarcely spoke to him, and bowed to him stiffly. Seeing Alyosha enter now, he frowned and looked away, as though he were entirely absorbed in buttoning his big, warm, fur‐trimmed overcoat. Then he began looking at once for his umbrella.

“I must mind not to forget my belongings,” he muttered, simply to say something.

“Mind you don’t forget other people’s belongings,” said Mitya, as a joke, and laughed at once at his own wit. Rakitin fired up instantly.

“You’d better give that advice to your own family, who’ve always been a slave‐driving lot, and not to Rakitin,” he cried, suddenly trembling with anger.

“What’s the matter? I was joking,” cried Mitya. “Damn it all! They are all like that,” he turned to Alyosha, nodding towards Rakitin’s hurriedly retreating figure. “He was sitting here, laughing and cheerful, and all at once he boils up like that. He didn’t even nod to you. Have you broken with him completely? Why are you so late? I’ve not been simply waiting, but thirsting for you the whole morning. But never mind. We’ll make up for it now.”

“Why does he come here so often? Surely you are not such great friends?” asked Alyosha. He, too, nodded at the door through which Rakitin had disappeared.

“Great friends with Rakitin? No, not as much as that. Is it likely—a pig like that? He considers I am ... a blackguard. They can’t understand a joke either, that’s the worst of such people. They never understand a joke, and their souls are dry, dry and flat; they remind me of prison walls when I was first brought here. But he is a clever fellow, very clever. Well, Alexey, it’s all over with me now.”

He sat down on the bench and made Alyosha sit down beside him.

“Yes, the trial’s to‐morrow. Are you so hopeless, brother?” Alyosha said, with an apprehensive feeling.

“What are you talking about?” said Mitya, looking at him rather uncertainly. “Oh, you mean the trial! Damn it all! Till now we’ve been talking of things that don’t matter, about this trial, but I haven’t said a word to you about the chief thing. Yes, the trial is to‐morrow; but it wasn’t the trial I meant, when I said it was all over with me. Why do you look at me so critically?”

“What do you mean, Mitya?”

“Ideas, ideas, that’s all! Ethics! What is ethics?”

“Ethics?” asked Alyosha, wondering.

“Yes; is it a science?”

“Yes, there is such a science ... but ... I confess I can’t explain to you what sort of science it is.”

“Rakitin knows. Rakitin knows a lot, damn him! He’s not going to be a monk. He means to go to Petersburg. There he’ll go in for criticism of an elevating tendency. Who knows, he may be of use and make his own career, too. Ough! they are first‐rate, these people, at making a career! Damn ethics, I am done for, Alexey, I am, you man of God! I love you more than any one. It makes my heart yearn to look at you. Who was Karl Bernard?”

“Karl Bernard?” Alyosha was surprised again.

“No, not Karl. Stay, I made a mistake. Claude Bernard. What was he? Chemist or what?”

“He must be a savant,” answered Alyosha; “but I confess I can’t tell you much about him, either. I’ve heard of him as a savant, but what sort I don’t know.”

“Well, damn him, then! I don’t know either,” swore Mitya. “A scoundrel of some sort, most likely. They are all scoundrels. And Rakitin will make his way. Rakitin will get on anywhere; he is another Bernard. Ugh, these Bernards! They are all over the place.”

“But what is the matter?” Alyosha asked insistently.

“He wants to write an article about me, about my case, and so begin his literary career. That’s what he comes for; he said so himself. He wants to prove some theory. He wants to say ‘he couldn’t help murdering his father, he was corrupted by his environment,’ and so on. He explained it all to me. He is going to put in a tinge of Socialism, he says. But there, damn the fellow, he can put in a tinge if he likes, I don’t care. He can’t bear Ivan, he hates him. He’s not fond of you, either. But I don’t turn him out, for he is a clever fellow. Awfully conceited, though. I said to him just now, ‘The Karamazovs are not blackguards, but philosophers; for all true Russians are philosophers, and though you’ve studied, you are not a philosopher—you are a low fellow.’ He laughed, so maliciously. And I said to him, ‘De ideabus non est disputandum.’ Isn’t that rather good? I can set up for being a classic, you see!” Mitya laughed suddenly.

“Why is it all over with you? You said so just now,” Alyosha interposed.

“Why is it all over with me? H’m!... The fact of it is ... if you take it as a whole, I am sorry to lose God—that’s why it is.”

“What do you mean by ‘sorry to lose God’?”

“Imagine: inside, in the nerves, in the head—that is, these nerves are there in the brain ... (damn them!) there are sort of little tails, the little tails of those nerves, and as soon as they begin quivering ... that is, you see, I look at something with my eyes and then they begin quivering, those little tails ... and when they quiver, then an image appears ... it doesn’t appear at once, but an instant, a second, passes ... and then something like a moment appears; that is, not a moment—devil take the moment!—but an image; that is, an object, or an action, damn it! That’s why I see and then think, because of those tails, not at all because I’ve got a soul, and that I am some sort of image and likeness. All that is nonsense! Rakitin explained it all to me yesterday, brother, and it simply bowled me over. It’s magnificent, Alyosha, this science! A new man’s arising—that I understand.... And yet I am sorry to lose God!”

“Well, that’s a good thing, anyway,” said Alyosha.

“That I am sorry to lose God? It’s chemistry, brother, chemistry! There’s no help for it, your reverence, you must make way for chemistry. And Rakitin does dislike God. Ough! doesn’t he dislike Him! That’s the sore point with all of them. But they conceal it. They tell lies. They pretend. ‘Will you preach this in your reviews?’ I asked him. ‘Oh, well, if I did it openly, they won’t let it through,’ he said. He laughed. ‘But what will become of men then?’ I asked him, ‘without God and immortal life? All things are lawful then, they can do what they like?’ ‘Didn’t you know?’ he said laughing, ‘a clever man can do what he likes,’ he said. ‘A clever man knows his way about, but you’ve put your foot in it, committing a murder, and now you are rotting in prison.’ He says that to my face! A regular pig! I used to kick such people out, but now I listen to them. He talks a lot of sense, too. Writes well. He began reading me an article last week. I copied out three lines of it. Wait a minute. Here it is.”

Mitya hurriedly pulled out a piece of paper from his pocket and read:

“ ‘In order to determine this question, it is above all essential to put one’s personality in contradiction to one’s reality.’ Do you understand that?”

“No, I don’t,” said Alyosha. He looked at Mitya and listened to him with curiosity.

“I don’t understand either. It’s dark and obscure, but intellectual. ‘Every one writes like that now,’ he says, ‘it’s the effect of their environment.’ They are afraid of the environment. He writes poetry, too, the rascal. He’s written in honor of Madame Hohlakov’s foot. Ha ha ha!”

“I’ve heard about it,” said Alyosha.

“Have you? And have you heard the poem?”

“No.”

“I’ve got it. Here it is. I’ll read it to you. You don’t know—I haven’t told you—there’s quite a story about it. He’s a rascal! Three weeks ago he began to tease me. ‘You’ve got yourself into a mess, like a fool, for the sake of three thousand, but I’m going to collar a hundred and fifty thousand. I am going to marry a widow and buy a house in Petersburg.’ And he told me he was courting Madame Hohlakov. She hadn’t much brains in her youth, and now at forty she has lost what she had. ‘But she’s awfully sentimental,’ he says; ‘that’s how I shall get hold of her. When I marry her, I shall take her to Petersburg and there I shall start a newspaper.’ And his mouth was simply watering, the beast, not for the widow, but for the hundred and fifty thousand. And he made me believe it. He came to see me every day. ‘She is coming round,’ he declared. He was beaming with delight. And then, all of a sudden, he was turned out of the house. Perhotin’s carrying everything before him, bravo! I could kiss the silly old noodle for turning him out of the house. And he had written this doggerel. ‘It’s the first time I’ve soiled my hands with writing poetry,’ he said. ‘It’s to win her heart, so it’s in a good cause. When I get hold of the silly woman’s fortune, I can be of great social utility.’ They have this social justification for every nasty thing they do! ‘Anyway it’s better than your Pushkin’s poetry,’ he said, ‘for I’ve managed to advocate enlightenment even in that.’ I understand what he means about Pushkin, I quite see that, if he really was a man of talent and only wrote about women’s feet. But wasn’t Rakitin stuck up about his doggerel! The vanity of these fellows! ‘On the convalescence of the swollen foot of the object of my affections’—he thought of that for a title. He’s a waggish fellow.

A captivating little foot,
Though swollen and red and tender!
The doctors come and plasters put,
But still they cannot mend her.

Yet, ’tis not for her foot I dread—
A theme for Pushkin’s muse more fit—
It’s not her foot, it is her head:
I tremble for her loss of wit!

For as her foot swells, strange to say,
Her intellect is on the wane—
Oh, for some remedy I pray
That may restore both foot and brain!

He is a pig, a regular pig, but he’s very arch, the rascal! And he really has put in a progressive idea. And wasn’t he angry when she kicked him out! He was gnashing his teeth!”

“He’s taken his revenge already,” said Alyosha. “He’s written a paragraph about Madame Hohlakov.”

And Alyosha told him briefly about the paragraph in Gossip.

“That’s his doing, that’s his doing!” Mitya assented, frowning. “That’s him! These paragraphs ... I know ... the insulting things that have been written about Grushenka, for instance.... And about Katya, too.... H’m!”

He walked across the room with a harassed air.

“Brother, I cannot stay long,” Alyosha said, after a pause. “To‐morrow will be a great and awful day for you, the judgment of God will be accomplished ... I am amazed at you, you walk about here, talking of I don’t know what ...”

“No, don’t be amazed at me,” Mitya broke in warmly. “Am I to talk of that stinking dog? Of the murderer? We’ve talked enough of him. I don’t want to say more of the stinking son of Stinking Lizaveta! God will kill him, you will see. Hush!”

He went up to Alyosha excitedly and kissed him. His eyes glowed.

“Rakitin wouldn’t understand it,” he began in a sort of exaltation; “but you, you’ll understand it all. That’s why I was thirsting for you. You see, there’s so much I’ve been wanting to tell you for ever so long, here, within these peeling walls, but I haven’t said a word about what matters most; the moment never seems to have come. Now I can wait no longer. I must pour out my heart to you. Brother, these last two months I’ve found in myself a new man. A new man has risen up in me. He was hidden in me, but would never have come to the surface, if it hadn’t been for this blow from heaven. I am afraid! And what do I care if I spend twenty years in the mines, breaking ore with a hammer? I am not a bit afraid of that—it’s something else I am afraid of now: that that new man may leave me. Even there, in the mines, under‐ground, I may find a human heart in another convict and murderer by my side, and I may make friends with him, for even there one may live and love and suffer. One may thaw and revive a frozen heart in that convict, one may wait upon him for years, and at last bring up from the dark depths a lofty soul, a feeling, suffering creature; one may bring forth an angel, create a hero! There are so many of them, hundreds of them, and we are all to blame for them. Why was it I dreamed of that ‘babe’ at such a moment? ‘Why is the babe so poor?’ That was a sign to me at that moment. It’s for the babe I’m going. Because we are all responsible for all. For all the ‘babes,’ for there are big children as well as little children. All are ‘babes.’ I go for all, because some one must go for all. I didn’t kill father, but I’ve got to go. I accept it. It’s all come to me here, here, within these peeling walls. There are numbers of them there, hundreds of them underground, with hammers in their hands. Oh, yes, we shall be in chains and there will be no freedom, but then, in our great sorrow, we shall rise again to joy, without which man cannot live nor God exist, for God gives joy: it’s His privilege—a grand one. Ah, man should be dissolved in prayer! What should I be underground there without God? Rakitin’s laughing! If they drive God from the earth, we shall shelter Him underground. One cannot exist in prison without God; it’s even more impossible than out of prison. And then we men underground will sing from the bowels of the earth a glorious hymn to God, with Whom is joy. Hail to God and His joy! I love Him!”

Mitya was almost gasping for breath as he uttered his wild speech. He turned pale, his lips quivered, and tears rolled down his cheeks.

“Yes, life is full, there is life even underground,” he began again. “You wouldn’t believe, Alexey, how I want to live now, what a thirst for existence and consciousness has sprung up in me within these peeling walls. Rakitin doesn’t understand that; all he cares about is building a house and letting flats. But I’ve been longing for you. And what is suffering? I am not afraid of it, even if it were beyond reckoning. I am not afraid of it now. I was afraid of it before. Do you know, perhaps I won’t answer at the trial at all.... And I seem to have such strength in me now, that I think I could stand anything, any suffering, only to be able to say and to repeat to myself every moment, ‘I exist.’ In thousands of agonies—I exist. I’m tormented on the rack—but I exist! Though I sit alone on a pillar—I exist! I see the sun, and if I don’t see the sun, I know it’s there. And there’s a whole life in that, in knowing that the sun is there. Alyosha, my angel, all these philosophies are the death of me. Damn them! Brother Ivan—”

“What of brother Ivan?” interrupted Alyosha, but Mitya did not hear.

“You see, I never had any of these doubts before, but it was all hidden away in me. It was perhaps just because ideas I did not understand were surging up in me, that I used to drink and fight and rage. It was to stifle them in myself, to still them, to smother them. Ivan is not Rakitin, there is an idea in him. Ivan is a sphinx and is silent; he is always silent. It’s God that’s worrying me. That’s the only thing that’s worrying me. What if He doesn’t exist? What if Rakitin’s right—that it’s an idea made up by men? Then if He doesn’t exist, man is the chief of the earth, of the universe. Magnificent! Only how is he going to be good without God? That’s the question. I always come back to that. For whom is man going to love then? To whom will he be thankful? To whom will he sing the hymn? Rakitin laughs. Rakitin says that one can love humanity without God. Well, only a sniveling idiot can maintain that. I can’t understand it. Life’s easy for Rakitin. ‘You’d better think about the extension of civic rights, or even of keeping down the price of meat. You will show your love for humanity more simply and directly by that, than by philosophy.’ I answered him, ‘Well, but you, without a God, are more likely to raise the price of meat, if it suits you, and make a rouble on every copeck.’ He lost his temper. But after all, what is goodness? Answer me that, Alexey. Goodness is one thing with me and another with a Chinaman, so it’s a relative thing. Or isn’t it? Is it not relative? A treacherous question! You won’t laugh if I tell you it’s kept me awake two nights. I only wonder now how people can live and think nothing about it. Vanity! Ivan has no God. He has an idea. It’s beyond me. But he is silent. I believe he is a free‐mason. I asked him, but he is silent. I wanted to drink from the springs of his soul—he was silent. But once he did drop a word.”

“What did he say?” Alyosha took it up quickly.

“I said to him, ‘Then everything is lawful, if it is so?’ He frowned. ‘Fyodor Pavlovitch, our papa,’ he said, ‘was a pig, but his ideas were right enough.’ That was what he dropped. That was all he said. That was going one better than Rakitin.”

“Yes,” Alyosha assented bitterly. “When was he with you?”

“Of that later; now I must speak of something else. I have said nothing about Ivan to you before. I put it off to the last. When my business here is over and the verdict has been given, then I’ll tell you something. I’ll tell you everything. We’ve something tremendous on hand.... And you shall be my judge in it. But don’t begin about that now; be silent. You talk of to‐morrow, of the trial; but, would you believe it, I know nothing about it.”

“Have you talked to the counsel?”

“What’s the use of the counsel? I told him all about it. He’s a soft, city‐bred rogue—a Bernard! But he doesn’t believe me—not a bit of it. Only imagine, he believes I did it. I see it. ‘In that case,’ I asked him, ‘why have you come to defend me?’ Hang them all! They’ve got a doctor down, too, want to prove I’m mad. I won’t have that! Katerina Ivanovna wants to do her ‘duty’ to the end, whatever the strain!” Mitya smiled bitterly. “The cat! Hard‐hearted creature! She knows that I said of her at Mokroe that she was a woman of ‘great wrath.’ They repeated it. Yes, the facts against me have grown numerous as the sands of the sea. Grigory sticks to his point. Grigory’s honest, but a fool. Many people are honest because they are fools: that’s Rakitin’s idea. Grigory’s my enemy. And there are some people who are better as foes than friends. I mean Katerina Ivanovna. I am afraid, oh, I am afraid she will tell how she bowed to the ground after that four thousand. She’ll pay it back to the last farthing. I don’t want her sacrifice; they’ll put me to shame at the trial. I wonder how I can stand it. Go to her, Alyosha, ask her not to speak of that in the court, can’t you? But damn it all, it doesn’t matter! I shall get through somehow. I don’t pity her. It’s her own doing. She deserves what she gets. I shall have my own story to tell, Alexey.” He smiled bitterly again. “Only ... only Grusha, Grusha! Good Lord! Why should she have such suffering to bear?” he exclaimed suddenly, with tears. “Grusha’s killing me; the thought of her’s killing me, killing me. She was with me just now....”

“She told me she was very much grieved by you to‐day.”

“I know. Confound my temper! It was jealousy. I was sorry, I kissed her as she was going. I didn’t ask her forgiveness.”

“Why didn’t you?” exclaimed Alyosha.

Suddenly Mitya laughed almost mirthfully.

“God preserve you, my dear boy, from ever asking forgiveness for a fault from a woman you love. From one you love especially, however greatly you may have been in fault. For a woman—devil only knows what to make of a woman! I know something about them, anyway. But try acknowledging you are in fault to a woman. Say, ‘I am sorry, forgive me,’ and a shower of reproaches will follow! Nothing will make her forgive you simply and directly, she’ll humble you to the dust, bring forward things that have never happened, recall everything, forget nothing, add something of her own, and only then forgive you. And even the best, the best of them do it. She’ll scrape up all the scrapings and load them on your head. They are ready to flay you alive, I tell you, every one of them, all these angels without whom we cannot live! I tell you plainly and openly, dear boy, every decent man ought to be under some woman’s thumb. That’s my conviction—not conviction, but feeling. A man ought to be magnanimous, and it’s no disgrace to a man! No disgrace to a hero, not even a Cæsar! But don’t ever beg her pardon all the same for anything. Remember that rule given you by your brother Mitya, who’s come to ruin through women. No, I’d better make it up to Grusha somehow, without begging pardon. I worship her, Alexey, worship her. Only she doesn’t see it. No, she still thinks I don’t love her enough. And she tortures me, tortures me with her love. The past was nothing! In the past it was only those infernal curves of hers that tortured me, but now I’ve taken all her soul into my soul and through her I’ve become a man myself. Will they marry us? If they don’t, I shall die of jealousy. I imagine something every day.... What did she say to you about me?”

Alyosha repeated all Grushenka had said to him that day. Mitya listened, made him repeat things, and seemed pleased.

“Then she is not angry at my being jealous?” he exclaimed. “She is a regular woman! ‘I’ve a fierce heart myself!’ Ah, I love such fierce hearts, though I can’t bear any one’s being jealous of me. I can’t endure it. We shall fight. But I shall love her, I shall love her infinitely. Will they marry us? Do they let convicts marry? That’s the question. And without her I can’t exist....”

Mitya walked frowning across the room. It was almost dark. He suddenly seemed terribly worried.

“So there’s a secret, she says, a secret? We have got up a plot against her, and Katya is mixed up in it, she thinks. No, my good Grushenka, that’s not it. You are very wide of the mark, in your foolish feminine way. Alyosha, darling, well, here goes! I’ll tell you our secret!”

He looked round, went close up quickly to Alyosha, who was standing before him, and whispered to him with an air of mystery, though in reality no one could hear them: the old warder was dozing in the corner, and not a word could reach the ears of the soldiers on guard.

“I will tell you all our secret,” Mitya whispered hurriedly. “I meant to tell you later, for how could I decide on anything without you? You are everything to me. Though I say that Ivan is superior to us, you are my angel. It’s your decision will decide it. Perhaps it’s you that is superior and not Ivan. You see, it’s a question of conscience, question of the higher conscience—the secret is so important that I can’t settle it myself, and I’ve put it off till I could speak to you. But anyway it’s too early to decide now, for we must wait for the verdict. As soon as the verdict is given, you shall decide my fate. Don’t decide it now. I’ll tell you now. You listen, but don’t decide. Stand and keep quiet. I won’t tell you everything. I’ll only tell you the idea, without details, and you keep quiet. Not a question, not a movement. You agree? But, goodness, what shall I do with your eyes? I’m afraid your eyes will tell me your decision, even if you don’t speak. Oo! I’m afraid! Alyosha, listen! Ivan suggests my escaping. I won’t tell you the details: it’s all been thought out: it can all be arranged. Hush, don’t decide. I should go to America with Grusha. You know I can’t live without Grusha! What if they won’t let her follow me to Siberia? Do they let convicts get married? Ivan thinks not. And without Grusha what should I do there underground with a hammer? I should only smash my skull with the hammer! But, on the other hand, my conscience? I should have run away from suffering. A sign has come, I reject the sign. I have a way of salvation and I turn my back on it. Ivan says that in America, ‘with the good‐will,’ I can be of more use than underground. But what becomes of our hymn from underground? What’s America? America is vanity again! And there’s a lot of swindling in America, too, I expect. I should have run away from crucifixion! I tell you, you know, Alexey, because you are the only person who can understand this. There’s no one else. It’s folly, madness to others, all I’ve told you of the hymn. They’ll say I’m out of my mind or a fool. I am not out of my mind and I am not a fool. Ivan understands about the hymn, too. He understands, only he doesn’t answer—he doesn’t speak. He doesn’t believe in the hymn. Don’t speak, don’t speak. I see how you look! You have already decided. Don’t decide, spare me! I can’t live without Grusha. Wait till after the trial!”

Mitya ended beside himself. He held Alyosha with both hands on his shoulders, and his yearning, feverish eyes were fixed on his brother’s.

“They don’t let convicts marry, do they?” he repeated for the third time in a supplicating voice.

Alyosha listened with extreme surprise and was deeply moved.

“Tell me one thing,” he said. “Is Ivan very keen on it, and whose idea was it?”

“His, his, and he is very keen on it. He didn’t come to see me at first, then he suddenly came a week ago and he began about it straight away. He is awfully keen on it. He doesn’t ask me, but orders me to escape. He doesn’t doubt of my obeying him, though I showed him all my heart as I have to you, and told him about the hymn, too. He told me he’d arrange it; he’s found out about everything. But of that later. He’s simply set on it. It’s all a matter of money: he’ll pay ten thousand for escape and give me twenty thousand for America. And he says we can arrange a magnificent escape for ten thousand.”

“And he told you on no account to tell me?” Alyosha asked again.

“To tell no one, and especially not you; on no account to tell you. He is afraid, no doubt, that you’ll stand before me as my conscience. Don’t tell him I told you. Don’t tell him, for anything.”

“You are right,” Alyosha pronounced; “it’s impossible to decide anything before the trial is over. After the trial you’ll decide of yourself. Then you’ll find that new man in yourself and he will decide.”

“A new man, or a Bernard who’ll decide à la Bernard, for I believe I’m a contemptible Bernard myself,” said Mitya, with a bitter grin.

“But, brother, have you no hope then of being acquitted?”

Mitya shrugged his shoulders nervously and shook his head. “Alyosha, darling, it’s time you were going,” he said, with a sudden haste. “There’s the superintendent shouting in the yard. He’ll be here directly. We are late; it’s irregular. Embrace me quickly. Kiss me! Sign me with the cross, darling, for the cross I have to bear to‐morrow.”

They embraced and kissed.

“Ivan,” said Mitya suddenly, “suggests my escaping; but, of course, he believes I did it.”

A mournful smile came on to his lips.

“Have you asked him whether he believes it?” asked Alyosha.

“No, I haven’t. I wanted to, but I couldn’t. I hadn’t the courage. But I saw it from his eyes. Well, good‐by!”

Once more they kissed hurriedly, and Alyosha was just going out, when Mitya suddenly called him back.

“Stand facing me! That’s right!” And again he seized Alyosha, putting both hands on his shoulders. His face became suddenly quite pale, so that it was dreadfully apparent, even through the gathering darkness. His lips twitched, his eyes fastened upon Alyosha.

“Alyosha, tell me the whole truth, as you would before God. Do you believe I did it? Do you, do you in yourself, believe it? The whole truth, don’t lie!” he cried desperately.

Everything seemed heaving before Alyosha, and he felt something like a stab at his heart.

“Hush! What do you mean?” he faltered helplessly.

“The whole truth, the whole, don’t lie!” repeated Mitya.

“I’ve never for one instant believed that you were the murderer!” broke in a shaking voice from Alyosha’s breast, and he raised his right hand in the air, as though calling God to witness his words.

Mitya’s whole face was lighted up with bliss.

“Thank you!” he articulated slowly, as though letting a sigh escape him after fainting. “Now you have given me new life. Would you believe it, till this moment I’ve been afraid to ask you, you, even you. Well, go! You’ve given me strength for to‐morrow. God bless you! Come, go along! Love Ivan!” was Mitya’s last word.

Alyosha went out in tears. Such distrustfulness in Mitya, such lack of confidence even to him, to Alyosha—all this suddenly opened before Alyosha an unsuspected depth of hopeless grief and despair in the soul of his unhappy brother. Intense, infinite compassion overwhelmed him instantly. There was a poignant ache in his torn heart. “Love Ivan!”—he suddenly recalled Mitya’s words. And he was going to Ivan. He badly wanted to see Ivan all day. He was as much worried about Ivan as about Mitya, and more than ever now.

Chapter V.
Not You, Not You!


On the way to Ivan he had to pass the house where Katerina Ivanovna was living. There was light in the windows. He suddenly stopped and resolved to go in. He had not seen Katerina Ivanovna for more than a week. But now it struck him that Ivan might be with her, especially on the eve of the terrible day. Ringing, and mounting the staircase, which was dimly lighted by a Chinese lantern, he saw a man coming down, and as they met, he recognized him as his brother. So he was just coming from Katerina Ivanovna.

“Ah, it’s only you,” said Ivan dryly. “Well, good‐by! You are going to her?”

“Yes.”

“I don’t advise you to; she’s upset and you’ll upset her more.”

A door was instantly flung open above, and a voice cried suddenly:

“No, no! Alexey Fyodorovitch, have you come from him?”

“Yes, I have been with him.”

“Has he sent me any message? Come up, Alyosha, and you, Ivan Fyodorovitch, you must come back, you must. Do you hear?”

There was such a peremptory note in Katya’s voice that Ivan, after a moment’s hesitation, made up his mind to go back with Alyosha.

“She was listening,” he murmured angrily to himself, but Alyosha heard it.

“Excuse my keeping my greatcoat on,” said Ivan, going into the drawing‐ room. “I won’t sit down. I won’t stay more than a minute.”

“Sit down, Alexey Fyodorovitch,” said Katerina Ivanovna, though she remained standing. She had changed very little during this time, but there was an ominous gleam in her dark eyes. Alyosha remembered afterwards that she had struck him as particularly handsome at that moment.

“What did he ask you to tell me?”

“Only one thing,” said Alyosha, looking her straight in the face, “that you would spare yourself and say nothing at the trial of what” (he was a little confused) “... passed between you ... at the time of your first acquaintance ... in that town.”

“Ah! that I bowed down to the ground for that money!” She broke into a bitter laugh. “Why, is he afraid for me or for himself? He asks me to spare—whom? Him or myself? Tell me, Alexey Fyodorovitch!”

Alyosha watched her intently, trying to understand her.

“Both yourself and him,” he answered softly.

“I am glad to hear it,” she snapped out maliciously, and she suddenly blushed.

“You don’t know me yet, Alexey Fyodorovitch,” she said menacingly. “And I don’t know myself yet. Perhaps you’ll want to trample me under foot after my examination to‐morrow.”

“You will give your evidence honorably,” said Alyosha; “that’s all that’s wanted.”

“Women are often dishonorable,” she snarled. “Only an hour ago I was thinking I felt afraid to touch that monster ... as though he were a reptile ... but no, he is still a human being to me! But did he do it? Is he the murderer?” she cried, all of a sudden, hysterically, turning quickly to Ivan. Alyosha saw at once that she had asked Ivan that question before, perhaps only a moment before he came in, and not for the first time, but for the hundredth, and that they had ended by quarreling.

“I’ve been to see Smerdyakov.... It was you, you who persuaded me that he murdered his father. It’s only you I believed!” she continued, still addressing Ivan. He gave her a sort of strained smile. Alyosha started at her tone. He had not suspected such familiar intimacy between them.

“Well, that’s enough, anyway,” Ivan cut short the conversation. “I am going. I’ll come to‐morrow.” And turning at once, he walked out of the room and went straight downstairs.

With an imperious gesture, Katerina Ivanovna seized Alyosha by both hands.

“Follow him! Overtake him! Don’t leave him alone for a minute!” she said, in a hurried whisper. “He’s mad! Don’t you know that he’s mad? He is in a fever, nervous fever. The doctor told me so. Go, run after him....”

Alyosha jumped up and ran after Ivan, who was not fifty paces ahead of him.

“What do you want?” He turned quickly on Alyosha, seeing that he was running after him. “She told you to catch me up, because I’m mad. I know it all by heart,” he added irritably.

“She is mistaken, of course; but she is right that you are ill,” said Alyosha. “I was looking at your face just now. You look very ill, Ivan.”

Ivan walked on without stopping. Alyosha followed him.

“And do you know, Alexey Fyodorovitch, how people do go out of their mind?” Ivan asked in a voice suddenly quiet, without a trace of irritation, with a note of the simplest curiosity.

“No, I don’t. I suppose there are all kinds of insanity.”

“And can one observe that one’s going mad oneself?”

“I imagine one can’t see oneself clearly in such circumstances,” Alyosha answered with surprise.

Ivan paused for half a minute.

“If you want to talk to me, please change the subject,” he said suddenly.

“Oh, while I think of it, I have a letter for you,” said Alyosha timidly, and he took Lise’s note from his pocket and held it out to Ivan. They were just under a lamp‐post. Ivan recognized the handwriting at once.

“Ah, from that little demon!” he laughed maliciously, and, without opening the envelope, he tore it into bits and threw it in the air. The bits were scattered by the wind.

“She’s not sixteen yet, I believe, and already offering herself,” he said contemptuously, striding along the street again.

“How do you mean, offering herself?” exclaimed Alyosha.

“As wanton women offer themselves, to be sure.”

“How can you, Ivan, how can you?” Alyosha cried warmly, in a grieved voice. “She is a child; you are insulting a child! She is ill; she is very ill, too. She is on the verge of insanity, too, perhaps.... I had hoped to hear something from you ... that would save her.”

“You’ll hear nothing from me. If she is a child I am not her nurse. Be quiet, Alexey. Don’t go on about her. I am not even thinking about it.”

They were silent again for a moment.

“She will be praying all night now to the Mother of God to show her how to act to‐morrow at the trial,” he said sharply and angrily again.

“You ... you mean Katerina Ivanovna?”

“Yes. Whether she’s to save Mitya or ruin him. She’ll pray for light from above. She can’t make up her mind for herself, you see. She has not had time to decide yet. She takes me for her nurse, too. She wants me to sing lullabies to her.”

“Katerina Ivanovna loves you, brother,” said Alyosha sadly.

“Perhaps; but I am not very keen on her.”

“She is suffering. Why do you ... sometimes say things to her that give her hope?” Alyosha went on, with timid reproach. “I know that you’ve given her hope. Forgive me for speaking to you like this,” he added.

“I can’t behave to her as I ought—break off altogether and tell her so straight out,” said Ivan, irritably. “I must wait till sentence is passed on the murderer. If I break off with her now, she will avenge herself on me by ruining that scoundrel to‐morrow at the trial, for she hates him and knows she hates him. It’s all a lie—lie upon lie! As long as I don’t break off with her, she goes on hoping, and she won’t ruin that monster, knowing how I want to get him out of trouble. If only that damned verdict would come!”

The words “murderer” and “monster” echoed painfully in Alyosha’s heart.

“But how can she ruin Mitya?” he asked, pondering on Ivan’s words. “What evidence can she give that would ruin Mitya?”

“You don’t know that yet. She’s got a document in her hands, in Mitya’s own writing, that proves conclusively that he did murder Fyodor Pavlovitch.”

“That’s impossible!” cried Alyosha.

“Why is it impossible? I’ve read it myself.”

“There can’t be such a document!” Alyosha repeated warmly. “There can’t be, because he’s not the murderer. It’s not he murdered father, not he!”

Ivan suddenly stopped.

“Who is the murderer then, according to you?” he asked, with apparent coldness. There was even a supercilious note in his voice.

“You know who,” Alyosha pronounced in a low, penetrating voice.

“Who? You mean the myth about that crazy idiot, the epileptic, Smerdyakov?”

Alyosha suddenly felt himself trembling all over.

“You know who,” broke helplessly from him. He could scarcely breathe.

“Who? Who?” Ivan cried almost fiercely. All his restraint suddenly vanished.

“I only know one thing,” Alyosha went on, still almost in a whisper, “it wasn’t you killed father.”

“ ‘Not you’! What do you mean by ‘not you’?” Ivan was thunderstruck.

“It was not you killed father, not you!” Alyosha repeated firmly.

The silence lasted for half a minute.

“I know I didn’t. Are you raving?” said Ivan, with a pale, distorted smile. His eyes were riveted on Alyosha. They were standing again under a lamp‐post.

“No, Ivan. You’ve told yourself several times that you are the murderer.”

“When did I say so? I was in Moscow.... When have I said so?” Ivan faltered helplessly.

“You’ve said so to yourself many times, when you’ve been alone during these two dreadful months,” Alyosha went on softly and distinctly as before. Yet he was speaking now, as it were, not of himself, not of his own will, but obeying some irresistible command. “You have accused yourself and have confessed to yourself that you are the murderer and no one else. But you didn’t do it: you are mistaken: you are not the murderer. Do you hear? It was not you! God has sent me to tell you so.”

They were both silent. The silence lasted a whole long minute. They were both standing still, gazing into each other’s eyes. They were both pale. Suddenly Ivan began trembling all over, and clutched Alyosha’s shoulder.

“You’ve been in my room!” he whispered hoarsely. “You’ve been there at night, when he came.... Confess ... have you seen him, have you seen him?”

“Whom do you mean—Mitya?” Alyosha asked, bewildered.

“Not him, damn the monster!” Ivan shouted, in a frenzy. “Do you know that he visits me? How did you find out? Speak!”

“Who is he! I don’t know whom you are talking about,” Alyosha faltered, beginning to be alarmed.

“Yes, you do know ... or how could you—? It’s impossible that you don’t know.”

Suddenly he seemed to check himself. He stood still and seemed to reflect. A strange grin contorted his lips.

“Brother,” Alyosha began again, in a shaking voice, “I have said this to you, because you’ll believe my word, I know that. I tell you once and for all, it’s not you. You hear, once for all! God has put it into my heart to say this to you, even though it may make you hate me from this hour.”

But by now Ivan had apparently regained his self‐control.

“Alexey Fyodorovitch,” he said, with a cold smile, “I can’t endure prophets and epileptics—messengers from God especially—and you know that only too well. I break off all relations with you from this moment and probably for ever. I beg you to leave me at this turning. It’s the way to your lodgings, too. You’d better be particularly careful not to come to me to‐day! Do you hear?”

He turned and walked on with a firm step, not looking back.

“Brother,” Alyosha called after him, “if anything happens to you to‐day, turn to me before any one!”

But Ivan made no reply. Alyosha stood under the lamp‐post at the cross roads, till Ivan had vanished into the darkness. Then he turned and walked slowly homewards. Both Alyosha and Ivan were living in lodgings; neither of them was willing to live in Fyodor Pavlovitch’s empty house. Alyosha had a furnished room in the house of some working people. Ivan lived some distance from him. He had taken a roomy and fairly comfortable lodge attached to a fine house that belonged to a well‐to‐do lady, the widow of an official. But his only attendant was a deaf and rheumatic old crone who went to bed at six o’clock every evening and got up at six in the morning. Ivan had become remarkably indifferent to his comforts of late, and very fond of being alone. He did everything for himself in the one room he lived in, and rarely entered any of the other rooms in his abode.

He reached the gate of the house and had his hand on the bell, when he suddenly stopped. He felt that he was trembling all over with anger. Suddenly he let go of the bell, turned back with a curse, and walked with rapid steps in the opposite direction. He walked a mile and a half to a tiny, slanting, wooden house, almost a hut, where Marya Kondratyevna, the neighbor who used to come to Fyodor Pavlovitch’s kitchen for soup and to whom Smerdyakov had once sung his songs and played on the guitar, was now lodging. She had sold their little house, and was now living here with her mother. Smerdyakov, who was ill—almost dying—had been with them ever since Fyodor Pavlovitch’s death. It was to him Ivan was going now, drawn by a sudden and irresistible prompting.

Chapter VI.
The First Interview With Smerdyakov


This was the third time that Ivan had been to see Smerdyakov since his return from Moscow. The first time he had seen him and talked to him was on the first day of his arrival, then he had visited him once more, a fortnight later. But his visits had ended with that second one, so that it was now over a month since he had seen him. And he had scarcely heard anything of him.

Ivan had only returned five days after his father’s death, so that he was not present at the funeral, which took place the day before he came back. The cause of his delay was that Alyosha, not knowing his Moscow address, had to apply to Katerina Ivanovna to telegraph to him, and she, not knowing his address either, telegraphed to her sister and aunt, reckoning on Ivan’s going to see them as soon as he arrived in Moscow. But he did not go to them till four days after his arrival. When he got the telegram, he had, of course, set off post‐haste to our town. The first to meet him was Alyosha, and Ivan was greatly surprised to find that, in opposition to the general opinion of the town, he refused to entertain a suspicion against Mitya, and spoke openly of Smerdyakov as the murderer. Later on, after seeing the police captain and the prosecutor, and hearing the details of the charge and the arrest, he was still more surprised at Alyosha, and ascribed his opinion only to his exaggerated brotherly feeling and sympathy with Mitya, of whom Alyosha, as Ivan knew, was very fond.

By the way, let us say a word or two of Ivan’s feeling to his brother Dmitri. He positively disliked him; at most, felt sometimes a compassion for him, and even that was mixed with great contempt, almost repugnance. Mitya’s whole personality, even his appearance, was extremely unattractive to him. Ivan looked with indignation on Katerina Ivanovna’s love for his brother. Yet he went to see Mitya on the first day of his arrival, and that interview, far from shaking Ivan’s belief in his guilt, positively strengthened it. He found his brother agitated, nervously excited. Mitya had been talkative, but very absent‐minded and incoherent. He used violent language, accused Smerdyakov, and was fearfully muddled. He talked principally about the three thousand roubles, which he said had been “stolen” from him by his father.

“The money was mine, it was my money,” Mitya kept repeating. “Even if I had stolen it, I should have had the right.”

He hardly contested the evidence against him, and if he tried to turn a fact to his advantage, it was in an absurd and incoherent way. He hardly seemed to wish to defend himself to Ivan or any one else. Quite the contrary, he was angry and proudly scornful of the charges against him; he was continually firing up and abusing every one. He only laughed contemptuously at Grigory’s evidence about the open door, and declared that it was “the devil that opened it.” But he could not bring forward any coherent explanation of the fact. He even succeeded in insulting Ivan during their first interview, telling him sharply that it was not for people who declared that “everything was lawful,” to suspect and question him. Altogether he was anything but friendly with Ivan on that occasion. Immediately after that interview with Mitya, Ivan went for the first time to see Smerdyakov.

In the railway train on his way from Moscow, he kept thinking of Smerdyakov and of his last conversation with him on the evening before he went away. Many things seemed to him puzzling and suspicious. But when he gave his evidence to the investigating lawyer Ivan said nothing, for the time, of that conversation. He put that off till he had seen Smerdyakov, who was at that time in the hospital.

Doctor Herzenstube and Varvinsky, the doctor he met in the hospital, confidently asserted in reply to Ivan’s persistent questions, that Smerdyakov’s epileptic attack was unmistakably genuine, and were surprised indeed at Ivan asking whether he might not have been shamming on the day of the catastrophe. They gave him to understand that the attack was an exceptional one, the fits persisting and recurring several times, so that the patient’s life was positively in danger, and it was only now, after they had applied remedies, that they could assert with confidence that the patient would survive. “Though it might well be,” added Doctor Herzenstube, “that his reason would be impaired for a considerable period, if not permanently.” On Ivan’s asking impatiently whether that meant that he was now mad, they told him that this was not yet the case, in the full sense of the word, but that certain abnormalities were perceptible. Ivan decided to find out for himself what those abnormalities were.

At the hospital he was at once allowed to see the patient. Smerdyakov was lying on a truckle‐bed in a separate ward. There was only one other bed in the room, and in it lay a tradesman of the town, swollen with dropsy, who was obviously almost dying; he could be no hindrance to their conversation. Smerdyakov grinned uncertainly on seeing Ivan, and for the first instant seemed nervous. So at least Ivan fancied. But that was only momentary. For the rest of the time he was struck, on the contrary, by Smerdyakov’s composure. From the first glance Ivan had no doubt that he was very ill. He was very weak; he spoke slowly, seeming to move his tongue with difficulty; he was much thinner and sallower. Throughout the interview, which lasted twenty minutes, he kept complaining of headache and of pain in all his limbs. His thin emasculate face seemed to have become so tiny; his hair was ruffled, and his crest of curls in front stood up in a thin tuft. But in the left eye, which was screwed up and seemed to be insinuating something, Smerdyakov showed himself unchanged. “It’s always worth while speaking to a clever man.” Ivan was reminded of that at once. He sat down on the stool at his feet. Smerdyakov, with painful effort, shifted his position in bed, but he was not the first to speak. He remained dumb, and did not even look much interested.

“Can you talk to me?” asked Ivan. “I won’t tire you much.”

“Certainly I can,” mumbled Smerdyakov, in a faint voice. “Has your honor been back long?” he added patronizingly, as though encouraging a nervous visitor.

“I only arrived to‐day.... To see the mess you are in here.”

Smerdyakov sighed.

“Why do you sigh? You knew of it all along,” Ivan blurted out.

Smerdyakov was stolidly silent for a while.

“How could I help knowing? It was clear beforehand. But how could I tell it would turn out like that?”

“What would turn out? Don’t prevaricate! You’ve foretold you’d have a fit; on the way down to the cellar, you know. You mentioned the very spot.”

“Have you said so at the examination yet?” Smerdyakov queried with composure.

Ivan felt suddenly angry.

“No, I haven’t yet, but I certainly shall. You must explain a great deal to me, my man; and let me tell you, I am not going to let you play with me!”

“Why should I play with you, when I put my whole trust in you, as in God Almighty?” said Smerdyakov, with the same composure, only for a moment closing his eyes.

“In the first place,” began Ivan, “I know that epileptic fits can’t be told beforehand. I’ve inquired; don’t try and take me in. You can’t foretell the day and the hour. How was it you told me the day and the hour beforehand, and about the cellar, too? How could you tell that you would fall down the cellar stairs in a fit, if you didn’t sham a fit on purpose?”

“I had to go to the cellar anyway, several times a day, indeed,” Smerdyakov drawled deliberately. “I fell from the garret just in the same way a year ago. It’s quite true you can’t tell the day and hour of a fit beforehand, but you can always have a presentiment of it.”

“But you did foretell the day and the hour!”

“In regard to my epilepsy, sir, you had much better inquire of the doctors here. You can ask them whether it was a real fit or a sham; it’s no use my saying any more about it.”

“And the cellar? How could you know beforehand of the cellar?”

“You don’t seem able to get over that cellar! As I was going down to the cellar, I was in terrible dread and doubt. What frightened me most was losing you and being left without defense in all the world. So I went down into the cellar thinking, ‘Here, it’ll come on directly, it’ll strike me down directly, shall I fall?’ And it was through this fear that I suddenly felt the spasm that always comes ... and so I went flying. All that and all my previous conversation with you at the gate the evening before, when I told you how frightened I was and spoke of the cellar, I told all that to Doctor Herzenstube and Nikolay Parfenovitch, the investigating lawyer, and it’s all been written down in the protocol. And the doctor here, Mr. Varvinsky, maintained to all of them that it was just the thought of it brought it on, the apprehension that I might fall. It was just then that the fit seized me. And so they’ve written it down, that it’s just how it must have happened, simply from my fear.”

As he finished, Smerdyakov drew a deep breath, as though exhausted.

“Then you have said all that in your evidence?” said Ivan, somewhat taken aback. He had meant to frighten him with the threat of repeating their conversation, and it appeared that Smerdyakov had already reported it all himself.

“What have I to be afraid of? Let them write down the whole truth,” Smerdyakov pronounced firmly.

“And have you told them every word of our conversation at the gate?”

“No, not to say every word.”

“And did you tell them that you can sham fits, as you boasted then?”

“No, I didn’t tell them that either.”

“Tell me now, why did you send me then to Tchermashnya?”

“I was afraid you’d go away to Moscow; Tchermashnya is nearer, anyway.”

“You are lying; you suggested my going away yourself; you told me to get out of the way of trouble.”

“That was simply out of affection and my sincere devotion to you, foreseeing trouble in the house, to spare you. Only I wanted to spare myself even more. That’s why I told you to get out of harm’s way, that you might understand that there would be trouble in the house, and would remain at home to protect your father.”

“You might have said it more directly, you blockhead!” Ivan suddenly fired up.

“How could I have said it more directly then? It was simply my fear that made me speak, and you might have been angry, too. I might well have been apprehensive that Dmitri Fyodorovitch would make a scene and carry away that money, for he considered it as good as his own; but who could tell that it would end in a murder like this? I thought that he would only carry off the three thousand that lay under the master’s mattress in the envelope, and you see, he’s murdered him. How could you guess it either, sir?”

“But if you say yourself that it couldn’t be guessed, how could I have guessed and stayed at home? You contradict yourself!” said Ivan, pondering.

“You might have guessed from my sending you to Tchermashnya and not to Moscow.”

“How could I guess it from that?”

Smerdyakov seemed much exhausted, and again he was silent for a minute.

“You might have guessed from the fact of my asking you not to go to Moscow, but to Tchermashnya, that I wanted to have you nearer, for Moscow’s a long way off, and Dmitri Fyodorovitch, knowing you are not far off, would not be so bold. And if anything had happened, you might have come to protect me, too, for I warned you of Grigory Vassilyevitch’s illness, and that I was afraid of having a fit. And when I explained those knocks to you, by means of which one could go in to the deceased, and that Dmitri Fyodorovitch knew them all through me, I thought that you would guess yourself that he would be sure to do something, and so wouldn’t go to Tchermashnya even, but would stay.”

“He talks very coherently,” thought Ivan, “though he does mumble; what’s the derangement of his faculties that Herzenstube talked of?”

“You are cunning with me, damn you!” he exclaimed, getting angry.

“But I thought at the time that you quite guessed,” Smerdyakov parried with the simplest air.

“If I’d guessed, I should have stayed,” cried Ivan.

“Why, I thought that it was because you guessed, that you went away in such a hurry, only to get out of trouble, only to run away and save yourself in your fright.”

“You think that every one is as great a coward as yourself?”

“Forgive me, I thought you were like me.”

“Of course, I ought to have guessed,” Ivan said in agitation; “and I did guess there was some mischief brewing on your part ... only you are lying, you are lying again,” he cried, suddenly recollecting. “Do you remember how you went up to the carriage and said to me, ‘It’s always worth while speaking to a clever man’? So you were glad I went away, since you praised me?”

Smerdyakov sighed again and again. A trace of color came into his face.

“If I was pleased,” he articulated rather breathlessly, “it was simply because you agreed not to go to Moscow, but to Tchermashnya. For it was nearer, anyway. Only when I said these words to you, it was not by way of praise, but of reproach. You didn’t understand it.”

“What reproach?”

“Why, that foreseeing such a calamity you deserted your own father, and would not protect us, for I might have been taken up any time for stealing that three thousand.”

“Damn you!” Ivan swore again. “Stay, did you tell the prosecutor and the investigating lawyer about those knocks?”

“I told them everything just as it was.”

Ivan wondered inwardly again.

“If I thought of anything then,” he began again, “it was solely of some wickedness on your part. Dmitri might kill him, but that he would steal—I did not believe that then.... But I was prepared for any wickedness from you. You told me yourself you could sham a fit. What did you say that for?”

“It was just through my simplicity, and I never have shammed a fit on purpose in my life. And I only said so then to boast to you. It was just foolishness. I liked you so much then, and was open‐hearted with you.”

“My brother directly accuses you of the murder and theft.”

“What else is left for him to do?” said Smerdyakov, with a bitter grin. “And who will believe him with all the proofs against him? Grigory Vassilyevitch saw the door open. What can he say after that? But never mind him! He is trembling to save himself.”

He slowly ceased speaking; then suddenly, as though on reflection, added:

“And look here again. He wants to throw it on me and make out that it is the work of my hands—I’ve heard that already. But as to my being clever at shamming a fit: should I have told you beforehand that I could sham one, if I really had had such a design against your father? If I had been planning such a murder could I have been such a fool as to give such evidence against myself beforehand? And to his son, too! Upon my word! Is that likely? As if that could be, such a thing has never happened. No one hears this talk of ours now, except Providence itself, and if you were to tell of it to the prosecutor and Nikolay Parfenovitch you might defend me completely by doing so, for who would be likely to be such a criminal, if he is so open‐hearted beforehand? Any one can see that.”

“Well,” and Ivan got up to cut short the conversation, struck by Smerdyakov’s last argument. “I don’t suspect you at all, and I think it’s absurd, indeed, to suspect you. On the contrary, I am grateful to you for setting my mind at rest. Now I am going, but I’ll come again. Meanwhile, good‐by. Get well. Is there anything you want?”

“I am very thankful for everything. Marfa Ignatyevna does not forget me, and provides me anything I want, according to her kindness. Good people visit me every day.”

“Good‐by. But I shan’t say anything of your being able to sham a fit, and I don’t advise you to, either,” something made Ivan say suddenly.

“I quite understand. And if you don’t speak of that, I shall say nothing of that conversation of ours at the gate.”

Then it happened that Ivan went out, and only when he had gone a dozen steps along the corridor, he suddenly felt that there was an insulting significance in Smerdyakov’s last words. He was almost on the point of turning back, but it was only a passing impulse, and muttering, “Nonsense!” he went out of the hospital.

His chief feeling was one of relief at the fact that it was not Smerdyakov, but Mitya, who had committed the murder, though he might have been expected to feel the opposite. He did not want to analyze the reason for this feeling, and even felt a positive repugnance at prying into his sensations. He felt as though he wanted to make haste to forget something. In the following days he became convinced of Mitya’s guilt, as he got to know all the weight of evidence against him. There was evidence of people of no importance, Fenya and her mother, for instance, but the effect of it was almost overpowering. As to Perhotin, the people at the tavern, and at Plotnikov’s shop, as well as the witnesses at Mokroe, their evidence seemed conclusive. It was the details that were so damning. The secret of the knocks impressed the lawyers almost as much as Grigory’s evidence as to the open door. Grigory’s wife, Marfa, in answer to Ivan’s questions, declared that Smerdyakov had been lying all night the other side of the partition wall. “He was not three paces from our bed,” and that although she was a sound sleeper she waked several times and heard him moaning, “He was moaning the whole time, moaning continually.”

Talking to Herzenstube, and giving it as his opinion that Smerdyakov was not mad, but only rather weak, Ivan only evoked from the old man a subtle smile.

“Do you know how he spends his time now?” he asked; “learning lists of French words by heart. He has an exercise‐book under his pillow with the French words written out in Russian letters for him by some one, he he he!”

Ivan ended by dismissing all doubts. He could not think of Dmitri without repulsion. Only one thing was strange, however. Alyosha persisted that Dmitri was not the murderer, and that “in all probability” Smerdyakov was. Ivan always felt that Alyosha’s opinion meant a great deal to him, and so he was astonished at it now. Another thing that was strange was that Alyosha did not make any attempt to talk about Mitya with Ivan, that he never began on the subject and only answered his questions. This, too, struck Ivan particularly.

But he was very much preoccupied at that time with something quite apart from that. On his return from Moscow, he abandoned himself hopelessly to his mad and consuming passion for Katerina Ivanovna. This is not the time to begin to speak of this new passion of Ivan’s, which left its mark on all the rest of his life: this would furnish the subject for another novel, which I may perhaps never write. But I cannot omit to mention here that when Ivan, on leaving Katerina Ivanovna with Alyosha, as I’ve related already, told him, “I am not keen on her,” it was an absolute lie: he loved her madly, though at times he hated her so that he might have murdered her. Many causes helped to bring about this feeling. Shattered by what had happened with Mitya, she rushed on Ivan’s return to meet him as her one salvation. She was hurt, insulted and humiliated in her feelings. And here the man had come back to her, who had loved her so ardently before (oh! she knew that very well), and whose heart and intellect she considered so superior to her own. But the sternly virtuous girl did not abandon herself altogether to the man she loved, in spite of the Karamazov violence of his passions and the great fascination he had for her. She was continually tormented at the same time by remorse for having deserted Mitya, and in moments of discord and violent anger (and they were numerous) she told Ivan so plainly. This was what he had called to Alyosha “lies upon lies.” There was, of course, much that was false in it, and that angered Ivan more than anything.... But of all this later.

He did, in fact, for a time almost forget Smerdyakov’s existence, and yet, a fortnight after his first visit to him, he began to be haunted by the same strange thoughts as before. It’s enough to say that he was continually asking himself, why was it that on that last night in Fyodor Pavlovitch’s house he had crept out on to the stairs like a thief and listened to hear what his father was doing below? Why had he recalled that afterwards with repulsion? Why next morning, had he been suddenly so depressed on the journey? Why, as he reached Moscow, had he said to himself, “I am a scoundrel”? And now he almost fancied that these tormenting thoughts would make him even forget Katerina Ivanovna, so completely did they take possession of him again. It was just after fancying this, that he met Alyosha in the street. He stopped him at once, and put a question to him:

“Do you remember when Dmitri burst in after dinner and beat father, and afterwards I told you in the yard that I reserved ‘the right to desire’?... Tell me, did you think then that I desired father’s death or not?”

“I did think so,” answered Alyosha, softly.

“It was so, too; it was not a matter of guessing. But didn’t you fancy then that what I wished was just that ‘one reptile should devour another’; that is, just that Dmitri should kill father, and as soon as possible ... and that I myself was even prepared to help to bring that about?”

Alyosha turned rather pale, and looked silently into his brother’s face.

“Speak!” cried Ivan, “I want above everything to know what you thought then. I want the truth, the truth!”

He drew a deep breath, looking angrily at Alyosha before his answer came.

“Forgive me, I did think that, too, at the time,” whispered Alyosha, and he did not add one softening phrase.

“Thanks,” snapped Ivan, and, leaving Alyosha, he went quickly on his way. From that time Alyosha noticed that Ivan began obviously to avoid him and seemed even to have taken a dislike to him, so much so that Alyosha gave up going to see him. Immediately after that meeting with him, Ivan had not gone home, but went straight to Smerdyakov again.

Chapter VII.
The Second Visit To Smerdyakov


By that time Smerdyakov had been discharged from the hospital. Ivan knew his new lodging, the dilapidated little wooden house, divided in two by a passage on one side of which lived Marya Kondratyevna and her mother, and on the other, Smerdyakov. No one knew on what terms he lived with them, whether as a friend or as a lodger. It was supposed afterwards that he had come to stay with them as Marya Kondratyevna’s betrothed, and was living there for a time without paying for board or lodging. Both mother and daughter had the greatest respect for him and looked upon him as greatly superior to themselves.

Ivan knocked, and, on the door being opened, went straight into the passage. By Marya Kondratyevna’s directions he went straight to the better room on the left, occupied by Smerdyakov. There was a tiled stove in the room and it was extremely hot. The walls were gay with blue paper, which was a good deal used however, and in the cracks under it cockroaches swarmed in amazing numbers, so that there was a continual rustling from them. The furniture was very scanty: two benches against each wall and two chairs by the table. The table of plain wood was covered with a cloth with pink patterns on it. There was a pot of geranium on each of the two little windows. In the corner there was a case of ikons. On the table stood a little copper samovar with many dents in it, and a tray with two cups. But Smerdyakov had finished tea and the samovar was out. He was sitting at the table on a bench. He was looking at an exercise‐book and slowly writing with a pen. There was a bottle of ink by him and a flat iron candlestick, but with a composite candle. Ivan saw at once from Smerdyakov’s face that he had completely recovered from his illness. His face was fresher, fuller, his hair stood up jauntily in front, and was plastered down at the sides. He was sitting in a parti‐colored, wadded dressing‐gown, rather dirty and frayed, however. He had spectacles on his nose, which Ivan had never seen him wearing before. This trifling circumstance suddenly redoubled Ivan’s anger: “A creature like that and wearing spectacles!”

Smerdyakov slowly raised his head and looked intently at his visitor through his spectacles; then he slowly took them off and rose from the bench, but by no means respectfully, almost lazily, doing the least possible required by common civility. All this struck Ivan instantly; he took it all in and noted it at once—most of all the look in Smerdyakov’s eyes, positively malicious, churlish and haughty. “What do you want to intrude for?” it seemed to say; “we settled everything then; why have you come again?” Ivan could scarcely control himself.

“It’s hot here,” he said, still standing, and unbuttoned his overcoat.

“Take off your coat,” Smerdyakov conceded.

Ivan took off his coat and threw it on a bench with trembling hands. He took a chair, moved it quickly to the table and sat down. Smerdyakov managed to sit down on his bench before him.

“To begin with, are we alone?” Ivan asked sternly and impulsively. “Can they overhear us in there?”

“No one can hear anything. You’ve seen for yourself: there’s a passage.”

“Listen, my good fellow; what was that you babbled, as I was leaving the hospital, that if I said nothing about your faculty of shamming fits, you wouldn’t tell the investigating lawyer all our conversation at the gate? What do you mean by all? What could you mean by it? Were you threatening me? Have I entered into some sort of compact with you? Do you suppose I am afraid of you?”

Ivan said this in a perfect fury, giving him to understand with obvious intention that he scorned any subterfuge or indirectness and meant to show his cards. Smerdyakov’s eyes gleamed resentfully, his left eye winked, and he at once gave his answer, with his habitual composure and deliberation. “You want to have everything above‐board; very well, you shall have it,” he seemed to say.

“This is what I meant then, and this is why I said that, that you, knowing beforehand of this murder of your own parent, left him to his fate, and that people mightn’t after that conclude any evil about your feelings and perhaps of something else, too—that’s what I promised not to tell the authorities.”

Though Smerdyakov spoke without haste and obviously controlling himself, yet there was something in his voice, determined and emphatic, resentful and insolently defiant. He stared impudently at Ivan. A mist passed before Ivan’s eyes for the first moment.

“How? What? Are you out of your mind?”

“I’m perfectly in possession of all my faculties.”

“Do you suppose I knew of the murder?” Ivan cried at last, and he brought his fist violently on the table. “What do you mean by ‘something else, too’? Speak, scoundrel!”

Smerdyakov was silent and still scanned Ivan with the same insolent stare.

“Speak, you stinking rogue, what is that ‘something else, too’?”

“The ‘something else’ I meant was that you probably, too, were very desirous of your parent’s death.”

Ivan jumped up and struck him with all his might on the shoulder, so that he fell back against the wall. In an instant his face was bathed in tears. Saying, “It’s a shame, sir, to strike a sick man,” he dried his eyes with a very dirty blue check handkerchief and sank into quiet weeping. A minute passed.

“That’s enough! Leave off,” Ivan said peremptorily, sitting down again. “Don’t put me out of all patience.”

Smerdyakov took the rag from his eyes. Every line of his puckered face reflected the insult he had just received.

“So you thought then, you scoundrel, that together with Dmitri I meant to kill my father?”

“I didn’t know what thoughts were in your mind then,” said Smerdyakov resentfully; “and so I stopped you then at the gate to sound you on that very point.”

“To sound what, what?”

“Why, that very circumstance, whether you wanted your father to be murdered or not.”

What infuriated Ivan more than anything was the aggressive, insolent tone to which Smerdyakov persistently adhered.

“It was you murdered him?” he cried suddenly.

Smerdyakov smiled contemptuously.

“You know of yourself, for a fact, that it wasn’t I murdered him. And I should have thought that there was no need for a sensible man to speak of it again.”

“But why, why had you such a suspicion about me at the time?”

“As you know already, it was simply from fear. For I was in such a position, shaking with fear, that I suspected every one. I resolved to sound you, too, for I thought if you wanted the same as your brother, then the business was as good as settled and I should be crushed like a fly, too.”

“Look here, you didn’t say that a fortnight ago.”

“I meant the same when I talked to you in the hospital, only I thought you’d understand without wasting words, and that being such a sensible man you wouldn’t care to talk of it openly.”

“What next! Come answer, answer, I insist: what was it ... what could I have done to put such a degrading suspicion into your mean soul?”

“As for the murder, you couldn’t have done that and didn’t want to, but as for wanting some one else to do it, that was just what you did want.”

“And how coolly, how coolly he speaks! But why should I have wanted it; what grounds had I for wanting it?”

“What grounds had you? What about the inheritance?” said Smerdyakov sarcastically, and, as it were, vindictively. “Why, after your parent’s death there was at least forty thousand to come to each of you, and very likely more, but if Fyodor Pavlovitch got married then to that lady, Agrafena Alexandrovna, she would have had all his capital made over to her directly after the wedding, for she’s plenty of sense, so that your parent would not have left you two roubles between the three of you. And were they far from a wedding, either? Not a hair’s‐breadth: that lady had only to lift her little finger and he would have run after her to church, with his tongue out.”

Ivan restrained himself with painful effort.

“Very good,” he commented at last. “You see, I haven’t jumped up, I haven’t knocked you down, I haven’t killed you. Speak on. So, according to you, I had fixed on Dmitri to do it; I was reckoning on him?”

“How could you help reckoning on him? If he killed him, then he would lose all the rights of a nobleman, his rank and property, and would go off to exile; so his share of the inheritance would come to you and your brother Alexey Fyodorovitch in equal parts; so you’d each have not forty, but sixty thousand each. There’s not a doubt you did reckon on Dmitri Fyodorovitch.”

“What I put up with from you! Listen, scoundrel, if I had reckoned on any one then, it would have been on you, not on Dmitri, and I swear I did expect some wickedness from you ... at the time.... I remember my impression!”

“I thought, too, for a minute, at the time, that you were reckoning on me as well,” said Smerdyakov, with a sarcastic grin. “So that it was just by that more than anything you showed me what was in your mind. For if you had a foreboding about me and yet went away, you as good as said to me, ‘You can murder my parent, I won’t hinder you!’ ”

“You scoundrel! So that’s how you understood it!”

“It was all that going to Tchermashnya. Why! You were meaning to go to Moscow and refused all your father’s entreaties to go to Tchermashnya—and simply at a foolish word from me you consented at once! What reason had you to consent to Tchermashnya? Since you went to Tchermashnya with no reason, simply at my word, it shows that you must have expected something from me.”

“No, I swear I didn’t!” shouted Ivan, grinding his teeth.

“You didn’t? Then you ought, as your father’s son, to have had me taken to the lock‐up and thrashed at once for my words then ... or at least, to have given me a punch in the face on the spot, but you were not a bit angry, if you please, and at once in a friendly way acted on my foolish word and went away, which was utterly absurd, for you ought to have stayed to save your parent’s life. How could I help drawing my conclusions?”

Ivan sat scowling, both his fists convulsively pressed on his knees.

“Yes, I am sorry I didn’t punch you in the face,” he said with a bitter smile. “I couldn’t have taken you to the lock‐up just then. Who would have believed me and what charge could I bring against you? But the punch in the face ... oh, I’m sorry I didn’t think of it. Though blows are forbidden, I should have pounded your ugly face to a jelly.”

Smerdyakov looked at him almost with relish.

“In the ordinary occasions of life,” he said in the same complacent and sententious tone in which he had taunted Grigory and argued with him about religion at Fyodor Pavlovitch’s table, “in the ordinary occasions of life, blows on the face are forbidden nowadays by law, and people have given them up, but in exceptional occasions of life people still fly to blows, not only among us but all over the world, be it even the fullest Republic of France, just as in the time of Adam and Eve, and they never will leave off, but you, even in an exceptional case, did not dare.”

“What are you learning French words for?” Ivan nodded towards the exercise‐book lying on the table.

“Why shouldn’t I learn them so as to improve my education, supposing that I may myself chance to go some day to those happy parts of Europe?”

“Listen, monster.” Ivan’s eyes flashed and he trembled all over. “I am not afraid of your accusations; you can say what you like about me, and if I don’t beat you to death, it’s simply because I suspect you of that crime and I’ll drag you to justice. I’ll unmask you.”

“To my thinking, you’d better keep quiet, for what can you accuse me of, considering my absolute innocence? and who would believe you? Only if you begin, I shall tell everything, too, for I must defend myself.”

“Do you think I am afraid of you now?”

“If the court doesn’t believe all I’ve said to you just now, the public will, and you will be ashamed.”

“That’s as much as to say, ‘It’s always worth while speaking to a sensible man,’ eh?” snarled Ivan.

“You hit the mark, indeed. And you’d better be sensible.”

Ivan got up, shaking all over with indignation, put on his coat, and without replying further to Smerdyakov, without even looking at him, walked quickly out of the cottage. The cool evening air refreshed him. There was a bright moon in the sky. A nightmare of ideas and sensations filled his soul. “Shall I go at once and give information against Smerdyakov? But what information can I give? He is not guilty, anyway. On the contrary, he’ll accuse me. And in fact, why did I set off for Tchermashnya then? What for? What for?” Ivan asked himself. “Yes, of course, I was expecting something and he is right....” And he remembered for the hundredth time how, on the last night in his father’s house, he had listened on the stairs. But he remembered it now with such anguish that he stood still on the spot as though he had been stabbed. “Yes, I expected it then, that’s true! I wanted the murder, I did want the murder! Did I want the murder? Did I want it? I must kill Smerdyakov! If I don’t dare kill Smerdyakov now, life is not worth living!”

Ivan did not go home, but went straight to Katerina Ivanovna and alarmed her by his appearance. He was like a madman. He repeated all his conversation with Smerdyakov, every syllable of it. He couldn’t be calmed, however much she tried to soothe him: he kept walking about the room, speaking strangely, disconnectedly. At last he sat down, put his elbows on the table, leaned his head on his hands and pronounced this strange sentence: “If it’s not Dmitri, but Smerdyakov who’s the murderer, I share his guilt, for I put him up to it. Whether I did, I don’t know yet. But if he is the murderer, and not Dmitri, then, of course, I am the murderer, too.”

When Katerina Ivanovna heard that, she got up from her seat without a word, went to her writing‐table, opened a box standing on it, took out a sheet of paper and laid it before Ivan. This was the document of which Ivan spoke to Alyosha later on as a “conclusive proof” that Dmitri had killed his father. It was the letter written by Mitya to Katerina Ivanovna when he was drunk, on the very evening he met Alyosha at the crossroads on the way to the monastery, after the scene at Katerina Ivanovna’s, when Grushenka had insulted her. Then, parting from Alyosha, Mitya had rushed to Grushenka. I don’t know whether he saw her, but in the evening he was at the “Metropolis,” where he got thoroughly drunk. Then he asked for pen and paper and wrote a document of weighty consequences to himself. It was a wordy, disconnected, frantic letter, a drunken letter in fact. It was like the talk of a drunken man, who, on his return home, begins with extraordinary heat telling his wife or one of his household how he has just been insulted, what a rascal had just insulted him, what a fine fellow he is on the other hand, and how he will pay that scoundrel out; and all that at great length, with great excitement and incoherence, with drunken tears and blows on the table. The letter was written on a dirty piece of ordinary paper of the cheapest kind. It had been provided by the tavern and there were figures scrawled on the back of it. There was evidently not space enough for his drunken verbosity and Mitya not only filled the margins but had written the last line right across the rest. The letter ran as follows:

FATAL KATYA: To‐morrow I will get the money and repay your three thousand and farewell, woman of great wrath, but farewell, too, my love! Let us make an end! To‐morrow I shall try and get it from every one, and if I can’t borrow it, I give you my word of honor I shall go to my father and break his skull and take the money from under the pillow, if only Ivan has gone. If I have to go to Siberia for it, I’ll give you back your three thousand. And farewell. I bow down to the ground before you, for I’ve been a scoundrel to you. Forgive me! No, better not forgive me, you’ll be happier and so shall I! Better Siberia than your love, for I love another woman and you got to know her too well to‐day, so how can you forgive? I will murder the man who’s robbed me! I’ll leave you all and go to the East so as to see no one again. Not her either, for you are not my only tormentress; she is too. Farewell!
    P.S.—I write my curse, but I adore you! I hear it in my heart. One string is left, and it vibrates. Better tear my heart in two! I shall kill myself, but first of all that cur. I shall tear three thousand from him and fling it to you. Though I’ve been a scoundrel to you, I am not a thief! You can expect three thousand. The cur keeps it under his mattress, in pink ribbon. I am not a thief, but I’ll murder my thief. Katya, don’t look disdainful. Dmitri is not a thief! but a murderer! He has murdered his father and ruined himself to hold his ground, rather than endure your pride. And he doesn’t love you.
    P.P.S.—I kiss your feet, farewell! P.P.P.S.—Katya, pray to God that some one’ll give me the money. Then I shall not be steeped in gore, and if no one does—I shall! Kill me!

Your slave and enemy,
D. KARAMAZOV.

When Ivan read this “document” he was convinced. So then it was his brother, not Smerdyakov. And if not Smerdyakov, then not he, Ivan. This letter at once assumed in his eyes the aspect of a logical proof. There could be no longer the slightest doubt of Mitya’s guilt. The suspicion never occurred to Ivan, by the way, that Mitya might have committed the murder in conjunction with Smerdyakov, and, indeed, such a theory did not fit in with the facts. Ivan was completely reassured. The next morning he only thought of Smerdyakov and his gibes with contempt. A few days later he positively wondered how he could have been so horribly distressed at his suspicions. He resolved to dismiss him with contempt and forget him. So passed a month. He made no further inquiry about Smerdyakov, but twice he happened to hear that he was very ill and out of his mind.

“He’ll end in madness,” the young doctor Varvinsky observed about him, and Ivan remembered this. During the last week of that month Ivan himself began to feel very ill. He went to consult the Moscow doctor who had been sent for by Katerina Ivanovna just before the trial. And just at that time his relations with Katerina Ivanovna became acutely strained. They were like two enemies in love with one another. Katerina Ivanovna’s “returns” to Mitya, that is, her brief but violent revulsions of feeling in his favor, drove Ivan to perfect frenzy. Strange to say, until that last scene described above, when Alyosha came from Mitya to Katerina Ivanovna, Ivan had never once, during that month, heard her express a doubt of Mitya’s guilt, in spite of those “returns” that were so hateful to him. It is remarkable, too, that while he felt that he hated Mitya more and more every day, he realized that it was not on account of Katya’s “returns” that he hated him, but just because he was the murderer of his father. He was conscious of this and fully recognized it to himself.

Nevertheless, he went to see Mitya ten days before the trial and proposed to him a plan of escape—a plan he had obviously thought over a long time. He was partly impelled to do this by a sore place still left in his heart from a phrase of Smerdyakov’s, that it was to his, Ivan’s, advantage that his brother should be convicted, as that would increase his inheritance and Alyosha’s from forty to sixty thousand roubles. He determined to sacrifice thirty thousand on arranging Mitya’s escape. On his return from seeing him, he was very mournful and dispirited; he suddenly began to feel that he was anxious for Mitya’s escape, not only to heal that sore place by sacrificing thirty thousand, but for another reason. “Is it because I am as much a murderer at heart?” he asked himself. Something very deep down seemed burning and rankling in his soul. His pride above all suffered cruelly all that month. But of that later....

When, after his conversation with Alyosha, Ivan suddenly decided with his hand on the bell of his lodging to go to Smerdyakov, he obeyed a sudden and peculiar impulse of indignation. He suddenly remembered how Katerina Ivanovna had only just cried out to him in Alyosha’s presence: “It was you, you, persuaded me of his” (that is, Mitya’s) “guilt!” Ivan was thunderstruck when he recalled it. He had never once tried to persuade her that Mitya was the murderer; on the contrary, he had suspected himself in her presence, that time when he came back from Smerdyakov. It was she, she, who had produced that “document” and proved his brother’s guilt. And now she suddenly exclaimed: “I’ve been at Smerdyakov’s myself!” When had she been there? Ivan had known nothing of it. So she was not at all so sure of Mitya’s guilt! And what could Smerdyakov have told her? What, what, had he said to her? His heart burned with violent anger. He could not understand how he could, half an hour before, have let those words pass and not have cried out at the moment. He let go of the bell and rushed off to Smerdyakov. “I shall kill him, perhaps, this time,” he thought on the way.

Chapter VIII.
The Third And Last Interview With Smerdyakov


When he was half‐way there, the keen dry wind that had been blowing early that morning rose again, and a fine dry snow began falling thickly. It did not lie on the ground, but was whirled about by the wind, and soon there was a regular snowstorm. There were scarcely any lamp‐posts in the part of the town where Smerdyakov lived. Ivan strode alone in the darkness, unconscious of the storm, instinctively picking out his way. His head ached and there was a painful throbbing in his temples. He felt that his hands were twitching convulsively. Not far from Marya Kondratyevna’s cottage, Ivan suddenly came upon a solitary drunken little peasant. He was wearing a coarse and patched coat, and was walking in zigzags, grumbling and swearing to himself. Then suddenly he would begin singing in a husky drunken voice:

“Ach, Vanka’s gone to Petersburg;
I won’t wait till he comes back.”

But he broke off every time at the second line and began swearing again; then he would begin the same song again. Ivan felt an intense hatred for him before he had thought about him at all. Suddenly he realized his presence and felt an irresistible impulse to knock him down. At that moment they met, and the peasant with a violent lurch fell full tilt against Ivan, who pushed him back furiously. The peasant went flying backwards and fell like a log on the frozen ground. He uttered one plaintive “O—oh!” and then was silent. Ivan stepped up to him. He was lying on his back, without movement or consciousness. “He will be frozen,” thought Ivan, and he went on his way to Smerdyakov’s.

In the passage, Marya Kondratyevna, who ran out to open the door with a candle in her hand, whispered that Smerdyakov was very ill, “It’s not that he’s laid up, but he seems not himself, and he even told us to take the tea away; he wouldn’t have any.”

“Why, does he make a row?” asked Ivan coarsely.

“Oh, dear, no, quite the contrary, he’s very quiet. Only please don’t talk to him too long,” Marya Kondratyevna begged him. Ivan opened the door and stepped into the room.

It was over‐heated as before, but there were changes in the room. One of the benches at the side had been removed, and in its place had been put a large old mahogany leather sofa, on which a bed had been made up, with fairly clean white pillows. Smerdyakov was sitting on the sofa, wearing the same dressing‐gown. The table had been brought out in front of the sofa, so that there was hardly room to move. On the table lay a thick book in yellow cover, but Smerdyakov was not reading it. He seemed to be sitting doing nothing. He met Ivan with a slow silent gaze, and was apparently not at all surprised at his coming. There was a great change in his face; he was much thinner and sallower. His eyes were sunken and there were blue marks under them.

“Why, you really are ill?” Ivan stopped short. “I won’t keep you long, I won’t even take off my coat. Where can one sit down?”

He went to the other end of the table, moved up a chair and sat down on it.

“Why do you look at me without speaking? I’ve only come with one question, and I swear I won’t go without an answer. Has the young lady, Katerina Ivanovna, been with you?”

Smerdyakov still remained silent, looking quietly at Ivan as before. Suddenly, with a motion of his hand, he turned his face away.

“What’s the matter with you?” cried Ivan.

“Nothing.”

“What do you mean by ‘nothing’?”

“Yes, she has. It’s no matter to you. Let me alone.”

“No, I won’t let you alone. Tell me, when was she here?”

“Why, I’d quite forgotten about her,” said Smerdyakov, with a scornful smile, and turning his face to Ivan again, he stared at him with a look of frenzied hatred, the same look that he had fixed on him at their last interview, a month before.

“You seem very ill yourself, your face is sunken; you don’t look like yourself,” he said to Ivan.

“Never mind my health, tell me what I ask you.”

“But why are your eyes so yellow? The whites are quite yellow. Are you so worried?” He smiled contemptuously and suddenly laughed outright.

“Listen; I’ve told you I won’t go away without an answer!” Ivan cried, intensely irritated.

“Why do you keep pestering me? Why do you torment me?” said Smerdyakov, with a look of suffering.

“Damn it! I’ve nothing to do with you. Just answer my question and I’ll go away.”

“I’ve no answer to give you,” said Smerdyakov, looking down again.

“You may be sure I’ll make you answer!”

“Why are you so uneasy?” Smerdyakov stared at him, not simply with contempt, but almost with repulsion. “Is this because the trial begins to‐ morrow? Nothing will happen to you; can’t you believe that at last? Go home, go to bed and sleep in peace, don’t be afraid of anything.”

“I don’t understand you.... What have I to be afraid of to‐morrow?” Ivan articulated in astonishment, and suddenly a chill breath of fear did in fact pass over his soul. Smerdyakov measured him with his eyes.

“You don’t understand?” he drawled reproachfully. “It’s a strange thing a sensible man should care to play such a farce!”

Ivan looked at him speechless. The startling, incredibly supercilious tone of this man who had once been his valet, was extraordinary in itself. He had not taken such a tone even at their last interview.

“I tell you, you’ve nothing to be afraid of. I won’t say anything about you; there’s no proof against you. I say, how your hands are trembling! Why are your fingers moving like that? Go home, you did not murder him.”

Ivan started. He remembered Alyosha.

“I know it was not I,” he faltered.

“Do you?” Smerdyakov caught him up again.

Ivan jumped up and seized him by the shoulder.

“Tell me everything, you viper! Tell me everything!”

Smerdyakov was not in the least scared. He only riveted his eyes on Ivan with insane hatred.

“Well, it was you who murdered him, if that’s it,” he whispered furiously.

Ivan sank back on his chair, as though pondering something. He laughed malignantly.

“You mean my going away. What you talked about last time?”

“You stood before me last time and understood it all, and you understand it now.”

“All I understand is that you are mad.”

“Aren’t you tired of it? Here we are face to face; what’s the use of going on keeping up a farce to each other? Are you still trying to throw it all on me, to my face? You murdered him; you are the real murderer, I was only your instrument, your faithful servant, and it was following your words I did it.”

“Did it? Why, did you murder him?” Ivan turned cold.

Something seemed to give way in his brain, and he shuddered all over with a cold shiver. Then Smerdyakov himself looked at him wonderingly; probably the genuineness of Ivan’s horror struck him.

“You don’t mean to say you really did not know?” he faltered mistrustfully, looking with a forced smile into his eyes. Ivan still gazed at him, and seemed unable to speak.

Ach, Vanka’s gone to Petersburg;
I won’t wait till he comes back,

suddenly echoed in his head.

“Do you know, I am afraid that you are a dream, a phantom sitting before me,” he muttered.

“There’s no phantom here, but only us two and one other. No doubt he is here, that third, between us.”

“Who is he? Who is here? What third person?” Ivan cried in alarm, looking about him, his eyes hastily searching in every corner.

“That third is God Himself—Providence. He is the third beside us now. Only don’t look for Him, you won’t find Him.”

“It’s a lie that you killed him!” Ivan cried madly. “You are mad, or teasing me again!”

Smerdyakov, as before, watched him curiously, with no sign of fear. He could still scarcely get over his incredulity; he still fancied that Ivan knew everything and was trying to “throw it all on him to his face.”

“Wait a minute,” he said at last in a weak voice, and suddenly bringing up his left leg from under the table, he began turning up his trouser leg. He was wearing long white stockings and slippers. Slowly he took off his garter and fumbled to the bottom of his stocking. Ivan gazed at him, and suddenly shuddered in a paroxysm of terror.

“He’s mad!” he cried, and rapidly jumping up, he drew back, so that he knocked his back against the wall and stood up against it, stiff and straight. He looked with insane terror at Smerdyakov, who, entirely unaffected by his terror, continued fumbling in his stocking, as though he were making an effort to get hold of something with his fingers and pull it out. At last he got hold of it and began pulling it out. Ivan saw that it was a piece of paper, or perhaps a roll of papers. Smerdyakov pulled it out and laid it on the table.

“Here,” he said quietly.

“What is it?” asked Ivan, trembling.

“Kindly look at it,” Smerdyakov answered, still in the same low tone.

Ivan stepped up to the table, took up the roll of paper and began unfolding it, but suddenly he drew back his fingers, as though from contact with a loathsome reptile.

“Your hands keep twitching,” observed Smerdyakov, and he deliberately unfolded the bundle himself. Under the wrapper were three packets of hundred‐rouble notes.

“They are all here, all the three thousand roubles; you need not count them. Take them,” Smerdyakov suggested to Ivan, nodding at the notes. Ivan sank back in his chair. He was as white as a handkerchief.

“You frightened me ... with your stocking,” he said, with a strange grin.

“Can you really not have known till now?” Smerdyakov asked once more.

“No, I did not know. I kept thinking of Dmitri. Brother, brother! Ach!” He suddenly clutched his head in both hands.

“Listen. Did you kill him alone? With my brother’s help or without?”

“It was only with you, with your help, I killed him, and Dmitri Fyodorovitch is quite innocent.”

“All right, all right. Talk about me later. Why do I keep on trembling? I can’t speak properly.”

“You were bold enough then. You said ‘everything was lawful,’ and how frightened you are now,” Smerdyakov muttered in surprise. “Won’t you have some lemonade? I’ll ask for some at once. It’s very refreshing. Only I must hide this first.”

And again he motioned at the notes. He was just going to get up and call at the door to Marya Kondratyevna to make some lemonade and bring it them, but, looking for something to cover up the notes that she might not see them, he first took out his handkerchief, and as it turned out to be very dirty, took up the big yellow book that Ivan had noticed at first lying on the table, and put it over the notes. The book was The Sayings of the Holy Father Isaac the Syrian. Ivan read it mechanically.

“I won’t have any lemonade,” he said. “Talk of me later. Sit down and tell me how you did it. Tell me all about it.”

“You’d better take off your greatcoat, or you’ll be too hot.” Ivan, as though he’d only just thought of it, took off his coat, and, without getting up from his chair, threw it on the bench.

“Speak, please, speak.”

He seemed calmer. He waited, feeling sure that Smerdyakov would tell him all about it.

“How it was done?” sighed Smerdyakov. “It was done in a most natural way, following your very words.”

“Of my words later,” Ivan broke in again, apparently with complete self‐ possession, firmly uttering his words, and not shouting as before. “Only tell me in detail how you did it. Everything, as it happened. Don’t forget anything. The details, above everything, the details, I beg you.”

“You’d gone away, then I fell into the cellar.”

“In a fit or in a sham one?”

“A sham one, naturally. I shammed it all. I went quietly down the steps to the very bottom and lay down quietly, and as I lay down I gave a scream, and struggled, till they carried me out.”

“Stay! And were you shamming all along, afterwards, and in the hospital?”

“No, not at all. Next day, in the morning, before they took me to the hospital, I had a real attack and a more violent one than I’ve had for years. For two days I was quite unconscious.”

“All right, all right. Go on.”

“They laid me on the bed. I knew I’d be the other side of the partition, for whenever I was ill, Marfa Ignatyevna used to put me there, near them. She’s always been very kind to me, from my birth up. At night I moaned, but quietly. I kept expecting Dmitri Fyodorovitch to come.”

“Expecting him? To come to you?”

“Not to me. I expected him to come into the house, for I’d no doubt that he’d come that night, for being without me and getting no news, he’d be sure to come and climb over the fence, as he used to, and do something.”

“And if he hadn’t come?”

“Then nothing would have happened. I should never have brought myself to it without him.”

“All right, all right ... speak more intelligibly, don’t hurry; above all, don’t leave anything out!”

“I expected him to kill Fyodor Pavlovitch. I thought that was certain, for I had prepared him for it ... during the last few days.... He knew about the knocks, that was the chief thing. With his suspiciousness and the fury which had been growing in him all those days, he was bound to get into the house by means of those taps. That was inevitable, so I was expecting him.”

“Stay,” Ivan interrupted; “if he had killed him, he would have taken the money and carried it away; you must have considered that. What would you have got by it afterwards? I don’t see.”

“But he would never have found the money. That was only what I told him, that the money was under the mattress. But that wasn’t true. It had been lying in a box. And afterwards I suggested to Fyodor Pavlovitch, as I was the only person he trusted, to hide the envelope with the notes in the corner behind the ikons, for no one would have guessed that place, especially if they came in a hurry. So that’s where the envelope lay, in the corner behind the ikons. It would have been absurd to keep it under the mattress; the box, anyway, could be locked. But all believe it was under the mattress. A stupid thing to believe. So if Dmitri Fyodorovitch had committed the murder, finding nothing, he would either have run away in a hurry, afraid of every sound, as always happens with murderers, or he would have been arrested. So I could always have clambered up to the ikons and have taken away the money next morning or even that night, and it would have all been put down to Dmitri Fyodorovitch. I could reckon upon that.”

“But what if he did not kill him, but only knocked him down?”

“If he did not kill him, of course, I would not have ventured to take the money, and nothing would have happened. But I calculated that he would beat him senseless, and I should have time to take it then, and then I’d make out to Fyodor Pavlovitch that it was no one but Dmitri Fyodorovitch who had taken the money after beating him.”

“Stop ... I am getting mixed. Then it was Dmitri after all who killed him; you only took the money?”

“No, he didn’t kill him. Well, I might as well have told you now that he was the murderer.... But I don’t want to lie to you now, because ... because if you really haven’t understood till now, as I see for myself, and are not pretending, so as to throw your guilt on me to my very face, you are still responsible for it all, since you knew of the murder and charged me to do it, and went away knowing all about it. And so I want to prove to your face this evening that you are the only real murderer in the whole affair, and I am not the real murderer, though I did kill him. You are the rightful murderer.”

“Why, why, am I a murderer? Oh, God!” Ivan cried, unable to restrain himself at last, and forgetting that he had put off discussing himself till the end of the conversation. “You still mean that Tchermashnya? Stay, tell me, why did you want my consent, if you really took Tchermashnya for consent? How will you explain that now?”

“Assured of your consent, I should have known that you wouldn’t have made an outcry over those three thousand being lost, even if I’d been suspected, instead of Dmitri Fyodorovitch, or as his accomplice; on the contrary, you would have protected me from others.... And when you got your inheritance you would have rewarded me when you were able, all the rest of your life. For you’d have received your inheritance through me, seeing that if he had married Agrafena Alexandrovna, you wouldn’t have had a farthing.”

“Ah! Then you intended to worry me all my life afterwards,” snarled Ivan. “And what if I hadn’t gone away then, but had informed against you?”

“What could you have informed? That I persuaded you to go to Tchermashnya? That’s all nonsense. Besides, after our conversation you would either have gone away or have stayed. If you had stayed, nothing would have happened. I should have known that you didn’t want it done, and should have attempted nothing. As you went away, it meant you assured me that you wouldn’t dare to inform against me at the trial, and that you’d overlook my having the three thousand. And, indeed, you couldn’t have prosecuted me afterwards, because then I should have told it all in the court; that is, not that I had stolen the money or killed him—I shouldn’t have said that—but that you’d put me up to the theft and the murder, though I didn’t consent to it. That’s why I needed your consent, so that you couldn’t have cornered me afterwards, for what proof could you have had? I could always have cornered you, revealing your eagerness for your father’s death, and I tell you the public would have believed it all, and you would have been ashamed for the rest of your life.”

“Was I then so eager, was I?” Ivan snarled again.

“To be sure you were, and by your consent you silently sanctioned my doing it.” Smerdyakov looked resolutely at Ivan. He was very weak and spoke slowly and wearily, but some hidden inner force urged him on. He evidently had some design. Ivan felt that.

“Go on,” he said. “Tell me what happened that night.”

“What more is there to tell! I lay there and I thought I heard the master shout. And before that Grigory Vassilyevitch had suddenly got up and came out, and he suddenly gave a scream, and then all was silence and darkness. I lay there waiting, my heart beating; I couldn’t bear it. I got up at last, went out. I saw the window open on the left into the garden, and I stepped to the left to listen whether he was sitting there alive, and I heard the master moving about, sighing, so I knew he was alive. ‘Ech!’ I thought. I went to the window and shouted to the master, ‘It’s I.’ And he shouted to me, ‘He’s been, he’s been; he’s run away.’ He meant Dmitri Fyodorovitch had been. ‘He’s killed Grigory!’ ‘Where?’ I whispered. ‘There, in the corner,’ he pointed. He was whispering, too. ‘Wait a bit,’ I said. I went to the corner of the garden to look, and there I came upon Grigory Vassilyevitch lying by the wall, covered with blood, senseless. So it’s true that Dmitri Fyodorovitch has been here, was the thought that came into my head, and I determined on the spot to make an end of it, as Grigory Vassilyevitch, even if he were alive, would see nothing of it, as he lay there senseless. The only risk was that Marfa Ignatyevna might wake up. I felt that at the moment, but the longing to get it done came over me, till I could scarcely breathe. I went back to the window to the master and said, ‘She’s here, she’s come; Agrafena Alexandrovna has come, wants to be let in.’ And he started like a baby. ‘Where is she?’ he fairly gasped, but couldn’t believe it. ‘She’s standing there,’ said I. ‘Open.’ He looked out of the window at me, half believing and half distrustful, but afraid to open. ‘Why, he is afraid of me now,’ I thought. And it was funny. I bethought me to knock on the window‐frame those taps we’d agreed upon as a signal that Grushenka had come, in his presence, before his eyes. He didn’t seem to believe my word, but as soon as he heard the taps, he ran at once to open the door. He opened it. I would have gone in, but he stood in the way to prevent me passing. ‘Where is she? Where is she?’ He looked at me, all of a tremble. ‘Well,’ thought I, ‘if he’s so frightened of me as all that, it’s a bad look out!’ And my legs went weak with fright that he wouldn’t let me in or would call out, or Marfa Ignatyevna would run up, or something else might happen. I don’t remember now, but I must have stood pale, facing him. I whispered to him, ‘Why, she’s there, there, under the window; how is it you don’t see her?’ I said. ‘Bring her then, bring her.’ ‘She’s afraid,’ said I; ‘she was frightened at the noise, she’s hidden in the bushes; go and call to her yourself from the study.’ He ran to the window, put the candle in the window. ‘Grushenka,’ he cried, ‘Grushenka, are you here?’ Though he cried that, he didn’t want to lean out of the window, he didn’t want to move away from me, for he was panic‐stricken; he was so frightened he didn’t dare to turn his back on me. ‘Why, here she is,’ said I. I went up to the window and leaned right out of it. ‘Here she is; she’s in the bush, laughing at you, don’t you see her?’ He suddenly believed it; he was all of a shake—he was awfully crazy about her—and he leaned right out of the window. I snatched up that iron paper‐weight from his table; do you remember, weighing about three pounds? I swung it and hit him on the top of the skull with the corner of it. He didn’t even cry out. He only sank down suddenly, and I hit him again and a third time. And the third time I knew I’d broken his skull. He suddenly rolled on his back, face upwards, covered with blood. I looked round. There was no blood on me, not a spot. I wiped the paper‐weight, put it back, went up to the ikons, took the money out of the envelope, and flung the envelope on the floor and the pink ribbon beside it. I went out into the garden all of a tremble, straight to the apple‐tree with a hollow in it—you know that hollow. I’d marked it long before and put a rag and a piece of paper ready in it. I wrapped all the notes in the rag and stuffed it deep down in the hole. And there it stayed for over a fortnight. I took it out later, when I came out of the hospital. I went back to my bed, lay down and thought, ‘If Grigory Vassilyevitch has been killed outright it may be a bad job for me, but if he is not killed and recovers, it will be first‐rate, for then he’ll bear witness that Dmitri Fyodorovitch has been here, and so he must have killed him and taken the money.’ Then I began groaning with suspense and impatience, so as to wake Marfa Ignatyevna as soon as possible. At last she got up and she rushed to me, but when she saw Grigory Vassilyevitch was not there, she ran out, and I heard her scream in the garden. And that set it all going and set my mind at rest.”

He stopped. Ivan had listened all the time in dead silence without stirring or taking his eyes off him. As he told his story Smerdyakov glanced at him from time to time, but for the most part kept his eyes averted. When he had finished he was evidently agitated and was breathing hard. The perspiration stood out on his face. But it was impossible to tell whether it was remorse he was feeling, or what.

“Stay,” cried Ivan, pondering. “What about the door? If he only opened the door to you, how could Grigory have seen it open before? For Grigory saw it before you went.”

It was remarkable that Ivan spoke quite amicably, in a different tone, not angry as before, so if any one had opened the door at that moment and peeped in at them, he would certainly have concluded that they were talking peaceably about some ordinary, though interesting, subject.

“As for that door and Grigory Vassilyevitch’s having seen it open, that’s only his fancy,” said Smerdyakov, with a wry smile. “He is not a man, I assure you, but an obstinate mule. He didn’t see it, but fancied he had seen it, and there’s no shaking him. It’s just our luck he took that notion into his head, for they can’t fail to convict Dmitri Fyodorovitch after that.”

“Listen ...” said Ivan, beginning to seem bewildered again and making an effort to grasp something. “Listen. There are a lot of questions I want to ask you, but I forget them ... I keep forgetting and getting mixed up. Yes. Tell me this at least, why did you open the envelope and leave it there on the floor? Why didn’t you simply carry off the envelope?... When you were telling me, I thought you spoke about it as though it were the right thing to do ... but why, I can’t understand....”

“I did that for a good reason. For if a man had known all about it, as I did for instance, if he’d seen those notes before, and perhaps had put them in that envelope himself, and had seen the envelope sealed up and addressed, with his own eyes, if such a man had done the murder, what should have made him tear open the envelope afterwards, especially in such desperate haste, since he’d know for certain the notes must be in the envelope? No, if the robber had been some one like me, he’d simply have put the envelope straight in his pocket and got away with it as fast as he could. But it’d be quite different with Dmitri Fyodorovitch. He only knew about the envelope by hearsay; he had never seen it, and if he’d found it, for instance, under the mattress, he’d have torn it open as quickly as possible to make sure the notes were in it. And he’d have thrown the envelope down, without having time to think that it would be evidence against him. Because he was not an habitual thief and had never directly stolen anything before, for he is a gentleman born, and if he did bring himself to steal, it would not be regular stealing, but simply taking what was his own, for he’d told the whole town he meant to before, and had even bragged aloud before every one that he’d go and take his property from Fyodor Pavlovitch. I didn’t say that openly to the prosecutor when I was being examined, but quite the contrary, I brought him to it by a hint, as though I didn’t see it myself, and as though he’d thought of it himself and I hadn’t prompted him; so that Mr. Prosecutor’s mouth positively watered at my suggestion.”

“But can you possibly have thought of all that on the spot?” cried Ivan, overcome with astonishment. He looked at Smerdyakov again with alarm.

“Mercy on us! Could any one think of it all in such a desperate hurry? It was all thought out beforehand.”

“Well ... well, it was the devil helped you!” Ivan cried again. “No, you are not a fool, you are far cleverer than I thought....”

He got up, obviously intending to walk across the room. He was in terrible distress. But as the table blocked his way, and there was hardly room to pass between the table and the wall, he only turned round where he stood and sat down again. Perhaps the impossibility of moving irritated him, as he suddenly cried out almost as furiously as before.

“Listen, you miserable, contemptible creature! Don’t you understand that if I haven’t killed you, it’s simply because I am keeping you to answer to‐morrow at the trial. God sees,” Ivan raised his hand, “perhaps I, too, was guilty; perhaps I really had a secret desire for my father’s ... death, but I swear I was not as guilty as you think, and perhaps I didn’t urge you on at all. No, no, I didn’t urge you on! But no matter, I will give evidence against myself to‐morrow at the trial. I’m determined to! I shall tell everything, everything. But we’ll make our appearance together. And whatever you may say against me at the trial, whatever evidence you give, I’ll face it; I am not afraid of you. I’ll confirm it all myself! But you must confess, too! You must, you must; we’ll go together. That’s how it shall be!”

Ivan said this solemnly and resolutely and from his flashing eyes alone it could be seen that it would be so.

“You are ill, I see; you are quite ill. Your eyes are yellow,” Smerdyakov commented, without the least irony, with apparent sympathy in fact.

“We’ll go together,” Ivan repeated. “And if you won’t go, no matter, I’ll go alone.”

Smerdyakov paused as though pondering.

“There’ll be nothing of the sort, and you won’t go,” he concluded at last positively.

“You don’t understand me,” Ivan exclaimed reproachfully.

“You’ll be too much ashamed, if you confess it all. And, what’s more, it will be no use at all, for I shall say straight out that I never said anything of the sort to you, and that you are either ill (and it looks like it, too), or that you’re so sorry for your brother that you are sacrificing yourself to save him and have invented it all against me, for you’ve always thought no more of me than if I’d been a fly. And who will believe you, and what single proof have you got?”

“Listen, you showed me those notes just now to convince me.”

Smerdyakov lifted the book off the notes and laid it on one side.

“Take that money away with you,” Smerdyakov sighed.

“Of course, I shall take it. But why do you give it to me, if you committed the murder for the sake of it?” Ivan looked at him with great surprise.

“I don’t want it,” Smerdyakov articulated in a shaking voice, with a gesture of refusal. “I did have an idea of beginning a new life with that money in Moscow or, better still, abroad. I did dream of it, chiefly because ‘all things are lawful.’ That was quite right what you taught me, for you talked a lot to me about that. For if there’s no everlasting God, there’s no such thing as virtue, and there’s no need of it. You were right there. So that’s how I looked at it.”

“Did you come to that of yourself?” asked Ivan, with a wry smile.

“With your guidance.”

“And now, I suppose, you believe in God, since you are giving back the money?”

“No, I don’t believe,” whispered Smerdyakov.

“Then why are you giving it back?”

“Leave off ... that’s enough!” Smerdyakov waved his hand again. “You used to say yourself that everything was lawful, so now why are you so upset, too? You even want to go and give evidence against yourself.... Only there’ll be nothing of the sort! You won’t go to give evidence,” Smerdyakov decided with conviction.

“You’ll see,” said Ivan.

“It isn’t possible. You are very clever. You are fond of money, I know that. You like to be respected, too, for you’re very proud; you are far too fond of female charms, too, and you mind most of all about living in undisturbed comfort, without having to depend on any one—that’s what you care most about. You won’t want to spoil your life for ever by taking such a disgrace on yourself. You are like Fyodor Pavlovitch, you are more like him than any of his children; you’ve the same soul as he had.”

“You are not a fool,” said Ivan, seeming struck. The blood rushed to his face. “You are serious now!” he observed, looking suddenly at Smerdyakov with a different expression.

“It was your pride made you think I was a fool. Take the money.”

Ivan took the three rolls of notes and put them in his pocket without wrapping them in anything.

“I shall show them at the court to‐morrow,” he said.

“Nobody will believe you, as you’ve plenty of money of your own; you may simply have taken it out of your cash‐box and brought it to the court.”

Ivan rose from his seat.

“I repeat,” he said, “the only reason I haven’t killed you is that I need you for to‐morrow, remember that, don’t forget it!”

“Well, kill me. Kill me now,” Smerdyakov said, all at once looking strangely at Ivan. “You won’t dare do that even!” he added, with a bitter smile. “You won’t dare to do anything, you, who used to be so bold!”

“Till to‐morrow,” cried Ivan, and moved to go out.

“Stay a moment.... Show me those notes again.”

Ivan took out the notes and showed them to him. Smerdyakov looked at them for ten seconds.

“Well, you can go,” he said, with a wave of his hand. “Ivan Fyodorovitch!” he called after him again.

“What do you want?” Ivan turned without stopping.

“Good‐by!”

“Till to‐morrow!” Ivan cried again, and he walked out of the cottage.

The snowstorm was still raging. He walked the first few steps boldly, but suddenly began staggering. “It’s something physical,” he thought with a grin. Something like joy was springing up in his heart. He was conscious of unbounded resolution; he would make an end of the wavering that had so tortured him of late. His determination was taken, “and now it will not be changed,” he thought with relief. At that moment he stumbled against something and almost fell down. Stopping short, he made out at his feet the peasant he had knocked down, still lying senseless and motionless. The snow had almost covered his face. Ivan seized him and lifted him in his arms. Seeing a light in the little house to the right he went up, knocked at the shutters, and asked the man to whom the house belonged to help him carry the peasant to the police‐station, promising him three roubles. The man got ready and came out. I won’t describe in detail how Ivan succeeded in his object, bringing the peasant to the police‐station and arranging for a doctor to see him at once, providing with a liberal hand for the expenses. I will only say that this business took a whole hour, but Ivan was well content with it. His mind wandered and worked incessantly.

“If I had not taken my decision so firmly for to‐morrow,” he reflected with satisfaction, “I should not have stayed a whole hour to look after the peasant, but should have passed by, without caring about his being frozen. I am quite capable of watching myself, by the way,” he thought at the same instant, with still greater satisfaction, “although they have decided that I am going out of my mind!”

Just as he reached his own house he stopped short, asking himself suddenly hadn’t he better go at once to the prosecutor and tell him everything. He decided the question by turning back to the house. “Everything together to‐morrow!” he whispered to himself, and, strange to say, almost all his gladness and self‐satisfaction passed in one instant.

As he entered his own room he felt something like a touch of ice on his heart, like a recollection or, more exactly, a reminder, of something agonizing and revolting that was in that room now, at that moment, and had been there before. He sank wearily on his sofa. The old woman brought him a samovar; he made tea, but did not touch it. He sat on the sofa and felt giddy. He felt that he was ill and helpless. He was beginning to drop asleep, but got up uneasily and walked across the room to shake off his drowsiness. At moments he fancied he was delirious, but it was not illness that he thought of most. Sitting down again, he began looking round, as though searching for something. This happened several times. At last his eyes were fastened intently on one point. Ivan smiled, but an angry flush suffused his face. He sat a long time in his place, his head propped on both arms, though he looked sideways at the same point, at the sofa that stood against the opposite wall. There was evidently something, some object, that irritated him there, worried him and tormented him.

Chapter IX.
The Devil. Ivan’s Nightmare


I am not a doctor, but yet I feel that the moment has come when I must inevitably give the reader some account of the nature of Ivan’s illness. Anticipating events I can say at least one thing: he was at that moment on the very eve of an attack of brain fever. Though his health had long been affected, it had offered a stubborn resistance to the fever which in the end gained complete mastery over it. Though I know nothing of medicine, I venture to hazard the suggestion that he really had perhaps, by a terrible effort of will, succeeded in delaying the attack for a time, hoping, of course, to check it completely. He knew that he was unwell, but he loathed the thought of being ill at that fatal time, at the approaching crisis in his life, when he needed to have all his wits about him, to say what he had to say boldly and resolutely and “to justify himself to himself.”

He had, however, consulted the new doctor, who had been brought from Moscow by a fantastic notion of Katerina Ivanovna’s to which I have referred already. After listening to him and examining him the doctor came to the conclusion that he was actually suffering from some disorder of the brain, and was not at all surprised by an admission which Ivan had reluctantly made him. “Hallucinations are quite likely in your condition,” the doctor opined, “though it would be better to verify them ... you must take steps at once, without a moment’s delay, or things will go badly with you.” But Ivan did not follow this judicious advice and did not take to his bed to be nursed. “I am walking about, so I am strong enough, if I drop, it’ll be different then, any one may nurse me who likes,” he decided, dismissing the subject.

And so he was sitting almost conscious himself of his delirium and, as I have said already, looking persistently at some object on the sofa against the opposite wall. Some one appeared to be sitting there, though goodness knows how he had come in, for he had not been in the room when Ivan came into it, on his return from Smerdyakov. This was a person or, more accurately speaking, a Russian gentleman of a particular kind, no longer young, qui faisait la cinquantaine, as the French say, with rather long, still thick, dark hair, slightly streaked with gray and a small pointed beard. He was wearing a brownish reefer jacket, rather shabby, evidently made by a good tailor though, and of a fashion at least three years old, that had been discarded by smart and well‐to‐do people for the last two years. His linen and his long scarf‐like neck‐tie were all such as are worn by people who aim at being stylish, but on closer inspection his linen was not over‐clean and his wide scarf was very threadbare. The visitor’s check trousers were of excellent cut, but were too light in color and too tight for the present fashion. His soft fluffy white hat was out of keeping with the season.

In brief there was every appearance of gentility on straitened means. It looked as though the gentleman belonged to that class of idle landowners who used to flourish in the times of serfdom. He had unmistakably been, at some time, in good and fashionable society, had once had good connections, had possibly preserved them indeed, but, after a gay youth, becoming gradually impoverished on the abolition of serfdom, he had sunk into the position of a poor relation of the best class, wandering from one good old friend to another and received by them for his companionable and accommodating disposition and as being, after all, a gentleman who could be asked to sit down with any one, though, of course, not in a place of honor. Such gentlemen of accommodating temper and dependent position, who can tell a story, take a hand at cards, and who have a distinct aversion for any duties that may be forced upon them, are usually solitary creatures, either bachelors or widowers. Sometimes they have children, but if so, the children are always being brought up at a distance, at some aunt’s, to whom these gentlemen never allude in good society, seeming ashamed of the relationship. They gradually lose sight of their children altogether, though at intervals they receive a birthday or Christmas letter from them and sometimes even answer it.

The countenance of the unexpected visitor was not so much good‐natured, as accommodating and ready to assume any amiable expression as occasion might arise. He had no watch, but he had a tortoise‐shell lorgnette on a black ribbon. On the middle finger of his right hand was a massive gold ring with a cheap opal stone in it.

Ivan was angrily silent and would not begin the conversation. The visitor waited and sat exactly like a poor relation who had come down from his room to keep his host company at tea, and was discreetly silent, seeing that his host was frowning and preoccupied. But he was ready for any affable conversation as soon as his host should begin it. All at once his face expressed a sudden solicitude.

“I say,” he began to Ivan, “excuse me, I only mention it to remind you. You went to Smerdyakov’s to find out about Katerina Ivanovna, but you came away without finding out anything about her, you probably forgot—”

“Ah, yes,” broke from Ivan and his face grew gloomy with uneasiness. “Yes, I’d forgotten ... but it doesn’t matter now, never mind, till to‐morrow,” he muttered to himself, “and you,” he added, addressing his visitor, “I should have remembered that myself in a minute, for that was just what was tormenting me! Why do you interfere, as if I should believe that you prompted me, and that I didn’t remember it of myself?”

“Don’t believe it then,” said the gentleman, smiling amicably, “what’s the good of believing against your will? Besides, proofs are no help to believing, especially material proofs. Thomas believed, not because he saw Christ risen, but because he wanted to believe, before he saw. Look at the spiritualists, for instance.... I am very fond of them ... only fancy, they imagine that they are serving the cause of religion, because the devils show them their horns from the other world. That, they say, is a material proof, so to speak, of the existence of another world. The other world and material proofs, what next! And if you come to that, does proving there’s a devil prove that there’s a God? I want to join an idealist society, I’ll lead the opposition in it, I’ll say I am a realist, but not a materialist, he he!”

“Listen,” Ivan suddenly got up from the table. “I seem to be delirious.... I am delirious, in fact, talk any nonsense you like, I don’t care! You won’t drive me to fury, as you did last time. But I feel somehow ashamed.... I want to walk about the room.... I sometimes don’t see you and don’t even hear your voice as I did last time, but I always guess what you are prating, for it’s I, I myself speaking, not you. Only I don’t know whether I was dreaming last time or whether I really saw you. I’ll wet a towel and put it on my head and perhaps you’ll vanish into air.”

Ivan went into the corner, took a towel, and did as he said, and with a wet towel on his head began walking up and down the room.

“I am so glad you treat me so familiarly,” the visitor began.

“Fool,” laughed Ivan, “do you suppose I should stand on ceremony with you? I am in good spirits now, though I’ve a pain in my forehead ... and in the top of my head ... only please don’t talk philosophy, as you did last time. If you can’t take yourself off, talk of something amusing. Talk gossip, you are a poor relation, you ought to talk gossip. What a nightmare to have! But I am not afraid of you. I’ll get the better of you. I won’t be taken to a mad‐house!”

“C’est charmant, poor relation. Yes, I am in my natural shape. For what am I on earth but a poor relation? By the way, I am listening to you and am rather surprised to find you are actually beginning to take me for something real, not simply your fancy, as you persisted in declaring last time—”

“Never for one minute have I taken you for reality,” Ivan cried with a sort of fury. “You are a lie, you are my illness, you are a phantom. It’s only that I don’t know how to destroy you and I see I must suffer for a time. You are my hallucination. You are the incarnation of myself, but only of one side of me ... of my thoughts and feelings, but only the nastiest and stupidest of them. From that point of view you might be of interest to me, if only I had time to waste on you—”

“Excuse me, excuse me, I’ll catch you. When you flew out at Alyosha under the lamp‐post this evening and shouted to him, ‘You learnt it from him! How do you know that he visits me?’ you were thinking of me then. So for one brief moment you did believe that I really exist,” the gentleman laughed blandly.

“Yes, that was a moment of weakness ... but I couldn’t believe in you. I don’t know whether I was asleep or awake last time. Perhaps I was only dreaming then and didn’t see you really at all—”

“And why were you so surly with Alyosha just now? He is a dear; I’ve treated him badly over Father Zossima.”

“Don’t talk of Alyosha! How dare you, you flunkey!” Ivan laughed again.

“You scold me, but you laugh—that’s a good sign. But you are ever so much more polite than you were last time and I know why: that great resolution of yours—”

“Don’t speak of my resolution,” cried Ivan, savagely.

“I understand, I understand, c’est noble, c’est charmant, you are going to defend your brother and to sacrifice yourself ... C’est chevaleresque.”

“Hold your tongue, I’ll kick you!”

“I shan’t be altogether sorry, for then my object will be attained. If you kick me, you must believe in my reality, for people don’t kick ghosts. Joking apart, it doesn’t matter to me, scold if you like, though it’s better to be a trifle more polite even to me. ‘Fool, flunkey!’ what words!”

“Scolding you, I scold myself,” Ivan laughed again, “you are myself, myself, only with a different face. You just say what I am thinking ... and are incapable of saying anything new!”

“If I am like you in my way of thinking, it’s all to my credit,” the gentleman declared, with delicacy and dignity.

“You choose out only my worst thoughts, and what’s more, the stupid ones. You are stupid and vulgar. You are awfully stupid. No, I can’t put up with you! What am I to do, what am I to do?” Ivan said through his clenched teeth.

“My dear friend, above all things I want to behave like a gentleman and to be recognized as such,” the visitor began in an excess of deprecating and simple‐hearted pride, typical of a poor relation. “I am poor, but ... I won’t say very honest, but ... it’s an axiom generally accepted in society that I am a fallen angel. I certainly can’t conceive how I can ever have been an angel. If I ever was, it must have been so long ago that there’s no harm in forgetting it. Now I only prize the reputation of being a gentlemanly person and live as I can, trying to make myself agreeable. I love men genuinely, I’ve been greatly calumniated! Here when I stay with you from time to time, my life gains a kind of reality and that’s what I like most of all. You see, like you, I suffer from the fantastic and so I love the realism of earth. Here, with you, everything is circumscribed, here all is formulated and geometrical, while we have nothing but indeterminate equations! I wander about here dreaming. I like dreaming. Besides, on earth I become superstitious. Please don’t laugh, that’s just what I like, to become superstitious. I adopt all your habits here: I’ve grown fond of going to the public baths, would you believe it? and I go and steam myself with merchants and priests. What I dream of is becoming incarnate once for all and irrevocably in the form of some merchant’s wife weighing eighteen stone, and of believing all she believes. My ideal is to go to church and offer a candle in simple‐hearted faith, upon my word it is. Then there would be an end to my sufferings. I like being doctored too; in the spring there was an outbreak of smallpox and I went and was vaccinated in a foundling hospital—if only you knew how I enjoyed myself that day. I subscribed ten roubles in the cause of the Slavs!... But you are not listening. Do you know, you are not at all well this evening? I know you went yesterday to that doctor ... well, what about your health? What did the doctor say?”

“Fool!” Ivan snapped out.

“But you are clever, anyway. You are scolding again? I didn’t ask out of sympathy. You needn’t answer. Now rheumatism has come in again—”

“Fool!” repeated Ivan.

“You keep saying the same thing; but I had such an attack of rheumatism last year that I remember it to this day.”

“The devil have rheumatism!”

“Why not, if I sometimes put on fleshly form? I put on fleshly form and I take the consequences. Satan sum et nihil humanum a me alienum puto.”

“What, what, Satan sum et nihil humanum ... that’s not bad for the devil!”

“I am glad I’ve pleased you at last.”

“But you didn’t get that from me.” Ivan stopped suddenly, seeming struck. “That never entered my head, that’s strange.”

“C’est du nouveau, n’est‐ce pas? This time I’ll act honestly and explain to you. Listen, in dreams and especially in nightmares, from indigestion or anything, a man sees sometimes such artistic visions, such complex and real actuality, such events, even a whole world of events, woven into such a plot, with such unexpected details from the most exalted matters to the last button on a cuff, as I swear Leo Tolstoy has never invented. Yet such dreams are sometimes seen not by writers, but by the most ordinary people, officials, journalists, priests.... The subject is a complete enigma. A statesman confessed to me, indeed, that all his best ideas came to him when he was asleep. Well, that’s how it is now, though I am your hallucination, yet just as in a nightmare, I say original things which had not entered your head before. So I don’t repeat your ideas, yet I am only your nightmare, nothing more.”

“You are lying, your aim is to convince me you exist apart and are not my nightmare, and now you are asserting you are a dream.”

“My dear fellow, I’ve adopted a special method to‐day, I’ll explain it to you afterwards. Stay, where did I break off? Oh, yes! I caught cold then, only not here but yonder.”

“Where is yonder? Tell me, will you be here long? Can’t you go away?” Ivan exclaimed almost in despair. He ceased walking to and fro, sat down on the sofa, leaned his elbows on the table again and held his head tight in both hands. He pulled the wet towel off and flung it away in vexation. It was evidently of no use.

“Your nerves are out of order,” observed the gentleman, with a carelessly easy, though perfectly polite, air. “You are angry with me even for being able to catch cold, though it happened in a most natural way. I was hurrying then to a diplomatic soirée at the house of a lady of high rank in Petersburg, who was aiming at influence in the Ministry. Well, an evening suit, white tie, gloves, though I was God knows where and had to fly through space to reach your earth.... Of course, it took only an instant, but you know a ray of light from the sun takes full eight minutes, and fancy in an evening suit and open waistcoat. Spirits don’t freeze, but when one’s in fleshly form, well ... in brief, I didn’t think, and set off, and you know in those ethereal spaces, in the water that is above the firmament, there’s such a frost ... at least one can’t call it frost, you can fancy, 150 degrees below zero! You know the game the village girls play—they invite the unwary to lick an ax in thirty degrees of frost, the tongue instantly freezes to it and the dupe tears the skin off, so it bleeds. But that’s only in 30 degrees, in 150 degrees I imagine it would be enough to put your finger on the ax and it would be the end of it ... if only there could be an ax there.”

“And can there be an ax there?” Ivan interrupted, carelessly and disdainfully. He was exerting himself to the utmost not to believe in the delusion and not to sink into complete insanity.

“An ax?” the guest interrupted in surprise.

“Yes, what would become of an ax there?” Ivan cried suddenly, with a sort of savage and insistent obstinacy.

“What would become of an ax in space? Quelle idée! If it were to fall to any distance, it would begin, I think, flying round the earth without knowing why, like a satellite. The astronomers would calculate the rising and the setting of the ax, Gatzuk would put it in his calendar, that’s all.”

“You are stupid, awfully stupid,” said Ivan peevishly. “Fib more cleverly or I won’t listen. You want to get the better of me by realism, to convince me that you exist, but I don’t want to believe you exist! I won’t believe it!”

“But I am not fibbing, it’s all the truth; the truth is unhappily hardly ever amusing. I see you persist in expecting something big of me, and perhaps something fine. That’s a great pity, for I only give what I can—”

“Don’t talk philosophy, you ass!”

“Philosophy, indeed, when all my right side is numb and I am moaning and groaning. I’ve tried all the medical faculty: they can diagnose beautifully, they have the whole of your disease at their finger‐tips, but they’ve no idea how to cure you. There was an enthusiastic little student here, ‘You may die,’ said he, ‘but you’ll know perfectly what disease you are dying of!’ And then what a way they have sending people to specialists! ‘We only diagnose,’ they say, ‘but go to such‐and‐such a specialist, he’ll cure you.’ The old doctor who used to cure all sorts of disease has completely disappeared, I assure you, now there are only specialists and they all advertise in the newspapers. If anything is wrong with your nose, they send you to Paris: there, they say, is a European specialist who cures noses. If you go to Paris, he’ll look at your nose; I can only cure your right nostril, he’ll tell you, for I don’t cure the left nostril, that’s not my speciality, but go to Vienna, there there’s a specialist who will cure your left nostril. What are you to do? I fell back on popular remedies, a German doctor advised me to rub myself with honey and salt in the bath‐house. Solely to get an extra bath I went, smeared myself all over and it did me no good at all. In despair I wrote to Count Mattei in Milan. He sent me a book and some drops, bless him, and, only fancy, Hoff’s malt extract cured me! I bought it by accident, drank a bottle and a half of it, and I was ready to dance, it took it away completely. I made up my mind to write to the papers to thank him, I was prompted by a feeling of gratitude, and only fancy, it led to no end of a bother: not a single paper would take my letter. ‘It would be very reactionary,’ they said, ‘no one will believe it. Le diable n’existe point. You’d better remain anonymous,’ they advised me. What use is a letter of thanks if it’s anonymous? I laughed with the men at the newspaper office; ‘It’s reactionary to believe in God in our days,’ I said, ‘but I am the devil, so I may be believed in.’ ‘We quite understand that,’ they said. ‘Who doesn’t believe in the devil? Yet it won’t do, it might injure our reputation. As a joke, if you like.’ But I thought as a joke it wouldn’t be very witty. So it wasn’t printed. And do you know, I have felt sore about it to this day. My best feelings, gratitude, for instance, are literally denied me simply from my social position.”

“Philosophical reflections again?” Ivan snarled malignantly.

“God preserve me from it, but one can’t help complaining sometimes. I am a slandered man. You upbraid me every moment with being stupid. One can see you are young. My dear fellow, intelligence isn’t the only thing! I have naturally a kind and merry heart. ‘I also write vaudevilles of all sorts.’ You seem to take me for Hlestakov grown old, but my fate is a far more serious one. Before time was, by some decree which I could never make out, I was pre‐destined ‘to deny’ and yet I am genuinely good‐hearted and not at all inclined to negation. ‘No, you must go and deny, without denial there’s no criticism and what would a journal be without a column of criticism?’ Without criticism it would be nothing but one ‘hosannah.’ But nothing but hosannah is not enough for life, the hosannah must be tried in the crucible of doubt and so on, in the same style. But I don’t meddle in that, I didn’t create it, I am not answerable for it. Well, they’ve chosen their scapegoat, they’ve made me write the column of criticism and so life was made possible. We understand that comedy; I, for instance, simply ask for annihilation. No, live, I am told, for there’d be nothing without you. If everything in the universe were sensible, nothing would happen. There would be no events without you, and there must be events. So against the grain I serve to produce events and do what’s irrational because I am commanded to. For all their indisputable intelligence, men take this farce as something serious, and that is their tragedy. They suffer, of course ... but then they live, they live a real life, not a fantastic one, for suffering is life. Without suffering what would be the pleasure of it? It would be transformed into an endless church service; it would be holy, but tedious. But what about me? I suffer, but still, I don’t live. I am x in an indeterminate equation. I am a sort of phantom in life who has lost all beginning and end, and who has even forgotten his own name. You are laughing— no, you are not laughing, you are angry again. You are for ever angry, all you care about is intelligence, but I repeat again that I would give away all this super‐stellar life, all the ranks and honors, simply to be transformed into the soul of a merchant’s wife weighing eighteen stone and set candles at God’s shrine.”

“Then even you don’t believe in God?” said Ivan, with a smile of hatred.

“What can I say?—that is, if you are in earnest—”

“Is there a God or not?” Ivan cried with the same savage intensity.

“Ah, then you are in earnest! My dear fellow, upon my word I don’t know. There! I’ve said it now!”

“You don’t know, but you see God? No, you are not some one apart, you are myself, you are I and nothing more! You are rubbish, you are my fancy!”

“Well, if you like, I have the same philosophy as you, that would be true. Je pense, donc je suis, I know that for a fact; all the rest, all these worlds, God and even Satan—all that is not proved, to my mind. Does all that exist of itself, or is it only an emanation of myself, a logical development of my ego which alone has existed for ever: but I make haste to stop, for I believe you will be jumping up to beat me directly.”

“You’d better tell me some anecdote!” said Ivan miserably.

“There is an anecdote precisely on our subject, or rather a legend, not an anecdote. You reproach me with unbelief, you see, you say, yet you don’t believe. But, my dear fellow, I am not the only one like that. We are all in a muddle over there now and all through your science. Once there used to be atoms, five senses, four elements, and then everything hung together somehow. There were atoms in the ancient world even, but since we’ve learned that you’ve discovered the chemical molecule and protoplasm and the devil knows what, we had to lower our crest. There’s a regular muddle, and, above all, superstition, scandal; there’s as much scandal among us as among you, you know; a little more in fact, and spying, indeed, for we have our secret police department where private information is received. Well, this wild legend belongs to our middle ages—not yours, but ours—and no one believes it even among us, except the old ladies of eighteen stone, not your old ladies I mean, but ours. We’ve everything you have, I am revealing one of our secrets out of friendship for you; though it’s forbidden. This legend is about Paradise. There was, they say, here on earth a thinker and philosopher. He rejected everything, ‘laws, conscience, faith,’ and, above all, the future life. He died; he expected to go straight to darkness and death and he found a future life before him. He was astounded and indignant. ‘This is against my principles!’ he said. And he was punished for that ... that is, you must excuse me, I am just repeating what I heard myself, it’s only a legend ... he was sentenced to walk a quadrillion kilometers in the dark (we’ve adopted the metric system, you know) and when he has finished that quadrillion, the gates of heaven would be opened to him and he’ll be forgiven—”

“And what tortures have you in the other world besides the quadrillion kilometers?” asked Ivan, with a strange eagerness.

“What tortures? Ah, don’t ask. In old days we had all sorts, but now they have taken chiefly to moral punishments—‘the stings of conscience’ and all that nonsense. We got that, too, from you, from the softening of your manners. And who’s the better for it? Only those who have got no conscience, for how can they be tortured by conscience when they have none? But decent people who have conscience and a sense of honor suffer for it. Reforms, when the ground has not been prepared for them, especially if they are institutions copied from abroad, do nothing but mischief! The ancient fire was better. Well, this man, who was condemned to the quadrillion kilometers, stood still, looked round and lay down across the road. ‘I won’t go, I refuse on principle!’ Take the soul of an enlightened Russian atheist and mix it with the soul of the prophet Jonah, who sulked for three days and nights in the belly of the whale, and you get the character of that thinker who lay across the road.”

“What did he lie on there?”

“Well, I suppose there was something to lie on. You are not laughing?”

“Bravo!” cried Ivan, still with the same strange eagerness. Now he was listening with an unexpected curiosity. “Well, is he lying there now?”

“That’s the point, that he isn’t. He lay there almost a thousand years and then he got up and went on.”

“What an ass!” cried Ivan, laughing nervously and still seeming to be pondering something intently. “Does it make any difference whether he lies there for ever or walks the quadrillion kilometers? It would take a billion years to walk it?”

“Much more than that. I haven’t got a pencil and paper or I could work it out. But he got there long ago, and that’s where the story begins.”

“What, he got there? But how did he get the billion years to do it?”

“Why, you keep thinking of our present earth! But our present earth may have been repeated a billion times. Why, it’s become extinct, been frozen; cracked, broken to bits, disintegrated into its elements, again ‘the water above the firmament,’ then again a comet, again a sun, again from the sun it becomes earth—and the same sequence may have been repeated endlessly and exactly the same to every detail, most unseemly and insufferably tedious—”

“Well, well, what happened when he arrived?”

“Why, the moment the gates of Paradise were open and he walked in, before he had been there two seconds, by his watch (though to my thinking his watch must have long dissolved into its elements on the way), he cried out that those two seconds were worth walking not a quadrillion kilometers but a quadrillion of quadrillions, raised to the quadrillionth power! In fact, he sang ‘hosannah’ and overdid it so, that some persons there of lofty ideas wouldn’t shake hands with him at first—he’d become too rapidly reactionary, they said. The Russian temperament. I repeat, it’s a legend. I give it for what it’s worth. So that’s the sort of ideas we have on such subjects even now.”

“I’ve caught you!” Ivan cried, with an almost childish delight, as though he had succeeded in remembering something at last. “That anecdote about the quadrillion years, I made up myself! I was seventeen then, I was at the high school. I made up that anecdote and told it to a schoolfellow called Korovkin, it was at Moscow.... The anecdote is so characteristic that I couldn’t have taken it from anywhere. I thought I’d forgotten it ... but I’ve unconsciously recalled it—I recalled it myself—it was not you telling it! Thousands of things are unconsciously remembered like that even when people are being taken to execution ... it’s come back to me in a dream. You are that dream! You are a dream, not a living creature!”

“From the vehemence with which you deny my existence,” laughed the gentleman, “I am convinced that you believe in me.”

“Not in the slightest! I haven’t a hundredth part of a grain of faith in you!”

“But you have the thousandth of a grain. Homeopathic doses perhaps are the strongest. Confess that you have faith even to the ten‐thousandth of a grain.”

“Not for one minute,” cried Ivan furiously. “But I should like to believe in you,” he added strangely.

“Aha! There’s an admission! But I am good‐natured. I’ll come to your assistance again. Listen, it was I caught you, not you me. I told you your anecdote you’d forgotten, on purpose, so as to destroy your faith in me completely.”

“You are lying. The object of your visit is to convince me of your existence!”

“Just so. But hesitation, suspense, conflict between belief and disbelief—is sometimes such torture to a conscientious man, such as you are, that it’s better to hang oneself at once. Knowing that you are inclined to believe in me, I administered some disbelief by telling you that anecdote. I lead you to belief and disbelief by turns, and I have my motive in it. It’s the new method. As soon as you disbelieve in me completely, you’ll begin assuring me to my face that I am not a dream but a reality. I know you. Then I shall have attained my object, which is an honorable one. I shall sow in you only a tiny grain of faith and it will grow into an oak‐tree—and such an oak‐tree that, sitting on it, you will long to enter the ranks of ‘the hermits in the wilderness and the saintly women,’ for that is what you are secretly longing for. You’ll dine on locusts, you’ll wander into the wilderness to save your soul!”

“Then it’s for the salvation of my soul you are working, is it, you scoundrel?”

“One must do a good work sometimes. How ill‐humored you are!”

“Fool! did you ever tempt those holy men who ate locusts and prayed seventeen years in the wilderness till they were overgrown with moss?”

“My dear fellow, I’ve done nothing else. One forgets the whole world and all the worlds, and sticks to one such saint, because he is a very precious diamond. One such soul, you know, is sometimes worth a whole constellation. We have our system of reckoning, you know. The conquest is priceless! And some of them, on my word, are not inferior to you in culture, though you won’t believe it. They can contemplate such depths of belief and disbelief at the same moment that sometimes it really seems that they are within a hair’s‐breadth of being ‘turned upside down,’ as the actor Gorbunov says.”

“Well, did you get your nose pulled?”[8]

“My dear fellow,” observed the visitor sententiously, “it’s better to get off with your nose pulled than without a nose at all. As an afflicted marquis observed not long ago (he must have been treated by a specialist) in confession to his spiritual father—a Jesuit. I was present, it was simply charming. ‘Give me back my nose!’ he said, and he beat his breast. ‘My son,’ said the priest evasively, ‘all things are accomplished in accordance with the inscrutable decrees of Providence, and what seems a misfortune sometimes leads to extraordinary, though unapparent, benefits. If stern destiny has deprived you of your nose, it’s to your advantage that no one can ever pull you by your nose.’ ‘Holy father, that’s no comfort,’ cried the despairing marquis. ‘I’d be delighted to have my nose pulled every day of my life, if it were only in its proper place.’ ‘My son,’ sighs the priest, ‘you can’t expect every blessing at once. This is murmuring against Providence, who even in this has not forgotten you, for if you repine as you repined just now, declaring you’d be glad to have your nose pulled for the rest of your life, your desire has already been fulfilled indirectly, for when you lost your nose, you were led by the nose.’ ”

“Fool, how stupid!” cried Ivan.

“My dear friend, I only wanted to amuse you. But I swear that’s the genuine Jesuit casuistry and I swear that it all happened word for word as I’ve told you. It happened lately and gave me a great deal of trouble. The unhappy young man shot himself that very night when he got home. I was by his side till the very last moment. Those Jesuit confessionals are really my most delightful diversion at melancholy moments. Here’s another incident that happened only the other day. A little blonde Norman girl of twenty—a buxom, unsophisticated beauty that would make your mouth water—comes to an old priest. She bends down and whispers her sin into the grating. ‘Why, my daughter, have you fallen again already?’ cries the priest. ‘O Sancta Maria, what do I hear! Not the same man this time, how long is this going on? Aren’t you ashamed!’ ‘Ah, mon père,’ answers the sinner with tears of penitence, ‘ça lui fait tant de plaisir, et à moi si peu de peine!’ Fancy, such an answer! I drew back. It was the cry of nature, better than innocence itself, if you like. I absolved her sin on the spot and was turning to go, but I was forced to turn back. I heard the priest at the grating making an appointment with her for the evening—though he was an old man hard as flint, he fell in an instant! It was nature, the truth of nature asserted its rights! What, you are turning up your nose again? Angry again? I don’t know how to please you—”

“Leave me alone, you are beating on my brain like a haunting nightmare,” Ivan moaned miserably, helpless before his apparition. “I am bored with you, agonizingly and insufferably. I would give anything to be able to shake you off!”

“I repeat, moderate your expectations, don’t demand of me ‘everything great and noble’ and you’ll see how well we shall get on,” said the gentleman impressively. “You are really angry with me for not having appeared to you in a red glow, with thunder and lightning, with scorched wings, but have shown myself in such a modest form. You are wounded, in the first place, in your esthetic feelings, and, secondly, in your pride. How could such a vulgar devil visit such a great man as you! Yes, there is that romantic strain in you, that was so derided by Byelinsky. I can’t help it, young man, as I got ready to come to you I did think as a joke of appearing in the figure of a retired general who had served in the Caucasus, with a star of the Lion and the Sun on my coat. But I was positively afraid of doing it, for you’d have thrashed me for daring to pin the Lion and the Sun on my coat, instead of, at least, the Polar Star or the Sirius. And you keep on saying I am stupid, but, mercy on us! I make no claim to be equal to you in intelligence. Mephistopheles declared to Faust that he desired evil, but did only good. Well, he can say what he likes, it’s quite the opposite with me. I am perhaps the one man in all creation who loves the truth and genuinely desires good. I was there when the Word, Who died on the Cross, rose up into heaven bearing on His bosom the soul of the penitent thief. I heard the glad shrieks of the cherubim singing and shouting hosannah and the thunderous rapture of the seraphim which shook heaven and all creation, and I swear to you by all that’s sacred, I longed to join the choir and shout hosannah with them all. The word had almost escaped me, had almost broken from my lips ... you know how susceptible and esthetically impressionable I am. But common sense—oh, a most unhappy trait in my character—kept me in due bounds and I let the moment pass! For what would have happened, I reflected, what would have happened after my hosannah? Everything on earth would have been extinguished at once and no events could have occurred. And so, solely from a sense of duty and my social position, I was forced to suppress the good moment and to stick to my nasty task. Somebody takes all the credit of what’s good for Himself, and nothing but nastiness is left for me. But I don’t envy the honor of a life of idle imposture, I am not ambitious. Why am I, of all creatures in the world, doomed to be cursed by all decent people and even to be kicked, for if I put on mortal form I am bound to take such consequences sometimes? I know, of course, there’s a secret in it, but they won’t tell me the secret for anything, for then perhaps, seeing the meaning of it, I might bawl hosannah, and the indispensable minus would disappear at once, and good sense would reign supreme throughout the whole world. And that, of course, would mean the end of everything, even of magazines and newspapers, for who would take them in? I know that at the end of all things I shall be reconciled. I, too, shall walk my quadrillion and learn the secret. But till that happens I am sulking and fulfill my destiny though it’s against the grain—that is, to ruin thousands for the sake of saving one. How many souls have had to be ruined and how many honorable reputations destroyed for the sake of that one righteous man, Job, over whom they made such a fool of me in old days! Yes, till the secret is revealed, there are two sorts of truths for me—one, their truth, yonder, which I know nothing about so far, and the other my own. And there’s no knowing which will turn out the better.... Are you asleep?”

“I might well be,” Ivan groaned angrily. “All my stupid ideas—outgrown, thrashed out long ago, and flung aside like a dead carcass—you present to me as something new!”

“There’s no pleasing you! And I thought I should fascinate you by my literary style. That hosannah in the skies really wasn’t bad, was it? And then that ironical tone à la Heine, eh?”

“No, I was never such a flunkey! How then could my soul beget a flunkey like you?”

“My dear fellow, I know a most charming and attractive young Russian gentleman, a young thinker and a great lover of literature and art, the author of a promising poem entitled The Grand Inquisitor. I was only thinking of him!”

“I forbid you to speak of The Grand Inquisitor,” cried Ivan, crimson with shame.

“And the Geological Cataclysm. Do you remember? That was a poem, now!”

“Hold your tongue, or I’ll kill you!”

“You’ll kill me? No, excuse me, I will speak. I came to treat myself to that pleasure. Oh, I love the dreams of my ardent young friends, quivering with eagerness for life! ‘There are new men,’ you decided last spring, when you were meaning to come here, ‘they propose to destroy everything and begin with cannibalism. Stupid fellows! they didn’t ask my advice! I maintain that nothing need be destroyed, that we only need to destroy the idea of God in man, that’s how we have to set to work. It’s that, that we must begin with. Oh, blind race of men who have no understanding! As soon as men have all of them denied God—and I believe that period, analogous with geological periods, will come to pass—the old conception of the universe will fall of itself without cannibalism, and, what’s more, the old morality, and everything will begin anew. Men will unite to take from life all it can give, but only for joy and happiness in the present world. Man will be lifted up with a spirit of divine Titanic pride and the man‐ god will appear. From hour to hour extending his conquest of nature infinitely by his will and his science, man will feel such lofty joy from hour to hour in doing it that it will make up for all his old dreams of the joys of heaven. Every one will know that he is mortal and will accept death proudly and serenely like a god. His pride will teach him that it’s useless for him to repine at life’s being a moment, and he will love his brother without need of reward. Love will be sufficient only for a moment of life, but the very consciousness of its momentariness will intensify its fire, which now is dissipated in dreams of eternal love beyond the grave’... and so on and so on in the same style. Charming!”

Ivan sat with his eyes on the floor, and his hands pressed to his ears, but he began trembling all over. The voice continued.

“The question now is, my young thinker reflected, is it possible that such a period will ever come? If it does, everything is determined and humanity is settled for ever. But as, owing to man’s inveterate stupidity, this cannot come about for at least a thousand years, every one who recognizes the truth even now may legitimately order his life as he pleases, on the new principles. In that sense, ‘all things are lawful’ for him. What’s more, even if this period never comes to pass, since there is anyway no God and no immortality, the new man may well become the man‐god, even if he is the only one in the whole world, and promoted to his new position, he may lightheartedly overstep all the barriers of the old morality of the old slave‐man, if necessary. There is no law for God. Where God stands, the place is holy. Where I stand will be at once the foremost place ... ‘all things are lawful’ and that’s the end of it! That’s all very charming; but if you want to swindle why do you want a moral sanction for doing it? But that’s our modern Russian all over. He can’t bring himself to swindle without a moral sanction. He is so in love with truth—”

The visitor talked, obviously carried away by his own eloquence, speaking louder and louder and looking ironically at his host. But he did not succeed in finishing; Ivan suddenly snatched a glass from the table and flung it at the orator.

“Ah, mais c’est bête enfin,” cried the latter, jumping up from the sofa and shaking the drops of tea off himself. “He remembers Luther’s inkstand! He takes me for a dream and throws glasses at a dream! It’s like a woman! I suspected you were only pretending to stop up your ears.”

A loud, persistent knocking was suddenly heard at the window. Ivan jumped up from the sofa.

“Do you hear? You’d better open,” cried the visitor; “it’s your brother Alyosha with the most interesting and surprising news, I’ll be bound!”

“Be silent, deceiver, I knew it was Alyosha, I felt he was coming, and of course he has not come for nothing; of course he brings ‘news,’ ” Ivan exclaimed frantically.

“Open, open to him. There’s a snowstorm and he is your brother. Monsieur sait‐il le temps qu’il fait? C’est à ne pas mettre un chien dehors.”

The knocking continued. Ivan wanted to rush to the window, but something seemed to fetter his arms and legs. He strained every effort to break his chains, but in vain. The knocking at the window grew louder and louder. At last the chains were broken and Ivan leapt up from the sofa. He looked round him wildly. Both candles had almost burnt out, the glass he had just thrown at his visitor stood before him on the table, and there was no one on the sofa opposite. The knocking on the window frame went on persistently, but it was by no means so loud as it had seemed in his dream; on the contrary, it was quite subdued.

“It was not a dream! No, I swear it was not a dream, it all happened just now!” cried Ivan. He rushed to the window and opened the movable pane.

“Alyosha, I told you not to come,” he cried fiercely to his brother. “In two words, what do you want? In two words, do you hear?”

“An hour ago Smerdyakov hanged himself,” Alyosha answered from the yard.

“Come round to the steps, I’ll open at once,” said Ivan, going to open the door to Alyosha.

Chapter X.
“It Was He Who Said That”


Alyosha coming in told Ivan that a little over an hour ago Marya Kondratyevna had run to his rooms and informed him Smerdyakov had taken his own life. “I went in to clear away the samovar and he was hanging on a nail in the wall.” On Alyosha’s inquiring whether she had informed the police, she answered that she had told no one, “but I flew straight to you, I’ve run all the way.” She seemed perfectly crazy, Alyosha reported, and was shaking like a leaf. When Alyosha ran with her to the cottage, he found Smerdyakov still hanging. On the table lay a note: “I destroy my life of my own will and desire, so as to throw no blame on any one.” Alyosha left the note on the table and went straight to the police captain and told him all about it. “And from him I’ve come straight to you,” said Alyosha, in conclusion, looking intently into Ivan’s face. He had not taken his eyes off him while he told his story, as though struck by something in his expression.

“Brother,” he cried suddenly, “you must be terribly ill. You look and don’t seem to understand what I tell you.”

“It’s a good thing you came,” said Ivan, as though brooding, and not hearing Alyosha’s exclamation. “I knew he had hanged himself.”

“From whom?”

“I don’t know. But I knew. Did I know? Yes, he told me. He told me so just now.”

Ivan stood in the middle of the room, and still spoke in the same brooding tone, looking at the ground.

“Who is he?” asked Alyosha, involuntarily looking round.

“He’s slipped away.”

Ivan raised his head and smiled softly.

“He was afraid of you, of a dove like you. You are a ‘pure cherub.’ Dmitri calls you a cherub. Cherub!... the thunderous rapture of the seraphim. What are seraphim? Perhaps a whole constellation. But perhaps that constellation is only a chemical molecule. There’s a constellation of the Lion and the Sun. Don’t you know it?”

“Brother, sit down,” said Alyosha in alarm. “For goodness’ sake, sit down on the sofa! You are delirious; put your head on the pillow, that’s right. Would you like a wet towel on your head? Perhaps it will do you good.”

“Give me the towel: it’s here on the chair. I just threw it down there.”

“It’s not here. Don’t worry yourself. I know where it is—here,” said Alyosha, finding a clean towel, folded up and unused, by Ivan’s dressing‐ table in the other corner of the room. Ivan looked strangely at the towel: recollection seemed to come back to him for an instant.

“Stay”—he got up from the sofa—“an hour ago I took that new towel from there and wetted it. I wrapped it round my head and threw it down here ... How is it it’s dry? There was no other.”

“You put that towel on your head?” asked Alyosha.

“Yes, and walked up and down the room an hour ago ... Why have the candles burnt down so? What’s the time?”

“Nearly twelve.”

“No, no, no!” Ivan cried suddenly. “It was not a dream. He was here; he was sitting here, on that sofa. When you knocked at the window, I threw a glass at him ... this one. Wait a minute. I was asleep last time, but this dream was not a dream. It has happened before. I have dreams now, Alyosha ... yet they are not dreams, but reality. I walk about, talk and see ... though I am asleep. But he was sitting here, on that sofa there.... He is frightfully stupid, Alyosha, frightfully stupid.” Ivan laughed suddenly and began pacing about the room.

“Who is stupid? Of whom are you talking, brother?” Alyosha asked anxiously again.

“The devil! He’s taken to visiting me. He’s been here twice, almost three times. He taunted me with being angry at his being a simple devil and not Satan, with scorched wings, in thunder and lightning. But he is not Satan: that’s a lie. He is an impostor. He is simply a devil—a paltry, trivial devil. He goes to the baths. If you undressed him, you’d be sure to find he had a tail, long and smooth like a Danish dog’s, a yard long, dun color.... Alyosha, you are cold. You’ve been in the snow. Would you like some tea? What? Is it cold? Shall I tell her to bring some? C’est à ne pas mettre un chien dehors....”

Alyosha ran to the washing‐stand, wetted the towel, persuaded Ivan to sit down again, and put the wet towel round his head. He sat down beside him.

“What were you telling me just now about Lise?” Ivan began again. (He was becoming very talkative.) “I like Lise. I said something nasty about her. It was a lie. I like her ... I am afraid for Katya to‐morrow. I am more afraid of her than of anything. On account of the future. She will cast me off to‐morrow and trample me under foot. She thinks that I am ruining Mitya from jealousy on her account! Yes, she thinks that! But it’s not so. To‐morrow the cross, but not the gallows. No, I shan’t hang myself. Do you know, I can never commit suicide, Alyosha. Is it because I am base? I am not a coward. Is it from love of life? How did I know that Smerdyakov had hanged himself? Yes, it was he told me so.”

“And you are quite convinced that there has been some one here?” asked Alyosha.

“Yes, on that sofa in the corner. You would have driven him away. You did drive him away: he disappeared when you arrived. I love your face, Alyosha. Did you know that I loved your face? And he is myself, Alyosha. All that’s base in me, all that’s mean and contemptible. Yes, I am a romantic. He guessed it ... though it’s a libel. He is frightfully stupid; but it’s to his advantage. He has cunning, animal cunning—he knew how to infuriate me. He kept taunting me with believing in him, and that was how he made me listen to him. He fooled me like a boy. He told me a great deal that was true about myself, though. I should never have owned it to myself. Do you know, Alyosha,” Ivan added in an intensely earnest and confidential tone, “I should be awfully glad to think that it was he and not I.”

“He has worn you out,” said Alyosha, looking compassionately at his brother.

“He’s been teasing me. And you know he does it so cleverly, so cleverly. ‘Conscience! What is conscience? I make it up for myself. Why am I tormented by it? From habit. From the universal habit of mankind for the seven thousand years. So let us give it up, and we shall be gods.’ It was he said that, it was he said that!”

“And not you, not you?” Alyosha could not help crying, looking frankly at his brother. “Never mind him, anyway; have done with him and forget him. And let him take with him all that you curse now, and never come back!”

“Yes, but he is spiteful. He laughed at me. He was impudent, Alyosha,” Ivan said, with a shudder of offense. “But he was unfair to me, unfair to me about lots of things. He told lies about me to my face. ‘Oh, you are going to perform an act of heroic virtue: to confess you murdered your father, that the valet murdered him at your instigation.’ ”

“Brother,” Alyosha interposed, “restrain yourself. It was not you murdered him. It’s not true!”

“That’s what he says, he, and he knows it. ‘You are going to perform an act of heroic virtue, and you don’t believe in virtue; that’s what tortures you and makes you angry, that’s why you are so vindictive.’ He said that to me about me and he knows what he says.”

“It’s you say that, not he,” exclaimed Alyosha mournfully, “and you say it because you are ill and delirious, tormenting yourself.”

“No, he knows what he says. ‘You are going from pride,’ he says. ‘You’ll stand up and say it was I killed him, and why do you writhe with horror? You are lying! I despise your opinion, I despise your horror!’ He said that about me. ‘And do you know you are longing for their praise—“he is a criminal, a murderer, but what a generous soul; he wanted to save his brother and he confessed.” ’ That’s a lie, Alyosha!” Ivan cried suddenly, with flashing eyes. “I don’t want the low rabble to praise me, I swear I don’t! That’s a lie! That’s why I threw the glass at him and it broke against his ugly face.”

“Brother, calm yourself, stop!” Alyosha entreated him.

“Yes, he knows how to torment one. He’s cruel,” Ivan went on, unheeding. “I had an inkling from the first what he came for. ‘Granting that you go through pride, still you had a hope that Smerdyakov might be convicted and sent to Siberia, and Mitya would be acquitted, while you would only be punished with moral condemnation’ (‘Do you hear?’ he laughed then)—‘and some people will praise you. But now Smerdyakov’s dead, he has hanged himself, and who’ll believe you alone? But yet you are going, you are going, you’ll go all the same, you’ve decided to go. What are you going for now?’ That’s awful, Alyosha. I can’t endure such questions. Who dare ask me such questions?”

“Brother,” interposed Alyosha—his heart sank with terror, but he still seemed to hope to bring Ivan to reason—“how could he have told you of Smerdyakov’s death before I came, when no one knew of it and there was no time for any one to know of it?”

“He told me,” said Ivan firmly, refusing to admit a doubt. “It was all he did talk about, if you come to that. ‘And it would be all right if you believed in virtue,’ he said. ‘No matter if they disbelieve you, you are going for the sake of principle. But you are a little pig like Fyodor Pavlovitch, and what do you want with virtue? Why do you want to go meddling if your sacrifice is of no use to any one? Because you don’t know yourself why you go! Oh, you’d give a great deal to know yourself why you go! And can you have made up your mind? You’ve not made up your mind. You’ll sit all night deliberating whether to go or not. But you will go; you know you’ll go. You know that whichever way you decide, the decision does not depend on you. You’ll go because you won’t dare not to go. Why won’t you dare? You must guess that for yourself. That’s a riddle for you!’ He got up and went away. You came and he went. He called me a coward, Alyosha! Le mot de l’énigme is that I am a coward. ‘It is not for such eagles to soar above the earth.’ It was he added that—he! And Smerdyakov said the same. He must be killed! Katya despises me. I’ve seen that for a month past. Even Lise will begin to despise me! ‘You are going in order to be praised.’ That’s a brutal lie! And you despise me too, Alyosha. Now I am going to hate you again! And I hate the monster, too! I hate the monster! I don’t want to save the monster. Let him rot in Siberia! He’s begun singing a hymn! Oh, to‐morrow I’ll go, stand before them, and spit in their faces!”

He jumped up in a frenzy, flung off the towel, and fell to pacing up and down the room again. Alyosha recalled what he had just said. “I seem to be sleeping awake.... I walk, I speak, I see, but I am asleep.” It seemed to be just like that now. Alyosha did not leave him. The thought passed through his mind to run for a doctor, but he was afraid to leave his brother alone: there was no one to whom he could leave him. By degrees Ivan lost consciousness completely at last. He still went on talking, talking incessantly, but quite incoherently, and even articulated his words with difficulty. Suddenly he staggered violently; but Alyosha was in time to support him. Ivan let him lead him to his bed. Alyosha undressed him somehow and put him to bed. He sat watching over him for another two hours. The sick man slept soundly, without stirring, breathing softly and evenly. Alyosha took a pillow and lay down on the sofa, without undressing.

As he fell asleep he prayed for Mitya and Ivan. He began to understand Ivan’s illness. “The anguish of a proud determination. An earnest conscience!” God, in Whom he disbelieved, and His truth were gaining mastery over his heart, which still refused to submit. “Yes,” the thought floated through Alyosha’s head as it lay on the pillow, “yes, if Smerdyakov is dead, no one will believe Ivan’s evidence; but he will go and give it.” Alyosha smiled softly. “God will conquer!” he thought. “He will either rise up in the light of truth, or ... he’ll perish in hate, revenging on himself and on every one his having served the cause he does not believe in,” Alyosha added bitterly, and again he prayed for Ivan.