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The Brothers Karamazov

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Chapter I.
The Fatal Day


At ten o’clock in the morning of the day following the events I have described, the trial of Dmitri Karamazov began in our district court.

I hasten to emphasize the fact that I am far from esteeming myself capable of reporting all that took place at the trial in full detail, or even in the actual order of events. I imagine that to mention everything with full explanation would fill a volume, even a very large one. And so I trust I may not be reproached, for confining myself to what struck me. I may have selected as of most interest what was of secondary importance, and may have omitted the most prominent and essential details. But I see I shall do better not to apologize. I will do my best and the reader will see for himself that I have done all I can.

And, to begin with, before entering the court, I will mention what surprised me most on that day. Indeed, as it appeared later, every one was surprised at it, too. We all knew that the affair had aroused great interest, that every one was burning with impatience for the trial to begin, that it had been a subject of talk, conjecture, exclamation and surmise for the last two months in local society. Every one knew, too, that the case had become known throughout Russia, but yet we had not imagined that it had aroused such burning, such intense, interest in every one, not only among ourselves, but all over Russia. This became evident at the trial this day.

Visitors had arrived not only from the chief town of our province, but from several other Russian towns, as well as from Moscow and Petersburg. Among them were lawyers, ladies, and even several distinguished personages. Every ticket of admission had been snatched up. A special place behind the table at which the three judges sat was set apart for the most distinguished and important of the men visitors; a row of arm‐chairs had been placed there—something exceptional, which had never been allowed before. A large proportion—not less than half of the public—were ladies. There was such a large number of lawyers from all parts that they did not know where to seat them, for every ticket had long since been eagerly sought for and distributed. I saw at the end of the room, behind the platform, a special partition hurriedly put up, behind which all these lawyers were admitted, and they thought themselves lucky to have standing room there, for all chairs had been removed for the sake of space, and the crowd behind the partition stood throughout the case closely packed, shoulder to shoulder.

Some of the ladies, especially those who came from a distance, made their appearance in the gallery very smartly dressed, but the majority of the ladies were oblivious even of dress. Their faces betrayed hysterical, intense, almost morbid, curiosity. A peculiar fact—established afterwards by many observations—was that almost all the ladies, or, at least the vast majority of them, were on Mitya’s side and in favor of his being acquitted. This was perhaps chiefly owing to his reputation as a conqueror of female hearts. It was known that two women rivals were to appear in the case. One of them—Katerina Ivanovna—was an object of general interest. All sorts of extraordinary tales were told about her, amazing anecdotes of her passion for Mitya, in spite of his crime. Her pride and “aristocratic connections” were particularly insisted upon (she had called upon scarcely any one in the town). People said she intended to petition the Government for leave to accompany the criminal to Siberia and to be married to him somewhere in the mines. The appearance of Grushenka in court was awaited with no less impatience. The public was looking forward with anxious curiosity to the meeting of the two rivals—the proud aristocratic girl and “the hetaira.” But Grushenka was a more familiar figure to the ladies of the district than Katerina Ivanovna. They had already seen “the woman who had ruined Fyodor Pavlovitch and his unhappy son,” and all, almost without exception, wondered how father and son could be so in love with “such a very common, ordinary Russian girl, who was not even pretty.”

In brief, there was a great deal of talk. I know for a fact that there were several serious family quarrels on Mitya’s account in our town. Many ladies quarreled violently with their husbands over differences of opinion about the dreadful case, and it was only natural that the husbands of these ladies, far from being favorably disposed to the prisoner, should enter the court bitterly prejudiced against him. In fact, one may say pretty certainly that the masculine, as distinguished from the feminine, part of the audience were biased against the prisoner. There were numbers of severe, frowning, even vindictive faces. Mitya, indeed, had managed to offend many people during his stay in the town. Some of the visitors were, of course, in excellent spirits and quite unconcerned as to the fate of Mitya personally. But all were interested in the trial, and the majority of the men were certainly hoping for the conviction of the criminal, except perhaps the lawyers, who were more interested in the legal than in the moral aspect of the case.

Everybody was excited at the presence of the celebrated lawyer, Fetyukovitch. His talent was well known, and this was not the first time he had defended notorious criminal cases in the provinces. And if he defended them, such cases became celebrated and long remembered all over Russia. There were stories, too, about our prosecutor and about the President of the Court. It was said that Ippolit Kirillovitch was in a tremor at meeting Fetyukovitch, and that they had been enemies from the beginning of their careers in Petersburg, that though our sensitive prosecutor, who always considered that he had been aggrieved by some one in Petersburg because his talents had not been properly appreciated, was keenly excited over the Karamazov case, and was even dreaming of rebuilding his flagging fortunes by means of it, Fetyukovitch, they said, was his one anxiety. But these rumors were not quite just. Our prosecutor was not one of those men who lose heart in face of danger. On the contrary, his self‐confidence increased with the increase of danger. It must be noted that our prosecutor was in general too hasty and morbidly impressionable. He would put his whole soul into some case and work at it as though his whole fate and his whole fortune depended on its result. This was the subject of some ridicule in the legal world, for just by this characteristic our prosecutor had gained a wider notoriety than could have been expected from his modest position. People laughed particularly at his passion for psychology. In my opinion, they were wrong, and our prosecutor was, I believe, a character of greater depth than was generally supposed. But with his delicate health he had failed to make his mark at the outset of his career and had never made up for it later.

As for the President of our Court, I can only say that he was a humane and cultured man, who had a practical knowledge of his work and progressive views. He was rather ambitious, but did not concern himself greatly about his future career. The great aim of his life was to be a man of advanced ideas. He was, too, a man of connections and property. He felt, as we learnt afterwards, rather strongly about the Karamazov case, but from a social, not from a personal standpoint. He was interested in it as a social phenomenon, in its classification and its character as a product of our social conditions, as typical of the national character, and so on, and so on. His attitude to the personal aspect of the case, to its tragic significance and the persons involved in it, including the prisoner, was rather indifferent and abstract, as was perhaps fitting, indeed.

The court was packed and overflowing long before the judges made their appearance. Our court is the best hall in the town—spacious, lofty, and good for sound. On the right of the judges, who were on a raised platform, a table and two rows of chairs had been put ready for the jury. On the left was the place for the prisoner and the counsel for the defense. In the middle of the court, near the judges, was a table with the “material proofs.” On it lay Fyodor Pavlovitch’s white silk dressing‐gown, stained with blood; the fatal brass pestle with which the supposed murder had been committed; Mitya’s shirt, with a blood‐stained sleeve; his coat, stained with blood in patches over the pocket in which he had put his handkerchief; the handkerchief itself, stiff with blood and by now quite yellow; the pistol loaded by Mitya at Perhotin’s with a view to suicide, and taken from him on the sly at Mokroe by Trifon Borissovitch; the envelope in which the three thousand roubles had been put ready for Grushenka, the narrow pink ribbon with which it had been tied, and many other articles I don’t remember. In the body of the hall, at some distance, came the seats for the public. But in front of the balustrade a few chairs had been placed for witnesses who remained in the court after giving their evidence.

At ten o’clock the three judges arrived—the President, one honorary justice of the peace, and one other. The prosecutor, of course, entered immediately after. The President was a short, stout, thick‐set man of fifty, with a dyspeptic complexion, dark hair turning gray and cut short, and a red ribbon, of what Order I don’t remember. The prosecutor struck me and the others, too, as looking particularly pale, almost green. His face seemed to have grown suddenly thinner, perhaps in a single night, for I had seen him looking as usual only two days before. The President began with asking the court whether all the jury were present.

But I see I can’t go on like this, partly because some things I did not hear, others I did not notice, and others I have forgotten, but most of all because, as I have said before, I have literally no time or space to mention everything that was said and done. I only know that neither side objected to very many of the jurymen. I remember the twelve jurymen—four were petty officials of the town, two were merchants, and six peasants and artisans of the town. I remember, long before the trial, questions were continually asked with some surprise, especially by ladies: “Can such a delicate, complex and psychological case be submitted for decision to petty officials and even peasants?” and “What can an official, still more a peasant, understand in such an affair?” All the four officials in the jury were, in fact, men of no consequence and of low rank. Except one who was rather younger, they were gray‐headed men, little known in society, who had vegetated on a pitiful salary, and who probably had elderly, unpresentable wives and crowds of children, perhaps even without shoes and stockings. At most, they spent their leisure over cards and, of course, had never read a single book. The two merchants looked respectable, but were strangely silent and stolid. One of them was close‐shaven, and was dressed in European style; the other had a small, gray beard, and wore a red ribbon with some sort of a medal upon it on his neck. There is no need to speak of the artisans and the peasants. The artisans of Skotoprigonyevsk are almost peasants, and even work on the land. Two of them also wore European dress, and, perhaps for that reason, were dirtier and more uninviting‐looking than the others. So that one might well wonder, as I did as soon as I had looked at them, “what men like that could possibly make of such a case?” Yet their faces made a strangely imposing, almost menacing, impression; they were stern and frowning.

At last the President opened the case of the murder of Fyodor Pavlovitch Karamazov. I don’t quite remember how he described him. The court usher was told to bring in the prisoner, and Mitya made his appearance. There was a hush through the court. One could have heard a fly. I don’t know how it was with others, but Mitya made a most unfavorable impression on me. He looked an awful dandy in a brand‐new frock‐coat. I heard afterwards that he had ordered it in Moscow expressly for the occasion from his own tailor, who had his measure. He wore immaculate black kid gloves and exquisite linen. He walked in with his yard‐long strides, looking stiffly straight in front of him, and sat down in his place with a most unperturbed air.

At the same moment the counsel for defense, the celebrated Fetyukovitch, entered, and a sort of subdued hum passed through the court. He was a tall, spare man, with long thin legs, with extremely long, thin, pale fingers, clean‐shaven face, demurely brushed, rather short hair, and thin lips that were at times curved into something between a sneer and a smile. He looked about forty. His face would have been pleasant, if it had not been for his eyes, which, in themselves small and inexpressive, were set remarkably close together, with only the thin, long nose as a dividing line between them. In fact, there was something strikingly birdlike about his face. He was in evening dress and white tie.

I remember the President’s first questions to Mitya, about his name, his calling, and so on. Mitya answered sharply, and his voice was so unexpectedly loud that it made the President start and look at the prisoner with surprise. Then followed a list of persons who were to take part in the proceedings—that is, of the witnesses and experts. It was a long list. Four of the witnesses were not present—Miüsov, who had given evidence at the preliminary inquiry, but was now in Paris; Madame Hohlakov and Maximov, who were absent through illness; and Smerdyakov, through his sudden death, of which an official statement from the police was presented. The news of Smerdyakov’s death produced a sudden stir and whisper in the court. Many of the audience, of course, had not heard of the sudden suicide. What struck people most was Mitya’s sudden outburst. As soon as the statement of Smerdyakov’s death was made, he cried out aloud from his place:

“He was a dog and died like a dog!”

I remember how his counsel rushed to him, and how the President addressed him, threatening to take stern measures, if such an irregularity were repeated. Mitya nodded and in a subdued voice repeated several times abruptly to his counsel, with no show of regret:

“I won’t again, I won’t. It escaped me. I won’t do it again.”

And, of course, this brief episode did him no good with the jury or the public. His character was displayed, and it spoke for itself. It was under the influence of this incident that the opening statement was read. It was rather short, but circumstantial. It only stated the chief reasons why he had been arrested, why he must be tried, and so on. Yet it made a great impression on me. The clerk read it loudly and distinctly. The whole tragedy was suddenly unfolded before us, concentrated, in bold relief, in a fatal and pitiless light. I remember how, immediately after it had been read, the President asked Mitya in a loud impressive voice:

“Prisoner, do you plead guilty?”

Mitya suddenly rose from his seat.

“I plead guilty to drunkenness and dissipation,” he exclaimed, again in a startling, almost frenzied, voice, “to idleness and debauchery. I meant to become an honest man for good, just at the moment when I was struck down by fate. But I am not guilty of the death of that old man, my enemy and my father. No, no, I am not guilty of robbing him! I could not be. Dmitri Karamazov is a scoundrel, but not a thief.”

He sat down again, visibly trembling all over. The President again briefly, but impressively, admonished him to answer only what was asked, and not to go off into irrelevant exclamations. Then he ordered the case to proceed. All the witnesses were led up to take the oath. Then I saw them all together. The brothers of the prisoner were, however, allowed to give evidence without taking the oath. After an exhortation from the priest and the President, the witnesses were led away and were made to sit as far as possible apart from one another. Then they began calling them up one by one.

Chapter II.
Dangerous Witnesses


I do not know whether the witnesses for the defense and for the prosecution were separated into groups by the President, and whether it was arranged to call them in a certain order. But no doubt it was so. I only know that the witnesses for the prosecution were called first. I repeat I don’t intend to describe all the questions step by step. Besides, my account would be to some extent superfluous, because in the speeches for the prosecution and for the defense the whole course of the evidence was brought together and set in a strong and significant light, and I took down parts of those two remarkable speeches in full, and will quote them in due course, together with one extraordinary and quite unexpected episode, which occurred before the final speeches, and undoubtedly influenced the sinister and fatal outcome of the trial.

I will only observe that from the first moments of the trial one peculiar characteristic of the case was conspicuous and observed by all, that is, the overwhelming strength of the prosecution as compared with the arguments the defense had to rely upon. Every one realized it from the first moment that the facts began to group themselves round a single point, and the whole horrible and bloody crime was gradually revealed. Every one, perhaps, felt from the first that the case was beyond dispute, that there was no doubt about it, that there could be really no discussion, and that the defense was only a matter of form, and that the prisoner was guilty, obviously and conclusively guilty. I imagine that even the ladies, who were so impatiently longing for the acquittal of the interesting prisoner, were at the same time, without exception, convinced of his guilt. What’s more, I believe they would have been mortified if his guilt had not been so firmly established, as that would have lessened the effect of the closing scene of the criminal’s acquittal. That he would be acquitted, all the ladies, strange to say, were firmly persuaded up to the very last moment. “He is guilty, but he will be acquitted, from motives of humanity, in accordance with the new ideas, the new sentiments that had come into fashion,” and so on, and so on. And that was why they had crowded into the court so impatiently. The men were more interested in the contest between the prosecutor and the famous Fetyukovitch. All were wondering and asking themselves what could even a talent like Fetyukovitch’s make of such a desperate case; and so they followed his achievements, step by step, with concentrated attention.

But Fetyukovitch remained an enigma to all up to the very end, up to his speech. Persons of experience suspected that he had some design, that he was working towards some object, but it was almost impossible to guess what it was. His confidence and self‐reliance were unmistakable, however. Every one noticed with pleasure, moreover, that he, after so short a stay, not more than three days, perhaps, among us, had so wonderfully succeeded in mastering the case and “had studied it to a nicety.” People described with relish, afterwards, how cleverly he had “taken down” all the witnesses for the prosecution, and as far as possible perplexed them and, what’s more, had aspersed their reputation and so depreciated the value of their evidence. But it was supposed that he did this rather by way of sport, so to speak, for professional glory, to show nothing had been omitted of the accepted methods, for all were convinced that he could do no real good by such disparagement of the witnesses, and probably was more aware of this than any one, having some idea of his own in the background, some concealed weapon of defense, which he would suddenly reveal when the time came. But meanwhile, conscious of his strength, he seemed to be diverting himself.

So, for instance, when Grigory, Fyodor Pavlovitch’s old servant, who had given the most damning piece of evidence about the open door, was examined, the counsel for the defense positively fastened upon him when his turn came to question him. It must be noted that Grigory entered the hall with a composed and almost stately air, not the least disconcerted by the majesty of the court or the vast audience listening to him. He gave evidence with as much confidence as though he had been talking with his Marfa, only perhaps more respectfully. It was impossible to make him contradict himself. The prosecutor questioned him first in detail about the family life of the Karamazovs. The family picture stood out in lurid colors. It was plain to ear and eye that the witness was guileless and impartial. In spite of his profound reverence for the memory of his deceased master, he yet bore witness that he had been unjust to Mitya and “hadn’t brought up his children as he should. He’d have been devoured by lice when he was little, if it hadn’t been for me,” he added, describing Mitya’s early childhood. “It wasn’t fair either of the father to wrong his son over his mother’s property, which was by right his.”

In reply to the prosecutor’s question what grounds he had for asserting that Fyodor Pavlovitch had wronged his son in their money relations, Grigory, to the surprise of every one, had no proof at all to bring forward, but he still persisted that the arrangement with the son was “unfair,” and that he ought “to have paid him several thousand roubles more.” I must note, by the way, that the prosecutor asked this question whether Fyodor Pavlovitch had really kept back part of Mitya’s inheritance with marked persistence of all the witnesses who could be asked it, not excepting Alyosha and Ivan, but he obtained no exact information from any one; all alleged that it was so, but were unable to bring forward any distinct proof. Grigory’s description of the scene at the dinner‐table, when Dmitri had burst in and beaten his father, threatening to come back to kill him, made a sinister impression on the court, especially as the old servant’s composure in telling it, his parsimony of words and peculiar phraseology, were as effective as eloquence. He observed that he was not angry with Mitya for having knocked him down and struck him on the face; he had forgiven him long ago, he said. Of the deceased Smerdyakov he observed, crossing himself, that he was a lad of ability, but stupid and afflicted, and, worse still, an infidel, and that it was Fyodor Pavlovitch and his elder son who had taught him to be so. But he defended Smerdyakov’s honesty almost with warmth, and related how Smerdyakov had once found the master’s money in the yard, and, instead of concealing it, had taken it to his master, who had rewarded him with a “gold piece” for it, and trusted him implicitly from that time forward. He maintained obstinately that the door into the garden had been open. But he was asked so many questions that I can’t recall them all.

At last the counsel for the defense began to cross‐examine him, and the first question he asked was about the envelope in which Fyodor Pavlovitch was supposed to have put three thousand roubles for “a certain person.” “Have you ever seen it, you, who were for so many years in close attendance on your master?” Grigory answered that he had not seen it and had never heard of the money from any one “till everybody was talking about it.” This question about the envelope Fetyukovitch put to every one who could conceivably have known of it, as persistently as the prosecutor asked his question about Dmitri’s inheritance, and got the same answer from all, that no one had seen the envelope, though many had heard of it. From the beginning every one noticed Fetyukovitch’s persistence on this subject.

“Now, with your permission I’ll ask you a question,” Fetyukovitch said, suddenly and unexpectedly. “Of what was that balsam, or, rather, decoction, made, which, as we learn from the preliminary inquiry, you used on that evening to rub your lumbago, in the hope of curing it?”

Grigory looked blankly at the questioner, and after a brief silence muttered, “There was saffron in it.”

“Nothing but saffron? Don’t you remember any other ingredient?”

“There was milfoil in it, too.”

“And pepper perhaps?” Fetyukovitch queried.

“Yes, there was pepper, too.”

“Etcetera. And all dissolved in vodka?”

“In spirit.”

There was a faint sound of laughter in the court.

“You see, in spirit. After rubbing your back, I believe, you drank what was left in the bottle with a certain pious prayer, only known to your wife?”

“I did.”

“Did you drink much? Roughly speaking, a wine‐glass or two?”

“It might have been a tumbler‐full.”

“A tumbler‐full, even. Perhaps a tumbler and a half?”

Grigory did not answer. He seemed to see what was meant.

“A glass and a half of neat spirit—is not at all bad, don’t you think? You might see the gates of heaven open, not only the door into the garden?”

Grigory remained silent. There was another laugh in the court. The President made a movement.

“Do you know for a fact,” Fetyukovitch persisted, “whether you were awake or not when you saw the open door?”

“I was on my legs.”

“That’s not a proof that you were awake.” (There was again laughter in the court.) “Could you have answered at that moment, if any one had asked you a question—for instance, what year it is?”

“I don’t know.”

“And what year is it, Anno Domini, do you know?”

Grigory stood with a perplexed face, looking straight at his tormentor. Strange to say, it appeared he really did not know what year it was.

“But perhaps you can tell me how many fingers you have on your hands?”

“I am a servant,” Grigory said suddenly, in a loud and distinct voice. “If my betters think fit to make game of me, it is my duty to suffer it.”

Fetyukovitch was a little taken aback, and the President intervened, reminding him that he must ask more relevant questions. Fetyukovitch bowed with dignity and said that he had no more questions to ask of the witness. The public and the jury, of course, were left with a grain of doubt in their minds as to the evidence of a man who might, while undergoing a certain cure, have seen “the gates of heaven,” and who did not even know what year he was living in. But before Grigory left the box another episode occurred. The President, turning to the prisoner, asked him whether he had any comment to make on the evidence of the last witness.

“Except about the door, all he has said is true,” cried Mitya, in a loud voice. “For combing the lice off me, I thank him; for forgiving my blows, I thank him. The old man has been honest all his life and as faithful to my father as seven hundred poodles.”

“Prisoner, be careful in your language,” the President admonished him.

“I am not a poodle,” Grigory muttered.

“All right, it’s I am a poodle myself,” cried Mitya. “If it’s an insult, I take it to myself and I beg his pardon. I was a beast and cruel to him. I was cruel to Æsop too.”

“What Æsop?” the President asked sternly again.

“Oh, Pierrot ... my father, Fyodor Pavlovitch.”

The President again and again warned Mitya impressively and very sternly to be more careful in his language.

“You are injuring yourself in the opinion of your judges.”

The counsel for the defense was equally clever in dealing with the evidence of Rakitin. I may remark that Rakitin was one of the leading witnesses and one to whom the prosecutor attached great significance. It appeared that he knew everything; his knowledge was amazing, he had been everywhere, seen everything, talked to everybody, knew every detail of the biography of Fyodor Pavlovitch and all the Karamazovs. Of the envelope, it is true, he had only heard from Mitya himself. But he described minutely Mitya’s exploits in the “Metropolis,” all his compromising doings and sayings, and told the story of Captain Snegiryov’s “wisp of tow.” But even Rakitin could say nothing positive about Mitya’s inheritance, and confined himself to contemptuous generalities.

“Who could tell which of them was to blame, and which was in debt to the other, with their crazy Karamazov way of muddling things so that no one could make head or tail of it?” He attributed the tragic crime to the habits that had become ingrained by ages of serfdom and the distressed condition of Russia, due to the lack of appropriate institutions. He was, in fact, allowed some latitude of speech. This was the first occasion on which Rakitin showed what he could do, and attracted notice. The prosecutor knew that the witness was preparing a magazine article on the case, and afterwards in his speech, as we shall see later, quoted some ideas from the article, showing that he had seen it already. The picture drawn by the witness was a gloomy and sinister one, and greatly strengthened the case for the prosecution. Altogether, Rakitin’s discourse fascinated the public by its independence and the extraordinary nobility of its ideas. There were even two or three outbreaks of applause when he spoke of serfdom and the distressed condition of Russia.

But Rakitin, in his youthful ardor, made a slight blunder, of which the counsel for the defense at once adroitly took advantage. Answering certain questions about Grushenka, and carried away by the loftiness of his own sentiments and his success, of which he was, of course, conscious, he went so far as to speak somewhat contemptuously of Agrafena Alexandrovna as “the kept mistress of Samsonov.” He would have given a good deal to take back his words afterwards, for Fetyukovitch caught him out over it at once. And it was all because Rakitin had not reckoned on the lawyer having been able to become so intimately acquainted with every detail in so short a time.

“Allow me to ask,” began the counsel for the defense, with the most affable and even respectful smile, “you are, of course, the same Mr. Rakitin whose pamphlet, The Life of the Deceased Elder, Father Zossima, published by the diocesan authorities, full of profound and religious reflections and preceded by an excellent and devout dedication to the bishop, I have just read with such pleasure?”

“I did not write it for publication ... it was published afterwards,” muttered Rakitin, for some reason fearfully disconcerted and almost ashamed.

“Oh, that’s excellent! A thinker like you can, and indeed ought to, take the widest view of every social question. Your most instructive pamphlet has been widely circulated through the patronage of the bishop, and has been of appreciable service.... But this is the chief thing I should like to learn from you. You stated just now that you were very intimately acquainted with Madame Svyetlov.” (It must be noted that Grushenka’s surname was Svyetlov. I heard it for the first time that day, during the case.)

“I cannot answer for all my acquaintances.... I am a young man ... and who can be responsible for every one he meets?” cried Rakitin, flushing all over.

“I understand, I quite understand,” cried Fetyukovitch, as though he, too, were embarrassed and in haste to excuse himself. “You, like any other, might well be interested in an acquaintance with a young and beautiful woman who would readily entertain the élite of the youth of the neighborhood, but ... I only wanted to know ... It has come to my knowledge that Madame Svyetlov was particularly anxious a couple of months ago to make the acquaintance of the younger Karamazov, Alexey Fyodorovitch, and promised you twenty‐five roubles, if you would bring him to her in his monastic dress. And that actually took place on the evening of the day on which the terrible crime, which is the subject of the present investigation, was committed. You brought Alexey Karamazov to Madame Svyetlov, and did you receive the twenty‐five roubles from Madame Svyetlov as a reward, that’s what I wanted to hear from you?”

“It was a joke.... I don’t see of what interest that can be to you.... I took it for a joke ... meaning to give it back later....”

“Then you did take— But you have not given it back yet ... or have you?”

“That’s of no consequence,” muttered Rakitin, “I refuse to answer such questions.... Of course I shall give it back.”

The President intervened, but Fetyukovitch declared he had no more questions to ask of the witness. Mr. Rakitin left the witness‐box not absolutely without a stain upon his character. The effect left by the lofty idealism of his speech was somewhat marred, and Fetyukovitch’s expression, as he watched him walk away, seemed to suggest to the public “this is a specimen of the lofty‐minded persons who accuse him.” I remember that this incident, too, did not pass off without an outbreak from Mitya. Enraged by the tone in which Rakitin had referred to Grushenka, he suddenly shouted “Bernard!” When, after Rakitin’s cross‐ examination, the President asked the prisoner if he had anything to say, Mitya cried loudly:

“Since I’ve been arrested, he has borrowed money from me! He is a contemptible Bernard and opportunist, and he doesn’t believe in God; he took the bishop in!”

Mitya, of course, was pulled up again for the intemperance of his language, but Rakitin was done for. Captain Snegiryov’s evidence was a failure, too, but from quite a different reason. He appeared in ragged and dirty clothes, muddy boots, and in spite of the vigilance and expert observation of the police officers, he turned out to be hopelessly drunk. On being asked about Mitya’s attack upon him, he refused to answer.

“God bless him. Ilusha told me not to. God will make it up to me yonder.”

“Who told you not to tell? Of whom are you talking?”

“Ilusha, my little son. ‘Father, father, how he insulted you!’ He said that at the stone. Now he is dying....”

The captain suddenly began sobbing, and plumped down on his knees before the President. He was hurriedly led away amidst the laughter of the public. The effect prepared by the prosecutor did not come off at all.

Fetyukovitch went on making the most of every opportunity, and amazed people more and more by his minute knowledge of the case. Thus, for example, Trifon Borissovitch made a great impression, of course, very prejudicial to Mitya. He calculated almost on his fingers that on his first visit to Mokroe, Mitya must have spent three thousand roubles, “or very little less. Just think what he squandered on those gypsy girls alone! And as for our lousy peasants, it wasn’t a case of flinging half a rouble in the street, he made them presents of twenty‐five roubles each, at least, he didn’t give them less. And what a lot of money was simply stolen from him! And if any one did steal, he did not leave a receipt. How could one catch the thief when he was flinging his money away all the time? Our peasants are robbers, you know; they have no care for their souls. And the way he went on with the girls, our village girls! They’re completely set up since then, I tell you, they used to be poor.” He recalled, in fact, every item of expense and added it all up. So the theory that only fifteen hundred had been spent and the rest had been put aside in a little bag seemed inconceivable.

“I saw three thousand as clear as a penny in his hands, I saw it with my own eyes; I should think I ought to know how to reckon money,” cried Trifon Borissovitch, doing his best to satisfy “his betters.”

When Fetyukovitch had to cross‐examine him, he scarcely tried to refute his evidence, but began asking him about an incident at the first carousal at Mokroe, a month before the arrest, when Timofey and another peasant called Akim had picked up on the floor in the passage a hundred roubles dropped by Mitya when he was drunk, and had given them to Trifon Borissovitch and received a rouble each from him for doing so. “Well,” asked the lawyer, “did you give that hundred roubles back to Mr. Karamazov?” Trifon Borissovitch shuffled in vain.... He was obliged, after the peasants had been examined, to admit the finding of the hundred roubles, only adding that he had religiously returned it all to Dmitri Fyodorovitch “in perfect honesty, and it’s only because his honor was in liquor at the time, he wouldn’t remember it.” But, as he had denied the incident of the hundred roubles till the peasants had been called to prove it, his evidence as to returning the money to Mitya was naturally regarded with great suspicion. So one of the most dangerous witnesses brought forward by the prosecution was again discredited.

The same thing happened with the Poles. They took up an attitude of pride and independence; they vociferated loudly that they had both been in the service of the Crown, and that “Pan Mitya” had offered them three thousand “to buy their honor,” and that they had seen a large sum of money in his hands. Pan Mussyalovitch introduced a terrible number of Polish words into his sentences, and seeing that this only increased his consequence in the eyes of the President and the prosecutor, grew more and more pompous, and ended by talking in Polish altogether. But Fetyukovitch caught them, too, in his snares. Trifon Borissovitch, recalled, was forced, in spite of his evasions, to admit that Pan Vrublevsky had substituted another pack of cards for the one he had provided, and that Pan Mussyalovitch had cheated during the game. Kalganov confirmed this, and both the Poles left the witness‐box with damaged reputations, amidst laughter from the public.

Then exactly the same thing happened with almost all the most dangerous witnesses. Fetyukovitch succeeded in casting a slur on all of them, and dismissing them with a certain derision. The lawyers and experts were lost in admiration, and were only at a loss to understand what good purpose could be served by it, for all, I repeat, felt that the case for the prosecution could not be refuted, but was growing more and more tragically overwhelming. But from the confidence of the “great magician” they saw that he was serene, and they waited, feeling that “such a man” had not come from Petersburg for nothing, and that he was not a man to return unsuccessful.

Chapter III.
The Medical Experts And A Pound Of Nuts


The evidence of the medical experts, too, was of little use to the prisoner. And it appeared later that Fetyukovitch had not reckoned much upon it. The medical line of defense had only been taken up through the insistence of Katerina Ivanovna, who had sent for a celebrated doctor from Moscow on purpose. The case for the defense could, of course, lose nothing by it and might, with luck, gain something from it. There was, however, an element of comedy about it, through the difference of opinion of the doctors. The medical experts were the famous doctor from Moscow, our doctor, Herzenstube, and the young doctor, Varvinsky. The two latter appeared also as witnesses for the prosecution.

The first to be called in the capacity of expert was Doctor Herzenstube. He was a gray and bald old man of seventy, of middle height and sturdy build. He was much esteemed and respected by every one in the town. He was a conscientious doctor and an excellent and pious man, a Hernguter or Moravian brother, I am not quite sure which. He had been living amongst us for many years and behaved with wonderful dignity. He was a kind‐hearted and humane man. He treated the sick poor and peasants for nothing, visited them in their slums and huts, and left money for medicine, but he was as obstinate as a mule. If once he had taken an idea into his head, there was no shaking it. Almost every one in the town was aware, by the way, that the famous doctor had, within the first two or three days of his presence among us, uttered some extremely offensive allusions to Doctor Herzenstube’s qualifications. Though the Moscow doctor asked twenty‐five roubles for a visit, several people in the town were glad to take advantage of his arrival, and rushed to consult him regardless of expense. All these had, of course, been previously patients of Doctor Herzenstube, and the celebrated doctor had criticized his treatment with extreme harshness. Finally, he had asked the patients as soon as he saw them, “Well, who has been cramming you with nostrums? Herzenstube? He, he!” Doctor Herzenstube, of course, heard all this, and now all the three doctors made their appearance, one after another, to be examined.

Doctor Herzenstube roundly declared that the abnormality of the prisoner’s mental faculties was self‐evident. Then giving his grounds for this opinion, which I omit here, he added that the abnormality was not only evident in many of the prisoner’s actions in the past, but was apparent even now at this very moment. When he was asked to explain how it was apparent now at this moment, the old doctor, with simple‐hearted directness, pointed out that the prisoner on entering the court had “an extraordinary air, remarkable in the circumstances”; that he had “marched in like a soldier, looking straight before him, though it would have been more natural for him to look to the left where, among the public, the ladies were sitting, seeing that he was a great admirer of the fair sex and must be thinking much of what the ladies are saying of him now,” the old man concluded in his peculiar language.

I must add that he spoke Russian readily, but every phrase was formed in German style, which did not, however, trouble him, for it had always been a weakness of his to believe that he spoke Russian perfectly, better indeed than Russians. And he was very fond of using Russian proverbs, always declaring that the Russian proverbs were the best and most expressive sayings in the whole world. I may remark, too, that in conversation, through absent‐mindedness he often forgot the most ordinary words, which sometimes went out of his head, though he knew them perfectly. The same thing happened, though, when he spoke German, and at such times he always waved his hand before his face as though trying to catch the lost word, and no one could induce him to go on speaking till he had found the missing word. His remark that the prisoner ought to have looked at the ladies on entering roused a whisper of amusement in the audience. All our ladies were very fond of our old doctor; they knew, too, that having been all his life a bachelor and a religious man of exemplary conduct, he looked upon women as lofty creatures. And so his unexpected observation struck every one as very queer.

The Moscow doctor, being questioned in his turn, definitely and emphatically repeated that he considered the prisoner’s mental condition abnormal in the highest degree. He talked at length and with erudition of “aberration” and “mania,” and argued that, from all the facts collected, the prisoner had undoubtedly been in a condition of aberration for several days before his arrest, and, if the crime had been committed by him, it must, even if he were conscious of it, have been almost involuntary, as he had not the power to control the morbid impulse that possessed him.

But apart from temporary aberration, the doctor diagnosed mania, which premised, in his words, to lead to complete insanity in the future. (It must be noted that I report this in my own words, the doctor made use of very learned and professional language.) “All his actions are in contravention of common sense and logic,” he continued. “Not to refer to what I have not seen, that is, the crime itself and the whole catastrophe, the day before yesterday, while he was talking to me, he had an unaccountably fixed look in his eye. He laughed unexpectedly when there was nothing to laugh at. He showed continual and inexplicable irritability, using strange words, ‘Bernard!’ ‘Ethics!’ and others equally inappropriate.” But the doctor detected mania, above all, in the fact that the prisoner could not even speak of the three thousand roubles, of which he considered himself to have been cheated, without extraordinary irritation, though he could speak comparatively lightly of other misfortunes and grievances. According to all accounts, he had even in the past, whenever the subject of the three thousand roubles was touched on, flown into a perfect frenzy, and yet he was reported to be a disinterested and not grasping man.

“As to the opinion of my learned colleague,” the Moscow doctor added ironically in conclusion, “that the prisoner would, on entering the court, have naturally looked at the ladies and not straight before him, I will only say that, apart from the playfulness of this theory, it is radically unsound. For though I fully agree that the prisoner, on entering the court where his fate will be decided, would not naturally look straight before him in that fixed way, and that that may really be a sign of his abnormal mental condition, at the same time I maintain that he would naturally not look to the left at the ladies, but, on the contrary, to the right to find his legal adviser, on whose help all his hopes rest and on whose defense all his future depends.” The doctor expressed his opinion positively and emphatically.

But the unexpected pronouncement of Doctor Varvinsky gave the last touch of comedy to the difference of opinion between the experts. In his opinion the prisoner was now, and had been all along, in a perfectly normal condition, and, although he certainly must have been in a nervous and exceedingly excited state before his arrest, this might have been due to several perfectly obvious causes, jealousy, anger, continual drunkenness, and so on. But this nervous condition would not involve the mental aberration of which mention had just been made. As to the question whether the prisoner should have looked to the left or to the right on entering the court, “in his modest opinion,” the prisoner would naturally look straight before him on entering the court, as he had in fact done, as that was where the judges, on whom his fate depended, were sitting. So that it was just by looking straight before him that he showed his perfectly normal state of mind at the present. The young doctor concluded his “modest” testimony with some heat.

“Bravo, doctor!” cried Mitya, from his seat, “just so!”

Mitya, of course, was checked, but the young doctor’s opinion had a decisive influence on the judges and on the public, and, as appeared afterwards, every one agreed with him. But Doctor Herzenstube, when called as a witness, was quite unexpectedly of use to Mitya. As an old resident in the town who had known the Karamazov family for years, he furnished some facts of great value for the prosecution, and suddenly, as though recalling something, he added:

“But the poor young man might have had a very different life, for he had a good heart both in childhood and after childhood, that I know. But the Russian proverb says, ‘If a man has one head, it’s good, but if another clever man comes to visit him, it would be better still, for then there will be two heads and not only one.’ ”

“One head is good, but two are better,” the prosecutor put in impatiently. He knew the old man’s habit of talking slowly and deliberately, regardless of the impression he was making and of the delay he was causing, and highly prizing his flat, dull and always gleefully complacent German wit. The old man was fond of making jokes.

“Oh, yes, that’s what I say,” he went on stubbornly. “One head is good, but two are much better, but he did not meet another head with wits, and his wits went. Where did they go? I’ve forgotten the word.” He went on, passing his hand before his eyes, “Oh, yes, spazieren.”

“Wandering?”

“Oh, yes, wandering, that’s what I say. Well, his wits went wandering and fell in such a deep hole that he lost himself. And yet he was a grateful and sensitive boy. Oh, I remember him very well, a little chap so high, left neglected by his father in the back yard, when he ran about without boots on his feet, and his little breeches hanging by one button.”

A note of feeling and tenderness suddenly came into the honest old man’s voice. Fetyukovitch positively started, as though scenting something, and caught at it instantly.

“Oh, yes, I was a young man then.... I was ... well, I was forty‐five then, and had only just come here. And I was so sorry for the boy then; I asked myself why shouldn’t I buy him a pound of ... a pound of what? I’ve forgotten what it’s called. A pound of what children are very fond of, what is it, what is it?” The doctor began waving his hands again. “It grows on a tree and is gathered and given to every one....”

“Apples?”

“Oh, no, no. You have a dozen of apples, not a pound.... No, there are a lot of them, and all little. You put them in the mouth and crack.”

“Nuts?”

“Quite so, nuts, I say so.” The doctor repeated in the calmest way as though he had been at no loss for a word. “And I bought him a pound of nuts, for no one had ever bought the boy a pound of nuts before. And I lifted my finger and said to him, ‘Boy, Gott der Vater.’ He laughed and said, ‘Gott der Vater.’... ‘Gott der Sohn.’ He laughed again and lisped, ‘Gott der Sohn.’ ‘Gott der heilige Geist.’ Then he laughed and said as best he could, ‘Gott der heilige Geist.’ I went away, and two days after I happened to be passing, and he shouted to me of himself, ‘Uncle, Gott der Vater, Gott der Sohn,’ and he had only forgotten ‘Gott der heilige Geist.’ But I reminded him of it and I felt very sorry for him again. But he was taken away, and I did not see him again. Twenty‐ three years passed. I am sitting one morning in my study, a white‐haired old man, when there walks into the room a blooming young man, whom I should never have recognized, but he held up his finger and said, laughing, ‘Gott der Vater, Gott der Sohn, and Gott der heilige Geist. I have just arrived and have come to thank you for that pound of nuts, for no one else ever bought me a pound of nuts; you are the only one that ever did.’ And then I remembered my happy youth and the poor child in the yard, without boots on his feet, and my heart was touched and I said, ‘You are a grateful young man, for you have remembered all your life the pound of nuts I bought you in your childhood.’ And I embraced him and blessed him. And I shed tears. He laughed, but he shed tears, too ... for the Russian often laughs when he ought to be weeping. But he did weep; I saw it. And now, alas!...”

“And I am weeping now, German, I am weeping now, too, you saintly man,” Mitya cried suddenly.

In any case the anecdote made a certain favorable impression on the public. But the chief sensation in Mitya’s favor was created by the evidence of Katerina Ivanovna, which I will describe directly. Indeed, when the witnesses à décharge, that is, called by the defense, began giving evidence, fortune seemed all at once markedly more favorable to Mitya, and what was particularly striking, this was a surprise even to the counsel for the defense. But before Katerina Ivanovna was called, Alyosha was examined, and he recalled a fact which seemed to furnish positive evidence against one important point made by the prosecution.

Chapter IV.
Fortune Smiles On Mitya


It came quite as a surprise even to Alyosha himself. He was not required to take the oath, and I remember that both sides addressed him very gently and sympathetically. It was evident that his reputation for goodness had preceded him. Alyosha gave his evidence modestly and with restraint, but his warm sympathy for his unhappy brother was unmistakable. In answer to one question, he sketched his brother’s character as that of a man, violent‐tempered perhaps and carried away by his passions, but at the same time honorable, proud and generous, capable of self‐sacrifice, if necessary. He admitted, however, that, through his passion for Grushenka and his rivalry with his father, his brother had been of late in an intolerable position. But he repelled with indignation the suggestion that his brother might have committed a murder for the sake of gain, though he recognized that the three thousand roubles had become almost an obsession with Mitya; that he looked upon them as part of the inheritance he had been cheated of by his father, and that, indifferent as he was to money as a rule, he could not even speak of that three thousand without fury. As for the rivalry of the two “ladies,” as the prosecutor expressed it—that is, of Grushenka and Katya—he answered evasively and was even unwilling to answer one or two questions altogether.

“Did your brother tell you, anyway, that he intended to kill your father?” asked the prosecutor. “You can refuse to answer if you think necessary,” he added.

“He did not tell me so directly,” answered Alyosha.

“How so? Did he indirectly?”

“He spoke to me once of his hatred for our father and his fear that at an extreme moment ... at a moment of fury, he might perhaps murder him.”

“And you believed him?”

“I am afraid to say that I did. But I never doubted that some higher feeling would always save him at the fatal moment, as it has indeed saved him, for it was not he killed my father,” Alyosha said firmly, in a loud voice that was heard throughout the court.

The prosecutor started like a war‐horse at the sound of a trumpet.

“Let me assure you that I fully believe in the complete sincerity of your conviction and do not explain it by or identify it with your affection for your unhappy brother. Your peculiar view of the whole tragic episode is known to us already from the preliminary investigation. I won’t attempt to conceal from you that it is highly individual and contradicts all the other evidence collected by the prosecution. And so I think it essential to press you to tell me what facts have led you to this conviction of your brother’s innocence and of the guilt of another person against whom you gave evidence at the preliminary inquiry?”

“I only answered the questions asked me at the preliminary inquiry,” replied Alyosha, slowly and calmly. “I made no accusation against Smerdyakov of myself.”

“Yet you gave evidence against him?”

“I was led to do so by my brother Dmitri’s words. I was told what took place at his arrest and how he had pointed to Smerdyakov before I was examined. I believe absolutely that my brother is innocent, and if he didn’t commit the murder, then—”

“Then Smerdyakov? Why Smerdyakov? And why are you so completely persuaded of your brother’s innocence?”

“I cannot help believing my brother. I know he wouldn’t lie to me. I saw from his face he wasn’t lying.”

“Only from his face? Is that all the proof you have?”

“I have no other proof.”

“And of Smerdyakov’s guilt you have no proof whatever but your brother’s word and the expression of his face?”

“No, I have no other proof.”

The prosecutor dropped the examination at this point. The impression left by Alyosha’s evidence on the public was most disappointing. There had been talk about Smerdyakov before the trial; some one had heard something, some one had pointed out something else, it was said that Alyosha had gathered together some extraordinary proofs of his brother’s innocence and Smerdyakov’s guilt, and after all there was nothing, no evidence except certain moral convictions so natural in a brother.

But Fetyukovitch began his cross‐examination. On his asking Alyosha when it was that the prisoner had told him of his hatred for his father and that he might kill him, and whether he had heard it, for instance, at their last meeting before the catastrophe, Alyosha started as he answered, as though only just recollecting and understanding something.

“I remember one circumstance now which I’d quite forgotten myself. It wasn’t clear to me at the time, but now—”

And, obviously only now for the first time struck by an idea, he recounted eagerly how, at his last interview with Mitya that evening under the tree, on the road to the monastery, Mitya had struck himself on the breast, “the upper part of the breast,” and had repeated several times that he had a means of regaining his honor, that that means was here, here on his breast. “I thought, when he struck himself on the breast, he meant that it was in his heart,” Alyosha continued, “that he might find in his heart strength to save himself from some awful disgrace which was awaiting him and which he did not dare confess even to me. I must confess I did think at the time that he was speaking of our father, and that the disgrace he was shuddering at was the thought of going to our father and doing some violence to him. Yet it was just then that he pointed to something on his breast, so that I remember the idea struck me at the time that the heart is not on that part of the breast, but below, and that he struck himself much too high, just below the neck, and kept pointing to that place. My idea seemed silly to me at the time, but he was perhaps pointing then to that little bag in which he had fifteen hundred roubles!”

“Just so,” Mitya cried from his place. “That’s right, Alyosha, it was the little bag I struck with my fist.”

Fetyukovitch flew to him in hot haste entreating him to keep quiet, and at the same instant pounced on Alyosha. Alyosha, carried away himself by his recollection, warmly expressed his theory that this disgrace was probably just that fifteen hundred roubles on him, which he might have returned to Katerina Ivanovna as half of what he owed her, but which he had yet determined not to repay her and to use for another purpose—namely, to enable him to elope with Grushenka, if she consented.

“It is so, it must be so,” exclaimed Alyosha, in sudden excitement. “My brother cried several times that half of the disgrace, half of it (he said half several times) he could free himself from at once, but that he was so unhappy in his weakness of will that he wouldn’t do it ... that he knew beforehand he was incapable of doing it!”

“And you clearly, confidently remember that he struck himself just on this part of the breast?” Fetyukovitch asked eagerly.

“Clearly and confidently, for I thought at the time, ‘Why does he strike himself up there when the heart is lower down?’ and the thought seemed stupid to me at the time ... I remember its seeming stupid ... it flashed through my mind. That’s what brought it back to me just now. How could I have forgotten it till now? It was that little bag he meant when he said he had the means but wouldn’t give back that fifteen hundred. And when he was arrested at Mokroe he cried out—I know, I was told it—that he considered it the most disgraceful act of his life that when he had the means of repaying Katerina Ivanovna half (half, note!) what he owed her, he yet could not bring himself to repay the money and preferred to remain a thief in her eyes rather than part with it. And what torture, what torture that debt has been to him!” Alyosha exclaimed in conclusion.

The prosecutor, of course, intervened. He asked Alyosha to describe once more how it had all happened, and several times insisted on the question, “Had the prisoner seemed to point to anything? Perhaps he had simply struck himself with his fist on the breast?”

“But it was not with his fist,” cried Alyosha; “he pointed with his fingers and pointed here, very high up.... How could I have so completely forgotten it till this moment?”

The President asked Mitya what he had to say to the last witness’s evidence. Mitya confirmed it, saying that he had been pointing to the fifteen hundred roubles which were on his breast, just below the neck, and that that was, of course, the disgrace, “A disgrace I cannot deny, the most shameful act of my whole life,” cried Mitya. “I might have repaid it and didn’t repay it. I preferred to remain a thief in her eyes rather than give it back. And the most shameful part of it was that I knew beforehand I shouldn’t give it back! You are right, Alyosha! Thanks, Alyosha!”

So Alyosha’s cross‐examination ended. What was important and striking about it was that one fact at least had been found, and even though this were only one tiny bit of evidence, a mere hint at evidence, it did go some little way towards proving that the bag had existed and had contained fifteen hundred roubles and that the prisoner had not been lying at the preliminary inquiry when he alleged at Mokroe that those fifteen hundred roubles were “his own.” Alyosha was glad. With a flushed face he moved away to the seat assigned to him. He kept repeating to himself: “How was it I forgot? How could I have forgotten it? And what made it come back to me now?”

Katerina Ivanovna was called to the witness‐box. As she entered something extraordinary happened in the court. The ladies clutched their lorgnettes and opera‐glasses. There was a stir among the men: some stood up to get a better view. Everybody alleged afterwards that Mitya had turned “white as a sheet” on her entrance. All in black, she advanced modestly, almost timidly. It was impossible to tell from her face that she was agitated; but there was a resolute gleam in her dark and gloomy eyes. I may remark that many people mentioned that she looked particularly handsome at that moment. She spoke softly but clearly, so that she was heard all over the court. She expressed herself with composure, or at least tried to appear composed. The President began his examination discreetly and very respectfully, as though afraid to touch on “certain chords,” and showing consideration for her great unhappiness. But in answer to one of the first questions Katerina Ivanovna replied firmly that she had been formerly betrothed to the prisoner, “until he left me of his own accord...” she added quietly. When they asked her about the three thousand she had entrusted to Mitya to post to her relations, she said firmly, “I didn’t give him the money simply to send it off. I felt at the time that he was in great need of money.... I gave him the three thousand on the understanding that he should post it within the month if he cared to. There was no need for him to worry himself about that debt afterwards.”

I will not repeat all the questions asked her and all her answers in detail. I will only give the substance of her evidence.

“I was firmly convinced that he would send off that sum as soon as he got money from his father,” she went on. “I have never doubted his disinterestedness and his honesty ... his scrupulous honesty ... in money matters. He felt quite certain that he would receive the money from his father, and spoke to me several times about it. I knew he had a feud with his father and have always believed that he had been unfairly treated by his father. I don’t remember any threat uttered by him against his father. He certainly never uttered any such threat before me. If he had come to me at that time, I should have at once relieved his anxiety about that unlucky three thousand roubles, but he had given up coming to see me ... and I myself was put in such a position ... that I could not invite him.... And I had no right, indeed, to be exacting as to that money,” she added suddenly, and there was a ring of resolution in her voice. “I was once indebted to him for assistance in money for more than three thousand, and I took it, although I could not at that time foresee that I should ever be in a position to repay my debt.”

There was a note of defiance in her voice. It was then Fetyukovitch began his cross‐examination.

“Did that take place not here, but at the beginning of your acquaintance?” Fetyukovitch suggested cautiously, feeling his way, instantly scenting something favorable. I must mention in parenthesis that, though Fetyukovitch had been brought from Petersburg partly at the instance of Katerina Ivanovna herself, he knew nothing about the episode of the four thousand roubles given her by Mitya, and of her “bowing to the ground to him.” She concealed this from him and said nothing about it, and that was strange. It may be pretty certainly assumed that she herself did not know till the very last minute whether she would speak of that episode in the court, and waited for the inspiration of the moment.

No, I can never forget those moments. She began telling her story. She told everything, the whole episode that Mitya had told Alyosha, and her bowing to the ground, and her reason. She told about her father and her going to Mitya, and did not in one word, in a single hint, suggest that Mitya had himself, through her sister, proposed they should “send him Katerina Ivanovna” to fetch the money. She generously concealed that and was not ashamed to make it appear as though she had of her own impulse run to the young officer, relying on something ... to beg him for the money. It was something tremendous! I turned cold and trembled as I listened. The court was hushed, trying to catch each word. It was something unexampled. Even from such a self‐willed and contemptuously proud girl as she was, such an extremely frank avowal, such sacrifice, such self‐immolation, seemed incredible. And for what, for whom? To save the man who had deceived and insulted her and to help, in however small a degree, in saving him, by creating a strong impression in his favor. And, indeed, the figure of the young officer who, with a respectful bow to the innocent girl, handed her his last four thousand roubles—all he had in the world—was thrown into a very sympathetic and attractive light, but ... I had a painful misgiving at heart! I felt that calumny might come of it later (and it did, in fact, it did). It was repeated all over the town afterwards with spiteful laughter that the story was perhaps not quite complete—that is, in the statement that the officer had let the young lady depart “with nothing but a respectful bow.” It was hinted that something was here omitted.

“And even if nothing had been omitted, if this were the whole story,” the most highly respected of our ladies maintained, “even then it’s very doubtful whether it was creditable for a young girl to behave in that way, even for the sake of saving her father.”

And can Katerina Ivanovna, with her intelligence, her morbid sensitiveness, have failed to understand that people would talk like that? She must have understood it, yet she made up her mind to tell everything. Of course, all these nasty little suspicions as to the truth of her story only arose afterwards and at the first moment all were deeply impressed by it. As for the judges and the lawyers, they listened in reverent, almost shame‐faced silence to Katerina Ivanovna. The prosecutor did not venture upon even one question on the subject. Fetyukovitch made a low bow to her. Oh, he was almost triumphant! Much ground had been gained. For a man to give his last four thousand on a generous impulse and then for the same man to murder his father for the sake of robbing him of three thousand—the idea seemed too incongruous. Fetyukovitch felt that now the charge of theft, at least, was as good as disproved. “The case” was thrown into quite a different light. There was a wave of sympathy for Mitya. As for him.... I was told that once or twice, while Katerina Ivanovna was giving her evidence, he jumped up from his seat, sank back again, and hid his face in his hands. But when she had finished, he suddenly cried in a sobbing voice:

“Katya, why have you ruined me?” and his sobs were audible all over the court. But he instantly restrained himself, and cried again:

“Now I am condemned!”

Then he sat rigid in his place, with his teeth clenched and his arms across his chest. Katerina Ivanovna remained in the court and sat down in her place. She was pale and sat with her eyes cast down. Those who were sitting near her declared that for a long time she shivered all over as though in a fever. Grushenka was called.

I am approaching the sudden catastrophe which was perhaps the final cause of Mitya’s ruin. For I am convinced, so is every one—all the lawyers said the same afterwards—that if the episode had not occurred, the prisoner would at least have been recommended to mercy. But of that later. A few words first about Grushenka.

She, too, was dressed entirely in black, with her magnificent black shawl on her shoulders. She walked to the witness‐box with her smooth, noiseless tread, with the slightly swaying gait common in women of full figure. She looked steadily at the President, turning her eyes neither to the right nor to the left. To my thinking she looked very handsome at that moment, and not at all pale, as the ladies alleged afterwards. They declared, too, that she had a concentrated and spiteful expression. I believe that she was simply irritated and painfully conscious of the contemptuous and inquisitive eyes of our scandal‐loving public. She was proud and could not stand contempt. She was one of those people who flare up, angry and eager to retaliate, at the mere suggestion of contempt. There was an element of timidity, too, of course, and inward shame at her own timidity, so it was not strange that her tone kept changing. At one moment it was angry, contemptuous and rough, and at another there was a sincere note of self‐ condemnation. Sometimes she spoke as though she were taking a desperate plunge; as though she felt, “I don’t care what happens, I’ll say it....” Apropos of her acquaintance with Fyodor Pavlovitch, she remarked curtly, “That’s all nonsense, and was it my fault that he would pester me?” But a minute later she added, “It was all my fault. I was laughing at them both—at the old man and at him, too—and I brought both of them to this. It was all on account of me it happened.”

Samsonov’s name came up somehow. “That’s nobody’s business,” she snapped at once, with a sort of insolent defiance. “He was my benefactor; he took me when I hadn’t a shoe to my foot, when my family had turned me out.” The President reminded her, though very politely, that she must answer the questions directly, without going off into irrelevant details. Grushenka crimsoned and her eyes flashed.

The envelope with the notes in it she had not seen, but had only heard from “that wicked wretch” that Fyodor Pavlovitch had an envelope with notes for three thousand in it. “But that was all foolishness. I was only laughing. I wouldn’t have gone to him for anything.”

“To whom are you referring as ‘that wicked wretch’?” inquired the prosecutor.

“The lackey, Smerdyakov, who murdered his master and hanged himself last night.”

She was, of course, at once asked what ground she had for such a definite accusation; but it appeared that she, too, had no grounds for it.

“Dmitri Fyodorovitch told me so himself; you can believe him. The woman who came between us has ruined him; she is the cause of it all, let me tell you,” Grushenka added. She seemed to be quivering with hatred, and there was a vindictive note in her voice.

She was again asked to whom she was referring.

“The young lady, Katerina Ivanovna there. She sent for me, offered me chocolate, tried to fascinate me. There’s not much true shame about her, I can tell you that....”

At this point the President checked her sternly, begging her to moderate her language. But the jealous woman’s heart was burning, and she did not care what she did.

“When the prisoner was arrested at Mokroe,” the prosecutor asked, “every one saw and heard you run out of the next room and cry out: ‘It’s all my fault. We’ll go to Siberia together!’ So you already believed him to have murdered his father?”

“I don’t remember what I felt at the time,” answered Grushenka. “Every one was crying out that he had killed his father, and I felt that it was my fault, that it was on my account he had murdered him. But when he said he wasn’t guilty, I believed him at once, and I believe him now and always shall believe him. He is not the man to tell a lie.”

Fetyukovitch began his cross‐examination. I remember that among other things he asked about Rakitin and the twenty‐five roubles “you paid him for bringing Alexey Fyodorovitch Karamazov to see you.”

“There was nothing strange about his taking the money,” sneered Grushenka, with angry contempt. “He was always coming to me for money: he used to get thirty roubles a month at least out of me, chiefly for luxuries: he had enough to keep him without my help.”

“What led you to be so liberal to Mr. Rakitin?” Fetyukovitch asked, in spite of an uneasy movement on the part of the President.

“Why, he is my cousin. His mother was my mother’s sister. But he’s always besought me not to tell any one here of it, he is so dreadfully ashamed of me.”

This fact was a complete surprise to every one; no one in the town nor in the monastery, not even Mitya, knew of it. I was told that Rakitin turned purple with shame where he sat. Grushenka had somehow heard before she came into the court that he had given evidence against Mitya, and so she was angry. The whole effect on the public, of Rakitin’s speech, of his noble sentiments, of his attacks upon serfdom and the political disorder of Russia, was this time finally ruined. Fetyukovitch was satisfied: it was another godsend. Grushenka’s cross‐examination did not last long and, of course, there could be nothing particularly new in her evidence. She left a very disagreeable impression on the public; hundreds of contemptuous eyes were fixed upon her, as she finished giving her evidence and sat down again in the court, at a good distance from Katerina Ivanovna. Mitya was silent throughout her evidence. He sat as though turned to stone, with his eyes fixed on the ground.

Ivan was called to give evidence.

Chapter V.
A Sudden Catastrophe


I may note that he had been called before Alyosha. But the usher of the court announced to the President that, owing to an attack of illness or some sort of fit, the witness could not appear at the moment, but was ready to give his evidence as soon as he recovered. But no one seemed to have heard it and it only came out later.

His entrance was for the first moment almost unnoticed. The principal witnesses, especially the two rival ladies, had already been questioned. Curiosity was satisfied for the time; the public was feeling almost fatigued. Several more witnesses were still to be heard, who probably had little information to give after all that had been given. Time was passing. Ivan walked up with extraordinary slowness, looking at no one, and with his head bowed, as though plunged in gloomy thought. He was irreproachably dressed, but his face made a painful impression, on me at least: there was an earthy look in it, a look like a dying man’s. His eyes were lusterless; he raised them and looked slowly round the court. Alyosha jumped up from his seat and moaned “Ah!” I remember that, but it was hardly noticed.

The President began by informing him that he was a witness not on oath, that he might answer or refuse to answer, but that, of course, he must bear witness according to his conscience, and so on, and so on. Ivan listened and looked at him blankly, but his face gradually relaxed into a smile, and as soon as the President, looking at him in astonishment, finished, he laughed outright.

“Well, and what else?” he asked in a loud voice.

There was a hush in the court; there was a feeling of something strange. The President showed signs of uneasiness.

“You ... are perhaps still unwell?” he began, looking everywhere for the usher.

“Don’t trouble yourself, your excellency, I am well enough and can tell you something interesting,” Ivan answered with sudden calmness and respectfulness.

“You have some special communication to make?” the President went on, still mistrustfully.

Ivan looked down, waited a few seconds and, raising his head, answered, almost stammering:

“No ... I haven’t. I have nothing particular.”

They began asking him questions. He answered, as it were, reluctantly, with extreme brevity, with a sort of disgust which grew more and more marked, though he answered rationally. To many questions he answered that he did not know. He knew nothing of his father’s money relations with Dmitri. “I wasn’t interested in the subject,” he added. Threats to murder his father he had heard from the prisoner. Of the money in the envelope he had heard from Smerdyakov.

“The same thing over and over again,” he interrupted suddenly, with a look of weariness. “I have nothing particular to tell the court.”

“I see you are unwell and understand your feelings,” the President began.

He turned to the prosecutor and the counsel for the defense to invite them to examine the witness, if necessary, when Ivan suddenly asked in an exhausted voice:

“Let me go, your excellency, I feel very ill.”

And with these words, without waiting for permission, he turned to walk out of the court. But after taking four steps he stood still, as though he had reached a decision, smiled slowly, and went back.

“I am like the peasant girl, your excellency ... you know. How does it go? ‘I’ll stand up if I like, and I won’t if I don’t.’ They were trying to put on her sarafan to take her to church to be married, and she said, ‘I’ll stand up if I like, and I won’t if I don’t.’... It’s in some book about the peasantry.”

“What do you mean by that?” the President asked severely.

“Why, this,” Ivan suddenly pulled out a roll of notes. “Here’s the money ... the notes that lay in that envelope” (he nodded towards the table on which lay the material evidence), “for the sake of which our father was murdered. Where shall I put them? Mr. Superintendent, take them.”

The usher of the court took the whole roll and handed it to the President.

“How could this money have come into your possession if it is the same money?” the President asked wonderingly.

“I got them from Smerdyakov, from the murderer, yesterday.... I was with him just before he hanged himself. It was he, not my brother, killed our father. He murdered him and I incited him to do it ... Who doesn’t desire his father’s death?”

“Are you in your right mind?” broke involuntarily from the President.

“I should think I am in my right mind ... in the same nasty mind as all of you ... as all these ... ugly faces.” He turned suddenly to the audience. “My father has been murdered and they pretend they are horrified,” he snarled, with furious contempt. “They keep up the sham with one another. Liars! They all desire the death of their fathers. One reptile devours another.... If there hadn’t been a murder, they’d have been angry and gone home ill‐humored. It’s a spectacle they want! Panem et circenses. Though I am one to talk! Have you any water? Give me a drink for Christ’s sake!” He suddenly clutched his head.

The usher at once approached him. Alyosha jumped up and cried, “He is ill. Don’t believe him: he has brain fever.” Katerina Ivanovna rose impulsively from her seat and, rigid with horror, gazed at Ivan. Mitya stood up and greedily looked at his brother and listened to him with a wild, strange smile.

“Don’t disturb yourselves. I am not mad, I am only a murderer,” Ivan began again. “You can’t expect eloquence from a murderer,” he added suddenly for some reason and laughed a queer laugh.

The prosecutor bent over to the President in obvious dismay. The two other judges communicated in agitated whispers. Fetyukovitch pricked up his ears as he listened: the hall was hushed in expectation. The President seemed suddenly to recollect himself.

“Witness, your words are incomprehensible and impossible here. Calm yourself, if you can, and tell your story ... if you really have something to tell. How can you confirm your statement ... if indeed you are not delirious?”

“That’s just it. I have no proof. That cur Smerdyakov won’t send you proofs from the other world ... in an envelope. You think of nothing but envelopes—one is enough. I’ve no witnesses ... except one, perhaps,” he smiled thoughtfully.

“Who is your witness?”

“He has a tail, your excellency, and that would be irregular! Le diable n’existe point! Don’t pay attention: he is a paltry, pitiful devil,” he added suddenly. He ceased laughing and spoke as it were, confidentially. “He is here somewhere, no doubt—under that table with the material evidence on it, perhaps. Where should he sit if not there? You see, listen to me. I told him I don’t want to keep quiet, and he talked about the geological cataclysm ... idiocy! Come, release the monster ... he’s been singing a hymn. That’s because his heart is light! It’s like a drunken man in the street bawling how ‘Vanka went to Petersburg,’ and I would give a quadrillion quadrillions for two seconds of joy. You don’t know me! Oh, how stupid all this business is! Come, take me instead of him! I didn’t come for nothing.... Why, why is everything so stupid?...”

And he began slowly, and as it were reflectively, looking round him again. But the court was all excitement by now. Alyosha rushed towards him, but the court usher had already seized Ivan by the arm.

“What are you about?” he cried, staring into the man’s face, and suddenly seizing him by the shoulders, he flung him violently to the floor. But the police were on the spot and he was seized. He screamed furiously. And all the time he was being removed, he yelled and screamed something incoherent.

The whole court was thrown into confusion. I don’t remember everything as it happened. I was excited myself and could not follow. I only know that afterwards, when everything was quiet again and every one understood what had happened, the court usher came in for a reprimand, though he very reasonably explained that the witness had been quite well, that the doctor had seen him an hour ago, when he had a slight attack of giddiness, but that, until he had come into the court, he had talked quite consecutively, so that nothing could have been foreseen—that he had, in fact, insisted on giving evidence. But before every one had completely regained their composure and recovered from this scene, it was followed by another. Katerina Ivanovna had an attack of hysterics. She sobbed, shrieking loudly, but refused to leave the court, struggled, and besought them not to remove her. Suddenly she cried to the President:

“There is more evidence I must give at once ... at once! Here is a document, a letter ... take it, read it quickly, quickly! It’s a letter from that monster ... that man there, there!” she pointed to Mitya. “It was he killed his father, you will see that directly. He wrote to me how he would kill his father! But the other one is ill, he is ill, he is delirious!” she kept crying out, beside herself.

The court usher took the document she held out to the President, and she, dropping into her chair, hiding her face in her hands, began convulsively and noiselessly sobbing, shaking all over, and stifling every sound for fear she should be ejected from the court. The document she had handed up was that letter Mitya had written at the “Metropolis” tavern, which Ivan had spoken of as a “mathematical proof.” Alas! its mathematical conclusiveness was recognized, and had it not been for that letter, Mitya might have escaped his doom or, at least, that doom would have been less terrible. It was, I repeat, difficult to notice every detail. What followed is still confused to my mind. The President must, I suppose, have at once passed on the document to the judges, the jury, and the lawyers on both sides. I only remember how they began examining the witness. On being gently asked by the President whether she had recovered sufficiently, Katerina Ivanovna exclaimed impetuously:

“I am ready, I am ready! I am quite equal to answering you,” she added, evidently still afraid that she would somehow be prevented from giving evidence. She was asked to explain in detail what this letter was and under what circumstances she received it.

“I received it the day before the crime was committed, but he wrote it the day before that, at the tavern—that is, two days before he committed the crime. Look, it is written on some sort of bill!” she cried breathlessly. “He hated me at that time, because he had behaved contemptibly and was running after that creature ... and because he owed me that three thousand.... Oh! he was humiliated by that three thousand on account of his own meanness! This is how it happened about that three thousand. I beg you, I beseech you, to hear me. Three weeks before he murdered his father, he came to me one morning. I knew he was in want of money, and what he wanted it for. Yes, yes—to win that creature and carry her off. I knew then that he had been false to me and meant to abandon me, and it was I, I, who gave him that money, who offered it to him on the pretext of his sending it to my sister in Moscow. And as I gave it him, I looked him in the face and said that he could send it when he liked, ‘in a month’s time would do.’ How, how could he have failed to understand that I was practically telling him to his face, ‘You want money to be false to me with your creature, so here’s the money for you. I give it to you myself. Take it, if you have so little honor as to take it!’ I wanted to prove what he was, and what happened? He took it, he took it, and squandered it with that creature in one night.... But he knew, he knew that I knew all about it. I assure you he understood, too, that I gave him that money to test him, to see whether he was so lost to all sense of honor as to take it from me. I looked into his eyes and he looked into mine, and he understood it all and he took it—he carried off my money!”

“That’s true, Katya,” Mitya roared suddenly, “I looked into your eyes and I knew that you were dishonoring me, and yet I took your money. Despise me as a scoundrel, despise me, all of you! I’ve deserved it!”

“Prisoner,” cried the President, “another word and I will order you to be removed.”

“That money was a torment to him,” Katya went on with impulsive haste. “He wanted to repay it me. He wanted to, that’s true; but he needed money for that creature, too. So he murdered his father, but he didn’t repay me, and went off with her to that village where he was arrested. There, again, he squandered the money he had stolen after the murder of his father. And a day before the murder he wrote me this letter. He was drunk when he wrote it. I saw it at once, at the time. He wrote it from spite, and feeling certain, positively certain, that I should never show it to any one, even if he did kill him, or else he wouldn’t have written it. For he knew I shouldn’t want to revenge myself and ruin him! But read it, read it attentively—more attentively, please—and you will see that he had described it all in his letter, all beforehand, how he would kill his father and where his money was kept. Look, please, don’t overlook that, there’s one phrase there, ‘I shall kill him as soon as Ivan has gone away.’ So he thought it all out beforehand how he would kill him,” Katerina Ivanovna pointed out to the court with venomous and malignant triumph. Oh! it was clear she had studied every line of that letter and detected every meaning underlining it. “If he hadn’t been drunk, he wouldn’t have written to me; but, look, everything is written there beforehand, just as he committed the murder after. A complete program of it!” she exclaimed frantically.

She was reckless now of all consequences to herself, though, no doubt, she had foreseen them even a month ago, for even then, perhaps, shaking with anger, she had pondered whether to show it at the trial or not. Now she had taken the fatal plunge. I remember that the letter was read aloud by the clerk, directly afterwards, I believe. It made an overwhelming impression. They asked Mitya whether he admitted having written the letter.

“It’s mine, mine!” cried Mitya. “I shouldn’t have written it, if I hadn’t been drunk!... We’ve hated each other for many things, Katya, but I swear, I swear I loved you even while I hated you, and you didn’t love me!”

He sank back on his seat, wringing his hands in despair. The prosecutor and counsel for the defense began cross‐examining her, chiefly to ascertain what had induced her to conceal such a document and to give her evidence in quite a different tone and spirit just before.

“Yes, yes. I was telling lies just now. I was lying against my honor and my conscience, but I wanted to save him, for he has hated and despised me so!” Katya cried madly. “Oh, he has despised me horribly, he has always despised me, and do you know, he has despised me from the very moment that I bowed down to him for that money. I saw that.... I felt it at once at the time, but for a long time I wouldn’t believe it. How often I have read it in his eyes, ‘You came of yourself, though.’ Oh, he didn’t understand, he had no idea why I ran to him, he can suspect nothing but baseness, he judged me by himself, he thought every one was like himself!” Katya hissed furiously, in a perfect frenzy. “And he only wanted to marry me, because I’d inherited a fortune, because of that, because of that! I always suspected it was because of that! Oh, he is a brute! He was always convinced that I should be trembling with shame all my life before him, because I went to him then, and that he had a right to despise me for ever for it, and so to be superior to me—that’s why he wanted to marry me! That’s so, that’s all so! I tried to conquer him by my love—a love that knew no bounds. I even tried to forgive his faithlessness; but he understood nothing, nothing! How could he understand indeed? He is a monster! I only received that letter the next evening: it was brought me from the tavern—and only that morning, only that morning I wanted to forgive him everything, everything—even his treachery!”

The President and the prosecutor, of course, tried to calm her. I can’t help thinking that they felt ashamed of taking advantage of her hysteria and of listening to such avowals. I remember hearing them say to her, “We understand how hard it is for you; be sure we are able to feel for you,” and so on, and so on. And yet they dragged the evidence out of the raving, hysterical woman. She described at last with extraordinary clearness, which is so often seen, though only for a moment, in such over‐wrought states, how Ivan had been nearly driven out of his mind during the last two months trying to save “the monster and murderer,” his brother.

“He tortured himself,” she exclaimed, “he was always trying to minimize his brother’s guilt and confessing to me that he, too, had never loved his father, and perhaps desired his death himself. Oh, he has a tender, over‐ tender conscience! He tormented himself with his conscience! He told me everything, everything! He came every day and talked to me as his only friend. I have the honor to be his only friend!” she cried suddenly with a sort of defiance, and her eyes flashed. “He had been twice to see Smerdyakov. One day he came to me and said, ‘If it was not my brother, but Smerdyakov committed the murder’ (for the legend was circulating everywhere that Smerdyakov had done it), ‘perhaps I too am guilty, for Smerdyakov knew I didn’t like my father and perhaps believed that I desired my father’s death.’ Then I brought out that letter and showed it him. He was entirely convinced that his brother had done it, and he was overwhelmed by it. He couldn’t endure the thought that his own brother was a parricide! Only a week ago I saw that it was making him ill. During the last few days he has talked incoherently in my presence. I saw his mind was giving way. He walked about, raving; he was seen muttering in the streets. The doctor from Moscow, at my request, examined him the day before yesterday and told me that he was on the eve of brain fever—and all on his account, on account of this monster! And last night he learnt that Smerdyakov was dead! It was such a shock that it drove him out of his mind ... and all through this monster, all for the sake of saving the monster!”

Oh, of course, such an outpouring, such an avowal is only possible once in a lifetime—at the hour of death, for instance, on the way to the scaffold! But it was in Katya’s character, and it was such a moment in her life. It was the same impetuous Katya who had thrown herself on the mercy of a young profligate to save her father; the same Katya who had just before, in her pride and chastity, sacrificed herself and her maidenly modesty before all these people, telling of Mitya’s generous conduct, in the hope of softening his fate a little. And now, again, she sacrificed herself; but this time it was for another, and perhaps only now—perhaps only at this moment—she felt and knew how dear that other was to her! She had sacrificed herself in terror for him, conceiving all of a sudden that he had ruined himself by his confession that it was he who had committed the murder, not his brother, she had sacrificed herself to save him, to save his good name, his reputation!

And yet one terrible doubt occurred to one—was she lying in her description of her former relations with Mitya?—that was the question. No, she had not intentionally slandered him when she cried that Mitya despised her for her bowing down to him! She believed it herself. She had been firmly convinced, perhaps ever since that bow, that the simple‐hearted Mitya, who even then adored her, was laughing at her and despising her. She had loved him with an hysterical, “lacerated” love only from pride, from wounded pride, and that love was not like love, but more like revenge. Oh! perhaps that lacerated love would have grown into real love, perhaps Katya longed for nothing more than that, but Mitya’s faithlessness had wounded her to the bottom of her heart, and her heart could not forgive him. The moment of revenge had come upon her suddenly, and all that had been accumulating so long and so painfully in the offended woman’s breast burst out all at once and unexpectedly. She betrayed Mitya, but she betrayed herself, too. And no sooner had she given full expression to her feelings than the tension of course was over and she was overwhelmed with shame. Hysterics began again: she fell on the floor, sobbing and screaming. She was carried out. At that moment Grushenka, with a wail, rushed towards Mitya before they had time to prevent her.

“Mitya,” she wailed, “your serpent has destroyed you! There, she has shown you what she is!” she shouted to the judges, shaking with anger. At a signal from the President they seized her and tried to remove her from the court. She wouldn’t allow it. She fought and struggled to get back to Mitya. Mitya uttered a cry and struggled to get to her. He was overpowered.

Yes, I think the ladies who came to see the spectacle must have been satisfied—the show had been a varied one. Then I remember the Moscow doctor appeared on the scene. I believe the President had previously sent the court usher to arrange for medical aid for Ivan. The doctor announced to the court that the sick man was suffering from a dangerous attack of brain fever, and that he must be at once removed. In answer to questions from the prosecutor and the counsel for the defense he said that the patient had come to him of his own accord the day before yesterday and that he had warned him that he had such an attack coming on, but he had not consented to be looked after. “He was certainly not in a normal state of mind: he told me himself that he saw visions when he was awake, that he met several persons in the street, who were dead, and that Satan visited him every evening,” said the doctor, in conclusion. Having given his evidence, the celebrated doctor withdrew. The letter produced by Katerina Ivanovna was added to the material proofs. After some deliberation, the judges decided to proceed with the trial and to enter both the unexpected pieces of evidence (given by Ivan and Katerina Ivanovna) on the protocol.

But I will not detail the evidence of the other witnesses, who only repeated and confirmed what had been said before, though all with their characteristic peculiarities. I repeat, all was brought together in the prosecutor’s speech, which I shall quote immediately. Every one was excited, every one was electrified by the late catastrophe, and all were awaiting the speeches for the prosecution and the defense with intense impatience. Fetyukovitch was obviously shaken by Katerina Ivanovna’s evidence. But the prosecutor was triumphant. When all the evidence had been taken, the court was adjourned for almost an hour. I believe it was just eight o’clock when the President returned to his seat and our prosecutor, Ippolit Kirillovitch, began his speech.

Chapter VI.
The Prosecutor’s Speech. Sketches Of Character


Ippolit Kirillovitch began his speech, trembling with nervousness, with cold sweat on his forehead, feeling hot and cold all over by turns. He described this himself afterwards. He regarded this speech as his chef‐d’œuvre, the chef‐d’œuvre of his whole life, as his swan‐song. He died, it is true, nine months later of rapid consumption, so that he had the right, as it turned out, to compare himself to a swan singing his last song. He had put his whole heart and all the brain he had into that speech. And poor Ippolit Kirillovitch unexpectedly revealed that at least some feeling for the public welfare and “the eternal question” lay concealed in him. Where his speech really excelled was in its sincerity. He genuinely believed in the prisoner’s guilt; he was accusing him not as an official duty only, and in calling for vengeance he quivered with a genuine passion “for the security of society.” Even the ladies in the audience, though they remained hostile to Ippolit Kirillovitch, admitted that he made an extraordinary impression on them. He began in a breaking voice, but it soon gained strength and filled the court to the end of his speech. But as soon as he had finished, he almost fainted.

“Gentlemen of the jury,” began the prosecutor, “this case has made a stir throughout Russia. But what is there to wonder at, what is there so peculiarly horrifying in it for us? We are so accustomed to such crimes! That’s what’s so horrible, that such dark deeds have ceased to horrify us. What ought to horrify us is that we are so accustomed to it, and not this or that isolated crime. What are the causes of our indifference, our lukewarm attitude to such deeds, to such signs of the times, ominous of an unenviable future? Is it our cynicism, is it the premature exhaustion of intellect and imagination in a society that is sinking into decay, in spite of its youth? Is it that our moral principles are shattered to their foundations, or is it, perhaps, a complete lack of such principles among us? I cannot answer such questions; nevertheless they are disturbing, and every citizen not only must, but ought to be harassed by them. Our newborn and still timid press has done good service to the public already, for without it we should never have heard of the horrors of unbridled violence and moral degradation which are continually made known by the press, not merely to those who attend the new jury courts established in the present reign, but to every one. And what do we read almost daily? Of things beside which the present case grows pale, and seems almost commonplace. But what is most important is that the majority of our national crimes of violence bear witness to a widespread evil, now so general among us that it is difficult to contend against it.

“One day we see a brilliant young officer of high society, at the very outset of his career, in a cowardly underhand way, without a pang of conscience, murdering an official who had once been his benefactor, and the servant girl, to steal his own I.O.U. and what ready money he could find on him; ‘it will come in handy for my pleasures in the fashionable world and for my career in the future.’ After murdering them, he puts pillows under the head of each of his victims; he goes away. Next, a young hero ‘decorated for bravery’ kills the mother of his chief and benefactor, like a highwayman, and to urge his companions to join him he asserts that ‘she loves him like a son, and so will follow all his directions and take no precautions.’ Granted that he is a monster, yet I dare not say in these days that he is unique. Another man will not commit the murder, but will feel and think like him, and is as dishonorable in soul. In silence, alone with his conscience, he asks himself perhaps, ‘What is honor, and isn’t the condemnation of bloodshed a prejudice?’

“Perhaps people will cry out against me that I am morbid, hysterical, that it is a monstrous slander, that I am exaggerating. Let them say so—and heavens! I should be the first to rejoice if it were so! Oh, don’t believe me, think of me as morbid, but remember my words; if only a tenth, if only a twentieth part of what I say is true—even so it’s awful! Look how our young people commit suicide, without asking themselves Hamlet’s question what there is beyond, without a sign of such a question, as though all that relates to the soul and to what awaits us beyond the grave had long been erased in their minds and buried under the sands. Look at our vice, at our profligates. Fyodor Pavlovitch, the luckless victim in the present case, was almost an innocent babe compared with many of them. And yet we all knew him, ‘he lived among us!’...

“Yes, one day perhaps the leading intellects of Russia and of Europe will study the psychology of Russian crime, for the subject is worth it. But this study will come later, at leisure, when all the tragic topsy‐turvydom of to‐day is farther behind us, so that it’s possible to examine it with more insight and more impartiality than I can do. Now we are either horrified or pretend to be horrified, though we really gloat over the spectacle, and love strong and eccentric sensations which tickle our cynical, pampered idleness. Or, like little children, we brush the dreadful ghosts away and hide our heads in the pillow so as to return to our sports and merriment as soon as they have vanished. But we must one day begin life in sober earnest, we must look at ourselves as a society; it’s time we tried to grasp something of our social position, or at least to make a beginning in that direction.

“A great writer[9] of the last epoch, comparing Russia to a swift troika galloping to an unknown goal, exclaims, ‘Oh, troika, birdlike troika, who invented thee!’ and adds, in proud ecstasy, that all the peoples of the world stand aside respectfully to make way for the recklessly galloping troika to pass. That may be, they may stand aside, respectfully or no, but in my poor opinion the great writer ended his book in this way either in an access of childish and naïve optimism, or simply in fear of the censorship of the day. For if the troika were drawn by his heroes, Sobakevitch, Nozdryov, Tchitchikov, it could reach no rational goal, whoever might be driving it. And those were the heroes of an older generation, ours are worse specimens still....”

At this point Ippolit Kirillovitch’s speech was interrupted by applause. The liberal significance of this simile was appreciated. The applause was, it’s true, of brief duration, so that the President did not think it necessary to caution the public, and only looked severely in the direction of the offenders. But Ippolit Kirillovitch was encouraged; he had never been applauded before! He had been all his life unable to get a hearing, and now he suddenly had an opportunity of securing the ear of all Russia.

“What, after all, is this Karamazov family, which has gained such an unenviable notoriety throughout Russia?” he continued. “Perhaps I am exaggerating, but it seems to me that certain fundamental features of the educated class of to‐day are reflected in this family picture—only, of course, in miniature, ‘like the sun in a drop of water.’ Think of that unhappy, vicious, unbridled old man, who has met with such a melancholy end, the head of a family! Beginning life of noble birth, but in a poor dependent position, through an unexpected marriage he came into a small fortune. A petty knave, a toady and buffoon, of fairly good, though undeveloped, intelligence, he was, above all, a moneylender, who grew bolder with growing prosperity. His abject and servile characteristics disappeared, his malicious and sarcastic cynicism was all that remained. On the spiritual side he was undeveloped, while his vitality was excessive. He saw nothing in life but sensual pleasure, and he brought his children up to be the same. He had no feelings for his duties as a father. He ridiculed those duties. He left his little children to the servants, and was glad to be rid of them, forgot about them completely. The old man’s maxim was Après moi le déluge. He was an example of everything that is opposed to civic duty, of the most complete and malignant individualism. ‘The world may burn for aught I care, so long as I am all right,’ and he was all right; he was content, he was eager to go on living in the same way for another twenty or thirty years. He swindled his own son and spent his money, his maternal inheritance, on trying to get his mistress from him. No, I don’t intend to leave the prisoner’s defense altogether to my talented colleague from Petersburg. I will speak the truth myself, I can well understand what resentment he had heaped up in his son’s heart against him.

“But enough, enough of that unhappy old man; he has paid the penalty. Let us remember, however, that he was a father, and one of the typical fathers of to‐day. Am I unjust, indeed, in saying that he is typical of many modern fathers? Alas! many of them only differ in not openly professing such cynicism, for they are better educated, more cultured, but their philosophy is essentially the same as his. Perhaps I am a pessimist, but you have agreed to forgive me. Let us agree beforehand, you need not believe me, but let me speak. Let me say what I have to say, and remember something of my words.

“Now for the children of this father, this head of a family. One of them is the prisoner before us, all the rest of my speech will deal with him. Of the other two I will speak only cursorily.

“The elder is one of those modern young men of brilliant education and vigorous intellect, who has lost all faith in everything. He has denied and rejected much already, like his father. We have all heard him, he was a welcome guest in local society. He never concealed his opinions, quite the contrary in fact, which justifies me in speaking rather openly of him now, of course, not as an individual, but as a member of the Karamazov family. Another personage closely connected with the case died here by his own hand last night. I mean an afflicted idiot, formerly the servant, and possibly the illegitimate son, of Fyodor Pavlovitch, Smerdyakov. At the preliminary inquiry, he told me with hysterical tears how the young Ivan Karamazov had horrified him by his spiritual audacity. ‘Everything in the world is lawful according to him, and nothing must be forbidden in the future—that is what he always taught me.’ I believe that idiot was driven out of his mind by this theory, though, of course, the epileptic attacks from which he suffered, and this terrible catastrophe, have helped to unhinge his faculties. But he dropped one very interesting observation, which would have done credit to a more intelligent observer, and that is, indeed, why I’ve mentioned it: ‘If there is one of the sons that is like Fyodor Pavlovitch in character, it is Ivan Fyodorovitch.’

“With that remark I conclude my sketch of his character, feeling it indelicate to continue further. Oh, I don’t want to draw any further conclusions and croak like a raven over the young man’s future. We’ve seen to‐day in this court that there are still good impulses in his young heart, that family feeling has not been destroyed in him by lack of faith and cynicism, which have come to him rather by inheritance than by the exercise of independent thought.

“Then the third son. Oh, he is a devout and modest youth, who does not share his elder brother’s gloomy and destructive theory of life. He has sought to cling to the ‘ideas of the people,’ or to what goes by that name in some circles of our intellectual classes. He clung to the monastery, and was within an ace of becoming a monk. He seems to me to have betrayed unconsciously, and so early, that timid despair which leads so many in our unhappy society, who dread cynicism and its corrupting influences, and mistakenly attribute all the mischief to European enlightenment, to return to their ‘native soil,’ as they say, to the bosom, so to speak, of their mother earth, like frightened children, yearning to fall asleep on the withered bosom of their decrepit mother, and to sleep there for ever, only to escape the horrors that terrify them.

“For my part I wish the excellent and gifted young man every success; I trust that his youthful idealism and impulse towards the ideas of the people may never degenerate, as often happens, on the moral side into gloomy mysticism, and on the political into blind chauvinism—two elements which are even a greater menace to Russia than the premature decay, due to misunderstanding and gratuitous adoption of European ideas, from which his elder brother is suffering.”

Two or three people clapped their hands at the mention of chauvinism and mysticism. Ippolit Kirillovitch had been, indeed, carried away by his own eloquence. All this had little to do with the case in hand, to say nothing of the fact of its being somewhat vague, but the sickly and consumptive man was overcome by the desire to express himself once in his life. People said afterwards that he was actuated by unworthy motives in his criticism of Ivan, because the latter had on one or two occasions got the better of him in argument, and Ippolit Kirillovitch, remembering it, tried now to take his revenge. But I don’t know whether it was true. All this was only introductory, however, and the speech passed to more direct consideration of the case.

“But to return to the eldest son,” Ippolit Kirillovitch went on. “He is the prisoner before us. We have his life and his actions, too, before us; the fatal day has come and all has been brought to the surface. While his brothers seem to stand for ‘Europeanism’ and ‘the principles of the people,’ he seems to represent Russia as she is. Oh, not all Russia, not all! God preserve us, if it were! Yet, here we have her, our mother Russia, the very scent and sound of her. Oh, he is spontaneous, he is a marvelous mingling of good and evil, he is a lover of culture and Schiller, yet he brawls in taverns and plucks out the beards of his boon companions. Oh, he, too, can be good and noble, but only when all goes well with him. What is more, he can be carried off his feet, positively carried off his feet by noble ideals, but only if they come of themselves, if they fall from heaven for him, if they need not be paid for. He dislikes paying for anything, but is very fond of receiving, and that’s so with him in everything. Oh, give him every possible good in life (he couldn’t be content with less), and put no obstacle in his way, and he will show that he, too, can be noble. He is not greedy, no, but he must have money, a great deal of money, and you will see how generously, with what scorn of filthy lucre, he will fling it all away in the reckless dissipation of one night. But if he has not money, he will show what he is ready to do to get it when he is in great need of it. But all this later, let us take events in their chronological order.

“First, we have before us a poor abandoned child, running about the back‐ yard ‘without boots on his feet,’ as our worthy and esteemed fellow citizen, of foreign origin, alas! expressed it just now. I repeat it again, I yield to no one the defense of the criminal. I am here to accuse him, but to defend him also. Yes, I, too, am human; I, too, can weigh the influence of home and childhood on the character. But the boy grows up and becomes an officer; for a duel and other reckless conduct he is exiled to one of the remote frontier towns of Russia. There he led a wild life as an officer. And, of course, he needed money, money before all things, and so after prolonged disputes he came to a settlement with his father, and the last six thousand was sent him. A letter is in existence in which he practically gives up his claim to the rest and settles his conflict with his father over the inheritance on the payment of this six thousand.

“Then came his meeting with a young girl of lofty character and brilliant education. Oh, I do not venture to repeat the details; you have only just heard them. Honor, self‐sacrifice were shown there, and I will be silent. The figure of the young officer, frivolous and profligate, doing homage to true nobility and a lofty ideal, was shown in a very sympathetic light before us. But the other side of the medal was unexpectedly turned to us immediately after in this very court. Again I will not venture to conjecture why it happened so, but there were causes. The same lady, bathed in tears of long‐concealed indignation, alleged that he, he of all men, had despised her for her action, which, though incautious, reckless perhaps, was still dictated by lofty and generous motives. He, he, the girl’s betrothed, looked at her with that smile of mockery, which was more insufferable from him than from any one. And knowing that he had already deceived her (he had deceived her, believing that she was bound to endure everything from him, even treachery), she intentionally offered him three thousand roubles, and clearly, too clearly, let him understand that she was offering him money to deceive her. ‘Well, will you take it or not, are you so lost to shame?’ was the dumb question in her scrutinizing eyes. He looked at her, saw clearly what was in her mind (he’s admitted here before you that he understood it all), appropriated that three thousand unconditionally, and squandered it in two days with the new object of his affections.

“What are we to believe then? The first legend of the young officer sacrificing his last farthing in a noble impulse of generosity and doing reverence to virtue, or this other revolting picture? As a rule, between two extremes one has to find the mean, but in the present case this is not true. The probability is that in the first case he was genuinely noble, and in the second as genuinely base. And why? Because he was of the broad Karamazov character—that’s just what I am leading up to—capable of combining the most incongruous contradictions, and capable of the greatest heights and of the greatest depths. Remember the brilliant remark made by a young observer who has seen the Karamazov family at close quarters—Mr. Rakitin: ‘The sense of their own degradation is as essential to those reckless, unbridled natures as the sense of their lofty generosity.’ And that’s true, they need continually this unnatural mixture. Two extremes at the same moment, or they are miserable and dissatisfied and their existence is incomplete. They are wide, wide as mother Russia; they include everything and put up with everything.

“By the way, gentlemen of the jury, we’ve just touched upon that three thousand roubles, and I will venture to anticipate things a little. Can you conceive that a man like that, on receiving that sum and in such a way, at the price of such shame, such disgrace, such utter degradation, could have been capable that very day of setting apart half that sum, that very day, and sewing it up in a little bag, and would have had the firmness of character to carry it about with him for a whole month afterwards, in spite of every temptation and his extreme need of it! Neither in drunken debauchery in taverns, nor when he was flying into the country, trying to get from God knows whom, the money so essential to him to remove the object of his affections from being tempted by his father, did he bring himself to touch that little bag! Why, if only to avoid abandoning his mistress to the rival of whom he was so jealous, he would have been certain to have opened that bag and to have stayed at home to keep watch over her, and to await the moment when she would say to him at last ‘I am yours,’ and to fly with her far from their fatal surroundings.

“But no, he did not touch his talisman, and what is the reason he gives for it? The chief reason, as I have just said, was that when she would say, ‘I am yours, take me where you will,’ he might have the wherewithal to take her. But that first reason, in the prisoner’s own words, was of little weight beside the second. While I have that money on me, he said, I am a scoundrel, not a thief, for I can always go to my insulted betrothed, and, laying down half the sum I have fraudulently appropriated, I can always say to her, ‘You see, I’ve squandered half your money, and shown I am a weak and immoral man, and, if you like, a scoundrel’ (I use the prisoner’s own expressions), ‘but though I am a scoundrel, I am not a thief, for if I had been a thief, I shouldn’t have brought you back this half of the money, but should have taken it as I did the other half!’ A marvelous explanation! This frantic, but weak man, who could not resist the temptation of accepting the three thousand roubles at the price of such disgrace, this very man suddenly develops the most stoical firmness, and carries about a thousand roubles without daring to touch it. Does that fit in at all with the character we have analyzed? No, and I venture to tell you how the real Dmitri Karamazov would have behaved in such circumstances, if he really had brought himself to put away the money.

“At the first temptation—for instance, to entertain the woman with whom he had already squandered half the money—he would have unpicked his little bag and have taken out some hundred roubles, for why should he have taken back precisely half the money, that is, fifteen hundred roubles? why not fourteen hundred? He could just as well have said then that he was not a thief, because he brought back fourteen hundred roubles. Then another time he would have unpicked it again and taken out another hundred, and then a third, and then a fourth, and before the end of the month he would have taken the last note but one, feeling that if he took back only a hundred it would answer the purpose, for a thief would have stolen it all. And then he would have looked at this last note, and have said to himself, ‘It’s really not worth while to give back one hundred; let’s spend that, too!’ That’s how the real Dmitri Karamazov, as we know him, would have behaved. One cannot imagine anything more incongruous with the actual fact than this legend of the little bag. Nothing could be more inconceivable. But we shall return to that later.”

After touching upon what had come out in the proceedings concerning the financial relations of father and son, and arguing again and again that it was utterly impossible, from the facts known, to determine which was in the wrong, Ippolit Kirillovitch passed to the evidence of the medical experts in reference to Mitya’s fixed idea about the three thousand owing him.


Chapter VII.
An Historical Survey


“The medical experts have striven to convince us that the prisoner is out of his mind and, in fact, a maniac. I maintain that he is in his right mind, and that if he had not been, he would have behaved more cleverly. As for his being a maniac, that I would agree with, but only in one point, that is, his fixed idea about the three thousand. Yet I think one might find a much simpler cause than his tendency to insanity. For my part I agree thoroughly with the young doctor who maintained that the prisoner’s mental faculties have always been normal, and that he has only been irritable and exasperated. The object of the prisoner’s continual and violent anger was not the sum itself; there was a special motive at the bottom of it. That motive is jealousy!”

Here Ippolit Kirillovitch described at length the prisoner’s fatal passion for Grushenka. He began from the moment when the prisoner went to the “young person’s” lodgings “to beat her”—“I use his own expression,” the prosecutor explained—“but instead of beating her, he remained there, at her feet. That was the beginning of the passion. At the same time the prisoner’s father was captivated by the same young person—a strange and fatal coincidence, for they both lost their hearts to her simultaneously, though both had known her before. And she inspired in both of them the most violent, characteristically Karamazov passion. We have her own confession: ‘I was laughing at both of them.’ Yes, the sudden desire to make a jest of them came over her, and she conquered both of them at once. The old man, who worshiped money, at once set aside three thousand roubles as a reward for one visit from her, but soon after that, he would have been happy to lay his property and his name at her feet, if only she would become his lawful wife. We have good evidence of this. As for the prisoner, the tragedy of his fate is evident; it is before us. But such was the young person’s ‘game.’ The enchantress gave the unhappy young man no hope until the last moment, when he knelt before her, stretching out hands that were already stained with the blood of his father and rival. It was in that position that he was arrested. ‘Send me to Siberia with him, I have brought him to this, I am most to blame,’ the woman herself cried, in genuine remorse at the moment of his arrest.

“The talented young man, to whom I have referred already, Mr. Rakitin, characterized this heroine in brief and impressive terms: ‘She was disillusioned early in life, deceived and ruined by a betrothed, who seduced and abandoned her. She was left in poverty, cursed by her respectable family, and taken under the protection of a wealthy old man, whom she still, however, considers as her benefactor. There was perhaps much that was good in her young heart, but it was embittered too early. She became prudent and saved money. She grew sarcastic and resentful against society.’ After this sketch of her character it may well be understood that she might laugh at both of them simply from mischief, from malice.

“After a month of hopeless love and moral degradation, during which he betrayed his betrothed and appropriated money entrusted to his honor, the prisoner was driven almost to frenzy, almost to madness by continual jealousy—and of whom? His father! And the worst of it was that the crazy old man was alluring and enticing the object of his affection by means of that very three thousand roubles, which the son looked upon as his own property, part of his inheritance from his mother, of which his father was cheating him. Yes, I admit it was hard to bear! It might well drive a man to madness. It was not the money, but the fact that this money was used with such revolting cynicism to ruin his happiness!”

Then the prosecutor went on to describe how the idea of murdering his father had entered the prisoner’s head, and illustrated his theory with facts.

“At first he only talked about it in taverns—he was talking about it all that month. Ah, he likes being always surrounded with company, and he likes to tell his companions everything, even his most diabolical and dangerous ideas; he likes to share every thought with others, and expects, for some reason, that those he confides in will meet him with perfect sympathy, enter into all his troubles and anxieties, take his part and not oppose him in anything. If not, he flies into a rage and smashes up everything in the tavern. [Then followed the anecdote about Captain Snegiryov.] Those who heard the prisoner began to think at last that he might mean more than threats, and that such a frenzy might turn threats into actions.”

Here the prosecutor described the meeting of the family at the monastery, the conversations with Alyosha, and the horrible scene of violence when the prisoner had rushed into his father’s house just after dinner.

“I cannot positively assert,” the prosecutor continued, “that the prisoner fully intended to murder his father before that incident. Yet the idea had several times presented itself to him, and he had deliberated on it—for that we have facts, witnesses, and his own words. I confess, gentlemen of the jury,” he added, “that till to‐day I have been uncertain whether to attribute to the prisoner conscious premeditation. I was firmly convinced that he had pictured the fatal moment beforehand, but had only pictured it, contemplating it as a possibility. He had not definitely considered when and how he might commit the crime.

“But I was only uncertain till to‐day, till that fatal document was presented to the court just now. You yourselves heard that young lady’s exclamation, ‘It is the plan, the program of the murder!’ That is how she defined that miserable, drunken letter of the unhappy prisoner. And, in fact, from that letter we see that the whole fact of the murder was premeditated. It was written two days before, and so we know now for a fact that, forty‐eight hours before the perpetration of his terrible design, the prisoner swore that, if he could not get money next day, he would murder his father in order to take the envelope with the notes from under his pillow, as soon as Ivan had left. ‘As soon as Ivan had gone away’—you hear that; so he had thought everything out, weighing every circumstance, and he carried it all out just as he had written it. The proof of premeditation is conclusive; the crime must have been committed for the sake of the money, that is stated clearly, that is written and signed. The prisoner does not deny his signature.

“I shall be told he was drunk when he wrote it. But that does not diminish the value of the letter, quite the contrary; he wrote when drunk what he had planned when sober. Had he not planned it when sober, he would not have written it when drunk. I shall be asked: Then why did he talk about it in taverns? A man who premeditates such a crime is silent and keeps it to himself. Yes, but he talked about it before he had formed a plan, when he had only the desire, only the impulse to it. Afterwards he talked less about it. On the evening he wrote that letter at the ‘Metropolis’ tavern, contrary to his custom he was silent, though he had been drinking. He did not play billiards, he sat in a corner, talked to no one. He did indeed turn a shopman out of his seat, but that was done almost unconsciously, because he could never enter a tavern without making a disturbance. It is true that after he had taken the final decision, he must have felt apprehensive that he had talked too much about his design beforehand, and that this might lead to his arrest and prosecution afterwards. But there was nothing for it; he could not take his words back, but his luck had served him before, it would serve him again. He believed in his star, you know! I must confess, too, that he did a great deal to avoid the fatal catastrophe. ‘To‐morrow I shall try and borrow the money from every one,’ as he writes in his peculiar language, ‘and if they won’t give it to me, there will be bloodshed.’ ”

Here Ippolit Kirillovitch passed to a detailed description of all Mitya’s efforts to borrow the money. He described his visit to Samsonov, his journey to Lyagavy. “Harassed, jeered at, hungry, after selling his watch to pay for the journey (though he tells us he had fifteen hundred roubles on him—a likely story), tortured by jealousy at having left the object of his affections in the town, suspecting that she would go to Fyodor Pavlovitch in his absence, he returned at last to the town, to find, to his joy, that she had not been near his father. He accompanied her himself to her protector. (Strange to say, he doesn’t seem to have been jealous of Samsonov, which is psychologically interesting.) Then he hastens back to his ambush in the back gardens, and there learns that Smerdyakov is in a fit, that the other servant is ill—the coast is clear and he knows the ‘signals’—what a temptation! Still he resists it; he goes off to a lady who has for some time been residing in the town, and who is highly esteemed among us, Madame Hohlakov. That lady, who had long watched his career with compassion, gave him the most judicious advice, to give up his dissipated life, his unseemly love‐affair, the waste of his youth and vigor in pot‐house debauchery, and to set off to Siberia to the gold‐ mines: ‘that would be an outlet for your turbulent energies, your romantic character, your thirst for adventure.’ ”

After describing the result of this conversation and the moment when the prisoner learnt that Grushenka had not remained at Samsonov’s, the sudden frenzy of the luckless man worn out with jealousy and nervous exhaustion, at the thought that she had deceived him and was now with his father, Ippolit Kirillovitch concluded by dwelling upon the fatal influence of chance. “Had the maid told him that her mistress was at Mokroe with her former lover, nothing would have happened. But she lost her head, she could only swear and protest her ignorance, and if the prisoner did not kill her on the spot, it was only because he flew in pursuit of his false mistress.

“But note, frantic as he was, he took with him a brass pestle. Why that? Why not some other weapon? But since he had been contemplating his plan and preparing himself for it for a whole month, he would snatch up anything like a weapon that caught his eye. He had realized for a month past that any object of the kind would serve as a weapon, so he instantly, without hesitation, recognized that it would serve his purpose. So it was by no means unconsciously, by no means involuntarily, that he snatched up that fatal pestle. And then we find him in his father’s garden—the coast is clear, there are no witnesses, darkness and jealousy. The suspicion that she was there, with him, with his rival, in his arms, and perhaps laughing at him at that moment—took his breath away. And it was not mere suspicion, the deception was open, obvious. She must be there, in that lighted room, she must be behind the screen; and the unhappy man would have us believe that he stole up to the window, peeped respectfully in, and discreetly withdrew, for fear something terrible and immoral should happen. And he tries to persuade us of that, us, who understand his character, who know his state of mind at the moment, and that he knew the signals by which he could at once enter the house.” At this point Ippolit Kirillovitch broke off to discuss exhaustively the suspected connection of Smerdyakov with the murder. He did this very circumstantially, and every one realized that, although he professed to despise that suspicion, he thought the subject of great importance.

Chapter VIII.
A Treatise On Smerdyakov


“To begin with, what was the source of this suspicion?” (Ippolit Kirillovitch began.) “The first person who cried out that Smerdyakov had committed the murder was the prisoner himself at the moment of his arrest, yet from that time to this he had not brought forward a single fact to confirm the charge, nor the faintest suggestion of a fact. The charge is confirmed by three persons only—the two brothers of the prisoner and Madame Svyetlov. The elder of these brothers expressed his suspicions only to‐day, when he was undoubtedly suffering from brain fever. But we know that for the last two months he has completely shared our conviction of his brother’s guilt and did not attempt to combat that idea. But of that later. The younger brother has admitted that he has not the slightest fact to support his notion of Smerdyakov’s guilt, and has only been led to that conclusion from the prisoner’s own words and the expression of his face. Yes, that astounding piece of evidence has been brought forward twice to‐ day by him. Madame Svyetlov was even more astounding. ‘What the prisoner tells you, you must believe; he is not a man to tell a lie.’ That is all the evidence against Smerdyakov produced by these three persons, who are all deeply concerned in the prisoner’s fate. And yet the theory of Smerdyakov’s guilt has been noised about, has been and is still maintained. Is it credible? Is it conceivable?”

Here Ippolit Kirillovitch thought it necessary to describe the personality of Smerdyakov, “who had cut short his life in a fit of insanity.” He depicted him as a man of weak intellect, with a smattering of education, who had been thrown off his balance by philosophical ideas above his level and certain modern theories of duty, which he learnt in practice from the reckless life of his master, who was also perhaps his father—Fyodor Pavlovitch; and, theoretically, from various strange philosophical conversations with his master’s elder son, Ivan Fyodorovitch, who readily indulged in this diversion, probably feeling dull or wishing to amuse himself at the valet’s expense. “He spoke to me himself of his spiritual condition during the last few days at his father’s house,” Ippolit Kirillovitch explained; “but others too have borne witness to it—the prisoner himself, his brother, and the servant Grigory—that is, all who knew him well.

“Moreover, Smerdyakov, whose health was shaken by his attacks of epilepsy, had not the courage of a chicken. ‘He fell at my feet and kissed them,’ the prisoner himself has told us, before he realized how damaging such a statement was to himself. ‘He is an epileptic chicken,’ he declared about him in his characteristic language. And the prisoner chose him for his confidant (we have his own word for it) and he frightened him into consenting at last to act as a spy for him. In that capacity he deceived his master, revealing to the prisoner the existence of the envelope with the notes in it and the signals by means of which he could get into the house. How could he help telling him, indeed? ‘He would have killed me, I could see that he would have killed me,’ he said at the inquiry, trembling and shaking even before us, though his tormentor was by that time arrested and could do him no harm. ‘He suspected me at every instant. In fear and trembling I hastened to tell him every secret to pacify him, that he might see that I had not deceived him and let me off alive.’ Those are his own words. I wrote them down and I remember them. ‘When he began shouting at me, I would fall on my knees.’

“He was naturally very honest and enjoyed the complete confidence of his master, ever since he had restored him some money he had lost. So it may be supposed that the poor fellow suffered pangs of remorse at having deceived his master, whom he loved as his benefactor. Persons severely afflicted with epilepsy are, so the most skillful doctors tell us, always prone to continual and morbid self‐reproach. They worry over their ‘wickedness,’ they are tormented by pangs of conscience, often entirely without cause; they exaggerate and often invent all sorts of faults and crimes. And here we have a man of that type who had really been driven to wrong‐doing by terror and intimidation.

“He had, besides, a strong presentiment that something terrible would be the outcome of the situation that was developing before his eyes. When Ivan Fyodorovitch was leaving for Moscow, just before the catastrophe, Smerdyakov besought him to remain, though he was too timid to tell him plainly what he feared. He confined himself to hints, but his hints were not understood.

“It must be observed that he looked on Ivan Fyodorovitch as a protector, whose presence in the house was a guarantee that no harm would come to pass. Remember the phrase in Dmitri Karamazov’s drunken letter, ‘I shall kill the old man, if only Ivan goes away.’ So Ivan Fyodorovitch’s presence seemed to every one a guarantee of peace and order in the house.

“But he went away, and within an hour of his young master’s departure Smerdyakov was taken with an epileptic fit. But that’s perfectly intelligible. Here I must mention that Smerdyakov, oppressed by terror and despair of a sort, had felt during those last few days that one of the fits from which he had suffered before at moments of strain, might be coming upon him again. The day and hour of such an attack cannot, of course, be foreseen, but every epileptic can feel beforehand that he is likely to have one. So the doctors tell us. And so, as soon as Ivan Fyodorovitch had driven out of the yard, Smerdyakov, depressed by his lonely and unprotected position, went to the cellar. He went down the stairs wondering if he would have a fit or not, and what if it were to come upon him at once. And that very apprehension, that very wonder, brought on the spasm in his throat that always precedes such attacks, and he fell unconscious into the cellar. And in this perfectly natural occurrence people try to detect a suspicion, a hint that he was shamming an attack on purpose. But, if it were on purpose, the question arises at once, what was his motive? What was he reckoning on? What was he aiming at? I say nothing about medicine: science, I am told, may go astray: the doctors were not able to discriminate between the counterfeit and the real. That may be so, but answer me one question: what motive had he for such a counterfeit? Could he, had he been plotting the murder, have desired to attract the attention of the household by having a fit just before?

“You see, gentlemen of the jury, on the night of the murder, there were five persons in Fyodor Pavlovitch’s—Fyodor Pavlovitch himself (but he did not kill himself, that’s evident); then his servant, Grigory, but he was almost killed himself; the third person was Grigory’s wife, Marfa Ignatyevna, but it would be simply shameful to imagine her murdering her master. Two persons are left—the prisoner and Smerdyakov. But, if we are to believe the prisoner’s statement that he is not the murderer, then Smerdyakov must have been, for there is no other alternative, no one else can be found. That is what accounts for the artful, astounding accusation against the unhappy idiot who committed suicide yesterday. Had a shadow of suspicion rested on any one else, had there been any sixth person, I am persuaded that even the prisoner would have been ashamed to accuse Smerdyakov, and would have accused that sixth person, for to charge Smerdyakov with that murder is perfectly absurd.

“Gentlemen, let us lay aside psychology, let us lay aside medicine, let us even lay aside logic, let us turn only to the facts and see what the facts tell us. If Smerdyakov killed him, how did he do it? Alone or with the assistance of the prisoner? Let us consider the first alternative—that he did it alone. If he had killed him it must have been with some object, for some advantage to himself. But not having a shadow of the motive that the prisoner had for the murder—hatred, jealousy, and so on—Smerdyakov could only have murdered him for the sake of gain, in order to appropriate the three thousand roubles he had seen his master put in the envelope. And yet he tells another person—and a person most closely interested, that is, the prisoner—everything about the money and the signals, where the envelope lay, what was written on it, what it was tied up with, and, above all, told him of those signals by which he could enter the house. Did he do this simply to betray himself, or to invite to the same enterprise one who would be anxious to get that envelope for himself? ‘Yes,’ I shall be told, ‘but he betrayed it from fear.’ But how do you explain this? A man who could conceive such an audacious, savage act, and carry it out, tells facts which are known to no one else in the world, and which, if he held his tongue, no one would ever have guessed!

“No, however cowardly he might be, if he had plotted such a crime, nothing would have induced him to tell any one about the envelope and the signals, for that was as good as betraying himself beforehand. He would have invented something, he would have told some lie if he had been forced to give information, but he would have been silent about that. For, on the other hand, if he had said nothing about the money, but had committed the murder and stolen the money, no one in the world could have charged him with murder for the sake of robbery, since no one but he had seen the money, no one but he knew of its existence in the house. Even if he had been accused of the murder, it could only have been thought that he had committed it from some other motive. But since no one had observed any such motive in him beforehand, and every one saw, on the contrary, that his master was fond of him and honored him with his confidence, he would, of course, have been the last to be suspected. People would have suspected first the man who had a motive, a man who had himself declared he had such motives, who had made no secret of it; they would, in fact, have suspected the son of the murdered man, Dmitri Fyodorovitch. Had Smerdyakov killed and robbed him, and the son been accused of it, that would, of course, have suited Smerdyakov. Yet are we to believe that, though plotting the murder, he told that son, Dmitri, about the money, the envelope, and the signals? Is that logical? Is that clear?

“When the day of the murder planned by Smerdyakov came, we have him falling downstairs in a feigned fit—with what object? In the first place that Grigory, who had been intending to take his medicine, might put it off and remain on guard, seeing there was no one to look after the house, and, in the second place, I suppose, that his master seeing that there was no one to guard him, and in terror of a visit from his son, might redouble his vigilance and precaution. And, most of all, I suppose that he, Smerdyakov, disabled by the fit, might be carried from the kitchen, where he always slept, apart from all the rest, and where he could go in and out as he liked, to Grigory’s room at the other end of the lodge, where he was always put, shut off by a screen three paces from their own bed. This was the immemorial custom established by his master and the kind‐hearted Marfa Ignatyevna, whenever he had a fit. There, lying behind the screen, he would most likely, to keep up the sham, have begun groaning, and so keeping them awake all night (as Grigory and his wife testified). And all this, we are to believe, that he might more conveniently get up and murder his master!

“But I shall be told that he shammed illness on purpose that he might not be suspected and that he told the prisoner of the money and the signals to tempt him to commit the murder, and when he had murdered him and had gone away with the money, making a noise, most likely, and waking people, Smerdyakov got up, am I to believe, and went in—what for? To murder his master a second time and carry off the money that had already been stolen? Gentlemen, are you laughing? I am ashamed to put forward such suggestions, but, incredible as it seems, that’s just what the prisoner alleges. When he had left the house, had knocked Grigory down and raised an alarm, he tells us Smerdyakov got up, went in and murdered his master and stole the money! I won’t press the point that Smerdyakov could hardly have reckoned on this beforehand, and have foreseen that the furious and exasperated son would simply come to peep in respectfully, though he knew the signals, and beat a retreat, leaving Smerdyakov his booty. Gentlemen of the jury, I put this question to you in earnest; when was the moment when Smerdyakov could have committed his crime? Name that moment, or you can’t accuse him.

“But, perhaps, the fit was a real one, the sick man suddenly recovered, heard a shout, and went out. Well—what then? He looked about him and said, ‘Why not go and kill the master?’ And how did he know what had happened, since he had been lying unconscious till that moment? But there’s a limit to these flights of fancy.

“ ‘Quite so,’ some astute people will tell me, ‘but what if they were in agreement? What if they murdered him together and shared the money—what then?’ A weighty question, truly! And the facts to confirm it are astounding. One commits the murder and takes all the trouble while his accomplice lies on one side shamming a fit, apparently to arouse suspicion in every one, alarm in his master and alarm in Grigory. It would be interesting to know what motives could have induced the two accomplices to form such an insane plan.

“But perhaps it was not a case of active complicity on Smerdyakov’s part, but only of passive acquiescence; perhaps Smerdyakov was intimidated and agreed not to prevent the murder, and foreseeing that he would be blamed for letting his master be murdered, without screaming for help or resisting, he may have obtained permission from Dmitri Karamazov to get out of the way by shamming a fit—‘you may murder him as you like; it’s nothing to me.’ But as this attack of Smerdyakov’s was bound to throw the household into confusion, Dmitri Karamazov could never have agreed to such a plan. I will waive that point however. Supposing that he did agree, it would still follow that Dmitri Karamazov is the murderer and the instigator, and Smerdyakov is only a passive accomplice, and not even an accomplice, but merely acquiesced against his will through terror.

“But what do we see? As soon as he is arrested the prisoner instantly throws all the blame on Smerdyakov, not accusing him of being his accomplice, but of being himself the murderer. ‘He did it alone,’ he says. ‘He murdered and robbed him. It was the work of his hands.’ Strange sort of accomplices who begin to accuse one another at once! And think of the risk for Karamazov. After committing the murder while his accomplice lay in bed, he throws the blame on the invalid, who might well have resented it and in self‐preservation might well have confessed the truth. For he might well have seen that the court would at once judge how far he was responsible, and so he might well have reckoned that if he were punished, it would be far less severely than the real murderer. But in that case he would have been certain to make a confession, yet he has not done so. Smerdyakov never hinted at their complicity, though the actual murderer persisted in accusing him and declaring that he had committed the crime alone.

“What’s more, Smerdyakov at the inquiry volunteered the statement that it was he who had told the prisoner of the envelope of notes and of the signals, and that, but for him, he would have known nothing about them. If he had really been a guilty accomplice, would he so readily have made this statement at the inquiry? On the contrary, he would have tried to conceal it, to distort the facts or minimize them. But he was far from distorting or minimizing them. No one but an innocent man, who had no fear of being charged with complicity, could have acted as he did. And in a fit of melancholy arising from his disease and this catastrophe he hanged himself yesterday. He left a note written in his peculiar language, ‘I destroy myself of my own will and inclination so as to throw no blame on any one.’ What would it have cost him to add: ‘I am the murderer, not Karamazov’? But that he did not add. Did his conscience lead him to suicide and not to avowing his guilt?

“And what followed? Notes for three thousand roubles were brought into the court just now, and we were told that they were the same that lay in the envelope now on the table before us, and that the witness had received them from Smerdyakov the day before. But I need not recall the painful scene, though I will make one or two comments, selecting such trivial ones as might not be obvious at first sight to every one, and so may be overlooked. In the first place, Smerdyakov must have given back the money and hanged himself yesterday from remorse. And only yesterday he confessed his guilt to Ivan Karamazov, as the latter informs us. If it were not so, indeed, why should Ivan Fyodorovitch have kept silence till now? And so, if he has confessed, then why, I ask again, did he not avow the whole truth in the last letter he left behind, knowing that the innocent prisoner had to face this terrible ordeal the next day?

“The money alone is no proof. A week ago, quite by chance, the fact came to the knowledge of myself and two other persons in this court that Ivan Fyodorovitch had sent two five per cent. coupons of five thousand each—that is, ten thousand in all—to the chief town of the province to be changed. I only mention this to point out that any one may have money, and that it can’t be proved that these notes are the same as were in Fyodor Pavlovitch’s envelope.

“Ivan Karamazov, after receiving yesterday a communication of such importance from the real murderer, did not stir. Why didn’t he report it at once? Why did he put it all off till morning? I think I have a right to conjecture why. His health had been giving way for a week past: he had admitted to a doctor and to his most intimate friends that he was suffering from hallucinations and seeing phantoms of the dead: he was on the eve of the attack of brain fever by which he has been stricken down to‐day. In this condition he suddenly heard of Smerdyakov’s death, and at once reflected, ‘The man is dead, I can throw the blame on him and save my brother. I have money. I will take a roll of notes and say that Smerdyakov gave them me before his death.’ You will say that was dishonorable: it’s dishonorable to slander even the dead, and even to save a brother. True, but what if he slandered him unconsciously? What if, finally unhinged by the sudden news of the valet’s death, he imagined it really was so? You saw the recent scene: you have seen the witness’s condition. He was standing up and was speaking, but where was his mind?

“Then followed the document, the prisoner’s letter written two days before the crime, and containing a complete program of the murder. Why, then, are we looking for any other program? The crime was committed precisely according to this program, and by no other than the writer of it. Yes, gentlemen of the jury, it went off without a hitch! He did not run respectfully and timidly away from his father’s window, though he was firmly convinced that the object of his affections was with him. No, that is absurd and unlikely! He went in and murdered him. Most likely he killed him in anger, burning with resentment, as soon as he looked on his hated rival. But having killed him, probably with one blow of the brass pestle, and having convinced himself, after careful search, that she was not there, he did not, however, forget to put his hand under the pillow and take out the envelope, the torn cover of which lies now on the table before us.

“I mention this fact that you may note one, to my thinking, very characteristic circumstance. Had he been an experienced murderer and had he committed the murder for the sake of gain only, would he have left the torn envelope on the floor as it was found, beside the corpse? Had it been Smerdyakov, for instance, murdering his master to rob him, he would have simply carried away the envelope with him, without troubling himself to open it over his victim’s corpse, for he would have known for certain that the notes were in the envelope—they had been put in and sealed up in his presence—and had he taken the envelope with him, no one would ever have known of the robbery. I ask you, gentlemen, would Smerdyakov have behaved in that way? Would he have left the envelope on the floor?

“No, this was the action of a frantic murderer, a murderer who was not a thief and had never stolen before that day, who snatched the notes from under the pillow, not like a thief stealing them, but as though seizing his own property from the thief who had stolen it. For that was the idea which had become almost an insane obsession in Dmitri Karamazov in regard to that money. And pouncing upon the envelope, which he had never seen before, he tore it open to make sure whether the money was in it, and ran away with the money in his pocket, even forgetting to consider that he had left an astounding piece of evidence against himself in that torn envelope on the floor. All because it was Karamazov, not Smerdyakov, he didn’t think, he didn’t reflect, and how should he? He ran away; he heard behind him the servant cry out; the old man caught him, stopped him and was felled to the ground by the brass pestle.

“The prisoner, moved by pity, leapt down to look at him. Would you believe it, he tells us that he leapt down out of pity, out of compassion, to see whether he could do anything for him. Was that a moment to show compassion? No; he jumped down simply to make certain whether the only witness of his crime were dead or alive. Any other feeling, any other motive would be unnatural. Note that he took trouble over Grigory, wiped his head with his handkerchief and, convincing himself he was dead, he ran to the house of his mistress, dazed and covered with blood. How was it he never thought that he was covered with blood and would be at once detected? But the prisoner himself assures us that he did not even notice that he was covered with blood. That may be believed, that is very possible, that always happens at such moments with criminals. On one point they will show diabolical cunning, while another will escape them altogether. But he was thinking at that moment of one thing only—where was she? He wanted to find out at once where she was, so he ran to her lodging and learnt an unexpected and astounding piece of news—she had gone off to Mokroe to meet her first lover.”

Chapter IX.
The Galloping Troika. The End Of The Prosecutor’s Speech.


Ippolit Kirillovitch had chosen the historical method of exposition, beloved by all nervous orators, who find in its limitation a check on their own eager rhetoric. At this moment in his speech he went off into a dissertation on Grushenka’s “first lover,” and brought forward several interesting thoughts on this theme.

“Karamazov, who had been frantically jealous of every one, collapsed, so to speak, and effaced himself at once before this first lover. What makes it all the more strange is that he seems to have hardly thought of this formidable rival. But he had looked upon him as a remote danger, and Karamazov always lives in the present. Possibly he regarded him as a fiction. But his wounded heart grasped instantly that the woman had been concealing this new rival and deceiving him, because he was anything but a fiction to her, because he was the one hope of her life. Grasping this instantly, he resigned himself.

“Gentlemen of the jury, I cannot help dwelling on this unexpected trait in the prisoner’s character. He suddenly evinces an irresistible desire for justice, a respect for woman and a recognition of her right to love. And all this at the very moment when he had stained his hands with his father’s blood for her sake! It is true that the blood he had shed was already crying out for vengeance, for, after having ruined his soul and his life in this world, he was forced to ask himself at that same instant what he was and what he could be now to her, to that being, dearer to him than his own soul, in comparison with that former lover who had returned penitent, with new love, to the woman he had once betrayed, with honorable offers, with the promise of a reformed and happy life. And he, luckless man, what could he give her now, what could he offer her?

“Karamazov felt all this, knew that all ways were barred to him by his crime and that he was a criminal under sentence, and not a man with life before him! This thought crushed him. And so he instantly flew to one frantic plan, which, to a man of Karamazov’s character, must have appeared the one inevitable way out of his terrible position. That way out was suicide. He ran for the pistols he had left in pledge with his friend Perhotin and on the way, as he ran, he pulled out of his pocket the money, for the sake of which he had stained his hands with his father’s gore. Oh, now he needed money more than ever. Karamazov would die, Karamazov would shoot himself and it should be remembered! To be sure, he was a poet and had burnt the candle at both ends all his life. ‘To her, to her! and there, oh, there I will give a feast to the whole world, such as never was before, that will be remembered and talked of long after! In the midst of shouts of wild merriment, reckless gypsy songs and dances I shall raise the glass and drink to the woman I adore and her new‐found happiness! And then, on the spot, at her feet, I shall dash out my brains before her and punish myself! She will remember Mitya Karamazov sometimes, she will see how Mitya loved her, she will feel for Mitya!’

“Here we see in excess a love of effect, a romantic despair and sentimentality, and the wild recklessness of the Karamazovs. Yes, but there is something else, gentlemen of the jury, something that cries out in the soul, throbs incessantly in the mind, and poisons the heart unto death—that something is conscience, gentlemen of the jury, its judgment, its terrible torments! The pistol will settle everything, the pistol is the only way out! But beyond—I don’t know whether Karamazov wondered at that moment ‘What lies beyond,’ and whether Karamazov could, like Hamlet, wonder ‘What lies beyond.’ No, gentlemen of the jury, they have their Hamlets, but we still have our Karamazovs!”

Here Ippolit Kirillovitch drew a minute picture of Mitya’s preparations, the scene at Perhotin’s, at the shop, with the drivers. He quoted numerous words and actions, confirmed by witnesses, and the picture made a terrible impression on the audience. The guilt of this harassed and desperate man stood out clear and convincing, when the facts were brought together.

“What need had he of precaution? Two or three times he almost confessed, hinted at it, all but spoke out.” (Then followed the evidence given by witnesses.) “He even cried out to the peasant who drove him, ‘Do you know, you are driving a murderer!’ But it was impossible for him to speak out, he had to get to Mokroe and there to finish his romance. But what was awaiting the luckless man? Almost from the first minute at Mokroe he saw that his invincible rival was perhaps by no means so invincible, that the toast to their new‐found happiness was not desired and would not be acceptable. But you know the facts, gentlemen of the jury, from the preliminary inquiry. Karamazov’s triumph over his rival was complete and his soul passed into quite a new phase, perhaps the most terrible phase through which his soul has passed or will pass.

“One may say with certainty, gentlemen of the jury,” the prosecutor continued, “that outraged nature and the criminal heart bring their own vengeance more completely than any earthly justice. What’s more, justice and punishment on earth positively alleviate the punishment of nature and are, indeed, essential to the soul of the criminal at such moments, as its salvation from despair. For I cannot imagine the horror and moral suffering of Karamazov when he learnt that she loved him, that for his sake she had rejected her first lover, that she was summoning him, Mitya, to a new life, that she was promising him happiness—and when? When everything was over for him and nothing was possible!

“By the way, I will note in parenthesis a point of importance for the light it throws on the prisoner’s position at the moment. This woman, this love of his, had been till the last moment, till the very instant of his arrest, a being unattainable, passionately desired by him but unattainable. Yet why did he not shoot himself then, why did he relinquish his design and even forget where his pistol was? It was just that passionate desire for love and the hope of satisfying it that restrained him. Throughout their revels he kept close to his adored mistress, who was at the banquet with him and was more charming and fascinating to him than ever—he did not leave her side, abasing himself in his homage before her.

“His passion might well, for a moment, stifle not only the fear of arrest, but even the torments of conscience. For a moment, oh, only for a moment! I can picture the state of mind of the criminal hopelessly enslaved by these influences—first, the influence of drink, of noise and excitement, of the thud of the dance and the scream of the song, and of her, flushed with wine, singing and dancing and laughing to him! Secondly, the hope in the background that the fatal end might still be far off, that not till next morning, at least, they would come and take him. So he had a few hours and that’s much, very much! In a few hours one can think of many things. I imagine that he felt something like what criminals feel when they are being taken to the scaffold. They have another long, long street to pass down and at walking pace, past thousands of people. Then there will be a turning into another street and only at the end of that street the dread place of execution! I fancy that at the beginning of the journey the condemned man, sitting on his shameful cart, must feel that he has infinite life still before him. The houses recede, the cart moves on—oh, that’s nothing, it’s still far to the turning into the second street and he still looks boldly to right and to left at those thousands of callously curious people with their eyes fixed on him, and he still fancies that he is just such a man as they. But now the turning comes to the next street. Oh, that’s nothing, nothing, there’s still a whole street before him, and however many houses have been passed, he will still think there are many left. And so to the very end, to the very scaffold.

“This I imagine is how it was with Karamazov then. ‘They’ve not had time yet,’ he must have thought, ‘I may still find some way out, oh, there’s still time to make some plan of defense, and now, now—she is so fascinating!’

“His soul was full of confusion and dread, but he managed, however, to put aside half his money and hide it somewhere—I cannot otherwise explain the disappearance of quite half of the three thousand he had just taken from his father’s pillow. He had been in Mokroe more than once before, he had caroused there for two days together already, he knew the old big house with all its passages and outbuildings. I imagine that part of the money was hidden in that house, not long before the arrest, in some crevice, under some floor, in some corner, under the roof. With what object? I shall be asked. Why, the catastrophe may take place at once, of course; he hadn’t yet considered how to meet it, he hadn’t the time, his head was throbbing and his heart was with her, but money—money was indispensable in any case! With money a man is always a man. Perhaps such foresight at such a moment may strike you as unnatural? But he assures us himself that a month before, at a critical and exciting moment, he had halved his money and sewn it up in a little bag. And though that was not true, as we shall prove directly, it shows the idea was a familiar one to Karamazov, he had contemplated it. What’s more, when he declared at the inquiry that he had put fifteen hundred roubles in a bag (which never existed) he may have invented that little bag on the inspiration of the moment, because he had two hours before divided his money and hidden half of it at Mokroe till morning, in case of emergency, simply not to have it on himself. Two extremes, gentlemen of the jury, remember that Karamazov can contemplate two extremes and both at once.

“We have looked in the house, but we haven’t found the money. It may still be there or it may have disappeared next day and be in the prisoner’s hands now. In any case he was at her side, on his knees before her, she was lying on the bed, he had his hands stretched out to her and he had so entirely forgotten everything that he did not even hear the men coming to arrest him. He hadn’t time to prepare any line of defense in his mind. He was caught unawares and confronted with his judges, the arbiters of his destiny.

“Gentlemen of the jury, there are moments in the execution of our duties when it is terrible for us to face a man, terrible on his account, too! The moments of contemplating that animal fear, when the criminal sees that all is lost, but still struggles, still means to struggle, the moments when every instinct of self‐preservation rises up in him at once and he looks at you with questioning and suffering eyes, studies you, your face, your thoughts, uncertain on which side you will strike, and his distracted mind frames thousands of plans in an instant, but he is still afraid to speak, afraid of giving himself away! This purgatory of the spirit, this animal thirst for self‐preservation, these humiliating moments of the human soul, are awful, and sometimes arouse horror and compassion for the criminal even in the lawyer. And this was what we all witnessed then.

“At first he was thunderstruck and in his terror dropped some very compromising phrases. ‘Blood! I’ve deserved it!’ But he quickly restrained himself. He had not prepared what he was to say, what answer he was to make, he had nothing but a bare denial ready. ‘I am not guilty of my father’s death.’ That was his fence for the moment and behind it he hoped to throw up a barricade of some sort. His first compromising exclamations he hastened to explain by declaring that he was responsible for the death of the servant Grigory only. ‘Of that bloodshed I am guilty, but who has killed my father, gentlemen, who has killed him? Who can have killed him, if not I?’ Do you hear, he asked us that, us, who had come to ask him that question! Do you hear that phrase uttered with such premature haste—‘if not I’—the animal cunning, the naïveté, the Karamazov impatience of it? ‘I didn’t kill him and you mustn’t think I did! I wanted to kill him, gentlemen, I wanted to kill him,’ he hastens to admit (he was in a hurry, in a terrible hurry), ‘but still I am not guilty, it is not I murdered him.’ He concedes to us that he wanted to murder him, as though to say, you can see for yourselves how truthful I am, so you’ll believe all the sooner that I didn’t murder him. Oh, in such cases the criminal is often amazingly shallow and credulous.

“At that point one of the lawyers asked him, as it were incidentally, the most simple question, ‘Wasn’t it Smerdyakov killed him?’ Then, as we expected, he was horribly angry at our having anticipated him and caught him unawares, before he had time to pave the way to choose and snatch the moment when it would be most natural to bring in Smerdyakov’s name. He rushed at once to the other extreme, as he always does, and began to assure us that Smerdyakov could not have killed him, was not capable of it. But don’t believe him, that was only his cunning; he didn’t really give up the idea of Smerdyakov; on the contrary, he meant to bring him forward again; for, indeed, he had no one else to bring forward, but he would do that later, because for the moment that line was spoiled for him. He would bring him forward perhaps next day, or even a few days later, choosing an opportunity to cry out to us, ‘You know I was more skeptical about Smerdyakov than you, you remember that yourselves, but now I am convinced. He killed him, he must have done!’ And for the present he falls back upon a gloomy and irritable denial. Impatience and anger prompted him, however, to the most inept and incredible explanation of how he looked into his father’s window and how he respectfully withdrew. The worst of it was that he was unaware of the position of affairs, of the evidence given by Grigory.

“We proceeded to search him. The search angered, but encouraged him, the whole three thousand had not been found on him, only half of it. And no doubt only at that moment of angry silence, the fiction of the little bag first occurred to him. No doubt he was conscious himself of the improbability of the story and strove painfully to make it sound more likely, to weave it into a romance that would sound plausible. In such cases the first duty, the chief task of the investigating lawyers, is to prevent the criminal being prepared, to pounce upon him unexpectedly so that he may blurt out his cherished ideas in all their simplicity, improbability and inconsistency. The criminal can only be made to speak by the sudden and apparently incidental communication of some new fact, of some circumstance of great importance in the case, of which he had no previous idea and could not have foreseen. We had such a fact in readiness—that was Grigory’s evidence about the open door through which the prisoner had run out. He had completely forgotten about that door and had not even suspected that Grigory could have seen it.

“The effect of it was amazing. He leapt up and shouted to us, ‘Then Smerdyakov murdered him, it was Smerdyakov!’ and so betrayed the basis of the defense he was keeping back, and betrayed it in its most improbable shape, for Smerdyakov could only have committed the murder after he had knocked Grigory down and run away. When we told him that Grigory saw the door was open before he fell down, and had heard Smerdyakov behind the screen as he came out of his bedroom—Karamazov was positively crushed. My esteemed and witty colleague, Nikolay Parfenovitch, told me afterwards that he was almost moved to tears at the sight of him. And to improve matters, the prisoner hastened to tell us about the much‐talked‐of little bag—so be it, you shall hear this romance!

“Gentlemen of the jury, I have told you already why I consider this romance not only an absurdity, but the most improbable invention that could have been brought forward in the circumstances. If one tried for a bet to invent the most unlikely story, one could hardly find anything more incredible. The worst of such stories is that the triumphant romancers can always be put to confusion and crushed by the very details in which real life is so rich and which these unhappy and involuntary story‐tellers neglect as insignificant trifles. Oh, they have no thought to spare for such details, their minds are concentrated on their grand invention as a whole, and fancy any one daring to pull them up for a trifle! But that’s how they are caught. The prisoner was asked the question, ‘Where did you get the stuff for your little bag and who made it for you?’ ‘I made it myself.’ ‘And where did you get the linen?’ The prisoner was positively offended, he thought it almost insulting to ask him such a trivial question, and would you believe it, his resentment was genuine! But they are all like that. ‘I tore it off my shirt.’ ‘Then we shall find that shirt among your linen to‐morrow, with a piece torn off.’ And only fancy, gentlemen of the jury, if we really had found that torn shirt (and how could we have failed to find it in his chest of drawers or trunk?) that would have been a fact, a material fact in support of his statement! But he was incapable of that reflection. ‘I don’t remember, it may not have been off my shirt, I sewed it up in one of my landlady’s caps.’ ‘What sort of a cap?’ ‘It was an old cotton rag of hers lying about.’ ‘And do you remember that clearly?’ ‘No, I don’t.’ And he was angry, very angry, and yet imagine not remembering it! At the most terrible moments of man’s life, for instance when he is being led to execution, he remembers just such trifles. He will forget anything but some green roof that has flashed past him on the road, or a jackdaw on a cross—that he will remember. He concealed the making of that little bag from his household, he must have remembered his humiliating fear that some one might come in and find him needle in hand, how at the slightest sound he slipped behind the screen (there is a screen in his lodgings).

“But, gentlemen of the jury, why do I tell you all this, all these details, trifles?” cried Ippolit Kirillovitch suddenly. “Just because the prisoner still persists in these absurdities to this moment. He has not explained anything since that fatal night two months ago, he has not added one actual illuminating fact to his former fantastic statements; all those are trivialities. ‘You must believe it on my honor.’ Oh, we are glad to believe it, we are eager to believe it, even if only on his word of honor! Are we jackals thirsting for human blood? Show us a single fact in the prisoner’s favor and we shall rejoice; but let it be a substantial, real fact, and not a conclusion drawn from the prisoner’s expression by his own brother, or that when he beat himself on the breast he must have meant to point to the little bag, in the darkness, too. We shall rejoice at the new fact, we shall be the first to repudiate our charge, we shall hasten to repudiate it. But now justice cries out and we persist, we cannot repudiate anything.”

Ippolit Kirillovitch passed to his final peroration. He looked as though he was in a fever, he spoke of the blood that cried for vengeance, the blood of the father murdered by his son, with the base motive of robbery! He pointed to the tragic and glaring consistency of the facts.

“And whatever you may hear from the talented and celebrated counsel for the defense,” Ippolit Kirillovitch could not resist adding, “whatever eloquent and touching appeals may be made to your sensibilities, remember that at this moment you are in a temple of justice. Remember that you are the champions of our justice, the champions of our holy Russia, of her principles, her family, everything that she holds sacred! Yes, you represent Russia here at this moment, and your verdict will be heard not in this hall only but will reëcho throughout the whole of Russia, and all Russia will hear you, as her champions and her judges, and she will be encouraged or disheartened by your verdict. Do not disappoint Russia and her expectations. Our fatal troika dashes on in her headlong flight perhaps to destruction and in all Russia for long past men have stretched out imploring hands and called a halt to its furious reckless course. And if other nations stand aside from that troika that may be, not from respect, as the poet would fain believe, but simply from horror. From horror, perhaps from disgust. And well it is that they stand aside, but maybe they will cease one day to do so and will form a firm wall confronting the hurrying apparition and will check the frenzied rush of our lawlessness, for the sake of their own safety, enlightenment and civilization. Already we have heard voices of alarm from Europe, they already begin to sound. Do not tempt them! Do not heap up their growing hatred by a sentence justifying the murder of a father by his son!”

Though Ippolit Kirillovitch was genuinely moved, he wound up his speech with this rhetorical appeal—and the effect produced by him was extraordinary. When he had finished his speech, he went out hurriedly and, as I have mentioned before, almost fainted in the adjoining room. There was no applause in the court, but serious persons were pleased. The ladies were not so well satisfied, though even they were pleased with his eloquence, especially as they had no apprehensions as to the upshot of the trial and had full trust in Fetyukovitch. “He will speak at last and of course carry all before him.”

Every one looked at Mitya; he sat silent through the whole of the prosecutor’s speech, clenching his teeth, with his hands clasped, and his head bowed. Only from time to time he raised his head and listened, especially when Grushenka was spoken of. When the prosecutor mentioned Rakitin’s opinion of her, a smile of contempt and anger passed over his face and he murmured rather audibly, “The Bernards!” When Ippolit Kirillovitch described how he had questioned and tortured him at Mokroe, Mitya raised his head and listened with intense curiosity. At one point he seemed about to jump up and cry out, but controlled himself and only shrugged his shoulders disdainfully. People talked afterwards of the end of the speech, of the prosecutor’s feat in examining the prisoner at Mokroe, and jeered at Ippolit Kirillovitch. “The man could not resist boasting of his cleverness,” they said.

The court was adjourned, but only for a short interval, a quarter of an hour or twenty minutes at most. There was a hum of conversation and exclamations in the audience. I remember some of them.

“A weighty speech,” a gentleman in one group observed gravely.

“He brought in too much psychology,” said another voice.

“But it was all true, the absolute truth!”

“Yes, he is first rate at it.”

“He summed it all up.”

“Yes, he summed us up, too,” chimed in another voice. “Do you remember, at the beginning of his speech, making out we were all like Fyodor Pavlovitch?”

“And at the end, too. But that was all rot.”

“And obscure too.”

“He was a little too much carried away.”

“It’s unjust, it’s unjust.”

“No, it was smartly done, anyway. He’s had long to wait, but he’s had his say, ha ha!”

“What will the counsel for the defense say?”

In another group I heard:

“He had no business to make a thrust at the Petersburg man like that; ‘appealing to your sensibilities’—do you remember?”

“Yes, that was awkward of him.”

“He was in too great a hurry.”

“He is a nervous man.”

“We laugh, but what must the prisoner be feeling?”

“Yes, what must it be for Mitya?”

In a third group:

“What lady is that, the fat one, with the lorgnette, sitting at the end?”

“She is a general’s wife, divorced, I know her.”

“That’s why she has the lorgnette.”

“She is not good for much.”

“Oh, no, she is a piquante little woman.”

“Two places beyond her there is a little fair woman, she is prettier.”

“They caught him smartly at Mokroe, didn’t they, eh?”

“Oh, it was smart enough. We’ve heard it before, how often he has told the story at people’s houses!”

“And he couldn’t resist doing it now. That’s vanity.”

“He is a man with a grievance, he he!”

“Yes, and quick to take offense. And there was too much rhetoric, such long sentences.”

“Yes, he tries to alarm us, he kept trying to alarm us. Do you remember about the troika? Something about ‘They have Hamlets, but we have, so far, only Karamazovs!’ That was cleverly said!”

“That was to propitiate the liberals. He is afraid of them.”

“Yes, and he is afraid of the lawyer, too.”

“Yes, what will Fetyukovitch say?”

“Whatever he says, he won’t get round our peasants.”

“Don’t you think so?”

A fourth group:

“What he said about the troika was good, that piece about the other nations.”

“And that was true what he said about other nations not standing it.”

“What do you mean?”

“Why, in the English Parliament a Member got up last week and speaking about the Nihilists asked the Ministry whether it was not high time to intervene, to educate this barbarous people. Ippolit was thinking of him, I know he was. He was talking about that last week.”

“Not an easy job.”

“Not an easy job? Why not?”

“Why, we’d shut up Kronstadt and not let them have any corn. Where would they get it?”

“In America. They get it from America now.”

“Nonsense!”

But the bell rang, all rushed to their places. Fetyukovitch mounted the tribune.

Chapter X.
The Speech For The Defense. An Argument That Cuts Both Ways


All was hushed as the first words of the famous orator rang out. The eyes of the audience were fastened upon him. He began very simply and directly, with an air of conviction, but not the slightest trace of conceit. He made no attempt at eloquence, at pathos, or emotional phrases. He was like a man speaking in a circle of intimate and sympathetic friends. His voice was a fine one, sonorous and sympathetic, and there was something genuine and simple in the very sound of it. But every one realized at once that the speaker might suddenly rise to genuine pathos and “pierce the heart with untold power.” His language was perhaps more irregular than Ippolit Kirillovitch’s, but he spoke without long phrases, and indeed, with more precision. One thing did not please the ladies: he kept bending forward, especially at the beginning of his speech, not exactly bowing, but as though he were about to dart at his listeners, bending his long spine in half, as though there were a spring in the middle that enabled him to bend almost at right angles.

At the beginning of his speech he spoke rather disconnectedly, without system, one may say, dealing with facts separately, though, at the end, these facts formed a whole. His speech might be divided into two parts, the first consisting of criticism in refutation of the charge, sometimes malicious and sarcastic. But in the second half he suddenly changed his tone, and even his manner, and at once rose to pathos. The audience seemed on the look‐out for it, and quivered with enthusiasm.

He went straight to the point, and began by saying that although he practiced in Petersburg, he had more than once visited provincial towns to defend prisoners, of whose innocence he had a conviction or at least a preconceived idea. “That is what has happened to me in the present case,” he explained. “From the very first accounts in the newspapers I was struck by something which strongly prepossessed me in the prisoner’s favor. What interested me most was a fact which often occurs in legal practice, but rarely, I think, in such an extreme and peculiar form as in the present case. I ought to formulate that peculiarity only at the end of my speech, but I will do so at the very beginning, for it is my weakness to go to work directly, not keeping my effects in reserve and economizing my material. That may be imprudent on my part, but at least it’s sincere. What I have in my mind is this: there is an overwhelming chain of evidence against the prisoner, and at the same time not one fact that will stand criticism, if it is examined separately. As I followed the case more closely in the papers my idea was more and more confirmed, and I suddenly received from the prisoner’s relatives a request to undertake his defense. I at once hurried here, and here I became completely convinced. It was to break down this terrible chain of facts, and to show that each piece of evidence taken separately was unproved and fantastic, that I undertook the case.”

So Fetyukovitch began.

“Gentlemen of the jury,” he suddenly protested, “I am new to this district. I have no preconceived ideas. The prisoner, a man of turbulent and unbridled temper, has not insulted me. But he has insulted perhaps hundreds of persons in this town, and so prejudiced many people against him beforehand. Of course I recognize that the moral sentiment of local society is justly excited against him. The prisoner is of turbulent and violent temper. Yet he was received in society here; he was even welcome in the family of my talented friend, the prosecutor.”

(N.B. At these words there were two or three laughs in the audience, quickly suppressed, but noticed by all. All of us knew that the prosecutor received Mitya against his will, solely because he had somehow interested his wife—a lady of the highest virtue and moral worth, but fanciful, capricious, and fond of opposing her husband, especially in trifles. Mitya’s visits, however, had not been frequent.)

“Nevertheless I venture to suggest,” Fetyukovitch continued, “that in spite of his independent mind and just character, my opponent may have formed a mistaken prejudice against my unfortunate client. Oh, that is so natural; the unfortunate man has only too well deserved such prejudice. Outraged morality, and still more outraged taste, is often relentless. We have, in the talented prosecutor’s speech, heard a stern analysis of the prisoner’s character and conduct, and his severe critical attitude to the case was evident. And, what’s more, he went into psychological subtleties into which he could not have entered, if he had the least conscious and malicious prejudice against the prisoner. But there are things which are even worse, even more fatal in such cases, than the most malicious and consciously unfair attitude. It is worse if we are carried away by the artistic instinct, by the desire to create, so to speak, a romance, especially if God has endowed us with psychological insight. Before I started on my way here, I was warned in Petersburg, and was myself aware, that I should find here a talented opponent whose psychological insight and subtlety had gained him peculiar renown in legal circles of recent years. But profound as psychology is, it’s a knife that cuts both ways.” (Laughter among the public.) “You will, of course, forgive me my comparison; I can’t boast of eloquence. But I will take as an example any point in the prosecutor’s speech.

“The prisoner, running away in the garden in the dark, climbed over the fence, was seized by the servant, and knocked him down with a brass pestle. Then he jumped back into the garden and spent five minutes over the man, trying to discover whether he had killed him or not. And the prosecutor refuses to believe the prisoner’s statement that he ran to old Grigory out of pity. ‘No,’ he says, ‘such sensibility is impossible at such a moment, that’s unnatural; he ran to find out whether the only witness of his crime was dead or alive, and so showed that he had committed the murder, since he would not have run back for any other reason.’

“Here you have psychology; but let us take the same method and apply it to the case the other way round, and our result will be no less probable. The murderer, we are told, leapt down to find out, as a precaution, whether the witness was alive or not, yet he had left in his murdered father’s study, as the prosecutor himself argues, an amazing piece of evidence in the shape of a torn envelope, with an inscription that there had been three thousand roubles in it. ‘If he had carried that envelope away with him, no one in the world would have known of that envelope and of the notes in it, and that the money had been stolen by the prisoner.’ Those are the prosecutor’s own words. So on one side you see a complete absence of precaution, a man who has lost his head and run away in a fright, leaving that clew on the floor, and two minutes later, when he has killed another man, we are entitled to assume the most heartless and calculating foresight in him. But even admitting this was so, it is psychological subtlety, I suppose, that discerns that under certain circumstances I become as bloodthirsty and keen‐sighted as a Caucasian eagle, while at the next I am as timid and blind as a mole. But if I am so bloodthirsty and cruelly calculating that when I kill a man I only run back to find out whether he is alive to witness against me, why should I spend five minutes looking after my victim at the risk of encountering other witnesses? Why soak my handkerchief, wiping the blood off his head so that it may be evidence against me later? If he were so cold‐hearted and calculating, why not hit the servant on the head again and again with the same pestle so as to kill him outright and relieve himself of all anxiety about the witness?

“Again, though he ran to see whether the witness was alive, he left another witness on the path, that brass pestle which he had taken from the two women, and which they could always recognize afterwards as theirs, and prove that he had taken it from them. And it is not as though he had forgotten it on the path, dropped it through carelessness or haste, no, he had flung away his weapon, for it was found fifteen paces from where Grigory lay. Why did he do so? Just because he was grieved at having killed a man, an old servant; and he flung away the pestle with a curse, as a murderous weapon. That’s how it must have been, what other reason could he have had for throwing it so far? And if he was capable of feeling grief and pity at having killed a man, it shows that he was innocent of his father’s murder. Had he murdered him, he would never have run to another victim out of pity; then he would have felt differently; his thoughts would have been centered on self‐preservation. He would have had none to spare for pity, that is beyond doubt. On the contrary, he would have broken his skull instead of spending five minutes looking after him. There was room for pity and good‐feeling just because his conscience had been clear till then. Here we have a different psychology. I have purposely resorted to this method, gentlemen of the jury, to show that you can prove anything by it. It all depends on who makes use of it. Psychology lures even most serious people into romancing, and quite unconsciously. I am speaking of the abuse of psychology, gentlemen.”

Sounds of approval and laughter, at the expense of the prosecutor, were again audible in the court. I will not repeat the speech in detail; I will only quote some passages from it, some leading points.

Chapter XI.
There Was No Money. There Was No Robbery


There was one point that struck every one in Fetyukovitch’s speech. He flatly denied the existence of the fatal three thousand roubles, and consequently, the possibility of their having been stolen.

“Gentlemen of the jury,” he began. “Every new and unprejudiced observer must be struck by a characteristic peculiarity in the present case, namely, the charge of robbery, and the complete impossibility of proving that there was anything to be stolen. We are told that money was stolen—three thousand roubles—but whether those roubles ever existed, nobody knows. Consider, how have we heard of that sum, and who has seen the notes? The only person who saw them, and stated that they had been put in the envelope, was the servant, Smerdyakov. He had spoken of it to the prisoner and his brother, Ivan Fyodorovitch, before the catastrophe. Madame Svyetlov, too, had been told of it. But not one of these three persons had actually seen the notes, no one but Smerdyakov had seen them.

“Here the question arises, if it’s true that they did exist, and that Smerdyakov had seen them, when did he see them for the last time? What if his master had taken the notes from under his bed and put them back in his cash‐box without telling him? Note, that according to Smerdyakov’s story the notes were kept under the mattress; the prisoner must have pulled them out, and yet the bed was absolutely unrumpled; that is carefully recorded in the protocol. How could the prisoner have found the notes without disturbing the bed? How could he have helped soiling with his blood‐ stained hands the fine and spotless linen with which the bed had been purposely made?

“But I shall be asked: What about the envelope on the floor? Yes, it’s worth saying a word or two about that envelope. I was somewhat surprised just now to hear the highly talented prosecutor declare of himself—of himself, observe—that but for that envelope, but for its being left on the floor, no one in the world would have known of the existence of that envelope and the notes in it, and therefore of the prisoner’s having stolen it. And so that torn scrap of paper is, by the prosecutor’s own admission, the sole proof on which the charge of robbery rests, ‘otherwise no one would have known of the robbery, nor perhaps even of the money.’ But is the mere fact that that scrap of paper was lying on the floor a proof that there was money in it, and that that money had been stolen? Yet, it will be objected, Smerdyakov had seen the money in the envelope. But when, when had he seen it for the last time, I ask you that? I talked to Smerdyakov, and he told me that he had seen the notes two days before the catastrophe. Then why not imagine that old Fyodor Pavlovitch, locked up alone in impatient and hysterical expectation of the object of his adoration, may have whiled away the time by breaking open the envelope and taking out the notes. ‘What’s the use of the envelope?’ he may have asked himself. ‘She won’t believe the notes are there, but when I show her the thirty rainbow‐colored notes in one roll, it will make more impression, you may be sure, it will make her mouth water.’ And so he tears open the envelope, takes out the money, and flings the envelope on the floor, conscious of being the owner and untroubled by any fears of leaving evidence.

“Listen, gentlemen, could anything be more likely than this theory and such an action? Why is it out of the question? But if anything of the sort could have taken place, the charge of robbery falls to the ground; if there was no money, there was no theft of it. If the envelope on the floor may be taken as evidence that there had been money in it, why may I not maintain the opposite, that the envelope was on the floor because the money had been taken from it by its owner?

“But I shall be asked what became of the money if Fyodor Pavlovitch took it out of the envelope since it was not found when the police searched the house? In the first place, part of the money was found in the cash‐box, and secondly, he might have taken it out that morning or the evening before to make some other use of it, to give or send it away; he may have changed his idea, his plan of action completely, without thinking it necessary to announce the fact to Smerdyakov beforehand. And if there is the barest possibility of such an explanation, how can the prisoner be so positively accused of having committed murder for the sake of robbery, and of having actually carried out that robbery? This is encroaching on the domain of romance. If it is maintained that something has been stolen, the thing must be produced, or at least its existence must be proved beyond doubt. Yet no one had ever seen these notes.

“Not long ago in Petersburg a young man of eighteen, hardly more than a boy, who carried on a small business as a costermonger, went in broad daylight into a moneychanger’s shop with an ax, and with extraordinary, typical audacity killed the master of the shop and carried off fifteen hundred roubles. Five hours later he was arrested, and, except fifteen roubles he had already managed to spend, the whole sum was found on him. Moreover, the shopman, on his return to the shop after the murder, informed the police not only of the exact sum stolen, but even of the notes and gold coins of which that sum was made up, and those very notes and coins were found on the criminal. This was followed by a full and genuine confession on the part of the murderer. That’s what I call evidence, gentlemen of the jury! In that case I know, I see, I touch the money, and cannot deny its existence. Is it the same in the present case? And yet it is a question of life and death.

“Yes, I shall be told, but he was carousing that night, squandering money; he was shown to have had fifteen hundred roubles—where did he get the money? But the very fact that only fifteen hundred could be found, and the other half of the sum could nowhere be discovered, shows that that money was not the same, and had never been in any envelope. By strict calculation of time it was proved at the preliminary inquiry that the prisoner ran straight from those women servants to Perhotin’s without going home, and that he had been nowhere. So he had been all the time in company and therefore could not have divided the three thousand in half and hidden half in the town. It’s just this consideration that has led the prosecutor to assume that the money is hidden in some crevice at Mokroe. Why not in the dungeons of the castle of Udolpho, gentlemen? Isn’t this supposition really too fantastic and too romantic? And observe, if that supposition breaks down, the whole charge of robbery is scattered to the winds, for in that case what could have become of the other fifteen hundred roubles? By what miracle could they have disappeared, since it’s proved the prisoner went nowhere else? And we are ready to ruin a man’s life with such tales!

“I shall be told that he could not explain where he got the fifteen hundred that he had, and every one knew that he was without money before that night. Who knew it, pray? The prisoner has made a clear and unflinching statement of the source of that money, and if you will have it so, gentlemen of the jury, nothing can be more probable than that statement, and more consistent with the temper and spirit of the prisoner. The prosecutor is charmed with his own romance. A man of weak will, who had brought himself to take the three thousand so insultingly offered by his betrothed, could not, we are told, have set aside half and sewn it up, but would, even if he had done so, have unpicked it every two days and taken out a hundred, and so would have spent it all in a month. All this, you will remember, was put forward in a tone that brooked no contradiction. But what if the thing happened quite differently? What if you’ve been weaving a romance, and about quite a different kind of man? That’s just it, you have invented quite a different man!

“I shall be told, perhaps, there are witnesses that he spent on one day all that three thousand given him by his betrothed a month before the catastrophe, so he could not have divided the sum in half. But who are these witnesses? The value of their evidence has been shown in court already. Besides, in another man’s hand a crust always seems larger, and no one of these witnesses counted that money; they all judged simply at sight. And the witness Maximov has testified that the prisoner had twenty thousand in his hand. You see, gentlemen of the jury, psychology is a two‐ edged weapon. Let me turn the other edge now and see what comes of it.

“A month before the catastrophe the prisoner was entrusted by Katerina Ivanovna with three thousand roubles to send off by post. But the question is: is it true that they were entrusted to him in such an insulting and degrading way as was proclaimed just now? The first statement made by the young lady on the subject was different, perfectly different. In the second statement we heard only cries of resentment and revenge, cries of long‐concealed hatred. And the very fact that the witness gave her first evidence incorrectly, gives us a right to conclude that her second piece of evidence may have been incorrect also. The prosecutor will not, dare not (his own words) touch on that story. So be it. I will not touch on it either, but will only venture to observe that if a lofty and high‐ principled person, such as that highly respected young lady unquestionably is, if such a person, I say, allows herself suddenly in court to contradict her first statement, with the obvious motive of ruining the prisoner, it is clear that this evidence has been given not impartially, not coolly. Have not we the right to assume that a revengeful woman might have exaggerated much? Yes, she may well have exaggerated, in particular, the insult and humiliation of her offering him the money. No, it was offered in such a way that it was possible to take it, especially for a man so easy‐going as the prisoner, above all, as he expected to receive shortly from his father the three thousand roubles that he reckoned was owing to him. It was unreflecting of him, but it was just his irresponsible want of reflection that made him so confident that his father would give him the money, that he would get it, and so could always dispatch the money entrusted to him and repay the debt.

“But the prosecutor refuses to allow that he could the same day have set aside half the money and sewn it up in a little bag. That’s not his character, he tells us, he couldn’t have had such feelings. But yet he talked himself of the broad Karamazov nature; he cried out about the two extremes which a Karamazov can contemplate at once. Karamazov is just such a two‐sided nature, fluctuating between two extremes, that even when moved by the most violent craving for riotous gayety, he can pull himself up, if something strikes him on the other side. And on the other side is love—that new love which had flamed up in his heart, and for that love he needed money; oh, far more than for carousing with his mistress. If she were to say to him, ‘I am yours, I won’t have Fyodor Pavlovitch,’ then he must have money to take her away. That was more important than carousing. Could a Karamazov fail to understand it? That anxiety was just what he was suffering from—what is there improbable in his laying aside that money and concealing it in case of emergency?

“But time passed, and Fyodor Pavlovitch did not give the prisoner the expected three thousand; on the contrary, the latter heard that he meant to use this sum to seduce the woman he, the prisoner, loved. ‘If Fyodor Pavlovitch doesn’t give the money,’ he thought, ‘I shall be put in the position of a thief before Katerina Ivanovna.’ And then the idea presented itself to him that he would go to Katerina Ivanovna, lay before her the fifteen hundred roubles he still carried round his neck, and say, ‘I am a scoundrel, but not a thief.’ So here we have already a twofold reason why he should guard that sum of money as the apple of his eye, why he shouldn’t unpick the little bag, and spend it a hundred at a time. Why should you deny the prisoner a sense of honor? Yes, he has a sense of honor, granted that it’s misplaced, granted it’s often mistaken, yet it exists and amounts to a passion, and he has proved that.

“But now the affair becomes even more complex; his jealous torments reach a climax, and those same two questions torture his fevered brain more and more: ‘If I repay Katerina Ivanovna, where can I find the means to go off with Grushenka?’ If he behaved wildly, drank, and made disturbances in the taverns in the course of that month, it was perhaps because he was wretched and strained beyond his powers of endurance. These two questions became so acute that they drove him at last to despair. He sent his younger brother to beg for the last time for the three thousand roubles, but without waiting for a reply, burst in himself and ended by beating the old man in the presence of witnesses. After that he had no prospect of getting it from any one; his father would not give it him after that beating.

“The same evening he struck himself on the breast, just on the upper part of the breast where the little bag was, and swore to his brother that he had the means of not being a scoundrel, but that still he would remain a scoundrel, for he foresaw that he would not use that means, that he wouldn’t have the character, that he wouldn’t have the will‐power to do it. Why, why does the prosecutor refuse to believe the evidence of Alexey Karamazov, given so genuinely and sincerely, so spontaneously and convincingly? And why, on the contrary, does he force me to believe in money hidden in a crevice, in the dungeons of the castle of Udolpho?

“The same evening, after his talk with his brother, the prisoner wrote that fatal letter, and that letter is the chief, the most stupendous proof of the prisoner having committed robbery! ‘I shall beg from every one, and if I don’t get it I shall murder my father and shall take the envelope with the pink ribbon on it from under his mattress as soon as Ivan has gone.’ A full program of the murder, we are told, so it must have been he. ‘It has all been done as he wrote,’ cries the prosecutor.

“But in the first place, it’s the letter of a drunken man and written in great irritation; secondly, he writes of the envelope from what he has heard from Smerdyakov again, for he has not seen the envelope himself; and thirdly, he wrote it indeed, but how can you prove that he did it? Did the prisoner take the envelope from under the pillow, did he find the money, did that money exist indeed? And was it to get money that the prisoner ran off, if you remember? He ran off post‐haste not to steal, but to find out where she was, the woman who had crushed him. He was not running to carry out a program, to carry out what he had written, that is, not for an act of premeditated robbery, but he ran suddenly, spontaneously, in a jealous fury. Yes! I shall be told, but when he got there and murdered him he seized the money, too. But did he murder him after all? The charge of robbery I repudiate with indignation. A man cannot be accused of robbery, if it’s impossible to state accurately what he has stolen; that’s an axiom. But did he murder him without robbery, did he murder him at all? Is that proved? Isn’t that, too, a romance?”

Chapter XII.
And There Was No Murder Either


“Allow me, gentlemen of the jury, to remind you that a man’s life is at stake and that you must be careful. We have heard the prosecutor himself admit that until to‐day he hesitated to accuse the prisoner of a full and conscious premeditation of the crime; he hesitated till he saw that fatal drunken letter which was produced in court to‐day. ‘All was done as written.’ But, I repeat again, he was running to her, to seek her, solely to find out where she was. That’s a fact that can’t be disputed. Had she been at home, he would not have run away, but would have remained at her side, and so would not have done what he promised in the letter. He ran unexpectedly and accidentally, and by that time very likely he did not even remember his drunken letter. ‘He snatched up the pestle,’ they say, and you will remember how a whole edifice of psychology was built on that pestle—why he was bound to look at that pestle as a weapon, to snatch it up, and so on, and so on. A very commonplace idea occurs to me at this point: What if that pestle had not been in sight, had not been lying on the shelf from which it was snatched by the prisoner, but had been put away in a cupboard? It would not have caught the prisoner’s eye, and he would have run away without a weapon, with empty hands, and then he would certainly not have killed any one. How then can I look upon the pestle as a proof of premeditation?

“Yes, but he talked in the taverns of murdering his father, and two days before, on the evening when he wrote his drunken letter, he was quiet and only quarreled with a shopman in the tavern, because a Karamazov could not help quarreling, forsooth! But my answer to that is, that, if he was planning such a murder in accordance with his letter, he certainly would not have quarreled even with a shopman, and probably would not have gone into the tavern at all, because a person plotting such a crime seeks quiet and retirement, seeks to efface himself, to avoid being seen and heard, and that not from calculation, but from instinct. Gentlemen of the jury, the psychological method is a two‐edged weapon, and we, too, can use it. As for all this shouting in taverns throughout the month, don’t we often hear children, or drunkards coming out of taverns shout, ‘I’ll kill you’? but they don’t murder any one. And that fatal letter—isn’t that simply drunken irritability, too? Isn’t that simply the shout of the brawler outside the tavern, ‘I’ll kill you! I’ll kill the lot of you!’ Why not, why could it not be that? What reason have we to call that letter ‘fatal’ rather than absurd? Because his father has been found murdered, because a witness saw the prisoner running out of the garden with a weapon in his hand, and was knocked down by him: therefore, we are told, everything was done as he had planned in writing, and the letter was not ‘absurd,’ but ‘fatal.’

“Now, thank God! we’ve come to the real point: ‘since he was in the garden, he must have murdered him.’ In those few words: ‘since he was, then he must’ lies the whole case for the prosecution. He was there, so he must have. And what if there is no must about it, even if he was there? Oh, I admit that the chain of evidence—the coincidences—are really suggestive. But examine all these facts separately, regardless of their connection. Why, for instance, does the prosecution refuse to admit the truth of the prisoner’s statement that he ran away from his father’s window? Remember the sarcasms in which the prosecutor indulged at the expense of the respectful and ‘pious’ sentiments which suddenly came over the murderer. But what if there were something of the sort, a feeling of religious awe, if not of filial respect? ‘My mother must have been praying for me at that moment,’ were the prisoner’s words at the preliminary inquiry, and so he ran away as soon as he convinced himself that Madame Svyetlov was not in his father’s house. ‘But he could not convince himself by looking through the window,’ the prosecutor objects. But why couldn’t he? Why? The window opened at the signals given by the prisoner. Some word might have been uttered by Fyodor Pavlovitch, some exclamation which showed the prisoner that she was not there. Why should we assume everything as we imagine it, as we make up our minds to imagine it? A thousand things may happen in reality which elude the subtlest imagination.

“ ‘Yes, but Grigory saw the door open and so the prisoner certainly was in the house, therefore he killed him.’ Now about that door, gentlemen of the jury.... Observe that we have only the statement of one witness as to that door, and he was at the time in such a condition, that— But supposing the door was open; supposing the prisoner has lied in denying it, from an instinct of self‐defense, natural in his position; supposing he did go into the house—well, what then? How does it follow that because he was there he committed the murder? He might have dashed in, run through the rooms; might have pushed his father away; might have struck him; but as soon as he had made sure Madame Svyetlov was not there, he may have run away rejoicing that she was not there and that he had not killed his father. And it was perhaps just because he had escaped from the temptation to kill his father, because he had a clear conscience and was rejoicing at not having killed him, that he was capable of a pure feeling, the feeling of pity and compassion, and leapt off the fence a minute later to the assistance of Grigory after he had, in his excitement, knocked him down.

“With terrible eloquence the prosecutor has described to us the dreadful state of the prisoner’s mind at Mokroe when love again lay before him calling him to new life, while love was impossible for him because he had his father’s bloodstained corpse behind him and beyond that corpse—retribution. And yet the prosecutor allowed him love, which he explained, according to his method, talking about his drunken condition, about a criminal being taken to execution, about it being still far off, and so on and so on. But again I ask, Mr. Prosecutor, have you not invented a new personality? Is the prisoner so coarse and heartless as to be able to think at that moment of love and of dodges to escape punishment, if his hands were really stained with his father’s blood? No, no, no! As soon as it was made plain to him that she loved him and called him to her side, promising him new happiness, oh! then, I protest he must have felt the impulse to suicide doubled, trebled, and must have killed himself, if he had his father’s murder on his conscience. Oh, no! he would not have forgotten where his pistols lay! I know the prisoner: the savage, stony heartlessness ascribed to him by the prosecutor is inconsistent with his character. He would have killed himself, that’s certain. He did not kill himself just because ‘his mother’s prayers had saved him,’ and he was innocent of his father’s blood. He was troubled, he was grieving that night at Mokroe only about old Grigory and praying to God that the old man would recover, that his blow had not been fatal, and that he would not have to suffer for it. Why not accept such an interpretation of the facts? What trustworthy proof have we that the prisoner is lying?

“But we shall be told at once again, ‘There is his father’s corpse! If he ran away without murdering him, who did murder him?’ Here, I repeat, you have the whole logic of the prosecution. Who murdered him, if not he? There’s no one to put in his place.

“Gentlemen of the jury, is that really so? Is it positively, actually true that there is no one else at all? We’ve heard the prosecutor count on his fingers all the persons who were in that house that night. They were five in number; three of them, I agree, could not have been responsible—the murdered man himself, old Grigory, and his wife. There are left then the prisoner and Smerdyakov, and the prosecutor dramatically exclaims that the prisoner pointed to Smerdyakov because he had no one else to fix on, that had there been a sixth person, even a phantom of a sixth person, he would have abandoned the charge against Smerdyakov at once in shame and have accused that other. But, gentlemen of the jury, why may I not draw the very opposite conclusion? There are two persons—the prisoner and Smerdyakov. Why can I not say that you accuse my client, simply because you have no one else to accuse? And you have no one else only because you have determined to exclude Smerdyakov from all suspicion.

“It’s true, indeed, Smerdyakov is accused only by the prisoner, his two brothers, and Madame Svyetlov. But there are others who accuse him: there are vague rumors of a question, of a suspicion, an obscure report, a feeling of expectation. Finally, we have the evidence of a combination of facts very suggestive, though, I admit, inconclusive. In the first place we have precisely on the day of the catastrophe that fit, for the genuineness of which the prosecutor, for some reason, has felt obliged to make a careful defense. Then Smerdyakov’s sudden suicide on the eve of the trial. Then the equally startling evidence given in court to‐day by the elder of the prisoner’s brothers, who had believed in his guilt, but has to‐day produced a bundle of notes and proclaimed Smerdyakov as the murderer. Oh, I fully share the court’s and the prosecutor’s conviction that Ivan Karamazov is suffering from brain fever, that his statement may really be a desperate effort, planned in delirium, to save his brother by throwing the guilt on the dead man. But again Smerdyakov’s name is pronounced, again there is a suggestion of mystery. There is something unexplained, incomplete. And perhaps it may one day be explained. But we won’t go into that now. Of that later.

“The court has resolved to go on with the trial, but, meantime, I might make a few remarks about the character‐sketch of Smerdyakov drawn with subtlety and talent by the prosecutor. But while I admire his talent I cannot agree with him. I have visited Smerdyakov, I have seen him and talked to him, and he made a very different impression on me. He was weak in health, it is true; but in character, in spirit, he was by no means the weak man the prosecutor has made him out to be. I found in him no trace of the timidity on which the prosecutor so insisted. There was no simplicity about him, either. I found in him, on the contrary, an extreme mistrustfulness concealed under a mask of naïveté, and an intelligence of considerable range. The prosecutor was too simple in taking him for weak‐minded. He made a very definite impression on me: I left him with the conviction that he was a distinctly spiteful creature, excessively ambitious, vindictive, and intensely envious. I made some inquiries: he resented his parentage, was ashamed of it, and would clench his teeth when he remembered that he was the son of ‘stinking Lizaveta.’ He was disrespectful to the servant Grigory and his wife, who had cared for him in his childhood. He cursed and jeered at Russia. He dreamed of going to France and becoming a Frenchman. He used often to say that he hadn’t the means to do so. I fancy he loved no one but himself and had a strangely high opinion of himself. His conception of culture was limited to good clothes, clean shirt‐fronts and polished boots. Believing himself to be the illegitimate son of Fyodor Pavlovitch (there is evidence of this), he might well have resented his position, compared with that of his master’s legitimate sons. They had everything, he nothing. They had all the rights, they had the inheritance, while he was only the cook. He told me himself that he had helped Fyodor Pavlovitch to put the notes in the envelope. The destination of that sum—a sum which would have made his career—must have been hateful to him. Moreover, he saw three thousand roubles in new rainbow‐colored notes. (I asked him about that on purpose.) Oh, beware of showing an ambitious and envious man a large sum of money at once! And it was the first time he had seen so much money in the hands of one man. The sight of the rainbow‐colored notes may have made a morbid impression on his imagination, but with no immediate results.

“The talented prosecutor, with extraordinary subtlety, sketched for us all the arguments for and against the hypothesis of Smerdyakov’s guilt, and asked us in particular what motive he had in feigning a fit. But he may not have been feigning at all, the fit may have happened quite naturally, but it may have passed off quite naturally, and the sick man may have recovered, not completely perhaps, but still regaining consciousness, as happens with epileptics.

“The prosecutor asks at what moment could Smerdyakov have committed the murder. But it is very easy to point out that moment. He might have waked up from deep sleep (for he was only asleep—an epileptic fit is always followed by a deep sleep) at that moment when the old Grigory shouted at the top of his voice ‘Parricide!’ That shout in the dark and stillness may have waked Smerdyakov whose sleep may have been less sound at the moment: he might naturally have waked up an hour before.

“Getting out of bed, he goes almost unconsciously and with no definite motive towards the sound to see what’s the matter. His head is still clouded with his attack, his faculties are half asleep; but, once in the garden, he walks to the lighted windows and he hears terrible news from his master, who would be, of course, glad to see him. His mind sets to work at once. He hears all the details from his frightened master, and gradually in his disordered brain there shapes itself an idea—terrible, but seductive and irresistibly logical. To kill the old man, take the three thousand, and throw all the blame on to his young master. A terrible lust of money, of booty, might seize upon him as he realized his security from detection. Oh! these sudden and irresistible impulses come so often when there is a favorable opportunity, and especially with murderers who have had no idea of committing a murder beforehand. And Smerdyakov may have gone in and carried out his plan. With what weapon? Why, with any stone picked up in the garden. But what for, with what object? Why, the three thousand which means a career for him. Oh, I am not contradicting myself—the money may have existed. And perhaps Smerdyakov alone knew where to find it, where his master kept it. And the covering of the money—the torn envelope on the floor?

“Just now, when the prosecutor was explaining his subtle theory that only an inexperienced thief like Karamazov would have left the envelope on the floor, and not one like Smerdyakov, who would have avoided leaving a piece of evidence against himself, I thought as I listened that I was hearing something very familiar, and, would you believe it, I have heard that very argument, that very conjecture, of how Karamazov would have behaved, precisely two days before, from Smerdyakov himself. What’s more, it struck me at the time. I fancied that there was an artificial simplicity about him; that he was in a hurry to suggest this idea to me that I might fancy it was my own. He insinuated it, as it were. Did he not insinuate the same idea at the inquiry and suggest it to the talented prosecutor?

“I shall be asked, ‘What about the old woman, Grigory’s wife? She heard the sick man moaning close by, all night.’ Yes, she heard it, but that evidence is extremely unreliable. I knew a lady who complained bitterly that she had been kept awake all night by a dog in the yard. Yet the poor beast, it appeared, had only yelped once or twice in the night. And that’s natural. If any one is asleep and hears a groan he wakes up, annoyed at being waked, but instantly falls asleep again. Two hours later, again a groan, he wakes up and falls asleep again; and the same thing again two hours later—three times altogether in the night. Next morning the sleeper wakes up and complains that some one has been groaning all night and keeping him awake. And it is bound to seem so to him: the intervals of two hours of sleep he does not remember, he only remembers the moments of waking, so he feels he has been waked up all night.

“But why, why, asks the prosecutor, did not Smerdyakov confess in his last letter? Why did his conscience prompt him to one step and not to both? But, excuse me, conscience implies penitence, and the suicide may not have felt penitence, but only despair. Despair and penitence are two very different things. Despair may be vindictive and irreconcilable, and the suicide, laying his hands on himself, may well have felt redoubled hatred for those whom he had envied all his life.

“Gentlemen of the jury, beware of a miscarriage of justice! What is there unlikely in all I have put before you just now? Find the error in my reasoning; find the impossibility, the absurdity. And if there is but a shade of possibility, but a shade of probability in my propositions, do not condemn him. And is there only a shade? I swear by all that is sacred, I fully believe in the explanation of the murder I have just put forward. What troubles me and makes me indignant is that of all the mass of facts heaped up by the prosecution against the prisoner, there is not a single one certain and irrefutable. And yet the unhappy man is to be ruined by the accumulation of these facts. Yes, the accumulated effect is awful: the blood, the blood dripping from his fingers, the bloodstained shirt, the dark night resounding with the shout ‘Parricide!’ and the old man falling with a broken head. And then the mass of phrases, statements, gestures, shouts! Oh! this has so much influence, it can so bias the mind; but, gentlemen of the jury, can it bias your minds? Remember, you have been given absolute power to bind and to loose, but the greater the power, the more terrible its responsibility.

“I do not draw back one iota from what I have said just now, but suppose for one moment I agreed with the prosecution that my luckless client had stained his hands with his father’s blood. This is only hypothesis, I repeat; I never for one instant doubt of his innocence. But, so be it, I assume that my client is guilty of parricide. Even so, hear what I have to say. I have it in my heart to say something more to you, for I feel that there must be a great conflict in your hearts and minds.... Forgive my referring to your hearts and minds, gentlemen of the jury, but I want to be truthful and sincere to the end. Let us all be sincere!”

At this point the speech was interrupted by rather loud applause. The last words, indeed, were pronounced with a note of such sincerity that every one felt that he really might have something to say, and that what he was about to say would be of the greatest consequence. But the President, hearing the applause, in a loud voice threatened to clear the court if such an incident were repeated. Every sound was hushed and Fetyukovitch began in a voice full of feeling quite unlike the tone he had used hitherto.

Chapter XIII.
A Corrupter Of Thought


“It’s not only the accumulation of facts that threatens my client with ruin, gentlemen of the jury,” he began, “what is really damning for my client is one fact—the dead body of his father. Had it been an ordinary case of murder you would have rejected the charge in view of the triviality, the incompleteness, and the fantastic character of the evidence, if you examine each part of it separately; or, at least, you would have hesitated to ruin a man’s life simply from the prejudice against him which he has, alas! only too well deserved. But it’s not an ordinary case of murder, it’s a case of parricide. That impresses men’s minds, and to such a degree that the very triviality and incompleteness of the evidence becomes less trivial and less incomplete even to an unprejudiced mind. How can such a prisoner be acquitted? What if he committed the murder and gets off unpunished? That is what every one, almost involuntarily, instinctively, feels at heart.

“Yes, it’s a fearful thing to shed a father’s blood—the father who has begotten me, loved me, not spared his life for me, grieved over my illnesses from childhood up, troubled all his life for my happiness, and has lived in my joys, in my successes. To murder such a father—that’s inconceivable. Gentlemen of the jury, what is a father—a real father? What is the meaning of that great word? What is the great idea in that name? We have just indicated in part what a true father is and what he ought to be. In the case in which we are now so deeply occupied and over which our hearts are aching—in the present case, the father, Fyodor Pavlovitch Karamazov, did not correspond to that conception of a father to which we have just referred. That’s the misfortune. And indeed some fathers are a misfortune. Let us examine this misfortune rather more closely: we must shrink from nothing, gentlemen of the jury, considering the importance of the decision you have to make. It’s our particular duty not to shrink from any idea, like children or frightened women, as the talented prosecutor happily expresses it.

“But in the course of his heated speech my esteemed opponent (and he was my opponent before I opened my lips) exclaimed several times, ‘Oh, I will not yield the defense of the prisoner to the lawyer who has come down from Petersburg. I accuse, but I defend also!’ He exclaimed that several times, but forgot to mention that if this terrible prisoner was for twenty‐three years so grateful for a mere pound of nuts given him by the only man who had been kind to him, as a child in his father’s house, might not such a man well have remembered for twenty‐three years how he ran in his father’s back‐yard, ‘without boots on his feet and with his little trousers hanging by one button’—to use the expression of the kind‐hearted doctor, Herzenstube?

“Oh, gentlemen of the jury, why need we look more closely at this misfortune, why repeat what we all know already? What did my client meet with when he arrived here, at his father’s house, and why depict my client as a heartless egoist and monster? He is uncontrolled, he is wild and unruly—we are trying him now for that—but who is responsible for his life? Who is responsible for his having received such an unseemly bringing up, in spite of his excellent disposition and his grateful and sensitive heart? Did any one train him to be reasonable? Was he enlightened by study? Did any one love him ever so little in his childhood? My client was left to the care of Providence like a beast of the field. He thirsted perhaps to see his father after long years of separation. A thousand times perhaps he may, recalling his childhood, have driven away the loathsome phantoms that haunted his childish dreams and with all his heart he may have longed to embrace and to forgive his father! And what awaited him? He was met by cynical taunts, suspicions and wrangling about money. He heard nothing but revolting talk and vicious precepts uttered daily over the brandy, and at last he saw his father seducing his mistress from him with his own money. Oh, gentlemen of the jury, that was cruel and revolting! And that old man was always complaining of the disrespect and cruelty of his son. He slandered him in society, injured him, calumniated him, bought up his unpaid debts to get him thrown into prison.

“Gentlemen of the jury, people like my client, who are fierce, unruly, and uncontrolled on the surface, are sometimes, most frequently indeed, exceedingly tender‐hearted, only they don’t express it. Don’t laugh, don’t laugh at my idea! The talented prosecutor laughed mercilessly just now at my client for loving Schiller—loving the sublime and beautiful! I should not have laughed at that in his place. Yes, such natures—oh, let me speak in defense of such natures, so often and so cruelly misunderstood—these natures often thirst for tenderness, goodness, and justice, as it were, in contrast to themselves, their unruliness, their ferocity—they thirst for it unconsciously. Passionate and fierce on the surface, they are painfully capable of loving woman, for instance, and with a spiritual and elevated love. Again do not laugh at me, this is very often the case in such natures. But they cannot hide their passions—sometimes very coarse—and that is conspicuous and is noticed, but the inner man is unseen. Their passions are quickly exhausted; but, by the side of a noble and lofty creature that seemingly coarse and rough man seeks a new life, seeks to correct himself, to be better, to become noble and honorable, ‘sublime and beautiful,’ however much the expression has been ridiculed.

“I said just now that I would not venture to touch upon my client’s engagement. But I may say half a word. What we heard just now was not evidence, but only the scream of a frenzied and revengeful woman, and it was not for her—oh, not for her!—to reproach him with treachery, for she has betrayed him! If she had had but a little time for reflection she would not have given such evidence. Oh, do not believe her! No, my client is not a monster, as she called him!

“The Lover of Mankind on the eve of His Crucifixion said: ‘I am the Good Shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep, so that not one of them might be lost.’ Let not a man’s soul be lost through us!

“I asked just now what does ‘father’ mean, and exclaimed that it was a great word, a precious name. But one must use words honestly, gentlemen, and I venture to call things by their right names: such a father as old Karamazov cannot be called a father and does not deserve to be. Filial love for an unworthy father is an absurdity, an impossibility. Love cannot be created from nothing: only God can create something from nothing.

“ ‘Fathers, provoke not your children to wrath,’ the apostle writes, from a heart glowing with love. It’s not for the sake of my client that I quote these sacred words, I mention them for all fathers. Who has authorized me to preach to fathers? No one. But as a man and a citizen I make my appeal—vivos voco! We are not long on earth, we do many evil deeds and say many evil words. So let us all catch a favorable moment when we are all together to say a good word to each other. That’s what I am doing: while I am in this place I take advantage of my opportunity. Not for nothing is this tribune given us by the highest authority—all Russia hears us! I am not speaking only for the fathers here present, I cry aloud to all fathers: ‘Fathers, provoke not your children to wrath.’ Yes, let us first fulfill Christ’s injunction ourselves and only then venture to expect it of our children. Otherwise we are not fathers, but enemies of our children, and they are not our children, but our enemies, and we have made them our enemies ourselves. ‘What measure ye mete it shall be measured unto you again’—it’s not I who say that, it’s the Gospel precept, measure to others according as they measure to you. How can we blame children if they measure us according to our measure?

“Not long ago a servant girl in Finland was suspected of having secretly given birth to a child. She was watched, and a box of which no one knew anything was found in the corner of the loft, behind some bricks. It was opened and inside was found the body of a new‐born child which she had killed. In the same box were found the skeletons of two other babies which, according to her own confession, she had killed at the moment of their birth.

“Gentlemen of the jury, was she a mother to her children? She gave birth to them, indeed; but was she a mother to them? Would any one venture to give her the sacred name of mother? Let us be bold, gentlemen, let us be audacious even: it’s our duty to be so at this moment and not to be afraid of certain words and ideas like the Moscow women in Ostrovsky’s play, who are scared at the sound of certain words. No, let us prove that the progress of the last few years has touched even us, and let us say plainly, the father is not merely he who begets the child, but he who begets it and does his duty by it.

“Oh, of course, there is the other meaning, there is the other interpretation of the word ‘father,’ which insists that any father, even though he be a monster, even though he be the enemy of his children, still remains my father simply because he begot me. But this is, so to say, the mystical meaning which I cannot comprehend with my intellect, but can only accept by faith, or, better to say, on faith, like many other things which I do not understand, but which religion bids me believe. But in that case let it be kept outside the sphere of actual life. In the sphere of actual life, which has, indeed, its own rights, but also lays upon us great duties and obligations, in that sphere, if we want to be humane—Christian, in fact—we must, or ought to, act only upon convictions justified by reason and experience, which have been passed through the crucible of analysis; in a word, we must act rationally, and not as though in dream and delirium, that we may not do harm, that we may not ill‐treat and ruin a man. Then it will be real Christian work, not only mystic, but rational and philanthropic....”

There was violent applause at this passage from many parts of the court, but Fetyukovitch waved his hands as though imploring them to let him finish without interruption. The court relapsed into silence at once. The orator went on.

“Do you suppose, gentlemen, that our children as they grow up and begin to reason can avoid such questions? No, they cannot, and we will not impose on them an impossible restriction. The sight of an unworthy father involuntarily suggests tormenting questions to a young creature, especially when he compares him with the excellent fathers of his companions. The conventional answer to this question is: ‘He begot you, and you are his flesh and blood, and therefore you are bound to love him.’ The youth involuntarily reflects: ‘But did he love me when he begot me?’ he asks, wondering more and more. ‘Was it for my sake he begot me? He did not know me, not even my sex, at that moment, at the moment of passion, perhaps, inflamed by wine, and he has only transmitted to me a propensity to drunkenness—that’s all he’s done for me.... Why am I bound to love him simply for begetting me when he has cared nothing for me all my life after?’

“Oh, perhaps those questions strike you as coarse and cruel, but do not expect an impossible restraint from a young mind. ‘Drive nature out of the door and it will fly in at the window,’ and, above all, let us not be afraid of words, but decide the question according to the dictates of reason and humanity and not of mystic ideas. How shall it be decided? Why, like this. Let the son stand before his father and ask him, ‘Father, tell me, why must I love you? Father, show me that I must love you,’ and if that father is able to answer him and show him good reason, we have a real, normal, parental relation, not resting on mystical prejudice, but on a rational, responsible and strictly humanitarian basis. But if he does not, there’s an end to the family tie. He is not a father to him, and the son has a right to look upon him as a stranger, and even an enemy. Our tribune, gentlemen of the jury, ought to be a school of true and sound ideas.”

(Here the orator was interrupted by irrepressible and almost frantic applause. Of course, it was not the whole audience, but a good half of it applauded. The fathers and mothers present applauded. Shrieks and exclamations were heard from the gallery, where the ladies were sitting. Handkerchiefs were waved. The President began ringing his bell with all his might. He was obviously irritated by the behavior of the audience, but did not venture to clear the court as he had threatened. Even persons of high position, old men with stars on their breasts, sitting on specially reserved seats behind the judges, applauded the orator and waved their handkerchiefs. So that when the noise died down, the President confined himself to repeating his stern threat to clear the court, and Fetyukovitch, excited and triumphant, continued his speech.)

“Gentlemen of the jury, you remember that awful night of which so much has been said to‐day, when the son got over the fence and stood face to face with the enemy and persecutor who had begotten him. I insist most emphatically it was not for money he ran to his father’s house: the charge of robbery is an absurdity, as I proved before. And it was not to murder him he broke into the house, oh, no! If he had had that design he would, at least, have taken the precaution of arming himself beforehand. The brass pestle he caught up instinctively without knowing why he did it. Granted that he deceived his father by tapping at the window, granted that he made his way in—I’ve said already that I do not for a moment believe that legend, but let it be so, let us suppose it for a moment. Gentlemen, I swear to you by all that’s holy, if it had not been his father, but an ordinary enemy, he would, after running through the rooms and satisfying himself that the woman was not there, have made off, post‐haste, without doing any harm to his rival. He would have struck him, pushed him away perhaps, nothing more, for he had no thought and no time to spare for that. What he wanted to know was where she was. But his father, his father! The mere sight of the father who had hated him from his childhood, had been his enemy, his persecutor, and now his unnatural rival, was enough! A feeling of hatred came over him involuntarily, irresistibly, clouding his reason. It all surged up in one moment! It was an impulse of madness and insanity, but also an impulse of nature, irresistibly and unconsciously (like everything in nature) avenging the violation of its eternal laws.

“But the prisoner even then did not murder him—I maintain that, I cry that aloud!—no, he only brandished the pestle in a burst of indignant disgust, not meaning to kill him, not knowing that he would kill him. Had he not had this fatal pestle in his hand, he would have only knocked his father down perhaps, but would not have killed him. As he ran away, he did not know whether he had killed the old man. Such a murder is not a murder. Such a murder is not a parricide. No, the murder of such a father cannot be called parricide. Such a murder can only be reckoned parricide by prejudice.

“But I appeal to you again and again from the depths of my soul; did this murder actually take place? Gentlemen of the jury, if we convict and punish him, he will say to himself: ‘These people have done nothing for my bringing up, for my education, nothing to improve my lot, nothing to make me better, nothing to make me a man. These people have not given me to eat and to drink, have not visited me in prison and nakedness, and here they have sent me to penal servitude. I am quits, I owe them nothing now, and owe no one anything for ever. They are wicked and I will be wicked. They are cruel and I will be cruel.’ That is what he will say, gentlemen of the jury. And I swear, by finding him guilty you will only make it easier for him: you will ease his conscience, he will curse the blood he has shed and will not regret it. At the same time you will destroy in him the possibility of becoming a new man, for he will remain in his wickedness and blindness all his life.

“But do you want to punish him fearfully, terribly, with the most awful punishment that could be imagined, and at the same time to save him and regenerate his soul? If so, overwhelm him with your mercy! You will see, you will hear how he will tremble and be horror‐struck. ‘How can I endure this mercy? How can I endure so much love? Am I worthy of it?’ That’s what he will exclaim.

“Oh, I know, I know that heart, that wild but grateful heart, gentlemen of the jury! It will bow before your mercy; it thirsts for a great and loving action, it will melt and mount upwards. There are souls which, in their limitation, blame the whole world. But subdue such a soul with mercy, show it love, and it will curse its past, for there are many good impulses in it. Such a heart will expand and see that God is merciful and that men are good and just. He will be horror‐stricken; he will be crushed by remorse and the vast obligation laid upon him henceforth. And he will not say then, ‘I am quits,’ but will say, ‘I am guilty in the sight of all men and am more unworthy than all.’ With tears of penitence and poignant, tender anguish, he will exclaim: ‘Others are better than I, they wanted to save me, not to ruin me!’ Oh, this act of mercy is so easy for you, for in the absence of anything like real evidence it will be too awful for you to pronounce: ‘Yes, he is guilty.’

“Better acquit ten guilty men than punish one innocent man! Do you hear, do you hear that majestic voice from the past century of our glorious history? It is not for an insignificant person like me to remind you that the Russian court does not exist for the punishment only, but also for the salvation of the criminal! Let other nations think of retribution and the letter of the law, we will cling to the spirit and the meaning—the salvation and the reformation of the lost. If this is true, if Russia and her justice are such, she may go forward with good cheer! Do not try to scare us with your frenzied troikas from which all the nations stand aside in disgust. Not a runaway troika, but the stately chariot of Russia will move calmly and majestically to its goal. In your hands is the fate of my client, in your hands is the fate of Russian justice. You will defend it, you will save it, you will prove that there are men to watch over it, that it is in good hands!”

Chapter XIV.
The Peasants Stand Firm


This was how Fetyukovitch concluded his speech, and the enthusiasm of the audience burst like an irresistible storm. It was out of the question to stop it: the women wept, many of the men wept too, even two important personages shed tears. The President submitted, and even postponed ringing his bell. The suppression of such an enthusiasm would be the suppression of something sacred, as the ladies cried afterwards. The orator himself was genuinely touched.

And it was at this moment that Ippolit Kirillovitch got up to make certain objections. People looked at him with hatred. “What? What’s the meaning of it? He positively dares to make objections,” the ladies babbled. But if the whole world of ladies, including his wife, had protested he could not have been stopped at that moment. He was pale, he was shaking with emotion, his first phrases were even unintelligible, he gasped for breath, could hardly speak clearly, lost the thread. But he soon recovered himself. Of this new speech of his I will quote only a few sentences.

“... I am reproached with having woven a romance. But what is this defense if not one romance on the top of another? All that was lacking was poetry. Fyodor Pavlovitch, while waiting for his mistress, tears open the envelope and throws it on the floor. We are even told what he said while engaged in this strange act. Is not this a flight of fancy? And what proof have we that he had taken out the money? Who heard what he said? The weak‐minded idiot, Smerdyakov, transformed into a Byronic hero, avenging society for his illegitimate birth—isn’t this a romance in the Byronic style? And the son who breaks into his father’s house and murders him without murdering him is not even a romance—this is a sphinx setting us a riddle which he cannot solve himself. If he murdered him, he murdered him, and what’s the meaning of his murdering him without having murdered him—who can make head or tail of this?

“Then we are admonished that our tribune is a tribune of true and sound ideas and from this tribune of ‘sound ideas’ is heard a solemn declaration that to call the murder of a father ‘parricide’ is nothing but a prejudice! But if parricide is a prejudice, and if every child is to ask his father why he is to love him, what will become of us? What will become of the foundations of society? What will become of the family? Parricide, it appears, is only a bogy of Moscow merchants’ wives. The most precious, the most sacred guarantees for the destiny and future of Russian justice are presented to us in a perverted and frivolous form, simply to attain an object—to obtain the justification of something which cannot be justified. ‘Oh, crush him by mercy,’ cries the counsel for the defense; but that’s all the criminal wants, and to‐morrow it will be seen how much he is crushed. And is not the counsel for the defense too modest in asking only for the acquittal of the prisoner? Why not found a charity in the honor of the parricide to commemorate his exploit among future generations? Religion and the Gospel are corrected—that’s all mysticism, we are told, and ours is the only true Christianity which has been subjected to the analysis of reason and common sense. And so they set up before us a false semblance of Christ! ‘What measure ye mete so it shall be meted unto you again,’ cried the counsel for the defense, and instantly deduces that Christ teaches us to measure as it is measured to us—and this from the tribune of truth and sound sense! We peep into the Gospel only on the eve of making speeches, in order to dazzle the audience by our acquaintance with what is, anyway, a rather original composition, which may be of use to produce a certain effect—all to serve the purpose! But what Christ commands us is something very different: He bids us beware of doing this, because the wicked world does this, but we ought to forgive and to turn the other cheek, and not to measure to our persecutors as they measure to us. This is what our God has taught us and not that to forbid children to murder their fathers is a prejudice. And we will not from the tribune of truth and good sense correct the Gospel of our Lord, Whom the counsel for the defense deigns to call only ‘the crucified lover of humanity,’ in opposition to all orthodox Russia, which calls to Him, ‘For Thou art our God!’ ”

At this the President intervened and checked the over‐zealous speaker, begging him not to exaggerate, not to overstep the bounds, and so on, as presidents always do in such cases. The audience, too, was uneasy. The public was restless: there were even exclamations of indignation. Fetyukovitch did not so much as reply; he only mounted the tribune to lay his hand on his heart and, with an offended voice, utter a few words full of dignity. He only touched again, lightly and ironically, on “romancing” and “psychology,” and in an appropriate place quoted, “Jupiter, you are angry, therefore you are wrong,” which provoked a burst of approving laughter in the audience, for Ippolit Kirillovitch was by no means like Jupiter. Then, à propos of the accusation that he was teaching the young generation to murder their fathers, Fetyukovitch observed, with great dignity, that he would not even answer. As for the prosecutor’s charge of uttering unorthodox opinions, Fetyukovitch hinted that it was a personal insinuation and that he had expected in this court to be secure from accusations “damaging to my reputation as a citizen and a loyal subject.” But at these words the President pulled him up, too, and Fetyukovitch concluded his speech with a bow, amid a hum of approbation in the court. And Ippolit Kirillovitch was, in the opinion of our ladies, “crushed for good.”

Then the prisoner was allowed to speak. Mitya stood up, but said very little. He was fearfully exhausted, physically and mentally. The look of strength and independence with which he had entered in the morning had almost disappeared. He seemed as though he had passed through an experience that day, which had taught him for the rest of his life something very important he had not understood till then. His voice was weak, he did not shout as before. In his words there was a new note of humility, defeat and submission.

“What am I to say, gentlemen of the jury? The hour of judgment has come for me, I feel the hand of God upon me! The end has come to an erring man! But, before God, I repeat to you, I am innocent of my father’s blood! For the last time I repeat, it wasn’t I killed him! I was erring, but I loved what is good. Every instant I strove to reform, but I lived like a wild beast. I thank the prosecutor, he told me many things about myself that I did not know; but it’s not true that I killed my father, the prosecutor is mistaken. I thank my counsel, too. I cried listening to him; but it’s not true that I killed my father, and he needn’t have supposed it. And don’t believe the doctors. I am perfectly sane, only my heart is heavy. If you spare me, if you let me go, I will pray for you. I will be a better man. I give you my word before God I will! And if you will condemn me, I’ll break my sword over my head myself and kiss the pieces. But spare me, do not rob me of my God! I know myself, I shall rebel! My heart is heavy, gentlemen ... spare me!”

He almost fell back in his place: his voice broke: he could hardly articulate the last phrase. Then the judges proceeded to put the questions and began to ask both sides to formulate their conclusions.

But I will not describe the details. At last the jury rose to retire for consultation. The President was very tired, and so his last charge to the jury was rather feeble. “Be impartial, don’t be influenced by the eloquence of the defense, but yet weigh the arguments. Remember that there is a great responsibility laid upon you,” and so on and so on.

The jury withdrew and the court adjourned. People could get up, move about, exchange their accumulated impressions, refresh themselves at the buffet. It was very late, almost one o’clock in the night, but nobody went away: the strain was so great that no one could think of repose. All waited with sinking hearts; though that is, perhaps, too much to say, for the ladies were only in a state of hysterical impatience and their hearts were untroubled. An acquittal, they thought, was inevitable. They all prepared themselves for a dramatic moment of general enthusiasm. I must own there were many among the men, too, who were convinced that an acquittal was inevitable. Some were pleased, others frowned, while some were simply dejected, not wanting him to be acquitted. Fetyukovitch himself was confident of his success. He was surrounded by people congratulating him and fawning upon him.

“There are,” he said to one group, as I was told afterwards, “there are invisible threads binding the counsel for the defense with the jury. One feels during one’s speech if they are being formed. I was aware of them. They exist. Our cause is won. Set your mind at rest.”

“What will our peasants say now?” said one stout, cross‐looking, pock‐ marked gentleman, a landowner of the neighborhood, approaching a group of gentlemen engaged in conversation.

“But they are not all peasants. There are four government clerks among them.”

“Yes, there are clerks,” said a member of the district council, joining the group.

“And do you know that Nazaryev, the merchant with the medal, a juryman?”

“What of him?”

“He is a man with brains.”

“But he never speaks.”

“He is no great talker, but so much the better. There’s no need for the Petersburg man to teach him: he could teach all Petersburg himself. He’s the father of twelve children. Think of that!”

“Upon my word, you don’t suppose they won’t acquit him?” one of our young officials exclaimed in another group.

“They’ll acquit him for certain,” said a resolute voice.

“It would be shameful, disgraceful, not to acquit him!” cried the official. “Suppose he did murder him—there are fathers and fathers! And, besides, he was in such a frenzy.... He really may have done nothing but swing the pestle in the air, and so knocked the old man down. But it was a pity they dragged the valet in. That was simply an absurd theory! If I’d been in Fetyukovitch’s place, I should simply have said straight out: ‘He murdered him; but he is not guilty, hang it all!’ ”

“That’s what he did, only without saying, ‘Hang it all!’ ”

“No, Mihail Semyonovitch, he almost said that, too,” put in a third voice.

“Why, gentlemen, in Lent an actress was acquitted in our town who had cut the throat of her lover’s lawful wife.”

“Oh, but she did not finish cutting it.”

“That makes no difference. She began cutting it.”

“What did you think of what he said about children? Splendid, wasn’t it?”

“Splendid!”

“And about mysticism, too!”

“Oh, drop mysticism, do!” cried some one else; “think of Ippolit and his fate from this day forth. His wife will scratch his eyes out to‐morrow for Mitya’s sake.”

“Is she here?”

“What an idea! If she’d been here she’d have scratched them out in court. She is at home with toothache. He he he!”

“He he he!”

In a third group:

“I dare say they will acquit Mitenka, after all.”

“I should not be surprised if he turns the ‘Metropolis’ upside down to‐ morrow. He will be drinking for ten days!”

“Oh, the devil!”

“The devil’s bound to have a hand in it. Where should he be if not here?”

“Well, gentlemen, I admit it was eloquent. But still it’s not the thing to break your father’s head with a pestle! Or what are we coming to?”

“The chariot! Do you remember the chariot?”

“Yes; he turned a cart into a chariot!”

“And to‐morrow he will turn a chariot into a cart, just to suit his purpose.”

“What cunning chaps there are nowadays! Is there any justice to be had in Russia?”

But the bell rang. The jury deliberated for exactly an hour, neither more nor less. A profound silence reigned in the court as soon as the public had taken their seats. I remember how the jurymen walked into the court. At last! I won’t repeat the questions in order, and, indeed, I have forgotten them. I remember only the answer to the President’s first and chief question: “Did the prisoner commit the murder for the sake of robbery and with premeditation?” (I don’t remember the exact words.) There was a complete hush. The foreman of the jury, the youngest of the clerks, pronounced, in a clear, loud voice, amidst the deathlike stillness of the court:

“Yes, guilty!”

And the same answer was repeated to every question: “Yes, guilty!” and without the slightest extenuating comment. This no one had expected; almost every one had reckoned upon a recommendation to mercy, at least. The deathlike silence in the court was not broken—all seemed petrified: those who desired his conviction as well as those who had been eager for his acquittal. But that was only for the first instant, and it was followed by a fearful hubbub. Many of the men in the audience were pleased. Some were rubbing their hands with no attempt to conceal their joy. Those who disagreed with the verdict seemed crushed, shrugged their shoulders, whispered, but still seemed unable to realize this. But how shall I describe the state the ladies were in? I thought they would create a riot. At first they could scarcely believe their ears. Then suddenly the whole court rang with exclamations: “What’s the meaning of it? What next?” They leapt up from their places. They seemed to fancy that it might be at once reconsidered and reversed. At that instant Mitya suddenly stood up and cried in a heartrending voice, stretching his hands out before him:

“I swear by God and the dreadful Day of Judgment I am not guilty of my father’s blood! Katya, I forgive you! Brothers, friends, have pity on the other woman!”

He could not go on, and broke into a terrible sobbing wail that was heard all over the court in a strange, unnatural voice unlike his own. From the farthest corner at the back of the gallery came a piercing shriek—it was Grushenka. She had succeeded in begging admittance to the court again before the beginning of the lawyers’ speeches. Mitya was taken away. The passing of the sentence was deferred till next day. The whole court was in a hubbub but I did not wait to hear. I only remember a few exclamations I heard on the steps as I went out.

“He’ll have a twenty years’ trip to the mines!”

“Not less.”

“Well, our peasants have stood firm.”

“And have done for our Mitya.”