The Brothers Karamazov
Part III



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Book VII



The Breath of Corruption
The body of Father Zossima was prepared for burial according to the established ritual. As is well known, the bodies of dead monks and hermits are not washed. In the words of the Church Ritual: “If any one of the monks depart in the Lord, the monk designated (that is, whose office it is) shall wipe the body with warm water, making first the sign of the cross with a sponge on the forehead of the deceased, on the breast, on the hands and feet and on the knees, and that is enough.” All this was done by Father Païssy, who then clothed the deceased in his monastic garb and wrapped him in his cloak, which was, according to custom, somewhat slit to allow of its being folded about him in the form of a cross. On his head he put a hood with an eight-cornered cross. The hood was left open and the dead man’s face was covered with black gauze. In his hands was put an icon of the Saviour. Towards morning he was put in the coffin which had been made ready long before. It was decided to leave the coffin all day in the cell, in the larger room in which the elder used to receive his visitors and fellow monks. As the deceased was a priest and monk of the strictest rule, the Gospel, not the Psalter, had to be read over his body by monks in holy orders. The reading was begun by Father Iosif immediately after the requiem service. Father Païssy desired later on to read the Gospel all day and night over his dead friend, but for the present he, as well as the Father Superintendent of the Hermitage, was very busy and occupied, for something extraordinary, an unheard-of, even “unseemly” excitement and impatient expectation began to be apparent in the monks, and the visitors from the monastery hostels, and the crowds of people flocking from the town. And as time went on, this grew more and more marked. Both the Superintendent and Father Païssy did their utmost to calm the general bustle and agitation.

When it was fully daylight, some people began bringing their sick, in most cases children, with them from the town⁠—as though they had been waiting expressly for this moment to do so, evidently persuaded that the dead elder’s remains had a power of healing, which would be immediately made manifest in accordance with their faith. It was only then apparent how unquestionably everyone in our town had accepted Father Zossima during his lifetime as a great saint. And those who came were far from being all of the humbler classes.

This intense expectation on the part of believers displayed with such haste, such openness, even with impatience and almost insistence, impressed Father Païssy as unseemly. Though he had long foreseen something of the sort, the actual manifestation of the feeling was beyond anything he had looked for. When he came across any of the monks who displayed this excitement, Father Païssy began to reprove them. “Such immediate expectation of something extraordinary,” he said, “shows a levity, possible to worldly people but unseemly in us.”

But little attention was paid him and Father Païssy noticed it uneasily. Yet he himself (if the whole truth must be told), secretly at the bottom of his heart, cherished almost the same hopes and could not but be aware of it, though he was indignant at the too impatient expectation around him, and saw in it light-mindedness and vanity. Nevertheless, it was particularly unpleasant to him to meet certain persons, whose presence aroused in him great misgivings. In the crowd in the dead man’s cell he noticed with inward aversion (for which he immediately reproached himself) the presence of Rakitin and of the monk from Obdorsk, who was still staying in the monastery. Of both of them Father Païssy felt for some reason suddenly suspicious⁠—though, indeed, he might well have felt the same about others.

The monk from Obdorsk was conspicuous as the most fussy in the excited crowd. He was to be seen everywhere; everywhere he was asking questions, everywhere he was listening, on all sides he was whispering with a peculiar, mysterious air. His expression showed the greatest impatience and even a sort of irritation.

As for Rakitin, he, as appeared later, had come so early to the hermitage at the special request of Madame Hohlakov. As soon as that good-hearted but weak-minded woman, who could not herself have been admitted to the hermitage, waked and heard of the death of Father Zossima, she was overtaken with such intense curiosity that she promptly dispatched Rakitin to the hermitage, to keep a careful look out and report to her by letter every half-hour or so “everything that takes place.” She regarded Rakitin as a most religious and devout young man. He was particularly clever in getting round people and assuming whatever part he thought most to their taste, if he detected the slightest advantage to himself from doing so.

It was a bright, clear day, and many of the visitors were thronging about the tombs, which were particularly numerous round the church and scattered here and there about the hermitage. As he walked round the hermitage, Father Païssy remembered Alyosha and that he had not seen him for some time, not since the night. And he had no sooner thought of him than he at once noticed him in the farthest corner of the hermitage garden, sitting on the tombstone of a monk who had been famous long ago for his saintliness. He sat with his back to the hermitage and his face to the wall, and seemed to be hiding behind the tombstone. Going up to him, Father Païssy saw that he was weeping quietly but bitterly, with his face hidden in his hands, and that his whole frame was shaking with sobs. Father Païssy stood over him for a little.

“Enough, dear son, enough, dear,” he pronounced with feeling at last. “Why do you weep? Rejoice and weep not. Don’t you know that this is the greatest of his days? Think only where he is now, at this moment!”

Alyosha glanced at him, uncovering his face, which was swollen with crying like a child’s, but turned away at once without uttering a word and hid his face in his hands again.

“Maybe it is well,” said Father Païssy thoughtfully; “weep if you must, Christ has sent you those tears.”

“Your touching tears are but a relief to your spirit and will serve to gladden your dear heart,” he added to himself, walking away from Alyosha, and thinking lovingly of him. He moved away quickly, however, for he felt that he too might weep looking at him.

Meanwhile the time was passing; the monastery services and the requiems for the dead followed in their due course. Father Païssy again took Father Iosif’s place by the coffin and began reading the Gospel. But before three o’clock in the afternoon that something took place to which I alluded at the end of the last book, something so unexpected by all of us and so contrary to the general hope, that, I repeat, this trivial incident has been minutely remembered to this day in our town and all the surrounding neighborhood. I may add here, for myself personally, that I feel it almost repulsive to recall that event which caused such frivolous agitation and was such a stumbling-block to many, though in reality it was the most natural and trivial matter. I should, of course, have omitted all mention of it in my story, if it had not exerted a very strong influence on the heart and soul of the chief, though future, hero of my story, Alyosha, forming a crisis and turning-point in his spiritual development, giving a shock to his intellect, which finally strengthened it for the rest of his life and gave it a definite aim.

And so, to return to our story. When before dawn they laid Father Zossima’s body in the coffin and brought it into the front room, the question of opening the windows was raised among those who were around the coffin. But this suggestion made casually by someone was unanswered and almost unnoticed. Some of those present may perhaps have inwardly noticed it, only to reflect that the anticipation of decay and corruption from the body of such a saint was an actual absurdity, calling for compassion (if not a smile) for the lack of faith and the frivolity it implied. For they expected something quite different.

And, behold, soon after midday there were signs of something, at first only observed in silence by those who came in and out and were evidently each afraid to communicate the thought in his mind. But by three o’clock those signs had become so clear and unmistakable, that the news swiftly reached all the monks and visitors in the hermitage, promptly penetrated to the monastery, throwing all the monks into amazement, and finally, in the shortest possible time, spread to the town, exciting everyone in it, believers and unbelievers alike. The unbelievers rejoiced, and as for the believers some of them rejoiced even more than the unbelievers, for “men love the downfall and disgrace of the righteous,” as the deceased elder had said in one of his exhortations.

The fact is that a smell of decomposition began to come from the coffin, growing gradually more marked, and by three o’clock it was quite unmistakable. In all the past history of our monastery, no such scandal could be recalled, and in no other circumstances could such a scandal have been possible, as showed itself in unseemly disorder immediately after this discovery among the very monks themselves. Afterwards, even many years afterwards, some sensible monks were amazed and horrified, when they recalled that day, that the scandal could have reached such proportions. For in the past, monks of very holy life had died, God-fearing old men, whose saintliness was acknowledged by all, yet from their humble coffins, too, the breath of corruption had come, naturally, as from all dead bodies, but that had caused no scandal nor even the slightest excitement. Of course there had been, in former times, saints in the monastery whose memory was carefully preserved and whose relics, according to tradition, showed no signs of corruption. This fact was regarded by the monks as touching and mysterious, and the tradition of it was cherished as something blessed and miraculous, and as a promise, by God’s grace, of still greater glory from their tombs in the future.

One such, whose memory was particularly cherished, was an old monk, Job, who had died seventy years before at the age of a hundred and five. He had been a celebrated ascetic, rigid in fasting and silence, and his tomb was pointed out to all visitors on their arrival with peculiar respect and mysterious hints of great hopes connected with it. (That was the very tomb on which Father Païssy had found Alyosha sitting in the morning.) Another memory cherished in the monastery was that of the famous Father Varsonofy, who was only recently dead and had preceded Father Zossima in the eldership. He was reverenced during his lifetime as a crazy saint by all the pilgrims to the monastery. There was a tradition that both of these had lain in their coffins as though alive, that they had shown no signs of decomposition when they were buried and that there had been a holy light in their faces. And some people even insisted that a sweet fragrance came from their bodies.

Yet, in spite of these edifying memories, it would be difficult to explain the frivolity, absurdity and malice that were manifested beside the coffin of Father Zossima. It is my private opinion that several different causes were simultaneously at work, one of which was the deeply-rooted hostility to the institution of elders as a pernicious innovation, an antipathy hidden deep in the hearts of many of the monks. Even more powerful was jealousy of the dead man’s saintliness, so firmly established during his lifetime that it was almost a forbidden thing to question it. For though the late elder had won over many hearts, more by love than by miracles, and had gathered round him a mass of loving adherents, none the less, in fact, rather the more on that account he had awakened jealousy and so had come to have bitter enemies, secret and open, not only in the monastery but in the world outside it. He did no one any harm, but “Why do they think him so saintly?” And that question alone, gradually repeated, gave rise at last to an intense, insatiable hatred of him. That, I believe, was why many people were extremely delighted at the smell of decomposition which came so quickly, for not a day had passed since his death. At the same time there were some among those who had been hitherto reverently devoted to the elder, who were almost mortified and personally affronted by this incident. This was how the thing happened.

As soon as signs of decomposition had begun to appear, the whole aspect of the monks betrayed their secret motives in entering the cell. They went in, stayed a little while and hastened out to confirm the news to the crowd of other monks waiting outside. Some of the latter shook their heads mournfully, but others did not even care to conceal the delight which gleamed unmistakably in their malignant eyes. And now no one reproached them for it, no one raised his voice in protest, which was strange, for the majority of the monks had been devoted to the dead elder. But it seemed as though God had in this case let the minority get the upper hand for a time.

Visitors from outside, particularly of the educated class, soon went into the cell, too, with the same spying intent. Of the peasantry few went into the cell, though there were crowds of them at the gates of the hermitage. After three o’clock the rush of worldly visitors was greatly increased and this was no doubt owing to the shocking news. People were attracted who would not otherwise have come on that day and had not intended to come, and among them were some personages of high standing. But external decorum was still preserved and Father Païssy, with a stern face, continued firmly and distinctly reading aloud the Gospel, apparently not noticing what was taking place around him, though he had, in fact, observed something unusual long before. But at last the murmurs, first subdued but gradually louder and more confident, reached even him. “It shows God’s judgment is not as man’s,” Father Païssy heard suddenly. The first to give utterance to this sentiment was a layman, an elderly official from the town, known to be a man of great piety. But he only repeated aloud what the monks had long been whispering. They had long before formulated this damning conclusion, and the worst of it was that a sort of triumphant satisfaction at that conclusion became more and more apparent every moment. Soon they began to lay aside even external decorum and almost seemed to feel they had a sort of right to discard it.

“And for what reason can this have happened,” some of the monks said, at first with a show of regret; “he had a small frame and his flesh was dried up on his bones, what was there to decay?”

“It must be a sign from heaven,” others hastened to add, and their opinion was adopted at once without protest. For it was pointed out, too, that if the decomposition had been natural, as in the case of every dead sinner, it would have been apparent later, after a lapse of at least twenty-four hours, but this premature corruption “was in excess of nature,” and so the finger of God was evident. It was meant for a sign. This conclusion seemed irresistible.

Gentle Father Iosif, the librarian, a great favorite of the dead man’s, tried to reply to some of the evil speakers that “this is not held everywhere alike,” and that the incorruptibility of the bodies of the just was not a dogma of the Orthodox Church, but only an opinion, and that even in the most Orthodox regions, at Athos for instance, they were not greatly confounded by the smell of corruption, and there the chief sign of the glorification of the saved was not bodily incorruptibility, but the color of the bones when the bodies have lain many years in the earth and have decayed in it. “And if the bones are yellow as wax, that is the great sign that the Lord has glorified the dead saint, if they are not yellow but black, it shows that God has not deemed him worthy of such glory⁠—that is the belief in Athos, a great place, where the Orthodox doctrine has been preserved from of old, unbroken and in its greatest purity,” said Father Iosif in conclusion.

But the meek Father’s words had little effect and even provoked a mocking retort. “That’s all pedantry and innovation, no use listening to it,” the monks decided. “We stick to the old doctrine, there are all sorts of innovations nowadays, are we to follow them all?” added others.

“We have had as many holy fathers as they had. There they are among the Turks, they have forgotten everything. Their doctrine has long been impure and they have no bells even,” the most sneering added.

Father Iosif walked away, grieving the more since he had put forward his own opinion with little confidence as though scarcely believing in it himself. He foresaw with distress that something very unseemly was beginning and that there were positive signs of disobedience. Little by little, all the sensible monks were reduced to silence like Father Iosif. And so it came to pass that all who loved the elder and had accepted with devout obedience the institution of the eldership were all at once terribly cast down and glanced timidly in one another’s faces, when they met. Those who were hostile to the institution of elders, as a novelty, held up their heads proudly. “There was no smell of corruption from the late elder Varsonofy, but a sweet fragrance,” they recalled malignantly. “But he gained that glory not because he was an elder, but because he was a holy man.”

And this was followed by a shower of criticism and even blame of Father Zossima. “His teaching was false; he taught that life is a great joy and not a vale of tears,” said some of the more unreasonable. “He followed the fashionable belief, he did not recognize material fire in hell,” others, still more unreasonable, added. “He was not strict in fasting, allowed himself sweet things, ate cherry jam with his tea, ladies used to send it to him. Is it for a monk of strict rule to drink tea?” could be heard among some of the envious. “He sat in pride,” the most malignant declared vindictively; “he considered himself a saint and he took it as his due when people knelt before him.” “He abused the sacrament of confession,” the fiercest opponents of the institution of elders added in a malicious whisper. And among these were some of the oldest monks, strictest in their devotion, genuine ascetics, who had kept silent during the life of the deceased elder, but now suddenly unsealed their lips. And this was terrible, for their words had great influence on young monks who were not yet firm in their convictions. The monk from Obdorsk heard all this attentively, heaving deep sighs and nodding his head. “Yes, clearly Father Ferapont was right in his judgment yesterday,” and at that moment Father Ferapont himself made his appearance, as though on purpose to increase the confusion.

I have mentioned already that he rarely left his wooden cell by the apiary. He was seldom even seen at church and they overlooked this neglect on the ground of his craziness, and did not keep him to the rules binding on all the rest. But if the whole truth is to be told, they hardly had a choice about it. For it would have been discreditable to insist on burdening with the common regulations so great an ascetic, who prayed day and night (he even dropped asleep on his knees). If they had insisted, the monks would have said, “He is holier than all of us and he follows a rule harder than ours. And if he does not go to church, it’s because he knows when he ought to; he has his own rule.” It was to avoid the chance of these sinful murmurs that Father Ferapont was left in peace.

As everyone was aware, Father Ferapont particularly disliked Father Zossima. And now the news had reached him in his hut that “God’s judgment is not the same as man’s,” and that something had happened which was “in excess of nature.” It may well be supposed that among the first to run to him with the news was the monk from Obdorsk, who had visited him the evening before and left his cell terror-stricken.

I have mentioned above, that though Father Païssy, standing firm and immovable reading the Gospel over the coffin, could not hear nor see what was passing outside the cell, he gauged most of it correctly in his heart, for he knew the men surrounding him, well. He was not shaken by it, but awaited what would come next without fear, watching with penetration and insight for the outcome of the general excitement.

Suddenly an extraordinary uproar in the passage in open defiance of decorum burst on his ears. The door was flung open and Father Ferapont appeared in the doorway. Behind him there could be seen accompanying him a crowd of monks, together with many people from the town. They did not, however, enter the cell, but stood at the bottom of the steps, waiting to see what Father Ferapont would say or do. For they felt with a certain awe, in spite of their audacity, that he had not come for nothing. Standing in the doorway, Father Ferapont raised his arms, and under his right arm the keen inquisitive little eyes of the monk from Obdorsk peeped in. He alone, in his intense curiosity, could not resist running up the steps after Father Ferapont. The others, on the contrary, pressed farther back in sudden alarm when the door was noisily flung open. Holding his hands aloft, Father Ferapont suddenly roared:

“Casting out I cast out!” and, turning in all directions, he began at once making the sign of the cross at each of the four walls and four corners of the cell in succession. All who accompanied Father Ferapont immediately understood his action. For they knew he always did this wherever he went, and that he would not sit down or say a word, till he had driven out the evil spirits.

“Satan, go hence! Satan, go hence!” he repeated at each sign of the cross. “Casting out I cast out,” he roared again.

He was wearing his coarse gown girt with a rope. His bare chest, covered with gray hair, could be seen under his hempen shirt. His feet were bare. As soon as he began waving his arms, the cruel irons he wore under his gown could be heard clanking.

Father Païssy paused in his reading, stepped forward and stood before him waiting.

“What have you come for, worthy Father? Why do you offend against good order? Why do you disturb the peace of the flock?” he said at last, looking sternly at him.

“What have I come for? You ask why? What is your faith?” shouted Father Ferapont crazily. “I’ve come here to drive out your visitors, the unclean devils. I’ve come to see how many have gathered here while I have been away. I want to sweep them out with a birch broom.”

“You cast out the evil spirit, but perhaps you are serving him yourself,” Father Païssy went on fearlessly. “And who can say of himself ‘I am holy’? Can you, Father?”

“I am unclean, not holy. I would not sit in an armchair and would not have them bow down to me as an idol,” thundered Father Ferapont. “Nowadays folk destroy the true faith. The dead man, your saint,” he turned to the crowd, pointing with his finger to the coffin, “did not believe in devils. He gave medicine to keep off the devils. And so they have become as common as spiders in the corners. And now he has begun to stink himself. In that we see a great sign from God.”

The incident he referred to was this. One of the monks was haunted in his dreams and, later on, in waking moments, by visions of evil spirits. When in the utmost terror he confided this to Father Zossima, the elder had advised continual prayer and rigid fasting. But when that was of no use, he advised him, while persisting in prayer and fasting, to take a special medicine. Many persons were shocked at the time and wagged their heads as they talked over it⁠—and most of all Father Ferapont, to whom some of the censorious had hastened to report this “extraordinary” counsel on the part of the elder.

“Go away, Father!” said Father Païssy, in a commanding voice, “it’s not for man to judge but for God. Perhaps we see here a ‘sign’ which neither you, nor I, nor any one of us is able to comprehend. Go, Father, and do not trouble the flock!” he repeated impressively.

“He did not keep the fasts according to the rule and therefore the sign has come. That is clear and it’s a sin to hide it,” the fanatic, carried away by a zeal that outstripped his reason, would not be quieted. “He was seduced by sweetmeats, ladies brought them to him in their pockets, he sipped tea, he worshiped his belly, filling it with sweet things and his mind with haughty thoughts.⁠ ⁠… And for this he is put to shame.⁠ ⁠…”

“You speak lightly, Father.” Father Païssy, too, raised his voice. “I admire your fasting and severities, but you speak lightly like some frivolous youth, fickle and childish. Go away, Father, I command you!” Father Païssy thundered in conclusion.

“I will go,” said Ferapont, seeming somewhat taken aback, but still as bitter. “You learned men! You are so clever you look down upon my humbleness. I came hither with little learning and here I have forgotten what I did know, God Himself has preserved me in my weakness from your subtlety.”

Father Païssy stood over him, waiting resolutely. Father Ferapont paused and, suddenly leaning his cheek on his hand despondently, pronounced in a singsong voice, looking at the coffin of the dead elder:

“Tomorrow they will sing over him ‘Our Helper and Defender’⁠—a splendid anthem⁠—and over me when I die all they’ll sing will be ‘What earthly joy’⁠—a little canticle,” [6] he added with tearful regret. “You are proud and puffed up, this is a vain place!” he shouted suddenly like a madman, and with a wave of his hand he turned quickly and quickly descended the steps. The crowd awaiting him below wavered; some followed him at once and some lingered, for the cell was still open, and Father Païssy, following Father Ferapont on to the steps, stood watching him. But the excited old fanatic was not completely silenced. Walking twenty steps away, he suddenly turned towards the setting sun, raised both his arms and, as though someone had cut him down, fell to the ground with a loud scream.

“My God has conquered! Christ has conquered the setting sun!” he shouted frantically, stretching up his hands to the sun, and falling face downwards on the ground, he sobbed like a little child, shaken by his tears and spreading out his arms on the ground. Then all rushed up to him; there were exclamations and sympathetic sobs⁠ ⁠… a kind of frenzy seemed to take possession of them all.

“This is the one who is a saint! This is the one who is a holy man!” some cried aloud, losing their fear. “This is he who should be an elder,” others added malignantly.

“He wouldn’t be an elder⁠ ⁠… he would refuse⁠ ⁠… he wouldn’t serve a cursed innovation⁠ ⁠… he wouldn’t imitate their foolery,” other voices chimed in at once. And it is hard to say how far they might have gone, but at that moment the bell rang summoning them to service. All began crossing themselves at once. Father Ferapont, too, got up and crossing himself went back to his cell without looking round, still uttering exclamations which were utterly incoherent. A few followed him, but the greater number dispersed, hastening to service. Father Païssy let Father Iosif read in his place and went down. The frantic outcries of bigots could not shake him, but his heart was suddenly filled with melancholy for some special reason and he felt that. He stood still and suddenly wondered, “Why am I sad even to dejection?” and immediately grasped with surprise that his sudden sadness was due to a very small and special cause. In the crowd thronging at the entrance to the cell, he had noticed Alyosha and he remembered that he had felt at once a pang at heart on seeing him. “Can that boy mean so much to my heart now?” he asked himself, wondering.

At that moment Alyosha passed him, hurrying away, but not in the direction of the church. Their eyes met. Alyosha quickly turned away his eyes and dropped them to the ground, and from the boy’s look alone, Father Païssy guessed what a great change was taking place in him at that moment.

“Have you, too, fallen into temptation?” cried Father Païssy. “Can you be with those of little faith?” he added mournfully.

Alyosha stood still and gazed vaguely at Father Païssy, but quickly turned his eyes away again and again looked on the ground. He stood sideways and did not turn his face to Father Païssy, who watched him attentively.

“Where are you hastening? The bell calls to service,” he asked again, but again Alyosha gave no answer.

“Are you leaving the hermitage? What, without asking leave, without asking a blessing?”

Alyosha suddenly gave a wry smile, cast a strange, very strange, look at the Father to whom his former guide, the former sovereign of his heart and mind, his beloved elder, had confided him as he lay dying. And suddenly, still without speaking, waved his hand, as though not caring even to be respectful, and with rapid steps walked towards the gates away from the hermitage.

“You will come back again!” murmured Father Païssy, looking after him with sorrowful surprise.


A Critical Moment
Father Païssy, of course, was not wrong when he decided that his “dear boy” would come back again. Perhaps indeed, to some extent, he penetrated with insight into the true meaning of Alyosha’s spiritual condition. Yet I must frankly own that it would be very difficult for me to give a clear account of that strange, vague moment in the life of the young hero I love so much. To Father Païssy’s sorrowful question, “Are you too with those of little faith?” I could of course confidently answer for Alyosha, “No, he is not with those of little faith. Quite the contrary.” Indeed, all his trouble came from the fact that he was of great faith. But still the trouble was there and was so agonizing that even long afterwards Alyosha thought of that sorrowful day as one of the bitterest and most fatal days of his life. If the question is asked: “Could all his grief and disturbance have been only due to the fact that his elder’s body had shown signs of premature decomposition instead of at once performing miracles?” I must answer without beating about the bush, “Yes, it certainly was.” I would only beg the reader not to be in too great a hurry to laugh at my young hero’s pure heart. I am far from intending to apologize for him or to justify his innocent faith on the ground of his youth, or the little progress he had made in his studies, or any such reason. I must declare, on the contrary, that I have genuine respect for the qualities of his heart. No doubt a youth who received impressions cautiously, whose love was lukewarm, and whose mind was too prudent for his age and so of little value, such a young man might, I admit, have avoided what happened to my hero. But in some cases it is really more creditable to be carried away by an emotion, however unreasonable, which springs from a great love, than to be unmoved. And this is even truer in youth, for a young man who is always sensible is to be suspected and is of little worth⁠—that’s my opinion!

“But,” reasonable people will exclaim perhaps, “every young man cannot believe in such a superstition and your hero is no model for others.”

To this I reply again, “Yes! my hero had faith, a faith holy and steadfast, but still I am not going to apologize for him.”

Though I declared above, and perhaps too hastily, that I should not explain or justify my hero, I see that some explanation is necessary for the understanding of the rest of my story. Let me say then, it was not a question of miracles. There was no frivolous and impatient expectation of miracles in his mind. And Alyosha needed no miracles at the time, for the triumph of some preconceived idea⁠—oh, no, not at all⁠—what he saw before all was one figure⁠—the figure of his beloved elder, the figure of that holy man whom he revered with such adoration. The fact is that all the love that lay concealed in his pure young heart for everyone and everything had, for the past year, been concentrated⁠—and perhaps wrongly so⁠—on one being, his beloved elder. It is true that being had for so long been accepted by him as his ideal, that all his young strength and energy could not but turn towards that ideal, even to the forgetting at the moment “of everyone and everything.” He remembered afterwards how, on that terrible day, he had entirely forgotten his brother Dmitri, about whom he had been so anxious and troubled the day before; he had forgotten, too, to take the two hundred roubles to Ilusha’s father, though he had so warmly intended to do so the preceding evening. But again it was not miracles he needed but only “the higher justice” which had been in his belief outraged by the blow that had so suddenly and cruelly wounded his heart. And what does it signify that this “justice” looked for by Alyosha inevitably took the shape of miracles to be wrought immediately by the ashes of his adored teacher? Why, everyone in the monastery cherished the same thought and the same hope, even those whose intellects Alyosha revered, Father Païssy himself, for instance. And so Alyosha, untroubled by doubts, clothed his dreams too in the same form as all the rest. And a whole year of life in the monastery had formed the habit of this expectation in his heart. But it was justice, justice, he thirsted for, not simply miracles.

And now the man who should, he believed, have been exalted above everyone in the whole world, that man, instead of receiving the glory that was his due, was suddenly degraded and dishonored! What for? Who had judged him? Who could have decreed this? Those were the questions that wrung his inexperienced and virginal heart. He could not endure without mortification, without resentment even, that the holiest of holy men should have been exposed to the jeering and spiteful mockery of the frivolous crowd so inferior to him. Even had there been no miracles, had there been nothing marvelous to justify his hopes, why this indignity, why this humiliation, why this premature decay, “in excess of nature,” as the spiteful monks said? Why this “sign from heaven,” which they so triumphantly acclaimed in company with Father Ferapont, and why did they believe they had gained the right to acclaim it? Where is the finger of Providence? Why did Providence hide its face “at the most critical moment” (so Alyosha thought it), as though voluntarily submitting to the blind, dumb, pitiless laws of nature?

That was why Alyosha’s heart was bleeding, and, of course, as I have said already, the sting of it all was that the man he loved above everything on earth should be put to shame and humiliated! This murmuring may have been shallow and unreasonable in my hero, but I repeat again for the third time⁠—and am prepared to admit that it might be difficult to defend my feeling⁠—I am glad that my hero showed himself not too reasonable at that moment, for any man of sense will always come back to reason in time, but, if love does not gain the upper hand in a boy’s heart at such an exceptional moment, when will it? I will not, however, omit to mention something strange, which came for a time to the surface of Alyosha’s mind at this fatal and obscure moment. This new something was the harassing impression left by the conversation with Ivan, which now persistently haunted Alyosha’s mind. At this moment it haunted him. Oh, it was not that something of the fundamental, elemental, so to speak, faith of his soul had been shaken. He loved his God and believed in Him steadfastly, though he was suddenly murmuring against Him. Yet a vague but tormenting and evil impression left by his conversation with Ivan the day before, suddenly revived again now in his soul and seemed forcing its way to the surface of his consciousness.

It had begun to get dusk when Rakitin, crossing the pine copse from the hermitage to the monastery, suddenly noticed Alyosha, lying face downwards on the ground under a tree, not moving and apparently asleep. He went up and called him by his name.

“You here, Alexey? Can you have⁠—” he began wondering but broke off. He had meant to say, “Can you have come to this?”

Alyosha did not look at him, but from a slight movement Rakitin at once saw that he heard and understood him.

“What’s the matter?” he went on; but the surprise in his face gradually passed into a smile that became more and more ironical.

“I say, I’ve been looking for you for the last two hours. You suddenly disappeared. What are you about? What foolery is this? You might just look at me⁠ ⁠…”

Alyosha raised his head, sat up and leaned his back against the tree. He was not crying, but there was a look of suffering and irritability in his face. He did not look at Rakitin, however, but looked away to one side of him.

“Do you know your face is quite changed? There’s none of your famous mildness to be seen in it. Are you angry with someone? Have they been ill-treating you?”

“Let me alone,” said Alyosha suddenly, with a weary gesture of his hand, still looking away from him.

“Oho! So that’s how we are feeling! So you can shout at people like other mortals. That is a comedown from the angels. I say, Alyosha, you have surprised me, do you hear? I mean it. It’s long since I’ve been surprised at anything here. I always took you for an educated man.⁠ ⁠…”

Alyosha at last looked at him, but vaguely, as though scarcely understanding what he said.

“Can you really be so upset simply because your old man has begun to stink? You don’t mean to say you seriously believed that he was going to work miracles?” exclaimed Rakitin, genuinely surprised again.

“I believed, I believe, I want to believe, and I will believe, what more do you want?” cried Alyosha irritably.

“Nothing at all, my boy. Damn it all! why, no schoolboy of thirteen believes in that now. But there.⁠ ⁠… So now you are in a temper with your God, you are rebelling against Him; He hasn’t given promotion, He hasn’t bestowed the order of merit! Eh, you are a set!”

Alyosha gazed a long while with his eyes half closed at Rakitin, and there was a sudden gleam in his eyes⁠ ⁠… but not of anger with Rakitin.

“I am not rebelling against my God; I simply ‘don’t accept His world.’ ” Alyosha suddenly smiled a forced smile.

“How do you mean, you don’t accept the world?” Rakitin thought a moment over his answer. “What idiocy is this?”

Alyosha did not answer.

“Come, enough nonsense, now to business. Have you had anything to eat today?”

“I don’t remember.⁠ ⁠… I think I have.”

“You need keeping up, to judge by your face. It makes one sorry to look at you. You didn’t sleep all night either, I hear, you had a meeting in there. And then all this bobbery afterwards. Most likely you’ve had nothing to eat but a mouthful of holy bread. I’ve got some sausage in my pocket; I’ve brought it from the town in case of need, only you won’t eat sausage.⁠ ⁠…”

“Give me some.”

“I say! You are going it! Why, it’s a regular mutiny, with barricades! Well, my boy, we must make the most of it. Come to my place.⁠ ⁠… I shouldn’t mind a drop of vodka myself, I am tired to death. Vodka is going too far for you, I suppose⁠ ⁠… or would you like some?”

“Give me some vodka too.”

“Hullo! You surprise me, brother!” Rakitin looked at him in amazement. “Well, one way or another, vodka or sausage, this is a jolly fine chance and mustn’t be missed. Come along.”

Alyosha got up in silence and followed Rakitin.

“If your little brother Ivan could see this⁠—wouldn’t he be surprised! By the way, your brother Ivan set off to Moscow this morning, did you know?”

“Yes,” answered Alyosha listlessly, and suddenly the image of his brother Dmitri rose before his mind. But only for a minute, and though it reminded him of something that must not be put off for a moment, some duty, some terrible obligation, even that reminder made no impression on him, did not reach his heart and instantly faded out of his mind and was forgotten. But, a long while afterwards, Alyosha remembered this.

“Your brother Ivan declared once that I was a ‘liberal booby with no talents whatsoever.’ Once you, too, could not resist letting me know I was ‘dishonorable.’ Well! I should like to see what your talents and sense of honor will do for you now.” This phrase Rakitin finished to himself in a whisper.

“Listen!” he said aloud, “let’s go by the path beyond the monastery straight to the town. Hm! I ought to go to Madame Hohlakov’s by the way. Only fancy, I’ve written to tell her everything that happened, and would you believe it, she answered me instantly in pencil (the lady has a passion for writing notes) that ‘she would never have expected such conduct from a man of such a reverend character as Father Zossima.’ That was her very word: ‘conduct.’ She is angry too. Eh, you are a set! Stay!” he cried suddenly again. He suddenly stopped and taking Alyosha by the shoulder made him stop too.

“Do you know, Alyosha,” he peeped inquisitively into his eyes, absorbed in a sudden new thought which had dawned on him, and though he was laughing outwardly he was evidently afraid to utter that new idea aloud, so difficult he still found it to believe in the strange and unexpected mood in which he now saw Alyosha. “Alyosha, do you know where we had better go?” he brought out at last timidly, and insinuatingly.

“I don’t care⁠ ⁠… where you like.”

“Let’s go to Grushenka, eh? Will you come?” pronounced Rakitin at last, trembling with timid suspense.

“Let’s go to Grushenka,” Alyosha answered calmly, at once, and this prompt and calm agreement was such a surprise to Rakitin that he almost started back.

“Well! I say!” he cried in amazement, but seizing Alyosha firmly by the arm he led him along the path, still dreading that he would change his mind.

They walked along in silence, Rakitin was positively afraid to talk.

“And how glad she will be, how delighted!” he muttered, but lapsed into silence again. And indeed it was not to please Grushenka he was taking Alyosha to her. He was a practical person and never undertook anything without a prospect of gain for himself. His object in this case was twofold, first a revengeful desire to see “the downfall of the righteous,” and Alyosha’s fall “from the saints to the sinners,” over which he was already gloating in his imagination, and in the second place he had in view a certain material gain for himself, of which more will be said later.

“So the critical moment has come,” he thought to himself with spiteful glee, “and we shall catch it on the hop, for it’s just what we want.”


An Onion
Grushenka lived in the busiest part of the town, near the cathedral square, in a small wooden lodge in the courtyard belonging to the house of the widow Morozov. The house was a large stone building of two stories, old and very ugly. The widow led a secluded life with her two unmarried nieces, who were also elderly women. She had no need to let her lodge, but everyone knew that she had taken in Grushenka as a lodger, four years before, solely to please her kinsman, the merchant Samsonov, who was known to be the girl’s protector. It was said that the jealous old man’s object in placing his “favorite” with the widow Morozov was that the old woman should keep a sharp eye on her new lodger’s conduct. But this sharp eye soon proved to be unnecessary, and in the end the widow Morozov seldom met Grushenka and did not worry her by looking after her in any way. It is true that four years had passed since the old man had brought the slim, delicate, shy, timid, dreamy, and sad girl of eighteen from the chief town of the province, and much had happened since then. Little was known of the girl’s history in the town and that little was vague. Nothing more had been learnt during the last four years, even after many persons had become interested in the beautiful young woman into whom Agrafena Alexandrovna had meanwhile developed. There were rumors that she had been at seventeen betrayed by someone, some sort of officer, and immediately afterwards abandoned by him. The officer had gone away and afterwards married, while Grushenka had been left in poverty and disgrace. It was said, however, that though Grushenka had been raised from destitution by the old man, Samsonov, she came of a respectable family belonging to the clerical class, that she was the daughter of a deacon or something of the sort.

And now after four years the sensitive, injured and pathetic little orphan had become a plump, rosy beauty of the Russian type, a woman of bold and determined character, proud and insolent. She had a good head for business, was acquisitive, saving and careful, and by fair means or foul had succeeded, it was said, in amassing a little fortune. There was only one point on which all were agreed. Grushenka was not easily to be approached and except her aged protector there had not been one man who could boast of her favors during those four years. It was a positive fact, for there had been a good many, especially during the last two years, who had attempted to obtain those favors. But all their efforts had been in vain and some of these suitors had been forced to beat an undignified and even comic retreat, owing to the firm and ironical resistance they met from the strong-willed young person. It was known, too, that the young person had, especially of late, been given to what is called “speculation,” and that she had shown marked abilities in that direction, so that many people began to say that she was no better than a Jew. It was not that she lent money on interest, but it was known, for instance, that she had for some time past, in partnership with old Karamazov, actually invested in the purchase of bad debts for a trifle, a tenth of their nominal value, and afterwards had made out of them ten times their value.

The old widower Samsonov, a man of large fortune, was stingy and merciless. He tyrannized over his grownup sons, but, for the last year during which he had been ill and lost the use of his swollen legs, he had fallen greatly under the influence of his protégée, whom he had at first kept strictly and in humble surroundings, “on Lenten fare,” as the wits said at the time. But Grushenka had succeeded in emancipating herself, while she established in him a boundless belief in her fidelity. The old man, now long since dead, had had a large business in his day and was also a noteworthy character, miserly and hard as flint. Though Grushenka’s hold upon him was so strong that he could not live without her (it had been so especially for the last two years), he did not settle any considerable fortune on her and would not have been moved to do so, if she had threatened to leave him. But he had presented her with a small sum, and even that was a surprise to everyone when it became known.

“You are a wench with brains,” he said to her, when he gave her eight thousand roubles, “and you must look after yourself, but let me tell you that except your yearly allowance as before, you’ll get nothing more from me to the day of my death, and I’ll leave you nothing in my will either.”

And he kept his word; he died and left everything to his sons, whom, with their wives and children, he had treated all his life as servants. Grushenka was not even mentioned in his will. All this became known afterwards. He helped Grushenka with his advice to increase her capital and put business in her way.

When Fyodor Pavlovitch, who first came into contact with Grushenka over a piece of speculation, ended to his own surprise by falling madly in love with her, old Samsonov, gravely ill as he was, was immensely amused. It is remarkable that throughout their whole acquaintance Grushenka was absolutely and spontaneously open with the old man, and he seems to have been the only person in the world with whom she was so. Of late, when Dmitri too had come on the scene with his love, the old man left off laughing. On the contrary, he once gave Grushenka a stern and earnest piece of advice.

“If you have to choose between the two, father or son, you’d better choose the old man, if only you make sure the old scoundrel will marry you and settle some fortune on you beforehand. But don’t keep on with the captain, you’ll get no good out of that.”

These were the very words of the old profligate, who felt already that his death was not far off and who actually died five months later.

I will note, too, in passing, that although many in our town knew of the grotesque and monstrous rivalry of the Karamazovs, father and son, the object of which was Grushenka, scarcely anyone understood what really underlay her attitude to both of them. Even Grushenka’s two servants (after the catastrophe of which we will speak later) testified in court that she received Dmitri Fyodorovitch simply from fear because “he threatened to murder her.” These servants were an old cook, invalidish and almost deaf, who came from Grushenka’s old home, and her granddaughter, a smart young girl of twenty, who performed the duties of a maid. Grushenka lived very economically and her surroundings were anything but luxurious. Her lodge consisted of three rooms furnished with mahogany furniture in the fashion of 1820, belonging to her landlady.

It was quite dark when Rakitin and Alyosha entered her rooms, yet they were not lighted up. Grushenka was lying down in her drawing-room on the big, hard, clumsy sofa, with a mahogany back. The sofa was covered with shabby and ragged leather. Under her head she had two white down pillows taken from her bed. She was lying stretched out motionless on her back with her hands behind her head. She was dressed as though expecting someone, in a black silk dress, with a dainty lace fichu on her head, which was very becoming. Over her shoulders was thrown a lace shawl pinned with a massive gold brooch. She certainly was expecting someone. She lay as though impatient and weary, her face rather pale and her lips and eyes hot, restlessly tapping the arm of the sofa with the tip of her right foot. The appearance of Rakitin and Alyosha caused a slight excitement. From the hall they could hear Grushenka leap up from the sofa and cry out in a frightened voice, “Who’s there?” But the maid met the visitors and at once called back to her mistress.

“It’s not he, it’s nothing, only other visitors.”

“What can be the matter?” muttered Rakitin, leading Alyosha into the drawing-room.

Grushenka was standing by the sofa as though still alarmed. A thick coil of her dark brown hair escaped from its lace covering and fell on her right shoulder, but she did not notice it and did not put it back till she had gazed at her visitors and recognized them.

“Ah, it’s you, Rakitin? You quite frightened me. Whom have you brought? Who is this with you? Good heavens, you have brought him!” she exclaimed, recognizing Alyosha.

“Do send for candles!” said Rakitin, with the free-and-easy air of a most intimate friend, who is privileged to give orders in the house.

“Candles⁠ ⁠… of course, candles.⁠ ⁠… Fenya, fetch him a candle.⁠ ⁠… Well, you have chosen a moment to bring him!” she exclaimed again, nodding towards Alyosha, and turning to the looking-glass she began quickly fastening up her hair with both hands. She seemed displeased.

“Haven’t I managed to please you?” asked Rakitin, instantly almost offended.

“You frightened me, Rakitin, that’s what it is.” Grushenka turned with a smile to Alyosha. “Don’t be afraid of me, my dear Alyosha, you cannot think how glad I am to see you, my unexpected visitor. But you frightened me, Rakitin, I thought it was Mitya breaking in. You see, I deceived him just now, I made him promise to believe me and I told him a lie. I told him that I was going to spend the evening with my old man, Kuzma Kuzmitch, and should be there till late counting up his money. I always spend one whole evening a week with him making up his accounts. We lock ourselves in and he counts on the reckoning beads while I sit and put things down in the book. I am the only person he trusts. Mitya believes that I am there, but I came back and have been sitting locked in here, expecting some news. How was it Fenya let you in? Fenya, Fenya, run out to the gate, open it and look about whether the captain is to be seen! Perhaps he is hiding and spying, I am dreadfully frightened.”

“There’s no one there, Agrafena Alexandrovna, I’ve just looked out, I keep running to peep through the crack, I am in fear and trembling myself.”

“Are the shutters fastened, Fenya? And we must draw the curtains⁠—that’s better!” She drew the heavy curtains herself. “He’d rush in at once if he saw a light. I am afraid of your brother Mitya today, Alyosha.”

Grushenka spoke aloud, and, though she was alarmed, she seemed very happy about something.

“Why are you so afraid of Mitya today?” inquired Rakitin. “I should have thought you were not timid with him, you’d twist him round your little finger.”

“I tell you, I am expecting news, priceless news, so I don’t want Mitya at all. And he didn’t believe, I feel he didn’t, that I should stay at Kuzma Kuzmitch’s. He must be in his ambush now, behind Fyodor Pavlovitch’s, in the garden, watching for me. And if he’s there, he won’t come here, so much the better! But I really have been to Kuzma Kuzmitch’s, Mitya escorted me there. I told him I should stay there till midnight, and I asked him to be sure to come at midnight to fetch me home. He went away and I sat ten minutes with Kuzma Kuzmitch and came back here again. Ugh, I was afraid, I ran for fear of meeting him.”

“And why are you so dressed up? What a curious cap you’ve got on!”

“How curious you are yourself, Rakitin! I tell you, I am expecting a message. If the message comes, I shall fly, I shall gallop away and you will see no more of me. That’s why I am dressed up, so as to be ready.”

“And where are you flying to?”

“If you know too much, you’ll get old too soon.”

“Upon my word! You are highly delighted⁠ ⁠… I’ve never seen you like this before. You are dressed up as if you were going to a ball.” Rakitin looked her up and down.

“Much you know about balls.”

“And do you know much about them?”

“I have seen a ball. The year before last, Kuzma Kuzmitch’s son was married and I looked on from the gallery. Do you suppose I want to be talking to you, Rakitin, while a prince like this is standing here. Such a visitor! Alyosha, my dear boy, I gaze at you and can’t believe my eyes. Good heavens, can you have come here to see me! To tell you the truth, I never had a thought of seeing you and I didn’t think that you would ever come and see me. Though this is not the moment now, I am awfully glad to see you. Sit down on the sofa, here, that’s right, my bright young moon. I really can’t take it in even now.⁠ ⁠… Eh, Rakitin, if only you had brought him yesterday or the day before! But I am glad as it is! Perhaps it’s better he has come now, at such a moment, and not the day before yesterday.”

She gayly sat down beside Alyosha on the sofa, looking at him with positive delight. And she really was glad, she was not lying when she said so. Her eyes glowed, her lips laughed, but it was a good-hearted merry laugh. Alyosha had not expected to see such a kind expression in her face.⁠ ⁠… He had hardly met her till the day before, he had formed an alarming idea of her, and had been horribly distressed the day before by the spiteful and treacherous trick she had played on Katerina Ivanovna. He was greatly surprised to find her now altogether different from what he had expected. And, crushed as he was by his own sorrow, his eyes involuntarily rested on her with attention. Her whole manner seemed changed for the better since yesterday, there was scarcely any trace of that mawkish sweetness in her speech, of that voluptuous softness in her movements. Everything was simple and good-natured, her gestures were rapid, direct, confiding, but she was greatly excited.

“Dear me, how everything comes together today!” she chattered on again. “And why I am so glad to see you, Alyosha, I couldn’t say myself! If you ask me, I couldn’t tell you.”

“Come, don’t you know why you’re glad?” said Rakitin, grinning. “You used to be always pestering me to bring him, you’d some object, I suppose.”

“I had a different object once, but now that’s over, this is not the moment. I say, I want you to have something nice. I am so good-natured now. You sit down, too, Rakitin; why are you standing? You’ve sat down already? There’s no fear of Rakitin’s forgetting to look after himself. Look, Alyosha, he’s sitting there opposite us, so offended that I didn’t ask him to sit down before you. Ugh, Rakitin is such a one to take offense!” laughed Grushenka. “Don’t be angry, Rakitin, I’m kind today. Why are you so depressed, Alyosha? Are you afraid of me?” She peeped into his eyes with merry mockery.

“He’s sad. The promotion has not been given,” boomed Rakitin.

“What promotion?”

“His elder stinks.”

“What? You are talking some nonsense, you want to say something nasty. Be quiet, you stupid! Let me sit on your knee, Alyosha, like this.” She suddenly skipped forward and jumped, laughing, on his knee, like a nestling kitten, with her right arm about his neck. “I’ll cheer you up, my pious boy. Yes, really, will you let me sit on your knee? You won’t be angry? If you tell me, I’ll get off?”

Alyosha did not speak. He sat afraid to move, he heard her words, “If you tell me, I’ll get off,” but he did not answer. But there was nothing in his heart such as Rakitin, for instance, watching him malignantly from his corner, might have expected or fancied. The great grief in his heart swallowed up every sensation that might have been aroused, and, if only he could have thought clearly at that moment, he would have realized that he had now the strongest armor to protect him from every lust and temptation. Yet in spite of the vague irresponsiveness of his spiritual condition and the sorrow that overwhelmed him, he could not help wondering at a new and strange sensation in his heart. This woman, this “dreadful” woman, had no terror for him now, none of that terror that had stirred in his soul at any passing thought of woman. On the contrary, this woman, dreaded above all women, sitting now on his knee, holding him in her arms, aroused in him now a quite different, unexpected, peculiar feeling, a feeling of the intensest and purest interest without a trace of fear, of his former terror. That was what instinctively surprised him.

“You’ve talked nonsense enough,” cried Rakitin, “you’d much better give us some champagne. You owe it me, you know you do!”

“Yes, I really do. Do you know, Alyosha, I promised him champagne on the top of everything, if he’d bring you? I’ll have some too! Fenya, Fenya, bring us the bottle Mitya left! Look sharp! Though I am so stingy, I’ll stand a bottle, not for you, Rakitin, you’re a toadstool, but he is a falcon! And though my heart is full of something very different, so be it, I’ll drink with you. I long for some dissipation.”

“But what is the matter with you? And what is this message, may I ask, or is it a secret?” Rakitin put in inquisitively, doing his best to pretend not to notice the snubs that were being continually aimed at him.

“Ech, it’s not a secret, and you know it, too,” Grushenka said, in a voice suddenly anxious, turning her head towards Rakitin, and drawing a little away from Alyosha, though she still sat on his knee with her arm round his neck. “My officer is coming, Rakitin, my officer is coming.”

“I heard he was coming, but is he so near?”

“He is at Mokroe now; he’ll send a messenger from there, so he wrote; I got a letter from him today. I am expecting the messenger every minute.”

“You don’t say so! Why at Mokroe?”

“That’s a long story, I’ve told you enough.”

“Mitya’ll be up to something now⁠—I say! Does he know or doesn’t he?”

“He know! Of course he doesn’t. If he knew, there would be murder. But I am not afraid of that now, I am not afraid of his knife. Be quiet, Rakitin, don’t remind me of Dmitri Fyodorovitch, he has bruised my heart. And I don’t want to think of that at this moment. I can think of Alyosha here, I can look at Alyosha⁠ ⁠… smile at me, dear, cheer up, smile at my foolishness, at my pleasure.⁠ ⁠… Ah, he’s smiling, he’s smiling! How kindly he looks at me! And you know, Alyosha, I’ve been thinking all this time you were angry with me, because of the day before yesterday, because of that young lady. I was a cur, that’s the truth.⁠ ⁠… But it’s a good thing it happened so. It was a horrid thing, but a good thing too.” Grushenka smiled dreamily and a little cruel line showed in her smile. “Mitya told me that she screamed out that I ‘ought to be flogged.’ I did insult her dreadfully. She sent for me, she wanted to make a conquest of me, to win me over with her chocolate.⁠ ⁠… No, it’s a good thing it did end like that.” She smiled again. “But I am still afraid of your being angry.”

“Yes, that’s really true,” Rakitin put in suddenly with genuine surprise. “Alyosha, she is really afraid of a chicken like you.”

“He is a chicken to you, Rakitin⁠ ⁠… because you’ve no conscience, that’s what it is! You see, I love him with all my soul, that’s how it is! Alyosha, do you believe I love you with all my soul?”

“Ah, you shameless woman! She is making you a declaration, Alexey!”

“Well, what of it, I love him!”

“And what about your officer? And the priceless message from Mokroe?”

“That is quite different.”

“That’s a woman’s way of looking at it!”

“Don’t you make me angry, Rakitin.” Grushenka caught him up hotly. “This is quite different. I love Alyosha in a different way. It’s true, Alyosha, I had sly designs on you before. For I am a horrid, violent creature. But at other times I’ve looked upon you, Alyosha, as my conscience. I’ve kept thinking ‘how anyone like that must despise a nasty thing like me.’ I thought that the day before yesterday, as I ran home from the young lady’s. I have thought of you a long time in that way, Alyosha, and Mitya knows, I’ve talked to him about it. Mitya understands. Would you believe it, I sometimes look at you and feel ashamed, utterly ashamed of myself.⁠ ⁠… And how, and since when, I began to think about you like that, I can’t say, I don’t remember.⁠ ⁠…”

Fenya came in and put a tray with an uncorked bottle and three glasses of champagne on the table.

“Here’s the champagne!” cried Rakitin. “You’re excited, Agrafena Alexandrovna, and not yourself. When you’ve had a glass of champagne, you’ll be ready to dance. Eh, they can’t even do that properly,” he added, looking at the bottle. “The old woman’s poured it out in the kitchen and the bottle’s been brought in warm and without a cork. Well, let me have some, anyway.”

He went up to the table, took a glass, emptied it at one gulp and poured himself out another.

“One doesn’t often stumble upon champagne,” he said, licking his lips. “Now, Alyosha, take a glass, show what you can do! What shall we drink to? The gates of paradise? Take a glass, Grushenka, you drink to the gates of paradise, too.”

“What gates of paradise?”

She took a glass, Alyosha took his, tasted it and put it back.

“No, I’d better not,” he smiled gently.

“And you bragged!” cried Rakitin.

“Well, if so, I won’t either,” chimed in Grushenka, “I really don’t want any. You can drink the whole bottle alone, Rakitin. If Alyosha has some, I will.”

“What touching sentimentality!” said Rakitin tauntingly; “and she’s sitting on his knee, too! He’s got something to grieve over, but what’s the matter with you? He is rebelling against his God and ready to eat sausage.⁠ ⁠…”

“How so?”

“His elder died today, Father Zossima, the saint.”

“So Father Zossima is dead,” cried Grushenka. “Good God, I did not know!” She crossed herself devoutly. “Goodness, what have I been doing, sitting on his knee like this at such a moment!” She started up as though in dismay, instantly slipped off his knee and sat down on the sofa.

Alyosha bent a long wondering look upon her and a light seemed to dawn in his face.

“Rakitin,” he said suddenly, in a firm and loud voice; “don’t taunt me with having rebelled against God. I don’t want to feel angry with you, so you must be kinder, too, I’ve lost a treasure such as you have never had, and you cannot judge me now. You had much better look at her⁠—do you see how she has pity on me? I came here to find a wicked soul⁠—I felt drawn to evil because I was base and evil myself, and I’ve found a true sister, I have found a treasure⁠—a loving heart. She had pity on me just now.⁠ ⁠… Agrafena Alexandrovna, I am speaking of you. You’ve raised my soul from the depths.”

Alyosha’s lips were quivering and he caught his breath.

“She has saved you, it seems,” laughed Rakitin spitefully. “And she meant to get you in her clutches, do you realize that?”

“Stay, Rakitin.” Grushenka jumped up. “Hush, both of you. Now I’ll tell you all about it. Hush, Alyosha, your words make me ashamed, for I am bad and not good⁠—that’s what I am. And you hush, Rakitin, because you are telling lies. I had the low idea of trying to get him in my clutches, but now you are lying, now it’s all different. And don’t let me hear anything more from you, Rakitin.”

All this Grushenka said with extreme emotion.

“They are both crazy,” said Rakitin, looking at them with amazement. “I feel as though I were in a madhouse. They’re both getting so feeble they’ll begin crying in a minute.”

“I shall begin to cry, I shall,” repeated Grushenka. “He called me his sister and I shall never forget that. Only let me tell you, Rakitin, though I am bad, I did give away an onion.”

“An onion? Hang it all, you really are crazy.”

Rakitin wondered at their enthusiasm. He was aggrieved and annoyed, though he might have reflected that each of them was just passing through a spiritual crisis such as does not come often in a lifetime. But though Rakitin was very sensitive about everything that concerned himself, he was very obtuse as regards the feelings and sensations of others⁠—partly from his youth and inexperience, partly from his intense egoism.

“You see, Alyosha,” Grushenka turned to him with a nervous laugh. “I was boasting when I told Rakitin I had given away an onion, but it’s not to boast I tell you about it. It’s only a story, but it’s a nice story. I used to hear it when I was a child from Matryona, my cook, who is still with me. It’s like this. Once upon a time there was a peasant woman and a very wicked woman she was. And she died and did not leave a single good deed behind. The devils caught her and plunged her into the lake of fire. So her guardian angel stood and wondered what good deed of hers he could remember to tell to God; ‘She once pulled up an onion in her garden,’ said he, ‘and gave it to a beggar woman.’ And God answered: ‘You take that onion then, hold it out to her in the lake, and let her take hold and be pulled out. And if you can pull her out of the lake, let her come to Paradise, but if the onion breaks, then the woman must stay where she is.’ The angel ran to the woman and held out the onion to her. ‘Come,’ said he, ‘catch hold and I’ll pull you out.’ And he began cautiously pulling her out. He had just pulled her right out, when the other sinners in the lake, seeing how she was being drawn out, began catching hold of her so as to be pulled out with her. But she was a very wicked woman and she began kicking them. ‘I’m to be pulled out, not you. It’s my onion, not yours.’ As soon as she said that, the onion broke. And the woman fell into the lake and she is burning there to this day. So the angel wept and went away. So that’s the story, Alyosha; I know it by heart, for I am that wicked woman myself. I boasted to Rakitin that I had given away an onion, but to you I’ll say: ‘I’ve done nothing but give away one onion all my life, that’s the only good deed I’ve done.’ So don’t praise me, Alyosha, don’t think me good, I am bad, I am a wicked woman and you make me ashamed if you praise me. Eh, I must confess everything. Listen, Alyosha. I was so anxious to get hold of you that I promised Rakitin twenty-five roubles if he would bring you to me. Stay, Rakitin, wait!”

She went with rapid steps to the table, opened a drawer, pulled out a purse and took from it a twenty-five rouble note.

“What nonsense! What nonsense!” cried Rakitin, disconcerted.

“Take it. Rakitin, I owe it you, there’s no fear of your refusing it, you asked for it yourself.” And she threw the note to him.

“Likely I should refuse it,” boomed Rakitin, obviously abashed, but carrying off his confusion with a swagger. “That will come in very handy; fools are made for wise men’s profit.”

“And now hold your tongue, Rakitin, what I am going to say now is not for your ears. Sit down in that corner and keep quiet. You don’t like us, so hold your tongue.”

“What should I like you for?” Rakitin snarled, not concealing his ill-humor. He put the twenty-five rouble note in his pocket and he felt ashamed at Alyosha’s seeing it. He had reckoned on receiving his payment later, without Alyosha’s knowing of it, and now, feeling ashamed, he lost his temper. Till that moment he had thought it discreet not to contradict Grushenka too flatly in spite of her snubbing, since he had something to get out of her. But now he, too, was angry:

“One loves people for some reason, but what have either of you done for me?”

“You should love people without a reason, as Alyosha does.”

“How does he love you? How has he shown it, that you make such a fuss about it?”

Grushenka was standing in the middle of the room; she spoke with heat and there were hysterical notes in her voice.

“Hush, Rakitin, you know nothing about us! And don’t dare to speak to me like that again. How dare you be so familiar! Sit in that corner and be quiet, as though you were my footman! And now, Alyosha, I’ll tell you the whole truth, that you may see what a wretch I am! I am not talking to Rakitin, but to you. I wanted to ruin you, Alyosha, that’s the holy truth; I quite meant to. I wanted to so much, that I bribed Rakitin to bring you. And why did I want to do such a thing? You knew nothing about it, Alyosha, you turned away from me; if you passed me, you dropped your eyes. And I’ve looked at you a hundred times before today; I began asking everyone about you. Your face haunted my heart. ‘He despises me,’ I thought; ‘he won’t even look at me.’ And I felt it so much at last that I wondered at myself for being so frightened of a boy. I’ll get him in my clutches and laugh at him. I was full of spite and anger. Would you believe it, nobody here dares talk or think of coming to Agrafena Alexandrovna with any evil purpose. Old Kuzma is the only man I have anything to do with here; I was bound and sold to him; Satan brought us together, but there has been no one else. But looking at you, I thought, I’ll get him in my clutches and laugh at him. You see what a spiteful cur I am, and you called me your sister! And now that man who wronged me has come; I sit here waiting for a message from him. And do you know what that man has been to me? Five years ago, when Kuzma brought me here, I used to shut myself up, that no one might have sight or sound of me. I was a silly slip of a girl; I used to sit here sobbing; I used to lie awake all night, thinking: ‘Where is he now, the man who wronged me? He is laughing at me with another woman, most likely. If only I could see him, if I could meet him again, I’d pay him out, I’d pay him out!’ At night I used to lie sobbing into my pillow in the dark, and I used to brood over it; I used to tear my heart on purpose and gloat over my anger. ‘I’ll pay him out, I’ll pay him out!’ That’s what I used to cry out in the dark. And when I suddenly thought that I should really do nothing to him, and that he was laughing at me then, or perhaps had utterly forgotten me, I would fling myself on the floor, melt into helpless tears, and lie there shaking till dawn. In the morning I would get up more spiteful than a dog, ready to tear the whole world to pieces. And then what do you think? I began saving money, I became hardhearted, grew stout⁠—grew wiser, would you say? No, no one in the whole world sees it, no one knows it, but when night comes on, I sometimes lie as I did five years ago, when I was a silly girl, clenching my teeth and crying all night, thinking, ‘I’ll pay him out, I’ll pay him out!’ Do you hear? Well then, now you understand me. A month ago a letter came to me⁠—he was coming, he was a widower, he wanted to see me. It took my breath away; then I suddenly thought: ‘If he comes and whistles to call me, I shall creep back to him like a beaten dog.’ I couldn’t believe myself. Am I so abject? Shall I run to him or not? And I’ve been in such a rage with myself all this month that I am worse than I was five years ago. Do you see now, Alyosha, what a violent, vindictive creature I am? I have shown you the whole truth! I played with Mitya to keep me from running to that other. Hush, Rakitin, it’s not for you to judge me, I am not speaking to you. Before you came in, I was lying here waiting, brooding, deciding my whole future life, and you can never know what was in my heart. Yes, Alyosha, tell your young lady not to be angry with me for what happened the day before yesterday.⁠ ⁠… Nobody in the whole world knows what I am going through now, and no one ever can know.⁠ ⁠… For perhaps I shall take a knife with me today, I can’t make up my mind⁠ ⁠…”

And at this “tragic” phrase Grushenka broke down, hid her face in her hands, flung herself on the sofa pillows, and sobbed like a little child.

Alyosha got up and went to Rakitin.

“Misha,” he said, “don’t be angry. She wounded you, but don’t be angry. You heard what she said just now? You mustn’t ask too much of human endurance, one must be merciful.”

Alyosha said this at the instinctive prompting of his heart. He felt obliged to speak and he turned to Rakitin. If Rakitin had not been there, he would have spoken to the air. But Rakitin looked at him ironically and Alyosha stopped short.

“You were so primed up with your elder’s teaching last night that now you have to let it off on me, Alexey, man of God!” said Rakitin, with a smile of hatred.

“Don’t laugh, Rakitin, don’t smile, don’t talk of the dead⁠—he was better than anyone in the world!” cried Alyosha, with tears in his voice. “I didn’t speak to you as a judge but as the lowest of the judged. What am I beside her? I came here seeking my ruin, and said to myself, ‘What does it matter?’ in my cowardliness, but she, after five years in torment, as soon as anyone says a word from the heart to her⁠—it makes her forget everything, forgive everything, in her tears! The man who has wronged her has come back, he sends for her and she forgives him everything, and hastens joyfully to meet him and she won’t take a knife with her. She won’t! No, I am not like that. I don’t know whether you are, Misha, but I am not like that. It’s a lesson to me.⁠ ⁠… She is more loving than we.⁠ ⁠… Have you heard her speak before of what she has just told us? No, you haven’t; if you had, you’d have understood her long ago⁠ ⁠… and the person insulted the day before yesterday must forgive her, too! She will, when she knows⁠ ⁠… and she shall know.⁠ ⁠… This soul is not yet at peace with itself, one must be tender with it⁠ ⁠… there may be a treasure in that soul.⁠ ⁠…”

Alyosha stopped, because he caught his breath. In spite of his ill-humor Rakitin looked at him with astonishment. He had never expected such a tirade from the gentle Alyosha.

“She’s found someone to plead her cause! Why, are you in love with her? Agrafena Alexandrovna, our monk’s really in love with you, you’ve made a conquest!” he cried, with a coarse laugh.

Grushenka lifted her head from the pillow and looked at Alyosha with a tender smile shining on her tear-stained face.

“Let him alone, Alyosha, my cherub; you see what he is, he is not a person for you to speak to. Mihail Osipovitch,” she turned to Rakitin, “I meant to beg your pardon for being rude to you, but now I don’t want to. Alyosha, come to me, sit down here.” She beckoned to him with a happy smile. “That’s right, sit here. Tell me,” she shook him by the hand and peeped into his face, smiling, “tell me, do I love that man or not? the man who wronged me, do I love him or not? Before you came, I lay here in the dark, asking my heart whether I loved him. Decide for me, Alyosha, the time has come, it shall be as you say. Am I to forgive him or not?”

“But you have forgiven him already,” said Alyosha, smiling.

“Yes, I really have forgiven him,” Grushenka murmured thoughtfully. “What an abject heart! To my abject heart!” She snatched up a glass from the table, emptied it at a gulp, lifted it in the air and flung it on the floor. The glass broke with a crash. A little cruel line came into her smile.

“Perhaps I haven’t forgiven him, though,” she said, with a sort of menace in her voice, and she dropped her eyes to the ground as though she were talking to herself. “Perhaps my heart is only getting ready to forgive. I shall struggle with my heart. You see, Alyosha, I’ve grown to love my tears in these five years.⁠ ⁠… Perhaps I only love my resentment, not him⁠ ⁠…”

“Well, I shouldn’t care to be in his shoes,” hissed Rakitin.

“Well, you won’t be, Rakitin, you’ll never be in his shoes. You shall black my shoes, Rakitin, that’s the place you are fit for. You’ll never get a woman like me⁠ ⁠… and he won’t either, perhaps⁠ ⁠…”

“Won’t he? Then why are you dressed up like that?” said Rakitin, with a venomous sneer.

“Don’t taunt me with dressing up, Rakitin, you don’t know all that is in my heart! If I choose to tear off my finery, I’ll tear it off at once, this minute,” she cried in a resonant voice. “You don’t know what that finery is for, Rakitin! Perhaps I shall see him and say: ‘Have you ever seen me look like this before?’ He left me a thin, consumptive crybaby of seventeen. I’ll sit by him, fascinate him and work him up. ‘Do you see what I am like now?’ I’ll say to him; ‘well, and that’s enough for you, my dear sir, there’s many a slip twixt the cup and the lip!’ That may be what the finery is for, Rakitin.” Grushenka finished with a malicious laugh. “I’m violent and resentful, Alyosha, I’ll tear off my finery, I’ll destroy my beauty, I’ll scorch my face, slash it with a knife, and turn beggar. If I choose, I won’t go anywhere now to see anyone. If I choose, I’ll send Kuzma back all he has ever given me, tomorrow, and all his money and I’ll go out charing for the rest of my life. You think I wouldn’t do it, Rakitin, that I would not dare to do it? I would, I would, I could do it directly, only don’t exasperate me⁠ ⁠… and I’ll send him about his business, I’ll snap my fingers in his face, he shall never see me again!”

She uttered the last words in an hysterical scream, but broke down again, hid her face in her hands, buried it in the pillow and shook with sobs.

Rakitin got up.

“It’s time we were off,” he said, “it’s late, we shall be shut out of the monastery.”

Grushenka leapt up from her place.

“Surely you don’t want to go, Alyosha!” she cried, in mournful surprise. “What are you doing to me? You’ve stirred up my feeling, tortured me, and now you’ll leave me to face this night alone!”

“He can hardly spend the night with you! Though if he wants to, let him! I’ll go alone,” Rakitin scoffed jeeringly.

“Hush, evil tongue!” Grushenka cried angrily at him; “you never said such words to me as he has come to say.”

“What has he said to you so special?” asked Rakitin irritably.

“I can’t say, I don’t know. I don’t know what he said to me, it went straight to my heart; he has wrung my heart.⁠ ⁠… He is the first, the only one who has pitied me, that’s what it is. Why did you not come before, you angel?” She fell on her knees before him as though in a sudden frenzy. “I’ve been waiting all my life for someone like you, I knew that someone like you would come and forgive me. I believed that, nasty as I am, someone would really love me, not only with a shameful love!”

“What have I done to you?” answered Alyosha, bending over her with a tender smile, and gently taking her by the hands; “I only gave you an onion, nothing but a tiny little onion, that was all!”

He was moved to tears himself as he said it. At that moment there was a sudden noise in the passage, someone came into the hall. Grushenka jumped up, seeming greatly alarmed. Fenya ran noisily into the room, crying out:

“Mistress, mistress darling, a messenger has galloped up,” she cried, breathless and joyful. “A carriage from Mokroe for you, Timofey the driver, with three horses, they are just putting in fresh horses.⁠ ⁠… A letter, here’s the letter, mistress.”

A letter was in her hand and she waved it in the air all the while she talked. Grushenka snatched the letter from her and carried it to the candle. It was only a note, a few lines. She read it in one instant.

“He has sent for me,” she cried, her face white and distorted, with a wan smile; “he whistles! Crawl back, little dog!”

But only for one instant she stood as though hesitating; suddenly the blood rushed to her head and sent a glow to her cheeks.

“I will go,” she cried; “five years of my life! Goodbye! Goodbye, Alyosha, my fate is sealed. Go, go, leave me all of you, don’t let me see you again! Grushenka is flying to a new life.⁠ ⁠… Don’t you remember evil against me either, Rakitin. I may be going to my death! Ugh! I feel as though I were drunk!”

She suddenly left them and ran into her bedroom.

“Well, she has no thoughts for us now!” grumbled Rakitin. “Let’s go, or we may hear that feminine shriek again. I am sick of all these tears and cries.”

Alyosha mechanically let himself be led out. In the yard stood a covered cart. Horses were being taken out of the shafts, men were running to and fro with a lantern. Three fresh horses were being led in at the open gate. But when Alyosha and Rakitin reached the bottom of the steps, Grushenka’s bedroom window was suddenly opened and she called in a ringing voice after Alyosha:

“Alyosha, give my greetings to your brother Mitya and tell him not to remember evil against me, though I have brought him misery. And tell him, too, in my words: ‘Grushenka has fallen to a scoundrel, and not to you, noble heart.’ And add, too, that Grushenka loved him only one hour, only one short hour she loved him⁠—so let him remember that hour all his life⁠—say, ‘Grushenka tells you to!’ ”

She ended in a voice full of sobs. The window was shut with a slam.

“H’m, h’m!” growled Rakitin, laughing, “she murders your brother Mitya and then tells him to remember it all his life! What ferocity!”

Alyosha made no reply, he seemed not to have heard. He walked fast beside Rakitin as though in a terrible hurry. He was lost in thought and moved mechanically. Rakitin felt a sudden twinge as though he had been touched on an open wound. He had expected something quite different by bringing Grushenka and Alyosha together. Something very different from what he had hoped for had happened.

“He is a Pole, that officer of hers,” he began again, restraining himself; “and indeed he is not an officer at all now. He served in the customs in Siberia, somewhere on the Chinese frontier, some puny little beggar of a Pole, I expect. Lost his job, they say. He’s heard now that Grushenka’s saved a little money, so he’s turned up again⁠—that’s the explanation of the mystery.”

Again Alyosha seemed not to hear. Rakitin could not control himself.

“Well, so you’ve saved the sinner?” he laughed spitefully. “Have you turned the Magdalene into the true path? Driven out the seven devils, eh? So you see the miracles you were looking out for just now have come to pass!”

“Hush, Rakitin,” Alyosha answered with an aching heart.

“So you despise me now for those twenty-five roubles? I’ve sold my friend, you think. But you are not Christ, you know, and I am not Judas.”

“Oh, Rakitin, I assure you I’d forgotten about it,” cried Alyosha, “you remind me of it yourself.⁠ ⁠…”

But this was the last straw for Rakitin.

“Damnation take you all and each of you!” he cried suddenly, “why the devil did I take you up? I don’t want to know you from this time forward. Go alone, there’s your road!”

And he turned abruptly into another street, leaving Alyosha alone in the dark. Alyosha came out of the town and walked across the fields to the monastery.


Cana of Galilee
It was very late, according to the monastery ideas, when Alyosha returned to the hermitage; the doorkeeper let him in by a special entrance. It had struck nine o’clock⁠—the hour of rest and repose after a day of such agitation for all. Alyosha timidly opened the door and went into the elder’s cell where his coffin was now standing. There was no one in the cell but Father Païssy, reading the Gospel in solitude over the coffin, and the young novice Porfiry, who, exhausted by the previous night’s conversation and the disturbing incidents of the day, was sleeping the deep sound sleep of youth on the floor of the other room. Though Father Païssy heard Alyosha come in, he did not even look in his direction. Alyosha turned to the right from the door to the corner, fell on his knees and began to pray.

His soul was overflowing but with mingled feelings; no single sensation stood out distinctly; on the contrary, one drove out another in a slow, continual rotation. But there was a sweetness in his heart and, strange to say, Alyosha was not surprised at it. Again he saw that coffin before him, the hidden dead figure so precious to him, but the weeping and poignant grief of the morning was no longer aching in his soul. As soon as he came in, he fell down before the coffin as before a holy shrine, but joy, joy was glowing in his mind and in his heart. The one window of the cell was open, the air was fresh and cool. “So the smell must have become stronger, if they opened the window,” thought Alyosha. But even this thought of the smell of corruption, which had seemed to him so awful and humiliating a few hours before, no longer made him feel miserable or indignant. He began quietly praying, but he soon felt that he was praying almost mechanically. Fragments of thought floated through his soul, flashed like stars and went out again at once, to be succeeded by others. But yet there was reigning in his soul a sense of the wholeness of things⁠—something steadfast and comforting⁠—and he was aware of it himself. Sometimes he began praying ardently, he longed to pour out his thankfulness and love.⁠ ⁠…

But when he had begun to pray, he passed suddenly to something else, and sank into thought, forgetting both the prayer and what had interrupted it. He began listening to what Father Païssy was reading, but worn out with exhaustion he gradually began to doze.

“And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee;” read Father Païssy. “And the mother of Jesus was there; And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage.”

“Marriage? What’s that?⁠ ⁠… A marriage!” floated whirling through Alyosha’s mind. “There is happiness for her, too.⁠ ⁠… She has gone to the feast.⁠ ⁠… No, she has not taken the knife.⁠ ⁠… That was only a tragic phrase.⁠ ⁠… Well⁠ ⁠… tragic phrases should be forgiven, they must be. Tragic phrases comfort the heart.⁠ ⁠… Without them, sorrow would be too heavy for men to bear. Rakitin has gone off to the back alley. As long as Rakitin broods over his wrongs, he will always go off to the back alley.⁠ ⁠… But the high road⁠ ⁠… The road is wide and straight and bright as crystal, and the sun is at the end of it.⁠ ⁠… Ah!⁠ ⁠… What’s being read?”⁠ ⁠…

“And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine”⁠ ⁠… Alyosha heard.

“Ah, yes, I was missing that, and I didn’t want to miss it, I love that passage: it’s Cana of Galilee, the first miracle.⁠ ⁠… Ah, that miracle! Ah, that sweet miracle! It was not men’s grief, but their joy Christ visited, He worked His first miracle to help men’s gladness.⁠ ⁠… ‘He who loves men loves their gladness, too’⁠ ⁠… He was always repeating that, it was one of his leading ideas.⁠ ⁠… ‘There’s no living without joy,’ Mitya says.⁠ ⁠… Yes, Mitya.⁠ ⁠… ‘Everything that is true and good is always full of forgiveness,’ he used to say that, too”⁠ ⁠…

“Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what has it to do with thee or me? Mine hour is not yet come.”

“His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it”⁠ ⁠…

“Do it.⁠ ⁠… Gladness, the gladness of some poor, very poor, people.⁠ ⁠… Of course they were poor, since they hadn’t wine enough even at a wedding.⁠ ⁠… The historians write that, in those days, the people living about the Lake of Gennesaret were the poorest that can possibly be imagined⁠ ⁠… and another great heart, that other great being, His Mother, knew that He had come not only to make His great terrible sacrifice. She knew that His heart was open even to the simple, artless merrymaking of some obscure and unlearned people, who had warmly bidden Him to their poor wedding. ‘Mine hour is not yet come,’ He said, with a soft smile (He must have smiled gently to her). And, indeed, was it to make wine abundant at poor weddings He had come down to earth? And yet He went and did as she asked Him.⁠ ⁠… Ah, he is reading again.⁠ ⁠…”

“Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim.

“And he saith unto them, Draw out now and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it.

“When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was; (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom,

“And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, that which is worse; but thou hast kept the good wine until now.”

“But what’s this, what’s this? Why is the room growing wider?⁠ ⁠… Ah, yes⁠ ⁠… It’s the marriage, the wedding⁠ ⁠… yes, of course. Here are the guests, here are the young couple sitting, and the merry crowd and⁠ ⁠… Where is the wise governor of the feast? But who is this? Who? Again the walls are receding.⁠ ⁠… Who is getting up there from the great table? What!⁠ ⁠… He here, too? But he’s in the coffin⁠ ⁠… but he’s here, too. He has stood up, he sees me, he is coming here.⁠ ⁠… God!”⁠ ⁠…

Yes, he came up to him, to him, he, the little, thin old man, with tiny wrinkles on his face, joyful and laughing softly. There was no coffin now, and he was in the same dress as he had worn yesterday sitting with them, when the visitors had gathered about him. His face was uncovered, his eyes were shining. How was this, then? He, too, had been called to the feast. He, too, at the marriage of Cana in Galilee.⁠ ⁠…

“Yes, my dear, I am called, too, called and bidden,” he heard a soft voice saying over him. “Why have you hidden yourself here, out of sight? You come and join us too.”

It was his voice, the voice of Father Zossima. And it must be he, since he called him!

The elder raised Alyosha by the hand and he rose from his knees.

“We are rejoicing,” the little, thin old man went on. “We are drinking the new wine, the wine of new, great gladness; do you see how many guests? Here are the bride and bridegroom, here is the wise governor of the feast, he is tasting the new wine. Why do you wonder at me? I gave an onion to a beggar, so I, too, am here. And many here have given only an onion each⁠—only one little onion.⁠ ⁠… What are all our deeds? And you, my gentle one, you, my kind boy, you too have known how to give a famished woman an onion today. Begin your work, dear one, begin it, gentle one!⁠ ⁠… Do you see our Sun, do you see Him?”

“I am afraid⁠ ⁠… I dare not look,” whispered Alyosha.

“Do not fear Him. He is terrible in His greatness, awful in His sublimity, but infinitely merciful. He has made Himself like unto us from love and rejoices with us. He is changing the water into wine that the gladness of the guests may not be cut short. He is expecting new guests, He is calling new ones unceasingly forever and ever.⁠ ⁠… There they are bringing new wine. Do you see they are bringing the vessels.⁠ ⁠…”

Something glowed in Alyosha’s heart, something filled it till it ached, tears of rapture rose from his soul.⁠ ⁠… He stretched out his hands, uttered a cry and waked up.

Again the coffin, the open window, and the soft, solemn, distinct reading of the Gospel. But Alyosha did not listen to the reading. It was strange, he had fallen asleep on his knees, but now he was on his feet, and suddenly, as though thrown forward, with three firm rapid steps he went right up to the coffin. His shoulder brushed against Father Païssy without his noticing it. Father Païssy raised his eyes for an instant from his book, but looked away again at once, seeing that something strange was happening to the boy. Alyosha gazed for half a minute at the coffin, at the covered, motionless dead man that lay in the coffin, with the icon on his breast and the peaked cap with the octangular cross, on his head. He had only just been hearing his voice, and that voice was still ringing in his ears. He was listening, still expecting other words, but suddenly he turned sharply and went out of the cell.

He did not stop on the steps either, but went quickly down; his soul, overflowing with rapture, yearned for freedom, space, openness. The vault of heaven, full of soft, shining stars, stretched vast and fathomless above him. The Milky Way ran in two pale streams from the zenith to the horizon. The fresh, motionless, still night enfolded the earth. The white towers and golden domes of the cathedral gleamed out against the sapphire sky. The gorgeous autumn flowers, in the beds round the house, were slumbering till morning. The silence of earth seemed to melt into the silence of the heavens. The mystery of earth was one with the mystery of the stars.⁠ ⁠…

Alyosha stood, gazed, and suddenly threw himself down on the earth. He did not know why he embraced it. He could not have told why he longed so irresistibly to kiss it, to kiss it all. But he kissed it weeping, sobbing and watering it with his tears, and vowed passionately to love it, to love it forever and ever. “Water the earth with the tears of your joy and love those tears,” echoed in his soul.

What was he weeping over?

Oh! in his rapture he was weeping even over those stars, which were shining to him from the abyss of space, and “he was not ashamed of that ecstasy.” There seemed to be threads from all those innumerable worlds of God, linking his soul to them, and it was trembling all over “in contact with other worlds.” He longed to forgive everyone and for everything, and to beg forgiveness. Oh, not for himself, but for all men, for all and for everything. “And others are praying for me too,” echoed again in his soul. But with every instant he felt clearly and, as it were, tangibly, that something firm and unshakable as that vault of heaven had entered into his soul. It was as though some idea had seized the sovereignty of his mind⁠—and it was for all his life and forever and ever. He had fallen on the earth a weak boy, but he rose up a resolute champion, and he knew and felt it suddenly at the very moment of his ecstasy. And never, never, all his life long, could Alyosha forget that minute.

“Someone visited my soul in that hour,” he used to say afterwards, with implicit faith in his words.

Within three days he left the monastery in accordance with the words of his elder, who had bidden him “sojourn in the world.”




Kuzma Samsonov
But Dmitri, to whom Grushenka, flying away to a new life, had left her last greetings, bidding him remember the hour of her love forever, knew nothing of what had happened to her, and was at that moment in a condition of feverish agitation and activity. For the last two days he had been in such an inconceivable state of mind that he might easily have fallen ill with brain fever, as he said himself afterwards. Alyosha had not been able to find him the morning before, and Ivan had not succeeded in meeting him at the tavern on the same day. The people at his lodgings, by his orders, concealed his movements.

He had spent those two days literally rushing in all directions, “struggling with his destiny and trying to save himself,” as he expressed it himself afterwards, and for some hours he even made a dash out of the town on urgent business, terrible as it was to him to lose sight of Grushenka for a moment. All this was explained afterwards in detail, and confirmed by documentary evidence; but for the present we will only note the most essential incidents of those two terrible days immediately preceding the awful catastrophe, that broke so suddenly upon him.

Though Grushenka had, it is true, loved him for an hour, genuinely and sincerely, yet she tortured him sometimes cruelly and mercilessly. The worst of it was that he could never tell what she meant to do. To prevail upon her by force or kindness was also impossible: she would yield to nothing. She would only have become angry and turned away from him altogether, he knew that well already. He suspected, quite correctly, that she, too, was passing through an inward struggle, and was in a state of extraordinary indecision, that she was making up her mind to something, and unable to determine upon it. And so, not without good reason, he divined, with a sinking heart, that at moments she must simply hate him and his passion. And so, perhaps, it was, but what was distressing Grushenka he did not understand. For him the whole tormenting question lay between him and Fyodor Pavlovitch.

Here, we must note, by the way, one certain fact: he was firmly persuaded that Fyodor Pavlovitch would offer, or perhaps had offered, Grushenka lawful wedlock, and did not for a moment believe that the old voluptuary hoped to gain his object for three thousand roubles. Mitya had reached this conclusion from his knowledge of Grushenka and her character. That was how it was that he could believe at times that all Grushenka’s uneasiness rose from not knowing which of them to choose, which was most to her advantage.

Strange to say, during those days it never occurred to him to think of the approaching return of the “officer,” that is, of the man who had been such a fatal influence in Grushenka’s life, and whose arrival she was expecting with such emotion and dread. It is true that of late Grushenka had been very silent about it. Yet he was perfectly aware of a letter she had received a month ago from her seducer, and had heard of it from her own lips. He partly knew, too, what the letter contained. In a moment of spite Grushenka had shown him that letter, but to her astonishment he attached hardly any consequence to it. It would be hard to say why this was. Perhaps, weighed down by all the hideous horror of his struggle with his own father for this woman, he was incapable of imagining any danger more terrible, at any rate for the time. He simply did not believe in a suitor who suddenly turned up again after five years’ disappearance, still less in his speedy arrival. Moreover, in the “officer’s” first letter which had been shown to Mitya, the possibility of his new rival’s visit was very vaguely suggested. The letter was very indefinite, high-flown, and full of sentimentality. It must be noted that Grushenka had concealed from him the last lines of the letter, in which his return was alluded to more definitely. He had, besides, noticed at that moment, he remembered afterwards, a certain involuntary proud contempt for this missive from Siberia on Grushenka’s face. Grushenka told him nothing of what had passed later between her and this rival; so that by degrees he had completely forgotten the officer’s existence.

He felt that whatever might come later, whatever turn things might take, his final conflict with Fyodor Pavlovitch was close upon him, and must be decided before anything else. With a sinking heart he was expecting every moment Grushenka’s decision, always believing that it would come suddenly, on the impulse of the moment. All of a sudden she would say to him: “Take me, I’m yours forever,” and it would all be over. He would seize her and bear her away at once to the ends of the earth. Oh, then he would bear her away at once, as far, far away as possible; to the farthest end of Russia, if not of the earth, then he would marry her, and settle down with her incognito, so that no one would know anything about them, there, here, or anywhere. Then, oh, then, a new life would begin at once!

Of this different, reformed and “virtuous” life (“it must, it must be virtuous”) he dreamed feverishly at every moment. He thirsted for that reformation and renewal. The filthy morass, in which he had sunk of his own free will, was too revolting to him, and, like very many men in such cases, he put faith above all in change of place. If only it were not for these people, if only it were not for these circumstances, if only he could fly away from this accursed place⁠—he would be altogether regenerated, would enter on a new path. That was what he believed in, and what he was yearning for.

But all this could only be on condition of the first, the happy solution of the question. There was another possibility, a different and awful ending. Suddenly she might say to him: “Go away. I have just come to terms with Fyodor Pavlovitch. I am going to marry him and don’t want you”⁠—and then⁠ ⁠… but then.⁠ ⁠… But Mitya did not know what would happen then. Up to the last hour he didn’t know. That must be said to his credit. He had no definite intentions, had planned no crime. He was simply watching and spying in agony, while he prepared himself for the first, happy solution of his destiny. He drove away any other idea, in fact. But for that ending a quite different anxiety arose, a new, incidental, but yet fatal and insoluble difficulty presented itself.

If she were to say to him: “I’m yours; take me away,” how could he take her away? Where had he the means, the money to do it? It was just at this time that all sources of revenue from Fyodor Pavlovitch, doles which had gone on without interruption for so many years, ceased. Grushenka had money, of course, but with regard to this Mitya suddenly evinced extraordinary pride; he wanted to carry her away and begin the new life with her himself, at his own expense, not at hers. He could not conceive of taking her money, and the very idea caused him a pang of intense repulsion. I won’t enlarge on this fact or analyze it here, but confine myself to remarking that this was his attitude at the moment. All this may have arisen indirectly and unconsciously from the secret stings of his conscience for the money of Katerina Ivanovna that he had dishonestly appropriated. “I’ve been a scoundrel to one of them, and I shall be a scoundrel again to the other directly,” was his feeling then, as he explained after: “and when Grushenka knows, she won’t care for such a scoundrel.”

Where then was he to get the means, where was he to get the fateful money? Without it, all would be lost and nothing could be done, “and only because I hadn’t the money. Oh, the shame of it!”

To anticipate things: he did, perhaps, know where to get the money, knew, perhaps, where it lay at that moment. I will say no more of this here, as it will all be clear later. But his chief trouble, I must explain however obscurely, lay in the fact that to have that sum he knew of, to have the right to take it, he must first restore Katerina Ivanovna’s three thousand⁠—if not, “I’m a common pickpocket, I’m a scoundrel, and I don’t want to begin a new life as a scoundrel,” Mitya decided. And so he made up his mind to move heaven and earth to return Katerina Ivanovna that three thousand, and that first of all. The final stage of this decision, so to say, had been reached only during the last hours, that is, after his last interview with Alyosha, two days before, on the highroad, on the evening when Grushenka had insulted Katerina Ivanovna, and Mitya, after hearing Alyosha’s account of it, had admitted that he was a scoundrel, and told him to tell Katerina Ivanovna so, if it could be any comfort to her. After parting from his brother on that night, he had felt in his frenzy that it would be better “to murder and rob someone than fail to pay my debt to Katya. I’d rather everyone thought me a robber and a murderer, I’d rather go to Siberia than that Katya should have the right to say that I deceived her and stole her money, and used her money to run away with Grushenka and begin a new life! That I can’t do!” So Mitya decided, grinding his teeth, and he might well fancy at times that his brain would give way. But meanwhile he went on struggling.⁠ ⁠…

Strange to say, though one would have supposed there was nothing left for him but despair⁠—for what chance had he, with nothing in the world, to raise such a sum?⁠—yet to the very end he persisted in hoping that he would get that three thousand, that the money would somehow come to him of itself, as though it might drop from heaven. That is just how it is with people who, like Dmitri, have never had anything to do with money, except to squander what has come to them by inheritance without any effort of their own, and have no notion how money is obtained. A whirl of the most fantastic notions took possession of his brain immediately after he had parted with Alyosha two days before, and threw his thoughts into a tangle of confusion. This is how it was he pitched first on a perfectly wild enterprise. And perhaps to men of that kind in such circumstances the most impossible, fantastic schemes occur first, and seem most practical.

He suddenly determined to go to Samsonov, the merchant who was Grushenka’s protector, and to propose a “scheme” to him, and by means of it to obtain from him at once the whole of the sum required. Of the commercial value of his scheme he had no doubt, not the slightest, and was only uncertain how Samsonov would look upon his freak, supposing he were to consider it from any but the commercial point of view. Though Mitya knew the merchant by sight, he was not acquainted with him and had never spoken a word to him. But for some unknown reason he had long entertained the conviction that the old reprobate, who was lying at death’s door, would perhaps not at all object now to Grushenka’s securing a respectable position, and marrying a man “to be depended upon.” And he believed not only that he would not object, but that this was what he desired, and, if opportunity arose, that he would be ready to help. From some rumor, or perhaps from some stray word of Grushenka’s, he had gathered further that the old man would perhaps prefer him to Fyodor Pavlovitch for Grushenka.

Possibly many of the readers of my novel will feel that in reckoning on such assistance, and being ready to take his bride, so to speak, from the hands of her protector, Dmitri showed great coarseness and want of delicacy. I will only observe that Mitya looked upon Grushenka’s past as something completely over. He looked on that past with infinite pity and resolved with all the fervor of his passion that when once Grushenka told him she loved him and would marry him, it would mean the beginning of a new Grushenka and a new Dmitri, free from every vice. They would forgive one another and would begin their lives afresh. As for Kuzma Samsonov, Dmitri looked upon him as a man who had exercised a fateful influence in that remote past of Grushenka’s, though she had never loved him, and who was now himself a thing of the past, completely done with, and, so to say, nonexistent. Besides, Mitya hardly looked upon him as a man at all, for it was known to everyone in the town that he was only a shattered wreck, whose relations with Grushenka had changed their character and were now simply paternal, and that this had been so for a long time.

In any case there was much simplicity on Mitya’s part in all this, for in spite of all his vices, he was a very simple-hearted man. It was an instance of this simplicity that Mitya was seriously persuaded that, being on the eve of his departure for the next world, old Kuzma must sincerely repent of his past relations with Grushenka, and that she had no more devoted friend and protector in the world than this, now harmless old man.

After his conversation with Alyosha, at the crossroads, he hardly slept all night, and at ten o’clock next morning, he was at the house of Samsonov and telling the servant to announce him. It was a very large and gloomy old house of two stories, with a lodge and outhouses. In the lower story lived Samsonov’s two married sons with their families, his old sister, and his unmarried daughter. In the lodge lived two of his clerks, one of whom also had a large family. Both the lodge and the lower story were overcrowded, but the old man kept the upper floor to himself, and would not even let the daughter live there with him, though she waited upon him, and in spite of her asthma was obliged at certain fixed hours, and at any time he might call her, to run upstairs to him from below.

This upper floor contained a number of large rooms kept purely for show, furnished in the old-fashioned merchant style, with long monotonous rows of clumsy mahogany chairs along the walls, with glass chandeliers under shades, and gloomy mirrors on the walls. All these rooms were entirely empty and unused, for the old man kept to one room, a small, remote bedroom, where he was waited upon by an old servant with a kerchief on her head, and by a lad, who used to sit on the locker in the passage. Owing to his swollen legs, the old man could hardly walk at all, and was only rarely lifted from his leather armchair, when the old woman supporting him led him up and down the room once or twice. He was morose and taciturn even with this old woman.

When he was informed of the arrival of the “captain,” he at once refused to see him. But Mitya persisted and sent his name up again. Samsonov questioned the lad minutely: What he looked like? Whether he was drunk? Was he going to make a row? The answer he received was: that he was sober, but wouldn’t go away. The old man again refused to see him. Then Mitya, who had foreseen this, and purposely brought pencil and paper with him, wrote clearly on the piece of paper the words: “On most important business closely concerning Agrafena Alexandrovna,” and sent it up to the old man.

After thinking a little Samsonov told the lad to take the visitor to the drawing-room, and sent the old woman downstairs with a summons to his younger son to come upstairs to him at once. This younger son, a man over six foot and of exceptional physical strength, who was closely-shaven and dressed in the European style, though his father still wore a kaftan and a beard, came at once without a comment. All the family trembled before the father. The old man had sent for this giant, not because he was afraid of the “captain” (he was by no means of a timorous temper), but in order to have a witness in case of any emergency. Supported by his son and the servant-lad, he waddled at last into the drawing-room. It may be assumed that he felt considerable curiosity. The drawing-room in which Mitya was awaiting him was a vast, dreary room that laid a weight of depression on the heart. It had a double row of windows, a gallery, marbled walls, and three immense chandeliers with glass lusters covered with shades.

Mitya was sitting on a little chair at the entrance, awaiting his fate with nervous impatience. When the old man appeared at the opposite door, seventy feet away, Mitya jumped up at once, and with his long, military stride walked to meet him. Mitya was well dressed, in a frock-coat, buttoned up, with a round hat and black gloves in his hands, just as he had been three days before at the elder’s, at the family meeting with his father and brothers. The old man waited for him, standing dignified and unbending, and Mitya felt at once that he had looked him through and through as he advanced. Mitya was greatly impressed, too, with Samsonov’s immensely swollen face. His lower lip, which had always been thick, hung down now, looking like a bun. He bowed to his guest in dignified silence, motioned him to a low chair by the sofa, and, leaning on his son’s arm he began lowering himself on to the sofa opposite, groaning painfully, so that Mitya, seeing his painful exertions, immediately felt remorseful and sensitively conscious of his insignificance in the presence of the dignified person he had ventured to disturb.

“What is it you want of me, sir?” said the old man, deliberately, distinctly, severely, but courteously, when he was at last seated.

Mitya started, leapt up, but sat down again. Then he began at once speaking with loud, nervous haste, gesticulating, and in a positive frenzy. He was unmistakably a man driven into a corner, on the brink of ruin, catching at the last straw, ready to sink if he failed. Old Samsonov probably grasped all this in an instant, though his face remained cold and immovable as a statue’s.

“Most honored sir, Kuzma Kuzmitch, you have no doubt heard more than once of my disputes with my father, Fyodor Pavlovitch Karamazov, who robbed me of my inheritance from my mother⁠ ⁠… seeing the whole town is gossiping about it⁠ ⁠… for here everyone’s gossiping of what they shouldn’t⁠ ⁠… and besides, it might have reached you through Grushenka⁠ ⁠… I beg your pardon, through Agrafena Alexandrovna⁠ ⁠… Agrafena Alexandrovna, the lady for whom I have the highest respect and esteem⁠ ⁠…”

So Mitya began, and broke down at the first sentence. We will not reproduce his speech word for word, but will only summarize the gist of it. Three months ago, he said, he had of express intention (Mitya purposely used these words instead of “intentionally”) consulted a lawyer in the chief town of the province, “a distinguished lawyer, Kuzma Kuzmitch, Pavel Pavlovitch Korneplodov. You have perhaps heard of him? A man of vast intellect, the mind of a statesman⁠ ⁠… he knows you, too⁠ ⁠… spoke of you in the highest terms⁠ ⁠…” Mitya broke down again. But these breaks did not deter him. He leapt instantly over the gaps, and struggled on and on.

This Korneplodov, after questioning him minutely, and inspecting the documents he was able to bring him (Mitya alluded somewhat vaguely to these documents, and slurred over the subject with special haste), reported that they certainly might take proceedings concerning the village of Tchermashnya, which ought, he said, to have come to him, Mitya, from his mother, and so checkmate the old villain, his father⁠ ⁠… “because every door was not closed and justice might still find a loophole.” In fact, he might reckon on an additional sum of six or even seven thousand roubles from Fyodor Pavlovitch, as Tchermashnya was worth, at least, twenty-five thousand, he might say twenty-eight thousand, in fact, “thirty, thirty, Kuzma Kuzmitch, and would you believe it, I didn’t get seventeen from that heartless man!” So he, Mitya, had thrown the business up, for the time, knowing nothing about the law, but on coming here was struck dumb by a cross-claim made upon him (here Mitya went adrift again and again took a flying leap forward), “so will not you, excellent and honored Kuzma Kuzmitch, be willing to take up all my claims against that unnatural monster, and pay me a sum down of only three thousand?⁠ ⁠… You see, you cannot, in any case, lose over it. On my honor, my honor, I swear that. Quite the contrary, you may make six or seven thousand instead of three.” Above all, he wanted this concluded that very day.

“I’ll do the business with you at a notary’s, or whatever it is⁠ ⁠… in fact, I’m ready to do anything.⁠ ⁠… I’ll hand over all the deeds⁠ ⁠… whatever you want, sign anything⁠ ⁠… and we could draw up the agreement at once⁠ ⁠… and if it were possible, if it were only possible, that very morning.⁠ ⁠… You could pay me that three thousand, for there isn’t a capitalist in this town to compare with you, and so would save me from⁠ ⁠… would save me, in fact⁠ ⁠… for a good, I might say an honorable action.⁠ ⁠… For I cherish the most honorable feelings for a certain person, whom you know well, and care for as a father. I would not have come, indeed, if it had not been as a father. And, indeed, it’s a struggle of three in this business, for it’s fate⁠—that’s a fearful thing, Kuzma Kuzmitch! A tragedy, Kuzma Kuzmitch, a tragedy! And as you’ve dropped out long ago, it’s a tug-of-war between two. I’m expressing it awkwardly, perhaps, but I’m not a literary man. You see, I’m on the one side, and that monster on the other. So you must choose. It’s either I or the monster. It all lies in your hands⁠—the fate of three lives, and the happiness of two.⁠ ⁠… Excuse me, I’m making a mess of it, but you understand⁠ ⁠… I see from your venerable eyes that you understand⁠ ⁠… and if you don’t understand, I’m done for⁠ ⁠… so you see!”

Mitya broke off his clumsy speech with that, “so you see!” and jumping up from his seat, awaited the answer to his foolish proposal. At the last phrase he had suddenly become hopelessly aware that it had all fallen flat, above all, that he had been talking utter nonsense.

“How strange it is! On the way here it seemed all right, and now it’s nothing but nonsense.” The idea suddenly dawned on his despairing mind. All the while he had been talking, the old man sat motionless, watching him with an icy expression in his eyes. After keeping him for a moment in suspense, Kuzma Kuzmitch pronounced at last in the most positive and chilling tone:

“Excuse me, we don’t undertake such business.”

Mitya suddenly felt his legs growing weak under him.

“What am I to do now, Kuzma Kuzmitch?” he muttered, with a pale smile. “I suppose it’s all up with me⁠—what do you think?”

“Excuse me.⁠ ⁠…”

Mitya remained standing, staring motionless. He suddenly noticed a movement in the old man’s face. He started.

“You see, sir, business of that sort’s not in our line,” said the old man slowly. “There’s the court, and the lawyers⁠—it’s a perfect misery. But if you like, there is a man here you might apply to.”

“Good heavens! Who is it? You’re my salvation, Kuzma Kuzmitch,” faltered Mitya.

“He doesn’t live here, and he’s not here just now. He is a peasant, he does business in timber. His name is Lyagavy. He’s been haggling with Fyodor Pavlovitch for the last year, over your copse at Tchermashnya. They can’t agree on the price, maybe you’ve heard? Now he’s come back again and is staying with the priest at Ilyinskoe, about twelve versts from the Volovya station. He wrote to me, too, about the business of the copse, asking my advice. Fyodor Pavlovitch means to go and see him himself. So if you were to be beforehand with Fyodor Pavlovitch and to make Lyagavy the offer you’ve made me, he might possibly⁠—”

“A brilliant idea!” Mitya interrupted ecstatically. “He’s the very man, it would just suit him. He’s haggling with him for it, being asked too much, and here he would have all the documents entitling him to the property itself. Ha ha ha!”

And Mitya suddenly went off into his short, wooden laugh, startling Samsonov.

“How can I thank you, Kuzma Kuzmitch?” cried Mitya effusively.

“Don’t mention it,” said Samsonov, inclining his head.

“But you don’t know, you’ve saved me. Oh, it was a true presentiment brought me to you.⁠ ⁠… So now to this priest!”

“No need of thanks.”

“I’ll make haste and fly there. I’m afraid I’ve overtaxed your strength. I shall never forget it. It’s a Russian says that, Kuzma Kuzmitch, a R-r-russian!”

“To be sure!”

Mitya seized his hand to press it, but there was a malignant gleam in the old man’s eye. Mitya drew back his hand, but at once blamed himself for his mistrustfulness.

“It’s because he’s tired,” he thought.

“For her sake! For her sake, Kuzma Kuzmitch! You understand that it’s for her,” he cried, his voice ringing through the room. He bowed, turned sharply round, and with the same long stride walked to the door without looking back. He was trembling with delight.

“Everything was on the verge of ruin and my guardian angel saved me,” was the thought in his mind. And if such a business man as Samsonov (a most worthy old man, and what dignity!) had suggested this course, then⁠ ⁠… then success was assured. He would fly off immediately. “I will be back before night, I shall be back at night and the thing is done. Could the old man have been laughing at me?” exclaimed Mitya, as he strode towards his lodging. He could, of course, imagine nothing, but that the advice was practical “from such a business man” with an understanding of the business, with an understanding of this Lyagavy (curious surname!). Or⁠—the old man was laughing at him.

Alas! The second alternative was the correct one. Long afterwards, when the catastrophe had happened, old Samsonov himself confessed, laughing, that he had made a fool of the “captain.” He was a cold, spiteful and sarcastic man, liable to violent antipathies. Whether it was the “captain’s” excited face, or the foolish conviction of the “rake and spendthrift,” that he, Samsonov, could be taken in by such a cock-and-bull story as his scheme, or his jealousy of Grushenka, in whose name this “scapegrace” had rushed in on him with such a tale to get money which worked on the old man, I can’t tell. But at the instant when Mitya stood before him, feeling his legs grow weak under him, and frantically exclaiming that he was ruined, at that moment the old man looked at him with intense spite, and resolved to make a laughingstock of him. When Mitya had gone, Kuzma Kuzmitch, white with rage, turned to his son and bade him see to it that that beggar be never seen again, and never admitted even into the yard, or else he’d⁠—

He did not utter his threat. But even his son, who often saw him enraged, trembled with fear. For a whole hour afterwards, the old man was shaking with anger, and by evening he was worse, and sent for the doctor.


So he must drive at full speed, and he had not the money for horses. He had forty kopecks, and that was all, all that was left after so many years of prosperity! But he had at home an old silver watch which had long ceased to go. He snatched it up and carried it to a Jewish watchmaker who had a shop in the marketplace. The Jew gave him six roubles for it.

“And I didn’t expect that,” cried Mitya, ecstatically. (He was still in a state of ecstasy.) He seized his six roubles and ran home. At home he borrowed three roubles from the people of the house, who loved him so much that they were pleased to give it him, though it was all they had. Mitya in his excitement told them on the spot that his fate would be decided that day, and he described, in desperate haste, the whole scheme he had put before Samsonov, the latter’s decision, his own hopes for the future, and so on. These people had been told many of their lodger’s secrets before, and so looked upon him as a gentleman who was not at all proud, and almost one of themselves. Having thus collected nine roubles Mitya sent for posting-horses to take him to the Volovya station. This was how the fact came to be remembered and established that “at midday, on the day before the event, Mitya had not a farthing, and that he had sold his watch to get money and had borrowed three roubles from his landlord, all in the presence of witnesses.”

I note this fact, later on it will be apparent why I do so.

Though he was radiant with the joyful anticipation that he would at last solve all his difficulties, yet, as he drew near Volovya station, he trembled at the thought of what Grushenka might be doing in his absence. What if she made up her mind today to go to Fyodor Pavlovitch? This was why he had gone off without telling her and why he left orders with his landlady not to let out where he had gone, if anyone came to inquire for him.

“I must, I must get back tonight,” he repeated, as he was jolted along in the cart, “and I dare say I shall have to bring this Lyagavy back here⁠ ⁠… to draw up the deed.” So mused Mitya, with a throbbing heart, but alas! his dreams were not fated to be carried out.

To begin with, he was late, taking a shortcut from Volovya station which turned out to be eighteen versts instead of twelve. Secondly, he did not find the priest at home at Ilyinskoe; he had gone off to a neighboring village. While Mitya, setting off there with the same exhausted horses, was looking for him, it was almost dark.

The priest, a shy and amiable looking little man, informed him at once that though Lyagavy had been staying with him at first, he was now at Suhoy Possyolok, that he was staying the night in the forester’s cottage, as he was buying timber there too. At Mitya’s urgent request that he would take him to Lyagavy at once, and by so doing “save him, so to speak,” the priest agreed, after some demur, to conduct him to Suhoy Possyolok; his curiosity was obviously aroused. But, unluckily, he advised their going on foot, as it would not be “much over” a verst. Mitya, of course, agreed, and marched off with his yard-long strides, so that the poor priest almost ran after him. He was a very cautious man, though not old.

Mitya at once began talking to him, too, of his plans, nervously and excitedly asking advice in regard to Lyagavy, and talking all the way. The priest listened attentively, but gave little advice. He turned off Mitya’s questions with: “I don’t know. Ah, I can’t say. How can I tell?” and so on. When Mitya began to speak of his quarrel with his father over his inheritance, the priest was positively alarmed, as he was in some way dependent on Fyodor Pavlovitch. He inquired, however, with surprise, why he called the peasant-trader Gorstkin, Lyagavy, and obligingly explained to Mitya that, though the man’s name really was Lyagavy, he was never called so, as he would be grievously offended at the name, and that he must be sure to call him Gorstkin, “or you’ll do nothing with him; he won’t even listen to you,” said the priest in conclusion.

Mitya was somewhat surprised for a moment, and explained that that was what Samsonov had called him. On hearing this fact, the priest dropped the subject, though he would have done well to put into words his doubt whether, if Samsonov had sent him to that peasant, calling him Lyagavy, there was not something wrong about it and he was turning him into ridicule. But Mitya had no time to pause over such trifles. He hurried, striding along, and only when he reached Suhoy Possyolok did he realize that they had come not one verst, nor one and a half, but at least three. This annoyed him, but he controlled himself.

They went into the hut. The forester lived in one half of the hut, and Gorstkin was lodging in the other, the better room the other side of the passage. They went into that room and lighted a tallow candle. The hut was extremely overheated. On the table there was a samovar that had gone out, a tray with cups, an empty rum bottle, a bottle of vodka partly full, and some half-eaten crusts of wheaten bread. The visitor himself lay stretched at full length on the bench, with his coat crushed up under his head for a pillow, snoring heavily. Mitya stood in perplexity.

“Of course I must wake him. My business is too important. I’ve come in such haste. I’m in a hurry to get back today,” he said in great agitation. But the priest and the forester stood in silence, not giving their opinion. Mitya went up and began trying to wake him himself; he tried vigorously, but the sleeper did not wake.

“He’s drunk,” Mitya decided. “Good Lord! What am I to do? What am I to do?” And, terribly impatient, he began pulling him by the arms, by the legs, shaking his head, lifting him up and making him sit on the bench. Yet, after prolonged exertions, he could only succeed in getting the drunken man to utter absurd grunts, and violent, but inarticulate oaths.

“No, you’d better wait a little,” the priest pronounced at last, “for he’s obviously not in a fit state.”

“He’s been drinking the whole day,” the forester chimed in.

“Good heavens!” cried Mitya. “If only you knew how important it is to me and how desperate I am!”

“No, you’d better wait till morning,” the priest repeated.

“Till morning? Mercy! that’s impossible!”

And in his despair he was on the point of attacking the sleeping man again, but stopped short at once, realizing the uselessness of his efforts. The priest said nothing, the sleepy forester looked gloomy.

“What terrible tragedies real life contrives for people,” said Mitya, in complete despair. The perspiration was streaming down his face. The priest seized the moment to put before him, very reasonably, that, even if he succeeded in wakening the man, he would still be drunk and incapable of conversation. “And your business is important,” he said, “so you’d certainly better put it off till morning.” With a gesture of despair Mitya agreed.

“Father, I will stay here with a light, and seize the favorable moment. As soon as he wakes I’ll begin. I’ll pay you for the light,” he said to the forester, “for the night’s lodging, too; you’ll remember Dmitri Karamazov. Only, Father, I don’t know what we’re to do with you. Where will you sleep?”

“No, I’m going home. I’ll take his horse and get home,” he said, indicating the forester. “And now I’ll say goodbye. I wish you all success.”

So it was settled. The priest rode off on the forester’s horse, delighted to escape, though he shook his head uneasily, wondering whether he ought not next day to inform his benefactor Fyodor Pavlovitch of this curious incident, “or he may in an unlucky hour hear of it, be angry, and withdraw his favor.”

The forester, scratching himself, went back to his room without a word, and Mitya sat on the bench to “catch the favorable moment,” as he expressed it. Profound dejection clung about his soul like a heavy mist. A profound, intense dejection! He sat thinking, but could reach no conclusion. The candle burnt dimly, a cricket chirped; it became insufferably close in the overheated room. He suddenly pictured the garden, the path behind the garden, the door of his father’s house mysteriously opening and Grushenka running in. He leapt up from the bench.

“It’s a tragedy!” he said, grinding his teeth. Mechanically he went up to the sleeping man and looked in his face. He was a lean, middle-aged peasant, with a very long face, flaxen curls, and a long, thin, reddish beard, wearing a blue cotton shirt and a black waistcoat, from the pocket of which peeped the chain of a silver watch. Mitya looked at his face with intense hatred, and for some unknown reason his curly hair particularly irritated him.

What was insufferably humiliating was, that after leaving things of such importance and making such sacrifices, he, Mitya, utterly worn out, should with business of such urgency be standing over this dolt on whom his whole fate depended, while he snored as though there were nothing the matter, as though he’d dropped from another planet.

“Oh, the irony of fate!” cried Mitya, and, quite losing his head, he fell again to rousing the tipsy peasant. He roused him with a sort of ferocity, pulled at him, pushed him, even beat him; but after five minutes of vain exertions, he returned to his bench in helpless despair, and sat down.

“Stupid! Stupid!” cried Mitya. “And how dishonorable it all is!” something made him add. His head began to ache horribly. “Should he fling it up and go away altogether?” he wondered. “No, wait till tomorrow now. I’ll stay on purpose. What else did I come for? Besides, I’ve no means of going. How am I to get away from here now? Oh, the idiocy of it!”

But his head ached more and more. He sat without moving, and unconsciously dozed off and fell asleep as he sat. He seemed to have slept for two hours or more. He was waked up by his head aching so unbearably that he could have screamed. There was a hammering in his temples, and the top of his head ached. It was a long time before he could wake up fully and understand what had happened to him.

At last he realized that the room was full of charcoal fumes from the stove, and that he might die of suffocation. And the drunken peasant still lay snoring. The candle guttered and was about to go out. Mitya cried out, and ran staggering across the passage into the forester’s room. The forester waked up at once, but hearing that the other room was full of fumes, to Mitya’s surprise and annoyance, accepted the fact with strange unconcern, though he did go to see to it.

“But he’s dead, he’s dead! and⁠ ⁠… what am I to do then?” cried Mitya frantically.

They threw open the doors, opened a window and the chimney. Mitya brought a pail of water from the passage. First he wetted his own head, then, finding a rag of some sort, dipped it into the water, and put it on Lyagavy’s head. The forester still treated the matter contemptuously, and when he opened the window said grumpily:

“It’ll be all right, now.”

He went back to sleep, leaving Mitya a lighted lantern. Mitya fussed about the drunken peasant for half an hour, wetting his head, and gravely resolved not to sleep all night. But he was so worn out that when he sat down for a moment to take breath, he closed his eyes, unconsciously stretched himself full length on the bench and slept like the dead.

It was dreadfully late when he waked. It was somewhere about nine o’clock. The sun was shining brightly in the two little windows of the hut. The curly-headed peasant was sitting on the bench and had his coat on. He had another samovar and another bottle in front of him. Yesterday’s bottle had already been finished, and the new one was more than half empty. Mitya jumped up and saw at once that the cursed peasant was drunk again, hopelessly and incurably. He stared at him for a moment with wide opened eyes. The peasant was silently and slyly watching him, with insulting composure, and even a sort of contemptuous condescension, so Mitya fancied. He rushed up to him.

“Excuse me, you see⁠ ⁠… I⁠ ⁠… you’ve most likely heard from the forester here in the hut. I’m Lieutenant Dmitri Karamazov, the son of the old Karamazov whose copse you are buying.”

“That’s a lie!” said the peasant, calmly and confidently.

“A lie? You know Fyodor Pavlovitch?”

“I don’t know any of your Fyodor Pavlovitches,” said the peasant, speaking thickly.

“You’re bargaining with him for the copse, for the copse. Do wake up, and collect yourself. Father Pavel of Ilyinskoe brought me here. You wrote to Samsonov, and he has sent me to you,” Mitya gasped breathlessly.

“You’re l-lying!” Lyagavy blurted out again. Mitya’s legs went cold.

“For mercy’s sake! It isn’t a joke! You’re drunk, perhaps. Yet you can speak and understand⁠ ⁠… or else⁠ ⁠… I understand nothing!”

“You’re a painter!”

“For mercy’s sake! I’m Karamazov, Dmitri Karamazov. I have an offer to make you, an advantageous offer⁠ ⁠… very advantageous offer, concerning the copse!”

The peasant stroked his beard importantly.

“No, you’ve contracted for the job and turned out a scamp. You’re a scoundrel!”

“I assure you you’re mistaken,” cried Mitya, wringing his hands in despair. The peasant still stroked his beard, and suddenly screwed up his eyes cunningly.

“No, you show me this: you tell me the law that allows roguery. D’you hear? You’re a scoundrel! Do you understand that?”

Mitya stepped back gloomily, and suddenly “something seemed to hit him on the head,” as he said afterwards. In an instant a light seemed to dawn in his mind, “a light was kindled and I grasped it all.” He stood, stupefied, wondering how he, after all a man of intelligence, could have yielded to such folly, have been led into such an adventure, and have kept it up for almost twenty-four hours, fussing round this Lyagavy, wetting his head.

“Why, the man’s drunk, dead drunk, and he’ll go on drinking now for a week; what’s the use of waiting here? And what if Samsonov sent me here on purpose? What if she⁠—? Oh, God, what have I done?”

The peasant sat watching him and grinning. Another time Mitya might have killed the fool in a fury, but now he felt as weak as a child. He went quietly to the bench, took up his overcoat, put it on without a word, and went out of the hut. He did not find the forester in the next room; there was no one there. He took fifty kopecks in small change out of his pocket and put them on the table for his night’s lodging, the candle, and the trouble he had given. Coming out of the hut he saw nothing but forest all round. He walked at hazard, not knowing which way to turn out of the hut, to the right or to the left. Hurrying there the evening before with the priest, he had not noticed the road. He had no revengeful feeling for anybody, even for Samsonov, in his heart. He strode along a narrow forest path, aimless, dazed, without heeding where he was going. A child could have knocked him down, so weak was he in body and soul. He got out of the forest somehow, however, and a vista of fields, bare after the harvest, stretched as far as the eye could see.

“What despair! What death all round!” he repeated, striding on and on.

He was saved by meeting an old merchant who was being driven across country in a hired trap. When he overtook him, Mitya asked the way, and it turned out that the old merchant, too, was going to Volovya. After some discussion Mitya got into the trap. Three hours later they arrived. At Volovya, Mitya at once ordered posting-horses to drive to the town, and suddenly realized that he was appallingly hungry. While the horses were being harnessed, an omelette was prepared for him. He ate it all in an instant, ate a huge hunk of bread, ate a sausage, and swallowed three glasses of vodka. After eating, his spirits and his heart grew lighter. He flew towards the town, urged on the driver, and suddenly made a new and “unalterable” plan to procure that “accursed money” before evening. “And to think, only to think that a man’s life should be ruined for the sake of that paltry three thousand!” he cried, contemptuously. “I’ll settle it today.” And if it had not been for the thought of Grushenka and of what might have happened to her, which never left him, he would perhaps have become quite cheerful again.⁠ ⁠… But the thought of her was stabbing him to the heart every moment, like a sharp knife.

At last they arrived, and Mitya at once ran to Grushenka.


This was the visit of Mitya of which Grushenka had spoken to Rakitin with such horror. She was just then expecting the “message,” and was much relieved that Mitya had not been to see her that day or the day before. She hoped that “please God he won’t come till I’m gone away,” and he suddenly burst in on her. The rest we know already. To get him off her hands she suggested at once that he should walk with her to Samsonov’s, where she said she absolutely must go “to settle his accounts,” and when Mitya accompanied her at once, she said goodbye to him at the gate, making him promise to come at twelve o’clock to take her home again. Mitya, too, was delighted at this arrangement. If she was sitting at Samsonov’s she could not be going to Fyodor Pavlovitch’s, “if only she’s not lying,” he added at once. But he thought she was not lying from what he saw.

He was that sort of jealous man who, in the absence of the beloved woman, at once invents all sorts of awful fancies of what may be happening to her, and how she may be betraying him, but, when shaken, heartbroken, convinced of her faithlessness, he runs back to her; at the first glance at her face, her gay, laughing, affectionate face, he revives at once, lays aside all suspicion and with joyful shame abuses himself for his jealousy.

After leaving Grushenka at the gate he rushed home. Oh, he had so much still to do that day! But a load had been lifted from his heart, anyway.

“Now I must only make haste and find out from Smerdyakov whether anything happened there last night, whether, by any chance, she went to Fyodor Pavlovitch; ough!” floated through his mind.

Before he had time to reach his lodging, jealousy had surged up again in his restless heart.

Jealousy! “Othello was not jealous, he was trustful,” observed Pushkin. And that remark alone is enough to show the deep insight of our great poet. Othello’s soul was shattered and his whole outlook clouded simply because his ideal was destroyed. But Othello did not begin hiding, spying, peeping. He was trustful, on the contrary. He had to be led up, pushed on, excited with great difficulty before he could entertain the idea of deceit. The truly jealous man is not like that. It is impossible to picture to oneself the shame and moral degradation to which the jealous man can descend without a qualm of conscience. And yet it’s not as though the jealous were all vulgar and base souls. On the contrary, a man of lofty feelings, whose love is pure and full of self-sacrifice, may yet hide under tables, bribe the vilest people, and be familiar with the lowest ignominy of spying and eavesdropping.

Othello was incapable of making up his mind to faithlessness⁠—not incapable of forgiving it, but of making up his mind to it⁠—though his soul was as innocent and free from malice as a babe’s. It is not so with the really jealous man. It is hard to imagine what some jealous men can make up their mind to and overlook, and what they can forgive! The jealous are the readiest of all to forgive, and all women know it. The jealous man can forgive extraordinarily quickly (though, of course, after a violent scene), and he is able to forgive infidelity almost conclusively proved, the very kisses and embraces he has seen, if only he can somehow be convinced that it has all been “for the last time,” and that his rival will vanish from that day forward, will depart to the ends of the earth, or that he himself will carry her away somewhere, where that dreaded rival will not get near her. Of course the reconciliation is only for an hour. For, even if the rival did disappear next day, he would invent another one and would be jealous of him. And one might wonder what there was in a love that had to be so watched over, what a love could be worth that needed such strenuous guarding. But that the jealous will never understand. And yet among them are men of noble hearts. It is remarkable, too, that those very men of noble hearts, standing hidden in some cupboard, listening and spying, never feel the stings of conscience at that moment, anyway, though they understand clearly enough with their “noble hearts” the shameful depths to which they have voluntarily sunk.

At the sight of Grushenka, Mitya’s jealousy vanished, and, for an instant he became trustful and generous, and positively despised himself for his evil feelings. But it only proved that, in his love for the woman, there was an element of something far higher than he himself imagined, that it was not only a sensual passion, not only the “curve of her body,” of which he had talked to Alyosha. But, as soon as Grushenka had gone, Mitya began to suspect her of all the low cunning of faithlessness, and he felt no sting of conscience at it.

And so jealousy surged up in him again. He had, in any case, to make haste. The first thing to be done was to get hold of at least a small, temporary loan of money. The nine roubles had almost all gone on his expedition. And, as we all know, one can’t take a step without money. But he had thought over in the cart where he could get a loan. He had a brace of fine dueling pistols in a case, which he had not pawned till then because he prized them above all his possessions.

In the “Metropolis” tavern he had some time since made acquaintance with a young official and had learnt that this very opulent bachelor was passionately fond of weapons. He used to buy pistols, revolvers, daggers, hang them on his wall and show them to acquaintances. He prided himself on them, and was quite a specialist on the mechanism of the revolver. Mitya, without stopping to think, went straight to him, and offered to pawn his pistols to him for ten roubles. The official, delighted, began trying to persuade him to sell them outright. But Mitya would not consent, so the young man gave him ten roubles, protesting that nothing would induce him to take interest. They parted friends.

Mitya was in haste; he rushed towards Fyodor Pavlovitch’s by the back way, to his arbor, to get hold of Smerdyakov as soon as possible. In this way the fact was established that three or four hours before a certain event, of which I shall speak later on, Mitya had not a farthing, and pawned for ten roubles a possession he valued, though, three hours later, he was in possession of thousands.⁠ ⁠… But I am anticipating. From Marya Kondratyevna (the woman living near Fyodor Pavlovitch’s) he learned the very disturbing fact of Smerdyakov’s illness. He heard the story of his fall in the cellar, his fit, the doctor’s visit, Fyodor Pavlovitch’s anxiety; he heard with interest, too, that his brother Ivan had set off that morning for Moscow.

“Then he must have driven through Volovya before me,” thought Dmitri, but he was terribly distressed about Smerdyakov. “What will happen now? Who’ll keep watch for me? Who’ll bring me word?” he thought. He began greedily questioning the women whether they had seen anything the evening before. They quite understood what he was trying to find out, and completely reassured him. No one had been there. Ivan Fyodorovitch had been there the night; everything had been perfectly as usual. Mitya grew thoughtful. He would certainly have to keep watch today, but where? Here or at Samsonov’s gate? He decided that he must be on the look out both here and there, and meanwhile⁠ ⁠… meanwhile.⁠ ⁠… The difficulty was that he had to carry out the new plan that he had made on the journey back. He was sure of its success, but he must not delay acting upon it. Mitya resolved to sacrifice an hour to it: “In an hour I shall know everything, I shall settle everything, and then, then, first of all to Samsonov’s. I’ll inquire whether Grushenka’s there and instantly be back here again, stay till eleven, and then to Samsonov’s again to bring her home.” This was what he decided.

He flew home, washed, combed his hair, brushed his clothes, dressed, and went to Madame Hohlakov’s. Alas! he had built his hopes on her. He had resolved to borrow three thousand from that lady. And what was more, he felt suddenly convinced that she would not refuse to lend it to him. It may be wondered why, if he felt so certain, he had not gone to her at first, one of his own sort, so to speak, instead of to Samsonov, a man he did not know, who was not of his own class, and to whom he hardly knew how to speak.

But the fact was that he had never known Madame Hohlakov well, and had seen nothing of her for the last month, and that he knew she could not endure him. She had detested him from the first because he was engaged to Katerina Ivanovna, while she had, for some reason, suddenly conceived the desire that Katerina Ivanovna should throw him over, and marry the “charming, chivalrously refined Ivan, who had such excellent manners.” Mitya’s manners she detested. Mitya positively laughed at her, and had once said about her that she was just as lively and at her ease as she was uncultivated. But that morning in the cart a brilliant idea had struck him: “If she is so anxious I should not marry Katerina Ivanovna” (and he knew she was positively hysterical upon the subject) “why should she refuse me now that three thousand, just to enable me to leave Katya and get away from her forever. These spoilt fine ladies, if they set their hearts on anything, will spare no expense to satisfy their caprice. Besides, she’s so rich,” Mitya argued.

As for his “plan” it was just the same as before; it consisted of the offer of his rights to Tchermashnya⁠—but not with a commercial object, as it had been with Samsonov, not trying to allure the lady with the possibility of making a profit of six or seven thousand⁠—but simply as a security for the debt. As he worked out this new idea, Mitya was enchanted with it, but so it always was with him in all his undertakings, in all his sudden decisions. He gave himself up to every new idea with passionate enthusiasm. Yet, when he mounted the steps of Madame Hohlakov’s house he felt a shiver of fear run down his spine. At that moment he saw fully, as a mathematical certainty, that this was his last hope, that if this broke down, nothing else was left him in the world, but to “rob and murder someone for the three thousand.” It was half-past seven when he rang at the bell.

At first fortune seemed to smile upon him. As soon as he was announced he was received with extraordinary rapidity. “As though she were waiting for me,” thought Mitya, and as soon as he had been led to the drawing-room, the lady of the house herself ran in, and declared at once that she was expecting him.

“I was expecting you! I was expecting you! Though I’d no reason to suppose you would come to see me, as you will admit yourself. Yet, I did expect you. You may marvel at my instinct, Dmitri Fyodorovitch, but I was convinced all the morning that you would come.”

“That is certainly wonderful, madam,” observed Mitya, sitting down limply, “but I have come to you on a matter of great importance.⁠ ⁠… On a matter of supreme importance for me, that is, madam⁠ ⁠… for me alone⁠ ⁠… and I hasten⁠—”

“I know you’ve come on most important business, Dmitri Fyodorovitch; it’s not a case of presentiment, no reactionary harking back to the miraculous (have you heard about Father Zossima?). This is a case of mathematics: you couldn’t help coming, after all that has passed with Katerina Ivanovna; you couldn’t, you couldn’t, that’s a mathematical certainty.”

“The realism of actual life, madam, that’s what it is. But allow me to explain⁠—”

“Realism indeed, Dmitri Fyodorovitch. I’m all for realism now. I’ve seen too much of miracles. You’ve heard that Father Zossima is dead?”

“No, madam, it’s the first time I’ve heard of it.” Mitya was a little surprised. The image of Alyosha rose to his mind.

“Last night, and only imagine⁠—”

“Madam,” said Mitya, “I can imagine nothing except that I’m in a desperate position, and that if you don’t help me, everything will come to grief, and I first of all. Excuse me for the triviality of the expression, but I’m in a fever⁠—”

“I know, I know that you’re in a fever. You could hardly fail to be, and whatever you may say to me, I know beforehand. I have long been thinking over your destiny, Dmitri Fyodorovitch, I am watching over it and studying it.⁠ ⁠… Oh, believe me, I’m an experienced doctor of the soul, Dmitri Fyodorovitch.”

“Madam, if you are an experienced doctor, I’m certainly an experienced patient,” said Mitya, with an effort to be polite, “and I feel that if you are watching over my destiny in this way, you will come to my help in my ruin, and so allow me, at least to explain to you the plan with which I have ventured to come to you⁠ ⁠… and what I am hoping of you.⁠ ⁠… I have come, madam⁠—”

“Don’t explain it. It’s of secondary importance. But as for help, you’re not the first I have helped, Dmitri Fyodorovitch. You have most likely heard of my cousin, Madame Belmesov. Her husband was ruined, ‘had come to grief,’ as you characteristically express it, Dmitri Fyodorovitch. I recommended him to take to horse-breeding, and now he’s doing well. Have you any idea of horse-breeding, Dmitri Fyodorovitch?”

“Not the faintest, madam; ah, madam, not the faintest!” cried Mitya, in nervous impatience, positively starting from his seat. “I simply implore you, madam, to listen to me. Only give me two minutes of free speech that I may just explain to you everything, the whole plan with which I have come. Besides, I am short of time. I’m in a fearful hurry,” Mitya cried hysterically, feeling that she was just going to begin talking again, and hoping to cut her short. “I have come in despair⁠ ⁠… in the last gasp of despair, to beg you to lend me the sum of three thousand, a loan, but on safe, most safe security, madam, with the most trustworthy guarantees! Only let me explain⁠—”

“You must tell me all that afterwards, afterwards!” Madame Hohlakov with a gesture demanded silence in her turn, “and whatever you may tell me, I know it all beforehand; I’ve told you so already. You ask for a certain sum, for three thousand, but I can give you more, immeasurably more, I will save you, Dmitri Fyodorovitch, but you must listen to me.”

Mitya started from his seat again.

“Madam, will you really be so good!” he cried, with strong feeling. “Good God, you’ve saved me! You have saved a man from a violent death, from a bullet.⁠ ⁠… My eternal gratitude⁠—”

“I will give you more, infinitely more than three thousand!” cried Madame Hohlakov, looking with a radiant smile at Mitya’s ecstasy.

“Infinitely? But I don’t need so much. I only need that fatal three thousand, and on my part I can give security for that sum with infinite gratitude, and I propose a plan which⁠—”

“Enough, Dmitri Fyodorovitch, it’s said and done.” Madame Hohlakov cut him short, with the modest triumph of beneficence: “I have promised to save you, and I will save you. I will save you as I did Belmesov. What do you think of the goldmines, Dmitri Fyodorovitch?”

“Of the goldmines, madam? I have never thought anything about them.”

“But I have thought of them for you. Thought of them over and over again. I have been watching you for the last month. I’ve watched you a hundred times as you’ve walked past, saying to myself: that’s a man of energy who ought to be at the goldmines. I’ve studied your gait and come to the conclusion: that’s a man who would find gold.”

“From my gait, madam?” said Mitya, smiling.

“Yes, from your gait. You surely don’t deny that character can be told from the gait, Dmitri Fyodorovitch? Science supports the idea. I’m all for science and realism now. After all this business with Father Zossima, which has so upset me, from this very day I’m a realist and I want to devote myself to practical usefulness. I’m cured. ‘Enough!’ as Turgenev says.”

“But, madam, the three thousand you so generously promised to lend me⁠—”

“It is yours, Dmitri Fyodorovitch,” Madame Hohlakov cut in at once. “The money is as good as in your pocket, not three thousand, but three million, Dmitri Fyodorovitch, in less than no time. I’ll make you a present of the idea: you shall find goldmines, make millions, return and become a leading man, and wake us up and lead us to better things. Are we to leave it all to the Jews? You will found institutions and enterprises of all sorts. You will help the poor, and they will bless you. This is the age of railways, Dmitri Fyodorovitch. You’ll become famous and indispensable to the Department of Finance, which is so badly off at present. The depreciation of the rouble keeps me awake at night, Dmitri Fyodorovitch; people don’t know that side of me⁠—”

“Madam, madam!” Dmitri interrupted with an uneasy presentiment. “I shall indeed, perhaps, follow your advice, your wise advice, madam.⁠ ⁠… I shall perhaps set off⁠ ⁠… to the goldmines.⁠ ⁠… I’ll come and see you again about it⁠ ⁠… many times, indeed⁠ ⁠… but now, that three thousand you so generously⁠ ⁠… oh, that would set me free, and if you could today⁠ ⁠… you see, I haven’t a minute, a minute to lose today⁠—”

“Enough, Dmitri Fyodorovitch, enough!” Madame Hohlakov interrupted emphatically. “The question is, will you go to the goldmines or not; have you quite made up your mind? Answer yes or no.”

“I will go, madam, afterwards.⁠ ⁠… I’ll go where you like⁠ ⁠… but now⁠—”

“Wait!” cried Madame Hohlakov. And jumping up and running to a handsome bureau with numerous little drawers, she began pulling out one drawer after another, looking for something with desperate haste.

“The three thousand,” thought Mitya, his heart almost stopping, “and at the instant⁠ ⁠… without any papers or formalities⁠ ⁠… that’s doing things in gentlemanly style! She’s a splendid woman, if only she didn’t talk so much!”

“Here!” cried Madame Hohlakov, running back joyfully to Mitya, “here is what I was looking for!”

It was a tiny silver icon on a cord, such as is sometimes worn next the skin with a cross.

“This is from Kiev, Dmitri Fyodorovitch,” she went on reverently, “from the relics of the Holy Martyr, Varvara. Let me put it on your neck myself, and with it dedicate you to a new life, to a new career.”

And she actually put the cord round his neck, and began arranging it. In extreme embarrassment, Mitya bent down and helped her, and at last he got it under his necktie and collar through his shirt to his chest.

“Now you can set off,” Madame Hohlakov pronounced, sitting down triumphantly in her place again.

“Madam, I am so touched. I don’t know how to thank you, indeed⁠ ⁠… for such kindness, but⁠ ⁠… If only you knew how precious time is to me.⁠ ⁠… That sum of money, for which I shall be indebted to your generosity.⁠ ⁠… Oh, madam, since you are so kind, so touchingly generous to me,” Mitya exclaimed impulsively, “then let me reveal to you⁠ ⁠… though, of course, you’ve known it a long time⁠ ⁠… that I love somebody here.⁠ ⁠… I have been false to Katya⁠ ⁠… Katerina Ivanovna I should say.⁠ ⁠… Oh, I’ve behaved inhumanly, dishonorably to her, but I fell in love here with another woman⁠ ⁠… a woman whom you, madam, perhaps, despise, for you know everything already, but whom I cannot leave on any account, and therefore that three thousand now⁠—”

“Leave everything, Dmitri Fyodorovitch,” Madame Hohlakov interrupted in the most decisive tone. “Leave everything, especially women. Goldmines are your goal, and there’s no place for women there. Afterwards, when you come back rich and famous, you will find the girl of your heart in the highest society. That will be a modern girl, a girl of education and advanced ideas. By that time the dawning woman question will have gained ground, and the new woman will have appeared.”

“Madam, that’s not the point, not at all.⁠ ⁠…” Mitya clasped his hands in entreaty.

“Yes, it is, Dmitri Fyodorovitch, just what you need; the very thing you’re yearning for, though you don’t realize it yourself. I am not at all opposed to the present woman movement, Dmitri Fyodorovitch. The development of woman, and even the political emancipation of woman in the near future⁠—that’s my ideal. I’ve a daughter myself, Dmitri Fyodorovitch, people don’t know that side of me. I wrote a letter to the author, Shtchedrin, on that subject. He has taught me so much, so much about the vocation of woman. So last year I sent him an anonymous letter of two lines: ‘I kiss and embrace you, my teacher, for the modern woman. Persevere.’ And I signed myself, ‘A Mother.’ I thought of signing myself ‘A contemporary Mother,’ and hesitated, but I stuck to the simple ‘Mother’; there’s more moral beauty in that, Dmitri Fyodorovitch. And the word ‘contemporary’ might have reminded him of The Contemporary⁠—a painful recollection owing to the censorship.⁠ ⁠… Good Heavens, what is the matter!”

“Madam!” cried Mitya, jumping up at last, clasping his hands before her in helpless entreaty. “You will make me weep if you delay what you have so generously⁠—”

“Oh, do weep, Dmitri Fyodorovitch, do weep! That’s a noble feeling⁠ ⁠… such a path lies open before you! Tears will ease your heart, and later on you will return rejoicing. You will hasten to me from Siberia on purpose to share your joy with me⁠—”

“But allow me, too!” Mitya cried suddenly. “For the last time I entreat you, tell me, can I have the sum you promised me today, if not, when may I come for it?”

“What sum, Dmitri Fyodorovitch?”

“The three thousand you promised me⁠ ⁠… that you so generously⁠—”

“Three thousand? Roubles? Oh, no, I haven’t got three thousand,” Madame Hohlakov announced with serene amazement. Mitya was stupefied.

“Why, you said just now⁠ ⁠… you said⁠ ⁠… you said it was as good as in my hands⁠—”

“Oh, no, you misunderstood me, Dmitri Fyodorovitch. In that case you misunderstood me. I was talking of the goldmines. It’s true I promised you more, infinitely more than three thousand, I remember it all now, but I was referring to the goldmines.”

“But the money? The three thousand?” Mitya exclaimed, awkwardly.

“Oh, if you meant money, I haven’t any. I haven’t a penny, Dmitri Fyodorovitch. I’m quarreling with my steward about it, and I’ve just borrowed five hundred roubles from Miüsov, myself. No, no, I’ve no money. And, do you know, Dmitri Fyodorovitch, if I had, I wouldn’t give it to you. In the first place I never lend money. Lending money means losing friends. And I wouldn’t give it to you particularly. I wouldn’t give it you, because I like you and want to save you, for all you need is the goldmines, the goldmines, the goldmines!”

“Oh, the devil!” roared Mitya, and with all his might brought his fist down on the table.

“Aie! Aie!” cried Madame Hohlakov, alarmed, and she flew to the other end of the drawing-room.

Mitya spat on the ground, and strode rapidly out of the room, out of the house, into the street, into the darkness! He walked like one possessed, and beating himself on the breast, on the spot where he had struck himself two days previously, before Alyosha, the last time he saw him in the dark, on the road. What those blows upon his breast signified, on that spot, and what he meant by it⁠—that was, for the time, a secret which was known to no one in the world, and had not been told even to Alyosha. But that secret meant for him more than disgrace; it meant ruin, suicide. So he had determined, if he did not get hold of the three thousand that would pay his debt to Katerina Ivanovna, and so remove from his breast, from that spot on his breast, the shame he carried upon it, that weighed on his conscience. All this will be fully explained to the reader later on, but now that his last hope had vanished, this man, so strong in appearance, burst out crying like a little child a few steps from the Hohlakovs’ house. He walked on, and not knowing what he was doing, wiped away his tears with his fist. In this way he reached the square, and suddenly became aware that he had stumbled against something. He heard a piercing wail from an old woman whom he had almost knocked down.

“Good Lord, you’ve nearly killed me! Why don’t you look where you’re going, scapegrace?”

“Why, it’s you!” cried Mitya, recognizing the old woman in the dark. It was the old servant who waited on Samsonov, whom Mitya had particularly noticed the day before.

“And who are you, my good sir?” said the old woman, in quite a different voice. “I don’t know you in the dark.”

“You live at Kuzma Kuzmitch’s. You’re the servant there?”

“Just so, sir, I was only running out to Prohoritch’s.⁠ ⁠… But I don’t know you now.”

“Tell me, my good woman, is Agrafena Alexandrovna there now?” said Mitya, beside himself with suspense. “I saw her to the house some time ago.”

“She has been there, sir. She stayed a little while, and went off again.”

“What? Went away?” cried Mitya. “When did she go?”

“Why, as soon as she came. She only stayed a minute. She only told Kuzma Kuzmitch a tale that made him laugh, and then she ran away.”

“You’re lying, damn you!” roared Mitya.

“Aie! Aie!” shrieked the old woman, but Mitya had vanished.

He ran with all his might to the house where Grushenka lived. At the moment he reached it, Grushenka was on her way to Mokroe. It was not more than a quarter of an hour after her departure.

Fenya was sitting with her grandmother, the old cook, Matryona, in the kitchen when “the captain” ran in. Fenya uttered a piercing shriek on seeing him.

“You scream?” roared Mitya, “where is she?”

But without giving the terror-stricken Fenya time to utter a word, he fell all of a heap at her feet.

“Fenya, for Christ’s sake, tell me, where is she?”

“I don’t know. Dmitri Fyodorovitch, my dear, I don’t know. You may kill me but I can’t tell you.” Fenya swore and protested. “You went out with her yourself not long ago⁠—”

“She came back!”

“Indeed she didn’t. By God I swear she didn’t come back.”

“You’re lying!” shouted Mitya. “From your terror I know where she is.”

He rushed away. Fenya in her fright was glad she had got off so easily. But she knew very well that it was only that he was in such haste, or she might not have fared so well. But as he ran, he surprised both Fenya and old Matryona by an unexpected action. On the table stood a brass mortar, with a pestle in it, a small brass pestle, not much more than six inches long. Mitya already had opened the door with one hand when, with the other, he snatched up the pestle, and thrust it in his side-pocket.

“Oh, Lord! He’s going to murder someone!” cried Fenya, flinging up her hands.


In the Dark
Where was he running? “Where could she be except at Fyodor Pavlovitch’s? She must have run straight to him from Samsonov’s, that was clear now. The whole intrigue, the whole deceit was evident.”⁠ ⁠… It all rushed whirling through his mind. He did not run to Marya Kondratyevna’s. “There was no need to go there⁠ ⁠… not the slightest need⁠ ⁠… he must raise no alarm⁠ ⁠… they would run and tell directly.⁠ ⁠… Marya Kondratyevna was clearly in the plot, Smerdyakov too, he too, all had been bought over!”

He formed another plan of action: he ran a long way round Fyodor Pavlovitch’s house, crossing the lane, running down Dmitrovsky Street, then over the little bridge, and so came straight to the deserted alley at the back, which was empty and uninhabited, with, on one side the hurdle fence of a neighbor’s kitchen-garden, on the other the strong high fence, that ran all round Fyodor Pavlovitch’s garden. Here he chose a spot, apparently the very place, where according to the tradition, he knew Lizaveta had once climbed over it: “If she could climb over it,” the thought, God knows why, occurred to him, “surely I can.” He did in fact jump up, and instantly contrived to catch hold of the top of the fence. Then he vigorously pulled himself up and sat astride on it. Close by, in the garden stood the bathhouse, but from the fence he could see the lighted windows of the house too.

“Yes, the old man’s bedroom is lighted up. She’s there!” and he leapt from the fence into the garden. Though he knew Grigory was ill and very likely Smerdyakov, too, and that there was no one to hear him, he instinctively hid himself, stood still, and began to listen. But there was dead silence on all sides and, as though of design, complete stillness, not the slightest breath of wind.

“And naught but the whispering silence,” the line for some reason rose to his mind. “If only no one heard me jump over the fence! I think not.” Standing still for a minute, he walked softly over the grass in the garden, avoiding the trees and shrubs. He walked slowly, creeping stealthily at every step, listening to his own footsteps. It took him five minutes to reach the lighted window. He remembered that just under the window there were several thick and high bushes of elder and whitebeam. The door from the house into the garden on the left-hand side, was shut; he had carefully looked on purpose to see, in passing. At last he reached the bushes and hid behind them. He held his breath. “I must wait now,” he thought, “to reassure them, in case they heard my footsteps and are listening⁠ ⁠… if only I don’t cough or sneeze.”

He waited two minutes. His heart was beating violently, and, at moments, he could scarcely breathe. “No, this throbbing at my heart won’t stop,” he thought. “I can’t wait any longer.” He was standing behind a bush in the shadow. The light of the window fell on the front part of the bush.

“How red the whitebeam berries are!” he murmured, not knowing why. Softly and noiselessly, step by step, he approached the window, and raised himself on tiptoe. All Fyodor Pavlovitch’s bedroom lay open before him. It was not a large room, and was divided in two parts by a red screen, “Chinese,” as Fyodor Pavlovitch used to call it. The word “Chinese” flashed into Mitya’s mind, “and behind the screen, is Grushenka,” thought Mitya. He began watching Fyodor Pavlovitch, who was wearing his new striped-silk dressing-gown, which Mitya had never seen, and a silk cord with tassels round the waist. A clean, dandified shirt of fine linen with gold studs peeped out under the collar of the dressing-gown. On his head Fyodor Pavlovitch had the same red bandage which Alyosha had seen.

“He has got himself up,” thought Mitya.

His father was standing near the window, apparently lost in thought. Suddenly he jerked up his head, listened a moment, and hearing nothing went up to the table, poured out half a glass of brandy from a decanter and drank it off. Then he uttered a deep sigh, again stood still a moment, walked carelessly up to the looking-glass on the wall, with his right hand raised the red bandage on his forehead a little, and began examining his bruises and scars, which had not yet disappeared.

“He’s alone,” thought Mitya, “in all probability he’s alone.”

Fyodor Pavlovitch moved away from the looking-glass, turned suddenly to the window and looked out. Mitya instantly slipped away into the shadow.

“She may be there behind the screen. Perhaps she’s asleep by now,” he thought, with a pang at his heart. Fyodor Pavlovitch moved away from the window. “He’s looking for her out of the window, so she’s not there. Why should he stare out into the dark? He’s wild with impatience.”⁠ ⁠… Mitya slipped back at once, and fell to gazing in at the window again. The old man was sitting down at the table, apparently disappointed. At last he put his elbow on the table, and laid his right cheek against his hand. Mitya watched him eagerly.

“He’s alone, he’s alone!” he repeated again. “If she were here, his face would be different.”

Strange to say, a queer, irrational vexation rose up in his heart that she was not here. “It’s not that she’s not here,” he explained to himself, immediately, “but that I can’t tell for certain whether she is or not.” Mitya remembered afterwards that his mind was at that moment exceptionally clear, that he took in everything to the slightest detail, and missed no point. But a feeling of misery, the misery of uncertainty and indecision, was growing in his heart with every instant. “Is she here or not?” The angry doubt filled his heart, and suddenly, making up his mind, he put out his hand and softly knocked on the window frame. He knocked the signal the old man had agreed upon with Smerdyakov, twice slowly and then three times more quickly, the signal that meant “Grushenka is here!”

The old man started, jerked up his head, and, jumping up quickly, ran to the window. Mitya slipped away into the shadow. Fyodor Pavlovitch opened the window and thrust his whole head out.

“Grushenka, is it you? Is it you?” he said, in a sort of trembling half-whisper. “Where are you, my angel, where are you?” He was fearfully agitated and breathless.

“He’s alone.” Mitya decided.

“Where are you?” cried the old man again; and he thrust his head out farther, thrust it out to the shoulders, gazing in all directions, right and left. “Come here, I’ve a little present for you. Come, I’ll show you.⁠ ⁠…”

“He means the three thousand,” thought Mitya.

“But where are you? Are you at the door? I’ll open it directly.”

And the old man almost climbed out of the window, peering out to the right, where there was a door into the garden, trying to see into the darkness. In another second he would certainly have run out to open the door without waiting for Grushenka’s answer.

Mitya looked at him from the side without stirring. The old man’s profile that he loathed so, his pendent Adam’s apple, his hooked nose, his lips that smiled in greedy expectation, were all brightly lighted up by the slanting lamplight falling on the left from the room. A horrible fury of hatred suddenly surged up in Mitya’s heart: “There he was, his rival, the man who had tormented him, had ruined his life!” It was a rush of that sudden, furious, revengeful anger of which he had spoken, as though foreseeing it, to Alyosha, four days ago in the arbor, when, in answer to Alyosha’s question, “How can you say you’ll kill our father?” “I don’t know, I don’t know,” he had said then. “Perhaps I shall not kill him, perhaps I shall. I’m afraid he’ll suddenly be so loathsome to me at that moment. I hate his double chin, his nose, his eyes, his shameless grin. I feel a personal repulsion. That’s what I’m afraid of, that’s what may be too much for me.”⁠ ⁠… This personal repulsion was growing unendurable. Mitya was beside himself, he suddenly pulled the brass pestle out of his pocket.

* * * * *

“God was watching over me then,” Mitya himself said afterwards. At that very moment Grigory waked up on his bed of sickness. Earlier in the evening he had undergone the treatment which Smerdyakov had described to Ivan. He had rubbed himself all over with vodka mixed with a secret, very strong decoction, had drunk what was left of the mixture while his wife repeated a “certain prayer” over him, after which he had gone to bed. Marfa Ignatyevna had tasted the stuff, too, and, being unused to strong drink, slept like the dead beside her husband.

But Grigory waked up in the night, quite suddenly, and, after a moment’s reflection, though he immediately felt a sharp pain in his back, he sat up in bed. Then he deliberated again, got up and dressed hurriedly. Perhaps his conscience was uneasy at the thought of sleeping while the house was unguarded “in such perilous times.” Smerdyakov, exhausted by his fit, lay motionless in the next room. Marfa Ignatyevna did not stir. “The stuff’s been too much for the woman,” Grigory thought, glancing at her, and groaning, he went out on the steps. No doubt he only intended to look out from the steps, for he was hardly able to walk, the pain in his back and his right leg was intolerable. But he suddenly remembered that he had not locked the little gate into the garden that evening. He was the most punctual and precise of men, a man who adhered to an unchangeable routine, and habits that lasted for years. Limping and writhing with pain he went down the steps and towards the garden. Yes, the gate stood wide open. Mechanically he stepped into the garden. Perhaps he fancied something, perhaps caught some sound, and, glancing to the left he saw his master’s window open. No one was looking out of it then.

“What’s it open for? It’s not summer now,” thought Grigory, and suddenly, at that very instant he caught a glimpse of something extraordinary before him in the garden. Forty paces in front of him a man seemed to be running in the dark, a sort of shadow was moving very fast.

“Good Lord!” cried Grigory beside himself, and forgetting the pain in his back, he hurried to intercept the running figure. He took a shortcut, evidently he knew the garden better; the flying figure went towards the bathhouse, ran behind it and rushed to the garden fence. Grigory followed, not losing sight of him, and ran, forgetting everything. He reached the fence at the very moment the man was climbing over it. Grigory cried out, beside himself, pounced on him, and clutched his leg in his two hands.

Yes, his foreboding had not deceived him. He recognized him, it was he, the “monster,” the “parricide.”

“Parricide!” the old man shouted so that the whole neighborhood could hear, but he had not time to shout more, he fell at once, as though struck by lightning.

Mitya jumped back into the garden and bent over the fallen man. In Mitya’s hands was a brass pestle, and he flung it mechanically in the grass. The pestle fell two paces from Grigory, not in the grass but on the path, in a most conspicuous place. For some seconds he examined the prostrate figure before him. The old man’s head was covered with blood. Mitya put out his hand and began feeling it. He remembered afterwards clearly, that he had been awfully anxious to make sure whether he had broken the old man’s skull, or simply stunned him with the pestle. But the blood was flowing horribly; and in a moment Mitya’s fingers were drenched with the hot stream. He remembered taking out of his pocket the clean white handkerchief with which he had provided himself for his visit to Madame Hohlakov, and putting it to the old man’s head, senselessly trying to wipe the blood from his face and temples. But the handkerchief was instantly soaked with blood.

“Good heavens! what am I doing it for?” thought Mitya, suddenly pulling himself together. “If I have broken his skull, how can I find out now? And what difference does it make now?” he added, hopelessly. “If I’ve killed him, I’ve killed him.⁠ ⁠… You’ve come to grief, old man, so there you must lie!” he said aloud. And suddenly turning to the fence, he vaulted over it into the lane and fell to running⁠—the handkerchief soaked with blood he held, crushed up in his right fist, and as he ran he thrust it into the back pocket of his coat. He ran headlong, and the few passersby who met him in the dark, in the streets, remembered afterwards that they had met a man running that night. He flew back again to the widow Morozov’s house.

Immediately after he had left it that evening, Fenya had rushed to the chief porter, Nazar Ivanovitch, and besought him, for Christ’s sake, “not to let the captain in again today or tomorrow.” Nazar Ivanovitch promised, but went upstairs to his mistress who had suddenly sent for him, and meeting his nephew, a boy of twenty, who had recently come from the country, on the way up told him to take his place, but forgot to mention “the captain.” Mitya, running up to the gate, knocked. The lad instantly recognized him, for Mitya had more than once tipped him. Opening the gate at once, he let him in, and hastened to inform him with a good-humored smile that “Agrafena Alexandrovna is not at home now, you know.”

“Where is she then, Prohor?” asked Mitya, stopping short.

“She set off this evening, some two hours ago, with Timofey, to Mokroe.”

“What for?” cried Mitya.

“That I can’t say. To see some officer. Someone invited her and horses were sent to fetch her.”

Mitya left him, and ran like a madman to Fenya.


A Sudden Resolution
She was sitting in the kitchen with her grandmother; they were both just going to bed. Relying on Nazar Ivanovitch, they had not locked themselves in. Mitya ran in, pounced on Fenya and seized her by the throat.

“Speak at once! Where is she? With whom is she now, at Mokroe?” he roared furiously.

Both the women squealed.

“Aie! I’ll tell you. Aie! Dmitri Fyodorovitch, darling, I’ll tell you everything directly, I won’t hide anything,” gabbled Fenya, frightened to death; “she’s gone to Mokroe, to her officer.”

“What officer?” roared Mitya.

“To her officer, the same one she used to know, the one who threw her over five years ago,” cackled Fenya, as fast as she could speak.

Mitya withdrew the hands with which he was squeezing her throat. He stood facing her, pale as death, unable to utter a word, but his eyes showed that he realized it all, all, from the first word, and guessed the whole position. Poor Fenya was not in a condition at that moment to observe whether he understood or not. She remained sitting on the trunk as she had been when he ran into the room, trembling all over, holding her hands out before her as though trying to defend herself. She seemed to have grown rigid in that position. Her wide-opened, scared eyes were fixed immovably upon him. And to make matters worse, both his hands were smeared with blood. On the way, as he ran, he must have touched his forehead with them, wiping off the perspiration, so that on his forehead and his right cheek were bloodstained patches. Fenya was on the verge of hysterics. The old cook had jumped up and was staring at him like a mad woman, almost unconscious with terror.

Mitya stood for a moment, then mechanically sank on to a chair next to Fenya. He sat, not reflecting but, as it were, terror-stricken, benumbed. Yet everything was clear as day: that officer, he knew about him, he knew everything perfectly, he had known it from Grushenka herself, had known that a letter had come from him a month before. So that for a month, for a whole month, this had been going on, a secret from him, till the very arrival of this new man, and he had never thought of him! But how could he, how could he not have thought of him? Why was it he had forgotten this officer, like that, forgotten him as soon as he heard of him? That was the question that faced him like some monstrous thing. And he looked at this monstrous thing with horror, growing cold with horror.

But suddenly, as gently and mildly as a gentle and affectionate child, he began speaking to Fenya as though he had utterly forgotten how he had scared and hurt her just now. He fell to questioning Fenya with an extreme preciseness, astonishing in his position, and though the girl looked wildly at his bloodstained hands, she, too, with wonderful readiness and rapidity, answered every question as though eager to put the whole truth and nothing but the truth before him. Little by little, even with a sort of enjoyment, she began explaining every detail, not wanting to torment him, but, as it were, eager to be of the utmost service to him. She described the whole of that day, in great detail, the visit of Rakitin and Alyosha, how she, Fenya, had stood on the watch, how the mistress had set off, and how she had called out of the window to Alyosha to give him, Mitya, her greetings, and to tell him “to remember forever how she had loved him for an hour.”

Hearing of the message, Mitya suddenly smiled, and there was a flush of color on his pale cheeks. At the same moment Fenya said to him, not a bit afraid now to be inquisitive:

“Look at your hands, Dmitri Fyodorovitch. They’re all over blood!”

“Yes,” answered Mitya mechanically. He looked carelessly at his hands and at once forgot them and Fenya’s question.

He sank into silence again. Twenty minutes had passed since he had run in. His first horror was over, but evidently some new fixed determination had taken possession of him. He suddenly stood up, smiling dreamily.

“What has happened to you, sir?” said Fenya, pointing to his hands again. She spoke compassionately, as though she felt very near to him now in his grief. Mitya looked at his hands again.

“That’s blood, Fenya,” he said, looking at her with a strange expression. “That’s human blood, and my God! why was it shed? But⁠ ⁠… Fenya⁠ ⁠… there’s a fence here” (he looked at her as though setting her a riddle), “a high fence, and terrible to look at. But at dawn tomorrow, when the sun rises, Mitya will leap over that fence.⁠ ⁠… You don’t understand what fence, Fenya, and, never mind.⁠ ⁠… You’ll hear tomorrow and understand⁠ ⁠… and now, goodbye. I won’t stand in her way. I’ll step aside, I know how to step aside. Live, my joy.⁠ ⁠… You loved me for an hour, remember Mityenka Karamazov so forever.⁠ ⁠… She always used to call me Mityenka, do you remember?”

And with those words he went suddenly out of the kitchen. Fenya was almost more frightened at this sudden departure than she had been when he ran in and attacked her.

Just ten minutes later Dmitri went in to Pyotr Ilyitch Perhotin, the young official with whom he had pawned his pistols. It was by now half-past eight, and Pyotr Ilyitch had finished his evening tea, and had just put his coat on again to go to the “Metropolis” to play billiards. Mitya caught him coming out.

Seeing him with his face all smeared with blood, the young man uttered a cry of surprise.

“Good heavens! What is the matter?”

“I’ve come for my pistols,” said Mitya, “and brought you the money. And thanks very much. I’m in a hurry, Pyotr Ilyitch, please make haste.”

Pyotr Ilyitch grew more and more surprised; he suddenly caught sight of a bundle of banknotes in Mitya’s hand, and what was more, he had walked in holding the notes as no one walks in and no one carries money: he had them in his right hand, and held them outstretched as if to show them. Perhotin’s servant-boy, who met Mitya in the passage, said afterwards that he walked into the passage in the same way, with the money outstretched in his hand, so he must have been carrying them like that even in the streets. They were all rainbow-colored hundred-rouble notes, and the fingers holding them were covered with blood.

When Pyotr Ilyitch was questioned later on as to the sum of money, he said that it was difficult to judge at a glance, but that it might have been two thousand, or perhaps three, but it was a big, “fat” bundle. “Dmitri Fyodorovitch,” so he testified afterwards, “seemed unlike himself, too; not drunk, but, as it were, exalted, lost to everything, but at the same time, as it were, absorbed, as though pondering and searching for something and unable to come to a decision. He was in great haste, answered abruptly and very strangely, and at moments seemed not at all dejected but quite cheerful.”

“But what is the matter with you? What’s wrong?” cried Pyotr Ilyitch, looking wildly at his guest. “How is it that you’re all covered with blood? Have you had a fall? Look at yourself!”

He took him by the elbow and led him to the glass.

Seeing his bloodstained face, Mitya started and scowled wrathfully.

“Damnation! That’s the last straw,” he muttered angrily, hurriedly changing the notes from his right hand to the left, and impulsively jerked the handkerchief out of his pocket. But the handkerchief turned out to be soaked with blood, too (it was the handkerchief he had used to wipe Grigory’s face). There was scarcely a white spot on it, and it had not merely begun to dry, but had stiffened into a crumpled ball and could not be pulled apart. Mitya threw it angrily on the floor.

“Oh, damn it!” he said. “Haven’t you a rag of some sort⁠ ⁠… to wipe my face?”

“So you’re only stained, not wounded? You’d better wash,” said Pyotr Ilyitch. “Here’s a washstand. I’ll pour you out some water.”

“A washstand? That’s all right⁠ ⁠… but where am I to put this?”

With the strangest perplexity he indicated his bundle of hundred-rouble notes, looking inquiringly at Pyotr Ilyitch as though it were for him to decide what he, Mitya, was to do with his own money.

“In your pocket, or on the table here. They won’t be lost.”

“In my pocket? Yes, in my pocket. All right.⁠ ⁠… But, I say, that’s all nonsense,” he cried, as though suddenly coming out of his absorption. “Look here, let’s first settle that business of the pistols. Give them back to me. Here’s your money⁠ ⁠… because I am in great need of them⁠ ⁠… and I haven’t a minute, a minute to spare.”

And taking the topmost note from the bundle he held it out to Pyotr Ilyitch.

“But I shan’t have change enough. Haven’t you less?”

“No,” said Mitya, looking again at the bundle, and as though not trusting his own words he turned over two or three of the topmost ones.

“No, they’re all alike,” he added, and again he looked inquiringly at Pyotr Ilyitch.

“How have you grown so rich?” the latter asked. “Wait, I’ll send my boy to Plotnikov’s, they close late⁠—to see if they won’t change it. Here, Misha!” he called into the passage.

“To Plotnikov’s shop⁠—first-rate!” cried Mitya, as though struck by an idea. “Misha,” he turned to the boy as he came in, “look here, run to Plotnikov’s and tell them that Dmitri Fyodorovitch sends his greetings, and will be there directly.⁠ ⁠… But listen, listen, tell them to have champagne, three dozen bottles, ready before I come, and packed as it was to take to Mokroe. I took four dozen with me then,” he added (suddenly addressing Pyotr Ilyitch); “they know all about it, don’t you trouble, Misha,” he turned again to the boy. “Stay, listen; tell them to put in cheese, Strasburg pies, smoked fish, ham, caviar, and everything, everything they’ve got, up to a hundred roubles, or a hundred and twenty as before.⁠ ⁠… But wait: don’t let them forget dessert, sweets, pears, watermelons, two or three or four⁠—no, one melon’s enough, and chocolate, candy, toffee, fondants; in fact, everything I took to Mokroe before, three hundred roubles’ worth with the champagne⁠ ⁠… let it be just the same again. And remember, Misha, if you are called Misha⁠—His name is Misha, isn’t it?” He turned to Pyotr Ilyitch again.

“Wait a minute,” Protr Ilyitch intervened, listening and watching him uneasily, “you’d better go yourself and tell them. He’ll muddle it.”

“He will, I see he will! Eh, Misha! Why, I was going to kiss you for the commission.⁠ ⁠… If you don’t make a mistake, there’s ten roubles for you, run along, make haste.⁠ ⁠… Champagne’s the chief thing, let them bring up champagne. And brandy, too, and red and white wine, and all I had then.⁠ ⁠… They know what I had then.”

“But listen!” Pyotr Ilyitch interrupted with some impatience. “I say, let him simply run and change the money and tell them not to close, and you go and tell them.⁠ ⁠… Give him your note. Be off, Misha! Put your best leg forward!”

Pyotr Ilyitch seemed to hurry Misha off on purpose, because the boy remained standing with his mouth and eyes wide open, apparently understanding little of Mitya’s orders, gazing up with amazement and terror at his bloodstained face and the trembling bloodstained fingers that held the notes.

“Well, now come and wash,” said Pyotr Ilyitch sternly. “Put the money on the table or else in your pocket.⁠ ⁠… That’s right, come along. But take off your coat.”

And beginning to help him off with his coat, he cried out again:

“Look, your coat’s covered with blood, too!”

“That⁠ ⁠… it’s not the coat. It’s only a little here on the sleeve.⁠ ⁠… And that’s only here where the handkerchief lay. It must have soaked through. I must have sat on the handkerchief at Fenya’s, and the blood’s come through,” Mitya explained at once with a childlike unconsciousness that was astounding. Pyotr Ilyitch listened, frowning.

“Well, you must have been up to something; you must have been fighting with someone,” he muttered.

They began to wash. Pyotr Ilyitch held the jug and poured out the water. Mitya, in desperate haste, scarcely soaped his hands (they were trembling, and Pyotr Ilyitch remembered it afterwards). But the young official insisted on his soaping them thoroughly and rubbing them more. He seemed to exercise more and more sway over Mitya, as time went on. It may be noted in passing that he was a young man of sturdy character.

“Look, you haven’t got your nails clean. Now rub your face; here, on your temples, by your ear.⁠ ⁠… Will you go in that shirt? Where are you going? Look, all the cuff of your right sleeve is covered with blood.”

“Yes, it’s all bloody,” observed Mitya, looking at the cuff of his shirt.

“Then change your shirt.”

“I haven’t time. You see I’ll⁠ ⁠…” Mitya went on with the same confiding ingenuousness, drying his face and hands on the towel, and putting on his coat. “I’ll turn it up at the wrist. It won’t be seen under the coat.⁠ ⁠… You see!”

“Tell me now, what game have you been up to? Have you been fighting with someone? In the tavern again, as before? Have you been beating that captain again?” Pyotr Ilyitch asked him reproachfully. “Whom have you been beating now⁠ ⁠… or killing, perhaps?”

“Nonsense!” said Mitya.

“Why ‘nonsense’?”

“Don’t worry,” said Mitya, and he suddenly laughed. “I smashed an old woman in the marketplace just now.”

“Smashed? An old woman?”

“An old man!” cried Mitya, looking Pyotr Ilyitch straight in the face, laughing, and shouting at him as though he were deaf.

“Confound it! An old woman, an old man.⁠ ⁠… Have you killed someone?”

“We made it up. We had a row⁠—and made it up. In a place I know of. We parted friends. A fool.⁠ ⁠… He’s forgiven me.⁠ ⁠… He’s sure to have forgiven me by now⁠ ⁠… if he had got up, he wouldn’t have forgiven me”⁠—Mitya suddenly winked⁠—“only damn him, you know, I say, Pyotr Ilyitch, damn him! Don’t worry about him! I don’t want to just now!” Mitya snapped out, resolutely.

“Whatever do you want to go picking quarrels with everyone for?⁠ ⁠… Just as you did with that captain over some nonsense.⁠ ⁠… You’ve been fighting and now you’re rushing off on the spree⁠—that’s you all over! Three dozen champagne⁠—what do you want all that for?”

“Bravo! Now give me the pistols. Upon my honor I’ve no time now. I should like to have a chat with you, my dear boy, but I haven’t the time. And there’s no need, it’s too late for talking. Where’s my money? Where have I put it?” he cried, thrusting his hands into his pockets.

“You put it on the table⁠ ⁠… yourself.⁠ ⁠… Here it is. Had you forgotten? Money’s like dirt or water to you, it seems. Here are your pistols. It’s an odd thing, at six o’clock you pledged them for ten roubles, and now you’ve got thousands. Two or three I should say.”

“Three, you bet,” laughed Mitya, stuffing the notes into the side-pocket of his trousers.

“You’ll lose it like that. Have you found a goldmine?”

“The mines? The goldmines?” Mitya shouted at the top of his voice and went off into a roar of laughter. “Would you like to go to the mines, Perhotin? There’s a lady here who’ll stump up three thousand for you, if only you’ll go. She did it for me, she’s so awfully fond of goldmines. Do you know Madame Hohlakov?”

“I don’t know her, but I’ve heard of her and seen her. Did she really give you three thousand? Did she really?” said Pyotr Ilyitch, eyeing him dubiously.

“As soon as the sun rises tomorrow, as soon as Phœbus, ever young, flies upwards, praising and glorifying God, you go to her, this Madame Hohlakov, and ask her whether she did stump up that three thousand or not. Try and find out.”

“I don’t know on what terms you are⁠ ⁠… since you say it so positively, I suppose she did give it to you. You’ve got the money in your hand, but instead of going to Siberia you’re spending it all.⁠ ⁠… Where are you really off to now, eh?”

“To Mokroe.”

“To Mokroe? But it’s night!”

“Once the lad had all, now the lad has naught,” cried Mitya suddenly.

“How ‘naught’? You say that with all those thousands!”

“I’m not talking about thousands. Damn thousands! I’m talking of the female character.

Fickle is the heart of woman
Treacherous and full of vice;

I agree with Ulysses. That’s what he says.”

“I don’t understand you!”

“Am I drunk?”

“Not drunk, but worse.”

“I’m drunk in spirit, Pyotr Ilyitch, drunk in spirit! But that’s enough!”

“What are you doing, loading the pistol?”

“I’m loading the pistol.”

Unfastening the pistol-case, Mitya actually opened the powder horn, and carefully sprinkled and rammed in the charge. Then he took the bullet and, before inserting it, held it in two fingers in front of the candle.

“Why are you looking at the bullet?” asked Pyotr Ilyitch, watching him with uneasy curiosity.

“Oh, a fancy. Why, if you meant to put that bullet in your brain, would you look at it or not?”

“Why look at it?”

“It’s going into my brain, so it’s interesting to look and see what it’s like. But that’s foolishness, a moment’s foolishness. Now that’s done,” he added, putting in the bullet and driving it home with the ramrod. “Pyotr Ilyitch, my dear fellow, that’s nonsense, all nonsense, and if only you knew what nonsense! Give me a little piece of paper now.”

“Here’s some paper.”

“No, a clean new piece, writing-paper. That’s right.”

And taking a pen from the table, Mitya rapidly wrote two lines, folded the paper in four, and thrust it in his waistcoat pocket. He put the pistols in the case, locked it up, and kept it in his hand. Then he looked at Pyotr Ilyitch with a slow, thoughtful smile.

“Now, let’s go.”

“Where are we going? No, wait a minute.⁠ ⁠… Are you thinking of putting that bullet in your brain, perhaps?” Pyotr Ilyitch asked uneasily.

“I was fooling about the bullet! I want to live. I love life! You may be sure of that. I love golden-haired Phœbus and his warm light.⁠ ⁠… Dear Pyotr Ilyitch, do you know how to step aside?”

“What do you mean by ‘stepping aside’?”

“Making way. Making way for a dear creature, and for one I hate. And to let the one I hate become dear⁠—that’s what making way means! And to say to them: God bless you, go your way, pass on, while I⁠—”

“While you⁠—?”

“That’s enough, let’s go.”

“Upon my word. I’ll tell someone to prevent your going there,” said Pyotr Ilyitch, looking at him. “What are you going to Mokroe for, now?”

“There’s a woman there, a woman. That’s enough for you. You shut up.”

“Listen, though you’re such a savage I’ve always liked you.⁠ ⁠… I feel anxious.”

“Thanks, old fellow. I’m a savage you say. Savages, savages! That’s what I am always saying. Savages! Why, here’s Misha! I was forgetting him.”

Misha ran in, post-haste, with a handful of notes in change, and reported that everyone was in a bustle at the Plotnikovs’; “They’re carrying down the bottles, and the fish, and the tea; it will all be ready directly.” Mitya seized ten roubles and handed it to Pyotr Ilyitch, then tossed another ten-rouble note to Misha.

“Don’t dare to do such a thing!” cried Pyotr Ilyitch. “I won’t have it in my house, it’s a bad, demoralizing habit. Put your money away. Here, put it here, why waste it? It would come in handy tomorrow, and I dare say you’ll be coming to me to borrow ten roubles again. Why do you keep putting the notes in your side-pocket? Ah, you’ll lose them!”

“I say, my dear fellow, let’s go to Mokroe together.”

“What should I go for?”

“I say, let’s open a bottle at once, and drink to life! I want to drink, and especially to drink with you. I’ve never drunk with you, have I?”

“Very well, we can go to the ‘Metropolis.’ I was just going there.”

“I haven’t time for that. Let’s drink at the Plotnikovs’, in the back room. Shall I ask you a riddle?”

“Ask away.”

Mitya took the piece of paper out of his waistcoat pocket, unfolded it and showed it. In a large, distinct hand was written: “I punish myself for my whole life, my whole life I punish!”

“I will certainly speak to someone, I’ll go at once,” said Pyotr Ilyitch, after reading the paper.

“You won’t have time, dear boy, come and have a drink. March!”

Plotnikov’s shop was at the corner of the street, next door but one to Pyotr Ilyitch’s. It was the largest grocery shop in our town, and by no means a bad one, belonging to some rich merchants. They kept everything that could be got in a Petersburg shop, grocery of all sort, wines “bottled by the brothers Eliseyev,” fruits, cigars, tea, coffee, sugar, and so on. There were three shop-assistants and two errand boys always employed. Though our part of the country had grown poorer, the landowners had gone away, and trade had got worse, yet the grocery stores flourished as before, every year with increasing prosperity; there were plenty of purchasers for their goods.

They were awaiting Mitya with impatience in the shop. They had vivid recollections of how he had bought, three or four weeks ago, wine and goods of all sorts to the value of several hundred roubles, paid for in cash (they would never have let him have anything on credit, of course). They remembered that then, as now, he had had a bundle of hundred-rouble notes in his hand, and had scattered them at random, without bargaining, without reflecting, or caring to reflect what use so much wine and provisions would be to him. The story was told all over the town that, driving off then with Grushenka to Mokroe, he had “spent three thousand in one night and the following day, and had come back from the spree without a penny.” He had picked up a whole troop of gypsies (encamped in our neighborhood at the time), who for two days got money without stint out of him while he was drunk, and drank expensive wine without stint. People used to tell, laughing at Mitya, how he had given champagne to grimy-handed peasants, and feasted the village women and girls on sweets and Strasburg pies. Though to laugh at Mitya to his face was rather a risky proceeding, there was much laughter behind his back, especially in the tavern, at his own ingenuous public avowal that all he had got out of Grushenka by this “escapade” was “permission to kiss her foot, and that was the utmost she had allowed him.”

By the time Mitya and Pyotr Ilyitch reached the shop, they found a cart with three horses harnessed abreast with bells, and with Andrey, the driver, ready waiting for Mitya at the entrance. In the shop they had almost entirely finished packing one box of provisions, and were only waiting for Mitya’s arrival to nail it down and put it in the cart. Pyotr Ilyitch was astounded.

“Where did this cart come from in such a hurry?” he asked Mitya.

“I met Andrey as I ran to you, and told him to drive straight here to the shop. There’s no time to lose. Last time I drove with Timofey, but Timofey now has gone on before me with the witch. Shall we be very late, Andrey?”

“They’ll only get there an hour at most before us, not even that maybe. I got Timofey ready to start. I know how he’ll go. Their pace won’t be ours, Dmitri Fyodorovitch. How could it be? They won’t get there an hour earlier!” Andrey, a lanky, red-haired, middle-aged driver, wearing a full-skirted coat, and with a kaftan on his arm, replied warmly.

“Fifty roubles for vodka if we’re only an hour behind them.”

“I warrant the time, Dmitri Fyodorovitch. Ech, they won’t be half an hour before us, let alone an hour.”

Though Mitya bustled about seeing after things, he gave his orders strangely, as it were disconnectedly, and inconsecutively. He began a sentence and forgot the end of it. Pyotr Ilyitch found himself obliged to come to the rescue.

“Four hundred roubles’ worth, not less than four hundred roubles’ worth, just as it was then,” commanded Mitya. “Four dozen champagne, not a bottle less.”

“What do you want with so much? What’s it for? Stay!” cried Pyotr Ilyitch. “What’s this box? What’s in it? Surely there isn’t four hundred roubles’ worth here?”

The officious shopmen began explaining with oily politeness that the first box contained only half a dozen bottles of champagne, and only “the most indispensable articles,” such as savories, sweets, toffee, etc. But the main part of the goods ordered would be packed and sent off, as on the previous occasion, in a special cart also with three horses traveling at full speed, so that it would arrive not more than an hour later than Dmitri Fyodorovitch himself.

“Not more than an hour! Not more than an hour! And put in more toffee and fondants. The girls there are so fond of it,” Mitya insisted hotly.

“The fondants are all right. But what do you want with four dozen of champagne? One would be enough,” said Pyotr Ilyitch, almost angry. He began bargaining, asking for a bill of the goods, and refused to be satisfied. But he only succeeded in saving a hundred roubles. In the end it was agreed that only three hundred roubles’ worth should be sent.

“Well, you may go to the devil!” cried Pyotr Ilyitch, on second thoughts. “What’s it to do with me? Throw away your money, since it’s cost you nothing.”

“This way, my economist, this way, don’t be angry.” Mitya drew him into a room at the back of the shop. “They’ll give us a bottle here directly. We’ll taste it. Ech, Pyotr Ilyitch, come along with me, for you’re a nice fellow, the sort I like.”

Mitya sat down on a wicker chair, before a little table, covered with a dirty dinner-napkin. Pyotr Ilyitch sat down opposite, and the champagne soon appeared, and oysters were suggested to the gentlemen. “First-class oysters, the last lot in.”

“Hang the oysters. I don’t eat them. And we don’t need anything,” cried Pyotr Ilyitch, almost angrily.

“There’s no time for oysters,” said Mitya. “And I’m not hungry. Do you know, friend,” he said suddenly, with feeling, “I never have liked all this disorder.”

“Who does like it? Three dozen of champagne for peasants, upon my word, that’s enough to make anyone angry!”

“That’s not what I mean. I’m talking of a higher order. There’s no order in me, no higher order. But⁠ ⁠… that’s all over. There’s no need to grieve about it. It’s too late, damn it! My whole life has been disorder, and one must set it in order. Is that a pun, eh?”

“You’re raving, not making puns!”

“Glory be to God in Heaven,
Glory be to God in me.⁠ ⁠…

“That verse came from my heart once, it’s not a verse, but a tear.⁠ ⁠… I made it myself⁠ ⁠… not while I was pulling the captain’s beard, though.⁠ ⁠…”

“Why do you bring him in all of a sudden?”

“Why do I bring him in? Foolery! All things come to an end; all things are made equal. That’s the long and short of it.”

“You know, I keep thinking of your pistols.”

“That’s all foolery, too! Drink, and don’t be fanciful. I love life. I’ve loved life too much, shamefully much. Enough! Let’s drink to life, dear boy, I propose the toast. Why am I pleased with myself? I’m a scoundrel, but I’m satisfied with myself. And yet I’m tortured by the thought that I’m a scoundrel, but satisfied with myself. I bless the creation. I’m ready to bless God and His creation directly, but⁠ ⁠… I must kill one noxious insect for fear it should crawl and spoil life for others.⁠ ⁠… Let us drink to life, dear brother. What can be more precious than life? Nothing! To life, and to one queen of queens!”

“Let’s drink to life and to your queen, too, if you like.”

They drank a glass each. Although Mitya was excited and expansive, yet he was melancholy, too. It was as though some heavy, overwhelming anxiety were weighing upon him.

“Misha⁠ ⁠… here’s your Misha come! Misha, come here, my boy, drink this glass to Phœbus, the golden-haired, of tomorrow morn.⁠ ⁠…”

“What are you giving it him for?” cried Pyotr Ilyitch, irritably.

“Yes, yes, yes, let me! I want to!”


Misha emptied the glass, bowed, and ran out.

“He’ll remember it afterwards,” Mitya remarked. “Woman, I love woman! What is woman? The queen of creation! My heart is sad, my heart is sad, Pyotr Ilyitch. Do you remember Hamlet? ‘I am very sorry, good Horatio! Alas, poor Yorick!’ Perhaps that’s me, Yorick? Yes, I’m Yorick now, and a skull afterwards.”

Pyotr Ilyitch listened in silence. Mitya, too, was silent for a while.

“What dog’s that you’ve got here?” he asked the shopman, casually, noticing a pretty little lapdog with dark eyes, sitting in the corner.

“It belongs to Varvara Alexyevna, the mistress,” answered the clerk. “She brought it and forgot it here. It must be taken back to her.”

“I saw one like it⁠ ⁠… in the regiment⁠ ⁠…” murmured Mitya dreamily, “only that one had its hind leg broken.⁠ ⁠… By the way, Pyotr Ilyitch, I wanted to ask you: have you ever stolen anything in your life?”

“What a question!”

“Oh, I didn’t mean anything. From somebody’s pocket, you know. I don’t mean government money, everyone steals that, and no doubt you do, too.⁠ ⁠…”

“You go to the devil.”

“I’m talking of other people’s money. Stealing straight out of a pocket? Out of a purse, eh?”

“I stole twenty copecks from my mother when I was nine years old. I took it off the table on the sly, and held it tight in my hand.”

“Well, and what happened?”

“Oh, nothing. I kept it three days, then I felt ashamed, confessed, and gave it back.”

“And what then?”

“Naturally I was whipped. But why do you ask? Have you stolen something?”

“I have,” said Mitya, winking slyly.

“What have you stolen?” inquired Pyotr Ilyitch curiously.

“I stole twenty copecks from my mother when I was nine years old, and gave it back three days after.”

As he said this, Mitya suddenly got up.

“Dmitri Fyodorovitch, won’t you come now?” called Andrey from the door of the shop.

“Are you ready? We’ll come!” Mitya started. “A few more last words and⁠—Andrey, a glass of vodka at starting. Give him some brandy as well! That box” (the one with the pistols) “put under my seat. Goodbye, Pyotr Ilyitch, don’t remember evil against me.”

“But you’re coming back tomorrow?”

“Of course.”

“Will you settle the little bill now?” cried the clerk, springing forward.

“Oh, yes, the bill. Of course.”

He pulled the bundle of notes out of his pocket again, picked out three hundred roubles, threw them on the counter, and ran hurriedly out of the shop. Everyone followed him out, bowing and wishing him good luck. Andrey, coughing from the brandy he had just swallowed, jumped up on the box. But Mitya was only just taking his seat when suddenly to his surprise he saw Fenya before him. She ran up panting, clasped her hands before him with a cry, and plumped down at his feet.

“Dmitri Fyodorovitch, dear good Dmitri Fyodorovitch, don’t harm my mistress. And it was I told you all about it.⁠ ⁠… And don’t murder him, he came first, he’s hers! He’ll marry Agrafena Alexandrovna now. That’s why he’s come back from Siberia. Dmitri Fyodorovitch, dear, don’t take a fellow creature’s life!”

“Tut⁠—tut⁠—tut! That’s it, is it? So you’re off there to make trouble!” muttered Pyotr Ilyitch. “Now, it’s all clear, as clear as daylight. Dmitri Fyodorovitch, give me your pistols at once if you mean to behave like a man,” he shouted aloud to Mitya. “Do you hear, Dmitri?”

“The pistols? Wait a bit, brother, I’ll throw them into the pool on the road,” answered Mitya. “Fenya, get up, don’t kneel to me. Mitya won’t hurt anyone, the silly fool won’t hurt anyone again. But I say, Fenya,” he shouted, after having taken his seat. “I hurt you just now, so forgive me and have pity on me, forgive a scoundrel.⁠ ⁠… But it doesn’t matter if you don’t. It’s all the same now. Now then, Andrey, look alive, fly along full speed!”

Andrey whipped up the horses, and the bells began ringing.

“Goodbye, Pyotr Ilyitch! My last tear is for you!⁠ ⁠…”

“He’s not drunk, but he keeps babbling like a lunatic,” Pyotr Ilyitch thought as he watched him go. He had half a mind to stay and see the cart packed with the remaining wines and provisions, knowing that they would deceive and defraud Mitya. But, suddenly feeling vexed with himself, he turned away with a curse and went to the tavern to play billiards.

“He’s a fool, though he’s a good fellow,” he muttered as he went. “I’ve heard of that officer, Grushenka’s former flame. Well, if he has turned up.⁠ ⁠… Ech, those pistols! Damn it all! I’m not his nurse! Let them do what they like! Besides, it’ll all come to nothing. They’re a set of brawlers, that’s all. They’ll drink and fight, fight and make friends again. They are not men who do anything real. What does he mean by ‘I’m stepping aside, I’m punishing myself?’ It’ll come to nothing! He’s shouted such phrases a thousand times, drunk, in the taverns. But now he’s not drunk. ‘Drunk in spirit’⁠—they’re fond of fine phrases, the villains. Am I his nurse? He must have been fighting, his face was all over blood. With whom? I shall find out at the ‘Metropolis.’ And his handkerchief was soaked in blood.⁠ ⁠… It’s still lying on my floor.⁠ ⁠… Hang it!”

He reached the tavern in a bad humor and at once made up a game. The game cheered him. He played a second game, and suddenly began telling one of his partners that Dmitri Karamazov had come in for some cash again⁠—something like three thousand roubles, and had gone to Mokroe again to spend it with Grushenka.⁠ ⁠… This news roused singular interest in his listeners. They all spoke of it, not laughing, but with a strange gravity. They left off playing.

“Three thousand? But where can he have got three thousand?”

Questions were asked. The story of Madame Hohlakov’s present was received with skepticism.

“Hasn’t he robbed his old father?⁠—that’s the question.”

“Three thousand! There’s something odd about it.”

“He boasted aloud that he would kill his father; we all heard him, here. And it was three thousand he talked about⁠ ⁠…”

Pyotr Ilyitch listened. All at once he became short and dry in his answers. He said not a word about the blood on Mitya’s face and hands, though he had meant to speak of it at first.

They began a third game, and by degrees the talk about Mitya died away. But by the end of the third game, Pyotr Ilyitch felt no more desire for billiards; he laid down the cue, and without having supper as he had intended, he walked out of the tavern. When he reached the marketplace he stood still in perplexity, wondering at himself. He realized that what he wanted was to go to Fyodor Pavlovitch’s and find out if anything had happened there. “On account of some stupid nonsense⁠—as it’s sure to turn out⁠—am I going to wake up the household and make a scandal? Fooh! damn it, is it my business to look after them?”

In a very bad humor he went straight home, and suddenly remembered Fenya. “Damn it all! I ought to have questioned her just now,” he thought with vexation, “I should have heard everything.” And the desire to speak to her, and so find out, became so pressing and importunate that when he was halfway home he turned abruptly and went towards the house where Grushenka lodged. Going up to the gate he knocked. The sound of the knock in the silence of the night sobered him and made him feel annoyed. And no one answered him; everyone in the house was asleep.

“And I shall be making a fuss!” he thought, with a feeling of positive discomfort. But instead of going away altogether, he fell to knocking again with all his might, filling the street with clamor.

“Not coming? Well, I will knock them up, I will!” he muttered at each knock, fuming at himself, but at the same time he redoubled his knocks on the gate.


“I Am Coming, Too!”
But Dmitri Fyodorovitch was speeding along the road. It was a little more than twenty versts to Mokroe, but Andrey’s three horses galloped at such a pace that the distance might be covered in an hour and a quarter. The swift motion revived Mitya. The air was fresh and cool, there were big stars shining in the sky. It was the very night, and perhaps the very hour, in which Alyosha fell on the earth, and rapturously swore to love it forever and ever.

All was confusion, confusion, in Mitya’s soul, but although many things were goading his heart, at that moment his whole being was yearning for her, his queen, to whom he was flying to look on her for the last time. One thing I can say for certain; his heart did not waver for one instant. I shall perhaps not be believed when I say that this jealous lover felt not the slightest jealousy of this new rival, who seemed to have sprung out of the earth. If any other had appeared on the scene, he would have been jealous at once, and would perhaps have stained his fierce hands with blood again. But as he flew through the night, he felt no envy, no hostility even, for the man who had been her first lover.⁠ ⁠… It is true he had not yet seen him.

“Here there was no room for dispute: it was her right and his; this was her first love which, after five years, she had not forgotten; so she had loved him only for those five years, and I, how do I come in? What right have I? Step aside, Mitya, and make way! What am I now? Now everything is over apart from the officer⁠—even if he had not appeared, everything would be over⁠ ⁠…”

These words would roughly have expressed his feelings, if he had been capable of reasoning. But he could not reason at that moment. His present plan of action had arisen without reasoning. At Fenya’s first words, it had sprung from feeling, and been adopted in a flash, with all its consequences. And yet, in spite of his resolution, there was confusion in his soul, an agonizing confusion: his resolution did not give him peace. There was so much behind that tortured him. And it seemed strange to him, at moments, to think that he had written his own sentence of death with pen and paper: “I punish myself,” and the paper was lying there in his pocket, ready; the pistol was loaded; he had already resolved how, next morning, he would meet the first warm ray of “golden-haired Phœbus.”

And yet he could not be quit of the past, of all that he had left behind and that tortured him. He felt that miserably, and the thought of it sank into his heart with despair. There was one moment when he felt an impulse to stop Andrey, to jump out of the cart, to pull out his loaded pistol, and to make an end of everything without waiting for the dawn. But that moment flew by like a spark. The horses galloped on, “devouring space,” and as he drew near his goal, again the thought of her, of her alone, took more and more complete possession of his soul, chasing away the fearful images that had been haunting it. Oh, how he longed to look upon her, if only for a moment, if only from a distance!

“She’s now with him,” he thought, “now I shall see what she looks like with him, her first love, and that’s all I want.” Never had this woman, who was such a fateful influence in his life, aroused such love in his breast, such new and unknown feeling, surprising even to himself, a feeling tender to devoutness, to self-effacement before her! “I will efface myself!” he said, in a rush of almost hysterical ecstasy.

They had been galloping nearly an hour. Mitya was silent, and though Andrey was, as a rule, a talkative peasant, he did not utter a word, either. He seemed afraid to talk, he only whipped up smartly his three lean, but mettlesome, bay horses. Suddenly Mitya cried out in horrible anxiety:

“Andrey! What if they’re asleep?”

This thought fell upon him like a blow. It had not occurred to him before.

“It may well be that they’re gone to bed, by now, Dmitri Fyodorovitch.”

Mitya frowned as though in pain. Yes, indeed⁠ ⁠… he was rushing there⁠ ⁠… with such feelings⁠ ⁠… while they were asleep⁠ ⁠… she was asleep, perhaps, there too.⁠ ⁠… An angry feeling surged up in his heart.

“Drive on, Andrey! Whip them up! Look alive!” he cried, beside himself.

“But maybe they’re not in bed!” Andrey went on after a pause. “Timofey said they were a lot of them there⁠—”

“At the station?”

“Not at the posting-station, but at Plastunov’s, at the inn, where they let out horses, too.”

“I know. So you say there are a lot of them? How’s that? Who are they?” cried Mitya, greatly dismayed at this unexpected news.

“Well, Timofey was saying they’re all gentlefolk. Two from our town⁠—who they are I can’t say⁠—and there are two others, strangers, maybe more besides. I didn’t ask particularly. They’ve set to playing cards, so Timofey said.”


“So, maybe they’re not in bed if they’re at cards. It’s most likely not more than eleven.”

“Quicker, Andrey! Quicker!” Mitya cried again, nervously.

“May I ask you something, sir?” said Andrey, after a pause. “Only I’m afraid of angering you, sir.”

“What is it?”

“Why, Fenya threw herself at your feet just now, and begged you not to harm her mistress, and someone else, too⁠ ⁠… so you see, sir⁠—It’s I am taking you there⁠ ⁠… forgive me, sir, it’s my conscience⁠ ⁠… maybe it’s stupid of me to speak of it⁠—”

Mitya suddenly seized him by the shoulders from behind.

“Are you a driver?” he asked frantically.

“Yes, sir.”

“Then you know that one has to make way. What would you say to a driver who wouldn’t make way for anyone, but would just drive on and crush people? No, a driver mustn’t run over people. One can’t run over a man. One can’t spoil people’s lives. And if you have spoilt a life⁠—punish yourself.⁠ ⁠… If only you’ve spoilt, if only you’ve ruined anyone’s life⁠—punish yourself and go away.”

These phrases burst from Mitya almost hysterically. Though Andrey was surprised at him, he kept up the conversation.

“That’s right, Dmitri Fyodorovitch, you’re quite right, one mustn’t crush or torment a man, or any kind of creature, for every creature is created by God. Take a horse, for instance, for some folks, even among us drivers, drive anyhow. Nothing will restrain them, they just force it along.”

“To hell?” Mitya interrupted, and went off into his abrupt, short laugh. “Andrey, simple soul,” he seized him by the shoulders again, “tell me, will Dmitri Fyodorovitch Karamazov go to hell, or not, what do you think?”

“I don’t know, darling, it depends on you, for you are⁠ ⁠… you see, sir, when the Son of God was nailed on the Cross and died, He went straight down to hell from the Cross, and set free all sinners that were in agony. And the devil groaned, because he thought that he would get no more sinners in hell. And God said to him, then, ‘Don’t groan, for you shall have all the mighty of the earth, the rulers, the chief judges, and the rich men, and shall be filled up as you have been in all the ages till I come again.’ Those were His very words⁠ ⁠…”

“A peasant legend! Capital! Whip up the left, Andrey!”

“So you see, sir, who it is hell’s for,” said Andrey, whipping up the left horse, “but you’re like a little child⁠ ⁠… that’s how we look on you⁠ ⁠… and though you’re hasty-tempered, sir, yet God will forgive you for your kind heart.”

“And you, do you forgive me, Andrey?”

“What should I forgive you for, sir? You’ve never done me any harm.”

“No, for everyone, for everyone, you here alone, on the road, will you forgive me for everyone? Speak, simple peasant heart!”

“Oh, sir! I feel afraid of driving you, your talk is so strange.”

But Mitya did not hear. He was frantically praying and muttering to himself.

“Lord, receive me, with all my lawlessness, and do not condemn me. Let me pass by Thy judgment⁠ ⁠… do not condemn me, for I have condemned myself, do not condemn me, for I love Thee, O Lord. I am a wretch, but I love Thee. If Thou sendest me to hell, I shall love Thee there, and from there I shall cry out that I love Thee forever and ever.⁠ ⁠… But let me love to the end.⁠ ⁠… Here and now for just five hours⁠ ⁠… till the first light of Thy day⁠ ⁠… for I love the queen of my soul⁠ ⁠… I love her and I cannot help loving her. Thou seest my whole heart.⁠ ⁠… I shall gallop up, I shall fall before her and say, ‘You are right to pass on and leave me. Farewell and forget your victim⁠ ⁠… never fret yourself about me!’ ”

“Mokroe!” cried Andrey, pointing ahead with his whip.

Through the pale darkness of the night loomed a solid black mass of buildings, flung down, as it were, in the vast plain. The village of Mokroe numbered two thousand inhabitants, but at that hour all were asleep, and only here and there a few lights still twinkled.

“Drive on, Andrey, I come!” Mitya exclaimed, feverishly.

“They’re not asleep,” said Andrey again, pointing with his whip to the Plastunovs’ inn, which was at the entrance to the village. The six windows, looking on the street, were all brightly lighted up.

“They’re not asleep,” Mitya repeated joyously. “Quicker, Andrey! Gallop! Drive up with a dash! Set the bells ringing! Let all know that I have come. I’m coming! I’m coming, too!”

Andrey lashed his exhausted team into a gallop, drove with a dash and pulled up his steaming, panting horses at the high flight of steps.

Mitya jumped out of the cart just as the innkeeper, on his way to bed, peeped out from the steps curious to see who had arrived.

“Trifon Borissovitch, is that you?”

The innkeeper bent down, looked intently, ran down the steps, and rushed up to the guest with obsequious delight.

“Dmitri Fyodorovitch, your honor! Do I see you again?”

Trifon Borissovitch was a thickset, healthy peasant, of middle height, with a rather fat face. His expression was severe and uncompromising, especially with the peasants of Mokroe, but he had the power of assuming the most obsequious countenance, when he had an inkling that it was to his interest. He dressed in Russian style, with a shirt buttoning down on one side, and a full-skirted coat. He had saved a good sum of money, but was forever dreaming of improving his position. More than half the peasants were in his clutches, everyone in the neighborhood was in debt to him. From the neighboring landowners he bought and rented lands which were worked by the peasants, in payment of debts which they could never shake off. He was a widower, with four grownup daughters. One of them was already a widow and lived in the inn with her two children, his grandchildren, and worked for him like a charwoman. Another of his daughters was married to a petty official, and in one of the rooms of the inn, on the wall could be seen, among the family photographs, a miniature photograph of this official in uniform and official epaulettes. The two younger daughters used to wear fashionable blue or green dresses, fitting tight at the back, and with trains a yard long, on Church holidays or when they went to pay visits. But next morning they would get up at dawn, as usual, sweep out the rooms with a birch-broom, empty the slops, and clean up after lodgers.

In spite of the thousands of roubles he had saved, Trifon Borissovitch was very fond of emptying the pockets of a drunken guest, and remembering that not a month ago he had, in twenty-four hours, made two if not three hundred roubles out of Dmitri, when he had come on his escapade with Grushenka, he met him now with eager welcome, scenting his prey the moment Mitya drove up to the steps.

“Dmitri Fyodorovitch, dear sir, we see you once more!”

“Stay, Trifon Borissovitch,” began Mitya, “first and foremost, where is she?”

“Agrafena Alexandrovna?” The innkeeper understood at once, looking sharply into Mitya’s face. “She’s here, too⁠ ⁠…”

“With whom? With whom?”

“Some strangers. One is an official gentleman, a Pole, to judge from his speech. He sent the horses for her from here; and there’s another with him, a friend of his, or a fellow traveler, there’s no telling. They’re dressed like civilians.”

“Well, are they feasting? Have they money?”

“Poor sort of a feast! Nothing to boast of, Dmitri Fyodorovitch.”

“Nothing to boast of? And who are the others?”

“They’re two gentlemen from the town.⁠ ⁠… They’ve come back from Tcherny, and are putting up here. One’s quite a young gentleman, a relative of Mr. Miüsov, he must be, but I’ve forgotten his name⁠ ⁠… and I expect you know the other, too, a gentleman called Maximov. He’s been on a pilgrimage, so he says, to the monastery in the town. He’s traveling with this young relation of Mr. Miüsov.”

“Is that all?”


“Stay, listen, Trifon Borissovitch. Tell me the chief thing: What of her? How is she?”

“Oh, she’s only just come. She’s sitting with them.”

“Is she cheerful? Is she laughing?”

“No, I think she’s not laughing much. She’s sitting quite dull. She’s combing the young gentleman’s hair.”

“The Pole⁠—the officer?”

“He’s not young, and he’s not an officer, either. Not him, sir. It’s the young gentleman that’s Mr. Miüsov’s relation⁠ ⁠… I’ve forgotten his name.”


“That’s it, Kalganov!”

“All right. I’ll see for myself. Are they playing cards?”

“They have been playing, but they’ve left off. They’ve been drinking tea, the official gentleman asked for liqueurs.”

“Stay, Trifon Borissovitch, stay, my good soul, I’ll see for myself. Now answer one more question: are the gypsies here?”

“You can’t have the gypsies now, Dmitri Fyodorovitch. The authorities have sent them away. But we’ve Jews that play the cymbals and the fiddle in the village, so one might send for them. They’d come.”

“Send for them. Certainly send for them!” cried Mitya. “And you can get the girls together as you did then, Marya especially, Stepanida, too, and Arina. Two hundred roubles for a chorus!”

“Oh, for a sum like that I can get all the village together, though by now they’re asleep. Are the peasants here worth such kindness, Dmitri Fyodorovitch, or the girls either? To spend a sum like that on such coarseness and rudeness! What’s the good of giving a peasant a cigar to smoke, the stinking ruffian! And the girls are all lousy. Besides, I’ll get my daughters up for nothing, let alone a sum like that. They’ve only just gone to bed, I’ll give them a kick and set them singing for you. You gave the peasants champagne to drink the other day, e⁠—ech!”

For all his pretended compassion for Mitya, Trifon Borissovitch had hidden half a dozen bottles of champagne on that last occasion, and had picked up a hundred-rouble note under the table, and it had remained in his clutches.

“Trifon Borissovitch, I sent more than one thousand flying last time I was here. Do you remember?”

“You did send it flying. I may well remember. You must have left three thousand behind you.”

“Well, I’ve come to do the same again, do you see?”

And he pulled out his roll of notes, and held them up before the innkeeper’s nose.

“Now, listen and remember. In an hour’s time the wine will arrive, savories, pies, and sweets⁠—bring them all up at once. That box Andrey has got is to be brought up at once, too. Open it, and hand champagne immediately. And the girls, we must have the girls, Marya especially.”

He turned to the cart and pulled out the box of pistols.

“Here, Andrey, let’s settle. Here’s fifteen roubles for the drive, and fifty for vodka⁠ ⁠… for your readiness, for your love.⁠ ⁠… Remember Karamazov!”

“I’m afraid, sir,” faltered Andrey. “Give me five roubles extra, but more I won’t take. Trifon Borissovitch, bear witness. Forgive my foolish words⁠ ⁠…”

“What are you afraid of?” asked Mitya, scanning him. “Well, go to the devil, if that’s it!” he cried, flinging him five roubles. “Now, Trifon Borissovitch, take me up quietly and let me first get a look at them, so that they don’t see me. Where are they? In the blue room?”

Trifon Borissovitch looked apprehensively at Mitya, but at once obediently did his bidding. Leading him into the passage, he went himself into the first large room, adjoining that in which the visitors were sitting, and took the light away. Then he stealthily led Mitya in, and put him in a corner in the dark, whence he could freely watch the company without being seen. But Mitya did not look long, and, indeed, he could not see them, he saw her, his heart throbbed violently, and all was dark before his eyes.

She was sitting sideways to the table in a low chair, and beside her, on the sofa, was the pretty youth, Kalganov. She was holding his hand and seemed to be laughing, while he, seeming vexed and not looking at her, was saying something in a loud voice to Maximov, who sat the other side of the table, facing Grushenka. Maximov was laughing violently at something. On the sofa sat he, and on a chair by the sofa there was another stranger. The one on the sofa was lolling backwards, smoking a pipe, and Mitya had an impression of a stoutish, broad-faced, short little man, who was apparently angry about something. His friend, the other stranger, struck Mitya as extraordinarily tall, but he could make out nothing more. He caught his breath. He could not bear it for a minute, he put the pistol-case on a chest, and with a throbbing heart he walked, feeling cold all over, straight into the blue room to face the company.

“Aie!” shrieked Grushenka, the first to notice him.


The First and Rightful Lover
With his long, rapid strides, Mitya walked straight up to the table.

“Gentlemen,” he said in a loud voice, almost shouting, yet stammering at every word, “I⁠ ⁠… I’m all right! Don’t be afraid!” he exclaimed, “I⁠—there’s nothing the matter,” he turned suddenly to Grushenka, who had shrunk back in her chair towards Kalganov, and clasped his hand tightly. “I⁠ ⁠… I’m coming, too. I’m here till morning. Gentlemen, may I stay with you till morning? Only till morning, for the last time, in this same room?”

So he finished, turning to the fat little man, with the pipe, sitting on the sofa. The latter removed his pipe from his lips with dignity and observed severely:

Panie, we’re here in private. There are other rooms.”

“Why, it’s you, Dmitri Fyodorovitch! What do you mean?” answered Kalganov suddenly. “Sit down with us. How are you?”

“Delighted to see you, dear⁠ ⁠… and precious fellow, I always thought a lot of you.” Mitya responded, joyfully and eagerly, at once holding out his hand across the table.

“Aie! How tight you squeeze! You’ve quite broken my fingers,” laughed Kalganov.

“He always squeezes like that, always,” Grushenka put in gayly, with a timid smile, seeming suddenly convinced from Mitya’s face that he was not going to make a scene. She was watching him with intense curiosity and still some uneasiness. She was impressed by something about him, and indeed the last thing she expected of him was that he would come in and speak like this at such a moment.

“Good evening,” Maximov ventured blandly on the left. Mitya rushed up to him, too.

“Good evening. You’re here, too! How glad I am to find you here, too! Gentlemen, gentlemen, I⁠—” (He addressed the Polish gentleman with the pipe again, evidently taking him for the most important person present.) “I flew here.⁠ ⁠… I wanted to spend my last day, my last hour in this room, in this very room⁠ ⁠… where I, too, adored⁠ ⁠… my queen.⁠ ⁠… Forgive me, panie,” he cried wildly, “I flew here and vowed⁠—Oh, don’t be afraid, it’s my last night! Let’s drink to our good understanding. They’ll bring the wine at once.⁠ ⁠… I brought this with me.” (Something made him pull out his bundle of notes.) “Allow me, panie! I want to have music, singing, a revel, as we had before. But the worm, the unnecessary worm, will crawl away, and there’ll be no more of him. I will commemorate my day of joy on my last night.”

He was almost choking. There was so much, so much he wanted to say, but strange exclamations were all that came from his lips. The Pole gazed fixedly at him, at the bundle of notes in his hand; looked at Grushenka, and was in evident perplexity.

“If my suverin lady is permitting⁠—” he was beginning.

“What does ‘suverin’ mean? ‘Sovereign,’ I suppose?” interrupted Grushenka. “I can’t help laughing at you, the way you talk. Sit down, Mitya, what are you talking about? Don’t frighten us, please. You won’t frighten us, will you? If you won’t, I am glad to see you⁠ ⁠…”

“Me, me frighten you?” cried Mitya, flinging up his hands. “Oh, pass me by, go your way, I won’t hinder you!⁠ ⁠…”

And suddenly he surprised them all, and no doubt himself as well, by flinging himself on a chair, and bursting into tears, turning his head away to the opposite wall, while his arms clasped the back of the chair tight, as though embracing it.

“Come, come, what a fellow you are!” cried Grushenka reproachfully. “That’s just how he comes to see me⁠—he begins talking, and I can’t make out what he means. He cried like that once before, and now he’s crying again! It’s shameful! Why are you crying? As though you had anything to cry for!” she added enigmatically, emphasizing each word with some irritability.

“I⁠ ⁠… I’m not crying.⁠ ⁠… Well, good evening!” He instantly turned round in his chair, and suddenly laughed, not his abrupt wooden laugh, but a long, quivering, inaudible nervous laugh.

“Well, there you are again.⁠ ⁠… Come, cheer up, cheer up!” Grushenka said to him persuasively. “I’m very glad you’ve come, very glad, Mitya, do you hear, I’m very glad! I want him to stay here with us,” she said peremptorily, addressing the whole company, though her words were obviously meant for the man sitting on the sofa. “I wish it, I wish it! And if he goes away I shall go, too!” she added with flashing eyes.

“What my queen commands is law!” pronounced the Pole, gallantly kissing Grushenka’s hand. “I beg you, panie, to join our company,” he added politely, addressing Mitya.

Mitya was jumping up with the obvious intention of delivering another tirade, but the words did not come.

“Let’s drink, panie,” he blurted out instead of making a speech. Everyone laughed.

“Good heavens! I thought he was going to begin again!” Grushenka exclaimed nervously. “Do you hear, Mitya,” she went on insistently, “don’t prance about, but it’s nice you’ve brought the champagne. I want some myself, and I can’t bear liqueurs. And best of all, you’ve come yourself. We were fearfully dull here.⁠ ⁠… You’ve come for a spree again, I suppose? But put your money in your pocket. Where did you get such a lot?”

Mitya had been, all this time, holding in his hand the crumpled bundle of notes on which the eyes of all, especially of the Poles, were fixed. In confusion he thrust them hurriedly into his pocket. He flushed. At that moment the innkeeper brought in an uncorked bottle of champagne, and glasses on a tray. Mitya snatched up the bottle, but he was so bewildered that he did not know what to do with it. Kalganov took it from him and poured out the champagne.

“Another! Another bottle!” Mitya cried to the innkeeper, and, forgetting to clink glasses with the Pole whom he had so solemnly invited to drink to their good understanding, he drank off his glass without waiting for anyone else. His whole countenance suddenly changed. The solemn and tragic expression with which he had entered vanished completely, and a look of something childlike came into his face. He seemed to have become suddenly gentle and subdued. He looked shyly and happily at everyone, with a continual nervous little laugh, and the blissful expression of a dog who has done wrong, been punished, and forgiven. He seemed to have forgotten everything, and was looking round at everyone with a childlike smile of delight. He looked at Grushenka, laughing continually, and bringing his chair close up to her. By degrees he had gained some idea of the two Poles, though he had formed no definite conception of them yet.

The Pole on the sofa struck him by his dignified demeanor and his Polish accent; and, above all, by his pipe. “Well, what of it? It’s a good thing he’s smoking a pipe,” he reflected. The Pole’s puffy, middle-aged face, with its tiny nose and two very thin, pointed, dyed and impudent-looking mustaches, had not so far roused the faintest doubts in Mitya. He was not even particularly struck by the Pole’s absurd wig made in Siberia, with love-locks foolishly combed forward over the temples. “I suppose it’s all right since he wears a wig,” he went on, musing blissfully. The other, younger Pole, who was staring insolently and defiantly at the company and listening to the conversation with silent contempt, still only impressed Mitya by his great height, which was in striking contrast to the Pole on the sofa. “If he stood up he’d be six foot three.” The thought flitted through Mitya’s mind. It occurred to him, too, that this Pole must be the friend of the other, as it were, a “bodyguard,” and no doubt the big Pole was at the disposal of the little Pole with the pipe. But this all seemed to Mitya perfectly right and not to be questioned. In his mood of doglike submissiveness all feeling of rivalry had died away.

Grushenka’s mood and the enigmatic tone of some of her words he completely failed to grasp. All he understood, with thrilling heart, was that she was kind to him, that she had forgiven him, and made him sit by her. He was beside himself with delight, watching her sip her glass of champagne. The silence of the company seemed somehow to strike him, however, and he looked round at everyone with expectant eyes.

“Why are we sitting here though, gentlemen? Why don’t you begin doing something?” his smiling eyes seemed to ask.

“He keeps talking nonsense, and we were all laughing,” Kalganov began suddenly, as though divining his thought, and pointing to Maximov.

Mitya immediately stared at Kalganov and then at Maximov.

“He’s talking nonsense?” he laughed, his short, wooden laugh, seeming suddenly delighted at something⁠—“ha ha!”

“Yes. Would you believe it, he will have it that all our cavalry officers in the twenties married Polish women. That’s awful rot, isn’t it?”

“Polish women?” repeated Mitya, perfectly ecstatic.

Kalganov was well aware of Mitya’s attitude to Grushenka, and he guessed about the Pole, too, but that did not so much interest him, perhaps did not interest him at all; what he was interested in was Maximov. He had come here with Maximov by chance, and he met the Poles here at the inn for the first time in his life. Grushenka he knew before, and had once been with someone to see her; but she had not taken to him. But here she looked at him very affectionately: before Mitya’s arrival, she had been making much of him, but he seemed somehow to be unmoved by it. He was a boy, not over twenty, dressed like a dandy, with a very charming fair-skinned face, and splendid thick, fair hair. From his fair face looked out beautiful pale blue eyes, with an intelligent and sometimes even deep expression, beyond his age indeed, although the young man sometimes looked and talked quite like a child, and was not at all ashamed of it, even when he was aware of it himself. As a rule he was very willful, even capricious, though always friendly. Sometimes there was something fixed and obstinate in his expression. He would look at you and listen, seeming all the while to be persistently dreaming over something else. Often he was listless and lazy, at other times he would grow excited, sometimes, apparently, over the most trivial matters.

“Only imagine, I’ve been taking him about with me for the last four days,” he went on, indolently drawling his words, quite naturally though, without the slightest affectation. “Ever since your brother, do you remember, shoved him off the carriage and sent him flying. That made me take an interest in him at the time, and I took him into the country, but he keeps talking such rot I’m ashamed to be with him. I’m taking him back.”

“The gentleman has not seen Polish ladies, and says what is impossible,” the Pole with the pipe observed to Maximov.

He spoke Russian fairly well, much better, anyway, than he pretended. If he used Russian words, he always distorted them into a Polish form.

“But I was married to a Polish lady myself,” tittered Maximov.

“But did you serve in the cavalry? You were talking about the cavalry. Were you a cavalry officer?” put in Kalganov at once.

“Was he a cavalry officer indeed? Ha ha!” cried Mitya, listening eagerly, and turning his inquiring eyes to each as he spoke, as though there were no knowing what he might hear from each.

“No, you see,” Maximov turned to him. “What I mean is that those pretty Polish ladies⁠ ⁠… when they danced the mazurka with our Uhlans⁠ ⁠… when one of them dances a mazurka with a Uhlan she jumps on his knee like a kitten⁠ ⁠… a little white one⁠ ⁠… and the pan-father and pan-mother look on and allow it.⁠ ⁠… They allow it⁠ ⁠… and next day the Uhlan comes and offers her his hand.⁠ ⁠… That’s how it is⁠ ⁠… offers her his hand, he he!” Maximov ended, tittering.

“The pan is a łajdak!” the tall Pole on the chair growled suddenly and crossed one leg over the other. Mitya’s eye was caught by his huge greased boot, with its thick, dirty sole. The dress of both the Poles looked rather greasy.

“Well, now it’s łajdak! What’s he scolding about?” said Grushenka, suddenly vexed.

Pani Agrippina, what the gentleman saw in Poland were servant girls, and not ladies of good birth,” the Pole with the pipe observed to Grushenka.

“You can reckon on that,” the tall Pole snapped contemptuously.

“What next! Let him talk! People talk, why hinder them? It makes it cheerful,” Grushenka said crossly.

“I’m not hindering them, pani,” said the Pole in the wig, with a long look at Grushenka, and relapsing into dignified silence he sucked his pipe again.

“No, no. The Polish gentleman spoke the truth.” Kalganov got excited again, as though it were a question of vast import. “He’s never been in Poland, so how can he talk about it? I suppose you weren’t married in Poland, were you?”

“No, in the Province of Smolensk. Only, a Uhlan had brought her to Russia before that, my future wife, with her mamma and her aunt, and another female relation with a grownup son. He brought her straight from Poland and gave her up to me. He was a lieutenant in our regiment, a very nice young man. At first he meant to marry her himself. But he didn’t marry her, because she turned out to be lame.”

“So you married a lame woman?” cried Kalganov.

“Yes. They both deceived me a little bit at the time, and concealed it. I thought she was hopping; she kept hopping.⁠ ⁠… I thought it was for fun.”

“So pleased she was going to marry you!” yelled Kalganov, in a ringing, childish voice.

“Yes, so pleased. But it turned out to be quite a different cause. Afterwards, when we were married, after the wedding, that very evening, she confessed, and very touchingly asked forgiveness. ‘I once jumped over a puddle when I was a child,’ she said, ‘and injured my leg.’ He he!”

Kalganov went off into the most childish laughter, almost falling on the sofa. Grushenka, too, laughed. Mitya was at the pinnacle of happiness.

“Do you know, that’s the truth, he’s not lying now,” exclaimed Kalganov, turning to Mitya; “and do you know, he’s been married twice; it’s his first wife he’s talking about. But his second wife, do you know, ran away, and is alive now.”

“Is it possible?” said Mitya, turning quickly to Maximov with an expression of the utmost astonishment.

“Yes. She did run away. I’ve had that unpleasant experience,” Maximov modestly assented, “with a monsieur. And what was worse, she’d had all my little property transferred to her beforehand. ‘You’re an educated man,’ she said to me. ‘You can always get your living.’ She settled my business with that. A venerable bishop once said to me: ‘One of your wives was lame, but the other was too light-footed.’ He he!”

“Listen, listen!” cried Kalganov, bubbling over, “if he’s telling lies⁠—and he often is⁠—he’s only doing it to amuse us all. There’s no harm in that, is there? You know, I sometimes like him. He’s awfully low, but it’s natural to him, eh? Don’t you think so? Some people are low from self-interest, but he’s simply so, from nature. Only fancy, he claims (he was arguing about it all the way yesterday) that Gogol wrote Dead Souls about him. Do you remember, there’s a landowner called Maximov in it, whom Nozdryov thrashed. He was charged, do you remember, ‘for inflicting bodily injury with rods on the landowner Maximov in a drunken condition.’ Would you believe it, he claims that he was that Maximov and that he was beaten! Now can it be so? Tchitchikov made his journey, at the very latest, at the beginning of the twenties, so that the dates don’t fit. He couldn’t have been thrashed then, he couldn’t, could he?”

It was difficult to imagine what Kalganov was excited about, but his excitement was genuine. Mitya followed his lead without protest.

“Well, but if they did thrash him!” he cried, laughing.

“It’s not that they thrashed me exactly, but what I mean is⁠—” put in Maximov.

“What do you mean? Either they thrashed you or they didn’t.”

“What o’clock is it, panie?” the Pole, with the pipe, asked his tall friend, with a bored expression. The other shrugged his shoulders in reply. Neither of them had a watch.

“Why not talk? Let other people talk. Mustn’t other people talk because you’re bored?” Grushenka flew at him with evident intention of finding fault. Something seemed for the first time to flash upon Mitya’s mind. This time the Pole answered with unmistakable irritability.

Pani, I didn’t oppose it. I didn’t say anything.”

“All right then. Come, tell us your story,” Grushenka cried to Maximov. “Why are you all silent?”

“There’s nothing to tell, it’s all so foolish,” answered Maximov at once, with evident satisfaction, mincing a little. “Besides, all that’s by way of allegory in Gogol, for he’s made all the names have a meaning. Nozdryov was really called Nosov, and Kuvshinikov had quite a different name, he was called Shkvornev. Fenardi really was called Fenardi, only he wasn’t an Italian but a Russian, and Mamsel Fenardi was a pretty girl with her pretty little legs in tights, and she had a little short skirt with spangles, and she kept turning round and round, only not for four hours but for four minutes only, and she bewitched everyone⁠ ⁠…”

“But what were you beaten for?” cried Kalganov.

“For Piron!” answered Maximov.

“What Piron?” cried Mitya.

“The famous French writer, Piron. We were all drinking then, a big party of us, in a tavern at that very fair. They’d invited me, and first of all I began quoting epigrams. ‘Is that you, Boileau? What a funny getup!’ and Boileau answers that he’s going to a masquerade, that is to the baths, he he! And they took it to themselves, so I made haste to repeat another, very sarcastic, well known to all educated people:

Yes, Sappho and Phaon are we!
But one grief is weighing on me.
You don’t know your way to the sea!

They were still more offended and began abusing me in the most unseemly way for it. And as ill-luck would have it, to set things right, I began telling a very cultivated anecdote about Piron, how he was not accepted into the French Academy, and to revenge himself wrote his own epitaph:

Ci-git Piron qui ne fut rien,
Pas même académicien.

They seized me and thrashed me.”

“But what for? What for?”

“For my education. People can thrash a man for anything,” Maximov concluded, briefly and sententiously.

“Eh, that’s enough! That’s all stupid, I don’t want to listen. I thought it would be amusing,” Grushenka cut them short, suddenly.

Mitya started, and at once left off laughing. The tall Pole rose upon his feet, and with the haughty air of a man, bored and out of his element, began pacing from corner to corner of the room, his hands behind his back.

“Ah, he can’t sit still,” said Grushenka, looking at him contemptuously. Mitya began to feel anxious. He noticed besides, that the Pole on the sofa was looking at him with an irritable expression.

Panie!” cried Mitya, “let’s drink! and the other pan, too! Let us drink.”

In a flash he had pulled three glasses towards him, and filled them with champagne.

“To Poland, panovie, I drink to your Poland!” cried Mitya.

“I shall be delighted, panie,” said the Pole on the sofa, with dignity and affable condescension, and he took his glass.

“And the other pan, what’s his name? Drink, most illustrious, take your glass!” Mitya urged.

Pan Vrublevsky,” put in the Pole on the sofa.

Pan Vrublevsky came up to the table, swaying as he walked.

“To Poland, panovie!” cried Mitya, raising his glass. “Hurrah!”

All three drank. Mitya seized the bottle and again poured out three glasses.

“Now to Russia, panovie, and let us be brothers!”

“Pour out some for us,” said Grushenka; “I’ll drink to Russia, too!”

“So will I,” said Kalganov.

“And I would, too⁠ ⁠… to Russia, the old grandmother!” tittered Maximov.

“All! All!” cried Mitya. “Trifon Borissovitch, some more bottles!”

The other three bottles Mitya had brought with him were put on the table. Mitya filled the glasses.

“To Russia! Hurrah!” he shouted again. All drank the toast except the Poles, and Grushenka tossed off her whole glass at once. The Poles did not touch theirs.

“How’s this, panovie?” cried Mitya, “won’t you drink it?”

Pan Vrublevsky took the glass, raised it and said with a resonant voice:

“To Russia as she was before 1772.”

“Come, that’s better!” cried the other Pole, and they both emptied their glasses at once.

“You’re fools, you panovie,” broke suddenly from Mitya.

Panie!” shouted both the Poles, menacingly, setting on Mitya like a couple of cocks. Pan Vrublevsky was specially furious.

“Can one help loving one’s own country?” he shouted.

“Be silent! Don’t quarrel! I won’t have any quarreling!” cried Grushenka imperiously, and she stamped her foot on the floor. Her face glowed, her eyes were shining. The effects of the glass she had just drunk were apparent. Mitya was terribly alarmed.

Panovie, forgive me! It was my fault, I’m sorry. Vrublevsky, panie Vrublevsky, I’m sorry.”

“Hold your tongue, you, anyway! Sit down, you stupid!” Grushenka scolded with angry annoyance.

Everyone sat down, all were silent, looking at one another.

“Gentlemen, I was the cause of it all,” Mitya began again, unable to make anything of Grushenka’s words. “Come, why are we sitting here? What shall we do⁠ ⁠… to amuse ourselves again?”

“Ach, it’s certainly anything but amusing!” Kalganov mumbled lazily.

“Let’s play faro again, as we did just now,” Maximov tittered suddenly.

“Faro? Splendid!” cried Mitya. “If only the panovie⁠—”

“It’s lite, panovie,” the Pole on the sofa responded, as it were unwillingly.

“That’s true,” assented Pan Vrublevsky.

“Lite? What do you mean by ‘lite’?” asked Grushenka.

“Late, pani! ‘a late hour’ I mean,” the Pole on the sofa explained.

“It’s always late with them. They can never do anything!” Grushenka almost shrieked in her anger. “They’re dull themselves, so they want others to be dull. Before you came, Mitya, they were just as silent and kept turning up their noses at me.”

“My goddess!” cried the Pole on the sofa, “I see you’re not well-disposed to me, that’s why I’m gloomy. I’m ready, panie,” added he, addressing Mitya.

“Begin, panie,” Mitya assented, pulling his notes out of his pocket, and laying two hundred-rouble notes on the table. “I want to lose a lot to you. Take your cards. Make the bank.”

“We’ll have cards from the landlord, panie,” said the little Pole, gravely and emphatically.

“That’s much the best way,” chimed in Pan Vrublevsky.

“From the landlord? Very good, I understand, let’s get them from him. Cards!” Mitya shouted to the landlord.

The landlord brought in a new, unopened pack, and informed Mitya that the girls were getting ready, and that the Jews with the cymbals would most likely be here soon; but the cart with the provisions had not yet arrived. Mitya jumped up from the table and ran into the next room to give orders, but only three girls had arrived, and Marya was not there yet. And he did not know himself what orders to give and why he had run out. He only told them to take out of the box the presents for the girls, the sweets, the toffee and the fondants. “And vodka for Andrey, vodka for Andrey!” he cried in haste. “I was rude to Andrey!”

Suddenly Maximov, who had followed him out, touched him on the shoulder.

“Give me five roubles,” he whispered to Mitya. “I’ll stake something at faro, too, he he!”

“Capital! Splendid! Take ten, here!”

Again he took all the notes out of his pocket and picked out one for ten roubles. “And if you lose that, come again, come again.”

“Very good,” Maximov whispered joyfully, and he ran back again. Mitya, too, returned, apologizing for having kept them waiting. The Poles had already sat down, and opened the pack. They looked much more amiable, almost cordial. The Pole on the sofa had lighted another pipe and was preparing to throw. He wore an air of solemnity.

“To your places, gentlemen,” cried Pan Vrublevsky.

“No, I’m not going to play any more,” observed Kalganov, “I’ve lost fifty roubles to them just now.”

“The pan had no luck, perhaps he’ll be lucky this time,” the Pole on the sofa observed in his direction.

“How much in the bank? To correspond?” asked Mitya.

“That’s according, panie, maybe a hundred, maybe two hundred, as much as you will stake.”

“A million!” laughed Mitya.

“The Pan Captain has heard of Pan Podvysotsky, perhaps?”

“What Podvysotsky?”

“In Warsaw there was a bank and anyone comes and stakes against it. Podvysotsky comes, sees a thousand gold pieces, stakes against the bank. The banker says, ‘Panie Podvysotsky, are you laying down the gold, or must we trust to your honor?’ ‘To my honor, panie,’ says Podvysotsky. ‘So much the better.’ The banker throws the dice. Podvysotsky wins. ‘Take it, panie,’ says the banker, and pulling out the drawer he gives him a million. ‘Take it, panie, this is your gain.’ There was a million in the bank. ‘I didn’t know that,’ says Podvysotsky. ‘Panie Podvysotsky,’ said the banker, ‘you pledged your honor and we pledged ours.’ Podvysotsky took the million.”

“That’s not true,” said Kalganov.

Panie Kalganov, in gentlemanly society one doesn’t say such things.”

“As if a Polish gambler would give away a million!” cried Mitya, but checked himself at once. “Forgive me, panie, it’s my fault again, he would, he would give away a million, for honor, for Polish honor. You see how I talk Polish, ha ha! Here, I stake ten roubles, the knave leads.”

“And I put a rouble on the queen, the queen of hearts, the pretty little panienotchka, he he!” laughed Maximov, pulling out his queen, and, as though trying to conceal it from everyone, he moved right up and crossed himself hurriedly under the table. Mitya won. The rouble won, too.

“A corner!” cried Mitya.

“I’ll bet another rouble, a ‘single’ stake,” Maximov muttered gleefully, hugely delighted at having won a rouble.

“Lost!” shouted Mitya. “A ‘double’ on the seven!”

The seven too was trumped.

“Stop!” cried Kalganov suddenly.

“Double! Double!” Mitya doubled his stakes, and each time he doubled the stake, the card he doubled was trumped by the Poles. The rouble stakes kept winning.

“On the double!” shouted Mitya furiously.

“You’ve lost two hundred, panie. Will you stake another hundred?” the Pole on the sofa inquired.

“What? Lost two hundred already? Then another two hundred! All doubles!”

And pulling his money out of his pocket, Mitya was about to fling two hundred roubles on the queen, but Kalganov covered it with his hand.

“That’s enough!” he shouted in his ringing voice.

“What’s the matter?” Mitya stared at him.

“That’s enough! I don’t want you to play any more. Don’t!”


“Because I don’t. Hang it, come away. That’s why. I won’t let you go on playing.”

Mitya gazed at him in astonishment.

“Give it up, Mitya. He may be right. You’ve lost a lot as it is,” said Grushenka, with a curious note in her voice. Both the Poles rose from their seats with a deeply offended air.

“Are you joking, panie?” said the short man, looking severely at Kalganov.

“How dare you!” Pan Vrublevsky, too, growled at Kalganov.

“Don’t dare to shout like that,” cried Grushenka. “Ah, you turkey-cocks!”

Mitya looked at each of them in turn. But something in Grushenka’s face suddenly struck him, and at the same instant something new flashed into his mind⁠—a strange new thought!

Pani Agrippina,” the little Pole was beginning, crimson with anger, when Mitya suddenly went up to him and slapped him on the shoulder.

“Most illustrious, two words with you.”

“What do you want?”

“In the next room, I’ve two words to say to you, something pleasant, very pleasant. You’ll be glad to hear it.”

The little pan was taken aback and looked apprehensively at Mitya. He agreed at once, however, on condition that Pan Vrublevsky went with them.

“The bodyguard? Let him come, and I want him, too. I must have him!” cried Mitya. “March, panovie!”

“Where are you going?” asked Grushenka, anxiously.

“We’ll be back in one moment,” answered Mitya.

There was a sort of boldness, a sudden confidence shining in his eyes. His face had looked very different when he entered the room an hour before.

He led the Poles, not into the large room where the chorus of girls was assembling and the table was being laid, but into the bedroom on the right, where the trunks and packages were kept, and there were two large beds, with pyramids of cotton pillows on each. There was a lighted candle on a small deal table in the corner. The small man and Mitya sat down to this table, facing each other, while the huge Vrublevsky stood beside them, his hands behind his back. The Poles looked severe but were evidently inquisitive.

“What can I do for you, panie?” lisped the little Pole.

“Well, look here, panie, I won’t keep you long. There’s money for you,” he pulled out his notes. “Would you like three thousand? Take it and go your way.”

The Pole gazed open-eyed at Mitya, with a searching look.

“Three thousand, panie?” He exchanged glances with Vrublevsky.

“Three, panovie, three! Listen, panie, I see you’re a sensible man. Take three thousand and go to the devil, and Vrublevsky with you⁠—d’you hear? But, at once, this very minute, and forever. You understand that, panie, forever. Here’s the door, you go out of it. What have you got there, a greatcoat, a fur coat? I’ll bring it out to you. They’ll get the horses out directly, and then⁠—goodbye, panie!”

Mitya awaited an answer with assurance. He had no doubts. An expression of extraordinary resolution passed over the Pole’s face.

“And the money, panie?”

“The money, panie? Five hundred roubles I’ll give you this moment for the journey, and as a first installment, and two thousand five hundred tomorrow, in the town⁠—I swear on my honor, I’ll get it, I’ll get it at any cost!” cried Mitya.

The Poles exchanged glances again. The short man’s face looked more forbidding.

“Seven hundred, seven hundred, not five hundred, at once, this minute, cash down!” Mitya added, feeling something wrong. “What’s the matter, panie? Don’t you trust me? I can’t give you the whole three thousand straight off. If I give it, you may come back to her tomorrow.⁠ ⁠… Besides, I haven’t the three thousand with me. I’ve got it at home in the town,” faltered Mitya, his spirit sinking at every word he uttered. “Upon my word, the money’s there, hidden.”

In an instant an extraordinary sense of personal dignity showed itself in the little man’s face.

“What next?” he asked ironically. “For shame!” and he spat on the floor. Pan Vrublevsky spat too.

“You do that, panie,” said Mitya, recognizing with despair that all was over, “because you hope to make more out of Grushenka? You’re a couple of capons, that’s what you are!”

“This is a mortal insult!” The little Pole turned as red as a crab, and he went out of the room, briskly, as though unwilling to hear another word. Vrublevsky swung out after him, and Mitya followed, confused and crestfallen. He was afraid of Grushenka, afraid that the pan would at once raise an outcry. And so indeed he did. The Pole walked into the room and threw himself in a theatrical attitude before Grushenka.

Pani Agrippina, I have received a mortal insult!” he exclaimed. But Grushenka suddenly lost all patience, as though they had wounded her in the tenderest spot.

“Speak Russian! Speak Russian!” she cried, “not another word of Polish! You used to talk Russian. You can’t have forgotten it in five years.”

She was red with passion.

Pani Agrippina⁠—”

“My name’s Agrafena, Grushenka, speak Russian or I won’t listen!”

The Pole gasped with offended dignity, and quickly and pompously delivered himself in broken Russian:

Pani Agrafena, I came here to forget the past and forgive it, to forget all that has happened till today⁠—”

“Forgive? Came here to forgive me?” Grushenka cut him short, jumping up from her seat.

“Just so, pani, I’m not pusillanimous, I’m magnanimous. But I was astounded when I saw your lovers. Pan Mitya offered me three thousand, in the other room to depart. I spat in the pan’s face.”

“What? He offered you money for me?” cried Grushenka, hysterically. “Is it true, Mitya? How dare you? Am I for sale?”

Panie, panie!” yelled Mitya, “she’s pure and shining, and I have never been her lover! That’s a lie.⁠ ⁠…”

“How dare you defend me to him?” shrieked Grushenka. “It wasn’t virtue kept me pure, and it wasn’t that I was afraid of Kuzma, but that I might hold up my head when I met him, and tell him he’s a scoundrel. And he did actually refuse the money?”

“He took it! He took it!” cried Mitya; “only he wanted to get the whole three thousand at once, and I could only give him seven hundred straight off.”

“I see: he heard I had money, and came here to marry me!”

Pani Agrippina!” cried the little Pole. “I’m⁠—a knight, I’m⁠—a nobleman, and not a łajdak. I came here to make you my wife and I find you a different woman, perverse and shameless.”

“Oh, go back where you came from! I’ll tell them to turn you out and you’ll be turned out,” cried Grushenka, furious. “I’ve been a fool, a fool, to have been miserable these five years! And it wasn’t for his sake, it was my anger made me miserable. And this isn’t he at all! Was he like this? It might be his father! Where did you get your wig from? He was a falcon, but this is a gander. He used to laugh and sing to me.⁠ ⁠… And I’ve been crying for five years, damned fool, abject, shameless I was!”

She sank back in her low chair and hid her face in her hands. At that instant the chorus of Mokroe began singing in the room on the left⁠—a rollicking dance song.

“A regular Sodom!” Vrublevsky roared suddenly. “Landlord, send the shameless hussies away!”

The landlord, who had been for some time past inquisitively peeping in at the door, hearing shouts and guessing that his guests were quarreling, at once entered the room.

“What are you shouting for? D’you want to split your throat?” he said, addressing Vrublevsky, with surprising rudeness.

“Animal!” bellowed Pan Vrublevsky.

“Animal? And what sort of cards were you playing with just now? I gave you a pack and you hid it. You played with marked cards! I could send you to Siberia for playing with false cards, d’you know that, for it’s just the same as false banknotes.⁠ ⁠…”

And going up to the sofa he thrust his fingers between the sofa back and the cushion, and pulled out an unopened pack of cards.

“Here’s my pack unopened!”

He held it up and showed it to all in the room. “From where I stood I saw him slip my pack away, and put his in place of it⁠—you’re a cheat and not a gentleman!”

“And I twice saw the pan change a card!” cried Kalganov.

“How shameful! How shameful!” exclaimed Grushenka, clasping her hands, and blushing for genuine shame. “Good Lord, he’s come to that!”

“I thought so, too!” said Mitya. But before he had uttered the words, Vrublevsky, with a confused and infuriated face, shook his fist at Grushenka, shouting:

“You low harlot!”

Mitya flew at him at once, clutched him in both hands, lifted him in the air, and in one instant had carried him into the room on the right, from which they had just come.

“I’ve laid him on the floor, there,” he announced, returning at once, gasping with excitement. “He’s struggling, the scoundrel! But he won’t come back, no fear of that!⁠ ⁠…”

He closed one half of the folding doors, and holding the other ajar called out to the little Pole:

“Most illustrious, will you be pleased to retire as well?”

“My dear Dmitri Fyodorovitch,” said Trifon Borissovitch, “make them give you back the money you lost. It’s as good as stolen from you.”

“I don’t want my fifty roubles back,” Kalganov declared suddenly.

“I don’t want my two hundred, either,” cried Mitya, “I wouldn’t take it for anything! Let him keep it as a consolation.”

“Bravo, Mitya! You’re a trump, Mitya!” cried Grushenka, and there was a note of fierce anger in the exclamation.

The little pan, crimson with fury but still mindful of his dignity, was making for the door, but he stopped short and said suddenly, addressing Grushenka:

Pani, if you want to come with me, come. If not, goodbye.”

And swelling with indignation and importance he went to the door. This was a man of character: he had so good an opinion of himself that after all that had passed, he still expected that she would marry him. Mitya slammed the door after him.

“Lock it,” said Kalganov. But the key clicked on the other side, they had locked it from within.

“That’s capital!” exclaimed Grushenka relentlessly. “Serve them right!”


What followed was almost an orgy, a feast to which all were welcome. Grushenka was the first to call for wine.

“I want to drink. I want to be quite drunk, as we were before. Do you remember, Mitya, do you remember how we made friends here last time!”

Mitya himself was almost delirious, feeling that his happiness was at hand. But Grushenka was continually sending him away from her.

“Go and enjoy yourself. Tell them to dance, to make merry, ‘let the stove and cottage dance’; as we had it last time,” she kept exclaiming. She was tremendously excited. And Mitya hastened to obey her. The chorus were in the next room. The room in which they had been sitting till that moment was too small, and was divided in two by cotton curtains, behind which was a huge bed with a puffy feather mattress and a pyramid of cotton pillows. In the four rooms for visitors there were beds. Grushenka settled herself just at the door. Mitya set an easy chair for her. She had sat in the same place to watch the dancing and singing “the time before,” when they had made merry there. All the girls who had come had been there then; the Jewish band with fiddles and zithers had come, too, and at last the long expected cart had arrived with the wines and provisions.

Mitya bustled about. All sorts of people began coming into the room to look on, peasants and their women, who had been roused from sleep and attracted by the hopes of another marvelous entertainment such as they had enjoyed a month before. Mitya remembered their faces, greeting and embracing everyone he knew. He uncorked bottles and poured out wine for everyone who presented himself. Only the girls were very eager for the champagne. The men preferred rum, brandy, and, above all, hot punch. Mitya had chocolate made for all the girls, and ordered that three samovars should be kept boiling all night to provide tea and punch for everyone to help himself.

An absurd chaotic confusion followed, but Mitya was in his natural element, and the more foolish it became, the more his spirits rose. If the peasants had asked him for money at that moment, he would have pulled out his notes and given them away right and left. This was probably why the landlord, Trifon Borissovitch, kept hovering about Mitya to protect him. He seemed to have given up all idea of going to bed that night; but he drank little, only one glass of punch, and kept a sharp lookout on Mitya’s interests after his own fashion. He intervened in the nick of time, civilly and obsequiously persuading Mitya not to give away “cigars and Rhine wine,” and, above all, money to the peasants as he had done before. He was very indignant, too, at the peasant girls drinking liqueur, and eating sweets.

“They’re a lousy lot, Dmitri Fyodorovitch,” he said. “I’d give them a kick, every one of them, and they’d take it as an honor⁠—that’s all they’re worth!”

Mitya remembered Andrey again, and ordered punch to be sent out to him. “I was rude to him just now,” he repeated with a sinking, softened voice. Kalganov did not want to drink, and at first did not care for the girls’ singing; but after he had drunk a couple of glasses of champagne he became extraordinarily lively, strolling about the room, laughing and praising the music and the songs, admiring everyone and everything. Maximov, blissfully drunk, never left his side. Grushenka, too, was beginning to get drunk. Pointing to Kalganov, she said to Mitya:

“What a dear, charming boy he is!”

And Mitya, delighted, ran to kiss Kalganov and Maximov. Oh, great were his hopes! She had said nothing yet, and seemed, indeed, purposely to refrain from speaking. But she looked at him from time to time with caressing and passionate eyes. At last she suddenly gripped his hand and drew him vigorously to her. She was sitting at the moment in the low chair by the door.

“How was it you came just now, eh? Have you walked in!⁠ ⁠… I was frightened. So you wanted to give me up to him, did you? Did you really want to?”

“I didn’t want to spoil your happiness!” Mitya faltered blissfully. But she did not need his answer.

“Well, go and enjoy yourself⁠ ⁠…” she sent him away once more. “Don’t cry, I’ll call you back again.”

He would run away, and she listened to the singing and looked at the dancing, though her eyes followed him wherever he went. But in another quarter of an hour she would call him once more and again he would run back to her.

“Come, sit beside me, tell me, how did you hear about me, and my coming here yesterday? From whom did you first hear it?”

And Mitya began telling her all about it, disconnectedly, incoherently, feverishly. He spoke strangely, often frowning, and stopping abruptly.

“What are you frowning at?” she asked.

“Nothing.⁠ ⁠… I left a man ill there. I’d give ten years of my life for him to get well, to know he was all right!”

“Well, never mind him, if he’s ill. So you meant to shoot yourself tomorrow! What a silly boy! What for? I like such reckless fellows as you,” she lisped, with a rather halting tongue. “So you would go any length for me, eh? Did you really mean to shoot yourself tomorrow, you stupid? No, wait a little. Tomorrow I may have something to say to you.⁠ ⁠… I won’t say it today, but tomorrow. You’d like it to be today? No, I don’t want to today. Come, go along now, go and amuse yourself.”

Once, however, she called him, as it were, puzzled and uneasy.

“Why are you sad? I see you’re sad.⁠ ⁠… Yes, I see it,” she added, looking intently into his eyes. “Though you keep kissing the peasants and shouting, I see something. No, be merry. I’m merry; you be merry, too.⁠ ⁠… I love somebody here. Guess who it is. Ah, look, my boy has fallen asleep, poor dear, he’s drunk.”

She meant Kalganov. He was, in fact, drunk, and had dropped asleep for a moment, sitting on the sofa. But he was not merely drowsy from drink; he felt suddenly dejected, or, as he said, “bored.” He was intensely depressed by the girls’ songs, which, as the drinking went on, gradually became coarse and more reckless. And the dances were as bad. Two girls dressed up as bears, and a lively girl, called Stepanida, with a stick in her hand, acted the part of keeper, and began to “show them.”

“Look alive, Marya, or you’ll get the stick!”

The bears rolled on the ground at last in the most unseemly fashion, amid roars of laughter from the closely-packed crowd of men and women.

“Well, let them! Let them!” said Grushenka sententiously, with an ecstatic expression on her face. “When they do get a day to enjoy themselves, why shouldn’t folks be happy?”

Kalganov looked as though he had been besmirched with dirt.

“It’s swinish, all this peasant foolery,” he murmured, moving away; “it’s the game they play when it’s light all night in summer.”

He particularly disliked one “new” song to a jaunty dance-tune. It described how a gentleman came and tried his luck with the girls, to see whether they would love him:

The master came to try the girls:
Would they love him, would they not?

But the girls could not love the master:

He would beat me cruelly
And such love won’t do for me.

Then a gypsy comes along and he, too, tries:

The gypsy came to try the girls:
Would they love him, would they not?

But they couldn’t love the gypsy either:

He would be a thief, I fear,
And would cause me many a tear.

And many more men come to try their luck, among them a soldier:

The soldier came to try the girls:
Would they love him, would they not?

But the soldier is rejected with contempt, in two indecent lines, sung with absolute frankness and producing a furore in the audience. The song ends with a merchant:

The merchant came to try the girls:
Would they love him, would they not?

And it appears that he wins their love because:

The merchant will make gold for me
And his queen I’ll gladly be.

Kalvanov was positively indignant.

“That’s just a song of yesterday,” he said aloud. “Who writes such things for them? They might just as well have had a railwayman or a Jew come to try his luck with the girls; they’d have carried all before them.”

And, almost as though it were a personal affront, he declared, on the spot, that he was bored, sat down on the sofa and immediately fell asleep. His pretty little face looked rather pale, as it fell back on the sofa cushion.

“Look how pretty he is,” said Grushenka, taking Mitya up to him. “I was combing his hair just now; his hair’s like flax, and so thick.⁠ ⁠…”

And, bending over him tenderly, she kissed his forehead. Kalganov instantly opened his eyes, looked at her, stood up, and with the most anxious air inquired where was Maximov?

“So that’s who it is you want.” Grushenka laughed. “Stay with me a minute. Mitya, run and find his Maximov.”

Maximov, it appeared, could not tear himself away from the girls, only running away from time to time to pour himself out a glass of liqueur. He had drunk two cups of chocolate. His face was red, and his nose was crimson; his eyes were moist and mawkishly sweet. He ran up and announced that he was going to dance the “sabotière.”

“They taught me all those well-bred, aristocratic dances when I was little.⁠ ⁠…”

“Go, go with him, Mitya, and I’ll watch from here how he dances,” said Grushenka.

“No, no, I’m coming to look on, too,” exclaimed Kalganov, brushing aside in the most naive way Grushenka’s offer to sit with him. They all went to look on. Maximov danced his dance. But it roused no great admiration in anyone but Mitya. It consisted of nothing but skipping and hopping, kicking up the feet, and at every skip Maximov slapped the upturned sole of his foot. Kalganov did not like it at all, but Mitya kissed the dancer.

“Thanks. You’re tired perhaps? What are you looking for here? Would you like some sweets? A cigar, perhaps?”

“A cigarette.”

“Don’t you want a drink?”

“I’ll just have a liqueur.⁠ ⁠… Have you any chocolates?”

“Yes, there’s a heap of them on the table there. Choose one, my dear soul!”

“I like one with vanilla⁠ ⁠… for old people. He he!”

“No, brother, we’ve none of that special sort.”

“I say,” the old man bent down to whisper in Mitya’s ear. “That girl there, little Marya, he he! How would it be if you were to help me make friends with her?”

“So that’s what you’re after! No, brother, that won’t do!”

“I’d do no harm to anyone,” Maximov muttered disconsolately.

“Oh, all right, all right. They only come here to dance and sing, you know, brother. But damn it all, wait a bit!⁠ ⁠… Eat and drink and be merry, meanwhile. Don’t you want money?”

“Later on, perhaps,” smiled Maximov.

“All right, all right.⁠ ⁠…”

Mitya’s head was burning. He went outside to the wooden balcony which ran round the whole building on the inner side, overlooking the courtyard. The fresh air revived him. He stood alone in a dark corner, and suddenly clutched his head in both hands. His scattered thoughts came together; his sensations blended into a whole and threw a sudden light into his mind. A fearful and terrible light! “If I’m to shoot myself, why not now?” passed through his mind. “Why not go for the pistols, bring them here, and here, in this dark dirty corner, make an end?” Almost a minute he stood, undecided. A few hours earlier, when he had been dashing here, he was pursued by disgrace, by the theft he had committed, and that blood, that blood!⁠ ⁠… But yet it was easier for him then. Then everything was over: he had lost her, given her up. She was gone, for him⁠—oh, then his death sentence had been easier for him; at least it had seemed necessary, inevitable, for what had he to stay on earth for?

But now? Was it the same as then? Now one phantom, one terror at least was at an end: that first, rightful lover, that fateful figure had vanished, leaving no trace. The terrible phantom had turned into something so small, so comic; it had been carried into the bedroom and locked in. It would never return. She was ashamed, and from her eyes he could see now whom she loved. Now he had everything to make life happy⁠ ⁠… but he could not go on living, he could not; oh, damnation! “O God! restore to life the man I knocked down at the fence! Let this fearful cup pass from me! Lord, thou hast wrought miracles for such sinners as me! But what, what if the old man’s alive? Oh, then the shame of the other disgrace I would wipe away. I would restore the stolen money. I’d give it back; I’d get it somehow.⁠ ⁠… No trace of that shame will remain except in my heart forever! But no, no; oh, impossible cowardly dreams! Oh, damnation!”

Yet there was a ray of light and hope in his darkness. He jumped up and ran back to the room⁠—to her, to her, his queen forever! Was not one moment of her love worth all the rest of life, even in the agonies of disgrace? This wild question clutched at his heart. “To her, to her alone, to see her, to hear her, to think of nothing, to forget everything, if only for that night, for an hour, for a moment!” Just as he turned from the balcony into the passage, he came upon the landlord, Trifon Borissovitch. He thought he looked gloomy and worried, and fancied he had come to find him.

“What is it, Trifon Borissovitch? are you looking for me?”

“No, sir.” The landlord seemed disconcerted. “Why should I be looking for you? Where have you been?”

“Why do you look so glum? You’re not angry, are you? Wait a bit, you shall soon get to bed.⁠ ⁠… What’s the time?”

“It’ll be three o’clock. Past three, it must be.”

“We’ll leave off soon. We’ll leave off.”

“Don’t mention it; it doesn’t matter. Keep it up as long as you like.⁠ ⁠…”

“What’s the matter with him?” Mitya wondered for an instant, and he ran back to the room where the girls were dancing. But she was not there. She was not in the blue room either; there was no one but Kalganov asleep on the sofa. Mitya peeped behind the curtain⁠—she was there. She was sitting in the corner, on a trunk. Bent forward, with her head and arms on the bed close by, she was crying bitterly, doing her utmost to stifle her sobs that she might not be heard. Seeing Mitya, she beckoned him to her, and when he ran to her, she grasped his hand tightly.

“Mitya, Mitya, I loved him, you know. How I have loved him these five years, all that time! Did I love him or only my own anger? No, him, him! It’s a lie that it was my anger I loved and not him. Mitya, I was only seventeen then; he was so kind to me, so merry; he used to sing to me.⁠ ⁠… Or so it seemed to a silly girl like me.⁠ ⁠… And now, O Lord, it’s not the same man. Even his face is not the same; he’s different altogether. I shouldn’t have known him. I drove here with Timofey, and all the way I was thinking how I should meet him, what I should say to him, how we should look at one another. My soul was faint, and all of a sudden it was just as though he had emptied a pail of dirty water over me. He talked to me like a schoolmaster, all so grave and learned; he met me so solemnly that I was struck dumb. I couldn’t get a word in. At first I thought he was ashamed to talk before his great big Pole. I sat staring at him and wondering why I couldn’t say a word to him now. It must have been his wife that ruined him; you know he threw me up to get married. She must have changed him like that. Mitya, how shameful it is! Oh, Mitya, I’m ashamed, I’m ashamed for all my life. Curse it, curse it, curse those five years!”

And again she burst into tears, but clung tight to Mitya’s hand and did not let it go.

“Mitya, darling, stay, don’t go away. I want to say one word to you,” she whispered, and suddenly raised her face to him. “Listen, tell me who it is I love? I love one man here. Who is that man? That’s what you must tell me.”

A smile lighted up her face that was swollen with weeping, and her eyes shone in the half darkness.

“A falcon flew in, and my heart sank. ‘Fool! that’s the man you love!’ That was what my heart whispered to me at once. You came in and all grew bright. What’s he afraid of? I wondered. For you were frightened; you couldn’t speak. It’s not them he’s afraid of⁠—could you be frightened of anyone? It’s me he’s afraid of, I thought, only me. So Fenya told you, you little stupid, how I called to Alyosha out of the window that I’d loved Mityenka for one hour, and that I was going now to love⁠ ⁠… another. Mitya, Mitya, how could I be such a fool as to think I could love anyone after you? Do you forgive me, Mitya? Do you forgive me or not? Do you love me? Do you love me?” She jumped up and held him with both hands on his shoulders. Mitya, dumb with rapture, gazed into her eyes, at her face, at her smile, and suddenly clasped her tightly in his arms and kissed her passionately.

“You will forgive me for having tormented you? It was through spite I tormented you all. It was for spite I drove the old man out of his mind.⁠ ⁠… Do you remember how you drank at my house one day and broke the wineglass? I remembered that and I broke a glass today and drank ‘to my vile heart.’ Mitya, my falcon, why don’t you kiss me? He kissed me once, and now he draws back and looks and listens. Why listen to me? Kiss me, kiss me hard, that’s right. If you love, well, then, love! I’ll be your slave now, your slave for the rest of my life. It’s sweet to be a slave. Kiss me! Beat me, ill-treat me, do what you will with me.⁠ ⁠… And I do deserve to suffer. Stay, wait, afterwards, I won’t have that.⁠ ⁠…” she suddenly thrust him away. “Go along, Mitya, I’ll come and have some wine, I want to be drunk, I’m going to get drunk and dance; I must, I must!” She tore herself away from him and disappeared behind the curtain. Mitya followed like a drunken man.

“Yes, come what may⁠—whatever may happen now, for one minute I’d give the whole world,” he thought. Grushenka did, in fact, toss off a whole glass of champagne at one gulp, and became at once very tipsy. She sat down in the same chair as before, with a blissful smile on her face. Her cheeks were glowing, her lips were burning, her flashing eyes were moist; there was passionate appeal in her eyes. Even Kalganov felt a stir at the heart and went up to her.

“Did you feel how I kissed you when you were asleep just now?” she said thickly. “I’m drunk now, that’s what it is.⁠ ⁠… And aren’t you drunk? And why isn’t Mitya drinking? Why don’t you drink, Mitya? I’m drunk, and you don’t drink.⁠ ⁠…”

“I am drunk! I’m drunk as it is⁠ ⁠… drunk with you⁠ ⁠… and now I’ll be drunk with wine, too.”

He drank off another glass, and⁠—he thought it strange himself⁠—that glass made him completely drunk. He was suddenly drunk, although till that moment he had been quite sober, he remembered that. From that moment everything whirled about him, as though he were delirious. He walked, laughed, talked to everybody, without knowing what he was doing. Only one persistent burning sensation made itself felt continually, “like a red-hot coal in his heart,” he said afterwards. He went up to her, sat beside her, gazed at her, listened to her.⁠ ⁠… She became very talkative, kept calling everyone to her, and beckoned to different girls out of the chorus. When the girl came up, she either kissed her, or made the sign of the cross over her. In another minute she might have cried. She was greatly amused by the “little old man,” as she called Maximov. He ran up every minute to kiss her hands, “each little finger,” and finally he danced another dance to an old song, which he sang himself. He danced with special vigor to the refrain:

The little pig says⁠—umph! umph! umph!
The little calf says⁠—moo, moo, moo,
The little duck says⁠—quack, quack, quack,
The little goose says⁠—ga, ga, ga.
The hen goes strutting through the porch;
Troo-roo-roo-roo-roo, she’ll say,
Troo-roo-roo-roo-roo, she’ll say!

“Give him something, Mitya,” said Grushenka. “Give him a present, he’s poor, you know. Ah, the poor, the insulted!⁠ ⁠… Do you know, Mitya, I shall go into a nunnery. No, I really shall one day, Alyosha said something to me today that I shall remember all my life.⁠ ⁠… Yes.⁠ ⁠… But today let us dance. Tomorrow to the nunnery, but today we’ll dance. I want to play today, good people, and what of it? God will forgive us. If I were God, I’d forgive everyone: ‘My dear sinners, from this day forth I forgive you.’ I’m going to beg forgiveness: ‘Forgive me, good people, a silly wench.’ I’m a beast, that’s what I am. But I want to pray. I gave a little onion. Wicked as I’ve been, I want to pray. Mitya, let them dance, don’t stop them. Everyone in the world is good. Everyone⁠—even the worst of them. The world’s a nice place. Though we’re bad the world’s all right. We’re good and bad, good and bad.⁠ ⁠… Come, tell me, I’ve something to ask you: come here everyone, and I’ll ask you: Why am I so good? You know I am good. I’m very good.⁠ ⁠… Come, why am I so good?”

So Grushenka babbled on, getting more and more drunk. At last she announced that she was going to dance, too. She got up from her chair, staggering. “Mitya, don’t give me any more wine⁠—if I ask you, don’t give it to me. Wine doesn’t give peace. Everything’s going round, the stove, and everything. I want to dance. Let everyone see how I dance⁠ ⁠… let them see how beautifully I dance.⁠ ⁠…”

She really meant it. She pulled a white cambric handkerchief out of her pocket, and took it by one corner in her right hand, to wave it in the dance. Mitya ran to and fro, the girls were quiet, and got ready to break into a dancing song at the first signal. Maximov, hearing that Grushenka wanted to dance, squealed with delight, and ran skipping about in front of her, humming:

With legs so slim and sides so trim
And its little tail curled tight.

But Grushenka waved her handkerchief at him and drove him away.

“Sh-h! Mitya, why don’t they come? Let everyone come⁠ ⁠… to look on. Call them in, too, that were locked in.⁠ ⁠… Why did you lock them in? Tell them I’m going to dance. Let them look on, too.⁠ ⁠…”

Mitya walked with a drunken swagger to the locked door, and began knocking to the Poles with his fist.

“Hi, you⁠ ⁠… Podvysotskys! Come, she’s going to dance. She calls you.”

Łajdak!” one of the Poles shouted in reply.

“You’re a łajdak yourself! You’re a little scoundrel, that’s what you are.”

“Leave off laughing at Poland,” said Kalganov sententiously. He too was drunk.

“Be quiet, boy! If I call him a scoundrel, it doesn’t mean that I called all Poland so. One łajdak doesn’t make a Poland. Be quiet, my pretty boy, eat a sweetmeat.”

“Ach, what fellows! As though they were not men. Why won’t they make friends?” said Grushenka, and went forward to dance. The chorus broke into “Ah, my porch, my new porch!” Grushenka flung back her head, half opened her lips, smiled, waved her handkerchief, and suddenly, with a violent lurch, stood still in the middle of the room, looking bewildered.

“I’m weak.⁠ ⁠…” she said in an exhausted voice. “Forgive me.⁠ ⁠… I’m weak, I can’t.⁠ ⁠… I’m sorry.”

She bowed to the chorus, and then began bowing in all directions.

“I’m sorry.⁠ ⁠… Forgive me.⁠ ⁠…”

“The lady’s been drinking. The pretty lady has been drinking,” voices were heard saying.

“The lady’s drunk too much,” Maximov explained to the girls, giggling.

“Mitya, lead me away⁠ ⁠… take me,” said Grushenka helplessly. Mitya pounced on her, snatched her up in his arms, and carried the precious burden through the curtains.

“Well, now I’ll go,” thought Kalganov, and walking out of the blue room, he closed the two halves of the door after him. But the orgy in the larger room went on and grew louder and louder. Mitya laid Grushenka on the bed and kissed her on the lips.

“Don’t touch me.⁠ ⁠…” she faltered, in an imploring voice. “Don’t touch me, till I’m yours.⁠ ⁠… I’ve told you I’m yours, but don’t touch me⁠ ⁠… spare me.⁠ ⁠… With them here, with them close, you mustn’t. He’s here. It’s nasty here.⁠ ⁠…”

“I’ll obey you! I won’t think of it⁠ ⁠… I worship you!” muttered Mitya. “Yes, it’s nasty here, it’s abominable.”

And still holding her in his arms, he sank on his knees by the bedside.

“I know, though you’re a brute, you’re generous,” Grushenka articulated with difficulty. “It must be honorable⁠ ⁠… it shall be honorable for the future⁠ ⁠… and let us be honest, let us be good, not brutes, but good⁠ ⁠… take me away, take me far away, do you hear? I don’t want it to be here, but far, far away.⁠ ⁠…”

“Oh, yes, yes, it must be!” said Mitya, pressing her in his arms. “I’ll take you and we’ll fly away.⁠ ⁠… Oh, I’d give my whole life for one year only to know about that blood!”

“What blood?” asked Grushenka, bewildered.

“Nothing,” muttered Mitya, through his teeth. “Grusha, you wanted to be honest, but I’m a thief. But I’ve stolen money from Katya.⁠ ⁠… Disgrace, a disgrace!”

“From Katya, from that young lady? No, you didn’t steal it. Give it her back, take it from me.⁠ ⁠… Why make a fuss? Now everything of mine is yours. What does money matter? We shall waste it anyway.⁠ ⁠… Folks like us are bound to waste money. But we’d better go and work the land. I want to dig the earth with my own hands. We must work, do you hear? Alyosha said so. I won’t be your mistress, I’ll be faithful to you, I’ll be your slave, I’ll work for you. We’ll go to the young lady and bow down to her together, so that she may forgive us, and then we’ll go away. And if she won’t forgive us, we’ll go, anyway. Take her her money and love me.⁠ ⁠… Don’t love her.⁠ ⁠… Don’t love her any more. If you love her, I shall strangle her.⁠ ⁠… I’ll put out both her eyes with a needle.⁠ ⁠…”

“I love you. I love only you. I’ll love you in Siberia.⁠ ⁠…”

“Why Siberia? Never mind, Siberia, if you like. I don’t care⁠ ⁠… we’ll work⁠ ⁠… there’s snow in Siberia.⁠ ⁠… I love driving in the snow⁠ ⁠… and must have bells.⁠ ⁠… Do you hear, there’s a bell ringing? Where is that bell ringing? There are people coming.⁠ ⁠… Now it’s stopped.”

She closed her eyes, exhausted, and suddenly fell asleep for an instant. There had certainly been the sound of a bell in the distance, but the ringing had ceased. Mitya let his head sink on her breast. He did not notice that the bell had ceased ringing, nor did he notice that the songs had ceased, and that instead of singing and drunken clamor there was absolute stillness in the house. Grushenka opened her eyes.

“What’s the matter? Was I asleep? Yes⁠ ⁠… a bell⁠ ⁠… I’ve been asleep and dreamt I was driving over the snow with bells, and I dozed. I was with someone I loved, with you. And far, far away. I was holding you and kissing you, nestling close to you. I was cold, and the snow glistened.⁠ ⁠… You know how the snow glistens at night when the moon shines. It was as though I was not on earth. I woke up, and my dear one is close to me. How sweet that is!⁠ ⁠…”

“Close to you,” murmured Mitya, kissing her dress, her bosom, her hands. And suddenly he had a strange fancy: it seemed to him that she was looking straight before her, not at him, not into his face, but over his head, with an intent, almost uncanny fixity. An expression of wonder, almost of alarm, came suddenly into her face.

“Mitya, who is that looking at us?” she whispered.

Mitya turned, and saw that someone had, in fact, parted the curtains and seemed to be watching them. And not one person alone, it seemed.

He jumped up and walked quickly to the intruder.

“Here, come to us, come here,” said a voice, speaking not loudly, but firmly and peremptorily.

Mitya passed to the other side of the curtain and stood stock still. The room was filled with people, but not those who had been there before. An instantaneous shiver ran down his back, and he shuddered. He recognized all those people instantly. That tall, stout old man in the overcoat and forage-cap with a cockade⁠—was the police captain, Mihail Makarovitch. And that “consumptive-looking” trim dandy, “who always has such polished boots”⁠—that was the deputy prosecutor. “He has a chronometer worth four hundred roubles; he showed it to me.” And that small young man in spectacles.⁠ ⁠… Mitya forgot his surname though he knew him, had seen him: he was the “investigating lawyer,” from the “school of jurisprudence,” who had only lately come to the town. And this man⁠—the inspector of police, Mavriky Mavrikyevitch, a man he knew well. And those fellows with the brass plates on, why are they here? And those other two⁠ ⁠… peasants.⁠ ⁠… And there at the door Kalganov with Trifon Borissovitch.⁠ ⁠…

“Gentlemen! What’s this for, gentlemen?” began Mitya, but suddenly, as though beside himself, not knowing what he was doing, he cried aloud, at the top of his voice:

“I un⁠—der⁠—stand!”

The young man in spectacles moved forward suddenly, and stepping up to Mitya, began with dignity, though hurriedly:

“We have to make⁠ ⁠… in brief, I beg you to come this way, this way to the sofa.⁠ ⁠… It is absolutely imperative that you should give an explanation.”

“The old man!” cried Mitya frantically. “The old man and his blood!⁠ ⁠… I understand.”

And he sank, almost fell, on a chair close by, as though he had been mown down by a scythe.

“You understand? He understands it! Monster and parricide! Your father’s blood cries out against you!” the old captain of police roared suddenly, stepping up to Mitya.

He was beside himself, crimson in the face and quivering all over.

“This is impossible!” cried the small young man. “Mihail Makarovitch, Mihail Makarovitch, this won’t do!⁠ ⁠… I beg you’ll allow me to speak. I should never have expected such behavior from you.⁠ ⁠…”

“This is delirium, gentlemen, raving delirium,” cried the captain of police; “look at him: drunk, at this time of night, in the company of a disreputable woman, with the blood of his father on his hands.⁠ ⁠… It’s delirium!⁠ ⁠…”

“I beg you most earnestly, dear Mihail Makarovitch, to restrain your feelings,” the prosecutor said in a rapid whisper to the old police captain, “or I shall be forced to resort to⁠—”

But the little lawyer did not allow him to finish. He turned to Mitya, and delivered himself in a loud, firm, dignified voice:

“Ex-Lieutenant Karamazov, it is my duty to inform you that you are charged with the murder of your father, Fyodor Pavlovitch Karamazov, perpetrated this night.⁠ ⁠…”

He said something more, and the prosecutor, too, put in something, but though Mitya heard them he did not understand them. He stared at them all with wild eyes.

Book IX

The Preliminary Investigation


The Beginning of Perhotin’s Official Career
Pyotr Ilyitch Perhotin, whom we left knocking at the strong locked gates of the widow Morozov’s house, ended, of course, by making himself heard. Fenya, who was still excited by the fright she had had two hours before, and too much “upset” to go to bed, was almost frightened into hysterics on hearing the furious knocking at the gate. Though she had herself seen him drive away, she fancied that it must be Dmitri Fyodorovitch knocking again, no one else could knock so savagely. She ran to the house-porter, who had already waked up and gone out to the gate, and began imploring him not to open it. But having questioned Pyotr Ilyitch, and learned that he wanted to see Fenya on very “important business,” the man made up his mind at last to open. Pyotr Ilyitch was admitted into Fenya’s kitchen, but the girl begged him to allow the house-porter to be present, “because of her misgivings.” He began questioning her and at once learnt the most vital fact, that is, that when Dmitri Fyodorovitch had run out to look for Grushenka, he had snatched up a pestle from the mortar, and that when he returned, the pestle was not with him and his hands were smeared with blood.

“And the blood was simply flowing, dripping from him, dripping!” Fenya kept exclaiming. This horrible detail was simply the product of her disordered imagination. But although not “dripping,” Pyotr Ilyitch had himself seen those hands stained with blood, and had helped to wash them. Moreover, the question he had to decide was not how soon the blood had dried, but where Dmitri Fyodorovitch had run with the pestle, or rather, whether it really was to Fyodor Pavlovitch’s, and how he could satisfactorily ascertain. Pyotr Ilyitch persisted in returning to this point, and though he found out nothing conclusive, yet he carried away a conviction that Dmitri Fyodorovitch could have gone nowhere but to his father’s house, and that therefore something must have happened there.

“And when he came back,” Fenya added with excitement, “I told him the whole story, and then I began asking him, ‘Why have you got blood on your hands, Dmitri Fyodorovitch?’ and he answered that that was human blood, and that he had just killed someone. He confessed it all to me, and suddenly ran off like a madman. I sat down and began thinking, where’s he run off to now like a madman? He’ll go to Mokroe, I thought, and kill my mistress there. I ran out to beg him not to kill her. I was running to his lodgings, but I looked at Plotnikov’s shop, and saw him just setting off, and there was no blood on his hands then.” (Fenya had noticed this and remembered it.) Fenya’s old grandmother confirmed her evidence as far as she was capable. After asking some further questions, Pyotr Ilyitch left the house, even more upset and uneasy than he had been when he entered it.

The most direct and the easiest thing for him to do would have been to go straight to Fyodor Pavlovitch’s, to find out whether anything had happened there, and if so, what; and only to go to the police captain, as Pyotr Ilyitch firmly intended doing, when he had satisfied himself of the fact. But the night was dark, Fyodor Pavlovitch’s gates were strong, and he would have to knock again. His acquaintance with Fyodor Pavlovitch was of the slightest, and what if, after he had been knocking, they opened to him, and nothing had happened? Then Fyodor Pavlovitch in his jeering way would go telling the story all over the town, how a stranger, called Perhotin, had broken in upon him at midnight to ask if anyone had killed him. It would make a scandal. And scandal was what Pyotr Ilyitch dreaded more than anything in the world.

Yet the feeling that possessed him was so strong, that though he stamped his foot angrily and swore at himself, he set off again, not to Fyodor Pavlovitch’s but to Madame Hohlakov’s. He decided that if she denied having just given Dmitri Fyodorovitch three thousand roubles, he would go straight to the police captain, but if she admitted having given him the money, he would go home and let the matter rest till next morning.

It is, of course, perfectly evident that there was even more likelihood of causing scandal by going at eleven o’clock at night to a fashionable lady, a complete stranger, and perhaps rousing her from her bed to ask her an amazing question, than by going to Fyodor Pavlovitch. But that is just how it is, sometimes, especially in cases like the present one, with the decisions of the most precise and phlegmatic people. Pyotr Ilyitch was by no means phlegmatic at that moment. He remembered all his life how a haunting uneasiness gradually gained possession of him, growing more and more painful and driving him on, against his will. Yet he kept cursing himself, of course, all the way for going to this lady, but “I will get to the bottom of it, I will!” he repeated for the tenth time, grinding his teeth, and he carried out his intention.

It was exactly eleven o’clock when he entered Madame Hohlakov’s house. He was admitted into the yard pretty quickly, but, in response to his inquiry whether the lady was still up, the porter could give no answer, except that she was usually in bed by that time.

“Ask at the top of the stairs. If the lady wants to receive you, she’ll receive you. If she won’t, she won’t.”

Pyotr Ilyitch went up, but did not find things so easy here. The footman was unwilling to take in his name, but finally called a maid. Pyotr Ilyitch politely but insistently begged her to inform her lady that an official, living in the town, called Perhotin, had called on particular business, and that if it were not of the greatest importance he would not have ventured to come. “Tell her in those words, in those words exactly,” he asked the girl.

She went away. He remained waiting in the entry. Madame Hohlakov herself was already in her bedroom, though not yet asleep. She had felt upset ever since Mitya’s visit, and had a presentiment that she would not get through the night without the sick headache which always, with her, followed such excitement. She was surprised on hearing the announcement from the maid. She irritably declined to see him, however, though the unexpected visit at such an hour, of an “official living in the town,” who was a total stranger, roused her feminine curiosity intensely. But this time Pyotr Ilyitch was as obstinate as a mule. He begged the maid most earnestly to take another message in these very words:

“That he had come on business of the greatest importance, and that Madame Hohlakov might have cause to regret it later, if she refused to see him now.”

“I plunged headlong,” he described it afterwards.

The maid, gazing at him in amazement, went to take his message again. Madame Hohlakov was impressed. She thought a little, asked what he looked like, and learned that he was “very well dressed, young and so polite.” We may note, parenthetically, that Pyotr Ilyitch was a rather good-looking young man, and well aware of the fact. Madame Hohlakov made up her mind to see him. She was in her dressing-gown and slippers, but she flung a black shawl over her shoulders. “The official” was asked to walk into the drawing-room, the very room in which Mitya had been received shortly before. The lady came to meet her visitor, with a sternly inquiring countenance, and, without asking him to sit down, began at once with the question:

“What do you want?”

“I have ventured to disturb you, madam, on a matter concerning our common acquaintance, Dmitri Fyodorovitch Karamazov,” Perhotin began.

But he had hardly uttered the name, when the lady’s face showed signs of acute irritation. She almost shrieked, and interrupted him in a fury:

“How much longer am I to be worried by that awful man?” she cried hysterically. “How dare you, sir, how could you venture to disturb a lady who is a stranger to you, in her own house at such an hour!⁠ ⁠… And to force yourself upon her to talk of a man who came here, to this very drawing-room, only three hours ago, to murder me, and went stamping out of the room, as no one would go out of a decent house. Let me tell you, sir, that I shall lodge a complaint against you, that I will not let it pass. Kindly leave me at once.⁠ ⁠… I am a mother.⁠ ⁠… I⁠ ⁠… I⁠—”

“Murder! then he tried to murder you, too?”

“Why, has he killed somebody else?” Madame Hohlakov asked impulsively.

“If you would kindly listen, madam, for half a moment, I’ll explain it all in a couple of words,” answered Perhotin, firmly. “At five o’clock this afternoon Dmitri Fyodorovitch borrowed ten roubles from me, and I know for a fact he had no money. Yet at nine o’clock, he came to see me with a bundle of hundred-rouble notes in his hand, about two or three thousand roubles. His hands and face were all covered with blood, and he looked like a madman. When I asked him where he had got so much money, he answered that he had just received it from you, that you had given him a sum of three thousand to go to the goldmines.⁠ ⁠…”

Madame Hohlakov’s face assumed an expression of intense and painful excitement.

“Good God! He must have killed his old father!” she cried, clasping her hands. “I have never given him money, never! Oh, run, run!⁠ ⁠… Don’t say another word! Save the old man⁠ ⁠… run to his father⁠ ⁠… run!”

“Excuse me, madam, then you did not give him money? You remember for a fact that you did not give him any money?”

“No, I didn’t, I didn’t! I refused to give it him, for he could not appreciate it. He ran out in a fury, stamping. He rushed at me, but I slipped away.⁠ ⁠… And let me tell you, as I wish to hide nothing from you now, that he positively spat at me. Can you fancy that! But why are we standing? Ah, sit down.”

“Excuse me, I.⁠ ⁠…”

“Or better run, run, you must run and save the poor old man from an awful death!”

“But if he has killed him already?”

“Ah, good heavens, yes! Then what are we to do now? What do you think we must do now?”

Meantime she had made Pyotr Ilyitch sit down and sat down herself, facing him. Briefly, but fairly clearly, Pyotr Ilyitch told her the history of the affair, that part of it at least which he had himself witnessed. He described, too, his visit to Fenya, and told her about the pestle. All these details produced an overwhelming effect on the distracted lady, who kept uttering shrieks, and covering her face with her hands.⁠ ⁠…

“Would you believe it, I foresaw all this! I have that special faculty, whatever I imagine comes to pass. And how often I’ve looked at that awful man and always thought, that man will end by murdering me. And now it’s happened⁠ ⁠… that is, if he hasn’t murdered me, but only his own father, it’s only because the finger of God preserved me, and what’s more, he was ashamed to murder me because, in this very place, I put the holy icon from the relics of the holy martyr, Saint Varvara, on his neck.⁠ ⁠… And to think how near I was to death at that minute, I went close up to him and he stretched out his neck to me!⁠ ⁠… Do you know, Pyotr Ilyitch (I think you said your name was Pyotr Ilyitch), I don’t believe in miracles, but that icon and this unmistakable miracle with me now⁠—that shakes me, and I’m ready to believe in anything you like. Have you heard about Father Zossima?⁠ ⁠… But I don’t know what I’m saying⁠ ⁠… and only fancy, with the icon on his neck he spat at me.⁠ ⁠… He only spat, it’s true, he didn’t murder me and⁠ ⁠… he dashed away! But what shall we do, what must we do now? What do you think?”

Pyotr Ilyitch got up, and announced that he was going straight to the police captain, to tell him all about it, and leave him to do what he thought fit.

“Oh, he’s an excellent man, excellent! Mihail Makarovitch, I know him. Of course, he’s the person to go to. How practical you are, Pyotr Ilyitch! How well you’ve thought of everything! I should never have thought of it in your place!”

“Especially as I know the police captain very well, too,” observed Pyotr Ilyitch, who still continued to stand, and was obviously anxious to escape as quickly as possible from the impulsive lady, who would not let him say goodbye and go away.

“And be sure, be sure,” she prattled on, “to come back and tell me what you see there, and what you find out⁠ ⁠… what comes to light⁠ ⁠… how they’ll try him⁠ ⁠… and what he’s condemned to.⁠ ⁠… Tell me, we have no capital punishment, have we? But be sure to come, even if it’s at three o’clock at night, at four, at half-past four.⁠ ⁠… Tell them to wake me, to wake me, to shake me, if I don’t get up.⁠ ⁠… But, good heavens, I shan’t sleep! But wait, hadn’t I better come with you?”

“N⁠—no. But if you would write three lines with your own hand, stating that you did not give Dmitri Fyodorovitch money, it might, perhaps, be of use⁠ ⁠… in case it’s needed.⁠ ⁠…”

“To be sure!” Madame Hohlakov skipped, delighted, to her bureau. “And you know I’m simply struck, amazed at your resourcefulness, your good sense in such affairs. Are you in the service here? I’m delighted to think that you’re in the service here!”

And still speaking, she scribbled on half a sheet of notepaper the following lines:

I’ve never in my life lent to that unhappy man, Dmitri Fyodorovitch Karamazov (for, in spite of all, he is unhappy), three thousand roubles today. I’ve never given him money, never: That I swear by all that’s holy!
K. Hohlakov.

“Here’s the note!” she turned quickly to Pyotr Ilyitch. “Go, save him. It’s a noble deed on your part!”

And she made the sign of the cross three times over him. She ran out to accompany him to the passage.

“How grateful I am to you! You can’t think how grateful I am to you for having come to me, first. How is it I haven’t met you before? I shall feel flattered at seeing you at my house in the future. How delightful it is that you are living here!⁠ ⁠… Such precision! Such practical ability!⁠ ⁠… They must appreciate you, they must understand you. If there’s anything I can do, believe me⁠ ⁠… oh, I love young people! I’m in love with young people! The younger generation are the one prop of our suffering country. Her one hope.⁠ ⁠… Oh, go, go!⁠ ⁠…”

But Pyotr Ilyitch had already run away or she would not have let him go so soon. Yet Madame Hohlakov had made a rather agreeable impression on him, which had somewhat softened his anxiety at being drawn into such an unpleasant affair. Tastes differ, as we all know. “She’s by no means so elderly,” he thought, feeling pleased, “on the contrary I should have taken her for her daughter.”

As for Madame Hohlakov, she was simply enchanted by the young man. “Such sense! such exactness! in so young a man! in our day! and all that with such manners and appearance! People say the young people of today are no good for anything, but here’s an example!” etc. So she simply forgot this “dreadful affair,” and it was only as she was getting into bed, that, suddenly recalling “how near death she had been,” she exclaimed: “Ah, it is awful, awful!”

But she fell at once into a sound, sweet sleep.

I would not, however, have dwelt on such trivial and irrelevant details, if this eccentric meeting of the young official with the by no means elderly widow had not subsequently turned out to be the foundation of the whole career of that practical and precise young man. His story is remembered to this day with amazement in our town, and I shall perhaps have something to say about it, when I have finished my long history of the Brothers Karamazov.


The Alarm
Our police captain, Mihail Makarovitch Makarov, a retired lieutenant-colonel, was a widower and an excellent man. He had only come to us three years previously, but had won general esteem, chiefly because he “knew how to keep society together.” He was never without visitors, and could not have got on without them. Someone or other was always dining with him; he never sat down to table without guests. He gave regular dinners, too, on all sorts of occasions, sometimes most surprising ones. Though the fare was not recherché, it was abundant. The fish-pies were excellent, and the wine made up in quantity for what it lacked in quality.

The first room his guests entered was a well-fitted billiard-room, with pictures of English racehorses, in black frames on the walls, an essential decoration, as we all know, for a bachelor’s billiard-room. There was card-playing every evening at his house, if only at one table. But at frequent intervals, all the society of our town, with the mammas and young ladies, assembled at his house to dance. Though Mihail Makarovitch was a widower, he did not live alone. His widowed daughter lived with him, with her two unmarried daughters, grownup girls, who had finished their education. They were of agreeable appearance and lively character, and though everyone knew they would have no dowry, they attracted all the young men of fashion to their grandfather’s house.

Mihail Makarovitch was by no means very efficient in his work, though he performed his duties no worse than many others. To speak plainly, he was a man of rather narrow education. His understanding of the limits of his administrative power could not always be relied upon. It was not so much that he failed to grasp certain reforms enacted during the present reign, as that he made conspicuous blunders in his interpretation of them. This was not from any special lack of intelligence, but from carelessness, for he was always in too great a hurry to go into the subject.

“I have the heart of a soldier rather than of a civilian,” he used to say of himself. He had not even formed a definite idea of the fundamental principles of the reforms connected with the emancipation of the serfs, and only picked it up, so to speak, from year to year, involuntarily increasing his knowledge by practice. And yet he was himself a landowner. Pyotr Ilyitch knew for certain that he would meet some of Mihail Makarovitch’s visitors there that evening, but he didn’t know which. As it happened, at that moment the prosecutor, and Varvinsky, our district doctor, a young man, who had only just come to us from Petersburg after taking a brilliant degree at the Academy of Medicine, were playing whist at the police captain’s. Ippolit Kirillovitch, the prosecutor (he was really the deputy prosecutor, but we always called him the prosecutor), was rather a peculiar man, of about five and thirty, inclined to be consumptive, and married to a fat and childless woman. He was vain and irritable, though he had a good intellect, and even a kind heart. It seemed that all that was wrong with him was that he had a better opinion of himself than his ability warranted. And that made him seem constantly uneasy. He had, moreover, certain higher, even artistic, leanings, towards psychology, for instance, a special study of the human heart, a special knowledge of the criminal and his crime. He cherished a grievance on this ground, considering that he had been passed over in the service, and being firmly persuaded that in higher spheres he had not been properly appreciated, and had enemies. In gloomy moments he even threatened to give up his post, and practice as a barrister in criminal cases. The unexpected Karamazov case agitated him profoundly: “It was a case that might well be talked about all over Russia.” But I am anticipating.

Nikolay Parfenovitch Nelyudov, the young investigating lawyer, who had only come from Petersburg two months before, was sitting in the next room with the young ladies. People talked about it afterwards and wondered that all the gentlemen should, as though intentionally, on the evening of “the crime” have been gathered together at the house of the executive authority. Yet it was perfectly simple and happened quite naturally.

Ippolit Kirillovitch’s wife had had toothache for the last two days, and he was obliged to go out to escape from her groans. The doctor, from the very nature of his being, could not spend an evening except at cards. Nikolay Parfenovitch Nelyudov had been intending for three days past to drop in that evening at Mihail Makarovitch’s, so to speak casually, so as slyly to startle the eldest granddaughter, Olga Mihailovna, by showing that he knew her secret, that he knew it was her birthday, and that she was trying to conceal it on purpose, so as not to be obliged to give a dance. He anticipated a great deal of merriment, many playful jests about her age, and her being afraid to reveal it, about his knowing her secret and telling everybody, and so on. The charming young man was a great adept at such teasing; the ladies had christened him “the naughty man,” and he seemed to be delighted at the name. He was extremely well-bred, however, of good family, education and feelings, and, though leading a life of pleasure, his sallies were always innocent and in good taste. He was short, and delicate-looking. On his white, slender, little fingers he always wore a number of big, glittering rings. When he was engaged in his official duties, he always became extraordinarily grave, as though realizing his position and the sanctity of the obligations laid upon him. He had a special gift for mystifying murderers and other criminals of the peasant class during interrogation, and if he did not win their respect, he certainly succeeded in arousing their wonder.

Pyotr Ilyitch was simply dumbfounded when he went into the police captain’s. He saw instantly that everyone knew. They had positively thrown down their cards, all were standing up and talking. Even Nikolay Parfenovitch had left the young ladies and run in, looking strenuous and ready for action. Pyotr Ilyitch was met with the astounding news that old Fyodor Pavlovitch really had been murdered that evening in his own house, murdered and robbed. The news had only just reached them in the following manner.

Marfa Ignatyevna, the wife of old Grigory, who had been knocked senseless near the fence, was sleeping soundly in her bed and might well have slept till morning after the draught she had taken. But, all of a sudden she waked up, no doubt roused by a fearful epileptic scream from Smerdyakov, who was lying in the next room unconscious. That scream always preceded his fits, and always terrified and upset Marfa Ignatyevna. She could never get accustomed to it. She jumped up and ran half-awake to Smerdyakov’s room. But it was dark there, and she could only hear the invalid beginning to gasp and struggle. Then Marfa Ignatyevna herself screamed out and was going to call her husband, but suddenly realized that when she had got up, he was not beside her in bed. She ran back to the bedstead and began groping with her hands, but the bed was really empty. Then he must have gone out⁠—where? She ran to the steps and timidly called him. She got no answer, of course, but she caught the sound of groans far away in the garden in the darkness. She listened. The groans were repeated, and it was evident they came from the garden.

“Good Lord! Just as it was with Lizaveta Smerdyastchaya!” she thought distractedly. She went timidly down the steps and saw that the gate into the garden was open.

“He must be out there, poor dear,” she thought. She went up to the gate and all at once she distinctly heard Grigory calling her by name, “Marfa! Marfa!” in a weak, moaning, dreadful voice.

“Lord, preserve us from harm!” Marfa Ignatyevna murmured, and ran towards the voice, and that was how she found Grigory. But she found him not by the fence where he had been knocked down, but about twenty paces off. It appeared later, that he had crawled away on coming to himself, and probably had been a long time getting so far, losing consciousness several times. She noticed at once that he was covered with blood, and screamed at the top of her voice. Grigory was muttering incoherently:

“He has murdered⁠ ⁠… his father murdered.⁠ ⁠… Why scream, silly⁠ ⁠… run⁠ ⁠… fetch someone.⁠ ⁠…”

But Marfa continued screaming, and seeing that her master’s window was open and that there was a candle alight in the window, she ran there and began calling Fyodor Pavlovitch. But peeping in at the window, she saw a fearful sight. Her master was lying on his back, motionless, on the floor. His light-colored dressing-gown and white shirt were soaked with blood. The candle on the table brightly lighted up the blood and the motionless dead face of Fyodor Pavlovitch. Terror-stricken, Marfa rushed away from the window, ran out of the garden, drew the bolt of the big gate and ran headlong by the back way to the neighbor, Marya Kondratyevna. Both mother and daughter were asleep, but they waked up at Marfa’s desperate and persistent screaming and knocking at the shutter. Marfa, shrieking and screaming incoherently, managed to tell them the main fact, and to beg for assistance. It happened that Foma had come back from his wanderings and was staying the night with them. They got him up immediately and all three ran to the scene of the crime. On the way, Marya Kondratyevna remembered that at about eight o’clock she heard a dreadful scream from their garden, and this was no doubt Grigory’s scream, “Parricide!” uttered when he caught hold of Mitya’s leg.

“Someone person screamed out and then was silent,” Marya Kondratyevna explained as she ran. Running to the place where Grigory lay, the two women with the help of Foma carried him to the lodge. They lighted a candle and saw that Smerdyakov was no better, that he was writhing in convulsions, his eyes fixed in a squint, and that foam was flowing from his lips. They moistened Grigory’s forehead with water mixed with vinegar, and the water revived him at once. He asked immediately:

“Is the master murdered?”

Then Foma and both the women ran to the house and saw this time that not only the window, but also the door into the garden was wide open, though Fyodor Pavlovitch had for the last week locked himself in every night and did not allow even Grigory to come in on any pretext. Seeing that door open, they were afraid to go in to Fyodor Pavlovitch “for fear anything should happen afterwards.” And when they returned to Grigory, the old man told them to go straight to the police captain. Marya Kondratyevna ran there and gave the alarm to the whole party at the police captain’s. She arrived only five minutes before Pyotr Ilyitch, so that his story came, not as his own surmise and theory, but as the direct confirmation, by a witness, of the theory held by all, as to the identity of the criminal (a theory he had in the bottom of his heart refused to believe till that moment).

It was resolved to act with energy. The deputy police inspector of the town was commissioned to take four witnesses, to enter Fyodor Pavlovitch’s house and there to open an inquiry on the spot, according to the regular forms, which I will not go into here. The district doctor, a zealous man, new to his work, almost insisted on accompanying the police captain, the prosecutor, and the investigating lawyer.

I will note briefly that Fyodor Pavlovitch was found to be quite dead, with his skull battered in. But with what? Most likely with the same weapon with which Grigory had been attacked. And immediately that weapon was found, Grigory, to whom all possible medical assistance was at once given, described in a weak and breaking voice how he had been knocked down. They began looking with a lantern by the fence and found the brass pestle dropped in a most conspicuous place on the garden path. There were no signs of disturbance in the room where Fyodor Pavlovitch was lying. But by the bed, behind the screen, they picked up from the floor a big and thick envelope with the inscription: “A present of three thousand roubles for my angel Grushenka, if she is willing to come.” And below had been added by Fyodor Pavlovitch, “For my little chicken.” There were three seals of red sealing-wax on the envelope, but it had been torn open and was empty: the money had been removed. They found also on the floor a piece of narrow pink ribbon, with which the envelope had been tied up.

One piece of Pyotr Ilyitch’s evidence made a great impression on the prosecutor and the investigating magistrate, namely, his idea that Dmitri Fyodorovitch would shoot himself before daybreak, that he had resolved to do so, had spoken of it to Ilyitch, had taken the pistols, loaded them before him, written a letter, put it in his pocket, etc. When Pyotr Ilyitch, though still unwilling to believe in it, threatened to tell someone so as to prevent the suicide, Mitya had answered grinning: “You’ll be too late.” So they must make haste to Mokroe to find the criminal, before he really did shoot himself.

“That’s clear, that’s clear!” repeated the prosecutor in great excitement. “That’s just the way with mad fellows like that: ‘I shall kill myself tomorrow, so I’ll make merry till I die!’ ”

The story of how he had bought the wine and provisions excited the prosecutor more than ever.

“Do you remember the fellow that murdered a merchant called Olsufyev, gentlemen? He stole fifteen hundred, went at once to have his hair curled, and then, without even hiding the money, carrying it almost in his hand in the same way, he went off to the girls.”

All were delayed, however, by the inquiry, the search, and the formalities, etc., in the house of Fyodor Pavlovitch. It all took time and so, two hours before starting, they sent on ahead to Mokroe the officer of the rural police, Mavriky Mavrikyevitch Schmertsov, who had arrived in the town the morning before to get his pay. He was instructed to avoid raising the alarm when he reached Mokroe, but to keep constant watch over the “criminal” till the arrival of the proper authorities, to procure also witnesses for the arrest, police constables, and so on. Mavriky Mavrikyevitch did as he was told, preserving his incognito, and giving no one but his old acquaintance, Trifon Borissovitch, the slightest hint of his secret business. He had spoken to him just before Mitya met the landlord in the balcony, looking for him in the dark, and noticed at once a change in Trifon Borissovitch’s face and voice. So neither Mitya nor anyone else knew that he was being watched. The box with the pistols had been carried off by Trifon Borissovitch and put in a suitable place. Only after four o’clock, almost at sunrise, all the officials, the police captain, the prosecutor, the investigating lawyer, drove up in two carriages, each drawn by three horses. The doctor remained at Fyodor Pavlovitch’s to make a postmortem next day on the body. But he was particularly interested in the condition of the servant, Smerdyakov.

“Such violent and protracted epileptic fits, recurring continually for twenty-four hours, are rarely to be met with, and are of interest to science,” he declared enthusiastically to his companions, and as they left they laughingly congratulated him on his find. The prosecutor and the investigating lawyer distinctly remembered the doctor’s saying that Smerdyakov could not outlive the night.

After these long, but I think necessary explanations, we will return to that moment of our tale at which we broke off.


The Sufferings of a Soul, the First Ordeal
And so Mitya sat looking wildly at the people round him, not understanding what was said to him. Suddenly he got up, flung up his hands, and shouted aloud:

“I’m not guilty! I’m not guilty of that blood! I’m not guilty of my father’s blood.⁠ ⁠… I meant to kill him. But I’m not guilty. Not I.”

But he had hardly said this, before Grushenka rushed from behind the curtain and flung herself at the police captain’s feet.

“It was my fault! Mine! My wickedness!” she cried, in a heartrending voice, bathed in tears, stretching out her clasped hands towards them. “He did it through me. I tortured him and drove him to it. I tortured that poor old man that’s dead, too, in my wickedness, and brought him to this! It’s my fault, mine first, mine most, my fault!”

“Yes, it’s your fault! You’re the chief criminal! You fury! You harlot! You’re the most to blame!” shouted the police captain, threatening her with his hand. But he was quickly and resolutely suppressed. The prosecutor positively seized hold of him.

“This is absolutely irregular, Mihail Makarovitch!” he cried. “You are positively hindering the inquiry.⁠ ⁠… You’re ruining the case.⁠ ⁠…” he almost gasped.

“Follow the regular course! Follow the regular course!” cried Nikolay Parfenovitch, fearfully excited too, “otherwise it’s absolutely impossible!⁠ ⁠…”

“Judge us together!” Grushenka cried frantically, still kneeling. “Punish us together. I will go with him now, if it’s to death!”

“Grusha, my life, my blood, my holy one!” Mitya fell on his knees beside her and held her tight in his arms. “Don’t believe her,” he cried, “she’s not guilty of anything, of any blood, of anything!”

He remembered afterwards that he was forcibly dragged away from her by several men, and that she was led out, and that when he recovered himself he was sitting at the table. Beside him and behind him stood the men with metal plates. Facing him on the other side of the table sat Nikolay Parfenovitch, the investigating lawyer. He kept persuading him to drink a little water out of a glass that stood on the table.

“That will refresh you, that will calm you. Be calm, don’t be frightened,” he added, extremely politely. Mitya (he remembered it afterwards) became suddenly intensely interested in his big rings, one with an amethyst, and another with a transparent bright yellow stone, of great brilliance. And long afterwards he remembered with wonder how those rings had riveted his attention through all those terrible hours of interrogation, so that he was utterly unable to tear himself away from them and dismiss them, as things that had nothing to do with his position. On Mitya’s left side, in the place where Maximov had been sitting at the beginning of the evening, the prosecutor was now seated, and on Mitya’s right hand, where Grushenka had been, was a rosy-cheeked young man in a sort of shabby hunting-jacket, with ink and paper before him. This was the secretary of the investigating lawyer, who had brought him with him. The police captain was now standing by the window at the other end of the room, beside Kalganov, who was sitting there.

“Drink some water,” said the investigating lawyer softly, for the tenth time.

“I have drunk it, gentlemen, I have⁠ ⁠… but⁠ ⁠… come, gentlemen, crush me, punish me, decide my fate!” cried Mitya, staring with terribly fixed wide-open eyes at the investigating lawyer.

“So you positively declare that you are not guilty of the death of your father, Fyodor Pavlovitch?” asked the investigating lawyer, softly but insistently.

“I am not guilty. I am guilty of the blood of another old man but not of my father’s. And I weep for it! I killed, I killed the old man and knocked him down.⁠ ⁠… But it’s hard to have to answer for that murder with another, a terrible murder of which I am not guilty.⁠ ⁠… It’s a terrible accusation, gentlemen, a knockdown blow. But who has killed my father, who has killed him? Who can have killed him if I didn’t? It’s marvelous, extraordinary, impossible.”

“Yes, who can have killed him?” the investigating lawyer was beginning, but Ippolit Kirillovitch, the prosecutor, glancing at him, addressed Mitya.

“You need not worry yourself about the old servant, Grigory Vassilyevitch. He is alive, he has recovered, and in spite of the terrible blows inflicted, according to his own and your evidence, by you, there seems no doubt that he will live, so the doctor says, at least.”

“Alive? He’s alive?” cried Mitya, flinging up his hands. His face beamed. “Lord, I thank Thee for the miracle Thou has wrought for me, a sinner and evildoer. That’s an answer to my prayer. I’ve been praying all night.” And he crossed himself three times. He was almost breathless.

“So from this Grigory we have received such important evidence concerning you, that⁠—” The prosecutor would have continued, but Mitya suddenly jumped up from his chair.

“One minute, gentlemen, for God’s sake, one minute; I will run to her⁠—”

“Excuse me, at this moment it’s quite impossible,” Nikolay Parfenovitch almost shrieked. He, too, leapt to his feet. Mitya was seized by the men with the metal plates, but he sat down of his own accord.⁠ ⁠…

“Gentlemen, what a pity! I wanted to see her for one minute only; I wanted to tell her that it has been washed away, it has gone, that blood that was weighing on my heart all night, and that I am not a murderer now! Gentlemen, she is my betrothed!” he said ecstatically and reverently, looking round at them all. “Oh, thank you, gentlemen! Oh, in one minute you have given me new life, new heart!⁠ ⁠… That old man used to carry me in his arms, gentlemen. He used to wash me in the tub when I was a baby three years old, abandoned by everyone, he was like a father to me!⁠ ⁠…”

“And so you⁠—” the investigating lawyer began.

“Allow me, gentlemen, allow me one minute more,” interposed Mitya, putting his elbows on the table and covering his face with his hands. “Let me have a moment to think, let me breathe, gentlemen. All this is horribly upsetting, horribly. A man is not a drum, gentlemen!”

“Drink a little more water,” murmured Nikolay Parfenovitch.

Mitya took his hands from his face and laughed. His eyes were confident. He seemed completely transformed in a moment. His whole bearing was changed; he was once more the equal of these men, with all of whom he was acquainted, as though they had all met the day before, when nothing had happened, at some social gathering. We may note in passing that, on his first arrival, Mitya had been made very welcome at the police captain’s, but later, during the last month especially, Mitya had hardly called at all, and when the police captain met him, in the street, for instance, Mitya noticed that he frowned and only bowed out of politeness. His acquaintance with the prosecutor was less intimate, though he sometimes paid his wife, a nervous and fanciful lady, visits of politeness, without quite knowing why, and she always received him graciously and had, for some reason, taken an interest in him up to the last. He had not had time to get to know the investigating lawyer, though he had met him and talked to him twice, each time about the fair sex.

“You’re a most skillful lawyer, I see, Nikolay Parfenovitch,” cried Mitya, laughing gayly, “but I can help you now. Oh, gentlemen, I feel like a new man, and don’t be offended at my addressing you so simply and directly. I’m rather drunk, too, I’ll tell you that frankly. I believe I’ve had the honor and pleasure of meeting you, Nikolay Parfenovitch, at my kinsman Miüsov’s. Gentlemen, gentlemen, I don’t pretend to be on equal terms with you. I understand, of course, in what character I am sitting before you. Oh, of course, there’s a horrible suspicion⁠ ⁠… hanging over me⁠ ⁠… if Grigory has given evidence.⁠ ⁠… A horrible suspicion! It’s awful, awful, I understand that! But to business, gentlemen, I am ready, and we will make an end of it in one moment; for, listen, listen, gentlemen! Since I know I’m innocent, we can put an end to it in a minute. Can’t we? Can’t we?”

Mitya spoke much and quickly, nervously and effusively, as though he positively took his listeners to be his best friends.

“So, for the present, we will write that you absolutely deny the charge brought against you,” said Nikolay Parfenovitch, impressively, and bending down to the secretary he dictated to him in an undertone what to write.

“Write it down? You want to write that down? Well, write it; I consent, I give my full consent, gentlemen, only⁠ ⁠… do you see?⁠ ⁠… Stay, stay, write this. Of disorderly conduct I am guilty, of violence on a poor old man I am guilty. And there is something else at the bottom of my heart, of which I am guilty, too⁠—but that you need not write down” (he turned suddenly to the secretary); “that’s my personal life, gentlemen, that doesn’t concern you, the bottom of my heart, that’s to say.⁠ ⁠… But of the murder of my old father I’m not guilty. That’s a wild idea. It’s quite a wild idea!⁠ ⁠… I will prove you that and you’ll be convinced directly.⁠ ⁠… You will laugh, gentlemen. You’ll laugh yourselves at your suspicion!⁠ ⁠…”

“Be calm, Dmitri Fyodorovitch,” said the investigating lawyer evidently trying to allay Mitya’s excitement by his own composure. “Before we go on with our inquiry, I should like, if you will consent to answer, to hear you confirm the statement that you disliked your father, Fyodor Pavlovitch, that you were involved in continual disputes with him. Here at least, a quarter of an hour ago, you exclaimed that you wanted to kill him: ‘I didn’t kill him,’ you said, ‘but I wanted to kill him.’ ”

“Did I exclaim that? Ach, that may be so, gentlemen! Yes, unhappily, I did want to kill him⁠ ⁠… many times I wanted to⁠ ⁠… unhappily, unhappily!”

“You wanted to. Would you consent to explain what motives precisely led you to such a sentiment of hatred for your parent?”

“What is there to explain, gentlemen?” Mitya shrugged his shoulders sullenly, looking down. “I have never concealed my feelings. All the town knows about it⁠—everyone knows in the tavern. Only lately I declared them in Father Zossima’s cell.⁠ ⁠… And the very same day, in the evening I beat my father. I nearly killed him, and I swore I’d come again and kill him, before witnesses.⁠ ⁠… Oh, a thousand witnesses! I’ve been shouting it aloud for the last month, anyone can tell you that!⁠ ⁠… The fact stares you in the face, it speaks for itself, it cries aloud, but feelings, gentlemen, feelings are another matter. You see, gentlemen”⁠—Mitya frowned⁠—“it seems to me that about feelings you’ve no right to question me. I know that you are bound by your office, I quite understand that, but that’s my affair, my private, intimate affair, yet⁠ ⁠… since I haven’t concealed my feelings in the past⁠ ⁠… in the tavern, for instance, I’ve talked to everyone, so⁠ ⁠… so I won’t make a secret of it now. You see, I understand, gentlemen, that there are terrible facts against me in this business. I told everyone that I’d kill him, and now, all of a sudden, he’s been killed. So it must have been me! Ha ha! I can make allowances for you, gentlemen, I can quite make allowances. I’m struck all of a heap myself, for who can have murdered him, if not I? That’s what it comes to, isn’t it? If not I, who can it be, who? Gentlemen, I want to know, I insist on knowing!” he exclaimed suddenly. “Where was he murdered? How was he murdered? How, and with what? Tell me,” he asked quickly, looking at the two lawyers.

“We found him in his study, lying on his back on the floor, with his head battered in,” said the prosecutor.

“That’s horrible!” Mitya shuddered and, putting his elbows on the table, hid his face in his right hand.

“We will continue,” interposed Nikolay Parfenovitch. “So what was it that impelled you to this sentiment of hatred? You have asserted in public, I believe, that it was based upon jealousy?”

“Well, yes, jealousy. And not only jealousy.”

“Disputes about money?”

“Yes, about money, too.”

“There was a dispute about three thousand roubles, I think, which you claimed as part of your inheritance?”

“Three thousand! More, more,” cried Mitya hotly; “more than six thousand, more than ten, perhaps. I told everyone so, shouted it at them. But I made up my mind to let it go at three thousand. I was desperately in need of that three thousand⁠ ⁠… so the bundle of notes for three thousand that I knew he kept under his pillow, ready for Grushenka, I considered as simply stolen from me. Yes, gentlemen, I looked upon it as mine, as my own property.⁠ ⁠…”

The prosecutor looked significantly at the investigating lawyer, and had time to wink at him on the sly.

“We will return to that subject later,” said the lawyer promptly. “You will allow us to note that point and write it down; that you looked upon that money as your own property?”

“Write it down, by all means. I know that’s another fact that tells against me, but I’m not afraid of facts and I tell them against myself. Do you hear? Do you know, gentlemen, you take me for a different sort of man from what I am,” he added, suddenly gloomy and dejected. “You have to deal with a man of honor, a man of the highest honor; above all⁠—don’t lose sight of it⁠—a man who’s done a lot of nasty things, but has always been, and still is, honorable at bottom, in his inner being. I don’t know how to express it. That’s just what’s made me wretched all my life, that I yearned to be honorable, that I was, so to say, a martyr to a sense of honor, seeking for it with a lantern, with the lantern of Diogenes, and yet all my life I’ve been doing filthy things like all of us, gentlemen⁠ ⁠… that is like me alone. That was a mistake, like me alone, me alone!⁠ ⁠… Gentlemen, my head aches⁠ ⁠…” His brows contracted with pain. “You see, gentlemen, I couldn’t bear the look of him, there was something in him ignoble, impudent, trampling on everything sacred, something sneering and irreverent, loathsome, loathsome. But now that he’s dead, I feel differently.”

“How do you mean?”

“I don’t feel differently, but I wish I hadn’t hated him so.”

“You feel penitent?”

“No, not penitent, don’t write that. I’m not much good myself, I’m not very beautiful, so I had no right to consider him repulsive. That’s what I mean. Write that down, if you like.”

Saying this Mitya became very mournful. He had grown more and more gloomy as the inquiry continued.

At that moment another unexpected scene followed. Though Grushenka had been removed, she had not been taken far away, only into the room next but one from the blue room, in which the examination was proceeding. It was a little room with one window, next beyond the large room in which they had danced and feasted so lavishly. She was sitting there with no one by her but Maximov, who was terribly depressed, terribly scared, and clung to her side, as though for security. At their door stood one of the peasants with a metal plate on his breast. Grushenka was crying, and suddenly her grief was too much for her, she jumped up, flung up her arms and, with a loud wail of sorrow, rushed out of the room to him, to her Mitya, and so unexpectedly that they had not time to stop her. Mitya, hearing her cry, trembled, jumped up, and with a yell rushed impetuously to meet her, not knowing what he was doing. But they were not allowed to come together, though they saw one another. He was seized by the arms. He struggled, and tried to tear himself away. It took three or four men to hold him. She was seized too, and he saw her stretching out her arms to him, crying aloud as they carried her away. When the scene was over, he came to himself again, sitting in the same place as before, opposite the investigating lawyer, and crying out to them:

“What do you want with her? Why do you torment her? She’s done nothing, nothing!⁠ ⁠…”

The lawyers tried to soothe him. About ten minutes passed like this. At last Mihail Makarovitch, who had been absent, came hurriedly into the room, and said in a loud and excited voice to the prosecutor:

“She’s been removed, she’s downstairs. Will you allow me to say one word to this unhappy man, gentlemen? In your presence, gentlemen, in your presence.”

“By all means, Mihail Makarovitch,” answered the investigating lawyer. “In the present case we have nothing against it.”

“Listen, Dmitri Fyodorovitch, my dear fellow,” began the police captain, and there was a look of warm, almost fatherly, feeling for the luckless prisoner on his excited face. “I took your Agrafena Alexandrovna downstairs myself, and confided her to the care of the landlord’s daughters, and that old fellow Maximov is with her all the time. And I soothed her, do you hear? I soothed and calmed her. I impressed on her that you have to clear yourself, so she mustn’t hinder you, must not depress you, or you may lose your head and say the wrong thing in your evidence. In fact, I talked to her and she understood. She’s a sensible girl, my boy, a good-hearted girl, she would have kissed my old hands, begging help for you. She sent me herself, to tell you not to worry about her. And I must go, my dear fellow, I must go and tell her that you are calm and comforted about her. And so you must be calm, do you understand? I was unfair to her; she is a Christian soul, gentlemen, yes, I tell you, she’s a gentle soul, and not to blame for anything. So what am I to tell her, Dmitri Fyodorovitch? Will you sit quiet or not?”

The good-natured police captain said a great deal that was irregular, but Grushenka’s suffering, a fellow creature’s suffering, touched his good-natured heart, and tears stood in his eyes. Mitya jumped up and rushed towards him.

“Forgive me, gentlemen, oh, allow me, allow me!” he cried. “You’ve the heart of an angel, an angel, Mihail Makarovitch, I thank you for her. I will, I will be calm, cheerful, in fact. Tell her, in the kindness of your heart, that I am cheerful, quite cheerful, that I shall be laughing in a minute, knowing that she has a guardian angel like you. I shall have done with all this directly, and as soon as I’m free, I’ll be with her, she’ll see, let her wait. Gentlemen,” he said, turning to the two lawyers, “now I’ll open my whole soul to you; I’ll pour out everything. We’ll finish this off directly, finish it off gayly. We shall laugh at it in the end, shan’t we? But, gentlemen, that woman is the queen of my heart. Oh, let me tell you that. That one thing I’ll tell you now.⁠ ⁠… I see I’m with honorable men. She is my light, she is my holy one, and if only you knew! Did you hear her cry, ‘I’ll go to death with you’? And what have I, a penniless beggar, done for her? Why such love for me? How can a clumsy, ugly brute like me, with my ugly face, deserve such love, that she is ready to go to exile with me? And how she fell down at your feet for my sake, just now!⁠ ⁠… and yet she’s proud and has done nothing! How can I help adoring her, how can I help crying out and rushing to her as I did just now? Gentlemen, forgive me! But now, now I am comforted.”

And he sank back in his chair and, covering his face with his hands, burst into tears. But they were happy tears. He recovered himself instantly. The old police captain seemed much pleased, and the lawyers also. They felt that the examination was passing into a new phase. When the police captain went out, Mitya was positively gay.

“Now, gentlemen, I am at your disposal, entirely at your disposal. And if it were not for all these trivial details, we should understand one another in a minute. I’m at those details again. I’m at your disposal, gentlemen, but I declare that we must have mutual confidence, you in me and I in you, or there’ll be no end to it. I speak in your interests. To business, gentlemen, to business, and don’t rummage in my soul; don’t tease me with trifles, but only ask me about facts and what matters, and I will satisfy you at once. And damn the details!”

So spoke Mitya. The interrogation began again.


The Second Ordeal
“You don’t know how you encourage us, Dmitri Fyodorovitch, by your readiness to answer,” said Nikolay Parfenovitch, with an animated air, and obvious satisfaction beaming in his very prominent, shortsighted, light gray eyes, from which he had removed his spectacles a moment before. “And you have made a very just remark about the mutual confidence, without which it is sometimes positively impossible to get on in cases of such importance, if the suspected party really hopes and desires to defend himself and is in a position to do so. We, on our side, will do everything in our power, and you can see for yourself how we are conducting the case. You approve, Ippolit Kirillovitch?” He turned to the prosecutor.

“Oh, undoubtedly,” replied the prosecutor. His tone was somewhat cold, compared with Nikolay Parfenovitch’s impulsiveness.

I will note once for all that Nikolay Parfenovitch, who had but lately arrived among us, had from the first felt marked respect for Ippolit Kirillovitch, our prosecutor, and had become almost his bosom friend. He was almost the only person who put implicit faith in Ippolit Kirillovitch’s extraordinary talents as a psychologist and orator and in the justice of his grievance. He had heard of him in Petersburg. On the other hand, young Nikolay Parfenovitch was the only person in the whole world whom our “unappreciated” prosecutor genuinely liked. On their way to Mokroe they had time to come to an understanding about the present case. And now as they sat at the table, the sharp-witted junior caught and interpreted every indication on his senior colleague’s face⁠—half a word, a glance, or a wink.

“Gentlemen, only let me tell my own story and don’t interrupt me with trivial questions and I’ll tell you everything in a moment,” said Mitya excitedly.

“Excellent! Thank you. But before we proceed to listen to your communication, will you allow me to inquire as to another little fact of great interest to us? I mean the ten roubles you borrowed yesterday at about five o’clock on the security of your pistols, from your friend, Pyotr Ilyitch Perhotin.”

“I pledged them, gentlemen. I pledged them for ten roubles. What more? That’s all about it. As soon as I got back to town I pledged them.”

“You got back to town? Then you had been out of town?”

“Yes, I went a journey of forty versts into the country. Didn’t you know?”

The prosecutor and Nikolay Parfenovitch exchanged glances.

“Well, how would it be if you began your story with a systematic description of all you did yesterday, from the morning onwards? Allow us, for instance, to inquire why you were absent from the town, and just when you left and when you came back⁠—all those facts.”

“You should have asked me like that from the beginning,” cried Mitya, laughing aloud, “and, if you like, we won’t begin from yesterday, but from the morning of the day before; then you’ll understand how, why, and where I went. I went the day before yesterday, gentlemen, to a merchant of the town, called Samsonov, to borrow three thousand roubles from him on safe security. It was a pressing matter, gentlemen, it was a sudden necessity.”

“Allow me to interrupt you,” the prosecutor put in politely. “Why were you in such pressing need for just that sum, three thousand?”

“Oh, gentlemen, you needn’t go into details, how, when and why, and why just so much money, and not so much, and all that rigmarole. Why, it’ll run to three volumes, and then you’ll want an epilogue!”

Mitya said all this with the good-natured but impatient familiarity of a man who is anxious to tell the whole truth and is full of the best intentions.

“Gentlemen!”⁠—he corrected himself hurriedly⁠—“don’t be vexed with me for my restiveness, I beg you again. Believe me once more, I feel the greatest respect for you and understand the true position of affairs. Don’t think I’m drunk. I’m quite sober now. And, besides, being drunk would be no hindrance. It’s with me, you know, like the saying: ‘When he is sober, he is a fool; when he is drunk, he is a wise man.’ Ha ha! But I see, gentlemen, it’s not the proper thing to make jokes to you, till we’ve had our explanation, I mean. And I’ve my own dignity to keep up, too. I quite understand the difference for the moment. I am, after all, in the position of a criminal, and so, far from being on equal terms with you. And it’s your business to watch me. I can’t expect you to pat me on the head for what I did to Grigory, for one can’t break old men’s heads with impunity. I suppose you’ll put me away for him for six months, or a year perhaps, in a house of correction. I don’t know what the punishment is⁠—but it will be without loss of the rights of my rank, without loss of my rank, won’t it? So you see, gentlemen, I understand the distinction between us.⁠ ⁠… But you must see that you could puzzle God Himself with such questions. ‘How did you step? Where did you step? When did you step? And on what did you step?’ I shall get mixed up, if you go on like this, and you will put it all down against me. And what will that lead to? To nothing! And even if it’s nonsense I’m talking now, let me finish, and you, gentlemen, being men of honor and refinement, will forgive me! I’ll finish by asking you, gentlemen, to drop that conventional method of questioning. I mean, beginning from some miserable trifle, how I got up, what I had for breakfast, how I spat, and where I spat, and so distracting the attention of the criminal, suddenly stun him with an overwhelming question, ‘Whom did you murder? Whom did you rob?’ Ha ha! That’s your regulation method, that’s where all your cunning comes in. You can put peasants off their guard like that, but not me. I know the tricks. I’ve been in the service, too. Ha ha ha! You’re not angry, gentlemen? You forgive my impertinence?” he cried, looking at them with a good-nature that was almost surprising. “It’s only Mitya Karamazov, you know, so you can overlook it. It would be inexcusable in a sensible man; but you can forgive it in Mitya. Ha ha!”

Nikolay Parfenovitch listened, and laughed too. Though the prosecutor did not laugh, he kept his eyes fixed keenly on Mitya, as though anxious not to miss the least syllable, the slightest movement, the smallest twitch of any feature of his face.

“That’s how we have treated you from the beginning,” said Nikolay Parfenovitch, still laughing. “We haven’t tried to put you out by asking how you got up in the morning and what you had for breakfast. We began, indeed, with questions of the greatest importance.”

“I understand. I saw it and appreciated it, and I appreciate still more your present kindness to me, an unprecedented kindness, worthy of your noble hearts. We three here are gentlemen, and let everything be on the footing of mutual confidence between educated, well-bred people, who have the common bond of noble birth and honor. In any case, allow me to look upon you as my best friends at this moment of my life, at this moment when my honor is assailed. That’s no offense to you, gentlemen, is it?”

“On the contrary. You’ve expressed all that so well, Dmitri Fyodorovitch,” Nikolay Parfenovitch answered with dignified approbation.

“And enough of those trivial questions, gentlemen, all those tricky questions!” cried Mitya enthusiastically. “Or there’s simply no knowing where we shall get to! Is there?”

“I will follow your sensible advice entirely,” the prosecutor interposed, addressing Mitya. “I don’t withdraw my question, however. It is now vitally important for us to know exactly why you needed that sum, I mean precisely three thousand.”

“Why I needed it?⁠ ⁠… Oh, for one thing and another.⁠ ⁠… Well, it was to pay a debt.”

“A debt to whom?”

“That I absolutely refuse to answer, gentlemen. Not because I couldn’t, or because I shouldn’t dare, or because it would be damaging, for it’s all a paltry matter and absolutely trifling, but⁠—I won’t, because it’s a matter of principle: that’s my private life, and I won’t allow any intrusion into my private life. That’s my principle. Your question has no bearing on the case, and whatever has nothing to do with the case is my private affair. I wanted to pay a debt. I wanted to pay a debt of honor but to whom I won’t say.”

“Allow me to make a note of that,” said the prosecutor.

“By all means. Write down that I won’t say, that I won’t. Write that I should think it dishonorable to say. Ech! you can write it; you’ve nothing else to do with your time.”

“Allow me to caution you, sir, and to remind you once more, if you are unaware of it,” the prosecutor began, with a peculiar and stern impressiveness, “that you have a perfect right not to answer the questions put to you now, and we on our side have no right to extort an answer from you, if you decline to give it for one reason or another. That is entirely a matter for your personal decision. But it is our duty, on the other hand, in such cases as the present, to explain and set before you the degree of injury you will be doing yourself by refusing to give this or that piece of evidence. After which I will beg you to continue.”

“Gentlemen, I’m not angry⁠ ⁠… I⁠ ⁠…” Mitya muttered in a rather disconcerted tone. “Well, gentlemen, you see, that Samsonov to whom I went then⁠ ⁠…”

We will, of course, not reproduce his account of what is known to the reader already. Mitya was impatiently anxious not to omit the slightest detail. At the same time he was in a hurry to get it over. But as he gave his evidence it was written down, and therefore they had continually to pull him up. Mitya disliked this, but submitted; got angry, though still good-humoredly. He did, it is true, exclaim, from time to time, “Gentlemen, that’s enough to make an angel out of patience!” Or, “Gentlemen, it’s no good your irritating me.”

But even though he exclaimed he still preserved for a time his genially expansive mood. So he told them how Samsonov had made a fool of him two days before. (He had completely realized by now that he had been fooled.) The sale of his watch for six roubles to obtain money for the journey was something new to the lawyers. They were at once greatly interested, and even, to Mitya’s intense indignation, thought it necessary to write the fact down as a secondary confirmation of the circumstance that he had hardly a farthing in his pocket at the time. Little by little Mitya began to grow surly. Then, after describing his journey to see Lyagavy, the night spent in the stifling hut, and so on, he came to his return to the town. Here he began, without being particularly urged, to give a minute account of the agonies of jealousy he endured on Grushenka’s account.

He was heard with silent attention. They inquired particularly into the circumstance of his having a place of ambush in Marya Kondratyevna’s house at the back of Fyodor Pavlovitch’s garden to keep watch on Grushenka, and of Smerdyakov’s bringing him information. They laid particular stress on this, and noted it down. Of his jealousy he spoke warmly and at length, and though inwardly ashamed at exposing his most intimate feelings to “public ignominy,” so to speak, he evidently overcame his shame in order to tell the truth. The frigid severity, with which the investigating lawyer, and still more the prosecutor, stared intently at him as he told his story, disconcerted him at last considerably.

“That boy, Nikolay Parfenovitch, to whom I was talking nonsense about women only a few days ago, and that sickly prosecutor are not worth my telling this to,” he reflected mournfully. “It’s ignominious. ‘Be patient, humble, hold thy peace.’ ” He wound up his reflections with that line. But he pulled himself together to go on again. When he came to telling of his visit to Madame Hohlakov, he regained his spirits and even wished to tell a little anecdote of that lady which had nothing to do with the case. But the investigating lawyer stopped him, and civilly suggested that he should pass on to “more essential matters.” At last, when he described his despair and told them how, when he left Madame Hohlakov’s, he thought that he’d “get three thousand if he had to murder someone to do it,” they stopped him again and noted down that he had “meant to murder someone.” Mitya let them write it without protest. At last he reached the point in his story when he learned that Grushenka had deceived him and had returned from Samsonov’s as soon as he left her there, though she had said that she would stay there till midnight.

“If I didn’t kill Fenya then, gentlemen, it was only because I hadn’t time,” broke from him suddenly at that point in his story. That, too, was carefully written down. Mitya waited gloomily, and was beginning to tell how he ran into his father’s garden when the investigating lawyer suddenly stopped him, and opening the big portfolio that lay on the sofa beside him he brought out the brass pestle.

“Do you recognize this object?” he asked, showing it to Mitya.

“Oh, yes,” he laughed gloomily. “Of course I recognize it. Let me have a look at it.⁠ ⁠… Damn it, never mind!”

“You have forgotten to mention it,” observed the investigating lawyer.

“Hang it all, I shouldn’t have concealed it from you. Do you suppose I could have managed without it? It simply escaped my memory.”

“Be so good as to tell us precisely how you came to arm yourself with it.”

“Certainly I will be so good, gentlemen.”

And Mitya described how he took the pestle and ran.

“But what object had you in view in arming yourself with such a weapon?”

“What object? No object. I just picked it up and ran off.”

“What for, if you had no object?”

Mitya’s wrath flared up. He looked intently at “the boy” and smiled gloomily and malignantly. He was feeling more and more ashamed at having told “such people” the story of his jealousy so sincerely and spontaneously.

“Bother the pestle!” broke from him suddenly.

“But still⁠—”

“Oh, to keep off dogs.⁠ ⁠… Oh, because it was dark.⁠ ⁠… In case anything turned up.”

“But have you ever on previous occasions taken a weapon with you when you went out, since you’re afraid of the dark?”

“Ugh! damn it all, gentlemen! There’s positively no talking to you!” cried Mitya, exasperated beyond endurance, and turning to the secretary, crimson with anger, he said quickly, with a note of fury in his voice:

“Write down at once⁠ ⁠… at once⁠ ⁠… ‘that I snatched up the pestle to go and kill my father⁠ ⁠… Fyodor Pavlovitch⁠ ⁠… by hitting him on the head with it!’ Well, now are you satisfied, gentlemen? Are your minds relieved?” he said, glaring defiantly at the lawyers.

“We quite understand that you made that statement just now through exasperation with us and the questions we put to you, which you consider trivial, though they are, in fact, essential,” the prosecutor remarked dryly in reply.

“Well, upon my word, gentlemen! Yes, I took the pestle.⁠ ⁠… What does one pick things up for at such moments? I don’t know what for. I snatched it up and ran⁠—that’s all. For to me, gentlemen, passons, or I declare I won’t tell you any more.”

He sat with his elbows on the table and his head in his hand. He sat sideways to them and gazed at the wall, struggling against a feeling of nausea. He had, in fact, an awful inclination to get up and declare that he wouldn’t say another word, “not if you hang me for it.”

“You see, gentlemen,” he said at last, with difficulty controlling himself, “you see. I listen to you and am haunted by a dream.⁠ ⁠… It’s a dream I have sometimes, you know.⁠ ⁠… I often dream it⁠—it’s always the same⁠ ⁠… that someone is hunting me, someone I’m awfully afraid of⁠ ⁠… that he’s hunting me in the dark, in the night⁠ ⁠… tracking me, and I hide somewhere from him, behind a door or cupboard, hide in a degrading way, and the worst of it is, he always knows where I am, but he pretends not to know where I am on purpose, to prolong my agony, to enjoy my terror.⁠ ⁠… That’s just what you’re doing now. It’s just like that!”

“Is that the sort of thing you dream about?” inquired the prosecutor.

“Yes, it is. Don’t you want to write it down?” said Mitya, with a distorted smile.

“No; no need to write it down. But still you do have curious dreams.”

“It’s not a question of dreams now, gentlemen⁠—this is realism, this is real life! I’m a wolf and you’re the hunters. Well, hunt him down!”

“You are wrong to make such comparisons⁠ ⁠…” began Nikolay Parfenovitch, with extraordinary softness.

“No, I’m not wrong, not at all!” Mitya flared up again, though his outburst of wrath had obviously relieved his heart. He grew more good-humored at every word. “You may not trust a criminal or a man on trial tortured by your questions, but an honorable man, the honorable impulses of the heart (I say that boldly!)⁠—no! That you must believe you have no right indeed⁠ ⁠… but⁠—

Be silent, heart,
Be patient, humble, hold thy peace.

Well, shall I go on?” he broke off gloomily.

“If you’ll be so kind,” answered Nikolay Parfenovitch.


The Third Ordeal
Though Mitya spoke sullenly, it was evident that he was trying more than ever not to forget or miss a single detail of his story. He told them how he had leapt over the fence into his father’s garden; how he had gone up to the window; told them all that had passed under the window. Clearly, precisely, distinctly, he described the feelings that troubled him during those moments in the garden when he longed so terribly to know whether Grushenka was with his father or not. But, strange to say, both the lawyers listened now with a sort of awful reserve, looked coldly at him, asked few questions. Mitya could gather nothing from their faces.

“They’re angry and offended,” he thought. “Well, bother them!”

When he described how he made up his mind at last to make the “signal” to his father that Grushenka had come, so that he should open the window, the lawyers paid no attention to the word “signal,” as though they entirely failed to grasp the meaning of the word in this connection: so much so, that Mitya noticed it. Coming at last to the moment when, seeing his father peering out of the window, his hatred flared up and he pulled the pestle out of his pocket, he suddenly, as though of design, stopped short. He sat gazing at the wall and was aware that their eyes were fixed upon him.

“Well?” said the investigating lawyer. “You pulled out the weapon and⁠ ⁠… and what happened then?”

“Then? Why, then I murdered him⁠ ⁠… hit him on the head and cracked his skull.⁠ ⁠… I suppose that’s your story. That’s it!”

His eyes suddenly flashed. All his smothered wrath suddenly flamed up with extraordinary violence in his soul.

“Our story?” repeated Nikolay Parfenovitch. “Well⁠—and yours?”

Mitya dropped his eyes and was a long time silent.

“My story, gentlemen? Well, it was like this,” he began softly. “Whether it was someone’s tears, or my mother prayed to God, or a good angel kissed me at that instant, I don’t know. But the devil was conquered. I rushed from the window and ran to the fence. My father was alarmed and, for the first time, he saw me then, cried out, and sprang back from the window. I remember that very well. I ran across the garden to the fence⁠ ⁠… and there Grigory caught me, when I was sitting on the fence.”

At that point he raised his eyes at last and looked at his listeners. They seemed to be staring at him with perfectly unruffled attention. A sort of paroxysm of indignation seized on Mitya’s soul.

“Why, you’re laughing at me at this moment, gentlemen!” he broke off suddenly.

“What makes you think that?” observed Nikolay Parfenovitch.

“You don’t believe one word⁠—that’s why! I understand, of course, that I have come to the vital point. The old man’s lying there now with his skull broken, while I⁠—after dramatically describing how I wanted to kill him, and how I snatched up the pestle⁠—I suddenly run away from the window. A romance! Poetry! As though one could believe a fellow on his word. Ha ha! You are scoffers, gentlemen!”

And he swung round on his chair so that it creaked.

“And did you notice,” asked the prosecutor suddenly, as though not observing Mitya’s excitement, “did you notice when you ran away from the window, whether the door into the garden was open?”

“No, it was not open.”

“It was not?”

“It was shut. And who could open it? Bah! the door. Wait a bit!” he seemed suddenly to bethink himself, and almost with a start:

“Why, did you find the door open?”

“Yes, it was open.”

“Why, who could have opened it if you did not open it yourselves?” cried Mitya, greatly astonished.

“The door stood open, and your father’s murderer undoubtedly went in at that door, and, having accomplished the crime, went out again by the same door,” the prosecutor pronounced deliberately, as though chiseling out each word separately. “That is perfectly clear. The murder was committed in the room and not through the window; that is absolutely certain from the examination that has been made, from the position of the body and everything. There can be no doubt of that circumstance.”

Mitya was absolutely dumbfounded.

“But that’s utterly impossible!” he cried, completely at a loss. “I⁠ ⁠… I didn’t go in.⁠ ⁠… I tell you positively, definitely, the door was shut the whole time I was in the garden, and when I ran out of the garden. I only stood at the window and saw him through the window. That’s all, that’s all.⁠ ⁠… I remember to the last minute. And if I didn’t remember, it would be just the same. I know it, for no one knew the signals except Smerdyakov, and me, and the dead man. And he wouldn’t have opened the door to anyone in the world without the signals.”

“Signals? What signals?” asked the prosecutor, with greedy, almost hysterical, curiosity. He instantly lost all trace of his reserve and dignity. He asked the question with a sort of cringing timidity. He scented an important fact of which he had known nothing, and was already filled with dread that Mitya might be unwilling to disclose it.

“So you didn’t know!” Mitya winked at him with a malicious and mocking smile. “What if I won’t tell you? From whom could you find out? No one knew about the signals except my father, Smerdyakov, and me: that was all. Heaven knew, too, but it won’t tell you. But it’s an interesting fact. There’s no knowing what you might build on it. Ha ha! Take comfort, gentlemen, I’ll reveal it. You’ve some foolish idea in your hearts. You don’t know the man you have to deal with! You have to do with a prisoner who gives evidence against himself, to his own damage! Yes, for I’m a man of honor and you⁠—are not.”

The prosecutor swallowed this without a murmur. He was trembling with impatience to hear the new fact. Minutely and diffusely Mitya told them everything about the signals invented by Fyodor Pavlovitch for Smerdyakov. He told them exactly what every tap on the window meant, tapped the signals on the table, and when Nikolay Parfenovitch said that he supposed he, Mitya, had tapped the signal “Grushenka has come,” when he tapped to his father, he answered precisely that he had tapped that signal, that “Grushenka had come.”

“So now you can build up your tower,” Mitya broke off, and again turned away from them contemptuously.

“So no one knew of the signals but your dead father, you, and the valet Smerdyakov? And no one else?” Nikolay Parfenovitch inquired once more.

“Yes. The valet Smerdyakov, and Heaven. Write down about Heaven. That may be of use. Besides, you will need God yourselves.”

And they had already, of course, begun writing it down. But while they wrote, the prosecutor said suddenly, as though pitching on a new idea:

“But if Smerdyakov also knew of these signals and you absolutely deny all responsibility for the death of your father, was it not he, perhaps, who knocked the signal agreed upon, induced your father to open to him, and then⁠ ⁠… committed the crime?”

Mitya turned upon him a look of profound irony and intense hatred. His silent stare lasted so long that it made the prosecutor blink.

“You’ve caught the fox again,” commented Mitya at last; “you’ve got the beast by the tail. Ha ha! I see through you, Mr. Prosecutor. You thought, of course, that I should jump at that, catch at your prompting, and shout with all my might, ‘Aie! it’s Smerdyakov; he’s the murderer.’ Confess that’s what you thought. Confess, and I’ll go on.”

But the prosecutor did not confess. He held his tongue and waited.

“You’re mistaken. I’m not going to shout ‘It’s Smerdyakov,’ ” said Mitya.

“And you don’t even suspect him?”

“Why, do you suspect him?”

“He is suspected, too.”

Mitya fixed his eyes on the floor.

“Joking apart,” he brought out gloomily. “Listen. From the very beginning, almost from the moment when I ran out to you from behind the curtain, I’ve had the thought of Smerdyakov in my mind. I’ve been sitting here, shouting that I’m innocent and thinking all the time ‘Smerdyakov!’ I can’t get Smerdyakov out of my head. In fact, I, too, thought of Smerdyakov just now; but only for a second. Almost at once I thought, ‘No, it’s not Smerdyakov.’ It’s not his doing, gentlemen.”

“In that case is there anybody else you suspect?” Nikolay Parfenovitch inquired cautiously.

“I don’t know anyone it could be, whether it’s the hand of Heaven or Satan, but⁠ ⁠… not Smerdyakov,” Mitya jerked out with decision.

“But what makes you affirm so confidently and emphatically that it’s not he?”

“From my conviction⁠—my impression. Because Smerdyakov is a man of the most abject character and a coward. He’s not a coward, he’s the epitome of all the cowardice in the world walking on two legs. He has the heart of a chicken. When he talked to me, he was always trembling for fear I should kill him, though I never raised my hand against him. He fell at my feet and blubbered; he has kissed these very boots, literally, beseeching me ‘not to frighten him.’ Do you hear? ‘Not to frighten him.’ What a thing to say! Why, I offered him money. He’s a puling chicken⁠—sickly, epileptic, weak-minded⁠—a child of eight could thrash him. He has no character worth talking about. It’s not Smerdyakov, gentlemen. He doesn’t care for money; he wouldn’t take my presents. Besides, what motive had he for murdering the old man? Why, he’s very likely his son, you know⁠—his natural son. Do you know that?”

“We have heard that legend. But you are your father’s son, too, you know; yet you yourself told everyone you meant to murder him.”

“That’s a thrust! And a nasty, mean one, too! I’m not afraid! Oh, gentlemen, isn’t it too base of you to say that to my face? It’s base, because I told you that myself. I not only wanted to murder him, but I might have done it. And, what’s more, I went out of my way to tell you of my own accord that I nearly murdered him. But, you see, I didn’t murder him; you see, my guardian angel saved me⁠—that’s what you’ve not taken into account. And that’s why it’s so base of you. For I didn’t kill him, I didn’t kill him! Do you hear, I did not kill him.”

He was almost choking. He had not been so moved before during the whole interrogation.

“And what has he told you, gentlemen⁠—Smerdyakov, I mean?” he added suddenly, after a pause. “May I ask that question?”

“You may ask any question,” the prosecutor replied with frigid severity, “any question relating to the facts of the case, and we are, I repeat, bound to answer every inquiry you make. We found the servant Smerdyakov, concerning whom you inquire, lying unconscious in his bed, in an epileptic fit of extreme severity, that had recurred, possibly, ten times. The doctor who was with us told us, after seeing him, that he may possibly not outlive the night.”

“Well, if that’s so, the devil must have killed him,” broke suddenly from Mitya, as though until that moment he had been asking himself: “Was it Smerdyakov or not?”

“We will come back to this later,” Nikolay Parfenovitch decided. “Now, wouldn’t you like to continue your statement?”

Mitya asked for a rest. His request was courteously granted. After resting, he went on with his story. But he was evidently depressed. He was exhausted, mortified and morally shaken. To make things worse the prosecutor exasperated him, as though intentionally, by vexatious interruptions about “trifling points.” Scarcely had Mitya described how, sitting on the wall, he had struck Grigory on the head with the pestle, while the old man had hold of his left leg, and how he had then jumped down to look at him, when the prosecutor stopped him to ask him to describe exactly how he was sitting on the wall. Mitya was surprised.

“Oh, I was sitting like this, astride, one leg on one side of the wall and one on the other.”

“And the pestle?”

“The pestle was in my hand.”

“Not in your pocket? Do you remember that precisely? Was it a violent blow you gave him?”

“It must have been a violent one. But why do you ask?”

“Would you mind sitting on the chair just as you sat on the wall then and showing us just how you moved your arm, and in what direction?”

“You’re making fun of me, aren’t you?” asked Mitya, looking haughtily at the speaker; but the latter did not flinch.

Mitya turned abruptly, sat astride on his chair, and swung his arm.

“This was how I struck him! That’s how I knocked him down! What more do you want?”

“Thank you. May I trouble you now to explain why you jumped down, with what object, and what you had in view?”

“Oh, hang it!⁠ ⁠… I jumped down to look at the man I’d hurt⁠ ⁠… I don’t know what for!”

“Though you were so excited and were running away?”

“Yes, though I was excited and running away.”

“You wanted to help him?”

“Help!⁠ ⁠… Yes, perhaps I did want to help him.⁠ ⁠… I don’t remember.”

“You don’t remember? Then you didn’t quite know what you were doing?”

“Not at all. I remember everything⁠—every detail. I jumped down to look at him, and wiped his face with my handkerchief.”

“We have seen your handkerchief. Did you hope to restore him to consciousness?”

“I don’t know whether I hoped it. I simply wanted to make sure whether he was alive or not.”

“Ah! You wanted to be sure? Well, what then?”

“I’m not a doctor. I couldn’t decide. I ran away thinking I’d killed him. And now he’s recovered.”

“Excellent,” commented the prosecutor. “Thank you. That’s all I wanted. Kindly proceed.”

Alas! it never entered Mitya’s head to tell them, though he remembered it, that he had jumped back from pity, and standing over the prostrate figure had even uttered some words of regret: “You’ve come to grief, old man⁠—there’s no help for it. Well, there you must lie.”

The prosecutor could only draw one conclusion: that the man had jumped back “at such a moment and in such excitement simply with the object of ascertaining whether the only witness of his crime were dead; that he must therefore have been a man of great strength, coolness, decision and foresight even at such a moment,”⁠ ⁠… and so on. The prosecutor was satisfied: “I’ve provoked the nervous fellow by ‘trifles’ and he has said more than he meant to.”

With painful effort Mitya went on. But this time he was pulled up immediately by Nikolay Parfenovitch.

“How came you to run to the servant, Fedosya Markovna, with your hands so covered with blood, and, as it appears, your face, too?”

“Why, I didn’t notice the blood at all at the time,” answered Mitya.

“That’s quite likely. It does happen sometimes.” The prosecutor exchanged glances with Nikolay Parfenovitch.

“I simply didn’t notice. You’re quite right there, prosecutor,” Mitya assented suddenly.

Next came the account of Mitya’s sudden determination to “step aside” and make way for their happiness. But he could not make up his mind to open his heart to them as before, and tell them about “the queen of his soul.” He disliked speaking of her before these chilly persons “who were fastening on him like bugs.” And so in response to their reiterated questions he answered briefly and abruptly:

“Well, I made up my mind to kill myself. What had I left to live for? That question stared me in the face. Her first rightful lover had come back, the man who wronged her but who’d hurried back to offer his love, after five years, and atone for the wrong with marriage.⁠ ⁠… So I knew it was all over for me.⁠ ⁠… And behind me disgrace, and that blood⁠—Grigory’s.⁠ ⁠… What had I to live for? So I went to redeem the pistols I had pledged, to load them and put a bullet in my brain tomorrow.”

“And a grand feast the night before?”

“Yes, a grand feast the night before. Damn it all, gentlemen! Do make haste and finish it. I meant to shoot myself not far from here, beyond the village, and I’d planned to do it at five o’clock in the morning. And I had a note in my pocket already. I wrote it at Perhotin’s when I loaded my pistols. Here’s the letter. Read it! It’s not for you I tell it,” he added contemptuously. He took it from his waistcoat pocket and flung it on the table. The lawyers read it with curiosity, and, as is usual, added it to the papers connected with the case.

“And you didn’t even think of washing your hands at Perhotin’s? You were not afraid then of arousing suspicion?”

“What suspicion? Suspicion or not, I should have galloped here just the same, and shot myself at five o’clock, and you wouldn’t have been in time to do anything. If it hadn’t been for what’s happened to my father, you would have known nothing about it, and wouldn’t have come here. Oh, it’s the devil’s doing. It was the devil murdered father, it was through the devil that you found it out so soon. How did you manage to get here so quick? It’s marvelous, a dream!”

“Mr. Perhotin informed us that when you came to him, you held in your hands⁠ ⁠… your bloodstained hands⁠ ⁠… your money⁠ ⁠… a lot of money⁠ ⁠… a bundle of hundred-rouble notes, and that his servant-boy saw it too.”

“That’s true, gentlemen. I remember it was so.”

“Now, there’s one little point presents itself. Can you inform us,” Nikolay Parfenovitch began, with extreme gentleness, “where did you get so much money all of a sudden, when it appears from the facts, from the reckoning of time, that you had not been home?”

The prosecutor’s brows contracted at the question being asked so plainly, but he did not interrupt Nikolay Parfenovitch.

“No, I didn’t go home,” answered Mitya, apparently perfectly composed, but looking at the floor.

“Allow me then to repeat my question,” Nikolay Parfenovitch went on as though creeping up to the subject. “Where were you able to procure such a sum all at once, when by your own confession, at five o’clock the same day you⁠—”

“I was in want of ten roubles and pledged my pistols with Perhotin, and then went to Madame Hohlakov to borrow three thousand which she wouldn’t give me, and so on, and all the rest of it,” Mitya interrupted sharply. “Yes, gentlemen, I was in want of it, and suddenly thousands turned up, eh? Do you know, gentlemen, you’re both afraid now ‘what if he won’t tell us where he got it?’ That’s just how it is. I’m not going to tell you, gentlemen. You’ve guessed right. You’ll never know,” said Mitya, chipping out each word with extraordinary determination. The lawyers were silent for a moment.

“You must understand, Mr. Karamazov, that it is of vital importance for us to know,” said Nikolay Parfenovitch, softly and suavely.

“I understand; but still I won’t tell you.”

The prosecutor, too, intervened, and again reminded the prisoner that he was at liberty to refuse to answer questions, if he thought it to his interest, and so on. But in view of the damage he might do himself by his silence, especially in a case of such importance as⁠—

“And so on, gentlemen, and so on. Enough! I’ve heard that rigmarole before,” Mitya interrupted again. “I can see for myself how important it is, and that this is the vital point, and still I won’t say.”

“What is it to us? It’s not our business, but yours. You are doing yourself harm,” observed Nikolay Parfenovitch nervously.

“You see, gentlemen, joking apart”⁠—Mitya lifted his eyes and looked firmly at them both⁠—“I had an inkling from the first that we should come to loggerheads at this point. But at first when I began to give my evidence, it was all still far away and misty; it was all floating, and I was so simple that I began with the supposition of mutual confidence existing between us. Now I can see for myself that such confidence is out of the question, for in any case we were bound to come to this cursed stumbling-block. And now we’ve come to it! It’s impossible and there’s an end of it! But I don’t blame you. You can’t believe it all simply on my word. I understand that, of course.”

He relapsed into gloomy silence.

“Couldn’t you, without abandoning your resolution to be silent about the chief point, could you not, at the same time, give us some slight hint as to the nature of the motives which are strong enough to induce you to refuse to answer, at a crisis so full of danger to you?”

Mitya smiled mournfully, almost dreamily.

“I’m much more good-natured than you think, gentlemen. I’ll tell you the reason why and give you that hint, though you don’t deserve it. I won’t speak of that, gentlemen, because it would be a stain on my honor. The answer to the question where I got the money would expose me to far greater disgrace than the murder and robbing of my father, if I had murdered and robbed him. That’s why I can’t tell you. I can’t for fear of disgrace. What, gentlemen, are you going to write that down?”

“Yes, we’ll write it down,” lisped Nikolay Parfenovitch.

“You ought not to write that down about ‘disgrace.’ I only told you that in the goodness of my heart. I needn’t have told you. I made you a present of it, so to speak, and you pounce upon it at once. Oh, well, write⁠—write what you like,” he concluded, with scornful disgust. “I’m not afraid of you and I can still hold up my head before you.”

“And can’t you tell us the nature of that disgrace?” Nikolay Parfenovitch hazarded.

The prosecutor frowned darkly.

“No, no, c’est fini, don’t trouble yourselves. It’s not worth while soiling one’s hands. I have soiled myself enough through you as it is. You’re not worth it⁠—no one is⁠ ⁠… Enough, gentlemen. I’m not going on.”

This was said too peremptorily. Nikolay Parfenovitch did not insist further, but from Ippolit Kirillovitch’s eyes he saw that he had not given up hope.

“Can you not, at least, tell us what sum you had in your hands when you went into Mr. Perhotin’s⁠—how many roubles exactly?”

“I can’t tell you that.”

“You spoke to Mr. Perhotin, I believe, of having received three thousand from Madame Hohlakov.”

“Perhaps I did. Enough, gentlemen. I won’t say how much I had.”

“Will you be so good then as to tell us how you came here and what you have done since you arrived?”

“Oh! you might ask the people here about that. But I’ll tell you if you like.”

He proceeded to do so, but we won’t repeat his story. He told it dryly and curtly. Of the raptures of his love he said nothing, but told them that he abandoned his determination to shoot himself, owing to “new factors in the case.” He told the story without going into motives or details. And this time the lawyers did not worry him much. It was obvious that there was no essential point of interest to them here.

“We shall verify all that. We will come back to it during the examination of the witnesses, which will, of course, take place in your presence,” said Nikolay Parfenovitch in conclusion. “And now allow me to request you to lay on the table everything in your possession, especially all the money you still have about you.”

“My money, gentlemen? Certainly. I understand that that is necessary. I’m surprised, indeed, that you haven’t inquired about it before. It’s true I couldn’t get away anywhere. I’m sitting here where I can be seen. But here’s my money⁠—count it⁠—take it. That’s all, I think.”

He turned it all out of his pockets; even the small change⁠—two pieces of twenty copecks⁠—he pulled out of his waistcoat pocket. They counted the money, which amounted to eight hundred and thirty-six roubles, and forty copecks.

“And is that all?” asked the investigating lawyer.


“You stated just now in your evidence that you spent three hundred roubles at Plotnikovs’. You gave Perhotin ten, your driver twenty, here you lost two hundred, then.⁠ ⁠…”

Nikolay Parfenovitch reckoned it all up. Mitya helped him readily. They recollected every farthing and included it in the reckoning. Nikolay Parfenovitch hurriedly added up the total.

“With this eight hundred you must have had about fifteen hundred at first?”

“I suppose so,” snapped Mitya.

“How is it they all assert there was much more?”

“Let them assert it.”

“But you asserted it yourself.”

“Yes, I did, too.”

“We will compare all this with the evidence of other persons not yet examined. Don’t be anxious about your money. It will be properly taken care of and be at your disposal at the conclusion of⁠ ⁠… what is beginning⁠ ⁠… if it appears, or, so to speak, is proved that you have undisputed right to it. Well, and now.⁠ ⁠…”

Nikolay Parfenovitch suddenly got up, and informed Mitya firmly that it was his duty and obligation to conduct a minute and thorough search “of your clothes and everything else.⁠ ⁠…”

“By all means, gentlemen. I’ll turn out all my pockets, if you like.”

And he did, in fact, begin turning out his pockets.

“It will be necessary to take off your clothes, too.”

“What! Undress? Ugh! Damn it! Won’t you search me as I am! Can’t you?”

“It’s utterly impossible, Dmitri Fyodorovitch. You must take off your clothes.”

“As you like,” Mitya submitted gloomily; “only, please, not here, but behind the curtains. Who will search them?”

“Behind the curtains, of course.”

Nikolay Parfenovitch bent his head in assent. His small face wore an expression of peculiar solemnity.


The Prosecutor Catches Mitya
Something utterly unexpected and amazing to Mitya followed. He could never, even a minute before, have conceived that anyone could behave like that to him, Mitya Karamazov. What was worst of all, there was something humiliating in it, and on their side something “supercilious and scornful.” It was nothing to take off his coat, but he was asked to undress further, or rather not asked but “commanded,” he quite understood that. From pride and contempt he submitted without a word. Several peasants accompanied the lawyers and remained on the same side of the curtain. “To be ready if force is required,” thought Mitya, “and perhaps for some other reason, too.”

“Well, must I take off my shirt, too?” he asked sharply, but Nikolay Parfenovitch did not answer. He was busily engaged with the prosecutor in examining the coat, the trousers, the waistcoat and the cap; and it was evident that they were both much interested in the scrutiny. “They make no bones about it,” thought Mitya, “they don’t keep up the most elementary politeness.”

“I ask you for the second time⁠—need I take off my shirt or not?” he said, still more sharply and irritably.

“Don’t trouble yourself. We will tell you what to do,” Nikolay Parfenovitch said, and his voice was positively peremptory, or so it seemed to Mitya.

Meantime a consultation was going on in undertones between the lawyers. There turned out to be on the coat, especially on the left side at the back, a huge patch of blood, dry, and still stiff. There were bloodstains on the trousers, too. Nikolay Parfenovitch, moreover, in the presence of the peasant witnesses, passed his fingers along the collar, the cuffs, and all the seams of the coat and trousers, obviously looking for something⁠—money, of course. He didn’t even hide from Mitya his suspicion that he was capable of sewing money up in his clothes.

“He treats me not as an officer but as a thief,” Mitya muttered to himself. They communicated their ideas to one another with amazing frankness. The secretary, for instance, who was also behind the curtain, fussing about and listening, called Nikolay Parfenovitch’s attention to the cap, which they were also fingering.

“You remember Gridyenko, the copying-clerk,” observed the secretary. “Last summer he received the wages of the whole office, and pretended to have lost the money when he was drunk. And where was it found? Why, in just such pipings in his cap. The hundred-rouble notes were screwed up in little rolls and sewed in the piping.”

Both the lawyers remembered Gridyenko’s case perfectly, and so laid aside Mitya’s cap, and decided that all his clothes must be more thoroughly examined later.

“Excuse me,” cried Nikolay Parfenovitch, suddenly, noticing that the right cuff of Mitya’s shirt was turned in, and covered with blood, “excuse me, what’s that, blood?”

“Yes,” Mitya jerked out.

“That is, what blood?⁠ ⁠… and why is the cuff turned in?”

Mitya told him how he had got the sleeve stained with blood looking after Grigory, and had turned it inside when he was washing his hands at Perhotin’s.

“You must take off your shirt, too. That’s very important as material evidence.”

Mitya flushed red and flew into a rage.

“What, am I to stay naked?” he shouted.

“Don’t disturb yourself. We will arrange something. And meanwhile take off your socks.”

“You’re not joking? Is that really necessary?” Mitya’s eyes flashed.

“We are in no mood for joking,” answered Nikolay Parfenovitch sternly.

“Well, if I must⁠—” muttered Mitya, and sitting down on the bed, he took off his socks. He felt unbearably awkward. All were clothed, while he was naked, and strange to say, when he was undressed he felt somehow guilty in their presence, and was almost ready to believe himself that he was inferior to them, and that now they had a perfect right to despise him.

“When all are undressed, one is somehow not ashamed, but when one’s the only one undressed and everybody is looking, it’s degrading,” he kept repeating to himself, again and again. “It’s like a dream, I’ve sometimes dreamed of being in such degrading positions.” It was a misery to him to take off his socks. They were very dirty, and so were his underclothes, and now everyone could see it. And what was worse, he disliked his feet. All his life he had thought both his big toes hideous. He particularly loathed the coarse, flat, crooked nail on the right one, and now they would all see it. Feeling intolerably ashamed made him, at once and intentionally, rougher. He pulled off his shirt, himself.

“Would you like to look anywhere else if you’re not ashamed to?”

“No, there’s no need to, at present.”

“Well, am I to stay naked like this?” he added savagely.

“Yes, that can’t be helped for the time.⁠ ⁠… Kindly sit down here for a while. You can wrap yourself in a quilt from the bed, and I⁠ ⁠… I’ll see to all this.”

All the things were shown to the witnesses. The report of the search was drawn up, and at last Nikolay Parfenovitch went out, and the clothes were carried out after him. Ippolit Kirillovitch went out, too. Mitya was left alone with the peasants, who stood in silence, never taking their eyes off him. Mitya wrapped himself up in the quilt. He felt cold. His bare feet stuck out, and he couldn’t pull the quilt over so as to cover them. Nikolay Parfenovitch seemed to be gone a long time, “an insufferable time.” “He thinks of me as a puppy,” thought Mitya, gnashing his teeth. “That rotten prosecutor has gone, too, contemptuous no doubt, it disgusts him to see me naked!”

Mitya imagined, however, that his clothes would be examined and returned to him. But what was his indignation when Nikolay Parfenovitch came back with quite different clothes, brought in behind him by a peasant.

“Here are clothes for you,” he observed airily, seeming well satisfied with the success of his mission. “Mr. Kalganov has kindly provided these for this unusual emergency, as well as a clean shirt. Luckily he had them all in his trunk. You can keep your own socks and underclothes.”

Mitya flew into a passion.

“I won’t have other people’s clothes!” he shouted menacingly, “give me my own!”

“It’s impossible!”

“Give me my own. Damn Kalganov and his clothes, too!”

It was a long time before they could persuade him. But they succeeded somehow in quieting him down. They impressed upon him that his clothes, being stained with blood, must be “included with the other material evidence,” and that they “had not even the right to let him have them now⁠ ⁠… taking into consideration the possible outcome of the case.” Mitya at last understood this. He subsided into gloomy silence and hurriedly dressed himself. He merely observed, as he put them on, that the clothes were much better than his old ones, and that he disliked “gaining by the change.” The coat was, besides, “ridiculously tight. Am I to be dressed up like a fool⁠ ⁠… for your amusement?”

They urged upon him again that he was exaggerating, that Kalganov was only a little taller, so that only the trousers might be a little too long. But the coat turned out to be really tight in the shoulders.

“Damn it all! I can hardly button it,” Mitya grumbled. “Be so good as to tell Mr. Kalganov from me that I didn’t ask for his clothes, and it’s not my doing that they’ve dressed me up like a clown.”

“He understands that, and is sorry⁠ ⁠… I mean, not sorry to lend you his clothes, but sorry about all this business,” mumbled Nikolay Parfenovitch.

“Confound his sorrow! Well, where now? Am I to go on sitting here?”

He was asked to go back to the “other room.” Mitya went in, scowling with anger, and trying to avoid looking at anyone. Dressed in another man’s clothes he felt himself disgraced, even in the eyes of the peasants, and of Trifon Borissovitch, whose face appeared, for some reason, in the doorway, and vanished immediately. “He’s come to look at me dressed up,” thought Mitya. He sat down on the same chair as before. He had an absurd nightmarish feeling, as though he were out of his mind.

“Well, what now? Are you going to flog me? That’s all that’s left for you,” he said, clenching his teeth and addressing the prosecutor. He would not turn to Nikolay Parfenovitch, as though he disdained to speak to him.

“He looked too closely at my socks, and turned them inside out on purpose to show everyone how dirty they were⁠—the scoundrel!”

“Well, now we must proceed to the examination of witnesses,” observed Nikolay Parfenovitch, as though in reply to Mitya’s question.

“Yes,” said the prosecutor thoughtfully, as though reflecting on something.

“We’ve done what we could in your interest, Dmitri Fyodorovitch,” Nikolay Parfenovitch went on, “but having received from you such an uncompromising refusal to explain to us the source from which you obtained the money found upon you, we are, at the present moment⁠—”

“What is the stone in your ring?” Mitya interrupted suddenly, as though awakening from a reverie. He pointed to one of the three large rings adorning Nikolay Parfenovitch’s right hand.

“Ring?” repeated Nikolay Parfenovitch with surprise.

“Yes, that one⁠ ⁠… on your middle finger, with the little veins in it, what stone is that?” Mitya persisted, like a peevish child.

“That’s a smoky topaz,” said Nikolay Parfenovitch, smiling. “Would you like to look at it? I’ll take it off⁠ ⁠…”

“No, don’t take it off,” cried Mitya furiously, suddenly waking up, and angry with himself. “Don’t take it off⁠ ⁠… there’s no need.⁠ ⁠… Damn it!⁠ ⁠… Gentlemen, you’ve sullied my heart! Can you suppose that I would conceal it from you, if I had really killed my father, that I would shuffle, lie, and hide myself? No, that’s not like Dmitri Karamazov, that he couldn’t do, and if I were guilty, I swear I shouldn’t have waited for your coming, or for the sunrise as I meant at first, but should have killed myself before this, without waiting for the dawn! I know that about myself now. I couldn’t have learnt so much in twenty years as I’ve found out in this accursed night!⁠ ⁠… And should I have been like this on this night, and at this moment, sitting with you, could I have talked like this, could I have moved like this, could I have looked at you and at the world like this, if I had really been the murderer of my father, when the very thought of having accidentally killed Grigory gave me no peace all night⁠—not from fear⁠—oh, not simply from fear of your punishment! The disgrace of it! And you expect me to be open with such scoffers as you, who see nothing and believe in nothing, blind moles and scoffers, and to tell you another nasty thing I’ve done, another disgrace, even if that would save me from your accusation! No, better Siberia! The man who opened the door to my father and went in at that door, he killed him, he robbed him. Who was he? I’m racking my brains and can’t think who. But I can tell you it was not Dmitri Karamazov, and that’s all I can tell you, and that’s enough, enough, leave me alone.⁠ ⁠… Exile me, punish me, but don’t bother me any more. I’ll say no more. Call your witnesses!”

Mitya uttered his sudden monologue as though he were determined to be absolutely silent for the future. The prosecutor watched him the whole time and only when he had ceased speaking, observed, as though it were the most ordinary thing, with the most frigid and composed air:

“Oh, about the open door of which you spoke just now, we may as well inform you, by the way, now, of a very interesting piece of evidence of the greatest importance both to you and to us, that has been given us by Grigory, the old man you wounded. On his recovery, he clearly and emphatically stated, in reply to our questions, that when, on coming out to the steps, and hearing a noise in the garden, he made up his mind to go into it through the little gate which stood open, before he noticed you running, as you have told us already, in the dark from the open window where you saw your father, he, Grigory, glanced to the left, and, while noticing the open window, observed at the same time, much nearer to him, the door, standing wide open⁠—that door which you have stated to have been shut the whole time you were in the garden. I will not conceal from you that Grigory himself confidently affirms and bears witness that you must have run from that door, though, of course, he did not see you do so with his own eyes, since he only noticed you first some distance away in the garden, running towards the fence.”

Mitya had leapt up from his chair halfway through this speech.

“Nonsense!” he yelled, in a sudden frenzy, “it’s a barefaced lie. He couldn’t have seen the door open because it was shut. He’s lying!”

“I consider it my duty to repeat that he is firm in his statement. He does not waver. He adheres to it. We’ve cross-examined him several times.”

“Precisely. I have cross-examined him several times,” Nikolay Parfenovitch confirmed warmly.

“It’s false, false! It’s either an attempt to slander me, or the hallucination of a madman,” Mitya still shouted. “He’s simply raving, from loss of blood, from the wound. He must have fancied it when he came to.⁠ ⁠… He’s raving.”

“Yes, but he noticed the open door, not when he came to after his injuries, but before that, as soon as he went into the garden from the lodge.”

“But it’s false, it’s false! It can’t be so! He’s slandering me from spite.⁠ ⁠… He couldn’t have seen it⁠ ⁠… I didn’t come from the door,” gasped Mitya.

The prosecutor turned to Nikolay Parfenovitch and said to him impressively:

“Confront him with it.”

“Do you recognize this object?”

Nikolay Parfenovitch laid upon the table a large and thick official envelope, on which three seals still remained intact. The envelope was empty, and slit open at one end. Mitya stared at it with open eyes.

“It⁠ ⁠… it must be that envelope of my father’s, the envelope that contained the three thousand roubles⁠ ⁠… and if there’s inscribed on it, allow me, ‘For my little chicken’⁠ ⁠… yes⁠—three thousand!” he shouted, “do you see, three thousand, do you see?”

“Of course, we see. But we didn’t find the money in it. It was empty, and lying on the floor by the bed, behind the screen.”

For some seconds Mitya stood as though thunderstruck.

“Gentlemen, it’s Smerdyakov!” he shouted suddenly, at the top of his voice. “It’s he who’s murdered him! He’s robbed him! No one else knew where the old man hid the envelope. It’s Smerdyakov, that’s clear, now!”

“But you, too, knew of the envelope and that it was under the pillow.”

“I never knew it. I’ve never seen it. This is the first time I’ve looked at it. I’d only heard of it from Smerdyakov.⁠ ⁠… He was the only one who knew where the old man kept it hidden, I didn’t know⁠ ⁠…” Mitya was completely breathless.

“But you told us yourself that the envelope was under your deceased father’s pillow. You especially stated that it was under the pillow, so you must have known it.”

“We’ve got it written down,” confirmed Nikolay Parfenovitch.

“Nonsense! It’s absurd! I’d no idea it was under the pillow. And perhaps it wasn’t under the pillow at all.⁠ ⁠… It was just a chance guess that it was under the pillow. What does Smerdyakov say? Have you asked him where it was? What does Smerdyakov say? that’s the chief point.⁠ ⁠… And I went out of my way to tell lies against myself.⁠ ⁠… I told you without thinking that it was under the pillow, and now you⁠—Oh, you know how one says the wrong thing, without meaning it. No one knew but Smerdyakov, only Smerdyakov, and no one else.⁠ ⁠… He didn’t even tell me where it was! But it’s his doing, his doing; there’s no doubt about it, he murdered him, that’s as clear as daylight now,” Mitya exclaimed more and more frantically, repeating himself incoherently, and growing more and more exasperated and excited. “You must understand that, and arrest him at once.⁠ ⁠… He must have killed him while I was running away and while Grigory was unconscious, that’s clear now.⁠ ⁠… He gave the signal and father opened to him⁠ ⁠… for no one but he knew the signal, and without the signal father would never have opened the door.⁠ ⁠…”

“But you’re again forgetting the circumstance,” the prosecutor observed, still speaking with the same restraint, though with a note of triumph, “that there was no need to give the signal if the door already stood open when you were there, while you were in the garden.⁠ ⁠…”

“The door, the door,” muttered Mitya, and he stared speechless at the prosecutor. He sank back helpless in his chair. All were silent.

“Yes, the door!⁠ ⁠… It’s a nightmare! God is against me!” he exclaimed, staring before him in complete stupefaction.

“Come, you see,” the prosecutor went on with dignity, “and you can judge for yourself, Dmitri Fyodorovitch. On the one hand we have the evidence of the open door from which you ran out, a fact which overwhelms you and us. On the other side your incomprehensible, persistent, and, so to speak, obdurate silence with regard to the source from which you obtained the money which was so suddenly seen in your hands, when only three hours earlier, on your own showing, you pledged your pistols for the sake of ten roubles! In view of all these facts, judge for yourself. What are we to believe, and what can we depend upon? And don’t accuse us of being ‘frigid, cynical, scoffing people,’ who are incapable of believing in the generous impulses of your heart.⁠ ⁠… Try to enter into our position⁠ ⁠…”

Mitya was indescribably agitated. He turned pale.

“Very well!” he exclaimed suddenly. “I will tell you my secret. I’ll tell you where I got the money!⁠ ⁠… I’ll reveal my shame, that I may not have to blame myself or you hereafter.”

“And believe me, Dmitri Fyodorovitch,” put in Nikolay Parfenovitch, in a voice of almost pathetic delight, “that every sincere and complete confession on your part at this moment may, later on, have an immense influence in your favor, and may, indeed, moreover⁠—”

But the prosecutor gave him a slight shove under the table, and he checked himself in time. Mitya, it is true, had not heard him.


Mitya’s Great Secret. Received with Hisses
“Gentlemen,” he began, still in the same agitation, “I want to make a full confession: that money was my own.” The lawyers’ faces lengthened. That was not at all what they expected.

“How do you mean?” faltered Nikolay Parfenovitch, “when at five o’clock on the same day, from your own confession⁠—”

“Damn five o’clock on the same day and my own confession! That’s nothing to do with it now! That money was my own, my own, that is, stolen by me⁠ ⁠… not mine, I mean, but stolen by me, and it was fifteen hundred roubles, and I had it on me all the time, all the time⁠ ⁠…”

“But where did you get it?”

“I took it off my neck, gentlemen, off this very neck⁠ ⁠… it was here, round my neck, sewn up in a rag, and I’d had it round my neck a long time, it’s a month since I put it round my neck⁠ ⁠… to my shame and disgrace!”

“And from whom did you⁠ ⁠… appropriate it?”

“You mean, ‘steal it’? Speak out plainly now. Yes, I consider that I practically stole it, but, if you prefer, I ‘appropriated it.’ I consider I stole it. And last night I stole it finally.”

“Last night? But you said that it’s a month since you⁠ ⁠… obtained it?⁠ ⁠…”

“Yes. But not from my father. Not from my father, don’t be uneasy. I didn’t steal it from my father, but from her. Let me tell you without interrupting. It’s hard to do, you know. You see, a month ago, I was sent for by Katerina Ivanovna, formerly my betrothed. Do you know her?”

“Yes, of course.”

“I know you know her. She’s a noble creature, noblest of the noble. But she has hated me ever so long, oh, ever so long⁠ ⁠… and hated me with good reason, good reason!”

“Katerina Ivanovna!” Nikolay Parfenovitch exclaimed with wonder. The prosecutor, too, stared.

“Oh, don’t take her name in vain! I’m a scoundrel to bring her into it. Yes, I’ve seen that she hated me⁠ ⁠… a long while.⁠ ⁠… From the very first, even that evening at my lodging⁠ ⁠… but enough, enough. You’re unworthy even to know of that. No need of that at all.⁠ ⁠… I need only tell you that she sent for me a month ago, gave me three thousand roubles to send off to her sister and another relation in Moscow (as though she couldn’t have sent it off herself!) and I⁠ ⁠… it was just at that fatal moment in my life when I⁠ ⁠… well, in fact, when I’d just come to love another, her, she’s sitting down below now, Grushenka. I carried her off here to Mokroe then, and wasted here in two days half that damned three thousand, but the other half I kept on me. Well, I’ve kept that other half, that fifteen hundred, like a locket round my neck, but yesterday I undid it, and spent it. What’s left of it, eight hundred roubles, is in your hands now, Nikolay Parfenovitch. That’s the change out of the fifteen hundred I had yesterday.”

“Excuse me. How’s that? Why, when you were here a month ago you spent three thousand, not fifteen hundred, everybody knows that.”

“Who knows it? Who counted the money? Did I let anyone count it?”

“Why, you told everyone yourself that you’d spent exactly three thousand.”

“It’s true, I did. I told the whole town so, and the whole town said so. And here, at Mokroe, too, everyone reckoned it was three thousand. Yet I didn’t spend three thousand, but fifteen hundred. And the other fifteen hundred I sewed into a little bag. That’s how it was, gentlemen. That’s where I got that money yesterday.⁠ ⁠…”

“This is almost miraculous,” murmured Nikolay Parfenovitch.

“Allow me to inquire,” observed the prosecutor at last, “have you informed anyone whatever of this circumstance before, I mean that you had fifteen hundred left about you a month ago?”

“I told no one.”

“That’s strange. Do you mean absolutely no one?”

“Absolutely no one. No one and nobody.”

“What was your reason for this reticence? What was your motive for making such a secret of it? To be more precise: You have told us at last your secret, in your words, so ‘disgraceful,’ though in reality⁠—that is, of course, comparatively speaking⁠—this action, that is, the appropriation of three thousand roubles belonging to someone else, and, of course, only for a time is, in my view at least, only an act of the greatest recklessness and not so disgraceful, when one takes into consideration your character.⁠ ⁠… Even admitting that it was an action in the highest degree discreditable, still, discreditable is not ‘disgraceful.’⁠ ⁠… Many people have already guessed, during this last month, about the three thousand of Katerina Ivanovna’s, that you have spent, and I heard the legend myself, apart from your confession.⁠ ⁠… Mihail Makarovitch, for instance, had heard it, too, so that indeed, it was scarcely a legend, but the gossip of the whole town. There are indications, too, if I am not mistaken, that you confessed this yourself to someone, I mean that the money was Katerina Ivanovna’s, and so, it’s extremely surprising to me that hitherto, that is, up to the present moment, you have made such an extraordinary secret of the fifteen hundred you say you put by, apparently connecting a feeling of positive horror with that secret.⁠ ⁠… It’s not easy to believe that it could cost you such distress to confess such a secret.⁠ ⁠… You cried out, just now, that Siberia would be better than confessing it⁠ ⁠…”

The prosecutor ceased speaking. He was provoked. He did not conceal his vexation, which was almost anger, and gave vent to all his accumulated spleen, disconnectedly and incoherently, without choosing words.

“It’s not the fifteen hundred that’s the disgrace, but that I put it apart from the rest of the three thousand,” said Mitya firmly.

“Why?” smiled the prosecutor irritably. “What is there disgraceful, to your thinking, in your having set aside half of the three thousand you had discreditably, if you prefer, ‘disgracefully,’ appropriated? Your taking the three thousand is more important than what you did with it. And by the way, why did you do that⁠—why did you set apart that half, for what purpose, for what object did you do it? Can you explain that to us?”

“Oh, gentlemen, the purpose is the whole point!” cried Mitya. “I put it aside because I was vile, that is, because I was calculating, and to be calculating in such a case is vile⁠ ⁠… and that vileness has been going on a whole month.”

“It’s incomprehensible.”

“I wonder at you. But I’ll make it clearer. Perhaps it really is incomprehensible. You see, attend to what I say. I appropriate three thousand entrusted to my honor, I spend it on a spree, say I spend it all, and next morning I go to her and say, ‘Katya, I’ve done wrong, I’ve squandered your three thousand,’ well, is that right? No, it’s not right⁠—it’s dishonest and cowardly, I’m a beast, with no more self-control than a beast, that’s so, isn’t it? But still I’m not a thief? Not a downright thief, you’ll admit! I squandered it, but I didn’t steal it. Now a second, rather more favorable alternative: follow me carefully, or I may get confused again⁠—my head’s going round⁠—and so, for the second alternative: I spend here only fifteen hundred out of the three thousand, that is, only half. Next day I go and take that half to her: ‘Katya, take this fifteen hundred from me, I’m a low beast, and an untrustworthy scoundrel, for I’ve wasted half the money, and I shall waste this, too, so keep me from temptation!’ Well, what of that alternative? I should be a beast and a scoundrel, and whatever you like; but not a thief, not altogether a thief, or I should not have brought back what was left, but have kept that, too. She would see at once that since I brought back half, I should pay back what I’d spent, that I should never give up trying to, that I should work to get it and pay it back. So in that case I should be a scoundrel, but not a thief, you may say what you like, not a thief!”

“I admit that there is a certain distinction,” said the prosecutor, with a cold smile. “But it’s strange that you see such a vital difference.”

“Yes, I see a vital difference! Every man may be a scoundrel, and perhaps every man is a scoundrel, but not everyone can be a thief, it takes an arch-scoundrel to be that. Oh, of course, I don’t know how to make these fine distinctions⁠ ⁠… but a thief is lower than a scoundrel, that’s my conviction. Listen, I carry the money about me a whole month, I may make up my mind to give it back tomorrow, and I’m a scoundrel no longer, but I cannot make up my mind, you see, though I’m making up my mind every day, and every day spurring myself on to do it, and yet for a whole month I can’t bring myself to it, you see. Is that right to your thinking, is that right?”

“Certainly, that’s not right, that I can quite understand, and that I don’t dispute,” answered the prosecutor with reserve. “And let us give up all discussion of these subtleties and distinctions, and, if you will be so kind, get back to the point. And the point is, that you have still not told us, altogether we’ve asked you, why, in the first place, you halved the money, squandering one half and hiding the other? For what purpose exactly did you hide it, what did you mean to do with that fifteen hundred? I insist upon that question, Dmitri Fyodorovitch.”

“Yes, of course!” cried Mitya, striking himself on the forehead; “forgive me, I’m worrying you, and am not explaining the chief point, or you’d understand in a minute, for it’s just the motive of it that’s the disgrace! You see, it was all to do with the old man, my dead father. He was always pestering Agrafena Alexandrovna, and I was jealous; I thought then that she was hesitating between me and him. So I kept thinking every day, suppose she were to make up her mind all of a sudden, suppose she were to leave off tormenting me, and were suddenly to say to me, ‘I love you, not him; take me to the other end of the world.’ And I’d only forty copecks; how could I take her away, what could I do? Why, I’d be lost. You see, I didn’t know her then, I didn’t understand her, I thought she wanted money, and that she wouldn’t forgive my poverty. And so I fiendishly counted out the half of that three thousand, sewed it up, calculating on it, sewed it up before I was drunk, and after I had sewn it up, I went off to get drunk on the rest. Yes, that was base. Do you understand now?”

Both the lawyers laughed aloud.

“I should have called it sensible and moral on your part not to have squandered it all,” chuckled Nikolay Parfenovitch, “for after all what does it amount to?”

“Why, that I stole it, that’s what it amounts to! Oh, God, you horrify me by not understanding! Every day that I had that fifteen hundred sewn up round my neck, every day and every hour I said to myself, ‘You’re a thief! you’re a thief!’ Yes, that’s why I’ve been so savage all this month, that’s why I fought in the tavern, that’s why I attacked my father, it was because I felt I was a thief. I couldn’t make up my mind, I didn’t dare even to tell Alyosha, my brother, about that fifteen hundred: I felt I was such a scoundrel and such a pickpocket. But, do you know, while I carried it I said to myself at the same time every hour: ‘No, Dmitri Fyodorovitch, you may yet not be a thief.’ Why? Because I might go next day and pay back that fifteen hundred to Katya. And only yesterday I made up my mind to tear my amulet off my neck, on my way from Fenya’s to Perhotin. I hadn’t been able till that moment to bring myself to it. And it was only when I tore it off that I became a downright thief, a thief and a dishonest man for the rest of my life. Why? Because, with that I destroyed, too, my dream of going to Katya and saying, ‘I’m a scoundrel, but not a thief!’ Do you understand now? Do you understand?”

“What was it made you decide to do it yesterday?” Nikolay Parfenovitch interrupted.

“Why? It’s absurd to ask. Because I had condemned myself to die at five o’clock this morning, here, at dawn. I thought it made no difference whether I died a thief or a man of honor. But I see it’s not so, it turns out that it does make a difference. Believe me, gentlemen, what has tortured me most during this night has not been the thought that I’d killed the old servant, and that I was in danger of Siberia just when my love was being rewarded, and Heaven was open to me again. Oh, that did torture me, but not in the same way: not so much as the damned consciousness that I had torn that damned money off my breast at last and spent it, and had become a downright thief! Oh, gentlemen, I tell you again, with a bleeding heart, I have learnt a great deal this night. I have learnt that it’s not only impossible to live a scoundrel, but impossible to die a scoundrel.⁠ ⁠… No, gentlemen, one must die honest.⁠ ⁠…”

Mitya was pale. His face had a haggard and exhausted look, in spite of his being intensely excited.

“I am beginning to understand you, Dmitri Fyodorovitch,” the prosecutor said slowly, in a soft and almost compassionate tone. “But all this, if you’ll excuse my saying so, is a matter of nerves, in my opinion⁠ ⁠… your overwrought nerves, that’s what it is. And why, for instance, should you not have saved yourself such misery for almost a month, by going and returning that fifteen hundred to the lady who had entrusted it to you? And why could you not have explained things to her, and in view of your position, which you describe as being so awful, why could you not have had recourse to the plan which would so naturally have occurred to one’s mind, that is, after honorably confessing your errors to her, why could you not have asked her to lend you the sum needed for your expenses, which, with her generous heart, she would certainly not have refused you in your distress, especially if it had been with some guarantee, or even on the security you offered to the merchant Samsonov, and to Madame Hohlakov? I suppose you still regard that security as of value?”

Mitya suddenly crimsoned.

“Surely you don’t think me such an out and out scoundrel as that? You can’t be speaking in earnest?” he said, with indignation, looking the prosecutor straight in the face, and seeming unable to believe his ears.

“I assure you I’m in earnest.⁠ ⁠… Why do you imagine I’m not serious?” It was the prosecutor’s turn to be surprised.

“Oh, how base that would have been! Gentlemen, do you know, you are torturing me! Let me tell you everything, so be it. I’ll confess all my infernal wickedness, but to put you to shame, and you’ll be surprised yourselves at the depth of ignominy to which a medley of human passions can sink. You must know that I already had that plan myself, that plan you spoke of, just now, prosecutor! Yes, gentlemen, I, too, have had that thought in my mind all this current month, so that I was on the point of deciding to go to Katya⁠—I was mean enough for that. But to go to her, to tell her of my treachery, and for that very treachery, to carry it out, for the expenses of that treachery, to beg for money from her, Katya (to beg, do you hear, to beg), and go straight from her to run away with the other, the rival, who hated and insulted her⁠—to think of it! You must be mad, prosecutor!”

“Mad I am not, but I did speak in haste, without thinking⁠ ⁠… of that feminine jealousy⁠ ⁠… if there could be jealousy in this case, as you assert⁠ ⁠… yes, perhaps there is something of the kind,” said the prosecutor, smiling.

“But that would have been so infamous!” Mitya brought his fist down on the table fiercely. “That would have been filthy beyond everything! Yes, do you know that she might have given me that money, yes, and she would have given it, too; she’d have been certain to give it, to be revenged on me, she’d have given it to satisfy her vengeance, to show her contempt for me, for hers is an infernal nature, too, and she’s a woman of great wrath. I’d have taken the money, too, oh, I should have taken it; I should have taken it, and then, for the rest of my life⁠ ⁠… oh, God! Forgive me, gentlemen, I’m making such an outcry because I’ve had that thought in my mind so lately, only the day before yesterday, that night when I was having all that bother with Lyagavy, and afterwards yesterday, all day yesterday, I remember, till that happened⁠ ⁠…”

“Till what happened?” put in Nikolay Parfenovitch inquisitively, but Mitya did not hear it.

“I have made you an awful confession,” Mitya said gloomily in conclusion. “You must appreciate it, and what’s more, you must respect it, for if not, if that leaves your souls untouched, then you’ve simply no respect for me, gentlemen, I tell you that, and I shall die of shame at having confessed it to men like you! Oh, I shall shoot myself! Yes, I see, I see already that you don’t believe me. What, you want to write that down, too?” he cried in dismay.

“Yes, what you said just now,” said Nikolay Parfenovitch, looking at him in surprise, “that is, that up to the last hour you were still contemplating going to Katerina Ivanovna to beg that sum from her.⁠ ⁠… I assure you, that’s a very important piece of evidence for us, Dmitri Fyodorovitch, I mean for the whole case⁠ ⁠… and particularly for you, particularly important for you.”

“Have mercy, gentlemen!” Mitya flung up his hands. “Don’t write that, anyway; have some shame. Here I’ve torn my heart asunder before you, and you seize the opportunity and are fingering the wounds in both halves.⁠ ⁠… Oh, my God!”

In despair he hid his face in his hands.

“Don’t worry yourself so, Dmitri Fyodorovitch,” observed the prosecutor, “everything that is written down will be read over to you afterwards, and what you don’t agree to we’ll alter as you like. But now I’ll ask you one little question for the second time. Has no one, absolutely no one, heard from you of that money you sewed up? That, I must tell you, is almost impossible to believe.”

“No one, no one, I told you so before, or you’ve not understood anything! Let me alone!”

“Very well, this matter is bound to be explained, and there’s plenty of time for it, but meantime, consider; we have perhaps a dozen witnesses that you yourself spread it abroad, and even shouted almost everywhere about the three thousand you’d spent here; three thousand, not fifteen hundred. And now, too, when you got hold of the money you had yesterday, you gave many people to understand that you had brought three thousand with you.”

“You’ve got not dozens, but hundreds of witnesses, two hundred witnesses, two hundred have heard it, thousands have heard it!” cried Mitya.

“Well, you see, all bear witness to it. And the word all means something.”

“It means nothing. I talked rot, and everyone began repeating it.”

“But what need had you to ‘talk rot,’ as you call it?”

“The devil knows. From bravado perhaps⁠ ⁠… at having wasted so much money.⁠ ⁠… To try and forget that money I had sewn up, perhaps⁠ ⁠… yes, that was why⁠ ⁠… damn it⁠ ⁠… how often will you ask me that question? Well, I told a fib, and that was the end of it, once I’d said it, I didn’t care to correct it. What does a man tell lies for sometimes?”

“That’s very difficult to decide, Dmitri Fyodorovitch, what makes a man tell lies,” observed the prosecutor impressively. “Tell me, though, was that ‘amulet,’ as you call it, on your neck, a big thing?”

“No, not big.”

“How big, for instance?”

“If you fold a hundred-rouble note in half, that would be the size.”

“You’d better show us the remains of it. You must have them somewhere.”

“Damnation, what nonsense! I don’t know where they are.”

“But excuse me: where and when did you take it off your neck? According to your own evidence you didn’t go home.”

“When I was going from Fenya’s to Perhotin’s, on the way I tore it off my neck and took out the money.”

“In the dark?”

“What should I want a light for? I did it with my fingers in one minute.”

“Without scissors, in the street?”

“In the marketplace I think it was. Why scissors? It was an old rag. It was torn in a minute.”

“Where did you put it afterwards?”

“I dropped it there.”

“Where was it, exactly?”

“In the marketplace, in the marketplace! The devil knows whereabouts. What do you want to know for?”

“That’s extremely important, Dmitri Fyodorovitch. It would be material evidence in your favor. How is it you don’t understand that? Who helped you to sew it up a month ago?”

“No one helped me. I did it myself.”

“Can you sew?”

“A soldier has to know how to sew. No knowledge was needed to do that.”

“Where did you get the material, that is, the rag in which you sewed the money?”

“Are you laughing at me?”

“Not at all. And we are in no mood for laughing, Dmitri Fyodorovitch.”

“I don’t know where I got the rag from⁠—somewhere, I suppose.”

“I should have thought you couldn’t have forgotten it?”

“Upon my word, I don’t remember. I might have torn a bit off my linen.”

“That’s very interesting. We might find in your lodgings tomorrow the shirt or whatever it is from which you tore the rag. What sort of rag was it, cloth or linen?”

“Goodness only knows what it was. Wait a bit.⁠ ⁠… I believe I didn’t tear it off anything. It was a bit of calico.⁠ ⁠… I believe I sewed it up in a cap of my landlady’s.”

“In your landlady’s cap?”

“Yes. I took it from her.”

“How did you get it?”

“You see, I remember once taking a cap for a rag, perhaps to wipe my pen on. I took it without asking, because it was a worthless rag. I tore it up, and I took the notes and sewed them up in it. I believe it was in that very rag I sewed them. An old piece of calico, washed a thousand times.”

“And you remember that for certain now?”

“I don’t know whether for certain. I think it was in the cap. But, hang it, what does it matter?”

“In that case your landlady will remember that the thing was lost?”

“No, she won’t, she didn’t miss it. It was an old rag, I tell you, an old rag not worth a farthing.”

“And where did you get the needle and thread?”

“I’ll stop now. I won’t say any more. Enough of it!” said Mitya, losing his temper at last.

“It’s strange that you should have so completely forgotten where you threw the pieces in the marketplace.”

“Give orders for the marketplace to be swept tomorrow, and perhaps you’ll find it,” said Mitya, sneering. “Enough, gentlemen, enough!” he decided, in an exhausted voice. “I see you don’t believe me! Not for a moment! It’s my fault, not yours. I ought not to have been so ready. Why, why did I degrade myself by confessing my secret to you? It’s a joke to you. I see that from your eyes. You led me on to it, prosecutor? Sing a hymn of triumph if you can.⁠ ⁠… Damn you, you torturers!”

He bent his head, and hid his face in his hands. The lawyers were silent. A minute later he raised his head and looked at them almost vacantly. His face now expressed complete, hopeless despair, and he sat mute and passive as though hardly conscious of what was happening. In the meantime they had to finish what they were about. They had immediately to begin examining the witnesses. It was by now eight o’clock in the morning. The lights had been extinguished long ago. Mihail Makarovitch and Kalganov, who had been continually in and out of the room all the while the interrogation had been going on, had now both gone out again. The lawyers, too, looked very tired. It was a wretched morning, the whole sky was overcast, and the rain streamed down in bucketfuls. Mitya gazed blankly out of the window.

“May I look out of the window?” he asked Nikolay Parfenovitch, suddenly.

“Oh, as much as you like,” the latter replied.

Mitya got up and went to the window.⁠ ⁠… The rain lashed against its little greenish panes. He could see the muddy road just below the house, and farther away, in the rain and mist, a row of poor, black, dismal huts, looking even blacker and poorer in the rain. Mitya thought of “Phœbus the golden-haired,” and how he had meant to shoot himself at his first ray. “Perhaps it would be even better on a morning like this,” he thought with a smile, and suddenly, flinging his hand downwards, he turned to his “torturers.”

“Gentlemen,” he cried, “I see that I am lost! But she? Tell me about her, I beseech you. Surely she need not be ruined with me? She’s innocent, you know, she was out of her mind when she cried last night ‘It’s all my fault!’ She’s done nothing, nothing! I’ve been grieving over her all night as I sat with you.⁠ ⁠… Can’t you, won’t you tell me what you are going to do with her now?”

“You can set your mind quite at rest on that score, Dmitri Fyodorovitch,” the prosecutor answered at once, with evident alacrity. “We have, so far, no grounds for interfering with the lady in whom you are so interested. I trust that it may be the same in the later development of the case.⁠ ⁠… On the contrary, we’ll do everything that lies in our power in that matter. Set your mind completely at rest.”

“Gentlemen, I thank you. I knew that you were honest, straightforward people in spite of everything. You’ve taken a load off my heart.⁠ ⁠… Well, what are we to do now? I’m ready.”

“Well, we ought to make haste. We must pass to examining the witnesses without delay. That must be done in your presence and therefore⁠—”

“Shouldn’t we have some tea first?” interposed Nikolay Parfenovitch, “I think we’ve deserved it!”

They decided that if tea were ready downstairs (Mihail Makarovitch had, no doubt, gone down to get some) they would have a glass and then “go on and on,” putting off their proper breakfast until a more favorable opportunity. Tea really was ready below, and was soon brought up. Mitya at first refused the glass that Nikolay Parfenovitch politely offered him, but afterwards he asked for it himself and drank it greedily. He looked surprisingly exhausted. It might have been supposed from his Herculean strength that one night of carousing, even accompanied by the most violent emotions, could have had little effect on him. But he felt that he could hardly hold his head up, and from time to time all the objects about him seemed heaving and dancing before his eyes. “A little more and I shall begin raving,” he said to himself.


The Evidence of the Witnesses. The Babe
The examination of the witnesses began. But we will not continue our story in such detail as before. And so we will not dwell on how Nikolay Parfenovitch impressed on every witness called that he must give his evidence in accordance with truth and conscience, and that he would afterwards have to repeat his evidence on oath, how every witness was called upon to sign the protocol of his evidence, and so on. We will only note that the point principally insisted upon in the examination was the question of the three thousand roubles, that is, was the sum spent here, at Mokroe, by Mitya on the first occasion, a month before, three thousand or fifteen hundred? And again had he spent three thousand or fifteen hundred yesterday? Alas, all the evidence given by everyone turned out to be against Mitya. There was not one in his favor, and some witnesses introduced new, almost crushing facts, in contradiction of his, Mitya’s, story.

The first witness examined was Trifon Borissovitch. He was not in the least abashed as he stood before the lawyers. He had, on the contrary, an air of stern and severe indignation with the accused, which gave him an appearance of truthfulness and personal dignity. He spoke little, and with reserve, waited to be questioned, answered precisely and deliberately. Firmly and unhesitatingly he bore witness that the sum spent a month before could not have been less than three thousand, that all the peasants about here would testify that they had heard the sum of three thousand mentioned by Dmitri Fyodorovitch himself. “What a lot of money he flung away on the gypsy girls alone! He wasted a thousand, I daresay, on them alone.”

“I don’t believe I gave them five hundred,” was Mitya’s gloomy comment on this. “It’s a pity I didn’t count the money at the time, but I was drunk.⁠ ⁠…”

Mitya was sitting sideways with his back to the curtains. He listened gloomily, with a melancholy and exhausted air, as though he would say:

“Oh, say what you like. It makes no difference now.”

“More than a thousand went on them, Dmitri Fyodorovitch,” retorted Trifon Borissovitch firmly. “You flung it about at random and they picked it up. They were a rascally, thievish lot, horse-stealers, they’ve been driven away from here, or maybe they’d bear witness themselves how much they got from you. I saw the sum in your hands, myself⁠—count it I didn’t, you didn’t let me, that’s true enough⁠—but by the look of it I should say it was far more than fifteen hundred⁠ ⁠… fifteen hundred, indeed! We’ve seen money too. We can judge of amounts.⁠ ⁠…”

As for the sum spent yesterday he asserted that Dmitri Fyodorovitch had told him, as soon as he arrived, that he had brought three thousand with him.

“Come now, is that so, Trifon Borissovitch?” replied Mitya. “Surely I didn’t declare so positively that I’d brought three thousand?”

“You did say so, Dmitri Fyodorovitch. You said it before Andrey. Andrey himself is still here. Send for him. And in the hall, when you were treating the chorus, you shouted straight out that you would leave your sixth thousand here⁠—that is with what you spent before, we must understand. Stepan and Semyon heard it, and Pyotr Fomitch Kalganov, too, was standing beside you at the time. Maybe he’d remember it.⁠ ⁠…”

The evidence as to the “sixth” thousand made an extraordinary impression on the two lawyers. They were delighted with this new mode of reckoning; three and three made six, three thousand then and three now made six, that was clear.

They questioned all the peasants suggested by Trifon Borissovitch, Stepan and Semyon, the driver Andrey, and Kalganov. The peasants and the driver unhesitatingly confirmed Trifon Borissovitch’s evidence. They noted down, with particular care, Andrey’s account of the conversation he had had with Mitya on the road: “ ‘Where,’ says he, ‘am I, Dmitri Fyodorovitch, going, to heaven or to hell, and shall I be forgiven in the next world or not?’ ”

The psychological Ippolit Kirillovitch heard this with a subtle smile, and ended by recommending that these remarks as to where Dmitri Fyodorovitch would go should be “included in the case.”

Kalganov, when called, came in reluctantly, frowning and ill-humored, and he spoke to the lawyers as though he had never met them before in his life, though they were acquaintances whom he had been meeting every day for a long time past. He began by saying that “he knew nothing about it and didn’t want to.” But it appeared that he had heard of the “sixth” thousand, and he admitted that he had been standing close by at the moment. As far as he could see he “didn’t know” how much money Mitya had in his hands. He affirmed that the Poles had cheated at cards. In reply to reiterated questions he stated that, after the Poles had been turned out, Mitya’s position with Agrafena Alexandrovna had certainly improved, and that she had said that she loved him. He spoke of Agrafena Alexandrovna with reserve and respect, as though she had been a lady of the best society, and did not once allow himself to call her Grushenka. In spite of the young man’s obvious repugnance at giving evidence, Ippolit Kirillovitch examined him at great length, and only from him learnt all the details of what made up Mitya’s “romance,” so to say, on that night. Mitya did not once pull Kalganov up. At last they let the young man go, and he left the room with unconcealed indignation.

The Poles, too, were examined. Though they had gone to bed in their room, they had not slept all night, and on the arrival of the police officers they hastily dressed and got ready, realizing that they would certainly be sent for. They gave their evidence with dignity, though not without some uneasiness. The little Pole turned out to be a retired official of the twelfth class, who had served in Siberia as a veterinary surgeon. His name was Mussyalovitch. Pan Vrublevsky turned out to be an uncertificated dentist. Although Nikolay Parfenovitch asked them questions on entering the room they both addressed their answers to Mihail Makarovitch, who was standing on one side, taking him in their ignorance for the most important person and in command, and addressed him at every word as “Pan Colonel.” Only after several reproofs from Mihail Makarovitch himself, they grasped that they had to address their answers to Nikolay Parfenovitch only. It turned out that they could speak Russian quite correctly except for their accent in some words. Of his relations with Grushenka, past and present, Pan Mussyalovitch spoke proudly and warmly, so that Mitya was roused at once and declared that he would not allow the “scoundrel” to speak like that in his presence! Pan Mussyalovitch at once called attention to the word “scoundrel” and begged that it should be put down in the protocol. Mitya fumed with rage.

“He’s a scoundrel! A scoundrel! You can put that down. And put down, too, that, in spite of the protocol I still declare that he’s a scoundrel!” he cried.

Though Nikolay Parfenovitch did insert this in the protocol, he showed the most praiseworthy tact and management. After sternly reprimanding Mitya, he cut short all further inquiry into the romantic aspect of the case, and hastened to pass to what was essential. One piece of evidence given by the Poles roused special interest in the lawyers: that was how, in that very room, Mitya had tried to buy off Pan Mussyalovitch, and had offered him three thousand roubles to resign his claims, seven hundred roubles down, and the remaining two thousand three hundred “to be paid next day in the town.” He had sworn at the time that he had not the whole sum with him at Mokroe, but that his money was in the town. Mitya observed hotly that he had not said that he would be sure to pay him the remainder next day in the town. But Pan Vrublevsky confirmed the statement, and Mitya, after thinking for a moment admitted, frowning, that it must have been as the Poles stated, that he had been excited at the time, and might indeed have said so.

The prosecutor positively pounced on this piece of evidence. It seemed to establish for the prosecution (and they did, in fact, base this deduction on it) that half, or a part of, the three thousand that had come into Mitya’s hands might really have been left somewhere hidden in the town, or even, perhaps, somewhere here, in Mokroe. This would explain the circumstance, so baffling for the prosecution, that only eight hundred roubles were to be found in Mitya’s hands. This circumstance had been the one piece of evidence which, insignificant as it was, had hitherto told, to some extent, in Mitya’s favor. Now this one piece of evidence in his favor had broken down. In answer to the prosecutor’s inquiry, where he would have got the remaining two thousand three hundred roubles, since he himself had denied having more than fifteen hundred, Mitya confidently replied that he had meant to offer the “little chap,” not money, but a formal deed of conveyance of his rights to the village of Tchermashnya, those rights which he had already offered to Samsonov and Madame Hohlakov. The prosecutor positively smiled at the “innocence of this subterfuge.”

“And you imagine he would have accepted such a deed as a substitute for two thousand three hundred roubles in cash?”

“He certainly would have accepted it,” Mitya declared warmly. “Why, look here, he might have grabbed not two thousand, but four or six, for it. He would have put his lawyers, Poles and Jews, on to the job, and might have got, not three thousand, but the whole property out of the old man.”

The evidence of Pan Mussyalovitch was, of course, entered in the protocol in the fullest detail. Then they let the Poles go. The incident of the cheating at cards was hardly touched upon. Nikolay Parfenovitch was too well pleased with them, as it was, and did not want to worry them with trifles, moreover, it was nothing but a foolish, drunken quarrel over cards. There had been drinking and disorder enough, that night.⁠ ⁠… So the two hundred roubles remained in the pockets of the Poles.

Then old Maximov was summoned. He came in timidly, approached with little steps, looking very disheveled and depressed. He had, all this time, taken refuge below with Grushenka, sitting dumbly beside her, and “now and then he’d begin blubbering over her and wiping his eyes with a blue check handkerchief,” as Mihail Makarovitch described afterwards. So that she herself began trying to pacify and comfort him. The old man at once confessed that he had done wrong, that he had borrowed “ten roubles in my poverty,” from Dmitri Fyodorovitch, and that he was ready to pay it back. To Nikolay Parfenovitch’s direct question, had he noticed how much money Dmitri Fyodorovitch held in his hand, as he must have been able to see the sum better than anyone when he took the note from him, Maximov, in the most positive manner, declared that there was twenty thousand.

“Have you ever seen so much as twenty thousand before, then?” inquired Nikolay Parfenovitch, with a smile.

“To be sure I have, not twenty, but seven, when my wife mortgaged my little property. She’d only let me look at it from a distance, boasting of it to me. It was a very thick bundle, all rainbow-colored notes. And Dmitri Fyodorovitch’s were all rainbow-colored.⁠ ⁠…”

He was not kept long. At last it was Grushenka’s turn. Nikolay Parfenovitch was obviously apprehensive of the effect her appearance might have on Mitya, and he muttered a few words of admonition to him, but Mitya bowed his head in silence, giving him to understand “that he would not make a scene.” Mihail Makarovitch himself led Grushenka in. She entered with a stern and gloomy face, that looked almost composed and sat down quietly on the chair offered her by Nikolay Parfenovitch. She was very pale, she seemed to be cold, and wrapped herself closely in her magnificent black shawl. She was suffering from a slight feverish chill⁠—the first symptom of the long illness which followed that night. Her grave air, her direct earnest look and quiet manner made a very favorable impression on everyone. Nikolay Parfenovitch was even a little bit “fascinated.” He admitted himself, when talking about it afterwards, that only then had he seen “how handsome the woman was,” for, though he had seen her several times before, he had always looked upon her as something of a “provincial hetaira.” “She has the manners of the best society,” he said enthusiastically, gossiping about her in a circle of ladies. But this was received with positive indignation by the ladies, who immediately called him a “naughty man,” to his great satisfaction.

As she entered the room, Grushenka only glanced for an instant at Mitya, who looked at her uneasily. But her face reassured him at once. After the first inevitable inquiries and warnings, Nikolay Parfenovitch asked her, hesitating a little, but preserving the most courteous manner, on what terms she was with the retired lieutenant, Dmitri Fyodorovitch Karamazov. To this Grushenka firmly and quietly replied:

“He was an acquaintance. He came to see me as an acquaintance during the last month.” To further inquisitive questions she answered plainly and with complete frankness, that, though “at times” she had thought him attractive, she had not loved him, but had won his heart as well as his old father’s “in my nasty spite,” that she had seen that Mitya was very jealous of Fyodor Pavlovitch and everyone else; but that had only amused her. She had never meant to go to Fyodor Pavlovitch, she had simply been laughing at him. “I had no thoughts for either of them all this last month. I was expecting another man who had wronged me. But I think,” she said in conclusion, “that there’s no need for you to inquire about that, nor for me to answer you, for that’s my own affair.”

Nikolay Parfenovitch immediately acted upon this hint. He again dismissed the “romantic” aspect of the case and passed to the serious one, that is, to the question of most importance, concerning the three thousand roubles. Grushenka confirmed the statement that three thousand roubles had certainly been spent on the first carousal at Mokroe, and, though she had not counted the money herself, she had heard that it was three thousand from Dmitri Fyodorovitch’s own lips.

“Did he tell you that alone, or before someone else, or did you only hear him speak of it to others in your presence?” the prosecutor inquired immediately.

To which Grushenka replied that she had heard him say so before other people, and had heard him say so when they were alone.

“Did he say it to you alone once, or several times?” inquired the prosecutor, and learned that he had told Grushenka so several times.

Ippolit Kirillovitch was very well satisfied with this piece of evidence. Further examination elicited that Grushenka knew, too, where that money had come from, and that Dmitri Fyodorovitch had got it from Katerina Ivanovna.

“And did you never, once, hear that the money spent a month ago was not three thousand, but less, and that Dmitri Fyodorovitch had saved half that sum for his own use?”

“No, I never heard that,” answered Grushenka.

It was explained further that Mitya had, on the contrary, often told her that he hadn’t a farthing.

“He was always expecting to get some from his father,” said Grushenka in conclusion.

“Did he never say before you⁠ ⁠… casually, or in a moment of irritation,” Nikolay Parfenovitch put in suddenly, “that he intended to make an attempt on his father’s life?”

“Ach, he did say so,” sighed Grushenka.

“Once or several times?”

“He mentioned it several times, always in anger.”

“And did you believe he would do it?”

“No, I never believed it,” she answered firmly. “I had faith in his noble heart.”

“Gentlemen, allow me,” cried Mitya suddenly, “allow me to say one word to Agrafena Alexandrovna, in your presence.”

“You can speak,” Nikolay Parfenovitch assented.

“Agrafena Alexandrovna!” Mitya got up from his chair, “have faith in God and in me. I am not guilty of my father’s murder!”

Having uttered these words Mitya sat down again on his chair. Grushenka stood up and crossed herself devoutly before the icon. “Thanks be to Thee, O Lord,” she said, in a voice thrilled with emotion, and still standing, she turned to Nikolay Parfenovitch and added:

“As he has spoken now, believe it! I know him. He’ll say anything as a joke or from obstinacy, but he’ll never deceive you against his conscience. He’s telling the whole truth, you may believe it.”

“Thanks, Agrafena Alexandrovna, you’ve given me fresh courage,” Mitya responded in a quivering voice.

As to the money spent the previous day, she declared that she did not know what sum it was, but had heard him tell several people that he had three thousand with him. And to the question where he got the money, she said that he had told her that he had “stolen” it from Katerina Ivanovna, and that she had replied to that that he hadn’t stolen it, and that he must pay the money back next day. On the prosecutor’s asking her emphatically whether the money he said he had stolen from Katerina Ivanovna was what he had spent yesterday, or what he had squandered here a month ago, she declared that he meant the money spent a month ago, and that that was how she understood him.

Grushenka was at last released, and Nikolay Parfenovitch informed her impulsively that she might at once return to the town and that if he could be of any assistance to her, with horses for example, or if she would care for an escort, he⁠ ⁠… would be⁠—

“I thank you sincerely,” said Grushenka, bowing to him, “I’m going with this old gentleman, I am driving him back to town with me, and meanwhile, if you’ll allow me, I’ll wait below to hear what you decide about Dmitri Fyodorovitch.”

She went out. Mitya was calm, and even looked more cheerful, but only for a moment. He felt more and more oppressed by a strange physical weakness. His eyes were closing with fatigue. The examination of the witnesses was, at last, over. They proceeded to a final revision of the protocol. Mitya got up, moved from his chair to the corner by the curtain, lay down on a large chest covered with a rug, and instantly fell asleep.

He had a strange dream, utterly out of keeping with the place and the time.

He was driving somewhere in the steppes, where he had been stationed long ago, and a peasant was driving him in a cart with a pair of horses, through snow and sleet. He was cold, it was early in November, and the snow was falling in big wet flakes, melting as soon as it touched the earth. And the peasant drove him smartly, he had a fair, long beard. He was not an old man, somewhere about fifty, and he had on a gray peasant’s smock. Not far off was a village, he could see the black huts, and half the huts were burnt down, there were only the charred beams sticking up. And as they drove in, there were peasant women drawn up along the road, a lot of women, a whole row, all thin and wan, with their faces a sort of brownish color, especially one at the edge, a tall, bony woman, who looked forty, but might have been only twenty, with a long thin face. And in her arms was a little baby crying. And her breasts seemed so dried up that there was not a drop of milk in them. And the child cried and cried, and held out its little bare arms, with its little fists blue from cold.

“Why are they crying? Why are they crying?” Mitya asked, as they dashed gayly by.

“It’s the babe,” answered the driver, “the babe weeping.”

And Mitya was struck by his saying, in his peasant way, “the babe,” and he liked the peasant’s calling it a “babe.” There seemed more pity in it.

“But why is it weeping?” Mitya persisted stupidly, “why are its little arms bare? Why don’t they wrap it up?”

“The babe’s cold, its little clothes are frozen and don’t warm it.”

“But why is it? Why?” foolish Mitya still persisted.

“Why, they’re poor people, burnt out. They’ve no bread. They’re begging because they’ve been burnt out.”

“No, no,” Mitya, as it were, still did not understand. “Tell me why it is those poor mothers stand there? Why are people poor? Why is the babe poor? Why is the steppe barren? Why don’t they hug each other and kiss? Why don’t they sing songs of joy? Why are they so dark from black misery? Why don’t they feed the babe?”

And he felt that, though his questions were unreasonable and senseless, yet he wanted to ask just that, and he had to ask it just in that way. And he felt that a passion of pity, such as he had never known before, was rising in his heart, that he wanted to cry, that he wanted to do something for them all, so that the babe should weep no more, so that the dark-faced, dried-up mother should not weep, that no one should shed tears again from that moment, and he wanted to do it at once, at once, regardless of all obstacles, with all the recklessness of the Karamazovs.

“And I’m coming with you. I won’t leave you now for the rest of my life, I’m coming with you,” he heard close beside him Grushenka’s tender voice, thrilling with emotion. And his heart glowed, and he struggled forward towards the light, and he longed to live, to live, to go on and on, towards the new, beckoning light, and to hasten, hasten, now, at once!

“What! Where?” he exclaimed opening his eyes, and sitting up on the chest, as though he had revived from a swoon, smiling brightly. Nikolay Parfenovitch was standing over him, suggesting that he should hear the protocol read aloud and sign it. Mitya guessed that he had been asleep an hour or more, but he did not hear Nikolay Parfenovitch. He was suddenly struck by the fact that there was a pillow under his head, which hadn’t been there when he had leant back, exhausted, on the chest.

“Who put that pillow under my head? Who was so kind?” he cried, with a sort of ecstatic gratitude, and tears in his voice, as though some great kindness had been shown him.

He never found out who this kind man was; perhaps one of the peasant witnesses, or Nikolay Parfenovitch’s little secretary, had compassionately thought to put a pillow under his head; but his whole soul was quivering with tears. He went to the table and said that he would sign whatever they liked.

“I’ve had a good dream, gentlemen,” he said in a strange voice, with a new light, as of joy, in his face.


They Carry Mitya Away
When the protocol had been signed, Nikolay Parfenovitch turned solemnly to the prisoner and read him the “Committal,” setting forth, that in such a year, on such a day, in such a place, the investigating lawyer of such-and-such a district court, having examined so-and-so (to wit, Mitya) accused of this and of that (all the charges were carefully written out) and having considered that the accused, not pleading guilty to the charges made against him, had brought forward nothing in his defense, while the witnesses, so-and-so, and so-and-so, and the circumstances such-and-such testify against him, acting in accordance with such-and-such articles of the Statute Book, and so on, has ruled, that, in order to preclude so-and-so (Mitya) from all means of evading pursuit and judgment he be detained in such-and-such a prison, which he hereby notifies to the accused and communicates a copy of this same “Committal” to the deputy prosecutor, and so on, and so on.

In brief, Mitya was informed that he was, from that moment, a prisoner, and that he would be driven at once to the town, and there shut up in a very unpleasant place. Mitya listened attentively, and only shrugged his shoulders.

“Well, gentlemen, I don’t blame you. I’m ready.⁠ ⁠… I understand that there’s nothing else for you to do.”

Nikolay Parfenovitch informed him gently that he would be escorted at once by the rural police officer, Mavriky Mavrikyevitch, who happened to be on the spot.⁠ ⁠…

“Stay,” Mitya interrupted, suddenly, and impelled by uncontrollable feeling he pronounced, addressing all in the room:

“Gentlemen, we’re all cruel, we’re all monsters, we all make men weep, and mothers, and babes at the breast, but of all, let it be settled here, now, of all I am the lowest reptile! I’ve sworn to amend, and every day I’ve done the same filthy things. I understand now that such men as I need a blow, a blow of destiny to catch them as with a noose, and bind them by a force from without. Never, never should I have risen of myself! But the thunderbolt has fallen. I accept the torture of accusation, and my public shame, I want to suffer and by suffering I shall be purified. Perhaps I shall be purified, gentlemen? But listen, for the last time, I am not guilty of my father’s blood. I accept my punishment, not because I killed him, but because I meant to kill him, and perhaps I really might have killed him. Still I mean to fight it out with you. I warn you of that. I’ll fight it out with you to the end, and then God will decide. Goodbye, gentlemen, don’t be vexed with me for having shouted at you during the examination. Oh, I was still such a fool then.⁠ ⁠… In another minute I shall be a prisoner, but now, for the last time, as a free man, Dmitri Karamazov offers you his hand. Saying goodbye to you, I say it to all men.”

His voice quivered and he stretched out his hand, but Nikolay Parfenovitch, who happened to stand nearest to him, with a sudden, almost nervous movement, hid his hands behind his back. Mitya instantly noticed this, and started. He let his outstretched hand fall at once.

“The preliminary inquiry is not yet over,” Nikolay Parfenovitch faltered, somewhat embarrassed. “We will continue it in the town, and I, for my part, of course, am ready to wish you all success⁠ ⁠… in your defense.⁠ ⁠… As a matter of fact, Dmitri Fyodorovitch, I’ve always been disposed to regard you as, so to speak, more unfortunate than guilty. All of us here, if I may make bold to speak for all, we are all ready to recognize that you are, at bottom, a young man of honor, but, alas, one who has been carried away by certain passions to a somewhat excessive degree.⁠ ⁠…”

Nikolay Parfenovitch’s little figure was positively majestic by the time he had finished speaking. It struck Mitya that in another minute this “boy” would take his arm, lead him to another corner, and renew their conversation about “girls.” But many quite irrelevant and inappropriate thoughts sometimes occur even to a prisoner when he is being led out to execution.

“Gentlemen, you are good, you are humane, may I see her to say ‘goodbye’ for the last time?” asked Mitya.

“Certainly, but considering⁠ ⁠… in fact, now it’s impossible except in the presence of⁠—”

“Oh, well, if it must be so, it must!”

Grushenka was brought in, but the farewell was brief, and of few words, and did not at all satisfy Nikolay Parfenovitch. Grushenka made a deep bow to Mitya.

“I have told you I am yours, and I will be yours. I will follow you forever, wherever they may send you. Farewell; you are guiltless, though you’ve been your own undoing.”

Her lips quivered, tears flowed from her eyes.

“Forgive me, Grusha, for my love, for ruining you, too, with my love.”

Mitya would have said something more, but he broke off and went out. He was at once surrounded by men who kept a constant watch on him. At the bottom of the steps to which he had driven up with such a dash the day before with Andrey’s three horses, two carts stood in readiness. Mavriky Mavrikyevitch, a sturdy, thickset man with a wrinkled face, was annoyed about something, some sudden irregularity. He was shouting angrily. He asked Mitya to get into the cart with somewhat excessive surliness.

“When I stood him drinks in the tavern, the man had quite a different face,” thought Mitya, as he got in. At the gates there was a crowd of people, peasants, women and drivers. Trifon Borissovitch came down the steps too. All stared at Mitya.

“Forgive me at parting, good people!” Mitya shouted suddenly from the cart.

“Forgive us too!” he heard two or three voices.

“Goodbye to you, too, Trifon Borissovitch!”

But Trifon Borissovitch did not even turn round. He was, perhaps, too busy. He, too, was shouting and fussing about something. It appeared that everything was not yet ready in the second cart, in which two constables were to accompany Mavriky Mavrikyevitch. The peasant who had been ordered to drive the second cart was pulling on his smock, stoutly maintaining that it was not his turn to go, but Akim’s. But Akim was not to be seen. They ran to look for him. The peasant persisted and besought them to wait.

“You see what our peasants are, Mavriky Mavrikyevitch. They’ve no shame!” exclaimed Trifon Borissovitch. “Akim gave you twenty-five copecks the day before yesterday. You’ve drunk it all and now you cry out. I’m simply surprised at your good-nature, with our low peasants, Mavriky Mavrikyevitch, that’s all I can say.”

“But what do we want a second cart for?” Mitya put in. “Let’s start with the one, Mavriky Mavrikyevitch. I won’t be unruly, I won’t run away from you, old fellow. What do we want an escort for?”

“I’ll trouble you, sir, to learn how to speak to me if you’ve never been taught. I’m not ‘old fellow’ to you, and you can keep your advice for another time!” Mavriky Mavrikyevitch snapped out savagely, as though glad to vent his wrath.

Mitya was reduced to silence. He flushed all over. A moment later he felt suddenly very cold. The rain had ceased, but the dull sky was still overcast with clouds, and a keen wind was blowing straight in his face.

“I’ve taken a chill,” thought Mitya, twitching his shoulders.

At last Mavriky Mavrikyevitch, too, got into the cart, sat down heavily, and, as though without noticing it, squeezed Mitya into the corner. It is true that he was out of humor and greatly disliked the task that had been laid upon him.

“Goodbye, Trifon Borissovitch!” Mitya shouted again, and felt himself, that he had not called out this time from good-nature, but involuntarily, from resentment.

But Trifon Borissovitch stood proudly, with both hands behind his back, and staring straight at Mitya with a stern and angry face, he made no reply.

“Goodbye, Dmitri Fyodorovitch, goodbye!” he heard all at once the voice of Kalganov, who had suddenly darted out. Running up to the cart he held out his hand to Mitya. He had no cap on.

Mitya had time to seize and press his hand.

“Goodbye, dear fellow! I shan’t forget your generosity,” he cried warmly.

But the cart moved and their hands parted. The bell began ringing and Mitya was driven off.

Kalganov ran back, sat down in a corner, bent his head, hid his face in his hands, and burst out crying. For a long while he sat like that, crying as though he were a little boy instead of a young man of twenty. Oh, he believed almost without doubt in Mitya’s guilt.

“What are these people? What can men be after this?” he exclaimed incoherently, in bitter despondency, almost despair. At that moment he had no desire to live.

“Is it worth it? Is it worth it?” exclaimed the boy in his grief.