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The Brothers Karamazov: Part IV, Book X-XII (End)

Written by eastern writer on Thursday, February 07, 2008


Book X
The Boys

Chapter 1
Kolya Krassotkin

IT was the beginning of November. There had been a hard frost,
eleven degrees Reaumur, without snow, but a little dry snow had fallen
on the frozen ground during the night, and a keen dry wind was lifting
and blowing it along the dreary streets of our town, especially
about the market-place. It was a dull morning, but the snow had
Not far from the market-place, close to Plotnikov's shop, there
stood a small house, very clean both without and within. It belonged
to Madame Krassotkin, the widow of a former provincial secretary,
who had been dead for fourteen years. His widow, still a
nice-looking woman of thirty-two, was living in her neat little
house on her private means. She lived in respectable seclusion; she
was of a soft but fairly cheerful disposition. She was about
eighteen at the time of her husband's death; she had been married only
a year and had just borne him a son. From the day of his death she had
devoted herself heart and soul to the bringing up of her precious
treasure, her boy Kolya. Though she had loved him passionately those
fourteen years, he had caused her far more suffering than happiness.
She had been trembling and fainting with terror almost every day,
afraid he would fall ill, would catch cold, do something naughty,
climb on a chair and fall off it, and so on and so on. When Kolya
began going to school, the mother devoted herself to studying all
the sciences with him so as to help him, and go through his lessons
with him. She hastened to make the acquaintance of the teachers and
their wives, even made up to Kolya's schoolfellows, and fawned upon
them in the hope of thus saving Kolya from being teased, laughed at,
or beaten by them. She went so far that the boys actually began to
mock at him on her account and taunt him with being a "mother's
But the boy could take his own part. He was a resolute boy,
"tremendously strong," as was rumoured in his class, and soon proved
to be the fact; he was agile, strong-willed, and of an audacious and
enterprising temper. He was good at lessons, and there was a rumour in
the school that he could beat the teacher, Dardanelov, at arithmetic
and universal history. Though he looked down upon everyone, he was a
good comrade and not supercilious. He accepted his schoolfellows'
respect as his due, but was friendly with them. Above all, he knew
where to draw the line. He could restrain himself on occasion, and
in his relations with the teachers he never overstepped that last
mystic limit beyond which a prank becomes an unpardonable breach of
discipline. But he was as fond of mischief on every possible
occasion as the smallest boy in the school, and not so much for the
sake of mischief as for creating a sensation, inventing something,
something effective and conspicuous. He was extremely vain. He knew
how to make even his mother give way to him; he was almost despotic in
his control of her. She gave way to him, oh, she had given way to
him for years. The one thought unendurable to her was that her boy had
no great love for her. She was always fancying that Kolya was
"unfeeling" to her, and at times, dissolving into hysterical tears,
she used to reproach him with his coldness. The boy disliked this, and
the more demonstrations of feeling were demanded of him, the more he
seemed intentionally to avoid them. Yet it was not intentional on
his part but instinctive- it was his character. His mother was
mistaken; he was very fond of her. He only disliked "sheepish
sentimentality," as he expressed it in his schoolboy language.
There was a bookcase in the house containing a few books that
had been his father's. Kolya was fond of reading, and had read several
of them by himself. His mother did not mind that and only wondered
sometimes at seeing the boy stand for hours by the bookcase poring
over a book instead of going to play. And in that way Kolya read
some things unsuitable for his age.
Though the boy, as a rule, knew where to draw the line in his
mischief, he had of late begun to play pranks that caused his mother
serious alarm. It is true there was nothing vicious in what he did,
but a wild mad recklessness.
It happened that July, during the summer holidays, that the mother
and son went to another district, forty-five miles away, to spend a
week with a distant relation, whose husband was an official at the
railway station (the very station, the nearest one to our town, from
which a month later Ivan Fyodorovitch Karamazov set off for Moscow).
There Kolya began by carefully investigating every detail connected
with the railways, knowing that he could impress his schoolfellows
when he got home with his newly acquired knowledge. But there happened
to be some other boys in the place with whom he soon made friends.
Some of them were living at the station, others in the
neighbourhood; there were six or seven of them, all between twelve and
fifteen, and two of them came from our town. The boys played together,
and on the fourth or fifth day of Kolya's stay at the station, a mad
bet was made by the foolish boys. Kolya, who was almost the youngest
of the party and rather looked down upon by the others in consequence,
was moved by vanity or by reckless bravado to bet them two roubles
that he would lie down between the rails at night when the eleven
o'clock train was due, and would lie there without moving while the
train rolled over him at full speed. It is true they made a
preliminary investigation, from which it appeared that it was possible
to lie so flat between the rails that the train could pass over
without touching, but to lie there was no joke! Kolya maintained
stoutly that he would. At first they laughed at him, called him a
little liar, a braggart, but that only egged him on. What piqued him
most was that these boys of fifteen turned up their noses at him too
superciliously, and were at first disposed to treat him as "a small
boy," not fit to associate with them, and that was an unendurable
insult. And so it was resolved to go in the evening, half a mile
from the station, so that the train might have time to get up full
speed after leaving the station The boys assembled. It was a
pitch-dark night without a moon. At the time fixed, Kolya lay down
between the rails. The five others who had taken the bet waited
among the bushes below the embankment, their hearts beating with
suspense, which was followed by alarm and remorse. At last they
heard in the distance the rumble of the train leaving the station. Two
red lights gleamed out of the darkness; the monster roared as it
"Run, run away from the rails," the boys cried to Kolya from the
bushes, breathless with terror. But it was too late: the train
darted up and flew past. The boys rushed to Kolya. He lay without
moving. They began pulling at him, lifting him up. He suddenly got
up and walked away without a word. Then he explained that he had
lain there as though he were insensible to frighten them, but the fact
was that he really had lost consciousness, as he confessed long
after to his mother. In this way his reputation as "a desperate
character," was established for ever. He returned home to the
station as white as a sheet. Next day he had a slight attack of
nervous fever, but he was in high spirits and well pleased with
himself. The incident did not become known at once, but when they came
back to the town it penetrated to the school and even reached the ears
of the masters. But then Kolya's mother hastened to entreat the
masters on her boy's behalf, and in the end Dardanelov, a respected
and influential teacher, exerted himself in his favour, and the affair
was ignored.
Dardanelov was a middle-aged bachelor, who had been passionately
in love with Madame Krassotkin for many years past, and had once
already, about a year previously, ventured, trembling with fear and
the delicacy of his sentiments, to offer her most respectfully his
hand in marriage. But she refused him resolutely, feeling that to
accept him would be an act of treachery to her son, though
Dardanelov had, to judge from certain mysterious symptoms, reason
for believing that he was not an object of aversion to the charming
but too chaste and tender-hearted widow. Kolya's mad prank seemed to
have broken the ice, and Dardanelov was rewarded for his
intercession by a suggestion of hope. The suggestion, it is true,
was a faint one, but then Dardanelov was such a paragon of purity
and delicacy that it was enough for the time being to make him
perfectly happy. He was fond of the boy, though he would have felt
it beneath him to try and win him over, and was severe and strict with
him in class. Kolya, too, kept him at a respectful distance. He
learned his lessons perfectly; he was second in his class, was
reserved with Dardanelov, and the whole class firmly believed that
Kolya was so good at universal history that he could "beat" even
Dardanelov. Kolya did indeed ask him the question, "Who founded Troy?"
to which Dardanelov had made a very vague reply, referring to the
movements and migrations of races, to the remoteness of the period, to
the mythical legends. But the question, "Who had founded Troy?" that
is, what individuals, he could not answer, and even for some reason
regarded the question as idle and frivolous. But the boys remained
convinced that Dardanelov did not know who founded Troy. Kolya had
read of the founders of Troy in Smaragdov, whose history was among the
books in his father's bookcase. In the end all the boys became
interested in the question, who it was that had founded Troy, but
Krassotkin would not tell his secret, and his reputation for knowledge
remained unshaken.
After the incident on the railway a certain change came over
Kolya's attitude to his mother. When Anna Fyodorovna (Madame
Krassotkin) heard of her son's exploit, she almost went out of her
mind with horror. She had such terrible attacks of hysterics,
lasting with intervals for several days, that Kolya, seriously alarmed
at last, promised on his honour that such pranks should never be
repeated. He swore on his knees before the holy image, and swore by
the memory of his father, at Madame Krassotkin's instance, and the
"manly" Kolya burst into tears like a boy of six. And all that day the
mother and son were constantly rushing into each other's arms sobbing.
Next day Kolya woke up as "unfeeling" as before, but he had become
more silent, more modest, sterner, and more thoughtful.
Six weeks later, it is true, he got into another scrape, which
even brought his name to the ears of our Justice of the Peace, but
it was a scrape of quite another kind, amusing, foolish, and he did
not, as it turned out, take the leading part in it, but was only
implicated in it. But of this later. His mother still fretted and
trembled, but the more uneasy she became, the greater were the hopes
of Dardanelov. It must be noted that Kolya understood and divined what
was in Dardanelov's heart and, of course, despised him profoundly
for his "feelings"; he had in the past been so tactless as to show
this contempt before his mother, hinting vaguely that he knew what
Dardanelov was after. But from the time of the railway incident his
behaviour in this respect also was changed; he did not allow himself
the remotest allusion to the subject and began to speak more
respectfully of Dardanelov before his mother, which the sensitive
woman at once appreciated with boundless gratitude. But at the
slightest mention of Dardanelov by a visitor in Kolya's presence,
she would flush as pink as a rose. At such moments Kolya would
either stare out of the window scowling, or would investigate the
state of his boots, or would shout angrily for "Perezvon," the big,
shaggy, mangy dog, which he had picked up a month before, brought
home, and kept for some reason secretly indoors, not showing him to
any of his schoolfellows. He bullied him frightfully, teaching him all
sorts of tricks, so that the poor dog howled for him whenever he was
absent at school, and when he came in, whined with delight, rushed
about as if he were crazy, begged, lay down on the ground pretending
to be dead, and so on; in fact, showed all the tricks he had taught
him, not at the word of command, but simply from the zeal of his
excited and grateful heart.
I have forgotten, by the way, to mention that Kolya Krassotkin was
the boy stabbed with a penknife by the boy already known to the reader
as the son of Captain Snegiryov. Ilusha had been defending his
father when the schoolboys jeered at him, shouting the nickname
"wisp of tow."
Chapter 2

AND so on that frosty, snowy, and windy day in November, Kolya
Krassotkin was sitting at home. It was Sunday and there was no school.
It had just struck eleven, and he particularly wanted to go out "on
very urgent business," but he was left alone in charge of the house,
for it so happened that all its elder inmates were absent owing to a
sudden and singular event. Madame Krassotkin had let two little rooms,
separated from the rest of the house by a passage, to a doctor's
wife with her two small children. This lady was the same age as Anna
Fyodorovna, and a great friend of hers. Her husband, the doctor, had
taken his departure twelve months before, going first to Orenburg
and then to Tashkend, and for the last six months she had not heard
a word from him. Had it not been for her friendship with Madame
Krassotkin, which was some consolation to the forsaken lady, she would
certainly have completely dissolved away in tears. And now, to add
to her misfortunes, Katerina, her only servant, was suddenly moved the
evening before to announce, to her mistress's amazement, that she
proposed to bring a child into the world before morning. It seemed
almost miraculous to everyone that no one had noticed the
probability of it before. The astounded doctor's wife decided to
move Katerina while there was still time to an establishment in the
town kept by a midwife for such emergencies. As she set great store by
her servant, she promptly carried out this plan and remained there
looking after her. By the morning all Madame Krassotkin's friendly
sympathy and energy were called upon to render assistance and appeal
to someone for help in the case.
So both the ladies were absent from home, the Krassotkins'
servant, Agafya, had gone out to the market, and Kolya was thus left
for a time to protect and look after "the kids," that is, the son
and daughter of the doctor's wife, who were left alone. Kolya was
not afraid of taking care of the house, besides he had Perezvon, who
had been told to lie flat, without moving, under the bench in the
hall. Every time Kolya, walking to and fro through the rooms, came
into the hall, the dog shook his head and gave two loud and
insinuating taps on the floor with his tail, but alas! the whistle did
not sound to release him. Kolya looked sternly at the luckless dog,
who relapsed again into obedient rigidity. The one thing that troubled
Kolya was "the kids." He looked, of course, with the utmost scorn on
Katerina's unexpected adventure, but he was very fond of the
bereaved "kiddies," and had already taken them a picture-book. Nastya,
the elder, a girl of eight, could read, and Kostya, the boy, aged
seven, was very fond of being read to by her. Krassotkin could, of
course, have provided more diverting entertainment for them. He
could have made them stand side by side and played soldiers with them,
or sent them hiding all over the house. He had done so more than
once before and was not above doing it, so much so that a report
once spread at school that Krassotkin played horses with the little
lodgers at home, prancing with his head on one side like a
trace-horse. But Krassotkin haughtily parried this thrust, pointing
out that to play horses with boys of one's own age, boys of
thirteen, would certainly be disgraceful "at this date," but that he
did it for the sake of "the kids" because he liked them, and no one
had a right to call him to account for his feelings. The two "kids"
adored him.
But on this occasion he was in no mood for games. He had very
important business of his own before him, something almost mysterious.
Meanwhile time was passing and Agafya, with whom he could have left
the children, would not come back from market. He had several times
already crossed the passage, opened the door of the lodgers' room
and looked anxiously at "the kids" who were sitting over the book,
as he had bidden them. Every time he opened the door they grinned at
him, hoping he would come in and would do something delightful and
amusing. But Kolya was bothered and did not go in.
At last it struck eleven and he made up his mind, once for all,
that if that "damned" Agafya did not come back within ten minutes he
should go out without waiting for her, making "the kids" promise, of
course, to be brave when he was away, not to be naughty, not to cry
from fright. With this idea he put on his wadded winter overcoat
with its catskin fur collar, slung his satchel round his shoulder,
and, regardless of his mother's constantly reiterated entreaties
that he would always put on goloshes in such cold weather, he looked
at them contemptuously as he crossed the hall and went out with only
his boots on. Perezvon, seeing him in his outdoor clothes, began
tapping nervously, yet vigorously, on the floor with his tail.
Twitching all over, he even uttered a plaintive whine. But Kolya,
seeing his dog's passionate excitement, decided that it was a breach
of discipline, kept him for another minute under the bench, and only
when he had opened the door into the passage, whistled for him. The
dog leapt up like a mad creature and rushed bounding before him
Kolya opened the door to peep at "the kids." They were both
sitting as before at the table, not reading but warmly disputing about
something. The children often argued together about various exciting
problems of life, and Nastya, being the elder, always got the best
of it. If Kostya did not agree with her, he almost always appealed
to Kolya Krassotkin, and his verdict was regarded as infallible by
both of them. This time the "kids"' discussion rather interested
Krassotkin, and he stood still in the passage to listen. The
children saw he was listening and that made them dispute with even
greater energy.
"I shall never, never believe," Nastya prattled, "that the old
women find babies among the cabbages in the kitchen garden. It's
winter now and there are no cabbages, and so the old woman couldn't
have taken Katerina a daughter."
Kolya whistled to himself.
"Or perhaps they do bring babies from somewhere, but only to those
who are married."
Kostya stared at Nastya and listened, pondering profoundly.
"Nastya, how silly you are!" he said at last, firmly and calmly.
"How can Katerina have a baby when she isn't married?"
Nastya was exasperated.
"You know nothing about it," she snapped irritably. "Perhaps she
has a husband, only he is in prison, so now she's got a baby."
"But is her husband in prison?" the matter-of-fact Kostya inquired
"Or, I tell you what," Nastya interrupted impulsively,
completely rejecting and forgetting her first hypothesis. "She
hasn't a husband, you are right there, but she wants to be married,
and so she's been thinking of getting married, and thinking and
thinking of it till now she's got it, that is, not a husband but a
"Well, perhaps so," Kostya agreed, entirely vanquished. "But you
didn't say so before. So how could I tell?"
"Come, kiddies," said Kolya, stepping into the room. "You're
terrible people, I see."
"And Perezvon with you!" grinned Kostya, and began snapping his
fingers and calling Perezvon.
"I am in a difficulty, kids," Krassotkin began solemnly, "and
you must help me. Agafya must have broken her leg, since she has not
turned up till now, that's certain. I must go out. Will you let me
The children looked anxiously at one another. Their smiling
faces showed signs of uneasiness, but they did not yet fully grasp
what was expected of them.
"You won't be naughty while I am gone? You won't climb on the
cupboard and break your legs? You won't be frightened alone and cry?"
A look of profound despondency came into the children's faces.
"And I could show you something as a reward, a little copper
cannon which can be fired with real gunpowder."
The children's faces instantly brightened. "Show us the cannon,"
said Kostya, beaming all over.
Krassotkin put his hand in his satchel, and pulling out a little
bronze cannon stood it on the table.
"Ah, you are bound to ask that! Look, it's on wheels." He rolled
the toy on along the table. "And it can be fired off, too. It can be
loaded with shot and fired off."
"And it could kill anyone?"
"It can kill anyone; you've only got to aim at anybody," and
Krassotkin explained where the powder had to be put, where the shot
should be rolled in, showing a tiny hole like a touch-hole, and told
them that it kicked when it was fired.
The children listened with intense interest. What particularly
struck their imagination was that the cannon kicked.
"And have you got any powder?" Nastya inquired.
"Show us the powder, too," she drawled with a smile of entreaty.
Krassotkin dived again into his satchel and pulled out a small
flask containing a little real gunpowder. He had some shot, too, in
a screw of paper. He even uncorked the flask and shook a little powder
into the palm of his hand.
"One has to be careful there's no fire about, or it would blow
up and kill us all," Krassotkin warned them sensationally.
The children gazed at the powder with an awe-stricken alarm that
only intensified their enjoyment. But Kostya liked the shot better.
"And does the shot burn?" he inquired.
"No, it doesn't."
"Give me a little shot," he asked in an imploring voice.
"I'll give you a little shot; here, take it, but don't show it
to your mother till I come back, or she'll be sure to think it's
gunpowder, and will die of fright and give you a thrashing."
"Mother never does whip us," Nastya observed at once.
"I know, I only said it to finish the sentence. And don't you ever
deceive your mother except just this once, until I come back. And
so, kiddies, can I go out? You won't be frightened and cry when I'm
"We sha-all cry," drawled Kostya, on the verge of tears already.
"We shall cry, we shall be sure to cry," Nastya chimed in with
timid haste.
"Oh, children, children, how fraught with peril are your years!
There's no help for it, chickens; I shall have to stay with you I
don't know how long. And time is passing, time is passing, oogh!"
"Tell Perezvon to pretend to be dead!" Kostya begged.
"There's no help for it, we must have recourse to Perezvon. Ici,
Perezvon." And Kolya began giving orders to the dog, who performed all
his tricks.
He was a rough-haired dog, of medium size, with a coat of a sort
of lilac-grey colour. He was blind in his right eye, and his left
ear was torn. He whined and jumped, stood and walked on his hind legs,
lay on his back with his paws in the air, rigid as though he were
dead. While this last performance was going on, the door opened and
Agafya, Madame Krassotkin's servant, a stout woman of forty, marked
with small-pox, appeared in the doorway. She had come back from market
and had a bag full of provisions in her hand. Holding up the bag of
provisions in her left hand she stood still to watch the dog. Though
Kolya had been so anxious for her return, he did not cut short the
performance, and after keeping Perezvon dead for the usual time, at
last he whistled to him. The dog jumped up and began bounding about in
his joy at having done his duty.
"Only think, a dog!" Agafya observed sententiously.
"Why are you late, female?" asked Krassotkin sternly.
"Female, indeed! Go on with you, you brat."
"Yes, a brat. What is it to you if I'm late; if I'm late, you
may be sure I have good reason," muttered Agafya, busying herself
about the stove, without a trace of anger or displeasure in her voice.
She seemed quite pleased, in fact, to enjoy a skirmish with her
merry young master.
"Listen, you frivolous young woman," Krassotkin began, getting
up from the sofa, "can you swear by all you hold sacred in the world
and something else besides, that you will watch vigilantly over the
kids in my absence? I am going out."
"And what am I going to swear for?" laughed Agafya. "I shall
look after them without that."
"No, you must swear on your eternal salvation. Else I shan't go."
"Well, don't then. What does it matter to me? It's cold out;
stay at home."
"Kids," Kolya turned to the children, "this woman will stay with
you till I come back or till your mother comes, for she ought to
have been back long ago. She will give you some lunch, too. You'll
give them something, Agafya, won't you?"
"That I can do."
"Good-bye, chickens, I go with my heart at rest. And you, granny,"
he added gravely, in an undertone, as he passed Agafya, "I hope you'll
spare their tender years and not tell them any of your old woman's
nonsense about Katerina. Ici, Perezvon!"
"Get along with you!" retorted Agafya, really angry this time.
"Ridiculous boy! You want a whipping for saying such things, that's
what you want!"
Chapter 3
The Schoolboy

BUT Kolya did not hear her. At last he could go out. As he went
out at the gate he looked round him, shrugged up his shoulders, and
saying "It is freezing," went straight along the street and turned off
to the right towards the market-place. When he reached the last
house but one before the market-place he stopped at the gate, pulled a
whistle out of his pocket, and whistled with all his might as though
giving a signal. He had not to wait more than a minute before a
rosy-cheeked boy of about eleven, wearing a warm, neat and even
stylish coat, darted out to meet him. This was Smurov, a boy in the
preparatory class (two classes below Kolya Krassotkin), son of a
well-to-do official. Apparently he was forbidden by his parents to
associate with Krassotkin, who was well known to be a desperately
naughty boy, so Smurov was obviously slipping out on the sly. He
was- if the reader has not forgotten one of the group of boys who
two months before had thrown stones at Ilusha. He was the one who told
Alyosha about Ilusha.
"I've been waiting for you for the last hour, Krassotkin," said
Smurov stolidly, and the boys strode towards the market-place.
"I am late," answered Krassotkin. "I was detained by
circumstances. You won't be thrashed for coming with me?"
"Come, I say, I'm never thrashed! And you've got Perezvon with
"You're taking him, too?"
"Ah! if it were only Zhutchka!"
"That's impossible. Zhutchka's non-existent. Zhutchka is lost in
the mists of obscurity."
"Ah! couldn't we do this?" Smurov suddenly stood still. "You see
Ilusha says that Zhutchka was a shaggy, greyish, smoky-looking dog
like Perezvon. Couldn't you tell him this is Zhutchka, and he might
believe you?"
"Boy, shun a lie, that's one thing; even with a good object-
that's another. Above all, I hope you've not told them anything
about my coming."
"Heaven forbid! I know what I am about. But you won't comfort
him with Perezvon," said Smurov, with a sigh. "You know his father,
the captain, 'the wisp of tow,' told us that he was going to bring him
a real mastiff pup, with a black nose, to-day. He thinks that would
comfort Ilusha; but I doubt it."
"And how is Ilusha?"
"Ah, he is bad, very bad! I believe he's in consumption: he is
quite conscious, but his breathing! His breathing's gone wrong. The
other day he asked to have his boots on to be led round the room. He
tried to walk, but he couldn't stand. 'Ah, I told you before, father,'
he said, 'that those boots were no good. I could never walk properly
in them.' He fancied it was his boots that made him stagger, but it
was simply weakness, really. He won't live another week. Herzenstube
is looking after him. Now they are rich again- they've got heaps of
"They are rogues."
"Who are rogues?"
"Doctors and the whole crew of quacks collectively, and also, of
course, individually. I don't believe in medicine. It's a useless
institution. I mean to go into all that. But what's that
sentimentality you've got up there? The whole class seems to be
there every day."
"Not the whole class: it's only ten of our fellows who go to see
him every day. There's nothing in that."
"What I don't understand in all this is the part that Alexey
Karamazov is taking in it. His brother's going to be tried to-morrow
or next day for such a crime, and yet he has so much time to spend
on sentimentality with boys."
"There's no sentimentality about it. You are going yourself now to
make it up with Ilusha."
"Make it up with him? What an absurd expression! But I allow no
one to analyse my actions."
"And how pleased Ilusha will be to see you! He has no idea that
you are coming. Why was it, why was it you wouldn't come all this
time?" Smurov cried with sudden warmth.
"My dear boy, that's my business, not yours.
I am going of myself because I choose to, but you've all been
hauled there by Alexey Karamazov- there's a difference, you know.
And how do you know? I may not be going to make it up at all. It's a
stupid expression."
"It's not Karamazov at all; it's not his doing. Our fellows
began going there of themselves. Of course, they went with Karamazov
at first. And there's been nothing of that sort of silliness. First
one went, and then another. His father was awfully pleased to see
us. You know he will simply go out of his mind if Ilusha dies. He sees
that Ilusha's dying. And he seems so glad we've made it up with
Ilusha. Ilusha asked after you, that was all. He just asks and says no
more. His father will go out of his mind or hang himself. He behaved
like a madman before. You know he is a very decent man. We made a
mistake then. It's all the fault of that murderer who beat him then."
"Karamazov's a riddle to me all the same. I might have made his
acquaintance long ago, but I like to have a proper pride in some
cases. Besides, I have a theory about him which I must work out and
Kolya subsided into dignified silence. Smurov, too, was silent.
Smurov, of course, worshipped Krassotkin and never dreamed of
putting himself on a level with him. Now he was tremendously
interested at Kolya's saying that he was "going of himself" to see
Ilusha. He felt that there must be some mystery in Kolya's suddenly
taking it into his head to go to him that day. They crossed the
market-place, in which at that hour were many loaded wagons from the
country and a great number of live fowls. The market women were
selling rolls, cottons and threads, etc., in their booths. These
Sunday markets were naively called "fairs" in the town, and there were
many such fairs in the year.
Perezvon ran about in the wildest spirits, sniffing about first
one side, then the other. When he met other dogs they zealously
smelt each other over according to the rules of canine etiquette.
"I like to watch such realistic scenes, Smurov," said Kolya
suddenly. "Have you noticed how dogs sniff at one another when they
meet? It seems to be a law of their nature."
"Yes; it's a funny habit."
"No, it's not funny; you are wrong there. There's nothing funny in
nature, however funny it may seem to man with his prejudices. If
dogs could reason and criticise us they'd be sure to find just as much
that would be funny to them, if not far more, in the social
relations of men, their masters- far more, indeed. I repeat that,
because I am convinced that there is far more foolishness among us.
That's Rakitin's idea- a remarkable idea. I am a Socialist, Smurov."
"And what is a Socialist?" asked Smurov.
"That's when all are equal and all have property in common,
there are no marriages, and everyone has any religion and laws he
likes best, and all the rest of it. You are not old enough to
understand that yet. It's cold, though."
"Yes, twelve degrees of frost. Father looked at the thermometer
just now."
"Have you noticed, Smurov, that in the middle of winter we don't
feel so cold even when there are fifteen or eighteen degrees of
frost as we do now, in the beginning of winter, when there is a sudden
frost of twelve degrees, especially when there is not much snow.
It's because people are not used to it. Everything is habit with
men, everything even in their social and political relations. Habit is
the great motive-power. What a funny-looking peasant!"
Kolya pointed to a tall peasant, with a good-natured countenance
in a long sheepskin coat, who was standing by his wagon, clapping
together his hands, in their shapeless leather gloves, to warm them.
His long fair beard was all white with frost.
"That peasant's beard's frozen," Kolya cried in a loud provocative
voice as he passed him.
"Lots of people's beards are frozen," the peasant replied,
calmly and sententiously.
"Don't provoke him," observed Smurov.
"It's all right; he won't be cross; he's a nice fellow.
Good-bye, Matvey."
"Is your name Matvey?"
"Yes. Didn't you know?"
"No, I didn't. It was a guess."
"You don't say so! You are a schoolboy, I suppose?"
"You get whipped, I expect?"
"Nothing to speak of- sometimes."
"Does it hurt?"
"Well, yes, it does."
"Ech, what a life!" The peasant heaved a sigh from the bottom of
his heart.
"Good-bye, Matvey."
"Good-bye. You are a nice chap, that you are."
The boys went on.
"That was a nice peasant," Kolya observed to Smurov. "I like
talking to the peasants, and am always glad to do them justice."
"Why did you tell a lie, pretending we are thrashed?" asked
"I had to say that to please him."
"How do you mean?"
"You know, Smurov, I don't like being asked the same thing
twice. I like people to understand at the first word. Some things
can't be explained. According to a peasant's notions, schoolboys are
whipped, and must be whipped. What would a schoolboy be if he were not
whipped? And if I were to tell him we are not, he'd be disappointed.
But you don't understand that. One has to know how to talk to the
"Only don't tease them, please, or you'll get into another
scrape as you did about that goose."
"So you're afraid?"
"Don't laugh, Kolya. Of course I'm afraid. My father would be
awfully cross. I am strictly forbidden to go out with you."
"Don't be uneasy, nothing will happen this time. Hallo,
Natasha!" he shouted to a market woman in one of the booths.
"Call me Natasha! What next! My name is Marya," the middle-aged
marketwoman shouted at him.
"I am so glad it's Marya. Good-bye!"
"Ah, you young rascal! A brat like you to carry on so!"
"I'm in a hurry. I can't stay now. You shall tell me next Sunday."
Kolya waved his hand at her, as though she had attacked him and not he
"I've nothing to tell you next Sunday. You set upon me, you
impudent young monkey. I didn't say anything," bawled Marya. "You want
a whipping, that's what you want, you saucy jackanapes!"
There was a roar of laughter among the other market women round
her. Suddenly a man in a violent rage darted out from the arcade of
shops close by. He was a young man, not a native of the town, with
dark, curly hair and a long, pale face, marked with smallpox. He
wore a long blue coat and a peaked cap, and looked like a merchant's
clerk. He was in a state of stupid excitement and brandished his
fist at Kolya.
"I know you!" he cried angrily, "I know you!"
Kolya stared at him. He could not recall when he could have had
a row with the man. But he had been in so many rows in the street that
he could hardly remember them all.
"Do you?" he asked sarcastically.
"I know you! I know you!" the man repeated idiotically.
So much the better for you. Well, it's time I was going.
"You are at your saucy pranks again?" cried the man. "You are at
your saucy pranks again? I know, you are at it again!"
"It's not your business, brother, if I am at my saucy pranks
again," said Kolya, standing still and scanning him.
"Not my business?"
"No; it's not your business."
"Whose then? Whose then? Whose then?"
"It's Trifon Nikititch's business, not yours."
"What Trifon Nikititch?" asked the youth, staring with loutish
amazement at Kolya, but still as angry as ever.
Kolya scanned him gravely.
"Have you been to the Church of the Ascension?" he suddenly
asked him, with stern emphasis.
"What Church of Ascension? What for? No, I haven't," said the
young man, somewhat taken aback.
"Do you know Sabaneyev?" Kolya went on even more emphatically
and even more severely.
"What Sabaneyev? No, I don't know him."
"Well then you can go to the devil," said Kolya, cutting short the
conversation; and turning sharply to the right he strode quickly on
his way as though he disdained further conversation with a dolt who
did not even know Sabaneyev.
"Stop, heigh! What Sabaneyev?" the young man recovered from his
momentary stupefaction and was as excited as before. "What did he
say?" He turned to the market women with a silly stare.
The women laughed.
"You can never tell what he's after," said one of them.
"What Sabaneyev is it he's talking about?" the young man repeated,
still furious and brandishing his right arm.
"It must be a Sabaneyev who worked for the Kuzmitchovs, that's who
it must be," one of the women suggested.
The young man stared at her wildly.
"For the Kuzmitchovs?" repeated another woman. "But his name
wasn't Trifon. His name's Kuzma, not Trifon; but the boy said Trifon
Nikititch, so it can't be the same."
"His name is not Trifon and not Sabaneyev, it's Tchizhov," put
in suddenly a third woman, who had hitherto been silent, listening
gravely. "Alexey Ivanitch is his name. Tchizhov, Alexey Ivanitch."
"Not a doubt about it, it's Tchizhov," a fourth woman emphatically
confirmed the statement.
The bewildered youth gazed from one to another.
"But what did he ask for, what did he ask for, good people?" he
cried almost in desperation." 'Do you know Sabaneyev?' says he. And
who the devil's to know who is Sabaneyev?"
"You're a senseless fellow. I tell you it's not Sabaneyev, but
Tchizhov, Alexey Ivanitch Tchizhov, that's who it is!" one of the
women shouted at him impressively.
"What Tchizhov? Who is he? Tell me, if you know."
"That tall, snivelling fellow who used to sit in the market in the
"And what's your Tchizhov to do with me, good people, eh?"
"How can I tell what he's to do with you?" put in another. "You
ought to know yourself what you want with him, if you make such a
clamour about him. He spoke to you, he did not speak to us, you
stupid. Don't you really know him?"
"Know whom?"
"The devil take Tchizhov and you with him. I'll give him a hiding,
that I will. He was laughing at me!"
"Will give Tchizhov a hiding! More likely he will give you one.
You are a fool, that's what you are!"
"Not Tchizhov, not Tchizhov, you spiteful, mischievous woman. I'll
give the boy a hiding. Catch him, catch him, he was laughing at me
The woman guffawed. But Kolya was by now a long way off,
marching along with a triumphant air. Smurov walked beside him,
looking round at the shouting group far behind. He too was in high
spirits, though he was still afraid of getting into some scrape in
Kolya's company.
"What Sabaneyev did you mean?" he asked Kolya, foreseeing what his
answer would be.
"How do I know? Now there'll be a hubbub among them all day. I
like to stir up fools in every class of society. There's another
blockhead, that peasant there. You know, they say 'there's no one
stupider than a stupid Frenchman,' but a stupid Russian shows it in
his face just as much. Can't you see it all over his face that he is a
fool, that peasant, eh?"
"Let him alone, Kolya. Let's go on."
"Nothing could stop me, now I am once off. Hey, good morning,
A sturdy-looking peasant, with a round, simple face and grizzled
beard, who was walking by, raised his head and looked at the boy. He
seemed not quite sober.
"Good morning, if you are not laughing at me," he said
deliberately in reply.
"And if I am?" laughed Kolya.
"Well, a joke's a joke. Laugh away. I don't mind. There's no
harm in a joke."
"I beg your pardon, brother, it was a joke."
"Well, God forgive you!"
"Do you forgive me, too?"
"I quite forgive you. Go along."
"I say, you seem a clever peasant."
"Cleverer than you," the peasant answered unexpectedly, with
the same gravity.
"I doubt it," said Kolya, somewhat taken aback.
"It's true, though."
"Perhaps it is."
"It is, brother."
"Good-bye, peasant!"
"There are all sorts of peasants," Kolya observed to Smurov
after a brief silence. "How could I tell I had hit on a clever one?
I am always ready to recognise intelligence in the peasantry."
In the distance the cathedral clock struck half-past eleven. The
boys made haste and they walked as far as Captain Snegiryov's lodging,
a considerable distance, quickly and almost in silence. Twenty paces
from the house Kolya stopped and told Smurov to go on ahead and ask
Karamazov to come out to him.
"One must sniff round a bit first," he observed to Smurov.
"Why ask him to come out?" Smurov protested. "You go in; they will
be awfully glad to see you. What's the sense of making friends in
the frost out here?"
"I know why I want to see him out here in the frost," Kolya cut
him short in the despotic tone he was fond of adopting with "small
boys," and Smurov ran to do his bidding.
Chapter 4
The Lost Dog

KOLYA leaned against the fence with an air of dignity, waiting for
Alyosha to appear. Yes, he had long wanted to meet him. He had heard a
great deal about him from the boys, but hitherto he had always
maintained an appearance of disdainful indifference when he was
mentioned, and he had even "criticised" what he heard about Alyosha.
But secretely he had a great longing to make his acquaintance; there
was something sympathetic and attractive in all he was told about
Alyosha. So the present moment was important: to begin with, he had to
show himself at his best, to show his independence. "Or he'll think of
me as thirteen and take me for a boy, like the rest of them. And
what are these boys to him? I shall ask him when I get to know him.
It's a pity I am so short, though. Tuzikov is younger than I am, yet
he is half a head taller. But I have a clever face. I am not
good-looking. I know I'm hideous, but I've a clever face. I mustn't
talk too freely; if I fall into his arms all at once, he may think-
Tfoo! how horrible if he should think- !"
Such were the thoughts that excited Kolya while he was doing his
utmost to assume the most independent air. What distressed him most
was his being so short; he did not mind so much his "hideous" face, as
being so short. On the wall in a corner at home he had the year before
made a pencil-mark to show his height, and every two months since he
anxiously measured himself against it to see how much he had gained.
But alas! he grew very slowly, and this sometimes reduced him almost
to despair. His face was in reality by no means "hideous"; on the
contrary, it was rather attractive, with a fair, pale skin,
freckled. His small, lively grey eyes had a fearless look, and often
glowed with feeling. He had rather high cheekbones; small, very red,
but not very thick, lips; his nose was small and unmistakably turned
up. "I've a regular pug nose, a regular pug nose," Kolya used to
mutter to himself when he looked in the looking-glass, and he always
left it with indignation. "But perhaps I haven't got a clever face?"
he sometimes thought, doubtful even of that. But it must not be
supposed that his mind was preoccupied with his face and his height.
On the contrary, however bitter the moments before the looking-glass
were to him, he quickly forgot them, and forgot them for a long
time, "abandoning himself entirely to ideas and to real life," as he
formulated it to himself.
Alyosha came out quickly and hastened up to Kolya. Before he
reached him, Kolya could see that he looked delighted. "Can he be so
glad to see me?" Kolya wondered, feeling pleased. We may note here, in
passing, that Alyosha's appearance had undergone a complete change
since we saw him last. He had abandoned his cassock and was wearing
now a wellcut coat, a soft, round hat, and his hair had been cropped
short. All this was very becoming to him, and he looked quite
handsome. His charming face always had a good-humoured expression; but
there was a gentleness and serenity in his good-humour. To Kolya's
surprise, Alyosha came out to him just as he was, without an overcoat.
He had evidently come in haste. He held out his hand to Kolya at once.
"Here you are at last! How anxious we've been to see you!"
"There were reasons which you shall know directly. Anyway, I am
glad to make your acquaintance. I've long been hoping for an
opportunity, and have heard a great deal about you," Kolya muttered, a
little breathless.
"We should have met anyway. I've heard a great deal about you,
too; but you've been a long time coming here."
"Tell me, how are things going?"
"Ilusha is very ill. He is certainly dying."
"How awful! You must admit that medicine is a fraud, Karamazov,"
cried Kolya warmly.
"Ilusha has mentioned you often, very often, even in his sleep, in
delirium, you know. One can see that you used to be very, very dear to
him... before the incident... with the knife.... Then there's
another reason.... Tell me, is that your dog?"
"Yes Perezvon."
"Not Zhutchka?" Alyosha looked at Kolya with eyes full of pity.
"Is she lost for ever?"
"I know you would all like it to be Zhutchka. I've heard all about
it." Kolya smiled mysteriously. "Listen, Karamazov, I'll tell you
all about it. That's what I came for; that's what I asked you to
come out here for, to explain the whole episode to you before we go
in," he began with animation. "You see, Karamazov, Ilusha came into
the preparatory class last spring. Well, you know what our preparatory
class is- a lot of small boys. They began teasing Ilusha at once. I am
two classes higher up, and, of course, I only look on at them from a
distance. I saw the boy was weak and small, but he wouldn't give in to
them; he fought with them. I saw he was proud, and his eyes were
full of fire. I like children like that. And they teased him all the
more. The worst of it was he was horribly dressed at the time, his
breeches were too small for him, and there were holes in his boots.
They worried him about it; they jeered at him. That I can't stand. I
stood up for him at once, and gave it to them hot. I beat them, but
they adore me, do you know, Karamazov?" Kolya boasted impulsively;
"but I am always fond of children. I've two chickens in my hands at
home now- that's what detained me to-day. So they left off beating
Ilusha and I took him under my protection. I saw the boy was proud.
I tell you that, the boy was proud; but in the end he became slavishly
devoted to me: he did my slightest bidding, obeyed me as though I were
God, tried to copy me. In the intervals between the classes he used to
run to me at once' and I'd go about with him. On Sundays, too. They
always laugh when an older boy makes friends with a younger one like
that; but that's a prejudice. If it's my fancy, that's enough. I am
teaching him, developing him. Why shouldn't I develop him if I like
him? Here you, Karamazov, have taken up with all these nestlings. I
see you want to influence the younger generation- to develop them,
to be of use to them, and I assure you this trait in your character,
which I knew by hearsay, attracted me more than anything. Let us get
to the point, though. I noticed that there was a sort of softness
and sentimentality coming over the boy, and you know I have a positive
hatred of this sheepish sentimentality, and I have had it from a baby.
There were contradictions in him, too: he was proud, but he was
slavishly devoted to me, and yet all at once his eyes would flash
and he'd refuse to agree with me; he'd argue, fly into a rage. I
used sometimes to propound certain ideas; I could see that it was
not so much that he disagreed with the ideas, but that he was simply
rebelling against me, because I was cool in responding to his
endearments. And so, in order to train him properly, the tenderer he
was, the colder I became. I did it on purpose: that was my idea. My
object was to form his character, to lick him into shape, to make a
man of him... and besides... no doubt, you understand me at a word.
Suddenly I noticed for three days in succession he was downcast and
dejected, not because of my coldness, but for something else,
something more important. I wondered what the tragedy was. I have
pumped him and found out that he had somehow got to know Smerdyakov,
who was footman to your late father- it was before his death, of
course- and he taught the little fool a silly trick- that is, a
brutal, nasty trick. He told him to take a piece of bread, to stick
a pin in it, and throw it to one of those hungry dogs who snap up
anything without biting it, and then to watch and see what would
happen. So they prepared a piece of bread like that and threw it to
Zhutchka, that shaggy dog there's been such a fuss about. The people
of the house it belonged to never fed it at all, though it barked
all day. (Do you like that stupid barking, Karamazov? I can't stand
it.) So it rushed at the bread, swallowed it, and began to squeal;
it turned round and round and ran away, squealing as it ran out of
sight. That was Ilusha's own account of it. He confessed it to me, and
cried bitterly. He hugged me, shaking all over. He kept on repeating
'He ran away squealing': the sight of that haunted him. He was
tormented by remorse, I could see that. I took it seriously. I
determined to give him a lesson for other things as well. So I must
confess I wasn't quite straightforward, and pretended to be more
indignant perhaps than I was. 'You've done a nasty thing,' I said,
'you are a scoundrel. I won't tell of it, of course, but I shall
have nothing more to do with you for a time. I'll think it over and
let you know through Smurov'- that's the boy who's just come with
me; he's always ready to do anything for me- 'whether I will have
anything to do with you in the future or whether I give you up for
good as a scoundrel.' He was tremendously upset. I must own I felt I'd
gone too far as I spoke, but there was no help for it. I did what I
thought best at the time. A day or two after, I sent Smurov to tell
him that I would not speak to him again. That's what we call it when
two schoolfellows refuse to have anything more to do with one another.
Secretly I only meant to send him to Coventry for a few days and then,
if I saw signs of repentance, to hold out my hand to him again. That
was my intention. But what do you think happened? He heard Smurov's
message, his eyes flashed. 'Tell Krassotkin for me,' he cried, 'that I
will throw bread with pins to all the dogs- all- all of them!' 'So
he's going in for a little temper. We must smoke it out of him.' And I
began to treat him with contempt; whenever I met him I turned away
or smiled sarcastically. And just then that affair with his father
happened. You remember? You must realise that he was fearfully
worked up by what had happened already. The boys, seeing I'd given him
up, set on him and taunted him, shouting, 'Wisp of tow, wisp of
tow!' And he had soon regular skirmishes with them, which I am very
sorry for. They seem to have given him one very bad beating. One day
he flew at them all as they were coming out of school. I stood a few
yards off, looking on. And, I swear, I don't remember that I
laughed; it was quite the other way, I felt awfully sorry for him;
in another minute I would have run up to take his part. But he
suddenly met my eyes. I don't know what he fancied; but he pulled
out a penknife, rushed at me, and struck at my thigh, here in my right
leg. I didn't move. I don't mind owning I am plucky sometimes,
Karamazov. I simply looked at him contemptuously, as though to say,
'This is how you repay all my kindness! Do it again if you like, I'm
at your service.' But he didn't stab me again; he broke down; he was
frightened at what he had done; he threw away the knife, burst out
crying, and ran away. I did not sneak on him, of course, and I made
them all keep quiet, so it shouldn't come to the ears of the
masters. I didn't even tell my mother till it had healed up. And the
wound was a mere scratch. And then I heard that the same day he'd been
throwing stones and had bitten your finger- but you understand now
what a state he was in! Well, it can't be helped: it was stupid of
me not to come and forgive him- that is, to make it up with him-
when he was taken ill. I am sorry for it now. But I had a special
reason. So now I've told you all about it... but I'm afraid it was
stupid of me."
"Oh, what a pity," exclaimed Alyosha, with feeling, "that I didn't
know before what terms you were on with him, or I'd have come to you
long ago to beg you to go to him with me. Would you believe it, when
he was feverish he talked about you in delirium. I didn't know how
much you were to him! And you've really not succeeded in finding
that dog? His father and the boys have been hunting all over the
town for it. Would you believe it, since he's been ill, I've three
times heard him repeat with tears, 'It's because I killed Zhutchka,
father, that I am ill now. God is punishing me for it.' He can't get
that idea out of his head. And if the dog were found and proved to
be alive, one might almost fancy the joy would cure him. We have all
rested our hopes on you."
"Tell me, what made you hope that I should be the one to find
him?" Kolya asked, with great curiosity. "Why did you reckon on me
rather than anyone else?"
"There was a report that you were looking for the dog, and that
you would bring it when you'd found it. Smurov said something of the
sort. We've all been trying to persuade Ilusha that the dog is
alive, that it's been seen. The boys brought him a live hare: he
just looked at it, with a faint smile, and asked them to set it free
in the fields. And so we did. His father has just this moment come
back, bringing him a mastiff pup, hoping to comfort him with that; but
I think it only makes it worse."
"Tell me, Karamazov, what sort of man is the father? I know him,
but what do you make of him- a mountebank, a buffoon?"
"Oh no; there are people of deep feeling who have been somehow
crushed. Buffoonery in them is a form of resentful irony against those
to whom they daren't speak the truth, from having been for years
humiliated and intimidated by them. Believe me, Krassotkin, that
sort of buffoonery is sometimes tragic in the extreme. His whole
life now is centred in Ilusha, and if Ilusha dies, he will either go
mad with grief or kill himself. I feel almost certain of that when I
look at him now."
"I understand you, Karamazov. I see you understand human
nature," Kolya added, with feeling.
"And as soon as I saw you with a dog, I thought it was Zhutchka
you were bringing."
"Wait a bit, Karamazov, perhaps we shall find it yet; but this
is Perezvon. I'll let him go in now and perhaps it will amuse Ilusha
more than the mastiff pup. Wait a bit, Karamazov, you will know
something in a minute. But, I say, I am keeping you here!" Kolya cried
suddenly. "You've no overcoat on in this bitter cold. You see what
an egoist I am. Oh, we are all egoists, Karamazov!"
"Don't trouble; it is cold, but I don't often catch cold. Let us
go in, though, and, by the way, what is your name? I know you are
called Kolya, but what else?"
"Nikolay- Nikolay Ivanovitch Krassotkin, or, as they say in
official documents, 'Krassotkin son.'" Kolya laughed for some
reason, but added suddenly, "Of course I hate my name Nikolay."
"Why so?"
"It's so trivial, so ordinary."
"You are thirteen?" asked Alyosha.
"No, fourteen- that is, I shall be fourteen very soon, in a
fortnight. I'll confess one weakness of mine, Karamazov, just to
you, since it's our first meeting, so that you may understand my
character at once. I hate being asked my age, more than that... and in
fact... there's a libellous story going about me, that last week I
played robbers with the preparatory boys. It's a fact that I did
play with them, but it's a perfect libel to say I did it for my own
amusement. I have reasons for believing that you've heard the story;
but I wasn't playing for my own amusement, it was for the sake of
the children, because they couldn't think of anything to do by
themselves. But they've always got some silly tale. This is an awful
town for gossip, I can tell you."
"But what if you had been playing for your own amusement, what's
the harm?"
"Come, I say, for my own amusement! You don't play horses, do
"But you must look at it like this," said Alyosha, smiling.
"Grown-up people go to the theatre and there the adventures of all
sorts of heroes are represented- sometimes there are robbers and
battles, too- and isn't that just the same thing, in a different form,
of course? And young people's games of soldiers or robbers in their
playtime are also art in its first stage. You know, they spring from
the growing artistic instincts of the young. And sometimes these games
are much better than performances in the theatre; the only
difference is that people go there to look at the actors, while in
these games the young people are the actors themselves. But that's
only natural."
"You think so? Is that your idea?" Kolya looked at him intently.
"Oh, you know, that's rather an interesting view. When I go home, I'll
think it over. I'll admit I thought I might learn something from
you. I've come to learn of you, Karamazov," Kolya concluded, in a
voice full of spontaneous feeling.
"And I of you," said Alyosha, smiling and pressing his hand.
Kolya was much pleased with Alyosha. What struck him most was that
he treated him exactly like an equal and that he talked to him just as
if he were "quite grown up."
"I'll show you something directly, Karamazov; it's a theatrical
performance, too," he said, laughing nervously. "That's why I've
"Let us go first to the people of the house, on the left. All
the boys leave their coats in there, because the room is small and
"Oh, I'm only coming in for a minute. I'll keep on my overcoat.
Perezvon will stay here in the passage and be dead. Ici, Perezvon, lie
down and be dead! You see how he's dead. I'll go in first and explore,
then I'll whistle to him when I think fit, and you'll see, he'll
dash in like mad. Only Smurov must not forget to open the door at
the moment. I'll arrange it all and you'll see something."
Chapter 5
By Ilusha's Bedside

THE room inhabited by the family of the retired captain
Snegiryov is already familiar to the reader. It was close and
crowded at that moment with a number of visitors. Several boys were
sitting with Ilusha, and though all of them, like Smurov, were
prepared to deny that it was Alyosha who had brought them and
reconciled them with Ilusha, it was really the fact. All the art he
had used had been to take them, one by one, to Ilusha, without
"sheepish sentimentality," appearing to do so casually and without
design. It was a great consolation to Ilusha in his suffering. He
was greatly touched by seeing the almost tender affection and sympathy
shown him by these boys, who had been his enemies. Krassotkin was
the only one missing and his absence was a heavy load on Ilusha's
heart. Perhaps the bitterest of all his bitter memories was his
stabbing Krassotkin, who had been his one friend and protector. Clever
little Smurov, who was the first to make it up with Ilusha, thought it
was so. But when Smurov hinted to Krassotkin that Alyosha wanted to
come and see him about something, the latter cut him short, bidding
Smurov tell "Karamazov" at once that he knew best what to do, that
he wanted no one's advice, and that, if he went to see Ilusha, he
would choose his own time for he had "his own reasons."
That was a fortnight before this Sunday. That was why Alyosha
had not been to see him, as he had meant to. But though he waited he
sent Smurov to him twice again. Both times Krassotkin met him with a
curt, impatient refusal, sending Alyosha a message not to bother him
any more, that if he came himself, he, Krassotkin, would not go to
Ilusha at all. Up to the very last day, Smurov did not know that Kolya
meant to go to Ilusha that morning, and only the evening before, as he
parted from Smurov, Kolya abruptly told him to wait at home for him
next morning, for he would go with him to the Snegiryovs, but warned
him on no account to say he was coming, as he wanted to drop in
casually. Smurov obeyed. Smurov's fancy that Kolya would bring back
the lost dog was based on the words Kolya had dropped that "they
must be asses not to find the dog, if it was alive." When Smurov,
waiting for an opportunity, timidly hinted at his guess about the dog,
Krassotkin flew into a violent rage. "I'm not such an ass as to go
hunting about the town for other people's dogs when I've got a dog
of my own! And how can you imagine a dog could be alive after
swallowing a pin? Sheepish sentimentality, thats what it is!
For the last fortnight Ilusha had not left his little bed under
the ikons in the corner. He had not been to school since the day he
met Alyosha and bit his finger. He was taken ill the same day,
though for a month afterwards he was sometimes able to get up and walk
about the room and passage. But latterly he had become so weak that he
could not move without help from his father. His father was terribly
concerned about him. He even gave up drinking and was almost crazy
with terror that his boy would die. And often, especially after
leading him round the room on his arm and putting him back to bed,
he would run to a dark corner in the passage and, leaning his head
against the wall, he would break into paroxysms of violent weeping,
stifling his sobs that they might not be heard by Ilusha.
Returning to the room, he would usually begin doing something to
amuse and comfort his precious boy: he would tell him stories, funny
anecdotes, or would mimic comic people he had happened to meet, even
imitate the howls and cries of animals. But Ilusha could not bear to
see his father fooling and playing the buffoon. Though the boy tried
not to show how he disliked it, he saw with an aching heart that his
father was an object of contempt, and he was continually haunted by
the memory of the "wisp of tow" and that "terrible day."
Nina, Ilusha's gentle, crippled sister, did not like her
father's buffoonery either (Varvara had been gone for some time past
to Petersburg to study at the university). But the half-imbecile
mother was greatly diverted and laughed heartily when her husband
began capering about or performing something. It was the only way
she could be amused; all the rest of the time she was grumbling and
complaining that now everyone had forgotten her, that no one treated
her with respect, that she was slighted, and so on. But during the
last few days she had completely changed. She began looking constantly
at Ilusha's bed in the corner and seemed lost in thought. She was more
silent, quieter, and, if she cried, she cried quietly so as not to
be heard. The captain noticed the change in her with mournful
perplexity. The boys' visits at first only angered her, but later on
their merry shouts and stories began to divert her, and at last she
liked them so much that, if the boys had given up coming, she would
have felt dreary without them. When the children told some story or
played a game, she laughed and clapped her hands. She called some of
them to her and kissed them. She was particularly fond of Smurov.
As for the captain, the presence in his room of the children,
who came to cheer up Ilusha, filled his heart from the first with
ecstatic joy. He even hoped that Ilusha would now get over his
depression and that that would hasten his recovery. In spite of his
alarm about Ilusha, he had not, till lately, felt one minute's doubt
of his boy's ultimate recovery.
He met his little visitors with homage, waited upon them hand
and foot; he was ready to be their horse and even began letting them
ride on his back, but Ilusha did not like the game and it was given
up. He began buying little things for them, gingerbread and nuts, gave
them tea and cut them sandwiches. It must be noted that all this
time he had plenty of money. He had taken the two hundred roubles from
Katerina Ivanovna just as Alyosha had predicted he would. And
afterwards Katerina Ivanovna, learning more about their
circumstances and Ilusha's illness, visited them herself, made the
acquaintance of the family, and succeeded in fascinating the
half-imbecile mother. Since then she had been lavish in helping
them, and the captain, terror-stricken at the thought that his boy
might be dying, forgot his pride and humbly accepted her assistance.
All this time Doctor Herzenstube, who was called in by Katerina
Ivanovna, came punctually every other day, but little was gained by
his visits and he dosed the invalid mercilessly. But on that Sunday
morning a new doctor was expected, who had come from Moscow, where
he had a great reputation. Katerina Ivanovna had sent for him from
Moscow at great expense, not expressly for Ilusha, but for another
object of which more will be said in its place hereafter. But, as he
had come, she had asked him to see Ilusha as well, and the captain had
been told to expect him. He hadn't the slightest idea that Kolya
Krassotkin was coming, though he had long wished for a visit from
the boy for whom Ilusha was fretting.
At the moment when Krassotkin opened the door and came into the
room, the captain and all the boys were round Ilusha's bed, looking at
a tiny mastiff pup, which had only been born the day before, though
the captain had bespoken it a week ago to comfort and amuse Ilusha,
who was still fretting over the lost and probably dead Zhutchka.
Ilusha, who had heard three days before that he was to be presented
with a puppy, not an ordinary puppy, but a pedigree mastiff (a very
important point, of course), tried from delicacy of feeling to pretend
that he was pleased. But his father and the boys could not help seeing
that the puppy only served to recall to his little heart the thought
of the unhappy dog he had killed. The puppy lay beside him feebly
moving and he, smiling sadly, stroked it with his thin, pale, wasted
hand. Clearly he liked the puppy, but... it wasn't Zhutchka; if he
could have had Zhutchka and the puppy, too, then he would have been
completely happy.
"Krassotkin!" cried one of the boys suddenly. He was the first
to see him come in.
Krassotkin's entrance made a general sensation; the boys moved
away and stood on each side of the bed, so that he could get a full
view of Ilusha. The captain ran eagerly to meet Kolya.
"Please come in... you are welcome!" he said hurriedly. "Ilusha,
Mr. Krassotkin has come to see you!
But Krassotkin, shaking hands with him hurriedly, instantly showed
his complete knowledge of the manners of good society. He turned first
to the captain's wife sitting in her armchair, who was very
ill-humoured at the moment, and was grumbling that the boys stood
between her and Ilusha's bed and did not let her see the new puppy.
With the greatest courtesy he made her a bow, scraping his foot, and
turning to Nina, he made her, as the only other lady present, a
similar bow. This polite behaviour made an extremely favourable
impression on the deranged lady.
"There,.you can see at once he is a young man that has been well
brought up," she commented aloud, throwing up her hands; "But as for
our other visitors they come in one on the top of another."
"How do you mean, mamma, one on the top of another, how is
that?" muttered the captain affectionately, though a little anxious on
her account.
"That's how they ride in. They get on each other's shoulders in
the passage and prance in like that on a respectable family. Strange
sort of visitors!"
"But who's come in like that, mamma?"
"Why, that boy came in riding on that one's back and this one on
that one's."
Kolya was already by Ilusha's bedside. The sick boy turned visibly
paler. He raised himself in the bed and looked intently at Kolya.
Kolya had not seen his little friend for two months, and he was
overwhelmed at the sight of him. He had never imagined that he would
see such a wasted, yellow face, such enormous, feverishly glowing eyes
and such thin little hands. He saw, with grieved surprise, Ilusha's
rapid, hard breathing and dry lips. He stepped close to him, held
out his hand, and almost overwhelmed, he said:
"Well, old man... how are you?" But his voice failed him, he
couldn't achieve an appearance of ease; his face suddenly twitched and
the corners of his mouth quivered. Ilusha smiled a pitiful little
smile, still unable to utter a word. Something moved Kolya to raise
his hand and pass it over Ilusha's hair.
"Never mind!" he murmured softly to him to cheer him up, or
perhaps not knowing why he said it. For a minute they were silent
"Hallo, so you've got a new puppy?" Kolya said suddenly, in a most
callous voice.
"Ye-es," answered Ilusha in a long whisper, gasping for breath.
"A black nose, that means he'll be fierce, a good house-dog,"
Kolya observed gravely and stolidly, as if the only thing he cared
about was the puppy and its black nose. But in reality he still had to
do his utmost to control his feelings not to burst out crying like a
child, and do what he would he could not control it. "When it grows
up, you'll have to keep it on the chain, I'm sure."
"He'll be a huge dog!" cried one of the boys.
"Of course he will," "a mastiff," "large," "like this," "as big as
a calf," shouted several voices.
"As big as a calf, as a real calf," chimed in the captain. "I
got one like that on purpose, one of the fiercest breed, and his
parents are huge and very fierce, they stand as high as this from
the floor.... Sit down here, on Ilusha's bed, or here on the bench.
You are welcome, we've been hoping to see you a long time.... You were
so kind as to come with Alexey Fyodorovitch?"
Krassotkin sat on the edge of the bed, at Ilusha's feet. Though he
had perhaps prepared a free-and-easy opening for the conversation on
his way, now he completely lost the thread of it.
"No... I came with Perezvon. I've got a dog now, called
Perezvon. A Slavonic name. He's out there... if I whistle, he'll run
in. I've brought a dog, too," he said, addressing Ilusha all at
once. "Do you remember Zhutchka, old man?" he suddenly fired the
question at him.
Ilusha's little face quivered. He looked with an agonised
expression at Kolya. Alyosha, standing at the door, frowned and signed
to Kolya not to speak of Zhutchka, but he did not or would not notice.
"Where... is Zhutchka?" Ilusha asked in a broken voice.
"Oh well, my boy, your Zhutchka's lost and done for!"
Ilusha did not speak, but he fixed an intent gaze once more on
Kolya. Alyosha, catching Kolya's eye, signed to him vigourously again,
but he turned away his eyes pretending not to have noticed.
"It must have run away and died somewhere. It must have died after
a meal like that," Kolya pronounced pitilessly, though he seemed a
little breathless. "But I've got a dog, Perezvon... A Slavonic name...
I've brought him to show you."
"I don't want him!" said Ilusha suddenly.
"No, no, you really must see him... it will amuse you. I brought
him on purpose.... He's the same sort of shaggy dog.... You allow me
to call in my dog, madam?" He suddenly addressed Madame Snegiryov,
with inexplicable excitement in his manner.
"I don't want him, I don't want him!" cried Ilusha, with a
mournful break in his voice. There was a reproachful light in his
"You'd better," the captain started up from the chest by the
wall on which he had just sat down, "you'd better... another time," he
muttered, but Kolya could not be restrained. He hurriedly shouted to
Smurov, "Open the door," and as soon as it was open, he blew his
whistle. Perezvon dashed headlong into the room.
"Jump, Perezvon, beg! Beg!" shouted Kolya, jumping up, and the dog
stood erect on its hind-legs by Ilusha's bedside. What followed was
a surprise to everyone: Ilusha started, lurched violently forward,
bent over Perezvon and gazed at him, faint with suspense.
"It's... Zhutchka!" he cried suddenly, in a voice breaking with
joy and suffering.
"And who did you think it was?" Krassotkin shouted with all his
might, in a ringing, happy voice, and bending down he seized the dog
and lifted him up to Ilusha.
"Look, old man, you see, blind of one eye and the left ear is
torn, just the marks you described to me. It was by that I found
him. I found him directly. He did not belong to anyone!" he explained,
to the captain, to his wife, to Alyosha and then again to Ilusha.
"He used to live in the Fedotovs' backyard. Though he made his home
there, they did not feed him. He was a stray dog that had run away
from the village... I found him.... You see, old man, he couldn't have
swallowed what you gave him. If he had, he must have died, he must
have! So he must have spat it out, since he is alive. You did not
see him do it. But the pin pricked his tongue, that is why he
squealed. He ran away squealing and you thought he'd swallowed it.
He might well squeal, because the skin of dogs' mouths is so tender...
tenderer than in men, much tenderer!" Kolya cried impetuously, his
face glowing and radiant with delight. Ilusha could not speak. White
as a sheet, he gazed open-mouthed at Kolya, with his great eyes almost
starting out of his head. And if Krassotkin, who had no suspicion of
it, had known what a disastrous and fatal effect such a moment might
have on the sick child's health, nothing would have induced him to
play such a trick on him. But Alyosha was perhaps the only person in
the room who realised it. As for the captain he behaved like a small
"Zhutchka! It's Zhutchka!" he cried in a blissful voice,
"Ilusha, this is Zhutchka, your Zhutchka! Mamma, this is Zhutchka!" He
was almost weeping.
"And I never guessed!" cried Smurov regretfully. "Bravo,
Krassotkin! I said he'd find the dog and here he's found him."
"Here he's found him!" another boy repeated gleefully.
"Krassotkin's a brick! cried a third voice.
"He's a brick, he's a brick!" cried the other boys, and they began
"Wait, wait," Krassotkin did his utmost to shout above them all.
"I'll tell you how it happened, that's the whole point. I found him, I
took him home and hid him at once. I kept him locked up at home and
did not show him to anyone till to-day. Only Smurov has known for
the last fortnight, but I assured him this dog was called Perezvon and
he did not guess. And meanwhile I taught the dog all sorts of
tricks. You should only see all the things he can do! I trained him so
as to bring you a well trained dog, in good condition, old man, so
as to be able to say to you, 'See, old man, what a fine dog your
Zhutchka is now!' Haven't you a bit of meat? He'll show you a trick
that will make you die with laughing. A piece of meat, haven't you got
The captain ran across the passage to the landlady, where their
cooking was done. Not to lose precious time, Kolya, in desperate
haste, shouted to Perezvon, "Dead!" And the dog immediately turned
round and lay on his back with its four paws in the air. The boys
laughed, Ilusha looked on with the same suffering smile, but the
person most delighted with the dog's performance was "mamma." She
laughed at the dog and began snapping her fingers and calling it,
"Perezvon, Perezvon!"
"Nothing will make him get up, nothing!" Kolya cried triumphantly,
proud of his success. "He won't move for all the shouting in the
world, but if I call to him, he'll jump up in a minute. Ici,
Perezvon!" The dog leapt up and bounded about, whining with delight.
The captain ran back with a piece of cooked beef.
"Is it hot?" Kolya inquired hurriedly, with a business-like air,
taking the meat. "Dogs don't like hot things. No, it's all right.
Look, everybody, look, Ilusha, look, old man; why aren't you
looking? He does not look at him, now I've brought him."
The new trick consisted in making the dog stand motionless with
his nose out and putting a tempting morsel of meat just on his nose.
The luckless dog had to stand without moving, with the meat on his
nose, as long as his master chose to keep him, without a movement,
perhaps for half an hour. But he kept Perezvon only for a brief
"Paid for!" cried Kolya, and the meat passed in a flash from the
dog's nose to his mouth. The audience, of course, expressed enthusiasm
and surprise.
"Can you really have put off coming all this time simply to
train the dog?" exclaimed Alyosha, with an involuntary note of
reproach in his voice.
"Simply for that!" answered Kolya, with perfect simplicity. "I
wanted to show him in all his glory."
"Perezvon! Perezvon," called Ilusha suddenly, snapping his thin
fingers and beckoning to the dog.
"What is it? Let him jump up on the bed! Ici, Perezvon!" Kolya
slapped the bed and Perezvon darted up by Ilusha. The boy threw both
arms round his head and Perezvon instantly licked his cheek. Ilusha
crept close to him, stretched himself out in bed and hid his face in
the dog's shaggy coat.
"Dear, dear!" kept exclaiming the captain. Kolya sat down again on
the edge of the bed.
"Ilusha, I can show you another trick. I've brought you a little
cannon. You remember, I told you about it before and you said how much
you'd like to see it. Well, here, I've brought it to you."
And Kolya hurriedly pulled out of his satchel the little bronze
cannon. He hurried, because he was happy himself. Another time he
would have waited till the sensation made by Perezvon had passed
off, now he hurried on, regardless of all consideration. "You are
all happy now," he felt, "so here's something to make you happier!" He
was perfectly enchanted himself.
"I've been coveting this thing for a long while; it's for you, old
man, it's for you. It belonged to Morozov, it was no use to him, he
had it from his brother. I swopped a book from father's book-case
for it, A Kinsman of Mahomet, or Salutary Folly, a scandalous book
published in Moscow a hundred years ago, before they had any
censorship. And Morozov has a taste for such things. He was grateful
to me, too...."
Kolya held the cannon in his hand so that all could see and admire
it. Ilusha raised himself, and, with his right arm still round the
dog, he gazed enchanted at the toy. The sensation was even greater
when Kolya announced that he had gunpowder too, and that it could be
fired off at once "if it won't alarm the ladies." "Mamma"
immediately asked to look at the toy closer and her request was
granted. She was much pleased with the little bronze cannon on
wheels and began rolling it to and fro on her lap. She readily gave
permission for the cannon to be fired, without any idea of what she
had been asked. Kolya showed the powder and the shot. The captain,
as a military man, undertook to load it, putting in a minute
quantity of powder. He asked that the shot might be put off till
another time. The cannon was put on the floor, aiming towards an empty
part of the room, three grains of powder were thrust into the
touchhole and a match was put to it. A magnificent explosion followed.
Mamma was startled, but at once laughed with delight. The boys gazed
in speechless triumph. But the captain, looking at Ilusha, was more
enchanted than any of them. Kolya picked up the cannon and immediately
presented it to Ilusha, together with the powder and the shot.
"I got it for you, for you! I've been keeping it for you a long
time," he repeated once more in his delight.
"Oh, give it to me! No, give me the cannon!" mamma began begging
like a little child. Her face showed a piteous fear that she would not
get it. Kolya was disconcerted. The captain fidgeted uneasily.
"Mamma, mamma," he ran to her, "the cannon's yours, of course, but
let Ilusha have it, because it's a present to him, but it's just as
good as yours. Ilusha will always let you play with it; it shall
belong to both of you, both of you."
"No, I don't want it to belong to both of us; I want it to be mine
altogether, not Ilusha's," persisted mamma, on the point of tears.
"Take it, mother, here, keep it!" Ilusha cried. "Krassotkin, may I
give it to my mother?" he turned to Krassotkin with an imploring face,
as though he were afraid he might be offended at his giving his
present to someone else.
"Of course you may," Krassotkin assented heartily, and, taking the
cannon from Ilusha, he handed it himself to mamma with a polite bow.
She was so touched that she cried.
"Ilusha, darling, he's the one who loves his mammal" she said
tenderly, and at once began wheeling the cannon to and fro on her
lap again.
"Mamma, let me kiss your hand." The captain darted up to her at
once and did so.
"And I never saw such a charming fellow as this nice boy," said
the grateful lady, pointing to Krassotkin.
"And I'll bring you as much powder as you like, Ilusha. We make
the powder ourselves now. Borovikov found out how it's made-
twenty-four parts of saltpetre, ten of sulphur and six of birchwood
charcoal. It's all pounded together, mixed into a paste with water and
rubbed through a tammy sieve-that's how it's done."
"Smurov told me about your powder, only father says it's not
real gunpowder," responded Ilusha.
"Not real?" Kolya flushed. "It burns. I don't know, of course."
"No, I didn't mean that," put in the captain with a guilty face.
"I only said that real powder is not made like that, but that's
nothing, it can be made so."
"I don't know, you know best. We lighted some in a pomatum pot, it
burned splendidly, it all burnt away leaving only a tiny ash. But that
was only the paste, and if you rub it through... but of course you
know best, I don't know... And Bulkin's father thrashed him on account
of our powder, did you hear?" he turned to Ilusha.
"We had prepared a whole bottle of it and he used to keep it under
his bed. His father saw it. He said it might explode, and thrashed him
on the spot. He was going to make a complaint against me to the
masters. He is not allowed to go about with me now, no one is
allowed to go about with me now. Smurov is not allowed to either; I've
got a bad name with everyone. They say I'm a 'desperate character,'"
Kolya smiled scornfully. "It all began from what happened on the
"Ah, we've heard of that exploit of yours, too," cried the
captain. "How could you lie still on the line? Is it possible you
weren't the least afraid, lying there under the train? Weren't you
The captain was abject in his flattery of Kolya.
"N- not particularly," answered Kolya carelessly. "What's
blasted my reputation more than anything here was that cursed
goose," he said, turning again to Ilusha- but though he assumed an
unconcerned air as he talked, he still could not control himself and
was continually missing the note he tried to keep up.
"Ah! I heard about the goose!" Ilusha laughed, beaming all over.
"They told me, but I didn't understand. Did they really take you to
the court?"
"The most stupid, trivial affair, they made a mountain of a
mole-hill as they always do," Kolya began carelessly. "I was walking
through the market-place here one day, just when they'd driven in
the geese. I stopped and looked at them. All at once a fellow, who
is an errand-boy at Plotnikov's now, looked at me and said, 'What
are you looking at the geese for?' I looked at him; he was a stupid,
moon-faced fellow of twenty. I am always on the side of the peasantry,
you know. I like talking to the peasants.... We've dropped behind
the peasants that's an axiom. I believe you are laughing, Karamazov?"
"No, Heaven forbid, I am listening," said Alyosha with a most
good-natured air, and the sensitive Kolya was immediately reassured."
"My theory, Karamazov, is clear and simple," he hurried on
again, looking pleased. "I believe in the people and am always glad to
give them their due, but I am not for spoiling them, that is a sine
qua non... But I was telling you about the goose. So I turned to the
fool and answered, 'I am wondering what the goose thinks about.' He
looked at me quite stupidly, 'And what does the goose think about?' he
asked. 'Do you see that cart full of oats?'I said. 'The oats are
dropping out of the sack, and the goose has put its neck right under
the wheel to gobble them up- do you see?' 'I see that quite well,'
he said. 'Well,' said I, 'if that cart were to move on a little, would
it break the goose's neck or not?' 'It'd be sure to break it,' and
he grinned all over his face, highly delighted. 'Come on, then,'
said I, 'let's try.' 'Let's,' he said. And it did not take us long
to arrange: he stood at the bridle without being noticed, and I
stood on one side to direct the goose. And the owner wasn't looking,
he was talking to someone, so I had nothing to do, the goose thrust
its head in after the oats of itself, under the cart, just under the
wheel. I winked at the lad, he tugged at the bridle, and crack. The
goose's neck was broken in half. And, as luck would have it, all the
peasants saw us at that moment and they kicked up a shindy at once.
'You did that on purpose!' 'No, not on purpose.' 'Yes, you did, on
purpose!' Well, they shouted, 'Take him to the justice of the
peace!' They took me, too. 'You were there, too,' they said, 'you
helped, you're known all over the market!' And, for some reason, I
really am known all over the market," Kolya added conceitedly. "We all
went off to the justice's, they brought the goose, too. The fellow was
crying in a great funk, simply blubbering like a woman. And the farmer
kept shouting that you could kill any number of geese like that. Well,
of course, there were witnesses.
The justice of the peace settled it in a minute, that the farmer was
to be paid a rouble for the goose, and the fellow to have the goose.
And he was warned not to play such pranks again. And the fellow kept
blubbering like a woman. 'It wasn't me,' he said, 'it was he egged
me on,' and he pointed to me. I answered with the utmost composure
that I hadn't egged him on, that I simply stated the general
proposition, had spoken hypothetically. The justice of the peace
smiled and was vexed with himself once for having smiled. 'I'll
complain to your masters of you, so that for the future you mayn't
waste your time on such general propositions, instead of sitting at
your books and learning your lessons.' He didn't complain to the
masters, that was a joke, but the matter noised abroad and came to the
ears of the masters. Their ears are long, you know! The classical
master, Kolbasnikov, was particularly shocked about it, but Dardanelov
got me off again. But Kolbasnikov is savage with everyone now like a
green ass. Did you know, Ilusha, he is just married, got a dowry of
a thousand roubles, and his bride's a regular fright of the first rank
and the last degree. The third-class fellows wrote an epigram on it:

Astounding news has reached the class,
Kolbasnikov has been an ass.

And so on, awfully funny, I'll bring it to you later on. I say
nothing against Dardanelov, he is a learned man, there's no doubt
about it. I respect men like that and it's not because he stood up for
"But you took him down about the founders of Troy!" Smurov put
in suddenly, proud of Krassotkin at such a moment. He was particularly
pleased with the story of the goose.
"Did you really take him down?" the captain inquired, in a
flattering way. "On the question who founded Troy? We heard of it,
Ilusha told me about it at the time."
"He knows everything, father, he knows more than any of us!" put
in Ilusha; "he only pretends to be like that, but really he is top
in every subject..."
Ilusha looked at Kolya with infinite happiness.
"Oh, that's all nonsense about Troy, a trivial matter. I
consider this an unimportant question," said Kolya with haughty
humility. He had by now completely recovered his dignity, though he
was still a little uneasy. He felt that he was greatly excited and
that he had talked about the goose, for instance, with too little
reserve, while Alyosha had looked serious and had not said a word
all the time. And the vain boy began by degrees to have a rankling
fear that Alyosha was silent because he despised him, and thought he
was showing off before him. If he dared to think anything like that,
Kolya would-
"I regard the question as quite a trivial one," he rapped out
again, proudly.
"And I know who founded Troy," a boy, who had not spoken before,
said suddenly, to the surprise of everyone. He was silent and seemed
to be shy. He was a pretty boy of about eleven, called Kartashov. He
was sitting near the door. Kolya looked at him with dignified
The fact was that the identity of the founders of Troy had
become a secret for the whole school, a secret which could only be
discovered by reading Smaragdov, and no one had Smaragdov but Kolya.
One day, when Kolya's back was turned, Kartashov hastily opened
Smaragdov, which lay among Kolya's books, and immediately lighted on
the passage relating to the foundation of Troy. This was a good time
ago, but he felt uneasy and could not bring himself to announce
publicly that he too knew who had founded Troy, afraid of what might
happen and of Krassotkin's somehow putting him to shame over it. But
now he couldn't resist saying it. For weeks he had been longing to.
"Well, who did found it?" Kolya, turning to him with haughty
superciliousness. He saw from his face that he really did know and
at once made up his mind how to take it. There was so to speak, a
discordant note in the general harmony.
"Troy was founded by Teucer, Dardanus, Ilius and Tros," the boy
rapped out at once, and in the same instant he blushed, blushed so,
that it was painful to look at him. But the boys stared at him, stared
at him for a whole minute, and then all the staring eyes turned at
once and were fastened upon Kolya, who was still scanning the
audacious boy with disdainful composure.
"In what sense did they found it?" he deigned to comment at
last. "And what is meant by founding a city or a state? What do they
do? Did they go and each lay a brick, do you suppose?"
There was laughter. The offending boy turned from pink to crimson.
He was silent and on the point of tears. Kolya held him so for a
"Before you talk of a historical event like the foundation of a
nationality, you must first understand what you mean by it," he
admonished him in stern, incisive tones. "But I attach no
consequence to these old wives' tales and I don't think much of
universal history in general," he added carelessly, addressing the
company generally.
"Universal history?" the captain inquired, looking almost scared.
"Yes, universal history! It's the study of the successive
follies of mankind and nothing more. The only subjects I respect are
mathematics and natural science," said Kolya. He was showing off and
he stole a glance at Alyosha; his was the only opinion he was afraid
of there. But Alyosha was still silent and still serious as before. If
Alyosha had said a word it would have stopped him, but Alyosha was
silent and "it might be the silence of contempt," and that finally
irritated Kolya.
"The classical languages, too... they are simply madness,
nothing more. You seem to disagree with me again, Karamazov?"
"I don't agree," said Alyosha, with a faint smile.
"The study of the classics, if you ask my opinion, is simply a
police measure, that's simply why it has been introduced into our
schools." By degrees Kolya began to get breathless again. "Latin and
Greek were introduced because they are a bore and because they stupefy
the intellect. It was dull before, so what could they do to make
things duller? It was senseless enough before, so what could they do
to make it more senseless? So they thought of Greek and Latin.
That's my opinion, I hope I shall never change it," Kolya finished
abruptly. His cheeks were flushed.
"That's true," assented Smurov suddenly, in a ringing tone of
conviction. He had listened attentively.
"And yet he is first in Latin himself," cried one of the group
of boys suddenly.
"Yes, father, he says that and yet he is first in Latin," echoed
"What of it?" Kolya thought fit to defend himself, though the
praise was very sweet to him. "I am fagging away at Latin because I
have to, because I promised my mother to pass my examination, and I
think that whatever you do, it's worth doing it well. But in my soul I
have a profound contempt for the classics and all that fraud.... You
don't agree, Karamazov?"
"Why 'fraud'?" Alyosha smiled again.
"Well, all the classical authors have been translated into all
languages, so it was not for the sake of studying the classics they
introduced Latin, but solely as a police measure, to stupefy the
intelligence. So what can one call it but a fraud?"
"Why, who taught you all this?" cried Alyosha, surprised at last.
"In the first place I am capable of thinking for myself without
being taught. Besides, what I said just now about the classics being
translated our teacher Kolbasnikov has said to the whole of the
third class."
"The doctor has come!" cried Nina, who had been silent till then.
A carriage belonging to Madame Hohlakov drove up to the gate.
The captain, who had been expecting the doctor all the morning, rushed
headlong out to meet him. "Mamma" pulled herself together and
assumed a dignified air. Alyosha went up to Ilusha and began setting
his pillows straight. Nina, from her invalid chair, anxiously
watched him putting the bed tidy. The boys hurriedly took leave.
Some of them promised to come again in the evening. Kolya called
Perezvon and the dog jumped off the bed.
"I won't go away, I won't go away," Kolya said hastily to
Ilusha. "I'll wait in the passage and come back when the doctor's
gone, I'll come back with Perezvon."
But by now the doctor had entered, an important-looking person
with long, dark whiskers and a shiny, shaven chin, wearing a
bearskin coat. As he crossed the threshold he stopped, taken aback; he
probably fancied he had come to the wrong place. "How is this? Where
am I?" he muttered, not removing his coat nor his peaked sealskin cap.
The crowd, the poverty of the room, the washing hanging on a line in
the corner, puzzled him. The captain, bent double, was bowing low
before him.
"It's here, sir, here, sir," he muttered cringingly; "it's here,
you've come right, you were coming to us..."
"Sne-gi-ryov?" the doctor said loudly and pompously. "Mr.
Snegiryov- is that you?"
"That's me, sir!"
The doctor looked round the room with a squeamish air once more
and threw off his coat, displaying to all eyes the grand decoration at
his neck. The captain caught the fur coat in the air, and the doctor
took off his cap.
"Where is the patient?" he asked emphatically.
Chapter 6

"WHAT do you think the doctor will say to him?" Kolya asked
quickly. "What a repulsive mug, though, hasn't he? I can't endure
"Ilusha is dying. I think that's certain," answered Alyosha,
"They are rogues! Medicine's a fraud! I am glad to have made
your acquaintance, though, Karamazov. I wanted to know you for a
long time. I am only sorry we meet in such sad circumstances."
Kolya had a great inclination to say something even warmer and
more demonstrative, but he felt ill at ease. Alyosha noticed this,
smiled, and pressed his hand.
"I've long learned to respect you as a rare person," Kolya
muttered again, faltering and uncertain. "I have heard you are a
mystic and have been in the monastery. I know you are a mystic, but...
that hasn't put me off. Contact with real life will cure you....
It's always so with characters like yours."
"What do you mean by mystic? Cure me of what?" Alyosha was
rather astonished.
"Oh, God and all the rest of it."
"What, don't you believe in God?"
"Oh, I've nothing against God. Of course, God is only a
hypothesis, but... I admit that He is needed... for the order of the
universe and all that... and that if there were no God He would have
to be invented," added Kolya, beginning to blush. He suddenly
fancied that Alyosha might think he was trying to show off his
knowledge and to prove that he was "grown up." "I haven't the
slightest desire to show off my knowledge to him," Kolya thought
indignantly. And all of a sudden he felt horribly annoyed.
"I must confess I can't endure entering on such discussions," he
said with a final air. "It's possible for one who doesn't believe in
God to love mankind, don't you think so? Voltaire didn't believe in
God and loved mankind?" ("I am at it again," he thought to himself.)
"Voltaire believed in God, though not very much, I think, and I
don't think he loved mankind very much either," said Alyosha
quietly, gently, and quite naturally, as though he were talking to
someone of his own age, or even older. Kolya was particularly struck
by Alyosha's apparent diffidence about his opinion of Voltaire. He
seemed to be leaving the question for him, little Kolya, to settle.
"Have you read Voltaire?" Alyosha finished.
"No, not to say read.... But I've read Candide in the Russian
translation... in an absurd, grotesque, old translation.. (At it
again! again!)"
"And did you understand it?"
"Oh, yes, everything.... That is... Why do you suppose I shouldn't
understand it? There's a lot of nastiness in it, of course.... Of
course I can understand that it's a philosophical novel and written to
advocate an idea...." Kolya was getting mixed by now. "I am a
Socialist, Karamazov, I am an incurable Socialist," he announced
suddenly, apropos of nothing.
"A Socialist?" laughed Alyosha. "But when have you had time to
become one? Why, I thought you were only thirteen?"
Kolya winced.
"In the first place I am not thirteen, but fourteen, fourteen in a
fortnight," he flushed angrily, "and in the second place I am at a
complete loss to understand what my age has to do with it? The
question is what are my convictions, not what is my age, isn't it?"
"When you are older, you'll understand for yourself the
influence of age on convictions. I fancied, too, that you were not
expressing your own ideas," Alyosha answered serenely and modestly,
but Kolya interrupted him hotly:
"Come, you want obedience and mysticism. You must admit that the
Christian religion, for instance, has only been of use to the rich and
the powerful to keep the lower classes in slavery. That's so, isn't
"Ah, I know where you read that, and I am sure someone told you
so!" cried Alyosha.
"I say, what makes you think I read it? And certainly no one
told so. I can think for myself.... I am not opposed to Christ, if you
like. He was a most humane person, and if He were alive to-day, He
would be found in the ranks of the revolutionists, and would perhaps
play a conspicuous part.... There's no doubt about that."
"Oh, where, where did you get that from? What fool have you made
friends with?" exclaimed Alyosha.
"Come, the truth will out! It has so chanced that I have often
talked to Mr. Rakitin, of course, but... old Byelinsky said that, too,
so they say."
"Byelinsky? I don't remember. He hasn't written that anywhere."
"If he didn't write it, they say he said it. I heard that from
a... but never mind."
"And have you read Byelinsky?"
"Well, no... I haven't read all of him, but... I read the
passage about Tatyana, why she didn't go off with Onyegin."
"Didn't go off with Onyegin? Surely you don't... understand that
"Why, you seem to take me for little Smurov," said Kolya, with a
grin of irritation. "But please don't suppose I am such a
revolutionist. I often disagree with Mr. Rakitin. Though I mention
Tatyana, I am not at all for the emancipation of women. I
acknowledge that women are a subject race and must obey. Les femmes
tricottent,* Napoleon said." Kolya, for some reason, smiled, "And on
that question at least I am quite of one mind with that pseudo-great
man. I think, too, that to leave one's own country and fly to
America is mean, worse than mean- silly. Why go to America when one
may be of great service to humanity here? Now especially. There's a
perfect mass of fruitful activity open to us. That's what I answered."

* Let the women knit.

"What do you mean? Answered whom? Has someone suggested your going
to America already?"
"I must own, they've been at me to go, but I declined. That's
between ourselves, of course, Karamazov; do you hear, not a word to
anyone. I say this only to you. I am not at all anxious to fall into
the clutches of the secret police and take lessons at the Chain
Long will you remember
The house at the Chain bridge.

Do you remember? It's splendid. Why are you laughing? You don't
suppose I am fibbing, do you?" ("What if he should find out that
I've only that one number of The Bell in father's book case, and
haven't read any more of it?" Kolya thought with a shudder.)
"Oh no, I am not laughing and don't suppose for a moment that
you are lying. No, indeed, I can't suppose so, for all this, alas!
is perfectly true. But tell me, have you read Pushkin- Onyegin, for
instance?... You spoke just now of Tatyana."
"No, I haven't read it yet, but I want to read it. I have no
prejudices, Karamazov; I want to hear both sides. What makes you ask?"
"Oh, nothing."
"Tell me, Karamazov, have you an awful contempt for me?" Kolya
rapped out suddenly and drew himself up before Alyosha, as though he
were on drill. "Be so kind as to tell me, without beating about the
"I have a contempt for you?" Alyosha looked at him wondering.
"What for? I am only sad that a charming nature such as yours should
be perverted by all this crude nonsense before you have begun life."
"Don't be anxious about my nature," Kolya interrupted, not without
complacency. "But it's true that I am stupidly sensitive, crudely
sensitive. You smiled just now, and I fancied you seemed to-"
"Oh, my smile meant something quite different. I'll tell you why I
smiled. Not long ago I read the criticism made by a German who had
lived in Russia, on our students and schoolboys of to-day. 'Show a
Russian schoolboy,' he writes, 'a map of the stars, which he knows
nothing about, and he will give you back the map next day with
corrections on it.' No knowledge and unbounded conceit- that's what
the German meant to say about the Russian schoolboy."
"Yes, that's perfectly right," Kolya laughed suddenly, "exactly
so! Bravo the German! But he did not see the good side, what do you
think? Conceit may be, that comes from youth, that will be corrected
if need be, but, on the other hand, there is an independent spirit
almost from childhood, boldness of thought and conviction, and not the
spirit of these sausage makers, grovelling before authority.... But
the German was right all the same. Bravo the German! But Germans
want strangling all the same. Though they are so good at science and
learning they must be strangled."
"Strangled, what for?" smiled Alyosha.
"Well, perhaps I am talking nonsense, I agree. I am awfully
childish sometimes, and when I am pleased about anything I can't
restrain myself and am ready to talk any stuff. But, I say, we are
chattering away here about nothing, and that doctor has been a long
time in there. But perhaps he's examining the mamma and that poor
crippled Nina. I liked that Nina, you know. She whispered to me
suddenly as I was coming away, 'Why didn't you come before?' And in
such a voice, so reproachfully! I think she is awfully nice and
"Yes, yes! Well, you'll be coming often, you will see what she
is like. It would do you a great deal of good to know people like
that, to learn to value a great deal which you will find out from
knowing these people," Alyosha observed warmly. "That would have
more effect on you than anything."
"Oh, how I regret and blame myself for not having come sooner!"
Kolya exclaimed, with bitter feeling.
"Yes, it's a great pity. You saw for yourself how delighted the
poor child was to see you. And how he fretted for you to come!"
"Don't tell me! You make it worse! But it serves me right. What
kept me from coming was my conceit, my egoistic vanity, and the
beastly wilfulness, which I never can get rid of, though I've been
struggling with it all my life. I see that now. I am a beast in lots
of ways, Karamazov!"
"No, you have a charming nature, though it's been distorted, and I
quite understand why you have had such an influence on this
generous, morbidly sensitive boy," Alyosha answered warmly.
"And you say that to me!" cried Kolya; "and would you believe
it, I thought- I've thought several times since I've been here- that
you despised me! If only you knew how I prize your opinion!"
"But are you really so sensitive? At your age! Would you believe
it, just now, when you were telling your story, I thought, as I
watched you, that you must be very sensitive!"
"You thought so? What an eye you've got, I say! I bet that was
when I was talking about the goose. That was just when I was
fancying you had a great contempt for me for being in such a hurry
to show off, and for a moment I quite hated you for it, and began
talking like a fool. Then I fancied- just now, here- when I said
that if there were no God He would have to be invented, that I was
in too great a hurry to display my knowledge, especially as I got that
phrase out of a book. But I swear I wasn't showing off out of
vanity, though I really don't know why. Because I was so pleased? Yes,
I believe it was because I was so pleased... though it's perfectly
disgraceful for anyone to be gushing directly they are pleased, I know
that. But I am convinced now that you don't despise me; it was all
my imagination. Oh, Karamazov, I am profoundly unhappy. I sometimes
fancy all sorts of things, that everyone is laughing at me, the
whole world, and then I feel ready to overturn the whole order of
"And you worry everyone about you," smiled Alyosha.
"Yes, I worry everyone about me, especially my mother.
Karamazov, tell me, am I very ridiculous now?"
"Don't think about that, don't think of it at all!" cried Alyosha.
"And what does ridiculous mean? Isn't everyone constantly being or
seeming ridiculous? Besides, nearly all clever people now are
fearfully afraid of being ridiculous, and that makes them unhappy. All
I am surprised at is that you should be feeling that so early,
though I've observed it for some time past,, not only in you. Nowadays
the very children have begun to suffer from it. It's almost a sort
of insanity. The devil has taken the form of that vanity and entered
into the whole generation; it's simply the devil," added Alyosha,
without a trace of the smile that Kolya, staring at him, expected to
see. "You are like everyone else," said Alyosha, in conclusion,
"that is, like very many others. Only you must not be like everybody
else, that's all."
"Even if everyone is like that?"
"Yes, even if everyone is like that. You be the only one not
like it. You really are not like everyone else, here you are not
ashamed to confess to something bad and even ridiculous. And who
will admit so much in these days? No one. And people have even
ceased to feel the impulse to self-criticism. Don't be like everyone
else, even if you are the only one."
"Splendid! I was not mistaken in you. You know how to console one.
Oh, how I have longed to know you, Karamazov! I've long been eager for
this meeting. Can you really have thought about me, too? You said just
now that you thought of me, too?"
"Yes, I'd heard of you and had thought of you, too... and if
it's partly vanity that makes you ask, it doesn't matter."
"Do you know, Karamazov, our talk has been like a declaration of
love," said Kolya, in a bashful and melting voice. "That's not
ridiculous, is it?"
"Not at all ridiculous, and if it were, it wouldn't matter,
because it's been a good thing." Alyosha smiled brightly.
"But do you know, Karamazov, you must admit that you are a
little ashamed yourself, now.... I see it by your eyes." Kolya
smiled with a sort of sly happiness.
"Why ashamed?"
"Well, why are you blushing?"
"It was you made me blush," laughed Alyosha, and he really did
blush. "Oh, well, I am a little, goodness knows why, I don't know..."
he muttered, almost embarrassed.
"Oh, how I love you and admire you at this moment just because you
are rather ashamed! Because you are just like me," cried Kolya, in
positive ecstasy. His cheeks glowed, his eyes beamed.
"You know, Kolya, you will be very unhappy in your life,"
something made Alyosha say suddenly.
"I know, I know. How you know it all before hand!" Kolya agreed at
"But you will bless life on the whole, all the same."
"Just so, hurrah! You are a prophet. Oh, we shall get on together,
Karamazov! Do you know, what delights me most, is that you treat me
quite like an equal. But we are not equals, no, we are not, you are
better! But we shall get on. Do you know, all this last month, I've
been saying to myself, 'Either we shall be friends at once, for
ever, or we shall part enemies to the grave!'"
"And saying that, of course, you loved me," Alyosha laughed gaily.
"I did. I loved you awfully. I've been loving and dreaming of you.
And how do you know it all beforehand? Ah, here's the doctor.
Goodness! What will he tell us? Look at his face!"
Chapter 7

THE doctor came out of the room again, muffled in his fur coat and
with his cap on his head. His face looked almost angry and
disgusted, as though he were afraid of getting dirty. He cast a
cursory glance round the passage, looking sternly at Alyosha and Kolya
as he did so. Alyosha waved from the door to the coachman, and the
carriage that had brought the doctor drove up. The captain darted
out after the doctor, and, bowing apologetically, stopped him to get
the last word. The poor fellow looked utterly crushed; there was a
scared look in his eyes.
"Your Excellency, your Excellency... is it possible?" he began,
but could not go on and clasped his hands in despair. Yet he still
gazed imploringly at the doctor, as though a word from him might still
change the poor boy's fate.
"I can't help it, I am not God!" the doctor answered offhand,
though with the customary impressiveness.
"Doctor... your Excellency... and will it be soon, soon?"
"You must be prepared for anything," said the doctor in emphatic
and incisive tones, and dropping his eyes, he was about to step out to
the coach.
"Your Excellency, for Christ's sake!" the terror-stricken
captain stopped him again. "Your Excellency! But can nothing,
absolutely nothing save him now?"
"It's not in my hands now," said the doctor impatiently, "but
h'm!..." he stopped suddenly. "If you could, for instance... send...
your patient... at once, without delay" (the words "at once, without
delay," the doctor uttered with an almost wrathful sternness that made
the captain start) "to Syracuse, the change to the new be-ne-ficial
"To Syracuse!" cried the captain, unable to grasp what was said.
"Syracuse is in Sicily," Kolya jerked out suddenly in explanation.
The doctor looked at him.
"Sicily! Your Excellency," faltered the captain, "but you've
seen"- he spread out his hands, indicating his surroundings- "mamma
and my family?"
"N-no, SiciIy is not the place for the family, the family should
go to Caucasus in the early spring... your daughter must go to the
Caucasus, and your wife... after a course of the waters in the
Caucasus for her rheumatism... must be sent straight to Paris to the
mental specialist Lepelletier; I could give you a note to him, and
then... there might be a change-"
"Doctor, doctor! But you see!" The captain flung wide his hands
again despairingly, indicating the bare wooden walls of the passage.
"Well, that's not my business," grinned the doctor. "I have only
told you the answer of medical science to your question as to possible
"Don't be afraid, apothecary, my dog won't bite you," Kolya rapped
out loudly, noticing the doctor's rather uneasy glance at Perezvon,
who was standing in the doorway. There was a wrathful note in
Kolya's voice. He used the word apothecary instead of doctor on
purpose, and, as he explained afterwards, used it "to insult him."
"What's that?" The doctor flung up his head, staring with surprise
at Kolya. "Who's this?" he addressed Alyosha, as though asking him
to explain.
"It's Perezvon's master, don't worry about me," Kolya said
incisively again.
"Perezvon?"* repeated the doctor, perplexed.

* i.e. a chime of bells.

"He hears the bell, but where it is he cannot tell. Good-bye, we
shall meet in Syracuse."
"Who's this? Who's this?" The doctor flew into a terrible rage.
"He is a schoolboy, doctor, he is a mischievous boy; take no
notice of him," said Alyosha, frowning and speaking quickly. "Kolya,
hold your tongue!" he cried to Krassotkin. "Take no notice of him,
doctor," he repeated, rather impatiently.
"He wants a thrashing, a good thrashing!" The doctor stamped in
a perfect fury.
"And you know, apothecary, my Perezvon might bite!" said Kolya,
turning pale, with quivering voice and flashing eyes. "Ici, Perezvon!"
"Kolya, if you say another word, I'll have nothing more to do with
you," Alyosha cried peremptorily.
"There is only one man in the world who can command Nikolay
Krassotkin- this is the man," Kolya pointed to Alyosha. "I obey him,
He stepped forward, opened the door, and quickly went into the
inner room. Perezvon flew after him. The doctor stood still for five
seconds in amazement, looking at Alyosha; then, with a curse, he
went out quickly to the carriage, repeating aloud, "This is... this
is... I don't know what it is!" The captain darted forward to help him
into the carriage. Alyosha followed Kolya into the room. He was
already by Ilusha's bedside. The sick boy was holding his hand and
calling for his father. A minute later the captain, too, came back.
"Father, father, come... we..." Ilusha faltered in violent
excitement, but apparently unable to go on, he flung his wasted
arms, found his father and Kolya, uniting them in one embrace, and
hugging them as tightly as he could. The captain suddenly began to
shake with dumb sobs, and Kolya's lips and chin twitched.
"Father, father! How sorry I am for you!" Ilusha moaned bitterly.
"Ilusha... darling... the doctor said... you would be all right...
we shall be happy... the doctor... " the captain began.
"Ah, father! I know what the new doctor said to you about me.... I
saw!" cried Ilusha, and again he hugged them both with all his
strength, hiding his face on his father's shoulder.
"Father, don't cry, and when I die get a good boy, another
one... choose one of them all, a good one, call him Ilusha and love
him instead of me..."
"Hush, old man, you'll get well," Krassotkin cried suddenly, in
a voice that sounded angry.
"But don't ever forget me, father," Ilusha went on, "come to my
grave...and father, bury me by our big stone, where we used to go
for our walk, and come to me there with Krassotkin in the evening...
and Perezvon... I shall expect you.... Father, father!"
His voice broke. They were all three silent, still embracing. Nina
was crying, quietly in her chair, and at last seeing them all
crying, "mamma," too, burst into tears.
"Ilusha! Ilusha!" she exclaimed.
Krassotkin suddenly released himself from Ilusha's embrace.
"Good-bye, old man, mother expects me back to dinner," he said
quickly. "What a pity I did not tell her! She will be dreadfully
anxious... But after dinner I'll come back to you for the whole day,
for the whole evening, and I'll tell you all sorts of things, all
sorts of things. And I'll bring Perezvon, but now I will take him with
me, because he will begin to howl when I am away and bother you.
And he ran out into the passage. He didn't want to cry, but in the
passage he burst into tears. Alyosha found him crying.
"Kolya, you must be sure to keep your word and come, or he will be
terribly disappointed," Alyosha said emphatically.
"I will! Oh, how I curse myself for not having come before"
muttered Kolya, crying, and no longer ashamed of it.
At that moment the captain flew out of the room, and at once
closed the door behind him. His face looked frenzied, his lips were
trembling. He stood before the two and flung up his arms.
"I don't want a good boy! I don't want another boy!" he muttered
in a wild whisper, clenching his teeth. "If I forget thee,
knees before the wooden bench. Pressing his fists against his head, he
began sobbing with absurd whimpering cries, doing his utmost that
his cries should not be heard in the room.
Kolya ran out into the street.
"Good-bye, Karamazov? Will you come yourself?" he cried sharply
and angrily to Alyosha.
"I will certainly come in the evening."
"What was that he said about Jerusalem?... What did he mean by
"It's from the Bible. 'If I forget thee, Jerusalem,' that is, if I
forget all that is most precious to me, if I let anything take its
place, then may-"
"I understand, that's enough! Mind you come! Ici, Perezvon!" he
cried with positive ferocity to the dog, and with rapid strides he
went home.
Book XI

Chapter 1
At Grushenka's

ALYOSHA went towards the cathedral square to the widow Morozov's
house to see Grushenka, who had sent Fenya to him early in the morning
with an urgent message begging him to come. Questioning Fenya, Alyosha
learned that her mistress had been particularly distressed since the
previous day. During the two months that had passed since Mitya's
arrest, Alyosha had called frequently at the widow Morozov's house,
both from his own inclination and to take messages for Mitya. Three
days after Mitya's arrest, Grushenka was taken very ill and was ill
for nearly five weeks. For one whole week she was unconscious. She was
very much changed- thinner and a little sallow, though she had for the
past fortnight been well enough to go out. But to Alyosha her face was
even more attractive than before, and he liked to meet her eyes when
he went in to her. A look of firmness and intelligent purpose had
developed in her face. There were signs of a spiritual
transformation in her, and a steadfast, fine and humble
determination that nothing could shake could be discerned in her.
There was a small vertical line between her brows which gave her
charming face a look of concentrated thought, almost austere at the
first glance. There was scarcely a trace of her former frivolity.
It seemed strange to Alyosha, too, that in spite of the calamity
that had overtaken the poor girl, betrothed to a man who had been
arrested for a terrible crime, almost at the instant of their
betrothal, in spite of her illness and the almost inevitable
sentence hanging over Mitya, Grushenka had not yet lost her youthful
cheerfulness. There was a soft light in the once proud eyes, though at
times they gleamed with the old vindictive fire when she was visited
by one disturbing thought stronger than ever in her heart. The
object of that uneasiness was the same as ever- Katerina Ivanovna,
of whom Grushenka had even raved when she lay in delirium. Alyosha
knew that she was fearfully jealous of her. Yet Katerina Ivanovna
had not once visited Mitya in his prison, though she might have done
it whenever she liked. All this made a difficult problem for
Alyosha, for he was the only person to whom Grushenka opened her heart
and from whom she was continually asking advice. Sometimes he was
unable to say anything.
Full of anxiety he entered her lodging. She was at home. She had
returned from seeing Mitya half an hour before, and from the rapid
movement with which she leapt up from her chair to meet him he saw
that she had been expecting him with great impatience. A pack of cards
dealt for a game of "fools" lay on the table. A bed had been made up
on the leather sofa on the other side and Maximov lay, half reclining,
on it. He wore a dressing-gown and a cotton nightcap, and was
evidently ill and weak, though he was smiling blissfully. When the
homeless old man returned with Grushenka from Mokroe two months
before, he had simply stayed on and was still staying with her. He
arrived with her in rain and sleet, sat down on the sofa, drenched and
scared, and gazed mutely at her with a timid, appealing smile.
Grushenka, who was in terrible grief and in the first stage of
fever, almost forgot his existence in all she had to do the first half
hour after her arrival. Suddenly she chanced to look at him
intently: he laughed a pitiful, helpless little laugh. She called
Fenya and told her to give him something to eat. All that day he sat
in the same place, almost without stirring. When it got dark and the
shutters were closed, Fenya asked her mistress:
"Is the gentleman going to stay the night, mistress?"
"Yes; make him a bed on the sofa," answered Grushenka.
Questioning him more in detail, Grushenka learned from him that he
had literally nowhere to go, and that "Mr. Kalganov, my benefactor,
told me straight that he wouldn't receive me again and gave me five
"Well, God bless you, you'd better stay, then," Grushenka
decided in her grief, smiling compassionately at him. Her smile
wrung the old man's heart and his lips twitched with grateful tears.
And so the destitute wanderer had stayed with her ever since. He did
not leave the house even when she was ill. Fenya and her
grandmother, the cook, did not turn him out, but went on serving him
meals and making up his bed on the sofa. Grushenka had grown used to
him, and coming back from seeing Mitya (whom she had begun to visit in
prison before she was really well) she would sit down and begin
talking to "Maximushka" about trifling matters, to keep her from
thinking of her sorrow. The old man turned out to be a good
story-teller on occasions, so that at last he became necessary to her.
Grushenka saw scarcely anyone else beside Alyosha, who did not come
every day and never stayed long. Her old merchant lay seriously ill at
this time, "at his last gasp" as they said in the town, and he did, in
fact, die a week after Mitya's trial. Three weeks before his death,
feeling the end approaching, he made his sons, their wives and
children, come upstairs to him at last and bade them not leave him
again. From that moment he gave strict orders to his servants not to
admit Grushenka and to tell her if she came, "The master wishes you
long life and happiness and tells you to forget him." But Grushenka
sent almost every day to inquire after him.
"You've come at last!" she cried, flinging down the cards and
joyfully greeting Alyosha, "and Maximushka's been scaring me that
perhaps you wouldn't come. Ah, how I need you! Sit down to the
table. What will you have coffee?"
"Yes, please," said Alyosha, sitting down at the table. "I am very
"That's right. Fenya, Fenya, coffee," cried Grushenka. "It's
been made a long time ready for you. And bring some little pies, and
mind they are hot. Do you know, we've had a storm over those pies
to-day. I took them to the prison for him, and would you believe it,
he threw them back to me: he would not eat them. He flung one of
them on the floor and stamped on it. So I said to him: 'I shall
leave them with the warder; if you don't eat them before evening, it
will be that your venomous spite is enough for you!' With that I
went away. We quarrelled again, would you believe it? Whenever I go we
Grushenka said all this in one breath in her agitation. Maximov,
feeling nervous, at once smiled and looked on the floor.
"What did you quarrel about this time?" asked Alyosha.
"I didn't expect it in the least. Only fancy, he is jealous of the
Pole. 'Why are you keeping him?' he said. 'So you've begun keeping
him.' He is jealous, jealous of me all the time, jealous eating and
sleeping! He even took into his head to be jealous of Kuzma last
"But he knew about the Pole before?"
"Yes, but there it is. He has known about him from the very
beginning but to-day he suddenly got up and began scolding about
him. I am ashamed to repeat what he said. Silly fellow! Rakitin went
in as I came out. Perhaps Rakitin is egging him on. What do you
think?" she added carelessly.
"He loves you, that's what it is; he loves you so much. And now he
is particularly worried."
"I should think he might be, with the trial to-morrow. And I
went to him to say something about to-morrow, for I dread to think
what's going to happen then. You say that he is worried, but how
worried I am! And he talks about the Pole! He's too silly! He is not
jealous of Maximushka yet, anyway."
"My wife was dreadfully jealous over me, too," Maximov put in
his word.
"Jealous of you?" Grushenka laughed in spite of herself. "Of
whom could she have been jealous?"
"Of the servant girls."
"Hold your tongue, Maximushka, I am in no laughing mood now; I
feel angry. Don't ogle the pies. I shan't give you any; they are not
good for you, and I won't give you any vodka either. I have to look
after him, too, just as though I kept an almshouse," she laughed.
"I don't deserve your kindness. I am a worthless creature," said
Maximov, with tears in his voice. "You would do better to spend your
kindness on people of more use than me."
"Ech, everyone is of use, Maximushka, and how can we tell who's of
most use? If only that Pole didn't exist, Alyosha. He's taken it
into his head to fall ill, too, to-day. I've been to see him also. And
I shall send him some pies, too, on purpose. I hadn't sent him any,
but Mitya accused me of it, so now I shall send some! Ah, here's Fenya
with a letter! Yes, it's from the Poles- begging again!
Pan Mussyalovitch had indeed sent an extremely long and
characteristically eloquent letter in which he begged her to lend
him three roubles. In the letter was enclosed a receipt for the sum,
with a promise to repay it within three months, signed by Pan
Vrublevsky as well. Grushenka had received many such letters,
accompanied by such receipts, from her former lover during the
fortnight of her convalescence. But she knew that the two Poles had
been to ask after her health during her illness. The first letter
Grushenka got from them was a long one, written on large notepaper and
with a big family crest on the seal. It was so obscure and
rhetorical that Grushenka put it down before she had read half, unable
to make head or tail of it. She could not attend to letters then.
The first letter was followed next day by another in which Pan
Mussyalovitch begged her for a loan of two thousand roubles for a very
short period. Grushenka left that letter, too, unanswered. A whole
series of letters had followed- one every day- all as pompous and
rhetorical, but the loan asked for, gradually diminishing, dropped
to a hundred roubles, than to twenty-five, to ten, and finally
Grushenka received a letter in which both the Poles begged her for
only one rouble and included a receipt signed by both.
Then Grushenka suddenly felt sorry for them, and at dusk she
went round herself to their lodging. She found the two Poles in
great poverty, almost destitution, without food or fuel, without
cigarettes, in debt to their landlady. The two hundred roubles they
had carried off from Mitya at Mokroe had soon disappeared. But
Grushenka was surprised at their meeting her with arrogant dignity and
self-assertion, with the greatest punctilio and pompous speeches.
Grushenka simply laughed, and gave her former admirer ten roubles.
Then, laughing, she told Mitya of it and he was not in the least
jealous. But ever since, the Poles had attached themselves to
Grushenka and bombarded her daily with requests for money and she
had always sent them small sums. And now that day Mitya had taken it
into his head to be fearfully jealous.
"Like a fool, I went round to him just for a minute, on the way to
see Mitya, for he is ill, too, my Pole," Grushenka began again with
nervous haste. "I was laughing, telling Mitya about it. 'Fancy,' I
said, 'my Pole had the happy thought to sing his old songs to me to
the guitar. He thought I would be touched and marry him!' Mitya
leapt up swearing.... So, there, I'll send them the pies! Fenya, is it
that little girl they've sent? Here, give her three roubles and pack
up a dozen pies in a paper and tell her to take them. And you,
Alyosha, be sure to tell Mitya that I did send them the pies."
"I wouldn't tell him for anything," said Alyosha, smiling.
"Ech! You think he is unhappy about it. Why, he's jealous on
purpose. He doesn't care," said Grushenka bitterly.
"On purpose?" queried Alyosha.
"I tell you you are silly, Alyosha. You know nothing about it,
with all your cleverness. I am not offended that he is jealous of a
girl like me. I would be offended if he were not jealous. I am like
that. I am not offended at jealousy. I have a fierce heart, too. I can
be jealous myself. Only what offends me is that he doesn't love me
at all. I tell you he is jealous now on purpose. Am I blind? Don't I
see? He began talking to me just now of that woman, of Katerina,
saying she was this and that, how she had ordered a doctor from Moscow
for him, to try and save him; how she had ordered the best counsel,
the most learned one, too. So he loves her, if he'll praise her to
my face, more shame to him! He's treated me badly himself, so he
attacked me, to make out I am in fault first and to throw it all on
me. 'You were with your Pole before me, so I can't be blamed for
Katerina,' that's what it amounts to. He wants to throw the whole
blame on me. He attacked me on purpose, on purpose, I tell you, but
Grushenka could not finish saying what she would do. She hid her
eyes in her handkerchief and sobbed violently.
"He doesn't love Katerina Ivanovna," said Alyosha firmly.
"Well, whether he loves her or not, I'll soon find out for
myself," said Grushenka, with a menacing note in her voice, taking the
handkerchief from her eyes. Her face was distorted. Alyosha saw
sorrowfully that from being mild and serene, it had become sullen
and spiteful.
"Enough of this foolishness," she said suddenly; "it's not for
that I sent for you. Alyosha, darling, to-morrow- what will happen
to-morrow? That's what worries me! And it's only me it worries! I look
at everyone and no one is thinking of it. No one cares about it. Are
you thinking about it even? To-morrow he'll be tried, you know. Tell
me, how will he be tried? You know it's the valet, the valet killed
him! Good heavens! Can they condemn him in place of the valet and will
no one stand up for him? They haven't troubled the valet at all,
have they?"
"He's been severely cross-examined," observed Alyosha
thoughtfully; "but everyone came to the conclusion it was not he.
Now he is lying very ill. He has been ill ever since that attack.
Really ill," added Alyosha.
"Oh, dear! couldn't you go to that counsel yourself and tell him
the whole thing by yourself? He's been brought from Petersburg for
three thousand roubles, they say."
"We gave these three thousand together- Ivan, Katerina Ivanovna
and I- but she paid two thousand for the doctor from Moscow herself.
The counsel Fetyukovitch would have charged more, but the case has
become known all over Russia; it's talked of in all the papers and
journals. Fetyukovitch agreed to come more for the glory of the thing,
because the case has become so notorious. I saw him yesterday."
"Well? Did you talk to him?" Grushenka put in eagerly.
"He listened and said nothing. He told me that he had already
formed his opinion. But he promised to give my words consideration."
"Consideration! Ah, they are swindlers! They'll ruin him. And
why did she send for the doctor?"
"As an expert. They want to prove that Mitya's mad and committed
the murder when he didn't know what he was doing," Alyosha smiled
gently, "but Mitya won't agree to that."
"Yes; but that would be the truth if he had killed him!" cried
Grushenka. "He was mad then, perfectly mad, and that was my fault,
wretch that I am! But, of course, he didn't do it, he didn't do it!
And they are all against him, the whole town. Even Fenya's evidence
went to prove he had done it. And the people at the shop, and that
official, and at the tavern, too, before, people had heard him say so!
They are all, all against him, all crying out against him."
"Yes, there's a fearful accumulation of evidence," Alyosha
observed grimly.
"And Grigory- Grigory Vassilyevitch- sticks to his story that
the door was open, persists that he saw it- there's no shaking him.
I went and talked to him myself. He's rude about it, too."
"Yes, that's perhaps the strongest evidence against him," said
"And as for Mitya's being mad, he certainly seems like it now,"
Grushenka began with a peculiarly anxious and mysterious air. "Do
you know, Alyosha, I've been wanting to talk to you about it for a
long time. I go to him every day and simply wonder at him. Tell me,
now, what do you suppose he's always talking about? He talks and talks
and I can make nothing of it. I fancied he was talking of something
intellectual that I couldn't understand in my foolishness. Only he
suddenly began talking to me about a babe- that is, about some
child. 'Why is the babe poor?' he said. 'It's for that babe I am going
to Siberia now. I am not a murderer, but I must go to Siberia!' What
that meant, what babe, I couldn't tell for the life of me. Only I
cried when he said it, because he said it so nicely. He cried himself,
and I cried, too. He suddenly kissed me and made the sign of the cross
over me. What did it mean, Alyosha, tell me? What is this babe?"
"It must be Rakitin, who's been going to see him lately," smiled
Alyosha, "though... that's not Rakitin's doing. I didn't see Mitya
yesterday. I'll see him to-day."
"No, it's not Rakitin; it's his brother Ivan Fyodorovitch
upsetting him. It's his going to see him, that's what it is,"
Grushenka began, and suddenly broke off. Alyosha gazed at her in
"Ivan's going? Has he been to see him? Mitya told me himself
that Ivan hasn't been once."
"There... there! What a girl I am! Blurting things out!" exclaimed
Grushenka, confused and suddenly blushing. "Stay, Alyosha, hush! Since
I've said so much I'll tell the whole truth- he's been to see him
twice, the first directly he arrived. He galloped here from Moscow
at once, of course, before I was taken ill; and the second time was
a week ago. He told Mitya not to tell you about it, under any
circumstances; and not to tell anyone, in fact. He came secretly."
Alyosha sat plunged in thought, considering something. The news
evidently impressed him.
"Ivan doesn't talk to me of Mitya's case," he said slowly. "He's
said very little to me these last two months. And whenever I go to see
him, he seems vexed at my coming, so I've not been to him for the last
three weeks. H'm!... if he was there a week ago... there certainly has
been a change in Mitya this week."
"There has been a change," Grushenka assented quickly. "They
have a secret, they have a secret! Mitya told me himself there was a
secret, and such a secret that Mitya can't rest. Before then, he was
cheerful- and, indeed, he is cheerful now- but when he shakes his head
like that, you know, and strides about the room and keeps pulling at
the hair on his right temple with his right hand, I know there is
something on his mind worrying him.... I know! He was cheerful before,
though, indeed, he is cheerful to-day."
"But you said he was worried."
"Yes, he is worried and yet cheerful. He keeps on being
irritable for a minute and then cheerful and then irritable again. And
you know, Alyosha, I am constantly wondering at him- with this awful
thing hanging over him, he sometimes laughs at such trifles as
though he were a baby himself."
"And did he really tell you not to tell me about Ivan? Did he say,
'Don't tell him'?"
"Yes, he told me, 'Don't tell him.' It's you that Mitya's most
afraid of. Because it's a secret: he said himself it was a secret.
Alyosha, darling, go to him and find out what their secret is and come
and tell me," Grushenka besought him with sudden eagerness. "Set my
mind at rest that I may know the worst that's in store for me.
That's why I sent for you."
"You think it's something to do with you? If it were, he
wouldn't have told you there was a secret."
"I don't know. Perhaps he wants to tell me, but doesn't dare to.
He warns me. There is a secret, he tells me, but he won't tell me what
it is."
"What do you think yourself?"
"What do I think? It's the end for me, that's what I think. They
all three have been plotting my end, for Katerina's in it. It's all
Katerina, it all comes from her. She is this and that, and that
means that I am not. He tells me that beforehand- warns me. He is
planning to throw me over, that's the whole secret. They've planned it
together, the three of them- Mitya, Katerina, and Ivan Fyodorovitch.
Alyosha, I've been wanting to ask you a long time. A week ago he
suddenly told me that Ivan was in love with Katerina, because he often
goes to see her. Did he tell me the truth or not? Tell me, on your
conscience, tell me the worst."
"I won't tell you a lie. Ivan is not in love with Katerina
Ivanovna, I think."
"Oh, that's what I thought! He is lying to me, shameless deceiver,
that's what it is! And he was jealous of me just now, so as to put the
blame on me afterwards. He is stupid, he can't disguise what he is
doing; he is so open, you know.... But I'll give it to him, I'll
give it to him! 'You believe I did it,' he said. He said that to me,
to me. He reproached me with that! God forgive him! You wait, I'll
make it hot for Katerina at the trial! I'll just say a word then...
I'll tell everything then!" And again she cried bitterly.
"This I can tell you for certain, Grushenka," Alyosha said,
getting up. "First, that he loves you, loves you more than anyone in
the world, and you only, believe me. I know. I do know. The second
thing is that I don't want to worm his secret out of him, but if he'll
tell me of himself to-day, I shall tell him straight out that I have
promised to tell you. Then I'll come to you to-day and tell you.
Only... I fancy... Katerina Ivanovna has nothing to do with it, and
that the secret is about something else. That's certain. It isn't
likely it's about Katerina Ivanovna, it seems to me. Good-bye for
Alyosha shook hands with her. Grushenka was still crying. He saw
that she put little faith in his consolation, but she was better for
having had her sorrow out, for having spoken of it. He was sorry to
leave her in such a state of mind, but he was in haste. He had a great
many things to do still.
Chapter 2
The Injured Foot

THE first of these things was at the house of Madame Hohlakov, and
he hurried there to get it over as quickly as possible and not be
too late for Mitya. Madame Hohlakov had been slightly ailing for the
last three weeks: her foot had for some reason swollen up, and
though she was not in bed, she lay all day half-reclining on the couch
in her boudoir, in a fascinating but decorous deshabille. Alyosha
had once noted with innocent amusement that, in spite of her
illness, Madame Hohlakov had begun to be rather dressy- topknots,
ribbons, loose wrappers had made their appearance, and he had an
inkling of the reason, though he dismissed such ideas from his mind as
frivolous. During the last two months the young official, Perhotin,
had become a regular visitor at the house.
Alyosha had not called for four days and he was in haste to go
straight to Lise, as it was with her he had to speak, for Lise had
sent a maid to him the previous day specially asking him to come to
her "about something very important," a request which, for certain
reasons, had interest for Alyosha. But while the maid went to take his
name in to Lise, Madame Hohlakov heard of his arrival from someone,
and immediately sent to beg him to come to her "just for one
minute." Alyosha reflected that it was better to accede to the mamma's
request, or else she would be sending down to Lise's room every minute
that he was there. Madame Hohlakov was lying on a couch. She was
particularly smartly dressed and was evidently in a state of extreme
nervous excitement. She greeted Alyosha with cries of rapture.
"It's ages, ages, perfect ages since I've seen you! It's a whole
week- only think of it! Ah, but you were here only four days ago, on
Wednesday. You have come to see Lise. I'm sure you meant to slip
into her room on tiptoe, without my hearing you. My dear, dear
Alexey Fyodorovitch, if you only knew how worried I am about her!
But of that later, though that's the most important thing, of that
later. Dear Alexey Fyodorovitch, I trust you implicitly with my
Lise. Since the death of Father Zossima- God rest his soul!" (she
crossed herself)- "I look upon you as a monk, though you look charming
in your new suit. Where did you find such a tailor in these parts? No,
no, that's not the chief thing- of that later. Forgive me for
sometimes calling you Alyosha; an old woman like me may take
liberties," she smiled coquettishly; "but that will do later, too. The
important thing is that I shouldn't forget what is important. Please
remind me of it yourself. As soon as my tongue runs away with me,
you just say 'the important thing?' Ach! how do I know now what is
of most importance? Ever since Lise took back her promise- her
childish promise, Alexey Fyodorovitch- to marry you, you've
realised, of course, that it was only the playful fancy of a sick
child who had been so long confined to her chair- thank God, she can
walk now!... that-new doctor Katya sent for from Moscow for your
unhappy brother, who will to-morrow- but why speak of to-morrow? I
am ready to die at the very thought of to-morrow. Ready to die of
curiosity.... That doctor was with us yesterday and saw Lise.... I
paid him fifty roubles for the visit. But that's not the point, that's
not the point again. You see, I'm mixing everything up. I am in such a
hurry. Why am I in a hurry? I don't understand. It's awful how I
seem growing unable to understand anything. Everything seems mixed
up in a sort of tangle. I am afraid you are so bored you will jump
up and run away, and that will be all I shall see of you. Goodness!
Why are we sitting here and no coffee? Yulia, Glafira, coffee!"
Alyosha made haste to thank her, and said that he had only just
had coffee.
"At Agrfena Alexandrovna's."
"At... at that woman's? Ah, it's she has brought ruin on everyone.
I know nothing about it though. They say she has become a saint,
though it's rather late in the day. She had better have done it
before. What use is it now? Hush, hush, Alexey Fyodorovitch, for I
have so much to say to you that I am afraid I shall tell you
nothing. This awful trial... I shall certainly go, I am making
arrangements. I shall be carried there in my chair; besides I can
sit up. I shall have people with me. And, you know, I am a witness.
How shall I speak, how shall I speak? I don't know what I shall say.
One has to take an oath, hasn't one?"
"Yes; but I don't think you will be able to go."
"I can sit up. Ah, you put me out! Ah! this trial, this savage
act, and then they are all going to Siberia, some are getting married,
and all this so quickly, so quickly, everything's changing, and at
last- nothing. All grow old and have death to look forward to. Well,
so be it! I am weary. This Katya, cette charmante personne, has
disappointed all my hopes. Now she is going to follow one of your
brothers to Siberia, and your other brother is going to follow her,
and will live in the nearest town, and they will all torment one
another. It drives me out of my mind. Worst of all- the publicity. The
story has been told a million times over in all the papers in Moscow
and Petersburg. Ah! yes, would you believe it, there's a paragraph
that I was 'a dear friend' of your brother's- , I can't repeat the
horrid word. just fancy, just fancy!"
"Impossible! Where was the paragraph? What did it say?"
"I'll show you directly. I got the paper and read it yesterday.
Here, in the Petersburg paper Gossip. The paper began coming out
this year. I am awfully fond of gossip, and I take it in, and now it
pays me out- this is what gossip comes to! Here it is, here, this
passage. Read it."
And she handed Alyosha a sheet of newspaper which had been under
her pillow.
It was not exactly that she was upset, she seemed overwhelmed
and perhaps everything really was mixed up in a tangle in her head.
The paragraph was very typical, and must have been a great shock to
her, but, fortunately perhaps, she was unable to keep her mind fixed
on any one subject at that moment, and so might race off in a minute
to something else and quite forget the newspaper.
Alyosha was well aware that the story of the terrible case had
spread all over Russia. And, good heavens! what wild rumours about his
brother, about the Karamazovs, and about himself he had read in the
course of those two months, among other equally credible items! One
paper had even stated that he had gone into a monastery and become a
monk, in horror at his brother's crime. Another contradicted this, and
stated that he and his elder, Father Zossima, had broken into the
monastery chest and "made tracks from the monastery." The present
paragraph in the paper Gossip was under the heading, "The Karamazov
Case at Skotoprigonyevsk." (That, alas! was the name of our little
town. I had hitherto kept it concealed.) It was brief, and Madame
Hohlakov was not directly mentioned in it. No names appeared, in fact.
It was merely stated that the criminal, whose approaching trial was
making such a sensation- retired army captain, an idle swaggerer,
and reactionary bully- was continually involved in amorous
intrigues, and particularly popular with certain ladies "who were
pining in solitude." One such lady, a pining widow, who tried to
seem young though she had a grown-up daughter, was so fascinated by
him that only two hours before the crime she offered him three
thousand roubles, on condition that he would elope with her to the
gold mines. But the criminal, counting on escaping punishment, had
preferred to murder his father to get the three thousand rather than
go off to Siberia with the middle-aged charms of his pining lady. This
playful paragraph finished, of course, with an outburst of generous
indignation at the wickedness of parricide and at the lately abolished
institution of serfdom. Reading it with curiosity, Alyosha folded up
the paper and handed it back to Madame Hohlakov.
"Well, that must be me," she hurried on again. "Of course I am
meant. Scarcely more than an hour before, I suggested gold mines to
him, and here they talk of 'middle-aged charms' as though that were my
motive! He writes that out of spite! God Almighty forgive him for
the middle-aged charms, as I forgive him! You know it's -Do you know
who it is? It's your friend Rakitin."
"Perhaps," said Alyosha, "though I've heard nothing about it."
"It's he, it's he! No 'perhaps' about it. You know I turned him
out of the house.... You know all that story, don't you?"
"I know that you asked him not to visit you for the future, but
why it was, I haven't heard... from you, at least."
"Ah, then you've heard it from him! He abuses me, I suppose,
abuses me dreadfully?"
"Yes, he does; but then he abuses everyone. But why you've given
him up I, haven't heard from him either. I meet him very seldom now,
indeed. We are not friends."
"Well, then, I'll tell you all about it. There's no help for it,
I'll confess, for there is one point in which I was perhaps to
blame. Only a little, little point, so little that perhaps it
doesn't count. You see, my dear boy"- Madame Hohlakov suddenly
looked arch and a charming, though enigmatic, smile played about her
lips- "you see, I suspect... You must forgive me, Alyosha. I am like a
mother to you... No, no; quite the contrary. I speak to you now as
though you were my father- mother's quite out of place. Well, it's
as though I were confessing to Father Zossima, that's just it. I
called you a monk just now. Well, that poor young man, your friend,
Rakitin (Mercy on us! I can't be angry with him. I feel cross, but not
very), that frivolous young man, would you believe it, seems to have
taken it into his head to fall in love with me. I only noticed it
later. At first- a month ago- he only began to come oftener to see me,
almost every day; though, of course, we were acquainted before. I knew
nothing about it... and suddenly it dawned upon me, and I began to
notice things with surprise. You know, two months ago, that modest,
charming, excellent young man, Ilyitch Perhotin, who's in the
service here, began to be a regular visitor at the house. You met
him here ever so many times yourself. And he is an excellent,
earnest young man, isn't he? He comes once every three days, not every
day (though I should be glad to see him every day), and always so well
dressed. Altogether, I love young people, Alyosha, talented, modest,
like you, and he has almost the mind of a statesman, he talks so
charmingly, and I shall certainly, certainly try and get promotion for
him. He is a future diplomat. On that awful day he almost saved me
from death by coming in the night. And your friend Rakitin comes in
such boots, and always stretches them out on the carpet.... He began
hinting at his feelings, in fact, and one day, as he was going, he
squeezed my hand terribly hard. My foot began to swell directly
after he pressed my hand like that. He had met Pyotr Ilyitch here
before, and would you believe it, he is always gibing at him, growling
at him, for some reason. I simply looked at the way they went on
together and laughed inwardly. So I was sitting here alone- no, I
was laid up then. Well, I was lying here alone and suddenly Rakitin
comes in, and only fancy! brought me some verses of his own
composition- a short poem, on my bad foot: that is, he described my
foot in a poem. Wait a minute- how did it go?

A captivating little foot.

It began somehow like that. I can never remember poetry. I've
got it here. I'll show it to you later. But it's a charming thing-
charming; and, you know, it's not only about the foot, it had a good
moral, too, a charming idea, only I've forgotten it; in fact, it was
just the thing for an album. So, of course, I thanked him, and he
was evidently flattered. I'd hardly had time to thank him when in
comes Pyotr Ilyitch, and Rakitin suddenly looked as black as night.
I could see that Pyotr Ilyitch was in the way, for Rakitin certainly
wanted to say something after giving me the verses. I had a
presentiment of it; but Pyotr Ilyitch came in. I showed Pyotr
Ilyitch the verses and didn't say who was the author. But I am
convinced that he guessed, though he won't own it to this day, and
declares he had no idea. But he says that on purpose. Pyotr Ilyitch
began to laugh at once, and fell to criticising it. 'Wretched
doggerel,' he said they were, 'some divinity student must have written
them,' and with such vehemence, such vehemence! Then, instead of
laughing, your friend flew into a rage. 'Good gracious!' I thought,
'they'll fly at each other.' 'It was I who wrote them,' said he. 'I
wrote them as a joke,' he said, 'for I think it degrading to write
verses.... But they are good poetry. They want to put a monument to
your Pushkin for writing about women's feet, while I wrote with a
moral purpose, and you,' said he, 'are an advocate of serfdom.
You've no humane ideas,' said he. 'You have no modern enlightened
feelings, you are uninfluenced by progress, you are a mere
official,' he said, 'and you take bribes.' Then I began screaming
and imploring them. And, you know, Pyotr Ilyitch is anything but a
coward. He at once took up the most gentlemanly tone, looked at him
sarcastically, listened, and apologised. 'I'd no idea,' said he. 'I
shouldn't have said it, if I had known. I should have praised it.
Poets are all so irritable,' he said. In short, he laughed at him
under cover of the most gentlemanly tone. He explained to me
afterwards that it was all sarcastic. I thought he was in earnest.
Only as I lay there, just as before you now, I thought, 'Would it,
or would it not, be the proper thing for me to turn Rakitin out for
shouting so rudely at a visitor in my house?' And, would you believe
it, I lay here, shut my eyes, and wondered, would it be the proper
thing or not. I kept worrying and worrying, and my heart began to
beat, and I couldn't make up my mind whether to make an outcry or not.
One voice seemed to be telling me, 'Speak,' and the other 'No, don't
speak.' And no sooner had the second voice said that than I cried out,
and fainted. Of course, there was a fuss. I got up suddenly and said
to Rakitin, 'It's painful for me to say it, but I don't wish to see
you in my house again.' So I turned him out. Ah! Alexey
Fyodorovitch, I know myself I did wrong. I was putting it on. I wasn't
angry with him at all, really; but I suddenly fancied- that was what
did it- that it would be such a fine scene.... And yet, believe me, it
was quite natural, for I really shed tears and cried for several
days afterwards, and then suddenly, one afternoon, I forgot all
about it. So it's a fortnight since he's been here, and I kept
wondering whether he would come again. I wondered even yesterday, then
suddenly last night came this Gossip. I read it and gasped. Who
could have written it? He must have written it. He went home, sat
down, wrote it on the spot, sent it, and they put it in. It was a
fortnight ago, you see. But, Alyosha, it's awful how I keep talking
and don't say what I want to say. the words come of themselves!"
"It's very important for me to be in time to see my brother
to-day," Alyosha faltered.
"To be sure, to be sure! You bring it all back to me. Listen, what
is an aberration?"
"What aberration?" asked Alyosha, wondering.
"In the legal sense. An aberration in which everything is
pardonable. Whatever you do, you will be acquitted at once."
"What do you mean?"
"I'll tell you. This Katya... Ah! she is a charming, charming
creature, only I never can make out who it is she is in love with. She
was with me some time ago and I couldn't get anything out of her.
Especially as she won't talk to me except on the surface now. She is
always talking about my health and nothing else, and she takes up such
a tone with me, too. I simply said to myself, 'Well so be it. I
don't care'...Oh, yes. I was talking of aberration. This doctor has
come. You know a doctor has come? Of course, you know it- the one
who discovers madmen. You wrote for him. No, it wasn't you, but Katya.
It's all Katya's doing. Well, you see, a man may be sitting
perfectly sane and suddenly have an aberration. He may be conscious
and know what he is doing and yet be in a state of aberration. And
there's no doubt that Dmitri Fyodorovitch was suffering from
aberration. They found out about aberration as soon as the law
courts were reformed. It's all the good effect of the reformed law
courts. The doctor has been here and questioned me about that evening,
about the gold mines. 'How did he seem then?' he asked me. He must
have been in a state of aberration. He came in shouting, 'Money,
money, three thousand! Give me three thousand!' and then went away and
immediately did the murder. 'I don't want to murder him,' he said, and
he suddenly went and murdered him. That's why they'll acquit him,
because he struggled against it and yet he murdered him."
"But he didn't murder him," Alyosha interrupted rather sharply. He
felt more and more sick with anxiety and impatience.
"Yes, I know it was that old man Grigory murdered him."
"Grigory?" cried Alyosha.
"Yes, yes; it was Grigory. He lay as Dmitri Fyodorovitch struck
him down, and then got up, saw the door open, went in and killed
Fyodor Pavlovitch."
"But why, why?"
"Suffering from aberration. When he recovered from the blow Dmitri
Fyodorovitch gave him on the head, he was suffering from aberration:
he went and committed the murder. As for his saying he didn't, he very
likely doesn't remember. Only, you know, it'll be better, ever so much
better, if Dmitri Fyodorovitch murdered him. And that's how it must
have been, though I say it was Grigory. It certainly was Dmitri
Fyodorovitch, and that's better, ever so much better! Oh! not better
that a son should have killed his father, I don't defend that.
Children ought to honour their parents, and yet it would be better
if it were he, as you'd have nothing to cry over then, for he did it
when he was unconscious or rather when he was conscious, but did not
know what he was doing. Let them acquit him- that's so humane, and
would show what a blessing reformed law courts are. I knew nothing
about it, but they say they have been so a long time. And when I heard
it yesterday, I was so struck by it that I wanted to send for you at
once. And if he is acquitted, make him come straight from the law
courts to dinner with me, and I'll have a party of friends, and
we'll drink to the reformed law courts. I don't believe he'd be
dangerous; besides, I'll invite a great many friends, so that he could
always be led out if he did anything. And then he might be made a
justice of the peace or something in another town, for those who
have been in trouble themselves make the best judges. And, besides,
who isn't suffering from aberration nowadays?- you, I, all of us,
are in a state of aberration, and there are ever so many examples of
it: a man sits singing a song, suddenly something annoys him, he takes
a pistol and shoots the first person he comes across, and no one
blames him for it. I read that lately, and all the doctors confirm it.
The doctors are always confirming; they confirm,- anything. Why, my
Lise is in a state of aberration. She made me cry again yesterday, and
the day before, too, and to-day I suddenly realised that it's all
due to aberration. Oh, Lise grieves me so! I believe she's quite
mad. Why did she send for you? Did she send for you or did you come of
"Yes, she sent for me, and I am just going to her." Alyosha got up
"Oh, my dear, dear Alexey Fyodorovitch, perhaps that's what's most
important," Madame Hohlakov cried, suddenly bursting into tears.
"God knows I trust Lise to you with all my heart, and it's no matter
her sending for you on the sly, without telling her mother. But
forgive me, I can't trust my daughter so easily to your brother Ivan
Fyodorovitch, though I still consider him the most chivalrous young
man. But only fancy, he's been to see Lise and I knew nothing about
"How? What? When?" Alyosha was exceedingly surprised. He had not
sat down again and listened standing.
"I will tell you; that's perhaps why I asked you to come, for I
don't know now why I did ask you to come. Well, Ivan Fyodorovitch
has been to see me twice, since he came back from Moscow. First time
he came as a friend to call on me, and the second time Katya was
here and he came because he heard she was here. I didn't, of course,
expect him to come often, knowing what a lot he has to do as it is,
vous comprenez, cette affaire et la mort terrible de votre papa.
(You know, this affair and your father's terrible death.) But I
suddenly heard he'd been here again, not to see me but to see Lise.
That's six days ago now. He came, stayed five minutes, and went
away. And I didn't hear of it till three days afterwards, from
Glafira, so it was a great shock to me. I sent for Lise directly.
She laughed. 'He thought you were asleep,' she said, 'and came in to
me to ask after your health.' Of course, that's how it happened. But
Lise, Lise, mercy on us, how she distresses me! Would you believe
it, one night, four days ago, just after you saw her last time, and
had gone away, she suddenly had a fit, screaming, shrieking,
hysterics! Why is it I never have hysterics? Then, next day another
fit, and the same thing on the third, and yesterday too, and then
yesterday that aberration. She suddenly screamed out, 'I hate Ivan
Fyodorovitch. I insist on your never letting him come to the house
again.' I was struck dumb at these amazing words, and answered, 'On
what grounds could I refuse to see such an excellent young man, a
young man of such learning too, and so unfortunate?'- for all this
business is a misfortune, isn't it?' She suddenly burst out laughing
at my words, and so rudely, you know. Well, I was pleased; I thought I
had amused her and the fits would pass off, especially as I wanted
to refuse to see Ivan Fyodorovitch anyway on account of his strange
visits without my knowledge, and meant to ask him for an
explanation. But early this morning Lise waked up and flew into a
passion with Yulia and, would you believe it, slapped her in the face.
That's monstrous; I am always polite to my servants. And an hour later
she was hugging Yulia's feet and kissing them. She sent a message to
me that she wasn't coming to me at all, and would never come and see
me again, and when I dragged myself down to her, she rushed to kiss
me, crying, and as she kissed me, she pushed me out of the room
without saying a word, so I couldn't find out what was the matter.
Now, dear Alexey Fyodorovitch, I rest all my hopes on you, and, of
course, my whole life is in your hands. I simply beg you to go to Lise
and find out everything from her, as you alone can, and come back
and tell me- me, her mother, for you understand it will be the death
of me, simply the death of me, if this goes on, or else I shall run
away. I can stand no more. I have patience; but I may lose patience,
and then... then something awful will happen. Ah, dear me! At last,
Pyotr Ilyitch!" cried Madame Hohlakov, beaming all over as she saw
Perhotin enter the room. "You are late, you are late! Well, sit
down, speak, put us out of suspense. What does the counsel say.
Where are you off to, Alexey Fyodorovitch?"
"To Lise."
"Oh, yes. You won't forget, you won't forget what I asked you?
It's a question of life and death!
"Of course, I won't forget, if I can... but I am so late,"
muttered Alyosha, beating a hasty retreat.
"No, be sure, be sure to come in; don't say 'If you can.' I
shall die if you don't," Madame Hohlakov called after him, but Alyosha
had already left the room.
Chapter 3
A Little Demon

GOING in to Lise, he found her half reclining in the
invalid-chair, in which she had been wheeled when she was unable to
walk. She did not move to meet him, but her sharp, keen eyes were
simply riveted on his face. There was a feverish look in her eyes, her
face was pale and yellow. Alyosha was amazed at the change that had
taken place in her in three days. She was positively thinner. She
did not hold out her hand to him. He touched the thin, long fingers
which lay motionless on her dress, then he sat down facing her,
without a word.
"I know you are in a hurry to get to the prison," Lise said
curtly, "and mamma's kept you there for hours; she's just been telling
you about me and Yulia."
"How do you know?" asked Alyosha.
"I've been listening. Why do you stare at me? I want to listen and
I do listen, there's no harm in that. I don't apologise."
"You are upset about something?"
"On the contrary, I am very happy. I've only just been
reflecting for the thirtieth time what a good thing it is I refused
you and shall not be your wife. You are not fit to be a husband. If
I were to marry you and give you a note to take to the man I loved
after you, you'd take it and be sure to give it to him and bring an
answer back, too. If you were forty, you would still go on taking my
love-letters for me."
She suddenly laughed.
"There is something spiteful and yet open-hearted about you,"
Alyosha smiled to her.
"The open-heartedness consists in my not being ashamed of myself
with you. What's more, I don't want to feel ashamed with you, just
with you. Alyosha, why is it I don't respect you? I am very fond of
you, but I don't respect you. If I respected you, I shouldn't talk
to you without shame, should I?"
"But do you believe that I am not ashamed with you?"
"No, I don't believe it."
Lise laughed nervously again; she spoke rapidly.
"I sent your brother, Dmitri Fyodorovitch, some sweets in
prison. Alyosha, you know, you are quite pretty! I shall love you
awfully for having so quickly allowed me not to love you."
"Why did you send for me to-day, Lise?"
"I wanted to tell you of a longing I have. I should like some
one to torture me, marry me and then torture me, deceive me and go
away. I don't want to be happy."
"You are in love with disorder?"
"Yes, I want disorder. I keep wanting to set fire to the house.
I keep imagining how I'll creep up and set fire to the house on the
sly; it must be on the sly. They'll try to put it out, but it'll go on
burning. And I shall know and say nothing. Ah, what silliness! And how
bored I am!"
She waved her hand with a look of repulsion.
"It's your luxurious life," said Alyosha, softly"
"Is it better, then, to be poor?"
"Yes, it is better."
"That's what your monk taught you. That's not true. Let me be rich
and all the rest poor, I'll eat sweets and drink cream and not give
any to anyone else. Ach, don't speak, don't say anything"; she shook
her hand at him, though Alyosha had not opened his mouth. "You've told
me all that before, I know it all by heart. It bores me. If I am
ever poor, I shall murder somebody, and even if I am rich, I may
murder someone, perhaps- why do nothing! But do you know, I should
like to reap, cut the rye? I'll marry you, and you shall become a
peasant, a real peasant; we'll keep a colt, shall we? Do you know
"He is always wandering about, dreaming. He says, 'Why live in
real life? It's better to dream. One can dream the most delightful
things, but real life is a bore.' But he'll be married soon for all
that; he's been making love to me already. Can you spin tops?"
"Well, he's just like a top: he wants to be wound up and set
spinning and then to be lashed, lashed, lashed with a whip. If I marry
him, I'll keep him spinning all his life. You are not ashamed to be
with me?"
"You are awfully cross, because I don't talk about holy things.
I don't want to be holy. What will they do to one in the next world
for the greatest sin? You must know all about that."
"God will censure you." Alyosha was watching her steadily.
"That's just what I should like. I would go up and they would
censure me, and I would burst out laughing in their faces. I should
dreadfully like to set fire to the house, Alyosha, to our house; you
still don't believe me?"
"Why? There are children of twelve years old, who have a longing
to set fire to something and they do set things on fire, too. It's a
sort of disease."
"That's not true, that's not true; there may be children, but
that's not what I mean."
"You take evil for good; it's a passing crisis; it's the result of
your illness, perhaps."
"You do despise me, though! It's simply that I don't want to do
good, I want to do evil, and it has nothing to do with illness."
"Why do evil?"
"So that everything might be destroyed. Ah, how nice it would be
if everything were destroyed! You know, Alyosha, I sometimes think
of doing a fearful lot of harm and everything bad, and I should do
it for a long while on the sly and suddenly everyone would find it
out. Everyone will stand round and point their fingers at me and I
would look at them all. That would be awfully nice. Why would it be so
nice, Alyosha?"
"I don't know. It's a craving to destroy something good or, as you
say, to set fire to something. It happens sometimes."
"I not only say it, I shall do it."
"I believe you."
"Ah, how I love you for saying you believe me. And you are not
lying one little bit. But perhaps you think that I am saying all
this on purpose to annoy you?"
"No, I don't think that... though perhaps there is a little desire
to do that in it, too."
"There is a little. I never can tell lies to you," she declared,
with a strange fire in her eyes.
What struck Alyosha above everything was her earnestness. There
was not a trace of humour or jesting in her face now, though, in old
days, fun and gaiety never deserted her even at her most "earnest"
"There are moments when people love crime," said Alyosha
"Yes, yes! You have uttered my thought; they love crime,
everyone loves crime, they love it always, not at some 'moments.'
You know, it's as though people have made an agreement to lie about it
and have lied about it ever since. They all declare that they hate
evil, but secretly they all love it."
"And are you still reading nasty books?"
"Yes, I am. Mamma reads them and hides them under her pillow and I
steal them."
"Aren't you ashamed to destroy yourself?"
"I want to destroy myself. There's a boy here, who lay down
between the railway lines when the train was passing. Lucky fellow!
Listen, your brother is being tried now for murdering his father and
everyone loves his having killed his father."
"Loves his having killed his father?"
"Yes, loves it; everyone loves it! Everybody says it's so awful,
but secretly they simply love it. I for one love it."
"There is some truth in what you say about everyone," said Alyosha
"Oh, what ideas you have!" Lise shrieked in delight. "And you a
monk, too! You wouldn't believe how I respect you, Alyosha, for
never telling lies. Oh, I must tell you a funny dream of mine. I
sometimes dream of devils. It's night; I am in my room with a candle
and suddenly there are devils all over the place, in all the
corners, under the table, and they open the doors; there's a crowd
of them behind the doors and they want to come and seize me. And
they are just coming, just seizing me. But I suddenly cross myself and
they all draw back, though they don't go away altogether, they stand
at the doors and in the corners, waiting. And suddenly I have a
frightful longing to revile God aloud, and so I begin, and then they
come crowding back to me, delighted, and seize me again and I cross
myself again and they all draw back. It's awful fun, it takes one's
breath away."
"I've had the same dream, too," said Alyosha suddenly.
"Really?" cried Lise, surprised. "I say, Alyosha, don't laugh,
that's awfully important. Could two different people have the same
"It seems they can."
"Alyosha, I tell you, it's awfully important," Lise went on,
with really excessive amazement. "It's not the dream that's important,
but your having the same dream as me. You never lie to me, don't lie
now; is it true? You are not laughing?"
"It's true."
Lise seemed extraordinarily impressed and for half a minute she
was silent.
"Alyosha, come and see me, come and see me more often," she said
suddenly, in a supplicating voice.
"I'll always come to see you, all my life," answered Alyosha
"You are the only person I can talk to, you know," Lise began
again. "I talk to no one but myself and you. Only you in the whole
world. And to you more readily than to myself. And I am not a bit
ashamed with you, not a bit. Alyosha, why am I not ashamed with you,
not a bit? Alyosha, is it true that at Easter the Jews steal a child
and kill it?"
"I don't know."
"There's a book here in which I read about the trial of a Jew, who
took a child of four years old and cut off the fingers from both
hands, and then crucified him on the wall, hammered nails into him and
crucified him, and afterwards, when he was tried, he said that the
child died soon, within four hours. That was 'soon'! He said the child
moaned, kept on moaning and he stood admiring it. That's nice!"
"Nice; I sometimes imagine that it was I who crucified him. He
would hang there moaning and I would sit opposite him eating pineapple
compote. I am awfully fond of pineapple compote. Do you like it?"
Alyosha looked at her in silence. Her pale, sallow face was
suddenly contorted, her eyes burned.
"You know, when I read about that Jew I shook with sobs all night.
I kept fancying how the little thing cried and moaned (a child of four
years old understands, you know), and all the while the thought of
pineapple compote haunted me. In the morning I wrote a letter to a
certain person, begging him particularly to come and see me. He came
and I suddenly told him all about the child and the pineapple compote.
All about it, all, and said that it was nice. He laughed and said it
really was nice. Then he got up and went away. He was only here five
minutes. Did he despise me? Did he despise me? Tell me, tell me,
Alyosha, did he despise me or not?" She sat up on the couch, with
flashing eyes.
"Tell me," Alyosha asked anxiously, "did you send for that
"Yes, I did."
"Did you send him a letter?"
"Simply to ask about that, about that child?"
"No, not about that at all. But when he came, I asked him about
that at once. He answered, laughed, got up and went away."
"That person behaved honourably," Alyosha murmured.
"And did he despise me? Did he laugh at me?"
"No, for perhaps he believes in the pineapple compote himself.
He is very ill now, too, Lise."
"Yes, he does believe in it," said Lise, with flashing eyes.
"He doesn't despise anyone," Alyosha went on. "Only he does not
believe anyone. If he doesn't believe in people, of course, he does
despise them."
"Then he despises me, me?"
"You, too."
"Good." Lise seemed to grind her teeth. "When he went out
laughing, I felt that it was nice to be despised. The child with
fingers cut off is nice, and to be despised is nice..."
And she laughed in Alyosha's face, a feverish malicious laugh.
"Do you know, Alyosha, do you know, I should like- Alyosha, save
me!" She suddenly jumped from the couch, rushed to him and seized
him with both hands. "Save me!" she almost groaned. "Is there anyone
in the world I could tell what I've told you? I've told you the truth,
the truth. I shall kill myself, because I loathe everything! I don't
want to live, because I loathe everything! I loathe everything,
everything. Alyosha, why don't you love me in the least?" she finished
in a frenzy.
"But I do love you!" answered Alyosha warmly.
"And will you weep over me, will you?"
"Not because I won't be your wife, but simply weep for me?"
"Thank you! It's only your tears I want. Everyone else may
punish me and trample me under foot, everyone, everyone, not excepting
anyone. For I don't love anyone. Do you hear, not anyone! On the
contrary, I hate him! Go, Alyosha; it's time you went to your
brother"; she tore herself away from him suddenly.
"How can I leave you like this?" said Alyosha, almost in alarm.
"Go to your brother, the prison will be shut; go, here's your hat.
Give my love to Mitya, go, go!"
And she almost forcibly pushed Alyosha out of the door. He
looked at her with pained surprise, when he was suddenly aware of a
letter in his right hand, a tiny letter folded up tight and sealed. He
glanced at it and instantly read the address, "To Ivan Fyodorovitch
Karamazov." He looked quickly at Lise. Her face had become almost
"Give it to him, you must give it to him!" she ordered him,
trembling and beside herself. "To-day, at once, or I'll poison myself!
That's why I sent for you."
And she slammed the door quickly. The bolt clicked. Alyosha put
the note in his pocket and went straight downstairs, without going
back to Madame Hohlakov; forgetting her, in fact. As soon as Alyosha
had gone, Lise unbolted the door, opened it a little, put her finger
in the crack and slammed the door with all her might, pinching her
finger. Ten seconds after, releasing her finger, she walked softly,
slowly to her chair, sat up straight in it and looked intently at
her blackened finger and at the blood that oozed from under the
nail. Her lips were quivering and she kept whispering rapidly to
"I am a wretch, wretch, wretch, wretch!"
Chapter 4
A Hymn and a Secret

IT was quite late (days are short in November) when Alyosha rang
at the prison gate. It was beginning to get dusk. But Alyosha knew
that he would be admitted without difficulty. Things were managed in
our little town, as everywhere else. At first, of course, on the
conclusion of the preliminary inquiry, relations and a few other
persons could only obtain interviews with Mitya by going through
certain inevitable formalities. But later, though the formalities were
not relaxed, exceptions were made for some, at least, of Mitya's
visitors. So much so, that sometimes the interviews with the
prisoner in the room set aside for the purpose were practically
These exceptions, however, were few in number; only Grushenka,
Alyosha and Rakitin were treated like this. But the captain of the
police, Mihail Mihailovitch, was very favourably disposed to
Grushenka. His abuse of her at Mokroe weighed on the old man's
conscience, and when he learned the whole story, he completely changed
his view of her. And strange to say, though he was firmly persuaded of
his guilt, yet after Mitya was once in prison, the old man came to
take a more and more lenient view of him. "He was a man of good heart,
perhaps," he thought, "who had come to grief from drinking and
dissipation." His first horror had been succeeded by pity. As for
Alyosha, the police captain was very fond of him and had known him for
a long time. Rakitin, who had of late taken to coming very often to
see the prisoner, was one of the most intimate acquaintances of the
"police captain's young ladies," as he called them, and was always
hanging about their house. He gave lessons in the house of the
prison superintendent, too, who, though scrupulous in the
performance of his duties, was a kindhearted old man. Alyosha,
again, had an intimate acquaintance of long standing with the
superintendent, who was fond of talking to him, generally on sacred
subjects. He respected Ivan Fyodorovitch, and stood in awe of his
opinion, though he was a great philosopher himself; "self-taught,"
of course. But Alyosha had an irresistible attraction for him.
During the last year the old man had taken to studying the
Apocryphal Gospels, and constantly talked over his impressions with
his young friend. He used to come and see him in the monastery and
discussed for hours together with him and with the monks. So even if
Alyosha were late at the prison, he had only to go to the
superintendent and everything was made easy. Besides, everyone in
the prison, down to the humblest warder, had grown used to Alyosha.
The sentry, of course, did not trouble him so long as the
authorities were satisfied.
When Mitya was summoned from his cell, he always went
downstairs, to the place set aside for interviews. As Alyosha
entered the room he came upon Rakitin, who was just taking leave of
Mitya. They were both talking loudly. Mitya was laughing heartily as
he saw him out, while Rakitin seemed grumbling. Rakitin did not like
meeting Alyosha, especially of late. He scarcely spoke to him, and
bowed to him stiffly. Seeing Alyosha enter now, he frowned and
looked away, as though he were entirely absorbed in buttoning his big,
warm, fur-trimmed overcoat. Then he began looking at once for his
"I must mind not to forget my belongings," he muttered, simply
to say something.
"Mind you don't forget other people's belongings," said Mitya,
as a joke, and laughed at once at his own wit. Rakitin fired up
"You'd better give that advice to your own family, who've always
been a slave-driving lot, and not to Rakitin," he cried, suddenly
trembling with anger.
"What's the matter? I was joking," cried Mitya. "Damn it all! They
are all like that." He turned to Alyosha, nodding towards Rakitin's
hurriedly retreating figure. "He was sitting here, laughing and
cheerful, and all at once he boils up like that. He didn't even nod to
you. Have you broken with him completely? Why are you so late? I've
not been simply waiting, but thirsting for you the whole morning.
But never mind. We'll make up for it now."
"Why does he come here so often? Surely you are not such great
friends?" asked Alyosha. He, too, nodded at the door through which
Rakitin had disappeared.
"Great friends with Rakitin? No, not as much as that. Is it
likely- a pig like that? He considers I am... a blackguard. They can't
understand a joke either, that's the worst of such people. They
never understand a joke, and their souls are dry, dry and flat; they
remind me of prison walls when I was first brought here. But he is a
clever fellow, very clever. Well, Alexey, it's all over with me now."
He sat down on the bench and made Alyosha sit down beside him.
"Yes, the trial's to-morrow. Are you so hopeless, brother?"
Alyosha said, with an apprehensive feeling.
"What are you talking about?" said Mitya, looking at him rather
uncertainly. "Oh, you mean the trial! Damn it all! Till now we've been
talking of things that don't matter, about this trial, but I haven't
said a word to you about the chief thing. Yes, the trial is to-morrow;
but it wasn't the trial I meant, when I said it was all over with
me. Why do you look at me so critically?"
"What do you mean, Mitya?"
"Ideas, ideas, that's all! Ethics! What is ethics?"
"Ethics?" asked Alyosha, wondering.
"Yes; is it a science?"
"Yes, there is such a science... but... I confess I can't
explain to you what sort of science it is."
"Rakitin knows. Rakitin knows a lot, damn him! He's not going to
be a monk. He means to go to Petersburg. There he'll go in for
criticism of an elevating tendency. Who knows, he may be of use and
make his own career, too. Ough! they are first-rate, these people,
at making a career! Damn ethics, I am done for, Alexey, I am, you
man of God! I love you more than anyone. It makes my heart yearn to
look at you. Who was Karl Bernard?"
"Karl Bernard?" Alyosha was surprised again.
"No, not Karl. Stay, I made a mistake. Claude Bernard. What was
he? Chemist or what?"
"He must be a savant," answered Alyosha; "but I confess I can't
tell you much about him, either. I've heard of him as a savant, but
what sort I don't know."
"Well, damn him, then! I don't know either," swore Mitya. "A
scoundrel of some sort, most likely. They are all scoundrels. And
Rakitin will make his way. Rakitin will get on anywhere; he is another
Bernard. Ugh, these Bernards! They are all over the place."
"But what is the matter?" Alyosha asked insistently.
"He wants to write an article about me, about my case, and so
begin his literary career. That's what he comes for; he said so
himself. He wants to prove some theory. He wants to say 'he couldn't
help murdering his father, he was corrupted by his environment,' and
so on. He explained it all to me. He is going to put in a tinge of
Socialism, he says. But there, damn the fellow, he can put in a
tinge if he likes, I don't care. He can't bear Ivan, he hates him.
He's not fond of you, either. But I don't turn him out, for he is a
clever fellow. Awfully conceited, though. I said to him just now,' The
Karamazovs are not blackguards, but philosophers; for all true
Russians are philosophers, and though you've studied, you are not a
philosopher- you are a low fellow.' He laughed, so maliciously. And
I said to him, 'De ideabus non est disputandum.'* Isn't that rather
good? I can set up for being a classic, you see!" Mitya laughed

* There's no disputing ideas.

"Why is it all over with you? You said so just now," Alyosha
"Why is it all over with me? H'm!... The fact of it is... if you
take it as a whole, I am sorry to lose God- that's why it is."
"What do you mean by 'sorry to lose God'?"
"Imagine: inside, in the nerves, in the head- that is, these
nerves are there in the brain... (damn them!) there are sort of little
tails, the little tails of those nerves, and as soon as they begin
quivering... that is, you see, I look at something with my eyes and
then they begin quivering, those little tails... and when they quiver,
then an image appears... it doesn't appear at once, but an instant,
a second, passes... and then something like a moment appears; that is,
not a moment- devil take the moment!- but an image; that is, an
object, or an action, damn it! That's why I see and then think,
because of those tails, not at all because I've got a soul, and that I
am some sort of image and likeness. All that is nonsense! Rakitin
explained it all to me yesterday, brother, and it simply bowled me
over. It's magnificent, Alyosha, this science! A new man's arising-
that I understand.... And yet I am sorry to lose God!"
"Well, that's a good thing, anyway," said Alyosha.
"That I am sorry to lose God? It's chemistry, brother,
chemistry! There's no help for it, your reverence, you must make way
for chemistry. And Rakitin does dislike God. Ough! doesn't he
dislike Him! That's the sore point with all of them. But they
conceal it. They tell lies. They pretend. 'Will you preach this in
your reviews?' I asked him. 'Oh, well, if I did it openly, they
won't let it through, 'he said. He laughed. 'But what will become of
men then?' I asked him, 'without God and immortal life? All things are
lawful then, they can do what they like?' 'Didn't you know?' he said
laughing, 'a clever man can do what he likes,' he said. 'A clever
man knows his way about, but you've put your foot in it, committing
a murder, and now you are rotting in prison.' He says that to my face!
A regular pig! I used to kick such people out, but now I listen to
them. He talks a lot of sense, too. Writes well. He began reading me
an article last week. I copied out three lines of it. Wait a minute.
Here it is."
Mitya hurriedly pulled out a piece of paper from his pocket and
"'In order to determine this question, it is above all essential
to put one's personality in contradiction to one's reality.' Do you
understand that?"
"No, I don't," said Alyosha. He looked at Mitya and listened to
him with curiosity.
"I don't understand either. It's dark and obscure, but
intellectual. 'Everyone writes like that now,' he says, 'it's the
effect of their environment.' They are afraid of the environment. He
writes poetry, too, the rascal. He's written in honour of Madame
Hohlakov's foot. Ha ha ha!"
"I've heard about it," said Alyosha.
"Have you? And have you heard the poem?"
"I've got it. Here it is. I'll read it to you. You don't know- I
haven't told you- there's quite a story about it. He's a rascal! Three
weeks ago he began to tease me. 'You've got yourself into a mess, like
a fool, for the sake of three thousand, but I'm going to collar a
hundred and fifty thousand. I am going to marry a widow and buy a
house in Petersburg.' And he told me he was courting Madame
Hohlakov. She hadn't much brains in her youth, and now at forty she
has lost what she had. 'But she's awfully sentimental,' he says;
'that's how I shall get hold of her. When I marry her, I shall take
her to Petersburg and there I shall start a newspaper.' And his
mouth was simply watering, the beast, not for the widow, but for the
hundred and fifty thousand. And he made me believe it. He came to
see me every day. 'She is coming round,' he declared. He was beaming
with delight. And then, all of a sudden, he was turned out of the
house. Perhotin's carrying everything before him, bravo! I could
kiss the silly old noodle for turning him out of the house. And he had
written this doggerel. 'It's the first time I've soiled my hands
with writing poetry,' he said. 'It's to win her heart, so it's in a
good cause. When I get hold of the silly woman's fortune, I can be
of great social utility.' They have this social justification for
every nasty thing they do! 'Anyway it's better than your Pushkin's
poetry,' he said, 'for I've managed to advocate enlightenment even
in that.' I understand what he means about Pushkin, I quite see
that, if he really was a man of talent and only wrote about women's
feet. But wasn't Rakitin stuck up about his doggerel! The vanity of
these fellows! 'On the convalescence of the swollen foot of the object
of my affections'- he thought of that for a title. He's a waggish

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

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

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

He is a pig, a regular pig, but he's very arch, the rascal! And he
really has put in a progressive idea. And wasn't he angry when she
kicked him out! He was gnashing his teeth!"
"He's taken his revenge already," said Alyosha. "He's written a
paragraph about Madame Hohlakov."
And Alyosha told him briefly about the paragraph in Gossip.
"That's his doing, that's his doing!" Mitya assented, frowning.
"That's him! These paragraphs... I know... the insulting things that
have been written about Grushenka, for instance.... And about Katya,
too.... H'm!
He walked across the room with a harassed air.
"Brother, I cannot stay long," Alyosha said, after a pause.
"To-morrow will be a great and awful day for you, the judgment of
God will be accomplished... I am amazed at you, you walk about here,
talking of I don't know what..."
"No, don't be amazed at me," Mitya broke in warmly. "Am I to
talk of that stinking dog? Of the murderer? We've talked enough of
him. I don't want to say more of the stinking son of Stinking
Lizaveta! God will kill him, you will see. Hush!"
He went up to Alyosha excitedly and kissed him. His eyes glowed.
"Rakitin wouldn't understand it," he began in a sort of
exaltation; "but you, you'll understand it all. That's why I was
thirsting for you. You see, there's so much I've been wanting to
tell you for ever so long, here, within these peeling walls, but I
haven't said a word about what matters most; the moment never seems to
have come. Now I can wait no longer. I must pour out my heart to
you. Brother, these last two months I've found in myself a new man.
A new man has risen up in me. He was hidden in me, but would never
have come to the surface, if it hadn't been for this blow from heaven.
I am afraid! And what do I care if I spend twenty years in the
mines, breaking ore with a hammer? I am not a bit afraid of that- it's
something else I am afraid of now: that that new man may leave me.
Even there, in the mines, underground, I may find a human heart in
another convict and murderer by my side, and I may make friends with
him, for even there one may live and love and suffer. One may thaw and
revive a frozen heart in that convict, one may wait upon him for
years, and at last bring up from the dark depths a lofty soul, a
feeling, suffering creature; one may bring forth an angel, create a
hero! There are so many of them, hundreds of them, and we are all to
blame for them. Why was it I dreamed of that 'babe' at such a
moment? 'Why is the babe so poor?' That was a sign to me at that
moment. It's for the babe I'm going. Because we are all responsible
for all. For all the 'babes,' for there are big children as well as
little children All are 'babes.' I go for all, because someone must go
for all. I didn't kill father, but I've got to go. I accept it. It's
all come to me here, here, within these peeling walls. There are
numbers of them there, hundreds of them underground, with hammers in
their hands. Oh, yes, we shall be in chains and there will be no
freedom, but then, in our great sorrow, we shall rise again to joy,
without which man cannot live nor God exist, for God gives joy: it's
His privilege- a grand one. Ah, man should be dissolved in prayer!
What should I be underground there without God? Rakitin's laughing! If
they drive God from the earth, we shall shelter Him underground. One
cannot exist in prison without God; it's even more impossible than out
of prison. And then we men underground will sing from the bowels of
the earth a glorious hymn to God, with Whom is joy. Hail to God and
His joy! I love Him!"
Mitya was almost gasping for breath as he uttered his wild speech.
He turned pale, his lips quivered, and tears rolled down his cheeks.
"Yes, life is full, there is life even underground," he began
again. "You wouldn't believe, Alexey, how I want to live now, what a
thirst for existence and consciousness has sprung up in me within
these peeling walls. Rakitin doesn't understand that; all he cares
about is building a house and letting flats. But I've been longing for
you. And what is suffering? I am not afraid of it, even if it were
beyond reckoning. I am not afraid of it now. I was afraid of it
before. Do you know, perhaps I won't answer at the trial at all....
And I seem to have such strength in me now, that I think I could stand
anything, any suffering, only to be able to say and to repeat to
myself every moment, 'I exist.' In thousands of agonies- I exist.
I'm tormented on the rack- but I exist! Though I sit alone on a
pillar- I exist! I see the sun, and if I don't see the sun, I know
it's there. And there's a whole life in that, in knowing that the
sun is there. Alyosha, my angel, all these philosophies are the
death of me. Damn them! Brother Ivan-"
"What of brother Ivan?" interrupted Alyosha, but Mitya did not
"You see, I never had any of these doubts before, but it was all
hidden away in me. It was perhaps just because ideas I did not
understand were surging up in me, that I used to drink and fight and
rage. It was to stifle them in myself, to still them, to smother them.
Ivan is not Rakitin, there is an idea in him. Ivan is a sphinx and
is silent; he is always silent. It's God that's worrying me. That's
the only thing that's worrying me. What if He doesn't exist? What if
Rakitin's right- that it's an idea made up by men? Then if He
doesn't exist, man is the chief of the earth, of the universe.
Magnificent! Only how is he going to be good without God? That's the
question. I always come back to that. For whom is man going to love
then? To whom will he be thankful? To whom will he sing the hymn?
Rakitin laughs. Rakitin says that one can love humanity without God.
Well, only a snivelling idiot can maintain that. I can't understand
it. Life's easy for Rakitin. 'You'd better think about the extension
of civic rights, or even of keeping down the price of meat. You will
show your love for humanity more simply and directly by that, than
by philosophy.' I answered him, 'Well, but you, without a God, are
more likely to raise the price of meat, if it suits you, and make a
rouble on every copeck.' He lost his temper. But after all, what is
goodness? Answer me that, Alexey. Goodness is one thing with me and
another with a Chinaman, so it's a relative thing. Or isn't it? Is
it not relative? A treacherous question! You won't laugh if I tell you
it's kept me awake two nights. I only wonder now how people can live
and think nothing about it. Vanity! Ivan has no God. He has an idea.
It's beyond me. But he is silent. I believe he is a Freemason. I asked
him, but he is silent. I wanted to drink from the springs of his soul-
he was silent. But once he did drop a word."
"What did he say?" Alyosha took it up quickly.
"I said to him, 'Then everything is lawful, if it is so?' He
frowned. 'Fyodor Pavlovitch, our papa,' he said, 'was a pig, but his
ideas were right enough.' That was what he dropped. That was all he
said. That was going one better than Rakitin."
"Yes," Alyosha assented bitterly. "When was he with you?"
"Of that later; now I must speak of something else. I have said
nothing about Ivan to you before. I put it off to the last. When my
business here is over and the verdict has been given, then I'll tell
you something. I'll tell you everything. We've something tremendous on
hand.... And you shall be my judge in it. But don't begin about that
now; be silent. You talk of to-morrow, of the trial; but, would you
believe it, I know nothing about it."
"Have you talked to the counsel?"
"What's the use of the counsel? I told him all about it. He's a
soft, city-bred rogue- a Bernard! But he doesn't believe me- not a bit
of it. Only imagine, he believes I did it. I see it. 'In that case,' I
asked him, 'why have you come to defend me?' Hang them all! They've
got a doctor down, too, want to prove I'm mad. I won't have that!
Katerina Ivanovna wants to do her 'duty' to the end, whatever the
strain!" Mitya smiled bitterly. "The cat! Hard-hearted creature! She
knows that I said of her at Mokroe that she was a woman of 'great
wrath.' They repeated it. Yes, the facts against me have grown
numerous as the sands of the sea. Grigory sticks to his point.
Grigory's honest, but a fool. Many people are honest because they
are fools: that's Rakitin's idea. Grigory's my enemy. And there are
some people who are better as foes than friends. I mean Katerina
Ivanovna. I am afraid, oh, I am afraid she will tell how she bowed
to the ground after that four thousand. She'll pay it back to the last
farthing. I don't want her sacrifice; they'll put me to shame at the
trial. I wonder how I can stand it. Go to her, Alyosha, ask her not to
speak of that in the court, can't you? But damn it all, it doesn't
matter! I shall get through somehow. I don't pity her. It's her own
doing. She deserves what she gets. I shall have my own story to
tell, Alexey." He smiled bitterly again. "Only... only Grusha, Grusha!
Good Lord! Why should she have such suffering to bear?" he exclaimed
suddenly, with tears. "Grusha's killing me; the thought of her's
killing me, killing me. She was with me just now..."
"She told me she was very much grieved by you to-day."
"I know. Confound my temper! It was jealousy. I was sorry, I
kissed her as she was going. I didn't ask her forgiveness."
"Why didn't you?" exclaimed Alyosha.
Suddenly Mitya laughed almost mirthfully.
"God preserve you, my dear boy, from ever asking forgiveness for a
fault from a woman you love. From one you love especially, however
greatly you may have been in fault. For a woman- devil only knows what
to make of a woman! I know something about them, anyway. But try
acknowledging you are in fault to a woman. Say, 'I am sorry, forgive
me,' and a shower of reproaches will follow! Nothing will make her
forgive you simply and directly, she'll humble you to the dust,
bring forward things that have never happened, recall everything,
forget nothing, add something of her own, and only then forgive you.
And even the best, the best of them do it. She'll scrape up all the
scrapings and load them on your head. They are ready to flay you
alive, I tell you, every one of them, all these angels without whom we
cannot live! I tell you plainly and openly, dear boy, every decent man
ought to be under some woman's thumb. That's my conviction- not
conviction, but feeling. A man ought to be magnanimous, and it's no
disgrace to a man! No disgrace to a hero, not even a Caesar! But don't
ever beg her pardon all the same for anything. Remember that rule
given you by your brother Mitya, who's come to ruin through women. No,
I'd better make it up to Grusha somehow, without begging pardon. I
worship her, Alexey, worship her. Only she doesn't see it. No, she
still thinks I don't love her enough. And she tortures me, tortures me
with her love. The past was nothing! In the past it was only those
infernal curves of hers that tortured me, but now I've taken all her
soul into my soul and through her I've become a man myself. Will
they marry us? If they don't, I shall die of jealousy. I imagine
something every day.... What did she say to you about me?"
Alyosha repeated all Grushenka had said to him that day. Mitya
listened, made him repeat things, and seemed pleased.
"Then she is not angry at my being jealous?" he exclaimed. "She is
a regular woman! 'I've a fierce heart myself!' Ah, I love such
fierce hearts, though I can't bear anyone's being jealous of me. I
can't endure it. We shall fight. But I shall love her, I shall love
her infinitely. Will they marry us? Do they let convicts marry? That's
the question. And without her I can't exist..."
Mitya walked frowning across the room. It was almost dark. He
suddenly seemed terribly worried.
"So there's a secret, she says, a secret? We have got up a plot
against her, and Katya is mixed up in it, she thinks. No, my good
Grushenka, that's not it. You are very wide of the mark, in your
foolish feminine way. Alyosha, darling, well, here goes! I'll tell you
our secret!"
He looked round, went close up quickly to Alyosha, who was
standing before him, and whispered to him with an air of mystery,
though in reality no one could hear them: the old warder was dozing in
the corner, and not a word could reach the ears of the soldiers on
"I will tell you all our secret," Mitya whispered hurriedly. "I
meant to tell you later, for how could I decide on anything without
you? You are everything to me. Though I say that Ivan is superior to
us, you are my angel. It's your decision will decide it. Perhaps
it's you that is superior and not Ivan. You see, it's a question of
conscience, question of the higher conscience- the secret is so
important that I can't settle it myself, and I've put it off till I
could speak to you. But anyway it's too early to decide now, for we
must wait for the verdict. As soon as the verdict is given, you
shall decide my fate. Don't decide it now. I'll tell you now. You
listen, but don't decide. Stand and keep quiet. I won't tell you
everything. I'll only tell you the idea, without details, and you keep
quiet. Not a question, not a movement. You agree? But, goodness,
what shall I do with your eyes? I'm afraid your eyes will tell me your
decision, even if you don't speak. Oo! I'm afraid! Alyosha, listen!
Ivan suggests my escaping. I won't tell you the details: it's all been
thought out: it can all be arranged. Hush, don't decide. I should go
to America with Grusha. You know I can't live without Grusha! What
if they won't let her follow me to Siberia? Do they let convicts get
married? Ivan thinks not. And without Grusha what should I do there
underground with a hammer? I should only smash my skull with the
hammer! But, on the other hand, my conscience? I should have run
away from suffering. A sign has come, I reject the sign. I have a
way of salvation and I turn my back on it. Ivan says that in
America, 'with the goodwill,' I can be of more use than underground.
But what becomes of our hymn from underground? What's America? America
is vanity again! And there's a lot of swindling in America, too, I
expect. I should have run away from crucifixion! I tell you, you know,
Alexey, because you are the only person who can understand this.
There's no one else. It's folly, madness to others, all I've told
you of the hymn. They'll say I'm out of my mind or a fool. I am not
out of my mind and I am not a fool. Ivan understands about the hymn,
too. He understands, only he doesn't answer- he doesn't speak. He
doesn't believe in the hymn. Don't speak, don't speak. I see how you
look! You have already decided. Don't decide, spare me! I can't live
without Grusha. Wait till after the trial!"
Mitya ended beside himself. He held Alyosha with both hands on his
shoulders, and his yearning, feverish eyes were fixed on his
"They don't let convicts marry, do they?" he repeated for the
third time in a supplicating voice.
Alyosha listened with extreme surprise and was deeply moved.
"Tell me one thing," he said. "Is Ivan very keen on it, and
whose idea was it?"
"His, his, and he is very keen on it. He didn't come to see me
at first, then he suddenly came a week ago and he began about it
straight away. He is awfully keen on it. He doesn't ask me, but orders
me to escape. He doesn't doubt of my obeying him, though I showed
him all my heart as I have to you, and told him about the hymn, too.
He told me he'd arrange it; he's found out about everything. But of
that later. He's simply set on it. It's all a matter of money: he'll
pay ten thousand for escape and give me twenty thousand for America.
And he says we can arrange a magnificent escape for ten thousand."
"And he told you on no account to tell me?" Alyosha asked again.
"To tell no one, and especially not you; on no account to tell
you. He is afraid, no doubt, that you'll stand before me as my
conscience. Don't tell him I told you. Don't tell him, for anything."
"You are right," Alyosha pronounced; "it's impossible to decide
anything before the trial is over. After the trial you'll decide of
yourself. Then you'll find that new man in yourself and he will
"A new man, or a Bernard who'll decide a la Bernard, for I believe
I'm a contemptible Bernard myself," said Mitya, with a bitter grin.
"But, brother, have you no hope then of being acquitted?"
Mitya shrugged his shoulders nervously and shook his head.
"Alyosha, darling, it's time you were going," he said, with a
sudden haste. "There's the superintendent shouting in the yard.
He'll be here directly. We are late; it's irregular. Embrace me
quickly. Kiss me! Sign me with the cross, darling, for the cross I
have to bear to-morrow."
They embraced and kissed.
"Ivan," said Mitya suddenly, "suggests my escaping; but, of
course, he believes I did it."
A mournful smile came on to his lips.
"Have you asked him whether he believes it?" asked Alyosha.
"No, I haven't. I wanted to, but I couldn't. I hadn't the courage.
But I saw it from his eyes. Well, good-bye!"
Once more they kissed hurriedly, and Alyosha was just going out,
when Mitya suddenly called him back.
"Stand facing me! That's right!" And again he seized Alyosha,
putting both hands on his shoulders. His face became suddenly quite
pale, so that it was dreadfully apparent, even through the gathering
darkness. His lips twitched, his eyes fastened upon Alyosha.
"Alyosha, tell me the whole truth, as you would before God. Do you
believe I did it? Do you, do you in yourself, believe it? The whole
truth, don't lie!" he cried desperately.
Everything seemed heaving before Alyosha, and he felt something
like a stab at his heart.
"Hush! What do you mean?" he faltered helplessly.
"The whole truth, the whole, don't lie!" repeated Mitya.
"I've never for one instant believed that you were the
murderer!" broke in a shaking voice from Alyosha's breast, and he
raised his right hand in the air, as though calling God to witness his
Mitya's whole face was lighted up with bliss.
"Thank you!" he articulated slowly, as though letting a sigh
escape him after fainting. "Now you have given me new life. Would
you believe it, till this moment I've been afraid to ask you, you,
even you. Well, go! You've given me strength for to-morrow. God
bless you! Come, go along! Love Ivan!" was Mitya's last word.
Alyosha went out in tears. Such distrustfulness in Mitya, such
lack of confidence even to him, to Alyosha- all this suddenly opened
before Alyosha an unsuspected depth of hopeless grief and despair in
the soul of his unhappy brother. Intense, infinite compassion
overwhelmed him instantly. There was a poignant ache in his torn
heart. "Love Ivan"- he suddenly recalled Mitya's words. And he was
going to Ivan. He badly wanted to see Ivan all day. He was as much
worried about Ivan as about Mitya, and more than ever now.
Chapter 5
Not You, Not You!

ON the way to Ivan he had to pass the house where Katerina
Ivanovna was living. There was light in the windows. He suddenly
stopped and resolved to go in. He had not seen Katerina Ivanovna for
more than a week. But now it struck him that Ivan might be with her,
especially on the eve of the terrible day. Ringing, and mounting the
staircase, which was dimly lighted by a Chinese lantern, he saw a
man coming down, and as they met, he recognised him as his brother. So
he was just coming from Katerina Ivanovna.
"Ah, it's only you," said Ivan dryly. "Well, good-bye! You are
going to her?"
"I don't advise you to; she's upset and you'll upset her more."
A door was instantly flung open above, and a voice cried suddenly:
"No, no! Alexey Fyodorovitch, have you come from him?"
"Yes, I have been with him."
"Has he sent me any message? Come up, Alyosha, and you, Ivan
Fyodorovitch, you must come back, you must. Do you hear?"
There was such a peremptory note in Katya's voice that Ivan, after
a moment's hesitation, made up his mind to go back with Alyosha.
"She was listening," he murmured angrily to himself, but Alyosha
heard it.
"Excuse my keeping my greatcoat on," said Ivan, going into the
drawing-room. "I won't sit down. I won't stay more than a minute."
"Sit down, Alexey Fyodorovitch," said Katerina Ivanovna, though
she remained standing. She had changed very little during this time,
but there was an ominous gleam in her dark eyes. Alyosha remembered
afterwards that she had struck him as particularly handsome at that
"What did he ask you to tell me?"
"Only one thing," said Alyosha, looking her straight in the
face, "that you would spare yourself and say nothing at the trial of
what" (he was a little confused) "...passed between you... at the time
of your first acquaintance... in that town."
"Ah! that I bowed down to the ground for that money!" She broke
into a bitter laugh. "Why, is he afraid for me or for himself? He asks
me to spare- whom? Him or myself? Tell me, Alexey Fyodorovitch!"
Alyosha watched her intently, trying to understand her.
"Both yourself and him," he answered softly.
"I am glad to hear it," she snapped out maliciously, and she
suddenly blushed.
"You don't know me yet, Alexey Fyodorovitch," she said menacingly.
"And I don't know myself yet. Perhaps you'll want to trample me
under foot after my examination to-morrow."
"You will give your evidence honourably," said Alyosha; "that's
all that's wanted."
"Women are often dishonourable," she snarled. "Only an hour ago
I was thinking I felt afraid to touch that monster... as though he
were a reptile... but no, he is still a human being to me! But did
he do it? Is he the murderer?" she cried, all of a sudden,
hysterically, turning quickly to Ivan. Alyosha saw at once that she
had asked Ivan that question before, perhaps only a moment before he
came in, and not for the first time, but for the hundredth, and that
they had ended by quarrelling.
"I've been to see Smerdyakov.... It was you, you who persuaded
me that he murdered his father. It's only you I believed" she
continued, still addressing Ivan. He gave her a sort of strained
smile. Alyosha started at her tone. He had not suspected such familiar
intimacy between them.
"Well, that's enough, anyway," Ivan cut short the conversation. "I
am going. I'll come to-morrow." And turning at once, he walked out
of the room and went straight downstairs.
With an imperious gesture, Katerina Ivanovna seized Alyosha by
both hands.
"Follow him! Overtake him! Don't leave him alone for a minute!"
she said, in a hurried whisper. "He's mad! Don't you know that he's
mad? He is in a fever, nervous fever. The doctor told me so. Go, run
after him...."
Alyosha jumped up and ran after Ivan, who was not fifty paces
ahead of him.
"What do you want?" He turned quickly on Alyosha, seeing that he
was running after him. "She told you to catch me up, because I'm
mad. I know it all by heart," he added irritably.
"She is mistaken, of course; but she is right that you are ill,"
said Alyosha. "I was looking at your face just now. You look very ill,
Ivan walked on without stopping. Alyosha followed him.
"And do you know, Alexey Fyodorovitch, how people do go out of
their minds?" Ivan asked in a a voice suddenly quiet, without a
trace of irritation, with a note of the simplest curiosity.
"No, I don't. I suppose there are all kinds of insanity."
"And can one observe that one's going mad oneself?"
"I imagine one can't see oneself clearly in such circumstances,"
Alyosha answered with surprise.
Ivan paused for half a minute.
"If you want to talk to me, please change the subject," he said
"Oh, while I think of it, I have a letter for you," said Alyosha
timidly, and he took Lise's note from his pocket and held it out to
Ivan. They were just under a lamp-post. Ivan recognised the
handwriting at once.
"Ah, from that little demon!" he laughed maliciously, and, without
opening the envelope, he tore it into bits and threw it in the air.
The bits were scattered by the wind.
"She's not sixteen yet, I believe, and already offering
herself," he said contemptuously, striding along the street again.
"How do you mean, offering herself?" exclaimed Alyosha.
"As wanton women offer themselves, to be sure."
"How can you, Ivan, how can you?" Alyosha cried warmly, in a
grieved voice. "She is a child; you are insulting a child! She is ill;
she is very ill, too. She is on the verge of insanity, too,
perhaps.... I had hoped to hear something from you... that would
save her."
"You'll hear nothing from me. If she is a child, I am not her
nurse. Be quiet, Alexey. Don't go on about her. I am not even thinking
about it."
They were silent again for a moment.
"She will be praying all night now to the Mother of God to show
her how to act to-morrow at the trial," he said sharply and angrily
"You... you mean Katerina Ivanovna?"
"Yes. Whether she's to save Mitya or ruin him. She'll pray for
light from above. She can't make up her mind for herself, you see. She
has not had time to decide yet. She takes me for her nurse, too. She
wants me to sing lullabies to her."
"Katerina Ivanovna loves you, brother," said Alyosha sadly.
"Perhaps; but I am not very keen on her."
"She is suffering. Why do you... sometimes say things to her
that give her hope?" Alyosha went on, with timid reproach. "I know
that you've given her hope. Forgive me for speaking to you like this,"
he added.
"I can't behave to her as I ought- break off altogether and tell
her so straight out," said Ivan, irritably. "I must wait till sentence
is passed on the murderer. If I break off with her now, she will
avenge herself on me by ruining that scoundrel to-morrow at the trial,
for she hates him and knows she hates him. It's all a lie- lie upon
lie! As long as I don't break off with her, she goes on hoping, and
she won't ruin that monster, knowing how I want to get him out of
trouble. If only that damned verdict would come!"
The words "murderer" and "monster" echoed painfully in Alyosha's
"But how can she ruin Mitya?" he asked, pondering on Ivan's words.
"What evidence can she give that would ruin Mitya?"
"You don't know that yet. She's got a document in her hands, in
Mitya's own writing, that proves conclusively that he did murder
Fyodor Pavlovitch."
"That's impossible!" cried Alyosha.
"Why is it impossible? I've read it myself."
"There can't be such a document!" Alyosha repeated warmly.
"There can't be, because he's not the murderer. It's not he murdered
father, not he!"
Ivan suddenly stopped.
"Who is the murderer then, according to you?" he asked, with
apparent coldness. There was even a supercilious note in his voice.
"You know who," Alyosha pronounced in a low, penetrating voice.
"Who? You mean the myth about that crazy idiot, the epileptic,
Alyosha suddenly felt himself trembling all over.
"You know who," broke helplessly from him. He could scarcely
"Who? Who?" Ivan cried almost fiercely. All his restraint suddenly
"I only know one thing," Alyosha went on, still almost in a
whisper, "it wasn't you killed father."
"'Not you'! What do you mean by 'not you'?" Ivan was
"It was not you killed father, not you! Alyosha repeated firmly.
The silence lasted for half a minute.
"I know I didn't. Are you raving?" said Ivan, with a pale,
distorted smile. His eyes were riveted on Alyosha. They were
standing again under a lamp-post.
"No, Ivan. You've told yourself several times that you are the
"When did I say so? I was in Moscow.... When have I said so?" Ivan
faltered helplessly.
"You've said so to yourself many times, when you've been alone
during these two dreadful months," Alyosha went on softly and
distinctly as before. Yet he was speaking now, as it were, not of
himself, not of his own will, but obeying some irresistible command.
"You have accused yourself and have confessed to yourself that you are
the murderer and no one else. But you didn't do it: you are
mistaken: you are not the murderer. Do you hear? It was not you! God
has sent me to tell you so."
They were both silent. The silence lasted a whole long minute.
They were both standing still, gazing into each other's eyes. They
were both pale. Suddenly Ivan began trembling all over, and clutched
Alyosha's shoulder.
"You've been in my room!" he whispered hoarsely. "You've been
there at night, when he came.... Confess... have you seen him, have
you seen him?"
"Whom do you mean- Mitya?" Alyosha asked, bewildered.
"Not him, damn the monster!" Ivan shouted, in a frenzy, "Do you
know that he visits me? How did you find out? Speak!"
"Who is he? I don't know whom you are talking about," Alyosha
faltered, beginning to be alarmed.
"Yes, you do know. or how could you- ? It's impossible that you
don't know."
Suddenly he seemed to check himself. He stood still and seemed
to reflect. A strange grin contorted his lips.
"Brother," Alyosha began again, in a shaking voice, "I have said
this to you, because you'll believe my word, I know that. I tell you
once and for all, it's not you. You hear, once for all! God has put it
into my heart to say this to you, even though it may make you hate
me from this hour."
But by now Ivan had apparently regained his self-control.
"Alexey Fyodorovitch," he said, with a cold smile, "I can't endure
prophets and epileptics- messengers from God especially- and you
know that only too well. I break off all relations with you from
this moment and probably for ever. I beg you to leave me at this
turning. It's the way to your lodgings, too. You'd better be
particularly careful not to come to me to-day! Do you hear?"
He turned and walked on with a firm step, not looking back.
"Brother," Alyosha called after him, "if anything happens to you
to-day, turn to me before anyone!"
But Ivan made no reply. Alyosha stood under the lamp-post at the
cross roads, till Ivan had vanished into the darkness. Then he
turned and walked slowly homewards. Both Alyosha and Ivan were
living in lodgings; neither of them was willing to live in Fyodor
Pavlovitch's empty house. Alyosha had a furnished room in the house of
some working people. Ivan lived some distance from him. He had taken a
roomy and fairly comfortable lodge attached to a fine house that
belonged to a well-to-do lady, the widow of an official. But his
only attendant was a deaf and rheumatic old crone who went to bed at
six o'clock every evening and got up at six in the morning. Ivan had
become remarkably indifferent to his comforts of late, and very fond
of being alone. He did everything for himself in the one room he lived
in, and rarely entered any of the other rooms in his abode.
He reached the gate of the house and had his hand on the bell,
when he suddenly stopped. He felt that he was trembling all over
with anger. Suddenly he let go of the bell, turned back with a
curse, and walked with rapid steps in the opposite direction. He
walked a mile and a half to a tiny, slanting, wooden house, almost a
hut, where Marya Kondratyevna, the neighbour who used to come to
Fyodor Pavlovitch's kitchen for soup and to whom Smerdyakov had once
sung his songs and played on the guitar, was now lodging. She had sold
their little house, and was now living here with her mother.
Smerdyakov, who was ill- almost dying-had been with them ever since
Fyodor Pavlovitch's death. It was to him Ivan was going now, drawn
by a sudden and irresistible prompting.
Chapter 6
The First Interview with Smerdyakov

THIS was the third time that Ivan had been to see Smerdyakov since
his return from Moscow. The first time he had seen him and talked to
him was on the first day of his arrival, then he had visited him
once more, a fortnight later. But his visits had ended with that
second one, so that it was now over a month since he had seen him. And
he had scarcely heard anything of him.
Ivan had only returned five days after his father's death, so that
he was not present at the funeral, which took place the day before
he came back. The cause of his delay was that Alyosha, not knowing his
Moscow address, had to apply to Katerina Ivanovna to telegraph to him,
and she, not knowing his address either, telegraphed to her sister and
aunt, reckoning on Ivan's going to see them as soon as he arrived in
Moscow. But he did not go to them till four days after his arrival.
When he got the telegram, he had, of course, set off post-haste to our
town. The first to meet him was Alyosha, and Ivan was greatly
surprised to find that, in opposition to the general opinion of the
town, he refused to entertain a suspicion against Mitya, and spoke
openly of Smerdyakov as the murderer. Later on, after seeing the
police captain and the prosecutor, and hearing the details of the
charge and the arrest, he was still more surprised at Alyosha, and
ascribed his opinion only to his exaggerated brotherly feeling and
sympathy with Mitya, of whom Alyosha, as Ivan knew, was very fond.
By the way, let us say a word or two of Ivan's feeling to his
brother Dmitri. He positively disliked him; at most, felt sometimes
a compassion for him, and even that was mixed with great contempt,
almost repugnance. Mitya's whole personality, even his appearance, was
extremely unattractive to him. Ivan looked with indignation on
Katerina Ivanovna's love for his brother. Yet he went to see Mitya
on the first day of his arrival, and that interview, far from
shaking Ivan's belief in his guilt, positively strengthened it. He
found his brother agitated, nervously excited. Mitya had been
talkative, but very absent-minded and incoherent. He used violent
language, accused Smerdyakov, and was fearfully muddled. He talked
principally about the three thousand roubles, which he said had been
"stolen" from him by his father.
"The money was mine, it was my money," Mitya kept repeating. "Even
if I had stolen it, I should have had the right."
He hardly contested the evidence against him, and if he tried to
turn a fact to his advantage, it was in an absurd and incoherent
way. He hardly seemed to wish to defend himself to Ivan or anyone
else. Quite the contrary, he was angry and proudly scornful of the
charges against him; he was continually firing up and abusing
everyone. He only laughed contemptuously at Grigory's evidence about
the open door, and declared that it was "the devil that opened it."
But he could not bring forward any coherent explanation of the fact.
He even succeeded in insulting Ivan during their first interview,
telling him sharply that it was not for people who declared that
"everything was lawful," to suspect and question him. Altogether he
was anything but friendly with Ivan on that occasion. Immediately
after that interview with Mitya, Ivan went for the first time to see
In the railway train on his way from Moscow, he kept thinking of
Smerdyakov and of his last conversation with him on the evening before
he went away. Many things seemed to him puzzling and suspicious.
when he gave his evidence to the investigating lawyer Ivan said
nothing, for the time, of that conversation. He put that off till he
had seen Smerdyakov, who was at that time in the hospital.
Doctor Herzenstube and Varvinsky, the doctor he met in the
hospital, confidently asserted in reply to Ivan's persistent
questions, that Smerdyakov's epileptic attack was unmistakably
genuine, and were surprised indeed at Ivan asking whether he might not
have been shamming on the day of the catastrophe. They gave him to
understand that the attack was an exceptional one, the fits persisting
and recurring several times, so that the patient's life was positively
in danger, and it was only now, after they had applied remedies,
that they could assert with confidence that the patient would survive.
"Though it might well be," added Doctor Herzenstube, "that his
reason would be impaired for a considerable period, if not
permanently." On Ivan's asking impatiently whether that meant that
he was now mad, they told him that this was not yet the case, in the
full sense of the word, but that certain abnormalities were
perceptible. Ivan decided to find out for himself what those
abnormalities were.
At the hospital he was at once allowed to see the patient.
Smerdyakov was lying on a truckle-bed in a separate ward. There was
only one other bed in the room, and in it lay a tradesman of the town,
swollen with dropsy, who was obviously almost dying; he could be no
hindrance to their conversation. Smerdyakov grinned uncertainly on
seeing Ivan, and for the first instant seemed nervous. So at least
Ivan fancied. But that was only momentary. For the rest of the time he
was struck, on the contrary, by Smerdyakov's composure. From the first
glance Ivan had no doubt that he was very ill. He was very weak; he
spoke slowly, seeming to move his tongue with difficulty; he was
much thinner and sallower.Throughout the interview, which lasted
twenty minutes, he kept complaining of headache and of pain in all his
limbs. His thin emasculate face seemed to have become so tiny; his
hair was ruffled, and his crest of curls in front stood up in a thin
tuft. But in the left eye, which was screwed up and seemed to be
insinuating something, Smerdyakov showed himself unchanged. "It's
always worth while speaking to a clever man." Ivan was reminded of
that at once. He sat down on the stool at his feet. Smerdyakov, with
painful effort, shifted his position in bed, but he was not the
first to speak. He remained dumb, and did not even look much
"Can you. talk to me?" asked Ivan. "I won't tire you much."
"Certainly I can," mumbled Smerdyakov, in a faint voice. "Has your
honour been back long?" he added patronisingly, as though
encouraging a nervous visitor.
"I only arrived to-day.... To see the mess you are in here."
Smerdyakov sighed.
"Why do you sigh? You knew of it all along," Ivan blurted out.
Smerdyakov was stolidly silent for a while.
"How could I help knowing? It was clear beforehand. But how
could I tell it would turn out like that?"
"What would turn out? Don't prevaricate! You've foretold you'd
have a fit; on the way down to the cellar, you know. You mentioned the
very spot."
"Have you said so at the examination yet?" Smerdyakov queried with
Ivan felt suddenly angry.
"No, I haven't yet, but I certainly shall. You must explain a
great deal to me, my man; and let me tell you, I am not going to let
you play with me!"
"Why should I play with you, when I put my whole trust in you,
as in God Almighty?" said Smerdyakov, with the same composure, only
for a moment closing his eyes.
"In the first place," began Ivan, "I know that epileptic fits
can't be told beforehand. I've inquired; don't try and take me in. You
can't foretell the day and the hour. How was it you told me the day
and the hour beforehand, and about the cellar, too? How could you tell
that you would fall down the cellar stairs in a fit, if you didn't
sham a fit on purpose?"
"I had to go to the cellar anyway, several times a day, indeed,"
Smerdyakov drawled deliberately. "I fell from the garret just in the
same way a year ago. It's quite true you can't tell the day and hour
of a fit beforehand, but you can always have a presentiment of it."
"But you did foretell the day and the hour!"
"In regard to my epilepsy, sir, you had much better inquire of the
doctors here. You can ask them whether it was a real fit or a sham;
it's no use my saying any more about it."
"And the cellar? How could you know beforehand of the cellar?"
"You don't seem able to get over that cellar! As I was going
down to the cellar, I was in terrible dread and doubt. What frightened
me most was losing you and being left without defence in all the
world. So I went down into the cellar thinking, 'Here, it'll come on
directly, it'll strike me down directly, shall I fall?' And it was
through this fear that I suddenly felt the spasm that always
comes... and so I went flying. All that and all my previous
conversation with you at the gate the evening before, when I told
you how frightened I was and spoke of the cellar, I told all that to
Doctor Herzenstube and Nikolay Parfenovitch, the investigating lawyer,
and it's all been written down in the protocol. And the doctor here,
Mr. Varvinsky, maintained to all of them that it was just the
thought of it brought it on, the apprehension that I might fall. It
was just then that the fit seized me. And so they've written it
down, that it's just how it must have happened, simply from my fear."
As he finished, Smerdyakov. drew a deep breath, as though
"Then you have said all that in your evidence?" said Ivan,
somewhat taken aback. He had meant to frighten him with the threat
of repeating their conversation, and it appeared that Smerdyakov had
already reported it all himself.
"What have I to be afraid of? Let them write down the whole
truth," Smerdyakov pronounced firmly.
"And have you told them every word of our conversation at the
"No, not to say every word."
"And did you tell them that you can sham fits, as you boasted
"No, I didn't tell them that either."
"Tell me now, why did you send me then to Tchermashnya?"
"I was afraid you'd go away to Moscow; Tchermashnya is nearer,
"You are lying; you suggested my going away yourself; you told
me to get out of the way of trouble."
"That was simply out of affection and my sincere devotion to
you, foreseeing trouble in the house, to spare you. Only I wanted to
spare myself even more. That's why I told you to get out of harm's
way, that you might understand that there would be trouble in the
house, and would remain at home to protect your father."
"You might have said it more directly, you blockhead!" Ivan
suddenly fired up.
"How could I have said it more directly then? It was simply my
fear that made me speak, and you might have been angry, too. I might
well have been apprehensive that Dmitri Fyodorovitch would make a
scene and carry away that money, for he considered it as good as
his own; but who could tell that it would end in a murder like this? I
thought that he would only carry off the three thousand that lay under
the master's mattress in the envelope, and you see, he's murdered him.
How could you guess it either, sir?"
"But if you say yourself that it couldn't be guessed, how could
I have guessed and stayed at home? You contradict yourself!" said
Ivan, pondering.
"You might have guessed from my sending you to Tchermashnya and
not to Moscow."
"How could I guess it from that?"
Smerdyakov seemed much exhausted, and again he was silent for a
"You might have guessed from the fact of my asking you not to go
to Moscow, but to Tchermashnya, that I wanted to have you nearer,
for Moscow's a long way off, and Dmitri Fyodorovitch, knowing you
are not far off, would not be so bold. And if anything had happened,
you might have come to protect me, too, for I warned you of Grigory
Vassilyevitch's illness, and that I was afraid of having a fit. And
when I explained those knocks to you, by means of which one could go
in to the deceased, and that Dmitri Fyodorovitch knew them all through
me, I thought that you would guess yourself that he would be sure to
do something, and so wouldn't go to Tchermashnya even, but would
"He talks very coherently," thought Ivan, "though he does
mumble; what's the derangement of his faculties that Herzenstube
talked of?"
"You are cunning with me, damn you!" he exclaimed, getting angry.
"But I thought at the time that you quite guessed," Smerdyakov
parried with the simplest air.
"If I'd guessed, I should have stayed," cried Ivan.
"Why, I thought that it was because you guessed, that you went
away in such a hurry, only to get out of trouble, only to run away and
save yourself in your fright."
"You think that everyone is as great a coward as yourself?"
"Forgive me, I thought you were like me."
"Of course, I ought to have guessed," Ivan said in agitation; "and
I did guess there was some mischief brewing on your part... only you
are lying, you are lying again," he cried, suddenly recollecting.
"Do you remember how you went up to the carriage and said to me, 'It's
always worth while speaking to a clever man'? So you were glad I
went away, since you praised me?"
Smerdyakov sighed again and again. A trace of colour came into his
"If I was pleased," he articulated rather breathlessly, "it was
simply because you agreed not to go to Moscow, but to Tchermashnya.
For it was nearer, anyway. Only when I said these words to you, it was
not by way of praise, but of reproach. You didn't understand it."
"What reproach?"
"Why, that foreseeing such a calamity you deserted your own
father, and would not protect us, for I might have been taken up any
time for stealing that three thousand."
"Damn you!" Ivan swore again. "Stay, did you tell the prosecutor
and the investigating lawyer about those knocks?"
"I told them everything just as it was."
Ivan wondered inwardly again.
"If I thought of anything then," he began again, "it was solely of
some wickedness on your part. Dmitri might kill him, but that he would
steal- I did not believe that then.... But I was prepared for any
wickedness from you. You told me yourself you could sham a fit. What
did you say that for?"
"It was just through my simplicity, and I never have shammed a fit
on purpose in my life. And I only said so then to boast to you. It was
just foolishness. I liked you so much then, and was open-hearted
with you."
"My brother directly accuses you of the murder and theft."
"What else is left for him to do?" said Smerdyakov, with a
bitter grin. "And who will believe him with all the proofs against
him? Grigory Vassilyevitch saw the door open. What can he say after
that? But never mind him! He is trembling to save himself."
He slowly ceased speaking; then suddenly, as though on reflection,
"And look here again. He wants to throw it on me and make out that
it is the work of my hands- I've heard that already. But as to my
being clever at shamming a fit: should I have told you beforehand that
I could sham one, if I really had had such a design against your
father? If I had been planning such a murder could I have been such
a fool as to give such evidence against myself beforehand? And to
his son, too! Upon my word! Is that likely? As if that could be;
such a thing has never happened. No one hears this talk of ours now,
except Providence itself, and if you were to tell of it to the
prosecutor and Nikolay Parfenovitch you might defend me completely
by doing so, for who would be likely to be such a criminal, if he is
so open-hearted beforehand? Anyone can see that."
"Well," and Ivan got up to cut short the conversation, struck by
Smerdyakov's last argument. "I don't suspect you at all, and I think
it's absurd, indeed, to suspect you. On the contrary, I am grateful to
you for setting my mind at rest. Now I am going, but I'll come
again. Meanwhile, good-bye. Get well. Is there anything you want?"
"I am very thankful for everything. Marfa Ignatyevna does not
forget me, and provides me anything I want, according to her kindness.
Good people visit me every day."
"Good-bye. But I shan't say anything of your being able to sham
a fit, and I don't advise you to, either," something made Ivan say
"I quite understand. And if you don't speak of that, I shall say
nothing of that conversation of ours at the gate."
Then it happened that Ivan went out, and only when he had gone a
dozen steps along the corridor, he suddenly felt that there was an
insulting significance in Smerdyakov's last words. He was almost on
the point of turning back, but it was only a passing impulse, and
muttering, "Nonsense!" he went out of the hospital.
His chief feeling was one of relief at the fact that it was not
Smerdyakov, but Mitya, who had committed the murder, though he might
have been expected to feel the opposite. He did not want to analyse
the reason for this feeling, and even felt a positive repugnance at
prying into his sensations. He felt as though he wanted to make
haste to forget something. In the following days he became convinced
of Mitya's guilt, as he got to know all the weight of evidence against
him. There was evidence of people of no importance, Fenya and her
mother, for instance, but the effect of it was almost overpowering. As
to Perhotin, the people at the tavern, and at Plotnikov's shop, as
well as the witnesses at Mokroe, their evidence seemed conclusive.
It was the details that were so damning. The secret of the knocks
impressed the lawyers almost as much as Grigory's evidence as to the
open door. Grigory's wife, Marfa, in answer to Ivan's questions,
declared that Smerdyakov had been lying all night the other side of
the partition wall, "He was not three paces from our bed," and that
although she was a sound sleeper she waked several times and heard him
moaning, "He was moaning the whole time, moaning continually."
Talking to Herzenstube, and giving it as his opinion that
Smerdyakov was not mad, but only rather weak, Ivan only evoked from
the old man a subtle smile.
"Do you know how he spends his time now?" he asked; "learning
lists of French words by heart. He has an exercise-book under his
pillow with the French words written out in Russian letters for him by
someone, he he he!"
Ivan ended by dismissing all doubts. He could not think of
Dmitri without repulsion. Only one thing was strange, however. Alyosha
persisted that Dmitri was not the murderer, and that "in all
probability" Smerdyakov was. Ivan always felt that Alyosha's opinion
meant a great deal to him, and so he was astonished at it now. Another
thing that was strange was that Alyosha did not make any attempt to
talk about Mitya with Ivan, that he never began on the subject and
only answered his questions. This, too, struck Ivan particularly.
But he was very much preoccupied at that time with something quite
apart from that. On his return from Moscow, he abandoned himself
hopelessly to his mad and consuming passion for Katerina Ivanovna.
This is not the time to begin to speak of this new passion of
Ivan's, which left its mark on all the rest of his life: this would
furnish the subject for another novel, which I may perhaps never
write. But I cannot omit to mention here that when Ivan, on leaving
Katerina Ivanovna with Alyosha, as I've related already, told him,
"I am not keen on her," it was an absolute lie: he loved her madly,
though at times he hated her so that he might have murdered her.
Many causes helped to bring about this feeling. Shattered by what
had happened with Mitya, she rushed on Ivan's return to meet him as
her one salvation. She was hurt, insulted and humiliated in her
feelings. And here the man had come back to her, who had loved her
so ardently before (oh! she knew that very well), and whose heart
and intellect she considered so superior to her own. But the sternly
virtuous girl did not abandon herself altogether to the man she loved,
in spite of the Karamazov violence of his passions and the great
fascination he had for her. She was continually tormented at the
same time by remorse for having deserted Mitya, and in moments of
discord and violent anger (and they were numerous) she told Ivan so
plainly. This was what he had called to Alyosha "lies upon lies."
There was, of course, much that was false in it, and that angered Ivan
more than anything.... But of all this later.
He did, in fact, for a time almost forget Smerdyakov's
existence, and yet, a fortnight after his first visit to him, he began
to be haunted by the same strange thoughts as before. It's enough to
say that he was continually asking himself, why was it that on that
last night in Fyodor Pavlovitch's house he had crept out on to the
stairs like a thief and listened to hear what his father was doing
below? Why had he recalled that afterwards with repulsion? Why next
morning, had he been suddenly so depressed on the journey? Why, as
he reached Moscow, had he said to himself, "I am a scoundrel"? And now
he almost fancied that these tormenting thoughts would make him even
forget Katerina Ivanovna, so completely did they take possession of
him again. It was just after fancying this, that he met Alyosha in the
street. He stopped him at once, and put a question to him:
"Do you remember when Dmitri burst in after dinner and beat
father, and afterwards I told you in the yard that I reserved 'the
right to desire'?... Tell me, did you think then that I desired
father's death or not?"
"I did think so," answered Alyosha, softly.
"It was so, too; it was not a matter of guessing. But didn't you
fancy then that what I wished was just that one reptile should
devour another'; that is, just that Dmitri should kill father, and
as soon as possible... and that I myself was even prepared to help
to bring that about?"
Alyosha turned rather pale, and looked silently into his brother's
"Speak!" cried Ivan, "I want above everything to know what you
thought then. I want the truth, the truth!"
He drew a deep breath, looking angrily at Alyosha before his
answer came.
"Forgive me, I did think that, too, at the time," whispered
Alyosha, and he did not add one softening phrase.
"Thanks," snapped Ivan, and, leaving Alyosha, he went quickly on
his way. From that time Alyosha noticed that Ivan began obviously to
avoid him and seemed even to have taken a dislike to him, so much so
that Alyosha gave up going to see him. Immediately after that
meeting with him, Ivan had not gone home, but went straight to
Smerdyakov again.
Chapter 7
The Second Visit to Smerdyakov

BY that time Smerdyakov had been discharged from the hospital.
Ivan knew his new lodging, the dilapidated little wooden house,
divided in two by a passage, on one side of which lived Marya
Kondratyevna and her mother, and on the other, Smerdyakov. No one knew
on what terms he lived with them, whether as a friend or as a
lodger. It was supposed afterwards that he had come to stay with
them as Marya Kondratyevna's betrothed, and was living there for a
time without paying for board or lodging. Both mother and daughter had
the greatest respect for him and looked upon him as greatly superior
to themselves.
Ivan knocked, and, on the door being opened, went straight into
the passage. By Marya Kondratyevna's directions he went straight to
the better room on the left, occupied by Smerdyakov. There was a tiled
stove in the room and it was extremely hot. The walls were gay with
blue paper, which was a good deal used however, and in the cracks
under it cockroaches swarmed in amazing numbers, so that there was a
continual rustling from them. The furniture was very scanty: two
benches against each wall and two chairs by the table. The table of
plain wood was covered with a cloth with pink patterns on it. There
was a pot of geranium on each of the two little windows. In the corner
there was a case of ikons. On the table stood a little copper
samovar with many dents in it, and a tray with two cups. But
Smerdyakov had finished tea and the samovar was out. He was sitting at
the table on a bench. He was looking at an exercise-book and slowly
writing with a pen. There was a bottle of ink by him and a flat iron
candlestick, but with a composite candle. Ivan saw at once from
Smerdyakov's face that he had completely recovered from his illness.
His face was fresher, fuller, his hair stood up jauntily in front, and
was plastered down at the sides. He was sitting in a parti-coloured,
wadded dressing-gown, rather dirty and frayed, however. He had
spectacles on his nose, which Ivan had never seen him wearing
before. This trifling circumstance suddenly redoubled Ivan's anger: "A
creature like that and wearing spectacles!"
Smerdyakov slowly raised his head and looked intently at his
visitor through his spectacles; then he slowly took them off and
rose from the bench, but by no means respectfully, almost lazily,
doing the least possible required by common civility. All this
struck Ivan instantly; he took it all in and noted it at once- most of
all the look in Smerdyakov's eyes, positively malicious, churlish
and haughty. "What do you want to intrude for?" it seemed to say;
"we settled everything then; why have you come again?" Ivan could
scarcely control himself.
"It's hot here," he said, still standing, and unbuttoned his
"Take off your coat," Smerdyakov conceded.
Ivan took off his coat and threw it on a bench with trembling
hands. He took a chair, moved it quickly to the table and sat down.
Smerdyakov managed to sit down on his bench before him.
"To begin with, are we alone?" Ivan asked sternly and impulsively.
"Can they overhear us in there?"
"No one can hear anything. You've seen for yourself: there's a
"Listen, my good fellow; what was that you babbled, as I was
leaving the hospital, that if I said nothing about your faculty of
shamming fits, you wouldn't tell the investigating lawyer all our
conversation at the gate? What do you mean by all? What could you mean
by it? Were you threatening me? Have I entered into some sort of
compact with you? Do you suppose I am afraid of you?"
Ivan said this in a perfect fury, giving him to understand with
obvious intention that he scorned any subterfuge or indirectness and
meant to show his cards. Smerdyakov's eyes gleamed resentfully, his
left eye winked, and he at once gave his answer, with his habitual
composure and deliberation. "You want to have everything
above-board; very well, you shall have it," he seemed to say.
"This is what I meant then, and this is why I said that, that you,
knowing beforehand of this murder of your own parent, left him to
his fate, and that people mightn't after that conclude any evil
about your feelings and perhaps of something else, too- that's what
I promised not to tell the authorities."
Though Smerdyakov spoke without haste and obviously controlling
himself, yet there was something in his voice, determined and
emphatic, resentful and insolently defiant. He stared impudently at
Ivan. A mist passed before Ivan's eyes for the first moment.
"How? What? Are you out of your mind?"
"I'm perfectly in possession of all my faculties."
"Do you suppose I knew of the murder?" Ivan cried at last, and
he brought his fist violently on the table. "What do you mean by
'something else, too'? Speak, scoundrel!"
Smerdyakov was silent and still scanned Ivan with the same
insolent stare.
"Speak, you stinking rogue, what is that 'something else, too'?"
"The 'something else' I meant was that you probably, too, were
very desirous of your parent's death."
Ivan jumped up and struck him with all his might on the
shoulder, so that he fell back against the wall. In an instant his
face was bathed in tears. Saying, "It's a shame, sir, to strike a sick
man," he dried his eyes with a very dirty blue check handkerchief
and sank into quiet weeping. A minute passed.
"That's enough! Leave off," Ivan said peremptorily, sitting down
again. "Don't put me out of all patience."
Smerdyakov took the rag from his eyes. Every line of his
puckered face reflected the insult he had just received.
"So you thought then, you scoundrel, that together with Dmitri I
meant to kill my father?"
"I didn't know what thoughts were in your mind then," said
Smerdyakov resentfully; "and so I stopped you then at the gate to
sound you on that very point."
"To sound what, what?"
"Why, that very circumstance, whether you wanted your father to be
murdered or not."
What infuriated Ivan more than anything was the aggressive,
insolent tone to which Smerdyakov persistently adhered.
"It was you murdered him?" he cried suddenly.
Smerdyakov smiled contemptuously.
"You know of yourself, for a fact, that it wasn't I murdered
him. And I should have thought that there was no need for a sensible
man to speak of it again."
"But why, why had you such a suspicion about me at the time?"
"As you know already, it was simply from fear. For I was in such a
position, shaking with fear, that I suspected everyone. I resolved
to sound you, too, for I thought if you wanted the same as your
brother, then the business was as good as settled and I should be
crushed like a fly, too."
"Look here, you didn't say that a fortnight ago."
"I meant the same when I talked to you in the hospital, only I
thought you'd understand without wasting words, and that being such
a sensible man you wouldn't care to talk of it openly."
"What next! Come answer, answer, I insist: what was it... what
could I have done to put such a degrading suspicion into your mean
"As for the murder, you couldn't have done that and didn't want
to, but as for wanting someone else to do it, that was just what you
did want."
"And how coolly, how coolly he speakst But why should I have
wanted it; what grounds had I for wanting it?"
"What grounds had you? What about the inheritance?" said
Smerdyakov sarcastically, and, as it were, vindictively. "Why, after
your parent's death there was at least forty thousand to come to
each of you, and very likely more, but if Fyodor Pavlovitch got
married then to that lady, Agrafena Alexandrovna, she would have had
all his capital made over to her directly after the wedding, for she's
plenty of sense, so that your parent would not have left you two
roubles between the three of you. And were they far from a wedding,
either? Not a hair's-breadth: that lady had only to lift her little
finger and he would have run after her to church, with his tongue
Ivan restrained himself with painful effort.
"Very good," he commented at last. "You see, I haven't jumped
up, I haven't knocked you down, I haven't killed you. Speak on. So,
according to you, I had fixed on Dmitri to do it; I was reckoning on
"How could you help reckoning on him? If he killed him, then he
would lose all the rights of a nobleman, his rank and property, and
would go off to exile; so his share of the inheritance would come to
you and your brother Alexey Fyodorovitch in equal parts; so you'd each
have not forty, but sixty thousand each. There's not a doubt you did
reckon on Dmitri Fyodorovitch."
"What I put up with from you! Listen, scoundrel, if I had reckoned
on anyone then, it would have been on you, not on Dmitri, and I
swear I did expect some wickedness from you... at the time.... I
remember my impression!
"I thought, too, for a minute, at the time, that you were
reckoning on me as well," said Smerdyakov, with a sarcastic grin.
"So that it was just by that more than anything you showed me what was
in your mind. For if you had a foreboding about me and yet went
away, you as good as said to me, 'You can murder my parent, I won't
hinder you!"'
"You scoundrel! So that's how you understood it!"
"It was all that going to Tchermashnya. Why! You were meaning to
go to Moscow and refused all your father's entreaties to go to
Tchermashnya- and simply at a foolish word from me you consented at
once! What reason had you to consent to Tchermashnya? Since you went
to Tchermashnya with no reason, simply at my word, it shows that you
must have expected something from me."
No, I swear I didn't!" shouted Ivan, grinding his teeth.
"You didn't? Then you ought, as your father's son, to have had
me taken to the lock-up and thrashed at once for my words then... or
at least, to have given me a punch in the face on the spot, but you
were not a bit angry, if you please, and at once in a friendly way
acted on my foolish word and went away, which was utterly absurd,
for you ought to have stayed to save your parent's life. How could I
help drawing my conclusions?"
Ivan sat scowling, both his fists convulsively pressed on his
"Yes, I am sorry I didn't punch you in the face," he said with a
bitter smile. "I couldn't have taken you to the lock-up just then. Who
would have believed me and what charge could I bring against you?
But the punch in the face... oh, I'm sorry I didn't think of it.
Though blows are forbidden, I should have pounded your ugly face to
a jelly."
Smerdyakov looked at him almost with relish.
"In the ordinary occasions of life," he said in the same
complacent and sententious tone in which he had taunted Grigory and
argued with him about religion at Fyodor Pavlovitch's table, "in the
ordinary occasions of life, blows on the face are forbidden nowadays
by law, and people have given them up, but in exceptional occasions of
life people still fly to blows, not only among us but all over the
world, be it even the fullest republic of France, just as in the
time of Adam and Eve, and they never will leave off, but you, even
in an exceptional case, did not dare."
"What are you learning French words for?" Ivan nodded towards
the exercise-book lying on the table.
"Why shouldn't I learn them so as to improve my education,
supposing that I may myself chance to go some day to those happy parts
of Europe?"
"Listen, monster." Ivan's eyes flashed and he trembled all over.
"I am not afraid of your accusations; you can say what you like
about me, and if I don't beat you to death, it's simply because I
suspect you of that crime and I'll drag you to justice. I'll unmask
"To my thinking, you'd better keep quiet, for what can you
accuse me of, considering my absolute innocence? And who would believe
you? Only if you begin, I shall tell everything, too, for I must
defend myself."
"Do you think I am afraid of you now?"
"If the court doesn't believe all I've said to you just now, the
public will, and you will be ashamed."
"That's as much as to say, 'It's always worth while speaking to
a sensible man,' eh?" snarled Ivan.
"You hit the mark, indeed. And you'd better be sensible."
Ivan got up, shaking all over with indignation, put on his coat,
and without replying further to Smerdyakov, without even looking at
him, walked quickly out of the cottage. The cool evening air refreshed
him. There was a bright moon in the sky. A nightmare of ideas and
sensations filled his soul. "Shall I go at once and give information
against Smerdyakov? But what information can I give? He is not guilty,
anyway. On the contrary, he'll accuse me. And in fact, why did I set
off for Tchermashnya then? What for? What for?" Ivan asked himself.
"Yes, of course, I was expecting something and he is right... " And he
remembered for the hundredth time how, on the last night in his
father's house, he had listened on the stairs. But he remembered it
now with such anguish that he stood still on the spot as though he had
been stabbed. "Yes, I expected it then, that's true! I wanted the
murder, I did want the murder! Did I want the murder? Did I want it? I
must kill Smerdyakov! If I don't dare kill Smerdyakov now, life is not
worth living!"
Ivan did not go home, but went straight to Katerina Ivanovna and
alarmed her by his appearance. He was like a madman. He repeated all
his conversation with Smerdyakov, every syllable of it. He couldn't be
calmed, however much she tried to soothe him: he kept walking about
the room, speaking strangely, disconnectedly. At last he sat down, put
his elbows on the table, leaned his head on his hands and pronounced
this strange sentence: "If it's not Dmitri, but Smerdyakov who's the
murderer, I share his guilt, for I put him up to it. Whether I did,
I don't know yet. But if he is the murderer, and not Dmitri, then,
of course, I am the murderer, too."
When Katerina Ivanovna heard that, she got up from her seat
without a word, went to her writing-table, opened a box standing on
it, took out a sheet of paper and laid it before Ivan. This was the
document of which Ivan spoke to Alyosha later on as a "conclusive
proof" that Dmitri had killed his father. It was the letter written by
Mitya to Katerina Ivanovna when he was drunk, on the very evening he
met Alyosha at the crossroads on the way to the monastery, after the
scene at Katerina Ivanovna's, when Grushenka had insulted her. Then,
parting from Alyosha, Mitya had rushed to Grushenka. I don't know
whether he saw her, but in the evening he was at the Metropolis, where
he got thoroughly drunk. Then he asked for pen and paper and wrote a
document of weighty consequences to himself. It was a wordy,
disconnected, frantic letter, a drunken letter, in fact. It was like
the talk of a drunken man, who, on his return home, begins with
extraordinary heat telling his wife or one of his household how he has
just been insulted, what a rascal had just insulted him, what a fine
fellow he is on the other hand, and how he will pay that scoundrel
out; and all that at great length, with great excitement and
incoherence, with drunken tears and blows on the table. The letter was
written on a dirty piece of ordinary paper of the cheapest kind. It
had been provided by the tavern and there were figures scrawled on the
back of it. There was evidently not space enough for his drunken
verbosity and Mitya not only filled the margins but had written the
last line right across the rest. The letter ran as follows:

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

When Ivan read this "document" he was convinced. So then it was
his brother, not Smerdyakov. And if not Smerdyakov, then not he, Ivan.
This letter at once assumed in his eyes the aspect of a logical proof.
There could be no longer the slightest doubt of Mitya's guilt. The
suspicion never occurred to Ivan, by the way, that Mitya might have
committed the murder in conjunction with Smerdyakov, and, indeed, such
a theory did not fit in with the facts. Ivan was completely reassured.
The next morning he only thought of Smerdyakov and his gibes with
contempt. A few days later he positively wondered how he could have
been so horribly distressed at his suspicions. He resolved to
dismiss him with contempt and forget him. So passed a month. He made
no further inquiry about Smerdyakov, but twice he happened to hear
that he was very ill and out of his mind.
"He'll end in madness," the young doctor Varvinsky observed
about him, and Ivan remembered this. During the last week of that
month Ivan himself began to feel very ill. He went to consult the
Moscow doctor who had been sent for by Katerina Ivanovna just before
the trial. And just at that time his relations with Katerina
Ivanovna became acutely strained. They were like two enemies in love
with one another. Katerina Ivanovna's "returns" to Mitya, that is, her
brief but violent revulsions of feeling in his favour, drove Ivan to
perfect frenzy. Strange to say, until that last scene described above,
when Alyosha came from Mitya to Katerina Ivanovna, Ivan had never
once, during that month, heard her express a doubt of Mitya's guilt,
in spite of those "returns" that were so hateful to him. It is
remarkable, too, that while he felt that he hated Mitya more and
more every day, he realised that it was not on account of Katya's
"returns" that he hated him, but just because he was the murderer of
his father. He was conscious of this and fully recognised it to
Nevertheless, he went to see Mitya ten days before the trial and
proposed to him a plan of escape- a plan he had obviously thought over
a long time. He was partly impelled to do this by a sore place still
left in his heart from a phrase of Smerdyakov's, that it was to his,
Ivan's, advantage that his brother should be convicted, as that
would increase his inheritance and Alyosha's from forty to sixty
thousand roubles. He determined to sacrifice thirty thousand on
arranging Mitya's escape. On his return from seeing him, he was very
mournful and dispirited; he suddenly began to feel that he was anxious
for Mitya's escape, not only to heal that sore place by sacrificing
thirty thousand, but for another reason. "Is it because I am as much a
murderer at heart?" he asked himself. Something very deep down
seemed burning and rankling in his soul. His pride above all
suffered cruelly all that month. But of that later....
When, after his conversation with Alyosha, Ivan suddenly decided
with his hand on the bell of his lodging to go to Smerdyakov, he
obeyed a sudden and peculiar impulse of indignation. He suddenly
remembered how Katerina Ivanovna had only just cried out to him in
Alyosha's presence: "It was you, you, persuaded me of his" (that is,
Mitya's) "guilt!" Ivan was thunderstruck when he recalled it. He had
never once tried to persuade her that Mitya was the murderer; on the
contrary, he had suspected himself in her presence, that time when
he came back from Smerdyakov. It was she, she, who had produced that
"document" and proved his brother's guilt. And now she suddenly
exclaimed: "I've been at Smerdyakov's myself!" When had she been
there? Ivan had known nothing of it. So she was not at all so sure
of Mitya's guilt! And what could Smerdyakov have told her? What, what,
had he said to her? His heart burned with violent anger. He could
not understand how he could, half an hour before, have let those words
pass and not have cried out at the moment. He let go of the bell and
rushed off to Smerdyakov. "I shall kill him, perhaps, this time," he
thought on the way.
Chapter 8
The Third and Last Interview with Smerdyakov

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

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

But he broke off every time at the second line and began
swearing again; then he would begin the same song again. Ivan felt
an intense hatred for him before he had thought about him at all.
Suddenly he realised his presence and felt an irresistible impulse
to knock him down. At that moment they met, and the peasant with a
violent lurch fell full tilt against Ivan, who pushed him back
furiously. The peasant went flying backwards and fell like a log on
the frozen ground. He uttered one plaintive "O- oh!" and then was
silent. Ivan stepped up to him. He was lying on his back, without
movement or consciousness. "He will be frozen," thought Ivan, and he
went on his way to Smerdyakov's.
In the passage, Marya Kondratyevna, who ran out to open the door
with a candle in her hand, whispered that Smerdyakov was very ill;
"It's not that he's laid up, but he seems not himself, and he even
told us to take the tea away; he wouldn't have any."
"Why, does he make a row?" asked Ivan coarsely.
"Oh dear no, quite the contrary, he's very quiet. Only please
don't talk to him too long," Marya Kondratyevna begged him. Ivan
opened the door and stepped into the room.
It was over-heated as before, but there were changes in the
room. One of the benches at the side had been removed, and in its
place had been put a large old mahogany leather sofa, on which a bed
had been made up, with fairly clean white pillows. Smerdyakov was
sitting on the sofa, wearing the same dressing-gown. The table had
been brought out in front of the sofa, so that there was hardly room
to move. On the table lay a thick book in yellow cover, but Smerdyakov
was not reading it. He seemed to be sitting doing nothing. He met Ivan
with a slow silent gaze, and was apparently not at all surprised at
his coming. There was a great change in his face; he was much
thinner and sallower. His eyes were sunken and there were blue marks
under them.
"Why, you really are ill?" Ivan stopped short. "I won't keep you
long, I wont even take off my coat. Where can one sit down?"
He went to the other end of the table, moved up a chair and sat
down on it.
"Why do you look at me without speaking? We only come with one
question, and I swear I won't go without an answer. Has the young
lady, Katerina Ivanovna, been with you?"
Smerdyakov still remained silent, looking quietly at Ivan as
before. Suddenly, with a motion of his hand, he turned his face away.
"What's the matter with you?" cried Ivan.
"What do you mean by 'nothing'?"
"Yes, she has. It's no matter to you. Let me alone."
"No, I won't let you alone. Tell me, when was she here?"
"Why, I'd quite forgotten about her," said Smerdyakov, with a
scornful smile, and turning his face to Ivan again, he stared at him
with a look of frenzied hatred, the same look that he had fixed on him
at their last interview, a month before.
"You seem very ill yourself, your face is sunken; you don't look
like yourself," he said to Ivan.
"Never mind my health, tell me what I ask you.,
"But why are your eyes so yellow? The whites are quite yellow. Are
you so worried?" He smiled contemptuously and suddenly laughed
"Listen; I've told you I won't go away without an answer!" Ivan
cried, intensely irritated.
"Why do you keep pestering me? Why do you torment me?" said
Smerdyakov, with a look of suffering.
"Damn it! I've nothing to do with you. Just answer my question and
I'll go away."
"I've no answer to give you," said Smerdyakov, looking down again.
"You may be sure I'll make you answer!"
"Why are you so uneasy?" Smerdyakov stared at him, not simply with
contempt, but almost with repulsion. "Is this because the trial begins
to-morrow? Nothing will happen to you; can't you believe that at last?
Go home, go to bed and sleep in peace, don't be afraid of anything."
"I don't understand you.... What have I to be afraid of
to-morrow?" Ivan articulated in astonishment, and suddenly a chill
breath of fear did in fact pass over his soul. Smerdyakov measured him
with his eyes.
"You don't understand?" he drawled reproachfully. "It's a
strange thing a sensible man should care to play such a farce!"
Ivan looked at him speechless. The startling, incredibly
supercilious tone of this man who had once been his valet, was
extraordinary in itself. He had not taken such a tone even at their
last interview.
"I tell you, you've nothing to be afraid of. I won't say
anything about you; there's no proof against you. I say, how your
hands are trembling! Why are your fingers moving like that? Go home,
you did not murder him."
Ivan started. He remembered Alyosha.
"I know it was not I," he faltered.
"Do you?" Smerdyakov caught him up again.
Ivan jumped up and seized him by the shoulder.
"Tell me everything, you viper! Tell me everything!"
Smerdyakov was not in the least scared. He only riveted his eyes
on Ivan with insane hatred.
"Well, it was you who murdered him, if that's it," he whispered
Ivan sank back on his chair, as though pondering something. He
laughed malignantly.
"You mean my going away. What you talked about last time?"
"You stood before me last time and understood it all, and you
understand it now."
"All I understand is that you are mad."
"Aren't you tired of it? Here we are face to face; what's the
use of going on keeping up a farce to each other? Are you still trying
to throw it all on me, to my face? You murdered him; you are the
real murderer, I was only your instrument, your faithful servant,
and it was following your words I did it."
"Did it? Why, did you murder him?" Ivan turned cold.
Something seemed to give way in his brain, and he shuddered all
over with a cold shiver. Then Smerdyakov himself looked at him
wonderingly; probably the genuineness of Ivan's horror struck him.
"You don't mean to say you really did not know?" he faltered
mistrustfully, looking with a forced smile into his eyes. Ivan still
gazed at him, and seemed unable to speak.

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

suddenly echoed in his head.
"Do you know, I am afraid that you are a dream, a phantom
sitting before me," he muttered.
"There's no phantom here, but only us two and one other. No
doubt he is here, that third, between us."
"Who is he? Who is here? What third person?" Ivan cried in
alarm, looking about him, his eyes hastily searching in every corner.
"That third is God Himself- Providence. He is the third beside
us now. Only don't look for Him, you won't find him."
"It's a lie that you killed him!" Ivan cried madly. "You are
mad, or teasing me again!"
Smerdyakov, as before, watched him curiously, with no sign of
fear. He could still scarcely get over his incredulity; he still
fancied that Ivan knew everything and was trying to "throw it all on
him to his face."
"Wait a minute," he said at last in a weak voice, and suddenly
bringing up his left leg from under the table, he began turning up his
trouser leg. He was wearing long white stockings and slippers.
Slowly he took off his garter and fumbled to the bottom of his
stocking. Ivan gazed at him, and suddenly shuddered in a paroxysm of
"He's mad!" he cried, and rapidly jumping up, he drew back, so
that he knocked his back against the wall and stood up against it,
stiff and straight. He looked with insane terror at Smerdyakov, who,
entirely unaffected by his terror, continued fumbling in his stocking,
as though he were making an effort to get hold of something with his
fingers and pull it out. At last he got hold of it and began pulling
it out. Ivan saw that it was a piece of paper, or perhaps a roll of
papers. Smerdyakov pulled it out and laid it on the table.
"Here," he said quietly.
"What is it?" asked Ivan, trembling.
"Kindly look at it," Smerdyakov answered, still in the same low
Ivan stepped up to the table, took up the roll of paper and
began unfolding it, but suddenly drew back his fingers, as though from
contact with a loathsome reptile.
"Your hands keep twitching," observed Smerdyakov, and he
deliberately unfolded the bundle himself. Under the wrapper were three
packets of hundred-rouble notes.
"They are all here, all the three thousand roubles; you need not
count them. Take them," Smerdyakov suggested to Ivan, nodding at the
notes. Ivan sank back in his chair. He was as white as a handkerchief.
"You frightened me... with your stocking," he said, with a strange
"Can you really not have known till now?" Smerdyakov asked once
"No, I did not know. I kept thinking of Dmitri. Brother,
brother! Ach!" He suddenly clutched his head in both hands.
"Listen. Did you kill him alone? With my brother's help or
"It was only with you, with your help, I killed him, and Dmitri
Fyodorovitch is quite innocent."
"All right, all right. Talk about me later. Why do I keep on
trembling? I can't speak properly."
"You were bold enough then. You said 'everything was lawful,'
and how frightened you are now," Smerdyakov muttered in surprise.
"Won't you have some lemonade? I'll ask for some at once. It's very
refreshing. Only I must hide this first."
And again he motioned at the notes. He was just going to get up
and call at the door to Marya Kondratyevna to make some lemonade and
bring it them, but, looking for something to cover up the notes that
she might not see them, he first took out his handkerchief, and as
it turned out to be very dirty, took up the big yellow book that
Ivan had noticed at first lying on the table, and put it over the
notes. The book was The Sayings of the Holy Father Isaac the Syrian.
Ivan read it mechanically.
"I won't have any lemonade," he said. "Talk of me later. Sit
down and tell me how you did it. Tell me all about it."
"You'd better take off your greatcoat, or you'll be too hot."
Ivan, as though he'd only just thought of it, took off his coat,
and, without getting up from his chair, threw it on the bench.
"Speak, please, speak."
He seemed calmer. He waited, feeling sure that Smerdyakov would
tell him all about it.
"How it was done?" sighed Smerdyakov. "It was done in a most
natural way, following your very words."
"Of my words later," Ivan broke in again, apparently with complete
self-possession, firmly uttering his words, and not shouting as
before. "Only tell me in detail how you did it. Everything, as it
happened. Don't forget anything. The details, above everything, the
details, I beg you."
"You'd gone away, then I fell into the cellar."
"In a fit or in a sham one?"
"A sham one, naturally. I shammed it all. I went quietly down
the steps to the very bottom and lay down quietly, and as I lay down I
gave a scream, and struggled, till they carried me out."
"Stay! And were you shamming all along, afterwards, and in the
"No, not at all. Next day, in the morning, before they took me
to the hospital, I had a real attack and a more violent one than
I've had for years. For two days I was quite unconscious."
"All right, all right. Go on."
"They laid me on the bed. I knew I'd be the other side of the
partition, for whenever I was ill, Marfa Ignatyevna used to put me
there, near them. She's always been very kind to me, from my birth up.
At night I moaned, but quietly. I kept expecting Dmitri Fyodorovitch
to come."
"Expecting him? To come to you?"
"Not to me. I expected him to come into the house, for I'd no
doubt that he'd come that night, for being without me and getting no
news, he'd be sure to come and climb over the fence, as he used to,
and do something."
"And if he hadn't come?"
"Then nothing would have happened. I should never have brought
myself to it without him."
"All right, all right. speak more intelligibly, don't hurry; above
all, don't leave anything out!"
"I expected him to kill Fyodor Pavlovitch. I thought that was
certain, for I had prepared him for it... during the last few days....
He knew about the knocks, that was the chief thing. With his
suspiciousness and the fury which had been growing in him all those
days, he was bound to get into the house by means of those taps.
That was inevitable, so I was expecting him."
"Stay," Ivan interrupted; "if he had killed him, he would have
taken the money and carried it away; you must have considered that.
What would you have got by it afterwards? I don't see."
0 "But he would never have found the money. That was only what I
told him, that the money was under the mattress. But that wasn't true.
It had been lying in a box. And afterwards I suggested to Fyodor
Pavlovitch, as I was the only person he trusted, to hide the
envelope with the notes in the corner behind the ikons, for no one
would have guessed that place, especially if they came in a hurry.
So that's where the envelope lay, in the corner behind the ikons. It
would have been absurd to keep it under the mattress; the box, anyway,
could be locked. But all believe it was under the mattress. A stupid
thing to believe. So if Dmitri Fyodorovitch had committed the
murder, finding nothing, he would either have run away in a hurry,
afraid of every sound, as always happens with murderers, or he would
have been arrested. So I could always have clambered up to the ikons
and have taken away the money next moming or even that night, and it
would have all been put down to Dmitri Fyodorovitch. I could reckon
upon that."
"But what if he did not kill him, but only knocked him down?"
"If he did not kill him, of course, I would not have ventured to
take the money, and nothing would have happened. But I calculated that
he would beat him senseless, and I should have time to take it then,
and then I'd make out to Fyodor Pavlovitch that it was no one but
Dmitri Fyodorovitch who had taken the money after beating him."
"Stop... I am getting mixed. Then it was Dmitri after all who
killed him; you only took the money?"
"No, he didn't kill him. Well, I might as well have told you now
that he was the murderer.... But I don't want to lie to you now
because... because if you really haven't understood till now, as I see
for myself, and are not pretending, so as to throw your guilt on me to
my very face, you are still responsible for it all, since you knew
of the murder and charged me to do it, and went away knowing all about
it. And so I want to prove to your face this evening that you are
the only real murderer in the whole affair, and I am not the real
murderer, though I did kill him. You are the rightful murderer."
"Why, why, am I a murderer? Oh, God!" Ivan cried, unable to
restrain himself at last, and forgetting that he had put off
discussing himself till the end of the conversation. "You still mean
that Tchermashnya? Stay, tell me, why did you want my consent, if
you really took Tchermashnya for consent? How will you explain that
"Assured of your consent, I should have known that you wouldn't
have made an outcry over those three thousand being lost, even if
I'd been suspected, instead of Dmitri Fyodorovitch, or as his
accomplice; on the contrary, you would have protected me from
others.... And when you got your inheritance you would have rewarded
me when you were able, all the rest of your life. For you'd have
received your inheritance through me, seeing that if he had married
Agrafena Alexandrovna, you wouldn't have had a farthing."
"Ah! Then you intended to worry me all my life afterwards,"
snarled Ivan. "And what if I hadn't gone away then, but had informed
against you?"
"What could you have informed? That I persuaded you to go to
Tcherinashnya? That's all nonsense. Besides, after our conversation
you would either have gone away or have stayed. If you had stayed,
nothing would have happened. I should have known that you didn't
want it done, and should have attempted nothing. As you went away,
it meant you assured me that you wouldn't dare to inform against me at
the trial, and that you'd overlook my having the three thousand.
And, indeed, you couldn't have prosecuted me afterwards, because
then I should have told it all in the court; that is, not that I had
stolen the money or killed him- I shouldn't have said that- but that
you'd put me up to the theft and the murder, though I didn't consent
to it. That's why I needed your consent, so that you couldn't have
cornered me afterwards, for what proof could you have had? I could
always have cornered you, revealing your eagerness for your father's
death, and I tell you the public would have believed it all, and you
would have been ashamed for the rest of your life."
"Was I then so eager, was I?" Ivan snarled again.
"To be sure you were, and by your consent you silently
sanctioned my doing it." Smerdyakov looked resolutely at Ivan. He
was very weak and spoke slowly and wearily, but some hidden inner
force urged him on. He evidently had some design. Ivan felt that.
"Go on," he said. "Tell me what happened that night."
"What more is there to tell! I lay there and I thought I heard the
master shout. And before that Grigory Vassilyevitch had suddenly got
up and came out, and he suddenly gave a scream, and then all was
silence and darkness. I lay there waiting, my heart beating; I
couldn't bear it. I got up at last, went out. I saw the window open on
the left into the garden, and I stepped to the left to listen
whether he was sitting there alive, and I heard the master moving
about, sighing, so I knew he was alive. 'Ech!' I thought. I went to
the window and shouted to the master, 'It's I.' And he shouted to
me, 'He's been, he's been; he's run away.' He meant Dmitri
Fyodorovitch had been. 'He's killed Grigory! "Where?' I whispered.
'There, in the corner,' he pointed. He was whispering, too. 'Wait a
bit," I said. I went to the corner of the garden to look, and there
I came upon Grigory Vassilyevitch lying by the wall, covered with
blood, senseless. So it's true that Dmitri Fyodorovitch has been here,
was the thought that came into my head, and I determined on the spot
to make an end of it, as Grigory Vassilyevitch, even if he were alive,
would see nothing of it, as he lay there senseless. The only risk
was that Marfa Ignatyevna might wake up. I felt that at the moment,
but the longing to get it done came over me, till I could scarcely
breathe. I went back to the window to the master and said, 'She's
here, she's come; Agrafena Alexandrovna has come, wants to be let in.'
And he started like a baby. 'Where is she?' he fairly gasped, but
couldn't believe it. 'She's standing there,' said I. 'Open.' He looked
out of the window at me, half believing and half distrustful, but
afraid to open. 'Why, he is afraid of me now,' I thought. And it was
funny. I bethought me to knock on the window-frame those taps we'd
agreed upon as a signal that Grushenka had come, in his presence,
before his eyes. He didn't seem to believe my word, but as soon as
he heard the taps, he ran at once to open the door. He opened it. I
would have gone in, but he stood in the way to prevent me passing.
'Where is she? Where is she?' He looked at me, all of a tremble.
'Well,' thought I, 'if he's so frightened of me as all that, it's a
bad lookout!' And my legs went weak with fright that he wouldn't let
me in or would call out, or Marfa Ignatyevna would run up, or
something else might happen. I don't remember now, but I must have
stood pale, facing him. I whispered to him, 'Why, she's there,
there, under the window; how is it you don't see her?' I said.
'Bring her then, bring her.' 'She's afraid,' said I; 'she was
frightened at the noise, she's hidden in the bushes; go and call to
her yourself from the study.' He ran to the window, put the candle
in the window. 'Grushenka,' he cried, 'Grushenka, are you here?'
Though he cried that, he didn't want to lean out of the window, he
didn't want to move away from me, for he was panic-stricken; he was so
frightened he didn't dare to turn his back on me. 'Why, here she
is,' said I. I went up to the window and leaned right out of it. 'Here
she is; she's in the bush, laughing at you, don't you see her?' He
suddenly believed it; he was all of a shake- he was awfully crazy
about her- and he leaned right out of the window. I snatched up that
iron paper-weight from his table; do you remember, weighing about
three pounds? I swung it and hit him on the top of the skull with
the corner of it. He didn't even cry out. He only sank down
suddenly, and I hit him again and a third time. And the third time I
knew I'd broken his skull. He suddenly rolled on his back, face
upwards, covered with blood. I looked round. There was no blood on me,
not a spot. I wiped the paper-weight, put it back, went up to the
ikons, took the money out of the envelope, and flung the envelope on
the floor and the pink ribbon beside it. I went out into the garden
all of a tremble, straight to the apple-tree with a hollow in it-
you know that hollow. I'd marked it long before and put a rag and a
piece of paper ready in it. I wrapped all the notes in the rag and
stuffed it deep down in the hole. And there it stayed for over a
fortnight. I took it out later, when I came out of the hospital. I
went back to my bed, lay down and thought, 'If Grigory Vassilyevitch
has been killed outright it may be a bad job for me, but if he is
not killed and recovers, it will be first-rate, for then he'll bear
witness that Dmitri Fyodorovitch has been here, and so he must have
killed him and taken the money.' Then I began groaning with suspense
and impatience, so as to wake Marfa Ignatyevna as soon as possible. At
last she got up and she rushed to me, but when she saw Grigory
Vassilyevitch was not there, she ran out, and I heard her scream in
the garden. And that set it all going and set my mind at rest."
He stopped. Ivan had listened all the time in dead silence without
stirring or taking his eyes off him. As he told his story Smerdyakov
glanced at him from time to time, but for the most part kept his
eyes averted. When he had finished he was evidently agitated and was
breathing hard. The perspiration stood out on his face. But it was
impossible to tell whether it was remorse he was feeling, or what.
"Stay," cried Ivan pondering. "What about the door? If he only
opened the door to you, how could Grigory have seen it open before?
For Grigory saw it before you went."
It was remarkable that Ivan spoke quite amicably, in a different
tone, not angry as before, so if anyone had opened the door at that
moment and peeped in at them, he would certainly have concluded that
they were talking peaceably about some ordinary, though interesting,
"As for that door and having seen it open, that's only his fancy,"
said Smerdyakov, with a wry smile. "He is not a man, I assure you, but
an obstinate mule. He didn't see it, but fancied he had seen it, and
there's no shaking him. It's just our luck he took that notion into
his head, for they can't fail to convict Dmitri Fyodorovitch after
"Listen... " said Ivan, beginning to seem bewildered again and
making an effort to grasp something. "Listen. There are a lot of
questions I want to ask you, but I forget them... I keep forgetting
and getting mixed up. Yes. Tell me this at least, why did you open the
envelope and leave it there on the floor? Why didn't you simply
carry off the envelope?... When you were telling me, I thought you
spoke about it as though it were the right thing to do... but why, I
can't understand..."
"I did that for a good reason. For if a man had known all about
it, as I did for instance, if he'd seen those notes before, and
perhaps had put them in that envelope himself, and had seen the
envelope sealed up and addressed, with his own eyes, if such a man had
done the murder, what should have made him tear open the envelope
afterwards, especially in such desperate haste, since he'd know for
certain the notes must be in the envelope? No, if the robber had
been someone like me, he'd simply have put the envelope straight in
his pocket and got away with it as fast as he could. But it'd be quite
different with Dmitri Fyodorovitch. He only knew about the envelope by
hearsay; he had never seen it, and if he'd found it, for instance,
under the mattress, he'd have torn it open as quickly as possible to
make sure the notes were in it. And he'd have thrown the envelope
down, without having time to think that it would be evidence against
him. Because he was not an habitual thief and had never directly
stolen anything before, for he is a gentleman born, and if he did
bring himself to steal, it would not be regular stealing, but simply
taking what was his own, for he'd told the whole town he meant to
before, and had even bragged aloud before everyone that he'd go and
take his property from Fyodor Pavlovitch. I didn't say that openly
to the prosecutor when I was being examined, but quite the contrary, I
brought him to it by a hint, as though I didn't see it myself, and
as though he'd thought of it himself and I hadn't prompted him; so
that Mr. Prosecutor's mouth positively watered at my suggestion."
"But can you possibly have thought of all that on the spot?" cried
Ivan, overcome with astonishment. He looked at Smerdyakov again with
"Mercy on us! Could anyone think of it all in such a desperate
hurry? It was all thought out beforehand."
"Well... well, it was the devil helped you!" Ivan cried again.
"No, you are not a fool, you are far cleverer than I thought..."
He got up, obviously intending to walk across the room. He was
in terrible distress. But as the table blocked his way, and there
was hardly room to pass between the table and the wall, he only turned
round where he stood and sat down again. Perhaps the impossibility
of moving irritated him, as he suddenly cried out almost as
furiously as before.
"Listen, you miserable, contemptible creature! Don't you
understand that if I haven't killed you, it's simply because I am
keeping you to answer to-morrow at the trial. God sees," Ivan raised
his hand, "perhaps I, too, was guilty; perhaps I really had a secret
desire for my father's... death, but I swear I was not as guilty as
you think, and perhaps I didn't urge you on at all. No, no, I didn't
urge you on! But no matter, I will give evidence against myself
to-morrow at the trial. I'm determined to! I shall tell everything,
everything. But we'll make our appearance together. And whatever you
may say against me at the trial, whatever evidence you give, I'll face
it; I am not afraid of you. I'll confirm it all myself! But you must
confess, too! You must, you must; we'll go together. That's how it
shall be!"
Ivan said this solemnly and resolutely and from his flashing
eyes alone it could be seen that it would be so.
"You are ill, I see; you are quite ill. Your eyes are yellow,"
Smerdyakov commented, without the least irony, with apparent
sympathy in fact.
"We'll go together," Ivan repeated. "And if you won't go, no
matter, I'll go alone."
Smerdyakov paused as though pondering.
"There'll be nothing of the sort, and you won't go," he
concluded at last positively.
"You don't understand me," Ivan exclaimed reproachfully.
"You'll be too much ashamed, if you confess it all. And, what's
more, it will be no use at all, for I shall say straight out that I
never said anything of the sort to you, and that you are either ill
(and it looks like it, too), or that you're so sorry for your
brother that you are sacrificing yourself to save him and have
invented it all against me, for you've always thought no more of me
than if I'd been a fly. And who will believe you, and what single
proof have you got?"
"Listen, you showed me those notes just now to convince me."
Smerdyakov lifted the book off the notes and laid it on one side.
"Take that money away with you," Smerdyakov sighed.
"Of course, I shall take it. But why do you give it to me, if
you committed the murder for the sake of it?" Ivan looked at him
with great surprise.
"I don't want it," Smerdyakov articulated in a shaking voice, with
a gesture of refusal. "I did have an idea of beginning a new life with
that money in Moscow or, better still, abroad. I did dream of it,
chiefly because 'all things are lawful.' That was quite right what you
taught me, for you talked a lot to me about that. For if there's no
everlasting God, there's no such thing as virtue, and there's no
need of it. You were right there. So that's how I looked at it."
"Did you come to that of yourself?" asked Ivan, with a wry smile.
"With your guidance."
"And now, I suppose, you believe in God, since you are giving back
the money?"
"No, I don't believe," whispered Smerdyakov.
"Then why are you giving it back?"
"Leave off... that's enough!" Smerdyakov waved his hand again.
"You used to say yourself that everything was lawful, so now why are
you so upset, too? You even want to go and give evidence against
yourself.... Only there'll be nothing of the sort! You won't go to
give evidence," Smerdyakov decided with conviction.
"You'll see," said Ivan.
"It isn't possible. You are very clever. You are fond of money,
I know that. You like to be respected, too, for you're very proud; you
are far too fond of female charms, too, and you mind most of all about
living in undisturbed comfort, without having to depend on anyone-
that's what you care most about. You won't want to spoil your life for
ever by taking such a disgrace on yourself. You are like Fyodor
Pavlovitch, you are more like him than any of his children; you've the
same soul as he had."
"You are not a fool," said Ivan, seeming struck. The blood
rushed to his face. "You are serious now!" he observed, looking
suddenly at Smerdyakov with a different expression.
"It was your pride made you think I was a fool. Take the money."
Ivan took the three rolls of notes and put them in his pocket
without wrapping them in anything.
"I shall show them at the court to-morrow," he said.
"Nobody will believe you, as you've plenty of money of your own;
you may simply have taken it out of your cash-box and brought it to
the court."
Ivan rose from his seat.
"I repeat," he said, "the only reason I haven't killed you is that
I need you for to-morrow, remember that, don't forget it!"
"Well, kill me. Kill me now," Smerdyakov said, all at once looking
strangely at Ivan. "You won't dare do that even!" he added, with a
bitter smile. "You won't dare to do anything, you, who used to be so
"Till to-morrow," cried Ivan, and moved to go out.
"Stay a moment.... Show me those notes again."
Ivan took out the notes and showed them to him. Smerdyakov
looked at them for ten seconds.
"Well, you can go," he said, with a wave of his hand. "Ivan
Fyodorovitch!" he called after him again.
"What do you want?" Ivan turned without stopping.
"Till to-morrow!" Ivan cried again, and he walked out of the
The snowstorm was still raging. He walked the first few steps
boldly, but suddenly began staggering. "It's something physical," he
thought with a grin. Something like joy was springing up in his heart.
He was conscious of unbounded resolution; he would make an end of
the wavering that had so tortured him of late. His determination was
taken, "and now it will not be changed," he thought with relief. At
that moment he stumbled against something and almost fell down.
Stopping short, he made out at his feet the peasant he had knocked
down, still lying senseless and motionless. The snow had almost
covered his face. Ivan seized him and lifted him in his arms. Seeing a
light in the little house to the right he went up, knocked at the
shutters, and asked the man to whom the house belonged to help him
carry the peasant to the police station, promising him three
roubles. The man got ready and came out. I won't describe in detail
how Ivan succeeded in his object, bringing the peasant to the
police-station and arranging for a doctor to see him at once,
providing with a liberal hand for the expenses. I will only say that
this business took a whole hour, but Ivan was well content with it.
His mind wandered and worked incessantly.
"If I had not taken my decision so firmly for to-morrow," he
reflected with satisfaction, "I should not have stayed a whole hour to
look after the peasant, but should have passed by, without caring
about his being frozen. I am quite capable of watching myself, by
the way," he thought at the same instant, with still greater
satisfaction, "although they have decided that I am going out of my
Just as he reached his own house he stopped short, asking
himself suddenly hadn't he better go at once to the prosecutor and
tell him everything. He decided the question by turning back to the
house. "Everything together to-morrow!" he whispered to himself,
and, strange to say, almost all his gladness and selfsatisfaction
passed in one instant.
As he entered his own room he felt something like a touch of ice
on his heart, like a recollection or, more exactly, a reminder, of
something agonising and revolting that was in that room now, at that
moment, and had been there before. He sank wearily on his sofa. The
old woman brought him a samovar; he made tea, but did not touch it. He
sat on the sofa and felt giddy. He felt that he was ill and
helpless. He was beginning to drop asleep, but got up uneasily and
walked across the room to shake off his drowsiness. At moments he
fancied he was delirious, but it was not illness that he thought of
most. Sitting down again, he began looking round, as though
searching for something. This happened several times. At last his eyes
were fastened intently on one point. Ivan smiled, but an angry flush
suffused his face. He sat a long time in his place, his head propped
on both arms, though he looked sideways at the same point, at the sofa
that stood against the opposite wall. There was evidently something,
some object, that irritated him there, worried him and tormented him.
Chapter 9
The Devil. Ivan's Nightmare

I AM NOT a doctor, but yet I feel that the moment has come when
I must inevitably give the reader some account of the nature of Ivan's
illness. Anticipating events I can say at least one thing: he was at
that moment on the very eve of an attack of brain fever. Though his
health had long been affected, it had offered a stubborn resistance to
the fever which in the end gained complete mastery over it. Though I
know nothing of medicine, I venture to hazard the suggestion that he
really had perhaps, by a terrible effort of will, succeeded in
delaying the attack for a time, hoping, of course, to check it
completely. He knew that he was unwell, but he loathed the thought
of being ill at that fatal time, at the approaching crisis in his
life, when he needed to have all his wits about him, to say what he
had to say boldly and resolutely and "to justify himself to himself."
He had, however, consulted the new doctor, who had been brought
from Moscow by a fantastic notion of Katerina Ivanovna's to which I
have referred already. After listening to him and examining him the
doctor came to the conclusion that he was actually suffering from some
disorder of the brain, and was not at all surprised by an admission
which Ivan had reluctantly made him. "Hallucinations are quite
likely in your condition," the doctor opined, 'though it would be
better to verify them... you must take steps at once, without a
moment's delay, or things will go badly with you." But Ivan did not
follow this judicious advice and did not take to his bed to be nursed.
"I am walking about, so I am strong enough, if I drop, it'll be
different then, anyone may nurse me who likes," he decided, dismissing
the subject.
And so he was sitting almost conscious himself of his delirium
and, as I have said already, looking persistently at some object on
the sofa against the opposite wall. Someone appeared to be sitting
there, though goodness knows how he had come in, for he had not been
in the room when Ivan came into it, on his return from Smerdyakov.
This was a person or, more accurately speaking, a Russian gentleman of
a particular kind, no longer young, qui faisait la cinquantaine,* as
the French say, with rather long, still thick, dark hair, slightly
streaked with grey and a small pointed beard. He was wearing a
brownish reefer jacket, rather shabby, evidently made by a good tailor
though, and of a fashion at least three years old, that had been
discarded by smart and well-to-do people for the last two years. His
linen and his long scarf-like neck-tie were all such as are worn by
people who aim at being stylish, but on closer inspection his linen
was not overclean and his wide scarf was very threadbare. The
visitor's check trousers were of excellent cut, but were too light
in colour and too tight for the present fashion. His soft fluffy white
hat was out of keeping with the season.

* Fiftyish.

In brief there was every appearance of gentility on straitened
means. It looked as though the gentleman belonged to that class of
idle landowners who used to flourish in the times of serfdom. He had
unmistakably been, at some time, in good and fashionable society,
had once had good connections, had possibly preserved them indeed,
but, after a gay youth, becoming gradually impoverished on the
abolition of serfdom, he had sunk into the position of a poor relation
of the best class, wandering from one good old friend to another and
received by them for his companionable and accommodating disposition
and as being, after all, a gentleman who could be asked to sit down
with anyone, though, of course, not in a place of honour. Such
gentlemen of accommodating temper and dependent position, who can tell
a story, take a hand at cards, and who have a distinct aversion for
any duties that may be forced upon them, are usually solitary
creatures, either bachelors or widowers. Sometimes they have children,
but if so, the children are always being brought up at a distance,
at some aunt's, to whom these gentlemen never allude in good
society, seeming ashamed of the relationship. They gradually lose
sight of their children altogether, though at intervals they receive a
birthday or Christmas letter from them and sometimes even answer it.
The countenance of the unexpected visitor was not so much
good-natured, as accommodating and ready to assume any amiable
expression as occasion might arise. He had no watch, but he had a
tortoise-shell lorgnette on a black ribbon. On the middle finger of
his right hand was a massive gold ring with a cheap opal stone in it.
Ivan was angrily silent and would not begin the conversation.
The visitor waited and sat exactly like a poor relation who had come
down from his room to keep his host company at tea, and was discreetly
silent, seeing that his host was frowning and preoccupied. But he
was ready for any affable conversation as soon as his host should
begin it. All at once his face expressed a sudden solicitude.
"I say," he began to Ivan, "excuse me, I only mention it to remind
you. You went to Smerdyakov's to find out about Katerina Ivanovna, but
you came away without finding out anything about her, you probably
"Ah, yes." broke from Ivan and his face grew gloomy with
uneasiness. "Yes, I'd forgotten... but it doesn't matter now, never
mind, till to-morrow," he muttered to himself, "and you," he added,
addressing his visitor, "I should have remembered that myself in a
minute, for that was just what was tormenting me! Why do you
interfere, as if I should believe that you prompted me, and that I
didn't remember it of myself?"
"Don't believe it then," said the gentleman, smiling amicably,
"what's the good of believing against your will? Besides, proofs are
no help to believing, especially material proofs. Thomas believed, not
because he saw Christ risen, but because he wanted to believe,
before he saw. Look at the spiritualists, for instance.... I am very
fond of them... only fancy, they imagine that they are serving the
cause of religion, because the devils show them their horns from the
other world. That, they say, is a material proof, so to speak, of
the existence of another world. The other world and material proofs,
what next! And if you come to that, does proving there's a devil prove
that there's a God? I want to join an idealist society, I'll lead
the opposition in it, I'll say I am a realist, but not a
materialist, he he!"
"Listen," Ivan suddenly got up from the table. "I seem to be
delirious... I am delirious, in fact, talk any nonsense you like, I
don't care! You won't drive me to fury, as you did last time. But I
feel somehow ashamed... I want to walk about the room.... I
sometimes don't see you and don't even hear your voice as I did last
time, but I always guess what you are prating, for it's I, I myself
speaking, not you. Only I don't know whether I was dreaming last
time or whether I really saw you. I'll wet a towel and put it on my
head and perhaps you'll vanish into air."
Ivan went into the corner, took a towel, and did as he said, and
with a wet towel on his head began walking up and down the room.
"I am so glad you treat me so familiarly," the visitor began.
"Fool," laughed Ivan, "do you suppose I should stand on ceremony
with you? I am in good spirits now, though I've a pain in my
forehead... and in the top of my head... only please don't talk
philosophy, as you did last time. If you can't take yourself off, talk
of something amusing. Talk gossip, you are a poor relation, you
ought to talk gossip. What a nightmare to have! But I am not afraid of
you. I'll get the better of you. I won't be taken to a mad-house!"
"C'est charmant, poor relation. Yes, I am in my natural shape. For
what am I on earth but a poor relation? By the way, I am listening
to you and am rather surprised to find you are actually beginning to
take me for something real, not simply your fancy, as you persisted in
declaring last time-"
"Never for one minute have I taken you for reality," Ivan cried
with a sort of fury. "You are a lie, you are my illness, you are a
phantom. It's only that I don't know how to destroy you and I see I
must suffer for a time. You are my hallucination. You are the
incarnation of myself, but only of one side of me... of my thoughts
and feelings, but only the nastiest and stupidest of them. From that
point of view you might be of interest to me, if only I had time to
waste on you-"
"Excuse me, excuse me, I'll catch you. When you flew out at
Alyosha under the lamp-post this evening and shouted to him, 'You
learnt it from him! How do you know that he visits me?' You were
thinking of me then. So for one brief moment you did believe that I
really exist," the gentleman laughed blandly.
"Yes, that was a moment of weakness... but I couldn't believe in
you. I don't know whether I was asleep or awake last time. Perhaps I
was only dreaming then and didn't see you really at all-"
"And why were you so surly with Alyosha just now? He is a dear;
I've treated him badly over Father Zossima."
"Don't talk of Alyosha! How dare you, you flunkey!" Ivan laughed
"You scold me, but you laugh- that's a good sign. But you are ever
so much more polite than you were last time and I know why: that great
resolution of yours-"
"Don't speak of my resolution," cried Ivan, savagely.
"I understand, I understand, c'est noble, c'est charmant, you
are going to defend your brother and to sacrifice yourself... C'est
"Hold your tongue, I'll kick you!"
"I shan't be altogether sorry, for then my object will be
attained. If you kick me, you must believe in my reality, for people
don't kick ghosts. Joking apart, it doesn't matter to me, scold if you
like, though it's better to be a trifle more polite even to me. 'Fool,
flunkey!' what words!"
"Scolding you, I scold myself," Ivan laughed again, "you are
myself, myself, only with a different face. You just say what I am
thinking... and are incapable of saying anything new!"
"If I am like you in my way of thinking, it's all to my credit,"
the gentleman declared, with delicacy and dignity.
"You choose out only my worst thoughts, and what's more, the
stupid ones. You are stupid and vulgar. You are awfully stupid. No,
I can't put up with you! What am I to do, what am I to do?" Ivan
said through his clenched teeth.
"My dear friend, above all things I want to behave like a
gentleman and to be recognised as such," the visitor began in an
access of deprecating and simple-hearted pride, typical of a poor
relation. "I am poor, but... I won't say very honest, but... it's an
axiom generally accepted in society that I am a fallen angel. I
certainly can't conceive how I can ever have been an angel. If I
ever was, it must have been so long ago that there's no harm in
forgetting it. Now I only prize the reputation of being a
gentlemanly person and live as I can, trying to make myself agreeable.
I love men genuinely, I've been greatly calumniated! Here when I
stay with you from time to time, my life gains a kind of reality and
that's what I like most of all. You see, like you, I suffer from the
fantastic and so I love the realism of earth. Here, with you,
everything is circumscribed, here all is formulated and geometrical,
while we have nothing but indeterminate equations! I wander about here
dreaming. I like dreaming. Besides, on earth I become superstitious.
Please don't laugh, that's just what I like, to become
superstitious. I adopt all your habits here: I've grown fond of
going to the public baths, would you believe it? and I go and steam
myself with merchants and priests. What I dream of is becoming
incarnate once for all and irrevocably in the form of some
merchant's wife weighing eighteen stone, and of believing all she
believes. My ideal is to go to church and offer a candle in
simple-hearted faith, upon my word it is. Then there would be an end
to my sufferings. I like being doctored too; in the spring there was
an outbreak of smallpox and I went and was vaccinated in a foundling
hospital- if only you knew how I enjoyed myself that day. I subscribed
ten roubles in the cause of the Slavs!... But you are not listening.
Do you know, you are not at all well this evening? I know you went
yesterday to that doctor... well, what about your health? What did the
doctor say?"
"Fool!" Ivan snapped out.
"But you are clever, anyway. You are scolding again? I didn't
ask out of sympathy. You needn't answer. Now rheumatism has come in
"Fool!" repeated Ivan.
"You keep saying the same thing; but I had such an attack of
rheumatism last year that I remember it to this day."
"The devil have rheumatism!"
"Why not, if I sometimes put on fleshly form? I put on fleshly
form and I take the consequences. Satan sum et nihil humanum a me
alienum puto."*

* I am Satan, and deem nothing human alien to me.

"What, what, Satan sum et nihil humanum... that's not bad for
the devil!"
"I am glad I've pleased you at last."
"But you didn't get that from me." Ivan stopped suddenly,
seeming struck. "That never entered my head, that's strange."
"C'est du nouveau, n'est-ce pas?"* This time I'll act honestly and
explain to you. Listen, in dreams and especially in nightmares, from
indigestion or anything, a man sees sometimes such artistic visions,
such complex and real actuality, such events, even a whole world of
events, woven into such a plot, with such unexpected details from
the most exalted matters to the last button on a cuff, as I swear
Leo Tolstoy has never invented. Yet such dreams are sometimes seen not
by writers, but by the most ordinary people, officials, journalists,
priests.... The subject is a complete enigma. A statesman confessed to
me, indeed, that all his best ideas came to him when he was asleep.
Well, that's how it is now, though I am your hallucination, yet just
as in a nightmare, I say original things which had not entered your
head before. So I don't repeat your ideas, yet I am only your
nightmare, nothing more."

* It's new, isn't it?

"You are lying, your aim is to convince me you exist apart and are
not my nightmare, and now you are asserting you are a dream."
"My dear fellow, I've adopted a special method to-day, I'll
explain it to you afterwards. Stay, where did I break off? Oh, yes!
I caught cold then, only not here but yonder."
"Where is yonder? Tell me, will you be here long. Can't you go
away?" Ivan exclaimed almost in despair. He ceased walking to and fro,
sat down on the sofa, leaned his elbows on the table again and held
his head tight in both hands. He pulled the wet towel off and flung it
away in vexation. It was evidently of no use.
"Your nerves are out of order," observed the gentleman, with a
carelessly easy, though perfectly polite, air. "You are angry with
me even for being able to catch cold, though it happened in a most
natural way. I was hurrying then to a diplomatic soiree at the house
of a lady of high rank in Petersburg, who was aiming at influence in
the Ministry. Well, an evening suit, white tie, gloves, though I was
God knows where and had to fly through space to reach your earth....
Of course, it took only an instant, but you know a ray of light from
the sun takes full eight minutes, and fancy in an evening suit and
open waistcoat. Spirits don't freeze, but when one's in fleshly
form, well... in brief, I didn't think, and set off, and you know in
those ethereal spaces, in the water that is above the firmament,
there's such a frost... at least one can't call it frost, you fancy,
150 degrees below zero! You know the game the village girls play- they
invite the unwary to lick an axe in thirty degrees of frost, the
tongue instantly freezes to it and the dupe tears the skin off, so
it bleeds. But that's only in 30 degrees, in 150 degrees I imagine
it would be enough to put your finger on the axe and it would be the
end of it... if only there could be an axe there."
"And can there be an axe there?" Ivan interrupted, carelessly
and disdainfully. He was exerting himself to the utmost not to believe
in the delusion and not to sink into complete insanity
"An axe?" the guest interrupted in surprise.
"Yes, what would become of an axe there?" Ivan cried suddenly,
with a sort of savage and insistent obstinacy.
"What would become of an axe in space? Quelle idee! If it were
to fall to any distance, it would begin, I think, flying round the
earth without knowing why, like a satellite. The astronomers would
calculate the rising and the setting of the axe; Gatzuk would put it
in his calendar, that's all."
"You are stupid, awfully stupid," said Ivan peevishly. "Fib more
cleverly or I won't listen. You want to get the better of me by
realism, to convince me that you exist, but I don't want to believe
you exist! I won't believe it!"
"But I am not fibbing, it's all the truth; the truth is
unhappily hardly ever amusing. I see you persist in expecting
something big of me, and perhaps something fine. That's a great
pity, for I only give what I can-"
"Don't talk philosophy, you ass!"
"Philosophy, indeed, when all my right side is numb and I am
moaning and groaning. I've tried all the medical faculty: they can
diagnose beautifully, they have the whole of your disease at their
finger-tips, but they've no idea how to cure you. There was an
enthusiastic little student here, 'You may die,' said he, 'but
you'll know perfectly what disease you are dying of!' And then what
a way they have of sending people to specialists! 'We only
diagnose,' they say, 'but go to such-and-such a specialist, he'll cure
you.' The old doctor who used to cure all sorts of disease has
completely disappeared, I assure you, now there are only specialists
and they all advertise in the newspapers. If anything is wrong with
your nose, they send you to Paris: there, they say, is a European
specialist who cures noses. If you go to Paris, he'll look at your
nose; I can only cure your right nostril, he'll tell you, for I
don't cure the left nostril, that's not my speciality, but go to
Vienna, there there's a specialist who will cure your left nostril.
What are you to do? I fell back on popular remedies, a German doctor
advised me to rub myself with honey and salt in the bath-house. Solely
to get an extra bath I went, smeared myself all over and it did me
no good at all. In despair I wrote to Count Mattei in Milan. He sent
me a book and some drops, bless him, and, only fancy, Hoff's malt
extract cured me! I bought it by accident, drank a bottle and a half
of it, and I was ready to dance, it took it away completely. I made up
my mind to write to the papers to thank him, I was prompted by a
feeling of gratitude, and only fancy, it led to no end of a bother:
not a single paper would take my letter. 'It would be very
reactionary,' they said, 'none will believe it. Le diable n'existe
point.* You'd better remain anonymous,' they advised me. What use is a
letter of thanks if it's anonymous? I laughed with the men at the
newspaper office; 'It's reactionary to believe in God in our days,'
I said, 'but I am the devil, so I may be believed in.' 'We quite
understand that,' they said. 'Who doesn't believe in the devil? Yet it
won't do, it might injure our reputation. As a joke, if you like.' But
I thought as a joke it wouldn't be very witty. So it wasn't printed.
And do you know, I have felt sore about it to this day. My best
feelings, gratitude, for instance, are literally denied me simply from
my social position."

* The devil does not exist.

"Philosophical reflections again?" Ivan snarled malignantly.
"God preserve me from it, but one can't help complaining
sometimes. I am a slandered man. You upbraid me every moment with
being stupid. One can see you are young. My dear fellow,
intelligence isn't the only thing! I have naturally a kind and merry
heart. 'I also write vaudevilles of all sorts.' You seem to take me
for Hlestakov grown old, but my fate is a far more serious one. Before
time was, by some decree which I could never make out, I was
predestined 'to deny' and yet I am genuinely good-hearted and not at
all inclined to negation. 'No, you must go and deny, without denial
there's no criticism and what would a journal be without a column of
criticism?' Without criticism it would be nothing but one
'hosannah.' But nothing but hosannah is not enough for life, the
hosannah must be tried in the crucible of doubt and so on, in the same
style. But I don't meddle in that, I didn't create it, I am not
answerable for it. Well, they've chosen their scapegoat, they've
made me write the column of criticism and so life was made possible.
We understand that comedy; I, for instance, simply ask for
annihilation. No, live, I am told, for there'd be nothing without you.
If everything in the universe were sensible, nothing would happen.
There would be no events without you, and there must be events. So
against the grain I serve to produce events and do what's irrational
because I am commanded to. For all their indisputable intelligence,
men take this farce as something serious, and that is their tragedy.
They suffer, of course... but then they live, they live a real life,
not a fantastic one, for suffering is life. Without suffering what
would be the pleasure of it? It would be transformed into an endless
church service; it would be holy, but tedious. But what about me? I
suffer, but still, I don't live. I am x in an indeterminate
equation. I am a sort of phantom in life who has lost all beginning
and end, and who has even forgotten his own name. You are laughing-
no, you are not laughing, you are angry again. You are for ever angry,
all you care about is intelligence, but I repeat again that I would
give away all this superstellar life, all the ranks and honours,
simply to be transformed into the soul of a merchant's wife weighing
eighteen stone and set candles at God's shrine."
"Then even you don't believe in God?" said Ivan, with a smile of
"What can I say?- that is, if you are in earnest-"
"Is there a God or not?" Ivan cried with the same savage
"Ah, then you are in earnest! My dear fellow, upon my word I don't
know. There! I've said it now!"
"You don't know, but you see God? No, you are not someone apart,
you are myself, you are I and nothing more! You are rubbish, you are
my fancy!"
"Well, if you like, I have the same philosophy as you, that
would be true. Je pense, donc je suis,* I know that for a fact; all
the rest, all these worlds, God and even Satan- all that is not
proved, to my mind. Does all that exist of itself, or is it only an
emanation of myself, a logical development of my ego which alone has
existed for ever: but I make haste to stop, for I believe you will
be jumping up to beat me directly."

* I think, therefore I am.

"You'd better tell me some anecdote!" said Ivan miserably.
"There is an anecdote precisely on our subject, or rather a
legend, not an anecdote. You reproach me with unbelief; you see, you
say, yet you don't believe. But, my dear fellow, I am not the only one
like that. We are all in a muddle over there now and all through
your science. Once there used to be atoms, five senses, four elements,
and then everything hung together somehow. There were atoms in the
ancient world even, but since we've learned that you've discovered the
chemical molecule and protoplasm and the devil knows what, we had to
lower our crest. There's a regular muddle, and, above all,
superstition, scandal; there's as much scandal among us as among
you, you know; a little more in fact, and spying, indeed, for we
have our secret police department where private information is
received. Well, this wild legend belongs to our middle ages- not
yours, but ours- and no one believes it even among us, except the
old ladies of eighteen stone, not your old ladies I mean, but ours.
We've everything you have, I am revealing one of our secrets out of
friendship for you; though it's forbidden. This legend is about
Paradise. There was, they say, here on earth a thinker and
philosopher. He rejected everything, 'laws, conscience, faith,' and,
above all, the future life. He died; he expected to go straight to
darkness and death and he found a future life before him. He was
astounded and indignant. 'This is against my principles!' he said. And
he was punished for that... that is, you must excuse me, I am just
repeating what I heard myself, it's only a legend... he was
sentenced to walk a quadrillion kilometres in the dark (we've
adopted the metric system, you know): and when he has finished that
quadrillion, the gates of heaven would be opened to him and he'll be
"And what tortures have you in the other world besides the
quadrillion kilometres?" asked Ivan, with a strange eagerness.
"What tortures? Ah, don't ask. In old days we had all sorts, but
now they have taken chiefly to moral punishments- 'the stings of
conscience' and all that nonsense. We got that, too, from you, from
the softening of your manners. And who's the better for it? Only those
who have got no conscience, for how can they be tortured by conscience
when they have none? But decent people who have conscience and a sense
of honour suffer for it. Reforms, when the ground has not been
prepared for them, especially if they are institutions copied from
abroad, do nothing but mischief! The ancient fire was better. Well,
this man, who was condemned to the quadrillion kilometres, stood
still, looked round and lay down across the road. 'I won't go, I
refuse on principle!' Take the soul of an enlightened Russian
atheist and mix it with the soul of the prophet Jonah, who sulked
for three days and nights in the belly of the whale, and you get the
character of that thinker who lay across the road."
"What did he lie on there?"
"Well, I suppose there was something to lie on. You are not
"Bravo!" cried Ivan, still with the same strange eagerness. Now he
was listening with an unexpected curiosity. "Well, is he lying there
"That's the point, that he isn't. He lay there almost a thousand
years and then he got up and went on."
"What an ass!" cried Ivan, laughing nervously and still seeming to
be pondering something intently. "Does it make any difference
whether he lies there for ever or walks the quadrillion kilometres? It
would take a billion years to walk it?"
"Much more than that. I haven't got a pencil and paper or I
could work it out. But he got there long ago, and that's where the
story begins."
"What, he got there? But how did he get the billion years to do
"Why, you keep thinking of our present earth! But our present
earth may have been repeated a billion times. Why, it's become
extinct, been frozen; cracked, broken to bits, disintegrated into
its elements, again 'the water above the firmament,' then again a
comet, again a sun, again from the sun it becomes earth- and the
same sequence may have been repeated endlessly and exactly the same to
every detail, most unseemly and insufferably tedious-"
"Well, well, what happened when he arrived?"
"Why, the moment the gates of Paradise were open and he walked in;
before he had been there two seconds, by his watch (though to my
thinking his watch must have long dissolved into its elements on the
way), he cried out that those two seconds were worth walking not a
quadrillion kilometres but a quadrillion of quadrillions, raised to
the quadrillionth power! In fact, he sang 'hosannah' and overdid it
so, that some persons there of lofty ideas wouldn't shake hands with
him at first- he'd become too rapidly reactionary, they said. The
Russian temperament. I repeat, it's a legend. I give it for what
it's worth, so that's the sort of ideas we have on such subjects
even now."
"I've caught you!" Ivan cried, with an almost childish delight, as
though he had succeeded in remembering something at last. "That
anecdote about the quadrillion years, I made up myself! I was
seventeen then, I was at the high school. I made up that anecdote
and told it to a schoolfellow called Korovkin, it was at Moscow....
The anecdote is so characteristic that I couldn't have taken it from
anywhere. I thought I'd forgotten it... but I've unconsciously
recalled it- I recalled it myself- it was not you telling it!
Thousands of things are unconsciously remembered like that even when
people are being taken to execution... it's come back to me in a
dream. You are that dream! You are a dream, not a living creature!"
"From the vehemence with which you deny my existence," laughed the
gentleman, "I am convinced that you believe in me."
"Not in the slightest! I haven't a hundredth part of a grain of
faith in you!"
"But you have the thousandth of a grain. Homeopathic doses perhaps
are the strongest. Confess that you have faith even to the
ten-thousandth of a grain."
"Not for one minute," cried Ivan furiously. "But I should like
to believe in you," he added strangely.
"Aha! There's an admission! But I am good-natured. I'll come to
your assistance again. Listen, it was I caught you, not you me. I told
you your anecdote you'd forgotten, on purpose, so as to destroy your
faith in me completely."
"You are lying. The object of your visit is to convince me of your
"Just so. But hesitation, suspense, conflict between belief and
disbelief- is sometimes such torture to a conscientious man, such as
you are, that it's better to hang oneself at once. Knowing that you
are inclined to believe in me, I administered some disbelief by
telling you that anecdote. I lead you to belief and disbelief by
turns, and I have my motive in it. It's the new method. As soon as you
disbelieve in me completely, you'll begin assuring me to my face
that I am not a dream but a reality. I know you. Then I shall have
attained my object, which is an honourable one. I shall sow in you
only a tiny grain of faith and it will grow into an oak-tree- and such
an oak-tree that, sitting on it, you will long to enter the ranks of
'the hermits in the wilderness and the saintly women,' for that is
what you are secretly longing for. You'll dine on locusts, you'll
wander into the wilderness to save your soul!"
"Then it's for the salvation of my soul you are working, is it,
you scoundrel?"
"One must do a good work sometimes. How ill-humoured you are!"
"Fool! did you ever tempt those holy men who ate locusts and
prayed seventeen years in the wilderness till they were overgrown with
"My dear fellow, I've done nothing else. One forgets the whole
world and all the worlds, and sticks to one such saint, because he
is a very precious diamond. One such soul, you know, is sometimes
worth a whole constellation. We have our system of reckoning, you
know. The conquest is priceless! And some of them, on my word, are not
inferior to you in culture, though you won't believe it. They can
contemplate such depths of belief and disbelief at the same moment
that sometimes it really seems that they are within a hair's-breadth
of being 'turned upside down,' as the actor Gorbunov says."
"Well, did you get your nose pulled?"
"My dear fellow," observed the visitor sententiously, "it's better
to get off with your nose pulled than without a nose at all. As an
afflicted marquis observed not long ago (he must have been treated
by a specialist) in confession to his spiritual father- a Jesuit. I
was present, it was simply charming. 'Give me back my nose!' he
said, and he beat his breast. 'My son,' said the priest evasively,
'all things are accomplished in accordance with the inscrutable
decrees of Providence, and what seems a misfortune sometimes leads
to extraordinary, though unapparent, benefits. If stern destiny has
deprived you of your nose, it's to your advantage that no one can ever
pull you by your nose.' 'Holy father, that's no comfort,' cried the
despairing marquis. 'I'd be delighted to have my nose pulled every day
of my life, if it were only in its proper place.' 'My son,' sighs
the priest, 'you can't expect every blessing at once. This is
murmuring against Providence, who even in this has not forgotten
you, for if you repine as you repined just now, declaring you'd be
glad to have your nose pulled for the rest of your life, your desire
has already been fulfilled indirectly, for when you lost your nose,
you were led by the nose.'
"Fool, how stupid!" cried Ivan.
"My dear friend, I only wanted to amuse you. But I swear that's
the genuine Jesuit casuistry and I swear that it all happened word for
word as I've told you. It happened lately and gave me a great deal
of trouble. The unhappy young man shot himself that very night when he
got home. I was by his side till the very last moment. Those Jesuit
confessionals are really my most delightful diversion at melancholy
moments. Here's another incident that happened only the other day. A
little blonde Norman girl of twenty- a buxom, unsophisticated beauty
that would make your mouth water- comes to an old priest. She bends
down and whispers her sin into the grating. 'Why, my daughter, have
you fallen again already?' cries the priest: 'O Sancta Maria, what
do I hear! Not the same man this time, how long is this going on?
Aren't you ashamed!' 'Ah, mon pere,' answers the sinner with tears
of penitence, 'Ca lui fait tant de plaisir, et a moi si peu de
peine!'* Fancy, such an answer! I drew back. It was the cry of nature,
better than innocence itself, if you like. I absolved her sin on the
spot and was turning to go, but I was forced to turn back. I heard the
priest at the grating making an appointment with her for the
evening- though he was an old man hard as flint, he fell in an
instant! It was nature, the truth of nature asserted its rights! What,
you are turning up your nose again? Angry again? I don't know how to
please you-"

* Ah, my father, this gives him so much pleasure, and me so little

"Leave me alone, you are beating on my brain like a haunting
nightmare," Ivan moaned miserably, helpless before his apparition.
"I am bored with you, agonisingly and insufferably. I would give
anything to be able to shake you off!"
"I repeat, moderate your expectations, don't demand of me
'everything great and noble,' and you'll see how well we shall get
on," said the gentleman impressively. "You are really angry with me
for not having appeared to you in a red glow, with thunder and
lightning, with scorched wings, but have shown myself in such a modest
form. You are wounded, in the first place, in your asthetic
feelings, and, secondly, in your pride. How could such a vulgar
devil visit such a great man as you! Yes, there is that romantic
strain in you, that was so derided by Byelinsky. I can't help it,
young man, as I got ready to come to you I did think as a joke of
appearing in the figure of a retired general who had served in the
Caucasus, with a star of the Lion and the Sun on my coat. But I was
positively afraid of doing it, for you'd have thrashed me for daring
to pin the Lion and the Sun on my coat, instead of, at least, the
Polar Star or the Sirius. And you keep on saying I am stupid, but,
mercy on us! I make no claim to be equal to you in intelligence.
Mephistopheles declared to Faust that he desired evil, but did only
good. Well, he can say what he likes, it's quite the opposite with me.
I am perhaps the one man in all creation who loves the truth and
genuinely desires good. I was there when the Word, Who died on the
Cross, rose up into heaven bearing on His bosom the soul of the
penitent thief. I heard the glad shrieks of the cherubim singing and
shouting hosannah and the thunderous rapture of the seraphim which
shook heaven and all creation, and I swear to you by all that's
sacred, I longed to join the choir and shout hosannah with them all.
The word had almost escaped me, had almost broken from my lips...
you know how susceptible and aesthetically impressionable I am. But
common sense- oh, a most unhappy trait in my character- kept me in due
bounds and I let the moment pass! For what would have happened, I
reflected, what would have happened after my hosannah? Everything on
earth would have been extinguished at once and no events could have
occurred. And so, solely from a sense of duty and my social
position, was forced to suppress the good moment and to stick to my
nasty task. Somebody takes all the credit of what's good for
Himself, and nothing but nastiness is left for me. But I don't envy
the honour of a life of idle imposture, I am not ambitious. Why am
I, of all creatures in the world, doomed to be cursed by all decent
people and even to be kicked, for if I put on mortal form I am bound
to take such consequences sometimes? I know, of course, there's a
secret in it, but they won't tell me the secret for anything, for then
perhaps, seeing the meaning of it, I might bawl hosannah, and the
indispensable minus would disappear at once, and good sense would
reign supreme throughout the whole world. And that, of course, would
mean the end of everything, even of magazines and newspapers, for
who would take them in? I know that at the end of all things I shall
be reconciled. I, too, shall walk my quadrillion and learn the secret.
But till that happens I am sulking and fulfil my destiny though it's
against the grain- that is, to ruin thousands for the sake of saving
one. How many souls have had to be ruined and how many honourable
reputations destroyed for the sake of that one righteous man, Job,
over whom they made such a fool of me in old days! Yes, till the
secret is revealed, there are two sorts of truths for me- one, their
truth, yonder, which I know nothing about so far, and the other my
own. And there's no knowing which will turn out the better.... Are you
"I might well be," Ivan groaned angrily. "All my stupid ideas-
outgrown, thrashed out long ago, and flung aside like a dead carcass
you present to me as something new!"
"There's no pleasing you! And I thought I should fascinate you
by my literary style. That hosannah in the skies really wasn't bad,
was it? And then that ironical tone a la Heine, eh?"
"No, I was never such a flunkey! How then could my soul beget a
flunkey like you?"
"My dear fellow, I know a most charming and attractive young
Russian gentleman, a young thinker and a great lover of literature and
art, the author of a promising poem entitled The Grand Inquisitor. I
was only thinking of him!"
"I forbid you to speak of The Grand Inquisitor," cried Ivan,
crimson with shame.
"And the Geological Cataclysm. Do you remember? That was a poem,
"Hold your tongue, or I'll kill you!"
"You'll kill me? No, excuse me, I will speak. I came to treat
myself to that pleasure. Oh, I love the dreams of my ardent young
friends, quivering with eagerness for life! 'There are new men,' you
decided last spring, when you were meaning to come here, 'they propose
to destroy everything and begin with cannibalism. Stupid fellows! they
didn't ask my advice! I maintain that nothing need be destroyed,
that we only need to destroy the idea of God in man, that's how we
have to set to work. It's that, that we must begin with. Oh, blind
race of men who have no understanding! As soon as men have all of them
denied God- and I believe that period, analogous with geological
periods, will come to pass- the old conception of the universe will
fall of itself without cannibalism, and, what's more, the old
morality, and everything will begin anew. Men will unite to take
from life all it can give, but only for joy and happiness in the
present world. Man will be lifted up with a spirit of divine Titanic
pride and the man-god will appear. From hour to hour extending his
conquest of nature infinitely by his will and his science, man will
feel such lofty joy from hour to hour in doing it that it will make up
for all his old dreams of the joys of heaven. Everyone will know
that he is mortal and will accept death proudly and serenely like a
god. His pride will teach him that it's useless for him to repine at
life's being a moment, and he will love his brother without need of
reward. Love will be sufficient only for a moment of life, but the
very consciousness of its momentariness will intensify its fire, which
now is dissipated in dreams of eternal love beyond the grave'... and
so on and so on in the same style. Charming!"
Ivan sat with his eyes on the floor, and his hands pressed to
his ears, but he began trembling all over. The voice continued.
"The question now is, my young thinker reflected, is it possible
that such a period will ever come? If it does, everything is
determined and humanity is settled for ever. But as, owing to man's
inveterate stupidity, this cannot come about for at least a thousand
years, everyone who recognises the truth even now may legitimately
order his life as he pleases, on the new principles. In that sense,
'all things are lawful' for him. What's more, even if this period
never comes to pass, since there is anyway no God and no
immortality, the new man may well become the man-god, even if he is
the only one in the whole world, and promoted to his new position,
he may lightheartedly overstep all the barriers of the old morality of
the old slaveman, if necessary. There is no law for God. Where God
stands, the place is holy. Where I stand will be at once the
foremost place... 'all things are lawful' and that's the end of it!
That's all very charming; but if you want to swindle why do you want a
moral sanction for doing it? But that's our modern Russian all over.
He can't bring himself to swindle without a moral sanction. He is so
in love with truth-"
The visitor talked, obviously carried away by his own eloquence,
speaking louder and louder and looking ironically at his host. But
he did not succeed in finishing; Ivan suddenly snatched a glass from
the table and flung it at the orator.
"Ah, mais c'est bete enfin,"* cried the latter, jumping up from
the sofa and shaking the drops of tea off himself. "He remembers
Luther's inkstand! He takes me for a dream and throws glasses at a
dream! It's like a woman! I suspected you were only pretending to stop
up your ears."

* But after all, that's stupid.

A loud, persistent knocking was suddenly heard at the window. Ivan
jumped up from the sofa.
"Do you hear? You'd better open," cried the visitor; "it's your
brother Alyosha with the most interesting and surprising news, I'll be
"Be silent, deceiver, I knew it was Alyosha, I felt he was coming,
and of course he has not come for nothing; of course he brings
'news,'" Ivan exclaimed frantically.
"Open, open to him. There's a snowstorm and he is your brother.
Monsieur sait-il le temps qu'il fait? C'est a ne pas mettre un chien

* Does the gentleman know the weather he's making? It's not
weather for a dog.

The knocking continued. Ivan wanted to rush to the window, but
something seemed to fetter his arms and legs. He strained every effort
to break his chains, but in vain. The knocking at the window grew
louder and louder. At last the chains were broken and Ivan leapt up
from the sofa. He looked round him wildly. Both candles had almost
burnt out, the glass he had just thrown at his visitor stood before
him on the table, and there was no one on the sofa opposite. The
knocking on the window frame went on persistently, but it was by no
means so loud as it had seemed in his dream; on the contrary, it was
quite subdued.
"It was not a dream! No, I swear it was not a dream, it all
happened just now!" cried Ivan. He rushed to the window and opened the
movable pane.
"Alyosha, I told you not to come," he cried fiercely to his
brother. "In two words, what do you want? In two words, do you hear?"
"An hour ago Smerdyakov hanged himself," Alyosha answered from the
"Come round to the steps, I'll open at once," said Ivan, going
to open the door to Alyosha.
Chapter 10
"It Was He Who Said That"

ALYOSHA coming in told Ivan that a little over an hour ago Marya
Kondratyevna had run to his rooms and informed him Smerdyakov had
taken his own life. "I went in to clear away the samovar and he was
hanging on a nail in the wall." On Alyosha's inquiring whether she had
informed the police, she answered that she had told no one, "but I
flew straight to you, I've run all the way." She seemed perfectly
crazy, Alyosha reported, and was shaking like a leaf. When Alyosha ran
with her to the cottage, he found Smerdyakov still hanging. On the
table lay a note: "I destroy my life of my own will and desire, so
as to throw no blame on anyone." Alyosha left the note on the table
and went straight to the police captain and told him all about it.
"And from him I've come straight to you," said Alyosha, in conclusion,
looking intently into Ivan's face. He had not taken his eyes off him
while he told his story, as though struck by something in his
"Brother," he cried suddenly, "you must be terribly ill. You
look and don't seem to understand what I tell you."
"It's a good thing you came," said Ivan, as though brooding, and
not hearing Alyosha's exclamation. "I knew he had hanged himself."
"From whom?"
"I don't know. But I knew. Did I know? Yes, he told me. He told me
so just now."
Ivan stood in the middle of the room, and still spoke in the
same brooding tone, looking at the ground.
"Who is he?" asked Alyosha, involuntarily looking round.
"He's slipped away."
Ivan raised his head and smiled softly.
"He was afraid of you, of a dove like you. You are a 'pure
cherub.' Dmitri calls you a cherub. Cherub!... the thunderous
rapture of the seraphim. What are seraphim? Perhaps a whole
constellation. But perhaps that constellation is only a chemical
molecule. There's a constellation of the Lion and the Sun. Don't you
know it?"
"Brother, sit down," said Alyosha in alarm. "For goodness' sake,
sit down on the sofa! You are delirious; put your head on the
pillow, that's right. Would you like a wet towel on your head? Perhaps
it will do you good."
"Give me the towel: it's here on the chair. I just threw it down
"It's not here. Don't worry yourself. I know where it is- here,"
said Alyosha, finding a clean towel, folded up and unused, by Ivan's
dressing-table in the other corner of the room. Ivan looked
strangely at the towel: recollection seemed to come back to him for an
"Stay"- he got up from the sofa- "an hour ago I took that new
towel from there and wetted it. I wrapped it round my head and threw
it down here... How is it it's dry? There was no other."
"You put that towel on your head?" asked Alyosha.
"Yes, and walked up and down the room an hour ago... Why have
the candles burnt down so? What's the time?"
"Nearly twelve"
"No, no, no!" Ivan cried suddenly. "It was not a dream. He was
here; he was sitting here, on that sofa. When you knocked at the
window, I threw a glass at him... this one. Wait a minute. I was
asleep last time, but this dream was not a dream. It has happened
before. I have dreams now, Alyosha... yet they are not dreams, but
reality. I walk about, talk and see... though I am asleep. But he
was sitting here, on that sofa there.... He is frightfully stupid,
Alyosha, frightfully stupid." Ivan laughed suddenly and began pacing
about the room.
"Who is stupid? Of whom are you talking, brother?" Alyosha asked
anxiously again.
"The devil! He's taken to visiting me. He's been here twice,
almost three times. He taunted me with being angry at his being a
simple devil and not Satan, with scorched wings, in thunder and
lightning. But he is not Satan: that's a lie. He is an impostor. He is
simply a devil- a paltry, trivial devil. He goes to the baths. If
you undressed him, you'd be sure to find he had a tail, long and
smooth like a Danish dog's, a yard long, dun colour.... Alyosha, you
are cold. You've been in the snow. Would you like some tea? What? Is
it cold? Shall I tell her to bring some? C'est a ne pas mettre un
chien dehors..."
Alyosha ran to the washing-stand, wetted the towel, persuaded Ivan
to sit down again, and put the wet towel round his head. He sat down
beside him.
"What were you telling me just now about Lise?" Ivan began
again. (He was becoming very talkative.) "I like Lise. I said
something nasty about her. It was a lie. I like her... I am afraid for
Katya to-morrow. I am more afraid of her than of anything. On
account of the future. She will cast me off to-morrow and trample me
under foot. She thinks that I am ruining Mitya from jealousy on her
account! Yes, she thinks that! But it's not so. To-morrow the cross,
but not the gallows. No, I shan't hang myself. Do you know, I can
never commit suicide, Alyosha. Is it because I am base? I am not a
coward. Is it from love of life? How did I know that Smerdyakov had
hanged himself? Yes, it was he told me so."
"And you are quite convinced that there has been someone here?"
asked Alyosha.
"Yes, on that sofa in the corner. You would have driven him
away. You did drive him away: he disappeared when you arrived. I
love your face, Alyosha. Did you know that I loved your face? And he
is myself, Alyosha. All that's base in me, all that's mean and
contemptible. Yes, I am a romantic. He guessed it... though it's a
libel. He is frightfully stupid; but it's to his advantage. He has
cunning, animal cunning- he knew how to infuriate me. He kept taunting
me with believing in him, and that was how he made me listen to him.
He fooled me like a boy. He told me a great deal that was true about
myself, though. I should never have owned it to myself. Do you know,
Alyosha," Ivan added in an intensely earnest and confidential tone, "I
should be awfully glad to think that it was he and not I."
"He has worn you out," said Alyosha, looking compassionately at
his brother.
"He's been teasing me. And you know he does it so cleverly, so
cleverly. 'Conscience! What is conscience? I make it up for myself.
Why am I tormented by it? From habit. From the universal habit of
mankind for the seven thousand years. So let us give it up, and we
shall be gods.' It was he said that, it was he said that!"
"And not you, not you?" Alyosha could not help crying, looking
frankly at his brother. "Never mind him, anyway; have done with him
and forget him. And let him take with him all that you curse now,
and never come back!"
"Yes, but he is spiteful. He laughed at me. He was impudent,
Alyosha," Ivan said, with a shudder of offence. "But he was unfair
to me, unfair to me about lots of things. He told lies about me to
my face. 'Oh, you are going to perform an act of heroic virtue: to
confess you murdered your father, that the valet murdered him at
your instigation.'"
"Brother," Alyosha interposed, "restrain yourself. It was not
you murdered him. It's not true!"
"That's what he says, he, and he knows it. 'You are going to
perform an act of heroic virtue, and you don't believe in virtue;
that's what tortures you and makes you angry, that's why you are so
vindictive.' He said that to me about me and he knows what he says."
"It's you say that, not he," exclaimed Alyosha mournfully, "and
you say it because you are ill and delirious, tormenting yourself."
"No, he knows what he says. 'You are going from pride,' he says.
'You'll stand up and say it was I killed him, and why do you writhe
with horror? You are lying! I despise your opinion, I despise your
horror!' He said that about me. 'And do you know you are longing for
their praise- "he is a criminal, a murderer, but what a generous soul;
he wanted to save his brother and he confessed." That's a lie
Alyosha!" Ivan cried suddenly, with flashing eyes. "I don't want the
low rabble to praise me, I swear I don't! That's a lie! That's why I
threw the glass at him and it broke against his ugly face."
"Brother, calm yourself, stop!" Alyosha entreated him.
"Yes, he knows how to torment one. He's cruel," Ivan went on,
unheeding. "I had an inkling from the first what he came for.
'Granting that you go through pride, still you had a hope that
Smerdyakov might be convicted and sent to Siberia, and Mitya would
be acquitted, while you would only be punished, with moral
condemnation' ('Do you hear?' he laughed then)- 'and some people
will praise you. But now Smerdyakov's dead, he has hanged himself, and
who'll believe you alone? But yet you are going, you are going, you'll
go all the same, you've decided to go. What are you going for now?'
That's awful, Alyosha. I can't endure such questions. Who dare ask
me such questions?"
"Brother," interposed Alyosha- his heart sank with terror, but
he still seemed to hope to bring Ivan to reason- "how could he have
told you of Smerdyakov's death before I came, when no one knew of it
and there was no time for anyone to know of it?"
"He told me," said Ivan firmly, refusing to admit a doubt. "It was
all he did talk about, if you come to that. 'And it would be all right
if you believed in virtue,' he said. 'No matter if they disbelieve
you, you are going for the sake of principle. But you are a little pig
like Fyodor Pavlovitch, and what do you want with virtue? Why do you
want to go meddling if your sacrifice is of no use to anyone?
Because you don't know yourself why you go! Oh, you'd give a great
deal to know yourself why you go! And can you have made up your
mind? You've not made up your mind. You'll sit all night
deliberating whether to go or not. But you will go; you know you'll
go. You know that whichever way you decide, the decision does not
depend on you. You'll go because you won't dare not to go. Why won't
you dare? You must guess that for yourself. That's a riddle for
you!' He got up and went away. You came and he went. He called me a
coward, Alyosha! Le mot de l'enigme is that I am a coward. 'It is
not for such eagles to soar above the earth.'It was he added that- he!
And Smerdyakov said the same. He must be killed! Katya despises me.
I've seen that for a month past. Even Lise will begin to despise me!
'You are going in order to be praised.' That's a brutal lie! And you
despise me too, Alyosha. Now I am going to hate you again! And I
hate the monster, too! I hate the monster! I don't want to save the
monster. Let him rot in Siberia! He's begun singing a hymn! Oh,
to-morrow I'll go, stand before them, and spit in their faces!"
He jumped up in a frenzy, flung off the towel, and fell to
pacing up and down the room again. Alyosha recalled what he had just
said. "I seem to be sleeping awake... I walk, I speak, I see, but I am
asleep." It seemed to be just like that now. Alyosha did not leave
him. The thought passed through his mind to run for a doctor, but he
was afraid to leave his brother alone: there was no one to whom he
could leave him. By degrees Ivan lost consciousness completely at
last. He still went on talking, talking incessantly, but quite
incoherently, and even articulated his words with difficulty. Suddenly
he staggered violently; but Alyosha was in time to support him. Ivan
let him lead him to his bed. Alyosha undressed him somehow and put him
to bed. He sat watching over him for another two hours. The sick man
slept soundly, without stirring, breathing softly and evenly.
Alyosha took a pillow and lay down on the sofa, without undressing.
As he fell asleep he prayed for Mitya and Ivan. He began to
understand Ivan's illness. "The anguish of a proud determination. An
earnest conscience!" God, in Whom he disbelieved, and His truth were
gaining mastery over his heart, which still refused to submit.
"Yes," the thought floated through Alyosha's head as it lay on the
pillow, "yes, if Smerdyakov is dead, no one will believe Ivan's
evidence; but he will go and give it." Alyosha smiled softly. "God
will conquer!" he thought. "He will either rise up in the light of
truth, or... he'll perish in hate, revenging on himself and on
everyone his having served the cause he does not believe in,"
Alyosha added bitterly, and again he prayed for Ivan.
Book XII
A Judicial Error

Chapter 1
The Fatal Day

AT ten o'clock in the morning of the day following the events I
have described, the trial of Dmitri Karamazov began in our district
I hasten to emphasise the fact that I am far from esteeming myself
capable of reporting all that took place at the trial in full
detail, or even in the actual order of events. I imagine that to
mention everything with full explanation would fill a volume, even a
very large one. And so I trust I may not be reproached, for
confining myself to what struck me. I may have selected as of most
interest what was of secondary importance, and may have omitted the
most prominent and essential details. But I see I shall do better
not to apologise. I will do my best and the reader will see for
himself that I have done all I can.
And, to begin with, before entering the court, I will mention what
surprised me most on that day. Indeed, as it appeared later,
everyone was surprised at it, too. We all knew that the affair had
aroused great interest, that everyone was burning with impatience
for the trial to begin, that it had been a subject of talk,
conjecture, exclamation and surmise for the last two months in local
society. Everyone knew, too, that the case had become known throughout
Russia, but yet we had not imagined that it had aroused such
burning, such intense, interest in everyone, not only among ourselves,
but all over Russia. This became evident at the trial this day.
Visitors had arrived not only from the chief town of our province,
but from several other Russian towns, as well as from Moscow and
Petersburg. Among them were lawyers, ladies, and even several
distinguished personages. Every ticket of admission had been
snatched up. A special place behind the table at which the three
judges sat was set apart for the most distinguished and important of
the men visitors; a row of arm-chairs had been placed there- something
exceptional, which had never been allowed before. A large proportion
not less than half of the public- were ladies. There was such a
large number of lawyers from all parts that they did not know where to
seat them, for every ticket had long since been eagerly sought for and
distributed. I saw at the end of the room, behind the platform, a
special partition hurriedly put up, behind which all these lawyers
were admitted, and they thought themselves lucky to have standing room
there, for all chairs had been removed for the sake of space, and
the crowd behind the partition stood throughout the case closely
packed, shoulder to shoulder.
Some of the ladies, especially those who came from a distance,
made their appearance in the gallery very smartly dressed, but the
majority of the ladies were oblivious even of dress. Their faces
betrayed hysterical, intense, almost morbid, curiosity. A peculiar
fact- established afterwards by many observations- was that almost all
the ladies, or, at least the vast majority of them, were on Mitya's
side and in favour of his being acquitted. This was perhaps chiefly
owing to his reputation as a conqueror of female hearts. It was
known that two women rivals were to appear in the case. One of them-
Katerina Ivanovna- was an object of general interest. All sorts of
extraordinary tales were told about her, amazing anecdotes of her
passion for Mitya, in spite of his crime. Her pride and
"aristocratic connections" were particularly insisted upon (she had
called upon scarcely anyone in the town). People said she intended
to petition the Government for leave to accompany the criminal to
Siberia and to be married to him somewhere in the mines. The
appearance of Grushenka in court was awaited with no less
impatience. The public was looking forward with anxious curiosity to
the meeting of the two rivals- the proud aristocratic girl and "the
hetaira." But Grushenka was a more familiar figure to the ladies of
the district than Katerina Ivanovna. They had already seen "the
woman who had ruined Fyodor Pavlovitch and his unhappy son," and
all, almost without exception, wondered how father and son could be so
in love with "such a very common, ordinary Russian girl, who was not
even pretty."
In brief, there was a great deal of talk. I know for a fact that
there were several serious family quarrels on Mitya's account in our
town. Many ladies quarrelled violently with their husbands over
differences of opinion about the dreadful case, and it was that the
husbands of these ladies, far from being favourably disposed to the
prisoner, should enter the court bitterly prejudiced against him. In
fact, one may say pretty certainly that the masculine, as
distinguished from the feminine, part of the audience was biased
against the prisoner. There were numbers of severe, frowning, even
vindictive faces. Mitya, indeed, had managed to offend many people
during his stay in the town. Some of the visitors were, of course,
in excellent spirits and quite unconcerned as to the fate of Mitya
personally. But all were interested in the trial, and the majority
of the men were certainly hoping for the conviction of the criminal,
except perhaps the lawyers, who were more interested in the legal than
in the moral aspect of the case.
Everybody was excited at the presence of the celebrated lawyer,
Fetyukovitch. His talent was well known, and this was not the first
time he had defended notorious criminal cases in the provinces. And if
he defended them, such cases became celebrated and long remembered all
over Russia. There were stories, too, about our prosecutor and about
the President of the Court. It was said that Ippolit Kirillovitch
was in a tremor at meeting Fetyukovitch, and that they had been
enemies from the beginning of their careers in Petersburg, that though
our sensitive prosecutor, who always considered that he had been
aggrieved by someone in Petersburg because his talents had not been
properly appreciated, was keenly excited over the Karamazov case,
and was even dreaming of rebuilding his flagging fortunes by means
of it, Fetyukovitch, they said, was his one anxiety. But these rumours
were not quite just. Our prosecutor was not one of those men who
lose heart in face of danger. On the contrary, his self-confidence
increased with the increase of danger. It must be noted that our
prosecutor was in general too hasty and morbidly impressionable. He
would put his whole soul into some case and work at it as though his
whole fate and his whole fortune depended on its result. This was
the subject of some ridicule in the legal world, for just by this
characteristic our prosecutor had gained a wider notoriety than
could have been expected from his modest position. People laughed
particularly at his passion for psychology. In my opinion, they were
wrong, and our prosecutor was, I believe, a character of greater depth
than was generally supposed. But with his delicate health he had
failed to make his mark at the outset of his career and had never made
up for it later.
As for the President of our Court, I can only say that he was a
humane and cultured man, who had a practical knowledge of his work and
progressive views. He was rather ambitious, but did not concern
himself greatly about his future career. The great aim of his life was
to be a man of advanced ideas. He was, too, a man of connections and
property. He felt, as we learnt afterwards, rather strongly about
the Karamazov case, but from a social, not from a personal standpoint.
He was interested in it as a social phenomenon, in its
classification and its character as a product of our social
conditions, as typical of the national character, and so on, and so
on. His attitude to the personal aspect of the case, to its tragic
significance and the persons involved in it, including the prisoner,
was rather indifferent and abstract, as was perhaps fitting, indeed.
The court was packed and overflowing long before the judges made
their appearance. Our court is the best hall in the town- spacious,
lofty, and good for sound. On the right of the judges, who were on a
raised platform, a table and two rows of chairs had been put ready for
the jury. On the left was the place for the prisoner and the counsel
for the defence. In the middle of the court, near the judges, was a
table with the "material proofs." On it lay Fyodor Pavlovitch's
white silk dressing-gown, stained with blood; the fatal brass pestle
with which the supposed murder had been committed; Mitya's shirt, with
a blood-stained sleeve; his coat, stained with blood in patches over
the pocket in which he had put his handkerchief; the handkerchief
itself, stiff with blood and by now quite yellow; the pistol loaded by
Mitya at Perhotin's with a view to suicide, and taken from him on
the sly at Mokroe by Trifon Borrissovitch; the envelope in which the
three thousand roubles had been put ready for Grushenka, the narrow
pink ribbon with which it had been tied, and many other articles I
don't remember. In the body of the hall, at some distance, came the
seats for the public. But in front of the balustrade a few chairs
had been placed for witnesses who remained in the court after giving
their evidence.
At ten o'clock the three judges arrived- the President, one
honorary justice of the peace, and one other. The prosecutor, of
course, entered immediately after. The President was a short, stout,
thick-set man of fifty, with a dyspeptic complexion, dark hair turning
grey and cut short, and a red ribbon, of what Order I don't
remember. The prosecutor struck me and the others, too, as looking
particularly pale, almost green. His face seemed to have grown
suddenly thinner, perhaps in a single night, for I had seen him
looking as usual only two days before. The President began with asking
the court whether all the jury were present.
But I see I can't go on like this, partly because some things I
did not hear, others I did not notice, and others I have forgotten,
but most of all because, as I have said before, I have literally no
time or space to mention everything that was said and done. I only
know that neither side objected to very many of the jurymen. I
remember the twelve jurymen- four were petty officials of the town,
two were merchants, and six peasants and artisans of the town. I
remember, long before the trial, questions were continually asked with
some surprise, especially by ladies: "Can such a delicate, complex and
psychological case be submitted for decision to petty officials and
even peasants?" and "What can an official, still more a peasant,
understand in such an affair?" All the four officials in the jury
were, in fact, men of no consequence and of low rank. Except one who
was rather younger, they were grey-headed men, little known in
society, who had vegetated on a pitiful salary, and who probably had
elderly, unpresentable wives and crowds of children, perhaps even
without shoes and stockings. At most, they spent their leisure over
cards and, of course, had never read a single book. The two
merchants looked respectable, but were strangely silent and stolid.
One of them was close-shaven, and was dressed in European style; the
other had a small, grey beard, and wore a red ribbon with some sort of
a medal upon it on his neck. There is no need to speak of the artisans
and the peasants. The artisans of Skotoprigonyevsk are almost
peasants, and even work on the land. Two of them also wore European
dress, and, perhaps for that reason, were dirtier and more
uninviting-looking than the others. So that one might well wonder,
as I did as soon as I had looked at them, "what men like that could
possibly make of such a case?" Yet their faces made a strangely
imposing, almost menacing, impression; they were stern and frowning.
At last the President opened the case of the murder of Fyodor
Pavlovitch Karamazov. I don't quite remember how he described him. The
court usher was told to bring in the prisoner, and Mitya made his
appearance. There was a hush through the court. One could have heard a
fly. I don't know how it was with others, but Mitya made a most
unfavourable impression on me. He looked an awful dandy in a brand-new
frock-coat. I heard afterwards that he had ordered it in Moscow
expressly for the occasion from his own tailor, who had his measure.
He wore immaculate black kid gloves and exquisite linen. He walked
in with his yard-long strides, looking stiffly straight in front of
him, and sat down in his place with a most unperturbed air.
At the same moment the counsel for defence, the celebrated
Fetyukovitch, entered, and a sort of subdued hum passed through the
court. He was a tall, spare man, with long thin legs, with extremely
long, thin, pale fingers, clean-shaven face, demurely brushed,
rather short hair, and thin lips that were at times curved into
something between a sneer and a smile. He looked about forty. His face
would have been pleasant, if it had not been for his eyes, which, in
themselves small and inexpressive, were set remarkably close together,
with only the thin, long nose as a dividing line between them. In
fact, there was something strikingly birdlike about his face. He was
in evening dress and white tie.
I remember the President's first questions to Mitya, about his
name, his calling, and so on. Mitya answered sharply, and his voice
was so unexpectedly loud that it made the President start and look
at the prisoner with surprise. Then followed a list of persons who
were to take part in the proceedings- that is, of the witnesses and
experts. It was a long list. Four of the witnesses were not present-
Miusov, who had given evidence at the preliminary inquiry, but was now
in Paris; Madame Hohlakov and Maximov, who were absent through
illness; and Smerdyakov, through his sudden death, of which an
official statement from the police was presented. The news of
Smerdyakov's death produced a sudden stir and whisper in the court.
Many of the audience, of course, had not heard of the sudden
suicide. What struck people most was Mitya's sudden outburst. As
soon as the statement of Smerdyakov's death was made, he cried out
aloud from his place:
"He was a dog and died like a dog!"
I remember how his counsel rushed to him, and how the President
addressed him, threatening to take stern measures, if such an
irregularity were repeated. Mitya nodded and in a subdued voice
repeated several times abruptly to his counsel, with no show of
"I won't again, I won't. It escaped me. I won't do it again."
And, of course, this brief episode did him no good with the jury
or the public. His character was displayed, and it spoke for itself.
It was under the influence of this incident that the opening statement
was read. It was rather short, but circumstantial. It only stated
the chief reasons why he had been arrested, why he must be tried,
and so on. Yet it made a great impression on me. The clerk read it
loudly and distinctly. The whole tragedy was suddenly unfolded
before us, concentrated, in bold relief, in a fatal and pitiless
light. I remember how, immediately after it had been read, the
President asked Mitya in a loud impressive voice:
"Prisoner, do you plead guilty?"
Mitya suddenly rose from his seat.
"I plead guilty to drunkenness and dissipation," he exclaimed,
again in a startling, almost frenzied, voice, "to idleness and
debauchery. I meant to become an honest man for good, just at the
moment when I was struck down by fate. But I am not guilty of the
death of that old man, my enemy and my father. No, no, I am not guilty
of robbing him! I could not be. Dmitri Karamazov is a scoundrel, but
not a thief."
He sat down again, visibly trembling all over. The President again
briefly, but impressively, admonished him to answer only what was
asked, and not to go off into irrelevant exclamations. Then he ordered
the case to proceed. All the witnesses were led up to take the oath.
Then I saw them all together. The brothers of the prisoner were,
however, allowed to give evidence without taking the oath. After an
exhortation from the priest and the President, the witnesses were
led away and were made to sit as far as possible apart from one
another. Then they began calling them up one by one.
Chapter 2
Dangerous Witnesses

I DO NOT know whether the witnesses for the defence and for the
prosecution were separated into groups by the President, and whether
it was arranged to call them in a certain order. But no doubt it was
so. I only know that the witnesses for the prosecution were called
first. I repeat I don't intend to describe all the questions step by
step. Besides, my account would be to some extent superfluous, because
in the speeches for the prosecution and for the defence the whole
course of the evidence was brought together and set in a strong and
significant light, and I took down parts of those two remarkable
speeches in full, and will quote them in due course, together with one
extraordinary and quite unexpected episode, which occurred before
the final speeches, and undoubtedly influenced the sinister and
fatal outcome of the trial.
I will only observe that from the first moments of the trial one
peculiar characteristic of the case was conspicuous and observed by
all, that is, the overwhelming strength of the prosecution as compared
with the arguments the defence had to rely upon. Everyone realised
it from the first moment that the facts began to group themselves
round a single point, and the whole horrible and bloody crime was
gradually revealed. Everyone, perhaps, felt from the first that the
case was beyond dispute, that there was no doubt about it, that
there could be really no discussion, and that the defence was only a
matter of form, and that the prisoner was guilty, obviously and
conclusively guilty. I imagine that even the ladies, who were so
impatiently longing for the acquittal of the interesting prisoner,
were at the same time, without exception, convinced of his guilt.
What's more, I believe they would have been mortified if his guilt had
not been so firmly established, as that would have lessened the effect
of the closing scene of the criminal's acquittal. That he would be
acquitted, all the ladies, strange to say, were firmly persuaded up to
the very last moment. "He is guilty, but he will be acquitted, from
motives of humanity, in accordance with the new ideas, the new
sentiments that had come into fashion," and so on, and so on. And that
was why they had crowded into the court so impatiently. The men were
more interested in the contest between the prosecutor and the famous
Fetyukovitch. All were wondering and asking themselves what could even
a talent like Fetyukovitch's make of such a desperate case; and so
they followed his achievements, step by step, with concentrated
But Fetyukovitch remained an enigma to all up to the very end,
up to his speech. Persons of experience suspected that he had some
design, that he was working towards some object, but it was almost
impossible to guess what it was. His confidence and self-reliance were
unmistakable, however. Everyone noticed with pleasure, moreover,
that he, after so short a stay, not more than three days, perhaps,
among us, had so wonderfully succeeded in mastering the case and
"had studied it to a nicety." People described with relish,
afterwards, how cleverly he had "taken down" all the witnesses for the
prosecution, and as far as possible perplexed them and, what's more,
had aspersed their reputation and so depreciated the value of their
evidence. But it was supposed that he did this rather by way of sport,
so to speak, for professional glory, to show nothing had been
omitted of the accepted methods, for all were convinced that he
could do no real good by such disparagement of the witnesses, and
probably was more aware of this than anyone, having some idea of his
own in the background, some concealed weapon of defence, which he
would suddenly reveal when the time came. But meanwhile, conscious
of his strength, he seemed to be diverting himself.
So, for instance, when Grigory, Fyodor Pavlovitch's old servant,
who had given the most damning piece of evidence about the open
door, was examined, the counsel for the defence positively fastened
upon him when his turn came to question him. It must be noted that
Grigory entered the trial with a composed and almost stately air,
not the least disconcerted by the majesty of the court or the vast
audience listening to him. He gave evidence with as much confidence as
though he had been talking with his Marfa, only perhaps more
respectfully. It was impossible to make him contradict himself. The
prosecutor questioned him first in detail about the family life of the
Karamazovs. The family picture stood out in lurid colours. It was
plain to ear and eye that the witness was guileless and impartial.
In spite of his profound reverence for the memory of his deceased
master, he yet bore witness that he had been unjust to Mitya and
"hadn't brought up his children as he should. He'd have been
devoured by lice when he was little, if it hadn't been for me," he
added, describing Mitya's early childhood. "It wasn't fair either of
the father to wrong his son over his mother's property, which was by
right his."
In reply to the prosecutor's question what grounds he had for
asserting that Fyodor Pavlovitch had wronged his son in their money
relations, Grigory, to the surprise of everyone, had no proof at all
to bring forward, but he still persisted that the arrangement with the
son was "unfair," and that he ought "to have paid him several thousand
roubles more." I must note, by the way, that the prosecutor asked this
question (whether Fyodor Pavlovitch had really kept back part of
Mitya's inheritance) with marked persistence of all the witnesses
who could be asked it, not excepting Alyosha and Ivan, but he obtained
no exact information from anyone; all alleged that it was so, but were
unable to bring forward any distinct proof. Grigory's description of
the scene at the dinner-table, when Dmitri had burst in and beaten his
father, threatening to come back to kill him, made a sinister
impression on the court, especially as the old servant's composure
in telling it, his parsimony of words, and peculiar phraseology were
as effective as eloquence. He observed that he was not angry with
Mitya for having knocked him down and struck him on the face; he had
forgiven him long ago, he said. Of the deceased Smerdyakov he
observed, crossing himself, that he was a lad of ability, but stupid
and afflicted, and, worse still, an infidel, and that it was Fyodor
Pavlovitch and his elder son who had taught him to be so. But he
defended Smerdyakov's honesty almost with warmth, and related how
Smerdyakov had once found the master's money in the yard, and, instead
of concealing it, had taken it to his master, who had rewarded him
with a "gold piece" for it, and trusted him implicitly from that
time forward. He maintained obstinately that the door into the
garden had been open. But he was asked so many questions that I
can't recall them all.
At last the counsel for the defence began to cross-examine him,
and the first question he asked was about the envelope in which Fyodor
Pavlovitch was supposed to have put three thousand roubles for "a
certain person." "Have you ever seen it, you, who were for so many
years in close attendance on your master?" Grigory answered that he
had not seen it and had never heard of the money from anyone "till
everybody was talking about it." This question about the envelope
Fetyukovitch put to everyone who could conceivably have known of it,
as persistently as the prosecutor asked his question about Dmitri's
inheritance, and got the same answer from all, that no one had seen
the envelope, though many had heard of it. From the beginning everyone
noticed Fetyukovitch's persistence on this subject.
"Now, with your permission I'll ask you a question,"
Fetyukovitch said, suddenly and unexpectedly. "Of what was that
balsam, or, rather, decoction, made, which, as we learn from the
preliminary inquiry, you used on that evening to rub your lumbago,
in the hope of curing it?"
Grigory looked blankly at the questioner, and after a brief
silence muttered, "There was saffron in it."
"Nothing but saffron? Don't you remember any other ingredient?"
"There was milfoil in it, too."
"And pepper perhaps?" Fetyukovitch queried.
"Yes, there was pepper, too."
"Etcetera. And all dissolved in vodka?"
"In spirit."
There was a faint sound of laughter in the court.
"You see, in spirit. After rubbing your back, I believe, you drank
what was left in the bottle with a certain pious prayer, only known to
your wife?"
"I did."
"Did you drink much? Roughly speaking, a wine-glass or two?"
"It might have been a tumbler-full."
"A tumbler-full, even. Perhaps a tumbler and a half?"
Grigory did not answer. He seemed to see what was meant.
"A glass and a half of neat spirit- is not at all bad, don't you
think? You might see the gates of heaven open, not only the door
into the garden?"
Grigory remained silent. There was another laugh in the court. The
President made a movement.
"Do you know for a fact," Fetyukovitch persisted, "whether you
were awake or not when you saw the open door?"
"I was on my legs."
"That's not a proof that you were awake." (There was again
laughter in the court.) "Could you have answered at that moment, if
anyone had asked you a question- for instance, what year it is?"
"I don't know."
"And what year is it, Anno Domini, do you know?"
Grigory stood with a perplexed face, looking straight at his
tormentor. Strange to say, it appeared he really did not know what
year it was.
"But perhaps you can tell me how many fingers you have on your
"I am a servant," Grigory said suddenly, in a loud and distinct
voice. "If my betters think fit to make game of me, it is my duty to
suffer it."
Fetyukovitch was a little taken aback, and the President
intervened, reminding him that he must ask more relevant questions.
Fetyukovitch bowed with dignity and said that he had no more questions
to ask of the witness. The public and the jury, of course, were left
with a grain of doubt in their minds as to the evidence of a man who
might, while undergoing a certain cure, have seen "the gates of
heaven," and who did not even know what year he was living in. But
before Grigory left the box another episode occurred. The President,
turning to the prisoner, asked him whether he had any comment to
make on the evidence of the last witness.
"Except about the door, all he has said is true," cried Mitya,
in a loud voice. "For combing the lice off me, I thank him; for
forgiving my blows, I thank him. The old man has been honest all his
life and as faithful to my father as seven hundred poodles."
"Prisoner, be careful in your language," the President
admonished him.
"I am not a poodle," Grigory muttered.
"All right, it's I am a poodle myself," cried Mitya. "If it's an
insult, I take it to myself and I beg his pardon. I was a beast and
cruel to him. I was cruel to Aesop too."
"What Aesop?" the President asked sternly again.
"Oh, Pierrot... my father, Fyodor Pavlovitch."
The President again and again warned Mitya impressively and very
sternly to be more careful in his language.
"You are injuring yourself in the opinion of your judges."
The counsel for the defence was equally clever in dealing with the
evidence of Rakitin. I may remark that Rakitin was one of the
leading witnesses and one to whom the prosecutor attached great
significance. It appeared that he knew everything; his knowledge was
amazing, he had been everywhere, seen everything, talked to everybody,
knew every detail of the biography of Fyodor Pavlovitch and all the
Karamazovs. Of the envelope, it is true, he had only heard from
Mitya himself. But he described minutely Mitya's exploits in the
Metropolis, all his compromising doings and sayings, and told the
story of Captain Snegiryov's "wisp of tow." But even Rakitin could say
nothing positive about Mitya's inheritance, and confined himself to
contemptuous generalities.
"Who could tell which of them was to blame, and which was in
debt to the other, with their crazy Karamazov way of muddling things
so that no one could make head or tail of it?" He attributed the
tragic crime to the habits that had become ingrained by ages of
serfdom and the distressed condition of Russia, due to the lack of
appropriate institutions. He was, in fact, allowed some latitude of
speech. This was the first occasion on which Rakitin showed what he
could do, and attracted notice. The prosecutor knew that the witness
was preparing a magazine article on the case, and afterwards in his
speech, as we shall see later, quoted some ideas from the article,
showing that he had seen it already. The picture drawn by the
witness was a gloomy and sinister one, and greatly strengthened the
case for the prosecution. Altogether, Rakatin's discourse fascinated
the public by its independence and the extraordinary nobility of its
ideas. There were even two or three outbreaks of applause when he
spoke of serfdom and the distressed condition of Russia.
But Rakitin, in his youthful ardour, made a slight blunder, of
which the counsel for the defence at once adroitly took advantage.
Answering certain questions about Grushenka and carried away by the
loftiness of his own sentiments and his success, of which he was, of
course, conscious, he went so far as to speak somewhat
contemptuously of Agrafena Alexandrovna as "the kept mistress of
Samsonov." He would have given a good deal to take back his words
afterwards, for Fetyukovitch caught him out over it at once. And it
was all because Rakitin had not reckoned on the lawyer having been
able to become so intimately acquainted with every detail in so
short a time.
"Allow me to ask," began the counsel for the defence, with the
most affable and even respectful smile, "you are, of course, the
same Mr. Rakitin whose pamphlet, The Life of the Deceased Elder,
Father Zossima, published by the diocesan authorities, full of
profound and religious reflections and preceded by an excellent and
devout dedication to the bishop, I have just read with such pleasure?"
"I did not write it for publication... it was published
afterwards," muttered Rakitin, for some reason fearfully
disconcerted and almost ashamed.
"Oh, that's excellent! A thinker like you can, and indeed ought
to, take the widest view of every social question. Your most
instructive pamphlet has been widely circulated through the
patronage of the bishop, and has been of appreciable service.... But
this is the chief thing I should like to learn from you. You stated
just now that you were very intimately acquainted with Madame
Svyetlov." (It must be noted that Grushenka's surname was Svyetlov.
I heard it for the first time that day, during the case.)
"I cannot answer for all my acquaintances.... I am a young
man... and who can be responsible for everyone he meets?" cried
Rakitin, flushing all over.
"I understand, I quite understand," cried Fetyukovitch; as
though he, too, were embarrassed and in haste to excuse himself. "You,
like any other, might well be interested in an acquaintance with a
young and beautiful woman who would readily entertain the elite of the
youth of the neighbourhood, but... I only wanted to know... It has
come to my knowledge, that Madame Svyetlov was particularly anxious
a couple of months ago to make the acquaintance of the younger
Karamazov, Alexey Fyodorovitch, and promised you twenty-five
roubles, if you would bring him to her in his monastic dress. And that
actually took place on the evening of the day on which the terrible
crime, which is the subject of the present investigation, was
committed. You brought Alexey Karamazov to Madame Svyetlov, and did
you receive the twenty-five roubles from Madame Svyetlov as a
reward, that's what I wanted to hear from you?"
"It was a joke.... I don't, see of what interest that can be to
you.... I took it for a joke... meaning to give it back later..."
"Then you did take- but you have not given it back yet... or
have you?"
"That's of no consequence," muttered Rakitin, "I refuse to
answer such questions.... Of course, I shall give it back."
The President intervened, but Fetyukovitch declared he had no more
questions to ask of the witness. Mr. Rakitin left the witness-box
not absolutely without a stain upon his character. The effect left
by the lofty idealism of his speech was somewhat marred, and
Fetyukovitch's expression, as he watched him walk away, seemed to
suggest to the public "this is a specimen of the lofty-minded
persons who accuse him." I remember that this incident, too, did not
pass off without an outbreak from Mitya. Enraged by the tone in
which Rakitin had referred to Grushenka, he suddenly shouted
"Bernard!" When, after Rakitin's cross-examination, the President
asked the prisoner if he had anything to say, Mitya cried loudly:
"Since I've been arrested, he has borrowed money from me! He is
a contemptible Bernard and opportunist, and he doesn't believe in God;
he took the bishop in!"
Mitya of course, was pulled up again for the intemperance of his
language, but Rakitin was done for. Captain Snegiryov's evidence was a
failure, too, but from quite a different reason. He appeared in ragged
and dirty clothes, muddy boots, and in spite of the vigilance and
expert observation of the police officers, he turned out to be
hopelessly drunk. On being asked about Mitya's attack upon him, he
refused to answer.
"God bless him. Ilusha told me not to. God will make it up to me
"Who told you not to tell? Of whom are you talking?"
"Ilusha, my little son. 'Father, father, how he insulted you!'
He said that at the stone. Now he is dying..."
The captain suddenly began sobbing, and plumped down on His
knees before the President. He was hurriedly led away amidst the
laughter of the public. The effect prepared by the prosecutor did
not come off at all.
Fetyukovitch went on making the most of every opportunity, and
amazed people more and more by his minute knowledge of the case. Thus,
for example, Trifon Borissovitch made a great impression, of course,
very prejudicial to Mitya. He calculated almost on his fingers that on
his first visit to Mokroe, Mitya must have spent three thousand
roubles, "or very little less. Just think what he squandered on
those gypsy girls alone! And as for our lousy peasants, it wasn't a
case of flinging half a rouble in the street, he made them presents of
twenty-five roubles each, at least, he didn't give them less. And what
a lot of money was simply stolen from him! And if anyone did steal, he
did not leave a receipt. How could one catch the thief when he was
flinging his money away all the time? Our peasants are robbers, you
know; they have no care for their souls. And the way he went on with
the girls, our village girls! They're completely set up since then,
I tell you, they used to be poor." He recalled, in fact, every item of
expense and added it all up. So the theory that only fifteen hundred
had been spent and the rest had been put aside in a little bag
seemed inconceivable.
"I saw three thousand as clear as a penny in his hands, I saw it
with my own eyes; I should think I ought to know how to reckon money,"
cried Trifon Borissovitch, doing his best to satisfy "his betters."
When Fetyukovitch had to cross-examine him, he scarcely tried to
refute his evidence, but began asking him about an incident at the
first carousal at Mokroe, a month before the arrest, when Timofey
and another peasant called Akim had picked up on the floor in the
passage a hundred roubles dropped by Mitya when he was drunk, and
had given them to Trifon Borissovitch and received a rouble each
from him for doing so. "Well," asked the lawyer," did you give that
hundred roubles back to Mr. Karamazov?" Trifon Borissovitch shuffled
in vain.... He was obliged, after the peasants had been examined, to
admit the finding of the hundred roubles, only adding that he had
religiously returned it all to Dmitri Fyodorovitch "in perfect
honesty, and it's only because his honour was in liquor at the time,
he wouldn't remember it." But, as he had denied the incident of the
hundred roubles till the peasants had been called to prove it, his
evidence as to returning the money to Mitya was naturally regarded
with great suspicion. So one of the most dangerous witnesses brought
forward by the prosecution was again discredited.
The same thing happened with the Poles. They took up an attitude
of pride and independence; they vociferated loudly that they had
both been in the service of the Crown, and that "Pan Mitya" had
offered them three thousand "to buy their honour," and that they had
seen a large sum of money in his hands. Pan Mussyalovitch introduced a
terrible number of Polish words into his sentences, and seeing that
this only increased his consequence in the eyes of the President and
the prosecutor, grew more and more pompous, and ended by talking in
Polish altogether. But Fetyukovitch caught them, too, in his snares.
Trifon Borissovitch, recalled, was forced, in spite of his evasions,
to admit that Pan Vrublevsky had substituted another pack of cards for
the one he had provided, and that Pan Mussyalovitch had cheated during
the game. Kalgonov confirmed this, and both the Poles left the
witness-box with damaged reputations, amidst laughter from the public.
Then exactly the same thing happened with almost all the most
dangerous witnesses. Fetyukovitch succeeded in casting a slur on all
of them, and dismissing them with a certain derision. The lawyers
and experts were lost in admiration, and were only at a loss to
understand what good purpose could be served by it, for all, I repeat,
felt that the case for the prosecution could not be refuted, but was
growing more and more tragically overwhelming. But from the confidence
of the "great magician" they saw that he was serene, and they
waited, feeling that "such a man" had not come from Petersburg for
nothing, and that he was not a man to return unsuccessful.
Chapter 3
The Medical Experts and a Pound of Nuts

THE evidence of the medical experts, too, was of little use to the
prisoner. And it appeared later that Fetyukovitch had not reckoned
much upon it. The medical line of defence had only been taken up
through the insistence of Katerina Ivanovna, who had sent for a
celebrated doctor from Moscow on purpose. The case for the defence
could, of course, lose nothing by it and might, with luck, gain
something from it. There was, however, an element of comedy about
it, through the difference of opinion of the doctors. The medical
experts were the famous doctor from Moscow, our doctor, Herzenstube,
and the young doctor, Varvinsky. The two latter appeared also as
witnesses for the prosecution.
The first to be called in the capacity of expert was Doctor
Herzenstube. He was a grey and bald old man of seventy, of middle
height and sturdy build. He was much esteemed and respected by
everyone in the town. He was a conscientious doctor and an excellent
and pious man, a Hernguter or Moravian brother, I am not quite sure
which. He had been living amongst us for many years and behaved with
wonderful dignity. He was a kind-hearted and humane man. He treated
the sick poor and peasants for nothing, visited them in their slums
and huts, and left money for medicine, but he was as obstinate as a
mule. If once he had taken an idea into his head, there was no shaking
it. Almost everyone in the town was aware, by the way, that the famous
doctor had, within the first two or three days of his presence among
us, uttered some extremely offensive allusions to Doctor Herzenstube's
qualifications. Though the Moscow doctor asked twenty-five roubles for
a visit, several people in the town were glad to take advantage of his
arrival, and rushed to consult him regardless of expense. All these
had, of course, been previously patients of Doctor Herzenstube, and
the celebrated doctor had criticised his treatment with extreme
harshness. Finally, he had asked the patients as soon as he saw
them, "Well, who has been cramming you with nostrums? Herzenstube?
He he!" Doctor Herzenstube, of course, heard all this, and now all the
three doctors made their appearance, one after another, to be
Doctor Herzenstube roundly declared that the abnormality of the
prisoner's mental faculties was self-evident. Then giving his
grounds for this opinion, which I omit here, he added that the
abnormality was not only evident in many of the prisoner's actions
in the past, but was apparent even now at this very moment. When he
was asked to explain how it was apparent now at this moment, the old
doctor, with simple-hearted directness, pointed out that the
prisoner had "an extraordinary air, remarkable in the
circumstances"; that he had "marched in like a soldier, looking
straight before him, though it would have been more natural for him to
look to the left where, among the public, the ladies were sitting,
seeing that he was a great admirer of the fair sex and must be
thinking much of what the ladies are saying of him now," the old man
concluded in his peculiar language.
I must add that he spoke Russian readily, but every phrase was
formed in German style, which did not, however, trouble him, for it
had always been a weakness of his to believe that he spoke Russian
perfectly, better indeed than Russians. And he was very fond of
using Russian proverbs, always declaring that the Russian proverbs
were the best and most expressive sayings in the whole world. I may
remark, too, that in conversation, through absent-mindedness he
often forgot the most ordinary words, which sometimes went out of
his head, though he knew them perfectly. The same thing happened,
though, when he spoke German, and at such times he always waved his
hand before his face as though trying to catch the lost word, and no
one could induce him to go on speaking till he had found the missing
word. His remark that the prisoner ought to have looked at the
ladies on entering roused a whisper of amusement in the audience.
All our ladies were very fond of our old doctor; they knew, too,
that having been all his life a bachelor and a religious man of
exemplary conduct, he looked upon women as lofty creatures. And so his
unexpected observation struck everyone as very queer.
The Moscow doctor, being questioned in his turn, definitely and
emphatically repeated that he considered the prisoner's mental
condition abnormal in the highest degree. He talked at length and with
erudition of "aberration" and "mania," and argued that, from all the
facts collected, the prisoner had undoubtedly been in a condition of
aberration for several days before his arrest, and, if the crime had
been committed by him, it must, even if he were conscious of it,
have been almost involuntary, as he had not the power to control the
morbid impulse that possessed him.
But apart from temporary aberration, the doctor diagnosed mania,
which promised, in his words, to lead to complete insanity in the
future. (It must be noted that I report this in my own words, the
doctor made use of very learned and professional language.) "All his
actions are in contravention of common sense and logic," he continued.
"Not to refer to what I have not seen, that is, the crime itself and
the whole catastrophe, the day before yesterday, while he was
talking to me, he had an unaccountably fixed look in his eye. He
laughed unexpectedly when there was nothing to laugh at. He showed
continual and inexplicable irritability, using strange words,
'Bernard!' 'Ethics!' and others equally inappropriate." But the doctor
detected mania, above all, in the fact that the prisoner could not
even speak of the three thousand roubles, of which he considered
himself to have been cheated, without extraordinary irritation, though
he could speak comparatively lightly of other misfortunes and
grievances. According to all accounts, he had even in the past,
whenever the subject of the three thousand roubles was touched on,
flown into a perfect frenzy, and yet he was reported to be a
disinterested and not grasping man.
"As to the opinion of my learned colleague," the Moscow doctor
added ironically in conclusion "that the prisoner would, entering
the court, have naturally looked at the ladies and not straight before
him, I will only say that, apart from the playfulness of this
theory, it is radically unsound. For though I fully agree that the
prisoner, on entering the court where his fate will be decided,
would not naturally look straight before him in that fixed way, and
that that may really be a sign of his abnormal mental condition, at
the same time I maintain that he would naturally not look to the
left at the ladies, but, on the contrary, to the right to find his
legal adviser, on whose help all his hopes rest and on whose defence
all his future depends." The doctor expressed his opinion positively
and emphatically.
But the unexpected pronouncement of Doctor Varvinsky gave the last
touch of comedy to the difference of opinion between the experts. In
his opinion the prisoner was now, and had been all along, in a
perfectly normal condition, and, although he certainly must have
been in a nervous and exceedingly excited state before his arrest,
this might have been due to several perfectly obvious causes,
jealousy, anger, continual drunkenness, and so on. But this nervous
condition would not involve the mental abberation of which mention had
just been made. As to the question whether the prisoner should have
looked to the left or to the right on entering the court, "in his
modest opinion," the prisoner would naturally look straight before him
on entering the court, as he had in fact done, as that was where the
judges, on whom his fate depended, were sitting. So that it was just
by looking straight before him that he showed his perfectly normal
state of mind at the present. The young doctor concluded his
"modest" testimony with some heat.
"Bravo, doctor!" cried Mitya, from his seat, "just so!"
Mitya, of course, was checked, but the young doctor's opinion
had a decisive influence on the judges and on the public, and, as
appeared afterwards, everyone agreed with him. But Doctor Herzenstube,
when called as a witness, was quite unexpectedly of use to Mitya. As
an old resident in the town, who had known the Karamazov family for
years, he furnished some facts of great value for the prosecution, and
suddenly, as though recalling something, he added:
"But the poor young man might have had a very different life,
for he had a good heart both in childhood and after childhood, that
I know. But the Russian proverb says, 'If a man has one head, it's
good, but if another clever man comes to visit him, it would be better
still, for then there will be two heads and not only one."'
"One head is good, but two are better," the prosecutor put in
impatiently. He knew the old man's habit of talking slowly and
deliberately, regardless of the impression he was making and of the
delay he was causing, and highly prizing his flat, dull and always
gleefully complacent German wit. The old man was fond of making jokes.
"Oh, yes, that's what I say," he went on stubbornly. "One head
is good, but two are much better, but he did not meet another head
with wits, and his wits went. Where did they go? I've forgotten the
word." He went on, passing his hand before his eyes, "Oh, yes,

* Promenading.

"Oh, yes, wandering, that's what I say. Well, his wits went
wandering and fell in such a deep hole that he lost himself. And yet
he was a grateful and sensitive boy. Oh, I remember him very well, a
little chap so high, left neglected by his father in the back yard,
when he ran about without boots on his feet, and his little breeches
hanging by one button."
A note of feeling and tenderness suddenly came into the honest old
man's voice. Fetyukovitch positively started, as though scenting
something, and caught at it instantly.
"Oh, yes, I was a young man then.... I was... well, I was
forty-five then, and had only just come here. And I was so sorry for
the boy then; I asked myself why shouldn't I buy him a pound of... a
pound of what? I've forgotten what it's called. A pound of what
children are very fond of, what is it, what is it?" The doctor began
waving his hands again. "It grows on a tree and is gathered and
given to everyone..."
"Oh, no, no. You have a dozen of apples, not a pound.... No, there
are a lot of them, and call little. You put them in the mouth and
"Quite so, nuts, I say so." The doctor repeated in the calmest way
as though he had been at no loss for a word. "And I bought him a pound
of nuts, for no one had ever bought the boy a pound of nuts before.
And I lifted my finger and said to him, 'Boy, Gott der Vater.' He
laughed and said, 'Gott der Vater'... 'Gott der Sohn.' He laughed
again and lisped 'Gott der Sohn.' 'Gott der heilige Geist.' Then he
laughed and said as best he could, 'Gott der heilige Geist.' I went
away, and two days after I happened to be passing, and he shouted to
me of himself, 'Uncle, Gott der Vater, Gott der Sohn,' and he had only
forgotten 'Gott der heilige Geist.' But I reminded him of it and I
felt very sorry for him again. But he was taken away, and I did not
see him again. Twenty-three years passed. I am sitting one morning
in my study, a white-haired old man, when there walks into the room
a blooming young man, whom I should never have recognised, but he held
up his finger and said, laughing, 'Gott der Vater, Gott der Sohn,
and Gott der heilige Geist. I have just arrived and have come to thank
you for that pound of nuts, for no one else ever bought me a pound
of nuts; you are the only one that ever did.' then I remembered my
happy youth and the poor child in the yard, without boots on his feet,
and my heart was touched and I said, 'You are a grateful young man,
for you have remembered all your life the pound of nuts I bought you
in your childhood.' And I embraced him and blessed him. And I shed
tears. He laughed, but he shed tears, too... for the Russian often
laughs when he ought to be weeping. But he did weep; I saw it. And
now, alas!..."
"And I am weeping now, German, I am weeping now, too, you
saintly man," Mitya cried suddenly.
In any case the anecdote made a certain favourable impression on
the public. But the chief sensation in Mitya's favour was created by
the evidence of Katerina Ivanovna, which I will describe directly.
Indeed, when the witnesses a decharge, that is, called the defence,
began giving evidence, fortune seemed all at once markedly more
favourable to Mitya, and what was particularly striking, this was a
surprise even to the counsel for the defence. But before Katerina
Ivanovna was called, Alyosha was examined, and he recalled a fact
which seemed to furnish positive evidence against one important
point made by the prosecution.
Chapter 4
Fortune Smiles on Mitya

IT came quite as a surprise even to Alyosha himself. He was not
required to take the oath, and I remember that both sides addressed
him very gently and sympathetically. It was evident that his
reputation for goodness had preceded him. Alyosha gave his evidence
modestly and with restraint, but his warm sympathy for his unhappy
brother was unmistakable. In answer to one question, he sketched his
brother's character as that of a man, violent-tempered perhaps and
carried away by his passions, but at the same time honourable, proud
and generous, capable of self-sacrifice, if necessary. He admitted,
however, that, through his passion for Grushenka and his rivalry
with his father, his brother had been of late in an intolerable
position. But he repelled with indignation the suggestion that his
brother might have committed a murder for the sake of gain, though
he recognised that the three thousand roubles had become almost an
obsession with Mitya; that upon them as part of the inheritance he had
been cheated of by his father, and that, indifferent as he was to
money as a rule, he could not even speak of that three thousand
without fury. As for the rivalry of the two "ladies," as the
prosecutor expressed it- that is, of Grushenka and Katya- he
answered evasively and was even unwilling to answer one or two
questions altogether.
"Did your brother tell you, anyway, that he intended to kill
your father?" asked the prosecutor. "You can refuse to answer if you
think necessary," he added.
"He did not tell me so directly," answered Alyosha.
"How so? Did he indirectly?"
"He spoke to me once of his hatred for our father and his fear
that at an extreme moment... at a moment of fury, he might perhaps
murder him."
"And you believed him?"
"I am afraid to say that I did. But I never doubted that some
higher feeling would always save him at that fatal moment, as it has
indeed saved him, for it was not he killed my father," Alyosha said
firmly, in a loud voice that was heard throughout the court.
The prosecutor started like a war-horse at the sound of a trumpet.
"Let me assure you that I fully believe in the complete
sincerity of your conviction and do not explain it by or identify it
with your affection for your unhappy brother. Your peculiar view of
the whole tragic episode is known to us already from the preliminary
investigation. I won't attempt to conceal from you that it is highly
individual and contradicts all the other evidence collected by the
prosecution. And so I think it essential to press you to tell me
what facts have led you to this conviction of your brother's innocence
and of the guilt of another person against whom you gave evidence at
the preliminary inquiry?"
"I only answered the questions asked me at the preliminary
inquiry," replied Alyosha, slowly and calmly. "I made no accusation
against Smerdyakov of myself."
"Yet you gave evidence against him?"
"I was led to do so by my brother Dmitri's words. I was told
what took place at his arrest and how he had pointed to Smerdyakov
before I was examined. I believe absolutely that my brother is
innocent, and if he didn't commit the murder, then-"
"Then Smerdyakov? Why Smerdyakov? And why are you so completely
persuaded of your brother's innocence?"
"I cannot help believing my brother. I know he wouldn't lie to me.
I saw from his face he wasn't lying."
"Only from his face? Is that all the proof you have?"
"I have no other proof."
"And of Smerdyakov's guilt you have no proof whatever but your
brother's word and the expression of his face?"
"No, I have no other proof."
The prosecutor dropped the examination at this point. The
impression left by Alyosha's evidence on the public was most
disappointing. There had been talk about Smerdyakov before the
trial; someone had heard something, someone had pointed out
something else, it was said that Alyosha had gathered together some
extraordinary proofs of his brother's innocence and Smerdyakov's
guilt, and after all there was nothing, no evidence except certain
moral convictions so natural in a brother.
But Fetyukovitch began his cross-examination. On his asking
Alyosha when it was that the prisoner had told him of his hatred for
his father and that he might kill him, and whether he had heard it,
for instance, at their last meeting before the catastrophe, Alyosha
started as he answered, as though only just recollecting and
understanding something.
"I remember one circumstance now which I'd quite forgotten myself.
It wasn't clear to me at the time, but now-"
And, obviously only now for the first time struck by an idea, he
recounted eagerly how, at his last interview with Mitya that evening
under the tree, on the road to the monastery, Mitya had struck himself
on the breast, "the upper part of the breast," and had repeated
several times that he had a means of regaining his honour, that that
means was here, here on his breast. "I thought, when he struck himself
on the breast, he meant that it was in his heart," Alyosha
continued, "that he might find in his heart strength to save himself
from some awful disgrace which was awaiting him and which he did not
dare confess even to me. I must confess I did think at the time that
he was speaking of our father, and that the disgrace he was shuddering
at was the thought of going to our father and doing some violence to
him. Yet it was just then that he pointed to something on his
breast, so that I remember the idea struck me at the time that the
heart is not on that part of the breast, but below, and that he struck
himself much too high, just below the neck, and kept pointing to
that place. My idea seemed silly to me at the time, but he was perhaps
pointing then to that little bag in which he had fifteen hundred
"Just so, Mitya cried from his place. "That's right, Alyosha, it
was the little bag I struck with my fist."
Fetyukovitch flew to him in hot haste entreating him to keep
quiet, and at the same instant pounced on Alyosha. Alyosha, carried
away himself by his recollection, warmly expressed his theory that
this disgrace was probably just that fifteen hundred roubles on him,
which he might have returned to Katerina Ivanovna as half of what he
owed her, but which he had yet determined not to repay her and to
use for another purpose- namely, to enable him to elope with
Grushenka, if she consented.
"It is so, it must be so," exclaimed Alyosha, in sudden
excitement. "My brother cried several times that half of the disgrace,
half of it (he said half several times) he could free himself from
at once, but that he was so unhappy in his weakness of will that he
wouldn't do it... that he knew beforehand he was incapable of doing
"And you clearly, confidently remember that he struck himself just
on this part of the breast?" Fetyukovitch asked eagerly.
"Clearly and confidently, for I thought at the time, 'Why does
he strike himself up there when the heart is lower down?' and the
thought seemed stupid to me at the time... I remember its seeming
stupid... it flashed through my mind. That's what brought it back to
me just now. How could I have forgotten it till now? It was that
little bag he meant when he said he had the means but wouldn't give
back that fifteen hundred. And when he was arrested at Mokroe he cried
out- I know, I was told it- that he considered it the most disgraceful
act of his life that when he had the means of repaying Katerina
Ivanovna half (half, note!) what he owed her, he yet could not bring
himself to repay the money and preferred to remain a thief in her eyes
rather than part with it. And what torture, what torture that debt has
been to him!" Alyosha exclaimed in conclusion.
The prosecutor, of course, intervened. He asked Alyosha to
describe once more how it had all happened, and several times insisted
on the question, "Had the prisoner seemed to point to anything?
Perhaps he had simply struck himself with his fist on the breast?"
"But it was not with his fist," cried Alyosha; "he pointed with
his fingers and pointed here, very high up.... How could I have so
completely forgotten it till this moment?"
The President asked Mitya what he had to say to the last witness's
evidence. Mitya confirmed it, saying that he had been pointing to
the fifteen hundred roubles which were on his breast, just below the
neck, and that that was, of course, the disgrace, "A disgrace I cannot
deny, the most shameful act of my whole life," cried Mitya. "I might
have repaid it and didn't repay it. I preferred to remain a thief in
her eyes rather than give it back. And the most shameful part of it
was that I knew beforehand I shouldn't give it back! You are right,
Alyosha! Thanks, Alyosha!"
So Alyosha's cross-examination ended. What was important and
striking about it was that one fact at least had been found, and
even though this were only one tiny bit of evidence, a mere hint at
evidence, it did go some little way towards proving that the bag had
existed and had contained fifteen hundred roubles and that the
prisoner had not been lying at the preliminary inquiry when he alleged
at Mokroe that those fifteen hundred roubles were "his own." Alyosha
was glad. With a flushed face he moved away to the seat assigned to
him. He kept repeating to himself: "How was it I forgot? How could I
have forgotten it? And what made it come back to me now?"
Katerina Ivanovna was called to the witness-box. As she entered
something extraordinary happened in the court. The ladies clutched
their lorgnettes and opera-glasses. There was a stir among the men:
some stood up to get a better view. Everybody alleged afterwards
that Mitya had turned "white as a sheet" on her entrance. All in
black, she advanced modestly, almost timidly. It was impossible to
tell from her face that she was agitated; but there was a resolute
gleam in her dark and gloomy eyes. I may remark that many people
mentioned that she looked particularly handsome at that moment. She
spoke softly but clearly, so that she was heard all over the court.
She expressed herself with composure, or at least tried to appear
composed. The President began his examination discreetly and very
respectfully, as though afraid to touch on "certain chords," and
showing consideration for her great unhappiness. But in answer to
one of the first questions Katerina Ivanovna replied firmly that she
had been formerly betrothed to the prisoner, "until he left me of
his own accord..." she added quietly. When they asked her about the
three thousand she had entrusted to Mitya to post to her relations,
she said firmly, "I didn't give him the money simply to send it off. I
felt at the time that he was in great need of money.... I gave him the
three thousand on the understanding that he should post it within
the month if he cared to. There was no need for him to worry himself
about that debt afterwards."
I will not repeat all the questions asked her and all her
answers in detail. I will only give the substance of her evidence.
"I was firmly convinced that he would send off that sum as soon as
he got money from his father," she went on. "I have never doubted
his disinterestedness and his honesty... his scrupulous honesty...
in money matters. He felt quite certain that he would receive the
money from his father, and spoke to me several times about it. I
knew he had a feud with his father and have always believed that he
had been unfairly treated by his father. I don't remember any threat
uttered by him against his father. He certainly never uttered any such
threat before me. If he had come to me at that time, I should have
at once relieved his anxiety about that unlucky three thousand
roubles, but he had given up coming to see me... and I myself was
put in such a position... that I could not invite him.... And I had no
right, indeed, to be exacting as to that money, she added suddenly,
and there was a ring of resolution in her voice. "I was once
indebted to him for assistance in money for more than three
thousand, and I took it, although I could not at that time foresee
that I should ever be in a position to repay my debt."
There was a note of defiance in her voice. It was then
Fetyukovitch began his cross-examination.
"Did that take place not here, but at the beginning of your
acquaintance?" Fetyukovitch suggested cautiously, feeling his way,
instantly scenting something favourable. I must mention in parenthesis
that, though Fetyukovitch had been brought from Petersburg partly at
the instance of Katerina Ivanovna herself, he knew nothing about the
episode of the four thousand roubles given her by Mitya, and of her
"bowing to the ground to him." She concealed this from him and said
nothing about it, and that was strange. It may be pretty certainly
assumed that she herself did not know till the very last minute
whether she would speak of that episode in the court, and waited for
the inspiration of the moment.
No, I can never forget those moments. She began telling her story.
She told everything, the whole episode that Mitya had told Alyosha,
and her bowing to the ground, and her reason. She told about her
father and her going to Mitya, and did not in one word, in a single
hint, suggest that Mitya had himself, through her sister, proposed
they should "send him Katerina Ivanovna" to fetch the money. She
generously concealed that and was not ashamed to make it appear as
though she had of her own impulse run to the young officer, relying on
something... to beg him for the money. It was something tremendous!
I turned cold and trembled as I listened. The court was hushed, trying
to catch each word. It was something unexampled. Even from such a
self-willed and contemptuously proud girl as she was, such an
extremely frank avowal, such sacrifice, such self-immolation, seemed
incredible. And for what, for whom? To save the man who had deceived
and insulted her and to help, in however small a degree, in saving
him, by creating a strong impression in his favour. And, indeed, the
figure of the young officer who, with a respectful bow to the innocent
girl, handed her his last four thousand roubles- all he had in the
world- was thrown into a very sympathetic and attractive light, but...
I had a painful misgiving at heart! I felt that calumny might come
of it later (and it did, in fact, it did). It was repeated all over
the town afterwards with spiteful laughter that was perhaps not
quite complete- that is, in the statement that the officer had let the
young lady depart "with nothing but a respectful bow." It was hinted
that something was here omitted.
"And even if nothing had been omitted, if this were the whole
story," the most highly respected of our ladies maintained, "even then
it's very doubtful whether it was creditable for a young girl to
behave in that way, even for the sake of saving her father."
And can Katerina Ivanovna, with her intelligence, her morbid
sensitiveness, have failed to understand that people would talk like
that? She must have understood it, yet she made up her mind to tell
everything. Of course, all these nasty little suspicions as to the
truth of her story only arose afterwards and at the first moment all
were deeply impressed by it. As for the judges and the lawyers, they
listened in reverent, almost shamefaced silence to Katerina
Ivanovna. The prosecutor did not venture upon even one question on the
subject. Fetyukovitch made a low bow to her. Oh, he was almost
triumphant! Much ground had been gained. For a man to give his last
four thousand on a generous impulse and then for the same man to
murder his father for the sake of robbing him of three thousand- the
idea seemed too incongruous. Fetyukovitch felt that now the charge
of theft, at least, was as good as disproved. "The case" was thrown
into quite a different light. There was a wave of sympathy for
Mitya. As for him.... I was told that once or twice, while Katerina
Ivanovna was giving her evidence, he jumped up from his seat, sank
back again, and hid his face in his hands. But when she had
finished, he suddenly cried in a sobbing voice:
"Katya, why have you ruined me?" and his sobs were audible all
over the court. But he instantly restrained himself, and cried again:
"Now I am condemned!"
Then he sat rigid in his place, with his teeth clenched and his
arms across his chest. Katerina Ivanovna remained in the court and sat
down in her place. She was pale and sat with her eyes cast down. Those
who were sitting near her declared that for a long time she shivered
all over as though in a fever. Grushenka was called.
I am approaching the sudden catastrophe which was perhaps the
final cause of Mitya's ruin. For I am convinced, so is everyone- all
the lawyers said the same afterwards- that if the episode had not
occurred, the prisoner would at least have been recommended to
mercy. But of that later. A few words first about Grushenka.
She, too, was dressed entirely in black, with her magnificent
black shawl on her shoulders. She walked to the witness-box with her
smooth, noiseless tread, with the slightly swaying gait common in
women of full figure. She looked steadily at the President, turning
her eyes neither to the right nor to the left. To my thinking she
looked very handsome at that moment, and not at all pale, as the
ladies alleged afterwards. They declared, too, that she had a
concentrated and spiteful expression. I believe that she was simply
irritated and painfully conscious of the contemptuous and
inquisitive eyes of our scandal-loving public. She was proud and could
not stand contempt. She was one of those people who flare up, angry
and eager to retaliate, at the mere suggestion of contempt. There
was an element of timidity, too, of course, and inward shame at her
own timidity, so it was not strange that her tone kept changing. At
one moment it was angry, contemptuous and rough, and at another
there was a sincere note of self-condemnation. Sometimes she spoke
as though she were taking a desperate plunge; as though she felt, "I
don't care what happens, I'll say it...." Apropos of her
acquaintance with Fyodor Pavlovitch, she remarked curtly, "That's
all nonsense, and was it my fault that he would pester me?" But a
minute later she added, "It was all my fault. I was laughing at them
both- at the old man and at him, too- and I brought both of them to
this. It was all on account of me it happened."
Samsonov's name came up somehow. "That's nobody's business," she
snapped at once, with a sort of insolent defiance. "He was my
benefactor; he took me when I hadn't a shoe to my foot, when my family
had turned me out." The President reminded her, though very
politely, that she must answer the questions directly, without going
off into irrelevant details. Grushenka crimsoned and her eyes flashed.
The envelope with the notes in it she had not seen, but had only
heard from "that wicked wretch" that Fyodor Pavlovitch had an envelope
with notes for three thousand in it. "But that was all foolishness.
I was only laughing. I wouldn't have gone to him for anything."
"To whom are you referring as 'that wicked wretch'?" inquired
the prosecutor.
"The lackey, Smerdyakov, who murdered his master and hanged
himself last night."
She was, of course, at once asked what ground she had for such a
definite accusation; but it appeared that she, too, had no grounds for
"Dmitri Fyodorovitch told me so himself; you can believe him.
The woman who came between us has ruined him; she is the cause of it
all, let me tell you," Grushenka added. She seemed to be quivering
with hatred, and there was a vindictive note in her voice.
She was again asked to whom she was referring.
"The young lady, Katerina Ivanovna there. She sent for me, offered
me chocolate, tried to fascinate me. There's not much true shame about
her, I can tell you that..."
At this point the President checked her sternly, begging her to
moderate her language. But the jealous woman's heart was burning,
and she did not care what she did.
"When the prisoner was arrested at Mokroe," the prosecutor
asked, "everyone saw and heard you run out of the next room and cry
out: 'It's all my fault. We'll go to Siberia together!' So you already
believed him to have murdered his father?"
"I don't remember what I felt at the time," answered Grushenka.
"Everyone was crying out that he had killed his father, and I felt
that it was my fault, that it was on my account he had murdered him.
But when he said he wasn't guilty, I believed him at once, and I
believe him now and always shall believe him. He is not the man to
tell a lie."
Fetyukovitch began his cross-examination. I remember that among
other things he asked about Rakitin and the twenty-five roubles "you
paid him for bringing Alexey Fyodorovitch Karamazov to see you."
"There was nothing strange about his taking the money," sneered
Grushenka, with angry contempt. "He was always coming to me for money:
he used to get thirty roubles a month at least out of me, chiefly
for luxuries: he had enough to keep him without my help."
"What led you to be so liberal to Mr. Rakitin?" Fetyukovitch
asked, in spite of an uneasy movement on the part of the President.
"Why, he is my cousin. His mother was my mother's sister. But he's
always besought me not to tell anyone here of it, he is so
dreadfully ashamed of me."
This fact was a complete surprise to everyone; no one in the
town nor in the monastery, not even Mitya, knew of it. I was told that
Rakitin turned purple with shame where he sat. Grushenka had somehow
heard before she came into the court that he had given evidence
against Mitya, and so she was angry. The whole effect on the public,
of Rakitin's speech, of his noble sentiments, of his attacks upon
serfdom and the political disorder of Russia, was this time finally
ruined. Fetyukovitch was satisfied: it was another godsend.
Grushenka's cross-examination did not last long and, of course,
there could be nothing particularly new in her evidence. She left a
very disagreeable impression on the public; hundreds of contemptuous
eyes were fixed upon her, as she finished giving her evidence and
sat down again in the court, at a good distance from Katerina
Ivanovna. Mitya was silent throughout her evidence. He sat as though
turned to stone, with his eyes fixed on the ground.
Ivan was called to give evidence.
Chapter 5
A Sudden Catastrophe

I MAY note that he had been called before Alyosha. But the usher
of the court announced to the President that, owing to an attack of
illness or some sort of fit, the witness could not appear at the
moment, but was ready to give his evidence as soon as he recovered.
But no one seemed to have heard it and it only came out later.
His entrance was for the first moment almost unnoticed. The
principal witnesses, especially the two rival ladies, had already been
questioned. Curiosity was satisfied for the time; the public was
feeling almost fatigued. Several more witnesses were still to be
heard, who probably had little information to give after all that
had been given. Time was passing. Ivan walked up with extraordinary
slowness, looking at no one, and with his head bowed, as though
plunged in gloomy thought. He was irreproachably dressed, but his face
made a painful impression, on me at least: there was an earthy look in
it, a look like a dying man's. His eyes were lustreless; he raised
them and looked slowly round the court. Alyosha jumped up from his
seat and moaned "Ah!" I remember that, but it was hardly noticed.
The President began by informing him that he was a witness not
on oath, that he might answer or refuse to answer, but that, of
course, he must bear witness according to his conscience, and so on,
and so on. Ivan listened and looked at him blankly, but his face
gradually relaxed into a smile, and as soon as the President,
looking at him in astonishment, finished, he laughed outright.
"Well, and what else?" he asked in a loud voice.
There was a hush in the court; there was a feeling of something
strange. The President showed signs of uneasiness.
"You... are perhaps still unwell?" he began, looking everywhere
for the usher.
"Don't trouble yourself, your excellency, I am well enough and can
tell you something interesting," Ivan answered with sudden calmness
and respectfulness.
"You have some special communication to make?" the President
went on, still mistrustfully.
Ivan looked down, waited a few seconds and, raising his head,
answered, almost stammering:
"No... I haven't. I have nothing particular."
They began asking him questions. He answered, as it were,
reluctantly, with extreme brevity, with a sort of disgust which grew
more and more marked, though he answered rationally. To many questions
he answered that he did not know. He knew nothing of his father's
money relations with Dmitri. "I wasn't interested in the subject,"
he added. Threats to murder his father he had heard from the prisoner.
Of the money in the envelope he had heard from Smerdyakov.
"The same thing over and over again," he interrupted suddenly,
with a look of weariness. "I have nothing particular to tell the
"I see you are unwell and understand your feelings," the President
He turned to the prosecutor and the counsel for the defence to
invite them to examine the witness, if necessary, when Ivan suddenly
asked in an exhausted voice:
"Let me go, your excellency, I feel very ill."
And with these words, without waiting for permission, he turned to
walk out of the court. But after taking four steps he stood still,
as though he had reached a decision, smiled slowly, and went back.
"I am like the peasant girl, your excellency... you know. How does
it go? 'I'll stand up if I like, and I won't if I don't.' They were
trying to put on her sarafan to take her to church to be married,
and she said, 'I'll stand up if I like, and I won't if I don't.'...
It's in some book about the peasantry."
"What do you mean by that?" the President asked severely.
"Why, this," Ivan suddenly pulled out a roll of notes. "Here's the
money... the notes that lay in that envelope" (he nodded towards the
table on which lay the material evidence), "for the sake of which
our father was murdered. Where shall I put them? Mr. Superintendent,
take them."
The usher of the court took the whole roll and handed it to the
"How could this money have come into your possession if it is
the same money?" the President asked wonderingly.
"I got them from Smerdyakov, from the murderer, yesterday.... I
was with him just before he hanged himself. It was he, not my brother,
killed our father. He murdered him and I incited him to do it... Who
doesn't desire his father's death?"
"Are you in your right mind?" broke involuntarily from the
"I should think I am in my right mind... in the same nasty mind as
all of you... as all these... ugly faces." He turned suddenly to the
audience. "My father has been murdered and they pretend they are
horrified," he snarled, with furious contempt. "They keep up the
sham with one another. Liars! They all desire the death of their
fathers. One reptile devours another.... If there hadn't been a
murder, they'd have been angry and gone home ill-humoured. It's a
spectacle they want! Panem et circenses.* Though I am one to talk!
Have you any water? Give me a drink for Christ's sake!" He suddenly
clutched his head.

* Bread and circuses.

The usher at once approached him. Alyosha jumped up and cried, "He
is ill. Don't believe him: he has brain fever." Katerina Ivanovna rose
impulsively from her seat and, rigid with horror, gazed at Ivan. Mitya
stood up and greedily looked at his brother and listened to him with a
wild, strange smile.
"Don't disturb yourselves. I am not mad, I am only a murderer,"
Ivan began again. "You can't expect eloquence from a murderer," he
added suddenly for some reason and laughed a queer laugh.
The prosecutor bent over to the President in obvious dismay. The
two other judges communicated in agitated whispers. Fetyukovitch
pricked up his ears as he listened: the hall was hushed in
expectation. The President seemed suddenly to recollect himself.
"Witness, your words are incomprehensible and impossible here.
Calm yourself, if you can, and tell your story... if you really have
something to tell. How can you confirm your statement... if indeed you
are not delirious?"
"That's just it. I have no proof. That cur Smerdyakov won't send
you proofs from the other world... in an envelope. You think of
nothing but envelopes- one is enough. I've no witnesses... except one,
perhaps," he smiled thoughtfully.
"Who is your witness?"
"He has a tail, your excellency, and that would be irregular! Le
diable n'existe point! Don't pay attention: he is a paltry, pitiful
devil," he added suddenly. He ceased laughing and spoke as it were,
confidentially. "He is here somewhere, no doubt- under that table with
the material evidence on it, perhaps. Where should he sit if not
there? You see, listen to me. I told him I don't want to keep quiet,
and he talked about the geological cataclysm... idiocy! Come,
release the monster... he's been singing a hymn. That's because his
heart is light! It's like a drunken man in the street bawling how
'Vanka went to Petersburg,' and I would give a quadrillion
quadrillions for two seconds of joy. You don't know me! Oh, how stupid
all this business is! Come, take me instead of him! I didn't come
for nothing.... Why, why is everything so stupid?..."
And he began slowly, and as it were reflectively, looking round
him again. But the court was all excitement by now. Alyosha rushed
towards him, but the court usher had already seized Ivan by the arm.
"What are you about?" he cried, staring into the man's face, and
suddenly seizing him by the shoulders, he flung him violently to the
floor. But the police were on the spot and he was seized. He
screamed furiously. And all the time he was being removed, he yelled
and screamed something incoherent.
The whole court was thrown into confusion. I don't remember
everything as it happened. I was excited myself and could not
follow. I only know that afterwards, when everything was quiet again
and everyone understood what had happened, the court usher came in for
a reprimand, though he very reasonably explained that the witness
had been quite well, that the doctor had seen him an hour ago, when he
had a slight attack of giddiness, but that, until he had come into the
court, he had talked quite consecutively, so that nothing could have
been foreseen- that he had, in fact, insisted on giving evidence.
But before everyone had completely regained their composure and
recovered from this scene, it was followed by another. Katerina
Ivanovna had an attack of hysterics. She sobbed, shrieking loudly, but
refused to leave the court, struggled, and besought them not to remove
her. Suddenly she cried to the President:
"There is more evidence I must give at once ... at once! Here is a
document, a letter... take it, read it quickly, quickly! It's a letter
from that monster... that man there, there!" she pointed to Mitya. "It
was he killed his father, you will see that directly. He wrote to me
how he would kill his father! But the other one is ill, he is ill,
he is delirious!" she kept crying out, beside herself.
The court usher took the document she held out to the President,
and she, dropping into her chair, hiding her face in her hands,
began convulsively and noiselessly sobbing, shaking all over, and
stifling every sound for fear she should be ejected from the court.
The document she had handed up was that letter Mitya had written at
the Metropolis tavern, which Ivan had spoken of as a "mathematical
proof." Alas! its mathematical conclusiveness was recognised, and
had it not been for that letter, Mitya might have escaped his doom or,
at least, that doom would have been less terrible. It was, I repeat,
difficult to notice every detail. What followed is still confused to
my mind. The President must, I suppose, have at once passed on the
document to the judges, the jury, and the lawyers on both sides. I
only remember how they began examining the witness. On being gently
asked by the President whether she had recovered sufficiently,
Katerina Ivanovna exclaimed impetuously:
"I am ready, I am ready! I am quite equal to answering you," she
added, evidently still afraid that she would somehow be prevented from
giving evidence. She was asked to explain in detail what this letter
was and under what circumstances she received it.
"I received it the day before the crime was committed, but he
wrote it the day before that, at the tavern- that is, two days
before he committed the crime. Look, it is written on some sort of
bill!" she cried breathlessly. "He hated me at that time, because he
had behaved contemptibly and was running after that creature ... and
because he owed me that three thousand.... Oh! he was humiliated by
that three thousand on account of his own meanness! This is how it
happened about that three thousand. I beg you, I beseech you, to
hear me. Three weeks before he murdered his father, he came to me
one morning. I knew he was in want of money, and what he wanted it
for. Yes, yes- to win that creature and carry her off. I knew then
that he had been false to me and meant to abandon me, and it was I, I,
who gave him that money, who offered it to him on the pretext of his
sending it to my sister in Moscow. And as I gave it him, I looked
him in the face and said that he could send it when he liked, 'in a
month's time would do.' How, how could he have failed to understand
that I was practically telling him to his face, 'You want money to
be false to me with your creature, so here's the money for you. I give
it to you myself. Take it, if you have so little honour as to take
it!' I wanted to prove what he was, and what happened? He took it,
he took it, and squandered it with that creature in one night....
But he knew, he knew that I knew all about it. I assure you he
understood, too, that I gave him that money to test him, to see
whether he was so lost to all sense of honour as to take it from me. I
looked into his eyes and he looked into mine, and he understood it all
and he took it- he carried off my money!
"That's true, Katya," Mitya roared suddenly, "I looked into your
eyes and I knew that you were dishonouring me, and yet I took your
money. Despise me as a scoundrel, despise me, all of you! I've
deserved it!"
"Prisoner," cried the President, "another word and I will order
you to be removed."
"That money was a torment to him," Katya went on with impulsive
haste. "He wanted to repay it me. He wanted to, that's true; but he
needed money for that creature, too. So he murdered his father, but he
didn't repay me, and went off with her to that village where he was
arrested. There, again, he squandered the money he had stolen after
the murder of his father. And a day before the murder he wrote me this
letter. He was drunk when he wrote it. I saw it at once, at the
time. He wrote it from spite, and feeling certain, positively certain,
that I should never show it to anyone, even if he did kill him, or
else he wouldn't have written it. For he knew I shouldn't want to
revenge myself and ruin him! But read it, read it attentively- more
attentively, please- and you will see that he had described it all
in his letter, all beforehand, how he would kill his father and
where his money was kept. Look, please, don't overlook that, there's
one phrase there, 'I shall kill him as soon as Ivan has gone away.' he
thought it all out beforehand how he would kill him," Katerina
Ivanovna pointed out to the court with venomous and malignant triumph.
Oh! it was clear she had studied every line of that letter and
detected every meaning underlining it. "If he hadn't been drunk, he
wouldn't have written to me; but, look, everything is written there
beforehand, just as he committed the murder after. A complete
programme of it!" she exclaimed frantically.
She was reckless now of all consequences to herself, though, no
doubt, she had foreseen them even a month ago, for even then, perhaps,
shaking with anger, she had pondered whether to show it at the trial
or not. Now she had taken the fatal plunge. I remember that the letter
was read aloud by the clerk, directly afterwards, I believe. It made
an overwhelming impression. They asked Mitya whether he admitted
having written the letter.
"It's mine, mine!" cried Mitya. "I shouldn't have written it if
I hadn't been drunk!... We've hated each other for many things, Katya,
but I swear, I swear I loved you even while I hated you, and you
didn't love me!"
He sank back on his seat, wringing his hands in despair. The
prosecutor and counsel for the defence began cross-examining her,
chiefly to ascertain what had induced her to conceal such a document
and to give her evidence in quite a different tone and spirit just
"Yes, yes. I was telling lies just now. I was lying against my
honour and my conscience, but I wanted to save him, for he has hated
and despised me so!" Katya cried madly. "Oh, he has despised me
horribly, he has always despised me, and do you know, he has
despised me from the very moment that I bowed down to him for that
money. I saw that.... I felt it at once at the time, but for a long
time I wouldn't believe it. How often I have read it in his eyes, 'You
came of yourself, though.' Oh, he didn't understand, he had no idea
why I ran to him, he can suspect nothing but baseness, he judged me by
himself, he thought everyone was like himself!" Katya hissed
furiously, in a perfect frenzy. "And he only wanted to marry me,
because I'd inherited a fortune, because of that, because of that! I
always suspected it was because of that! Oh, he is a brute! He was
always convinced that I should be trembling with shame all my life
before him, because I went to him then, and that he had a right to
despise me forever for it, and so to be superior to me- that's why
he wanted to marry me! That's so, that's all so! I tried to conquer
him by my love- a love that knew no bounds. I even tried to forgive
his faithlessness; but he understood nothing, nothing! How could he
understand indeed? He is a monster! I only received that letter the
next evening: it was brought me from the tavern- and only that
morning, only that morning I wanted to forgive him everything,
everything- even his treachery!"
The President and the prosecutor, of course, tried to calm her.
I can't help thinking that they felt ashamed of taking advantage of
her hysteria and of listening to such avowals. I remember hearing them
say to her, "We understand how hard it is for you; be sure we are able
to feel for you," and so on, and so on. And yet they dragged the
evidence out of the raving, hysterical woman. She described at last
with extraordinary clearness, which is so often seen, though only
for a moment, in such overwrought states, how Ivan had been nearly
driven out of his mind during the last two months trying to save
"the monster and murderer," his brother.
"He tortured himself," she exclaimed, "he was always trying to
minimise his brother's guilt and confessing to me that he, too, had
never loved his father, and perhaps desired his death himself. Oh,
he has a tender, over-tender conscience! He tormented himself with his
conscience! He told me everything, everything! He came every day and
talked to me as his only friend. I have the honour to be his only
friend!" she cried suddenly with a sort of defiance, and her eyes
flashed. "He had been twice to see Smerdyakov. One day he came to me
and said, 'If it was not my brother, but Smerdyakov committed the
murder' (for the legend was circulating everywhere that Smerdyakov had
done it), 'perhaps I too am guilty, for Smerdyakov knew I didn't
like my father and perhaps believed that I desired my father's death.'
Then I brought out that letter and showed it him. He was entirely
convinced that his brother had done it, and he was overwhelmed by
it. He couldn't endure the thought that his own brother was a
parricide! Only a week ago I saw that it was making him ill. During
the last few days he has talked incoherently in my presence. I saw his
mind was giving way. He walked about, raving; he was seen muttering in
the streets. The doctor from Moscow, at my request, examined him the
day before yesterday and told me that he was on the eve of brain
fever- and all on his account, on account of this monster! And last
night he learnt that Smerdyakov was dead! It was such a shock that
it drove him out of his mind... and all through this monster, all
for the sake of saving the monster!"
Oh, of course, such an outpouring, such an avowal is only possible
once in a lifetime- at the hour of death, for instance, on the way
to the scaffold! But it was in Katya's character, and it was such a
moment in her life. It was the same impetuous Katya who had thrown
herself on the mercy of a young profligate to save her father; the
same Katya who had just before, in her pride and chastity,
sacrificed herself and her maidenly modesty before all these people,
telling of Mitya's generous conduct, in the hope of softening his fate
a little. And now, again, she sacrificed herself; but this time it was
for another, and perhaps only now- perhaps only at this moment- she
felt and knew how dear that other was to her! She had sacrificed
herself in terror for him; conceiving all of a sudden that he had
ruined himself by his confession that it was he who had committed
the murder, not his brother, she had sacrificed herself to save him,
to save his good name, his reputation!
And yet one terrible doubt occurred to one- was she lying in her
description of her former relations with Mitya?- that was the
question. No, she had not intentionally slandered him when she cried
that Mitya despised her for her bowing down to him! She believed it
herself. She had been firmly convinced, perhaps ever since that bow,
that the simplehearted Mitya, who even then adored her, was laughing
at her and despising her. She had loved him with an hysterical,
"lacerated" love only from pride, from wounded pride, and that love
was not like love, but more like revenge. Oh! perhaps that lacerated
love would have grown into real love, perhaps Katya longed for nothing
more than that, but Mitya's faithlessness had wounded her to the
bottom of her heart, and her heart could not forgive him. The moment
of revenge had come upon her suddenly, and all that had been
accumulating so long and so painfully in the offended woman's breast
burst out all at once and unexpectedly. She betrayed Mitya, but she
betrayed herself, too. And no sooner had she given full expression
to her feelings than the tension of course was over and she was
overwhelmed with shame. Hysterics began again: she fell on the
floor, sobbing and screaming. She was carried out. At that moment
Grushenka, with a wail, rushed towards Mitya before they had time to
prevent her.
"Mitya," she wailed, "your serpent has destroyed you! There, she
has shown you what she is!" she shouted to the judges, shaking with
anger. At a signal from the President they seized her and tried to
remove her from the court. She wouldn't allow it. She fought and
struggled to get back to Mitya. Mitya uttered a cry and struggled to
get to her. He was overpowered.
Yes, I think the ladies who came to see the spectacle must have
been satisfied- the show had been a varied one. Then I remember the
Moscow doctor appeared on the scene. I believe the President had
previously sent the court usher to arrange for medical aid for Ivan.
The doctor announced to the court that the sick man was suffering from
a dangerous attack of brain fever, and that he must be at once
removed. In answer to questions from the prosecutor and the counsel
for the defence he said that the patient had come to him of his own
accord the day before yesterday and that he had warned him that he had
such an attack coming on, but he had not consented to be looked after.
"He was certainly not in a normal state of mind: he told me himself
that he saw visions when he was awake, that he met several persons
in the street, who were dead, and that Satan visited him every
evening," said the doctor, in conclusion. Having given his evidence,
the celebrated doctor withdrew. The letter produced by Katerina
Ivanovna was added to the material proofs. After some deliberation,
the judges decided to proceed with the trial and to enter both the
unexpected pieces of evidence (given by Ivan and Katerina Ivanovna) on
the protocol.
But I will not detail the evidence of the other witnesses, who
only repeated and confirmed what had been said before, though all with
their characteristic peculiarities. I repeat, all was brought together
in the prosecutor's speech, which I shall quote immediately.
Everyone was excited, everyone was electrified by the late
catastrophe, and all were awaiting the speeches for the prosecution
and the defence with intense impatience. Fetyukovitch was obviously
shaken by Katerina Ivanovna's evidence. But the prosecutor was
triumphant. When all the evidence had been taken, the court was
adjourned for almost an hour. I believe it was just eight o'clock when
the President returned to his seat and our prosecutor, Ippolit
Kirillovitch, began his speech.
Chapter 6
The Prosecutor's Speech. Sketches of Character

IPPOLIT KIRILLOVITCH began his speech, trembling with nervousness,
with cold sweat on his forehead, feeling hot and cold all over by
turns. He described this himself afterwards. He regarded this speech
as his chef-d'oeuvre, the chef-d'oeuvre of his whole life, as his
swan-song. He died, it is true, nine months later of rapid
consumption, so that he had the right, as it turned out, to compare
himself to a swan singing his last song. He had put his whole heart
and all the brain he had into that speech. And poor Ippolit
Kirillovitch unexpectedly revealed that at least some feeling for
the public welfare and "the eternal question" lay concealed in him.
Where his speech really excelled was in its sincerity. He genuinely
believed in the prisoner's guilt; he was accusing him not as an
official duty only, and in calling for vengeance he quivered with a
genuine passion "for the security of society." Even the ladies in thee
audience, though they remained hostile to Ippolit Kirillovitch,
admitted that he made an extraordinary impression on them. He began in
a breaking voice, but it soon gained strength and filled the court
to the end of his speech. But as soon as he had finished, he almost
"Gentlemen of the jury," began the prosecutor, "this case has made
a stir throughout Russia. But what is there to wonder at, what is
there so peculiarly horrifying in it for us? We are so accustomed to
such crimes! That's what's so horrible, that such dark deeds have
ceased to horrify us. What ought to horrify us is that we are so
accustomed to it, and not this or that isolated crime. What are the
causes of our indifference, our lukewarm attitude to such deeds, to
such signs of the times, ominous of an unenviable future? Is it our
cynicism, is it the premature exhaustion of intellect and
imagination in a society that is sinking into decay, in spite of its
youth? Is it that our moral principles are shattered to their
foundations, or is it, perhaps, a complete lack of such principles
among us? I cannot answer such questions; nevertheless they are
disturbing, and every citizen not only must, but ought to be
harassed by them. Our newborn and still timid press has done good
service to the public already, for without it we should never have
heard of the horrors of unbridled violence and moral degradation which
are continually made known by the press, not merely to those who
attend the new jury courts established in the present reign, but to
everyone. And what do we read almost daily? Of things beside which the
present case grows pale, and seems almost commonplace. But what is
most important is that the majority of our national crimes of violence
bear witness to a widespread evil, now so general among us that it
is difficult to contend against it.
"One day we see a brilliant young officer of high society, at
the very outset of his career, in a cowardly underhand way, without
a pang of conscience, murdering an official who had once been his
benefactor, and the servant girl, to steal his own I O U and what
ready money he could find on him; 'it will come in handy for my
pleasures in the fashionable world and for my career in the future.'
After murdering them, he puts pillows under the head of each of his
victims; he goes away. Next, a young hero 'decorated for bravery'
kills the mother of his chief and benefactor, like a highwayman, and
to urge his companions to join him he asserts that 'she loves him like
a son, and so will follow all his directions and take no precautions.'
Granted that he is a monster, yet I dare not say in these days that he
is unique. Another man will not commit the murder, but will feel and
think like him, and is as dishonourable in soul. In silence, alone
with his conscience, he asks himself perhaps, 'What is honour, and
isn't the condemnation of bloodshed a prejudice?'
"Perhaps people will cry out against me that I am morbid,
hysterical, that it is a monstrous slander, that I am exaggerating.
Let them say so- and heavens! I should be the first to rejoice if it
were so! Oh, don't believe me, think of me as morbid, but remember
my words; if only a tenth, if only a twentieth part of what I say is
true- even so it's awful! Look how our young people commit suicide,
without asking themselves Hamlet's question what there is beyond,
without a sign of such a question, as though all that relates to the
soul and to what awaits us beyond the grave had long been erased in
their minds and buried under the sands. Look at our vice, at our
profligates. Fyodor Pavlovitch, the luckless victim in the present
case, was almost an innocent babe compared with many of them. And
yet we all knew him, 'he lived among us!'...
"Yes, one day perhaps the leading intellects of Russia and of
Europe will study the psychology of Russian crime, for the subject
is worth it. But this study will come later, at leisure, when all
the tragic topsy-turvydom of to-day is farther behind us, so that it's
possible to examine it with more insight and more impartiality than
I can do. Now we are either horrified or pretend to be horrified,
though we really gloat over the spectacle, and love strong and
eccentric sensations which tickle our cynical, pampered idleness.
Or, like little children, we brush the dreadful ghosts away and hide
our heads in the pillow so as to return to our sports and merriment as
soon as they have vanished. But we must one day begin life in sober
earnest, we must look at ourselves as a society; it's time we tried to
grasp something of our social position, or at least to make a
beginning in that direction.
"A great writer* of the last epoch, comparing Russia to a swift
troika galloping to an unknown goal, exclaims, 'Oh, troika, birdlike
troika, who invented thee!' and adds, in proud ecstasy, that all the
peoples of the world stand aside respectfully to make way for the
recklessly galloping troika to pass. That may be, they may stand
aside, respectfully or no, but in my poor opinion the great writer
ended his book in this way either in an excess of childish and naive
optimism, or simply in fear of the censorship of the day. For if the
troika were drawn by his heroes, Sobakevitch, Nozdryov, Tchitchikov,
it could reach no rational goal, whoever might be driving it. And
those were the heroes of an older generation, ours are worse specimens

* Gogol.

At this point Ippolit Kirillovitch's speech was interrupted by
applause. The liberal significance of this simile was appreciated. The
applause was, it's true, of brief duration, so that the President
did not think it necessary to caution the public, and only looked
severely in the direction of the offenders. But Ippolit Kirillovitch
was encouraged; he had never been applauded before! He had been all
his life unable to get a hearing, and now he suddenly had an
opportunity of securing the ear of all Russia.
"What, after all, is this Karamazov family, which has gained
such an unenviable notoriety throughout Russia?" he continued.
"Perhaps I am exaggerating, but it seems to me that certain
fundamental features of the educated class of to-day are reflected
in this family picture- only, of course, in miniature, 'like the sun
in a drop of water.' Think of that unhappy, vicious, unbridled old
man, who has met with such a melancholy end, the head of a family!
Beginning life of noble birth, but in a poor dependent position,
through an unexpected marriage he came into a small fortune. A petty
knave, a toady and buffoon, of fairly good, though undeveloped,
intelligence, he was, above all, a moneylender, who grew bolder with
growing prosperity. His abject and servile characteristics
disappeared, his, malicious and sarcastic cynicism was all that
remained. On the spiritual side he was undeveloped, while his vitality
was excessive. He saw nothing in life but sensual pleasure, and he
brought his children up to be the same. He had no feelings for his
duties as a father. He ridiculed those duties. He left his little
children to the servants, and was glad to be rid of them, forgot about
them completely. The old man's maxim was Apres moi le deluge.* He
was an example of everything that is opposed to civic duty, of the
most complete and malignant individualism. 'The world may burn for
aught I care, so long as I am all right,' and he was all right; he was
content, he was eager to go on living in the same way for another
twenty or thirty years. He swindled his own son and spent his money,
his maternal inheritance, on trying to get his mistress from him.
No, I don't intend to leave the prisoner's defence altogether to my
talented colleague from Petersburg. I will speak the truth myself, I
can well understand what resentment he had heaped up in his son's
heart against him.

* After me, the deluge.

"But enough, enough of that unhappy old man; he has paid the
penalty. Let us remember, however, that he was a father, and one of
the typical fathers of to-day. Am I unjust, indeed, in saying that
he is typical of many modern fathers? Alas! many of them only differ
in not openly professing such cynicism, for they are better
educated, more cultured, but their philosophy is essentially the
same as his. Perhaps I am a pessimist, but you have agreed to
forgive me. Let us agree beforehand, you need not believe me, but
let me speak. Let me say what I have to say, and remember something of
my words.
"Now for the children of this father, this head of a family. One
of them is the prisoner before us, all the rest of my speech will deal
with him. Of the other two I will speak only cursorily.
"The elder is one of those modern young men of brilliant education
and vigorous intellect, who has lost all faith in everything. He has
denied and rejected much already, like his father. We have all heard
him, he was a welcome guest in local society. He never concealed his
opinions, quite the contrary in fact, which justifies me in speaking
rather openly of him now, of course, not as an individual, but as a
member of the Karamazov family. Another personage closely connected
with the case died here by his own hand last night. I mean an
afflicted idiot, formerly the servant, and possibly the illegitimate
son, of Fyodor Pavlovitch, Smerdyakov. At the preliminary inquiry,
he told me with hysterical tears how the young Ivan Karamazov had
horrified him by his spiritual audacity. 'Everything in the world is
lawful according to him, and nothing must be forbidden in the
future- that is what he always taught me.' I believe that idiot was
driven out of his mind by this theory, though, of course, the
epileptic attacks from which he suffered, and this terrible
catastrophe, have helped to unhinge his faculties. But he dropped
one very interesting observation, which would have done credit to a
more intelligent observer, and that is, indeed, why I've mentioned it:
'If there is one of the sons that is like Fyodor Pavlovitch in
character, it is Ivan Fyodorovitch.'
"With that remark I conclude my sketch of his character, feeling
it indelicate to continue further. Oh, I don't want to draw any
further conclusions and croak like a raven over the young man's
future. We've seen to-day in this court that there are still good
impulses in his young heart, that family feeling has not been
destroyed in him by lack of faith and cynicism, which have come to him
rather by inheritance than by the exercise of independent thought.
"Then the third son. Oh, he is a devout and modest youth, who does
not share his elder brother's gloomy and destructive theory of life.
He has sought to cling to the 'ideas of the people,' or to what goes
by that name in some circles of our intellectual classes. He clung
to the monastery, and was within an ace of becoming a monk. He seems
to me to have betrayed unconsciously, and so early, that timid despair
which leads so many in our unhappy society, who dread cynicism and its
corrupting influences, and mistakenly attribute all the mischief to
European enlightenment, to return to their 'native soil,' as they say,
to the bosom, so to speak, of their mother earth, like frightened
children, yearning to fall asleep on the withered bosom of their
decrepit mother, and to sleep there for ever, only to escape the
horrors that terrify them.
"For my part I wish the excellent and gifted young man every
success; I trust that youthful idealism and impulse towards the
ideas of the people may never degenerate, as often happens, on the
moral side into gloomy mysticism, and on the political into blind
chauvinism- two elements which are even a greater menace to Russia
than the premature decay, due to misunderstanding and gratuitous
adoption of European ideas, from which his elder brother is
Two or three people clapped their hands at the mention of
chauvinism and mysticism. Ippolit Kirillovitch had been, indeed,
carried away by his own eloquence. All this had little to do with
the case in hand, to say nothing of the fact of its being somewhat
vague, but the sickly and consumptive man was overcome by the desire
to express himself once in his life. People said afterwards that he
was actuated by unworthy motives in his criticism of Ivan, because the
latter had on one or two occasions got the better of him in
argument, and Ippolit Kirillovitch, remembering it, tried now to
take his revenge. But I don't know whether it was true. All this was
only introductory, however, and the speech passed to more direct
consideration of the case.
"But to return to the eldest son," Ippolit Kirillovitch went on.
"He is the prisoner before us. We have his life and his actions,
too, before us; the fatal day has come and all has been brought to the
surface. While his brothers seem to stand for 'Europeanism' and 'the
principles of the people,' he seems to represent Russia as she is. Oh,
not all Russia, not all! God preserve us, if it were! Yet, here we
have her, our mother Russia, the very scent and sound of her. Oh, he
is spontaneous, he is a marvellous mingling of good and evil, he is
a lover of culture and Schiller, yet he brawls in taverns and plucks
out the beards of his boon companions. Oh, he, too, can be good and
noble, but only when all goes well with him. What is more, he can be
carried off his feet, positively carried off his feet by noble ideals,
but only if they come of themselves, if they fall from heaven for him,
if they need not be paid for. He dislikes paying for anything, but
is very fond of receiving, and that's so with him in everything. Oh,
give him every possible good in life (he couldn't be content with
less), and put no obstacle in his way, and he will show that he,
too, can be noble. He is not greedy, no, but he must have money, a
great deal of money, and you will see how generously, with what
scorn of filthy lucre, he will fling it all away in the reckless
dissipation of one night. But if he has not money, he will show what
he is ready to do to get it when he is in great need of it. But all
this later, let us take events in their chronological order.
"First, we have before us a poor abandoned child, running about
the back-yard 'without boots on his feet,' as our worthy and
esteemed fellow citizen, of foreign origin, alas! expressed it just
now. I repeat it again, I yield to no one the defence of the criminal.
I am here to accuse him, but to defend him also. Yes, I, too, am
human; I, too, can weigh the influence of home and childhood on the
character. But the boy grows up and becomes an officer; for a duel and
other reckless conduct he is exiled to one of the remote frontier
towns of Russia. There he led a wild life as an officer. And, of
course, he needed money, money before all things, and so after
prolonged disputes he came to a settlement with his father, and the
last six thousand was sent him. A letter is in existence in which he
practically gives up his claim to the rest and settles his conflict
with his father over the inheritance on the payment of this six
"Then came his meeting with a young girl of lofty character and
brilliant education. Oh, I do not venture to repeat the details; you
have only just heard them. Honour, self-sacrifice were shown there,
and I will be silent. The figure of the young officer, frivolous and
profligate, doing homage to true nobility and a lofty ideal, was shown
in a very sympathetic light before us. But the other side of the medal
was unexpectedly turned to us immediately after in this very court.
Again I will not venture to conjecture why it happened so, but there
were causes. The same lady, bathed in tears of long-concealed
indignation, alleged that he, he of all men, had despised her for
her action, which, though incautious, reckless perhaps, was still
dictated by lofty and generous motives. He, he, the girl's
betrothed, looked at her with that smile of mockery, which was more
insufferable from him than from anyone. And knowing that he had
already deceived her (he had deceived her, believing that she was
bound to endure everything from him, even treachery), she
intentionally offered him three thousand roubles, and clearly, too
clearly, let him understand that she was offering him money to deceive
her. 'Well, will you take it or not, are you so lost to shame?' was
the dumb question in her scrutinising eyes. He looked at her, saw
clearly what was in her mind (he's admitted here before you that he
understood it all), appropriated that three thousand
unconditionally, and squandered it in two days with the new object
of his affections.
"What are we to believe then? The first legend of the young
officer sacrificing his last farthing in a noble impulse of generosity
and doing reverence to virtue, or this other revolting picture? As a
rule, between two extremes one has to find the mean, but in the
present case this is not true. The probability is that in the first
case he was genuinely noble, and in the second as genuinely base.
And why? Because he was of the broad Karamazov character- that's
just what I am leading up to- capable of combining the most
incongruous contradictions, and capable of the greatest heights and of
the greatest depths. Remember the brilliant remark made by a young
observer who has seen the Karamazov family at close quarters- Mr.
Rakitin: 'The sense of their own degradation is as essential to
those reckless, unbridled natures as the sense of their lofty
generosity.' And that's true, they need continually this unnatural
mixture. Two extremes at the same moment, or they are miserable and
dissatisfied and their existence is incomplete. They are wide, wide as
mother Russia; they include everything and put up with everything.
"By the way, gentlemen of the jury, we've just touched upon that
three thousand roubles, and I will venture to anticipate things a
little. Can you conceive that a man like that, on receiving that sum
and in such a way, at the price of such shame, such disgrace, such
utter degradation, could have been capable that very day of setting
apart half that sum, that very day, and sewing it up in a little
bag, and would have had the firmness of character to carry it about
with him for a whole month afterwards, in spite of every temptation
and his extreme need of it! Neither in drunken debauchery in
taverns, nor when he was flying into the country, trying to get from
God knows whom, the money so essential to him to remove the object
of his affections from being tempted by his father, did he bring
himself to touch that little bag! Why, if only to avoid abandoning his
mistress to the rival of whom he was so jealous, he would have been
certain to have opened that bag and to have stayed at home to keep
watch over her, and to await the moment when she would say to him at
last 'I am yours,' and to fly with her far from their fatal
"But no, he did not touch his talisman, and what is the reason
he gives for it? The chief reason, as I have just said, was that
when she would say' I am yours, take me where you will,' he might have
the wherewithal to take her. But that first reason, in the
prisoner's own words, was of little weight beside the second. While
I have that money on me, he said, I am a scoundrel, not a thief, for I
can always go to my insulted betrothed, and, laying down half the
sum I have fraudulently appropriated, I can always say to her, 'You
see, I've squandered half your money, and shown I am a weak and
immoral man, and, if you like, a scoundrel' (I use the prisoner's
own expressions), 'but though I am a scoundrel, I am not a thief,
for if I had been a thief, I shouldn't have brought you back this half
of the money, but should have taken it as I did the other half!' A
marvellous explanation! This frantic, but weak man, who could not
resist the temptation of accepting the three thousand roubles at the
price of such disgrace, this very man suddenly develops the most
stoical firmness, and carries about a thousand roubles without
daring to touch it. Does that fit in at all with the character we have
analysed? No, and I venture to tell you how the real Dmitri
Karamazov would have behaved in such circumstances, if he really had
brought himself to put away the money.
"At the first temptation- for instance, to entertain the woman
with whom he had already squandered half the money- he would have
unpicked his little bag and have taken out some hundred roubles, for
why should he have taken back precisely half the money, that is,
fifteen hundred roubles? Why not fourteen hundred? He could just as
well have said then that he was not a thief, because he brought back
fourteen hundred roubles. Then another time he would have unpicked
it again and taken out another hundred, and then a third, and then a
fourth, and before the end of the month he would have taken the last
note but one, feeling that if he took back only a hundred it would
answer the purpose, for a thief would have stolen it all. And then
he would have looked at this last note, and have said to himself,
'It's really not worth while to give back one hundred; let's spend
that, too!' That's how the real Dmitri Karamazov, as we know him,
would have behaved. One cannot imagine anything more incongruous
with the actual fact than this legend of the little bag. Nothing could
be more inconceivable. But we shall return to that later."
After touching upon what had come out in the proceedings
concerning the financial relations of father and son, and arguing
again and again that it was utterly impossible, from the facts
known, to determine which was in the wrong, Ippolit Kirillovitch
passed to the evidence of the medical experts in reference to
Mitya's fixed idea about the three thousand owing him.
Chapter 7
An Historical Survey

"THE medical experts have striven to convince us that the prisoner
is out of his mind and, in fact, a maniac. I maintain that he is in
his right mind, and that if he had not been, he would have behaved
more cleverly. As for his being a maniac, that I would agree with, but
only in one point, that is, his fixed idea about the three thousand.
Yet I think one might find a much simpler cause than his tendency to
insanity. For my part I agree thoroughly with the young doctor who
maintained that the prisoner's mental faculties have always been
normal, and that he has only been irritable and exasperated. The
object of the prisoner's continual and violent anger was not the sum
itself; there was a special motive at the bottom of it. That motive is
Here Ippolit Kirillovitch described at length the prisoner's fatal
passion for Grushenka. He began from the moment when the prisoner went
to the "young person's" lodgings "to beat her"- "I use his own
expression," the prosecutor explained- "but instead of beating her, he
remained there, at her feet. That was the beginning of the passion. At
the same time the prisoner's father was captivated by the same young
person- a strange and fatal coincidence, for they both lost their
hearts to her simultaneously, though both had known her before. And
she inspired in both of them the most violent, characteristically
Karamazov passion. We have her own confession: 'I was laughing at both
of them.' Yes, the sudden desire to make a jest of them came over her,
and she conquered both of them at once. The old man, who worshipped
money, at once set aside three thousand roubles as a reward for one
visit from her, but soon after that, he would have been happy to lay
his property and his name at her feet, if only she would become his
lawful wife. We have good evidence of this. As for the prisoner, the
tragedy of his fate is evident; it is before us. But such was the
young person's 'game.' The enchantress gave the unhappy young man no
hope until the last moment, when he knelt before her, stretching out
hands that were already stained with the blood of his father and
rival. It was in that position that he was arrested. 'Send me to
Siberia with him, I have brought him to this, I am most to blame,' the
woman herself cried, in genuine remorse at the moment of his arrest.
"The talented young man, to whom I have referred already, Mr.
Rakitin, characterised this heroine in brief and impressive terms:
'She was disillusioned early in life, deceived and ruined by a
betrothed, who seduced and abandoned her. She was left in poverty,
cursed by her respectable family and taken under the protection of a
wealthy old man, whom she still, however, considers as her benefactor.
There was perhaps much that was good in her young heart, but it was
embittered too early. She became prudent and saved money. She grew
sarcastic and resentful against society.' After this sketch of her
character it may well be understood that she might laugh at both of
them simply from mischief, from malice.
"After a month of hopeless love and moral degradation, during
which he betrayed his betrothed and appropriated money entrusted to
his honour, the prisoner was driven almost to frenzy, almost to
madness by continual jealousy- and of whom? His father! And the
worst of it was that the crazy old man was alluring and enticing the
object of his affection by means of that very three thousand
roubles, which the son looked upon as his own property, part of his
inheritance from his mother, of which his father was cheating him.
Yes, I admit it was hard to bear! It might well drive a man to
madness. It was not the money, but the fact that this money was used
with such revolting cynicism to ruin his happiness!"
Then the prosecutor went on to describe how the idea of
murdering his father had entered the prisoner's head, and
illustrated his theory with facts.
"At first he only talked about it in taverns- he was talking about
it all that month. Ah, he likes being always surrounded with
company, and he likes to tell his companions everything, even his most
diabolical and dangerous ideas; he likes to share every thought with
others, and expects, for some reason, that those he confides in will
meet him with perfect sympathy, enter into all his troubles and
anxieties, take his part and not oppose him in anything. If not, he
flies into a rage and smashes up everything in the tavern. (Then
followed the anecdote about Captain Snegiryov.) Those who heard the
prisoner began to think at last that he might mean more than
threats, and that such a frenzy might turn threats into actions."
Here the prosecutor described the meeting of the family at the
monastery, the conversations with Alyosha, and the horrible scene of
violence when the prisoner had rushed into his father's house just
after dinner.
"I cannot positively assert," the prosecutor continued, "that
the prisoner fully intended to murder his father before that incident.
Yet the idea had several times presented itself to him, and he had
deliberated on it- for that we have facts, witnesses, and his own
words. I confess, gentlemen of the jury," he added, "that till
to-day I have been uncertain whether to attribute to the prisoner
conscious premeditation. I was firmly convinced that he had pictured
the fatal moment beforehand, but had only pictured it, contemplating
it as a possibility. He had not definitely considered when and how
he might commit the crime.
"But I was only uncertain till to-day, till that fatal document
was presented to the court just now. You yourselves heard that young
lady's exclamation, 'It is the plan, the programme of the murder!'
That is how she defined that miserable, drunken letter of the
unhappy prisoner. And, in fact, from that letter we see that the whole
fact of the murder was premeditated. It was written two days before,
and so we know now for a fact that, forty-eight hours before the
perpetration of his terrible design, the prisoner swore that, if he
could not get money next day, he would murder his father in order to
take the envelope with the notes from under his pillow, as soon as
Ivan had left. 'As soon as Ivan had gone away'- you hear that; so he
had thought everything out, weighing every circumstance, and he
carried it all out just as he had written it. The proof of
premeditation is conclusive; the crime must have been committed for
the sake of the money, that is stated clearly, that is written and
signed. The prisoner does not deny his signature.
"I shall be told he was drunk when he wrote it. But that does
not diminish the value of the letter, quite the contrary; he wrote
when drunk what he had planned when sober. Had he not planned it
when sober, he would not have written it when drunk. I shall be asked:
Then why did he talk about it in taverns? A man who premeditates such
a crime is silent and keeps it to himself. Yes, but he talked about it
before he had formed a plan, when he had only the desire, only the
impulse to it. Afterwards he talked less about it. On the evening he
wrote that letter at the Metropolis tavern, contrary to his custom
he was silent, though he had been drinking. He did not play billiards,
he sat in a corner, talked to no one. He did indeed turn a shopman out
of his seat, but that was done almost unconsciously, because he
could never enter a tavern without making a disturbance. It is true
that after he had taken the final decision, he must have felt
apprehensive that he had talked too much about his design
beforehand, and that this might lead to his arrest and prosecution
afterwards. But there was nothing for it; he could not take his
words back, but his luck had served him before, it would serve him
again. He believed in his star, you know! I must confess, too, that he
did a great deal to avoid the fatal catastrophe. 'To-morrow I shall
try and borrow the money from everyone,' as he writes in his
peculiar language,' and if they won't give it to me, there will be
Here Ippolit Kirillovitch passed to a detailed description of
all Mitya's efforts to borrow the money. He described his visit to
Samsonov, his journey to Lyagavy. "Harassed, jeered at, hungry,
after selling his watch to pay for the journey (though he tells us
he had fifteen hundred roubles on him- a likely story), tortured by
jealousy at having left the object of his affections in the town,
suspecting that she would go to Fyodor Pavlovitch in his absense, he
returned at last to the town, to find, to his joy, that she had not
been near his father. He accompanied her himself to her protector.
(Strange to say, he doesn't seem to have been jealous of Samsonov,
which is psychologically interesting.) Then he hastens back to his
ambush in the back gardens, and then learns that Smerdyakov is in a
fit, that the other servant is ill- the coast is clear and he knows
the 'signals'- what a temptation! Still he resists it; he goes off
to a lady who has for some time been residing in the town, and who
is highly esteemed among us, Madame Hohlakov. That lady, who had
long watched his career with compassion, gave him the most judicious
advice, to give up his dissipated life, his unseemly love-affair,
the waste of his youth and vigour in pot-house debauchery, and to
set off to Siberia to the gold mines: 'that would be an outlet for
your turbulent energies, your romantic character, your thirst for
After describing the result of this conversation and the moment
when the prisoner learnt that Grushenka had not remained at
Samsonov's, the sudden frenzy of the luckless man worn out with
jealousy and nervous exhaustion, at the thought that she had
deceived him and was now with his father, Ippolit Kirillovitch
concluded by dwelling upon the fatal influence of chance. "Had the
maid told him that her mistress was at Mokroe with her former lover,
nothing would have happened. But she lost her head, she could only
swear and protest her ignorance, and if the prisoner did not kill
her on the spot, it was only because he flew in pursuit of his false
"But note, frantic as he was, he took with him a brass pestle. Why
that? Why not some other weapon? But since he had been contemplating
his plan and preparing himself for it for a whole month, he would
snatch up anything like a weapon that caught his eye. He had
realised for a month past that any object of the kind would serve as a
weapon, so he instantly, without hesitation, recognised that it
would serve his purpose. So it was by no means unconsciously, by no
means involuntarily, that he snatched up that fatal pestle. And then
we find him in his father's garden- the coast is clear, there are no
witnesses, darkness and jealousy. The suspicion that she was there,
with him, with his rival, in his arms, and perhaps laughing at him
at that moment- took his breath away. And it was not mere suspicion,
the deception was open, obvious. She must be there, in that lighted
room, she must be behind the screen; and the unhappy man would have us
believe that he stole up to the window, peeped respectfully in, and
discreetly withdrew, for fear something terrible and immoral should
happen. And he tries to persuade us of that, us, who understand his
character, who know his state of mind at the moment, and that he
knew the signals by which he could at once enter the house." At this
point Ippolit Kirillovitch broke off to discuss exhaustively the
suspected connection of Smerdyakov with the murder. He did this very
circumstantially, and everyone realised that, although he professed to
despise that suspicion, he thought the subject of great importance.
Chapter 8
A Treatise on Smerdyakov

"TO begin with, what was the source of this suspicion?" (Ippolit
Kirillovitch began). "The first person who cried out that Smerdyakov
had committed the murder was the prisoner himself at the moment of his
arrest, yet from that time to this he had not brought forward a single
fact to confirm the charge, nor the faintest suggestion of a fact. The
charge is confirmed by three persons only- the two brothers of the
prisoner and Madame Svyetlov. The elder of these brothers expressed
his suspicions only to-day, when he was undoubtedly suffering from
brain fever. But we know that for the last two months he has
completely shared our conviction of his brother's guilt and did not
attempt to combat that idea. But of that later. The younger brother
has admitted that he has not the slightest fact to support his
notion of Smerdyakov's guilt, and has only been led to that conclusion
from the prisoner's own words and the expression of his face. Yes,
that astounding piece of evidence has been brought forward twice
to-day by him. Madame Svyetslov was even more astounding. 'What the
prisoner tells you, you must believe; he is not a man to tell a
lie.' That is all the evidence against Smerdyakov produced by these
three persons. who are all deeply concerned in the prisoner's fate.
And yet the theory of Smerdyakov's guilt has been noised about, has
been and is still maintained. Is it credible? Is it conceivable?"
Here Ippolit Kirillovitch thought it necessary to describe the
personality of Smerdyakov, "who had cut short his life in a fit of
insanity." He depicted him as a man of weak intellect, with a
smattering of education, who had been thrown off his balance by
philosophical ideas above his level and certain modern theories of
duty, which he learnt in practice from the reckless life of his
master, who was also perhaps his father- Fyodor Pavlovitch; and,
theoretically, from various strange philosophical conversations with
his master's elder son, Ivan Fyodorovitch, who readily indulged in
this diversion, probably feeling dull or wishing to amuse himself at
the valet's expense. "He spoke to me himself of his spiritual
condition during the last few days at his father's house," Ippolit
Kirillovitch explained; "but others too have borne witness to it-
the prisoner himself, his brother, and the servant Grigory- that is,
all who knew him well.
"Moreover, Smerdyakov, whose health was shaken by his attacks of
epilepsy, had not the courage of a chicken. 'He fell at my feet and
kissed them,' the prisoner himself has told us, before he realised how
damaging such a statement was to himself. 'He is an epileptic
chicken,' he declared about him in his characteristic language. And
the prisoner chose him for his confidant (we have his own word for it)
and he frightened him into consenting at last to act as a spy for him.
In that capacity he deceived his master, revealing to the prisoner the
existence of the envelope with the notes in it and the signals by
means of which he could get into the house. How could he help
telling him, indeed? 'He would have killed me, I could see that he
would have killed me,' he said at the inquiry, trembling and shaking
even before us, though his tormentor was by that time arrested and
could do him no harm. 'He suspected me at every instant. In fear and
trembling I hastened to tell him every secret to pacify him, that he
might see that I had not deceived him and let me off alive.' Those are
his own words. I wrote them down and I remember them. 'When he began
shouting at me, I would fall on my knees.'
"He was naturally very honest and enjoyed the complete
confidence of his master, ever since he had restored him some money he
had lost. So it may be supposed that the poor fellow suffered pangs of
remorse at having deceived his master, whom he loved as his
benefactor. Persons severely afflicted with epilepsy are, so the
most skilful doctors tell us, always prone to continual and morbid
self-reproach. They worry over their 'wickedness,' they are
tormented by pangs of conscience, often entirely without cause; they
exaggerate and often invent all sorts of faults and crimes. And here
we have a man of that type who had really been driven to wrongdoing by
terror and intimidation.
"He had, besides, a strong presentiment that something terrible
would be the outcome of the situation that was developing before his
eyes. When Ivan Fyodorovitch was leaving for Moscow, just before the
catastrophe, Smerdyakov besought him to remain, though he was too
timid to tell him plainly what he feared. He confined himself to
hints, but his hints were not understood.
"It must be observed that he looked on Ivan Fyodorovitch as a
protector, whose presence in the house was a guarantee that no harm
would come to pass. Remember the phrase in Dmitri Karamazov's
drunken letter, 'I shall kill the old man, if only Ivan goes away.' So
Ivan Fyodorovitch's presence seemed to everyone a guarantee of peace
and order in the house.
"But he went away, and within an hour of his young master's
departure Smerdyakov was taken with an epileptic fit. But that's
perfectly intelligible. Here I must mention that Smerdyakov, oppressed
by terror and despair of a sort, had felt during those last few days
that one of the fits from which he had suffered before at moments of
strain, might be coming upon him again. The day and hour of such an
attack cannot, of course, be foreseen, but every epileptic can feel
beforehand that he is likely to have one. So the doctors tell us.
And so, as soon as Ivan Fyodorovitch had driven out of the yard,
Smerdyakov, depressed by his lonely and unprotected position, went
to the cellar. He went down the stairs wondering if he would have a
fit or not, and what if it were to come upon him at once. And that
very apprehension, that very wonder, brought on the spasm in his
throat that always precedes such attacks, and he fell unconscious into
the cellar. And in this perfectly natural occurrence people try to
detect a suspicion, a hint that he was shamming an attack on
purpose. But, if it were on purpose, the question arises at once, what
was his motive? What was he reckoning on? What was he aiming at? I say
nothing about medicine: science, I am told, may go astray: the doctors
were not able to discriminate between the counterfeit and the real.
That may be so, but answer me one question: what motive had he for
such a counterfeit? Could he, had he been plotting the murder, have
desired to attract the attention of the household by having a fit just
"You see, gentlemen of the jury, on the night of the murder, there
were five persons in Fyodor Pavlovitch's- Fyodor Pavlovitch himself
(but he did not kill himself, that's evident); then his servant,
Grigory, but he was almost killed himself; the third person was
Grigory's wife, Marfa Ignatyevna, but it would be simply shameful to
imagine her murdering her master. Two persons are left- the prisoner
and Smerdyakov. But, if we are to believe the prisoner's statement
that he is not the murderer, then Smerdyakov must have been, for there
is no other alternative, no one else can be found. That is what
accounts for the artful, astounding accusation against the unhappy
idiot who committed suicide yesterday. Had a shadow of suspicion
rested on anyone else, had there been any sixth person, I am persuaded
that even the prisoner would have been ashamed to accuse Smerdyakov,
and would have accused that sixth person, for to charge Smerdyakov
with that murder is perfectly absurd.
"Gentlemen, let us lay aside psychology, let us lay aside
medicine, let us even lay aside logic, let us turn only to the facts
and see what the facts tell us. If Smerdyakov killed him, how did he
do it? Alone or with the assistance of the prisoner? Let us consider
the first alternative- that he did it alone. If he had killed him it
must have been with some object, for some advantage to himself. But
not having a shadow of the motive that the prisoner had for the
murder- hatred, jealousy, and so on- Smerdyakov could only have
murdered him for the sake of gain, in order to appropriate the three
thousand roubles he had seen his master put in the envelope. And yet
he tells another person- and a person most closely interested, that
is, the prisoner- everything about the money and the signals, where
the envelope lay, what was written on it, what it was tied up with,
and, above all, told him of those signals by which he could enter
the house. Did he do this simply to betray himself, or to invite to
the same enterprise one who would be anxious to get that envelope
for himself? 'Yes,' I shall be told, 'but he betrayed it from fear.'
But how do you explain this? A man who could conceive such an
audacious, savage act, and carry it out, tells facts which are known
to no one else in the world, and which, if he held his tongue, no
one would ever have guessed!
"No, however cowardly he might be, if he had plotted such a crime,
nothing would have induced him to tell anyone about the envelope and
the signals, for that was as good as betraying himself beforehand.
He would have invented something, he would have told some lie if he
had been forced to give information, but he would have been silent
about that. For, on the other hand, if he had said nothing about the
money, but had committed the murder and stolen the money, no one in
the world could have charged him with murder for the sake of
robbery, since no one but he had seen the money, no one but he knew of
its existence in the house. Even if he had been accused of the murder,
it could only have been thought that he had committed it from some
other motive. But since no one had observed any such motive in him
beforehand, and everyone saw, on the contrary, that his master was
fond of him and honoured him with his confidence, he would, of course,
have been the last to be suspected. People would have suspected
first the man who had a motive, a man who had himself declared he
had such motives, who had made no secret of it; they would, in fact,
have suspected the son of the murdered man, Dmitri Fyodorovitch. Had
Smerdyakov killed and robbed him, and the son been accused of it, that
would, of course, have suited Smerdyakov. Yet are we to believe
that, though plotting the murder, he told that son, Dmitri, about
the money, the envelope, and the signals? Is that logical? Is that
"When the day of the murder planned by Smerdyakov came, we have
him falling downstairs in a feigned fit- with what object? In the
first place that Grigory, who had been intending to take his medicine,
might put it off and remain on guard, seeing there was no one to
look after the house, and, in the second place, I suppose, that his
master seeing that there was no one to guard him, and in terror of a
visit from his son, might redouble his vigilance and precaution.
And, most of all, I suppose that he, Smerdyakov, disabled by the
fit, might be carried from the kitchen, where he always slept, apart
from all the rest, and where he could go in and out as he liked, to
Grigory's room at the other end of the lodge, where he was always put,
shut off by a screen three paces from their own bed. This was the
immemorial custom established by his master and the kindhearted
Marfa Ignatyevna, whenever he had a fit. There, lying behind the
screen, he would most likely, to keep up the sham, have begun
groaning, and so keeping them awake all night (as Grigory and his wife
testified). And all this, we are to believe, that he might more
conveniently get up and murder his master!
"But I shall be told that he shammed illness on purpose that he
might not be suspected and that he told the prisoner of the money
and the signals to tempt him to commit the murder, and when he had
murdered him and had gone away with the money, making a noise, most
likely, and waking people, Smerdyakov got up, am I to believe, and
went in- what for? To murder his master a second time and carry off
the money that had already been stolen? Gentlemen, are you laughing? I
am ashamed to put forward such suggestions, but, incredible as it
seems, that's just what the prisoner alleges. When he had left the
house, had knocked Grigory down and raised an alarm, he tells us
Smerdyakov got up, went in and murdered his master and stole the
money! I won't press the point that Smerdyakov could hardly have
reckoned on this beforehand, and have foreseen that the furious and
exasperated son would simply come to peep in respectfully, though he
knew the signals, and beat a retreat, leaving Smerdyakov his booty.
Gentlemen of the jury, I put this question to you in earnest: when was
the moment when Smerdyakov could have committed his crime? Name that
moment, or you can't accuse him.
"But, perhaps, the fit was a real one, the sick man suddenly
recovered, heard a shout, and went out. Well- what then? He looked
about him and said, 'Why not go and kill the master?' And how did he
know what had happened, since he had been lying unconscious till
that moment? But there's a limit to these flights of fancy.
"'Quite so,' some astute people will tell me, 'but what if they
were in agreement? What if they murdered him together and shared the
money- what then?' A weighty question, truly! And the facts to confirm
it are astounding. One commits the murder and takes all the trouble
while his accomplice lies on one side shamming a fit, apparently to
arouse suspicion in everyone, alarm in his master and alarm in
Grigory. It would be interesting to know what motives could have
induced the two accomplices to form such an insane plan.
"But perhaps it was not a case of active complicity on
Smerdyakov's part, but only of passive acquiescence; perhaps
Smerdyakov was intimidated and agreed not to prevent the murder, and
foreseeing that he would be blamed for letting his master be murdered,
without screaming for help or resisting, he may have obtained
permission from Dmitri Karamazov to get out of the way by shamming a
fit- 'you may murder him as you like; it's nothing to me.' But as this
attack of Smerdyakov's was bound to throw the household into
confusion, Dmitri Karamazov could never have agreed to such a plan.
I will waive that point however. Supposing that he did agree, it would
still follow that Dmitri Karamazov is the murderer and the instigator,
and Smerdyakov is only a passive accomplice, and not even an
accomplice, but merely acquiesced against his will through terror.
"But what do we see? As soon as he is arrested the prisoner
instantly throws all the blame on Smerdyakov, not accusing him of
being his accomplice, but of being himself the murderer. 'He did it
alone,' he says. 'He murdered and robbed him. It was the work of his
hands.' Strange sort of accomplices who begin to accuse one another at
once! And think of the risk for Karamazov. After committing the murder
while his accomplice lay in bed, he throws the blame on the invalid,
who might well have resented it and in self-preservation might well
have confessed the truth. For he might well have seen that the court
would at once judge how far he was responsible, and so he might well
have reckoned that if he were punished, it would be far less
severely than the real murderer. But in that case he would have been
certain to make a confession, yet he has not done so. Smerdyakov never
hinted at their complicity, though the actual murderer persisted in
accusing him and declaring that he had committed the crime alone.
"What's more, Smerdyakov at the inquiry volunteered the
statement that it was he who had told the prisoner of the envelope
of notes and of the signals, and that, but for him, he would have
known nothing about them. If he had really been a guilty accomplice,
would he so readily have made this statement at the inquiry? On the
contrary, he would have tried to conceal it, to distort the facts or
minimise them. But he was far from distorting or minimising them. No
one but an innocent man, who had no fear of being charged with
complicity, could have acted as he did. And in a fit of melancholy
arising from his disease and this catastrophe he hanged himself
yesterday. He left a note written in his peculiar language, 'I destroy
myself of my own will and inclination so as to throw no blame on
anyone.' What would it have cost him to add: 'I am the murderer, not
Karamazov'? But that he did not add. Did his conscience lead him to
suicide and not to avowing his guilt?
"And what followed? Notes for three thousand roubles were
brought into the court just now, and we were told that they were the
same that lay in the envelope now on the table before us, and that the
witness had received them from Smerdyakov the day before. But I need
not recall the painful scene, though I will make one or two
comments, selecting such trivial ones as might not be obvious at first
sight to everyone, and so may be overlooked. In the first place,
Smerdyakov must have given back the money and hanged himself yesterday
from remorse. And only yesterday he confessed his guilt to Ivan
Karamazov, as the latter informs us. If it were not so, indeed, why
should Ivan Fyodorovitch have kept silence till now? And so, if he has
confessed, then why, I ask again, did he not avow the whole truth in
the last letter he left behind, knowing that the innocent prisoner had
to face this terrible ordeal the next day?
"The money alone is no proof. A week ago, quite by chance, the
fact came to the knowledge of myself and two other persons in this
court that Ivan Fyodorovitch had sent two five per cent coupons of
five thousand each- that is, ten thousand in all- to the chief town of
the province to be changed. I only mention this to point out that
anyone may have money, and that it can't be proved that these notes
are the same as were in Fyodor Pavlovitch's envelope.
"Ivan Karamazov, after receiving yesterday a communication of such
importance from the real murderer, did not stir. Why didn't he
report it at once? Why did he put it all off till morning? I think I
have a right to conjecture why. His health had been giving way for a
week past: he had admitted to a doctor and to his most intimate
friends that he was suffering from hallucinations and seeing
phantoms of the dead: he was on the eve of the attack of brain fever
by which he has been stricken down to-day. In this condition he
suddenly heard of Smerdyakov's death, and at once reflected. 'The
man is dead, I can throw the blame on him and save my brother. I
have money. I will take a roll of notes and say that Smerdyakov gave
them me before his death.' You will say that was dishonourable: it's
dishonourable to slander even the dead, and even to save a brother.
True, but what if he slandered him unconsciously? What if, finally
unhinged by the sudden news of the valet's death, he imagined it
really was so? You saw the recent scene: you have seen the witness's
condition. He was standing up and was speaking, but where was his
"Then followed the document, the prisoner's letter written two
days before the crime, and containing a complete programme of the
murder. Why, then, are we looking for any other programme? The crime
was committed precisely according to this programme, and by no other
than the writer of it. Yes, gentlemen of the jury, it went off without
a hitch! He did not run respectfully and timidly away from his
father's window, though he was firmly convinced that the object of his
affections was with him. No, that is absurd and unlikely! He went in
and murdered him. Most likely he killed him in anger, burning with
resentment, as soon as he looked on his hated rival. But having killed
him, probably with one blow of the brass pestle, and having
convinced himself, after careful search, that she was not there, he
did not, however, forget to put his hand under the pillow and take out
the envelope, the torn cover of which lies now on the table before us.
"I mention this fact that you may note one, to my thinking, very
characteristic circumstance. Had he been an experienced murderer and
had he committed the murder for the sake of gain only, would he have
left the torn envelope on the floor as it was found, beside the
corpse? Had it been Smerdyakov, for instance, murdering his master
to rob him, he would have simply carried away the envelope with him,
without troubling himself to open it over his victim's corpse, for
he would have known for certain that the notes were in the envelope-
they had been put in and sealed up in his presence- and had he taken
the envelope with him, no one would ever have known of the robbery.
I ask you, gentlemen, would Smerdyakov have behaved in that way? Would
he have left the envelope on the floor?
"No, this was the action of a frantic murderer, a murderer who was
not a thief and had never stolen before that day, who snatched the
notes from under the pillow, not like a thief stealing them, but as
though seizing his own property from the thief who had stolen it.
For that was the idea which had become almost an insane obsession in
Dmitri Karamazov in regard to that money. And pouncing upon the
envelope, which he had never seen before, he tore it open to make sure
whether the money was in it, and ran away with the money in his
pocket, even forgetting to consider that he had left an astounding
piece of evidence against himself in that torn envelope on the
floor. All because it was Karamazov, not Smerdyakov, he didn't
think, he didn't reflect, and how should he? He ran away; he heard
behind him the servant cry out; the old man caught him, stopped him
and was felled to the ground by the brass pestle.
"The prisoner, moved by pity, leapt down to look at him. Would you
believe it, he tells us that he leapt down out of pity, out of
compassion, to see whether he could do anything for him. Was that a
moment to show compassion? No; he jumped down simply to make certain
whether the only witness of his crime were dead or alive. Any other
feeling, any other motive would be unnatural. Note that he took
trouble over Grigory, wiped his head with his handkerchief and,
convincing himself he was dead, he ran to the house of his mistress,
dazed and covered with blood. How was it he never thought that he
was covered with blood and would be at once detected? But the prisoner
himself assures us that he did not even notice that he was covered
with blood. That may be believed, that is very possible, that always
happens at such moments with criminals. On one point they will show
diabolical cunning, while another will escape them altogether. But
he was thinking at that moment of one thing only- where was she? He
wanted to find out at once where she was, so he ran to her lodging and
learnt an unexpected and astounding piece of news- she had gone off to
Mokroe to meet her first lover."
Chapter 9
The Galloping Troika. The End of the Prosecutor's Speech

IPPOLIT KIRILLOVITCH had chosen the historial method of
exposition, beloved by all nervous orators, who find in its limitation
a check on their own eager rhetoric. At this moment in his speech he
went off into a dissertation on Grushenka's "first lover," and brought
forward several interesting thoughts on this theme.
"Karamazov, who had been frantically jealous of everyone,
collapsed, so to speak, and effaced himself at once before this
first lover. What makes it all the more strange is that he seems to
have hardly thought of this formidable rival. But he had looked upon
him as a remote danger, and Karamazov always lives in the present.
Possibly he regarded him as a fiction. But his wounded heart grasped
instantly that the woman had been concealing this new rival and
deceiving him, because he was anything but a fiction to her, because
he was the one hope of her life. Grasping this instantly, he
resigned himself.
"Gentlemen of the jury, I cannot help dwelling on this
unexpected trait in the prisoner's character. He suddenly evinces an
irresistible desire for justice, a respect for woman and a recognition
of her right to love. And all this at the very moment when he had
stained his hands with his father's blood for her sake! It is true
that the blood he had shed was already crying out for vengeance,
for, after having ruined his soul and his life in this world, he was
forced to ask himself at that same instant what he was and what he
could be now to her, to that being, dearer to him than his own soul,
in comparison with that former lover who had returned penitent, with
new love, to the woman he had once betrayed, with honourable offers,
with the promise of a reformed and happy life. And he, luckless man,
what could he give her now, what could he offer her?
"Karamazov felt all this, knew that all ways were barred to him by
his crime and that he was a criminal under sentence, and not a man
with life before him! This thought crushed him. And so he instantly
flew to one frantic plan, which, to a man of Karamazov's character,
must have appeared the one inevitable way out of his terrible
position. That way out was suicide. He ran for the pistols he had left
in pledge with his friend Perhotin and on the way, as he ran, he
pulled out of his pocket the money, for the sake of which he had
stained his hands with his father's gore. Oh, now he needed money more
than ever. Karamazov would die, Karamazov would shoot himself and it
should be remembered! To be sure, he was a poet and had burnt the
candle at both ends all his life. 'To her, to her! and there, oh,
there I will give a feast to the whole world, such as never was
before, that will be remembered and talked of long after! In the midst
of shouts of wild merriment, reckless gypsy songs and dances I shall
raise the glass and drink to the woman I adore and her new-found
happiness! And then, on the spot, at her feet, I shall dash out my
brains before her and punish myself! She will remember Mitya Karamazov
sometimes, she will see how Mitya loved her, she will feel for Mitya!'
"Here we see in excess a love of effect, a romantic despair and
sentimentality, and the wild recklessness of the Karamazovs. Yes,
but there is something else, gentlemen of the jury, something that
cries out in the soul, throbs incessantly in the mind, and poisons the
heart unto death- that something is conscience, gentlemen of the jury,
its judgment, its terrible torments! The pistol will settle
everything, the pistol is the only way out! But beyond- I don't know
whether Karamazov wondered at that moment 'What lies beyond,'
whether Karamazov could, like Hamlet, wonder 'What lies beyond.' No,
gentlemen of the jury, they have their Hamlets, but we still have
our Karamazovs!"
Here Ippolit Kirillovitch drew a minute picture of Mitya's
preparations, the scene at Perhotin's, at the shop, with the
drivers. He quoted numerous words and actions, confirmed by witnesses,
and the picture made a terrible impression on the audience. The
guilt of this harassed and desperate man stood out clear and
convincing, when the facts were brought together.
"What need had he of precaution? Two or three times he almost
confessed, hinted at it, all but spoke out." (Then followed the
evidence given by witnesses.) "He even cried out to the peasant who
drove him, 'Do you know, you are driving a murderer!' But it was
impossible for him to speak out, he had to get to Mokroe and there
to finish his romance. But what was awaiting the luckless man?
Almost from the first minute at Mokroe he saw that his invincible
rival was perhaps by no means so invincible, that the toast to their
new-found happiness was not desired and would not be acceptable. But
you know the facts, gentlemen of the jury, from the preliminary
inquiry. Karamazov's triumph over his rival was complete and his
soul passed into quite a new phase, perhaps the most terrible phase
through which his soul has passed or will pass.
"One may say with certainty, gentlemen of the jury," the
prosecutor continued, "that outraged nature and the criminal heart
bring their own vengeance more completely than any earthly justice.
What's more, justice and punishment on earth positively alleviate
the punishment of nature and are, indeed, essential to the soul of the
criminal at such moments, as its salvation from despair. For I
cannot imagine the horror and moral suffering of Karamazov when he
learnt that she loved him, that for his sake she had rejected her
first lover, that she was summoning him, Mitya, to a new life, that
she was promising him happiness- and when? When everything was over
for him and nothing was possible!
"By the way, I will note in parenthesis a point of importance
for the light it throws on the prisoner's position at the moment. This
woman, this love of his, had been till the last moment, till the
very instant of his arrest, a being unattainable, passionately desired
by him but unattainable. Yet why did he not shoot himself then, why
did he relinquish his design and even forget where his pistol was?
It was just that passionate desire for love and the hope of satisfying
it that restrained him. Throughout their revels he kept close to his
adored mistress, who was at the banquet with him and was more charming
and fascinating to him than ever- he did not leave her side, abasing
himself in his homage before her.
"His passion might well, for a moment, stifle not only the fear of
arrest, but even the torments of conscience. For a moment, oh, only
for a moment! I can picture the state of mind of the criminal
hopelessly enslaved by these influences- first, the influence of
drink, of noise and excitement, of the thud of the dance and the
scream of the song, and of her, flushed with wine, singing and dancing
and laughing to him! Secondly, the hope in the background that the
fatal end might still be far off, that not till next morning, at
least, they would come and take him. So he had a few hours and
that's much, very much! In a few hours one can think of many things. I
imagine that he felt something like what criminals feel when they
are being taken to the scaffold. They have another long, long street
to pass down and at walking pace, past thousands of people. Then there
will be a turning into another street and only at the end of that
street the dread place of execution! I fancy that at the beginning
of the journey the condemned man, sitting on his shameful cart, must
feel that he has infinite life still before him. The houses recede,
the cart moves on- oh, that's nothing, it's still far to the turning
into the second street and he still looks boldly to right and to
left at those thousands of callously curious people with their eyes
fixed on him, and he still fancies that he is just such a man as they.
But now the turning comes to the next street. Oh, that's nothing,
nothing, there's still a whole street before him, and however many
houses have been passed, he will still think there are many left.
And so to the very end, to the very scaffold.
"This I imagine is how it was with Karamazov then. 'They've not
had time yet,' he must have thought, 'I may still find some way out,
oh, there's still time to make some plan of defence, and now, now- she
is so fascinating!'
"His soul was full of confusion and dread, but he managed,
however, to put aside half his money and hide it somewhere- I cannot
otherwise explain the disappearance of quite half of the three
thousand he had just taken from his father's pillow. He had been in
Mokroe more than once before, he had caroused there for two days
together already, he knew the old big house with all its passages
and outbuildings. I imagine that part of the money was hidden in
that house, not long before the arrest, in some crevice, under some
floor, in some corner, under the roof. With what object? I shall be
asked. Why, the catastrophe may take place at once, of course; he
hadn't yet considered how to meet it, he hadn't the time, his head was
throbbing and his heart was with her, but money- money was
indispensable in any case! With money a man is always a man. Perhaps
such foresight at such a moment may strike you as unnatural? But he
assures us himself that a month before, at a critical and exciting
moment, he had halved his money and sewn it up in a little bag. And
though that was not true, as we shall prove directly, it shows the
idea was a familiar one to Karamazov, he had contemplated it. What's
more, when he declared at the inquiry that he had put fifteen
hundred roubles in a bag (which never existed) he may have invented
that little bag on the inspiration of the moment, because he had two
hours before divided his money and hidden half of it at Mokroe till
morning, in case of emergency, simply not to have it on himself. Two
extremes, gentlemen of the jury, remember that Karamazov can
contemplate two extremes and both at once.
"We have looked in the house, but we haven't found the money. It
may still be there or it may have disappeared next day and be in the
prisoner's hands now. In any case he was at her side, on his knees
before her, she was lying on the bed, he had his hands stretched out
to her and he had so entirely forgotten everything that he did not
even hear the men coming to arrest him. He hadn't time to prepare
any line of defence in his mind. He was caught unawares and confronted
with his judges, the arbiters of his destiny.
"Gentlemen of the jury, there are moments in the execution of
our duties when it is terrible for us to face a man, terrible on his
account, too! The moments of contemplating that animal fear, when
the criminal sees that all is lost, but still struggles, still means
to struggle, the moments when every instinct of self-preservation
rises up in him at once and he looks at you with questioning and
suffering eyes, studies you, your face, your thoughts, uncertain on
which side you will strike, and his distracted mind frames thousands
of plans in an instant, but he is still afraid to speak, afraid of
giving himself away! This purgatory of the spirit, this animal
thirst for self-preservation, these humiliating moments of the human
soul, are awful, and sometimes arouse horror and compassion for the
criminal even in the lawyer. And this was what we all witnessed then.
"At first he was thunderstruck and in his terror dropped some very
compromising phrases. 'Blood! I've deserved it!' But he quickly
restrained himself. He had not prepared what he was to say, what
answer he was to make, he had nothing but a bare denial ready. 'I am
not guilty of my father's death.' That was his fence for the moment
and behind it he hoped to throw up a barricade of some sort. His first
compromising exclamations he hastened to explain by declaring that
he was responsible for the death of the servant Grigory only. 'Of that
bloodshed I am guilty, but who has killed my father, gentlemen, who
has killed him? Who can have killed him, if not I?' Do you hear, he
asked us that, us, who had come to ask him that question! Do you
hear that uttered with such premature haste- 'if not I'- the animal
cunning, the naivete the Karamazov impatience of it? 'I didn't kill
him and you mustn't think I did! I wanted to kill him, gentlemen, I
wanted to kill him,' he hastens to admit (he was in a hurry, in a
terrible hurry), 'but still I am not guilty, it is not I murdered
him.' He concedes to us that he wanted to murder him, as though to
say, you can see for yourselves how truthful I am, so you'll believe
all the sooner that I didn't murder him. Oh, in such cases the
criminal is often amazingly shallow and credulous.
"At that point one of the lawyers asked him, as it were
incidentally, the most simple question, 'Wasn't it Smerdyakov killed
him?' Then, as we expected, he was horribly angry at our having
anticipated him and caught him unawares, before he had time to pave
the way to choose and snatch the moment when it would be most
natural to bring in Smerdyakov's name. He rushed at once to the
other extreme, as he always does, and began to assure us that
Smerdyakov could not have killed him, was not capable of it. But don't
believe him, that was only his cunning; he didn't really give up the
idea of Smerdyakov; on the contrary, he meant to bring him forward
again; for, indeed, he had no one else to bring forward, but he
would do that later, because for the moment that line was spoiled
for him. He would bring him forward perhaps next day, or even a few
days later, choosing an opportunity to cry out to us, 'You know I
was more sceptical about Smerdyakov than you, you remember that
yourselves, but now I am convinced. He killed him, he must have done!'
And for the present he falls back upon a gloomy and irritable
denial. Impatience and anger prompted him, however, to the most
inept and incredible explanation of how he looked into his father's
window and how he respectfully withdrew. The worst of it was that he
was unaware of the position of affairs, of the evidence given by
"We proceeded to search him. The search angered, but encouraged
him, the whole three thousand had not been found on him, only half
of it. And no doubt only at that moment of angry silence, the
fiction of the little bag first occurred to him. No doubt he was
conscious himself of the improbability of the story and strove
painfully to make it sound more likely, to weave it into a romance
that would sound plausible. In such cases the first duty, the chief
task of the investigating lawyers, is to prevent the criminal being
prepared, to pounce upon him unexpectedly so that he may blurt out his
cherished ideas in all their simplicity, improbability and
inconsistency. The criminal can only be made to speak by the sudden
and apparently incidental communication of some new fact, of some
circumstance of great importance in the case, of which he had no
previous idea and could not have foreseen. We had such a fact in
readiness- that was Grigory's evidence about the open door through
which the prisoner had run out. He had completely forgotten about that
door and had not even suspected that Grigory could have seen it.
"The effect of it was amazing. He leapt up and shouted to us,
'Then Smerdyakov murdered him, it was Smerdyakov!' and so betrayed the
basis of the defence he was keeping back, and betrayed it in its
most improbable shape, for Smerdyakov could only have committed the
murder after he had knocked Grigory down and run away. When we told
him that Grigory saw the door was open before he fell down, and had
heard Smerdyakov behind the screen as he came out of his bedroom-
Karamazov was positively crushed. My esteemed and witty colleague,
Nikolay Parfenovitch, told me afterwards that he was almost moved to
tears at the sight of him. And to improve matters, the prisoner
hastened to tell us about the much-talked-of little bag- so be it, you
shall hear this romance!
"Gentlemen of the jury, I have told you already why I consider
this romance not only an absurdity, but the most improbable
invention that could have been brought forward in the circumstances.
If one tried for a bet to invent the most unlikely story, one could
hardly find anything more incredible. The worst of such stories is
that the triumphant romancers can always be put to confusion and
crushed by the very details in which real life is so rich and which
these unhappy and involuntary storytellers neglect as insignificant
trifles. Oh, they have no thought to spare for such details, their
minds are concentrated on their grand invention as a whole, and
fancy anyone daring to pull them up for a trifle! But that's how
they are caught. The prisoner was asked the question, 'Where did you
get the stuff for your little bag and who made it for you?' 'I made it
myself.' 'And where did you get the linen?' The prisoner was
positively offended, he thought it almost insulting to ask him such
a trivial question, and would you believe it, his resentment was
genuine! But they are all like that. 'I tore it off my shirt. "Then we
shall find that shirt among your linen to-morrow, with a piece torn
off.' And only fancy, gentlemen of the jury, if we really had found
that torn shirt (and how could we have failed to find it in his
chest of drawers or trunk?) that would have been a fact, a material
fact in support of his statement! But he was incapable of that
reflection. 'I don't remember, it may not have been off my shirt, I
sewed it up in one of my landlady's caps.' 'What sort of a cap?' 'It
was an old cotton rag of hers lying about.' 'And do you remember
that clearly?' 'No, I don't.' And he was angry, very angry, and yet
imagine not remembering it! At the most terrible moments of man's
life, for instance when he is being led to execution, he remembers
just such trifles. He will forget anything but some green roof that
has flashed past him on the road, or a jackdaw on a cross- that he
will remember. He concealed the making of that little bag from his
household, he must have remembered his humiliating fear that someone
might come in and find him needle in hand, how at the slightest
sound he slipped behind the screen (there is a screen in his
"But, gentlemen of the jury, why do I tell you all this, all these
details, trifles?" cried Ippolit Kirillovitch suddenly. "Just
because the prisoner still persists in these absurdities to this
moment. He has not explained anything since that fatal night two
months ago, he has not added one actual illuminating fact to his
former fantastic statements; all those are trivialities. 'You must
believe it on my honour.' Oh, we are glad to believe it, we are
eager to believe it, even if only on his word of honour! Are we
jackals thirsting for human blood? Show us a single fact in the
prisoner's favour and we shall rejoice; but let it be a substantial,
real fact, and not a conclusion drawn from the prisoner's expression
by his own brother, or that when he beat himself on the breast he must
have meant to point to the little bag, in the darkness, too. We
shall rejoice at the new fact, we shall be the first to repudiate
our charge, we shall hasten to repudiate it. But now justice cries out
and we persist, we cannot repudiate anything."
Ippolit Kirillovitch passed to his final peroration. He looked
as though he was in a fever, he spoke of the blood that cried for
vengeance, the blood of the father murdered by his son, with the
base motive of robbery! He pointed to the tragic and glaring
consistency of the facts.
"And whatever you may hear from the talented and celebrated
counsel for the defence," Ippolit Kirillovitch could not resist
adding, "whatever eloquent and touching appeals may be made to your
sensibilities, remember that at this moment you are in a temple of
justice. Remember that you are the champions of our justice, the
champions of our holy Russia, of her principles, her family,
everything that she holds sacred! Yes, you represent Russia here at
this moment, and your verdict will be heard not in this hall only
but will re-echo throughout the whole of Russia, and all Russia will
hear you, as her champions and her judges, and she will be
encouraged or disheartened by your verdict. Do not disappoint Russia
and her expectations. Our fatal troika dashes on in her headlong
flight perhaps to destruction and in all Russia for long past men have
stretched out imploring hands and called a halt to its furious
reckless course. And if other nations stand aside from that troika
that may be, not from respect, as the poet would fain believe, but
simply from horror. From horror, perhaps from disgust. And well it
is that they stand aside, but maybe they will cease one day to do so
and will form a firm wall confronting the hurrying apparition and will
check the frenzied rush of our lawlessness, for the sake of their
own safety, enlightenment and civilisation. Already we have heard
voices of alarm from Europe, they already begin to sound. Do not tempt
them! Do not heap up their growing hatred by a sentence justifying the
murder of a father by his son I
Though Ippolit Kirillovitch was genuinely moved, he wound up his
speech with this rhetorical appeal- and the effect produced by him was
extraordinary. When he had finished his speech, he went out
hurriedly and, as I have mentioned before, almost fainted in the
adjoining room. There was no applause in the court, but serious
persons were pleased. The ladies were not so well satisfied, though
even they were pleased with his eloquence, especially as they had no
apprehensions as to the upshot of the trial and had full trust in
Fetyukovitch. "He will speak at last and of course carry all before
Everyone looked at Mitya; he sat silent through the whole of the
prosecutor's speech, clenching his teeth, with his hands clasped,
and his head bowed. Only from time to time he raised his head and
listened, especially when Grushenka was spoken of. When the prosecutor
mentioned Rakitin's opinion of her, a smile of contempt and anger
passed over his face and he murmured rather audibly, "The Bernards!"
When Ippolit Kirillovitch described how he had questioned and tortured
him at Mokroe, Mitya raised his head and listened with intense
curiosity. At one point he seemed about to jump up and cry out, but
controlled himself and only shrugged his shoulders disdainfully.
People talked afterwards of the end of the speech, of the prosecutor's
feat in examining the prisoner at Mokroe, and jeered at Ippolit
Kirillovitch. "The man could not resist boasting of his cleverness,"
they said.
The court was adjourned, but only for a short interval, a
quarter of an hour or twenty minutes at most. There was a hum of
conversation and exclamations in the audience. I remember some of
"A weighty speech," a gentleman in one group observed gravely.
"He brought in too much psychology," said another voice.
"But it was all true, the absolute truth!"
"Yes, he is first rate at it."
"He summed it all up."
"Yes, he summed us up, too," chimed in another voice, "Do you
remember, at the beginning of his speech, making out we were all
like Fyodor Pavlovitch?"
"And at the end, too. But that was all rot."
"And obscure too."
"He was a little too much carried away."
"It's unjust, it's unjust."
"No, it was smartly done, anyway. He's had long to wait, but
he's had his say, ha ha!"
"What will the counsel for the defence say?"
In another group I heard:
"He had no business to make a thrust at the Petersburg man like
that; 'appealing to your sensibilities'- do you remember?"
"Yes, that was awkward of him."
"He was in too great a hurry."
"He is a nervous man."
"We laugh, but what must the prisoner be feeling?"
"Yes, what must it be for Mitya?"
In a third group:
"What lady is that, the fat one, with the lorgnette, sitting at
the end?"
"She is a general's wife, divorced, I know her."
"That's why she has the lorgnette."
"She is not good for much."
"Oh no, she is a piquante little woman."
"Two places beyond her there is a little fair woman, she is
"They caught him smartly at Mokroe, didn't they, eh?"
"Oh, it was smart enough. We've heard it before, how often he
has told the story at people's houses!
"And he couldn't resist doing it now. That's vanity."
"He is a man with a grievance, he he!"
"Yes, and quick to take offence. And there was too much
rhetoric, such long sentences."
"Yes, he tries to alarm us, he kept trying to alarm us. Do you
remember about the troika? Something about 'They have Hamlets, but
we have, so far, only Karamazovs!' That was cleverly said!"
"That was to propitiate the liberals. He is afraid of them."
"Yes, and he is afraid of the lawyer, too."
"Yes, what will Fetyukovitch say?"
"Whatever he says, he won't get round our peasants."
"Don't you think so?"
A fourth group:
"What he said about the troika was good, that piece about the
other nations."
"And that was true what he said about other nations not standing
"What do you mean?"
"Why, in the English Parliment a Member got up last week and
speaking about the Nihilists asked the Ministry whether it was not
high time to intervene, to educate this barbarous people. Ippolit
was thinking of him, I know he was. He was talking about that last
"Not an easy job."
"Not an easy job? Why not?"
"Why, we'd shut up Kronstadt and not let them have any corn. Where
would they get it?"
"In America. They get it from America now."
But the bell rang, all rushed to their places. Fetyukovitch
mounted the tribune.
Chapter 10
The Speech for the Defence. An Argument that Cuts Both Ways

ALL was hushed as the first words of the famous orator rang out.
The eyes of the audience were fastened upon him. He began very
simply and directly, with an air of conviction, but not the
slightest trace of conceit. He made no attempt at eloquence, at
pathos, or emotional phrases. He was like a man speaking in a circle
of intimate and sympathetic friends. His voice was a fine one,
sonorous and sympathetic, and there was something genuine and simple
in the very sound of it. But everyone realised at once that the
speaker might suddenly rise to genuine pathos and "pierce the heart
with untold power." His language was perhaps more irregular than
Ippolit Kirillovitch's, but he spoke without long phrases, and indeed,
with more precision. One thing did not please the ladies: he kept
bending forward, especially at the beginning of his speech, not
exactly bowing, but as though he were about to dart at his
listeners, bending his long spine in half, as though there were a
spring in the middle that enabled him to bend almost at right angles.
At the beginning of his speech he spoke rather disconnectedly,
without system, one may say, dealing with facts separately, though, at
the end, these facts formed a whole. His speech might be divided
into two parts, the first consisting of criticism in refutation of the
charge, sometimes malicious and sarcastic. But in the second half he
suddenly changed his tone, and even his manner, and at once rose to
pathos. The audience seemed on the lookout for it, and quivered with
He went straight to the point, and began by saying that although
he practised in Petersburg, he had more than once visited provincial
towns to defend prisoners, of whose innocence he had a conviction or
at least a preconceived idea. "That is what has happened to me in
the present case," he explained. "From the very first accounts in
the newspapers I was struck by something which strongly prepossessed
me in the prisoner's favour. What interested me most was a fact
which often occurs in legal practice, but rarely, I think, in such
an extreme and peculiar form as in the present case. I ought to
formulate that peculiarity only at the end of my speech, but I will do
so at the very beginning, for it is my weakness to go to work
directly, not keeping my effects in reserve and economising my
material. That may be imprudent on my part, but at least it's sincere.
What I have in my mind is this: there is an overwhelming chain of
evidence against the prisoner, and at the same time not one fact
that will stand criticism, if it is examined separately. As I followed
the case more closely in the papers my idea was more and more
confirmed, and I suddenly received from the prisoner's relatives a
request to undertake his defence. I at once hurried here, and here I
became completely convinced. It was to break down this terrible
chain of facts, and to show that each piece of evidence taken
separately was unproved and fantastic, that I undertook the case."
So Fetyukovitch began.
"Gentlemen of the jury," he suddenly protested, "I am new to
this district. I have no preconceived ideas. The prisoner, a man of
turbulent and unbridled temper, has not insulted me. But he has
insulted perhaps hundreds of persons in this town, and so prejudiced
many people against him beforehand. Of course I recognise that the
moral sentiment of local society is justly excited against him. The
prisoner is of turbulent and violent temper. Yet he was received in
society here; he was even welcome in the family of my talented friend,
the prosecutor."
(N.B. At these words there were two or three laughs in the
audience, quickly suppressed, but noticed by all. All of us knew
that the prosecutor received Mitya against his will, solely because he
had somehow interested his wife- a lady of the highest virtue and
moral worth, but fanciful, capricious, and fond of opposing her
husband, especially in trifles. Mitya's visits, however, had not
been frequent.)
"Nevertheless I venture to suggest," Fetyukovitch continued, "that
in spite of his independent mind and just character, my opponent may
have formed a mistaken prejudice against my unfortunate client. Oh,
that is so natural; the unfortunate man has only too well deserved
such prejudice. Outraged morality, and still more outraged taste, is
often relentless. We have, in the talented prosecutor's speech,
heard a stern analysis of the prisoner's character and conduct, and
his severe critical attitude to the case was evident. And, what's
more, he went into psychological subtleties into which he could not
have entered, if he had the least conscious and malicious prejudice
against the prisoner. But there are things which are even worse,
even more fatal in such cases, than the most malicious and consciously
unfair attitude. It is worse if we are carried away by the artistic
instinct, by the desire to create, so to speak, a romance,
especially if God has endowed us with psychological insight. Before
I started on my way here, I was warned in Petersburg, and was myself
aware, that I should find here a talented opponent whose psychological
insight and subtlety had gained him peculiar renown in legal circles
of recent years. But profound as psychology is, it's a knife that cuts
both ways." (Laughter among the public.) "You will, of course, forgive
me my comparison; I can't boast of eloquence. But I will take as an
example any point in the prosecutor's speech.
"The prisoner, running away in the garden in the dark, climbed
over the fence, was seized by the servant, and knocked him down with a
brass pestle. Then he jumped back into the garden and spent five
minutes over the man, trying to discover whether he had killed him
or not. And the prosecutor refuses to believe the prisoner's statement
that he ran to old Grigory out of pity. 'No,' he says, 'such
sensibility is impossible at such a moment, that's unnatural; he ran
to find out whether the only witness of his crime was dead or alive,
and so showed that he had committed the murder, since he would not
have run back for any other reason.'
"Here you have psychology; but let us take the same method and
apply it to the case the other way round, and our result will be no
less probable. The murderer, we are told, leapt down to find out, as a
precaution, whether the witness was alive or not, yet he had left in
his murdered father's study, as the prosecutor himself argues, an
amazing piece of evidence in the shape of a torn envelope, with an
inscription that there had been three thousand roubles in it. 'If he
had carried that envelope away with him, no one in the world would
have known of that envelope and of the notes in it, and that the money
had been stolen by the prisoner.' Those are the prosecutor's own
words. So on one side you see a complete absence of precaution, a
man who has lost his head and run away in a fright, leaving that
clue on the floor, and two minutes later, when he has killed another
man, we are entitled to assume the most heartless and calculating
foresight in him. But even admitting this was so, it is
psychological subtlety, I suppose, that discerns that under certain
circumstances I become as bloodthirsty and keen-sighted as a Caucasian
eagle, while at the next I am as timid and blind as a mole. But if I
am so bloodthirsty and cruelly calculating that when I kill a man I
only run back to find out whether he is alive to witness against me,
why should I spend five minutes looking after my victim at the risk of
encountering other witnesses? Why soak my handkerchief, wiping the
blood off his head so that it may be evidence against me later? If
he were so cold-hearted and calculating, why not hit the servant on
the head again and again with the same pestle so as to kill him
outright and relieve himself of all anxiety about the witness?
"Again, though he ran to see whether the witness was alive, he
left another witness on the path, that brass pestle which he had taken
from the two women, and which they could always recognise afterwards
as theirs, and prove that he had taken it from them. And it is not
as though he had forgotten it on the path, dropped it through
carelessness or haste, no, he had flung away his weapon, for it was
found fifteen paces from where Grigory lay. Why did he do so? just
because he was grieved at having killed a man, an old servant; and
he flung away the pestle with a curse, as a murderous weapon. That's
how it must have been, what other reason could he have had for
throwing it so far? And if he was capable of feeling grief and pity at
having killed a man, it shows that he was innocent of his father's
murder. Had he murdered him, he would never have run to another victim
out of pity; then he would have felt differently; his thoughts would
have been centred on self-preservation. He would have had none to
spare for pity, that is beyond doubt. On the contrary, he would have
broken his skull instead of spending five minutes looking after him.
There was room for pity and good-feeling just because his conscience
had been clear till then. Here we have a different psychology. I
have purposely resorted to this method, gentlemen of the jury, to show
that you can prove anything by it. It all depends on who makes use
of it. Psychology lures even most serious people into romancing, and
quite unconsciously. I am speaking of the abuse of psychology,
Sounds of approval and laughter, at the expense of the prosecutor,
were again audible in the court. I will not repeat the speech in
detail; I will only quote some passages from it, some leading points.
Chapter 11
There Was No Money. There Was No Robbery

THERE was one point that struck everyone in Fetyukovitch's speech.
He flatly denied the existence of the fatal three thousand roubles,
and consequently, the possibility of their having been stolen.
"Gentlemen of the jury," he began. "Every new and unprejudiced
observer must be struck by a characteristic peculiarity in the present
case, namely, the charge of robbery, and the complete impossibility of
proving that there was anything to be stolen. We are told that money
was stolen- three thousand roubles but whether those roubles ever
existed, nobody knows. Consider, how have we heard of that sum, and
who has seen the notes? The only person who saw them, and stated
that they had been put in the envelope, was the servant, Smerdyakov.
He had spoken of it to the prisoner and his brother, Ivan
Fyodorovitch, before the catastrophe. Madame Svyetlov, too, had been
told of it. But not one of these three persons had actually seen the
notes, no one but Smerdyakov had seen them.
"Here the question arises, if it's true that they did exist, and
that Smerdyakov had seen them, when did he see them for the last time?
What if his master had taken the notes from under his bed and put them
back in his cash-box without telling him? Note, that according to
Smerdyakov's story the notes were kept under the mattress; the
prisoner must have pulled them out, and yet the bed was absolutely
unrumpled; that is carefully recorded in the protocol. How could the
prisoner have found the notes without disturbing the bed? How could he
have helped soiling with his blood-stained hands the fine and spotless
linen with which the bed had been purposely made?
"But I shall be asked: What about the envelope on the floor?
Yes, it's worth saying a word or two about that envelope. I was
somewhat surprised just now to hear the highly talented prosecutor
declare of himself- of himself, observe- that but for that envelope,
but for its being left on the floor, no one in the world would have
known of the existence of that envelope and the notes in it, and
therefore of the prisoner's having stolen it. And so that torn scrap
of paper is, by the prosecutor's own admission, the sole proof on
which the charge of robbery rests, 'otherwise no one would have
known of the robbery, nor perhaps even of the money.' But is the
mere fact that that scrap of paper was lying on the floor a proof that
there was money in it, and that that money had been stolen? Yet, it
will be objected, Smerdyakov had seen the money in the envelope. But
when, when had he seen it for the last time, I ask you that? I
talked to Smerdyakov, and he told me that he had seen the notes two
days before the catastrophe. Then why not imagine that old Fyodor
Pavlovitch, locked up alone in impatient and hysterical expectation of
the object of his adoration, may have whiled away the time by breaking
open the envelope and taking out the notes. 'What's the use of the
envelope?' he may have asked himself. 'She won't believe the notes are
there, but when I show her the thirty rainbow-coloured notes in one
roll, it will make more impression, you may be sure, it will make
her mouth water.' And so he tears open the envelope, takes out the
money, and flings the envelope on the floor, conscious of being the
owner and untroubled by any fears of leaving evidence.
"Listen, gentlemen, could anything be more likely than this theory
and such an action? Why is it out of the question? But if anything
of the sort could have taken place, the charge of robbery falls to the
ground; if there was no money, there was no theft of it. If the
envelope on the floor may be taken as evidence that there had been
money in it, why may I not maintain the opposite, that the envelope
was on the floor because the money had been taken from it by its
"But I shall be asked what became of the money if Fyodor
Pavlovitch took it out of the envelope since it was not found when the
police searched the house? In the first place, part of the money was
found in the cash-box, and secondly, he might have taken it out that
morning or the evening before to make some other use of it, to give or
send it away; he may have changed his idea, his plan of action
completely, without thinking it necessary to announce the fact to
Smerdyakov beforehand. And if there is the barest possibility of
such an explanation, how can the prisoner be so positively accused
of having committed murder for the sake of robbery, and of having
actually carried out that robbery? This is encroaching on the domain
of romance. If it is maintained that something has been stolen, the
thing must be produced, or at least its existence must be proved
beyond doubt. Yet no one had ever seen these notes.
"Not long ago in Petersburg a young man of eighteen, hardly more
than a boy, who carried on a small business as a costermonger, went in
broad daylight into a moneychanger's shop with an axe, and with
extraordinary, typical audacity killed the master of the shop and
carried off fifteen hundred roubles. Five hours later he was arrested,
and, except fifteen roubles he had already managed to spend, the whole
sum was found on him. Moreover, the shopman, on his return to the shop
after the murder, informed the police not only of the exact sum
stolen, but even of the notes and gold coins of which that sum was
made up, and those very notes and coins were found on the criminal.
This was followed by a full and genuine confession on the part of
the murderer. That's what I call evidence, gentlemen of the jury! In
that case I know, I see, I touch the money, and cannot deny its
existence. Is it the same in the present case? And yet it is a
question of life and death.
"Yes, I shall be told, but he was carousing that night,
squandering money; he was shown to have had fifteen hundred roubles-
where did he get the money? But the very fact that only fifteen
hundred could be found, and the other half of the sum could nowhere be
discovered, shows that that money was not the same, and had never been
in any envelope. By strict calculation of time it was proved at the
preliminary inquiry that the prisoner ran straight from those women
servants to Perhotin's without going home, and that he had been
nowhere. So he had been all the time in company and therefore could
not have divided the three thousand in half and hidden half in the
town. It's just this consideration that has led the prosecutor to
assume that the money is hidden in some crevice at Mokroe. Why not
in the dungeons of the castle of Udolpho, gentlemen? Isn't this
supposition really too fantastic and too romantic? And observe, if
that supposition breaks down, the whole charge of robbery is scattered
to the winds, for in that case what could have become of the other
fifteen hundred roubles? By what miracle could they have
disappeared, since it's proved the prisoner went nowhere else? And
we are ready to ruin a man's life with such tales!
"I shall be told that he could not explain where he got the
fifteen hundred that he had. and everyone knew that he was without
money before that night. Who knew it, pray? The prisoner has made a
clear and unflinching statement of the source of that money, and if
you will have it so, gentlemen of the jury, nothing can be more
probable than that statement, and more consistent with the temper
and spirit of the prisoner. The prosecutor is charmed with his own
romance. A man of weak will, who had brought himself to take the three
thousand so insultingly offered by his betrothed, could not, we are
told, have set aside half and sewn it up, but would, even if he had
done so, have unpicked it every two days and taken out a hundred,
and so would have spent it all in a month. All this, you will
remember, was put forward in a tone what brooked no contradiction. But
what if the thing happened quite differently? What if you've been
weaving a romance, and about quite a different kind of man? That's
just it, you have invented quite a different man!
"I shall be told, perhaps, there are witnesses that he spent on
one day all that three thousand given him by his betrothed a month
before the catastrophe, so he could not have divided the sum in
half. But who are these witnesses? The value of their evidence has
been shown in court already. Besides, in another man's hand a crust
always seems larger, and no one of these witnesses counted that money;
they all judged simply at sight. And the witness Maximov has testified
that the prisoner had twenty thousand in his hand. You see,
gentlemen of the jury, psychology is a two edged weapon. Let me turn
the other edge now and see what comes of it.
"A month before the catastrophe the prisoner was entrusted by
Katerina Ivanovna with three thousand roubles to send off by post. But
the question is: is it true that they were entrusted to him in such an
insulting and degrading way as was proclaimed just now? The first
statement made by the young lady on the subject was different,
perfectly different. In the second statement we heard only cries of
resentment and revenge, cries of long-concealed hatred. And the very
fact that the witness gave her first evidence incorrectly gives us a
right to conclude that her second piece of evidence may have been
incorrect also. The prosecutor will not, dare not (his own words)
touch on that story. So be it. I will not touch on it either, but will
only venture to observe that if a lofty and high-principled person,
such as that highly respected young lady unquestionably is, if such
a person, I say, allows herself suddenly in court to contradict her
first statement, with the obvious motive of ruining the prisoner, it
is clear that this evidence has been given not impartially, not
coolly. Have not we the right to assume that a revengeful woman
might have exaggerated much? Yes, she may well have exaggerated, in
particular, the insult and humiliation of her offering him the
money. No, it was offered in such a way that it was possible to take
it, especially for a man so easygoing as the prisoner, above all, as
he expected to receive shortly from his father the three thousand
roubles that he reckoned was owing to him. It was unreflecting of him,
but it was just his irresponsible want of reflection that made him
so confident that his father would give him the money, that he would
get it, and so could always dispatch the money entrusted to him and
repay the debt.
"But the prosecutor refuses to allow that he could the same day
have set aside half the money and sewn it up in a little bag. That's
not his character, he tells us, he couldn't have had such feelings.
But yet he talked himself of the broad Karamazov nature; he cried
out about the two extremes which a Karamazov can contemplate at
once. Karamazov is just such a two-sided nature, fluctuating between
two extremes, that even when moved by the most violent craving for
riotous gaiety, he can pull himself up, if something strikes him on
the other side. And on the other side is love that new love which
had flamed up in his heart, and for that love he needed money; oh, far
more than for carousing with his mistress. If she were to say to
him, 'I am yours, I won't have Fyodor Pavlovitch,' then he must have
money to take her away. That was more important than carousing.
Could a Karamazov fail to understand it? That anxiety was just what he
was suffering from- what is there improbable in his laying aside
that money and concealing it in case of emergency?
"But time passed, and Fyodor Pavlovitch did not give the
prisoner the expected three thousand; on the contrary, the latter
heard that he meant to use this sum to seduce the woman he, the
prisoner, loved. 'If Fyodor Pavlovitch doesn't give the money,' he
thought, 'I shall be put in the position of a thief before Katerina
Ivanovna.' And then the idea presented itself to him that he would
go to Katerina Ivanovna, lay before her the fifteen hundred roubles he
still carried round his neck, and say, 'I am a scoundrel, but not a
thief.' So here we have already a twofold reason why he should guard
that sum of money as the apple of his eye, why he shouldn't unpick the
little bag, and spend it a hundred at a time. Why should you deny
the prisoner a sense of honour? Yes, he has a sense of honour, granted
that it's misplaced, granted it's often mistaken, yet it exists and
amounts to a passion, and he has proved that.
"But now the affair becomes even more complex; his jealous
torments reach a climax, and those same two questions torture his
fevered brain more and more: 'If I repay Katerina Ivanovna, where
can I find the means to go off with Grushenka?' If he behaved
wildly, drank, and made disturbances in the taverns in the course of
that month, it was perhaps because he was wretched and strained beyond
his powers of endurance. These two questions became so acute that they
drove him at last to despair. He sent his younger brother to beg for
the last time for the three thousand roubles, but without waiting
for a reply, burst in himself and ended by beating the old man in
the presence of witnesses. After that he had no prospect of getting it
from anyone; his father would not give it him after that beating.
"The same evening he struck himself on the breast, just on the
upper part of the breast where the little bag was, and swore to his
brother that he had the means of not being a scoundrel, but that still
he would remain a scoundrel, for he foresaw that he would not use that
means, that he wouldn't have the character, that he wouldn't have
the will-power to do it. Why, why does the prosecutor refuse to
believe the evidence of Alexey Karamazov, given so genuinely and
sincerely, so spontaneously and convincingly? And why, on the
contrary, does he force me to believe in money hidden in a crevice, in
the dungeons of the castle of Udolpho?
"The same evening, after his talk with his brother, the prisoner
wrote that fatal letter, and that letter is the chief, the most
stupendous proof of the prisoner having committed robbery! 'I shall
beg from everyone, and if I don't get it I shall murder my father
and shall take the envelope with the pink ribbon on it from under
his mattress as soon as Ivan has gone.' A full programme of the
murder, we are told, so it must have been he. 'It has all been done as
he wrote,' cries the prosecutor.
"But in the first place, it's the letter of a drunken man and
written in great irritation; secondly, he writes of the envelope
from what he has heard from Smerdyakov again, for he has not seen
the envelope himself; and thirdly, he wrote it indeed, but how can you
prove that he did it? Did the prisoner take the envelope from under
the pillow, did he find the money, did that money exist indeed? And
was it to get money that the prisoner ran off, if you remember? He ran
off post-haste not to steal, but to find out where she was, the
woman who had crushed him. He was not running to carry out a
programme, to carry out what he had written, that is, not for an act
of premeditated robbery, but he ran suddenly, spontaneously, in a
jealous fury. Yes! I shall be told, but when he got there and murdered
him he seized the money, too. But did he murder him after all? The
charge of robbery I repudiate with indignation. A man cannot be
accused of robbery, if it's impossible to state accurately what he has
stolen; that's an axiom. But did he murder him without robbery, did he
murder him at all? Is that proved? Isn't that, too, a romance?"
Chapter 12
And There Was No Murder Either

"ALLOW me, gentlemen of the jury, to remind you that a man's
life is at stake and that you must be careful. We have heard the
prosecutor himself admit that until to-day he hesitated to accuse
the prisoner of a full and conscious premeditation of the crime; he
hesitated till he saw that fatal drunken letter which was produced
in court to-day. 'All was done as written.' But, I repeat again, he
was running to her, to seek her, solely to find out where she was.
That's a fact that can't be disputed. Had she been at home, he would
not have run away, but would have remained at her side, and so would
not have done what he promised in the letter. He ran unexpectedly
and accidentally, and by that time very likely he did not even
remember his drunken letter. 'He snatched up the pestle,' they say,
and you will remember how a whole edifice of psychology was built on
that pestle- why he was bound to look at that pestle as a weapon, to
snatch it up, and so on, and so on. A very commonplace idea occurs
to me at this point: What if that pestle had not been in sight, had
not been lying on the shelf from which it was snatched by the
prisoner, but had been put away in a cupboard? It would not have
caught the prisoner's eye, and he would have run away without a
weapon, with empty hands, and then he would certainly not have
killed anyone. How then can I look upon the pestle as a proof of
"Yes, but he talked in the taverns of murdering his father, and
two days before, on the evening when he wrote his drunken letter, he
was quiet and only quarrelled with a shopman in the tavern, because
a Karamazov could not help quarrelling, forsooth! But my answer to
that is, that, if he was planning such a murder in accordance with his
letter, he certainly would not have quarrelled even with a shopman,
and probably would not have gone into the tavern at all, because a
person plotting such a crime seeks quiet and retirement, seeks to
efface himself, to avoid being seen and heard, and that not from
calculation, but from instinct. Gentlemen of the jury, the
psychological method is a two-edged weapon, and we, too, can use it.
As for all this shouting in taverns throughout the month, don't we
often hear children, or drunkards coming out of taverns shout, 'I'll
kill you'? but they don't murder anyone. And that fatal letter-
isn't that simply drunken irritability, too? Isn't that simply the
shout of the brawler outside the tavern, 'I'll kill you! I'll kill the
lot of you!' Why not, why could it not be that? What reason have we to
call that letter 'fatal' rather than absurd? Because his father has
been found murdered, because a witness saw the prisoner running out of
the garden with a weapon in his hand, and was knocked down by him:
therefore, we are told, everything was done as he had planned in
writing, and the letter was not 'absurd,' but 'fatal.'
"Now, thank God! we've come to the real point: 'since he was in
the garden, he must have murdered him.' In those few words: 'since
he was, then he must' lies the whole case for the prosecution. He
was there, so he must have. And what if there is no must about it,
even if he was there? Oh, I admit that the chain of evidence- the
coincidences- are really suggestive. But examine all these facts
separately, regardless of their connection. Why, for instance, does
the prosecution refuse to admit the truth of the prisoner's
statement that he ran away from his father's window? Remember the
sarcasms in which the prosecutor indulged at the expense of the
respectful and 'pious' sentiments which suddenly came over the
murderer. But what if there were something of the sort, a feeling of
religious awe, if not of filial respect? 'My mother must have been
praying for me at that moment,' were the prisoner's words at the
preliminary inquiry, and so he ran away as soon as he convinced
himself that Madame Svyetlov was not in his father's house. 'But he
could not convince himself by looking through the window,' the
prosecutor objects. But why couldn't he? Why? The window opened at the
signals given by the prisoner. Some word might have been uttered by
Fyodor Pavlovitch, some exclamation which showed the prisoner that she
was not there. Why should we assume everything as we imagine it, as we
make up our minds to imagine it? A thousand things may happen in
reality which elude the subtlest imagination.
"'Yes, but Grigory saw the door open and so the prisoner certainly
was in the house, therefore he killed him.' Now about that door,
gentlemen of the jury.... Observe that we have only the statement of
one witness as to that door, and he was at the time in such a
condition, that- but supposing the door was open; supposing the
prisoner has lied in denying it, from an instinct of self-defence,
natural in his position; supposing he did go into the house- well,
what then? How does it follow that because he was there he committed
the murder? He might have dashed in, run through the rooms; might have
pushed his father away; might have struck him; but as soon as he had
made sure Madame Svyetlov was not there, he may have run away
rejoicing that she was not there and that he had not killed his
father. And it was perhaps just because he had escaped from the
temptation to kill his father, because he had a clear conscience and
was rejoicing at not having killed him, that he was capable of a
pure feeling, the feeling of pity and compassion, and leapt off the
fence a minute later to the assistance of Grigory after he had, in his
excitement, knocked him down.
"With terrible eloquence the prosecutor has described to us the
dreadful state of the prisoner's mind at Mokroe when love again lay
before him calling him to new life, while love was impossible for
him because he had his father's bloodstained corpse behind him and
beyond that corpse- retribution. And yet the prosecutor allowed him
love, which he explained, according to his method, talking about
this drunken condition, about a criminal being taken to execution,
about it being still far off, and so on and so on. But again I ask,
Mr. Prosecutor, have you not invented a new personality? Is the
prisoner so coarse and heartless as to be able to think at that moment
of love and of dodges to escape punishment, if his hands were really
stained with his father's blood? No, no, no! As soon as it was made
plain to him that she loved him and called him to her side,
promising him new happiness, oh! then, I protest he must have felt the
impulse to suicide doubled, trebled, and must have killed himself,
if he had his father's murder on his conscience. Oh, no! he would
not have forgotten where his pistols lay! I know the prisoner: the
savage, stony heartlessness ascribed to him by the prosecutor is
inconsistent with his character. He would have killed himself,
that's certain. He did not kill himself just because 'his mother's
prayers had saved him,' and he was innocent of his father's blood.
He was troubled, he was grieving that night at Mokroe only about old
Grigory and praying to God that the old man would recover, that his
blow had not been fatal, and that he would not have to suffer for
it. Why not accept such an interpretation of the facts? What
trustworthy proof have we that the prisoner is lying?
"But we shall be told at once again, 'There is his father's
corpse! If he ran away without murdering him, who did murder him?'
Here, I repeat, you have the whole logic of the prosecution. Who
murdered him, if not he? There's no one to put in his place.
"Gentlemen of the jury, is that really so? Is it positively,
actually true that there is no one else at all? We've heard the
prosecutor count on his fingers all the persons who were in that house
that night. They were five in number; three of them, I agree, could
not have been responsible- the murdered man himself, old Grigory,
and his wife. There are left then the prisoner and Smerdyakov, and the
prosecutor dramatically exclaims that the prisoner pointed to
Smerdyakov because he had no one else to fix on, that had there been a
sixth person, even a phantom of a sixth person, he would have
abandoned the charge against Smerdyakov at once in shame and have
accused that other. But, gentlemen of the jury, why may I not draw the
very opposite conclusion? There are two persons- the prisoner and
Smerdyakov. Why can I not say that you accuse my client, simply
because you have no one else to accuse? And you have no one else
only because you have determined to exclude Smerdyakov from all
"It's true, indeed, Smerdyakov is accused only by the prisoner,
his two brothers, and Madame Svyetlov. But there are others who accuse
him: there are vague rumours of a question, of a suspicion, an obscure
report, a feeling of expectation. Finally, we have the evidence of a
combination of facts very suggestive, though, I admit, inconclusive.
In the first place we have precisely on the day of the catastrophe
that fit, for the genuineness of which the prosecutor, for some
reason, has felt obliged to make a careful defence. Then
Smerdyakov's sudden suicide on the eve of the trial. Then the
equally startling evidence given in court to-day by the elder of the
prisoner's brothers, who had believed in his guilt, but has to-day
produced a bundle of notes and proclaimed Smerdyakov as the
murderer. Oh, I fully share the court's and the prosecutor's
conviction that Ivan Karamazov is suffering from brain fever, that his
statement may really be a desperate effort, planned in delirium, to
save his brother by throwing the guilt on the dead man. But again
Smerdyakov's name is pronounced, again there is a suggestion of
mystery. There is something unexplained, incomplete. And perhaps it
may one day be explained. But we won't go into that now. Of that
"The court has resolved to go on with the trial, but, meantime,
I might make a few remarks about the character-sketch of Smerdyakov
drawn with subtlety and talent by the prosecutor. But while I admire
his talent I cannot agree with him. I have visited Smerdyakov, I
have seen him and talked to him, and he made a very different
impression on me. He was weak in health, it is true; but in character,
in spirit, he was by no means the weak man the prosecutor has made him
out to be. I found in him no trace of the timidity on which the
prosecutor so insisted. There was no simplicity about him, either. I
found in him, on the contrary, an extreme mistrustfulness concealed
under a mask of naivete, and an intelligence of considerable range.
The prosecutor was too simple in taking him for weak-minded. He made a
very definite impression on me: I left him with the conviction that he
was a distinctly spiteful creature, excessively ambitious, vindictive,
and intensely envious. I made some inquiries: he resented his
parentage, was ashamed of it, and would clench his teeth when he
remembered that he was the son of 'stinking Lizaveta.' He was
disrespectful to the servant Grigory and his wife, who had cared for
him in his childhood. He cursed and jeered at Russia. He dreamed of
going to France and becoming a Frenchman. He used often to say that he
hadn't the means to do so. I fancy he loved no one but himself and had
a strangely high opinion of himself. His conception of culture was
limited to good clothes, clean shirt-fronts and polished boots.
Believing himself to be the illegitimate son of Fyodor Pavlovitch
(there is evidence of this), he might well have resented his position,
compared with that of his master's legitimate sons. They had
everything, he nothing. They had all the rights, they had the
inheritance, while he was only the cook. He told me himself that he
had helped Fyodor Pavlovitch to put the notes in the envelope. The
destination of that sum- a sum which would have made his career-
must have been hateful to him. Moreover, he saw three thousand roubles
in new rainbow-coloured notes. (I asked him about that on purpose.)
Oh, beware of showing an ambitious and envious man a large sum of
money at once! And it was the first time he had seen so much money
in the hands of one man. The sight of the rainbow-coloured notes may
have made a morbid impression on his imagination, but with no
immediate results.
"The talented prosecutor, with extraordinary subtlety, sketched
for us all the arguments for and against the hypothesis of
Smerdyakov's guilt, and asked us in particular what motive he had in
feigning a fit. But he may not have been feigning at all, the fit
may have happened quite naturally, but it may have passed off quite
naturally, and the sick man may have recovered, not completely
perhaps, but still regaining consciousness, as happens with
"The prosecutor asks at what moment could Smerdyakov have
committed the murder. But it is very easy to point out that moment. He
might have waked up from deep sleep (for he was only asleep- an
epileptic fit is always followed by a deep sleep) at that moment
when the old Grigory shouted at the top of his voice 'Parricide!' That
shout in the dark and stillness may have waked Smerdyakov whose
sleep may have been less sound at the moment: he might naturally
have waked up an hour before.
"Getting out of bed, he goes almost unconsciously and with no
definite motive towards the sound to see what's the matter. His head
is still clouded with his attack, his faculties are half asleep;
but, once in the garden, he walks to the lighted windows and he
hears terrible news from his master, who would be, of course, glad
to see him. His mind sets to work at once. He hears all the details
from his frightened master, and gradually in his disordered brain
there shapes itself an idea- terrible, but seductive and
irresistibly logical. To kill the old man, take the three thousand,
and throw all the blame on to his young master. A terrible lust of
money, of booty, might seize upon him as he realised his security from
detection. Oh! these sudden and irresistible impulses come so often
when there is a favourable opportunity, and especially with
murderers who have had no idea of committing a murder beforehand.
And Smerdyakov may have gone in and carried out his plan. With what
weapon? Why, with any stone picked up in the garden. But what for,
with what object? Why, the three thousand which means a career for
him. Oh, I am not contradicting myself- the money may have existed.
And perhaps Smerdyakov alone knew where to find it, where his master
kept it. And the covering of the money- the torn envelope on the
"Just now, when the prosecutor was explaining his subtle theory
that only an inexperienced thief like Karamazov would have left the
envelope on the floor, and not one like Smerdyakov, who would have
avoided leaving a piece of evidence against himself, I thought as I
listened that I was hearing something very familiar, and, would you
believe it, I have heard that very argument, that very conjecture,
of how Karamazov would have behaved, precisely two days before, from
Smerdyakov himself. What's more, it struck me at the time. I fancied
that there was an artificial simplicity about him; that he was in a
hurry to suggest this idea to me that I might fancy it was my own.
He insinuated it, as it were. Did he not insinuate the same idea at
the inquiry and suggest it to the talented prosecutor?
"I shall be asked, 'What about the old woman, Grigory's wife?
She heard the sick man moaning close by, all night.' Yes, she heard
it, but that evidence is extremely unreliable. I knew a lady who
complained bitterly that she had been kept awake all night by a dog in
the yard. Yet the poor beast, it appeared, had only yelped once or
twice in the night. And that's natural. If anyone is asleep and
hears a groan he wakes up, annoyed at being waked, but instantly falls
asleep again. Two hours later, again a groan, he wakes up and falls
asleep again; and the same thing again two hours later- three times
altogether in the night. Next morning the sleeper wakes up and
complains that someone has been groaning all night and keeping him
awake. And it is bound to seem so to him: the intervals of two hours
of sleep he does not remember, he only remembers the moments of
waking, so he feels he has been waked up all night.
"But why, why, asks the prosecutor, did not Smerdyakov confess
in his last letter? Why did his conscience prompt him to one step
and not to both? But, excuse me, conscience implies penitence, and the
suicide may not have felt penitence, but only despair. Despair and
penitence are two very different things. Despair may be vindictive and
irreconcilable, and the suicide, laying his hands on himself, may well
have felt redoubled hatred for those whom he had envied all his life.
"Gentlemen of the jury, beware of a miscarriage of justice! What
is there unlikely in all I have put before you just now? Find the
error in my reasoning; find the impossibility, the absurdity. And if
there is but a shade of possibility, but a shade of probability in
my propositions, do not condemn him. And is there only a shade? I
swear by all that is sacred, I fully believe in the explanation of the
murder I have just put forward. What troubles me and makes me
indignant is that of all the mass of facts heaped up by the
prosecution against the prisoner, there is not a single one certain
and irrefutable. And yet the unhappy man is to be ruined by the
accumulation of these facts. Yes, the accumulated effect is awful: the
blood, the blood dripping from his fingers, the bloodstained shirt,
the dark night resounding with the shout 'Parricide!' and the old
man falling with a broken head. And then the mass of phrases,
statements, gestures, shouts! Oh! this has so much influence, it can
so bias the mind; but, gentlemen of the jury, can it bias your
minds? Remember, you have been given absolute power to bind and to
loose, but the greater the power, the more terrible its
"I do not draw back one iota from what I have said just now, but
suppose for one moment I agreed with the prosecution that my
luckless client had stained his hands with his father's blood. This is
only hypothesis, I repeat; I never for one instant doubt of his
innocence. But, so be it, I assume that my client is guilty of
parricide. Even so, hear what I have to say. I have it in my heart
to say something more to you, for I feel that there must be a great
conflict in your hearts and minds.... Forgive my referring to your
hearts and minds, gentlemen of the jury, but I want to be truthful and
sincere to the end. Let us all be sincere!"
At this point the speech was interrupted by rather loud
applause. The last words, indeed, were pronounced with a note of
such sincerity that everyone felt that he really might have
something to say, and that what he was about to say would be of the
greatest consequence. But the President, hearing the applause, in a
loud voice threatened to clear the court if such an incident were
repeated. Every sound was hushed and Fetyukovitch began in a voice
full of feeling quite unlike the tone he had used hitherto.
Chapter 13
A Corrupter of Thought

"IT'S not only the accumulation of facts that threatens my
client with ruin, gentlemen of the jury," he began, "what is really
damning for my client is one fact- the dead body of his father. Had it
been an ordinary case of murder you would have rejected the charge
in view of the triviality, the incompleteness, and the fantastic
character of the evidence, if you examine each part of it
separately; or, at least, you would have hesitated to ruin a man's
life simply from the prejudice against him which he has, alas! only
too well deserved. But it's not an ordinary case of murder, it's a
case of parricide. That impresses men's minds, and to such a degree
that the very triviality and incompleteness of the evidence becomes
less trivial and less incomplete even to an unprejudiced mind. How can
such a prisoner be acquitted? What if he committed the murder and gets
off unpunished? That is what everyone, almost involuntarily,
instinctively, feels at heart.
"Yes, it's a fearful thing to shed a father's blood- the father
who has begotten me, loved me, not spared his life for me, grieved
over my illnesses from childhood up, troubled all his life for my
happiness, and has lived in my joys, in my successes. To murder such a
father- that's inconceivable. Gentlemen of the jury, what is a father-
a real father? What is the meaning of that great word? What is the
great idea in that name? We have just indicated in part what a true
father is and what he ought to be. In the case in which we are now
so deeply occupied and over which our hearts are aching- in the
present case, the father, Fyodor Pavlovitch Karamazov, did not
correspond to that conception of a father to which we have just
referred. That's the misfortune. And indeed some fathers are a
misfortune. Let us examine this misfortune rather more closely: we
must shrink from nothing, gentlemen of the jury, considering the
importance of the decision you have to make. It's our particular
duty not to shrink from any idea, like children or frightened women,
as the talented prosecutor happily expresses it.
"But in the course of his heated speech my esteemed opponent
(and he was my opponent before I opened my lips) exclaimed several
times, 'Oh, I will not yield the defence of the prisoner to the lawyer
who has come down from Petersburg. I accuse, but I defend also!' He
exclaimed that several times, but forgot to mention that if this
terrible prisoner was for twenty-three years so grateful for a mere
pound of nuts given him by the only man who had been kind to him, as a
child in his father's house, might not such a man well have remembered
for twenty-three years how he ran in his father's back-yard, without
boots on his feet and with his little trousers hanging by one button'-
to use the expression of the kindhearted doctor, Herzenstube?
"Oh, gentlemen of the jury, why need we look more closely at
this misfortune, why repeat what we all know already? What did my
client meet with when he arrived here, at his father's house, and
why depict my client as a heartless egoist and monster? He is
uncontrolled, he is wild and unruly- we are trying him now for that-
but who is responsible for his life? Who is responsible for his having
received such an unseemly bringing up, in spite of his excellent
disposition and his grateful and sensitive heart? Did anyone train him
to be reasonable? Was he enlightened by study? Did anyone love him
ever so little in his childhood? My client was left to the care of
Providence like a beast of the field. He thirsted perhaps to see his
father after long years of separation. A thousand times perhaps he
may, recalling his childhood, have driven away the loathsome
phantoms that haunted his childish dreams and with all his heart he
may have longed to embrace and to forgive his father! And what awaited
him? He was met by cynical taunts, suspicions and wrangling about
money. He heard nothing but revolting talk and vicious precepts
uttered daily over the brandy, and at last he saw his father
seducing his mistress from him with his own money. Oh, gentlemen of
the jury, that was cruel and revolting! And that old man was always
complaining of the disrespect and cruelty of his son. He slandered him
in society, injured him, calumniated him, bought up his unpaid debts
to get him thrown into prison.
"Gentlemen of the jury, people like my client, who are fierce,
unruly, and uncontrolled on the surface, are sometimes, most
frequently indeed, exceedingly tender-hearted, only they don't express
it. Don't laugh, don't laugh at my idea! The talented prosecutor
laughed mercilessly just now at my client for loving Schiller-
loving the sublime and beautiful! I should not have laughed at that in
his place. Yes, such natures- oh, let me speak in defence of such
natures, so often and so cruelly misunderstood- these natures often
thirst for tenderness, goodness, and justice, as it were, in
contrast to themselves, their unruliness, their ferocity- they
thirst for it unconsciously. Passionate and fierce on the surface,
they are painfully capable of loving woman, for instance, and with a
spiritual and elevated love. Again do not laugh at me, this is very
often the case in such natures. But they cannot hide their passions-
sometimes very coarse- and that is conspicuous and is noticed, but the
inner man is unseen. Their passions are quickly exhausted; but, by the
side of a noble and lofty creature that seemingly coarse and rough man
seeks a new life, seeks to correct himself, to be better, to become
noble and honourable, 'sublime and beautiful,' however much the
expression has been ridiculed.
"I said just now that I would not venture to touch upon my
client's engagement. But I may say half a word. What we heard just now
was not evidence, but only the scream of a frenzied and revengeful
woman, and it was not for her- oh, not for her!- to reproach him
with treachery, for she has betrayed him! If she had had but a
little time for reflection she would not have given such evidence. Oh,
do not believe her! No, my client is not a monster, as she called him!
"The Lover of Mankind on the eve of His Crucifixion said: 'I am
the Good Shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep,
so that not one of them might be lost.' Let not a man's soul be lost
through us!
"I asked just now what does 'father' mean, and exclaimed that it
was a great word, a precious name. But one must use words honestly,
gentlemen, and I venture to call things by their right names: such a
father as old Karamazov cannot be called a father and does not deserve
to be. Filial love for an unworthy father is an absurdity, an
impossibility. Love cannot be created from nothing: only God can
create something from nothing.
"'Fathers, provoke not your children to wrath,' the apostle
writes, from a heart glowing with love. It's not for the sake of my
client that I quote these sacred words, I mention them for all
fathers. Who has authorised me to preach to fathers? No one. But as
a man and a citizen I make my appeal- vivos voco! We are not long on
earth, we do many evil deeds and say many evil words. So let us all
catch a favourable moment when we are all together to say a good
word to each other. That's what I am doing: while I am in this place I
take advantage of my opportunity. Not for nothing is this tribune
given us by the highest authority- all Russia hears us! I am not
speaking only for the fathers here present, I cry aloud to all
fathers: 'Fathers, provoke not your children to wrath.' Yes, let us
first fulfil Christ's injunction ourselves and only then venture to
expect it of our children. Otherwise we are not fathers, but enemies
of our children, and they are not our children, but our enemies, and
we have made them our enemies ourselves. 'What measure ye mete it
shall be measured unto you again'- it's not I who say that, it's the
Gospel precept, measure to others according as they measure to you.
How can we blame children if they measure us according to our measure?
"Not long ago a servant girl in Finland was suspected of having
secretly given birth to a child. She was watched, and a box of which
no one knew anything was found in the corner of the loft, behind
some bricks. It was opened and inside was found the body of a new-born
child which she had killed. In the same box were found the skeletons
of two other babies which, according to her own confession, she had
killed at the moment of their birth.
"Gentlemen of the jury, was she a mother to her children? She gave
birth to them, indeed; but was she a mother to them? Would anyone
venture to give her the sacred name of mother? Let us be bold,
gentlemen, let us be audacious even: it's our duty to be so at this
moment and not to be afraid of certain words and ideas like the Moscow
women in Ostrovsky's play, who are scared at the sound of certain
words. No, let us prove that the progress of the last few years has
touched even us, and let us say plainly, the father is not merely he
who begets the child, but he who begets it and does his duty by it.
"Oh, of course, there is the other meaning, there is the other
interpretation of the word 'father,' which insists that any father,
even though he be a monster, even though he be the enemy of his
children, still remains my father simply because he begot me. But this
is, so to say, the mystical meaning which I cannot comprehend with
my intellect, but can only accept by faith, or, better to say, on
faith, like many other things which I do not understand, but which
religion bids me believe. But in that case let it be kept outside
the sphere of actual life. In the sphere of actual life, which has,
indeed, its own rights, but also lays upon us great duties and
obligations, in that sphere, if we want to be humane- Christian, in
fact- we must, or ought to, act only upon convictions justified by
reason and experience, which have been passed through the crucible
of analysis; in a word, we must act rationally, and not as though in
dream and delirium, that we may not do harm, that we may not ill-treat
and ruin a man. Then it will be real Christian work, not only
mystic, but rational and philanthropic...."
There was violent applause at this passage from many parts of
the court, but Fetyukovitch waved his hands as though imploring them
to let him finish without interruption. The court relapsed into
silence at once. The orator went on.
"Do you suppose, gentlemen, that our children as they grow up
and begin to reason can avoid such questions? No, they cannot, and
we will not impose on them an impossible restriction. The sight of
an unworthy father involuntarily suggests tormenting questions to a
young creature, especially when he compares him with the excellent
fathers of his companions. The conventional answer to this question
is: 'He begot you, and you are his flesh and blood, and therefore
you are bound to love him.' The youth involuntarily reflects: 'But did
he love me when he begot me?' he asks, wondering more and more. 'Was
it for my sake he begot me? He did not know me, not even my sex, at
that moment, at the moment of passion, perhaps, inflamed by wine,
and he has only transmitted to me a propensity to drunkenness-
that's all he's done for me.... Why am I bound to love him simply
for begetting me when he has cared nothing for me all my life after?'
"Oh, perhaps those questions strike you as coarse and cruel, but
do not expect an impossible restraint from a young mind. 'Drive nature
out of the door and it will fly in at the window,' and, above all, let
us not be afraid of words, but decide the question according to the
dictates of reason and humanity and not of mystic ideas. How shall
it be decided? Why, like this. Let the son stand before his father and
ask him, 'Father, tell me, why must I love you? Father, show me that I
must love you,' and if that father is able to answer him and show
him good reason, we have a real, normal, parental relation, not
resting on mystical prejudice, but on a rational, responsible and
strictly humanitarian basis. But if he does not, there's an end to the
family tie. He is not a father to him, and the son has a right to look
upon him as a stranger, and even an enemy. Our tribune, gentlemen of
the jury, ought to be a school of true and sound ideas."
(Here the orator was interrupted by irrepressible and almost
frantic applause. Of course, it was not the whole audience, but a good
half of it applauded. The fathers and mothers present applauded.
Shrieks and exclamations were heard from the gallery, where the ladies
were sitting. Handkerchiefs were waved. The President began ringing
his bell with all his might. He was obviously irritated by the
behaviour of the audience, but did not venture to clear the court as
he had threatened. Even persons of high position, old men with stars
on their breasts, sitting on specially reserved seats behind the
judges, applauded the orator and waved their handkerchiefs. So that
when the noise died down, the President confined himself to
repeating his stern threat to clear the court, and Fetyukovitch,
excited and triumphant, continued his speech.)
"Gentlemen of the jury, you remember that awful night of which
so much has been said to-day, when the son got over the fence and
stood face to face with the enemy and persecutor who had begotten him.
I insist most emphatically it was not for money he ran to his father's
house: the charge of robbery is an absurdity, as I proved before.
And it was not to murder him he broke into the house, oh, no! If he
had had that design he would, at least, have taken the precaution of
arming himself beforehand. The brass pestle he caught up instinctively
without knowing why he did it. Granted that he deceived his father
by tapping at the window, granted that he made his way in- I've said
already that I do not for a moment believe that legend, but let it
be so, let us suppose it for a moment. Gentlemen, I swear to you by
all that's holy, if it had not been his father, but an ordinary enemy,
he would, after running through the rooms and satisfying himself
that the woman was not there, have made off, post-haste, without doing
any harm to his rival. He would have struck him, pushed him away
perhaps, nothing more, for he had no thought and no time to spare
for that. What he wanted to know was where she was. But his father,
his father! The mere sight of the father who had hated him from his
childhood, had been his enemy, his persecutor, and now his unnatural
rival, was enough! A feeling of hatred came over him involuntarily,
irresistibly, clouding his reason. It all surged up in one moment!
It was an impulse of madness and insanity, but also an impulse of
nature, irresistibly and unconsciously (like everything in nature)
avenging the violation of its eternal laws.
"But the prisoner even then did not murder him- I maintain that, I
cry that aloud!- no, he only brandished the pestle in a burst of
indignant disgust, not meaning to kill him, not knowing that he
would kill him. Had he not had this fatal pestle in his hand, he would
have only knocked his father down perhaps, but would not have killed
him. As he ran away, he did not know whether he had killed the old
man. Such a murder is not a murder. Such a murder is not a
parricide. No, the murder of such a father cannot be called parricide.
Such a murder can only be reckoned parricide by prejudice.
"But I appeal to you again and again from the depths of my soul;
did this murder actually take place? Gentlemen of the jury, if we
convict and punish him, he will say to himself: 'These people have
done nothing for my bringing up, for my education, nothing to
improve my lot, nothing to make me better, nothing to make me a man.
These people have not given me to eat and to drink, have not visited
me in prison and nakedness, and here they have sent me to penal
servitude. I am quits, I owe them nothing now, and owe no one anything
for ever. They are wicked and I will be wicked. They are cruel and I
will be cruel.' That is what he will say, gentlemen of the jury. And I
swear, by finding him guilty you will only make it easier for him: you
will ease his conscience, he will curse the blood he has shed and will
not regret it. At the same time you will destroy in him the
possibility of becoming a new man, for he will remain in his
wickedness and blindness all his life.
"But do you want to punish him fearfully, terribly, with the
most awful punishment that could be imagined, and at the same time
to save him and regenerate his soul? If so, overwhelm him with your
mercy! You will see, you will hear how he will tremble and be
horror-struck. 'How can I endure this mercy? How can I endure so
much love? Am I worthy of it?' That's what he will exclaim.
"Oh, I know, I know that heart, that wild but grateful heart,
gentlemen of the jury! It will bow before your mercy; it thirsts for a
great and loving action, it will melt and mount upwards. There are
souls which, in their limitation, blame the whole world. But subdue
such a soul with mercy, show it love, and it will curse its past,
for there are many good impulses in it. Such a heart will expand and
see that God is merciful and that men are good and just. He will be
horror-stricken; he will be crushed by remorse and the vast obligation
laid upon him henceforth. And he will not say then, 'I am quits,'
but will say, 'I am guilty in the sight of all men and am more
unworthy than all.' With tears of penitence and poignant, tender
anguish, he will exclaim: 'Others are better than I, they wanted to
save me, not to ruin me!' Oh, this act of mercy is so easy for you,
for in the absence of anything like real evidence it will be too awful
for you to pronounce: 'Yes, he is guilty.'
"Better acquit ten guilty men than punish one innocent man! Do you
hear, do you hear that majestic voice from the past century of our
glorious history? It is not for an insignificant person like me to
remind you that the Russian court does not exist for the punishment
only, but also for the salvation of the criminal! Let other nations
think of retribution and the letter of the law, we will cling to the
spirit and the meaning- the salvation and the reformation of the lost.
If this is true, if Russia and her justice are such, she may go
forward with good cheer! Do not try to scare us with your frenzied
troikas from which all the nations stand aside in disgust. Not a
runaway troika, but the stately chariot of Russia will move calmly and
majestically to its goal. In your hands is the fate of my client, in
your hands is the fate of Russian justice. You will defend it, you
will save it, you will prove that there are men to watch over it, that
it is in good hands!"
Chapter 14
The Peasants Stand Firm

THIS was how Fetyukovitch concluded his speech, and the enthusiasm
of the audience burst like an irresistible storm. It was out of the
question to stop it: the women wept, many of the men wept too, even
two important personages shed tears. The President submitted, and even
postponed ringing his bell. The suppression of such an enthusiasm
would be the suppression of something sacred, as the ladies cried
afterwards. The orator himself was genuinely touched.
And it was at this moment that Ippolit Kirillovitch got up to make
certain objections. People looked at him with hatred. "What? What's
the meaning of it? He positively dares to make objections," the ladies
babbled. But if the whole world of ladies, including his wife, had
protested he could not have been stopped at that moment. He was
pale, he was shaking with emotion, his first phrases were even
unintelligible, he gasped for breath, could hardly speak clearly, lost
the thread. But he soon recovered himself. Of this new speech of his I
will quote only a few sentences.
"... I am reproached with having woven a romance. But what is this
defence if not one romance on the top of another? All that was lacking
was poetry. Fyodor Pavlovitch, while waiting for his mistress, tears
open the envelope and throws it on the floor. We are even told what he
said while engaged in this strange act. Is not this a flight of fancy?
And what proof have we that he had taken out the money? Who heard what
he said? The weak-minded idiot, Smerdyakov, transformed into a Byronic
hero, avenging society for his illegitimate birth- isn't this a
romance in the Byronic style? And the son who breaks into his father's
house and murders him without murdering him is not even a romance-
this is a sphinx setting us a riddle which he cannot solve himself. If
he murdered him, he murdered him, and what's the meaning of his
murdering him without having murdered him- who can make head or tail
of this?
"Then we are admonished that our tribune is a tribune of true
and sound ideas and from this tribune of 'sound ideas' is heard a
solemn declaration that to call the murder of a father 'parricide'
is nothing but a prejudice! But if parricide is a prejudice, and if
every child is to ask his father why he is to love him, what will
become of us? What will become of the foundations of society? What
will become of the family? Parricide, it appears, is only a bogy of
Moscow merchants' wives. The most precious, the most sacred guarantees
for the destiny and future of Russian justice are presented to us in a
perverted and frivolous form, simply to attain an object- to obtain
the justification of something which cannot be justified. 'Oh, crush
him by mercy,' cries the counsel for the defence; but that's all the
criminal wants, and to-morrow it will be seen how much he is
crushed. And is not the counsel for the defence too modest in asking
only for the acquittal of the prisoner? Why not found a charity in the
honour of the parricide to commemorate his exploit among future
generations? Religion and the Gospel are corrected- that's all
mysticism, we are told, and ours is the only true Christianity which
has been subjected to the analysis of reason and common sense. And
so they set up before us a false semblance of Christ! 'What measure ye
mete so it shall be meted unto you again,' cried the counsel for the
defence, and instantly deduces that Christ teaches us to measure as it
is measured to us and this from the tribune of truth and sound
sense! We peep into the Gospel only on the eve of making speeches,
in order to dazzle the audience by our acquaintance with what is,
anyway, a rather original composition, which may be of use to
produce a certain effect- all to serve the purpose! But what Christ
commands us is something very different: He bids us beware of doing
this, because the wicked world does this, but we ought to forgive
and to turn the other cheek, and not to measure to our persecutors
as they measure to us. This is what our God has taught us and not that
to forbid children to murder their fathers is a prejudice. And we will
not from the tribune of truth and good sense correct the Gospel of our
Lord, Whom the counsel for the defence deigns to call only 'the
crucified lover of humanity,' in opposition to all orthodox Russia,
which calls to Him, 'For Thou art our God!'"
At this the President intervened and checked the over-zealous
speaker, begging him not to exaggerate, not to overstep the bounds,
and so on, as presidents always do in such cases. The audience, too,
was uneasy. The public was restless: there were even exclamations of
indignation. Fetyukovitch did not so much as reply; he only mounted
the tribune to lay his hand on his heart and, with an offended
voice, utter a few words full of dignity. He only touched again,
lightly and ironically, on "romancing" and "psychology," and in an
appropriate place quoted, "Jupiter, you are angry, therefore you are
wrong," which provoked a burst of approving laughter in the
audience, for Ippolit Kirillovitch was by no means like Jupiter. Then,
a propos of the accusation that he was teaching the young generation
to murder their fathers, Fetyukovitch observed, with great dignity,
that he would not even answer. As for the prosecutor's charge of
uttering unorthodox opinions, Fetyukovitch hinted that it was a
personal insinuation and that he had expected in this court to be
secure from accusations "damaging to my reputation as a citizen and
a loyal subject." But at these words the President pulled him up, too,
and Fetyukovitch concluded his speech with a bow, amid a hum of
approbation in the court. And Ippolit Kirillovitch was, in the opinion
of our ladies, "crushed for good."
Then the prisoner was allowed to speak. Mitya stood up, but said
very little. He was fearfully exhausted, physically and mentally.
The look of strength and independence with which he had entered in the
morning had almost disappeared. He seemed as though he had passed
through an experience that day, which had taught him for the rest of
his life something very important he had not understood till then. His
voice was weak, he did not shout as before. In his words there was a
new note of humility, defeat and submission.
"What am I to say, gentlemen of the jury? The hour of judgment has
come for me, I feel the hand of God upon me! The end has come to an
erring man! But, before God, I repeat to you, I am innocent of my
father's blood! For the last time I repeat, it wasn't I killed him!
I was erring, but I loved what is good. Every instant I strove to
reform, but I lived like a wild beast. I thank the prosecutor, he told
me many things about myself that I did not know; but it's not true
that I killed my father, the prosecutor is mistaken. I thank my
counsel, too. I cried listening to him; but it's not true that I
killed my father, and he needn't have supposed it. And don't believe
the doctors. I am perfectly sane, only my heart is heavy. If you spare
me, if you let me go, I will pray for you. I will be a better man. I
give you my word before God I will! And if you will condemn me, I'll
break my sword over my head myself and kiss the pieces. But spare
me, do not rob me of my God! I know myself, I shall rebel! My heart is
heavy, gentlemen... spare me!"
He almost fell back in his place: his voice broke: he could hardly
articulate the last phrase. Then the judges proceeded to put the
questions and began to ask both sides to formulate their
conclusions. But I will not describe the details. At last the jury
rose to retire for consultation. The President was very tired, and
so his last charge to the jury was rather feeble. "Be impartial, don't
be influenced by the eloquence of the defence, but yet weigh the
arguments. Remember that there is a great responsibility laid upon
you," and so on and so on.
The jury withdrew and the court adjourned. People could get up,
move about, exchange their accumulated impressions, refresh themselves
at the buffet. It was very late, almost one o'clock in the night,
but nobody went away: the strain was so great that no one could
think of repose. All waited with sinking hearts; though that is,
perhaps, too much to say, for the ladies were only in a state of
hysterical impatience and their hearts were untroubled. An
acquittal, they thought, was inevitable. They all prepared
themselves for a dramatic moment of general enthusiasm. I must own
there were many among the men, too, who were convinced that an
acquittal was inevitable. Some were pleased, others frowned, while
some were simply dejected, not wanting him to be acquitted.
Fetyukovitch himself was confident of his success. He was surrounded
by people congratulating him and fawning upon him.
"There are," he said to one group, as I was told afterwards,
"there are invisible threads binding the counsel for the defence
with the jury. One feels during one's speech if they are being formed.
I was aware of them. They exist. Our cause is won. Set your mind at
"What will our peasants say now?" said one stout, cross-looking,
pock-marked gentleman, a landowner of the neighbourhood, approaching a
group of gentlemen engaged in conversation.
"But they are not all peasants. There are four government clerks
among them."
"Yes, there are clerks," said a member of the district council,
joining the group.
"And do you know that Nazaryev, the merchant with the medal, a
"What of him?"
"He is a man with brains."
"But he never speaks."
"He is no great talker, but so much the better. There's no need
for the Petersburg man to teach him: he could teach all Petersburg
himself. He's the father of twelve children. Think of that!"
"Upon my word, you don't suppose they won't acquit him?" one of
our young officials exclaimed in another group.
"They'll acquit him for certain," said a resolute voice.
"It would be shameful, disgraceful, not to acquit him cried the
official. "Suppose he did murder him- there are fathers and fathers!
And, besides, he was in such a frenzy.... He really may have done
nothing but swing the pestle in the air, and so knocked the old man
down. But it was a pity they dragged the valet in. That was simply
an absurd theory! If I'd been in Fetyukovitch's place, I should simply
have said straight out: 'He murdered him; but he is not guilty, hang
it all!'
"That's what he did, only without saying, 'Hang it all!'"
"No, Mihail Semyonovitch, he almost said that, too," put in a
third voice.
"Why, gentlemen, in Lent an actress was acquitted in our town
who had cut the throat of her lover's lawful wife."
"Oh, but she did not finish cutting it."
"That makes no difference. She began cutting it."
"What did you think of what he said about children? Splendid,
wasn't it?"
"And about mysticism, too!"
"Oh, drop mysticism, do!" cried someone else; "think of Ippolit
and his fate from this day forth. His wife will scratch his eyes out
to-morrow for Mitya's sake."
"Is she here?"
"What an idea! If she'd been here she'd have scratched them out in
court. She is at home with toothache. He he he!"
"He he he!"
In a third group:
"I dare say they will acquit Mitenka, after all."
"I should not be surprised if he turns the Metropolis upside
down to-morrow. He will be drinking for ten days!"
"Oh, the devil!"
"The devil's bound to have a hand in it. Where should he be if not
"Well, gentlemen, I admit it was eloquent. But still it's not
the thing to break your father's head with a pestle! Or what are we
coming to?"
"The chariot! Do you remember the chariot?"
"Yes; he turned a cart into a chariot!"
"And to-morrow he will turn a chariot into a cart, just to suit
his purpose."
"What cunning chaps there are nowadays! Is there any justice to be
had in Russia?"
But the bell rang. The jury deliberated for exactly an hour,
neither more nor less. A profound silence reigned in the court as soon
as the public had taken their seats. I remember how the jurymen walked
into the court. At last! I won't repeat the questions in order, and,
indeed, I have forgotten them. I remember only the answer to the
President's first and chief question: "Did the prisoner commit the
murder for the sake of robbery and with premeditation?" (I don't
remember the exact words.) There was a complete hush. The foreman of
the jury, the youngest of the clerks, pronounced, in a clear, loud
voice, amidst the deathlike stillness of the court:
"Yes, guilty!"
And the same answer was repeated to every question: "Yes, guilty!"
and without the slightest extenuating comment. This no one had
expected; almost everyone had reckoned upon a recommendation to mercy,
at least. The death-like silence in the court was not broken- all
seemed petrified: those who desired his conviction as well as those
who had been eager for his acquittal. But that was only for the
first instant, and it was followed by a fearful hubbub. Many of the
men in the audience were pleased. Some were rubbing their hands with
no attempt to conceal their joy. Those who disagreed with the
verdict seemed crushed, shrugged their shoulders, whispered, but still
seemed unable to realise this. But how shall I describe the state
the ladies were in? I thought they would create a riot. At first
they could scarcely believe their ears. Then suddenly the whole
court rang with exclamations: "What's the meaning of it? What next?"
They leapt up from their places. They seemed to fancy that it might be
at once reconsidered and reversed. At that instant Mitya suddenly
stood up and cried in a heart-rending voice, stretching his hands
out before him:
"I swear by God and the dreadful Day of Judgment I am not guilty
of my father's blood! Katya, I forgive you! Brothers, friends, have
pity on the other woman!"
He could not go on, and broke into a terrible sobbing wail that
was heard all over the court in a strange, unnatural voice unlike
his own. From the farthest corner at the back of the gallery came a
piercing shriek- it was Grushenka. She had succeeded in begging
admittance to the court again before the beginning of the lawyers'
speeches. Mitya was taken away. The passing of the sentence was
deferred till next day. The whole court was in a hubbub but I did
not wait to hear. I only remember a few exclamations I heard on the
steps as I went out.
"He'll have a twenty years' trip to the mines!"
"Not less."
"Well, our peasants have stood firm."
"And have done for our Mitya."

Chapter 1
Plans for Mitya's Escape

VERY early, at nine o'clock in the morning, five days after the
trial, Alyosha went to Katerina Ivanovna's to talk over a matter of
great importance to both of them, and to give her a message. She sat
and talked to him in the very room in which she had once received
Grushenka. In the next room Ivan Fyodorovitch lay unconscious in a
high fever. Katerina Ivanovna had immediately after the scene at the
trial ordered the sick and unconscious man to be carried to her house,
disregarding the inevitable gossip and general disapproval of the
public. One of two relations who lived with her had departed to Moscow
immediately after the scene in court, the other remained. But if
both had gone away, Katerina Ivanovna would have adhered to her
resolution, and would have gone on nursing the sick man and sitting by
him day and night. Varvinsky and Herzenstube were attending him. The
famous doctor had gone back to Moscow, refusing to give an opinion
as to the probable end of the illness. Though the doctors encouraged
Katerina Ivanovna and Alyosha, it was evident that they could not
yet give them positive hopes of recovery.
Alyosha came to see his sick brother twice a day. But this time he
had specially urgent business, and he foresaw how difficult it would
be to approach the subject, yet he was in great haste. He had
another engagement that could not be put off for that same morning,
and there was need of haste.
They had been talking for a quarter of an hour. Katerina
Ivanovna was pale and terribly fatigued, yet at the same time in a
state of hysterical excitement. She had a presentiment of the reason
why Alyosha had come to her.
"Don't worry about his decision," she said, with confident
emphasis to Alyosha. "One way or another he is bound to come to it. He
must escape. That unhappy man, that hero of honour and principle-
not he, not Dmitri Fyodorovitch, but the man lying the other side of
that door, who has sacrificed himself for his brother," Katya added,
with flashing eyes- "told me the whole plan of escape long ago. You
know he has already entered into negotiations.... I've told you
something already.... You see, it will probably come off at the
third etape from here, when the party of prisoners is being taken to
Siberia. Oh, it's a long way off yet. Ivan Fyodorovitch has already
visited the superintendent of the third etape. But we don't know yet
who will be in charge of the party, and it's impossible to find that
out so long beforehand. To-morrow, perhaps, I will show you in
detail the whole plan which Ivan Fyodorovitch left me on the eve of
the trial in case of need.... That was when- do you remember?- you
found us quarrelling. He had just gone downstairs, but seeing you I
made him come back; do you remember? Do you know what we were
quarrelling about then?"
"No, I don't," said Alyosha.
"Of course he did not tell you. It was about that plan of
escape. He had told me the main idea three days before, and we began
quarrelling about it at once and quarrelled for three days. We
quarrelled because, when he told me that if Dmitri Fyodorovitch were
convicted he would escape abroad with that creature, I felt furious at
once- I can't tell you why, I don't know myself why.... Oh, of course,
I was furious then about that creature, and that she, too, should go
abroad with Dmitri!" Katerina Ivanovna exclaimed suddenly, her lips
quivering with anger. "As soon as Ivan Fyodorovitch saw that I was
furious about that woman, he instantly imagined I was jealous of
Dmitri and that I still loved Dmitri. That is how our first quarrel
began. I would not give an explanation, I could not ask forgiveness. I
could not bear to think that such a man could suspect me of still
loving that... and when I myself had told him long before that I did
not love Dmitri, that I loved no one but him! It was only resentment
against that creature that made me angry with him. Three days later,
on the evening you came, he brought me a sealed envelope, which I
was to open at once, if anything happened to him. Oh, he foresaw his
illness! He told me that the envelope contained the details of the
escape, and that if he died or was taken dangerously ill, I was to
save Mitya alone. Then he left me money, nearly ten thousand- those
notes to which the prosecutor referred in his speech, having learnt
from someone that he had sent them to be changed. I was tremendously
impressed to find that Ivan Fyodorovitch had not given up his idea
of saving his brother, and was confiding this plan of escape to me,
though he was still jealous of me and still convinced that I loved
Mitya. Oh, that was a sacrifice! No, you cannot understand the
greatness of such self-sacrifice, Alexey Fyodorovitch. I wanted to
fall at his feet in reverence, but I thought at once that he would
take it only for my joy at the thought of Mitya's being saved (and
he certainly would have imagined that!), and I was so exasperated at
the mere possibility of such an unjust thought on his part that I lost
my temper again, and instead of kissing his feet, flew into a fury
again! Oh, I am unhappy! It's my character, my awful, unhappy
character! Oh, you will see, I shall end by driving him, too, to
abandon me for another with whom he can get on better, like Dmitri.
But... no, I could not bear it, I should kill myself. And when you
came in then, and when I called to you and told him to come back, I
was so enraged by the look of contempt and hatred he turned on me that
do you remember?- I cried out to you that it was he, he alone who
had persuaded me that his brother Dmitri was a murderer! I said that
malicious thing on purpose to wound him again. He had never, never
persuaded me that his brother was a murderer. On the contrary, it
was I who persuaded him! Oh, my vile temper was the cause of
everything! I paved the way to that hideous scene at the trial. He
wanted to show me that he was an honourable man, and that, even if I
loved his brother, he would not ruin him for revenge or jealousy. So
he came to the court... I am the cause of it all, I alone am to
Katya never had made such confessions to Alyosha before, and he
felt that she was now at that stage of unbearable suffering when
even the proudest heart painfully crushes its pride and falls
vanquished by grief. Oh, Alyosha knew another terrible reason of her
present misery, though she had carefully concealed it from him
during those days since the trial; but it would have been, for some
reason, too painful to him if she had been brought so low as to
speak to him now about that. She was suffering for her "treachery"
at the trial, and Alyosha felt that her conscience was impelling her
to confess it to him, to him, Alyosha, with tears and cries and
hysterical writhings on the floor. But he dreaded that moment and
longed to spare her. It made the commission on which he had come
even more difficult. He spoke of Mitya again.
"It's all right, it's all right, don't be anxious about him! she
began again, sharply and stubbornly. "All that is only momentary, I
know him, I know his heart only too well. You may be sure he will
consent to escape. It's not as though it would be immediately; he will
have time to make up his mind to it. Ivan Fyodorovitch will be well by
that time and will manage it all himself, so that I shall have nothing
to do with it. Don't be anxious; he will consent to run away. He has
agreed already: do you suppose he would give up that creature? And
they won't let her go to him, so he is bound to escape. It's you
he's most afraid of, he is afraid you won't approve of his escape on
moral grounds. But you must generously allow it, if your sanction is
so necessary," Katya added viciously. She paused and smiled.
"He talks about some hymn," she went on again, "some cross he
has to bear, some duty; I remember Ivan Fyodorovitch told me a great
deal about it, and if you knew how he talked! Katya cried suddenly,
with feeling she could not repress, "If you knew how he loved that
wretched man at the moment he told me, and how he hated him,
perhaps, at the same moment. And I heard his story and his tears
with sneering disdain. Brute! Yes, I am a brute. I am responsible
for his fever. But that man in prison is incapable of suffering,"
Katya concluded irritably. "Can such a man suffer? Men like him
never suffer!" There was a note of hatred and contemptuous repulsion
in her words. And yet it was she who had betrayed him. "Perhaps
because she feels how she's wronged him she hates him at moments,"
Alyosha thought to himself. He hoped that it was only "at moments." In
Katya's last words he detected a challenging note, but he did not take
it up.
"I sent for you this morning to make you promise to persuade him
yourself. Or do you, too, consider that to escape would be
dishonourable, cowardly, or something... unchristian, perhaps?"
Katya added, even more defiantly.
"Oh, no. I'll tell him everything," muttered Alyosha. "He asks you
to come and see him to-day," he blurted out suddenly, looking her
steadily in the face. She started, and drew back a little from him
on the sofa.
"Me? Can that be?" She faltered, turning pale.
"It can and ought to be!" Alyosha began emphatically, growing more
animated. "He needs you particularly just now. I would not have opened
the subject and worried you, if it were not necessary. He is ill, he
is beside himself, he keeps asking for you. It is not to be reconciled
with you that he wants you, but only that you would go and show
yourself at his door. So much has happened to him since that day. He
realises that he has injured you beyond all reckoning. He does not ask
your forgiveness- 'It's impossible to forgive me,' he says himself-
but only that you would show yourself in his doorway."
"It's so sudden..." faltered Katya. "I've had a presentiment all
these days that you would come with that message. I knew he would
ask me to come. It's impossible!"
"Let it be impossible, but do it. Only think, he realises for
the first time how he has wounded you, the first time in his life;
he had never grasped it before so fully. He said, 'If she refuses to
come I shall be unhappy all my life.' you hear? though he is condemned
to penal servitude for twenty years, he is still planning to be happy-
is not that piteous? Think- you must visit him; though he is ruined,
he is innocent," broke like a challenge from Alyosha. "His hands are
clean, there is no blood on them! For the sake of his infinite
sufferings in the future visit him now. Go, greet him on his way
into the darkness- stand at his door, that is all.... You ought to
do it, you ought to!" Alyosha concluded, laying immense stress on
the word "ought."
"I ought to... but I cannot..." Katya moaned. "He will look at
me.... I can't."
"Your eyes ought to meet. How will you live all your life, if
you don't make up your mind to do it now?"
"Better suffer all my life."
"You ought to go, you ought to go," Alyosha repeated with
merciless emphasis.
"But why to-day, why at once?... I can't leave our patient-"
"You can for a moment. It will only be a moment. If you don't
come, he will be in delirium by to-night. I would not tell you a
lie; have pity on him!"
"Have pity on me!" Katya said, with bitter reproach, and she burst
into tears.
"Then you will come," said Alyosha firmly, seeing her tears. "I'll
go and tell him you will come directly."
"No, don't tell him so on any account," cried Katya in alarm. "I
will come, but don't tell him beforehand, for perhaps I may go, but
not go in... I don't know yet-"
Her voice failed her. She gasped for breath. Alyosha got up to go.
"And what if I meet anyone?" she said suddenly, in a low voice,
turning white again.
"That's just why you must go now, to avoid meeting anyone. There
will be no one there, I can tell you that for certain. We will
expect you," he concluded emphatically, and went out of the room.
Chapter 2
For a Moment the Lie Becomes Truth

HE hurried to the hospital where Mitya was lying now. The day
after his fate was determined, Mitya had fallen ill with nervous
fever, and was sent to the prison division of the town hospital. But
at the request of several persons (Alyosha, Madame Hohlakov, Lise,
etc.), Doctor Varvinsky had put Mitya not with other prisoners, but in
a separate little room, the one where Smerdyakov had been. It is
true that there was a sentinel at the other end of the corridor, and
there was a grating over the window, so that Varvinsky could be at
ease about the indulgence he had shown, which was not quite legal,
indeed; but he was a kind-hearted and compassionate young man. He knew
how hard it would be for a man like Mitya to pass at once so
suddenly into the society of robbers and murderers, and that he must
get used to it by degrees. The visits of relations and friends were
informally sanctioned by the doctor and overseer, and even by the
police captain. But only Alyosha and Grushenka had visited Mitya.
Rakitin had tried to force his way in twice, but Mitya persistently
begged Varvinsky not to admit him.
Alyosha found him sitting on his bed in a hospital dressing
gown, rather feverish, with a towel, soaked in vinegar and water, on
his head. He looked at Alyosha as he came in with an undefined
expression, but there was a shade of something like dread
discernible in it. He had become terribly preoccupied since the trial;
sometimes he would be silent for half an hour together, and seemed
to be pondering something heavily and painfully, oblivious of
everything about him. If he roused himself from his brooding and began
to talk, he always spoke with a kind of abruptness and never of what
he really wanted to say. He looked sometimes with a face of
suffering at his brother. He seemed to be more at ease with
Grushenka than with Alyosha. It is true, he scarcely spoke to her at
all, but as soon as she came in, his whole face lighted up with joy.
Alyosha sat down beside him on the bed in silence. This time Mitya
was waiting for Alyosha in suspense, but he did not dare ask him a
question. He felt it almost unthinkable that Katya would consent to
come, and at the same time he felt that if she did not come, something
inconceivable would happen. Alyosha understood his feelings.
"Trifon Borissovitch," Mitya began nervously, "has pulled his
whole inn to pieces, I am told. He's taken up the flooring, pulled
apart the planks, split up all the gallery, I am told. He is seeking
treasure all the time- the fifteen hundred roubles which the
prosecutor said I'd hidden there. He began playing these tricks,
they say, as soon as he got home. Serve him right, the swindler! The
guard here told me yesterday; he comes from there."
"Listen," began Alyosha. "She will come, but I don't know when.
Perhaps to-day, perhaps in a few days, that I can't tell. But she will
come, she will, that's certain."
Mitya started, would have said something, but was silent. The news
had a tremendous effect on him. It was evident that he would have
liked terribly to know what had been said, but he was again afraid
to ask. Something cruel and contemptuous from Katya would have cut him
like a knife at that moment.
"This was what she said among other things; that I must be sure to
set your conscience at rest about escaping. If Ivan is not well by
then she will see to it all herself."
"You've spoken of that already," Mitya observed musingly.
"And you have repeated it to Grusha," observed Alyosha.
"Yes," Mitya admitted. "She won't come this morning." He looked
timidly at his brother. "She won't come till the evening. When I
told her yesterday that Katya was taking measures, she was silent, but
she set her mouth. She only whispered, 'Let her!' She understood
that it was important. I did not dare to try her further. She
understands now, I think, that Katya no longer cares for me, but loves
"Does she?" broke from Alyosha.
"Perhaps she does not. Only she is not coming this morning," Mitya
hastened to explain again; "I asked her to do something for me. You
know, Ivan is superior to all of us. He ought to live, not us. He will
"Would you believe it, though Katya is alarmed about him, she
scarcely doubts of his recovery," said Alyosha.
"That means that she is convinced he will die. It's because she is
frightened she's so sure he will get well."
"Ivan has a strong constitution, and I, too, believe there's every
hope that he will get well," Alyosha observed anxiously.
"Yes, he will get well. But she is convinced that he will die. She
has a great deal of sorrow to bear..." A silence followed. A grave
anxiety was fretting Mitya.
"Alyosha, I love Grusha terribly," he said suddenly in a shaking
voice, full of tears.
"They won't let her go out there to you," Alyosha put in at once.
"And there is something else I wanted tell you," Mitya went on,
with a sudden ring in his voice. "If they beat me on the way or out
there, I won't submit to it. I shall kill someone, and shall be shot
for it. And this will be going on for twenty years! They speak to me
rudely as it is. I've been lying here all night, passing judgment on
myself. I am not ready! I am not able to resign myself. I wanted to
sing a 'hymn'; but if a guard speaks rudely to me, I have not the
strength to bear it. For Grusha I would bear anything... anything
except blows.... But she won't be allowed to come there."
Alyosha smiled gently.
"Listen, brother, once for all," he said. "This is what I think
about it. And you know that I would not tell you a lie. Listen: you
are not ready, and such a cross is not for you. What's more, you don't
need such a martyr's cross when you are not ready for it. If you had
murdered our father, it would grieve me that you should reject your
punishment. But you are innocent, and such a cross is too much for
you. You wanted to make yourself another man by suffering. I say, only
remember that other man always, all your life and wherever you go; and
that will be enough for you. Your refusal of that great cross will
only serve to make you feel all your life even greater duty, and
that constant feeling will do more to make you a new man, perhaps,
than if you went there. For there you would not endure it and would
repine, and perhaps at last would say: 'I am quits.' The lawyer was
right about that. Such heavy burdens are not for all men. For some
they are impossible. These are my thoughts about it, if you want
them so much. If other men would have to answer for your escape,
officers or soldiers, then I would not have 'allowed' you," smiled
Alyosha. "But they declare- the superintendent of that etape* told
Ivan himself- that if it's well managed there will be no great
inquiry, and that they can get off easily. Of course, bribing is
dishonest even in such a case, but I can't undertake to judge about
it, because if Ivan and Katya commissioned me to act for you, I know I
should go and give bribes. I must tell you the truth. And so I can't
judge of your own action. But let me assure you that I shall never
condemn you. And it would be a strange thing if I could judge you in
this. Now I think I've gone into everything."

* Stockade.

"But I do condemn myself!" cried Mitya. "I shall escape, that
was settled apart from you; could Mitya Karamazov do anything but
run away? But I shall condemn myself, and I will pray for my sin for
ever. That's how the Jesuits talk, isn't it? Just as we are doing?"
"Yes." Alyosha smiled gently.
"I love you for always telling the whole truth and never hiding
anything," cried Mitya, with a joyful laugh. "So I've caught my
Alyosha being Jesuitical. I must kiss you for that. Now listen to
the rest; I'll open the other side of my heart to you. This is what
I planned and decided. If I run away, even with money and a
passport, and even to America, I should be cheered up by the thought
that I am not running away for pleasure, not for happiness, but to
another exile as bad, perhaps, as Siberia. It is as bad, Alyosha, it
is! I hate that America, damn it, already. Even though Grusha will
be with me. Just look at her; is she an American? She is Russian,
Russian to the marrow of her bones; she will be homesick for the
mother country, and I shall see every hour that she is suffering for
my sake, that she has taken up that cross for me. And what harm has
she done? And how shall I, too, put up with the rabble out there,
though they may be better than I, every one of them? I hate that
America already! And though they may be wonderful at machinery,
every one of them, damn them, they are not of my soul. I love
Russia, Alyosha, I love the Russian God, though I am a scoundrel
myself. I shall choke there!" he exclaimed, his eyes suddenly
flashing. His voice was trembling with tears. "So this is what I've
decided, Alyosha, listen," he began again, mastering his emotion.
"As soon as I arrive there with Grusha, we will set to work at once on
the land, in solitude, somewhere very remote, with wild bears. There
must be some remote parts even there. I am told there are still
Redskins there, somewhere, on the edge of the horizon. So to the
country of the Last of the Mohicans, and there we'll tackle the
grammar at once, Grusha and I. Work and grammar- that's how we'll
spend three years. And by that time we shall speak English like any
Englishman. And as soon as we've learnt it- good-bye to America! We'll
run here to Russia as American citizens. Don't be uneasy- we would not
come to this little town. We'd hide somewhere, a long way off, in
the north or in the south. I shall be changed by that time, and she
will, too, in America. The doctors shall make me some sort of wart
on my face- what's the use of their being so mechanical!- or else I'll
put out one eye, let my beard grow a yard, and I shall turn grey,
fretting for Russia. I dare say they won't recognise us. And if they
do, let them send us to Siberia- I don't care. It will show it's our
fate. We'll work on the land here, too, somewhere in the wilds, and
I'll make up as an American all my life. But we shall die on our own
soil. That's my plan, and it shan't be altered. Do you approve?"
"Yes," said Alyosha, not wanting to contradict him. Mitya paused
for a minute and said suddenly:
"And how they worked it up at the trial! Didn't they work it up!"
"If they had not, you would have been convicted just the same,"
said Alyosha, with a sigh.
"Yes, people are sick of me here! God bless them, but it's
hard," Mitya moaned miserably. Again there was silence for a minute.
"Alyosha, put me out of my misery at once!" he exclaimed suddenly.
"Tell me, is she coming now, or not? Tell me? What did she say? How
did she say it?"
"She said she would come, but I don't know whether she will come
to-day. It's hard for her, you know," Alyosha looked timidly at his
"I should think it is hard for her! Alyosha, it will drive me
out of my mind. Grusha keeps looking at me. She understands. My God,
calm my heart: what is it I want? I want Katya! Do I understand what I
want? It's the headstrong, evil Karamazov spirit! No, I am not fit for
suffering. I am a scoundrel, that's all one can say."
"Here she is!" cried Alyosha.
At that instant Katya appeared in the doorway. For a moment she
stood still, gazing at Mitya with a dazed expression. He leapt
pulsively to his feet, and a scared look came into his face. He turned
pale, but a timid, pleading smile appeared on his lips at once, and
with an irresistible impulse he held out both hands to Katya. Seeing
it, she flew impetuously to him. She seized him by the hands, and
almost by force made him sit down on the bed. She sat down beside him,
and still keeping his hands pressed them violently. Several times they
both strove to speak, but stopped short and again gazed speechless
with a strange smile, their eyes fastened on one another. So passed
two minutes.
"Have you forgiven me?" Mitya faltered at last, and at the same
moment turning to Alyosha, his face working with joy, he cried, "Do
you hear what I am asking, do you hear?"
"That's what I loved you for, that you are generous at heart!"
broke from Katya. "My forgiveness is no good to you, nor yours to
me; whether you forgive me or not, you will always be a sore place
in my heart, and I in yours- so it must be...." She stopped to take
breath. "What have I come for?" she began again with nervous haste:
"to embrace your feet, to press your hands like this, till it hurts-
you remember how in Moscow I used to squeeze them- to tell you again
that you are my god, my joy, to tell you that I love you madly," she
moaned in anguish, and suddenly pressed his hand greedily to her lips.
Tears streamed from her eyes. Alyosha stood speechless and confounded;
he had never expected what he was seeing.
"Love is over, Mitya!" Katya began again, "But the past is
painfully dear to me. Know that you will always be so. But now let
what might have been come true for one minute," she faltered, with a
drawn smile, looking into his face joyfully again. "You love another
woman, and I love another man, and yet I shall love you for ever,
and you will love me; do you know that? Do you hear? Love me, love
me all your life!" she cried, with a quiver almost of menace in her
"I shall love you, and... do you know, Katya," Mitya began,
drawing a deep breath at each word, "do you know, five days ago,
that same evening, I loved you.... When you fell down and were carried
out... All my life! So it will be, so it will always be-"
So they murmured to one another frantic words, almost meaningless,
perhaps not even true, but at that moment it was all true, and they
both believed what they said implicitly.
"Katya," cried Mitya suddenly, "do you believe I murdered him? I
know you don't believe it now, but then... when you gave
evidence.... Surely, surely you did not believe it!"
"I did not believe it even then. I've never believed it. I hated
you, and for a moment I persuaded myself. While I was giving
evidence I persuaded myself and believed it, but when I'd finished
speaking I left off believing it at once. Don't doubt that! I have
forgotten that I came here to punish myself," she said, with a new
expression in her voice, quite unlike the loving tones of a moment
"Woman, yours is a heavy burden," broke, as it were, involuntarily
from Mitya.
"Let me go," she whispered. "I'll come again. It's more than I can
bear now."
She was getting up from her place, but suddenly uttered a loud
scream and staggered back. Grushenka walked suddenly and noiselessly
into the room. No one had expected her. Katya moved swiftly to the
door, but when she reached Grushenka, she stopped suddenly, turned
as white as chalk and moaned softly, almost in a whisper:
"Forgive me!"
Grushenka stared at her and, pausing for an instant, in a
vindictive, venomous voice, answered:
"We are full of hatred, my girl, you and I! We are both full of
hatred! As though we could forgive one another! Save him, and I'll
worship you all my life."
"You won't forgive her!" cried Mitya, with frantic reproach.
"Don't be anxious, I'll save him for you!" Katya whispered
rapidly, and she ran out of the room.
"And you could refuse to forgive her when she begged your
forgiveness herself?' Mitya exclaimed bitterly again.
"Mitya, don't dare to blame her; you have no right to!" Alyosha
cried hotly.
"Her proud lips spoke, not her heart," Grushenka brought out in
a tone of disgust. "If she saves you I'll forgive her everything-"
She stopped speaking, as though suppressing something. She could
not yet recover herself. She had come in, as appeared afterwards,
accidentally, with no suspicion of what she would meet.
"Alyosha, run after her!" Mitya cried to his brother; "tell her...
I don't know... don't let her go away like this!"
"I'll come to you again at nightfall," said Alyosha, and he ran
after Katya. He overtook her outside the hospital grounds. She walking
fast, but as soon as Alyosha caught her up she said quickly:
"No, before that woman I can't punish myself! I asked her
forgiveness because I wanted to punish myself to the bitter end. She
would not forgive me.... I like her for that!" she added, in an
unnatural voice, and her eyes flashed with fierce resentment.
"My brother did not expect this in the least," muttered Alyosha.
"He was sure she would not come-"
"No doubt. Let us leave that," she snapped. "Listen: I can't go
with you to the funeral now. I've sent them flowers. I think they
still have money. If necessary, tell them I'll never abandon
them.... Now leave me, leave me, please. You are late as it is- the
bells are ringing for the service.... Leave me, please!"
Chapter 3
Ilusha's Funeral. The Speech at the Stone

HE really was late. They had waited for him and had already
decided to bear the pretty flower-decked little coffin to the church
without him. It was the coffin of poor little Ilusha. He had died
two days after Mitya was sentenced. At the gate of the house Alyosha
was met by the shouts of the boys, Ilusha's schoolfellows. They had
all been impatiently expecting him and were glad that he had come at
last. There were about twelve of them, they all had their
school-bags or satchels on their shoulders. "Father will cry, be
with father," Ilusha had told them as he lay dying, and the boys
remembered it. Kolya Krassotkin was the foremost of them.
"How glad I am you've come, Karamazov!" he cried, holding out
his hand to Alyosha. "It's awful here. It's really horrible to see it.
Snegiryov is not drunk, we know for a fact he's had nothing to drink
to-day, but he seems as if he were drunk... I am always manly, but
this is awful. Karamazov, if I am not keeping you, one question before
you go in?"
"What is it, Kolya?" said Alyosha.
"Is your brother innocent or guilty? Was it he killed your
father or was it the valet? As you say, so it will be. I haven't slept
for the last four nights for thinking of it."
"The valet killed him, my brother is innocent," answered Alyosha.
"That's what I said," cried Smurov.
"So he will perish an innocent victim!" exclaimed Kolya; "though
he is ruined he is happy! I could envy him!"
"What do you mean? How can you? Why?" cried Alyosha surprised.
"Oh, if I, too, could sacrifice myself some day for truth!" said
Kolya with enthusiasm.
"But not in such a cause, not with such disgrace and such horrer!"
said Alyosha.
"Of course... I should like to die for all humanity, and as for
disgrace, I don't care about that- our names may perish. I respect
your brother!"
"And so do I!" the boy, who had once declared that he knew who had
founded Troy, cried suddenly and unexpectedly, and he blushed up to
his ears like a peony as he had done on that occasion.
Alyosha went into the room. Ilusha lay with his hands folded and
his eyes closed in a blue coffin with a white frill round it. His thin
face was hardly changed at all, and strange to say there was no
smell of decay from the corpse. The expression of his face was serious
and, as it were, thoughtful. His hands, crossed over his breast,
looked particularly beautiful, as though chiselled in marble. There
were flowers in his hands and the coffin, with flowers, which had been
sent early in the morning by Lise Hohlakov. But there were flowers too
from Katerina Ivanovna, and when Alyosha opened the door, the
captain had a bunch in his trembling hands and was strewing them again
over his dear boy. He scarcely glanced at Alyosha when he came in, and
he would not look at anyone, even at his crazy weeping wife,
"mamma," who kept trying to stand on her crippled legs to get a nearer
look at her dead boy. Nina had been pushed in her chair by the boys
close up to the coffin. She sat with her head pressed to it and she
too was no doubt quietly weeping. Snegiryov's face looked eager, yet
bewildered and exasperated. There was something crazy about his
gestures and the words that broke from him. "Old man, dear old man!"
he exclaimed every minute, gazing at Ilusha. It was his habit to
call Ilusha "old man," as a term of affection when he was alive.
"Father, give me a flower, too; take that white one out of his
hand and give it me," the crazy mother begged, whimpering. Either
because the little white rose in Ilusha's hand had caught her fancy or
that she wanted one from his hand to keep in memory of him, she
moved restlessly, stretching out her hands for the flower.
"I won't give it to anyone, I won't give you anything,"
Snegiryov cried callously. "They are his flowers, not yours!
Everything is his, nothing is yours!"
"Father, give mother a flower!" said Nina, lifting her face wet
with tears.
"I won't give away anything and to her less than anyone! She
didn't love Ilusha. She took away his little cannon and he gave it
to her," the captain broke into loud sobs at the thought of how Ilusha
had given up his cannon to his mother. The poor, crazy creature was
bathed in noiseless tears, hiding her face in her hands.
The boys, seeing that the father would not leave the coffin and
that it was time to carry it out, stood round it in a close circle and
began to lift it up.
"I don't want him to be buried in the churchyard," Snegiryov
wailed suddenly; "I'll bury him by the stone, by our stone! Ilusha
told me to. I won't let him be carried out!" He had been saying for
the last three days that he would bury him by the stone, but
Alyosha, Krassotkin, the landlady, her sister and all the boys
"What an idea, bury him by an unholy stone, as though he had
hanged himself!" the old landlady said sternly. "There in the
churchyard the ground has been crossed. He'll be prayed for there. One
can hear the singing in church and the deacon reads so plainly and
verbally that it will reach him every time just as though it were read
over his grave."
At last the captain made a gesture of despair as though to say,
"Take him where you will." The boys raised the coffin, but as they
passed the mother, they stopped for a moment and lowered it that she
might say good-bye to Ilusha. But on seeing that precious little face,
which for the last three days she had only looked at from a
distance, she trembled all over and her grey head began twitching
spasmodically over the coffin.
"Mother, make the sign of the cross over him, give him your
blessing, kiss him," Nina cried to her. But her head still twitched
like an automaton and with a face contorted with bitter grief she
began, without a word, beating her breast with her fist. They
carried the coffin past her. Nina pressed her lips to her brother's
for the last time as they bore the coffin by her. As Alyosha went
out of the house he begged the landlady to look after those who were
left behind, but she interrupted him before he had finished.
"To be sure, I'll stay with them, we are Christians, too." The old
woman wept as she said it.
They had not far to carry the coffin to the church, not more
than three hundred paces. It was a still, clear day, with a slight
frost. The church bells were still ringing. Snegiryov ran fussing
and distracted after the coffin, in his short old summer overcoat,
with his head bare and his soft, old, wide-brimmed hat in his hand. He
seemed in a state of bewildered anxiety. At one minute he stretched
out his hand to support the head of the coffin and only hindered the
bearers, at another he ran alongside and tried to find a place for
himself there. A flower fell on the snow and he rushed to pick it up
as though everything in the world depended on the loss of that flower.
"And the crust of bread, we've forgotten the crust!" he cried
suddenly in dismay. But the boys reminded him at once that he had
taken the crust of bread already and that it was in his pocket. He
instantly pulled it out and was reassured.
"Ilusha told me to, Ilusha," he explained at once to Alyosha. "I
was sitting by him one night and he suddenly told me: 'Father, when my
grave is filled up crumble a piece of bread on it so that the sparrows
may fly down; I shall hear and it will cheer me up not to be lying
"That's a good thing," said Alyosha, "we must often take some."
"Every day, every day!" said the captain quickly, seeming
cheered at the thought.
They reached the church at last and set the coffin in the middle
of it. The boys surrounded it and remained reverently standing so, all
through the service. It was an old and rather poor church; many of the
ikons were without settings; but such churches are the best for
praying in. During the mass Snegiryov became somewhat calmer, though
at times he had outbursts of the same unconscious and, as it were,
incoherent anxiety. At one moment he went up to the coffin to set
straight the cover or the wreath, when a candle fell out of the
candlestick he rushed to replace it and was a fearful time fumbling
over it, then he subsided and stood quietly by the coffin with a
look of blank uneasiness and perplexity. After the Epistle he suddenly
whispered to Alyosha, who was standing beside him, that the Epistle
had not been read properly but did not explain what he meant. During
the prayer, "Like the Cherubim," he joined in the singing but did
not go on to the end. Falling on his knees, he pressed his forehead to
the stone floor and lay so for a long while.
At last came the funeral service itself and candles were
distributed. The distracted father began fussing about again, but
the touching and impressive funeral prayers moved and roused his soul.
He seemed suddenly to shrink together and broke into rapid, short
sobs, which he tried at first to smother, but at last he sobbed aloud.
When they began taking leave of the dead and closing the coffin, he
flung his arms about, as though he would not allow them to cover
Ilusha, and began greedily and persistently kissing his dead boy on
the lips. At last they succeeded in persuading him to come away from
the step, but suddenly he impulsively stretched out his hand and
snatched a few flowers from the coffin. He looked at them and a new
idea seemed to dawn upon him, so that he apparently forgot his grief
for a minute. Gradually he seemed to sink into brooding and did not
resist when the coffin was lifted up and carried to the grave. It
was an expensive one in the churchyard close to the church, Katerina
Ivanovna had paid for it. After the customary rites the
grave-diggers lowered the coffin. Snegiryov with his flowers in his
hands bent down so low over the open grave that the boys caught hold
of his coat in alarm and pulled him back. He did not seem to
understand fully what was happening. When they began filling up the
grave, he suddenly pointed anxiously at the falling earth and began
trying to say something, but no one could make out what he meant,
and he stopped suddenly. Then he was reminded that he must crumble the
bread and he was awfully excited, snatched up the bread and began
pulling it to pieces- and flinging the morsels on the grave.
"Come, fly down, birds, fly down, sparrows!" he muttered
One of the boys observed that it was awkward for him to crumble
the bread with the flowers in his hands and suggested he should give
them to someone to hold for a time. But he would not do this and
seemed indeed suddenly alarmed for his flowers, as though they
wanted to take them from him altogether. And after looking at the
grave, and as it were, satisfying himself that everything had been
done and the bread had been crumbled, he suddenly, to the surprise
of everyone, turned, quite composedly even, and made his way
homewards. But his steps became more and more hurried, he almost
ran. The boys and Alyosha kept up with him.
"The flowers are for mamma, the flowers are for mamma! I was
unkind to mamma," he began exclaiming suddenly.
Someone called to him to put on his hat as it was cold. But he
flung the hat in the snow as though he were angry and kept
repeating, "I won't have the hat, I won't have the hat." Smurov picked
it up and carried it after him. All the boys were crying, and Kolya
and the boy who discovered about Troy most of all. Though Smurov, with
the captain's hat in his hand, was crying bitterly too, he managed, as
he ran, to snatch up a piece of red brick that lay on the snow of
the path, to fling it at the flock of sparrows that was flying by.
He missed them, of course, and went on crying as he ran. Half-way,
Snegiryov suddenly stopped, stood still for half a minute, as though
struck by something, and suddenly turning back to the church, ran
towards the deserted grave. But the boys instantly overtook him and
caught hold of him on all sides. Then he fell helpless on the snow
as though he had been knocked down, and struggling, sobbing, and
wailing, he began crying out, "Ilusha, old man, dear old man!" Alyosha
and Kolya tried to make him get up, soothing and persuading him.
"Captain, give over, a brave man must show fortitude," muttered
"You'll spoil the flowers," said Alyosha, and mamma is expecting
them, she is sitting crying because you would not give her any before.
Ilusha's little bed is still there-"
"Yes, yes, mamma!" Snegiryov suddenly recollected, "they'll take
away the bed, they'll take it away," he added as though alarmed that
they really would. He jumped up and ran homewards again. But it was
not far off and they all arrived together. Snegiryov opened the door
hurriedly and called to his wife with whom he had so cruelly
quarrelled just before:
"Mamma, poor crippled darling, Ilusha has sent you these flowers,"
he cried, holding out to her a little bunch of flowers that had been
frozen and broken while he was struggling in the snow. But at that
instant he saw in the corner, by the little bed, Ilusha's little
boots, which the landlady had put tidily side by side. Seeing the old,
patched, rusty-looking, stiff boots he flung up his hands and rushed
to them, fell on his knees, snatched up one boot and, pressing his
lips to it, began kissing it greedily, crying, "Ilusha, old man,
dear old man, where are your little feet?"
"Where have you taken him away? Where have you taken him?" the
lunatic cried in a heart-rending voice. Nina, too, broke into sobs.
Kolya ran out of the room, the boys followed him. At last Alyosha
too went out.
"Let them weep," he said to Kolya, "it's no use trying to
comfort them just now. Let wait a minute and then go back."
"No, it's no use, it's awful," Kolya assented. "Do you know,
Karamazov," he dropped his voice so that no one could hear them, "I
feel dreadfully sad, and if it were only possible to bring him back,
I'd give anything in the world to do it."
"Ah, so would I," said Alyosha.
"What do you think, Karamazov? Had we better come back here
to-night? He'll be drunk, you know."
"Perhaps he will. Let us come together, you and I, that will be
enough, to spend an hour with them, with the mother and Nina. If we
all come together we shall remind them of everything again," Alyosha
"The landlady is laying the table for them now- there'll be a
funeral dinner or something, the priest is coming; shall we go back to
it, Karamazov?"
"Of course," said Alyosha.
"It's all so strange, Karamazov, such sorrow and then pancakes
after it, it all seems so unnatural in our religion."
"They are going to have salmon, too," the boy who had discovered
about Troy observed in a loud voice.
"I beg you most earnestly, Kartashov, not to interrupt again
with your idiotic remarks, especially when one is not talking to you
and doesn't care to know whether you exist or not!" Kolya snapped
out irritably. The boy flushed crimson but did not dare to reply.
Meantime they were strolling slowly along the path and suddenly
Smurov exclaimed:
"There's Ilusha's stone, under which they wanted to bury him."
They all stood still by the big stone. Alyosha looked and the
whole picture of what Snegiryov had described to him that day, how
Ilusha, weeping and hugging his father, had cried, "Father, father,
how he insulted you," rose at once before his imagination. A sudden
impulse seemed to come into his soul. With a serious and earnest
expression he looked from one to another of the bright, pleasant faces
of Ilusha's schoolfellows, and suddenly said to them:
"Boys, I should like to say one word to you, here at this place."
The boys stood round him and at once bent attentive and
expectant eyes upon him.
"Boys, we shall soon part. I shall be for some time with my two
brothers, of whom one is going to Siberia and the other is lying at
death's door. But soon I shall leave this town, perhaps for a long
time, so we shall part. Let us make a compact here, at Ilusha's stone,
that we will never forget Ilusha and one another.
And whatever happens to us later in life, if we don't meet for
twenty years afterwards, let us always remember how we buried the poor
boy at whom we once threw stones, do you remember, by the bridge?
and afterwards we all grew so fond of him. He was a fine boy, a
kindhearted, brave boy, he felt for his father's honour and resented
the cruel insult to him and stood up for him. And so in the first
place, we will remember him, boys, all our lives. And even if we are
occupied with most important things, if we attain to honour or fall
into great misfortune- still let us remember how good it was once
here, when we were all together, united by a good and kind feeling
which made us, for the time we were loving that poor boy, better
perhaps than we are. My little doves let me call you so, for you are
very like them, those pretty blue birds, at this minute as I look at
your good dear faces. My dear children, perhaps you won't understand
what I am saying to you, because I often speak very unintelligibly,
but you'll remember all the same and will agree with my words some
time. You must know that there is nothing higher and stronger and more
wholesome and good for life in the future than some good memory,
especially a memory of childhood, of home. People talk to you a
great deal about your education, but some good, sacred memory,
preserved from childhood, is perhaps the best education. If a man
carries many such memories with him into life, he is safe to the end
of his days, and if one has only one good memory left in one's
heart, even that may sometime be the means of saving us. Perhaps we
may even grow wicked later on, may be unable to refrain from a bad
action, may laugh at men's tears and at those people who say as
Kolya did just now, 'I want to suffer for all men,' and may even
jeer spitefully at such people. But however bad we may become- which
God forbid- yet, when we recall how we buried Ilusha, how we loved him
in his last days, and how we have been talking like friends all
together, at this stone, the cruellest and most mocking of us- if we
do become so will not dare to laugh inwardly at having been kind and
good at this moment! What's more, perhaps, that one memory may keep
him from great evil and he will reflect and say, 'Yes, I was good
and brave and honest then!' Let him laugh to himself, that's no
matter, a man often laughs at what's good and kind. That's only from
thoughtlessness. But I assure you, boys, that as he laughs he will say
at once in his heart, 'No, I do wrong to laugh, for that's not a thing
to laugh at.'
"That will be so, I understand you, Karamazov!" cried Kolya,
with flashing eyes.
The boys were excited and they, too, wanted to say something,
but they restrained themselves, looking with intentness and emotion at
the speaker.
"I say this in case we become bad," Alyosha went on, "but
there's no reason why we should become bad, is there, boys? Let us be,
first and above all, kind, then honest and then let us never forget
each other! I say that again. I give you my word for my part that I'll
never forget one of you. Every face looking at me now I shall remember
even for thirty years. Just now Kolya said to Kartashov that we did
not care to know whether he exists or not. But I cannot forget that
Kartashov exists and that he is not blushing now as he did when he
discovered the founders of Troy, but is looking at me with his
jolly, kind, dear little eyes. Boys, my dear boys, let us all be
generous and brave like Ilusha, clever, brave and generous like
Kolya (though he will be ever so much cleverer when he is grown up),
and let us all be as modest, as clever and sweet as Kartashov. But why
am I talking about those two? You are all dear to me, boys; from
this day forth, I have a place in my heart for you all, and I beg
you to keep a place in your hearts for me! Well, and who has united us
in this kind, good feeling which we shall remember and intend to
remember all our lives? Who, if not Ilusha, the good boy, the dear
boy, precious to us for ever! Let us never forget him. May his
memory live for ever in our hearts from this time forth!"
"Yes, yes, for ever, for ever!" the boys cried in their ringing
voices, with softened faces.
"Let us remember his face and his clothes and his poor little
boots, his coffin and his unhappy, sinful father, and how boldly he
stood up for him alone against the whole school."
"We will remember, we will remember," cried the boys. "He was
brave, he was good!"
"Ah, how I loved him!" exclaimed Kolya.
"Ah, children, ah, dear friends, don't be afraid of life! How good
life is when one does something good and just!"
"Yes, yes," the boys repeated enthusiastically.
"Karamazov, we love you!" a voice, probably Kartashov's, cried
"We love you, we love you!" they all caught it up. There were
tears in the eyes of many of them.
"Hurrah for Karamazov!" Kolya shouted ecstatically.
"And may the dead boy's memory live for ever!" Alyosha added again
with feeling.
"For ever!" the boys chimed in again.
"Karamazov," cried Kolya, "can it be true what's taught us in
religion, that we shall all rise again from the dead and shall live
and see each other again, all, Ilusha too?"
"Certainly we shall all rise again, certainly we shall see each
other and shall tell each other with joy and gladness all that has
happened!" Alyosha answered, half laughing, half enthusiastic.
"Ah, how splendid it will be!" broke from Kolya.
"Well, now we will finish talking and go to his funeral dinner.
Don't be put out at our eating pancakes- it's a very old custom and
there's something nice in that!" laughed Alyosha. "Well, let us go!
And now we go hand in hand."
"And always so, all our lives hand in hand! Hurrah for Karamazov!"
Kolya cried once more rapturously, and once more the boys took up
his exclamation:
"Hurrah for Karamazov!"


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