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Chapter 1

  • The morning that followed the fateful interview with Dounia and her mothe_rought sobering influences to bear on Pyotr Petrovitch. Intensely unpleasan_s it was, he was forced little by little to accept as a fact beyond recal_hat had seemed to him only the day before fantastic and incredible. The blac_nake of wounded vanity had been gnawing at his heart all night. When he go_ut of bed, Pyotr Petrovitch immediately looked in the looking-glass. He wa_fraid that he had jaundice. However his health seemed unimpaired so far, an_ooking at his noble, clear-skinned countenance which had grown fattish o_ate, Pyotr Petrovitch for an instant was positively comforted in th_onviction that he would find another bride and, perhaps, even a better one.
  • But coming back to the sense of his present position, he turned aside and spa_igorously, which excited a sarcastic smile in Andrey Semyonovitc_ebeziatnikov, the young friend with whom he was staying. That smile Pyot_etrovitch noticed, and at once set it down against his young friend'_ccount. He had set down a good many points against him of late. His anger wa_edoubled when he reflected that he ought not to have told Andrey Semyonovitc_bout the result of yesterday's interview. That was the second mistake he ha_ade in temper, through impulsiveness and irritability… . Moreover, all tha_orning one unpleasantness followed another. He even found a hitch awaitin_im in his legal case in the senate. He was particularly irritated by th_wner of the flat which had been taken in view of his approaching marriage an_as being redecorated at his own expense; the owner, a rich German tradesman, would not entertain the idea of breaking the contract which had just bee_igned and insisted on the full forfeit money, though Pyotr Petrovitch woul_e giving him back the flat practically redecorated. In the same way th_pholsterers refused to return a single rouble of the instalment paid for th_urniture purchased but not yet removed to the flat.
  • "Am I to get married simply for the sake of the furniture?" Pyotr Petrovitc_round his teeth and at the same time once more he had a gleam of desperat_ope. "Can all that be really so irrevocably over? Is it no use to mak_nother effort?" The thought of Dounia sent a voluptuous pang through hi_eart. He endured anguish at that moment, and if it had been possible to sla_askolnikov instantly by wishing it, Pyotr Petrovitch would promptly hav_ttered the wish.
  • "It was my mistake, too, not to have given them money," he thought, as h_eturned dejectedly to Lebeziatnikov's room, "and why on earth was I such _ew? It was false economy! I meant to keep them without a penny so that the_hould turn to me as their providence, and look at them! foo! If I'd spen_ome fifteen hundred roubles on them for the trousseau and presents, on knick- knacks, dressing-cases, jewellery, materials, and all that sort of trash fro_nopp's and the English shop, my position would have been better and … stronger! They could not have refused me so easily! They are the sort o_eople that would feel bound to return money and presents if they broke i_ff; and they would find it hard to do it! And their conscience would pric_hem: how can we dismiss a man who has hitherto been so generous an_elicate?… . H'm! I've made a blunder."
  • And grinding his teeth again, Pyotr Petrovitch called himself a fool— but no_loud, of course.
  • He returned home, twice as irritated and angry as before. The preparations fo_he funeral dinner at Katerina Ivanovna's excited his curiosity as he passed.
  • He had heard about it the day before; he fancied, indeed, that he had bee_nvited, but absorbed in his own cares he had paid no attention. Inquiring o_adame Lippevechsel who was busy laying the table while Katerina Ivanovna wa_way at the cemetery, he heard that the entertainment was to be a grea_ffair, that all the lodgers had been invited, among them some who had no_nown the dead man, that even Andrey Semyonovitch Lebeziatnikov was invited i_pite of his previous quarrel with Katerina Ivanovna, that he, Pyot_etrovitch, was not only invited, but was eagerly expected as he was the mos_mportant of the lodgers. Amalia Ivanovna herself had been invited with grea_eremony in spite of the recent unpleasantness, and so she was very busy wit_reparations and was taking a positive pleasure in them; she was moreove_ressed up to the nines, all in new black silk, and she was proud of it. Al_his suggested an idea to Pyotr Petrovitch and he went into his room, o_ather Lebeziatnikov's, somewhat thoughtful. He had learnt that Raskolniko_as to be one of the guests.
  • Andrey Semyonovitch had been at home all the morning. The attitude of Pyot_etrovitch to this gentleman was strange, though perhaps natural. Pyot_etrovitch had despised and hated him from the day he came to stay with hi_nd at the same time he seemed somewhat afraid of him. He had not come to sta_ith him on his arrival in Petersburg simply from parsimony, though that ha_een perhaps his chief object. He had heard of Andrey Semyonovitch, who ha_nce been his ward, as a leading young progressive who was taking an importan_art in certain interesting circles, the doings of which were a legend in th_rovinces. It had impressed Pyotr Petrovitch. These powerful omniscien_ircles who despised everyone and showed everyone up had long inspired in hi_ peculiar but quite vague alarm. He had not, of course, been able to for_ven an approximate notion of what they meant. He, like everyone, had hear_hat there were, especially in Petersburg, progressives of some sort, nihilists and so on, and, like many people, he exaggerated and distorted th_ignificance of those words to an absurd degree. What for many years past h_ad feared more than anything was being shown up and this was the chief groun_or his continual uneasiness at the thought of transferring his business t_etersburg. He was afraid of this as little children are sometimes panic- stricken. Some years before, when he was just entering on his own career, h_ad come upon two cases in which rather important personages in the province, patrons of his, had been cruelly shown up. One instance had ended in grea_candal for the person attacked and the other had very nearly ended in seriou_rouble. For this reason Pyotr Petrovitch intended to go into the subject a_oon as he reached Petersburg and, if necessary, to anticipate contingencie_y seeking the favour of "our younger generation." He relied on Andre_emyonovitch for this and before his visit to Raskolnikov he had succeeded i_icking up some current phrases. He soon discovered that Andrey Semyonovitc_as a commonplace simpleton, but that by no means reassured Pyotr Petrovitch.
  • Even if he had been certain that all the progressives were fools like him, i_ould not have allayed his uneasiness. All the doctrines, the ideas, th_ystems, with which Andrey Semyonovitch pestered him had no interest for him.
  • He had his own object—he simply wanted to find out at once what was happenin_ere. Had these people any power or not? Had he anything to fear from them?
  • Would they expose any enterprise of his? And what precisely was now the objec_f their attacks? Could he somehow make up to them and get round them if the_eally were powerful? Was this the thing to do or not? Couldn't he gai_omething through them? In fact hundreds of questions presented themselves.
  • Andrey Semyonovitch was an anæmic, scrofulous little man, with strangel_laxen mutton-chop whiskers of which he was very proud. He was a clerk and ha_lmost always something wrong with his eyes. He was rather soft-hearted, bu_elf-confident and sometimes extremely conceited in speech, which had a_bsurd effect, incongruous with his little figure. He was one of the lodger_ost respected by Amalia Ivanovna, for he did not get drunk and paid regularl_or his lodgings. Andrey Semyonovitch really was rather stupid; he attache_imself to the cause of progress and "our younger generation" from enthusiasm.
  • He was one of the numerous and varied legion of dullards, of half-animat_bortions, conceited, half-educated coxcombs, who attach themselves to th_dea most in fashion only to vulgarise it and who caricature every cause the_erve, however sincerely.
  • Though Lebeziatnikov was so good-natured, he, too, was beginning to dislik_yotr Petrovitch. This happened on both sides unconsciously. However simpl_ndrey Semyonovitch might be, he began to see that Pyotr Petrovitch was dupin_im and secretly despising him, and that "he was not the right sort of man."
  • He had tried expounding to him the system of Fourier and the Darwinian theory, but of late Pyotr Petrovitch began to listen too sarcastically and even to b_ude. The fact was he had begun instinctively to guess that Lebeziatnikov wa_ot merely a commonplace simpleton, but, perhaps, a liar, too, and that he ha_o connections of any consequence even in his own circle, but had simpl_icked things up third-hand; and that very likely he did not even know muc_bout his own work of propaganda, for he was in too great a muddle. A fin_erson he would be to show anyone up! It must be noted, by the way, that Pyot_etrovitch had during those ten days eagerly accepted the strangest prais_rom Andrey Semyonovitch; he had not protested, for instance, when Andre_emyonovitch belauded him for being ready to contribute to the establishmen_f the new "commune," or to abstain from christening his future children, o_o acquiesce if Dounia were to take a lover a month after marriage, and so on.
  • Pyotr Petrovitch so enjoyed hearing his own praises that he did not disdai_ven such virtues when they were attributed to him.
  • Pyotr Petrovitch had had occasion that morning to realise some five- per-cen_onds and now he sat down to the table and counted over bundles of notes.
  • Andrey Semyonovitch who hardly ever had any money walked about the roo_retending to himself to look at all those bank notes with indifference an_ven contempt. Nothing would have convinced Pyotr Petrovitch that Andre_emyonovitch could really look on the money unmoved, and the latter, on hi_ide, kept thinking bitterly that Pyotr Petrovitch was capable of entertainin_uch an idea about him and was, perhaps, glad of the opportunity of teasin_is young friend by reminding him of his inferiority and the great differenc_etween them.
  • He found him incredibly inattentive and irritable, though he, Andre_emyonovitch, began enlarging on his favourite subject, the foundation of _ew special "commune." The brief remarks that dropped from Pyotr Petrovitc_etween the clicking of the beads on the reckoning frame betrayed unmistakabl_nd discourteous irony. But the "humane" Andrey Semyonovitch ascribed Pyot_etrovitch's ill-humour to his recent breach with Dounia and he was burnin_ith impatience to discourse on that theme. He had something progressive t_ay on the subject which might console his worthy friend and "could not fail"
  • to promote his development.
  • "There is some sort of festivity being prepared at that … at the widow's, isn't there?" Pyotr Petrovitch asked suddenly, interrupting Andre_emyonovitch at the most interesting passage.
  • "Why, don't you know? Why, I was telling you last night what I think about al_uch ceremonies. And she invited you too, I heard. You were talking to he_esterday … "
  • "I should never have expected that beggarly fool would have spent on thi_east all the money she got from that other fool, Raskolnikov. I was surprise_ust now as I came through at the preparations there, the wines! Severa_eople are invited. It's beyond everything!" continued Pyotr Petrovitch, wh_eemed to have some object in pursuing the conversation. "What? You say I a_sked too? When was that? I don't remember. But I shan't go. Why should I? _nly said a word to her in passing yesterday of the possibility of he_btaining a year's salary as a destitute widow of a government clerk. _uppose she has invited me on that account, hasn't she? He-he-he!"
  • "I don't intend to go either," said Lebeziatnikov.
  • "I should think not, after giving her a thrashing! You might well hesitate, he-he!"
  • "Who thrashed? Whom?" cried Lebeziatnikov, flustered and blushing.
  • "Why, you thrashed Katerina Ivanovna a month ago. I heard so yesterday … s_hat's what your convictions amount to … and the woman question, too, wasn'_uite sound, he-he-he!" and Pyotr Petrovitch, as though comforted, went bac_o clicking his beads.
  • "It's all slander and nonsense!" cried Lebeziatnikov, who was always afraid o_llusions to the subject. "It was not like that at all, it was quit_ifferent. You've heard it wrong; it's a libel. I was simply defending myself.
  • She rushed at me first with her nails, she pulled out all my whiskers… . It'_ermissable for anyone, I should hope, to defend himself and I never allo_nyone to use violence to me on principle, for it's an act of despotism. Wha_as I to do? I simply pushed her back."
  • "He-he-he!" Luzhin went on laughing maliciously.
  • "You keep on like that because you are out of humour yourself… . But that'_onsense and it has nothing, nothing whatever to do with the woman question!
  • You don't understand; I used to think, indeed, that if women are equal to me_n all respects, even in strength (as is maintained now) there ought to b_quality in that, too. Of course, I reflected afterwards that such a questio_ught not really to arise, for there ought not to be fighting and in th_uture society fighting is unthinkable … and that it would be a queer thing t_eek for equality in fighting. I am not so stupid … though, of course, ther_s fighting … there won't be later, but at present there is … confound it! Ho_uddled one gets with you! It's not on that account that I am not going. I a_ot going on principle, not to take part in the revolting convention o_emorial dinners, that's why! Though, of course, one might go to laugh at it… . I am sorry there won't be any priests at it. I should certainly go if ther_ere."
  • "Then you would sit down at another man's table and insult it and those wh_nvited you. Eh?"
  • "Certainly not insult, but protest. I should do it with a good object. I migh_ndirectly assist the cause of enlightenment and propaganda. It's a duty o_very man to work for enlightenment and propaganda and the more harshly, perhaps, the better. I might drop a seed, an idea… . And something might gro_p from that seed. How should I be insulting them? They might be offended a_irst, but afterwards they'd see I'd done them a service. You know, Terebyeva (who is in the community now) was blamed because when she left her family and … devoted … herself, she wrote to her father and mother that she wouldn't g_n living conventionally and was entering on a free marriage and it was sai_hat that was too harsh, that she might have spared them and have written mor_indly. I think that's all nonsense and there's no need of softness; on th_ontrary, what's wanted is protest. Varents had been married seven years, sh_bandoned her two children, she told her husband straight out in a letter: '_ave realised that I cannot be happy with you. I can never forgive you tha_ou have deceived me by concealing from me that there is another organisatio_f society by means of the communities. I have only lately learned it from _reat-hearted man to whom I have given myself and with whom I am establishin_ community. I speak plainly because I consider it dishonest to deceive you.
  • Do as you think best. Do not hope to get me back, you are too late. I hope yo_ill be happy.' That's how letters like that ought to be written!"
  • "Is that Terebyeva the one you said had made a third free marriage?"
  • "No, it's only the second, really! But what if it were the fourth, what if i_ere the fifteenth, that's all nonsense! And if ever I regretted the death o_y father and mother, it is now, and I sometimes think if my parents wer_iving what a protest I would have aimed at them! I would have done somethin_n purpose … I would have shown them! I would have astonished them! I a_eally sorry there is no one!"
  • "To surprise! He-he! Well, be that as you will," Pyotr Petrovitch interrupted,
  • "but tell me this; do you know the dead man's daughter, the delicate-lookin_ittle thing? It's true what they say about her, isn't it?"
  • "What of it? I think, that is, it is my own personal conviction that this i_he normal condition of women. Why not? I mean, distinguons. In our presen_ociety it is not altogether normal, because it is compulsory, but in th_uture society it will be perfectly normal, because it will be voluntary. Eve_s it is, she was quite right: she was suffering and that was her asset, so t_peak, her capital which she had a perfect right to dispose of. Of course, i_he future society there will be no need of assets, but her part will hav_nother significance, rational and in harmony with her environment. As t_ofya Semyonovna personally, I regard her action as a vigorous protest agains_he organisation of society, and I respect her deeply for it; I rejoice indee_hen I look at her!"
  • "I was told that you got her turned out of these lodgings."
  • Lebeziatnikov was enraged.
  • "That's another slander," he yelled. "It was not so at all! That was al_aterina Ivanovna's invention, for she did not understand! And I never mad_ove to Sofya Semyonovna! I was simply developing her, entirel_isinterestedly, trying to rouse her to protest… . All I wanted was he_rotest and Sofya Semyonovna could not have remained here anyway!"
  • "Have you asked her to join your community?"
  • "You keep on laughing and very inappropriately, allow me to tell you. Yo_on't understand! There is no such rôle in a community. The community i_stablished that there should be no such rôles. In a community, such a rôle i_ssentially transformed and what is stupid here is sensible there, what, unde_resent conditions, is unnatural becomes perfectly natural in the community.
  • It all depends on the environment. It's all the environment and man himself i_othing. And I am on good terms with Sofya Semyonovna to this day, which is _roof that she never regarded me as having wronged her. I am trying now t_ttract her to the community, but on quite, quite a different footing. Wha_re you laughing at? We are trying to establish a community of our own, _pecial one, on a broader basis. We have gone further in our convictions. W_eject more! And meanwhile I'm still developing Sofya Semyonovna. She has _eautiful, beautiful character!"
  • "And you take advantage of her fine character, eh? He-he!"
  • "No, no! Oh, no! On the contrary."
  • "Oh, on the contrary! He-he-he! A queer thing to say!"
  • "Believe me! Why should I disguise it? In fact, I feel it strange myself ho_imid, chaste and modern she is with me!"
  • "And you, of course, are developing her … he-he! trying to prove to her tha_ll that modesty is nonsense?"
  • "Not at all, not at all! How coarsely, how stupidly—excuse me saying so—yo_isunderstand the word development! Good heavens, how … crude you still are!
  • We are striving for the freedom of women and you have only one idea in you_ead… . Setting aside the general question of chastity and feminine modesty a_seless in themselves and indeed prejudices, I fully accept her chastity wit_e, because that's for her to decide. Of course if she were to tell me hersel_hat she wanted me, I should think myself very lucky, because I like the gir_ery much; but as it is, no one has ever treated her more courteously than I, with more respect for her dignity … I wait in hopes, that's all!"
  • "You had much better make her a present of something. I bet you never though_f that."
  • "You don't understand, as I've told you already! Of course, she is in such _osition, but it's another question. Quite another question! You simpl_espise her. Seeing a fact which you mistakenly consider deserving o_ontempt, you refuse to take a humane view of a fellow creature. You don'_now what a character she is! I am only sorry that of late she has quite give_p reading and borrowing books. I used to lend them to her. I am sorry, too, that with all the energy and resolution in protesting—which she has alread_hown once—she has little self-reliance, little, so to say, independence, s_s to break free from certain prejudices and certain foolish ideas. Yet sh_horoughly understands some questions, for instance about kissing of hands, that is, that it's an insult to a woman for a man to kiss her hand, becaus_t's a sign of inequality. We had a debate about it and I described it to her.
  • She listened attentively to an account of the workmen's associations i_rance, too. Now I am explaining the question of coming into the room in th_uture society."
  • "And what's that, pray?"
  • "We had a debate lately on the question: Has a member of the community th_ight to enter another member's room, whether man or woman, at any time … an_e decided that he has!"
  • "It might be at an inconvenient moment, he-he!"
  • Lebeziatnikov was really angry.
  • "You are always thinking of something unpleasant," he cried with aversion.
  • "Tfoo! How vexed I am that when I was expounding our system, I referre_rematurely to the question of personal privacy! It's always a stumbling-bloc_o people like you, they turn it into ridicule before they understand it. An_ow proud they are of it, too! Tfoo! I've often maintained that that questio_hould not be approached by a novice till he has a firm faith in the system.
  • And tell me, please, what do you find so shameful even in cesspools? I shoul_e the first to be ready to clean out any cesspool you like. And it's not _uestion of self-sacrifice, it's simply work, honourable, useful work which i_s good as any other and much better than the work of a Raphael and a Pushkin, because it is more useful."
  • "And more honourable, more honourable, he-he-he!"
  • "What do you mean by 'more honourable'? I don't understand such expressions t_escribe human activity. 'More honourable,' 'nobler'— all those are old- fashioned prejudices which I reject. Everything which is of use to mankind i_onourable. I only understand one word: useful! You can snigger as much as yo_ike, but that's so!"
  • Pyotr Petrovitch laughed heartily. He had finished counting the money and wa_utting it away. But some of the notes he left on the table. The "cesspoo_uestion" had already been a subject of dispute between them. What was absur_as that it made Lebeziatnikov really angry, while it amused Luzhin and a_hat moment he particularly wanted to anger his young friend.
  • "It's your ill-luck yesterday that makes you so ill-humoured and annoying,"
  • blurted out Lebeziatnikov, who in spite of his "independence" and his
  • "protests" did not venture to oppose Pyotr Petrovitch and still behaved to hi_ith some of the respect habitual in earlier years.
  • "You'd better tell me this," Pyotr Petrovitch interrupted with haught_ispleasure, "can you … or rather are you really friendly enough with tha_oung person to ask her to step in here for a minute? I think they've all com_ack from the cemetery … I heard the sound of steps … I want to see her, tha_oung person."
  • "What for?" Lebeziatnikov asked with surprise.
  • "Oh, I want to. I am leaving here to-day or to-morrow and therefore I wante_o speak to her about … However, you may be present during the interview. It'_etter you should be, indeed. For there's no knowing what you might imagine."
  • "I shan't imagine anything. I only asked and, if you've anything to say t_er, nothing is easier than to call her in. I'll go directly and you may b_ure I won't be in your way."
  • Five minutes later Lebeziatnikov came in with Sonia. She came in very muc_urprised and overcome with shyness as usual. She was always shy in suc_ircumstances and was always afraid of new people, she had been as a child an_as even more so now… . Pyotr Petrovitch met her "politely and affably," bu_ith a certain shade of bantering familiarity which in his opinion wa_uitable for a man of his respectability and weight in dealing with a creatur_o young and so interesting as she. He hastened to "reassure" her and made he_it down facing him at the table. Sonia sat down, looked about her—a_ebeziatnikov, at the notes lying on the table and then again at Pyot_etrovitch and her eyes remained riveted on him. Lebeziatnikov was moving t_he door. Pyotr Petrovitch signed to Sonia to remain seated and stoppe_ebeziatnikov.
  • "Is Raskolnikov in there? Has he come?" he asked him in a whisper.
  • "Raskolnikov? Yes. Why? Yes, he is there. I saw him just come in… . Why?"
  • "Well, I particularly beg you to remain here with us and not to leave me alon_ith this … young woman. I only want a few words with her, but God knows wha_hey may make of it. I shouldn't like Raskolnikov to repeat anything… . Yo_nderstand what I mean?"
  • "I understand!" Lebeziatnikov saw the point. "Yes, you are right… . Of course, I am convinced personally that you have no reason to be uneasy, but … still, you are right. Certainly I'll stay. I'll stand here at the window and not b_n your way … I think you are right … "
  • Pyotr Petrovitch returned to the sofa, sat down opposite Sonia, looke_ttentively at her and assumed an extremely dignified, even severe expression, as much as to say, "don't you make any mistake, madam." Sonia was overwhelme_ith embarrassment.
  • "In the first place, Sofya Semyonovna, will you make my excuses to you_espected mamma… . That's right, isn't it? Katerina Ivanovna stands in th_lace of a mother to you?" Pyotr Petrovitch began with great dignity, thoug_ffably.
  • It was evident that his intentions were friendly.
  • "Quite so, yes; the place of a mother," Sonia answered, timidly and hurriedly.
  • "Then will you make my apologies to her? Through inevitable circumstances I a_orced to be absent and shall not be at the dinner in spite of your mamma'_ind invitation."
  • "Yes … I'll tell her … at once."
  • And Sonia hastily jumped up from her seat.
  • "Wait, that's not all," Pyotr Petrovitch detained her, smiling at he_implicity and ignorance of good manners, "and you know me little, my dea_ofya Semyonovna, if you suppose I would have ventured to trouble a perso_ike you for a matter of so little consequence affecting myself only. I hav_nother object."
  • Sonia sat down hurriedly. Her eyes rested again for an instant on the grey- and-rainbow-coloured notes that remained on the table, but she quickly looke_way and fixed her eyes on Pyotr Petrovitch. She felt it horribly indecorous, especially for her, to look at another person's money. She stared at the gol_ye-glass which Pyotr Petrovitch held in his left hand and at the massive an_xtremely handsome ring with a yellow stone on his middle finger. But suddenl_he looked away and, not knowing where to turn, ended by staring Pyot_etrovitch again straight in the face. After a pause of still greater dignit_e continued.
  • "I chanced yesterday in passing to exchange a couple of words with Katerin_vanovna, poor woman. That was sufficient to enable me to ascertain that sh_s in a position—preternatural, if one may so express it."
  • "Yes … preternatural … " Sonia hurriedly assented.
  • "Or it would be simpler and more comprehensible to say, ill."
  • "Yes, simpler and more comprehen … yes, ill."
  • "Quite so. So then from a feeling of humanity and so to speak compassion, _hould be glad to be of service to her in any way, foreseeing her unfortunat_osition. I believe the whole of this poverty-stricken family depends no_ntirely on you?"
  • "Allow me to ask," Sonia rose to her feet, "did you say something to he_esterday of the possibility of a pension? Because she told me you ha_ndertaken to get her one. Was that true?"
  • "Not in the slightest, and indeed it's an absurdity! I merely hinted at he_btaining temporary assistance as the widow of an official who had died in th_ervice—if only she has patronage … but apparently your late parent had no_erved his full term and had not indeed been in the service at all of late. I_act, if there could be any hope, it would be very ephemeral, because ther_ould be no claim for assistance in that case, far from it… . And she i_reaming of a pension already, he-he-he! … A go-ahead lady!"
  • "Yes, she is. For she is credulous and good-hearted, and she believe_verything from the goodness of her heart and … and … and she is like that … yes … You must excuse her," said Sonia, and again she got up to go.
  • "But you haven't heard what I have to say."
  • "No, I haven't heard," muttered Sonia.
  • "Then sit down." She was terribly confused; she sat down again a third time.
  • "Seeing her position with her unfortunate little ones, I should be glad, as _ave said before, so far as lies in my power, to be of service, that is, s_ar as is in my power, not more. One might for instance get up a subscriptio_or her, or a lottery, something of the sort, such as is always arranged i_uch cases by friends or even outsiders desirous of assisting people. It wa_f that I intended to speak to you; it might be done."
  • "Yes, yes … God will repay you for it," faltered Sonia, gazing intently a_yotr Petrovitch.
  • "It might be, but we will talk of it later. We might begin it to-day, we wil_alk it over this evening and lay the foundation so to speak. Come to me a_even o'clock. Mr. Lebeziatnikov, I hope, will assist us. But there is on_ircumstance of which I ought to warn you beforehand and for which I ventur_o trouble you, Sofya Semyonovna, to come here. In my opinion money cannot be, indeed it's unsafe to put it into Katerina Ivanovna's own hands. The dinne_o-day is a proof of that. Though she has not, so to speak, a crust of brea_or to-morrow and … well, boots or shoes, or anything; she has bought to-da_amaica rum, and even, I believe, Madeira and … and coffee. I saw it as _assed through. To-morrow it will all fall upon you again, they won't have _rust of bread. It's absurd, really, and so, to my thinking, a subscriptio_ught to be raised so that the unhappy widow should not know of the money, bu_nly you, for instance. Am I right?"
  • "I don't know … this is only to-day, once in her life… . She was so anxious t_o honour, to celebrate the memory… . And she is very sensible … but just a_ou think and I shall be very, very … they will all be … and God will reward … and the orphans … "
  • Sonia burst into tears.
  • "Very well, then, keep it in mind; and now will you accept for the benefit o_our relation the small sum that I am able to spare, from me personally. I a_ery anxious that my name should not be mentioned in connection with it. Here … having so to speak anxieties of my own, I cannot do more … "
  • And Pyotr Petrovitch held out to Sonia a ten-rouble note carefully unfolded.
  • Sonia took it, flushed crimson, jumped up, muttered something and began takin_eave. Pyotr Petrovitch accompanied her ceremoniously to the door. She got ou_f the room at last, agitated and distressed, and returned to Katerin_vanovna, overwhelmed with confusion.
  • All this time Lebeziatnikov had stood at the window or walked about the room, anxious not to interrupt the conversation; when Sonia had gone he walked up t_yotr Petrovitch and solemnly held out his hand.
  • "I heard and saw everything," he said, laying stress on the last verb. "Tha_s honourable, I mean to say, it's humane! You wanted to avoid gratitude, _aw! And although I cannot, I confess, in principle sympathise with privat_harity, for it not only fails to eradicate the evil but even promotes it, ye_ must admit that I saw your action with pleasure—yes, yes, I like it."
  • "That's all nonsense," muttered Pyotr Petrovitch, somewhat disconcerted, looking carefully at Lebeziatnikov.
  • "No, it's not nonsense! A man who has suffered distress and annoyance as yo_id yesterday and who yet can sympathise with the misery of others, such a man … even though he is making a social mistake—is still deserving of respect! _id not expect it indeed of you, Pyotr Petrovitch, especially as according t_our ideas … oh, what a drawback your ideas are to you! How distressed you ar_or instance by your ill-luck yesterday," cried the simple-hearte_ebeziatnikov, who felt a return of affection for Pyotr Petrovitch. "And, wha_o you want with marriage, with legal marriage, my dear, noble Pyot_etrovitch? Why do you cling to this legality of marriage? Well, you may bea_e if you like, but I am glad, positively glad it hasn't come off, that yo_re free, that you are not quite lost for humanity… . you see, I've spoken m_ind!"
  • "Because I don't want in your free marriage to be made a fool of and to brin_p another man's children, that's why I want legal marriage," Luzhin replie_n order to make some answer.
  • He seemed preoccupied by something.
  • "Children? You referred to children," Lebeziatnikov started off like _arhorse at the trumpet call. "Children are a social question and a questio_f first importance, I agree; but the question of children has anothe_olution. Some refuse to have children altogether, because they suggest th_nstitution of the family. We'll speak of children later, but now as to th_uestion of honour, I confess that's my weak point. That horrid, military, Pushkin expression is unthinkable in the dictionary of the future. What doe_t mean indeed? It's nonsense, there will be no deception in a free marriage!
  • That is only the natural consequence of a legal marriage, so to say, it_orrective, a protest. So that indeed it's not humiliating … and if I ever, t_uppose an absurdity, were to be legally married, I should be positively gla_f it. I should say to my wife: 'My dear, hitherto I have loved you, now _espect you, for you've shown you can protest!' You laugh! That's because yo_re of incapable of getting away from prejudices. Confound it all! _nderstand now where the unpleasantness is of being deceived in a lega_arriage, but it's simply a despicable consequence of a despicable position i_hich both are humiliated. When the deception is open, as in a free marriage, then it does not exist, it's unthinkable. Your wife will only prove how sh_espects you by considering you incapable of opposing her happiness an_venging yourself on her for her new husband. Damn it all! I sometimes drea_f I were to be married, pfoo! I mean if I were to marry, legally or not, it'_ust the same, I should present my wife with a lover if she had not found on_or herself. 'My dear,' I should say, 'I love you, but even more than that _esire you to respect me. See!' Am I not right?"
  • Pyotr Petrovitch sniggered as he listened, but without much merriment. H_ardly heard it indeed. He was preoccupied with something else and eve_ebeziatnikov at last noticed it. Pyotr Petrovitch seemed excited and rubbe_is hands. Lebeziatnikov remembered all this and reflected upon it afterwards.