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Chapter 8

  • When he went into Sonia's room, it was already getting dark. All day Sonia ha_een waiting for him in terrible anxiety. Dounia had been waiting with her.
  • She had come to her that morning, remembering Svidrigaïlov's words that Soni_new. We will not describe the conversation and tears of the two girls, an_ow friendly they became. Dounia gained one comfort at least from tha_nterview, that her brother would not be alone. He had gone to her, Sonia, first with his confession; he had gone to her for human fellowship when h_eeded it; she would go with him wherever fate might send him. Dounia did no_sk, but she knew it was so. She looked at Sonia almost with reverence and a_irst almost embarrassed her by it. Sonia was almost on the point of tears.
  • She felt herself, on the contrary, hardly worthy to look at Dounia. Dounia'_racious image when she had bowed to her so attentively and respectfully a_heir first meeting in Raskolnikov's room had remained in her mind as one o_he fairest visions of her life.
  • Dounia at last became impatient and, leaving Sonia, went to her brother's roo_o await him there; she kept thinking that he would come there first. When sh_ad gone, Sonia began to be tortured by the dread of his committing suicide, and Dounia too feared it. But they had spent the day trying to persuade eac_ther that that could not be, and both were less anxious while they wer_ogether. As soon as they parted, each thought of nothing else. Soni_emembered how Svidrigaïlov had said to her the day before that Raskolniko_ad two alternatives—Siberia or … Besides she knew his vanity, his pride an_is lack of faith.
  • "Is it possible that he has nothing but cowardice and fear of death to mak_im live?" she thought at last in despair.
  • Meanwhile the sun was setting. Sonia was standing in dejection, lookin_ntently out of the window, but from it she could see nothing but th_nwhitewashed blank wall of the next house. At last when she began to fee_ure of his death—he walked into the room.
  • She gave a cry of joy, but looking carefully into his face she turned pale.
  • "Yes," said Raskolnikov, smiling. "I have come for your cross, Sonia. It wa_ou told me to go to the cross-roads; why is it you are frightened now it'_ome to that?"
  • Sonia gazed at him astonished. His tone seemed strange to her; a cold shive_an over her, but in a moment she guessed that the tone and the words were _ask. He spoke to her looking away, as though to avoid meeting her eyes.
  • "You see, Sonia, I've decided that it will be better so. There is one fact… .
  • But it's a long story and there's no need to discuss it. But do you know wha_ngers me? It annoys me that all those stupid brutish faces will be gaping a_e directly, pestering me with their stupid questions, which I shall have t_nswer—they'll point their fingers at me… . Tfoo! You know I am not going t_orfiry, I am sick of him. I'd rather go to my friend, the Explosiv_ieutenant; how I shall surprise him, what a sensation I shall make! But _ust be cooler; I've become too irritable of late. You know I was nearl_haking my fist at my sister just now, because she turned to take a last loo_t me. It's a brutal state to be in! Ah! what am I coming to! Well, where ar_he crosses?"
  • He seemed hardly to know what he was doing. He could not stay still o_oncentrate his attention on anything; his ideas seemed to gallop after on_nother, he talked incoherently, his hands trembled slightly.
  • Without a word Sonia took out of the drawer two crosses, one of cypress woo_nd one of copper. She made the sign of the cross over herself and over him, and put the wooden cross on his neck.
  • "It's the symbol of my taking up the cross," he laughed. "As though I had no_uffered much till now! The wooden cross, that is the peasant one; the coppe_ne, that is Lizaveta's—you will wear yourself, show me! So she had it on … a_hat moment? I remember two things like these too, a silver one and a littl_kon. I threw them back on the old woman's neck. Those would be appropriat_ow, really, those are what I ought to put on now… . But I am talking nonsens_nd forgetting what matters; I'm somehow forgetful… . You see I have come t_arn you, Sonia, so that you might know … that's all— that's all I came for.
  • But I thought I had more to say. You wanted me to go yourself. Well, now I a_oing to prison and you'll have your wish. Well, what are you crying for? Yo_oo? Don't. Leave off! Oh, how I hate it all!"
  • But his feeling was stirred; his heart ached, as he looked at her. "Why is sh_rieving too?" he thought to himself. "What am I to her? Why does she weep?
  • Why is she looking after me, like my mother or Dounia? She'll be my nurse."
  • "Cross yourself, say at least one prayer," Sonia begged in a timid broke_oice.
  • "Oh certainly, as much as you like! And sincerely, Sonia, sincerely… ."
  • But he wanted to say something quite different.
  • He crossed himself several times. Sonia took up her shawl and put it over he_ead. It was the green drap de dames shawl of which Marmeladov had spoken,
  • "the family shawl." Raskolnikov thought of that looking at it, but he did no_sk. He began to feel himself that he was certainly forgetting things and wa_isgustingly agitated. He was frightened at this. He was suddenly struck to_y the thought that Sonia meant to go with him.
  • "What are you doing? Where are you going? Stay here, stay! I'll go alone," h_ried in cowardly vexation, and almost resentful, he moved towards the door.
  • "What's the use of going in procession?" he muttered going out.
  • Sonia remained standing in the middle of the room. He had not even said good- bye to her; he had forgotten her. A poignant and rebellious doubt surged i_is heart.
  • "Was it right, was it right, all this?" he thought again as he went down th_tairs. "Couldn't he stop and retract it all … and not go?"
  • But still he went. He felt suddenly once for all that he mustn't ask himsel_uestions. As he turned into the street he remembered that he had not sai_ood-bye to Sonia, that he had left her in the middle of the room in her gree_hawl, not daring to stir after he had shouted at her, and he stopped shor_or a moment. At the same instant, another thought dawned upon him, as thoug_t had been lying in wait to strike him then.
  • "Why, with what object did I go to her just now? I told her—on business; o_hat business? I had no sort of business! To tell her I was going; but wher_as the need? Do I love her? No, no, I drove her away just now like a dog. Di_ want her crosses? Oh, how low I've sunk! No, I wanted her tears, I wanted t_ee her terror, to see how her heart ached! I had to have something to clin_o, something to delay me, some friendly face to see! And I dared to believ_n myself, to dream of what I would do! I am a beggarly contemptible wretch, contemptible!"
  • He walked along the canal bank, and he had not much further to go. But o_eaching the bridge he stopped and turning out of his way along it went to th_ay Market.
  • He looked eagerly to right and left, gazed intently at every object and coul_ot fix his attention on anything; everything slipped away. "In another week, another month I shall be driven in a prison van over this bridge, how shall _ook at the canal then? I should like to remember this!" slipped into hi_ind. "Look at this sign! How shall I read those letters then? It's writte_ere 'Campany,' that's a thing to remember, that letter a, and to look at i_gain in a month—how shall I look at it then? What shall I be feeling an_hinking then? … How trivial it all must be, what I am fretting about now! O_ourse it must all be interesting … in its way … (Ha-ha-ha! What am I thinkin_bout?) I am becoming a baby, I am showing off to myself; why am I ashamed?
  • Foo! how people shove! that fat man—a German he must be—who pushed against me, does he know whom he pushed? There's a peasant woman with a baby, begging.
  • It's curious that she thinks me happier than she is. I might give he_omething, for the incongruity of it. Here's a five copeck piece left in m_ocket, where did I get it? Here, here … take it, my good woman!"
  • "God bless you," the beggar chanted in a lachrymose voice.
  • He went into the Hay Market. It was distasteful, very distasteful to be in _rowd, but he walked just where he saw most people. He would have give_nything in the world to be alone; but he knew himself that he would not hav_emained alone for a moment. There was a man drunk and disorderly in th_rowd; he kept trying to dance and falling down. There was a ring round him.
  • Raskolnikov squeezed his way through the crowd, stared for some minutes at th_runken man and suddenly gave a short jerky laugh. A minute later he ha_orgotten him and did not see him, though he still stared. He moved away a_ast, not remembering where he was; but when he got into the middle of th_quare an emotion suddenly came over him, overwhelming him body and mind.
  • He suddenly recalled Sonia's words, "Go to the cross-roads, bow down to th_eople, kiss the earth, for you have sinned against it too, and say aloud t_he whole world, 'I am a murderer.'" He trembled, remembering that. And th_opeless misery and anxiety of all that time, especially of the last hours, had weighed so heavily upon him that he positively clutched at the chance o_his new unmixed, complete sensation. It came over him like a fit; it was lik_ single spark kindled in his soul and spreading fire through him. Everythin_n him softened at once and the tears started into his eyes. He fell to th_arth on the spot… .
  • He knelt down in the middle of the square, bowed down to the earth, and kisse_hat filthy earth with bliss and rapture. He got up and bowed down a secon_ime.
  • "He's boozed," a youth near him observed.
  • There was a roar of laughter.
  • "He's going to Jerusalem, brothers, and saying good-bye to his children an_is country. He's bowing down to all the world and kissing the great city o_t. Petersburg and its pavement," added a workman who was a little drunk.
  • "Quite a young man, too!" observed a third.
  • "And a gentleman," someone observed soberly.
  • "There's no knowing who's a gentleman and who isn't nowadays."
  • These exclamations and remarks checked Raskolnikov, and the words, "I am _urderer," which were perhaps on the point of dropping from his lips, die_way. He bore these remarks quietly, however, and, without looking round, h_urned down a street leading to the police office. He had a glimpse o_omething on the way which did not surprise him; he had felt that it must b_o. The second time he bowed down in the Hay Market he saw, standing fift_aces from him on the left, Sonia. She was hiding from him behind one of th_ooden shanties in the market-place. She had followed him then on his painfu_ay! Raskolnikov at that moment felt and knew once for all that Sonia was wit_im for ever and would follow him to the ends of the earth, wherever fat_ight take him. It wrung his heart … but he was just reaching the fatal place.
  • He went into the yard fairly resolutely. He had to mount to the third storey.
  • "I shall be some time going up," he thought. He felt as though the fatefu_oment was still far off, as though he had plenty of time left fo_onsideration.
  • Again the same rubbish, the same eggshells lying about on the spiral stairs, again the open doors of the flats, again the same kitchens and the same fume_nd stench coming from them. Raskolnikov had not been here since that day. Hi_egs were numb and gave way under him, but still they moved forward. H_topped for a moment to take breath, to collect himself, so as to enter like _an. "But why? what for?" he wondered, reflecting. "If I must drink the cu_hat difference does it make? The more revolting the better." He imagined fo_n instant the figure of the "explosive lieutenant," Ilya Petrovitch. Was h_ctually going to him? Couldn't he go to someone else? To Nikodim Fomitch?
  • Couldn't he turn back and go straight to Nikodim Fomitch's lodgings? At leas_hen it would be done privately… . No, no! To the "explosive lieutenant"! I_e must drink it, drink it off at once.
  • Turning cold and hardly conscious, he opened the door of the office. Ther_ere very few people in it this time—only a house porter and a peasant. Th_oorkeeper did not even peep out from behind his screen. Raskolnikov walke_nto the next room. "Perhaps I still need not speak," passed through his mind.
  • Some sort of clerk not wearing a uniform was settling himself at a bureau t_rite. In a corner another clerk was seating himself. Zametov was not there, nor, of course, Nikodim Fomitch.
  • "No one in?" Raskolnikov asked, addressing the person at the bureau.
  • "Whom do you want?"
  • "A-ah! Not a sound was heard, not a sight was seen, but I scent the Russian … how does it go on in the fairy tale … I've forgotten! 'At your service!'" _amiliar voice cried suddenly.
  • Raskolnikov shuddered. The Explosive Lieutenant stood before him. He had jus_ome in from the third room. "It is the hand of fate," thought Raskolnikov.
  • "Why is he here?"
  • "You've come to see us? What about?" cried Ilya Petrovitch. He was obviousl_n an exceedingly good humour and perhaps a trifle exhilarated. "If it's o_usiness you are rather early. It's only a chance that I am here … howeve_'ll do what I can. I must admit, I … what is it, what is it? Excuse me… ."
  • "Raskolnikov."
  • "Of course, Raskolnikov. You didn't imagine I'd forgotten? Don't think I a_ike that … Rodion Ro—Ro—Rodionovitch, that's it, isn't it?"
  • "Rodion Romanovitch."
  • "Yes, yes, of course, Rodion Romanovitch! I was just getting at it. I mad_any inquiries about you. I assure you I've been genuinely grieved since that … since I behaved like that … it was explained to me afterwards that you wer_ literary man … and a learned one too … and so to say the first steps … Merc_n us! What literary or scientific man does not begin by some originality o_onduct! My wife and I have the greatest respect for literature, in my wif_t's a genuine passion! Literature and art! If only a man is a gentleman, al_he rest can be gained by talents, learning, good sense, genius. As for _at—well, what does a hat matter? I can buy a hat as easily as I can a bun; but what's under the hat, what the hat covers, I can't buy that! I was eve_eaning to come and apologise to you, but thought maybe you'd … But I a_orgetting to ask you, is there anything you want really? I hear your famil_ave come?"
  • "Yes, my mother and sister."
  • "I've even had the honour and happiness of meeting your sister—a highl_ultivated and charming person. I confess I was sorry I got so hot with you.
  • There it is! But as for my looking suspiciously at your fainting fit—tha_ffair has been cleared up splendidly! Bigotry and fanaticism! I understan_our indignation. Perhaps you are changing your lodging on account of you_amily's arriving?"
  • "No, I only looked in … I came to ask … I thought that I should find Zameto_ere."
  • "Oh, yes! Of course, you've made friends, I heard. Well, no, Zametov is no_ere. Yes, we've lost Zametov. He's not been here since yesterday … h_uarrelled with everyone on leaving … in the rudest way. He is a feather- headed youngster, that's all; one might have expected something from him, bu_here, you know what they are, our brilliant young men. He wanted to go in fo_ome examination, but it's only to talk and boast about it, it will go n_urther than that. Of course it's a very different matter with you or Mr.
  • Razumihin there, your friend. Your career is an intellectual one and you won'_e deterred by failure. For you, one may say, all the attractions of lif_ihil est—you are an ascetic, a monk, a hermit! … A book, a pen behind you_ar, a learned research—that's where your spirit soars! I am the same wa_yself… . Have you read Livingstone's Travels?"
  • "No."
  • "Oh, I have. There are a great many Nihilists about nowadays, you know, an_ndeed it is not to be wondered at. What sort of days are they? I ask you. Bu_e thought … you are not a Nihilist of course? Answer me openly, openly!"
  • "N-no … "
  • "Believe me, you can speak openly to me as you would to yourself! Officia_uty is one thing but … you are thinking I meant to say friendship is quit_nother? No, you're wrong! It's not friendship, but the feeling of a man and _itizen, the feeling of humanity and of love for the Almighty. I may be a_fficial, but I am always bound to feel myself a man and a citizen… . You wer_sking about Zametov. Zametov will make a scandal in the French style in _ouse of bad reputation, over a glass of champagne … that's all your Zameto_s good for! While I'm perhaps, so to speak, burning with devotion and loft_eelings, and besides I have rank, consequence, a post! I am married and hav_hildren, I fulfil the duties of a man and a citizen, but who is he, may _sk? I appeal to you as a man ennobled by education … Then these midwives, too, have become extraordinarily numerous."
  • Raskolnikov raised his eyebrows inquiringly. The words of Ilya Petrovitch, wh_ad obviously been dining, were for the most part a stream of empty sounds fo_im. But some of them he understood. He looked at him inquiringly, not knowin_ow it would end.
  • "I mean those crop-headed wenches," the talkative Ilya Petrovitch continued.
  • "Midwives is my name for them. I think it a very satisfactory one, ha-ha! The_o to the Academy, study anatomy. If I fall ill, am I to send for a young lad_o treat me? What do you say? Ha-ha!" Ilya Petrovitch laughed, quite please_ith his own wit. "It's an immoderate zeal for education, but once you'r_ducated, that's enough. Why abuse it? Why insult honourable people, as tha_coundrel Zametov does? Why did he insult me, I ask you? Look at thes_uicides, too, how common they are, you can't fancy! People spend their las_alfpenny and kill themselves, boys and girls and old people. Only thi_orning we heard about a gentleman who had just come to town. Nil Pavlitch, _ay, what was the name of that gentleman who shot himself?"
  • "Svidrigaïlov," someone answered from the other room with drowsy listlessness.
  • Raskolnikov started.
  • "Svidrigaïlov! Svidrigaïlov has shot himself!" he cried.
  • "What, do you know Svidrigaïlov?"
  • "Yes … I knew him… . He hadn't been here long."
  • "Yes, that's so. He had lost his wife, was a man of reckless habits and all o_ sudden shot himself, and in such a shocking way… . He left in his notebook _ew words: that he dies in full possession of his faculties and that no one i_o blame for his death. He had money, they say. How did you come to know him?"
  • "I … was acquainted … my sister was governess in his family."
  • "Bah-bah-bah! Then no doubt you can tell us something about him. You had n_uspicion?"
  • "I saw him yesterday … he … was drinking wine; I knew nothing."
  • Raskolnikov felt as though something had fallen on him and was stifling him.
  • "You've turned pale again. It's so stuffy here … "
  • "Yes, I must go," muttered Raskolnikov. "Excuse my troubling you… ."
  • "Oh, not at all, as often as you like. It's a pleasure to see you and I a_lad to say so."
  • Ilya Petrovitch held out his hand.
  • "I only wanted … I came to see Zametov."
  • "I understand, I understand, and it's a pleasure to see you."
  • "I … am very glad … good-bye," Raskolnikov smiled.
  • He went out; he reeled, he was overtaken with giddiness and did not know wha_e was doing. He began going down the stairs, supporting himself with hi_ight hand against the wall. He fancied that a porter pushed past him on hi_ay upstairs to the police office, that a dog in the lower storey kept up _hrill barking and that a woman flung a rolling-pin at it and shouted. He wen_own and out into the yard. There, not far from the entrance, stood Sonia, pale and horror- stricken. She looked wildly at him. He stood still befor_er. There was a look of poignant agony, of despair, in her face. She claspe_er hands. His lips worked in an ugly, meaningless smile. He stood still _inute, grinned and went back to the police office.
  • Ilya Petrovitch had sat down and was rummaging among some papers. Before hi_tood the same peasant who had pushed by on the stairs.
  • "Hulloa! Back again! have you left something behind? What's the matter?"
  • Raskolnikov, with white lips and staring eyes, came slowly nearer. He walke_ight to the table, leaned his hand on it, tried to say something, but coul_ot; only incoherent sounds were audible.
  • "You are feeling ill, a chair! Here, sit down! Some water!"
  • Raskolnikov dropped on to a chair, but he kept his eyes fixed on the face o_lya Petrovitch, which expressed unpleasant surprise. Both looked at on_nother for a minute and waited. Water was brought.
  • "It was I … " began Raskolnikov.
  • "Drink some water."
  • Raskolnikov refused the water with his hand, and softly and brokenly, bu_istinctly said:
  • "It was I killed the old pawnbroker woman and her sister Lizaveta with an ax_nd robbed them."
  • Ilya Petrovitch opened his mouth. People ran up on all sides.
  • Raskolnikov repeated his statement.