ALYOSHA coming in told Ivan that a little over an hour ago Marya Kondratyevn_ad run to his rooms and informed him Smerdyakov had taken his own life. "_ent 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 tha_he had told no one, "but I flew straight to you, I've run all the way." Sh_eemed perfectly crazy, Alyosha reported, and was shaking like a leaf. Whe_lyosha ran with her to the cottage, he found Smerdyakov still hanging. On th_able lay a note: "I destroy my life of my own will and desire, so as to thro_o blame on anyone." Alyosha left the note on the table and went straight t_he police captain and told him all about it. "And from him I've come straigh_o you," said Alyosha, in conclusion, looking intently into Ivan's face. H_ad not taken his eyes off him while he told his story, as though struck b_omething in his expression.
"Brother," he cried suddenly, "you must be terribly ill. You look and don'_eem to understand what I tell you."
"It's a good thing you came," said Ivan, as though brooding, and not hearin_lyosha's exclamation. "I knew he had hanged himself."
"I don't know. But I knew. Did I know? Yes, he told me. He told me so jus_ow."
Ivan stood in the middle of the room, and still spoke in the same broodin_one, 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.' Dmitr_alls you a cherub. Cherub!… the thunderous rapture of the seraphim. What ar_eraphim? Perhaps a whole constellation. But perhaps that constellation i_nly 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 o_he sofa! You are delirious; put your head on the pillow, that's right. Woul_ou 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 there."
"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 th_ther corner of the room. Ivan looked strangely at the towel: recollectio_eemed to come back to him for an instant.
"Stay"- he got up from the sofa- "an hour ago I took that new towel from ther_nd wetted it. I wrapped it round my head and threw it down here… How is i_t'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 burn_own so? What's the time?"
"No, no, no!" Ivan cried suddenly. "It was not a dream. He was here; he wa_itting here, on that sofa. When you knocked at the window, I threw a glass a_im… this one. Wait a minute. I was asleep last time, but this dream was not _ream. It has happened before. I have dreams now, Alyosha… yet they are no_reams, but reality. I walk about, talk and see… though I am asleep. But h_as 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 anxiousl_gain.
"The devil! He's taken to visiting me. He's been here twice, almost thre_imes. He taunted me with being angry at his being a simple devil and no_atan, 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, trivia_evil. He goes to the baths. If you undressed him, you'd be sure to find h_ad 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 chie_ehors… "
Alyosha ran to the washing-stand, wetted the towel, persuaded Ivan to sit dow_gain, 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 wa_ecoming very talkative.) "I like Lise. I said something nasty about her. I_as a lie. I like her… I am afraid for Katya to-morrow. I am more afraid o_er than of anything. On account of the future. She will cast me off to-morro_nd trample me under foot. She thinks that I am ruining Mitya from jealousy o_er account! Yes, she thinks that! But it's not so. To-morrow the cross, bu_ot the gallows. No, I shan't hang myself. Do you know, I can never commi_uicide, Alyosha. Is it because I am base? I am not a coward. Is it from lov_f life? How did I know that Smerdyakov had hanged himself? Yes, it was h_old 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 di_rive 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'_ase in me, all that's mean and contemptible. Yes, I am a romantic. He guesse_t… 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 tauntin_e with believing in him, and that was how he made me listen to him. He foole_e like a boy. He told me a great deal that was true about myself, though. _hould never have owned it to myself. Do you know, Alyosha," Ivan added in a_ntensely earnest and confidential tone, "I should be awfully glad to thin_hat 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 tormente_y it? From habit. From the universal habit of mankind for the seven thousan_ears. So let us give it up, and we shall be gods.' It was he said that, i_as he said that!"
"And not you, not you?" Alyosha could not help crying, looking frankly at hi_rother. "Never mind him, anyway; have done with him and forget him. And le_im 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," Iva_aid, with a shudder of offence. "But he was unfair to me, unfair to me abou_ots of things. He told lies about me to my face. 'Oh, you are going t_erform an act of heroic virtue: to confess you murdered your father, that th_alet murdered him at your instigation.'"
"Brother," Alyosha interposed, "restrain yourself. It was not you murdere_im. It's not true!"
"That's what he says, he, and he knows it. 'You are going to perform an act o_eroic virtue, and you don't believe in virtue; that's what tortures you an_akes you angry, that's why you are so vindictive.' He said that to me abou_e and he knows what he says."
"It's you say that, not he," exclaimed Alyosha mournfully, "and you say i_ecause you are ill and delirious, tormenting yourself."
"No, he knows what he says. 'You are going from pride,' he says. 'You'll stan_p and say it was I killed him, and why do you writhe with horror? You ar_ying! 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, _urderer, but what a generous soul; he wanted to save his brother and h_onfessed." That's a lie Alyosha!" Ivan cried suddenly, with flashing eyes. "_on't want the low rabble to praise me, I swear I don't! That's a lie! That'_hy I threw the glass at him and it broke against his ugly face."
"Yes, he knows how to torment one. He's cruel," Ivan went on, unheeding. "_ad an inkling from the first what he came for. 'Granting that you go throug_ride, still you had a hope that Smerdyakov might be convicted and sent t_iberia, and Mitya would be acquitted, while you would only be punished, wit_oral condemnation' ('Do you hear?' he laughed then)- 'and some people wil_raise you. But now Smerdyakov's dead, he has hanged himself, and who'l_elieve you alone? But yet you are going, you are going, you'll go all th_ame, 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 seeme_o hope to bring Ivan to reason- "how could he have told you of Smerdyakov'_eath before I came, when no one knew of it and there was no time for anyon_o know of it?"
"He told me," said Ivan firmly, refusing to admit a doubt. "It was all he di_alk about, if you come to that. 'And it would be all right if you believed i_irtue,' he said. 'No matter if they disbelieve you, you are going for th_ake of principle. But you are a little pig like Fyodor Pavlovitch, and wha_o you want with virtue? Why do you want to go meddling if your sacrifice i_f no use to anyone? Because you don't know yourself why you go! Oh, you'_ive a great deal to know yourself why you go! And can you have made up you_ind? You've not made up your mind. You'll sit all night deliberating whethe_o go or not. But you will go; you know you'll go. You know that whichever wa_ou decide, the decision does not depend on you. You'll go because you won'_are not to go. Why won't you dare? You must guess that for yourself. That's _iddle for you!' He got up and went away. You came and he went. He called me _oward, Alyosha! Le mot de l'enigme is that I am a coward. 'It is not for suc_agles to soar above the earth.'It was he added that- he! And Smerdyakov sai_he same. He must be killed! Katya despises me. I've seen that for a mont_ast. Even Lise will begin to despise me! 'You are going in order to b_raised.' That's a brutal lie! And you despise me too, Alyosha. Now I am goin_o hate you again! And I hate the monster, too! I hate the monster! I don'_ant 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 dow_he room again. Alyosha recalled what he had just said. "I seem to be sleepin_wake… I walk, I speak, I see, but I am asleep." It seemed to be just lik_hat now. Alyosha did not leave him. The thought passed through his mind t_un for a doctor, but he was afraid to leave his brother alone: there was n_ne to whom he could leave him. By degrees Ivan lost consciousness completel_t last. He still went on talking, talking incessantly, but quit_ncoherently, and even articulated his words with difficulty. Suddenly h_taggered violently; but Alyosha was in time to support him. Ivan let him lea_im to his bed. Alyosha undressed him somehow and put him to bed. He sa_atching over him for another two hours. The sick man slept soundly, withou_tirring, breathing softly and evenly. Alyosha took a pillow and lay down o_he sofa, without undressing.
As he fell asleep he prayed for Mitya and Ivan. He began to understand Ivan'_llness. "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'_ead as it lay on the pillow, "yes, if Smerdyakov is dead, no one will believ_van's evidence; but he will go and give it." Alyosha smiled softly. "God wil_onquer!" he thought. "He will either rise up in the light of truth, or… he'l_erish in hate, revenging on himself and on everyone his having served th_ause he does not believe in," Alyosha added bitterly, and again he prayed fo_van.