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Chapter 10 "It Was He Who Said That"

  • 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."
  • "From whom?"
  • "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?"
  • "Nearly twelve"
  • "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."
  • "Brother, calm yourself, stop!" Alyosha entreated him.
  • "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.