THIS was the visit of Mitya of which Grushenka had spoken to Rakitin with suc_orror. She was just then expecting the "message," and was much relieved tha_itya had not been to see her that day or the day before. She hoped that
"please God he won't come till I'm gone away," and he suddenly burst in o_er. The rest we know already. To get him off her hands she suggested at onc_hat he should walk with her to Samsonov's, where she said she absolutely mus_o "to settle his accounts," and when Mitya accompanied her at once, she sai_ood-bye to him at the gate, making him promise to come at twelve o'clock t_ake her home again. Mitya, too, was delighted at this arrangement. If she wa_itting at Samsonov's she could not be going to Fyodor Pavlovitch's, "if onl_he's not lying," he added at once. But he thought she was not lying from wha_e saw.
He was that sort of jealous man who, in the absence of the beloved woman, a_nce invents all sorts of awful fancies of what may be happening to her, an_ow she may be betraying him, but, when shaken, heartbroken, convinced of he_aithlessness, he runs back to her, at the first glance at her face, her gay, laughing, affectionate face, he revives at once, lays aside all suspicion an_ith joyful shame abuses himself for his jealousy.
After leaving Grushenka at the gate he rushed home. Oh, he had so much stil_o do that day! But a load had been lifted from his heart, anyway.
"Now I must only make haste and find out from Smerdyakov whether anythin_appened there last night, whether, by any chance, she went to Fyodo_avlovitch; ough!" floated through his mind.
Before he had time to reach his lodging, jealousy had surged up again in hi_estless heart.
Jealousy! "Othello was not jealous, he was trustful," observed Pushkin. An_hat remark alone is enough to show the deep insight of our great poet.
Othello's soul was shattered and his whole outlook clouded simply because hi_deal was destroyed. But Othello did not begin hiding, spying, peeping. He wa_rustful, on the contrary. He had to be led up, pushed on, excited with grea_ifficulty before he could entertain the idea of deceit. The truly jealous ma_s not like that. It is impossible to picture to oneself the shame and mora_egradation to which the jealous man can descend without a qualm o_onscience. And yet it's not as though the jealous were all vulgar and bas_ouls. On the contrary, a man of lofty feelings, whose love is pure and ful_f self-sacrifice, may yet hide under tables, bribe the vilest people, and b_amiliar with the lowest ignominy of spying and eavesdropping.
Othello was incapable of making up his mind to faithlessness- not incapable o_orgiving it, but of making up his mind to it- though his soul was as innocen_nd free from malice as a babe's. It is not so with the really jealous man. I_s hard to imagine what some jealous men can make up their mind to an_verlook, and what they can forgive! The jealous are the readiest of all t_orgive, and all women know it. The jealous man can forgive extraordinaril_uickly (though, of course, after a violent scene), and he is able to forgiv_nfidelity almost conclusively proved, the very kisses and embraces he ha_een, if only he can somehow be convinced that it has all been "for the las_ime," and that his rival will vanish from that day forward, will depart t_he ends of the earth, or that he himself will carry her away somewhere, wher_hat dreaded rival will not get near her. Of course the reconciliation is onl_or an hour. For, even if the rival did disappear next day, he would inven_nother one and would be jealous of him. And one might wonder what there wa_n a love that had to be so watched over, what a love could be worth tha_eeded such strenuous guarding. But that the jealous will never understand.
And yet among them are men of noble hearts. It is remarkable, too, that thos_ery men of noble hearts, standing hidden in some cupboard, listening an_pying, never feel the stings of conscience at that moment, anyway, thoug_hey understand clearly enough with their "noble hearts" the shameful depth_o which they have voluntarily sunk.
At the sight of Grushenka, Mitya's jealousy vanished, and, for an instant h_ecame trustful and generous, and positively despised himself for his evi_eelings. But it only proved that, in his love for the woman, there was a_lement of something far higher than he himself imagined, that it was not onl_ sensual passion, not only the "curve of her body," of which he had talked t_lyosha. But, as soon as Grushenka had gone, Mitya began to suspect her of al_he low cunning of faithlessness, and he felt no sting of conscience at it.
And so jealousy surged up in him again. He had, in any case, to make haste.
The first thing to be done was to get hold of at least a small, temporary loa_f money. The nine roubles had almost all gone on his expedition. And, as w_ll know, one can't take a step without money. But he had thought over in th_art where he could get a loan. He had a brace of fine duelling pistols in _ase, which he had not pawned till then because he prized them above all hi_ossessions.
In the Metropolis tavern he had some time since made acquaintance with a youn_fficial and had learnt that this very opulent bachelor was passionately fon_f weapons. He used to buy pistols, revolvers, daggers, hang them on his wal_nd show them to acquaintances. He prided himself on them, and was quite _pecialist on the mechanism of the revolver. Mitya, without stopping to think, went straight to him, and offered to pawn his pistols to him for ten roubles.
The official, delighted, began trying to persuade him to sell them outright.
But Mitya would not consent, so the young man gave him ten roubles, protestin_hat nothing would induce him to take interest. They parted friends.
Mitya was in haste; he rushed towards Fyodor Pavlovitch's by the back way, t_is arbour, to get hold of Smerdyakov as soon as possible. In this way th_act was established that three or four hours before a certain event, of whic_ shall speak later on, Mitya had not a farthing, and pawned for ten roubles _ossession he valued, though, three hours later, he was in possession o_housands… . But I am anticipating. From Marya Kondratyevna (the woman livin_ear Fyodor Pavlovitch's) he learned the very disturbing fact of Smerdyakov'_llness. He heard the story of his fall in the cellar, his fit, the doctor'_isit, Fyodor Pavlovitch's anxiety; he heard with interest, too, that hi_rother Ivan had set off that morning for Moscow.
"Then he must have driven through Volovya before me," thought Dmitri, but h_as terribly distressed about Smerdyakov. "What will happen now? Who'll kee_atch for me? Who'll bring me word?" he thought. He began greedily questionin_he women whether they had seen anything the evening before. They quit_nderstood what he was trying to find out, and completely reassured him. N_ne had been there. Ivan Fyodorovitch had been there that night; everythin_ad been perfectly as usual. Mitya grew thoughtful. He would certainly have t_eep watch to-day, but where? Here or at Samsonov's gate? He decided that h_ust be on the lookout both here and there, and meanwhile… meanwhile… Th_ifficulty was that he had to carry out the new plan that he had made on th_ourney back. He was sure of its success, but he must not delay acting upo_t. Mitya resolved to sacrifice an hour to it: "In an hour I shall kno_verything, I shall settle everything, and then, then, then, first of all t_amsonov's. I'll inquire whether Grushenka's there and instantly be back her_gain, stay till eleven, and then to Samsonov's again to bring her home." Thi_as what he decided.
He flew home, washed, combed his hair, brushed his clothes, dressed, and wen_o Madame Hohlakov's. Alas! he had built his hopes on her. He had resolved t_orrow three thousand from that lady. And what was more, he felt suddenl_onvinced that she would not refuse to lend it to him. It may be wondered why, if he felt so certain, he had not gone to her at first, one of his own sort, so to speak, instead of to Samsonov, a man he did not know, who was not of hi_wn class, and to whom he hardly knew how to speak.
But the fact was that he had never known Madame Hohlakov well, and had see_othing of her for the last month, and that he knew she could not endure him.
She had detested him from the first because he was engaged to Katerin_vanovna, while she had, for some reason, suddenly conceived the desire tha_aterina Ivanovna should throw him over, and marry the "charming, chivalrousl_efined Ivan, who had such excellent manners." Mitya's manners she detested.
Mitya positively laughed at her, and had once said about her that she was jus_s lively and at her ease as she was uncultivated. But that morning in th_art a brilliant idea had struck him: "If she is so anxious I should not marr_aterina Ivanovna" (and he knew she was positively hysterical upon th_ubject) "why should she refuse me now that three thousand, just to enable m_o leave Katya and get away from her for ever. These spoilt fine ladies, i_hey set their hearts on anything, will spare no expense to satisfy thei_aprice. Besides, she's so rich," Mitya argued.
As for his "plan" it was just the same as before; it consisted of the offer o_is rights to Tchermashnya- but not with a commercial object, as it had bee_ith Samsonov, not trying to allure the lady with the possibility of making _rofit of six or seven thousand- but simply as a security for the debt. As h_orked out this new idea, Mitya was enchanted with it, but so it always wa_ith him in all his undertakings, in all his sudden decisions. He gave himsel_p to every new idea with passionate enthusiasm. Yet, when he mounted th_teps of Madame Hohlakov's house he felt a shiver of fear run down his spine.
At that moment he saw fully, as a mathematical certainty, that this was hi_ast hope, that if this broke down, nothing else was left him in the world bu_o "rob and murder someone for the three thousand." It was half-past seve_hen he rang at the bell.
At first fortune seemed to smile upon him. As soon as he was announced he wa_eceived with extraordinary rapidity. "As though she were waiting for me,"
thought Mitya, and as soon as he had been led to the drawing-room, the lady o_he house herself ran in, and declared at once that she was expecting him.
"I was expecting you! I was expecting you! Though I'd no reason to suppose yo_ould come to see me, as you will admit yourself. Yet, I did expect you. Yo_ay marvel at my instinct, Dmitri Fyodorovitch, but I was convinced all th_orning that you would come."
"That is certainly wonderful, madam," observed Mitya, sitting down limply,
"but I have come to you on a matter of great importance… . On a matter o_upreme importance for me, that is, madam… for me alone… and I hasten- "
"I know you've come on most important business. Dmitri Fyodorovitch; it's no_ case of presentiment, no reactionary harking back to the miraculous (hav_ou heard about Father Zossima?). This is a case of mathematics: you couldn'_elp coming, after all that has passed with Katerina Ivanovna; you couldn't, you couldn't, that's a mathematical certainty."
"The realism of actual life, madam, that's what it is. But allow me t_xplain-"
"Realism indeed, Dmitri Fyodorovitch. I'm all for realism now. I've seen to_uch of miracles. You've heard that Father Zossima is dead?"
"No, madam, it's the first time I've heard of it." Mitya was a littl_urprised. The image of Alyosha rose to his mind.
"Last night, and only imagine-"
"Madam," said Mitya, "I can imagine nothing except that I'm in a desperat_osition, and that if you don't help me, everything will come to grief, and _irst of all. Excuse me for the triviality of the expression, but I'm in _ever-"
"I know, I know that you're in a fever. You could hardly fail to be, an_hatever you may say to me, I know beforehand. I have long been thinking ove_our destiny, Dmitri Fyodorovitch, I am watching over it and studying it… .
Oh, believe me, I'm an experienced doctor of the soul, Dmitri Fyodorovitch."
"Madam, if you are an experienced doctor, I'm certainly an experience_atient," said Mitya, with an effort to be polite, "and I feel that if you ar_atching over my destiny in this way, you will come to my help in my ruin, an_o allow me, at least to explain to you the plan with which I have ventured t_ome to you… and what I am hoping of you… . I have come, madam-"
"Don't explain it. It's of secondary importance. But as for help, you're no_he first I have helped, Dmitri Fyodorovitch. You have most likely heard of m_ousin, Madame Belmesov. Her husband was ruined, 'had come to grief,' as yo_haracteristically express it, Dmitri Fyodorovitch. I recommended him to tak_o horse-breeding, and now he's doing well. Have you any idea of horse- breeding, Dmitri Fyodorovitch?"
"Not the faintest, madam; ah, madam, not the faintest!" cried Mitya, i_ervous impatience, positively starting from his seat. "I simply implore you, madam, to listen to me. Only give me two minutes of free speech that I ma_ust explain to you everything, the whole plan with which I have come.
Besides, I am short of time. I'm in a fearful hurry," Mitya crie_ysterically, feeling that she was just going to begin talking again, an_oping to cut her short. "I have come in despair… in the last gasp of despair, to beg you to lend me the sum of three thousand, a loan, but on safe, mos_afe security, madam, with the most trustworthy guarantees! Only let m_xplain-"
"You must tell me all that afterwards, afterwards!" Madame Hohlakov with _esture demanded silence in her turn, "and whatever you may tell me, I know i_ll beforehand; I've told you so already. You ask for a certain sum, for thre_housand, but I can give you more, immeasurably more; I will save you, Dmitr_yodorovitch, but you must listen to me."
Mitya started from his seat again.
"Madam, will you really be so good!" he cried, with strong feeling. "Good God, you've saved me! You have saved a man from a violent death, from a bullet… .
My eternal gratitude "I will give you more, infinitely more than thre_housand!" cried Madame Hohlakov, looking with a radiant smile at Mitya'_cstasy.
"Infinitely? But I don't need so much. I only need that fatal three thousand, and on my part I can give security for that sum with infinite gratitude, and _ropose a plan which-"
"Enough, Dmitri Fyodorovitch, it's said and done." Madame Hohlakov cut hi_hort, with the modest triumph of beneficence. "I have promised to save you, and I will save you. I will save you as I did Belmesov. What do you think o_he gold mines, Dmitri Fyodorovitch?"
"Of the gold mines, madam? I have never thought anything about them."
"But I have thought of them for you. Thought of them over and over again. _ave been watching you for the last month. I've watched you a hundred times a_ou've walked past, saying to myself: That's a man of energy who ought to b_t the gold mines. I've studied your gait and come to the conclusion: that's _an who would find gold."
"From my gait, madam?" said Mitya, smiling.
"Yes, from your gait. You surely don't deny that character can be told fro_he gait, Dmitri Fyodorovitch? Science supports the idea. I'm all for scienc_nd realism now. After all this business with Father Zossima, which has s_pset me, from this very day I'm a realist and I want to devote myself t_ractical usefulness. I'm cured. 'Enough!' as Turgeney says."
"But madam, the three thousand you so generously promised to lend me-"
"It is yours, Dmitri Fyodorovitch," Madame Hohlakov cut in at once. "The mone_s as good as in your pocket, not three thousand, but three million, Dmitr_yodorovitch, in less than no time. I'll make you a present of the idea: yo_hall find gold mines, make millions, return and become a leading man, an_ake us up and lead us to better things. Are we to leave it all to the Jews?
You will found institutions and enterprises of all sorts. You will help th_oor, and they will bless you. This is the age of railways, Dmitr_yodorovitch. You'll become famous and indispensable to the Department o_inance, which is so badly off at present. The depreciation of the roubl_eeps me awake at night, Dmitri Fyodorovitch; people don't know that side o_e-"
"Madam, madam! Dmitri interrupted with an uneasy presentiment. "I shal_ndeed, perhaps, follow your advice, your wise advice, madam… . I shal_erhaps set off… to the gold mines… . I'll come and see you again about it… many times, indeed… but now, that three thousand you so generously… oh, tha_ould set me free, and if you could to-day… you see, I haven't a minute, _inute to lose to-day-"
"Enough, Dmitri Fyodorovitch, enough!" Madame Hohlakov interrupte_mphatically. "The question is, will you go to the gold mines or not; have yo_uite made up your mind? Answer yes or no."
"I will go, madam, afterwards… . I'll go where you like… but now-"
"Wait!" cried Madame Hohlakov. And jumping up and running to a handsome burea_ith numerous little drawers, she began pulling out one drawer after another, looking for something with desperate haste.
"The three thousand," thought Mitya, his heart almost stopping, "and at th_nstant… without any papers or formalities… that's doing things in gentlemanl_tyle! She's a splendid woman, if only she didn't talk so much!"
"Here!" cried Madame Hohlakov, running back joyfully to Mitya, "here is what _as looking for!"
It was a tiny silver ikon on a cord, such as is sometimes worn next the ski_ith a cross.
"This is from Kiev, Dmitri Fyodorovitch," she went on reverently, "from th_elics of the Holy Martyr, Varvara. Let me put it on your neck myself, an_ith it dedicate you to a new life, to a new career."
And she actually put the cord round his neck, and began arranging it. I_xtreme embarrassment, Mitya bent down and helped her, and at last he got i_nder his neck-tie and collar through his shirt to his chest.
"Now you can set off," Madame Hohlakov pronounced, sitting down triumphantl_n her place again.
"Madam, I am so touched. I don't know how to thank you, indeed… for suc_indness, but… If only you knew how precious time is to me… . That sum o_oney, for which I shall be indebted to your generosity… Oh, madam, since yo_re so kind, so touchingly generous to me," Mitya exclaimed impulsively, "the_et me reveal to you… though, of course, you've known it a long time… that _ove somebody here… . I have been false to Katya… Katerina Ivanovna I shoul_ay… . Oh, I've behaved inhumanly, dishonourably to her, but I fell in lov_ere with another woman… a woman whom you, madam, perhaps, despise, for yo_now everything already, but whom I cannot leave on any account, and therefor_hat three thousand now-"
"Leave everything, Dmitri Fyodorovitch," Madame Hohlakov interrupted in th_ost decisive tone. "Leave everything, especially women. Gold mines are you_oal, and there's no place for women there. Afterwards, when you come bac_ich and famous, you will find the girl of your heart in the highest society.
That will be a modern girl, a girl of education and advanced ideas. By tha_ime the dawning woman question will have gained ground, and the new woma_ill have appeared."
"Madam, that's not the point, not at all… . Mitya clasped his hands i_ntreaty.
"Yes it is, Dmitri Fyodorovitch, just what you need; the very thing you'r_earning for, though you don't realise it yourself. I am not at all opposed t_he present woman movement, Dmitri Fyodorovitch. The development of woman, an_ven the political emancipation of woman in the near future- that's my ideal.
I've a daughter myself, Dmitri Fyodorovitch, people don't know that side o_e. I wrote a letter to the author, Shtchedrin, on that subject. He has taugh_e so much, so much about the vocation of woman. So last year I sent him a_nonymous letter of two lines: 'I kiss and embrace you, my teacher, for th_odern woman. Persevere.' And I signed myself, 'A Mother.' I thought o_igning myself 'A contemporary Mother,' and hesitated, but I stuck to th_imple 'Mother'; there's more moral beauty in that, Dmitri Fyodorovitch. An_he word 'contemporary' might have reminded him of The Contemporary- a painfu_ecollection owing to the censorship… . Good Heavens, what is the matter!"
"Madam!" cried Mitya, jumping up at last, clasping his hands before her i_elpless entreaty. "You will make me weep if you delay what you have s_enerously-"
"Oh, do weep, Dmitri Fyodorovitch, do weep! That's a noble feeling… such _ath lies open before you! Tears will ease your heart, and later on you wil_eturn rejoicing. You will hasten to me from Siberia on purpose to share you_oy with me-"
"But allow me, too!" Mitya cried suddenly.
"For the last time I entreat you, tell me, can I have the sum you promised m_o-day, if not, when may I come for it?"
"What sum, Dmitri Fyodorovitch?"
"The three thousand you promised me… that you so generously-"
"Three thousand? Roubles? Oh, no, I haven't got three thousand," Madam_ohlakov announced with serene amazement. Mitya was stupefied.
"Why, you said just now you said… you said it was as good as in my hands-"
"Oh, no, you misunderstood me, Dmitri Fyodorovitch. In that case yo_isunderstood me. I was talking of the gold mines. It's true I promised yo_ore, infinitely more than three thousand, I remember it all now, but I wa_eferring to the gold mines."
"But the money? The three thousand?" Mitya exclaimed, awkwardly.
"Oh, if you meant money, I haven't any. I haven't a penny, Dmitr_yodorovitch. I'm quarrelling with my steward about it, and I've just borrowe_ive hundred roubles from Miusov, myself. No, no, I've no money. And, do yo_now, Dmitri Fyodorovitch, if I had, I wouldn't give it to you. In the firs_lace I never lend money. Lending money means losing friends. And I wouldn'_ive it to you particularly. I wouldn't give it you, because I like you an_ant to save you, for all you need is the gold mines, the gold mines, the gol_ines!"
"Oh, the devil!" roared Mitya, and with all his might brought his fist down o_he table.
"Aie! Aie!" cried Madame Hohlakov, alarmed, and she flew to the other end o_he drawing-room.
Mitya spat on the ground, and strode rapidly out of the room, out of th_ouse, into the street, into the darkness! He walked like one possessed, an_eating himself on the breast, on the spot where he had struck himself tw_ays previously, before Alyosha, the last time he saw him in the dark, on th_oad. What those blows upon his breast signified, on that spot, and what h_eant by it- that was, for the time, a secret which was known to no one in th_orld, and had not been told even to Alyosha. But that secret meant for hi_ore than disgrace; it meant ruin, suicide. So he had determined, if he di_ot get hold of the three thousand that would pay his debt to Katerin_vanovna, and so remove from his breast, from that spot on his breast, th_hame he carried upon it, that weighed on his conscience. All this will b_ully explained to the reader later on, but now that his last hope ha_anished, this man, so strong in appearance, burst out crying like a littl_hild a few steps from the Hohlakovs' house. He walked on, and not knowin_hat he was doing, wiped away his tears with his fist. In this way he reache_he square, and suddenly became aware that he had stumbled against something.
He heard a piercing wail from an old woman whom he had almost knocked down.
"Good Lord, you've nearly killed me! Why don't you look where you're going, scapegrace?"
"Why, it's you!" cried Mitya, recognising the old woman in the dark. It wa_he old servant who waited on Samsonov, whom Mitya had particularly notice_he day before.
"And who are you, my good sir?" said the old woman in quite a different voice.
"I don't know you in the dark."
"You live at Kuzma Kuzmitch's. You're the servant there?"
"Just so, sir, I was only running out to Prohoritch's… But I don't know yo_ow."
"Tell me, my good woman, is Agrafena Alexandrovna there now?" said Mitya, beside himself with suspense. "I saw her to the house some time ago."
"She has been there, sir. She stayed a little while, and went off again."
"What? Went away?" cried Mitya. "When did she go?"
"Why, as soon as she came. She only stayed a minute. She only told Kuzm_uzmitch a tale that made him laugh, and then she ran away."
"You're lying, damn you!" roared Mitya.
"Aie! Aie!" shrieked the old woman, but Mitya had vanished.
He ran with all his might to the house where Grushenka lived. At the moment h_eached it, Grushenka was on her way to Mokroe. It was not more than a quarte_f an hour after her departure.
Fenya was sitting with her grandmother, the old cook, Matryona, in the kitche_hen "the captain" ran in. Fenya uttered a piercing shriek on seeing him.
"You scream?" roared Mitya, "where is she?"
But without giving the terror-stricken Fenya time to utter a word, he fell al_f a heap at her feet.
"Fenya, for Christ's sake, tell me, where is she?"
"I don't know. Dmitri Fyodorovitch, my dear, I don't know. You may kill me bu_ can't tell you." Fenya swore and protested. "You went out with her yoursel_ot long ago-"
"She came back!"
"Indeed she didn't. By God I swear she didn't come back."
"You're lying!" shouted Mitya. "From your terror I know where she is."
He rushed away. Fenya in her fright was glad she had got off so easily. Bu_he knew very well that it was only that he was in such haste, or she migh_ot have fared so well. But as he ran, he surprised both Fenya and ol_atryona by an unexpected action. On the table stood a brass mortar, with _estle in it, a small brass pestle, not much more than six inches long. Mity_lready had opened the door with one hand when, with the other, he snatched u_he pestle, and thrust it in his side-pocket.
"Oh Lord! He's going to murder someone!" cried Fenya, flinging up her hands.