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Chapter 3 The Sufferings of a Soul — The First Ordeal

  • AND so Mitya sat looking wildly at the people round him, not understandin_hat was said to him. Suddenly he got up, flung up his hands, and shoute_loud:
  • "I'm not guilty! I'm not guilty of that blood! I'm not guilty of my father'_lood… . I meant to kill him. But I'm not guilty. Not I."
  • But he had hardly said this, before Grushenka rushed from behind the curtai_nd flung herself at the police captain's feet.
  • "It was my fault! Mine! My wickedness!" she cried, in a heart-rending voice, bathed in tears, stretching out her clasped hands towards them. "He did i_hrough me. I tortured him and drove him to it. I tortured that poor old ma_hat's dead, too, in my wickedness, and brought him to this! It's my fault, mine first, mine most, my fault!"
  • "Yes, it's your fault! You're the chief criminal! You fury! You harlot! You'r_he most to blame!" shouted the police captain, threatening her with his hand.
  • But he was quickly and resolutely suppressed. The prosecutor positively seize_old of him.
  • "This is absolutely irregular, Mihail Makarovitch!" he cried. "You ar_ositively hindering the inquiry… . You're ruining the case." he almos_asped.
  • "Follow the regular course! Follow the regular course!" cried Nikola_arfenovitch, fearfully excited too, "otherwise it's absolutely impossible!… "
  • "Judge us together!" Grushenka cried frantically, still kneeling. "Punish u_ogether. I will go with him now, if it's to death!"
  • "Grusha, my life, my blood, my holy one!" Mitya fell on his knees beside he_nd held her tight in his arms. "Don't believe her," he cried, "she's no_uilty of anything, of any blood, of anything!"
  • He remembered afterwards that he was forcibly dragged away from her by severa_en, and that she was led out, and that when he recovered himself he wa_itting at the table. Beside him and behind him stood the men with meta_lates. Facing him on the other side of the table sat Nikolay Parfenovitch, the investigating lawyer. He kept persuading him to drink a little water ou_f a glass that stood on the table.
  • "That will refresh you, that will calm you. Be calm, don't be frightened," h_dded, extremely politely. Mitya (he remembered it afterwards) became suddenl_ntensely interested in his big rings, one with an amethyst, and another wit_ transparent bright yellow stone, of great brilliance. And long afterwards h_emembered with wonder how those rings had riveted his attention through al_hose terrible hours of interrogation, so that he was utterly unable to tea_imself away from them and dismiss them, as things that had nothing to do wit_is position. On Mitya's left side, in the place where Maximov had bee_itting at the beginning of the evening, the prosecutor was now seated, and o_itya's right hand, where Grushenka had been, was a rosy-cheeked young man i_ sort of shabby hunting-jacket, with ink and paper before him. This was th_ecretary of the investigating lawyer, who had brought him with him. Th_olice captain was now standing by the window at the other end of the room, beside Kalganov, who was sitting there.
  • "Drink some water," said the investigating lawyer softly, for the tenth time.
  • "I have drunk it, gentlemen, I have… but come gentlemen, crush me, punish me, decide my fate!" cried Mitya, staring with terribly fixed wide-open eyes a_he investigating lawyer.
  • "So you positively declare that you are not guilty of the death of you_ather, Fyodor Pavlovitch?" asked the investigating lawyer, softly bu_nsistently.
  • "I am not guilty. I am guilty of the blood of another old man, but not of m_ather's. And I weep for it! I killed, I killed the old man and knocked hi_own… . But it's hard to have to answer for that murder with another, _errible murder of which I am not guilty… .It's a terrible accusation, gentlemen, a knockdown blow. But who has killed my father, who has killed him?
  • Who can have killed him if I didn't? It's marvellous, extraordinary, impossible."
  • "Yes, who can have killed him?" the investigating lawyer was beginning, bu_ppolit Kirillovitch, the prosecutor, glancing at him, addressed Mitya.
  • "You need not worry yourself about the old servant, Grigory Vasilyevitch. H_s alive, he has recovered, and in spite of the terrible blows inflicted, according to his own and your evidence, by you, there seems no doubt that h_ill live, so the doctor says, at least."
  • "Alive? He's alive?" cried Mitya, flinging up his hands. His face beamed.
  • "Lord, I thank Thee for the miracle Thou has wrought for me, a sinner an_vildoer. That's an answer to my prayer. I've been praying all night." And h_rossed himself three times. He was almost breathless.
  • "So from this Grigory we have received such important evidence concerning you, that-" The prosecutor would have continued, but Mitya suddenly jumped up fro_is chair.
  • "One minute, gentlemen, for God's sake, one minute; I will run to her-"
  • "Excuse me, at this moment it's quite impossible," Nikolay Parfenovitch almos_hrieked. He, too, leapt to his feet. Mitya was seized by the men with th_etal plates, but he sat down of his own accord… .
  • "Gentlemen, what a pity! I wanted to see her for one minute only; I wanted t_ell her that it has been washed away, it has gone, that blood that wa_eighing on my heart all night, and that I am not a murderer now! Gentlemen, she is my betrothed!" he said ecstatically and reverently, looking round a_hem all. "Oh, thank you, gentlemen! Oh, in one minute you have given me ne_ife, new heart!… That old man used to carry me in his arms, gentlemen. H_sed to wash me in the tub when I was a baby three years old, abandoned b_veryone, he was like a father to me!… "
  • "And so you-" the investigating lawyer began.
  • "Allow me, gentlemen, allow me one minute more," interposed Mitya, putting hi_lbows on the table and covering his face with his hands. "Let me have _oment to think, let me breathe, gentlemen. All this is horribly upsetting, horribly. A man is not a drum, gentlemen!"
  • "Drink a little more water," murmured Nikolay Parfenovitch. Mitya took hi_ands from his face and laughed. His eyes were confident. He seemed completel_ransformed in a moment. His whole bearing was changed; he was once more th_qual of these men, with all of whom he was acquainted, as though they had al_et the day before, when nothing had happened, at some social gathering. W_ay note in passing that, on his first arrival, Mitya had been made ver_elcome at the police captain's, but later, during the last month especially, Mitya had hardly called at all, and when the police captain met him, in th_treet, for instance, Mitya noticed that he frowned and only bowed out o_oliteness. His acquaintance with the prosecutor was less intimate, though h_ometimes paid his wife, a nervous and fanciful lady, visits of politeness, without quite knowing why, and she always received him graciously and had, fo_ome reason, taken an interest in him up to the last. He had not had time t_et to know the investigating lawyer, though he had met him and talked to hi_wice, each time about the fair sex.
  • "You're a most skilful lawyer, I see, Nikolay Parfenovitch," cried Mitya, laughing gaily, "but I can help you now. Oh, gentlemen, I feel like a new man, and don't be offended at my addressing you so simply and directly. I'm rathe_runk, too, I'll tell you that frankly. I believe I've had the honour an_leasure of meeting you, Nikolay Parfenovitch, at my kinsman Miusov's.
  • Gentlemen, gentlemen, I don't pretend to be on equal terms with you. _nderstand, of course, in what character I am sitting before you. Oh, o_ourse, there's a horrible suspicion… hanging over me… if Grigory has give_vidence… . A horrible suspicion! It's awful, awful, I understand that! But t_usiness, gentlemen, I am ready, and we will make an end of it in one moment; for, listen, listen, gentlemen! Since I know I'm innocent, we can put an en_o it in a minute. Can't we? Can't we?"
  • Mitya spoke much and quickly, nervously and effusively, as though h_ositively took his listeners to be his best friends.
  • "So, for the present, we will write that you absolutely deny the charg_rought against you," said Nikolay Parfenovitch, impressively, and bendin_own to the secretary he dictated to him in an undertone what to write.
  • "Write it down? You want to write that down? Well, write it; I consent, I giv_y full consent, gentlemen, only… do you see?… Stay, stay, write this. O_isorderly conduct I am guilty, of violence on a poor old man I am guilty. An_here is something else at the bottom of my heart, of which I am guilty, to_ut that you need not write down" (he turned suddenly to the secretary);
  • "that's my personal life, gentlemen, that doesn't concern you, the bottom o_y heart, that's to say… . But of the murder of my old father I'm not guilty.
  • That's a wild idea. It's quite a wild idea!… I will prove you that and you'l_e convinced directly… . You will laugh, gentlemen. You'll laugh yourselves a_our suspicion!… "
  • "Be calm, Dmitri Fyodorovitch," said the investigating lawyer evidently tryin_o allay Mitya's excitement by his own composure. "Before we go on with ou_nquiry, I should like, if you will consent to answer, to hear you confirm th_tatement that you disliked your father, Fyodor Pavlovitch, that you wer_nvolved in continual disputes with him. Here at least, a quarter of an hou_go, you exclaimed that you wanted to kill him: 'I didn't kill him,' yo_aid,'but I wanted to kill him.'"
  • "Did I exclaim that? Ach, that may be so, gentlemen! Yes, unhappily, I di_ant to kill him… many times I wanted to… unhappily, unhappily!"
  • "You wanted to. Would you consent to explain what motives precisely led you t_uch a sentiment of hatred for your parent?"
  • "What is there to explain, gentlemen?" Mitya shrugged his shoulders sullenly, looking down. "I have never concealed my feelings. All the town knows abou_t- everyone knows in the tavern. Only lately I declared them in Fathe_ossima's cell. And the very same day, in the evening I beat my father. _early killed him, and I swore I'd come again and kill him, before witnesses… . Oh, a thousand witnesses! I've been shouting it aloud for the last month, anyone can tell you that!… The fact stares you in the face, it speaks fo_tself, it cries aloud, but feelings, gentlemen, feelings are another matter.
  • You see, gentlemen"- Mitya frowned- "it seemed to me that about feeling_ou've no right to question me. I know that you are bound by your office, _uite understand that, but that's my affair, my private, intimate affair, yet… since I haven't concealed my feelings in the past… in the tavern, fo_nstance, I've talked to everyone, so… so I won't make a secret of it now. Yo_ee, I understand, gentlemen, that there are terrible facts against me in thi_usiness. I told everyone that I'd kill him, and now, all of a sudden, he'_een killed. So it must have been me! Ha ha! I can make allowances for you, gentlemen, I can quite make allowances. I'm struck all of a heap myself, fo_ho can have murdered him, if not I? That's what it comes to, isn't it? If no_, who can it be, who? Gentlemen, I want to know, I insist on knowing!" h_xclaimed suddenly. "Where was he murdered? How was he murdered? How, and wit_hat? Tell me," he asked quickly, looking at the two lawyers.
  • "We found him in his study, lying on his back on the floor, with his hea_attered in," said the prosecutor.
  • "That's horrible!" Mitya shuddered and, putting his elbows on the table, hi_is face in his right hand.
  • "We will continue," interposed Nikolay Parfenovitch. "So what was it tha_mpelled you to this sentiment of hatred? You have asserted in public, _elieve, that it was based upon jealousy?"
  • "Well, yes, jealousy. not only jealousy."
  • "Disputes about money?"
  • "Yes, about money, too."
  • "There was a dispute about three thousand roubles, I think, which you claime_s part of your inheritance?"
  • "Three thousand! More, more," cried Mitya hotly; "more than six thousand, mor_han ten, perhaps. I told everyone so, shouted it at them. But I made up m_ind to let it go at three thousand. I was desperately in need of that thre_housand… so the bundle of notes for three thousand that I knew he kept unde_is pillow, ready for Grushenka, I considered as simply stolen from me. Yes, gentlemen, I looked upon it as mine, as my own property… "
  • The prosecutor looked significantly at the investigating lawyer, and had tim_o wink at him on the sly.
  • "We will return to that subject later," said the lawyer promptly. "You wil_llow us to note that point and write it down; that you looked upon that mone_s your own property?"
  • "Write it down, by all means. I know that's another fact that tells agains_e, but I'm not afraid of facts and I tell them against myself. Do you hear?
  • Do you know, gentlemen, you take me for a different sort of man from what _m," he added, suddenly gloomy and dejected. "You have to deal with a man o_onour, a man of the highest honour; above all don't lose sight of it- a ma_ho's done a lot of nasty things, but has always been, and still is, honourable at bottom, in his inner being. I don't know how to express it.
  • That's just what's made me wretched all my life, that I yearned to b_onourable, that I was, so to say, a martyr to a sense of honour, seeking fo_t with a lantern, with the lantern of Diogenes, and yet all my life I've bee_oing filthy things like all of us, gentlemen… that is like me alone. That wa_ mistake, like me alone, me alone!… Gentlemen, my head aches… " His brow_ontracted with pain. "You see, gentlemen, I couldn't bear the look of him, there was something in him ignoble, impudent, trampling on everything sacred, something sneering and irreverent, loathsome, loathsome. But now that he'_ead, I feel differently."
  • "How do you mean?"
  • "I don't feel differently, but I wish I hadn't hated him so."
  • "You feel penitent?"
  • "No, not penitent, don't write that. I'm not much good myself; I'm not ver_eautiful, so I had no right to consider him repulsive. That's what I mean.
  • Write that down, if you like."
  • Saying this Mitya became very mournful. He had grown more and more gloomy a_he inquiry continued.
  • At that moment another unexpected scene followed. Though Grushenka had bee_emoved, she had not been taken far away, only into the room next but one fro_he blue room, in which the examination was proceeding. It was a little roo_ith one window, next beyond the large room in which they had danced an_easted so lavishly. She was sitting there with no one by her but Maximov, wh_as terribly depressed, terribly scared, and clung to her side, as though fo_ecurity. At their door stood one of the peasants with a metal plate on hi_reast. Grushenka was crying, and suddenly her grief was too much for her, sh_umped up, flung up her arms and, with a loud wail of sorrow, rushed out o_he room to him, to her Mitya, and so unexpectedly that they had not time t_top her. Mitya, hearing her cry, trembled, jumped up, and with a yell rushe_mpetuously to meet her, not knowing what he was doing. But they were no_llowed to come together, though they saw one another. He was seized by th_rms. He struggled, and tried to tear himself away. It took three or four me_o hold him. She was seized too, and he saw her stretching out her arms t_im, crying aloud as they carried her away. When the scene was over, he cam_o himself again, sitting in the same place as before, opposite th_nvestigating lawyer, and crying out to them:
  • "What do you want with her? Why do you torment her? She's done nothing, nothing!
  • The lawyers tried to soothe him. About ten minutes passed like this. At las_ihail Makarovitch, who had been absent, came hurriedly into the room, an_aid in a loud and excited voice to the prosecutor:
  • "She's been removed, she's downstairs. Will you allow me to say one word t_his unhappy man, gentlemen? In your presence, gentlemen, in your presence."
  • "By all means, Mihail Makarovitch," answered the investigating lawyer. "In th_resent case we have nothing against it."
  • "Listen, Dmitri Fyodorovitch, my dear fellow," began the police captain, an_here was a look of warm, almost fatherly, feeling for the luckless prisone_n his excited face. "I took your Agrafena Alexandrovna downstairs myself, an_onfided her to the care of the landlord's daughters, and that old fello_aximov is with her all the time. And I soothed her, do you hear? I soothe_nd calmed her. I impressed on her that you have to clear yourself, so sh_ustn't hinder you, must not depress you, or you may lose your head and sa_he wrong thing in your evidence. In fact, I talked to her and she understood.
  • She's a sensible girl, my boy, a good-hearted girl, she would have kissed m_ld hands, begging help for you. She sent me herself, to tell you not to worr_bout her. And I must go, my dear fellow, I must go and tell her that you ar_alm and comforted about her. And so you must be calm, do you understand? _as unfair to her; she is a Christian soul, gentlemen, yes, I tell you, she'_ gentle soul, and not to blame for anything. So what am I to tell her, Dmitr_yodorovitch? Will you sit quiet or not?"
  • The good-natured police captain said a great deal that was irregular, bu_rushenka's suffering, a fellow creature's suffering, touched his good-nature_eart, and tears stood in his eyes. Mitya jumped up and rushed towards him.
  • "Forgive me, gentlemen, oh, allow me, allow me!" he cried. "You've the hear_f an angel, an angel, Mihail Makarovitch, I thank you for her. I will, I wil_e calm, cheerful, in fact. Tell her, in the kindness of your heart, that I a_heerful, quite cheerful, that I shall be laughing in a minute, knowing tha_he has a guardian angel like you. I shall have done with all this directly, and as soon as I'm free, I'll be with her, she'll see, let her wait.
  • Gentlemen," he said, turning to the two lawyers, now I'll open my whole sou_o you; I'll pour out everything. We'll finish this off directly, finish i_ff gaily. We shall laugh at it in the end, shan't we? But gentlemen, tha_oman is the queen of my heart. Oh, let me tell you that. That one thing I'l_ell you now… . I see I'm with honourable men. She is my light, she is my hol_ne, and if only you knew! Did you hear her cry, 'I'll go to death with you'?
  • And what have I, a penniless beggar, done for her? Why such love for me? Ho_an a clumsy, ugly brute like me, with my ugly face, deserve such love, tha_he is ready to go to exile with me? And how she fell down at your feet for m_ake, just now!… and yet she's proud and has done nothing! How can I hel_doring her, how can I help crying out and rushing to her as I did just now?
  • Gentlemen, forgive me! But now, now I am comforted."
  • And he sank back in his chair and, covering his face with his hands, burs_nto tears. But they were happy tears. He recovered himself instantly. The ol_olice captain seemed much pleased, and the lawyers also. They felt that th_xamination was passing into a new phase. When the police captain went out, Mitya was positively gay.
  • "Now, gentlemen, I am at your disposal, entirely at your disposal. And if i_ere not for all these trivial details, we should understand one another in _inute. I'm at those details again. I'm at your disposal, gentlemen, but _eclare that we must have mutual confidence, you in me and I in you, o_here'll be no end to it. I speak in your interests. To business, gentlemen, to business, and don't rummage in my soul; don't tease me with trifles, bu_nly ask me about facts and what matters, and I will satisfy you at once. An_amn the details!"
  • So spoke Mitya. The interrogation began again.