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The Double

The Double

Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky

Update: 2020-04-22

Chapter 1

  • It was a little before eight o’clock in the morning when Yakov Petrovitc_olyadkin, a titular councillor, woke up from a long sleep. He yawned,
  • stretched, and at last opened his eyes completely. For two minutes, however,
  • he lay in his bed without moving, as though he were not yet quite certai_hether he were awake or still asleep, whether all that was going on aroun_im were real and actual, or the continuation of his confused dreams. Ver_oon, however, Mr. Golyadkin’s senses began more clearly and more distinctl_o receive their habitual and everyday impressions. The dirty green, smoke-
  • begrimed, dusty walls of his little room, with the mahogany chest of drawer_nd chairs, the table painted red, the sofa covered with American leather of _eddish colour with little green flowers on it, and the clothes taken off i_aste overnight and flung in a crumpled heap on the sofa, looked at hi_amiliarly. At last the damp autumn day, muggy and dirty, peeped into the roo_hrough the dingy window pane with such a hostile, sour grimace that Mr.
  • Golyadkin could not possibly doubt that he was not in the land of Nod, but i_he city of Petersburg, in his own flat on the fourth storey of a huge bloc_f buildings in Shestilavotchny Street. When he had made this importan_iscovery Mr. Golyadkin nervously closed his eyes, as though regretting hi_ream and wanting to go back to it for a moment. But a minute later he leap_ut of bed at one bound, probably all at once, grasping the idea about whic_is scattered and wandering thoughts had been revolving. From his bed he ra_traight to a little round looking-glass that stood on his chest of drawers.
  • Though the sleepy, short-sighted countenance and rather bald head reflected i_he looking-glass were of such an insignificant type that at first sight the_ould certainly not have attracted particular attention in any one, yet th_wner of the countenance was satisfied with all that he saw in the looking-
  • glass. “What a thing it would be,” said Mr. Golyadkin in an undertone, “what _hing it would be if I were not up to the mark today, if something were amiss,
  • if some intrusive pimple had made its appearance, or anything else unpleasan_ad happened; so far, however, there’s nothing wrong, so far everything’s al_ight.”
  • Greatly relieved that everything was all right, Mr Golyadkin put the looking-
  • glass back in its place and, although he had nothing on his feet and was stil_n the attire in which he was accustomed to go to bed, he ran to the littl_indow and with great interest began looking for something in the courtyard,
  • upon which the windows of his flat looked out. Apparently what he was lookin_or in the yard quite satisfied him too; his face beamed with a self-satisfie_mile. Then, after first peeping, however, behind the partition into his vale_etrushka’s little room and making sure that Petrushka was not there, he wen_n tiptoe to the table, opened the drawer in it and, fumbling in the furthes_orner of it, he took from under old yellow papers and all sorts of rubbish _habby green pocket-book, opened it cautiously, and with care and relis_eeped into the furthest and most hidden fold of it. Probably the roll o_reen, grey, blue, red and particoloured notes looked at Golyadkin, too, wit_pproval: with a radiant face he laid the open pocket-book before him an_ubbed his hands vigorously in token of the greatest satisfaction. Finally, h_ook it out — his comforting roll of notes — and, for the hundredth time sinc_he previous day, counted them over, carefully smoothing out every not_etween his forefinger and his thumb.
  • “Seven hundred and fifty roubles in notes,” he concluded at last, in a half-
  • whisper. “Seven hundred and fifty roubles, a noteworthy sum! It’s an agreeabl_um,” he went on, in a voice weak and trembling with gratification, as h_inched the roll with his fingers and smiled significantly; “it’s a ver_greeable sum! A sum agreeable to any one! I should like to see the man t_hom that would be a trivial sum! There’s no knowing what a man might not d_ith a sum like that. . . . What’s the meaning of it, though?” thought Mr.
  • Golyadkin; “where’s Petrushka?” And still in the same attire he peeped behin_he partition again. Again there was no sign of Petrushka; and the samova_tanding on the floor was beside itself, fuming and raging in solitude,
  • threatening every minute to boil over, hissing and lisping in its mysteriou_anguage, to Mr. Golyadkin something like, “Take me, good people, I’m boilin_nd perfectly ready.”
  • “Damn the fellow,” thought Mr. Golyadkin. “That lazy brute might really driv_ man out of all patience; where’s he dawdling now?”
  • In just indignation he went out into the hall, which consisted of a littl_orridor at the end of which was a door into the entry, and saw his servan_urrounded by a good-sized group of lackeys of all sorts, a mixed rabble fro_utside as well as from the flats of the house. Petrushka was tellin_omething, the others were listening. Apparently the subject of th_onversation, or the conversation itself, did not please Mr. Golyadkin. H_romptly called Petrushka and returned to his room, displeased and even upset.
  • “That beast would sell a man for a halfpenny, and his master before any one,”
  • he thought to himself: “and he has sold me, he certainly has. I bet he ha_old me for a farthing. Well?”
  • “They’ve brought the livery, sir.”
  • “Put it on, and come here.”
  • When he had put on his livery, Petrushka, with a stupid smile on his face,
  • went in to his master. His costume was incredibly strange. He had on a much-
  • worn green livery, with frayed gold braid on it, apparently made for a man _ard taller than Petrushka. In his hand he had a hat trimmed with the sam_old braid and with a feather in it, and at his hip hung a footman’s sword i_ leather sheath. Finally, to complete the picture, Petrushka, who alway_iked to be in negligé, was barefooted. Mr. Golyadkin looked at Petrushka fro_ll sides and was apparently satisfied. The livery had evidently been hire_or some solemn occasion. It might be observed, too, that during his master’_nspection Petrushka watched him with strange expectance and with marke_uriosity followed every movement he made, which extremely embarrassed Mr.
  • Golyadkin.
  • “Well, and how about the carriage?”
  • “The carriage is here too.”
  • “For the whole day?”
  • “For the whole day. Twenty five roubles.”
  • “And have the boots been sent?”
  • “Yes.”
  • “Dolt! can’t even say, ‘yes, sir.’ Bring them here.”
  • Expressing his satisfaction that the boots fitted, Mr. Golyadkin asked for hi_ea, and for water to wash and shave. He shaved with great care and washed a_crupulously, hurriedly sipped his tea and proceeded to the principal fina_rocess of attiring himself: he put on an almost new pair of trousers; then _hirtfront with brass studs, and a very bright and agreeably flowere_aistcoat; about his neck he tied a gay, particoloured cravat, and finall_rew on his coat, which was also newish and carefully brushed. As he dressed,
  • he more than once looked lovingly at his boots, lifted up first one leg an_hen the other, admired their shape, kept muttering something to himself, an_rom time to time made expressive grimaces. Mr. Golyadkin was, however,
  • extremely absent-minded that morning, for he scarcely noticed the littl_miles and grimaces made at his expense by Petrushka, who was helping hi_ress. At last, having arranged everything properly and having finishe_ressing, Mr. Golyadkin put his pocket-book in his pocket, took a fina_dmiring look at Petrushka, who had put on his boots and was therefore als_uite ready, and, noticing that everything was done and that there was nothin_eft to wait for, he ran hurriedly and fussily out on to the stairs, with _light throbbing at his heart. The light-blue hired carriage with a crest o_t rolled noisily up to the steps. Petrushka, winking to the driver and som_f the gaping crowd, helped his master into the carriage; and hardly able t_uppress an idiotic laugh, shouted in an unnatural voice: “Off!” jumped up o_he footboard, and the whole turnout, clattering and rumbling noisily, rolle_nto the Nevsky Prospect. As soon as the light-blue carriage dashed out of th_ate, Mr. Golyadkin rubbed his hands convulsively and went off into a slow,
  • noiseless chuckle, like a jubilant man who has succeeded in bringing off _plendid performance and is as pleased as Punch with the performance himself.
  • Immediately after his access of gaiety, however, laughter was replaced by _trange and anxious expression on the face of Mr. Golyadkin. Though th_eather was damp and muggy, he let down both windows of the carriage and bega_arefully scrutinizing the passers-by to left and to right, at once assuming _ecorous and sedate air when he thought any one was looking at him. At th_urning from Liteyny Street into the Nevsky Prospect he was startled by a mos_npleasant sensation and, frowning like some poor wretch whose corn has bee_ccidentally trodden on, he huddled with almost panic-stricken hast into th_arkest corner of his carriage.
  • He had seen two of his colleagues, two young clerks serving in the sam_overnment department. The young clerks were also, it seemed to Mr. Golyadkin,
  • extremely amazed at meeting their colleague in such a way; one of them, i_act, pointed him out to the other. Mr. Golyadkin even fancied that the othe_ad actually called his name, which, of course, was very unseemly in th_treet. Our hero concealed himself and did not respond. “The sill_oungsters!” he began reflecting to himself. “Why, what is there strange i_t? A man in a carriage, a man needs to be in a carriage, and so he hires _arriage. They’re simply noodles! I know them — simply silly youngsters, wh_till need thrashing! They want to be paid a salary for playing pitch-farthin_nd dawdling about, that’s all they’re fit for. It’d let them all know, i_nly … ”
  • Mr. Golyadkin broke off suddenly, petrified. A smart pair of Kazan horses,
  • very familiar to Mr. Golyadkin, in a fashionable droshky, drove rapidly by o_he right side of his carriage. The gentleman sitting in the droshky,
  • happening to catch a glimpse of Mr. Golyadkin, who was rather incautiousl_oking his head out of the carriage window, also appeared to be extremel_stonished at the unexpected meeting and, bending out as far as he could,
  • looked with the greatest of curiosity and interest into the corner of th_arriage in which our hero made haste to conceal himself. The gentleman in th_roshky was Andrey Filippovitch, the head of the office in which Mr. Golyadki_erved in the capacity of assistant to the chief clerk. Mr. Golyadkin, seein_hat Andrey Filippovitch recognized him, that he was looking at him open-eye_nd that it was impossible to hide, blushed up to his ears.
  • “Bow or not? Call back or not? Recognize him or not?” our hero wondered i_ndescribable anguish, “or pretend that I am not myself, but somebody els_trikingly like me, and look as though nothing were the matter. Simply not I,
  • not I— and that’s all,” said Mr. Golyadkin, taking off his hat to Andre_ilippovitch and keeping his eyes fixed upon him. “I’m . . . I’m all right,”
  • he whispered with an effort; “I’m . . . quite all right. It’s not I, it’s no_— and that is the fact of the matter.”
  • Soon, however, the droshky passed the carriage, and the magnetism of hi_hief’s eyes was at an end. Yet he went on blushing, smiling and mutterin_omething to himself…
  • “I was a fool not to call back,” he thought at last. “I ought to have taken _older line and behaved with gentlemanly openness. I ought to have said ‘Thi_s how it is, Andrey Filippovitch, I’m asked to the dinner too,’ and that’_ll it is!”
  • Then, suddenly recalling how taken aback he had been, our hero flushed as ho_s fire, frowned, and cast a terrible defiant glance at the front corner o_he carriage, a glance calculated to reduce all his foes to ashes. At last, h_as suddenly inspired to pull the cord attached to the driver’s elbow, an_topped the carriage, telling him to drive back to Liteyny Street. The fac_as, it was urgently necessary for Mr. Golyadkin, probably for the sake of hi_wn peace of mind, to say something very interesting to his doctor, Krestya_vanovitch. And, though he had made Krestyan Ivanovitch’s acquaintance quit_ecently, having, indeed, only paid him a single visit, and that one th_revious week, to consult him about some symptom. but a doctor, as they say,
  • is like a priest, and it would be stupid for him to keep out of sight, and,
  • indeed, it was his duty to know his patients. “Will it be all right, though,”
  • our hero went on, getting out of the carriage at the door of a five-store_ouse in Liteyny Street, at which he had told the driver to stop the carriage:
  • “Will it be all right? Will it be proper? Will it be appropriate? After all,
  • though,” he went on, thinking as he mounted the stairs out of breath an_rying to suppress that beating of his heart, which had the habit of beatin_n all other people’s staircases: “After all, it’s on my own business an_here’s nothing reprehensible in it. . . . It would be stupid to keep out o_ight. Why, of course, I shall behave as though I were quite all right, an_ave simply looked in as I passed. . . . He will see, that it’s all just as i_hould be.”
  • Reasoning like this, Mr. Golyadkin mounted to the second storey and stoppe_efore flat number five, on which there was a handsome brass door-plate wit_he inscription —
  • KRESTYAN IVANOVITCH RUTENSPITZ Doctor of Medicine and Surgery
  • Stopping at the door, our hero made haste to assume an air of propriety, ease,
  • and even of a certain affability, and prepared to pull the bell. As he wa_bout to do so he promptly and rather appropriately reflected that it might b_etter to come to-morrow, and that it was not very pressing for the moment.
  • But as he suddenly heard footsteps on the stairs, he immediately changed hi_ind again and at once rang Krestyan Ivanovitch’s bell — with an air,
  • moreover, of great determination.