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> CHAPTER II

Razumihin waked up next morning at eight o'clock, troubled and
serious. He found himself confronted with many new and unlooked-for
perplexities. He had never expected that he would ever wake up feeling
like that. He remembered every detail of the previous day and he knew
that a perfectly novel experience had befallen him, that he had
received an impression unlike anything he had known before. At the
same time he recognised clearly that the dream which had fired his
imagination was hopelessly unattainable--so unattainable that he felt
positively ashamed of it, and he hastened to pass to the other more
practical cares and difficulties bequeathed him by that "thrice
accursed yesterday."

The most awful recollection of the previous day was the way he had
shown himself "base and mean," not only because he had been drunk, but
because he had taken advantage of the young girl's position to abuse
her /fiancé/ in his stupid jealousy, knowing nothing of their mutual
relations and obligations and next to nothing of the man himself. And
what right had he to criticise him in that hasty and unguarded manner?
Who had asked for his opinion? Was it thinkable that such a creature
as Avdotya Romanovna would be marrying an unworthy man for money? So
there must be something in him. The lodgings? But after all how could
he know the character of the lodgings? He was furnishing a flat . . .
Foo! how despicable it all was! And what justification was it that he
was drunk? Such a stupid excuse was even more degrading! In wine is
truth, and the truth had all come out, "that is, all the uncleanness
of his coarse and envious heart"! And would such a dream ever be
permissible to him, Razumihin? What was he beside such a girl--he, the
drunken noisy braggart of last night? Was it possible to imagine so
absurd and cynical a juxtaposition? Razumihin blushed desperately at
the very idea and suddenly the recollection forced itself vividly upon
him of how he had said last night on the stairs that the landlady
would be jealous of Avdotya Romanovna . . . that was simply
intolerable. He brought his fist down heavily on the kitchen stove,
hurt his hand and sent one of the bricks flying.

"Of course," he muttered to himself a minute later with a feeling of
self-abasement, "of course, all these infamies can never be wiped out
or smoothed over . . . and so it's useless even to think of it, and I
must go to them in silence and do my duty . . . in silence, too . . .
and not ask forgiveness, and say nothing . . . for all is lost now!"

And yet as he dressed he examined his attire more carefully than
usual. He hadn't another suit--if he had had, perhaps he wouldn't have
put it on. "I would have made a point of not putting it on." But in
any case he could not remain a cynic and a dirty sloven; he had no
right to offend the feelings of others, especially when they were in
need of his assistance and asking him to see them. He brushed his
clothes carefully. His linen was always decent; in that respect he was
especially clean.

He washed that morning scrupulously--he got some soap from Nastasya--
he washed his hair, his neck and especially his hands. When it came to
the question whether to shave his stubbly chin or not (Praskovya
Pavlovna had capital razors that had been left by her late husband),
the question was angrily answered in the negative. "Let it stay as it
is! What if they think that I shaved on purpose to . . .? They
certainly would think so! Not on any account!"

"And . . . the worst of it was he was so coarse, so dirty, he had the
manners of a pothouse; and . . . and even admitting that he knew he
had some of the essentials of a gentleman . . . what was there in that
to be proud of? Everyone ought to be a gentleman and more than that
. . . and all the same (he remembered) he, too, had done little things
. . . not exactly dishonest, and yet. . . . And what thoughts he
sometimes had; hm . . . and to set all that beside Avdotya Romanovna!
Confound it! So be it! Well, he'd make a point then of being dirty,
greasy, pothouse in his manners and he wouldn't care! He'd be worse!"

He was engaged in such monologues when Zossimov, who had spent the
night in Praskovya Pavlovna's parlour, came in.

He was going home and was in a hurry to look at the invalid first.
Razumihin informed him that Raskolnikov was sleeping like a dormouse.
Zossimov gave orders that they shouldn't wake him and promised to see
him again about eleven.

"If he is still at home," he added. "Damn it all! If one can't control
one's patients, how is one to cure them? Do you know whether /he/ will
go to them, or whether /they/ are coming here?"

"They are coming, I think," said Razumihin, understanding the object
of the question, "and they will discuss their family affairs, no
doubt. I'll be off. You, as the doctor, have more right to be here
than I."

"But I am not a father confessor; I shall come and go away; I've
plenty to do besides looking after them."

"One thing worries me," interposed Razumihin, frowning. "On the way
home I talked a lot of drunken nonsense to him . . . all sorts of
things . . . and amongst them that you were afraid that he . . . might
become insane."

"You told the ladies so, too."

"I know it was stupid! You may beat me if you like! Did you think so
seriously?"

"That's nonsense, I tell you, how could I think it seriously? You,
yourself, described him as a monomaniac when you fetched me to him
. . . and we added fuel to the fire yesterday, you did, that is, with
your story about the painter; it was a nice conversation, when he was,
perhaps, mad on that very point! If only I'd known what happened then
at the police station and that some wretch . . . had insulted him with
this suspicion! Hm . . . I would not have allowed that conversation
yesterday. These monomaniacs will make a mountain out of a mole-hill
. . . and see their fancies as solid realities. . . . As far as I
remember, it was Zametov's story that cleared up half the mystery, to
my mind. Why, I know one case in which a hypochondriac, a man of
forty, cut the throat of a little boy of eight, because he couldn't
endure the jokes he made every day at table! And in this case his
rags, the insolent police officer, the fever and this suspicion! All
that working upon a man half frantic with hypochondria, and with his
morbid exceptional vanity! That may well have been the starting-point
of illness. Well, bother it all! . . . And, by the way, that Zametov
certainly is a nice fellow, but hm . . . he shouldn't have told all
that last night. He is an awful chatterbox!"

"But whom did he tell it to? You and me?"

"And Porfiry."

"What does that matter?"

"And, by the way, have you any influence on them, his mother and
sister? Tell them to be more careful with him to-day. . . ."

"They'll get on all right!" Razumihin answered reluctantly.

"Why is he so set against this Luzhin? A man with money and she
doesn't seem to dislike him . . . and they haven't a farthing, I
suppose? eh?"

"But what business is it of yours?" Razumihin cried with annoyance.
"How can I tell whether they've a farthing? Ask them yourself and
perhaps you'll find out. . . ."

"Foo! what an ass you are sometimes! Last night's wine has not gone
off yet. . . . Good-bye; thank your Praskovya Pavlovna from me for my
night's lodging. She locked herself in, made no reply to my /bonjour/
through the door; she was up at seven o'clock, the samovar was taken
into her from the kitchen. I was not vouchsafed a personal
interview. . . ."

At nine o'clock precisely Razumihin reached the lodgings at
Bakaleyev's house. Both ladies were waiting for him with nervous
impatience. They had risen at seven o'clock or earlier. He entered
looking as black as night, bowed awkwardly and was at once furious
with himself for it. He had reckoned without his host: Pulcheria
Alexandrovna fairly rushed at him, seized him by both hands and was
almost kissing them. He glanced timidly at Avdotya Romanovna, but her
proud countenance wore at that moment an expression of such gratitude
and friendliness, such complete and unlooked-for respect (in place of
the sneering looks and ill-disguised contempt he had expected), that
it threw him into greater confusion than if he had been met with
abuse. Fortunately there was a subject for conversation, and he made
haste to snatch at it.

Hearing that everything was going well and that Rodya had not yet
waked, Pulcheria Alexandrovna declared that she was glad to hear it,
because "she had something which it was very, very necessary to talk
over beforehand." Then followed an inquiry about breakfast and an
invitation to have it with them; they had waited to have it with him.
Avdotya Romanovna rang the bell: it was answered by a ragged dirty
waiter, and they asked him to bring tea which was served at last, but
in such a dirty and disorderly way that the ladies were ashamed.
Razumihin vigorously attacked the lodgings, but, remembering Luzhin,
stopped in embarrassment and was greatly relieved by Pulcheria
Alexandrovna's questions, which showered in a continual stream upon
him.

He talked for three quarters of an hour, being constantly interrupted
by their questions, and succeeded in describing to them all the most
important facts he knew of the last year of Raskolnikov's life,
concluding with a circumstantial account of his illness. He omitted,
however, many things, which were better omitted, including the scene
at the police station with all its consequences. They listened eagerly
to his story, and, when he thought he had finished and satisfied his
listeners, he found that they considered he had hardly begun.

"Tell me, tell me! What do you think . . . ? Excuse me, I still don't
know your name!" Pulcheria Alexandrovna put in hastily.

"Dmitri Prokofitch."

"I should like very, very much to know, Dmitri Prokofitch . . . how he
looks . . . on things in general now, that is, how can I explain, what
are his likes and dislikes? Is he always so irritable? Tell me, if you
can, what are his hopes and, so to say, his dreams? Under what
influences is he now? In a word, I should like . . ."

"Ah, mother, how can he answer all that at once?" observed Dounia.

"Good heavens, I had not expected to find him in the least like this,
Dmitri Prokofitch!"

"Naturally," answered Razumihin. "I have no mother, but my uncle comes
every year and almost every time he can scarcely recognise me, even in
appearance, though he is a clever man; and your three years'
separation means a great deal. What am I to tell you? I have known
Rodion for a year and a half; he is morose, gloomy, proud and haughty,
and of late--and perhaps for a long time before--he has been
suspicious and fanciful. He has a noble nature and a kind heart. He
does not like showing his feelings and would rather do a cruel thing
than open his heart freely. Sometimes, though, he is not at all
morbid, but simply cold and inhumanly callous; it's as though he were
alternating between two characters. Sometimes he is fearfully
reserved! He says he is so busy that everything is a hindrance, and
yet he lies in bed doing nothing. He doesn't jeer at things, not
because he hasn't the wit, but as though he hadn't time to waste on
such trifles. He never listens to what is said to him. He is never
interested in what interests other people at any given moment. He
thinks very highly of himself and perhaps he is right. Well, what
more? I think your arrival will have a most beneficial influence upon
him."

"God grant it may," cried Pulcheria Alexandrovna, distressed by
Razumihin's account of her Rodya.

And Razumihin ventured to look more boldly at Avdotya Romanovna at
last. He glanced at her often while he was talking, but only for a
moment and looked away again at once. Avdotya Romanovna sat at the
table, listening attentively, then got up again and began walking to
and fro with her arms folded and her lips compressed, occasionally
putting in a question, without stopping her walk. She had the same
habit of not listening to what was said. She was wearing a dress of
thin dark stuff and she had a white transparent scarf round her neck.
Razumihin soon detected signs of extreme poverty in their belongings.
Had Avdotya Romanovna been dressed like a queen, he felt that he would
not be afraid of her, but perhaps just because she was poorly dressed
and that he noticed all the misery of her surroundings, his heart was
filled with dread and he began to be afraid of every word he uttered,
every gesture he made, which was very trying for a man who already
felt diffident.

"You've told us a great deal that is interesting about my brother's
character . . . and have told it impartially. I am glad. I thought
that you were too uncritically devoted to him," observed Avdotya
Romanovna with a smile. "I think you are right that he needs a woman's
care," she added thoughtfully.

"I didn't say so; but I daresay you are right, only . . ."

"What?"

"He loves no one and perhaps he never will," Razumihin declared
decisively.

"You mean he is not capable of love?"

"Do you know, Avdotya Romanovna, you are awfully like your brother, in
everything, indeed!" he blurted out suddenly to his own surprise, but
remembering at once what he had just before said of her brother, he
turned as red as a crab and was overcome with confusion. Avdotya
Romanovna couldn't help laughing when she looked at him.

"You may both be mistaken about Rodya," Pulcheria Alexandrovna
remarked, slightly piqued. "I am not talking of our present
difficulty, Dounia. What Pyotr Petrovitch writes in this letter and
what you and I have supposed may be mistaken, but you can't imagine,
Dmitri Prokofitch, how moody and, so to say, capricious he is. I never
could depend on what he would do when he was only fifteen. And I am
sure that he might do something now that nobody else would think of
doing . . . Well, for instance, do you know how a year and a half ago
he astounded me and gave me a shock that nearly killed me, when he had
the idea of marrying that girl--what was her name--his landlady's
daughter?"

"Did you hear about that affair?" asked Avdotya Romanovna.

"Do you suppose----" Pulcheria Alexandrovna continued warmly. "Do you
suppose that my tears, my entreaties, my illness, my possible death
from grief, our poverty would have made him pause? No, he would calmly
have disregarded all obstacles. And yet it isn't that he doesn't love
us!"

"He has never spoken a word of that affair to me," Razumihin answered
cautiously. "But I did hear something from Praskovya Pavlovna herself,
though she is by no means a gossip. And what I heard certainly was
rather strange."

"And what did you hear?" both the ladies asked at once.

"Well, nothing very special. I only learned that the marriage, which
only failed to take place through the girl's death, was not at all to
Praskovya Pavlovna's liking. They say, too, the girl was not at all
pretty, in fact I am told positively ugly . . . and such an invalid
. . . and queer. But she seems to have had some good qualities. She
must have had some good qualities or it's quite inexplicable. . . .
She had no money either and he wouldn't have considered her money.
. . . But it's always difficult to judge in such matters."

"I am sure she was a good girl," Avdotya Romanovna observed briefly.

"God forgive me, I simply rejoiced at her death. Though I don't know
which of them would have caused most misery to the other--he to her or
she to him," Pulcheria Alexandrovna concluded. Then she began
tentatively questioning him about the scene on the previous day with
Luzhin, hesitating and continually glancing at Dounia, obviously to
the latter's annoyance. This incident more than all the rest evidently
caused her uneasiness, even consternation. Razumihin described it in
detail again, but this time he added his own conclusions: he openly
blamed Raskolnikov for intentionally insulting Pyotr Petrovitch, not
seeking to excuse him on the score of his illness.

"He had planned it before his illness," he added.

"I think so, too," Pulcheria Alexandrovna agreed with a dejected air.
But she was very much surprised at hearing Razumihin express himself
so carefully and even with a certain respect about Pyotr Petrovitch.
Avdotya Romanovna, too, was struck by it.

"So this is your opinion of Pyotr Petrovitch?" Pulcheria Alexandrovna
could not resist asking.

"I can have no other opinion of your daughter's future husband,"
Razumihin answered firmly and with warmth, "and I don't say it simply
from vulgar politeness, but because . . . simply because Avdotya
Romanovna has of her own free will deigned to accept this man. If I
spoke so rudely of him last night, it was because I was disgustingly
drunk and . . . mad besides; yes, mad, crazy, I lost my head
completely . . . and this morning I am ashamed of it."

He crimsoned and ceased speaking. Avdotya Romanovna flushed, but did
not break the silence. She had not uttered a word from the moment they
began to speak of Luzhin.

Without her support Pulcheria Alexandrovna obviously did not know what
to do. At last, faltering and continually glancing at her daughter,
she confessed that she was exceedingly worried by one circumstance.

"You see, Dmitri Prokofitch," she began. "I'll be perfectly open with
Dmitri Prokofitch, Dounia?"

"Of course, mother," said Avdotya Romanovna emphatically.

"This is what it is," she began in haste, as though the permission to
speak of her trouble lifted a weight off her mind. "Very early this
morning we got a note from Pyotr Petrovitch in reply to our letter
announcing our arrival. He promised to meet us at the station, you
know; instead of that he sent a servant to bring us the address of
these lodgings and to show us the way; and he sent a message that he
would be here himself this morning. But this morning this note came
from him. You'd better read it yourself; there is one point in it
which worries me very much . . . you will soon see what that is, and
. . . tell me your candid opinion, Dmitri Prokofitch! You know Rodya's
character better than anyone and no one can advise us better than you
can. Dounia, I must tell you, made her decision at once, but I still
don't feel sure how to act and I . . . I've been waiting for your
opinion."

Razumihin opened the note which was dated the previous evening and
read as follows:

"Dear Madam, Pulcheria Alexandrovna, I have the honour to inform
you that owing to unforeseen obstacles I was rendered unable to
meet you at the railway station; I sent a very competent person
with the same object in view. I likewise shall be deprived of the
honour of an interview with you to-morrow morning by business in
the Senate that does not admit of delay, and also that I may not
intrude on your family circle while you are meeting your son, and
Avdotya Romanovna her brother. I shall have the honour of visiting
you and paying you my respects at your lodgings not later than
to-morrow evening at eight o'clock precisely, and herewith I
venture to present my earnest and, I may add, imperative request
that Rodion Romanovitch may not be present at our interview--as he
offered me a gross and unprecedented affront on the occasion of my
visit to him in his illness yesterday, and, moreover, since I
desire from you personally an indispensable and circumstantial
explanation upon a certain point, in regard to which I wish to
learn your own interpretation. I have the honour to inform you, in
anticipation, that if, in spite of my request, I meet Rodion
Romanovitch, I shall be compelled to withdraw immediately and then
you have only yourself to blame. I write on the assumption that
Rodion Romanovitch who appeared so ill at my visit, suddenly
recovered two hours later and so, being able to leave the house,
may visit you also. I was confirmed in that belief by the
testimony of my own eyes in the lodging of a drunken man who was
run over and has since died, to whose daughter, a young woman of
notorious behaviour, he gave twenty-five roubles on the pretext of
the funeral, which gravely surprised me knowing what pains you
were at to raise that sum. Herewith expressing my special respect
to your estimable daughter, Avdotya Romanovna, I beg you to accept
the respectful homage of

"Your humble servant,

"P. LUZHIN."


"What am I to do now, Dmitri Prokofitch?" began Pulcheria
Alexandrovna, almost weeping. "How can I ask Rodya not to come?
Yesterday he insisted so earnestly on our refusing Pyotr Petrovitch
and now we are ordered not to receive Rodya! He will come on purpose
if he knows, and . . . what will happen then?"

"Act on Avdotya Romanovna's decision," Razumihin answered calmly at
once.

"Oh, dear me! She says . . . goodness knows what she says, she doesn't
explain her object! She says that it would be best, at least, not that
it would be best, but that it's absolutely necessary that Rodya should
make a point of being here at eight o'clock and that they must meet.
. . . I didn't want even to show him the letter, but to prevent him
from coming by some stratagem with your help . . . because he is so
irritable. . . . Besides I don't understand about that drunkard who
died and that daughter, and how he could have given the daughter all
the money . . . which . . ."

"Which cost you such sacrifice, mother," put in Avdotya Romanovna.

"He was not himself yesterday," Razumihin said thoughtfully, "if you
only knew what he was up to in a restaurant yesterday, though there
was sense in it too. . . . Hm! He did say something, as we were going
home yesterday evening, about a dead man and a girl, but I didn't
understand a word. . . . But last night, I myself . . ."

"The best thing, mother, will be for us to go to him ourselves and
there I assure you we shall see at once what's to be done. Besides,
it's getting late--good heavens, it's past ten," she cried looking at
a splendid gold enamelled watch which hung round her neck on a thin
Venetian chain, and looked entirely out of keeping with the rest of
her dress. "A present from her /fiancé/," thought Razumihin.

"We must start, Dounia, we must start," her mother cried in a flutter.
"He will be thinking we are still angry after yesterday, from our
coming so late. Merciful heavens!"

While she said this she was hurriedly putting on her hat and mantle;
Dounia, too, put on her things. Her gloves, as Razumihin noticed, were
not merely shabby but had holes in them, and yet this evident poverty
gave the two ladies an air of special dignity, which is always found
in people who know how to wear poor clothes. Razumihin looked
reverently at Dounia and felt proud of escorting her. "The queen who
mended her stockings in prison," he thought, "must have looked then
every inch a queen and even more a queen than at sumptuous banquets
and levées."

"My God!" exclaimed Pulcheria Alexandrovna, "little did I think that I
should ever fear seeing my son, my darling, darling Rodya! I am
afraid, Dmitri Prokofitch," she added, glancing at him timidly.

"Don't be afraid, mother," said Dounia, kissing her, "better have
faith in him."

"Oh, dear, I have faith in him, but I haven't slept all night,"
exclaimed the poor woman.

They came out into the street.

"Do you know, Dounia, when I dozed a little this morning I dreamed of
Marfa Petrovna . . . she was all in white . . . she came up to me,
took my hand, and shook her head at me, but so sternly as though she
were blaming me. . . . Is that a good omen? Oh, dear me! You don't
know, Dmitri Prokofitch, that Marfa Petrovna's dead!"

"No, I didn't know; who is Marfa Petrovna?"

"She died suddenly; and only fancy . . ."

"Afterwards, mamma," put in Dounia. "He doesn't know who Marfa
Petrovna is."

"Ah, you don't know? And I was thinking that you knew all about us.
Forgive me, Dmitri Prokofitch, I don't know what I am thinking about
these last few days. I look upon you really as a providence for us,
and so I took it for granted that you knew all about us. I look on you
as a relation. . . . Don't be angry with me for saying so. Dear me,
what's the matter with your right hand? Have you knocked it?"

"Yes, I bruised it," muttered Razumihin overjoyed.

"I sometimes speak too much from the heart, so that Dounia finds fault
with me. . . . But, dear me, what a cupboard he lives in! I wonder
whether he is awake? Does this woman, his landlady, consider it a
room? Listen, you say he does not like to show his feelings, so
perhaps I shall annoy him with my . . . weaknesses? Do advise me,
Dmitri Prokofitch, how am I to treat him? I feel quite distracted, you
know."

"Don't question him too much about anything if you see him frown;
don't ask him too much about his health; he doesn't like that."

"Ah, Dmitri Prokofitch, how hard it is to be a mother! But here are
the stairs. . . . What an awful staircase!"

"Mother, you are quite pale, don't distress yourself, darling," said
Dounia caressing her, then with flashing eyes she added: "He ought to
be happy at seeing you, and you are tormenting yourself so."

"Wait, I'll peep in and see whether he has waked up."

The ladies slowly followed Razumihin, who went on before, and when
they reached the landlady's door on the fourth storey, they noticed
that her door was a tiny crack open and that two keen black eyes were
watching them from the darkness within. When their eyes met, the door
was suddenly shut with such a slam that Pulcheria Alexandrovna almost
cried out.



Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Category:
General Fiction
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