Provided by site.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

(24) C. P. (Part 2 Chapter VII Conc.)

   After the priest was finished, with the last rites, he turned to Katerina, she asked "what am I to do with these?" she interrupted sharply and irritably, pointing to the little ones.

   "God is merciful; look to the Most High for answers," the priest began.

   "Ach! He is merciful, but not to us."

   "That's a sin madam," said the priest shaking his head.

   "And isn't that a sin?" cried Katerina, pointing to the dying man.

   "Perhaps those who involuntarily caused the accident will compensate you."

   "You don't understand!" cried Katerina angrily waving her hand. "And why should they compensate me? He was drunk and threw himself under the horses! What earnings? He brought us in nothing,  but misery. He drank everything away, the drunkard! He robbed us to get drink, he wasted their lives and mine for drink! And thank God he's dying! One less to keep!"

   "You must forgive in the hour of death, that's a sin, madam, such feelings are a great sin."

   Katerina was busy with the dying man, she turned to the priest in a frenzy.

   "Ah, father! That's words and only words! Forgive! If he'd not been run over, he'd have come home to-day drunk and his only shirt dirty and in rags and he'd have fallen asleep like a log, and I would of been up sousing and rinsing till daybreak, washing his rags and the children's and then drying them by the window and as soon as it was daylight darning them. That's how I spend my nights! . . . What's the use of talking for forgiveness! I have forgiven as it is!"

   A terrible hollow cough interrupted her words. She put her handkerchief to her lips and showed it to the priest, pressing her other hand to her aching chest. The handkerchief was covered with blood. The priest bowed his head and said nothing.

   Marmeladov did not take his eyes off Katerina's face. He kept trying to say something in his last agony. Katerina, understanding that he wanted to ask her forgiveness, called peremptorily to him:

   "Be silent! No need! I know what you want to say!" And the sick man was silent, but at the same instant his wandering eyes strayed to the doorway and he saw Sonia.

   Till then he had not noticed her: she was standing in the corner in a shadow.

   "Who's that? Who's that?" he said suddenly in a thick gasping voice, in agitation, turning his eyes in horror towards the door where his daughter was standing, trying to sit up.

   "Lie down! Lie do-own!" cried Katerina.

   With unnatural strength he succeeded in propping himself on his elbow. He looked upon his daughter for some time, as though not recognising her, having never seen her before in such attire. Suddenly he recognised her, crushed and ashamed in her humiliation and gaudy finery, meekly awaiting her turn to say good-bye to her dying father. His face showed intense suffering.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
   "Sonia! Daughter! Forgive!" he cried, and he tried to hold out his hand to her, but, losing his balance, he fell off the sofa, face downward on the floor. They rushed to pick him up, they put him on the sofa; but he was dying. Sonia with a faint cry ran up, embraced him and remained so without moving. He died in her arms.

   "He's got what he wanted," Katerina cried, seeing her husband,s dead body. "Well what's to be done now? How am I to bury him? What can I give them to-morrow to eat?"

   Raskolnikov went up to Katerina.

   "Katerina," he begun, "last week your husband told me all his life and circumstances. . . . Believe me, he spoke of you with passionate reverence. From that evening I learnt how devoted he was to you all and how he loved and respected you especially, Katerina, in spite of his unfortunate weakness that evening we become friends. . . . Allow me now . . . to do something . . . to repay my debt to my dead friend. Here are twenty roubles, I think--and if that can be of any assistance to you, then . . . I . . . in short, I will come again. I will be sure to come again . . . I shall, perhaps come again to-morrow. . . . Good-bye!"

   And he went quickly out of the room, squeezing his way through the crowd to the stairs. He suddenly jostled against Nikodim Fomitch who had heard of the accident and had come to give instructions in person. They had not met since the scene at the police station, but Nikodim Fomitch knew him instantly.

   "Ah, is that you?" he asked him.

   "He's dead," answered Raskolnikov. "The doctor and the priest have been, all as it should of been. Don't worry the poor woman too much, she is in consumption as it is. Try and cheer her up if possible . . . you are a kind-hearted man, I know . . ." he added with a smile, looking straight in his face.

   "But you are splattered with blood," observed Nikodim Fomitch, noticing in the lamplight some fresh stains on Raskolnikov's waistcoat.

   "Yes . . . I'm covered with blood," Raskolnikov said with a peculiar air; then he smiled, nodded and went downstairs.

   He walked down slowly and deliberately, feverish but not conscious of it, entirely absorbed in a new overwhelming sensation of life and strength that surged up suddenly within him. This sensation might be compared to that of a dying man condemned to death who has suddenly been pardoned. Half-way down the staircase he was overtaken by the priest on his way home; Raskolnikov let him pass exchanging a silent greeting with him. He was descending the last steps when he heard rapid footsteps behind him. Someone overtook him; it was Polenka. She was running after him, calling "wait! wait!"

   He turned round. She was at the bottom of the staircase and stopped short a step above him. Raskolnikov could distinguish the child's thin but pretty little face, looking at him with a bright childish smile in the dim light. She had run after him with a message which she was evidently glad to give.

   "Tell me, what is your name? . . . and where do you live?" she said hurriedly in a breathless voice.

   He laid both hands on her shoulders and looked at her with a sort of rapture. It was such a joy to him to look at her, he could not of said why.

   "Who sent you?"

   "Sister Sonia sent me," answered the girl, smiling still more brightly.

   "Mamma sent me too . . . when sister Sonia was sending me, mamma came up, too, and said, 'Run fast, Polenka,' "

   "Do you love sister Sonia?"

   "I love her more than anyone," Polenka answered with a peculiar earnestness, and her smile became graver.

   "And will you love me?"

   By way of answer he saw the little girl's face approaching him, her full lips naively held out to kiss him. Suddenly her arms as thin as sticks held him tightly, her head rested on his shoulders and the little girl wept softly, pressing her face against him.

   "I am sorry for father," she said a moment later, raising her tear-stained face and brushing away the tears with her hands. It's nothing but misfortune now," she added suddenly with that peculiarly sedate air that children try hard to assume when they want to speak like grown-up people.

   "Did your father love you?"

   "He loved Lida most." she went on very seriously without a smile, exactly like grown-up people, "he loved her because she is little and because she is ill, too. And he used to always bring her presents. But he taught us to read and me grammar and scripture too," she added with dignity. "And mother never used to say anything, but we knew that she liked it and father knew it, too. And mother wants to teach me French, for it's time my education began."

   "And do you know your prayers?"

   "Of course we do! We knew them long ago. I say my prayers to myself as I am a big girl now, but Kolya and Lida say them aloud with mother. First they repeat the 'Ave Maria' and then another prayer: Lord, forgive and bless sister Sonia,' and then another, 'Lord, forgive and bless our second father.' Our elder father is dead and this is another one, but we do pray for the other as well."

   "Polenka, my name is Rodion, Pray sometimes for me, too. 'And thy servant Rodion,' nothing more."

   "I'll pray for you all the rest of my life," the little girl declared passionately, and suddenly smiling again she rushed at him and hugged him warmly once more.

   Raskolnikov told her his name and address and promised to be sure to come the next day. The child went away quite enchanted with him. It was past ten when he came out onto the street. In five minutes he was standing on the bridge at the spot where the woman had jumped in.

   "Enough," he pronounced resolutely and triumphantly. "I've done with fancies, imaginary terrors and phantoms! Life is real! Haven't I lived just now? My life has not yet died with that old woman! The Kingdom of Heaven to her--and now enough madam, leave me in peace! Now for the reign of reason and light . . . and of will, and of strength . . . and now we will see! We try our strength!" he added defiantly, as though challenging some power of darkness. "And I was ready to consent to live in a square of space!"

   "I am very weak at this moment, but . . . I believe my illness is all over. I knew it would be over when I went out. I must go see Razumihin and let him win his bet! Strength, strength is what one wants, you can get nothing without it, and strength must be won by strength,"
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . .

he added proudly and self-confidently as he walked with flagging footsteps from the bridge. Pride and self-confidence grew stronger; he was becoming a different man every moment. What was it that worked this revolution in him? He did not know himself; like a man catching at a straw, he suddenly felt that he too,' could live like there was still life for him, that he had not died with the old woman.' Perhaps he was in too great a hurry with his conclusions, but he did not think of that.

   "But I did ask her to remember 'Thy servant Rodion' in her prayer," the idea struck him. "Well, that was . . . in case of emergency," he added and laughed himself. He was in the best of spirits.

   He easily found Razumihin; the new lodger was already known, the porter showed him the way. Razumihin came out delighted. At first glance it was apparent he had a great deal to drink, he was perceptibly affected by it.

   "Listen," Raskolnikov hastened to say, "I've only come to say, you have won the bet, no one really knows what may happen to him. I can't come in; I am weak and ready to fall down. And so good evening and good-bye! Come and see me tomorrow."

   "I will see you home, I need some fresh air, you've come in the nick of time--another two minutes and I may have come to blows! Wait a minute I'll get Zossimov."

   "You must go to bed at once," he pronounced examining Raskolnikov.

   Razumihin explains to Raskolnikov as their walking home. "Zossimov whose specialty is surgery has gone mad on mental diseases after your conversation to-day with Zametov."

   "Zametov told you all about it?"

   "Yes, and he did well. Now I understand what it all means and so does Zametov. . . . Well the fact is . . . I am drunk now. . . . But that's no matter . . . the point is that this idea . . . you understand? was being hatched in their brains . . . you understand?" Since the arrest of that painter, their such fools! Ilya Petrovitch (The assistant superintendent at the police station.)

   Raskolnikov listened, Razumihin was drunk and talking freely.

   "I fainted because of the paint and it was too close," said Raskolnikov.

   "No need to explain, the fever had been coming on for a month; Zossimov testifies to that! But how crushed Zametov is now, you wouldn't believe! 'I am not worth his litle finger,' he says. Yours, Zametov means. The lesson you gave him to-day at the Palais de Cristal, that was amazing! You frightened him at first, you know, he nearly went into convulsions! Then you suddenly--stuck your tongue out at him! It was perfect! He is crushed, annihilated now! It was masterly, by Jove, it's what they deserve! Ah, that I wasn't there!"

   "Ah! . . .  but why do they put me down as mad?"

   "Oh, not mad. I must have said too much, brother. . . .  What struck him, you see, was that only that subject seemed to interest you; now it's clear why it did interest you; knowing all the circumstances . . . and how that irritated you and worked in with your illness . . . I am drunk brother, only confound him, he has some idea of his own . . . I tell you he's mad on mental diseases. But don't you mind him . . ,."

   For half a minute both were silent.

   "Listen, Razumihin," began Raskolnikov, "I want to tell you plainly: I've just been at a death-bed, a clerk who died . . . I gave them all my money . . .  and besides I've just been kissed by someone who, if I had killed anyone, would just be the same . . . in fact I saw someone else there . . . with a flame-coloured feather . . . but I am talking nonsense; I am very weak, support me . . . we shall be at the stairs directly . . ."

   'What's the matter with you?" Razumihin asked anxiously.

   "I am a little giddy, but that's not the point, I am so sad . . . like a woman. Look there's a light on in my room!"

  "Queer! Nastasya, perhaps," observed Razumihin.

   Raskolnikov opened the door to his room and stood there dumbfounded.

   His mother and sister were sitting on the sofa. Why he had never expected, never thought of them, the news they were on their way was told to him only to-day. They had spent time waiting for him asking Nastasya questions, She told them everything. Both had been weeping and in anguish after hearing that he had been delirious and at his running away.

   A cry of joy, greeted Raskolnikov's entrance. Both rushed to him. But he stood like a dead man. He did not lift his arms to embrace them, he could not. His mother and sister clasped him in their arms, kissed him laughed and cried. He took a step, tottered and fell to the ground, fainting.

   Cries of horror . . . Razumihin seized the sick man in his strong arms and placed him on the sofa.

   "It's nothing!" he cried to the mother and sister--"it's only a faint! Only just now the doctor said he's much better, that he is perfectly well! See how he is coming to himself, he is right again!?

   And seizing Dounia (Raskolnikov's sister) by the arm he made her bend down to see.that he is alll right again. The mother and sister loked at Razumihin with emotion and gratitude, as their Providence. They had already heard from Nastasya all that had been done for their Rodya by this "very competent young man," as Pulcheria Alexandrovna Raskolnikov (Raskolnikov's mother.) called him that evening in conversation with Dounia


1 comment:

  1. I remember reading this part and feeling such sadness and sympathy for Marmeladov's family. What a sad and hopeless existence was their life.
    And I agree with you that he was ready to die, that he had given up on himself and he was full of remorse for what he had caused his poor young daughter and his family.

    Great write Professor.