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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

(26) C. P. (Part 3 ) Chapter 1 Conc.

   Pulcheria (Raskolnikov's mother) was not perfectly convinced she made no further resistance. Razumihin took mother and daughter by the arm. He still made her uneasy, and though he was competent and good-natured, was he capable of carrying out his promise? He seemed in such condition. . . .

   "Ah, I see you think I am in such a condition!" Razumihin broke in upon her thoughts, guessing them as he strolled along the pavement with huge steps, so that the two ladies could hardly keep up with him, a fact he did not observe, however. "Nonsense! That is . . . I am drunk like a fool, but that's not it; I am drunk from wine, It's seeing you has turned my head. . . . I am utterly unworthy of you! The minute I've taken you home, I'll pour a couple pailfuls of water over my head in the gutter here, and then I shall be all right. . . . If only you knew how I love you both! Don't laugh and don't be angry! You may be angry with anyone, but not wit me! I am his friend, and therefore I am your friend, too. I want to be. . . . I had a presentiment . . . last year there was a moment . . . though it wasn't a presentiment really, for you seem to have fallen from heaven. And I expect I shan't sleep all night. . . . Zossimov (the doctor) was afraid a little time ago that he would go mad . . . that's why he mustn't be irritated."

   "What do you say?" cried the mother.

   "Did the doctor really say that?" asked Avdotya (Dounia) alarmed.

   "Yes, but it's not so, not a bit of it. He gave him some medicine, a powder, I saw it, and then your coming here. . . . Ah! It would of been better if you had come to-morrow. It's a good thing we went away. And in an hour Zossimov himself will report to you about everything. He is not drunk! And I shan't be drunk. . . . And what made me get so tight? Because they got me into an argument, damn them! I've sworn never to argue! They talk such trash! I almost came to blows! I've left my uncle to preside. Would you believe, they insist on complete absence of individualism and that's just what they relish! Not to be themselves, to be as unlike themselves as they can. That's what they regard as the highest point of progress. If only there nonsense was their own, but as it is . . ."

   "Listen!" Pulcheria interrupted timidly, but only adding fuel to the flames.

   'What do you think?" Razumihin louder than ever, "you think I'm talking nonsense? Not a bit! I like for them to talk nonsense. That's man's one privilege over all creation. Through error you come through the truth! You never reach truth without making many mistakes. A fine thing too, in it's way; but we can't even make mistakes on our own account! Talk nonsense but talk your own nonsense, and I'll kiss you for it. To go wrong in one's way is better than to go right in someone else's. In the first case you are a man, in the second you're no better than a bird. Truth won't escape you, but life can be cramped. There have been examples. And what are we doing now? In science, development, thought, invention, ideals, aims, liberalism experience and everything, we are still in the preparatory class at school. We prefer to live on other people's ideas, it's what we are used to! Am I right?" cried Razumihin, pressing and shaking the two ladies' hands.

   "Oh mercy I do not know," cried Pulcheria.

   "Yes, yes . . . though I don't agree with you in everything," added Avdotya (Dounia) earnestly and at once uttered a cry, for Razumihin her hand so painfully.

   " Yes, you say yes . . . well, after that you . . ." he cried, "you are a fount of goodness, purity, sense . . . and perfection. Give me your hand . . . you give me yours too! I want to kiss your hands here at once, on my knees . . ." and he feel to his knees on the pavement.

   "Leave off, I entreat you, what are you doing?" Pulcheria cried, greatly distressed.

   " Get up, get up!" said Dounia laughing, though she, too, was upset.

   "Not for anything until you let me kiss your hands! That's it! Enough! I'll get up and we'll go on! I am a luckless fool, I am unworthy of you and drunk . . . and I am ashamed, , , , I am not worthy to love you, but to do homage to you is the duty of every man who is not a perfect beast! And I've done homage. . . . Here is your lodgings, and for that alone Rodya was right in driving your Pyotr Petrovitch Luzhin away. . . ..How dare he! how dare he put you in such lodgings! It's a scandal! Do you know the sort of people they take in here? And you his betrothed! Well, your fiancé is a scoundrel."

   "Excuse me, Mr. Razumihin, you are forgetting . . ." Pulcheria was beginning.

   "Yes, you are right, I did forget myself, I am ashamed of it," Razumihin apologized. "But . . . but you can't be angry with me for speaking so! I speak sincerely and not because  . . . hm, hm! That would be disgraceful; in fact not because I'm in . . . hm! Well, anyway, I won't say why, I dare not. But we all saw to-day when he came in that that man is not of our sort. Not because he had his hair curled at the barber's, not because he was in such a hurry to show his wit, but because he is a spy, a speculator, because he is a skinflint and a buffoon. That's evident! Do you think him clever? No, he is a fool. And is he a match for you? Good heavens! Do you see, ladies?" he stopped suddenly on his way up to their rooms, "though all my friends there are drunk, yet they are all honest, and though we do talk a lot of trash, and I do, too, yet we shall talk our way to the truth at last, for we are on the right path. Though I  have been calling them all sorts of names just now, I do respect them all . . . though I don't respect Zametov, I like him, for he is a puppy, and that bullock  Zossimov, because he is an honest man and knows his work. But enough, it's all said and forgiven. Is it forgiven? Well, then, let's go on. I now this corridor, I've been here, there was a scandal here at number 3. . . .What's your number? eight? Well lock yourselves in for the night. Don't let anybody in. In a quarter of an hour I'll bring you news, and half an hour later I'll bring you Zossimov. you'll see! I'll run. Good-bye."

   "Good heavens, Dounia, what is going to happen?" said Pulcheria, addressing her daughter with anxiety.

   "Don't worry yourself, mother," said Dounia, taking off her hat and cape. "God has sent this gentleman to our aid, though he has come from a drinking party. We can depend on him I can assure you. And all that he had done for Rodya. . . ."

   "Ah, Dounia, goodness knows whether he will come! How could I bring myself to leave Rodya? And how different I thought our meeting would be! How sullen he ways, as though not pleased to see us."

   Tears came into her eyes.

   "No, it's not that mother. You didn't see, you were crying all the time. He is quite unhinged by illness."

   "Ah, that illness! What will happen, and how he spoke to you, Dounia!" said the mother looking at her daughter, trying to read her thoughts and, already consoled by Dounia standing up for her brother, which meant that she had already forgiven him. "I am sure he will think better of it to-morrow," she added, probing her further.

   Dounia went up to and kissed her mother. The latter warmly embraced her without speaking. They waited for Razumihin's return.

   Razumihin was infatuated for Dounia in his drunken state. Yet apart from his eccentric condition, many would thought it justified. Dounia was remarkably good-looking; she was tall, strikingly well-proportioned, strong and self-reliant--the latter quality was apparent in every gesture, though it did not in the least detract from the grace and softness of her movements. She might be described as really beautiful. Her hair was dark brown, there was a proud light in her almost black eyes and yet at times a look of extraordinary kindness. She was pale, but was a healthy pallor; her face was radiant with freshness and vigour. Her mouth was rather small; the full red lower lip projected a little as did her chin; it was the only irregularity in her beautiful face, but it gave it a peculiarity individual and almost haughty expression. Her face was more serious and thoughtful than gay; nice youthful smiles, light hearted laughter suited her face. Razumihin a warm, open, simple-hearted, honest giant of a man had never seen anyone like her and quite tipsy lost his head immediately. He saw Dounia for the first time transfigured by her love for her brother and her joy at meeting him. Afterwards he saw her lower lip quiver with indignation at her brother's insolent, cruel and ungrateful words--and his fate was sealed.

   He told the truth when he told Raskolnikov's eccentric landlady would be jealous of Pulcheria and Dounia because of him. Pulcheria was forty-three, yet still retained traces of her former beauty, she looked younger which is almost always the case with women who retain serenity of spirit, sensitivity and pure sincere warmth of heart to old age. She was Dounia over again twenty years older. Pulcheria was emotional, but not sentimental, timid and yielding, but only to a certain point. She could give way and accept a great deal even of what was contrary to her convictions, but there was a certain barrier fixed by honesty, principle and the deepest convictions which nothing would induce her to cross.

   Exactly twenty minutes later Razumihin has returned, "I won't come in, I haven't time. He sleeps soundly, he may sleep ten hours. Nastasya is with him, now I'm off to fetch Zossimov, after he reports to you, then you'd better turn in; I can see you are tired."

   He then ran off down the corridor.

   "What a competent and devoted young man!" Pulcheria said exceedingly delighted with him.

   "He seems a splendid person!" Dounia replied with warmth.

   An hour later Zossimov gives a full report to Pulcheria and Dounia. He was flattered that they received him as an oracle. He succeeded in completely convincing and comforting them. According to his observations Rodya's illness was due partly to his unfortunate material surroundings during the last few months, but it had partly also a moral origin, "was, so to speak, the product of several material and moral influences, anxieties, apprehension, troubles, certain ideas . . . and so on."

   "We'll talk to-morrow; go to bed at once!" Razumihin said in conclusion following Zossimov out. "I'll come early in the morning with my report."

    "That's a fetching girl," remarked Zossimov, as they walked out into the street.

   "Fetching? You said fetching?" roared Razumihin, and he flew at Zossimov and seized him by the throat. "If you ever dare. . . . Do you understand?" he shouted, shaking him by the collar and squeezing him against the wall. "Do you hear?"

   "Let me go you drunken devil," said Zossimov, struggling, and when he had let him go. he stared at him and went off into a sudden guffaw. Razumihin stood facing him in gloomy and earnest reflection.

   "Of course, I am an ass," he observed, somber as a storm cloud, "but still . . . you are another."

   "No, brother, I am not dreaming of any folly."

   They walked along in silence, Razumihin broke the silence in considerable anxiety.

   "Listen, you're a first rate fellow, but among your other failings, you are a loose fish, that I know, and a dirty one, too. You are a feeble, nervous wretch, and a mass of whims, you're getting fat and lazy and can't deny yourself anything--and I call that dirty because that leads one straight into the dirt. You've let yourself go slack that I don't know how it is you  are still a good, even a devoted doctor. You--a doctor--sleep on a feather bed and get up late at night to your patients! In another three or four years you won't get up to see your patients, . . . But hang it all, that's not the point! . . . You are going to spend the night in the landlady's flat here. I'll be in the kitchen. So here's a chance to get to know her better. . . . It's not as you think! There's not a trace of anything of the sort, brother . . .!"

   "But I don't think!"

   "Here you have modesty, brother, silence, bashfulness, a savage virtue . . . and yet she's sighing and melting like wax, simply melting! Save me from her, by all that's unholy! She's most prepossing. . . . I'll repay you, I'll do anything. . . ."

   Zossimov laughed more violently than ever. "What am I to do with her?"

   "Ach, I can't make you understand! You see you are made for each other! I have often been reminded of you! . . . You'll come to it in the end! So does it matter whether it's sooner or later? There's the feather bed element here brother,--ach! and not only that! There's an attraction here--you have the end of the world, an anchorage, a quiet haven, the navel of the earth, the three fishes that are the foundation of the world, the essence of pancakes, of savoury fish-pies, of the evening, samovar, of soft sighs and warm shawls.


1 comment:

  1. I'm still reading!! You are doing a great job and old Raz is still crazy hahaha.