Crime And Punishment Page-124

Crime And Punishment

“Believe me, brother, this is something specially near my heart. For we must make a man of you. Let’s begin from the top. Do you see this cap?” he said, taking out of the bundle a fairly good though cheap and ordinary cap. “Let me try it on.” “Presently, afterwards,” said Raskolnikov, waving it off pettishly. “Come, Rodya, my boy, don’t oppose it, afterwards will be too late; and I shan’t sleep all night, for I bought it by guess, without measure. Just right!” he cried triumphantly, fitting it on, “just your size! A proper head-covering is the first thing in dress and a recommendation in its own way. Tolstyakov, a friend of mine, is always obliged to take off his pudding basin when he goes into any public place where other people wear their hats or caps. People think he does it from slavish politeness, but it’s simply because he is ashamed of his bird’s nest; he is such a boastful fellow! Look, Nastasya, here are two specimens of headgear: this Palmerston”—he took from the corner Raskolnikov’s old, battered hat, which for some unknown reason, he called a Palmerston—“or this jewel! Guess the price, Rodya, what do you suppose I paid for it, Nastasya!” he said, turning to her, seeing that Raskolnikov did not speak. “Twenty copecks, no more, I dare say,” answered Nastasya. “Twenty copecks, silly!” he cried, offended. “Why, nowadays you would cost more than that—eighty copecks! And that only because it has been worn. And it’s bought on condition that when’s it’s worn out, they will give you another next year. Yes, on my word! Well, now let us pass to the United States of America, as they called them at school. I assure you I am proud of these breeches,” and he exhibited to Raskolnikov a pair of light, summer trousers of grey woollen material. “No holes, no spots, and quite respectable, although a little worn; and a waistcoat to match, quite in the fashion. And its being worn really is an improvement, it’s softer, smoother.... You see, Rodya, to my thinking, the great thing for getting on in the world is always to keep to the seasons; if you don’t insist on having asparagus in January, you keep your money in your purse; and it’s the same with this purchase. It’s summer now, so I’ve been buying summer things—warmer materials will be wanted for autumn, so you will have to throw these away in any case... especially as they will be done for by then from their own lack of coherence if not your higher standard of luxury. Come, price them! What do you say? Two roubles twenty-five copecks! And remember the condition: if you wear these out, you will have another suit for nothing! They only do business on that system at Fedyaev’s; if you’ve bought a thing once, you are satisfied for life, for you will never go there again of your own free will. Now for the boots. What do you say? You see that they are a bit worn, but they’ll