Crime And Punishment Page-127

Crime And Punishment

“Ach, what a nuisance! I’ve got a house-warming party to-night; it’s only a step from here. Couldn’t he come? He could lie on the sofa. You are coming?” Razumihin said to Zossimov. “Don’t forget, you promised.” “All right, only rather later. What are you going to do?” “Oh, nothing—tea, vodka, herrings. There will be a pie... just our friends.” “And who?” “All neighbours here, almost all new friends, except my old uncle, and he is new too—he only arrived in Petersburg yesterday to see to some business of his. We meet once in five years.” “What is he?” “He’s been stagnating all his life as a district postmaster; gets a little pension. He is sixty-five—not worth talking about.... But I am fond of him. Porfiry Petrovitch, the head of the Investigation Department here... But you know him.” “Is he a relation of yours, too?” “A very distant one. But why are you scowling? Because you quarrelled once, won’t you come then?” “I don’t care a damn for him.” “So much the better. Well, there will be some students, a teacher, a government clerk, a musician, an officer and Zametov.” “Do tell me, please, what you or he”—Zossimov nodded at Raskolnikov —“can have in common with this Zametov?” “Oh, you particular gentleman! Principles! You are worked by principles, as it were by springs; you won’t venture to turn round on your own account. If a man is a nice fellow, that’s the only principle I go upon. Zametov is a delightful person.” “Though he does take bribes.” “Well, he does! and what of it? I don’t care if he does take bribes,” Razumihin cried with unnatural irritability. “I don’t praise him for taking bribes. I only say he is a nice man in his own way! But if one looks at men in all ways—are there many good ones left? Why, I am sure I shouldn’t be worth a baked onion myself... perhaps with you thrown in.” “That’s too little; I’d give two for you.” “And I wouldn’t give more than one for you. No more of your jokes! Zametov is no more than a boy. I can pull his hair and one must draw him not repel him. You’ll never improve a man by repelling him, especially a boy. One has to be