Crime And Punishment Page-148

Crime And Punishment

She smiled, much pleased at the compliment. “You’re very nice looking yourself,” she said. “Isn’t he thin though!” observed another woman in a deep bass. “Have you just come out of a hospital?” “They’re all generals’ daughters, it seems, but they have all snub noses,” interposed a tipsy peasant with a sly smile on his face, wearing a loose coat. “See how jolly they are.” “Go along with you!” “I’ll go, sweetie!” And he darted down into the saloon below. Raskolnikov moved on. “I say, sir,” the girl shouted after him. “What is it?” She hesitated. “I’ll always be pleased to spend an hour with you, kind gentleman, but now I feel shy. Give me six copecks for a drink, there’s a nice young man!” Raskolnikov gave her what came first—fifteen copecks. “Ah, what a good-natured gentleman!” “What’s your name?” “Ask for Duclida.” “Well, that’s too much,” one of the women observed, shaking her head at Duclida. “I don’t know how you can ask like that. I believe I should drop with shame....” Raskolnikov looked curiously at the speaker. She was a pock-marked wench of thirty, covered with bruises, with her upper lip swollen. She made her criticism quietly and earnestly. “Where is it,” thought Raskolnikov. “Where is it I’ve read that someone condemned to death says or thinks, an hour before his death, that if he had to live on some high rock, on such a narrow ledge that he’d only room to stand, and the ocean, everlasting darkness, everlasting solitude, everlasting tempest around him, if he had to remain standing on a square yard of space all his life, a thousand years, eternity, it were better to live so than to die at once! Only to live, to live and live! Life, whatever it may be!... How true it is! Good God, how true! Man is a vile creature!... And vile is he who calls him vile for that,” he added a moment later. He went into another street. “Bah, the Palais de Cristal! Razumihin was just talking of the Palais de Cristal. But what on earth was it I wanted? Yes, the