Crime And Punishment Page-206

Crime And Punishment

dangerous to speak of Pyotr Petrovitch, although “we are quite happy again.” “Yes, yes.... Of course it’s very annoying....” Raskolnikov muttered in reply, but with such a preoccupied and inattentive air that Dounia gazed at him in perplexity. “What else was it I wanted to say?” He went on trying to recollect. “Oh, yes; mother, and you too, Dounia, please don’t think that I didn’t mean to come and see you to-day and was waiting for you to come first.” “What are you saying, Rodya?” cried Pulcheria Alexandrovna. She, too, was surprised. “Is he answering us as a duty?” Dounia wondered. “Is he being reconciled and asking forgiveness as though he were performing a rite or repeating a lesson?” “I’ve only just waked up, and wanted to go to you, but was delayed owing to my clothes; I forgot yesterday to ask her... Nastasya... to wash out the blood... I’ve only just dressed.” “Blood! What blood?” Pulcheria Alexandrovna asked in alarm. “Oh, nothing—don’t be uneasy. It was when I was wandering about yesterday, rather delirious, I chanced upon a man who had been run over... a clerk...” “Delirious? But you remember everything!” Razumihin interrupted. “That’s true,” Raskolnikov answered with special carefulness. “I remember everything even to the slightest detail, and yet—why I did that and went there and said that, I can’t clearly explain now.” “A familiar phenomenon,” interposed Zossimov, “actions are sometimes performed in a masterly and most cunning way, while the direction of the actions is deranged and dependent on various morbid impressions—it’s like a dream.” “Perhaps it’s a good thing really that he should think me almost a madman,” thought Raskolnikov. “Why, people in perfect health act in the same way too,” observed Dounia, looking uneasily at Zossimov. “There is some truth in your observation,” the latter replied. “In that sense we are certainly all not infrequently like madmen, but with the slight difference that the deranged are somewhat madder, for we must draw a line. A normal man, it is true, hardly exists. Among dozens—perhaps hundreds of thousands—hardly one is to be met with.” At the word “madman,” carelessly dropped by Zossimov in his chatter on his favourite subject, everyone frowned.