Crime And Punishment Page-212

Crime And Punishment

all!” “In fact,” continued Dounia, “I am marrying Pyotr Petrovitch because of two evils I choose the less. I intend to do honestly all he expects of me, so I am not deceiving him.... Why did you smile just now?” She, too, flushed, and there was a gleam of anger in her eyes. “All?” he asked, with a malignant grin. “Within certain limits. Both the manner and form of Pyotr Petrovitch’s courtship showed me at once what he wanted. He may, of course, think too well of himself, but I hope he esteems me, too.... Why are you laughing again?” “And why are you blushing again? You are lying, sister. You are intentionally lying, simply from feminine obstinacy, simply to hold your own against me.... You cannot respect Luzhin. I have seen him and talked with him. So you are selling yourself for money, and so in any case you are acting basely, and I am glad at least that you can blush for it.” “It is not true. I am not lying,” cried Dounia, losing her composure. “I would not marry him if I were not convinced that he esteems me and thinks highly of me. I would not marry him if I were not firmly convinced that I can respect him. Fortunately, I can have convincing proof of it this very day... and such a marriage is not a vileness, as you say! And even if you were right, if I really had determined on a vile action, is it not merciless on your part to speak to me like that? Why do you demand of me a heroism that perhaps you have not either? It is despotism; it is tyranny. If I ruin anyone, it is only myself.... I am not committing a murder. Why do you look at me like that? Why are you so pale? Rodya, darling, what’s the matter?” “Good heavens! You have made him faint,” cried Pulcheria Alexandrovna. “No, no, nonsense! It’s nothing. A little giddiness—not fainting. You have fainting on the brain. H’m, yes, what was I saying? Oh, yes. In what way will you get convincing proof to-day that you can respect him, and that he... esteems you, as you said. I think you said to-day?” “Mother, show Rodya Pyotr Petrovitch’s letter,” said Dounia. With trembling hands, Pulcheria Alexandrovna gave him the letter. He took it with great interest, but, before opening it, he suddenly looked with a sort of wonder at Dounia. “It is strange,” he said, slowly, as though struck by a new idea. “What am I making such a fuss for? What is it all about? Marry whom you like!” He said this as though to himself, but said it aloud, and looked for some time