Crime And Punishment Page-22

Crime And Punishment

have somewhere to go. Since there are times when one absolutely must go somewhere! When my own daughter first went out with a yellow ticket, then I had to go... (for my daughter has a yellow passport),” he added in parenthesis, looking with a certain uneasiness at the young man. “No matter, sir, no matter!” he went on hurriedly and with apparent composure when both the boys at the counter guffawed and even the innkeeper smiled—“No matter, I am not confounded by the wagging of their heads; for everyone knows everything about it already, and all that is secret is made open. And I accept it all, not with contempt, but with humility. So be it! So be it! ‘Behold the man!’ Excuse me, young man, can you.... No, to put it more strongly and more distinctly; not can you but dare you, looking upon me, assert that I am not a pig?” The young man did not answer a word. “Well,” the orator began again stolidly and with even increased dignity, after waiting for the laughter in the room to subside. “Well, so be it, I am a pig, but she is a lady! I have the semblance of a beast, but Katerina Ivanovna, my spouse, is a person of education and an officer’s daughter. Granted, granted, I am a scoundrel, but she is a woman of a noble heart, full of sentiments, refined by education. And yet... oh, if only she felt for me! Honoured sir, honoured sir, you know every man ought to have at least one place where people feel for him! But Katerina Ivanovna, though she is magnanimous, she is unjust.... And yet, although I realise that when she pulls my hair she only does it out of pity—for I repeat without being ashamed, she pulls my hair, young man,” he declared with redoubled dignity, hearing the sniggering again—“but, my God, if she would but once.... But no, no! It’s all in vain and it’s no use talking! No use talking! For more than once, my wish did come true and more than once she has felt for me but... such is my fate and I am a beast by nature!” “Rather!” assented the innkeeper yawning. Marmeladov struck his fist resolutely on the table. “Such is my fate! Do you know, sir, do you know, I have sold her very stockings for drink? Not her shoes—that would be more or less in the order of things, but her stockings, her stockings I have sold for drink! Her mohair shawl I sold for drink, a present to her long ago, her own property, not mine; and we live in a cold room and she caught cold this winter and has begun coughing and spitting blood too. We have three little children and Katerina Ivanovna is at work from morning till night; she is scrubbing and cleaning and washing the children, for she’s been used to cleanliness from a child. But her chest is weak and she has a tendency to consumption and I feel it! Do you suppose I don’t feel it? And the more I drink the more I feel it. That’s why I drink too. I try to find sympathy and