Crime And Punishment Page-237

Crime And Punishment

of the future. The first preserve the world and people it, the second move the world and lead it to its goal. Each class has an equal right to exist. In fact, all have equal rights with me—and vive la guerre éternelle—till the New Jerusalem, of course!” “Then you believe in the New Jerusalem, do you?” “I do,” Raskolnikov answered firmly; as he said these words and during the whole preceding tirade he kept his eyes on one spot on the carpet. “And... and do you believe in God? Excuse my curiosity.” “I do,” repeated Raskolnikov, raising his eyes to Porfiry. “And... do you believe in Lazarus’ rising from the dead?” “I... I do. Why do you ask all this?” “You believe it literally?” “Literally.” “You don’t say so.... I asked from curiosity. Excuse me. But let us go back to the question; they are not always executed. Some, on the contrary...” “Triumph in their lifetime? Oh, yes, some attain their ends in this life, and then...” “They begin executing other people?” “If it’s necessary; indeed, for the most part they do. Your remark is very witty.” “Thank you. But tell me this: how do you distinguish those extraordinary people from the ordinary ones? Are there signs at their birth? I feel there ought to be more exactitude, more external definition. Excuse the natural anxiety of a practical law-abiding citizen, but couldn’t they adopt a special uniform, for instance, couldn’t they wear something, be branded in some way? For you know if confusion arises and a member of one category imagines that he belongs to the other, begins to ‘eliminate obstacles’ as you so happily expressed it, then...” “Oh, that very often happens! That remark is wittier than the other.” “Thank you.” “No reason to; but take note that the mistake can only arise in the first category, that is among the ordinary people (as I perhaps unfortunately called them). In spite of their predisposition to obedience very many of them, through a playfulness of nature, sometimes vouchsafed even to the cow, like to imagine themselves advanced people, ‘destroyers,’ and to push themselves into the ‘new movement,’ and this quite sincerely. Meanwhile the really new people are very