Crime And Punishment Page-240

Crime And Punishment

to murder? Oughtn’t they to suffer at all even for the blood they’ve shed?” “Why the word ought? It’s not a matter of permission or prohibition. He will suffer if he is sorry for his victim. Pain and suffering are always inevitable for a large intelligence and a deep heart. The really great men must, I think, have great sadness on earth,” he added dreamily, not in the tone of the conversation. He raised his eyes, looked earnestly at them all, smiled, and took his cap. He was too quiet by comparison with his manner at his entrance, and he felt this. Everyone got up. “Well, you may abuse me, be angry with me if you like,” Porfiry Petrovitch began again, “but I can’t resist. Allow me one little question (I know I am troubling you). There is just one little notion I want to express, simply that I may not forget it.” “Very good, tell me your little notion,” Raskolnikov stood waiting, pale and grave before him. “Well, you see... I really don’t know how to express it properly.... It’s a playful, psychological idea.... When you were writing your article, surely you couldn’t have helped, he-he! fancying yourself... just a little, an ‘extraordinary’ man, uttering a new word in your sense.... That’s so, isn’t it?” “Quite possibly,” Raskolnikov answered contemptuously. Razumihin made a movement. “And, if so, could you bring yourself in case of worldly difficulties and hardship or for some service to humanity—to overstep obstacles?... For instance, to rob and murder?” And again he winked with his left eye, and laughed noiselessly just as before. “If I did I certainly should not tell you,” Raskolnikov answered with defiant and haughty contempt. “No, I was only interested on account of your article, from a literary point of view...” “Foo! how obvious and insolent that is!” Raskolnikov thought with repulsion. “Allow me to observe,” he answered dryly, “that I don’t consider myself a Mahomet or a Napoleon, nor any personage of that kind, and not being one of them I cannot tell you how I should act.” “Oh, come, don’t we all think ourselves Napoleons now in Russia?” Porfiry Petrovitch said with alarming familiarity. Something peculiar betrayed itself in the very intonation of his voice.