Crime And Punishment Page-262

Crime And Punishment

you have honoured me with your visit... and... and I am in a hurry, I have no time to waste. I want to go out.” “By all means, by all means. Your sister, Avdotya Romanovna, is going to be married to Mr. Luzhin, Pyotr Petrovitch?” “Can you refrain from any question about my sister and from mentioning her name? I can’t understand how you dare utter her name in my presence, if you really are Svidrigaïlov.” “Why, but I’ve come here to speak about her; how can I avoid mentioning her?” “Very good, speak, but make haste.” “I am sure that you must have formed your own opinion of this Mr. Luzhin, who is a connection of mine through my wife, if you have only seen him for half an hour, or heard any facts about him. He is no match for Avdotya Romanovna. I believe Avdotya Romanovna is sacrificing herself generously and imprudently for the sake of... for the sake of her family. I fancied from all I had heard of you that you would be very glad if the match could be broken off without the sacrifice of worldly advantages. Now I know you personally, I am convinced of it.” “All this is very naïve... excuse me, I should have said impudent on your part,” said Raskolnikov. “You mean to say that I am seeking my own ends. Don’t be uneasy, Rodion Romanovitch, if I were working for my own advantage, I would not have spoken out so directly. I am not quite a fool. I will confess something psychologically curious about that: just now, defending my love for Avdotya Romanovna, I said I was myself the victim. Well, let me tell you that I’ve no feeling of love now, not the slightest, so that I wonder myself indeed, for I really did feel something...” “Through idleness and depravity,” Raskolnikov put in. “I certainly am idle and depraved, but your sister has such qualities that even I could not help being impressed by them. But that’s all nonsense, as I see myself now.” “Have you seen that long?” “I began to be aware of it before, but was only perfectly sure of it the day before yesterday, almost at the moment I arrived in Petersburg. I still fancied in Moscow, though, that I was coming to try to get Avdotya Romanovna’s hand and to cut out Mr. Luzhin.” “Excuse me for interrupting you; kindly be brief, and come to the object of