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Epilogue 2

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    He was ill a long time. But it was not the horrors of prison life, not the hard labour, the bad food, the shaven head, or the patched clothes that crushed him. What did he care for all those trials and hardships! he was even glad of the hard work. Physically exhausted, he could at least reckon on a few hours of quiet sleep. And what was the food to him——the thin cabbage soup with beetles floating in it? In the past as a student he had often not had even that. His clothes were warm and suited to his manner of life. He did not even feel the fetters. Was he ashamed of his shaven head and parti-coloured coat? Before whom? Before Sonia? Sonia was afraid of him, how could he be ashamed before her? And yet he was ashamed even before Sonia, whom he tortured because of it with his contemptuous rough manner. But it was not his shaven head and his fetters he was ashamed of: his pride had been stung to the quick. It was wounded pride that made him ill. Oh, how happy he would have been if he could have blamed himself! He could have borne anything then, even shame and disgrace. But he judged himself severely, and his exasperated conscience found no particularly terrible fault in his past, except a simple /blunder/ which might happen to anyone. He was ashamed just because he, Raskolnikov, had so hopelessly, stupidly come to grief through some decree of blind fate, and must humble himself and submit to "the idiocy" of a sentence, if he were anyhow to be at peace.

    Vague and objectless anxiety in the present, and in the future a continual sacrifice leading to nothing——that was all that lay before him. And what comfort was it to him that at the end of eight years he would only be thirty-two and able to begin a new life! What had he to live for? What had he to look forward to? Why should he strive? To live in order to exist? Why, he had been ready a thousand times before to give up existence for the sake of an idea, for a hope, even for a fancy. Mere existence had always been too little for him; he had always wanted more. Perhaps it was just because of the strength of his desires that he had thought himself a man to whom more was permissible than to others.

    And if only fate would have sent him repentance——burning repentance that would have torn his heart and robbed him of sleep, that repentance, the awful agony of which brings visions of hanging or drowning! Oh, he would have been glad of it! Tears and agonies would at least have been life. But he did not repent of his crime.

    At least he might have found relief in raging at his stupidity, as he had raged at the grotesque blunders that had brought him to prison. But now in prison, /in freedom/, he thought over and criticised all his actions again and by no means found them so blundering and so grotesque as they had seemed at the fatal time.

    "In what way," he asked himself, "was my theory stupider than others that have swarmed and clashed from the beginning of the world? One has only to look at the thing quite independently, broadly, and uninfluenced by commonplace ideas, and my idea will by no means seem so . . . strange. Oh, sceptics and halfpenny philosophers, why do you halt half-way!"

    "Why does my action strike them as so horrible?" he said to himself. "Is it because it was a crime? What is meant by crime? My conscience is at rest. Of course, it was a legal crime, of course, the letter of the law was broken and blood was shed. Well, punish me for the letter of the law . . . and that's enough. Of course, in that case many of the benefactors of mankind who snatched power for themselves instead of inheriting it ought to have been punished at their first steps. But those men succeeded and so /they were right/, and I didn't, and so I had no right to have taken that step."

    It was only in that that he recognised his criminality, only in the fact that he had been unsuccessful and had confessed it.

    He suffered too from the question: why had he not killed himself? Why had he stood looking at the river and preferred to confess? Was the desire to live so strong and was it so hard to overcome it? Had not Svidrigailov overcome it, although he was afraid of death?

    In misery he asked himself this question, and could not understand that, at the very time he had been standing looking into the river, he had perhaps been dimly conscious of the fundamental falsity in himself and his convictions. He didn't understand that that consciousness might be the promise of a future crisis, of a new view of life and of his future resurrection.

    He preferred to attribute it to the dead weight of instinct which he could not step over, again through weakness and meanness. He looked at his fellow prisoners and was amazed to see how they all loved life and prized it. It seemed to him that they loved and valued life more in prison than in freedom. What terrible agonies and privations some of them, the tramps for instance, had endured! Could they care so much for a ray of sunshine, for the primeval forest, the cold spring hidden away in some unseen spot, which the tramp had marked three years before, and longed to see again, as he might to see his sweetheart, dreaming of the green grass round it and the bird singing in the bush? As he went on he saw still more inexplicable examples.

    In prison, of course, there was a great deal he did not see and did not want to see; he lived as it were with downcast eyes. It was loathsome and unbearable for him to look. But in the end there was much that surprised him and he began, as it were involuntarily, to notice much that he had not suspected before. What surprised him most of all was the terrible impossible gulf that lay between him and all the rest. They seemed to be a different species, and he looked at them and they at him with distrust and hostility. He felt and knew the reasons of his isolation, but he would never have admitted till then that those reasons were so deep and strong. There were some Polish exiles, political prisoners, among them. They simply looked down upon all the rest as ignorant churls; but Raskolnikov could not look upon them like that. He saw that these ignorant men were in many respects far wiser than the Poles. There were some Russians who were just as contemptuous, a former officer and two seminarists. Raskolnikov saw their mistake as clearly. He was disliked and avoided by everyone; they even began to hate him at last——why, he could not tell. Men who had been far more guilty despised and laughed at his crime.

    "You're a gentleman," they used to say. "You shouldn't hack about with an axe; that's not a gentleman's work."

    The second week in Lent, his turn came to take the sacrament with his gang. He went to church and prayed with the others. A quarrel broke out one day, he did not know how. All fell on him at once in a fury.

    "You're an infidel! You don't believe in God," they shouted. "You ought to be killed."

    He had never talked to them about God nor his belief, but they wanted to kill him as an infidel. He said nothing. One of the prisoners rushed at him in a perfect frenzy. Raskolnikov awaited him calmly and silently; his eyebrows did not quiver, his face did not flinch. The guard succeeded in intervening between him and his assailant, or there would have been bloodshed.

    There was another question he could not decide: why were they all so fond of Sonia? She did not try to win their favour; she rarely met them, sometimes only she came to see him at work for a moment. And yet everybody knew her, they knew that she had come out to follow /him/, knew how and where she lived. She never gave them money, did them no particular services. Only once at Christmas she sent them all presents of pies and rolls. But by degrees closer relations sprang up between them and Sonia. She would write and post letters for them to their relations. Relations of the prisoners who visited the town, at their instructions, left with Sonia presents and money for them. Their wives and sweethearts knew her and used to visit her. And when she visited Raskolnikov at work, or met a party of the prisoners on the road, they all took off their hats to her. "Little mother Sofya Semyonovna, you are our dear, good little mother," coarse branded criminals said to that frail little creature. She would smile and bow to them and everyone was delighted when she smiled. They even admired her gait and turned round to watch her walking; they admired her too for being so little, and, in fact, did not know what to admire her most for. They even came to her for help in their illnesses.

    He was in the hospital from the middle of Lent till after Easter. When he was better, he remembered the dreams he had had while he was feverish and delirious. He dreamt that the whole world was condemned to a terrible new strange plague that had come to Europe from the depths of Asia. All were to be destroyed except a very few chosen. Some new sorts of microbes were attacking the bodies of men, but these microbes were endowed with intelligence and will. Men attacked by them became at once mad and furious. But never had men considered themselves so intellectual and so completely in possession of the truth as these sufferers, never had they considered their decisions, their scientific conclusions, their moral convictions so infallible. Whole villages, whole towns and peoples went mad from the infection. All were excited and did not understand one another. Each thought that he alone had the truth and was wretched looking at the others, beat himself on the breast, wept, and wrung his hands. They did not know how to judge and could not agree what to consider evil and what good; they did not know whom to blame, whom to justify. Men killed each other in a sort of senseless spite. They gathered together in armies against one another, but even on the march the armies would begin attacking each other, the ranks would be broken and the soldiers would fall on each other, stabbing and cutting, biting and devouring each other. The alarm bell was ringing all day long in the towns; men rushed together, but why they were summoned and who was summoning them no one knew. The most ordinary trades were abandoned, because everyone proposed his own ideas, his own improvements, and they could not agree. The land too was abandoned. Men met in groups, agreed on something, swore to keep together, but at once began on something quite different from what they had proposed. They accused one another, fought and killed each other. There were conflagrations and famine. All men and all things were involved in destruction. The plague spread and moved further and further. Only a few men could be saved in the whole world. They were a pure chosen people, destined to found a new race and a new life, to renew and purify the earth, but no one had seen these men, no one had heard their words and their voices.

    Raskolnikov was worried that this senseless dream haunted his memory so miserably, the impression of this feverish delirium persisted so long. The second week after Easter had come. There were warm bright spring days; in the prison ward the grating windows under which the sentinel paced were opened. Sonia had only been able to visit him twice during his illness; each time she had to obtain permission, and it was difficult. But she often used to come to the hospital yard, especially in the evening, sometimes only to stand a minute and look up at the windows of the ward.

    One evening, when he was almost well again, Raskolnikov fell asleep. On waking up he chanced to go to the window, and at once saw Sonia in the distance at the hospital gate. She seemed to be waiting for someone. Something stabbed him to the heart at that minute. He shuddered and moved away from the window. Next day Sonia did not come, nor the day after; he noticed that he was expecting her uneasily. At last he was discharged. On reaching the prison he learnt from the convicts that Sofya Semyonovna was lying ill at home and was unable to go out.

    He was very uneasy and sent to inquire after her; he soon learnt that her illness was not dangerous. Hearing that he was anxious about her, Sonia sent him a pencilled note, telling him that she was much better, that she had a slight cold and that she would soon, very soon come and see him at his work. His heart throbbed painfully as he read it.

    Again it was a warm bright day. Early in the morning, at six o'clock, he went off to work on the river bank, where they used to pound alabaster and where there was a kiln for baking it in a shed. There were only three of them sent. One of the convicts went with the guard to the fortress to fetch a tool; the other began getting the wood ready and laying it in the kiln. Raskolnikov came out of the shed on to the river bank, sat down on a heap of logs by the shed and began gazing at the wide deserted river. From the high bank a broad landscape opened before him, the sound of singing floated faintly audible from the other bank. In the vast steppe, bathed in sunshine, he could just see, like black specks, the nomads' tents. There there was freedom, there other men were living, utterly unlike those here; there time itself seemed to stand still, as though the age of Abraham and his flocks had not passed. Raskolnikov sat gazing, his thoughts passed into day-dreams, into contemplation; he thought of nothing, but a vague restlessness excited and troubled him. Suddenly he found Sonia beside him; she had come up noiselessly and sat down at his side. It was still quite early; the morning chill was still keen. She wore her poor old burnous and the green shawl; her face still showed signs of illness, it was thinner and paler. She gave him a joyful smile of welcome, but held out her hand with her usual timidity. She was always timid of holding out her hand to him and sometimes did not offer it at all, as though afraid he would repel it. He always took her hand as though with repugnance, always seemed vexed to meet her and was sometimes obstinately silent throughout her visit. Sometimes she trembled before him and went away deeply grieved. But now their hands did not part. He stole a rapid glance at her and dropped his eyes on the ground without speaking. They were alone, no one had seen them. The guard had turned away for the time.

    How it happened he did not know. But all at once something seemed to seize him and fling him at her feet. He wept and threw his arms round her knees. For the first instant she was terribly frightened and she turned pale. She jumped up and looked at him trembling. But at the same moment she understood, and a light of infinite happiness came into her eyes. She knew and had no doubt that he loved her beyond everything and that at last the moment had come. . . .

    They wanted to speak, but could not; tears stood in their eyes. They were both pale and thin; but those sick pale faces were bright with the dawn of a new future, of a full resurrection into a new life. They were renewed by love; the heart of each held infinite sources of life for the heart of the other.

    They resolved to wait and be patient. They had another seven years to wait, and what terrible suffering and what infinite happiness before them! But he had risen again and he knew it and felt it in all his being, while she——she only lived in his life.

    On the evening of the same day, when the barracks were locked, Raskolnikov lay on his plank bed and thought of her. He had even fancied that day that all the convicts who had been his enemies looked at him differently; he had even entered into talk with them and they answered him in a friendly way. He remembered that now, and thought it was bound to be so. Wasn't everything now bound to be changed?

    He thought of her. He remembered how continually he had tormented her and wounded her heart. He remembered her pale and thin little face. But these recollections scarcely troubled him now; he knew with what infinite love he would now repay all her sufferings. And what were all, /all/ the agonies of the past! Everything, even his crime, his sentence and imprisonment, seemed to him now in the first rush of feeling an external, strange fact with which he had no concern. But he could not think for long together of anything that evening, and he could not have analysed anything consciously; he was simply feeling. Life had stepped into the place of theory and something quite different would work itself out in his mind.

    Under his pillow lay the New Testament. He took it up mechanically. The book belonged to Sonia; it was the one from which she had read the raising of Lazarus to him. At first he was afraid that she would worry him about religion, would talk about the gospel and pester him with books. But to his great surprise she had not once approached the subject and had not even offered him the Testament. He had asked her for it himself not long before his illness and she brought him the book without a word. Till now he had not opened it.

    He did not open it now, but one thought passed through his mind: "Can her convictions not be mine now? Her feelings, her aspirations at least. . . ."

    She too had been greatly agitated that day, and at night she was taken ill again. But she was so happy——and so unexpectedly happy——that she was almost frightened of her happiness. Seven years, /only/ seven years! At the beginning of their happiness at some moments they were both ready to look on those seven years as though they were seven days. He did not know that the new life would not be given him for nothing, that he would have to pay dearly for it, that it would cost him great striving, great suffering.

    But that is the beginning of a new story——the story of the gradual renewal of a man, the story of his gradual regeneration, of his passing from one world into another, of his initiation into a new unknown life. That might be the subject of a new story, but our present story is ended.

    他早就已经生病了;但使他垮下来的不是苦役生活的恐怖,不是做苦工,不是这里的伙食,不是剃光头,也不是用布头缝制的囚衣:噢!所有这些苦难和折磨对他来说算得了什么!恰恰相反,对做苦工,他甚至感到高兴:干活使身体疲惫不堪,他至少可以安安静静地睡上几个钟头。至于伙食这没有一点儿肉屑、却漂浮着蟑螂的菜汤,对他来说又算得了什么?他从前作大学生的时候,常常连这样的饭都吃不上。他的衣服是暖和的,对他现在的生活方式也挺合适。他甚至没有感觉到身上戴着镣铐。剃光头和穿着用两种不同料子做的短上衣①,使他感到可耻吗?可是在谁的面前觉得可耻呢?在索尼娅面前吗?索尼娅怕他,在她面前他会感到羞愧吗? ——

    ①第二类苦役犯人穿灰、黑两色的短上衣,背上缝一块黄色的方布。

    那么是为什么呢?就连在索尼娅面前,他也感到羞愧,因此他用轻蔑和粗暴的态度来对待她,使她感到痛苦不堪。但他感到羞愧,并不是因为剃了光头和戴着镣铐:他的自尊心受到了严重的伤害;使他病倒的是他那受到伤害的自尊心。噢,如果他能自认为有罪,他会感到多么幸福啊!那时他将会忍受一切,就连羞耻和屈辱也能忍受。但是他以求全责备的目光检查了自己的所作所为,他那顽强不屈的良心却没能在自己过去的行为中发现任何特别可怕的罪行,也许只除了人人都可能发生的极平常的失算。他所以感到可耻,正是因为他,拉斯科利尼科夫,由于偶然的命运的判决,竟这样偶然、这样毫无希望、这样冷漠、这样糊里糊涂地毁了,如果他想多少安慰自己,那就得听天由命,逆来顺受,对某种判决的“荒谬”表示屈服。

    目前只有空洞和毫无意义的忧虑,将来只有一无所获的、不断的牺牲,这就是他在这个世界上面临的命运。八年后他只不过三十二岁,还可以重新开始生活,这又有什么意义呢!他为什么要活着?有什么打算?竭力追求的是什么?为了生存而活着吗?可是以前他就甘愿为思想、为希望、甚至为幻想成千次献出自己的生命了。他一向认为,单单生存是不够的;他总是希望生命有更大的意义。也许只是由于他抱有希望,当时他才自认为是一个比别人享有更多权利的人吧。

    如果命运赐给他悔过之心就好了沉痛的悔恨会使他心碎,夺走他的睡眠。由于悔恨而感到的可怕的痛苦会使他神思恍惚,产生自缢和投河的念头!噢,如果能够这样,他将会感到多么高兴啊!痛苦和眼泪这也是生活嘛。然而对自己的罪行,他并无悔过之意。

    要是他能至少对自己的愚蠢感到愤慨也好,就像以前他曾对自己那些很不像话、愚蠢透顶的行为感到愤恨一样,正是那些愚蠢行为导致他锒铛入狱的。可是现在,他已在狱中,空闲的时候,他重新反复考虑、衡量以前自己的所作所为,却完全不认为这些行为像他以前,在决定命运的时刻所认为的那样愚蠢和不像话了。

    “有哪一点,有哪一点,”他想,“我的思想比开天辟地以来这个世界上大量产生而又相互矛盾的思想和理论更愚蠢呢?只要以完全独立、全面、摆脱世俗观念的观点来看问题,那么我的思想当然就根本不是那么奇怪了。唉,对一切持否定态度的人和那些一钱不值的哲人们,你们为什么半途而废啊!”

    “从哪一点来看,他们觉得我的行为是那么不像话呢?”他自言自语。“是因为我的行为残暴吗?残暴这个词儿是什么意思?我问心无愧。当然,犯了刑事罪;当然,违反了法律条文的字面意义,而且流了血,好,那就为了法律条文的字面意义砍掉我的脑袋吧这也就够了!当然啦,如果这样的话,那么就连许多人类的恩人,不是那些继承权力的人,而是自己攫取权力的人,在他们刚刚迈出最初几步的时候,也都应该处以极刑了。但是那些人经受住了最初的考验,所以他们是无罪的,我却没能经受住,可见我没有允许自己走这一步的权利。”

    仅仅在这一点上,他承认自己是有罪的:他没能经受住考验,他去自首了。

    这个想法也让他感到痛苦:当时他为什么没有自杀?为什么当时他曾站在河边,却宁愿去自首?难道活命的愿望是一种如此强大的力量,以致难以克服吗?怕死的斯维德里盖洛夫不是克服了吗?

    他常常向自己提出这个问题,而且不能理解,当时,他站在河边的时候,也许已经预感到自己和自己的信念是十分虚伪的了。他不理解,这种预感可能就是他生活中未来转变的预兆,就是他将来获得新生、以新的观点来看待人生的预兆。

    他宁愿认为这仅仅是本能的一种迟钝的沉重负担,他无法摆脱这副重担,而且仍然不能跨越过去(由于意志薄弱和渺小)。他看看和他一同服苦役的那些同伴,不由得感到惊讶:他们也是多么爱生活,多么珍惜生活啊!他好像觉得,他们正是在监狱里,比他们自由的时候更爱、更珍惜、也更重视生活。他们当中有一些人,譬如说,那些流浪汉,什么样的痛苦和残酷的折磨没有经受过啊!一道阳光,一座郁郁葱葱的森林,无人知道的密林深处一股冰凉的泉水,对于他们来说难道会有那么重大的意义?这泉水还是两年多以前发现的,难道一个流浪汉会像梦想会见情人那样,梦想着再看到这股泉水?他会梦见它,梦见它周围绿草如茵,一只小鸟儿在灌木丛中鸣啭吗?他继续细心观察,看到了一些更难解释的事例。

    在监狱里,在他周围这些人们中间,当然有很多事情是他没注意到的,而且他也根本不想注意。不知为什么,他总是眼睛望着地下:周围的一切他看了就感到极端厌恶,难以忍受。但后来有很多事情开始使他感到惊奇了,于是他有点儿不由自主地注意到了以前想都没想到过的事情。一般说,使他最为惊讶的是,在他和所有这些人之间隔着一个无法逾越的可怕的深渊。似乎他和他们是不同民族的人。他和他们互不信任,互相怀有敌意。他知道而且了解这种隔阂的主要原因;但是以前他从不认为,这些原因真的是那么深刻和严重。监狱里也有一些波兰籍的流放犯,都是政治犯。那些波兰人简直把这儿所有人都看作没有知识的粗人和农民,高傲地瞧不起他们;拉斯科利尼科夫却不能这样看待他们:他清清楚楚看出,这些没有知识的粗人在许多方面都比这些波兰人聪明得多。这儿也有些俄罗斯人一个军官和两个神学校的毕业生,他们也很瞧不起这些人;拉斯科利尼科夫也明显地看出了他们的错误。

    他本人也是大家都不喜欢的,大家都躲着他。最后甚至憎恨他了为什么呢?他不知道原因何在。大家都瞧不起他,嘲笑他,就连那些罪行比他严重得多的人也嘲笑他所犯的罪。

    “你是老爷!”他们对他说。“你能拿斧头吗;这根本不是老爷干的事。”

    大斋期①的第二周,轮到他和同一牢房的犯人去斋戒②。 ——

    ①复活节前的斋期,一共持续六个星期。

    ②按教堂规定的时间素食。祈祷,准备去忏悔和领圣餐。

    他和其他人一道去教堂祈祷。他自己也不知是为了什么,有一次发生了争吵;大家一下子全都起来疯狂地攻击他。

    “你是个不信神的人!你不信上帝!”他们对他吼叫。“真该宰了你。”

    他从来也没跟他们谈过上帝和宗教,他们却要把他当作一个不信神的人,杀死他;他不作声,也不反驳他们。有一个苦役犯人狂怒地朝他扑了过来;拉斯科利尼科夫沉着地、默默地等着他:他的眉毛动都不动,脸上的肌肉也没抖动过一下。一个押送他们的卫兵及时把他们隔开了不然准会发生流血事件。

    对他来说,还有一个问题也没解决:为什么他们大家都那么喜欢索尼娅?她并不巴结他们;他们难得碰到她,有时只是在大家干活的时候,她到那里去,只待一会儿,是为了去看他。然而大家都已经认识她了,知道她是跟着他来的,知道她怎样生活,住在哪里。她没给过他们钱,也没为他们特别效过力。只有一次,在圣诞节,她给监狱里的犯人们送来了馅饼和白面包。但是渐渐地在他们和索尼娅之间建立起了某些更为密切的关系:她代他们给他们的亲属写信,替他们把信送到邮局去。他们的亲属到城里来的时候,都根据他们的介绍,把带给他们的东西,甚至金钱交给索尼娅。他们的妻子或情人都认识她,常到她那里去。每当她到他们干活的地方去看拉斯科利尼科夫,或者在路上遇到一批去干活的犯人的时候,犯人们都摘下帽子,向她问好:“妈妈,索菲娅谢苗诺芙娜,你是我们的母亲,温柔的、最可爱的母亲!”这些粗野的、脸上刺了字①的苦役犯人对这个瘦小的女人说。她总是微笑着鞠躬还礼,大家都喜欢她对他们微笑。他们甚至喜欢她走路的姿态,总是回过头来目送着她,看她走路的样子,并且赞美她;甚至为了她是那么瘦小而赞美她,甚至不知道该赞美她什么才好。他们生了病,甚至去找她给他们治病。 ——

    ①沙俄时期,被判处苦役的犯人要在额上和脸上刺上“KAT”(苦役犯的缩写)三个字母。贵族和妇女免于刺字。

    斋期的最后几天和复活节的那一个星期,他都躺在医院里。病渐渐痊愈的时候,他记起了还在发烧和昏迷不醒的时候作的那些梦。病中他梦见,全世界注定要在一场闻所未闻、见所未见的、可怕的瘟疫中毁灭,这场瘟疫是从亚洲腹地蔓延到欧洲来的。所有人都必死无疑,只有很少几个才智超群的人得以幸免。发现了一种新的旋毛虫,一种能侵入人体的微生物。不过这些微生物是有智慧、有意志的精灵。身体里有了这种微生物的人立刻会变得像鬼魂附体一样,变成疯子。可是人们还从来,从来没有像这些病人那样自以为聪明过人,而且坚信真理。对于自己所作的决定、科学结论、自己的道德观念和信仰还从来没像现在这样坚信不疑。一批批村庄、一座座城市,全体人民都传染上了这种瘟疫,都发疯了。大家都惶惶不安,互不了解,每个人都认为,只有他一个人掌握了真理,看着别人都感到痛苦不堪,捶胸顿足,放声大哭,十分痛心。大家都不知道该审判谁,该如何审判,对于什么是恶,什么是善,都无法取得一致意见。都不知道该认为什么人有罪,该为什么人辩护。他们怀着失去理性的仇恨,互相残杀。他们各自调集了大批军队,向对方发动进攻,但是在行军途中,这些军队却自相残杀起来,队伍混乱了,战士们互相攻击,互相砍、杀,人在咬人,人在吃人。一座座城市里整天鸣钟报警:召集所有的人,可是谁也不知道,是谁,又是为什么召集他们,然而大家都感到惊慌不安。大家都丢下了日常工作。因为每个人都提出自己的观点,提出自己的改良计划,而不能取得一致意见,农业荒废了。有些地方,人们聚集到一起,同意去做什么事情,发誓决不分离,但是话音未落,却立刻干起与自己刚才的建议完全相反的事情来:大家互相指责,斗殴,残杀。开始发生火灾,饥荒。所有人和一切事物都毁了。瘟疫在发展,继续到处蔓延。全世界只有几个人能够得救,这是一些心灵纯洁、才智超群的人,他们负有繁衍新人种和创造新生活的使命,他们将使大地焕然一新,彻底净化,然而谁也没在任何地方看到过这些人,谁也没听到过他们说的话和他们的声音。

    使拉斯科利尼科夫异常苦恼的是:这毫无意义的梦呓竟在他的记忆里唤起如此悲哀和痛苦的感情,热病发作时梦中的印象竟这样长久地萦回不去。已经是复活节后的第二周;天气暖和,天空晴朗,春天到了;囚犯病房里的窗户打开了(窗上装了铁栅,窗外有哨兵巡逻)。在他生病期间,索尼娅只能在病房里探望了他两次;每次都得请求批准,而这是很困难的。但是她经常到医院的院子里来,站到窗前,特别是在傍晚,有时只是为了在院子里稍站一会儿,至少可以从远处望望病房里的窗户。有一天傍晚,已经差不多完全恢复健康的拉斯科利尼科夫睡着了;醒来后,他无意中走到窗前,突然在远处,在医院大门附近看到了索尼娅。她站在那儿,好像在等待着什么。这时仿佛有个什么东西猛一下子刺穿了他的心;他颤栗了一下,赶快离开了窗边。第二天索尼娅没有来,第三天也没来;他发觉,自己在焦急不安地等着她。他终于出院了。回到监狱,他从囚犯们那里得知,索尼娅病了,睡在家里,哪里也不去。

    他非常担心,托人去探望她。不久他得知,她的病并不危险。索尼娅也得知,他十分想念她,关心她,于是托人给他带去一张用铅笔写的条子,告诉他,她的病好多了,她只不过着了凉,有点儿感冒,她很快、很快就会到他干活的地方去和他见面。他看这张条子的时候,心在剧烈而痛苦地狂跳。

    又是晴朗而暖和的一天。大清早六点钟的时候,他到河岸上去干活了,那儿的一座板棚里砌了一座烧建筑用石膏的焙烧炉,也是在那儿把石膏捣碎。去那儿干活的只有三个人。有一个囚犯和押送犯人的卫兵一道到要塞领工具去了;另一个犯人动手准备劈柴,把柴堆到焙烧炉里。拉斯科利尼科夫从板棚里出来,来到河边,坐到堆放在板棚旁的原木上,开始眺望那条宽阔、荒凉的河流。从高高的河岸上望去,四周一大片广袤的土地都呈现在眼前。从遥远的对岸隐隐约约传来了歌声。那里,洒满阳光、一望无际的草原上,游牧民族的帐篷宛如一个个黑点,依稀可辨。那里是自由的天地,那里住着与这里的人全然不同的另一些人,那里的时间似乎停止了,仿佛亚伯拉罕①的时代和他的畜群还没有成为过去。拉斯科利尼科夫坐在河边,目不转睛地凝神眺望着;他渐渐陷入幻想和想象中;他什么也没想,但是某种忧虑却使他心情激动不安,使他感到痛苦。 ——

    ①据《圣经》上说:古犹太人的族长亚伯拉罕大约生于纪元前二○○○年。

    突然索尼娅在他身边出现了。她悄无声息地来到了他这里,坐到他的旁边。时间还很早,清晨的寒气还没有减弱。她穿一件寒伧的旧大衣,头上包着绿色的头巾。她脸上还带着病容,十分消瘦,面色苍白。她亲切而高兴地对他微微一笑,却像往常一样,怯生生地向他伸过手来。

    她把自己的手伸给他的时候总是怯生生地,有时甚至根本不把手伸给他,似乎害怕他会把她的手推开。他好像总是怀着厌恶的心情和她握手,见到她时总是好像感到遗憾,有时,在她来看他的这段时间里,他执拗地默默不语。有时她很怕他,经常是怀着十分悲痛的心情回去。但是现在他们的手没有分开;他匆匆看了她一眼,什么也没说,垂下眼睛望着地下。只有他们两个人,谁也没看到他们。这时候押送犯人的卫兵把脸转过去了。

    这是怎么发生的,他自己也不知道,但是好像不知有什么突然把他举起来,丢到了她的脚下。他哭了,抱住了她的双膝。最初一瞬间她大吃一惊,吓得面无人色。她跳了起来,浑身发抖,望着他。但立刻,就在这一刹那,她什么都明白了。她的眼睛闪闪发光,露出无限幸福的神情;她明白了,她已经毫不怀疑,他爱她,无限地热爱她,这个时刻终于到了

    他们想要说话,可是谁也说不出来。他们都热泪盈眶。他们俩都面色苍白,两人都很瘦;但是在这两张仍然带有病容的、苍白的脸上已经闪烁着获得新生的未来的曙光。爱情使他们获得了新生,这一个人的心包含有另一颗心的无穷无尽的生活源泉。

    他们决定等待和忍耐。他们还得等待七年;而在那个时候到来之前,还有多少难以忍受的痛苦和无穷无尽的幸福啊!然而他获得了新生,他也知道这一点,已经获得新生的他以全身心充分感觉到了这一点,而她她只是为了使他活下去而活着!

    那天晚上,牢房的门已经锁上以后,拉斯科利尼科夫躺在床板上想着她。这天他甚至好像觉得,似乎所有苦役犯人,他以前的那些敌人,已经用另一种眼光来看他了。他甚至主动跟他们说起话来,他们也亲切地回答他。现在他回想起这一切,不过,不是应该如此吗;难道现在不是一切都应该改变了吗?

    他在想着她。他回想起,以前他经常折磨她,让她伤心;回想起她那苍白、消瘦的脸,但是这些回忆现在几乎并不使他感到痛苦;他知道,现在他会用多么无限的爱来补偿她所受的一切痛苦。

    而且这一切究竟是什么呢,一切痛苦都已经过去了!现在,在最初的感情冲动中,一切,就连他犯的罪,就连判决和流放,他都觉得好像是某种身外的、奇怪的、甚至仿佛不是他亲身经历的事情。不过这天晚上他不能长久和固定地去想某一件事,不能把思想集中到某一件事情上去;而且现在他也并未有意识地作出任何决定;他只是有这样的一些感觉。生活取代了雄辩,思想意识里应该形成完全不同的另一种东西。

    他枕头底下有一本福音书。他无意识地把它拿了出来。这本书是她的,就是她给他读拉撒路复活的那一本。刚开始服苦役的时候,他以为她会用宗教来折磨他,会和他谈福音书上的故事,把书硬塞给他。然而使他极为惊讶的是,她连一次也没跟他谈起这件事,连一次也没提出要给他福音书。在他生病前不久,他自己向她要这本书,她默默地给他把书带来了。直到现在他还没有翻开过这本书。

    现在他也没有把书翻开,不过有个想法在他脑子里突然一闪:“难道现在她的信仰不能成为我的信仰吗?至少她的感情,她的愿望”

    整整这一天,她心里也很激动,夜里甚至又生病了。但是她觉得那么幸福,几乎对自己的幸福感到害怕。七年,只不过七年!在他们的幸福刚一开始的时候,有时他们俩都愿意把这七年看作七天。他甚至不知道,他不可能不付出代价就获得新的生活,还必须为新生活付出昂贵的代价,必须在以后为它建立丰功伟绩

    不过一个新的故事已经开始,这是一个人逐渐获得新生的故事,是一个人逐渐洗心革面、从一个世界进入另一个世界的故事,是他逐渐熟悉迄今为止还不知道的、新的现实的故事。这可以构成一部新小说的题材,不过我们现在的这部小说已经结束了。
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