ENGL 487
--English Capstone--
The Long Two Centuries



    Last Updated: 2/20/12    


[T]o be too conscious is an illness–a real thoroughgoing illness.
            --Notes from Underground 1.2 (Garnett translation)

[T]o be too acutely conscious is a disease, a real, honest-to-goodness disease.
            --Notes from the Underground 1.2 (Magarshack translation)


* A brief book review of Notes, with some digs at Garnett's translation.


 M, Feb. 20th::



My web "commentary" will consist mostly of a collage of quotations from the book (w/ added parentheticals and [some goofy] graphics): you should be able to readily ascertain how they apply to my class comments on Dostoevski as/versus the Underground Man, Romantic elements in the novella, etc. . . .

Part I ("Underground"), Section 1:
[(from FD's prefatory footnote:) The author of the diary and the diary itself are, of course, imaginary. Nevertheless it is clear that such persons as the writer of these notes not only may, but positively must, exist in our society, when we consider the circumstances in the midst of which our society is formed.]
    I am a sick man . . . I am a spiteful man. I am an unattractive man. I believe my liver is diseased. However, I know nothing at all about my disease, and do not know for certain what ails me. [. . .] My liver is bad, well–let it get worse! [. . .] (A poor jest, but I will not scratch it out. I wrote it thinking it would sound very witty; but now that I have seen myself that I only wanted to show off in a despicable way, I will not scratch it out on purpose!) [. . .] But do you know, gentlemen, what was the chief point about my spite? Why, the whole point, the real sting of it lay in the fact that continually, even in the moment of the acutest spleen, I was inwardly conscious with shame that I was not only not a spiteful but not even an embittered man, that I was simply scaring sparrows at random and amusing myself by it. [. . .] I was lying when I said just now that I was a spiteful official. I was lying from spite. [. . .] Now, are not you fancying, gentlemen, that I am expressing remorse for something now, that I am asking your forgiveness for something? I am sure you are fancying that . . . However, I assure you I do not care if you are. . . . [. . .] It was not only that I could not become spiteful, I did not know how to become anything; neither spiteful nor kind, neither a rascal nor an honest man, neither a hero nor an insect. Now, I am living out my life in my corner, taunting myself with the spiteful and useless consolation that an intelligent man cannot become anything seriously, and it is only the fool who becomes anything. Yes, a man in the nineteenth century must and morally ought to be pre-eminently a characterless creature; a man of character, an active man is pre-eminently a limited creature [Magarshack translation: ". . . a man with a very circumscribed imagination"]. [. . .] You imagine no doubt, gentlemen, that I want to amuse you. You are mistaken in that, too. [. . .] My room is a wretched, horrid one in the outskirts of the town. My servant is an old country-woman, ill-natured from stupidity, and, moreover, there is always a nasty smell about her. [. . .]

. . . to be too conscious is an illness–a real thorough-going illness. Part I.2: [. . .] I tell you solemnly, that I have many times tried to become an insect. But I was not equal even to that. [Rom. alert:] I swear, gentlemen, that to be too conscious is an illness–a real thorough-going illness. For man's everyday needs, it would have been quite enough to have the ordinary human consciousness, that is, half or a quarter of the amount which falls to the lot of a cultivated man of our unhappy nineteenth century [. . . .] It would have been quite enough, for instance, to have the consciousness by which all so-called direct persons and men of action live. [. . .] [Rom. alert:] Tell me this: why does it happen that at the very, yes, at the very moments when I am most capable of feeling every refinement of all that is "sublime and beautiful" [The original Garnett version was "good and beautiful," but obviously "good" is not le mot juste; and "sublime" is more specifically Romantic in its connotations.] as they used to say at one time, it would, as though of design, happen to me not only to feel but to do such ugly things, such that . . . [.] The more conscious I was of goodness and of all that was "sublime and beautiful," the more deeply I sank into my mire and the more ready I was to sink in it altogether. [. . .] But upon my word I sometimes have had moments when if I had happened to be slapped in the face I should, perhaps, have been positively glad of it. I say, in earnest, that I should probably have been able to discover even in that a peculiar sort of enjoyment–the enjoyment, of course, of despair; [Rom. alert:] but in despair there are the most intense enjoyments, especially when one is very acutely conscious of the hopelessness of one's position. [. . .] I should certainly never have made up my mind to do anything, even if I had been able to. [. . .]

Part I.3: [. . .] Such a gentleman simply dashes straight for his object like an infuriated bull with its horns down [. . . .] Well, such a direct person I regard as the real normal man, [Rom. alert:] as his tender mother Nature wished to see him when she graciously brought him into being on the earth. I envy such a man till I am green in the face. He is stupid. [. . .] the man of acute consciousness, who has come, of course, not out of the lap of nature but out of a retort (this is almost mysticism, gentlemen, but I suspect this, too), this retort-made man is sometimes so nonplussed [i.e., perplexed, bewildered] in the presence of his antithesis that with all his exaggerated consciousness he genuinely thinks of himself as a mouse and not a man. It may be an acutely conscious mouse, yet it is a mouse, while the other is a man, and therefore, et caetera, et caetera. And the worst of it is, he himself, his very own self, looks on himself as a mouse; no one asks him to do so; and that is an important point. Now let us look at this mouse in action. Let us suppose, for instance, that it feels insulted, too (and it almost always does feel insulted), and wants to revenge itself, too. There may even be a greater accumulation of spite in it than in "l'homme de la nature et de la vérité [man of nature & truth]."* [. . .] Of course the only thing left for it [the "mouse"-man] is to dismiss all that with a wave of its paw, and, with a smile of assumed contempt in which it does not even itself believe, creep ignominiously into its mouse-hole. There in its nasty, stinking, underground home our insulted, crushed and ridiculed mouse promptly becomes absorbed in cold, malignant and, above all, everlasting spite. For forty years together it will remember its injury down to the smallest, most ignominious details, and every time will add, of itself, details still more ignominious, spitefully teasing and tormenting itself with its own imagination. [. . .] The impossible means the stone wall! What stone wall? [Rom. alert (and despite/besides the anti-science gist in the following, note how the Romantics' "Nature" of 50 years before has now become the scientifically defined cause-&-effect determinism of "natural law"):] Why, of course, the laws of nature, the deductions of natural science, mathematics. As soon as they prove to you, for instance, that you are descended from a monkey, then it is no use scowling, accept it for a fact. When they prove to you that in reality one drop of your own fat must be dearer to you than a hundred thousand of your fellow-creatures, and that this conclusion is the final solution of all so-called virtues and duties and all such prejudices and fancies, then you have just to accept it, there is no help for it, for twice two is a law of mathematics. Just try refuting it. [. . .]
* The FRENCH Connection: The frequent use by the UM/Dostoevski of French (note later, in Part II, the ubiquitous use of Monsieur in greetings) highlights the fact that, for centuries, and until the Cold War, Russia was very much a part of (Western) European culture. The adoption of "things French," in particular, was one primary means by which the Russian nobility put on "airs," foreign affectations soon greedily adopted by the bourgeoisie, too, to "keep up with the Joneses." And so the UM's various French phrases are further (pathetic) ways of demonstrating not only his book-learnng, but his cultural superiority (over the peasants & servant class).

Part I.4: [. . .] Well, these mortal insults, these jeers on the part of someone unknown, end at last in an enjoyment which sometimes reaches the highest degree of voluptuousness. [Rom. alert:] I ask you, gentlemen, listen sometimes to the moans of an educated man of the nineteenth century suffering from toothache, [. . .] when he is beginning to moan, [. . .] not simply because he has toothache, not just as any coarse peasant, but as a man affected by progress and European civilization, a man who is "divorced from the soil and the national elements," as they express it now-a-days. His moans become nasty, disgustingly malignant [. . . .] You do not understand even now, gentlemen? No, it seems our development and our consciousness must go further to understand all the intricacies of this pleasure. You laugh? Delighted. My jests, gentlemen, are of course in bad taste, jerky, involved, lacking self-confidence. But of course that is because I do not respect myself. Can a man of perception respect himself at all?

Part I.5: [. . .] I invented adventures for myself and made up a life, so as at least to live in some way. [. . .] Another time, twice, in fact, I tried hard to be in love. I suffered, too, gentlemen, I assure you. In the depth of my heart there was no faith in my suffering, only a faint stir of mockery, but yet I did suffer, and in the real, orthodox way; I was jealous, beside myself . . . and it was all from ennui, gentlemen, all from ennui; inertia overcame me. You know the direct, legitimate fruit of consciousness is inertia, that is, conscious sitting-with-the-hands-folded. [. . .] Oh, gentlemen, do you know, perhaps I consider myself an intelligent man, only because all my life I have been able neither to begin nor to finish anything. Granted I am a babbler, a harmless vexatious babbler, like all of us. But what is to be done if the direct and sole vocation of every intelligent man is babble, that is, the intentional pouring of water through a sieve?

Part I.6: [. . .] Oh, if I had done nothing simply from laziness! [. . .] Question: What is he? Answer: A sluggard; how very pleasant it would have been to hear that of oneself! It would mean that I was positively defined, it would mean that there was something to say about me. "Sluggard"–why, it is a calling and vocation, it is a career. [. . .] [anti-Rom. alert:] Then I should have chosen a career for myself, I should have been a sluggard and a glutton, not a simple one, but, for instance, one with sympathies for everything sublime and beautiful. How do you like that? I have long had visions of it. That "sublime and beautiful" weighs heavily on my mind at forty. But that is at forty; then–oh, then it would have been different! I should have found for myself a form of activity in keeping with it, to be precise, drinking to the health of everything "sublime and beautiful." I should have snatched at every opportunity to drop a tear into my glass and then to drain it to all that is "sublime and beautiful." I should then have turned everything into the sublime and the beautiful; in the nastiest, unquestionable trash, I should have sought out the sublime and the beautiful. I should have exuded tears like a wet sponge. [. . .]

Part I.7: [. . .] when in all these thousands of years has there been a time when man has acted only from his own interest? [. . .] [Rom. alert:] You see, you gentlemen have, to the best of my knowledge, taken your whole register of human advantages from the averages of statistical figures and politico-economical formulas. Your advantages are prosperity, wealth, freedom, peace–and so on, and so on. [. . .] The fact is, gentlemen, it seems there must really exist something that is dearer to almost every man than his greatest advantages, or (not to be illogical) there is a most advantageous advantage (the very one omitted of which we spoke just now) which is more important and more advantageous than all other advantages, for the sake of which a man if necessary is ready to act in opposition to all laws [. . . .] [Rom. alert:] this advantage is remarkable from the very fact that it breaks down all our classifications, and continually shatters every system constructed by lovers of mankind for the benefit of mankind. In fact, it upsets everything. [. . .] I boldly declare that all these fine systems, all these theories for explaining to mankind their real normal interests, in order that inevitably striving to pursue these interests they may at once become good and noble–are, in my opinion, so far, mere logical exercises! [. . .] man has such a predilection for systems and abstract deductions that he is ready to distort the truth intentionally, he is ready to deny the evidence of his senses only to justify his logic. I take this example because it is the most glaring instance of it. Only look about you: blood is being spilt in streams, and in the merriest way, as though it were champagne. Take the whole of the nineteenth century [. . . .] through the development of this many-sidedness man may come to finding enjoyment in bloodshed. In fact, this has already happened to him. Have you noticed that it is the most civilized gentlemen who have been the subtlest slaughterers [. . . .] In any case civilization has made mankind if not more bloodthirsty, at least more vilely, more loathsomely bloodthirsty. [. . .] though man has now learned to see more clearly than in barbarous ages, he is still far from having learnt to act as reason and science would dictate. [. . .] [Rom. alert:] then, you say, science itself will teach man (though to my mind it's a superfluous luxury) that he never has really had any caprice or will of his own, and that he himself is something of the nature of a piano-key or the stop of an organ, and that there are, besides, things called the laws of nature; so that everything he does is not done by his willing it, but is done of itself, by the laws of nature. Consequently we have only to discover these laws of nature, and man will no longer have to answer for his actions and life will become exceedingly easy for him. All human actions will then, of course, be tabulated according to these laws, mathematically, like tables of logarithms up to 108,000, and entered in an index; or, better still, there would be published certain edifying works of the nature of encyclopaedic lexicons, in which everything will be so clearly calculated and explained that there will be no more incidents or adventures in the world. [. . .] Man is stupid, you know, phenomenally stupid; or rather he is not at all stupid, but he is so ungrateful that you could not find another like him in all creation. [Rom. alert:] I, for instance, would not be in the least surprised if all of a sudden, apropos of nothing, in the midst of general prosperity a gentleman with an ignoble, or rather with a reactionary and ironical, countenance were to arise and, putting his arms akimbo, say to us all: "I say, gentleman, hadn't we better kick over the whole show and scatter rationalism to the winds, simply to send these logarithms to the devil, and to enable us to live once more at our own sweet foolish will!" [. . .] man everywhere and at all times, whoever he may be, has preferred to act as he chose and not in the least as his reason and advantage dictated. And one may choose what is contrary to one's own interests, and sometimes one positively ought (that is my idea). One's own free unfettered choice, one's own caprice, however wild it may be, one's own fancy worked up at times to frenzy–is that very "most advantageous advantage" which we have overlooked [. . . .] What man wants is simply independent choice, whatever that independence may cost and wherever it may lead.

. . . for what is a man without desires, without free will and without choice, if not a stop in an organ? Part I.8: [. . .] "Ha! ha! ha! But you know there is no such thing as choice in reality, say what you like," you will interpose with a chuckle. "Science has succeeded in so far analyzing man that we know already that choice and what is called freedom of will is nothing else than–" [. . .] Indeed, if there really is some day discovered a formula for all our desires and caprices [. . .] man will at once cease to feel desire, indeed, he will be certain to. For who would want to choose by rule? Besides, he will at once be transformed from a human being into an organ-stop or something of the sort; for what is a man without desires, without free will and without choice, if not a stop in an organ? [. . .] [Rom. alert:] You see, gentlemen, reason is an excellent thing, there's no disputing that, but reason is nothing but reason and satisfies only the rational side of man's nature, while will is a manifestation of the whole life, that is, of the whole human life including reason and all the impulses. And although our life, in this manifestation of it, is often worthless, yet it is life and not simply extracting square roots. Here I, for instance, quite naturally want to live, in order to satisfy all my capacities for life, and not simply my capacity for reasoning, that is, not simply one twentieth of my capacity for life. [. . .] our personality, our individuality really is the most precious thing for mankind; choice can, of course, if it chooses, be in agreement with reason; and especially if this be not abused but kept within bounds [cf. Frankenstein]. It is profitable and sometimes even praiseworthy. But very often, and even most often, choice is utterly and stubbornly opposed to reason [. . . .] I believe that the best definition of man is the ungrateful biped. But that is not all, that is not his worst defect; his worst defect is his perpetual moral obliquity [Magarshack gives "lack of moral sense"]. [. . . .] Moral obliquity and consequently lack of good sense [. . . .] Put it to the test and cast your eyes upon the history of mankind. [. . .] it's fighting and fighting; they are fighting now, they fought first and they fought last–you will admit, that it is almost too monotonous. [. . .] [Rom. alert:] The only thing one can't say is that it's rational. [. . .] It is just his fantastic dreams, his vulgar folly that he will desire to retain, simply in order to prove to himself–as though that were so necessary–that men still are men and not the keys of a piano, which the laws of nature threaten to control so completely that soon one will be able to desire nothing but by the calendar. And that is not all: even if man really were nothing but a piano-key, even if this were proved to him by natural science and mathematics, even then he would not become reasonable, but would purposely do something perverse out of simple ingratitude, simply to gain his point. And if he does not find means he will contrive destruction and chaos, will contrive sufferings of all sorts, only to gain his point! He will launch a curse upon the world, and as only man can curse (it is his privilege, the primary distinction between him and other animals),* may be by his curse alone he will attain his object–that is, convince himself that he is a man and not a piano-key! [Rom. alert:] If you say that all this, too, can be calculated and tabulated–chaos and darkness and curses, so that the mere possibility of calculating it all beforehand would stop it all, and reason would reassert itself, then man would purposely go mad in order to be rid of reason and gain his point! I believe in it, I answer for it, for the whole work of man really seems to consist in nothing but proving to himself every minute that he is a man and not a piano-key! [. . .] can one help being tempted to rejoice that it has not yet come off, and that desire still depends on something we don't know? [. . .] Good heavens, gentlemen, what sort of free will is left when we come to tabulation and arithmetic, when it will all be a case of twice two make four? Twice two makes four without my will. [. . .]
* Elsewhere in Dostoevski: "Talking nonsense is man's only privilege that distinguishes him from all other organisms" (Crime and Punishment 3.1).

. . . twice two makes five is sometimes a very charming thing too. Part I.9: [. . .] I agree that man is pre-eminently a creative animal, predestined to strive consciously for an object and to engage in engineering–that is, incessantly and eternally to make new roads, wherever they may lead [cf. Frankenstein]. [. . .] Man likes to make roads and to create, that is a fact beyond dispute. But why has he such a passionate love for destruction and chaos also? [. . .] With the ant-heap the respectable race of ants began and with the ant-heap they will probably end, which does the greatest credit to their perseverance and good sense. But man is a frivolous and incongruous creature, and perhaps, like a chess player, loves the process of the game, not the end of it. And who knows (there is no saying with certainty), [Rom. alert:] perhaps the only goal on earth to which mankind is striving lies in this incessant process of attaining, in other words, in life itself, and not in the thing to be attained, which must always be expressed as a formula, as positive as twice two makes four, and such positiveness is not life, gentlemen, but is the beginning of death. Anyway, man has always been afraid of this mathematical certainty, and I am afraid of it now. Granted that man does nothing but seek that mathematical certainty, he traverses oceans, sacrifices his life in the quest, but to succeed, really to find it, dreads, I assure you. He feels that when he has found it there will be nothing for him to look for [cf. Frankenstein]. [. . .] But yet mathematical certainty is after all, something insufferable. Twice two makes four seems to me simply a piece of insolence. Twice two makes four is a pert coxcomb who stands with arms akimbo barring your path and spitting. I admit that twice two makes four is an excellent thing, but if we are to give everything its due, twice two makes five is sometimes a very charming thing too. [. . .]
From e. e. cummings' foreword to his collection of poems entitled is 5 (1926):
Ineluctable preoccupation with The Verb gives a poet one priceless advantage: whereas nonmakers must content themselves with the merely undeniable fact that two times two is four, he rejoices in a purely irresistable truth (to be found, in abbreviated costume, upon the title page of the present volume [that is, the title per se]).
Does not man, perhaps, love something besides well-being? [(German) Rom. alert:] Perhaps he is just as fond of suffering? Perhaps suffering is just as great a benefit to him as well-being? Man is sometimes extraordinarily, passionately, in love with suffering [. . . .] In the "Palace of Crystal" [Magarshack gives "Crystal Palace" throughout] it is unthinkable; suffering means doubt, negation, and what would be the good of a "palace of crystal" if there could be any doubt about it? And yet I think man will never renounce real suffering, that is, destruction and chaos. Why, suffering is the sole origin of consciousness. Though I did lay it down at the beginning that consciousness is the greatest misfortune for man, yet I know man prizes it and would not give it up for any satisfaction. Consciousness, for instance, is infinitely superior to twice two makes four. Once you have mathematical certainty there is nothing left to do or to understand. There will be nothing left but to bottle up your five senses and plunge into contemplation. While if you stick to consciousness, even though the same result is attained, you can at least flog yourself at times, and that will, at any rate, liven you up. [. . .]
A brief pictorial history of the Crystal Palace and the Great Exhibition of 1851;

by the time of F. D.'s Notes, the building (as synechdoche of the exhibit's ambitions)

had already become a "proverbial" emblem of science, industrialism, and–for F. D.–

logical positivism & social engineering.

Robert Bly, in News (291), chimes in, summarizing the neo-Romantic reaction to this 1851 phenomenon:
When Yeats says, "Locke fell into a swoon," he is summing up [. . .] the Industrial Revolution, in which the inventiveness of human beings seemed a prophecy finally come true. William Irwin Thompson has meditated several times on the meaning of the Crystal Palace, completed in 1851; in this palace, for the first time in history, steel beams were used, with glass, to enclose trees. That was a great triumph of the Old Position, because it said that human consciousness, now intensified and narrowed into "technology," had succeeded in its ancient war with the consciousness of nature, and won.

Part I.10: [. . .] But do you know what: I am convinced that we underground folk ought to be kept on a curb [i.e., on a short leash]. Though we may sit forty years underground without speaking, when we do come out into the light of day and break out we talk and talk and talk. . . .

Part I.11: [. . .] And so hurrah for underground! Though I have said that I envy the normal man to the last drop of my bile, yet I should not care to be in his place such as he is now (though I shall not cease envying him). [. . .] Oh, but even now I am lying! I am lying because I know myself that it is not underground that is better, [Rom. alert:] but something different, quite different, for which I am thirsting, but which I cannot find! Damn underground! I will tell you another thing that would be better, and that is, if I myself believed in anything of what I have just written. I swear to you, gentlemen, there is not one thing, not one word of what I have written that I really believe. That is, I believe it, perhaps, but at the same time I feel and suspect that I am lying like a cobbler. [. . .] Of course I have myself made up all the things you say. That, too, is from underground. I have been for forty years listening to you through a crack under the floor. [. . .] Every man has reminiscences which he would not tell to everyone, but only to his friends. He has other matters in his mind which he would not reveal even to his friends, but only to himself, and that in secret. [precursor-to-Freud alert:] But there are other things which a man is afraid to tell even to himself, and every decent man has a number of such things stored away in his mind. The more decent he is, the greater the number of such things in his mind. [. . .] I write only for myself, and I wish to declare once and for all that if I write as though I were addressing readers, that is simply because it is easier for me to write in that form. It is a form, an empty form–I shall never have readers. I have made this plain already. . . . [. . .] Besides, I shall perhaps obtain actual relief from writing. [. . .]

 W, Feb. 22nd::        

Part II ("Apropos of the Wet Snow"), Section 1: [. . .] At that time I was only twenty-four. [Rom. alert:] My life was even then gloomy, ill-regulated, and as solitary as that of a savage. I made friends with no one and positively avoided talking, and buried myself more and more in my hole. At work in the office I never looked at anyone, and was perfectly well aware that my companions looked upon me, not only as a queer fellow, but even looked upon me–I always fancied this–with a sort of loathing. [. . .] "My face may be ugly," I thought, "but let it be lofty, expressive, and, above all, extremely intelligent." But I was positively and painfully certain that it was impossible for my countenance ever to express those qualities. And what was worst of all, I thought it actually stupid looking, and I would have been quite satisfied if I could have looked intelligent. In fact, I would even have put up with looking base if, at the same time, my face could have been thought strikingly intelligent. [. . .] But whether I despised them or thought them superior I dropped my eyes almost every time I met anyone. I even made experiments whether I could face so and so's looking at me, and I was always the first to drop my eyes. This worried me to distraction. [. . .] I was morbidly sensitive as a man of our age should be. They were all stupid, and as like one another as so many sheep. [. . .] I was a coward and a slave. I say this without the slightest embarrassment. Every decent man of our age must be a coward and a slave. That is his normal condition. [. . .] [Rom. alert:] Another circumstance, too, worried me in those days: that there was no one like me and I was unlike anyone else. "I am alone and they are every one," I thought–and pondered. [. . .] [anti-Rom. alert:] I would reproach myself with being romantic. At one time I was unwilling to speak to anyone, while at other times I would not only talk, but go to the length of contemplating making friends with them. All my fastidiousness would suddenly, for no rhyme or reason, vanish. Who knows, perhaps I never had really had it, and it had simply been affected, and got out of books. [. . .] [anti-Rom. alert (and ultimately an extended slam on Russian "Romantics" as money-grubbing poseurs:] We Russians, speaking generally, have never had those foolish transcendental "romantics"–German, and still more French–on whom nothing produces any effect; if there were an earthquake, if all France perished at the barricades, they would still be the same, they would not even have the decency to affect a change, but would still go on singing their transcendental songs to the hour of their death, because they are fools. We, in Russia, have no fools; that is well known. That is what distinguishes us from foreign lands. Consequently these transcendental natures are not found amongst us in their pure form. [. . .] our "realistic" journalists and critics [. . .] have slandered our romantics, taking them for the same transcendental sort as in Germany or France. On the contrary, the characteristics of our "romantics" are absolutely and directly opposed to the transcendental European type, and no European standard can be applied to them. (Allow me to make use of this word "romantic"–an old-fashioned and much respected word which has done good service and is familiar to all.) The characteristics of our romantic are to understand everything, to see everything and to see it often incomparably more clearly than our most realistic minds see it; to refuse to accept anyone or anything, but at the same time not to despise anything [. . .] never to lose sight of a useful practical object (such as rent-free quarters at the government expense, pensions, decorations), to keep their eye on that object through all the enthusiasms and volumes of lyrical poems, and at the same time to preserve "the sublime and the beautiful" inviolate within them to the hour of their death [. . . .] The romantic is always intelligent, and I only meant to observe that although we have had foolish romantics they don't count, and they were only so because in the flower of their youth they degenerated into Germans [. . . .] Our romantic would rather go out of his mind–a thing, however, which very rarely happens–than take to open abuse, unless he had some other career in view; and he is never kicked out. At most, they would take him to the lunatic asylum as "the King of Spain" if he should go very mad. But it is only the thin, fair people who go out of their minds in Russia. Innumerable "romantics" attain later in life to considerable rank in the service. Their many-sidedness is remarkable! [. . .] That is why there are so many "broad natures" among us who never lose their ideal even in the depths of degradation; and though they never stir a finger for their ideal, though they are arrant thieves and knaves, yet they tearfully cherish their first ideal and are extraordinarily honest at heart. Yes, it is only among us that the most incorrigible rogue can be absolutely and loftily honest at heart without in the least ceasing to be a rogue. I repeat, our romantics, frequently, become such accomplished rascals (I use the term "rascals" affectionately), suddenly display such a sense of reality and practical knowledge that their bewildered superiors and the public generally can only ejaculate in amazement. [. . .] [Rom. alert:] As a rule, I was always alone. In the first place I spent most of my time at home, reading. [. . .] One longed for movement in spite of everything, and I plunged all at once into dark, underground, loathsome vice of the pettiest kind. [. . .] And so, furtively, timidly, in solitude, at night, I indulged in filthy vice, with a feeling of shame which never deserted me, even at the most loathsome moments, and which at such moments nearly made me curse. Already even then I had my underground world in my soul. [. . .] I actually envied the gentleman thrown out of the window–and I envied him so much that I even went into the tavern and into the billiard-room. "Perhaps," I thought, "I'll have a fight, too, and they'll throw me out of the window." [. . .] I could have forgiven blows, but I could not forgive his having moved me without noticing me. [. . .] This officer was over six foot, while I was a spindly little fellow. But the quarrel was in my hands. I had only to protest and I certainly would have been thrown out of the window. But I changed my mind and preferred to beat a resentful retreat. [. . .] I was fully convinced (the sense of reality, in spite of all my romanticism!) that they would all simply split their sides with laughter, and that the officer would not simply beat me, that is, without insulting me, but would certainly prod me in the back with his knee, kick me round the billiard-table, and only then perhaps have pity and drop me out of the window. Of course, this trivial incident could not with me end in that. I often met that officer afterwards in the street and noticed him very carefully. I am not quite sure whether he recognized me, I imagine not; I judge from certain signs. But I–I stared at him with spite and hatred and so it went on . . . for several years! [. . .] it suddenly occurred to me to write a satire on this officer in the form of a novel which would unmask his villainy. I wrote the novel with relish. I did unmask his villainy, I even exaggerated it [. . . .] But at that time such attacks were not the fashion and my story was not printed. That was a great vexation to me. [. . .] I composed a splendid, charming letter to him, imploring him to apologize to me, and hinting rather plainly at a duel in case of refusal. The letter was so composed that [Rom. alert:] if the officer had had the least understanding of the sublime and the beautiful he would certainly have flung himself on my neck and have offered me his friendship. [. . .] Sometimes on holidays I used to stroll along the sunny side of the Nevsky [the river flowing through St. Petersburg (aka Leningrad)] about four o'clock in the afternoon. Though it was hardly a stroll so much as a series of innumerable miseries, humiliations and resentments; but no doubt that was just what I wanted. I used to wriggle along in a most unseemly fashion, like an eel, continually moving aside to make way for generals, for officers of the guards and the hussars, or for ladies. At such minutes there used to be a convulsive twinge at my heart, and I used to feel hot all down my back at the mere thought of the wretchedness of my attire, of the wretchedness and abjectness of my little scurrying figure. This was a regular martyrdom, a continual, intolerable humiliation at the thought, which passed into an incessant and direct sensation, that I was a mere fly in the eyes of all this world, a nasty, disgusting fly–more intelligent, more highly developed, more refined in feeling than any of them, of course–but a fly that was continually making way for everyone, insulted and injured by everyone. [. . .] "Why must you invariably be the first to move aside?" I kept asking myself in hysterical rage, waking up sometimes at three o'clock in the morning. "Why is it you and not he [the officer]?" [. . .] But that never happened, and I always moved aside, while he did not even notice my making way for him. And lo and behold a bright idea dawned upon me! "What," I thought, "if I meet him and don't move on one side? What if I don't move aside on purpose, even if I knock up against him? How would that be?" [. . .] "Of course I shall not really push him," I thought, already more good-natured in my joy. [. . .] before I knew what I was doing I had stepped aside for him again and he had passed without noticing me. I even prayed as I approached him that God would grant me determination. One time I had made up my mind thoroughly, but it ended in my stumbling and falling at his feet because at the very last instant when I was six inches from him my courage failed me. He very calmly stepped over me, while I flew on one side like a ball. That night I was ill again, feverish and delirious. [. . .] Suddenly, three paces from my enemy, I unexpectedly made up my mind–I closed my eyes, and we ran full tilt, shoulder to shoulder, against one another! I did not budge an inch and passed him on a perfectly equal footing! He did not even look round and pretended not to notice it; but he was only pretending, I am convinced of that. I am convinced of that to this day! Of course, I got the worst of it–he was stronger, but that was not the point. [. . .] The officer was afterwards transferred; I have not seen him now for fourteen years. What is the dear fellow doing now? Whom is he walking over?

Part II.2: [. . .] [Rom. alert:] But I had a means of escape that reconciled everything–that was to find refuge in "the sublime and the beautiful," in dreams, of course. I was a terrible dreamer, I would dream for three months on end, tucked away in my corner [. . . .] Dreams were particularly sweet and vivid after a spell of dissipation; they came with remorse and with tears, with curses and transports. There were moments of such positive intoxication, of such happiness, that there was not the faintest trace of irony within me, on my honor. [. . .] [Rom. alert:] And what loving-kindness, oh Lord, what loving-kindness I felt at times in those dreams of mine! in those "flights into the sublime and the beautiful"; though it was fantastic love, though it was never applied to anything human in reality, yet there was so much of this love that one did not feel afterwards even the impulse to apply it in reality; that would have been superfluous. Everything, however, passed satisfactorily by a lazy and fascinating transition into the sphere of art, that is, into the beautiful forms of life, lying ready, largely stolen from the poets and novelists and adapted to all sorts of needs and uses. [. . . His fantasy life, continued:] [Rom. alert:] I was a poet and a grand gentleman, I fell in love; I came in for countless millions and immediately devoted them to humanity, and at the same time I confessed before all the people my shameful deeds, which, of course, were not merely shameful, but had in them much that was "sublime and beautiful," something in the Manfred style [a reference to Lord Byron's drama]. Everyone would kiss me and weep (what idiots they would be if they did not), while I should go barefoot and hungry preaching new ideas and fighting a victorious Austerlitz against the obscurantists. Then the band would play a march, an amnesty would be declared, the Pope would agree to retire from Rome to Brazil; then there would be a ball for the whole of Italy at the Villa Borghese on the shores of Lake Como, Lake Como being for that purpose transferred to the neighborhood of Rome [. . . .] And I can assure you that some of these fancies were by no means badly composed. . . . It did not all happen on the shores of Lake Como. And yet you are right–it really is vulgar and contemptible. And most contemptible of all it is that now I am attempting to justify myself to you. And even more contemptible than that is my making this remark now. But that's enough, or there will be no end to it; each step will be more contemptible than the last. . . . [. . .] I had a number of schoolfellows, indeed, in Petersburg, but I did not associate with them and had even given up nodding to them in the street. I believe I had transferred into the department I was in simply to avoid their company and to cut off all connection with my hateful childhood. Curses on that school and all those terrible years of penal servitude! [. . .]

Part II.3: I found two of my old schoolfellows with him [Simonov]. [. . .] Evidently they looked upon me as something on the level of a common fly. [. . .] They were engaged in warm and earnest conversation about a farewell dinner which they wanted to arrange for the next day to a comrade of theirs called Zverkov, an officer in the army, who was going away to a distant province. This Zverkov had been all the time at school with me too. I had begun to hate him particularly in the upper forms. [. . .] During his last year at school he came in for an estate of two hundred serfs, and as almost all of us were poor he took up a swaggering tone among us. [. . .] I hated his handsome, but stupid face (for which I would, however, have gladly exchanged my intelligent one) [. . . .] I remember how I, invariably so taciturn, suddenly fastened upon Zverkov, when one day talking at a leisure moment with his schoolfellows of his future relations with the fair sex, and growing as sportive as a puppy in the sun, he all at once declared that he would not leave a single village girl on his estate unnoticed, that that was his droit de seigneur, and that if the peasants dared to protest he would have them all flogged and double the tax on them, the bearded rascals. [. . .] Of Simonov's two visitors, one was Ferfitchkin, a Russianized German–a little fellow with the face of a monkey, a blockhead who was always deriding everyone, a very bitter enemy of mine from our days in the lower forms–a vulgar, impudent, swaggering fellow, who affected a most sensitive feeling of personal honor, though, of course, he was a wretched little coward at heart. [. . .] "How twenty-one roubles?" I asked in some agitation, with a show of being offended; "if you count me it will not be twenty-one, but twenty-eight roubles." It seemed to me that to invite myself so suddenly and unexpectedly would be positively graceful, and that they would all be conquered at once and would look at me with respect. "Do you want to join, too?" Simonov observed, with no appearance of pleasure, seeming to avoid looking at me. He knew me through and through. It infuriated me that he knew me so thoroughly. [. . .] "What possessed me, what possessed me to force myself upon them?" I wondered, grinding my teeth as I strode along the street, "for a scoundrel, a pig like that Zverkov! Of course I had better not go; of course, I must just snap my fingers at them. I am not bound in any way. I'll send Simonov a note by tomorrow's post. . . ." But what made me furious was that I knew for certain that I should go, that I should make a point of going; and the more tactless, the more unseemly my going would be, the more certainly I would go. And there was a positive obstacle to my going: I had no money. All I had was nine roubles, I had to give seven of that to my servant, Apollon, for his monthly wages. That was all I paid him–he had to keep himself. Not to pay him was impossible, considering his character. But I will talk about that fellow, about that plague of mine, another time. However, I knew I should go and should not pay him his wages. [. . .] all the evening I had been oppressed by memories of my miserable days at school, and I could not shake them off. I was sent to the school by distant relations, upon whom I was dependent and of whom I have heard nothing since–[Rom. alert:] they sent me there a forlorn, silent boy, already crushed by their reproaches, already troubled by doubt, and looking with savage distrust at everyone. My schoolfellows met me with spiteful and merciless jibes because I was not like any of them. [. . .] I hated them from the first, and shut myself away from everyone in timid, wounded and disproportionate pride. [. . .] Even at sixteen I wondered at them morosely; even then I was struck by the pettiness of their thoughts, the stupidity of their pursuits, their games, their conversations. They had no understanding of such essential things, they took no interest in such striking, impressive subjects, that I could not help considering them inferior to myself. It was not wounded vanity that drove me to it, and for God's sake do not thrust upon me your hackneyed remarks, repeated to nausea, that "I was only a dreamer," while they even then had an understanding of life. They understood nothing, they had no idea of real life, and I swear that that was what made me most indignant with them. On the contrary, the most obvious, striking reality they accepted with fantastic stupidity and even at that time were accustomed to respect success. [Rom. alert:] Everything that was just, but oppressed and looked down upon, they laughed at heartlessly and shamefully. They took rank for intelligence [. . . .] In the end I could not put up with it: with years a craving for society [cf. Frankenstein], for friends, developed in me. I attempted to get on friendly terms with some of my schoolfellows; but somehow or other my intimacy with them was always strained and soon ended of itself. Once, indeed, I did have a friend. But I was already a tyrant at heart; I wanted to exercise unbounded sway over him; I tried to instill into him a contempt for his surroundings; I required of him a disdainful and complete break with those surroundings. I frightened him with my passionate affection; I reduced him to tears, to hysterics. He was a simple and devoted soul; but when he devoted himself to me entirely I began to hate him immediately and repulsed him–as though all I needed him for was to win a victory over him, to subjugate him and nothing else. But I could not subjugate all of them; my friend was not at all like them either, he was, in fact, a rare exception. The first thing I did on leaving school was to give up the special job for which I had been destined so as to break all ties, to curse my past and shake the dust from off my feet. . . . [. . .] But I believed that some radical change in my life was coming, and would inevitably come that day. Owing to its rarity, perhaps, any external event, however trivial, always made me feel as though some radical change in my life were at hand. [. . .] The great thing, I thought, is not to be the first to arrive [at the dinner party], or they will think I am overjoyed at coming. But there were thousands of such great points to consider, and they all agitated and overwhelmed me. [. . .] I passionately longed to show all that "rabble" that I was by no means such a spiritless creature as I seemed to myself. What is more, even in the acutest paroxysm of this cowardly fever, I dreamed of getting the upper hand, of dominating them, carrying them away, making them like me–if only for my "elevation of thought and unmistakable wit." [. . .] At last my wretched little clock hissed out five. I seized my hat and, trying not to look at Apollon, who had been all day expecting his month's wages, but in his foolishness was unwilling to be the first to speak about it, I slipped between him and the door and, jumping into a high-class sledge, on which I spent my last half rouble, I drove up in grand style to the Hôtel de Paris.

 F, Feb. 24th::
Part II.4: The dinner party: [. . .] But what if, in reality, without the least desire to be offensive, that sheep's-head had a notion in earnest that he was superior to me and could only look at me in a patronizing way? The very supposition made me gasp. [. . .] "Tell me, are you . . . in a government office?" Zverkov went on attending to me. Seeing that I was embarrassed, he seriously thought that he ought to be friendly to me, and, so to speak, cheer me up. "Does he want me to throw a bottle at his head?" I thought, in a fury. [. . .] "And ha-ave you a go-od berth? I say, what ma-a-de you leave your original job?" "What ma-a-de me was that I wanted to leave my original job," I drawled more than he, hardly able to control myself. [. . .] "And how thin you have grown! How you have changed!" added Zverkov, with a shade of venom in his voice, scanning me and my attire with a sort of insolent compassion. [. . .] No one paid any attention to me, and I sat crushed and humiliated. "Good Heavens, these are not the people for me!" I thought. "And what a fool I have made of myself before them! I let Ferfitchkin go too far, though. The brutes imagine they are doing me an honor in letting me sit down with them. They don't understand that it's an honor to them and not to me! I've grown thinner! My clothes! Oh, damn my trousers! Zverkov noticed the yellow stain on the knee as soon as he came in. . . . But what's the use! I must get up at once, this very minute, take my hat and simply go without a word . . . with contempt! And tomorrow I can send a challenge. The scoundrels! As though I cared about the seven roubles. They may think . . . Damn it! I don't care about the seven roubles. I'll go this minute!" Of course I remained. [. . .] I longed all at once to insult them all in a most flagrant manner and then go away. To seize the moment and show what I could do, so that they would say, "He's clever, though he is absurd," and . . . and . . . in fact, damn them all! [. . .] Trudolyubov deigned to notice me at last, glancing contemptuously in my direction. Zverkov, without a word, examined me as though I were an insect. [. . .] [UM's drunken toast:] "Mr. Lieutenant Zverkov," I began, "let me tell you that I hate phrases, phrasemongers and men in corsets . . . that's the first point, and there is a second one to follow it." There was a general stir. "The second point is: I hate ribaldry and ribald talkers. Especially ribald talkers! The third point: I love justice, truth and honesty." I went on almost mechanically, for I was beginning to shiver with horror myself and had no idea how I came to be talking like this. "I love thought, Monsieur Zverkov; I love true comradeship, on an equal footing and not . . . h'm . . . I love . . . But, however, why not? I will drink your health, too, Mr. Zverkov. Seduce the Circassian girls, shoot the enemies of the fatherland and . . . and . . . to your health, Monsieur Zverkov!" [. . .] "Now is the time to throw a bottle at their heads," I thought to myself. I picked up the bottle . . . and filled my glass. . . . [. . .] "I'll sit here and drink, for I look upon you as so many pawns, as inanimate pawns. I'll sit here and drink . . . and sing if I want to, yes, sing, for I have the right to . . . to sing . . . h'm!" But I did not sing. I simply tried not to look at any of them. I assumed most unconcerned attitudes and waited with impatience for them to speak first. But alas, they did not address me! And oh, how I wished, how I wished at that moment to be reconciled to them! [. . .] I tried my very utmost to show them that I could do without them, and yet I purposely made a noise with my boots, thumping with my heels. But it was all in vain. They paid no attention. I had the patience to walk up and down in front of them from eight o'clock till eleven, in the same place, from the table to the stove and back again. "I walk up and down to please myself and no one can prevent me." [. . .] At times, with an intense, acute pang I was stabbed to the heart by the thought that ten years, twenty years, forty years would pass, and that even in forty years I would remember with loathing and humiliation those filthiest, most ludicrous, and most awful moments of my life. No one could have gone out of his way to degrade himself more shamelessly, and I fully realized it, fully, and yet I went on pacing up and down from the table to the stove. "Oh, if you only knew what thoughts and feelings I am capable of, how cultured I am!" I thought at moments, mentally addressing the sofa on which my enemies were sitting. But my enemies behaved as though I were not in the room. [. . .] I was so harassed, so exhausted, that I would have cut my throat to put an end to it. [. . .] I stood as though spat upon. The party went noisily out of the room. [. . .] "I am going there [to the brothel]!" I cried. "Either they shall all go down on their knees to beg for my friendship, or I will give Zverkov a slap in the face!"

* A NOTE ON OTHER SPECIES: It's fascinating that (as far as I've noticed) every mention of other animals is a trope–that is, a figure of speech (metaphor or simile). The zoölogical list includes mouse, insect, ant, fly, puppy, monkey, horse, sheep, spider, sheepdog, "cur," worm, louse, and (the generic) "[wild] creature" and "beast." At last, there are damned few, if any, other real life forms in Notes, further attesting, perhaps, to his alienation (not only from humankind, then, but from the natural realm itself). (But of course, only a neo-Romantic-Wordsworth-lovin', ecocritic-animal-rights nut could put forth such a reading.) . . . Ah, finally, a real referent-of-another-animal: In II.8, we learn that Apollon now "kills rats" on the side. It only helps my general argument above, I think, that this isolated appearance of a "real" other species involves "vermin" fit for slaughter. (Students have subsequently pointed out to me "real" horses, and [an oblique reference to actual] donkeys & mules. Domesticated/"slave" animals, all. My argument holds?!


A "UM Rap" would be fun, of course; e.g.:
I'm an Únderground Mán, and–íf you pléase–
(Blast you áll for thinkin') cónsciousness is júst a diséase–
Well, I lóathe mysélf, and so I háte you, tóo–
Between míce and bugs and mónkeys, I'm a véritable zóo . . . .

Part II.5: "So this is it, this is it at last–contact with real life," I muttered as I ran headlong downstairs. "This is very different from the Pope's leaving Rome and going to Brazil, very different from the ball on Lake Como!" [. . .] "They won't go down on their knees to beg for my friendship. That is a mirage, cheap mirage, revolting, romantic and fantastical–that's another ball on Lake Como. And so I am bound to slap Zverkov's face!" [. . .] "We shall fight at daybreak, that's a settled thing. I've done with the office. Ferfitchkin made a joke about it just now. But where can I get pistols? [. . .] And where am I to get a second? I have no friends." [. . .] "Get on, driver, get on, you rascal, get on!" "Ugh, sir!" said the son of toil. [. . .] And what if Zverkov is so contemptuous that he refuses to fight a duel? He is sure to; but in that case I'll show them . . . I will turn up at the posting station when he's setting off tomorrow, I'll catch him by the leg, I'll pull off his coat when he gets into the carriage. I'll get my teeth into his hand, I'll bite him. "See what lengths you can drive a desperate man to!" He may hit me on the head and they may belabor me from behind. I will shout to the assembled multitude: "Look at this young puppy who is driving off to captivate the Circassian girls after letting me spit in his face!" [. . .] In fifteen years when they let me out of prison I will trudge off to him, a beggar, in rags. I shall find him in some provincial town. He will be married and happy. He will have a grown-up daughter. . . . [Rom. alert:] I shall say to him: "Look, monster, at my hollow cheeks and my rags! I've lost everything–my career, my happiness, art, science, the woman I loved, and all through you. Here are pistols. I have come to discharge my pistol and . . . and I . . . forgive you. Then I shall fire into the air and he will hear nothing more of me. . . ." I was actually on the point of tears, though I knew perfectly well at that moment that all this was out of Pushkin's Silvio and Lermontov's Masquerade [two of the most famous Russian Romantic authors, by the way]. [. . .] I looked mechanically at the girl who had come in: and had a glimpse of a fresh, young, rather pale face, with straight, dark eyebrows, and with grave, as it were wondering, eyes that attracted me at once; I should have hated her if she had been smiling. I began looking at her more intently and, as it were, with effort. I had not fully collected my thoughts. There was something simple and good-natured in her face, but something strangely grave. I am sure that this stood in her way here, and no one of those fools had noticed her. She could not, however, have been called a beauty, though she was tall, strong-looking, and well built. She was very simply dressed. Something loathsome stirred within me. I went straight up to her. I chanced to look into the glass. My harassed face struck me as revolting in the extreme, pale, angry, abject, with dishevelled hair. "No matter, I am glad of it," I thought; "I am glad that I shall seem repulsive to her; I like that."

Part II.6: [. . .] Suddenly I saw beside me two wide open eyes scrutinizing me curiously and persistently. The look in those eyes was coldly detached, sullen, as it were utterly remote; it weighed upon me. A grim idea came into my brain and passed all over my body, as a horrible sensation, such as one feels when one goes into a damp and moldy cellar. There was something unnatural in those two eyes, beginning to look at me only now. I recalled, too, that during those two hours I had not said a single word to this creature, and had, in fact, considered it utterly superfluous; in fact, the silence had for some reason gratified me. Now I suddenly realized vividly the hideous idea–revolting as a spider–of vice, which, without love, grossly and shamelessly begins with that in which true love finds its consummation. For a long time we gazed at each other like that, but she did not drop her eyes before mine and her expression did not change, so that at last I felt uncomfortable. [. . .] She spoke more and more jerkily. The candle went out; I could no longer distinguish her face. "Have you a father and mother?" "Yes . . . no . . . I have." "Where are they?" "There . . . in Riga." "What are they?" "Oh, nothing." "Nothing? Why, what class are they?" "Tradespeople." "Have you always lived with them?" "Yes." "How old are you?" "Twenty." "Why did you leave them?" "Oh, for no reason." That answer meant "Let me alone; I feel sick, sad." We were silent. [. . .] "Do you mean to say, you don't mind how you die?" "But why should I die?" she answered, as though defending herself. "Why, some day you will die, and you will die just the same as that dead woman. She was . . . a girl like you. She died of consumption." "A wench would have died in hospital. . . ." (She knows all about it already: she said "wench," not "girl.") [. . .] "And is it better to die in a hospital?" "Isn't it just the same? Besides, why should I die?" she added irritably. "If not now, a little later." "Why a little later?" "Why, indeed? Now you are young, pretty, fresh, you fetch a high price. But after another year of this life you will be very different–you will go off." "In a year?" "Anyway, in a year you will be worth less," I continued malignantly. [. . .] "But it would be much worse if you got some disease, consumption, say . . . and caught a chill, or something or other. It's not easy to get over an illness in your way of life. If you catch anything you may not get rid of it. And so you would die." "Oh, well, then I shall die," she answered, quite vindictively, and she made a quick movement. "But one is sorry." "Sorry for whom?" "Sorry for life." Silence. [. . .] [UM:] "Why, do you think that you are on the right path?" [Liza:] "I don't think anything." "That's what's wrong, that you don't think. Realize it while there is still time. There still is time. You are still young, good-looking; you might love, be married, be happy. . . ." "Not all married women are happy," she snapped out in the rude abrupt tone she had used at first. [. . .] I began to feel myself what I was saying and warmed to the subject. I was already longing to expound the cherished ideas I had brooded over in my corner. Something suddenly flared up in me. An object had appeared before me. "Never mind my being here, I am not an example for you. I am, perhaps, worse than you are. I was drunk when I came here, though," I hastened, however, to say in self-defense. "Besides, a man is no example for a woman. It's a different thing. I may degrade and defile myself, but I am not anyone's slave. I come and go, and that's an end of it. I shake it off, and I am a different man. But you are a slave from the start. Yes, a slave! You give up everything, your whole freedom. If you want to break your chains afterwards, you won't be able to; you will be more and more fast in the snares. It is an accursed bondage." [. . .] [UM:] Here you and I . . . came together . . . just now and did not say one word to one another all the time, and it was only afterwards you began staring at me like a wild creature, and I at you. Is that loving? Is that how one human being should meet another? It's hideous, that's what it is!" "Yes!" she assented sharply and hurriedly. I was positively astounded by the promptitude of this "Yes." So the same thought may have been straying through her mind when she was staring at me just before. So she, too, was capable of certain thoughts? "Damn it all, this was interesting, this was a point of likeness!" I thought, almost rubbing my hands. And indeed it's easy to turn a young soul like that! It was the exercise of my power that attracted me most. [. . .] "See, Liza, I will tell you about myself. If I had had a home from childhood, I shouldn't be what I am now. I often think that. However bad it may be at home, anyway they are your father and mother, and not enemies, strangers. Once a year at least, they'll show their love of you. Anyway, you know you are at home. I grew up without a home; and perhaps that's why I've turned so . . . unfeeling." [. . .] [Liza:] "Some are glad to sell their daughters, rather than marrying them honorably." Ah, so that was it! "Such a thing, Liza, happens in those accursed families in which there is neither love nor God," I retorted warmly [. . . .] [UM:] "You must have seen wickedness in your own family, if you talk like that. Truly, you must have been unlucky. H'm! . . . that sort of thing mostly comes about through poverty." "And is it any better with the gentry? Even among the poor, honest people live happily." [. . .] [UM:] "Some women get up quarrels with their husbands just because they love them. [. . .] You know that you may torment a man on purpose through love. Women are particularly given to that, thinking to themselves 'I will love him so, I will make so much of him afterwards, that it's no sin to torment him a little now.'" [. . .] [Rom. (& the UM's b.s.) alert:] "Love is a holy mystery and ought to be hidden from all other eyes, whatever happens. That makes it holier and better." [. . .] [Rom. (& more of the UM's b.s.) alert:] "People say it's a trial to have children. Who says that? It is heavenly happiness! Are you fond of little children, Liza? I am awfully fond of them. You know–a little rosy baby boy at your bosom, and what husband's heart is not touched, seeing his wife nursing his child! A plump little rosy baby, sprawling and snuggling, chubby little hands and feet, clean tiny little nails, so tiny that it makes one laugh to look at them; eyes that look as if they understand everything." [. . .] "Yes, Liza, one must first learn to live oneself before one blames others!" "It's by pictures, pictures like that one must get at you," I thought to myself, though I did speak with real feeling, and all at once I flushed crimson. "What if she were suddenly to burst out laughing, what should I do then?" That idea drove me to fury. [. . .] there was a quiver of something different in her voice, not abrupt, harsh and unyielding as before, but something soft and shamefaced, so shamefaced that I suddenly felt ashamed and guilty. [. . .] "Why, you . . . speak somehow like a book," she said, and again there was a note of irony in her voice. That remark sent a pang to my heart. It was not what I was expecting. [. . .]

 M, Feb. 27th::

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