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Alexey Fyodorovitch Karamazov was the third son of Fyodor Pavlovitch Karamazov, a land owner well known in our district in his own day, and still remembered among us owing to his gloomy and tragic death, which happened thirteen years ago, and which I shall describe in its proper place.
The Brothers Karamazov PDF Book by Fyodor Dostoevsky
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For the present I will only say that this “landowner”—for so we used to call him, although he hardly spent a day of his life on his own estate—was a strange type, yet one pretty frequently to be met with, a type abject and vicious and at the same time senseless.
But he was one of those senseless persons who are very well capable of looking after their worldly affairs, and, apparently, after nothing else. Fyodor Pavlovitch, for instance, began with next to nothing; his estate was of the smallest; he ran to dine at other men’s tables, and fastened on them as a toady.
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Yet at his death it appeared that he had a hundred thousand roubles in hard cash. At the same time, he was all his life one of the most senseless, fantastical fellows in the whole district. I repeat, it was not stupidity—the majority of these fantastical fellows are shrewd and intelligent enough—but just senselessness, and a peculiar national form of it.
He was married twice, and had three sons, the eldest, Dmitri, by his first wife, and two, Ivan and Alexey, by his second. Fyodor Pavlovitch’s first wife, Adelaïda Ivanovna, belonged to a fairly rich and distinguished noble family, also landowners in our district, the Miüsovs.
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How it came to pass that an heiress, who was also a beauty, and moreover one of those vigorous, intelligent girls, so common in this generation, but sometimes also to be found in the last, could have married such a worthless, puny weakling, as we all called him, I won’t attempt to explain.
I knew a young lady of the last “romantic” generation who after some years of an enigmatic passion for a gentleman, whom she might quite easily have married at any moment, invented insuperable obstacles to their union, and ended by throwing herself one stormy night into a rather deep and rapid river from a high bank.
Almost a precipice, and so perished, entirely to satisfy her own caprice, and to be like Shakespeare’s Ophelia. Indeed, if this precipice, a chosen and favorite spot of hers, had been less picturesque, if there had been a prosaic flat bank in its place, most likely the suicide would never have taken place. The Brothers Karamazov PDF Book
This is a fact, and probably there have been not a few similar instances in the last two or three generations. Adelaïda Ivanovna Miüsov’s action was similarly, no doubt, an echo of other people’s ideas, and was due to the irritation caused by lack of mental freedom.
She wanted, perhaps, to show her feminine independence, to override class distinctions and the despotism of her family. And a pliable imagination persuaded her, we must suppose, for a brief moment, that Fyodor Pavlovitch, in spite of his parasitic position, was one of the bold and ironical spirits of that progressive epoch.
Though he was, in fact, an ill‐natured buffoon and nothing more. What gave the marriage piquancy was that it was preceded by an elopement, and this greatly captivated Adelaïda Ivanovna’s fancy. Fyodor Pavlovitch’s position at the time made him specially eager for any such enterprise. The Brothers Karamazov PDF Book
For he was passionately anxious to make a career in one way or another. To attach himself to a good family and obtain a dowry was an alluring prospect. As for mutual love it did not exist apparently, either in the bride or in him, in spite of Adelaïda Ivanovna’s beauty.
This was, perhaps, a unique case of the kind in the life of Fyodor Pavlovitch, who was always of a voluptuous temper, and ready to run after any petticoat on the slightest encouragement. She seems to have been the only woman who made no particular appeal to his senses.
Very shortly after getting his four‐year‐old Mitya off his hands Fyodor Pavlovitch married a second time. His second marriage lasted eight years. He took this second wife, Sofya Ivanovna, also a very young girl, from another province, where he had gone upon some small piece of business in company with a Jew. The Brothers Karamazov PDF Book
Though Fyodor Pavlovitch was a drunkard and a vicious debauchee he never neglected investing his capital, and managed his business affairs very successfully, though, no doubt, not over‐ scrupulously. Sofya Ivanovna was the daughter of an obscure deacon, and was left from childhood an orphan without relations.
She grew up in the house of a general’s widow, a wealthy old lady of good position, who was at once her benefactress and tormentor. I do not know the details, but I have only heard that the orphan girl, a meek and gentle creature, was once cut down from a halter in which she was hanging from a nail in the loft.
So terrible were her sufferings from the caprice and everlasting nagging of this old woman, who was apparently not bad‐hearted but had become an insufferable tyrant through idleness. Fyodor Pavlovitch made her an offer; inquiries were made about him and he was refused. The Brothers Karamazov PDF Book
But again, as in his first marriage, he proposed an elopement to the orphan girl. There is very little doubt that she would not on any account have married him if she had known a little more about him in time. But she lived in another province; besides, what could a little girl of sixteen know about it.
Except that she would be better at the bottom of the river than remaining with her benefactress. So the poor child exchanged a benefactress for a benefactor. Fyodor Pavlovitch did not get a penny this time, for the general’s widow was furious. She gave them nothing and cursed them both.
But he had not reckoned on a dowry; what allured him was the remarkable beauty of the innocent girl, above all her innocent appearance, which had a peculiar attraction for a vicious profligate, who had hitherto admired only the coarser types of feminine beauty. The Brothers Karamazov PDF Book Download
Alyosha was roused early, before daybreak. Father Zossima woke up feeling very weak, though he wanted to get out of bed and sit up in a chair. His mind was quite clear; his face looked very tired, yet bright and almost joyful. It wore an expression of gayety, kindness and cordiality.
“Maybe I shall not live through the coming day,” he said to Alyosha. Then he desired to confess and take the sacrament at once. He always confessed to Father Païssy. After taking the communion, the service of extreme unction followed. The monks assembled and the cell was gradually filled up by the inmates of the hermitage.
Meantime it was daylight. People began coming from the monastery. After the service was over the elder desired to kiss and take leave of every one. As the cell was so small the earlier visitors withdrew to make room for others. Alyosha stood beside the elder, who was seated again in his arm‐chair. The Brothers Karamazov PDF Book Download
He talked as much as he could. Though his voice was weak, it was fairly steady. “I’ve been teaching you so many years, and therefore I’ve been talking aloud so many years, that I’ve got into the habit of talking, and so much so that it’s almost more difficult for me to hold my tongue than to talk, even now, in spite of my weakness, dear Fathers and brothers.”
He jested, looking with emotion at the group round him. Alyosha remembered afterwards something of what he said to them. But though he spoke out distinctly and his voice was fairly steady, his speech was somewhat disconnected. He spoke of many things, he seemed anxious before the moment of death to say everything he had not said in his life.
And not simply for the sake of instructing them, but as though thirsting to share with all men and all creation his joy and ecstasy, and once more in his life to open his whole heart. “And, Alyosha, will you give in to me? We must decide that too.” “I shall be delighted to, Lise, and certain to, only not in the most important things. The Brothers Karamazov PDF Book Download
Even if you don’t agree with me, I shall do my duty in the most important things.” “That’s right; but let me tell you I am ready to give in to you not only in the most important matters, but in everything. And I am ready to vow to do so now—in everything, and for all my life!” cried Lise fervently, “and I’ll do it gladly, gladly!
What’s more, I’ll swear never to spy on you, never once, never to read one of your letters. For you are right and I am not. And though I shall be awfully tempted to spy, I know that I won’t do it since you consider it dishonorable. You are my conscience now…. Listen, Alexey Fyodorovitch, why have you been so sad lately—both yesterday and to‐day?
I know you have a lot of anxiety and trouble, but I see you have some special grief besides, some secret one, perhaps?” “Yes, Lise, I have a secret one, too,” answered Alyosha mournfully. “I see you love me, since you guessed that.” “What grief? What about? Can you tell me?” asked Lise with timid entreaty. The Brothers Karamazov PDF Book Download
“I’ll tell you later, Lise—afterwards,” said Alyosha, confused. “Now you wouldn’t understand it perhaps—and perhaps I couldn’t explain it.” “I know your brothers and your father are worrying you, too.” Grushenka lived in the busiest part of the town, near the cathedral square.
In a small wooden lodge in the courtyard belonging to the house of the widow Morozov. The house was a large stone building of two stories, old and very ugly. The widow led a secluded life with her two unmarried nieces, who were also elderly women.
She had no need to let her lodge, but every one knew that she had taken in Grushenka as a lodger, four years before, solely to please her kinsman, the merchant Samsonov, who was known to be the girl’s protector. It was said that the jealous old man’s object in placing his “favorite” with the widow Morozov was that. The Brothers Karamazov PDF Book Download
The old woman should keep a sharp eye on her new lodger’s conduct. But this sharp eye soon proved to be unnecessary, and in the end the widow Morozov seldom met Grushenka and did not worry her by looking after her in any way.
It is true that four years had passed since the old man had brought the slim, delicate, shy, timid, dreamy, and sad girl of eighteen from the chief town of the province, and much had happened since then. Little was known of the girl’s history in the town and that little was vague.
Nothing more had been learnt during the last four years, even after many persons had become interested in the beautiful young woman into whom Agrafena Alexandrovna had meanwhile developed. There were rumors that she had been at seventeen betrayed by some one, some sort of officer, and immediately afterwards abandoned by him. The Brothers Karamazov PDF Book Free
The officer had gone away and afterwards married, while Grushenka had been left in poverty and disgrace. It was said, however, that though Grushenka had been raised from destitution by the old man, Samsonov, she came of a respectable family belonging to the clerical class, that she was the daughter of a deacon or something of the sort.
And now after four years the sensitive, injured and pathetic little orphan had become a plump, rosy beauty of the Russian type, a woman of bold and determined character, proud and insolent. She had a good head for business, was acquisitive, saving and careful, and by fair means or foul had succeeded, it was said, in amassing a little fortune.
There was only one point on which all were agreed. Grushenka was not easily to be approached and except her aged protector there had not been one man who could boast of her favors during those four years. It was a positive fact, for there had been a good many, especially during the last two years, who had attempted to obtain those favors. The Brothers Karamazov PDF Book Free
But all their efforts had been in vain and some of these suitors had been forced to beat an undignified and even comic retreat, owing to the firm and ironical resistance they met from the strong‐willed young person. It was known, too, that the young person had, especially of late, been given to what is called “speculation.”
And that she had shown marked abilities in that direction, so that many people began to say that she was no better than a Jew. It was not that she lent money on interest, but it was known, for instance, that she had for some time past, in partnership with old Karamazov, actually invested in the purchase of bad debts for a trifle, a tenth of their nominal value, and afterwards had made out of them ten times their value.