Click here to Download The Idiot PDF Book by Fyodor Dostoevsky English having PDF Size 5.3 MB and No of Pages 458.
Towards the end of November, during a thaw, at nine o’clock one morning, a train on the Warsaw and Petersburg railway was approaching the latter city at full speed. The morning was so damp and misty that it was only with great difficulty that the day succeeded in breaking; and it was impossible to distinguish anything more than a few yards away from the carriage windows.
The Idiot PDF Book by Fyodor Dostoevsky
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Some of the passengers by this particular train were returning from abroad; but the third-class carriages were the best filled, chiefly with insignificant persons of various occupations and degrees, picked up at the different stations nearer town. All of them seemed weary, and most of them had sleepy eyes and a shivering expression.
While their complexions generally appeared to have taken on the colour of the fog outside. When day dawned, two passengers in one of the third-class carriages found themselves opposite each other. Both were young fellows, both were rather poorly dressed, both had remarkable faces, and both were evidently anxious to start a conversation.
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If they had but known why, at this particular moment, they were both remarkable persons, they would undoubtedly have wondered at the strange chance which had set them down opposite to one another in a third-class carriage of the Warsaw Railway Company. One of them was a young fellow of about twenty-seven, not tall, with black curling hair, and small, grey, fiery eyes.
His nose was broad and flat, and he had high cheek bones; his thin lips were constantly compressed into an impudent, ironical—it might almost be called a malicious—smile; but his forehead was high and well formed, and atoned for a good deal of the ugliness of the lower part of his face.
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A special feature of this physiognomy was its death-like pallor, which gave to the whole man an indescribably emaciated appearance in spite of his hard look, and at the same time a sort of passionate and suffering expression which did not harmonize with his impudent, sarcastic smile and keen, self-satisfied bearing.
He wore a large fur—or rather astrachan—overcoat, which had kept him warm all night, while his neighbour had been obliged to bear the full severity of a Russian November night entirely unprepared. His wide sleeveless mantle with a large cape to it—the sort of cloak one sees upon travellers during the winter months in Switzerland or North Italy—was by no means adapted to the long cold journey through Russia.
From Eydkuhnen to St. Petersburg. The wearer of this cloak was a young fellow, also of about twentysix or twenty-seven years of age, slightly above the middle height, very fair, with a thin, pointed and very light coloured beard; his eyes were large and blue, and had an intent look about them, yet that heavy expression which some people affirm to be a peculiarity as well as evidence, of an epileptic subject. The Idiot PDF Book
His face was decidedly a pleasant one for all that; refined, but quite colourless, except for the circumstance that at this moment it was blue with cold. He held a bundle made up of an old faded silk handkerchief that apparently contained all his travelling wardrobe, and wore thick shoes and gaiters, his whole appearance being very un-Russian.
His black-haired neighbour inspected these peculiarities, having nothing better to do, and at length remarked, with that rude enjoyment of the discomforts of others which the common classes so often show: “Cold?” “Very,” said his neighbour, readily, “and this is a thaw, too. Fancy if it had been a hard frost!
I never thought it would be so cold in the old country. I’ve grown quite out of the way of it.” “What, been abroad, I suppose?” “Yes, straight from Switzerland.” “Wheugh! my goodness!” The black-haired young fellow whistled, and then laughed. “H’m! I like to see that you know your manners; and you are by no means such a person as the general thought fit to describe you. The Idiot PDF Book
Come along; you sit here, opposite to me,” she continued, “I wish to be able to see your face. Alexandra, Adelaida, look after the prince! He doesn’t seem so very ill, does he? I don’t think he requires a napkin under his chin, after all; are you accustomed to having one on, prince?” “Formerly, when I was seven years old or so. I believe I wore one; but now I usually hold my napkin on my knee when I eat.”
“Of course, of course! And about your fits?” “Fits?” asked the prince, slightly surprised. “I very seldom have fits nowadays. I don’t know how it may be here, though; they say the climate may be bad for me.” “He talks very well, you know!” said Mrs. Epanchin, who still continued to nod at each word the prince spoke.
“I really did not expect it at all; in fact, I suppose it was all stuff and nonsense on the general’s part, as usual. Eat away, prince, and tell me where you were born, and where you were brought up. I wish to know all about you, you interest me very much!” The prince expressed his thanks once more, and eating heartily the while, recommenced the narrative of his life in Switzerland. The Idiot PDF Book
All of which we have heard before. Mrs. Epanchin became more and more pleased with her guest; the girls, too, listened with considerable attention. In talking over the question of relationship it turned out that the prince was very well up in the matter and knew his pedigree off by heart.
It was found that scarcely any connection existed between himself and Mrs. Epanchin, but the talk, and the opportunity of conversing about her family tree, gratified the latter exceedingly, and she rose from the table in great good humour. “Let’s all go to my boudoir,” she said, “and they shall bring some coffee in there.
That’s the room where we all assemble and busy ourselves as we like best,” she explained. “Alexandra, my eldest, here, plays the piano, or reads or sews; Adelaida paints landscapes and portraits (but never finishes any); and Aglaya sits and does nothing. I don’t work too much, either. Here we are, now; sit down, prince, near the fire and talk to us. The Idiot PDF Book
I want to hear you relate something. I wish to make sure of you first and then tell my old friend, Princess Bielokonski, about you. I wish you to know all the good people and to interest them. Now then, begin!” “Mamma, it’s rather a strange order, that!” said Adelaida, who was fussing among her paints and paint-brushes at the easel.
Aglaya and Alexandra had settled themselves with folded hands on a sofa, evidently meaning to be listeners. The prince felt that the general attention was concentrated upon himself. “Yes, a marriage is being arranged—a marriage between a questionable woman and a young fellow who might be a flunkey.
They wish to bring this woman into the house where my wife and daughter reside, but while I live and breathe she shall never enter my doors. I shall lie at the threshold, and she shall trample me underfoot if she does. I hardly talk to Gania now, and avoid him as much as I can. I warn you of this beforehand, but you cannot fail to observe it. The Idiot PDF Book Download
But you are the son of my old friend, and I hope—” “Prince, be so kind as to come to me for a moment in the drawingroom,” said Nina Alexandrovna herself, appearing at the door. “Imagine, my dear,” cried the general, “it turns out that I have nursed the prince on my knee in the old days.”
His wife looked searchingly at him, and glanced at the prince, but said nothing. The prince rose and followed her; but hardly had they reached the drawing-room, and Nina Alexandrovna had begun to talk hurriedly, when in came the general. She immediately relapsed into silence. The master of the house may have observed this, but at all events he did not take any notice of it; he was in high good humour.
“A son of my old friend, dear,” he cried; “surely you must remember Prince Nicolai Lvovitch? You saw him at—at Tver.” “I don’t remember any Nicolai Lvovitch. Was that your father?” she inquired of the prince. “Yes, but he died at Elizabethgrad, not at Tver,” said the prince, rather timidly. “So Pavlicheff told me.” The Idiot PDF Book Download
“No, Tver,” insisted the general; “he removed just before his death. You were very small and cannot remember; and Pavlicheff, though an excellent fellow, may have made a mistake.” “You knew Pavlicheff then?” “Oh, yes—a wonderful fellow; but I was present myself. I gave him my blessing.” “My father was just about to be tried when he died,” said the prince, “although I never knew of what he was accused.
He died in hospital.” “Oh! it was the Kolpakoff business, and of course he would have been acquitted.” “Yes? Do you know that for a fact?” asked the prince, whose curiosity was aroused by the general’s words. “I should think so indeed!” cried the latter. “The court-martial came to no decision. It was a mysterious, an impossible business, one might say!
Captain Larionoff, commander of the company, had died; his command was handed over to the prince for the moment. Very well. This soldier, Kolpakoff, stole some leather from one of his comrades, intending to sell it, and spent the money on drink. Well! The prince—you understand that what follows took place in the presence of the sergeant-major, and a corporal—the prince rated Kolpakoff soundly. The Idiot PDF Book Download
And threatened to have him flogged. Well, Kolpakoff went back to the barracks, lay down on a camp bedstead, and in a quarter of an hour was dead: you quite understand? It was, as I said, a strange, almost impossible, affair. In due course Kolpakoff was buried; the prince wrote his report, the deceased’s name was removed from the roll.
All as it should be, is it not? But exactly three months later at the inspection of the brigade, the man Kolpakoff was found in the third company of the second battalion of infantry, Novozemlianski division, just as if nothing had happened!” “Oh! so he kept his word—there’s a man for you! Well, sit down, please—take that chair. I shall have something to say to you presently.
Who are all these with you? The same party? Let them come in and sit down. There’s room on that sofa, there are some chairs and there’s another sofa! Well, why don’t they sit down?” Sure enough, some of the brave fellows entirely lost their heads at this point, and retreated into the next room. Others, however, took the hint and sat down. The Idiot PDF Book Download
As far as they could from the table, however; feeling braver in proportion to their distance from Nastasia. Rogojin took the chair offered him, but he did not sit long; he soon stood up again, and did not reseat himself. Little by little he began to look around him and discern the other guests. Seeing Gania, he smiled venomously and muttered to himself, “Look at that!”
He gazed at Totski and the general with no apparent confusion, and with very little curiosity. But when he observed that the prince was seated beside Nastasia Philipovna, he could not take his eyes off him for a long while, and was clearly amazed. He could not account for the prince’s presence there.
It was not in the least surprising that Rogojin should be, at this time, in a more or less delirious condition; for not to speak of the excitements of the day, he had spent the night before in the train, and had not slept more than a wink for forty-eight hours. “This, gentlemen, is a hundred thousand roubles,” said Nastasia Philipovna, addressing the company in general, “here, in this dirty parcel. The Idiot PDF Book Free
This afternoon Rogojin yelled, like a madman, that he would bring me a hundred thousand in the evening, and I have been waiting for him all the while. He was bargaining for me, you know; first he offered me eighteen thousand; then he rose to forty, and then to a hundred thousand. And he has kept his word, see! My goodness, how white he is! All this happened this afternoon, at Gania’s.
I had gone to pay his mother a visit—my future family, you know! And his sister said to my very face, surely somebody will turn this shameless creature out. After which she spat in her brother Gania’s face—a girl of character, that!” “Nastasia Philipovna!” began the general, reproachfully. He was beginning to put his own interpretation on the affair.
“Nastasia Philipovna, is this really you? You, once so refined and delicate of speech. Oh, what a tongue! What dreadful things you are saying,” cried the general, wringing his hands in real grief. “I am intoxicated, general. I am having a day out, you know—it’s my birthday! I have long looked forward to this happy occasion. The Idiot PDF Book Free
Daria Alexeyevna, you see that nosegay-man, that Monsieur aux Camelias, sitting there laughing at us?” “I am not laughing, Nastasia Philipovna; I am only listening with all my attention,” said Totski, with dignity. “Well, why have I worried him, for five years, and never let him go free? Is he worth it? He is only just what he ought to be—nothing particular.
He thinks I am to blame, too. He gave me my education, kept me like a countess. Money—my word! What a lot of money he spent over me! And he tried to find me an honest husband first, and then this Gania, here. And what do you think? All these five years I did not live with him, and yet I took his money, and considered I was quite justified.
“You say, take the hundred thousand and kick that man out. It is true, it is an abominable business, as you say. I might have married long ago, not Gania—Oh, no!—but that would have been abominable too. The Idiot PDF Book Free