But he begged me not to tell Dmitri that he had told me about him, added Alyosha. Ivan frowned and pondered.
Are you frowning on Smerdyakovs account? asked Alyosha.
Yes, on his account. Damn him, I certainly did want to see Dmitri, but now theres no need, said Ivan reluctantly.
But are you really going so soon, brother?
What of Dmitri and father? how will it end? asked Alyosha anxiously.
You are always harping upon it! What have I to do with it? Am I my brother Dmitris keeper? Ivan snapped irritably, but then he suddenly smiled bitterly. Cains answer about his murdered brother, wasnt it? Perhaps thats what youre thinking at this moment? Well, damn it all, I cant stay here to be their keeper, can I? Ive finished what I had to do, and I am going. Do you imagine I am jealous of Dmitri, that Ive been trying to steal his beautiful Katerina Ivanovna for the last three months. Nonsense, I had business of my own. I finished it. I am going. I finished it just now, you were witness.
At Katerina Ivanovnas?
Yes, and Ive released myself once for all. And after all, what have I to do with Dmitri? Dmitri doesnt come in. I had my own business to settle with Katerina Ivanovna. You know, on the contrary, that Dmitri behaved as though there was an understanding between us. I didnt ask him to do it, but he solemnly handed her over to me and gave us his blessing. Its all too funny. Ah, Alyosha, if you only knew how light my heart is now! Would you believe it, I sat here eating my dinner and was nearly ordering champagne to celebrate my first hour of freedom. Tfoo! Its been going on nearly six months, and all at once Ive thrown it off. I could never have guessed even yesterday, how easy it would be to put an end to it if I wanted.
You are speaking of your love, Ivan?
Of my love, if you like. I fell in love with the young lady, I worried myself over her and she worried me. I sat watching over her and all at once its collapsed! I spoke this morning with inspiration, but I went away and roared with laughter. Would you believe it? Yes, its the literal truth.
You seem very merry about it now, observed Alyosha, looking into his face, which had suddenly grown brighter.
But how could I tell that I didnt care for her a bit! Ha-ha! It appears after all I didnt. And yet how she attracted me! How attractive she was just now when I made my speech! And do you know she attracts me awfully even now, yet how easy it is to leave her. Do you think I am boasting?
No, only perhaps it wasnt love.
Alyosha, laughed Ivan, dont make reflections about love, its unseemly for you. How you rushed into the discussion this morning! Ive forgotten to kiss you for it. But how she tormented me! It certainly was sitting by a laceration. Ah, she knew how I loved her! She loved me and not Dmitri, Ivan insisted gaily. Her feeling for Dmitri was simply a self-laceration. All I told her just now was perfectly true, but the worst of it is, it may take her fifteen or twenty years to find out that she doesnt care for Dmitri, and loves me whom she torments, and perhaps she may never find it out at all, in spite of her lesson to-day. Well, its better so; I can simply go away for good. By the way, how is she now? What happened after I departed?
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