Substantially nothingbut just by way of conversation.
Another silence followed. They did not speak for nearly a minute. Ivan knew that he ought to get up and show anger, and Smerdyakov stood before him and seemed to be waiting as though to see whether he would be angry or not. So at least it seemed to Ivan. At last he moved to get up. Smerdyakov seemed to seize the moment.
Im in an awful position, Ivan Fyodorovitch. I dont know how to help myself, he said resolutely and distinctly, and at his last word he sighed. Ivan Fyodorovitch sat down again.
They are both utterly crazy, they are no better than little children, Smerdyakov went on. I am speaking of your parent and your brother Dmitri Fyodorovitch. Here Fyodor Pavlovitch will get up directly and begin worrying me every minute, Has she come? Why hasnt she come? and so on up till midnight and even after midnight. And if Agrafena Alexandrovna doesnt come (for very likely she does not mean to come at all) then he will be at me again to-morrow morning. Why hasnt she come? When will she come?as though I were to blame for it. On the other side its no better. As soon as it gets dark, or even before, your brother will appear with his gun in his hands: Look out, you rogue, you soup maker. If you miss her and dont let me know shes beenIll kill you before any one. When the nights over, in the morning, he, too, like Fyodor Pavlovitch, begins worrying me to death. Why hasnt she come? Will she come soon? And he, too, thinks me to blame because his lady hasnt come. And every day and every hour they get angrier and angrier, so that I sometimes think I shall kill myself in a fright. I cant depend upon them, sir.
And why have you meddled? Why did you begin to spy for Dmitri Fyodorovitch? said Ivan irritably.
How could I help meddling? Though, indeed. I havent meddled at all, if you want to know the truth of the matter, I kept quiet from the very beginning, not daring to answer; but he pitched on me to be his servant. He has had only one thing to say since: Ill kill you, you scoundrel, if you miss her. I feel certain, sir, that I shall have a long fit to-morrow.
What do you mean by a long fit?
A long fit, lasting a long timeseveral hours, or perhaps a day or two. Once it went on for three days. I fell from the garret that time. The struggling ceased and then began again, and for three days I couldnt come back to my senses. Fyodor Pavlovitch sent for Herzenstube, the doctor here, and he put ice on my head and tried another remedy, too. I might have died.
But they say one cant tell with epilepsy when a fit is coming. What makes you say you will have one to-morrow? Ivan inquired, with a peculiar, irritable curiosity.
Thats just so. You cant tell beforehand.
Besides you fell from the garret then.
I climb up to the garret every day. I might fall from the garret again to-morrow. And, if not, I might fall down the cellar steps. I have to go into the cellar every day, too.
Ivan took a long look at him.
You are talking nonsense, I see, and I dont quite understand you, he said softly, but with a sort of menace. Do you mean to pretend to be ill to-morrow for three days, eh?
Smerdyakov, who was looking at the ground again, and playing with the toe of his right foot, set the foot down, moved the left one forward, and, grinning, articulated:
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