a matter of principle: that’s my private life, and I won’t allow any intrusion into my private life. That’s my principle. Your question has no bearing on the case, and whatever has nothing to do with the case is my private affair. I wanted to pay a debt. I wanted to pay a debt of honour, but to whom I won’t say.”

“Allow me to make a note of that,” said the prosecutor.

“By all means. Write down that I won’t say, that I won’t. Write that I should think it dishonourable to say. Ech! you can write it; you’ve nothing else to do with your time.”

“Allow me to caution you, sir, and to remind you once more, if you are unaware of it,” the prosecutor began, with a peculiar and stern impressiveness, “that you have a perfect right not to answer the questions put to you now, and we on our side, have no right to extort an answer from you, if you decline to give it for one reason or another. That is entirely a matter for your personal decision. But it is our duty, on the other hand, in such cases as the present, to explain and set before you the degree of injury you will be doing yourself by refusing to give this or that piece of evidence. After which I will beg you to continue.”

“Gentlemen, I’m not angry … I …” Mitya muttered in a rather disconcerted tone. “Well, gentlemen, you see, that Samsonov to whom I went then …”

We will, of course, not reproduce his account of what is known to the reader already. Mitya was impatiently anxious not to omit the slightest detail. At the same time he was in a hurry to get it over. But as he gave his evidence it was written down, and therefore they had continually to pull him up. Mitya disliked this, but submitted; got angry, though still good-humouredly. He did, it is true, exclaim, from time to time, “Gentlemen, that’s enough to make an angel out of patience!” Or, “Gentlemen, it’s no good your irritating me.”

But even though he exclaimed he still preserved for a time his genially expansive mood. So he told them how Samsonov had made a fool of him two days before. (He had completely realised by now that he had been fooled.) The sale of his watch for six roubles to obtain money for the journey was something new to the lawyers. They were at once greatly interested, and even, to Mitya’s intense indignation, thought it necessary to write the fact down as a secondary confirmation of the circumstance that he had hardly a farthing in his pocket at the time. Little by little Mitya began to grow surly. Then, after describing his journey to see Lyagavy, the night spent in the stifling hut, and so on, he came to his return to the town. Here he began, without being particularly urged, to give a minute account of the agonies of jealousy he endured on Grushenka’s account.

He was heard with silent attention. They inquired particularly into the circumstance of his having a place of ambush in Marya Kondratyevna’s house at the back of Fyodor Pavlovitch’s garden to keep watch on Grushenka, and of Smerdyakov’s bringing him information. They laid particular stress on this, and noted it down. Of his jealousy he spoke warmly and at length, and though inwardly ashamed at exposing his most intimate feelings, so to speak, to “public ignominy,” he evidently overcame his shame in order to tell the truth. The frigid severity with which the investigating lawyer, and still more the prosecutor, stared intently at him as he told his story, disconcerted him at last considerably.

“That boy, Nikolay Parfenovitch, to whom I was talking nonsense about women only a few days ago, and that sickly prosecutor are not worth my telling this to,” he reflected mournfully. “It’s ignominious. ‘Be patient, humble, hold thy peace.”’ He wound up his reflections with that line. But he pulled himself together to go on again. When he came to telling of his visit to Madame Hohlakov, he regained his spirits and even wished to tell a little anecdote of that lady which had nothing to do with the case. But the investigating lawyer stopped him, and civilly suggested that he should pass on to “more essential matters.” At last, when he described his despair and told them how, when he left Madame Hohlakov’s he thought that he’d “get three thousand if he had to murder some one to do it,” they stopped him again and noted down that he had “meant to murder some one.” Mitya let them write it without protest. At last he reached the point in his story when he learned that Grushenka had deceived him and had returned from Samsonov’s as soon as he left her there, though she had said that she would stay there till midnight.

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