When you are older, youll understand for yourself the influence of age on convictions. I fancied, too, that you were not expressing your own ideas, Alyosha answered serenely and modestly, but Kolya interrupted him hotly:
Come, you want obedience and mysticism. You must admit that the Christian religion, for instance, has only been of use to the rich and the powerful to keep the lower classes in slavery, thats so, isnt it?
Ah, I know where you read that, and I am sure some one told you so! cried Alyosha.
I say, what makes you think I read it? And certainly no one told me so. I can think for myself. I am not opposed to Christ, if you like. He was a most humane person, and if He were alive to-day, He would be found in the ranks of the revolutionists, and would perhaps play a conspicuous part. Theres no doubt about that.
Oh, where, where did you get that from? What fool have you made friends with? exclaimed Alyosha.
Come, the truth will out! It has so chanced that I have often talked to Mr. Rakitin, of course, but old Byelinsky said that, too, so they say.
Byelinsky? I dont remember. He hasnt written that anywhere.
If he didnt write it, they say he said it. I heard that from a but never mind.
And have you read Byelinsky?
Well, no I havent read all of him, but I read the passage about Tatyana, why she didnt go off with Onyegin.
Didnt go off with Onyegin? Surely you dont understand that already?
Why, you seem to take me for little Smurov, said Kolya, with a grin of irritation. But please dont suppose Im such a revolutionist. I often disagree with Mr. Rakitin. Though I mention Tatyana, I am not at all for the emancipation of women. I acknowledge that women are a subject race and must obey. Les femmes tricottent, as Napoleon said. Kolya, for some reason, smiled, And on that question at least I am quite of one mind with that pseudo-great man. I think, too, that to leave ones own country and fly to America is mean, worse than meansilly. Why go to America when one may be of great service to humanity here? Now especially. Theres a perfect mass of fruitful activity open to us. Thats what I answered.
What do you mean? Answered whom? Has some one suggested your going to America already?
I must own, theyve been at me to go, but I declined. Thats between ourselves, of course, Karamazov; do you hear, not a word to any one. I say this only to you. I am not at all anxious to fall into the clutches of the secret police and take lessons at the Chain bridge,
The house at the Chain bridge.
Do you remember? Its splendid. Why are you laughing? You dont suppose I am fibbing do you? (What if he should find out that Ive only that one number of The Bell in fathers bookcase, and havent read any more of it? Kolya thought with a shudder.)
Oh, no, I am not laughing and dont suppose for a moment that you are lying. No, indeed, I cant suppose so, for all this alas! is perfectly true. But tell me, have you read Pushkin, Onyegin, for instance? You spoke just now of Tatyana.
No, I havent read it yet, but I want to read it, I have no prejudices, Karamazov; I want to hear both sides. What makes you ask?
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