“When you are older, you’ll 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, that’s so, isn’t 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.…There’s 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 don’t remember. He hasn’t written that anywhere.”

“If he didn’t write it, they say he said it. I heard that from a … but never mind.”

“And have you read Byelinsky?”

“Well, no…I haven’t read all of him, but…I read the passage about Tatyana, why she didn’t go off with Onyegin.”

“Didn’t go off with Onyegin? Surely you don’t…understand that already?”

“Why, you seem to take me for little Smurov,” said Kolya, with a grin of irritation. “But please don’t suppose I’m 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 one’s own country and fly to America is mean, worse than mean—silly. Why go to America when one may be of great service to humanity here? Now especially. There’s a perfect mass of fruitful activity open to us. That’s what I answered.”

“What do you mean? Answered whom? Has some one suggested your going to America already?”

“I must own, they’ve been at me to go, but I declined. That’s 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,

Long will you remember
The house at the Chain bridge

Do you remember? It’s splendid. Why are you laughing? You don’t suppose I am fibbing do you?” (“What if he should find out that I’ve only that one number of The Bell in father’s bookcase, and haven’t read any more of it?” Kolya thought with a shudder.)

“Oh, no, I am not laughing and don’t suppose for a moment that you are lying. No, indeed, I can’t 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 haven’t read it yet, but I want to read it, I have no prejudices, Karamazov; I want to hear both sides. What makes you ask?”

  By PanEris using Melati.

Previous chapter/page Back Home Email this Search Discuss Bookmark Next chapter/page
Copyright: All texts on Bibliomania are © Bibliomania.com Ltd, and may not be reproduced in any form without our written permission. See our FAQ for more details.