BLTC Press Titles


available for Kindle at Amazon.com


Tao Te Ching

Lao Tzu, James Legge (trans.)


Vanity Fair

William Thackery


Leaves of Grass

Walt Whitman


Mortal Coils

Aldous Huxley


Crime and Punishment

by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Excerpt:

Here Marmeladoff struck his forehead, set his teeth, and, closing his eyes, leaned on the table. In ant ther minute however, his expression suddenly changed, and, looking at Raskolnikoff with assumed cynicism, he said with a laugh: "I went to Sonia to-day and asked her to give me something to drink! Ha, ha, ha!"

"And did she give it you?" cried one of the party that had just entered, with a hoarse-laugh.

"It was her money that paid for this half-bottle," replied Marmeladoff, addressing himself exclusively to Raskolnikoff. "She looked out thirty kopecks and gave them me with her own hands; it was all she had, I saw. She said nothing, but only gave me a look, a heavenly look, such as angels have when they weep over the faults of us men, but condemn us not! It is worse than being scolded! Thirty kopecks! And she

must be wanting them herself. What do you say, dear sir? She is obliged to attend to her appearance. That trimness which is indispensable to her calling, cannot be kept up for nothing. You understand me? She must buy pomade, and starched petticoats, and pretty little boots to set off her feet when she has to stride across a puddle. Do you understand the importance of this neatness, sir? Well, and here I, her father by natural rights, have taken these thirty kopecks from her on purpose to spend them in drink! I am drinking them now! They are all gone Ah, who could take pity on such a man! Can you sympathise with me still, sir? Speak !—do you pity me or do you not? Ha, ha, ha!" He was about to pour himself out another glass, when he perceived that his half-bottle was already empty.

"And why should anyone have pity on you?" cried the tavern-keeper.

There was an outburst of laughter, mingled with opprobrium. Those who had not heard the ex-oflicial's words were ready to join in the chorus at the mere sight of him. Marmeladoff seemed only to have awaited the tavern-keeper's exclamation to give the reins to his eloquence. He rose abruptly, and extended his arms.

"Why should anyone have pity on me?" rejoined he, in an excited tone. "Why? say you. You are right, there is no reason why they should. The proper thing is to crucify me, nail me to the cross, and show no pity! Crucify me, judge, but pity me as you do it! I will go to meet my punishment, for I thirst not for pleasure, but for sufferings and tears. Do you think, publican, that your halt-bottle has given me any pleasure? It was sadness, sadness and tears, that I sought and tasted at the bottom of this flagon; but He who has had pity on all men and sees all hearts, will have pity on us; He alone is Judge. At the last day He will come and ask, 'Where is the girl who had compassion on her earthly father, and did not turn away in disgust from the habitual drunkard? Where is the girl who sacrificed herself to an unkind consumptive stepmother, and children who were not her own flesh and blood?' And He will say : 'Come, I have forgiven thee once, once already, and now all thy sins are remitted, because thou hast loved much.' He will forgive my Sonia, He will forgive her, I know. I felt convinced of it when I was with her just now. We shall all be judged by Him, and He will forgive us all: the evil and the good, the wise and the gentle. And when He has finished with the rest, our turn will come too: 'Draw nigh,' He will say to us, ' Draw nigh, ye drunkards, ye cowards, ye dissolute men.' And we shall draw nigh without trembling. And then He will say unto us: "Ye are sots! Ye bear the mark of the beast on your foreheads, yet come unto Me.' And the wise and intelligent will say: 'Lord, wherefore dost thou receive these?' And He will answer: 'I receive them, O ye wise and intelligent men, because not one of them thought himself worthy this favour.' And then He will hold out His arms, and we shall throw ourselves into them; and we shall burst into tears; and then we shall understand everything. All the world will understand, and Catherine Ivanovna also. Thy kingdom come, O Lord!"


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