5. CHAPTER V
"She has certainly gone mad!" he said to Raskolnikov, as they went out
into the street. "I didn't want to frighten Sofya Semyonovna, so I
said 'it seemed like it,' but there isn't a doubt of it. They say that
in consumption the tubercles sometimes occur in the brain; it's a pity
I know nothing of medicine. I did try to persuade her, but she
"Did you talk to her about the tubercles?"
"Not precisely of the tubercles. Besides, she wouldn't have
understood! But what I say is, that if you convince a person logically
that he has nothing to cry about, he'll stop crying. That's clear. Is
it your conviction that he won't?"
"Life would be too easy if it were so," answered Raskolnikov.
"Excuse me, excuse me; of course it would be rather difficult for
Katerina Ivanovna to understand, but do you know that in Paris they
have been conducting serious experiments as to the possibility of
curing the insane, simply by logical argument? One professor there, a
scientific man of standing, lately dead, believed in the possibility
of such treatment. His idea was that there's nothing really wrong with
the physical organism of the insane, and that insanity is, so to say,
a logical mistake, an error of judgment, an incorrect view of things.
He gradually showed the madman his error and, would you believe it,
they say he was successful? But as he made use of douches too, how far
success was due to that treatment remains uncertain. . . . So it seems
Raskolnikov had long ceased to listen. Reaching the house where he
lived, he nodded to Lebeziatnikov and went in at the gate.
Lebeziatnikov woke up with a start, looked about him and hurried on.
Raskolnikov went into his little room and stood still in the middle of
it. Why had he come back here? He looked at the yellow and tattered
paper, at the dust, at his sofa. . . . From the yard came a loud
continuous knocking; someone seemed to be hammering . . . He went to
the window, rose on tiptoe and looked out into the yard for a long
time with an air of absorbed attention. But the yard was empty and he
could not see who was hammering. In the house on the left he saw some
open windows; on the window-sills were pots of sickly-looking
geraniums. Linen was hung out of the windows . . . He knew it all by
heart. He turned away and sat down on the sofa.