1. CHAPTER I
The morning that followed the fateful interview with Dounia and her
mother brought sobering influences to bear on Pyotr Petrovitch.
Intensely unpleasant as it was, he was forced little by little to
accept as a fact beyond recall what had seemed to him only the day
before fantastic and incredible. The black snake of wounded vanity had
been gnawing at his heart all night. When he got out of bed, Pyotr
Petrovitch immediately looked in the looking-glass. He was afraid that
he had jaundice. However his health seemed unimpaired so far, and
looking at his noble, clear-skinned countenance which had grown
fattish of late, Pyotr Petrovitch for an instant was positively
comforted in the conviction that he would find another bride and,
perhaps, even a better one. But coming back to the sense of his
present position, he turned aside and spat vigorously, which excited a
sarcastic smile in Andrey Semyonovitch Lebeziatnikov, the young friend
with whom he was staying. That smile Pyotr Petrovitch noticed, and at
once set it down against his young friend's account. He had set down a
good many points against him of late. His anger was redoubled when he
reflected that he ought not to have told Andrey Semyonovitch about the
result of yesterday's interview. That was the second mistake he had
made in temper, through impulsiveness and irritability. . . .
Moreover, all that morning one unpleasantness followed another. He
even found a hitch awaiting him in his legal case in the senate. He
was particularly irritated by the owner of the flat which had been
taken in view of his approaching marriage and was being redecorated at
his own expense; the owner, a rich German tradesman, would not
entertain the idea of breaking the contract which had just been signed
and insisted on the full forfeit money, though Pyotr Petrovitch would
be giving him back the flat practically redecorated. In the same way
the upholsterers refused to return a single rouble of the instalment
paid for the furniture purchased but not yet removed to the flat.
"Am I to get married simply for the sake of the furniture?" Pyotr
Petrovitch ground his teeth and at the same time once more he had a
gleam of desperate hope. "Can all that be really so irrevocably over?
Is it no use to make another effort?" The thought of Dounia sent a
voluptuous pang through his heart. He endured anguish at that moment,
and if it had been possible to slay Raskolnikov instantly by wishing
it, Pyotr Petrovitch would promptly have uttered the wish.