4. CHAPTER IV.
THEY passed through the same rooms which the prince had traversed
on his arrival. In the largest there were pictures on the walls,
portraits and landscapes of little interest. Over the door,
however, there was one of strange and rather striking shape; it
was six or seven feet in length, and not more than a foot in
height. It represented the Saviour just taken from the cross.
The prince glanced at it, but took no further notice. He moved on
hastily, as though anxious to get out of the house. But Rogojin
suddenly stopped underneath the picture.
"My father picked up all these pictures very cheap at auctions,
and so on," he said; "they are all rubbish, except the one over
the door, and that is valuable. A man offered five hundred
roubles for it last week."
"Yes--that's a copy of a Holbein," said the prince, looking at it
again, "and a good copy, too, so far as I am able to judge. I saw
the picture abroad, and could not forget it--what's the matter?"
Rogojin had dropped the subject of the picture and walked on. Of
course his strange frame of mind was sufficient to account for
his conduct; but, still, it seemed queer to the prince that he
should so abruptly drop a conversation commenced by himself.
Rogojin did not take any notice of his question.
"Lef Nicolaievitch," said Rogojin, after a pause, during which
the two walked along a little further, "I have long wished to ask
you, do you believe in God?"
"How strangely you speak, and how odd you look!" said the other,
"I like looking at that picture," muttered Rogojin, not noticing,
apparently, that the prince had not answered his question.
"That picture! That picture!" cried Muishkin, struck by a sudden
idea. "Why, a man's faith might be ruined by looking at that
"So it is!" said Rogojin, unexpectedly. They had now reached the