Monday, August 5, 2013

But....("The Secret")

"I will tell you all our secret," Mitya whispered hurriedly. "I  meant to tell you later, for how could I decide on anything without  you? You are everything to me. Though I say that Ivan is superior to  us, you are my angel. It's your decision will decide it. Perhaps  it's you that is superior and not Ivan. You see, it's a question of  conscience, question of the higher conscience- the secret is so  important that I can't settle it myself, and I've put it off till I  could speak to you. But anyway it's too early to decide now, for we  must wait for the verdict. As soon as the verdict is given, you  shall decide my fate. Don't decide it now. I'll tell you now. You  listen, but don't decide. Stand and keep quiet. I won't tell you  everything. I'll only tell you the idea, without details, and you keep  quiet. Not a question, not a movement. You agree? But, goodness,  what shall I do with your eyes? I'm afraid your eyes will tell me your  decision, even if you don't speak. Oo! I'm afraid! Alyosha, listen!  Ivan suggests my escaping. I won't tell you the details: it's all been  thought out: it can all be arranged. Hush, don't decide. I should go  to America with Grusha. You know I can't live without Grusha! What  if they won't let her follow me to Siberia? Do they let convicts get  married? Ivan thinks not. And without Grusha what should I do there  underground with a hammer? I should only smash my skull with the  hammer! But, on the other hand, my conscience? I should have run  away from suffering. A sign has come, I reject the sign. I have a  way of salvation and I turn my back on it. Ivan says that in  America, 'with the goodwill,' I can be of more use than underground.  But what becomes of our hymn from underground? What's America? America  is vanity again! And there's a lot of swindling in America, too, I  expect. I should have run away from crucifixion! I tell you, you know,  Alexey, because you are the only person who can understand this.  There's no one else. It's folly, madness to others, all I've told  you of the hymn. They'll say I'm out of my mind or a fool. I am not  out of my mind and I am not a fool. Ivan understands about the hymn,  too. He understands, only he doesn't answer- he doesn't speak. He  doesn't believe in the hymn. Don't speak, don't speak. I see how you  look! You have already decided. Don't decide, spare me! I can't live  without Grusha. Wait till after the trial!" 

  Mitya ended beside himself. He held Alyosha with both hands on his  shoulders, and his yearning, feverish eyes were fixed on his  brother's. 

  "They don't let convicts marry, do they?" he repeated for the  third time in a supplicating voice. 

  Alyosha listened with extreme surprise and was deeply moved. 

  "Tell me one thing," he said. "Is Ivan very keen on it, and  whose idea was it?" 

  "His, his, and he is very keen on it. He didn't come to see me  at first, then he suddenly came a week ago and he began about it  straight away. He is awfully keen on it. He doesn't ask me, but orders  me to escape. He doesn't doubt of my obeying him, though I showed  him all my heart as I have to you, and told him about the hymn, too.  He told me he'd arrange it; he's found out about everything. But of  that later. He's simply set on it. It's all a matter of money: he'll  pay ten thousand for escape and give me twenty thousand for America.  And he says we can arrange a magnificent escape for ten thousand." 

  "And he told you on no account to tell me?" Alyosha asked again. 

  "To tell no one, and especially not you; on no account to tell  you. He is afraid, no doubt, that you'll stand before me as my  conscience. Don't tell him I told you. Don't tell him, for anything." 

  "You are right," Alyosha pronounced; "it's impossible to decide  anything before the trial is over. After the trial you'll decide of  yourself. Then you'll find that new man in yourself and he will  decide." 

  "A new man, or a Bernard who'll decide a la Bernard, for I believe  I'm a contemptible Bernard myself," said Mitya, with a bitter grin. 

  "But, brother, have you no hope then of being acquitted?" 

  Mitya shrugged his shoulders nervously and shook his head. 

  "Alyosha, darling, it's time you were going," he said, with a  sudden haste. "There's the superintendent shouting in the yard.  He'll be here directly. We are late; it's irregular. Embrace me  quickly. Kiss me! Sign me with the cross, darling, for the cross I  have to bear to-morrow." 

  They embraced and kissed. 

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