A strange period began for Raskolnikov: it was as though a fog had fallen upon him and wrapped him in a dreary solitude from which there was no escape.
No, you won’t run away. A peasant would run away, a fashionable dissenter would run away, the flunkey of another man’s thought, for you’ve only to show him the end of your little finger and he’ll be ready to believe in anything for the rest of his life. But you’ve ceased to believe in your theory already, what will you run away with?
There was another thought which had been continually hovering around Raskolnikov’s mind recently, and which was causing him great uneasiness. It was so painful that he made evident efforts to get rid of it. He sometimes thought that Svidrigailov was shadowing him.
“Well, if you come to that,” Svidrigailov answered, scrutinizing Raskolnikov with some surprise, “if you come to that, you are a thorough cynic yourself. You’ve plenty to make you so, anyway. You can understand a great deal … and you can do a great deal too.”
Svidrigailov spent three minutes standing at the window. At last he slowly turned, looked about him and passed his hand over his forehead. A strange smile contorted his face, a pitiful, sad, weak smile, a smile of despair.