THE BROTHERS KARAMAZOV
Chapter 7 - Ilusha
THE doctor came out of the room again, muffled in his fur coat and
with his cap on his head. His face looked almost angry and
disgusted, as though he were afraid of getting dirty. He cast a
cursory glance round the passage, looking sternly at Alyosha and Kolya
as he did so. Alyosha waved from the door to the coachman, and the
carriage that had brought the doctor drove up. The captain darted
out after the doctor, and, bowing apologetically, stopped him to get
the last word. The poor fellow looked utterly crushed; there was a
scared look in his eyes.
"Your Excellency, your Excellency... is it possible?" he began,
but could not go on and clasped his hands in despair. Yet he still
gazed imploringly at the doctor, as though a word from him might still
change the poor boy's fate.
"I can't help it, I am not God!" the doctor answered offhand,
though with the customary impressiveness.
"Doctor... your Excellency... and will it be soon, soon?"
"You must be prepared for anything," said the doctor in emphatic
and incisive tones, and dropping his eyes, he was about to step out to
"Your Excellency, for Christ's sake!" the terror-stricken
captain stopped him again. "Your Excellency! But can nothing,
absolutely nothing save him now?"
"It's not in my hands now," said the doctor impatiently, "but
h'm!..." he stopped suddenly. "If you could, for instance... send...
your patient... at once, without delay" (the words "at once, without
delay," the doctor uttered with an almost wrathful sternness that made
the captain start) "to Syracuse, the change to the new be-ne-ficial
"To Syracuse!" cried the captain, unable to grasp what was said.
"Syracuse is in Sicily," Kolya jerked out suddenly in explanation.
The doctor looked at him.
"Sicily! Your Excellency," faltered the captain, "but you've
seen"- he spread out his hands, indicating his surroundings- "mamma
and my family?"
"N-no, SiciIy is not the place for the family, the family should
go to Caucasus in the early spring... your daughter must go to the
Caucasus, and your wife... after a course of the waters in the
Caucasus for her rheumatism... must be sent straight to Paris to the
mental specialist Lepelletier; I could give you a note to him, and
then... there might be a change-"
"Doctor, doctor! But you see!" The captain flung wide his hands
again despairingly, indicating the bare wooden walls of the passage.
"Well, that's not my business," grinned the doctor. "I have only
told you the answer of medical science to your question as to possible
"Don't be afraid, apothecary, my dog won't bite you," Kolya rapped
out loudly, noticing the doctor's rather uneasy glance at Perezvon,
who was standing in the doorway. There was a wrathful note in
Kolya's voice. He used the word apothecary instead of doctor on
purpose, and, as he explained afterwards, used it "to insult him."
"What's that?" The doctor flung up his head, staring with surprise
at Kolya. "Who's this?" he addressed Alyosha, as though asking him
"It's Perezvon's master, don't worry about me," Kolya said
"Perezvon?"* repeated the doctor, perplexed.
* i.e. a chime of bells.
"He hears the bell, but where it is he cannot tell. Good-bye, we
shall meet in Syracuse."
"Who's this? Who's this?" The doctor flew into a terrible rage.
"He is a schoolboy, doctor, he is a mischievous boy; take no
notice of him," said Alyosha, frowning and speaking quickly. "Kolya,
hold your tongue!" he cried to Krassotkin. "Take no notice of him,
doctor," he repeated, rather impatiently.
"He wants a thrashing, a good thrashing!" The doctor stamped in
a perfect fury.
"And you know, apothecary, my Perezvon might bite!" said Kolya,
turning pale, with quivering voice and flashing eyes. "Ici, Perezvon!"
"Kolya, if you say another word, I'll have nothing more to do with
you," Alyosha cried peremptorily.
"There is only one man in the world who can command Nikolay
Krassotkin- this is the man," Kolya pointed to Alyosha. "I obey him,
He stepped forward, opened the door, and quickly went into the
inner room. Perezvon flew after him. The doctor stood still for five
seconds in amazement, looking at Alyosha; then, with a curse, he
went out quickly to the carriage, repeating aloud, "This is... this
is... I don't know what it is!" The captain darted forward to help him
into the carriage. Alyosha followed Kolya into the room. He was
already by Ilusha's bedside. The sick boy was holding his hand and
calling for his father. A minute later the captain, too, came back.
"Father, father, come... we..." Ilusha faltered in violent
excitement, but apparently unable to go on, he flung his wasted
arms, found his father and Kolya, uniting them in one embrace, and
hugging them as tightly as he could. The captain suddenly began to
shake with dumb sobs, and Kolya's lips and chin twitched.
"Father, father! How sorry I am for you!" Ilusha moaned bitterly.
"Ilusha... darling... the doctor said... you would be all right...
we shall be happy... the doctor... " the captain began.
"Ah, father! I know what the new doctor said to you about me.... I
saw!" cried Ilusha, and again he hugged them both with all his
strength, hiding his face on his father's shoulder.
"Father, don't cry, and when I die get a good boy, another
one... choose one of them all, a good one, call him Ilusha and love
him instead of me..."
"Hush, old man, you'll get well," Krassotkin cried suddenly, in
a voice that sounded angry.
"But don't ever forget me, father," Ilusha went on, "come to my
grave...and father, bury me by our big stone, where we used to go
for our walk, and come to me there with Krassotkin in the evening...
and Perezvon... I shall expect you.... Father, father!"
His voice broke. They were all three silent, still embracing. Nina
was crying, quietly in her chair, and at last seeing them all
crying, "mamma," too, burst into tears.
"Ilusha! Ilusha!" she exclaimed.
Krassotkin suddenly released himself from Ilusha's embrace.
"Good-bye, old man, mother expects me back to dinner," he said
quickly. "What a pity I did not tell her! She will be dreadfully
anxious... But after dinner I'll come back to you for the whole day,
for the whole evening, and I'll tell you all sorts of things, all
sorts of things. And I'll bring Perezvon, but now I will take him with
me, because he will begin to howl when I am away and bother you.
And he ran out into the passage. He didn't want to cry, but in the
passage he burst into tears. Alyosha found him crying.
"Kolya, you must be sure to keep your word and come, or he will be
terribly disappointed," Alyosha said emphatically.
"I will! Oh, how I curse myself for not having come before"
muttered Kolya, crying, and no longer ashamed of it.
At that moment the captain flew out of the room, and at once
closed the door behind him. His face looked frenzied, his lips were
trembling. He stood before the two and flung up his arms.
"I don't want a good boy! I don't want another boy!" he muttered
in a wild whisper, clenching his teeth. "If I forget thee,
knees before the wooden bench. Pressing his fists against his head, he
began sobbing with absurd whimpering cries, doing his utmost that
his cries should not be heard in the room.
Kolya ran out into the street.
"Good-bye, Karamazov? Will you come yourself?" he cried sharply
and angrily to Alyosha.
"I will certainly come in the evening."
"What was that he said about Jerusalem?... What did he mean by
"It's from the Bible. 'If I forget thee, Jerusalem,' that is, if I
forget all that is most precious to me, if I let anything take its
place, then may-"
"I understand, that's enough! Mind you come! Ici, Perezvon!" he
cried with positive ferocity to the dog, and with rapid strides he