Crime and Punishment

and a hundred lives in exchange—it’s simple arithmetic! Besides, what value has the life of that sickly, stupid, ill-natured old woman in the balance of existence! No more than the life of a louse, of a black-beetle, less in fact because the old woman is doing harm. She is wearing out the lives of others; the other day she bit Lizaveta’s finger out of spite; it almost had to be amputated.”

“Of course she does not deserve to live,” remarked the officer, “but there it is, it’s nature.”

“Oh, well, brother, but we have to correct and direct nature, and, but for that, we should drown in an ocean of prejudice. But for that, there would never have been a single great man. They talk of duty, conscience—I don’t want to say anything against duty and conscience;—but the point is, what do we mean by them? Stay, I have another question to ask you. Listen!”

“No, you stay, I’ll ask you a question. Listen!”

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