The Brothers Karamazov HTML version

Book II: An Unfortunate Gathering
1. They Arrive at the Monastery
IT was a warm, bright day the end of August. The interview with the elder had
been fixed for half-past eleven, immediately after late mass. Our visitors did not
take part in the service, but arrived just as it was over. First an elegant open
carriage, drawn by two valuable horses, drove up with Miusov and a distant
relative of his, a young man of twenty, called Pyotr Fomitch Kalganov. This
young man was preparing to enter the university. Miusov with whom he was
staying for the time, was trying to persuade him to go abroad to the university of
Zurich or Jena. The young man was still undecided. He was thoughtful and
absent-minded. He was nice-looking, strongly built, and rather tall. There was a
strange fixity in his gaze at times. Like all very absent-minded people he would
sometimes stare at a person without seeing him. He was silent and rather
awkward, but sometimes, when he was alone with anyone, he became talkative
and effusive, and would laugh at anything or nothing. But his animation vanished
as quickly as it appeared. He was always well and even elaborately dressed; he
had already some independent fortune and expectations of much more. He was
a friend of Alyosha's.
In an ancient, jolting, but roomy, hired carriage, with a pair of old pinkish-grey
horses, a long way behind Miusov's carriage, came Fyodor Pavlovitch, with his
son Ivan. Dmitri was late, though he had been informed of the time the evening
before. The visitors left their carriage at the hotel, outside the precincts, and went
to the gates of the monastery on foot. Except Fyodor Pavlovitch, more of the
party had ever seen the monastery, and Miusov had probably not even been to
church for thirty years. He looked about him with curiosity, together with assumed
ease. But, except the church and the domestic buildings, though these too were
ordinary enough, he found nothing of interest in the interior of the monastery. The
last of the worshippers were coming out of the church bareheaded and crossing
themselves. Among the humbler people were a few of higher rank -- two or three
ladies and a very old general. They were all staying at the hotel. Our visitors
were at once surrounded by beggars, but none of them gave them anything,
except young Kalganov, who took a ten-copeck piece out of his purse, and,
nervous and embarrassed -- God knows why! -- hurriedly gave it to an old
woman, saying: "Divide it equally." None of his companions made any remark
upon it, so that he had no reason to be embarrassed; but, perceiving this, he was
even more overcome.