The Idiot HTML version

Chapter 3
It was now close on twelve o'clock.
The prince knew that if he called at the Epanchins' now he would only find the general,
and that the latter might probably carry him straight off to Pavlofsk with him; whereas
there was one visit he was most anxious to make without delay.
So at the risk of missing General Epanchin altogether, and thus postponing his visit to
Pavlofsk for a day, at least, the prince decided to go and look for the house he desired
to find.
The visit he was about to pay was, in some respects, a risky one. He was in two minds
about it, but knowing that the house was in the Gorohovaya, not far from the Sadovaya,
he determined to go in that direction, and to try to make up his mind on the way.
Arrived at the point where the Gorohovaya crosses the Sadovaya, he was surprised to
find how excessively agitated he was. He had no idea that his heart could beat so
One house in the Gorohovaya began to attract his attention long before he reached it,
and the prince remembered afterwards that he had said to himself: "That is the house,
I'm sure of it." He came up to it quite curious to discover whether he had guessed right,
and felt that he would be disagreeably impressed to find that he had actually done so.
The house was a large gloomy- looking structure, without the slightest claim to
architectural beauty, in colour a dirty green. There are a few of these old houses, built
towards the end of the last century, still standing in that part of St. Petersburg, and
showing little change from their original form and colour. They are solidly built, and are
remarkable for the thickness of their walls, and for the fewness of their windows, many
of which are covered by gratings. On the ground-floor there is usually a money-
changer's shop, and the owner lives over it. Without as well as within, the houses seem
inhospitable and mysterious--an impression which is difficult to explain, unless it has
something to do with the actual architectural style. These houses are almost exclusively
inhabited by the merchant class.
Arrived at the gate, the prince looked up at the legend over it, which ran:
"House of Rogojin, hereditary and honourable citizen."
He hesitated no longer; but opened the glazed door at the bottom of the outer stairs and
made his way up to the second storey. The place was dark and gloomy-looking; the
walls of the stone staircase were painted a dull red. Rogojin and his mother and brother