The Idiot HTML version

Chapter 8
The flat occupied by Gania and his family was on the third floor of the house. It was
reached by a clean light staircase, and consisted of seven rooms, a nice enough
lodging, and one would have thought a little too good for a clerk on two thousand
roubles a year. But it was designed to accommodate a few lodgers on board terms, and
had beer) taken a few months since, much to the disgust of Gania, at the urgent request
of his mother and his sister, Varvara Ardalionovna, who longed to do something to
increase the family income a little, and fixed their hopes upon letting lodgings. Gania
frowned upon the idea. He thought it infra dig, and did not quite like appearing in society
afterwards--that society in which he had been accustomed to pose up to now as a
young man of rather brilliant prospects. All these concessions and rebuffs of fortune, of
late, had wounded his spirit severely, and his temper had become extremely irritable,
his wrath being generally quite out of proportion to the cause. But if he had made up his
mind to put up with this sort of life for a while, it was only on the plain understanding
with his inner self that he would very soon change it all, and have things as he chose
again. Yet the very means by which he hoped to make this change threatened to
involve him in even greater difficulties than he had had before.
The flat was divided by a passage which led straight out of the entrance-hall. Along one
side of this corridor lay the three rooms which were designed for the accommodation of
the "highly recommended" lodgers. Besides these three rooms there was another small
one at the end of the passage, close to the kitchen, which was allotted to General
Ivolgin, the nominal master of the house, who slept on a wide sofa, and was obliged to
pass into and out of his room through the kitchen, and up or down the back stairs. Colia,
Gania's young brother, a school-boy of thirteen, shared this room with his father. He,
too, had to sleep on an old sofa, a narrow, uncomfortable thing with a torn rug over it;
his chief duty being to look after his father, who needed to be watched more and more
every day.
The prince was given the middle room of the three, the first being occupied by one
Ferdishenko, while the third was empty.
But Gania first conducted the prince to the family apartments. These consisted of a
"salon," which became the dining-room when required; a drawing-room, which was only
a drawing-room in the morning, and became Gania's study in the evening, and his
bedroom at night; and lastly Nina Alexandrovna's and Varvara's bedroom, a small, close
chamber which they shared together.
In a word, the whole place was confined, and a "tight fit" for the party. Gania used to
grind his teeth with rage over the state of affairs; though he was anxious to be dutiful