Grand Inquisitor

Grand Inquisitor - “Mum... FYODOR DOSTOEVSKY THE BROTHERS...

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Unformatted text preview: “Mum... FYODOR DOSTOEVSKY THE BROTHERS KARAMAZOV A Novel in Four Parts with Epilogue Translated and Annotated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky FARRAR, STRAUS AND GIROUX New York 246 The Brothers Karamazov “And can you admit the idea that the people for whom you are building would agree to accept their happiness on the unjustified blood of a tortured child, and having accepted it, to remain forever happy?" “No, I cannot admit it. Brother," Alyosha said suddenly, his eyes beginning to flash, “you asked just now if there is in the whole world a being who could and would have the right to forgive. But there is such a being, and he can for- give everything, forgive all and for all,” because he himself gave his innocent blood for all and for everything. You’ve forgotten about him, but it is on him that the structure is being built, and it is to him that they will cry out: ‘justart thou, O Lord, for thy ways have been revealed!‘ “ “Ah, yes, the ‘only sinless One’” and his blood! No, I have not forgotten about him; on the contrary, I’ve been wondering all the while why you hadn’t brought him up for so long, because in discussions your people usually trot him out first thing. You know, Alyosha—don’t laughi—l composed a poem once, about a year ago. If you can waste ten more minutes on me, I’ll tell it to n you. “You wrote a poem?” “Oh, no, I didn’t write it,” Ivan laughed, “I’ve never composed two lines of verse in my whole life. But I made up this poem and memorized it. I made it up in great fervor. You’ll be my first reader—I mean, listener. Why, indeed, should an author lose even one listener?" Ivan grinned. “Shall I tell it or not?" “I’m listening carefully,” said Alyosha. “My poem is called ‘The Grand Inquisitor’——an absurd thing, but I want you to hear it." Chapter 5 The Grand Inquisitor “But here, too, it’s impossible to do without a preface, a literary preface, that is—~—pah!" Ivan laughed, “and what sort of writer am I! You see, my action takes place in the sixteenth century, and back then—~by the way, you must have learned this in school—back then it was customary in poetic works to bring higher powers down to earth. I don’t need to mention Dante. In France, court clerks, as well as monks in the monasteries, gave whole performances in which they brought the Madonna, angels, saints, Christ, and God himself on stage. At the time it was all done quite artlessly. In Victor Hugo’s Notre The Grand Inquisitor 247 us in Moscow, in pre-Petrine antiquity,2 much the same kind ofdramatic formances, especially from the Old Testament, were given from time to t'per: but, .besides dramatic performances, there were many stories and ‘v lme: floating around the world in which saints, angels, and all the poweerrssff recopied, even composed—and wheri?—under the Tartars. There is for e ample, one little monastery poem (from the Greek, of course)‘ The Mbthe :- God Visits the Torments,3 with scenes of a boldness not inferior to Dante‘s Trhf Mother of God visits hell and the Archangel Michael guides her throu ‘the torments.’ She sees sinners and their sufferings. Among them by thi wa 6 there IS a most amusing class ofsinners in a burning lake: somelof them si so far down into the lake that they can no longer come up again and ‘theIse God forgets’—an expression of extraordinary depth and force And so th Mother ofGod, shocked and weeping, falls before the throne of God and ask: pardon for everyone in hell, everyone she has seen there, without distinction Her conversation with God is immensely interesting. She pleads she won’t o away, and when God points out to her the nail-pierced hands and feet of hir Son and asks: ‘How can I forgive his tormentors?’she bids all the saints all th martyrs, all the angels and archangels to fall down together with her a d3 plead for the pardon ofall without discrimination. In the end she extorts fron God a cessation of torments every year, from Holy Friday to Pentecost anrd1 knoweth not even the Son, but only my heavenly Father ” as he himself de- lt1he same tender emotion. Oh, even with greater faith, for fifteen centuries ave gone by smce men ceased to receive pledges from heaven' Believe what the heart tells you, For heaven offers no pledge.‘s 248 The Brothers Karamazov teous men, according to their biographies, the Queen of Heaven herself came down. But the devil never rests, and there had already arisen in mankind some doubt as to the authenticity of these miracles.]ust then, in the north, in Germany, a horrible new heresy appeared.7 A great star, ‘like a lamp (that 15’; the Church), ‘fell upon the fountains of waters, and they were made bitter. These heretics began blasphemously denying miracles. But those who still believed became all the more ardent in their belief. The tears of'mankind rose up to him as before, they waited for him, loved him, hoped in him, yearned to suffer and die for him as before . . . And for so many centuries mankind had been pleading with faith and fire: ‘God our Lord, reveal thyself to us, forbslo many centuries they had been calling out to him, that he in his immeasucrlacl e compassion desired to descend to those who were pleading. He ha ec-l scended even before then, he had visited some righteous ‘men, martyrs: an holy herinits while they were still on earth, as is written in their lives..Ou(; own Tyutchev, who deeply believed in the truth of his words, proclaime that: Bent under the burden of the Cross, The King of Heaven in the form of a slave Walked the length and breadth of you, Blessing you, my native land.‘0 It must needs have been so, let me tell you. And so he desired to appear'to people if only for a moment—to his tormented, suffering people, rank w1th sin but loving him like children. My action is set in Spain, in Seville, in the most horrible time of the Inquisition, when fires blazed every day to the glory ofGod, and In the splendid auto-da-fé Evil heretics were burnt.“ Oh, of course, this was not that coming in which he will appear, according to his promise, at the end of time, in all his heavenly glory, and which XIEIIJEES sudden ‘as the lightning that shineth out of the east unto the west. oE1 e desired to visit his children if only for a moment, and precisely where the res of the heretics had begun to crackle. In his infinite mercy he walked time again among men, in the same human image in which he had walked fort lre; years among men fifteen centuries earlier. He came down to thedscorc de squares’13 of a southern town wherejust the day before, in a splendi :utol-I a; fé,’ in the presence of the king, the court, knights, cardinals, and the ove iesd court ladies, before the teeming pOpulace of all SeVille, the Cardinal IGran Inquisitor had burned almost a hundred heretics at once ad ma}orem g oriam The Grand Inquisitor 249 Dei.“ He appeared quietly, inconspicuously, but, strange to say, everyone rec- ognized him. This could be one of the best passages in the poem, I mean, why itis exactly that they recognize him. People are drawn to him by an invincible force, they flock to him, surround him, follow him. He passes silently among them with a quiet smile of infinite compassion. The sun of love shines in his heart, rays of Light, Enlightenment, and Power stream from his eyes and, pouring over the people, shake their hearts with responding love. He stretches forth his hands to them, blesses them, and from the touch of him, even only of his garments, comes a healing power. Here an old man, blind from childhood, calls out from the crowd: ‘Lord, heal me so thatI, too, can see you,’ and it is as if the scales fell from his eyes, and the blind man sees him. People weep and kiss the earth he walks upon. Children throw down flowers before him, sing and cry ‘Hosanna! ’ to him. ‘It’s he, it‘s really he,’ everyone re- peats, ‘it must be he, it can be no one but he.’ He stops at the porch of the Sc- ville cathedral at the very moment when a child's little, open, white coffin is being brought in with weeping: in it lies a seven-year-old girl, the only daugh- ter ofa noble citizen. The dead child is covered with flowers. ‘He will raise your child,’ people in the crowd shout to the weeping mother. The cathedral padre, who has come out to meet the coffin, looks perplexed an'd frowns. Sud- denly a wail comes from the dead child’s mother. She throws herself down at his feet: ‘If it is you, then raise my child!‘ she exclaims, stretching her hands out to him. The procession halts, the little coffin is lowered down onto the porch at his feet. He looks with compassion and his lips once again softly ut- ter: ‘Talitha cumi’—‘and the damsel arose.’15 The girl rises in her coffin, sits up and, smiling, looks around her in wide-eyed astonishment. She is still hold- ing the bunch of white roses with which she had been lying in the coffin. There is a commotion among the people, cries, weeping, and at this very mo- ment the Cardinal Grand Inquisitor himselfcrosses the square in front of the cathedral. He is an old man, almost ninety, tall and straight, with a gaunt face and sunken eyes, from which a glitter still shines like a fiery spark. Oh, he is notwearing his magnificent cardinal‘s robes in which he had displayed him- self to the people the day before, when the enemies of the Roman faith were burned—no, at this moment he is wearing only his old, coarse monastic cas- sock. He is followed at a certain distance by his grim assistants and slaves, and by the 'holy' guard. At the sight of the crowd he stops and watches from afar. He has seen everything, seen the coffin set down at his feet, seen the girl rise, and his face darkens. He scowls with his thick, gray eyebrows, and his eyes shine with a sinister fire. He stretches forth his finger and orders the guard to take him. And such is his power, so tamed, submissive, and tremblineg obe- dient to his will are the people, that the crowd immediately parts before the .4 v.” 4.2-;1.» .._.. an 250 The Brothers Karamazov guard, and they, amidst the deathly silence that has suddenly fallen, lay their hands on him and lead him away. As one man the crowd immediately bows to the ground before the aged Inquisitor, who silently blesses the people and moves on. The guard lead their prisoner to the small, gloomy, vaulted prison in the old building of the holy court, and lock him there. The day is over, the Seville night comes, dark, hot, and ‘breathless.’ The air is ‘fragrant with laurel and lemon.’16 In the deep darkness, the iron door of the prison suddenly opens, and the old Grand Inquisitor himself slowly enters carrying a lamp. He is alone, the door is immediately locked behind him. He stands in the en- trance and for a long time, for a minute or two, gazes into his face. At last he quietly approaches, sets the lamp on the table, and says to him: ’Is it you? You?‘ But receiving no answer, he quickly adds: ‘Do not answer, be silent. Af- ter all, what could you say? I know too well what you would say. And you have no right to add anything to what you already said once. Why, then, have you come to interfere with us? For you have come to interfere with us and you know it yourself. But do you know what will happen tomorrow? I do not know who you are, and I do not want to know: whether it is you, or only his likeness; but tomorrow I shall condemn you and burn you at the stake as the most evil of heretics, and the very people who today kissed your feet, tomor- row, at a nod from me, will rush to heap the coals up around your stake, do you know that? Yes, perhaps you do know it,‘ he added, pondering deeply, never for a moment taking his eyes from his prisoner.” “I don’t quite understand what this is, Ivan ," Alyosha, who all the while had been listening silently, smiled. “Is it boundless fantasy, or some mistake on the old man’s part, some impossible qui pro quo?"” “Assume it’s the latter, if you like," Ivan laughed, “if you‘re so spoiled by modern realism and can‘t stand anything fantastic—if you want it to be qui pro quo, let it be. Of course," he laughed again, "the man is ninety years old, and might have lost his mind long ago over his idea. He might have been struck by the prisoner‘s appearance. It might, finally, have been simple delir- ium, the vision of a ninety—year-old man nearing death, and who is excited, besides, by the auto-da-fé ofa hundred burnt heretics the day before. But isn’t it all the same to you and me whether it‘s qui pro quo or boundless fantasy? The only thing is that the old man needs to speak out, that finally after all his ninety years, he speaks out, and says aloud all that he has been silent about for ninety years.” “And the prisoner is silent, too? just looks at him without saying a word?” “But that must be so in any case,” Ivan laughed again. “The old man himself points out [0 him that he has no right to add anything to what has already been said once. That, ifyou like, is the most basic feature ofRoman Catholicism, in The Grand Inquisitor 251 my opinion at least: ‘Everything,’ they say, ‘has been handed over by you to the pope, therefore everything now belongs to the pope, and you may as well not come at all now, or at least don’t interfere with us for the time being.‘ They not only speak this way, they also write this way, at least the Jesuits do. I‘ve read it in their theologians myself. ‘Have you the right to proclaim to us even one of the mysteries of that world from which you have come?‘ my old man asks him, and answers the question himself: ’No, you have not, so as not to add to what has already been said once, and so as not to deprive people of free- dom, for which you stood so firmly when you were on earth. Anything you proclaim anew will encroach upon the freedom of men’s faith, for itwill come as a miracle, and the freedom of their faith was the dearest of all things to you, even then, one and a half thousand years ago. Was it notyou who so often said then: “I want to make you free"?“’ But now you have seen these “free” men,‘ the old man suddenly adds with a pensive smile. ‘Yes, this work has cost us dearly,’ he goes on, looking sternly at him, ‘but we have finally finished this work in your name. For fifteen hundred years we have been at pains over this freedom, but now it is finished, and well finished. You do not believe that it is well finished? You look at me meekly and do not deign even to be indignant with me. Know, then, that now, precisely now, these people are more certain than ever before that they are completely free, and at the same time they themselves have brought us their freedom and obediently laid it at our feet. It is our doing, but is it what you wanted? This sbrt of freedom?’ “ “Again I don’t understand,” Alyosha interrupted. “Is he being ironic? Is he laughing?" “Not in the least. He precisely lays it to his and his colleagues‘ credit that they have finally overcome freedom, and have done so in order to make people happy. ‘For only now' (he is referring, of course, to the Inquisition) ‘has it become possible to think for the first time about human happiness. Man was made a rebel; can rebels be happy? You were warned,‘ he says to him, ’you had no lack of warnings and indications, but you did not heed the warn- ings, you rejected the only way of arranging for human happiness, but for- tunately, on your departure, you handed the work over to us. You promised, you established with your word, you gave us the right to bind and loose,l9 and surely you cannot even think of taking this right away from us now. Why, then, have you come to interfere with us?‘ " “What does it mean, that he had no lack ofwarnings and indications?" Al- yosha asked. “You see, that is the main thing that the old man needs to speak about. “ ‘T he dread and intelligent spirit, the spirit of self-destruction and non- being,‘ the old man goes on, ‘the great spirit spoke with you in the wilderness, J L. I '\ EAI‘UALL ,:',:eas,‘.;.wkwiffi, q,~aag<,~.1 I A . H H A: K g I u and it has been passed on to u . 11 ?And wasitPOSS'l . Dldhe rea Y . his three question “ ptations dering miracle was pe three temptations. ' ' ssi uestions. lf it were po q of th t was necessa it into the books, an riests, scholars, p task: to think up those three questions a trace, and i anew, to be put bac earth-—rulers,highp gether and given this would not only correspond to t e words, in three d mankind—«do you th anything faint tually presented to you press in thre the world an earth could think up three questions that intelligent sp were ac irit in the wildernes . The Brothers Karamazov acle of their appearance, one man and transient bu subsequent human foretold; three images are re contradictions of hu seen so well at the time, turies have gone by, ' l divined a so prease y btract anything from t add to them or su “ ‘Decide yourself who was I eterna history is as if brought toget vealed that wi Recall the first question; its to go into th freedom, whic hich t com rehend, w p r man and for human 5 scorching desert sufferable fo stones in this bare, run after you like lest you withdraw want to deprive man 0 dom is it, you reasone s not ' cted that man doe A I le is very earthly bread, the spirit 0 name of th sheep, your hand and your ‘ f freedom and I‘CJCCIE d, if obedience is bought w “? And at th rformed on earth, it was The miracle lay precisely in ble to imagine, Jus e dread spirit had been lost fr that they be restore ry d to that end a hilosophers,poets’—were to invent three questio , but, moreover, would ex- man hrases only, . I h“ fhk that all the comb ined w1s l' in f 1y resemb mg then by the powerful and s in books that he supposedl ble to say anythin . s, which you ICJBC e same time, on that t as a trial g more true the appearance of t y “tempted” you.20 than whathe pro- ted, and which the if ever a real, thun- day, the day of those hose three and an example, that om the books Without d thought up and invented ll the wise men on broughtto- ns such as orce and depth those ‘ alone, simply by the mir- can 586 t d, nd has proved 5 nd {oreml a hem is impossible. the one who questione though not literally, was this: right: you or meaning, ociety than grateful and obedien , live by bread alone, he in all th u (a th. This could not have been e world, and you are going empty-hande , the in their simp b y hey dread and fear—~[or not ' 't and innate law ha y hinghas everb freedom! But do y ? Turn them into bre loaves cease for them. d the offer, for w ' g with a mind not hu- in these three questions all of her into a single whole and e insoluble historical but now that fifteen cenv ions everything was 0 completely true, that to d you then? “You want lessness cannot even een more in- ou see these ad and mankind will hat sort of free- ‘ ith loaves of bread? You ob- but do you know W The Grand Inquisitor 253 fight with you and defeat you, and everyone will follow him exclaiming: “Who can compare to this beast, for he has given us fire from heaven! "2' Do you know that centuries will pass and mankind will proclaim with the mouth ofits wisdom and science that there is no crime, and therefore no sin, but only hungry men? “Feed them first, then ask virtue of them! "—that is what they willwrite on the banner they raise against you, and by which your temple will be destroyed. In place ofyour temple a new edifice will be raised, the terrible Tower ofBabel will be raised again,22 and though, like the former one, this one willnot be completed either, still you could have avoided this new tower and shortened people’s suffering by a thousand years—for it is to us they will come after suffering for a thousand years with their tower! They will seek us . . ‘ out again, underground, in catacombs, hiding (for again we shall be perse- cuted and tortured), they will find us and cry out: “Feed us, for those who promised us fire from heaven did not give it." And then we shall finish build- ing their tower, for only he who feeds them will finish it, and only we shall feed them, in your name, for we shall lie that it is in your name. Oh, never, never will they feed themselves without us! No science will give them bread as long as they remain free, but in the end they will lay their freedom at our feet and say to us: “Better that you enslave us, but feed us.” They will finally understand that freedom and earthly bread in plenty for everyone are incon— ceivable together, for never, never will they be able to share among them- selves. They will also be convinced that they ar'e forever incapable of being ' free, because they are feeble, depraved, nonentities and rebels. You promised them heavenly bread, but, I repeat again, can it compare with earthly bread in the eyes of the weak, eternally depraved, and eternally ignoble human race? ‘ And if in the name of heavenly bread thousands and tens of thousands will follow you, what will become of the millions and tens of thousands of mil- . lions of creatures who will not be strong enough to forgo earthly bread for the k sake of the heavenly? Is it that only the tens of thousands of the great and strong are dear to you, and the remaining millions, numerous as the sands of T the sea, weak but loving you, should serve only as material for the great and the strong? No, the weak, too, are dear to us. They are depraved and rebels, bum the end it is they Who will become obedient. They will marvel at us, and 7X [00k upon us as gOdS’ because we' Sta“ding at their head, have agreed to suffer freedom and to rule over them~so terrible will it become for them in the end tobefree! Butwe shall say that we are obedient to you and rule in your name. ‘ 7 We shall deceive them again, for this time we shall not allow you to come to ~ 05. This deceit will constitute our suffering, for we shall have to lie. This is whatthat first question in the wilderness meant, and this is what you rejected lathe name of freedom, which you placed above everything. And yet this are: l n 1‘. ‘ m .\ JI r L i i it“ \ ash ,L‘... a... - ‘ 254 The Brothers Karamazov question contains the great mystery of this world. Had you accepted the “loaves,” you would have answered the universal and everlasting anguish of man as an individual being, and of the whole of mankind together, namely: “before whom shall I bow down?” There is no more ceaseless or tormenting care for man, as long as he remains free, than to find someone to bow down to as soon as possible. But man seeks to bow down before that which is indis- putable, so indisputable that all men at once would agree to the universal worship of it. For the care of these pitiful creatures is notjust to find some- thing before which I or some other man can bow down, but to find something that everyone else will also believe in and bow down to, for it must needs be all together. And this need for communality of worship is the chief torment of each man individually, and of mankind as a whole, from the beginning of the ages. In the cause of universal worship, they have destroyed each other with the sword. They have made gods and called upon each other: “Abandon your gods and come and worship ours, otherwise death to you and your gods!" And so it will be until the end of the world, even when all gods have disap- peared from the earth: they will still fall down before idols. You knew, you could not but know, this essential mystery ofhuman nature, but you rejected the only absolute banner, which was offered to you to make all men bow down to you indisputably— the banner of earthly bread; and you rejected it in the name of freedom and heavenly bread. Now see what you did next. And all again in the name of freedom! I tell you that man has no more tormenting care than to find someone to whom he can hand over as quickly as possible that gift of freedom with which the miserable creature is born. But he alone can take over the freedom of men who appeases their conscience. With bread you were given an indisputable banner: give man bread and he will bow down to you, ‘for there is nothing more indisputable than bread. But if at the same time someone else takes over his conscience—J—oh, then he will even throw down your bread and follow him who has seduced his conscience. In this you were right. For the mystery of man‘s being is not only in living, but in what one lives for. Without a firm idea ofwhat he lives for, man will not consent to live and will sooner destroy himself than remain on earth, even if there is bread all around him. That is so, but what came of it? Instead of taking over men’s free- dom, you increased it still more for them! Did you forget that peace and even death are dearer to man than free choice in the knowledge of good and evil? There is nothing more seductive for man than the freedom of his conscience, but there is nothing more tormenting either. And so, instead of a firm foun- dation for appeasing human conscience once and for all, you chose every- thing that was unusual, enigmatic, and indefinite, you chose everything that was beyond men‘s strength, and thereby acted as if you did not love them at « i . The Grand Inquisitor 255 all—and who did this? He who came to give his life for them! Instead of tak- ing over men’s freedom, you increased it and forever burdened the kingdom ofthe human soul with its torments. You desired the free love of man, that he should follow you freely, seduced and captivated by you. Instead of the firm ancient law,23 man had henceforth to decide for himself, with a free heart, what is good and what is evil, having only your image before him as a guide— but did it not occur to you that he would eventually reject and dispute even your image and your truth if he was oppressed by so terrible a burden as free- dom ofchoice? They will finally cry out that the truth is not in you, for it was impossible to leave them in greater confusion and torment than you did, abandoning them to so many cares and insoluble problems. Thus you your- selflaid the foundation for the destruction ofyour own kingdom, and do not blame anyone else for it. Yet is this what was offered you? There are three powers, only three powers on earth, capable of conquering and holding cap— tive forever the conscience of these feeble rebels, for their own happiness— these powers are miracle, mystery, and authority. You rejected the first, the second, and the third, and gave yourself as an example of that. When the dread and wise spirit set you on a pinnacle of the Temple and said to you: “If you would know whether or not you are the Son ofGod, cast yourself down; for it is written ofhim, that the angels will bear him up, and he will not fall or be hurt, and then you will know whether you are the Son of God, and will prove what faith you have in your Father."“ But you heard and rejected the offer and did notyield and did not throw yourself down. Oh, of course, in this you acted proudly and magnificently, like God, but mankind, that weak, re- bellious tribe—are they gods? Oh, you knew then that if you made just one step, just one movement towards throwing yourself down, you would im- mediately have tempted the Lord and would have lost all faith in him and been dashed against the earth you came to save, and the intelligent spirit who was tempting you would rejoice. But, I repeat, are there many like you? And, indeed, could you possibly have assumed, even for a moment, that mankind, too, would be strong enough for such a temptation? Is that how human na- ture was created—to reject the miracle, and in those terrible moments of life, the moments of the most terrible, essential, and tormenting questions of the soul, to remain only with the free decision of the heart? Oh, you knew that your deed would be preserved in books, would reach the depths of the ages and the utmost limits of the earth, and you hoped that, following you, man, too, would remain with God, having no need of miracles. But you did not know that as soon as man rejects miracles, he will at once reject God as well, for man seeks not so much God as miracles. And since man cannot bear to be leftwithout miracles, he will go and create new miracles for himself, his own [:3 Fun... .A _. .y... uMJM”..=‘.a._ " r Hts-«A: . n a w 256 The Brothers Karamazov miracles this time, and will bow down to the miracles of quacks, or women‘s magic, though he be rebellious, heretical, and godless a hundred times over. You did not come down from the cross when they shouted to you, mocking and reviling you: “Come down from the cross and we will believe that it is you."15 You did not come down because, again, you did not want to enslave man by a miracle and thirsted for faith that is free, not miraculous. You thirsted for love that is free, and not for the servile raptures of a slave before a power that has left him permanently terrified. But here, too, you overesti— mated mankind, for, of course, they are slaves, though they were created reb- els. Behold andjudge, now that fifteen centuries have passed, take a look at them: whom have you raised up to yourself? I swear, man is created weaker and baser than you thought him! How, how can he ever accomplish the same things as you? Respecting him so much, you behaved as if you had ceased to be compassionate, because you demanded too much of him—and who did this? He who loved him more than himself! Respecting him less, you would have demanded less of him, and that would be closer to love, for his burden would be lighter. He is weak and mean. What matter that he now rebels every- where against our power, and takes pride in this rebellion? The pride ofa child and a schoolboy! They are little children, who rebel in class and drive out the teacher. But there will also come an end to the children’s delight, and it will cost them dearly. They will tear down the temples and drench the earth with blood. But finally the foolish children will understand that although they are rebels, they are feeble rebels, who cannot endure their own rebellion. Pouring out their foolish tears, they will finally acknowledge that he who cre- ated them rebels no doubt intended to laugh at them. They will say it in de- spair, and what they say will be a blasphemy that will make them even more unhappy, for human nature cannot bear blasphemy and in the end always takes revenge for it. And so, turmoil, confusion, and unhappiness—these are the present lot ofmankind, after you suffered so much for their freedom! Your great prophet tells in a vision and an allegory that he saw all those who took part in the first resurrection and that they were twelve thousand from each tribe.26 But even ifthere were so many, they, too, were not like men, as itwere, but gods. They endured your cross, they endured scores of years of hungry and naked wilderness, eating locusts and roots,27 and ofcourse you can point with pride to these children of freedom, of free love, of free and magnificent sacrifice in your name, But remember that there were only several thousand ofthem, and they were gods. What ofthe rest? 15 it the fault ofthe restoffeeble mankind that they could not endure what the mighty endured? Is it the fault of the weak soul that it is unable to contain such terrible gifts? Can it be that you indeed came only to the chosen ones and for the chosen ones? But if so, The Grand Inquisitor 257 there is a mystery here, and we cannot understand it. And if it is a mystery then we, too, had the right to preach mystery and to teach them that it is not the free choice of the heart that matters, and not love, but the mystery, which they must blindly obey, even setting aside their own conscience. And so we did. We corrected your deed and based it on miracle, mystery, and authority. And mankind rejoiced that they were once more led like sheep, and that at last such a terrible gift, which had brought them so much suffering, had been taken from their hearts. Tell me, were we right in teaching and doing so? Have we not, indeed, loved mankind, in so humbly recognizing their impotence in so lovingly alleviating their burden and allowing their feeble nature even, to sin, with our permission? Why have you come to interfere with us now? And why are you looking at me so silently and understandingly with your meek eyes? Be angry! I do not want your love, for I do not love you. And what can I hide from you? Do I not know with whom I am speaking? What I have to tell you is all known to you already, I can read it in your eyes. And is it for me to hide our secret from you? Perhaps you precisely want to hear it from my lips. Listen, then: we are not with you, but with him, that is our secret! For a long time nowfieight centuries already—we have not been with you, but with him. Exactly eight centuries ago we took from him what you so indignantly rejected,” that last gift he offered you when he showed you all the kingdoms ofthe earth: we took Rome and the sword ofCaesar from him, and proclaimed ourselves sole rulers of the earth, the only rulers, though we have not yet suc- ceeded in bringing our cause to its full conclusion. But wh0se fault is that? Oh, this work is still in its very beginnings, but it has begun. There is still long to wait before its completion, and the earth still has much to suffer, but we shall accomplish it and we shall be caesars, and then we shall think about the universal happiness of mankind. And yet you could have taken the sword of Caesar even then. Why did you reject that last gift? Had you accepted that third counsel of the mighty spirit, you would have furnished all that man seeks on earth, that is: someone to bow down to, someone to take over his conscience, and a means for uniting everyone at last into a common, concor- dant, and incontestable anthill—for the need for universal union is the third and last torment of men. Mankind in its entirety has always yearned to ar- range things so that they must be universal. There have been many great na- tions with great histories, but the higher these nations stood, the unhappier they were, for they were more strongly aware than others of the need for a uni- versal union ofmankind. Great conquerors, Tamerlanes and Genghis Khans, swept over the earth like a whirlwind, yearning to conquer the cosm05, but they, too, expressed, albeit unconsciously, the same great need of mankind for universal and general union. Had you accepted the world and Caesar’s '¥1¥ I : F'xQVIJ yam; ,LL -2 H Rilfié 258 The Brothers Karamazov nded a universal kingdom and granted universal ss mankind if not those who possess their con- science and give them their bread? And so we took Caesar‘s sword, and in tak- ing it, of course, we rejected you and followed him. Oh, there will be centuries more of the lawlessness of free reason, of their science and anthropophagy» for, having begun to build their Tower of Babel without us, they will end in anthropophagy. And it is then that the beast will come crawling to us and lick our feet and spatter them with tears of blood from its eyes, And we shall sit upon the beast and raise the cup, and on it will be written: "Mystery!"29 But then, and then only, will the kingdom ofpeace and happiness come for man- kind. You are proud of your chosen ones, but you have only your chosen ones, while we will pacify all. And there is still more: how many among those chosen ones, the strong ones who might have become chosen ones, have f1- nally grown tired of waiting for you, and have brought and will yet bring the powers of their spirit and the ardor of their hearts to another field, and will end by raising theirfree banner against you! But you raised that banner your- self. With us everyone will be happy, and they will no longer rebel or destroy each other, as in your freedom, everywhere. Oh, we shall convince them that they will only become free when they resign their freedom to us, and submit to us. Will we be right, do you think, or will we be lying? They themselves will be convinced that we are right, for they will remember to what horrors ofslav- ery and confusion your freedom led them. Freedom, free reason, and science will lead them into such a maze, and confront them with such miracles and insoluble mysteries, that some of them, unruly and ferocious, will extermi- nate themselves; others, unruly but feeble, will exterminate each other; and the remaining third, feeble and wretched, will crawl to our feet and cry out to one possess his mystery, and we are coming elves." Receiving bread from us, they will see om them the bread they have procured with any miracle; purple, you would have fou peace, For who shall posse us: “Yes, you were right, you al back to you—save us from ours clearly, of course, that we take fr their own hands, in order to distribute it among them, without they will see that we have not turned stones into bread; but, indeed, more than over the bread itself, they will rejoice over taking it from our hands! For they will remember only too well that before, without us, the very bread they procured for themselves turned to stones in their hands, and when they came back to us, the very stones in their hands turned to bread. Too well, far too well, will they appreciate what it means to submit once and for all! And until men understand this, they will be unhappy. Who contributed most of all to this lack of understanding, tell me? Who broke up the flock and scattered it upon paths unknown? But the flock will gather again, and again submit, and this time one e and for all, Then we shall give them quiet, humble hap— "l‘he Grand Inquisitor 259 piness, the happiness of feeble creatures, such as they were created Oh shall finally convince them not to be proud, for you raised them u ) law: thereby taught them pride; we shall prove to them that they are feebleI thn t they are only pitiful children, but that a child’s happiness is sweeter than a a other. They will become timid and look to us and cling to us in fear like chicl:y to a hen, They will marvel and stand in awe of us and be proud that we ar 5 powerful and so intelligent as to have been able to subdue such a tem estue SO flock of thousands of millions. They will tremble limply before otljr wrotlfiS their minds will grow timid, their eyes will become as tearful as children”: or women‘s, butjust as readily at a gesture from us they will pass over to aiet and laughter, to brightjoy and happy children’s song. Yes we will makegtherfi work, but in the hours free from labor we will arrange their lives like a chil- dren’s game, with children’s songs, choruses, and innocent dancing Oh we will allow them to sin, too; they are weak and powerless, and they will love us like children for allowing them to sin. We will tell them that every sin will be redeemed if it is committed with our permission; and that we allow them to Sir] because we love them, and as for the punishment for these sins ver well we take it upon ourselves. And we will take it upon ourselves and th: will adore us as benefactors, who have borne their sins before 'God.’And the: will have no secrets from us. We will allow or forbid them to live with their wives and mistresses, to have or not to have children—all depending on their obe— dience—and they will submit to us gladly andjoyfully. The most tormentin secretsoftheir conscience—all,all they willbring to us,and wewilldecide algl things, and they willjoyfully believe our decision, because it will deliver them from-their great care and their present terrible torments of personal and free deCis10n. And everyone will be happy, all the millions ofcreatures exce t for the hundred thousand of those who govern them. For only we we whofltee the mystery, only we shall be unhappy. There will be thousands of millions opf happy babes, and a hundred thousand sufferers who have taken upon them- selves the curse of the knowledge of good and evil. Peacefully they will die peacefully they will expire in your name, and beyond the grave they will find only death. But we will keep the secret, and for their own happiness we will entice them with a heavenly and eternal reward. For even if there were an — thing in the next world, it would not, ofcourse, be for such as they it is saiyd and prophesied that you will come and once more be victorious I you will come with your chosen ones, with your proud and mighty ones but we will say that they saved only themselves, while we have saved everyone it is said that the harlot who sits upon the beast and holds mystery in her hands will be disgraced, that the feeble will rebel again, that they will tear her purple and stripbare her“loathsome“ body.“l3ut then I willstantl up and pointouttoyou i, E. 260 The Brothers Karamazov the thousands of millions of happy babes who do not know sin. And we, who took their sins upon ourselves for their happiness, we will stand before you and say: “Judge us if you can and dare." Know that I am not afraid of you. Know that I, too, was in the wilderness, and I, too, ate locusts and roots; that I, too, blessed freedom, with which you have blessed mankind, and I, too, was preparing to enter the number of your chosen ones, the number ofthe strong and mighty, with a thirst “that the number be complete."31 But I awoke and did not want to serve madness. I returned and joined the host of those who have corrected your deed. I left the proud and returned to the humble, for the happiness of the humble. What I am telling you will come true, and our king- dom will be established. Tomorrow, I repeat, you will see this obedient flock, which at my first gesture will rush to heap hot coals around your stake, at which I shall burn you for having come to interfere with us. For if anyone has ever deserved our stake, it is you. Tomorrow I shall burn you. Dixi.’ "32 Ivan stopped. He was flushed from speaking, and from speaking with such enthusiasm; but when he finished, he suddenly smiled. Alyosha, who all the while had listened to him silently, though towards the end, in great agitation, he had started many times to interrupt his brother’s speech but obviously restrained himself, suddenly spoke as if tearing himself loose. “But . . . that’s absurd!” he cried, blushing. “Your poem praises Jesus, it doesn’t revile him . . , as you meant it to. And who will believe you about freedom? Is that, is that any way to understand it? It’s a far cry from the Or~ thodox idea . . . It’s Rome, and noteven the whole ofRome, that isn‘t true—— they‘re the worst of Catholicism, the Inquisitors, the_]esuits . . . I But there could not even possibly be such a fantastic person as your Inquisitor. What sins do they take on themselves? Who are these bearers of the mystery who took some sort of curse upon themselves for men’s happiness? Has anyone ever seen them? We know theJesuits, bad things are said about them, but are they whatyou have there? They’re not that, not thatat all . . . They’re simply a Roman army, for a future universal earthly kingdom, with the emperor—— the pontiff of Rome—at their head . . . that’s their ideal, but without any mysteries or lofty sadness . . . Simply the lust for power, [or filthy earthlylu- cre,” enslavement . . . a sort of future serfdom with them as the landown- ers . . . that’s all they have. Maybe they don‘t even believe in God. Your suf- fering Inquisitor is only a fantasy . . “But wait, wait," Ivan was laughing, “don’t get so excited. A fantasy, you say? Let it be. Of course it’s a fantasy. But still, let me ask: do you really think that this whole Catholic movement of the past few centuries is really nothing The Grand Inquisitor No, no, on the contrary, Father Paissy once even said something like what you . . . but not like that, of cou ' " recouected himself. rse, not at all like that, Alyosha suddenly opened his eyes and saw that there is no great moral blessedness in achieving convinced, at the same time, that mil- ve been set up only for mockery, that manage their freedom, that from such ‘ dream of harmony. Having under- stood all that, he returned and 'oin d ' ' this have happened?" J e . . . the intelligent people. Couldn’t “Whom did hejoin? What intelligent people?" passionately. “They are not so very intelligent mysteries and secrets . . Alyosha exclaimed, almost nor do they have any great . Exciplt maybe for godlessness, that’s their whole H I sn’t e ieve in God, that’s his whole secretI ” What of it! At last you’ve understood. Yes, indeed, that alone is the whole segret,lbfut is it not suffering, ifonly for such a man as he, who has wasted his 1w ofe i e on a great deed in the wilderness and still has not been cured ofhis ove or mankind? In his declining years he comes to the clear conviction that t and dread spirit could at least somehow orga- nfinished, trial creatures created in mockery ’ in nvinced of that, he sees that one must follow ‘the spirit, the dread spirit of death and destruction and deceit, and lead people, consciously now to eiving them, moreover, all along the way, so that ce where they are being led, so that at least on the en consider themselves happy. And deceive them in whose ideal the old man believed so passionately sfortune? And if even one such man, at least, finds a tolerable Way. And so, co directives of the intelligent and to that end accept lies death and destruction, dec they somehow do not noti way these pitiful, blind in notice, in the name ofhim 262 The Brothers Karamazov himself at the head of that whole army filthy lucre,’ is one such man, at least, not enough to make a tragedy? More- over, one such man standing at its head would be enough to bring out finally the real ruling idea of the whole Roman cause, with all its armies andjesu- its——the highest idea of this cause. 1 tell you outright that I firmly believe that this one man has never been ding at the head of the lacking among those stan movement. Who knows, perhaps such ‘ones‘ have even been found among the Roman pontiffs. Who knows, may be this accursed old man, who loves mankind so stubbornly in his own way, exis ts even now, in the form of a great host of such old men, and by no means accidentally, but in concert, as a secret union, organized long ago for the purpose of keeping the mystery, of keeping it from unhappy and feeble mankind with the aim of making them happy. it surely exists, and it should be so. I imagine that even the Masons have some- thing like this mystery as their basis?‘ and that Catholics hate the Masons so much because they see them as competi tors, breaking up the unity of the idea, whereas there should be one ‘lusting for power only for the sake of . . . However, the way did not stand “Maybe you’re a Mason yourself!" suddenly escaped from Alyosha. “You ith great sorrow. Besides, it ," he added, this time w brother was looking at him mockingly. “And how does seemed to him that his your poem end,” he asked suddenly, staring at the ground, “or was that the end?" ' ' ' itor fell silent, he waited to reply. His silence weighed on him. He had seen almly, looking him him all the while intently and c parently not wishing to contradict anything. The him to say something, even something bitter, ter- roaches the old man in silence and gently kisses ld lips. That is the whole answer. The old he comers of his mouth; he walks to the . . do not come squares of the some time for his prisoner how the captive listened to straight in the eye, and ap old man would have liked rible. But suddenly he app him on his bloodless, ninety-year-o man shudders. Something stirs at t im: ‘60 and do not come again . at all . . . never, never!’ And he lets him out into the ‘dark city.’35 The prisoner goes away." “And the old man?" t but the old man holds to his former idea." “The kiss burns in his hear , “And you with him!” Alyosha exclaimed ruefully. Ivan laughed. “But it’s nonsense, Alyosha, it’s just the muddled poem of a muddled stu- dent who never wrote two lines of verse. Why are you taking it so seriously? You don‘t think 1’“ go straight to thejesuits now, tojoin the host of those who The Grand Inquisitor 263 are correcting his deedl Good lord wh . , . , atdoIcare?AsItl ' ' to dlrxagdop1 until I m. thirty, and then—-—smash the cup on tclieiflvcililr'1"JUSI want the WI; mt e sticky little leaves, and the precious graves, and the blue sk d OSha ap you love! How will you live, what will you love them withzl‘aizl your h:::1:l:led ruefully. “Is it possible, with such hell in your heart and ' I a . o, you're precisely goin in o d ' ' ' m YOullhkillyourself, you won’tendure r er tojom them ' . I and If mt, “T ere is a force that w‘ll . ' " ' com smirk i endure everything, said Ivan, this time with a “What force?" “Tirejiaramazov force . . . the force of the Karamazov baseness ” “That :3: l: dfipraVity, to stifle your soul with corruption is that it?” , , er a s . . . o l ' ' ' l ' and then . h 'n p n y until my thirtieth year maybe I’ll escape it, “How will you esca e it? B ‘ pOSSible." p . y means of what? With your thoughts, it‘s im- “Again, in Karamazov fashion." “You mean ‘ever thin ' ' ’ ' ' is it?" y g is permitted ?Everything is permitted, is that right, Kin frowned, and suddenly turned somehow strangely pale muCh , you c‘aluglht that little remark yesterday, which offended Miusov so grinned .Cpggk tdlat brother Dmitri so naively popped up and rephrased7" he hasalready be:n 5:.0 kYet:1s,lplerhaps ‘everything is permitted,’ since the word bad." . 0 not renounce it. And Mitenka’s version is not so Alyosha was looking at him silently. worllsholught, bgother, that when I left here I’d have you, at least in all th our h,e van su denly spoke with unexpected feeling, “but now I see that i6 yhing $36232; tZEIl'e islpo room for me, my dear hermit The formula ‘everyn i e ,’ wi notreno . ‘ y - for that? Win you? " unce, and what then? Will you renounce me Alyosha stood u went ' ‘ ‘ lips p, over to him in Silence, and gently kissed him on the “Literary theft'" Ivan cried s . , uddenly going into some k' “ ind of ‘You stole that from my poem! Thank you, however Get u Al rap‘ture‘ its time we both did.” . p5 YOSha‘ let 5 go‘ Tsheygyent out, but stopped on the porch of the tavern. StiCkpimlypesiaés Ilvalp lslpoke ihn a firm voice, “if, indeed, I hold out for the , s a ovet em only remember” ’ [h t ingyou.Itsenou hf a you are here somewhere, and I shall not stop wanting to livi 13hr: 264 The Brothers Karamazov enough for you? Ifyou wish, you can take it as a declaratiozifioflove. And nofvill you go right, I’ll go left—and enough, you hear, enough. I mean, eveili11 don’t go away tomorrow (but it seems I certainly shall), and we some ow meet again, not another word to me on any of these subjects. An urgent re- quest. And with regard to brother Dmitri, too, I ask you particularly, do not ever even mention him to me again," he suddenly added irritably. Its all ex- hausted, it‘s all talked out, isn’t it? And in return for that, I Will also make you a promise: when I’m thirty and want ‘to smash the cup on the floor, then, wherever you may be, I will still come to talk things over With you once more . . . even fromAmerica,Iassureyou. IwillmakeapOintofit.Itw111also be very interesting to have a look at you by then, to see what s become ofyo(iii. Rather a solemn promise, you see. And indeed, perhaps we re saying-goo ‘- bye for some seven or ten years. Well, go now to your Pater Seraphicus, khe s dying, and if he dies without you, you may be angry w1th for hav1ng ept you. Good-bye, kiss me once more—so—and now go . ' Ivan turned suddenly and went his way without looking back. It was Slm- ilar to the way his brother Dmitri had left Alyosha the day before, though the day before it was something quite different. This strange little observatilon flashed like an arrow through the sad mind ofAlyosha, sad and sorrowfu at that moment. He waited a little, looking after his brother. For some reason he suddenly noticed that his brother Ivan somehow swayed as he. walked, in: that his right shoulder, seen from behind, appeared lower than his left. He 12: never noticed it before. But suddenly he, too, turned and almost ran to t e monastery. It was already getting quite dark,-and he felt almost frightened, something new was growing in him, which he would have been unable to ex- plain. The wind rose again as it had yesterday, and the centuries-old pine treeis rustled gloomily around him as he entered the hermitage woods. He wasba - most running. “Pater Seraphicus—he got that name from somewhere—— ut where?" flashed through Alyosha‘s mind. “Ivan, poor Ivan, when shall I see you again . . . ? Lord, here's the hermitage! Yes, yes, thats him, Pater Sera- phicus,he will save me . . . from him,and forever! h Several times, later in his life, in great perplexity, he wondered how e could suddenly, after parting with his brother Ivan, so completely forfget about his brother Dmitri, when he had resolved that morning, only a evi; hours earlier, that he must find him, and would not leave until he did, even i it meant not returning to the monastery that night. A Rather Obscure One 265 Chapter 6 A Rather Obscure One for the Moment And Ivan Fyodorovich, on partin lovich’s house. But, strangely, him, and, moreover, the closer step. The strangeness lay not Fyodorovich simply could no often felt anguish before, and ment, when he was preparin with everything that had dra g from Alyosha, went home to Fyodor Pav- an unbearable anguish suddenly came over he came to home, the worse it grew with every in the anguish itself, but in the fact that Ivan t define what the anguish consisted of. He had it would be no wonder if it came at such a mo- g, the very next day, having suddenly broken wn him there, to make another sharp turn, en- tering upon a new, completely unknown path, again quite as lonely as before, having much hope, but not knowing for what, expecting much, too much, from life, but unable himself to define anything either in his expectations or even in his desires. And yet at that moment, though the anguish of the new and unknown was indeed in his soul, he was tormented by something quite different. “Can it be loathing for my father’s house?” he thought to himself. “Very likely. I’m so sick of it, and though today I shall cross that vile threshold for the last time, still it makes me sick. . .” But no, that was not it. Was it the orld and did not deign to speak, and suddenly I spewed out so much gibberish!” Indeed, it could have been the youthful vexation of youthful inexperience and youthful vanity, vexation at having been unable to speak his mind, especially with such a being as Alyo- sha, on whom he undoubtedly counted a great deal in his heart. Of course there was that, too, that is, this vexation, there even had to be, but it was not that either, not that at all. “Anguish to the point of nausea, yet it‘s beyond me to say what I want. Perhaps I shouldn’t think . . .” Ivan Fyodorovich tried “not to think," but that, too, was no use. Above all, this anguish was vexing and annoyed him by the fact that it had some sort of accidental, completely external appearance; this he felt. Somewhere some being or object was standing and sticking up,just as when something some- times sticks up in front of one‘s eye and one doesn‘t notice it for a long time, being busy or in heated conversation, and meanwhile one is clearly annoyed, almost suffering, and at last it dawns on one to remove the offending object, often quite trifling and ridiculous, something left in the wrong place, a hand- ...
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Grand Inquisitor - “Mum... FYODOR DOSTOEVSKY THE BROTHERS...

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