Scene 10: Duel

(The forest. Stavrogin and Kirilov enter, Gaganov and Maurice from the other side.)

Kirilov: And now for the last time I propose a reconciliation. I say this only to observe the rules; it is my duty as a second.

Maurice: I wholeheartedly approve Mr. Kirilovís words. The idea that there can be no reconciliation on the field is merely a prejudice which we can leave to the French. Besides, thereís no sense in this duel, since Mr. Stavrogin is ready to offer his apologies again.

Stavrogin: I confirm once more my proposal to offer every possible apology.

Gaganov: But this is unbearable! Weíre not going to go through the same comedy again. (To Maurice) If you are my second and not my enemy, explain to this manÖ (He points at him with his pistol.) Öthat his concessions only aggravate the insult. He always seems to consider that my offensive remarks canít touch him and that there is no shame in dodging me. He insults me constantly, I tell you, and you are only irritating me so that Iíll miss him.

Kirilov: Thatís enough. I beg you to follow my orders. Back to your places. (The opponents go back to their places behind the barriers, almost in the wings.) One, two, three, go.

(The opponents walk toward each other. Gaganov shoots, stands still for a moment, and seeing that he missed Stavrogin, goes and takes his place at his barrier. Stavrogin walks toward him and shoots above Gaganov. Then he takes out a pocket handkerchief and wraps it around his little finger.)

Kirilov: Are you wounded?

Stavrogin: The bullet scraped me.

Kirilov: If your opponent does not declare himself satisfied, your duel must continue.

Gaganov: I declare that man shot intentionally in the air. Itís one more insult.

Stavrogin: I give you my word of honor that I have no intention of insulting you. I shot in the air for reasons that concern no one but me.

Maurice: It seems to me, however, that if one of the opponents declares in advance that he will shoot in the air, the duel cannot go on.

Stavrogin: I never said that I would shoot in the air each time. You donít know how I shall shoot the second time.

Gaganov: I repeat that he did it on purpose. But I want to shoot a second time, according to my right.

Kirilov: It is in fact your right.

Maurice: Since that is the way it is, the duel goes on.

(They start in the same way. Gaganov reaches the barrier and takes aim for a long time at Stavrogin, who stands waiting with his arms at his sides. Gaganovís hand trembles.)

Kirilov: You are aiming too long. Shoot. Shoot quickly.

(Gaganov shoots. Stavroginís hat flies off. Kirilov picks it up and gives it to Stavrogin. Together they examine the hat.)

Maurice: Your turn to shoot. Donít keep your opponent waiting.

(Stavrogin looks at Gaganov and shoots his pistol upward. Gaganov, mad with rage, runs offstage. Maurice follows him.)

Kirilov: Why didnít you kill him? You have insulted him even more seriously.

Stavrogin: What should I have done?

Kirilov: Either not provoke him to a duel or else kill him.

Stavrogin: I didnít want to kill him. But if I had not provoked him, he would have slapped me in public,

Kirilov: Well, then, you would have been slapped!

Stavrogin: I am beginning to feel as if I didnít understand. Why does everybody expect of me what no one expects of anyone else? Why must I endure what no one endures and accept burdens that no one could carry?

Kirilov: You go out of your way to seek those burdens, Stavrogin.

Stavrogin: Ah! You noticed that?

Kirilov: Yes.

Stavrogin: Is it as obvious as that?

Kirilov: Yes.

Stavrogin: One tires of burdens, Kirilov. It is not my fault that that idiot missed me.

[ Intermission ]