Scene 19: Murder


Peter: I hope you haven’t forgotten what was agreed.

Virginsky: Listen. I know that Shatov’s wife came back to him -- And that she gave birth to a child. Anyone who knows human nature knows that he will not denounce us now. He is happy.

Peter: If you suddenly became happy, would you postpone accomplishing an act of justice that you considered just and necessary? Well, let me point out to you that Shatov now considers this denunciation just and necessary. Besides, what happiness could there possible be in the fact that his wife, after an escapade of three years, has returned to him to give birth to a child by Stavrogin?

Virginsky: Yes, but I protest. We’ll ask him to give his word of honor. . .

Peter: You can’t talk of honor unless you’re in the pay of the government...

Liputin: How dare you?

Peter: You, perhaps…Traitors are always afraid at the moment of danger.

Shigalov: Enough. I must speak up. Since last night I have scrupulously examined the question of this assassination and have reached the conclusion that it was useless, frivolous, and petty. You hate Shatov because he despises you and insulted you all. That is a personal question. But personal questions lead to despotism. Hence I am leaving you. Not out of fear of danger nor out of friendship for Shatov, but because this assassination contradicts my system. Farewell. As for denouncing you, you know I won’t do it.

Peter: Stay here!...We’ll catch up with that madman. I must tell you Shatov already told Kirilov of his intention of denouncing us. Now you know everything. And, furthermore, you have taken an oath. Let me remind you that we are to throw him into the pond afterward and scatter. Kirilov’s letter will cover all of us.

[Shatov enter. ]

Shatov: Well! You are silent? Don’t be afraid. There is not a soul here. You could shoot a cannon off here and no one would hear a thing in the suburb. Here it is. Right here.

(The Seminarian, Liputin leap on him from the rear, seize his arms, and pin him to the ground. Peter puts his revolver to Shatov’s head.)

Shatov: (cries) Mary! (Peter shoots. Screams.)

Virginsky: That’s not the way. No, no. That’s not the way at all…No, No, no, that’s not the way….

Peter: Filthy cowards!

[ Several more shots at the body. Laughs. ]