Аннотация: In the play Dostoevsky rehearses with his characters the last scenes from novel "Idiot".The author investigates the question why Dostoevsky needed a mentally ill hero to depict the ideal person.
Rehearsal of "THE IDIOT"
translation by JIM Clinton
Fyodor Mikhailovich DOSTOEVSKY;
Maria Dmitrievna - The first wife of DOSTOEVSKY;
Parfyon Semenovich Rogozhin - a character in the novel "IDIOT";
Lev Nikolaevich Myshkin (Prince) - another character in "IDIOT".
Scene: The apartments of Fyodor Mikhailovich DOSTOEVSKY: in Saint-Peterburg, Kuznetsk and Tver. It could be the same room because all actions happen in DOSTOEVSKY"S mind. Dostoevsky is writing of his great novel "The Idiot". The heroes of his novel appear in this room. A curtain divides the apartment. Maria Dmitrievna lies in back of the curtain.
Two characters from the novel of DOSTOEVSKY "THE IDIOT" show the poles of DOSTOEVSKY"S life and mind, Rogozhin is angry, and Prince Myshkin is epileptic and trying to be Christ like.
Time: Before and after the death of Maria Dmitrievna - the first wife of DOSTOEVSKY.
The study in Dostoevsky"s house in Petersburg. Dostoevsky sits at a table he is writing his novel. Maria Dmitrievna enters in the room.
MARIA DMITRIEVNA. Fedya, who was in your room?
DOSTOEVSKY. Masha, it was your doctor. I told him that you are sleeping. He didn't want to awake you.
MARIA DMITRIEVNA. What did he say?
DOSTOEVSKY. He asked me where we lived in Siberia. And I said we lived in Semipalatinsk.
MARIA DMITRIEVNA. Why was he interested in that?
DOSTOEVSKY. He said that the climate there is excellent... especially for tuberculoses patients.
MARIA DMITRIEVNA. He said that we shouldn"t have come to Europe?
DOSTOEVSKY. He didn"t say to Europe, but to Petersburg.
MARIA DMITRIEVNA. And what did you say?
DOSTOEVSKY. We can"t go back to Siberia. We were so eager to come here and I must work here.
MARIA DMITRIEVNA. I knew that! (Begins to cough.) You think only about yourself, and you spit on my needs... (The cough begins lauder.)
DOSTOEVSKY. Masha, don"t worry; you"ve started coughing again.
MARIA DMITRIEVNA. Who is over there in the corner? They are moving! They are devils...Devils! Take them away!
DOSTOEVSKY. Dear Masha, there is nobody in the corner. The Doctor said you must rest. He will come later. Try to sleep...
MARIA DMITRIEVNA. Well I'll go... But I'll come back and control if you throw out your Devils.
MARIA DMITRIEVNA exit
Dostoevsky sits down at the table. Two figures appear behind him: Prince and Rogozhin. Prince coughs.
DOSTOEVSKY. Who"s there?
PRINCE. It"s us, your old acquaintances. PRINCE Myshkin.
ROGOZHIN. It"s me, Parfyon Rogozhin!
DOSTOEVSKY. Yes, of course... Let us continue our rehearsal... I want to explain you, I'm writing now a novel about a positively beautiful man. It is very difficult task to describe such a person, especially in our days. I want you to help me and support. me... Do you understand me?
PRINCE. Yes, we understood you...
DOSTOEVSKY. Let us continue our rehearsal. I forgot where were we last time?
PRINCE. We were at just before my meeting with Rogozhin.
DOSTOEVSKY. Yes. I must warn you this scene is very important. I hope you remember your words. Prince begins...
PRINCE. Well... Some thing happened to me today... This morning I came to Petersburg from Moscow. As I was getting off the train I saw eyes looking hotly at me in the crowd. It even seemed to me that I imagined it; as I looked intently I did not notice anything else. But the impression was unpleasant...
DOSTOEVSKY. I want to emphasize, Prince, that this scene is most crucial scene in my novel. I called it "fraternization". You meet with ROGOZHIN as rivals, because you love the same woman and part as brothers. You are supposed to play this scene in a special way. It should be both tense and confiding at the same time... Do you understand me?
PRINCE. Yes, I'll try.
DOSTOEVSKY. So, you"ve come to Petersburg and are going to Rogozhin"s house. You open the street door, start up the front stairway, come to his door and knock on it... Rogozhin himself opens the door. Rogozhin, now it"s your turn. At the sight of Prince you are so rooted to the ground that you stand like a stone idol. Well, Parfyon, go,go...
ROGOZHIN imitates a stone idol.
DOSTOEVSKY. Well, Prince, what are your lines?
PRINCE . Parfyon, perhaps I"ve come at the wrong time? I"ll go then...
ROGOZHIN. The right time, the right time. Please, come in.
Prince comes in, goes towards the armchair, and is about to take a seat.
DOSTOEVSKY. No, not so fast. You come up to the chair, chance to turn to him under the impression of Rogozhin"s gaze. It is as if something pierces you... (To Rogozhin) Rogozhin, now your gaze...
Prince turns to Rogozhin, looks at him and sits down).
DOSTOEVSKY. No, no, you"re again in too much of a hurry. You"re supposed to stop and look for some time straight into Rogozhin"s eyes. You need to try and stand down his stare, and you"ll sit down when Rogozhin says: "Sit down!" The main thing for you is to bear his gaze.
ROGOZHIN. And what should I do?
DOSTOEVSKY. You are grinning with some embarrassment, as if at a loss, and then - your lines according to the text.
ROGOZHIN. Why are you staring? Sit down!
(Prince sits down).
PRINCE. Parfyon, tell me straight out, did you think I might come to Petersburg today, or not?
ROGOZHIN. That you would come, I did think... But how should I know you"d come today?
DOSTOEVSKY. Not bad, Parfyon, just add some more malice. Repeat!
ROGOZHIN. But how should I know you"d come today?
PRINCE. But even if you had known I"d come today, why get so irritated?
DOSTOEVSKY. Yes, Prince, exactly so, ignoring his tone of voice.
ROGOZHIN Why do you ask?
PRINCE. This morning, as I was getting off the train, I saw a pair of eyes looking at me exactly the way you were just looking at me.
ROGOZHIN. Aha! Whose eyes were they?
PRINCE. I don"t know, in the crowd - it even seems to me that I imagined it. You know, Parfyon, I felt almost the way I did five years ago, when I was still having fits...
ROGOZHIN. So, maybe you did imagine it, I don"t know...
DOSTOEVSKY. And now, Parfyon, you are to smile a twisted smile. Do you understand me?
ROGOZHIN. I think so.
DOSTOEVSKY. Well, come on...
ROGOZHIN (smiles). So, maybe you did imagine it, I don"t know. Do you remember how we met you, when we were in the same train, in the autumn. I came from Pskov to Petersburg and you, driving from Shwitzerland. It was cold, and you... in a cloak, remember... and those overshoes...
DOSTOEVSKY. Now you are laughing with an unconcealed malice, exactly with malice. Prince, but you should smile, in response. Why are you frowning? Let me fix your false eyebrow. It"s not quite right. Come up to the light. (They go together to the window.) Prince, you"re trembling all over? Take care of yourself.
PRINCE.I should warn you about those eyes at the railway station. I am sure he was there. The gaze was heavy, hot, exactly like his. It"s hard for me to talk to him, and you want me to inspire him with trust and love!
DOSTOEVSKY. Well, of course! It can"t be otherwise. It"s been planned like this.
PRINCE. Why do you throw me together with such a person: he is a terrible man. He has the stamp of a criminal.
DOSTOEVSKY. But he isn"t mean.
PRINCE. That"s good... But how can I love him? The fact that he isn"t mean is not enough to love him.
DOSTOEVSKY. You forgot Christ"s first commandment: love your neighbor as yourself.
PRINCE. No, I didn"t forget it at all. But am I able?
DOSTOEVSKY. Prince, if not you, who else? So conceived my novel. There must be at least one fine person. I"ve long been tormented by the idea: to describe a really fine person... There"s nothing more difficult in the world... Prince, don't discourage me with your doubts.
PRINCE. Do you believe that it"s possible: to love your neighbor as yourself?
DOSTOEVSKY. I am a child of the century, the child of unbelief and doubt. And nevertheless, God sometimes sends me the moments when I love and find that others love me Such moments help me make up a symbol of faith for myself. In the whole world there is only one really beautiful person, it's Christ. Moreover, if anybody should prove that Christ is not the truth, I"d rather stay with Christ than with the truth.
(Female laughter is heard and a cough from behind the wall. Prince and Rogozhin start and are about to leave.)
DOSTOEVSKY. Stay, that"s Masha. She is there, in the next room. Perhaps she woke up. Let"s continue. Whose turn is it?
PRINCE. Mine... (To Rogozhin). You"ve settled here for good?
ROGOZHIN. Yes, this is my home. Where else?
PRINCE. We haven"t seen each other for a long time. The wedding; you"ll be celebrating here?
ROGOZHIN. Yes, here.
PRINCE. Will it be soon?
ROGOZHIN. It's doesn"t depend on me...
PRINCE. Parfyon, I"m not your enemy and have no intention of interfering with you...
DOSTOEVSKY. Stop! This is a very crucial moment of your meeting. Here, Prince, you should add more emotion, secret, hidden. You are rivals, you love one and the same woman...
ROGOZHIN. Yes, we love Nastasya Philippovna...
DOSTOEVSKY. But you love her in a different way. One loves with pity the other with passion. Nastasya Philippovna is a fantastic woman. When she finally made up her mind to marry Rogozhin, she came rushing to the Prince, almost from the foot of the marriage altar with Rogozhin, begging Prince to save her from Rogozhin. You both don"t understand her. Rogozhin thinks that she loves another man, and the Prince believes that she is sick, and distressed in body and mind. Is that clear to you now? Prince, now your words...
PRINCE. Yes... Parfyon, I"m not your enemy and have no intention of interfering with you in any way... I"ve come to reassure you, because you are dear to me. I love you very much. Now I"m going and never coming again. Farewell!
(Prince stands up and is about to leave. Here the "rehearsal" reading between "anger" and "attempted love" just begins to evaporate. The actors slowly start to become their play characters, still occasionally reading some play script lines)
DOSTOEVSKY. No, Prince, where are you going? What about brotherhood?
PRINCE. Brotherhood ... it means, I should stay?
DOSTOEVSKY (excitedly). Of course! This is just the very beginning of your conversation. Rogozhin, your words. Repeat: stay with me..
ROGOZHIN. Stay with me for a while. I haven"t seen you for a long time. When you"re not in front of me, I start hating you. Over these three months, I"ve hated you every minute. Now you haven"t been with me a quarter of an hour, and all my spite is gone... I love you again as before. Stay with me for a while...
PRINCE. When I"m with you, you trust me, and when I"m gone, you immediately start suspecting me.
ROGOZHIN. I trust your voice when I"m with you. I know we"ll never be equals, you and me... And we love in different ways; too, You say you love her out of compassion. I"ve got no such compassion for her. She"s laughing at me while she is with another man...
(Heard is a sound of something dropped, coughing and crying from behind the wall. Rogozhin and Prince rise to leave.)
DOSTOEVSKY. Don"t leave. She is behind the wall.
ROGOZHIN. She either laughs, or cries.
DOSTOEVSKY. Yes, don't worry... She Interferes with my focus, distracts me.
ROGOZHIN. You've been fussing over your novel all the time, but I doubt that you have ever loved anybody.
DOSTOEVSKY. Parfyon, will you hang this portrait on the wall?
(Rogozhin hangs up the portrait of Maria Dmitrievna.)
PRINCE (looking at the portrait). The amazing face. It is cheerful, but she has suffered terribly. This face is proud, awfully proud. But I don"t know whether she is kind. Oh, I wish she were. Then all would be saved.
DOSTOEVSKY. Prince, these are your lines, but from another scene.
PRINCE. However they fit. Ah, I wish she were kind. All would be saved! Well said!
ROGOGHIN. That... is the picture of the woman asleep, behind the wall?
DOSTOEVSKY. Yes, this is the portrait of my wife, Maria Dmitrievna Isayeva, while in Semipalatinsk. We got acquainted there. I had just been released from a traumatic prison term... She was married to a modest customs officer Isayev. She took such a passionate interest in my fate that I could do nothing but fall in love with her. Isayev used to drink a lot, was disorderly, had a lot of debts, and lost his job. After two years without a job Isayev got, at last, a new job as an "inn host specialist".
ROGOZHIN. You mean he managed taverns?
DOSTOEVSKY. Yes, it was very humiliating, but what was to be done? They were supposed to go to the awful backwoods, seven hundred miles from Semipalatinsk, to the wild Siberian town Kuznetsk. I got crazy at the thought of separation with Maria Dmitrievna. They were leaving at the end of May. My friend Vrangel and I planed to see them. Vrangel, made Isayev drunk, Isayev fell asleep. I sat with Maria Dmitrievna. It was a miraculous may night... At last, the moment of separation came. The horses were taking Masha away.
In August I got news from Maria Dmitrievna of her husband"s death. And suddenly I got a letter from her with the following question: "If there were a man, elderly, with a kind character, having a job, and if this man proposed to her, what should her answer be?" She asked my advice. At the same time she adds that she loves me. I felt thunderstruck, and cried the whole night. Then I made up my mind during my official trip to Barnaul to stop by Kuznetsk...
Flash back: A healthy Maria Dmitrievna"s room in Kuznetsk. Enters Dostoevsky. He has just arrived at Kuznetsk.
MARIA DMITRIEVNA. Fedor Mihailovich, at last! We have practically lost hope of seeing you. Travel problems?
DOSTOEVSKY: No, I"ve come straight to you.
MARIA DMITRIEVNA: Why so late? I didn"t know what to think...
DOSTOEVSKY: Maria Dmitrievna, I had tried my best...
MARIA DMITRIEVNA: Iwaited for you and went out on to the porch, almost caught cold. Thank to Boris Nikolaevich, he persuaded me not to stay outside.
DOSTOEVSKY: Boris Nikolaevich?
MARIA DMITRIEVNA: Yes, Vergunov Boris Nikolaevich.
DOSTOEVSKY: Aha, Vergunov. The teacher...
MARIA DMITRIEVNA: He is a young, promising teacher.
DOSTOEVSKY: I knew him in Semipalatinsk.
MARIA DMITRIEVNA: That"s very good that you know him...
DOSTOEVSKY: Maria Dmitrievna, I wanted...
MARIA DMITRIEVNA. Don't interrupt me! I want to say Boris Nikolaevich needs your help. He gets a low salary. It's only you who can help him.
DOSTOEVSKY. How can I help him?
MARIA DMITRIEVNA. You have a lot of friends! ...Could you ask your friend Vrangel to help Boris Nikolaevich?
DOSTOEVSKY. Maria Dmitrievna, you really have a chivalrous heart! I am ready to help Boris Nikolaevich, but we"ll talk about this later. I"ve come for another reason. We need a very long conversation.
MARIA DMITRIEVNA. Oh, you scare me.
DOSTOEVSKY. Firstly I talk to you about our future. This is the question of vital importance...
MARIA DMITRIEVNA. Please take a seat, the floorboards are shaky. My nerves are on edge.
DOSTOEVSKY (Sits down, then jumps up). Firstly...
MARIA DMITRIEVNA. You again...
DOSTOEVSKY (Sits down). First of all, concerning the letter with your question. Why did you write this letter to me?
MARIA DMITRIEVNA. My God, Fyodor Mikhailovich, you yourself are to blame for this. Your letter about the pancake parties, the dances with the Semipalatinsk women made me desperate. I was tortured by the thought: "You, my last and devoted friend, are already about to forget me"...
DOSTOEVSKY. Yes, I understand you. You were alone sick mistrustful, jealous and sad about your the lost friend... you decided to find out if my heart stood as earlier. Is that so, Maria Dmitrievna?
MARIA DMITRIEVNA. (Impatiently.) Yes, yes, absolutely correct.
DOSTOEVSKY. Do you state that all your letters are just your jealously and test?
MARIA DMITRIEVNA. (Stands at the door listening to something.) Well, all is clear already. Let"s drop the subject. I"m tired.
DOSTOEVSKY. No, on the contrary, Maria Dmitrievna, we"ve just started our conversation. I haven"t yet told you the main point. You shouldn"t get desperate... we have some hope. I wrote a letter to Totleben himself, about our joint future...
MARIA DMITRIEVNA. What Totleben?
DOSTOEVSKY. The general, he knows my novels. I supposed, he could put in a word for me. We"ll go back to Russia. We"ll live well, gain something... I will write and published.
MARIA DMITRIEVNA. Well. We can"t talk longer just now.
DOSTOEVSKY. Just a second. Now the last question but the most important one. Maria Dmitrievna, you wrote in your last letter that you wanted to tell me something but you were afraid.
MARIA DMITRIEVNA. I did? I don"t remember...
DOSTOEVSKY. Remember you wrote: "Come as soon as possible, we"ll laugh at the gossips" tricks who promised to make me get married". Whom do they marry you to this time?
MARIA DMITRIEVNA. Let"s drop this subject.
DOSTOEVSKY. No, let"s not. It has gnawed inside me too long.
MARIA DMITRIEVNA. Fyodor Mikhailovich, please, I beg of you...
DOSTOEVSKY. No, I will not stop. Until I find out everything I won"t leave you alone. I swear!
MARIA DMITRIEVNA. I am warning you, and you"ll be sorry...
DOSTOEVSKY. So there really is something! And just who do the Kuznetsk gossips propose to you as a husband now? You don"t answer, but I persist... Who is he?
MARIA DMITRIEVNА (reluctantly). A teacher.
DOSTOEVSKY. Is this teacher old?
MARIA DMITRIEVNA. No, he isn"t.
DOSTOEVSKY. Is he well off?
MARIA DMITRIEVNA. No! No and no! He is living here he has nothing. He is twenty-four years old.
DOSTOEVSKY (pause). It is Vergunov! Why didn"t I think of him? He is a whole five years younger then you! How can you? You are an educated, clever person, and now you are ready to marry a youth who knows nothing, barely educated!
MARIA DMITRIEVNA. Quiet!
DOSTOEVSKY. A man without any significance, anybody who gets paid four hundred rubles. You ruin yourself!
MARIA DMITRIEVNA. How dare you speak about Boris Nikolaevich in this way? He is honest, noble. You don"t know anything about him. I forbid speaking about him... I love him.
DOSTOEVSKY: Masha, how can you be like this? Slapping me straight, It hurts me...
MARIA DMITRIEVNA. Yes, I love him, and I don"t hide it.
DOSTOEVSKY. I don"t understand how such different people can get along...
MARIA DMITRIEVNA. I can"t bear it any longer! He is honest, noble, cheerful... I feel comfortable with him!
DOSTOEVSKY. Masha, think what will finally happen to you in poverty with a bunch of children? You"ll stay Kuznetsk forever.
MARIA DMITRIEVNA. I can"t, any longer... I"ll call Boris Nikolaevich. He should talk with you.
DOSTOEVSKY. Wait, Maria Dmitrievna, you have a kind, trustful heart. It"s very easy to mislead you. You"ll ruin yourself! God knows of the one who considered wife beating lawful.
MARIA DMITRIEVNA. What do you mean by wife beating?
DOSTOEVSKY. Didn"t your first husband?
MARIA DMITRIEVNA. Leave him in peace...
DOSTOEVSKY. Maybe, you didn"t see the way a husband beats a wife? But I saw... Having tied the wife with a rope, he begins beating methodically, calmly and listening to the screams and complaints poor woman with enjoyment.
MARIA DMITRIEVNA. Stop it stop!
DOSTOEVSKY. You have to listen to all. The strokes are falling more and more often, he becomes flushed, develops a taste for it. He becomes tipsy from the brute screams of the suffering as if from wine. Finally the wife"s screams fade, she stops crying and only groans... Suddenly he drops the belt, and going crazy grabs a stick breaks it on her back after the three last strokes - that"s enough! Then he moves away, sits down at the tables, sighs and begins drinking kvass.
MARIA DMITRIEVNA (accusingly). If you saw all this, why didn"t you interfere to help the poor woman?
DOSTOEVSKY. I couldn"t. There exist such circumstance, when one can"t interfere. (Pause).
MARIA DMITRIEVNA (thoughtful). Fyodor Mikhailovich, I beg of you, please, talk with Boris Nikolaevich in private. Tell him the same things you"ve just told me, both about different people, and needs... I"ll call him right away...
(She stands and starts to walk).
DOSTOEVSKY. Where are you going?
MARIA DMITRIEVNA. He is in the next room. I"ll get him right now.
DOSTOEVSKY. This plan of yours... it"s necessary?
MARIA DMITRIEVNA. Yes... Why have you become so gloomy? Not all has been decided yet. I can still change my mind. Remember: "You, and I, and nobody else". Just a minute...
Maria Dmitrievna exit.
Back to the present:
Dostoevsky"s study. Dostoevsky, Prince, Rogozin.
DOSTOEVSKY. She cried, kissed my hand, but she loved another man. I stayed there two days. I don"t know what kind of two days I spent: they were both bliss and torture! By the end of the second day I had become full of hope. She said: "You, and I, and nobody else". Prince, what"s up with you? (Pause)
PRINCE. Rogozhin is full of suspicions again...
DOSTOEVSKY. I"ll just leave you alone and you... Rogozhin, what's going on?
ROGOZHIN. I was thinking here: Prince gives up Nastasya Filippovna to me too easily. As if he stopped loving. But why did he gallop here like mad? Out of pity. I cannot understand this...
PRINCE.You think I"m lying?
ROGOZHIN. No, I believe you, but just don"t understand... Perhaps your pity for her is stronger than my love.
PRINCE. How come that you cannot tell your love from hate? And when this passes, so the disaster probably, will be worse. I have to impress this on you, brother Parfyon.
ROGOZHIN. What? That I"ll stab her?
PRINCE (Shudders). You"ll hate her very much for this love of yours, for all the torment that you"re having right now.
DOSTOEVSKY. Right, Prince, to hate her for this love full of jealously. Well said.
PRINCE. It"s still a wonder to me how she can be going to marry you. It means she gets premonitions you know. Anybody but you would be better because you can really stab her, and she, maybe, understands this.
DOSTOEVSKY. Prince, you should sooth Rogozhin, and you on the contrary... you should speak carefully, choosing your words...
PRINCE. Why should I choose words?
DOSTOEVSKY. Because he is suffering. He is jealous of Nastasiya Filippovna, and jealously is such a passion... You should feel sorry for Rogozhin.
PRINCE. Parfyon, who knows maybe God will bring you together after all.
ROGOZHIN That will never happen.
PRINCE (to Dostoevsky). You see! He reacts to everything with negativity, even aggression.
DOSTOEVSKY. Don"t pay attention to him, go on... go on.
PRINCE. Parfyon, if you love her so much, wouldn"t you like to earn her respect? Otherwise it would mean that she consciously would either rush to drown or the disaster in marrying you. Don"t you...
DOSTOEVSKY. You started so well...
PRINCE. I have a premonition. I can"t... He scares me...
ROGOZHIN (grinning). Am I so scary?
DOSTOEVSKY. Parfyon , don"t grin. Go on...
ROGOHZIN. Heh! Prince, you actually don"t get it.
PRINCE. I don"t understand you.
ROGOZHIN. Why, perhaps, he really doesn"t understand. Heh-heh! Just as I love her, she loves another man... And do you know who the other? It's you!
ROGOZHIN. Yes, you! She only thinks that she cannot marry you because she would disgrace you. She is afraid to ruin your life, but she can marry me, that"s all right with me, that"s the way she thinks of me...
PRINCE . Why, how could she run away from you to me, and... from me?
ROGOZHIN. And from you to me! Ha! How we can know what can come to her mind! She rushes from one to the other, because, I"m probably even scarier than the river. She is marrying me out of desperation...
DOSTOEVSKY. Parfyon, easy... you shouldn"t scare people.
ROGOZHIN. If she marries me, I"m telling you, she"ll marry me out of malice, out of spite...
PRINCE. Well, how can you... how can you?
ROGOZHIN. Why don"t you finish? Do you want me to say: "Well, how can she marry him now?" I know, you think so.
PRINCE. All this is jealously, Parfyon. What"s the matter with you?
The prince sees Rogozhin"s knife on the table and takes it.
ROGOZHIN. Put it down, It"s mine!
DOSTOEVSKY. Parfyon, why did you take out the knife before the play requires it?
(Dostoevsky takes the knife from Prince's hands. Rogozin snatches the knife from Dostoevsky and puts it back).
Parfyon, easy. Everything depends on you, too.
PRINCE. Parfyon , how distorted your face has become! I didn"t want to come back to Peterburg. I wanted to forget all that belonged here... Well, good-bye!
(Prince again takes the knife off the table. Rogozin again snatches it away, and puts it into a book).
PRINCE. Do you cut book pages with it?
ROGOZHIN. Yes, the pages.
PRINCE. But it"s brand-new.
ROGOZHIN. Well, what if it"s new? Can"t I buy a new knife?
PRINCE (takes Dostoevsky aside). He can kill with this knife. Fyodor Mikhailovich, take it away from him. You can"t put up with this. I can"t... I can"t so... Spare me... (Crying.)
DOSTOEVSKY. Prince, calm down. You"re overdoing it.
PRINCE. I"m really scared.
DOSTOEVSKY. Well, what"s with you? You have such scenes ahead, but you... spare your nerves. What are you afraid of?