The Brothers Karamazov: Part IV


In the speech defending Dmitri Karamazov, Fetyukovich, a lawyer, says:

“Gentlemen of the jury, these souls, these people who seem hardhearted, stormy, and unrestrained, people like my client, sometimes, and indeed most often, are extremely tenderhearted, only they keep it hidden. Do not laugh, do not laugh at my idea! Earlier the talented prosecutor laughed mercilessly at my client, pointing to his love for Schiller, his love for ‘the beautiful and lofty.’ I should not laugh at that if I were him, if I were a prosecutor! Yes, these hearts – oh, let me defend these hearts, which are so rarely and so wrongly understood – these hearts quite often thirst for what is tender, for what is beautiful and righteous, precisely, as it were, of themselves, of their storminess, their cruelty – thirst for it unconsciously, precisely thirst for it. Outwardly passionate and cruel, they are capable, for instance, of loving a woman to the point of torment, and inevitably with a lofty and spiritual love. Again, do not laugh at me: it most often happens precisely so with such natures! Only they are unable to to conceal their passion, at times very coarse – and that is what strikes everyone, that is what everyone notices, and no one sees the inner man. On the contrary, all such passions are quickly spent, but at the side of a noble, beautiful being this apparently coarse and cruel man seeks renewal, seeks the chance to reform, to become better, to become lofty and honest – ‘lofty and beautiful,’ much ridiculed though the phrase may be!”

(p. 743 – Part 4, Book 12, Chapter 13)


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