I told you -- I'm through with being a thief,
so help me God! I'll quit! If I say so, I'll do it! I can read
and write -- I'll work -- He's been telling me to go to Siberia
on my own hook -- let's go there together, what do you say? Do
you think I'm not disgusted with my whole life? Oh -- Natasha
-- I know . . . I see . . . I console myself with the thought
that there are lots of people who are honored and respected --
and who are bigger thieves than I! But what good is that to me?
It isn't that I repent . . . I've no conscience . . . but I do
feel one thing: One must live differently. One must live a better
life . . . one must be able to respect one's own self . . . I've
been a thief from childhood on. Everybody always called me "Vaska
-- the thief -- the son of a thief!" Oh -- very well then
-- I am a thief -- . . . just imagine -- now, perhaps I am a
thief out of spite -- perhaps I'm a thief because no one ever
called me anything different. Come with me. You'll love me after
a while! I'll make you care for me . . . if you'll just say yes!
For over a year I've watched you . . . you're a decent girl .
. . you're kind -- you're reliable -- I'm very much in love with
you. Please -- feel a little sorry for me! My life isn't all
roses -- it's a hell of a life . . . little happiness in it .
. . I feel as if a swamp were sucking me under . . . and whatever
I try to catch and hold on to, is rotten . . . it breaks . .
. Your sister -- oh -- I thought she was different . . . if she
weren't so greedy after money . . . I'd have done anything for
her sake, if she were only all mine . . . but she must have someone
else . . . and she has to have money -- and freedom . . . because
she doesn't like the straight and narrow . . . she can't help
me. But you're like a young fir-tree . . . you bend, but you
don't break. . . . Come, Natasha! Say yes!
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