Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
At moments he felt he was raving. He sank into a state of feverish excitement.
“The old woman is of no consequence,” he thought, hotly and incoherently. “The old woman was a mistake perhaps, but she is not what matters!
The old woman was only an illness…. I was in a hurry to overstep…. I didn’t kill a human being, but a principle!
I killed the principle, but I didn’t overstep, I stopped on this side…. I was only capable of killing. And it seems I wasn’t even capable of that…
Principle? Why was that fool Razumihin abusing the socialists? They are industrious, commercial people; ‘the happiness of all’ is their case.
No, life is only given to me once and I shall never have it again; I don’t want to wait for ‘the happiness of all.’ I want to live myself, or else better not live at all.
I simply couldn’t pass by my mother starving, keeping my rouble in my pocket while I waited for the ‘happiness of all.’ I am putting my little brick into the happiness of all and so my heart is at peace.
Ha-ha! Why have you let me slip? I only live once, I too want…. Ech, I am an æsthetic louse and nothing more,” he added suddenly, laughing like a madman…….