Swept Out With a Broom

Posted on June 28, 2011


My dear sir, … poverty is no vice, that is the truth.  I know that drunkenness is no virtue, and that is even more so.  But destitution, my dear sir, destitution is a vice, sir.  In poverty you may still preserve the nobility of your inborn feelings, but in destitution no one ever does.  For destitution one does not even get driven out of human company with a stick; one is swept out with a broom, to make it more insulting ….

Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Crime and Punishment, trans. Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, Everyman’s Library, NY, 1993, p.13.