Dostoevsky's letter to his brother after the staging of the death penalty

M.M. Dostoevsky (December 22, 1849)

Peter-Pavel's Fortress.
December 22nd.

Brother, my dear friend! All is decided! I was sentenced to 4 years of work in the fortress (I think, Orenburg) and then in the ranks. Today, December 22, we were taken to Semenovsky Parade. They read the death sentence to all of us, gave us the attachment to the cross, broke swords over our head and arranged our death toilet (white shirts). Then three were put to the post for execution of execution. I stood sixth, called for three, a trace, I was in the second line and I had no more than a minute to live. I remembered you, brother, all yours; at the last minute you, only you alone, was in my mind, I only learned how I love you, my dear brother! I also managed to hug Pleshcheyev, Durov, who were near, and say goodbye to them. Finally they hit the back, tied to a pole, were brought back, and we were read that his imperial majesty would grant us life. Then came the verdicts. One Palm is forgiven. His same rank in the army.

Now they told me, dear brother, that we are going on a campaign today or tomorrow. I asked to see you. But they told me that it was impossible; I can only write this letter to you, which you hurry up and give you a quick review. I am afraid that you somehow knew our sentence (to death). From the windows of the carriage, when they drove to Semen parade ground, I saw the abyss of the people; perhaps the message has already passed before you, and you suffered for me. Now it will be easier for you. Brother! I am not sad and do not lose heart. Life is life, life is in us, not in the outside. People will be near me, and to be a man between people and remain with him forever, in whatever misfortune, not to despond and fall - that’s what life is, what’s the task. I realized this. This idea entered into my flesh and blood. Yes true! that head, which created, lived the higher life of art, which realized and got used to the exalted needs of the spirit, that head was already cut off from my shoulders. There remained a memory and images created and not yet embodied by me. They will sore me, really! But the heart and the same flesh and blood remained in me, which can also love, and suffer, and desire, and remember, and this is still life! On voit le soleil!
Well, goodbye brother! About me do not grieve! Now about the material orders: the books (the Bible has remained with me) and a few pieces of my manuscript (drama and novel draft plan and the finished story “A Children's Tale”) have been taken away from me and will probably come to you. My coat and old dress, too, leave if you send them. Now, brother, I may have a long way through the stage. Need money. Brother dear, if you get this letter and if you can get some money, then you came right away. I now need money more than air (under special circumstances). Also came a few lines from myself. Then, if you get Moscow money, clap about me and do not leave me ... Well, that's all! There are debts, but what to do with them?
Kiss your wife and children. Remind them of me; make sure they don't forget me. Maybe someday we'll see you? Brother, take care of yourself and family, live quietly and foreseen. Think about the future of your children ... Live positively.
Never before have such abundant and healthy reserves of spiritual life boiled in me as it is now. But will the body: I ​​do not know. I'm going unhealthy, I have scrofula. But maybe either! Brother! I have already retested so much in life that now I’m afraid a little. Come what may! At the first opportunity I will notify you about myself.
Say Maikov my farewell and last hello. Tell me that I thank them all for their continued participation in my fate. Say a few words, warmer as possible, what your heart will say to you, for me, Evgenia Petrovna. I wish her much happiness and with grateful respect I will always remember her. Shake hands with Nikolai Apollo and Apollo Maikov; and then to all.
Find Janowski. Shake his hand, thank him. Finally, to everyone who has not forgotten about me. And who forgot, so remind. Kiss Brother Kohl. Write a letter to brother Andrew and notify him about me. Write uncle and aunt. This I ask you from yourself, and bow to them for me. Write to the sisters: I wish them happiness!
And maybe see you, brother. Take care of yourself, live, for the sake of God, goodbye to me. Perhaps one day we embrace each other and recall our young, our former, golden time, our youth and our hopes, which I in this instant tear out from my heart with blood and bury them.
Will I never take a pen in my hand? I think it will be possible in 4 years. I will send you everything that I write if I write something. Oh my God! How many images, survivors, created by me again, will die, die out in my head or spill in my blood poison! Yes, if you can not write, I will die. Better than fifteen years in prison and a pen in his hands.
Write to me more often, write in more detail, more, more thoroughly. Spread in every letter about family details, details, don't forget it. It will give me hope and life. If you only knew how your letters enlivened me here in the dungeon. These two and a half months (last), when it was forbidden to correspond, were very difficult for me. I was unwell. The fact that you didn’t send me money at times, exhausted me for you: to know, you yourself were in great need! Once again kiss the children; their cute little faces don't go out of my head. Oh! If they were happy! Be happy and you, brother, be happy!
But do not torment, for the sake of God, do not torment for me! Know that I'm not sad, remember that hope has not left me. After four years there will be a relief of fate. I will be a private, - this is no longer a prisoner, and bear in mind that someday I will hug you. After all, I was at death today, I lived with this thought for three quarters of an hour, I was at the last moment and now I live again!
If someone badly remembers me, and if I quarreled with anyone, if someone made an unpleasant impression, tell them to forget about it, if you manage to meet them. There is no bile and malice in my soul, I would like to love and embrace at least one of the former at this moment. It is a joy, I experienced it today, saying goodbye to my dear before death. I thought at that moment that the message of execution would kill you. But now be quiet, I still live and will live in the future, thinking that someday I will hug you. I only have it on my mind now.
Are you doing something Did you think something today? Do you know about us? How cold it was today!Oh, if my letter came to you as soon as possible. Otherwise I'll be missing you for about four months. I have seen the packages in which you sent me money in the last two months; The address was written with your hand, and I was glad that you were healthy.
As I look back at the past, I will think about how much time has been wasted, how much of it has been lost in delusions, in mistakes, in idleness, and inability to live; no matter how much I treasured it, how many times I sinned against my heart and spirit, so my heart is covered with blood. Life is a gift, life is happiness, every minute could be a century of happiness. Si jeunesse savait! Now, changing life, I am reborn in a new form. Brother! I swear to you that I will not lose hope and keep my spirit and my heart pure. I am reborn for the better. This is all my hope, all my consolation.
The casemate life has already sufficiently killed in me the carnal needs, which are not quite pure; i have taken a little care of myself before. Now I do not care about deprivation, and therefore do not be afraid that some material burden will kill me. It can not be. Oh! if health!
Goodbye, goodbye brother! Sometime I will write to you! You will receive from me as much as possible the most detailed account of my journey. If only to keep healthy, and there and all is well!
Well, goodbye, goodbye, brother! I hold you tight; I kiss you tightly. Remember me without pain in my heart. Do not be sad, please do not be sad about me! In the next letter I will write to you what it is like for me to live. Remember what I told you: calculate your life, do not waste it, arrange your destiny, think about children. - Oh, when, when to see you! Goodbye! Now I am tearing away from everything that was nice; hurts to leave him! It hurts to break oneself in two, tearing the heart in half. Goodbye! Goodbye! But I will see you, I am sure, I hope, do not change, love me, do not chill your memory, and the thought of your love will be my best part of life. Goodbye, goodbye again! All goodbye!

Your brother, Fyodor Dostoevsky.

December 22, the 49th year.

I was taken at the arrest of several books. Of these, only two were forbidden. Will you get the rest for yourself? But here's a request: one of these books was “Works of Valerian Maikov”, his critics are a copy of Evgenia Petrovna. She gave it to me as her jewel. When I was arrested, I asked the gendarme officer to give her this book and gave him the address. I do not know if he returned it to her. Inquire about it! I don't want to take this memory from her. Goodbye, goodbye again.

Your F. Dostoevsky.

I do not know whether I will go to the stage or go. It seems to go. Anyway!
Once again: shake hands with Emilia Fedorovna and kiss the children. “Bow to Krajewski, maybe ...”
Write me more about your arrest, imprisonment and release.

RSL. F. 93. I. 6. 13.


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