Notes from the Underground

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Purchase one of 1st World Library's Classic Books and help support our
free internet library of downloadable eBooks. 1st World Library-Literary
Society is a non-profit educational organization. I am a sick man...I am a
spiteful man. I am an unattractive man. I believe my liver is diseased.
However, I know nothing at all about my disease, and do not know for certain
what ails me. I don't consult a doctor for it, and never have, though I have a
respect for medicine and doctors. Besides, I am extremely superstitious,
sufficiently so to respect medicine, anyway (I am well-educated enough not to
be superstitious, but I am superstitious). No, I refuse to consult a doctor
from spite. That you probably will not understand. Well, I understand it,
though. Of course, I can't explain who it is precisely that I am mortifying in
this case by my spite: I am perfectly well aware that I cannot "pay out" the
doctors by not consulting them; I know better than anyone that by all this I am
only injuring myself and no one else. But still, if I don't consult a doctor it
is from spite. My liver is bad, well - let it get worse! I have been going on
like that for a long time - twenty years. Now I am forty.

I used to be
in the government service, but am no longer. I was a spiteful official. I was
rude and took pleasure in being so. I did not take bribes, you see, so I was
bound to find a recompense in that, at least. (A poor jest, but I will not
scratch it out. I wrote it thinking it would sound very witty; but now that I
have seen myself that I only wanted to show off in a despicable way, I will not
scratch it out on purpose!)

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