Crime and Punishment Chapter 25
The next morning Raskolnikov goes to see Porfiry. Waiting for his appointment, Raskolnikov finds himself despising Porfiry more and more. Porfiry greets him in a friendly way. Raskolnikov asks about Porfiry's desire to examine him about his connection with the old murdered woman. Raskolnikov cannot bear Porfiry's mocking casualness. He demands that Porfiry get straight to the point or leave him alone. Trying to calm Raskolnikov down, Porfiry engages him with meaningless chatter. He explains his methods of criminal investigation: one way to catch a criminal, especially the educated ones, is to get into their minds. He compares it to a butterfly circling around a candle, getting nearer and nearer until it is burned. Raskolnikov is determined not to let Porfiry get the best of him. Porfiry notes that even a clever young man cannot get away by his wits alone-his temperament will always give him away.
Raskolnikov finally speaks his mind, telling Porfiry that he will not take any more of this cat and mouse game. Accuse or arrest, Raskolnikov dares, but do not intimidate. Porfiry acts confused, as if Raskolnikov had misunderstood him. To Raskolnikov's surprise, Porfiry seems to show genuine sympathy, offering him a glass of water and telling him to calm down. Raskolnikov begins to have doubts about whether Porfiry is being genuine or if he is still playing his mind games. Still, Raskolnikov cannot trust him and calls Porfiry a liar. Porfiry defends himself, stating that if he had suspected Raskolnikov, he would have questioned him long ago. Raskolnikov refuses to believe him. Just as Raskolnikov prepares to leave, Porfiry tells him about a surprise he has on the other side of the door. Raskolnikov thinks Porfiry is sending for men to arrest him. What turns up, however, surprises both men.