‘picture this unhappy man, crippled by age and infirmities, who gains his living by honourable toil — picture him, I repeat, robbed of his all, of his last mouthful; remember, I entreat you, the words of that learned legislator, “Let mercy and justice alike rule the courts of law.”’ Now, would you believe it, excellency, every morning he recites this speech to us from beginning to end, exactly as he spoke it before the magistrate. To-day we have heard it for the fifth time. He was just starting again when you arrived, so much does he admire it. He is now preparing to undertake another case.
I think, by the way, that you are Prince Muishkin? Colia tells me you are the cleverest man he has ever known....”