Rus Articles Journal

Why the emperor Nicholas I tried to present the poet Mikhail Lermontov to mentally ill people?

on February 18 (on March 2 on new style) 1837 of a cornet Labe - guards of Hussars of Mikhail Lermontov arrested and forwarded on a guardroom. For Guards youth of that time to get on a guardroom was considered as an event quite ordinary. But Lermontov came to be under arrest not for hussar pranks his offense was, as they say, absolutely quite another thing. To it for similar, perhaps, only Denis Davydov got to serious disgrace. It seems that arrest was unexpected for Lermontov. He knew that at court extremely negatively apprehended its poem Death of the poet but did not expect such reaction.

To Pushkin`s death Lermontov in the St. Petersburg society of a particular interest did not cause: the usual cornet of guard, the successor of a great fortune, but is young and it does not suit for potential grooms yet, it seems, published some story and writes rhymes. And suddenly lines which literally pierce:

The poet Died! - the slave of honor -

Fell, slandered by a rumor,

With lead in a breast and thirst of revenge,

Having hung the proud head! ...
verses were rewritten by

In several days in hundreds of copies (the writer Ivan Panayev demonstrated what in thousands) and not only widely extended in the capital, but also appeared in other cities of Russia. They were discussed, perhaps not less than duel and Pushkin`s death. Why reaction of the authorities followed with such delay?

The matter is that originally the poem contained 56 lines and came to an end with the words The Shelter of the singer is gloomy and close, And on lips his press . It was written a day before Alexander Sergeyevich`s death, and his distribution began on February 29 when heart of the great poet ceased to fight.

Lermontov who was during this period the patient was not personally familiar with Pushkin and did not enter a circle of people, close to it, and received information on duel and possible death of the poet from the doctor who visited it. These shrill lines which stirred up all St. Petersburg society became Lermontov`s reaction to death of the poet whom he admired and. As established a consequence subsequently, the friend Mikhail Yuryevich S .a. Rayevsky became their primary distributor.

On interrogation Lermontov will tell about how after news of Pushkin`s death the poem was born: Then, owing to a rash rush, I poured out bitterness warm on paper, exaggerated, wrong put dissonant collision of thoughts into words, without believing that I wrote something reprehensible . Let`s forgive it a certain attempt a little to rehabilitate ourselves, the main thing not it, and several short but capacious words I poured out bitterness warm on " paper;.

By and large, in the first " option; Death of the poet special sedition was also not, and there was deep pain which pierced hearts of many. Therefore also the authorities treated the poem rather quietly. The chief of the case of gendarmes A. H. Benkendorf even considered that the best not to pay attention to similar thoughtless tricks, then their glory will soon grow dim .

In society Pushkin`s death caused ambiguous opinions, gossips and fictions continued to extend, the considerable number of people acquitted the murderer Pushkin who was allegedly acting in compliance with laws of honor . By the way, the similar point of view for Dantes`s role was argued by Lermontov`s relative of chambers, close to court circles, - the cadet N. A. Stolypin. He visited Mikhail Yuryevich at the beginning of February and told it court gossips concerning Pushkin`s death. Probably, these certificates on the yard the attitude towards death of the poet, together with information which is already available for Lermontov, also induced it to add on February 7 to the poem of 16 more lines beginning the words And you, haughty descendants the known meanness of the glorified fathers ... These 16 lines also caused furious reaction of the power.

Well-wishers presented this version of the poem to Nicholas I, having accompanied it with the unambiguous explanation - the appeal to revolution . Here then - that rigid reaction also followed. Lermontov was arrested and forwarded on a guardroom in the General Staff Building.

Maintaining consequence About inadmissible verses... Benkendorf charged to the general Veymarn who should interrogate Lermontov and to carry out searches in his St. Petersburg and Tsarskoye Selo apartments. Reporting on it on the emperor, the chief of gendarmes expressed also the opinion on the last version of the poem: The Introduction to this composition is impudent, and the end - shameless freethinking, more than criminal .

Benkendorfa Nicholas I wrote the instructions which is brightly characterizing the level of thinking of the Russian monarch on the report: ... to the senior physician of the Guards case to visit this mister and to make sure whether it is mad... . According to the emperor, the officer who dared to accuse the power and claiming that on it there is also a God`s court cannot be in sensible mind. Nicholas I was not original, many masters, as to it, and held later the similar opinion.

Word criminal heard from the omnipotent chief of gendarmes, materialized in the concrete decision made by the emperor for the third day. About Benkendorfa officially is mute the Minister of War informed: L. - guards of the Hussars, Lermontov`s cornet, for the composition of verses known to your Excellency, a remessage the same rank in the Nizhny Novgorod dragoon regiment: and the provincial secretary of Rajevski for distribution of verses and in particular for intention to secretly deliver data to a cornet to Lermontov about the indication made by it, to keep in custody within one month, and then to send to the Olonets province for the use to service, - at the discretion of the local civil governor .

Lermontov`s cornet sent under house arrest to prepare for departure for the Caucasus where the Nizhny Novgorod dragoons served. To stop prompt distribution over the country criminal the poem was already impossible. Poem Death of the poet showed to all Russia that the died Pushkin has a worthy successor. Nobody could assume then that to Lermontov only four years are released by destiny, and ahead and him fatal duel waits.