By Vladislav Khodasevich, Angela Brintlinger
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Extra info for Derzhavin: A Biography
O city of luxuries, proﬂigacy, and evil! For the young thou art a pity and a calamity! O labyrinth of inescapable passions, My intellect struggles, but thou art insurmountable! How long will I drag out my days in thee? How long must I live in thee so proﬂigately, Moscow? I have wanted to ﬂee an hundred times And, steel’d to go, yet an hundred times returned. ” Although not completely without a backward glance. His Moscow passions still stirred. Repentance said one thing to his soul, but the devil said something else.
The only consolation was that new uniforms were issued that were not as silly-looking as the previous ones. The lucky Kirila Grigorievich Razumovsky honored his illustrious guests with feasts, festivities, and ﬁreworks at his magniﬁcent palace, in the spacious gardens, and on the glorious ponds of his estate. During these events the musketeer Derzhavin stood guard. On the thirteenth of September Catherine entered the ancient capital amid a splendid procession, with much bell-ringing, cannon ﬁre, and a general hue and cry.
By the time the Preobrazhensky regiment sent Derzhavin’s “passport” to the Kazan grammar school, this term had already expired. There was no way out: without warning Derzhavin the schoolboy had become a soldier. He had to leave for Petersburg immediately. His mother collected the money for his journey and an extra hundred rubles for his future life. It was February . Derzhavin was not to reach Petersburg until March. 2 “, ! ,” laughed the regimental duty oﬃcer, Major Tekutev, looking at his passport.
Derzhavin: A Biography by Vladislav Khodasevich, Angela Brintlinger