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Boris Godunov in English

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  • Аннотация:
    Boris Godunov IN MEMORY, PRECIOUS FOR RUSSIANS, OF NIKOLAI MIKHAILOVICH KARAMZIN ALEXANDER PUSHKIN dedicates this work inspired by his genius,with reverence and gratitude Translated from the Russian by Alec Vagapov

Boris Godunov



dedicates this work inspired by his genius,
with reverence and gratitude

Translated from the Russian

by Alec Vagapov

   (February 20th, 1598)
   V o r o t i n s k y
   We are authorized to rule together,
   But there is nobody to care about, it appears:
   Moscow is empty; all people,
   following the Patriarch, have left for Monastery
   How do you think alarm will end?
   S h u i s k y
   How will it end? It's plain to see:
   The people will yet cry and howl,
   Boris will wince a little bit
   Like drunkard over cup of wine
   And graciously, he will agree
   To humbly take up Crown in the end.
   And then-
   He'll rule the country as before.
   V o r o t i n s k y
   But it's a month since he
   Has left all secular concerns
   And stays locked up in monastery with sister
   And neither Patriarch nor Duma boyars
   Have managed to persuade him.
   He wouldn't heed their admonition and requests
   Nor hear the prayers and howls of Muscovites
   Nor would they listen to the Council.
   His sister was beseeched in vain
   To bless Boris to mount the Throne.
   The grieved Tsarina is as firm as he
   It seems Boris himself
   imbued her with this spirit;
   What if the Ruler is really bored
   With state affairs and cares
   And doesn't mount the Throne?
   What will you say to that?
   S h u i s k y
   Well, I should say, the little prince's blood
   Was shed in vain; if so
   Our Dimitry could have lived all right.
   V o r o t i n s k y
   An outrageous deed! Say, could Boris
   Have really killed the prince?
   S h u i s k y
   It can't be otherwise.
   Who bribed Chepchugov, vainly?
Who sent both Bitiagovskys surreptitiously
   And Kachalov? I was sent to Uglich
To look into the case on-site:
I ran across the recent tracks;
   The city witnessed the atrocities,
   All citizens like one provided evidence;
   And on return I could expose the villain
   Without wasting words.
   V o r o t i n s k y
   Then why did not you crush him?
   S h u i s k y
   I must admit, I was confused
   By his tranquillity and unexpected shamelessness
   He looked at me as if he was quite right:
   He kept interrogating me, demanding details
   I would talk nonsense and repeat
   What he had knocked into my head.
   V o r o t i n s k y
   A foul thing, my friend.
   S h u i s k y
   And what was I supposed to do?
   Should I have told everything to Fyodor?
   But our tsar saw eye to eye with Godunov,
   He'd listen to him with the villain's ear:
   Should I convince the tsar of something,
   Boris would argue out of it right off,
   And then I'd be confined , and like my uncle,
   End up decaying in a sombre prison cell.
   I am no boaster, but if it comes to that,
   No punishment will frighten me
   I'm not a coward nor am I a fool
   And I shall never run my head into the noose
   V o r o t i n s k y
   A terrible misdeed!! I say, the villain
   Is feeling deep remorse, no doubt.
   The infant's blood will certainly prevent him
   To mount the throne and rule the country.
   . S h u i s k y
   He'll overcome; Boris is not so humble!
   It's honour for us all and for the whole of Russia!
   The former slave, the tartar, Malyuta's son-in-law,
   The son-in-law of butcher, and executioner himself at heart,
   Will grab the throne and chasuble of Monomakh...
   . V o r o t i n s k y
   He is not a worthy man by birth; we're more deserving.
   . S h u i s k y
   I think we are.
   . V o r o t i n s k y
   Well, Shuiskys, Vorotinskys...
   They're really noble princes.
   . S h u i s k y
   By origin, and blood of Ruriks.
   . V o r o t i n s k y
   Now listen, prince, we were entitled
   To succeed to Fyodor.
   . S h u i s k y
   Yes, and
   To a greater extent than Godunov
   . V o r o t i n s k y
   O yes, indeed!
   . S h u i s k y
   If Boris keeps being cunning
   We'll skilfully start agitating people
   And tell them to abandon Godunov
   They have their own princes, so the can
   Choose any of them for the throne.
   . V o r o t i n s k y
   There are enough of heirs
   of the Varangian among us
   It's true, it's hard to rival and contend with Godunov:
   For people do not see us as an ancient branch
   Of their militant defending rulers.
   We have been serving as tool rests since long ago
   While he, with fear and love, has managed to enchant the people.
   . S h u i s k y (looking out of the window)
   He's brave, that's it! While we are... That's enough.
   You see, the people are returning, all dispersed.
   Come on. We will find out if it's settled.
   F i r s t M a n
   Relentless! He's sent us all away
Boyars, prelates, the patriarch...
They kiss the ground before him, and in vain;
   He fears the radiance of throne.
   S e c o n d M a n
   My God, whoever will be our ruler?
Oh woe is us!
   T h i r d M a n
   Well, there's the highest clerk,
He's coming out tell us decision of the Duma.
   P e o p le
   Shut up! The duma priest is there to speak
Hush - listen!
   S h e l k a l o v (Standing on the Red Porch)
   'The Council has decided
   To try the power for the final time
   Of the request over the Ruler's heart.
   After the morning service in the Kremlin
   Held by the Holy Patriarch again
   We'll march with holy gonfalons
   And icons of Vladimir and Donskoy
   Along with boyars and elected people
   And crowds of nobles and sinclits people,
   all Moscow's faithful Christians,
   We'll go again to pray our tsarina
   To have compassion upon Moscow
   And bless Boris to mount the throne.
   Go home, for goodness sake
   And pray, and may your zealous prayers
   Rise up to Heaven. God be with you!
   (people disperse)
   Novodevichy Field. Novodevichy Convent
   F i r s t m a n
   They're going to Tsarina at her cell,
   Boris and Patriarch are now in there.
   .With crowd of boyars.
   T h e S e c o n d M a n
   What is the news?
   T h i r d M a n
   He still resits,
   But there is room for hope.
   W o m a n (with a child)
   Don't cry! Don't cry or else a monster
   Will take you off!.. Tu-tu... Don't cry!
   O n e m a n
   Cannot we get beyond the fence?
   S e c o n d M a n
   Oh no, we can't!
   Not only there. Is it easy? The Whole Moscow
   Has clustered here together; look: railings, roofs,
   The tiers of Cathedral's Belfry,
   The domes of churches and the crosses -
   All powdered with people.
   F i r s t О n e
   It's really great!
   O n e M a n
   What is the noise up there?
   A n o t h e r O n e
   I say! Why all this noise?
   The people howl, they're falling down like waves,
   One row after another... there... there again...
   Well, brother, now it's our turn; be quick!
   Now down on your knees!
   P e o p l e
   (On their knees. Howling and weeping)
   Have mercy on us, father! Rule over us!
   Be our Father, our Tsar!
   O n e m a n (In a low voice)
   What are they crying there for?
   A n o t h e r O n e
   Well, how do we know? the boyars are unaware
   We are no match for them.
   W o m a n (With a baby)
   You see? When he's to cry, he's quiet!
   You'll get it hot! There, you little devil!
   Cry, cry, you naughty one!
   (She throws him down. The child squeaks)
   That's it.
   O n e m a n
   Everybody's crying,
   Let's cry also, brother.
   A n o t h e r M a n
   I try to, brother.
   But I can't
   F i r s t M a n
   Neither can I. Have you got onion?
   Let's rub our eyes.
   S e c o n d M a n
   No, I'll moisten them with saliva
   Well, what else?
   F i r s t M a n
   Who knows what's up there?
   P e o p l e
   He's got the Crown! He's the Tsar! He has agreed!
   Boris is our Tsar! Long live Boris!
   B o r i s
   You, Father Patriarch, and all of you, boyars,
   My soul is naked before you:
   You saw that I accept the power
   Great power, in fear and submissively.
   How hard my duty is!
   Which I inherit for the sake of Johns
   And Tsar, the Angel!
   You righteous one! You Father Sovereign!
   Look at your faithful servants down from above
   And send you holy blessing for the crown
   To one whom you adored,
   And whom you have amazingly exalted,
   So may I rule my people for the glory
   And may I be as righteous as you are.
   I do expect good offices from you, boyars,
   Serve me the way you used to serve Him
   When I had not been chosen by your will
   And shared your efforts and endeavours.
   B o y a r s
   We will not break the oath which we have taken.
   B o r I s
   Now let us go and bow to relics
   Of the reposing governors of Russia -
   And then we'll call all people to a feast:
   All nobles, beggars and blind men;
   Free entry for our dear guests.
   (departs, followed by the boyars)
   V o r o t y n s k y (stops Shuisky).
   You are right
   S h u is k y
   What do you mean?
   V o r o t y n s k y
   It was the other day.
   S h u is k y
   I don't remember anything.
   V o r o t y n s k y
   When people were entering the Convent
   You said...
   S h u is k y
   It's not the time to remember it now,
   I recommend you that you forget some things at times.
   But cursing you pretentiously then
   I only wanted to assay and test you
   And see your hidden thoughts;
   Now you can see the people hail the Tsar
   They follow him,
   And they can see my absence there
   V o r o t y n s k y
   Sly ruler, I should say!
   P i m e n (writing by the icon-lamp)
   I've got one final thing to say -
   And that's the end, my chronicle is over,
   I've done my duty left by God to me, the sinner.
   It's not for nothing,
   God let me witness long and lasting years
   And made me understand the art of books;
   Some day the diligent hard-working Monarch
   Will find my work, industrious and nameless,
   And burn, like me, the icon-light,
   And, shaking off the dust from charters,
   Will copy out the words of truth
   And let young Orthodox believers
   Know bygone times of our dear land
   And bear in mind their outstanding Sovereigns
   For their labour, glory and good will;
   But for the sins and vicious deeds
   Beseech and beg the Saviour humbly.
   I am old, but now I live anew,
   The past is going by -
   Was it so long ago, it rushed along full of events,
   Disturbed and agitated, like a sea and ocean?
   It's calm and silent now
   Not many faces now I keep in mind,
   Not many words now rich my ear,
   And all the rest is gone and lost for ever...
   But it's the break of day; the lamp is dying out...
   I've got one final thing to say. (writes).
   G r e g o r y (wakes up)
   The same old dream! How can it be? Third time!
   Damn sleep! ... Sitting by icon-lamp
   The man is writing , drowsy,
   It seems he hasn't slept all night
   Oh how I love his quiet look,
   When with his soul absorbed in bygone years,
   He writes his chronicle, and often
   I tried to guess: what is he writing?
   Is it about the dark dominion of tartars?
   Is it about Ivan's fierce executions?
   Or stormy Novgorod assembly, known as Veche?
   Or glory of the Motherland? No use.
   The same appearance, so humble and majestic.
   Just like a gray-haired deacon in the office
   Sits watching all those innocent and guilty,
   And contemplating with indifference the good and bad
   Not knowing anger or compassion.
   P i m e n
   You have awoken, brother.
   G r e g o r y
   Bless me,
   Devout father.
   P i m e n
   God bless you always
   To the end of time.
   G r e g o r y
   You have been writing and have kept awake,
   While some demonic dream
   Disturbed my peace and quiet,
   The enemy gave me no rest perturbing me.
   And in my dream I saw a staircase
   That lead me to a tower; from the top
   I saw the whole of Moscow, like anthill,
   And down there people surged,
   They pointed at me with a laugh,
   And I was seized with shame and fear, -
   And tumbling headlong down I'd awake...
   Isn't it wondrous?
   P i m e n
   Young blood is playing,
   Restrain yourself with prayer, and the dreams
   You see at ease will certainly come true.
   And up to now once I am weakened
   by a reluctant dream
   I shall not say my lasting prayer by night
   My old dream is neither quiet nor sinless
   For now I seem to see a noisy feast
   Now battle field, now fierce fighting,
   Those crazy revels of green years!
   G r e g o r y
   Your years of youth were so merry!
   You fought under the towers of Kazan,
   Repulsed Lithuanian army under Shuisk
   You saw the court and luxury of Ivan!
   You lucky man! While I, poor coenobite,
   From boyhood years have strayed about hermit's cells,
   Why shouldn't I enjoy myself in battles
   And feast at table sharing a meal with Tsar?
   Like you, I could have kept aloof. in my old age,
   From all that bustle, and the world,
   Taking the vows of a monk,
   And shut myself in a tranquil and quiet cloister.
   P i m e n
   Do not feel sorry, brother,
   That you have left this sinful world too early
   And God had sent you few temptations.
   Believe me: we were tempted from a distance
   We all are captivated from a distance
   By fame and luxury, and crafty love of ladies
   I have lived long but I have only known joy since God Almighty brought me to the monastery.
   Think, son, about the outstanding tsars.
   Who is above them? Only God. Who dares
   Counter them? No one. So what? Too often
   The golden crown would become too heavy for them
   And they would change it for a hood of monk.
   The Tsar sought consolation in
   The images of the monastic writings.
   His palace, full of proud pets,
   Was changing and becoming like a monastery:
   With the adherents in scull-caps and monastic shirts
   Being obedient coenobites,
   And the terrific tsar was like a humble abbot.
   I saw it, in this very cell,
   (Long-suffering Cyril, a righteous man,
   Resided in it. God had convinced me , too,
   Of insignificance of secular concerns)
   I saw the Tsar in here,
   Tired of wrathful thoughts and executions
   The Tsar would sit among us, quiet, lost in thought.
   We'd stand before him, motionless,
   And he would talk with us in a low voice
   He would say this to Father and community:
   "The long-awaited day will come for certain brothers.
   And I'll appear here,
   You, Nikodim, you Sergy, you, Cyril
   And all of you - remember my spiritual vow:
   Damned villain, I will come to you,
   And going down on my knees before you, Holy Father
   I'll take an honest schema here".
   That's what the powerful sovereign said,
   And sweet was the oration coming from his lips
   He wept, as we were praying all in tears,
   May Good Almighty send out love and peace
   To his tormenting boisterous soul.
   Fyodor, his son? When on the throne
   He sighed and yearned for quiet life
   Of silent monk. He turned the tsarist halls
   Into a prayer cell;
   the hard majestic woes
   Did not disturb his holy soul.
   God venerated Tsar's humility,
   And Russia was comforted in untroubled glory,
   And at the instant of his death
   A grand, unheard-of wonder happened:
   A man, extraordinarily bright
   Came up in private to his bed
   And started talking with Tsar Fyodor
   Calling him stately Patriarch.
   And all those present were seized with fear
   On seeing the unearthly vision.
   The holy sovereign wasn't there
   Before he tsar in house of God
   And when he passed away, the chambers
   Wire filled with holy fragrance
   His face began to shine like the sun ,
   We'll never have such a good Tsar,
   Oh what a terrible unheard-of grief!
   We had provoked God's wrath
   and made a sin:
   By calling regicide
   Our ruler
   G r e g o r y
   I'd like to ask you , honest Father
   About the death of young Prince Dimitry
   They say
   you were in Uglich at that.
   P i m e n
   Oh yes, I do remember!
   God let me see the evil deed,
   The bloody sin. Then I was sent
   To Uglich for obedience;
   I came there at night. And in the morning
   At breakfast time I heard a peal, they rang the tocsin.
   I heard a noise and shouts.
   They were running to Tsarina's court.
   I hurried there to see huge crowds of people
   I looked and saw the stabbed young prince;
   His mom, beside herself was grieving over him
   The nurse was weeping in despair,
   Now raging people dragged the mom,
   The godless traitor...
   All of a sudden Judas Bityagovsky
   Appeared among them, furious and pale from anger.
   "Ah, there he is, the villain!" - shouted the crowd.
   He disappeared in a flash, and people
   Dashed after the running killers, three of them;
   They got the hidden villains caught
   And brought them to the body of the young one
   And suddenly -good gracious - the corpse begin to palpitate. "Confess! -the crowd yelled
   The villains did confess under the axe,
   And... Godunov was chosen.
   G r e g o r y
   How old was the assassinated Prince?
   P i m e n
   I think, about seven,
   (It's ten, no, more than ten, twelve years
   Have passed since then). He would be your coeval,
   And he would reign. But God decided otherwise.
   With this unhappy story I'll conclude
   My chronicle; I didn't care much
   about worldly matters ever since
   Gregory, brother, you have enlightened
   Your mind with reading, I hand over
   My work to you. When you are free
   From your spiritual feats write down unpretentiously
   All that you'll witness in your life:
   War, peace, the rule of sovereigns,
   The holy miracles of saints,
   The prophecies and signs of heaven -
   And I will go, it's time for me to rest
   And put out the icon-lamp... But they call
   For morning prayer... God bless your slaves!..
   Pass me the crutch, Gregory.
   G r e g o r y
   Boris, Boris! Everything trembles before you,
   Nobody dares to remind you
   On poor child's unhappy end.
   Meanwhile, a hermit in the dark cell here
   Is writing dreadful information against you,
   So you will not escape the public trial
   Nor get away from Judgement Day
   P a t r i a r c h
   And has he run away, Father Superior?
   F a t h e r S u p e r i o r
   He has, Your Holiness. It's been three days
   P a t r i a r c h
   Damned scapegrace! Is he of noble birth?
   F a t h e r S u p e r i o r
   He's one of the Otrepyevs, Galitsin's boyar children.
   God knows where and when he was admitted to religion
   He lived in Suzdal, in Yefim Monastery,
   He left it, roamed about different convents,
   And finally came to my Chudov brethren,
   And seeing that he was young and muddle-headed
   I gave him under supervision of Pimen,
   A humble and submissive elder. He was well- read
   He read our chronicles wrote canons for saints
   His must have got his competence from God
   P a t r i a r c h
   Oh my, those literates! What an idea!
   He'll be the Tsar in Moscow! The devil of a man!
   There is no use, however, to report the Tsar on that.
   Why bother Father Sovereign?
   To tell deacon Yefimov, or Smirnov,
   about the escape will be enough. Oh what heresy!
   He'll be the Tsar in Moscow! ....
   Catch him! Catch enemy's accomplice! Exile him
   To Solovki to perpetual penitence.
   It's heresy, Father Superior. Don't you think?
   F a t h e r S u p e r i o r
   Heresy, your Holiness, is sheer heresy
   F i r s t B u t l e r
   Here is the Tsar?
   S e c o n d B u t l e r
   In his bedchamber
   He is locked up there with а sorcerer.
   F i r s t B u t l e r
   Now here's his favourite conversation:
   Magicians, fortune-tellers, witches. -
   They all tell tales like pretty brides.
   I wonder what
   Would like to know what his prediction is.
   S e c o n d B u t l e r
   Now there he comes. May I ask?
   F i r s t B u t l e r
   He's so morose
   (both depart)
   Enter T s a r
   I have attained to highest power;
   It's now six years since I have reigned in peace.
   But I'm not happy. Don't you think,
   We fall in love from our youth
   And thirst for pleasure of amorousness,
   But once we quench our heart's desire
   We suddenly cool down and get bored?
   Magicians vainly promise me
   Long days of power, untroubled and serene,
   But neither power nor my life do cheer me;
   I feel presentiment of distress and roll of thunder
   I am not happy. I thought about appeasing people
   With glory and well-being and win their love with generosity
   But put off for a while the useless care:
   The mob detests the living power
   For they can only love the dead -
   We are mad, when people's splash
   Or ardent cry disturbs our hearts!
   God sent us hunger to our land,
   And people started howling and dying
   I opened barns scattered gold
   I found work for them ,
   They cursed me raging for all their worth!
   The fire devastated their homes,
   I built new houses for them,
   They blamed the fire on me!
   That is the Judgment of the mob
   Do not expect their love.
   I thought I would be happy in my family,
   And wished to make my daughter happy
   By marrying her off. But, like a blizzard ,
   Death took the groom away. And here again
   The rumour blames my daughter's widowhood
   On me, ill-fated father!
   Whoever dies, I am the covert killer.
   I hastened Fyodor's death,
   I poisoned the Tsarina, that is my own sister
   As well as the submissive Nun It's I who's done it all.
   My goodness! Nothing can relieve our pain
   Amidst the worldly sorrows;
   Nothing at all... The only thing is conscience.
   It's sensible and it will triumph
   Over the spite and wicked slander
   But if, by any chance, one single spot appears
   One single spot,
   Then it's an awful plight! Like pestilential ulcer
   The soul will die and poison fill the heart
   The blame is ringing like hammer in my ear;
   It makes me sick, and I feel giddy,
   With bleeding little boys before my eyes...
   I would be glad to flee... But where to? Oh my!
   Yes, miserable is he whose conscience is not clear.
   H o s t e s s
   What shall I treat you to, my honest elders?
   V a r l a a m
   Whatever God will send us, mistress. Have you got wine?
   H o s t e s s
   Why not, of course we've got it! Just a minute.
   M i s s a i l
   What are you sad, my friend? Now there's
   the border of Lithuania,
   which you were so anxious to get to.
   G r e g o r y
   I won't calm down until I am in Lithuania.
   V a r l a a m
   Why do you like Lithuania so much?
   We Missail and I, the sinner, have fled
   the Monastery, and do not care at all.
   Lithuania or Russia, they're damn the same to us.
   As long as we have wine... Now there it is!
   M i s s a i l
   You said it well, Father Barlaam.
   Enter H o s t e s s
   Now there you are, my fathers. Drink to health.
   M i s s a i l
   Thank you, my dear, God bless you!
   (The monks drink; Barlaam starts singing the song:
   "It happened in Kazan-city...")
   В а р л а а м (to Gregory)
   Why don't you sing along and do not drink?
   G r e g o r y
   I do not want to
   M-i s-s- a-i-l
   To each his own...
   V a r l a a m
   And paradise to drunken, Father Missail!
   Let's drink to our pretty hostess...
   But when I drink I don't like sober people, Father
   Drinking one thing and swagger is another;
   Well, If you want to live the way we do,
   Then, you are welcome, and if not
   Get out of here. A joker is no friend to priest.
   G r e g o r y
   You drink but don't forget yourself, Father Varlaam!
   You see, at times I, too, can speak expressively.
   V a r l a a m
   What should I not forget about myself?
   M i s s a i l
   Leave him alone, Father Varlaam.
   V a r l a a m
   Come on! Is he a posting monk?
   A nowhere man, he has imposed himself on us,
   And now he's arrogant, may have been whipped...
   (Drinks and sings:
   "A monk has got a haircut")
   G r e g o r y (to the hostess)
   Where does this road lead?
   H o s t e s s
   To Lithuania, my benefactor, to the Luyev mountains.
   G r e g o r y
   Is it a long way to the Luyev mountains?
   H o s t e s s
   Not far; you can be there by night ,
   you do not encounter sentry posts and guards
   G r e g o r y
   The sentry posts! What do you mean?..
   H o s t e s s
   Someone has run from Moscow, and they have ordered to detain and check.
   G r e g o r y (to himself)
   That's Yuri's Day for you, Granny.
   V a r l a a m
   Hey, brother! I see, you've got tied up with hostess. You obviously need a girlie not vodka, good for you, brother! Well, everyone has got his habits; say Father Missail and I have just one care: we'll empty our glass, then turn it over and beat against the bottom.
   M i s s a i l
   You said it well Varlaam.
   G r e g o r y
   Whoever needs him? Who has run from Moscow?
   H o s t e s s
   God knows who's there, a robber or a thief - not even decent people, cannot pass the this gate - so what? Well, nothing; they will not catch any devil here: aren't there any other ways except for the main road?!
   You just turn left, go through the wood along the path up to the chapel by the Chekansk brook, and there right beyond the swamp at Khlopin, and thence up to Zakharyev, and any little boy will lead you to the Luyov mountains. These guards are only good at keeping down passers-by and robbing us, the poor (Noise).Well, what`s up there? Oh, there they are, God damn it! They're going the rounds.
   G r e g o r y
   Mistress! Is there an extra corner in the house?
   H o s t e s s
   No, my dear,. I myself would gladly get out of sight. They say they go the rounds, it's only words. But all what they want, in fact, is bread and wine and all - God damn, I wish they were dead! I wish...
   (Enter thief-takers)
   T h i e f-t a k e r
   Hello, hostess!
   H o s t e s s
   Welcome, dear guests, you are welcome.
   (One guardsman to the other)
   Oh my! They are carousing here.
   So we can make good at their expense.
   (to the monks) Whoever are you?
   V a r l a a m
   We are God's elders, humble monks;
   We walk around the villages
   collecting alms for Christian Monastery.
   T h i e f-t a k e r (to Gregory)
   And you?
   M i s s a i l
   He is a friend of ours...
   G r e g o r y
   A layman from the suburb,
   I've seen the elders to the border,
   And now I am going home, away from here.
   M i s s a i l
   So you have changed your mind...
   G r e g o r y (in a low voice)
   Keep silent.
   T h i e f - t a k e r
   Hostess, put out some more wine -
   We'll drink and chat here with the elders.
   O t h e r T h i e f - t a k e r
   (in a low voice)
   The fellow seems to be dog-poor,
   there's nothing to take out of him; but the elders...
   F i r s t T h i e f - t a k e r
   Hush, we'll get to them this moment -
   So, fathers? How are you doing?
   V a r l a a m
   Too bad my son, too bad! Well, Christians are stingy now, they love and hide their money.
   They don't give much to God. Big sin has fallen on the earth. All started trading and imposing taxes thinking of wealth, not of salvation.
   You walk around and pray and all you get within three days is just three coins. Oh, what a sin! A week, two weeks will pass, you look into the bag and see so little money that you're ashamed to show up at the cloister; what will you do? You'll spend what you have got on drinks; too bad... It seems our final days have come...
   H o s t e s s (cries)
   Oh Lord, have mercy and save us!
   (As Varlaam speaks, the first guardsman stares at Missail)
   F i r s t T h i e f - t a k e r
   Alexey! Have you got the Tsar's decree about you?
   O t h e r T h i e f - t a k e r
   Yes, I have...
   F i r s t T h i e f - t a k e r
   Will you give it to me?
   M i s s a i l
   Why are you staring at me like that?
   F i r s t T h i e f - t a k e r
   Here's why: Grishka Otrepyev, a wicked heretic,
   ran away from Moscow, do you know it?
   M i s s a i l
   T h i e f - t a k e r
   So, you don't know? All right.
   And do you know that
   the Tsar has ordered to catch and hang that fugitive heretic?
   M i s s a i l
   I don't know.
   T h i e f - t a k e r (to Varlaam)
   An you read?
   V a r l a a m
   I could in my youth, but I have forgotten.
   T h i e f - t a k e r (to Missail)
   And you?
   M i s s a i l
   God has not taught me.
   T h i e f - t a k e r
   Here is the Tsar's decree for you.
   M i s s a i l
   What do I need it for?
   T h i e f - t a k e r
   It seems to me that this fugitive heretic, thief, swindler is... you.
   M i s s a i l
   I?! Good gracious! Are you crazy?
   T h i e f - t a k e r
   Wait! Hold the door. We'll make it this minute!
   H o s t e s s
   Oh, these damned torturers! The will not leave alone anyone, even an elder!
   T h i e f - t a k e r
   Which of you can read?
   G r e g o r y (comes out)
   I can.
   T h i e f - t a k e r
   Here you are! And who has taught you?
   G r e g o r y
   Our sacristan.
   T h i e f - t a k e r (gives him the Order)
   Now read it aloud.
   G r e g o r y (reads)
   "Grigory, Otrepyev by birth, the monk unworthy of Chudov Monastery, has fallen into heresy, and had the nerve, at evil's instigation, to disturb the holy brotherhood with all sorts of temptations and transgressions. But the inquiries showed that this damned Gegory ran away towards the Lithuanian border..."
   T h i e f - t a k e r (to Missail)
   Isn't it you?
   G r e g o r y
   "And the tsar ordered to catch him..."
   T h i e f - t a k e r
   And hang him.
   G r e g o r y
   It doesn't say "hang him".
   T h i e f - t a k e r
   You're lying: not every word has to be written. Read: "ordered to catch and hang him..."
   G r e g o r y
   "And hang him. As for his age, thief Grishka, (looking at Varlaam) is over 50... He is of medium height, has a bald forehead, gray beard and fat belly..."
   (All look at Varlaam)
   F i r s t T h i e f - t a k e r
   Fellows! Grishka is here! Hold him, bind him! I never thought, I couldn't really fancy.
   V a r l a a m (snatching out the paper)
   Leave me alone, you sons of bitches! Am I Grisha? Nothing of the kind! - 50 years old, gray beard, fat belly! No, brother! You're too young to play jokes on me. I haven't read anything for a long time, and don't make out things well. But now I see it clearly for it has to do with hanging (speaks to rapping out the words). "He is a-bout ...twen-ty - Well, brother, where is the age of 50 here? It's twenty. You see?
   S e c o n d T h i e f - t a k e r
   Yes, I remember, twenty. They told us so as well.
   F i r s t T h i e f - t a k e r (to Gregory).
   And you are a joker, brother, as far as I can see.
   (as he reads, Gregory stands hanging his head, with his hand in his bosom)
   . V a r l a a m (goes on reading)
   "He is short, with a broad chest, one arm shorter than the other, has blue eyes, red hair, a wart on his cheek, another on his forehead." Isn't it you by any chance, my friend?
   (Gregory suddenly withdraws the dagger, all those in front of him step aside; he dashes into the window.)
   T h i e f - t a k e r s
   Hold him! Hold him!
   (All run in disorder)
   S h u i s k y
   Give us more wine.
   (he stands up, and all stand up)
   Well, dear guests,
   The last cup! Read the prayer, boy.
   B o y
   To Tsar of Heaven, who's everywhere at all times
   Please, listen to the prayer of your servants,
   Let's pray for our sovereign,
   The pious autocratic Tsar of all the Christians.
   Save him in Palace and on battle field,
   While on the road and in his bed,
   Give him the victory over the foes,
   May he be glorified from sea to sea,
   And may his kindred bloom with health,
   And may its dear branches
   Overhang the world - and may he be
   Benevolent to us, his humble servants,
   May he be kind and ever patient,
   And may the springs of his interminable wisdom
   Flow on us;
   And setting up the royal cup upon it
   We pray for you , the Tsar of Heaven
   S h u i s k y (drinks)
   Long live the greatest sovereign!
   Excuse me, dear guests;
   Thank you for not detesting my bread and salt
   Excuse me, and good night.
   (Guests depart, he sees them to the door.)
   P u s h k i n
   At last they've gone away;
   well, Prince Vasily,
   I thought there won't be any chance to have a talk.
   S h u i s k y (to footmen)
   Why the hell are you gaping? - All you do is overhear.
   Just clear the table and get out of here
   Gathers from the table, so go away. - What's that, Afanasy?
   P u s h k i n
   Miraculous, isn't it?.
   Gabriel Pushkin, my nephew, has a messenger to me from Krakow.
   S h u i s k y
   P u s h k i n
   Strange news the nephew writes.
   Ivan the Terrible's son... no, wait a minute.
   (He goes to the door and looks around.)
   The Sovereign's boy,
   Killed by Boris's wish...
   S h u i s k y
   Oh yes, it isn't new.
   P u s h k i n
   No, wait a minute:
   Dimitry is alive.
   S h u i s k y
   That's a pretty kettle of fish! What news! Tsarevich is alive! Oh what a wonder!
   Well, is that all?
   P u s h k i n
   Now let me finish.
   Whoever he may be, the rescued prince ,
   A ghost or spirit in his image
   Or daring rogue, a bold pretender,
   In any case, Dimitry has turned up.
   S h u i s k y
   P u s h k i n
   Pushkin himself happened to see him
   As he arrived at the Tsar's Palace for the first time
   And through the ranks of Lithuanians walked Straight into the secret room of King.
   S h u i s k y
   Whoever is he? Where is he from?
   P u s h k i n
   Nobody knows.They only know
   He was Vishnevetsky's servant.
   He was bed-ridden for some time.
   And he confided in his ghostly father,
   That proud Pole, learning his secret,
   Pursued him, took him out of bed
   And went to Sigismund with him.
   S h u i s k y
   What do they say about the daring man?
   P u s h k i n
   I hear, he is smart, dexterous and friendly,
   And everybody likes him.
   He fascinated Moscow fugitives.
   The Latin priests keep company with him,
   The King caresses him,
   He promised him support, they say,
   S h u i s k y
   All this is such a bustle, brother,
   It makes me dizzy willy-nilly.
   No doubt, he is a pretender,
   But it's big danger, I should say
   It is important news! And if it reaches people
   There maybe great disaster.
   P u s h k i n
   Such a disaster that Boris
   Will hardly hold the crown on his clever head.
   It serves him right! He rules us like the Tsar,
   Ivan the Terrible (excuse me for mentioning the fact towards the night).
   There are no public executions, any more, so what?
   We don't sing canons to our Lord, as they impale us,
   We don't get burnt alive on squares any longer,
   The Tsar is raking up coals with sceptre, well, so what?
   Do we feel confident in our poor life?
   We now expect disfavour every day,
   Siberia, prison, shackles and what not,
   And then - starvation or a noose in God forsaken place.
   Where are the noblest families among us?
   Where are the Sitsky princes, where are the Shestunovs?,
   Where are they, the Romanovs, the hope of Motherland?
   They are imprisoned, and fatigued in exile.
   Just wait? And : you will suffer the same fate!
   Like by Lithuania, we are beset,
   By faithless slaves. The vicious tongues,
   The thieves suborned by government
   Are ready to betray one any time.
   We are dependent on the first of servants
   Whom we will want to penalize.
   Now he decided to abolish Yuri's Day
   We have now power in our own lands
   We cannot fire a lazy man!
   We have to feed him willy-nilly, and
   We cannot gain over a labourer,
   Or else we shall be brought to Civil Court.
   Well did you hear any thing like that under the Tsar Ivan?
   Is life now any easier for people?
   Ask him. Should the pretender try
   To promise them old Yuri's Day
   There will be such amusement.
   S h u i s k y
   You are right, Pushkin.
   But you know what? We shan't
   Complain about it for some time.
   P u s h k i n
   That's clear.
   Think for yourself. You are a man of reason. I'm always glad to talk with you.
   If something worries me at times,
   I cannot wait to tell you that.
   Besides, your mead and mellow beer
   Have loosed my tongue to-day
   Now farewell, my friend.
   S h u i s k y
   Farewell, see you, my brother.
   (he sees Pushkin out)
   K s e n y a (kisses the portrait)
   My dear bridegroom, my lovely son of king, It isn't me, your bride, that you belong to now, But to the pitch-dark grave.
   I'll never be consoled, and I will always cry for you.
   N u r s e
   Tsarina! A girlie's tear is like dew The son will rise and dry it up,
   You'll have another bridegroom, both cheerful and friendly
   You'll fall in love with him, our dear child, And you'll forget your Prince.
   K s e n y a
   No, mom, I shall be faithful to him though he's dead.
   (enter Boris)
   T s a r
   What is it, Ksenya, my dear?
   You are a bride, and you're already widow!
   You are still crying over your killed bridegroom.
   My child! I wasn't fated to be guilty of your bliss.
   I may have made the Heaven angry,
   And failed to make you happy.
   Why do you suffer, innocent and guiltless?
   And you my son, what are you doing?
   What is this?
   F y o d o r
   It is the drawing of our Moscow land.
   Our realm from end to end. You see:
   Here is Moscow, here's Novgorod,
   And here's Astrakhan. Here is the sea,
   Here are primeval forests
   And here's Siberia.
   T s a r
   And what is this,
   Looking like winding pattern?
   F y o d o r
   It is the Volga.
   T s a r
   So good! Sweet fruit of learning!
   You see the whole of Tsardom here
   Lying all spread before you: borders cities, rivers.
   Learn, sonny; science shortens
   Experience of our fast flowing life -
   Some day the regions you have now
   So shrewdly drawn on paper
   Will come in handy. Learn, my son
   It will be easier and clearly for you
   To comprehend the state affairs and work.
   (Enter Boris Godunov)
   There comes Boris to me with his report.
   (to Ksenia). Go to your room
   I'm sorry dear friend. And may God comfort you;
   (Ksenia and Nurse depart)
   What will you say to that, Semyon Nikitich?
   S e m y o n G o d u n o v
   This early morning at daybreak
   The butler of Prince Shuisky
   And Pushkin's servant brought me their reports.
   T s a r
   S e m y o n G o d u n o v
   First Pushkin's man reported
   That early morning yesterday
   A messenger arrived from Krakow
   And was sent back without any answer.
   T s a r
   Arrest the messenger
   S e m y o n G o d u n o v
   Pursuers are in chase of him already.
   T s a r
   And what about Shuisky?
   S e m y o n G o d u n o v
   Last night
   he entertained his friends;
   Both Miloslavskys, the Buturlins,
   Mikhail Saltikov and Pushkin plus some others.
   They parted late. Pushkin remained
   Alone with host and talked with him for a long time yet.
   T s a r
   Send somebody for Shuisky
   S e m y o n G o d u n o v
   Your Majesty!
   He's here already.
   T s a r
   Call him here.
   (Godunov departs)
   T s a r
   Affairs with Lithuania! What's that?
   I hate the nasty kin of Pushkin,
   And Shuisky can't be trusted,
   For he's evasive, but courageous and insidious...
   (Enter S h u i s k y)
   Prince, I must talk to you,
   I seems to me you came here on business,
   And I should like to listen to you first.
   S h u i s k y
   Your Majesty it is my duty
   To tell important news to you.
   T s a r
   I'm listening to you.
   S h u i s k y
   (pointing to Fyodor quietly)
   Your Majesty...
   T s a r
   The prince may know
   What Shuisky knows. Deliver.
   S h u i s k y
   Your Majesty, we've got news from Lithuania.
   T s a r
   Is it the news which our messenger brought to Pushkin yesterday?
   S h u i s k y
   He's in the know!- Your Majesty, I thought
   You were not aware of this secret.
   T s a r
   There is no need, prince; I want to figure out
   What it is all about;
   Or else we'll never know the truth
   S h u i s k y
   The only thing I know
   That a pretender has appeared in Krakow,
   And that the king and nobles are on his side.
   T s a r
   What do they say? And who is this pretender?
   S h u i s k y
   I do not know.
   T s a r
   But... why is he dangerous?
   Ш у й с к и й.
   Your state is strong of course, your Majesty,
   You've won the hearts of your good servants
   With mercy, generosity and care.
   But you're aware: the senseless mob
   Is changeable, rebellious and superstitious
   Obedient to instantaneous impulse
   And credulous to futile hopes with ease.
   Deaf and indifferent to common truth,
   They live on fairy tales and fables
   They like the shameless boldness.
   If this unknown vagabond,
   Should cross Lithuanian border
   The crowd of madmen
   Will take advantage of Dimitry's resurrected name.
   T s a r
   Dimitry!.. What? - This child?
   Dimitry!.. Price, go out
   S h u i s k y
   He's blushing: there'll be a tempest!
   F y o d o r
   Your Majesty,
   let me...
   T s a r
   No, sunny, go, please
   (Fyodor departs)
   S h u i s k y
   He didn't know anything.
   T s a r
   Now listen prince: we should do something right away;
   We must shut off with outposts Lithuania from Russia
   So that not a living soul
   Might cross the Russian border,
   That not a hare might run to us from Poland,
   And not crow fly here from Krakow. Go!
   S h u i s k y
   I'm on my way.
   T s a r
   Wait. This idea is fascinating, don't you think?
   Can a dead man get out of the coffin
   And start interrogating lawful tsars,
   Appointed and elected publicly
   And crowned by the great patriarch?
   How can it be?
   It's funny, isn't it Why don't you laugh?
   S h u i s k y
   Do you mean me, Your Majesty?
   T s a r
   I say, Prince, when I first learned
   That he had been...
   That had somehow lost his life
   You were sent to investigateу the case:
   And now I beg you by the Cross and God Do tell me honestly the truth:
   Did you recognize the murdered boy,
   And wasn't it a substitution? Tell me.
   S h u i s k y
   I swear...
   T s a r
   No, Shuisky, do not swear
   Just answer: was it really the Prince?
   S h u i s k y
   It was the Prince.
   T s a r
   Think. Prince, I do not promise much,
   I will not punish with disfavour for the bygone lie.
   But if you're dodging now,
   I swear by my son, you will be executed
   It will be such a cruel execution
   That Tsar Ivan will shudder in his coffin.
   S h u i s k y
   I do not fear execution;
   It's your disfavour that I fear;
   How can I dare lie to you?
   Could I have been so blind
   As not recognise Dimitry?
   I went to see his body in the Temple,
   Accompanied by crowds of Uglich people.
   There were thirteen bodies murdered by the mob,
   With traces of decay on them
   The face of Prince, however, was so clear,
   So quiet and fresh - as he were asleep;
   The gash was deep but didn't clot,
   His features hadn't changed at all.
   Oh, no, Your Majesty, no doubt:
   It is Dimitry, who's lying in the tomb.
   T s a r (quietly)
   That's all. Now you may go.
   (Shuisky departs)
   It's hard! I'm gasping ... Let me catch my breath!
   I felt it: blood would rushed up to my face,
   And heavily come down.-
   That's why for thirteen years
   I've seen the murdered boy in dreams
   Yes, yes, that's it! Now I understand.
   But who is it, my dreadful enemy?
   Who is against me? An empty name? A shade?
   Can a shade really tear the porphyry off me,
   Or sound deprive my children of inheritance?
   Oh silly me!! Whatever do I fear?
   Blow on this phantom - and it's gone.
   So, I am fast resolved; I'll show no sign
   But I must hold in scorn.
   You are so heavy, the cap of Monomakh!
   P r e t e n d e r
   No, father, it won't be very hard;
   I know the spirit of my people;
   Their devotion knows not outburst:
   The Tsar's example is divine for them.
   And tolerance is always apathetic,
   I'm confident that in a year or two
   The Northern Church and all my people
   Will recognize the power of Peter's heir.
   So help you God and Saint Ignatius
   With the arrival of new times.
   Meanwhile, keep in your soul the seeds of godly grace.
   Are always tolerant. I warrant you,
   Our spiritual duty often bids us finger
   Before the open world;
   The public judges all your words and deeds
   And only God can see your good intentions
   P r e t e n d e r
   Amen. Who is there?
   (Enter Servan.)
   Say: we will receive them.
   (The doors open; enter a crowd of Russians and Poles)
   My friends! Tomorrow we are setting out from Krakow.
   I'll stay with you, Mnishek, at Sanbor for three days,
   I know your hospitable castle
   It's radiant with noble splendour, and I hope
   And famous for the youthful hostess,
   I hope to see lovely Marina there
   And you, my friends, Lithuania and Russia,
   You've raised fraternal banners
   Against your common foe,
   My vicious treacherous villain,
   Slavonic brothers, I will lead
   Your menacing detachments to the battle.
   But I can see new faces among you.
   G a b r i e l P u s h k i n
   They've have come to ask your Worship
   For sword and service.
   P r e t e n d e r
   I'm glad to see you, boys.
   Come here, friends. But tell me, Pushkin,
   Who is this handsome fellow?
   P u s h k i n
   Prince Kurbsky.
   P r e t e n d e r.
   A famous name!
   (to Kurbsky)
   Are you a relative of the Kazan hero?
   K u r b s k y
   I am his son.
   P r e t e n d e r
   Is he alive?
   K u r b s k y
   No, he is dead.
   P r e t e n d e r
   Great mind!
   A man of war and counsel!
   Since he, the furious avenger of insults,
   Turned up under the ancient town of Olga
   with the Lithuanians,
   The talk of him had stopped.
   K u r b s k y
   My father spent his last remaining life
   At the Volynian estates
   Presented to him by Batory;
   Alone and quiet,
   He looked for joy in sciences;
   But peaceful work did not console him:
   Remembering the homeland of his youth,
   He yearned and languished for it to the end.
   P r e t e n d e r
   Unlucky leader! So brightly beamed
   The uprise of his noisy, stormy life!
   I'm glad, oh noble knight,
   That his hot blood gets on with Motherland.
   The guilt of fathers shouldn't be remembered.
   So may they rest in peace!
   Come here, Kurbsky. Give me your hand!
   Is it not strange? Whom does the son of Kurbsky
   Is leading to the Throne? - The son of Ivan.
   All are for me: both fate and people.
   And who are you?
   Sobyansky, a free warrior.
   P r e t e n d e r
   Honour and praise to you, good freedom child!
   Give him a third of his full pay in advance.
   And who these? I see they're wearing
   the dress of our Motherland.
   They're our people.
   K h r u s t c h o v (bows low.)
   Yes, Father.
   We are your diligent disfavoured fellows
   We are from Moscow, and we ran
   To you, your Majesty, and we are ready
   To lay our heads for you, and may our bodies
   Be stairs to your royal throne.
   P r e t e n d e r
   Take courage, guiltless sufferers.
   Just let me rich to Moscow,
   Boris will have it out with them
   Well, who are you?
   K a r e l a
   I am a Cossack and I've been sent to you right from the Don
   They sent me on behalf of free armed forces,
   From Cossacks of the upper the lower Don,
   To see our Sovereign's clear eyes
   And bow to you on their behalf.
   P r e t e n d e r
   I knew the Cossacks of the Don,
   I didn't doubt to see Cossack's horses in my lines.
   We`re grateful to our Cossacks Army.
   We know that Cossacks are oppressed
   And persecuted nowadays unjustly;
   But if God helps us to ascend the throne
   of our fathers
   We will, as in old days, bestow the whole of free and faithful Don to them.
   P o e t
   (Approaches bowing low to Gregory, and taking him by the flap of his garment)
   Great Prince, most graceful son of King!
   P r e t e n d e r
   What do you want?
   P o e t
   (gives him the paper)
   Please, highly take
   This poor fruit of my hard work.
   P r e t e n d e r
   What do I see? Verses in Latin!
   Blessed is the holy unity of sword and plough, One laurel friendly twines them round.
   Under the midnight heaven I was born,
   The voice of Latin Muse, however,
   Is familiar to me.
   I love the flowers Parnassus
   And I believe in prophecy of poets.
   It's not in vain, delight boils in their flaming chests:
   Blessed is the feat: they've glorified it in advance!
   Come here, my friend.
   Accept this gift and you'll remember me.
   (Gives him a ring)
   When covenant of my fate is done for me
   When I put on the crown of my fathers,
   I hope to hear your sweet voice and your inspired hymn again.
   Musa gloriam coronat, gloriaque musam.
   And so, friends, till tomorrow,
   E v e r y b o d y
   March out, march!
   Long live Dimitry!
   Long live the greatest prince of Moscow!
   (Some lit rooms. Music.)
   M n i s h e k
   Marina is the only one he talks with
   He deals exclusively with her...
   But the whole thing looks dreadfully like marriage.
   Tell me, Vishnevsky truly, did you think
   My daughter will be a princess one fine day?
   V i s h n e v s k y
   Well, well, it's such a wonder... Did you think
   My servant would ascend the throne of Moscow?
   M n i s h e k
   Now tell me, what's my Marina like?
   I only told he: "You take care
   Not to slip Dimitry, now It's over.
   He is in her trap..
   (The band plays a Polonaise. The Pretender and Marina lead the row of dancers)
   M a r i n a (to Dimitry in a low voice) Tomorrow evening at eleven,
   I'll be in lime-tree alley by the fountain
   (They separate. Second couple)
   G e n t l e m a n P a r t n e r
   What has Dimitry found in her?
   L a d y P a r t n e r
   You don't say so!
   She is a beauty.
   G e n t l e m a n P a r t n e r
   Yes, she is a marble nymph:
   Her eyes and lips are quite devoid of life, no smile...
   (A new couple)
   L a d y P a r t n e r
   He is not handsome, but he appears pleasing,
   And one can see he is of royal birth.
   (A new couple)
   L a d y P a r t n e r
   When is the march?
   G e n t l e m a n P a r t n e r
   It's Prince's will.
   We are prepared; but it appears
   That Mnishek and Dimitry
   Will keep us prisoners here.
   L a d y P a r t n e r
   A pleasant durance.
   G e n t l e m a n P a r t n e r
   Oh yes but if...
   (They separate; the rooms become empty)
   M n i s h e k
   We old ones do not dance any more,
   The sound of music does not appeal to us,
   У do not kiss lovely hands of charmers
   Oh yes, I still remember the old pranks!
   It's different now from what it used to be:
   The youth are really not so bold
   As they once used to be,
   Nor is the beauty so good-humoured,,,
   You will admit that all is gloomy now.
   Leave them alone my friend;
   Lets crack a bottle Hungarian wine
   And drink the fragrant stream, as thick as fat, There in the corner, you and I,
   And talk about this and that
   Now come along, my brother.
   V i s h n e v s k y
   A good idea, my friend, let's go.
   Enter P r e t e n d e r
   Here is the fountain; she will come here.
   It seems to me, I'm not a coward;
   I have seen death quite close to me,
   My spirit didn't creep in face of death.
   Captivity has threatened me eternally,
   I've been pursued, but I remained collected
   And I escaped captivity displaying insolence.
   What makes my breathing heavy now?
   And why these insurmountable tremors?
   Why this intensive tremble of desire?
   Oh no, it's fear. All day I have been waiting
   For this desired secret meeting with Marina,
   I have been thinking over what to tell her
   And how to tempt her haughty mind,
   How I will call her Moscow Princess...
   The time has come,
   I don't remember anything.
   I cannot find the words I learnt by heart,
   Love makes my fancy dull and murky...
   Something has gleamed now over there...
   Rustle.. Hush...
   No, it's the moon's deceitful light,
   The breeze has made a bit of noise.
   Enter Marina
   M a r i n a
   P r e t e n d e r
   It's she! Now all the blood stands still in me.
   M a r i n a
   Dimitry! Is it you?
   P r e t e n d e r
   Enchanting, sweet, amazing voice!
   (Comes up to her)
   It's you, at last! Do I see you,
   Alone with me,
   Under the canopy of quiet night?
   How slow the tedious day has been!
   How slowly has the dusk been fading!
   How long I have been waiting
   in the gloom of night!
   M a r i n a
   The hours run, and I am short of time.
   I didn't make a date with you
   To listen to a lover's tender speeches.
   I don't need words. For I believe
   You love me, but you see: since I
   Decided to unite my fate
   With your unfaithful, stormy life
   I have the right to claim one thing, Dimitry:
   I think you should disclose
   The hidden hopes you have at heart
   Your expectations and even your misgivings;
   In order that I, hand in hand with you,
   Start a new life courageously,
   Not blindly, like a child,
   not like a slave
   Of husband's feeble-minded wishes,
   Nor like your silent concubine,
   but your deserving spouse,
   A helper of the Tsar of Moscow.
   P r e t e n d e r
   Please let me, for an hour at least,
   Forget the cares and troubles of my life!
   Don't see me as a Prince before you,
   Just think of me as someone you have chosen,
   A loving man, delighted with the sight of you
   Please listen to my prayers of love,
   And let me tell you
   All that fills my heart.
   M a r i n a
   No time for that. You take your time,
   Meanwhile the loyalty of minions of yours
   Is cooling down and with every passing hour
   The dangers and the works deteriorate.
   There are already dubious rumours,
   One novelty replaces other,
   While Godunov is taking measures.
   P r e t e n d e r
   That Godunov! Has he got power
   Over your love, my only bliss?
   Oh no. I look indifferently
   Upon his throne and regal power now.
   Your love...What is my life without you,
   What are the shine of glory and the Russian state?
   In god forsaken steppe, in an infirm dugout
   You'll substitute me for the Tsarist Crown
   Your love...
   M a r i n a
   For shame! Do not forget
   Your highest holy mission:
   Your holy dignity should be
   More valuable to you, than all the joys
   And all the baits of life.
   It is beyond compare.
   I'll tell you this: it's not to an excited youth
   enchanted madly by my beauty
   That I am giving solemnly my hand
   But to the heir of Moscow Throne,
   The prince who has been saved by destiny.
   P r e t e n d e r
   Don't torture me, Marina, sweetie,
   Don't say you haven't chosen me
   But dignity, Marina! You don't know
   How painfully you hurt my heart.
   Now tell me - what a dreadful doubt! -
   If my royal birth had not been fated
   By the unseeing destiny, and if
   I weren't Tsar Ivan's son ,
   a world forsaken boy:
   Then... tell me, would you love me still?
   M a r i n a
   You, can be no one else, Dimitry,
   And I just cannot love another.
   P r e t e n d e r
   I do not want to share my beloved one,
   With a dead man who owns her.
   No! I shall stop pretending!
   And I will tell the truth: Dimitry
   Is dead and buried and will not arise;
   And do you want to know who really I am?
   Now let me tell you, I'm a poor monk;
   Bored with monastic servitude,
   And putting on a thinking cap of monk,
   I thought my daring idea over; I prepared
   A real wonder to the world
   And ran away from cell to the Ukranians
   To stormy camps of Zaporozhe
   I learnt to handle horse and sword;
   I turned up here, called myself Dimitry,
   Having deceived the stupid Poles.
   What will you say to that, proud Marina?
   Are you not pleased with my confession?
   Why are you silent?
   M a r i n a
   Oh what a shame! Oh woe is me!
   P r e t e n d e r (in a low voice)
   Wherever has the fit of disappointment led me?
   I may have ruined happiness I hardly gained
   What have I done, oh silly me?
   I see it's not your Prince's love
   That you're ashamed of.
   Now say the fatal word to me;
   You have my love now, so decide:
   I'm waiting (falls down on his knees).
   M a r i n a
   Get up, you poor pretender. Do you intend
   By going down on your knees
   To please my proud heart
   As if I were a weak confiding girl?
   You are mistaken, I have seen
   Both noble knights and prices at my feet
   But I rejected coolly their entreaties
   And not because a fleeting monk...
   P r e t e n d e r (gets up)
   Do not despise the young pretender;
   Perchance he's got unknown bravery inside
   And valour worthy of the Moscow Throne
   As well as your invaluable hand...
   M a r i n a
   Deserving a disgraceful noose, you saucy thing!
   P r e t e n d e r
   I am to blame; carried away by pride
   I have deceived both God and the tsars,
   I lied worldwide, but never lied to you
   I must be executed; but I am right, Marina.
   No, I have never dared to cheat you
   You've been my only sacred person,
   And I could not pretend before her, really.
   Love, only blind and jealous love,
   Has made me tell you all
   I had to say.
   M a r i n a
   Oh what a thing to boast of, crazy man!
   Who asked you for confession, tell me.
   Once you, a nameless vagabond,
   Could wonderfully blind two nations, then
   You should at least be worthy of your triumph,
   Securing your daring lie
   With stubborn, deep and everlasting secrecy.
   Say, can I give myself to you,
   Forgetting all my kin and maiden shame,
   Unite my life with yours
   While you yourself expose your infamy
   So thoughtlessly and simply?
   He blabbed it out for the love of me!
   I wonder why you haven't opened up
   Before my father's eyes
   For friendship's sake,
   Or out of joy before the King,
   Or, say, before Vishnevsky,
   To show you servant's loyalty to him.
   P r e t e n d e r
   I swear, you alone
   Have managed to extort my heart's confession
   I swear, that never and nowhere at all,
   Neither at festive table over a cup of madness
   Nor during a friendly chat or private conversation
   Under the knife or in the throes of torture
   Shall I disclose such weighty secrets.
   M a r i n a
   You say you swear! And I am to believe...
   Oh yes I do believe! But let me know:
   What are you swearing on? God's name?
   Just like a pious foster-child of Jesuits?
   Or, maybe, on a word of Tsar?
   Or like a son of Tsar?
   Do tell me.
   Di m i t r y (proudly)
   Tsar Ivan's phantom has adopted me,
   And named me Dmitry from the sepulchre,
   It has stirred up the people all around,
   And sacrificed Boris to me
   I am the Prince! Enough! I am ashamed
   Of grovelling to the proud Polish lady,
   Farewell for good. The game of bloody war,
   Big cares of life, I hope,
   Will soothe the pangs of love for you.
   Oh my, how I shall start despising you
   When this disgraceful heat of passion ends!
   I`m going now! A crown or perdition
   Expect my head in Russia,
   Shall I find death like warrior in honest fighting
   Or mount a scaffold on a square like a villain?
   You will not share my fate
   Nor will you be a friend of mine
   But , maybe, you'll regret
   My lot, which you turned down.
   M a r i n a
   But what if I expose your cheeky lie
   To everybody in advance?
   P r e t e n d e r
   Do you believe that I'm afraid of you?
   That they will rather trust a Polish maid
   Than to the Russian Prince? Remember:
   Neither the King nor Pope, nor a grandee
   Think of the truthfulness of my words
   They do not care if I am really Dimitry
   That's all the want and they will make
   You keep your mouth shut, believe, me,
   M a r i n a
   Tsarevich, wait! At last
   I hear an adult not a youngster speak
   Which makes me, Prince, put up with you.
   So I forget your senseless outburst
   And see Dimimitry once again. But listen:
   The time has come! Wake up, and don't delay,
   Lead regiments to Moscow right away
   Clear up the Kremlin, mount the Moscow throne
   Then you can send the nuptial messenger to me
   God hears me, however, not until
   You, Prince step foot upon the steps of Throne
   Until you overthrow Boris
   I shall not listen to your words of love.
   P r e t e n d e r
   I see it's easier for me to fight with Godunov,
   Or dodge with a court circle Jesuit,
   Than do it with a woman -
   To hell with them: - I hust can't make it.
   She'll puzzle you, she'll twist and crawl,
   Slip from your hand, hiss, bite and. threaten
   The serpent! It was not for nothing
   That I was trembling. She has almost ruined me.
   I have decided: I'll take the field at dawn.
   (October 16th, 1604)
   K u r b s k y (first one to arrive at a gallop)
Oh here it is! Here is the Russian border!
Oh holy Russia, Fatherland! I'm yours!
I shake off with contempt
   The foreign ashes off my clothes
   And drink the air, new and fresh:
   It's near and dear to me! And now your heart
   Will be consoled, and in his tomb
   His down and out bones will be complacent!
   Our heredotary sword is glitterimg again,
   This glorious sword, the dread of dark Kazan,
Good sword, the servant of the tsars of Moscow!
Now it will feast for hope inspiring Sovereign.
   P r e t e n d e r
   (moves silently, hanging his head)
   He is so happy! How his soul is running joyfully, with glory!
   My knight, I envy you! The son of Kurbsky, Who was brought up in exile,
Forgetting all the wrongs borne by his father,
Redeeming his transgression in the grave:
You're getting ready to shed blood for Ivan's son,
   You will return the lawful Tsar to Mothrland...
   You'right: your soul should burn with rapture.
   K u r b s k y
   Don't you rejoice in spirit?
   Now here is our Russia; it is yours.
   The hearts of people wait for you:
   Your Moscow, your dominion, your Kremlin.
   P r e t e n d e r
   Oh Russian blood, oh Kurbsky who will flow:
   You raise the sword for Tsar, you're clear.
I'll lead you all against your brothers,
I call Lithuania against the Russian land;
   I'll show the enemies the the way to lovely Moscow!
   And may my sin not fall on me
   But on Boris, the regicide. Come on!
   . K u r b s k y
   Come on!
   Advance! Woe is Boris! (They gallop. The troops cross the border)
   T s a r
   Is it possible? The figitive unfrocked monk!
Leads outrageos ous troops against us
   And dares write us threats! Enough!
   It's time to curb the crazy man! Now go,
   You Trubestskoy and you Basmanov,
   Go help my zealous commandant.
   Chernigov is besieged by an insurgent
   Go save the city and its people.
   B a s m a n o v
   Your Majesty,
   It won't take three short months
   Until the roumours of prender cease and fade
I swear to God. We'll bring the crook to Moscow
   Like ailen beast, in iron cage.
   (departs with Trubetskoy)
   T s a r
   The Head of Sweden, through his envoys,
   Suggested unity to me;
But we don't need an ailen help;
   We have enough of our own warriors
   To parry traitors and those Poles.
   So I refused. Shchelkalov!
   Send orders to the commandants everywhere
   And let them saddle horses and, like in old days,
   Call out people to the service-
in Monasteries choose volunteers as well.
   In bygone years when Russia was in danger
   The hermits went to fight at wll -
   But we don't want to bother them;
   For they will pray for us -
   Such is the order of the Tsar and boyar's verdict.
   Now let us settle one important issue:
   Now outrageous rumours have spread out;
The letters which they sent around
   Have sowed alarm and doubt;
   Rebellious whisper wanders on the squares
   So people's minds are seething....
   we must cool them -
   I wish I could prevent death penalties.
   But how?
   Now let's decide.
   Speak Holy Father.
   Tell us what you think.
   P a t r i a r c h
   Blessed is Almighty, who instilled
The spirit of benevolence and patiece
   Into your soul, your Majesty;
   You do not wish perdition to a sinner,
You're waiting quietly - delusion will be gone:
For it will pass, the sun of the eternal Truth,
Will light up all. Your faithful devotee,
Is not a prudent judge in worldly matters,
   He has the nerve to speak to you.
   Son of the devil, despicable monk,
   To pass for tsar Dimitry he has managed;
   He put on Prince's chasuble
   Like stolen icon frame:
   But once it's broken up
   He'll be discgraced with shame.
   Good Lord himself is sending means to us:
   Your Majesty, six years have passed
   Since God Almighty
   Blessed you with reign over the State -
   One night a simple Sheppard,
   A venerable man, approached me
   And told me an amazing secret.
   "When I was young, he said,
   I lost my sight, and couldn't
   Tell day and night apart
   Until old age they treated me in vain
   With herbs and secret spells;
   To no avail I went to cloisters
   To bow to outstanding wonderworkers;
   In vain I sprinkled my black eyes
   From holy wells with healing water;
   God wouldn't send me healing, not at all.
   And in the end I lost all hope,
   And I got used to darknes, and I could
   Sea nothing even in my dreams.
   I only dreamed about sounds. Once,
   As I was fast asleep, I heard a youngster say:
   "Get up now, granny, go
   To the Cathedral of Transfiguration;
   Which is in Uglich-city
   And say your prayer on my grave,
   For God is merciful - and I will pardon you".
   "But who are you?' - I asked the childish voice.
   I'm Prince Dimitry. God canonized me.
   And I'm the greatest wondermaker now.
   Now go, old man!"
   I woke up there and thought:
   "Well, maybe, God some day
   Will grand recovery to me. I'll go"
   And I set out on my journey.
   I came to Uglich , and I went
   To hear the liturgy.
   My zealous soul aflame, I cried so sweetly
   As if my blindness
   Was falling from my eyes like tears.
   When people started going out
   I told my grandchild: "Take me
   To Prince Dimitry's tomb".
   He did - and standing by the coffin
   I said my prayer quietly. My eyes
   Regained the sight. I saw the godly light,
   My dear grandson and his grave."
   That's what the old man told me, Sire
   (General agitation. In the course of this speech Boris wipes his face with his handkerchief several times)
   I used to send the multitude to Uglich then,
   And found that many sufferers
Had found deliverance likewise
   Before the Prince's grave.
   Now here is my advice: transfer
   The sacred relics to the Kremlin
   And place them in Cathedral of Archangel;
   And then the godless villain's fraud
   And devil's might will disappear like dust.
   P r i n c e S h u i s k y
   Who knows the ways of God Almighty,
   Holy Father? I am not the one to judge Him.
   He can donate imperishable sleep
   and power of wondrmaker to young remains
   But people should impartially investigate
   The roumours; in stormy disarray of times
   We shouldn't think about
   Such an important matter, should we?
   Won't people say that we defiantly
   In worldly matters
   Create a relic with a piece of ordnance?
The people hesitate like anything
In stormy times of insurrection, anyway:
   It's not the time to bother people's minds
   With unexpected, such important news.
   It's obvious: we should cut off
   the roumour spread by wretched monks;
   Bot there are simple ways of doing it -
   Your Majesty, when you call on
   I'll turn up on the public square,
   Convince and win the madness over
   Disclosing the malicious lie of vagrant
   T s a r
   Amen! Lord Patriarch
   I ask you to come over to the chamber:
   I have to talk with you to-day.
   (He departs; all the boyars follow him)
   F i r s t B o y a r (to another boyar, in a low voice)
   Did you see how pale the Sovereign was
   And how his face was sweating?
   S e c o n d B o y a r
   I must admit I didn't dare raise my eyes,
   Nor breathe or sigh, let alone move.
   F i r s t B o y a r
   Prince Shuisky helped you out! Good for him!
   (December 21st , 1604)
   S o l d i e r s (Run in disorder)
   Woe be to him! Woe! Prince!
There they are! The Poles! There they are!
   (Enter captains: Marzheret and Walther Rozen)
   M a r z h e r e t
   Where to? Where? Allons! Come back!
   O n e of the f u g i t i v e s
   You come yourself , damned infidel.
   M a r z h e r e t
   Quoi, quoi?
   A n o t h e r f u g i t i v e s
   Kva! kva! You like, you alien frog,
   To croak at Russian Prince;
   but we are Orthodox believers, don't you know?!
   M a r z h e r e t
   Qu'est-ce a dire "orthodox"? Sacres gueux, maudite canaille! Mordieu, mein Herr, j'enrage; on dirait que ca n'a pas de bras pour frapper, ca n'a que des jambes pour fuir.
   W. R o z e n
   Es ist Schande.
   M a r z h e r e t
   Ventre-saint gris! Je ne bouge plus d'un pas; puisque le vin est tire, il faut le boire. Qu'en dites-vous, mein Herr?
   R o z e n.
   Sie haben Recht.
   M a r z h e r e t
   Tudieu, il y fait chaud! Ce diable de "Pretender," comme ils l'appellent, est un bougre, qui a du poil au col? - Qu'en pensez-vous, mein Herr?
   R o z e n.
   Oh, ja!
   M a r z h e r e t
   He! Voyez donc, voyez donc! L'action s'engage sur les derrieres de l'ennemi. Ce doit etre le brave Basmanov, qui aurait fait une sortie.
   W. R o z e n
   Ich glaube das.
   (Enter Germans)
   M a r z h e r e t
   Ha, ha! Voici nos allemands. Messieurs! Mein Herr, dites-leur donc de se raillier et, sacrebleu, chargeons!
   W. R o z e n
   Sehr gut. Halt!
   (Germans draw up)
   G e r m a n s (They march)
   Hilf Gott!
   (Fight is on. The Russians flee again)
   P o l e s
   Victory! Victory! Glory to Tsar Dimitry!
   D i m i t r y (On horseback)
   All clear! We have conquered. Enough! Spare Russian blood. All clear!
   (Pipes are playing, drums are beating)
   O n e of the p e o p l e
   When will the tsar come out of the
   A n o t h e r One
   The mass is over; now Te Deum is going on.
   F i r s t M a n
   What? Have they already cursed him?
   S e c o n d M a n
   I was sranding on the porch
   and heard the deacon cry out: "Grishka Otrepyev! Anathema!"
   F i r s t M a n
   Let them curse if they wish; Tsarevich doesn't care about Otrepyev.
   S e c o n d M a n
   But they are now singing eternal memorial to Tsarevich.
   F i r s t M a n
   Eternal memorial to Tsarevich? They'll get their due, the godless wretches!
   T h i r d M a n
   Hist! A sound. Is it not the tsar?
   F o u r t h M a n
   No, it is God's fool
   (enters God's fool, in an iron cap, hung round with chains, surrounded by boys)
   B o y s
   Nick, Nick, iron nightcap! Tr-r-r-r...
   O l d w o m a n
   Leave the Fool alone, you young devils.
   And you Nick, pray for me, a sinner.
   G o d 's F o o l
   Give, give, give a kopeck.
   O l d w o m a n
   Here you are; and remember me.
   G o d 's F o o l (Seats down on the ground and sings)
   The moon is shining,
                The kitten is crying
   Get up, Nick,
   And pray to God.
   (The boys surround him again)
   O n e of t h e m.
   How do you do, Nick? Why don't you take off your cap? (Raps him on the iron cap. Listen how it rings!
   G o d 's F o o l
   And I have got a copeck.
   B o y s
   That's not true! Will you show it?
   (snatches the copeck and runs away)
   G o d 's F o o l (Weeps)
   They have taken my kopeck, they are offending Nick!
   P e o p l e
   The tsar, the tsar is coming!
   (The Tsar comes out from the Cathedral; a boyar in front of him scatters alms among the poor. Boyars.)
   G o d 's F o o l
   Boris, Boris! The boys are hurting Nick.
   T s a r
   Give him alms! What is he crying for?
   G o d 's F o o l
   The little children are offending Nick. Let your butcher slay them, like you slayed the little Tsarevich.
   B o y a r s
   Get out of here, you fool! Seize the fool!
   T s a r
   Leave him alone. Pray for me, poorNick.
   G o d 's F o o l (calling after him)
   No, no! I cannot pray for tsar Herod; the Blessed Virgin forbids it.
   P r e t e n d e r
   Where is the prisoner?
   P o l e
   P r e t e n d e r
   Call him.
   (enter Russian prisoner)
   Who are you?
   P r i s o n e r
   Rozhnov, Moscow nobleman
   P r i s o n e r
   Have you long been on?
   P r i s o n e r
   About a month.
   P r e t e n d e r
   Aren't you ashamed, Rozhnov, that you have taken up arms against me?
   P r i s o n e r
   What could I do? It was not my will.
   P r e t e n d e r
   Did you fight under Seversk?
   P r i s o n e r
   I arrived two weks after the battle...
From Moscow.
   P r e t e n d e r
   How's Godunov?
   P r i s o n e r
   He was very worried
   About the loss of battle
   And Mstislavsky's wound,
   And he sent Shuisky to take command of the army.
   P r e t e n d e r
   But why did he recall
Basmanov back to Moscow?
   P r i s o n e r
   The tsar rewarded him with honour
   And with gold.
   Basmanov sits in Duma now
   P r e t e n d e r
   There was more need of him in the army.
   Well, how are things in Moscow?
   P r i s o n e r
   All is quiet, thank God.
   P r e t e n d e r
   Well, are they waiting for me?
   P r i s o n e r
   God knows;
They do not dare talk too much there now.
   Some have their tongues cut off, and others
   Their head - such is the state if things!
An execution each and every day.
   The prisons are all crammed. Two or three men
   Need only get together on the square -
Behod! -there he is, a spy poking about
As for the tsar he personally hears out
Informers at his leisure time .
   It's trouble; so they'd better hold their tongues.
   P r e t e n d e r
   An enviable life for people of Boris!
Well, what about the army?
   P r i s o n e r
   The army? All are clothed and fed
   And quite content.
   P r e t e n d e r
   How big it is?
   P r i s o n e r
   God only knows.
   P r e t e n d e r
   Will it come up to thirty thousand?
   P r i s o n e r
   Yes, it can be fifty up to thousand or so.
   (The pretender thinks; those around him exchange glances)
   P r e t e n d e r
   Now! What do they say about me there in your camp?
   P r i s o n e r
   They talk about your gracefulness
They say you're both (don't judge severely)
   a thief and a good man.
   P r e t e n d e r (Laughing)
   Well, I will prove it in deed
My friends, we shall not wait for Shuisky
   Tomorrow is the battle.
   E v e r y b o d y
   Long live Dimitry!
   A P o l e
   Tomorrow is the battle!
   They are up to fifty thousand.
And we are hardly fifteen thousand in all.
   He is mad!
   A n o t h e r o n e
   So what, my friend?
   A single Pole can challenge
Five hundred Muscovites.
   P r i s o n e r
   Yes, you will challenene.
   And when it comes to fighting, boaster,
   You'll run away pursued by one.
   A P o l e
   If you had got a sword, you cheeky prisoner,
I would (pointing to his sword) restrain you with this thing.
P r i s o n e r
   A Russian man can do without a sword:
Whould you like this (shows his fist),
   You dunderhead?
   (The Pole looks at him haughtily and departs in silence. All laugh.)
   (A dying horse lies in the background)
   P r e t e n d e r
   My poor horse! How cheerfully he galloped
To the last battle, and when wounded,
How fast he carried me.
   My poor horse!
   P u s h k i n (To himself)
   Well, what is he feeling sorry for?
   His horse! When all our army
   Is turned to dust!
   P r e t e n d e r
   I say! Perchance he's just
   Exhausted from the wound
   And will relax.
   P u s h k i n
   Oh no! He is dying.
   P r e t e n d e r (Goes to his horse)
   My poor horse!.. What shall I do?
   Take off the bridle and undo the girth.
   At least he will die freely.
   (He unbridles and unsaddles the horse.
   Enter some Poles)
   Good afternoon, gentlemen!
   Why don't I see Kurbsky among you?
   I saw the way he made a rush
   Into the thick of fight, a lot of swords
   Besieged the fine youngman like swaying ears of corn;
   His sword was rising higher and higher
His threatening cry suppressed all other cries.
Where is my knight, I wonder?
   P o l e
   He fell in battlefield.
   P r e t e n d e r
   A man of honour, may he rest in peace!
   How few of us were spared in the fight.
   The traitors! Outrageous Cossacks!
   Damned villains! The have ruined us -
   Unable to to withstand three minutes of rebuff!
   I'll show them! I'll hang up every tenth!
   The rogues!
   P u s h k i n
   Whoever is to blame,
We're beaten through and through,
   Wipe out!
   P r e t e n d e r
   We nearly conquered;
   Had almost smashed the front array, -
   But German troups repulsed us utterly;
   Well, good for them! By God, they're great!
   I like them, and I will
   Make up an honourable troop, no doubt.
   P u s h k i n
   And where shall we spend the night?
   P r e t e n d e r
   Why, here, in the wood.
A proper place for the night quarters, isn't it?
   We'll be on our way at dawn,
   And get to Rilsk by dinner-time. Good night!
(He lies down, puts a saddle under his head, and falls asleep)
   P u s h k i n
   Good night, Tsarevich.
   Reduced to ashes, took to flight
He's careless like a silly child:
Thouh Providence protects him;
   And we will not lose heart, my friends,
   T s a r
   He is defeated, what's the use of that?
We've celebrated victory in vain.
   He's gathered scattered forces once again
   And threatens us from ramparts of Putivl now.
Meanwhile what are our heroes doing?
   They stand at Krom, where a group of Cossacks
   Laugh at the crook behind the rotten fence.
   Oh what a glory! I am displleased with them,
   I'll send you to command the men;
   I'll give authority to brains, not kin;
And may their conceit
   Grieve over local interest;
   It's time to disregard
   The grumble of the noble mob,
   And ruin the pernicious habit.
   B a s m a n o v
   Your Majesty,
So may that day be blessed a hundredfold
   When fire devours the official books
   With records of discord and pride of pedigree.
   T s a r
   That day is not far off;
   But let me first subdue
   The disarray of people.
   B a s m a n o v
   Why is this bother?
   The mob are always prone to secret disarray:
That is the way a steed will gnaw the reigns;
   And son will be indignant with his father's power.
So what?
The rider quietly controls the steed,
The father rules over his son.
   T s a r
   Sometimes the horse throws off the rider
Likewise, the son is not invariablyfully free.
We only can restrain the people
   By being vigilantly strict.
   That's what the reasonable Sovereigh,
   Thу storm subduer Ivan thought.
   His ruthless son was of the same opininon
   No, people don't feel kindness:
   Do people good - they will not thank you;
   Rob, execute them - it won't be any worse.
   (Enter a boyar)
   What is it now?
   B o y a r
   They've brought some alien guests.
   T s a r
   I will receive them; you Basmanov wait.
   Stay here:
   I need to talk to you.
   ( departs)
   B a s m a n o v
   High sovereign spirit!
   God grant that he persuades the curst Otrepyev,
He'll do a lot of good in Russia.
   He has a great idea in his mind
   Which shouldn't be cooled down.
   Oh what a field will open up for me
   When he subdues the patrimonial clan of boyars!
   I have no rivals in the fiery debates;
   I'll be the first one by the Throne...
   And, maybe... What is that queer sound?
   (Alarum. Boyars and court-attendants run in disorder, meet one another and whisper)
   O n e M a n
   Call a doctor!
   A n o t h e r
   To Patriarch. Be quick!
   A T h i r d M a n
   He calls Tsarevich, yes, Tsarevich!
   A F o r t h M a n
   B a s m a n o v
   What's up?
   A F i f t h a n d S i x t h M a n
   The tsar has fallen ill.
   S i x t h M a n
   The tsar is dying.
   B a s m a n o v
   Good Gracious!
   F i f t h M a n
   He fell as he was sitting on the throne -
   Blood gushed both from his mouth and ears.
   (They carry the Tsar out on a chair;
   the Tsar's all household; all boyars)
   T s a r
   Everybody out.
   Leave the prince alone. (All depart)
   I am dying;
Let us embrace, farewell, my son; this hour
You will begin to reign.... oh God, my God!
I shall appear before you now, and I
   Have got no time to clear my soul with shrift.
And yet I feel, my son,
   You are dearer to me
Than my salvation - let it be!
Born as a subject, I was supposed
   to die in darknes as a subject;
   But I have reached thу highest power... how?
   Don't ask me. That's enough:
   You are not guilty. Now you'll reign by right.
   And I alone will answer before God...
   My son, do not beguile into a lie,
   Don't blind yourself at will -
   You take the state upon yourself
   On stormy days.
   He's dangerous, that odd pretender,
   He's got an aweful name...
   Experienced ruler, I've restrained
   Perturbation and revolt;
   They shook with fear before me;
   The traitors didn't dare raise their voice...
   But you, such inexperienced sovereign,
   How will you rule under the thunderstorm,
   How will you quell a mutiny, ensnare treason?
   But God is great! He will give wisdom
   To youth and strength - to weakness.
   Now listen: first, select a steadfast counsellor,
Of cool, mature age,
   Loved by the people, and amongst the boyars
   Chose someone dignified by birth or glory,
   Say, Shuisky, for the army needs
A skillful leader like Basmanov,
   And firmly bear the grumbling of the boyars.
   You have been sitting next to me
   In Duma since green years, you know
   The course of sovereign government.
   Don't change the course. For custom
   Is the soul of states. I thought about
   Restoring executions and disfavour,
   You may abolish them, and you'll be blessed
   Just like your uncle who was blessed
   When he received the Throne of Ivan.
   With time
   Start tightening slowly reins of government...
   Be merciful, available to foreigners,
Accept their service trustfully.
Consistently observe the Church's rules;
   Be taciturn; the Sovereign's voice
   Should not be waisted blowing in the air;
   But, like a sacred chime, it must inform
   Of some deep greif or a great day.
Dear son,
   you're entering the age
   When a female's face stirs up our blood
   Keep up your sacred purity
   Of innocence and proud prudency:
He who is used to roll in sinful pleasure
   In youthful days, becomes bloodthirsty
   And morose in manhood,
   His prudent mind untimely darkens.
   Be always head of family
   Respect your mother - but control yourself -
   You're man and sovereign - love your sister'
   You'll be the only guardian of hers.
   F y o d o r (On his knees)
   No, no; live on, my father, reign forever:
The folk and we will die without you.
   T s a r
   Now that's thend ny eyes are growing dark,
   I feel the cold of death...
   (Enter Patriarch and clergymen followed by all boyars.
   They lead Tsarina by the hand; she is weeping)
   Who's there?
Ah, schema...so! The holy tonsure...
   The time has come, the Tsar becomes a monk,
And the dark coffin will be my cell...
Just take your time, lord Patriarch,
I am still the Tsar: listen to me, boyars:
This is the one whom I entrust state power;
   Do homage to Tsarevitch Feodor;
   My friends, I ask of you here by the coffin
   To serve with diligence and truthfulness!
He is yet so young and chaste.You swear?
   B o y a r
   We swear.
   T s a r
   I am content.
   Forgive me my temptations and my sins,
   My open and my secret injuries...
   Come nearer, my holy father, I am ready.
   (The rite of the tonsure begins. The fainted women are taken out)
   B a s m a n o v
   Come in, speak freely.
   So he is snding you to me?
   P u s h k i n
   He offers you his friendship and
   The highest rank in Moscow realm.
   B a s m a n o v
   But he has raised me high enough already,
   I am commander of the army;
   He scorned the noble rank for me.
   As well as wrath of boyars - I swore to him.
   P u s h k i n
   You swore to the successor of the throne,
   A lawful one. But what if there's another,
   More lawful heir?
   B a s m a n o v
   Now listen, Pushkin,
   Stop talking nonsense,
   I know what sort of man he is.
   P u s h k i n
   Lithuania and Russia
   Acknowledged him to be Dimitry long ago,
   Tough I do not vouch for it.
   Maybe, he is the real Dmitry;
   Maybe, he's a pretender;
   The only thing I know is that the son of Boris
   Some day will let him rule over Moscow
   B a s m a n o v
   While I am on the side of youthful Tsar
   He won't give up the throne;
   We have enough of troops, thank God!
   I will enliven them with victory,
   And whom will you, I wonder, send against me,
   The Cossack Karel? Or, maybe, Mnishek?
   How many are you? Eight thousand in all.
   P u s h k i n
   You are mistaken:
   They even won't amount to that.
   But I myself should say
   That our troups are lousy, our cossaks
   Rob villages, and as for Poles
   They only boast and drink .
   The Russians... well, what should I say?..
   I will be frank with you;
   You know, Basmanov, where our strength lies?
   Not in the army, no.Nor in the Polish aid,
   but in the minds of people -yes!
   Do you remember the triamph of Dimitry,
   His peaceful victories, when cities
   Would easily surrender while the mob
   Caught hold of their subborn leaders?
   You saw it, did our warriors fight willingly?
   They did, but when? Under Boris!
   And now?..
   Oh no, Basmanov, it's too late
   To argue blowing the cold ashes of the battle:
   With all thy wits and firm belief
   You won't hold out; hadn't you better
   Set an example and proclaim
   Dimitry Tsar of Russia
   And do him a good turn by doing that?
   What do you think?
   B a s m a n o v
   You'll know tomorrow.
   P u s h k i n
   B a s m a n o v
   P u s h k i n
   Just think about it, Basmanov.
   B a s m a n o v
   He's right! Treason is impending everywhere.
   What shall I do? Just wait till mutineers
   Get hold of me and hand me over to Otrepyev?
   Hadn't I better stop
   The stormy onset of the flood and do...
   Oh my! To breake the oath I took?!
   And wing dishonour for my kin?!
   To pay the trust of the young Sovereign
   With horrible betrayal? -
   It's easy for a disgraceful outcast
   To think about mutiny and plot -
   Should it be me? A Sovreign's favourite...
   But death... but power... people's miseries...
   Come here! Who is there? (Whistles)
   The horse! Now sound the assembly.
   P e o p l e
   Tsarevich has sent forth a boyar to us.
   Let's hear what he will tell us.
   Come here! Here!
   P u s h k i n (On the platform)
   People of Moscow!
   Tsarevich ordred me to bow you.
   (He bows)
   You know how Providence of Heaven
   Has saved Tsarevich from assaasination;
   He wished execute the villain,
   But Godly Justice struck Boris.
   And Russia has resigned itself to Dmitry;
   Basmanov, with repentance,
   Has sworn his army in
   Dmitry is coming now with love and peace.
   Would you uplift a hand against the Lawful Tsar,
   The grandson of Vladimir Monomakh,
   To please the kin of Godunov?
   P e o p l e
   Surely not.
   P u s h k i n
   People of Moscow!
   The world is in the know
   How much you have endured
   Under the rule of vicious stranger;
   Disgrace, dishonour, executions, taxes,
   Hard work and hunger - you have known all.
   As for Dimitry he intends
   To show you favour,
   Courtiers, boyars, state-servants, soldiers,
   Guests, merchants - and every honest man.
   Would you be stubborn with no reason,
   And flee conceitedly from his benevolence?
   But he is coming to the regal throne of fathers
   Accompanied by threat and danger.
   Don't make the Sovereign angry.Fear God.
   Bow to the lawful ruler;
   Resign yourself. Send boyars, deacons and some chosen people
   To Dmitry at Archbishop's quarters right away.
   And let them bow to Father and the Sovereign.
   (Comes down. Clamour of people)
   P e o p l e
   No use to talk! The boyar tells the truth.
   Long live Dimitry, our father!
   A m a n on t h e p l a t f o rm
   People! To the Kremlin! To the Palace!
   Go bind Boris, the whelp!
   P e o p l e (carried by the crowd)
   Bind him! Drown him! Long live Dimitry!
   Let Boris Godonov's kin perish!
   B e g g a r
   Please give me alms, for Christ's sake.
   G u a r d s m a n
   Go away; it is forbidden to speak to the prisoners.
   F y o d o r
   Go, old man, I am poorer than thou; you are free.
   (Ksenia, veiled, also comes to the window.)
   O n e of the p e o p l e
   Brother and sister! Poor children, like
   birds in a cage.
   S e c o n d p e r s o n
   Are you going to pity them?
   Goddamned family!
   F i r s t p e r s o n
   Their father was a villain,
   But the children are innocent.
   S e c o n d p e r s o n
   Like parents, like children.
   K s e n i y a
   Brother! Dear brother!
   I think some boyars are coming to us.
   F y o d o r
   Those are Golitsin and Mosalsky.
   I do not know the others.
   K s e n i y a
   Oh brother, dear, my heart just sinks.
   (Golitsin, Mosalsky, Molchanov and Sherefedinov;
   followed by three soldiers)
   P e o p l e
   Step aside, step aside. Boyars are coming.
   (They go into the house)
   O n e of the p e o p l e
   Why have they come?
   S e c o n d m а n
   Obviously, to attest Fyodor Godunov.
   T h i r d p e r s o n
   Do you heare the noise in the house?
   There's agitation, they are fighting...
   P e o p l e
   Do you hear? A scream! A woman's voice.
   Let us go up. The doors are locked. The cries have stopped.
   (The doors fling open. Mosalsky appears on
   the porch)
   M o s a l s k y
   People! Maria Godunov and her son Fyodor
   have poisoned themselves. We saw their dead bodies. (The crowd is silent, terrified)
   Why are you silent? Cry: long live Tsar Dimitry
   People are silent
   Yuri's Day - a phrase dating back to early days of Russian history, which is still widely used (roughly translated, it means "there you have it, Granny, Yuri's Day", referring to a promise that is not kept). Yuri's Day is the Russian name for either of the two feasts of Saint George celebrated by the Russian Orthodox Church.
   Grishka, also Grisha - common Russian name , short for Gregory
   Grishka - Russian name, short for Gregory
   Duma - council, any of various representative assemblies in Russian history.
   Pulpit- platform on Red Square in Moscow which in old times was a tribune for proclaiming laws and official decisions (it is said to have also been used as place of ecxecution. It has been preserved as a historical site.

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