Metals are harder and higher than the pyramids;
Neither his whirlwind, nor the thunder will break the fleeting,
And time will not crush his flight.
So! - all I will not die, but part of me is big,
From the decay of flora, after death will live,
And the glory will increase my, not fading,
As long as the Slavs, the Universe will honor the family. ”
G.R. Derzhavin "Monument"
The Derzhavin family goes back to one of the noble Tatars, Murza Bagrim, who in the middle of the fifteenth century departed to serve the Moscow prince Vasily the Dark. One of his descendants received the nickname "Power", and from it the Derzhavin family was formed. By the beginning of the eighteenth century, this family was impoverished - the father of the future poet, Roman Nikolaevich, remained with only ten serfs after the division of the inheritance. His wife, Thekla Andreevna, was not much richer, which doomed the family to a very modest existence. Their firstborn Gabriel was born 14 July 1743 in a tiny estate near Kazan. A year later, the second son Andrey was born to the Derzhavins, and a little later, daughter Anna, who died in infancy. It is curious that Gavrila Romanovich was born prematurely and, according to the customs of that time, was baked into bread. The baby was smeared with dough, put on a shovel and briefly shoved into a hot oven for a short time. Fortunately, the baby survived after such a barbaric “treatment”, which, by the way, did not always happen.
Roman Nikolaevich was a military man, and therefore his family, along with the Orenburg Infantry Corps, constantly changed their place of residence. They had a chance to visit Yaransk, and in Stavropol Volzhsky, and in Orenburg, and in Kazan. In 1754, Gavrila’s father fell ill with consumption and retired with the rank of lieutenant colonel. He died in November of the same year. Roman Nikolaevich did not leave any fortune, and the position of the Derzhavins family was desperate. Small Kazan estates did not generate income, and the 200 hectares of land received in Orenburg needed to be developed. In addition, the neighbors, taking advantage of the neglect of land management in the Kazan province, appropriated quite a few Derzhavin pastures. Thekla Andreevna tried to sue them, however her walking on instances with young children ended in nothing. To survive, she had to give part of the land to one of the merchants in perpetual rent.
Despite this, Thekla Derzhavina was able to give the boys a primary education, which allowed the gentry underage to enter military service. At first, the children were taught by local clerks - according to Gavril Romanovich, he learned to read in the fourth year of life. In Orenburg, he attended a school opened by a former convict, a German, Joseph Rosa. There, the future poet mastered the German language and learned calligraphy. A great success for him was the opening of the gymnasium in the city of Kazan. Classes began there in 1759, and Thekla Andreevna immediately identified her sons in school. However, the quality of teaching this unit created three years earlier, Moscow University could not boast - the teachers conducted classes at random, and the director was concerned only with dusting the authorities. Nevertheless, Gavrila managed to become one of the first students, and often the director took him to help in various cases. In particular, the young man participated in the compilation of the plan of Cheboksary, as well as in the collection of antiquities from the Bulgar fortress.
However, Derzhavin was not allowed to finish his studies at the gymnasium. Back in 1760, it was recorded in the St. Petersburg Engineering Corps. He had to leave there after completing his studies, but there was confusion in the capital, and in February 1762 Gavrila received a passport from the Transfiguration Regiment, obliging the young man to appear in the unit. There was nothing to do, and my mother, with difficulty obtaining the necessary amount, sent her eldest son to St. Petersburg. The authorities refused to correct their mistake, and the eighteen-year-old Derzhavin was enlisted in the musketeer company as a private. Since Gavrila Romanovich was very poor, he could not rent an apartment and was settled in a barracks. Very soon, a literate young man gained considerable prestige among the soldiers - he composed messages for them home, willingly lent small sums. The guard duty, parades and parades took away all his time, and when free time fell out, the young man read books and wrote poems. He didn’t have anything serious at that time; however, similar works, often of obscene content, had some success in the regiment. It should be noted that the beginning of the service of Gavrilo Romanovich coincided with a fatal moment in stories countries - in the summer of 1762, the forces of the Guard regiments carried out a coup, putting Ekaterina Alekseevna at the helm of power. In all these events, Derzhavin also took part in the “mushkater”.
Most of the noble children, entering the service, immediately became officers. Even the children of the poor nobles, who, like soldiers, identified themselves as Derzhavin, rather quickly promoted their service, receiving a coveted officer rank a year or two later. With the future poet, everything happened differently. The commanders, he was in good standing, but did not have any connections or influential patrons. In the spring of 1763, realizing the secret springs of career growth, he, overcoming himself, sent Count Alexei Orlov a petition for awarding him another military rank. As a result, the future poet became a corporal and, delighted, knocked out his annual home leave. Having stayed in Kazan, he went to the Tambov province in the city of Shatsk with the aim of bringing out the peasants inherited by his mother by inheritance to the Orenburg estate. During the trip Derzhavin almost died. During the hunt, he stumbled upon a herd of wild boars, one of whom rushed at the young man and almost tore his calves. Gavrila Romanovich, fortunately, managed to shoot the boar, and the Cossacks who were nearby gave first aid. Virtually the entire vacation Derzhavin healed the wound, which fully lasted only a year later.
In the summer of 1764, a young man returned to the regiment and settled with non-commissioned officers. This, by Derzhavin’s own admission, had a bad influence on his morality, having become addicted to drinks and cards. Nevertheless, Gavrila Romanovich’s former inclination to poem only intensified. The young man eagerly began to comprehend the theory of versification, based on the works of Lomonosov and Trediakovsky. Hobby this played a cruel joke with him. Once Derzhavin composed rather obscene poems about a regimental secretary who dragged behind the wife of a corporal. The work had a great success in the regiment and reached its main character, who was offended and from that time invariably struck out the names of Gavrila Romanovich from the lists for promotion. The poet served as corporal until the place of the regimental secretary was taken up by the future Privy Councilor Peter Neklyudov. Peter Vasilyevich, on the contrary, treated Derzhavin with sympathy. In 1766, the future poet first became a Fourier, then a capternnamus, and the following year (in absentia) a sergeant.
The young man himself, unfortunately, did his best to slow down his career growth. In 1767, Gavrila Romanovich again received leave and went home to Kazan. After six months, devoted to the hassle of arranging wealthy estates, he and his younger brother left for St. Petersburg through Moscow. In the first throne, the future poet had to issue a bill of sale to one of the villages, and after that, attach his brother to his regiment. Since the bureaucratic machine was functioning slowly, Derzhavin sent Andrei Romanovich to Neklyudov, and he lingered in Moscow and ... lost all his mother's money in cards. As a result, he had to lay not only the purchased village, but also one more. In order to get out of the difficulty the young man decided to continue the game. To this end, he contacted the company of cheaters who acted according to a well-established scheme - the newcomers were at first involved in the game with mock losses, and then "stripped" to the skin. However, soon Derzhavin felt ashamed, and he, having quarreled with his companions, left this occupation. He never had time to return the debt, and because of this, he visited the gambling house again and again. Fortune was changeable, and when things went really bad, the gambler closed in the house and sat alone in complete darkness. During one of these self-incarcerations, the poem “Repentance” was written, which became the first glimpse that showed the true power of the poorly educated poet.
Half a year after Derzhavin’s spree, a real threat arose over him to be demoted as a soldier. However, again rescued Neklyudov, attributed the poet to the Moscow team. However, the young man’s nightmare continued and lasted another year and a half. At one point Derzhavin visited Kazan and repented to Mother, but then returned to Moscow and took up the old. In the end, in the spring of 1770, he essentially escaped from the city, having reached St. Petersburg not only without money, but even without written verses during this time - they had to be burned in quarantine. A terrible news awaited the regiment of Gavrila Romanovich - his brother, like his father, caught up with consumption and went to die home. Derzhavin himself continued his service and in January 1772 (at the age of twenty-eight years) received the lowest officer rank of ensign.
Despite the achievement of a long-standing goal, the young man was well aware that the continuation of service in the regiment did not promise him any prospects. It was necessary to change something, and the lifeline of Pugachev, which broke out on the Yaik River in the autumn of 1773 and quickly spread to the familiar places - the Volga region and the Orenburg region, became a lifesaver for Derzhavin. Soon, Gavrila Romanovich asked to be transferred to a specially created commission to investigate the Pugachev rebellion. However, her staff was already formed, and the head of the commission, General-Conshef Alexander Bibikov, after hearing an insistent warrant officer, instructed Derzhavin to accompany the troops sent to liberate from the city of Samara from Pugachev. On the way, the ensign had to find out about the moods of the troops and the people, and in the city itself on the Volga River to find the instigators of its voluntary surrender to the rebels. Derzhavin not only successfully coped with these tasks, but also managed to find out the approximate location of Yemelyan Pugachev, who had disappeared after the defeat near Orenburg. According to the data obtained, the instigator of the insurrection, which was used by the Old Believers, left for the schismatics on the Irgiz river north of Saratov. In March, 1774 Gavrila Romanovich went to the village of Malykovka (today the city of Volsk), located on Irgiz and there, with the help of local residents, began to organize, in the current language, an agent to catch Pugachev. All efforts were in vain - in fact, Pugachev from Orenburg went to Bashkiria, and then to the Urals. General Bibikov, having caught a cold, died, and none of the authorities knew about the secret task of Derzhavin, who in turn was tired of being away from real affairs. He asked the new bosses, Prince Fyodor Shcherbatov and Pavel Potemkin, permission to return, but they, satisfied with his reports, ordered to remain in place and keep defenses in case of Pugachev.
This danger, by the way, was quite real. The leader of the popular uprising in the summer of 1774 almost took Kazan - Ivan Mikhelson, who came to his rescue with his corps, managed to save the citizens who were seated in the Kremlin. After that, Pugachev went to Don. Rumors about his approach excited malykovskie population. Twice the house where Lieutenant Derzhavin lived (he earned a raise during the war), they tried to set fire to fire. In early August, 1774 by Pugachev's troops was easily captured by Saratov. Gavrila Romanovich, having learned about the fall of the city, went to Syzran, where the regiment of General Mansurov stood. In the same month, the forces of Ivan Mikhelson inflicted a final defeat on the rebels. Pavel Panin, appointed by the commander, tried to do his best to get Pugachev in his hands. Under his command, having received emergency powers, Suvorov himself arrived. However, the head of the Investigation Commission Potemkin also wanted to distinguish himself and gave Derzhavin an order to deliver the leader of the rebels to him. Pugachev, captured by his accomplices in mid-September, was taken to Yaitsky town and “got” to Suvorov, who was not going to give it to anyone. Gavrila Romanovich appeared between two fires - Potemkin was disappointed in him, Panin disliked him. The first, being the immediate superior, ordered him — as if to search for and capture the surviving rebels — to return to Irgiz.
In these places in the spring of 1775, Derzhavin arranged a guard point, from where he and his subordinates watched the steppe. He had plenty of free time, and the novice poet wrote four odes - “For nobility”, “For greatness”, “For the birthday of Her Majesty” and “For the death of Chief Bibikov.” If the third of the odes was purely imitative, then the “poetic tombstone” to the general turned out to be very unusual - the “epistle” Gavril Romanovich wrote in white verse. However, the first two works themselves were significant, clearly marking the motives of the subsequent works, which earned him the fame of the first Russian poet of the eighteenth century.
“Confinement”, fortunately, did not last long - in the summer of 1775, a decree was issued to all Guards officers to return to the regiments. However, this brought the disappointment alone - he did not receive any awards or ranks. Gavrila Romanovich was in a difficult situation - the status of a guard officer demanded substantial means, and the poet did not have them. The estates belonging to mothers were completely destroyed during the war and did not give income. In addition, Derzhavin several years ago foolishly vouched for one of his friends, who turned out to be an insolvent debtor and set off on the run. Thus, over the poet loomed another debt of thirty thousand rubles, which he could not pay in any way. When Gavrila Romanovich left fifty rubles, he decided to resort to the old means - and suddenly won forty thousand cards. Having repaid the debts, the poet, who had recovered his spirit, sent a petition to transfer him to the army with a rise in rank. But instead, in February, 1777 was dismissed.
For Derzhavin, this only benefited — he soon made contacts in the bureaucratic world and became friends with Prince Alexander Vyazemsky, the former Prosecutor General of the Senate. He made a poet performer of the Senate Department of State Revenue. The material affairs of Gavrila Romanovich improved significantly - in addition to a considerable salary, he received six thousand acres in the Kherson province, and also took the estate of a "friend", because of which he was almost "burned". By the time these events coincided with the marriage of Derzhavin. In April 1778, he married Catherine Bastidon. At the age of seventeen, Katya, the daughter of a Portuguese who turned out to be by the will of fate in the Russian service, Derzhavin fell in love at first sight. Making sure that he was “not disgusted” to his beloved one, Gavrila Romanovich got the job of and got a positive response. Ekaterina Yakovlevna turned out to be "a poor girl, but well-behaved." A modest and hardworking woman, she did not try to influence her husband in any way, but she was very receptive and had a good taste. Among Derzhavin's comrades, she enjoyed universal respect and love. In general, the period from 1778 to 1783 was one of the best in the life of the poet. Not having the necessary knowledge, Derzhavin, with extraordinary seriousness, undertook to study the finer points of financial affairs. He also had new good friends, among whom stood the poet Vasily Kapnist, fabulist Ivan Chemnitzer, poet and architect Nikolai Lvov. Being educated Derzhavin, they have provided a novice poet a great help in grinding his work.
In 1783, Gavrila Romanovich composed an ode to “To the wise Kyrgyz princess Felitsa,” in which he presented the image of a smart and fair ruler, opposed to greedy and mercenary court grandees. Oda was written in a joking tone and had many sarcastic allusions to influential persons. In this regard, it was not intended for printing, however, shown to a pair of friends, began to diverge in handwritten lists and soon reached Catherine II. Gavrila Romanovich, who had learned about it, was seriously afraid of punishment, but the ode, as it turned out, really liked the queen - the author truly caught the impressions she wanted to make on her subjects. As a token of gratitude, Catherine II sent Derzhavin a gold snuffbox, covered with jewels and filled with gold coins. Despite this, when, in the same year, Gavrila Romanovich, who learned that the Prosecutor General of the Senate was hiding part of the income, came out against him, he was dismissed. The Empress knew very well that the poet was right, but she understood even better that it was not safe for her to fight corruption, eating away at the state apparatus.
However, Derzhavin did not lose heart and began to bother about the place of the Kazan governor. In the spring of 1784, Gavrila Romanovich suddenly announced his desire to explore the land near Bobruisk, received after leaving military service. When he reached Narva, he rented a room in the city and wrote there for several days without going outside. Thus, the ode “God” appeared - one of the outstanding works of Russian literature. As one critic said: “If of all the works of Derzhavin, only this ode came to us, then she alone would be sufficient reason to consider her author a great poet.”
Derzhavin did not become the Kazan governor - by the will of the tsarina he inherited the newly established Olonets province. After visiting the Orenburg possessions, the poet hurried to the capital and after an audience with Catherine in the fall of 1784 went to the capital of the newly-created province, the city of Petrozavodsk. Here he began to build a governor’s house at his own expense. To do this, Gavrila Romanovich had to get into debt, pledge his wife’s jewels and even the golden snuffbox given to him. The poet was filled with the most optimistic hopes, deciding to implement on the territory entrusted to him the provincial reform of Catherine II, designed to limit the arbitrariness of local officials and streamline the management system. However, unfortunately Derzhavin was supervised by his Archangel and Olonets governor Timofey Tutolmin, who settled in the same Petrozavodsk. This very arrogant and extremely wasteful man had previously served as governor in Yekaterinoslav and in Tver. Being a viceroy, this man, who tasted the delights of virtually unlimited power, did not want to give it to the lower governor.
The war between Derzhavin and Tutolmin broke out shortly after the official opening of the province in early December 1784. At first, Gavrila Romanovich tried to negotiate with Timofey Ivanovich in an amicable way, and then directly referred to the order of Catherine II from 1780 of the year, which prohibited the deputies to make their own decisions. Both Olonets heads turned to St. Petersburg with complaints against each other. As a result, Prince Vyazemsky, the Prosecutor General of the Senate, against whom Derzhavin had made in the recent past, sent an order that gave conduct of affairs in all provincial institutions under the full control of the governor. By the summer of 1785, Derzhavin’s position had become unbearable - almost all the officials took Tutolmin’s side and, openly laughing at the governor, sabotaged his orders. In July, the poet went on a trip to Olonets province and on the way received a provocative order of the governor to move to the extreme north and establish the city of Kem there. By the way, in the summer it was impossible to get there by land, and by sea it was extremely dangerous. Nevertheless, the governor fulfilled the commission of Tutolmin. In September, he returned to Petrozavodsk, and in October, taking his wife, he left for St. Petersburg. At the same time, the poet gave the final form to the work “To Lords and Judges” - the transcription of the 81 th psalm, in which he “commented” on the Petrozavodsk defeat.
Ekaterina, who avoided extremes, did not punish Derzhavin for her unauthorized departure, nor Tutolmin for violating the laws. Moreover, Gavrila Romanovich was given another chance - he was appointed Tambov governor. The poet arrived in Tambov in March 1786 and immediately got down to business. The governor Ivan Gudovich while living in Ryazan, and therefore at first Derzhavin did not interfere. In the first year and a half, the governor achieved great success - a tax collection system was established, a four-year school was established, provided with visual aids and textbooks, and construction of new roads and stone houses was organized. In Tambov with Derzhavin, a printing house and hospital, an orphanage and an almshouse, a theater opened. And then Petrozavodsk history repeated - Gavrila Romanovich decided to stop the machinations committed by the influential local merchant Borodin, and found out that the secretary of the governor and vice-governor were behind him. Feeling right, Derzhavin somewhat exceeded his authority, thereby giving large trumps to the hands of enemies. In this conflict, Gudovich spoke out against the poet, and in December the governor of 1788 was brought to justice.
The case of Gavrila Romanovich should have been decided in Moscow, and therefore he went there, leaving his spouse visiting the Golitsyns who lived near the Tambov. The court decision in such cases depended no longer on the true sins of the defendants, but on the presence of influential patrons. This time Derzhavin, with the support of Sergey Golitsyn, managed to enlist the help of Potemkin himself. As a result, the court - by the way, rightly so - on all counts, issued an acquittal. Of course, the persecutors of Gavrila Romanovich did not receive punishment. Delighted Derzhavin went to the capital in the hope of getting a new position, but Catherine II offered him nothing this time. For a whole year the poet was forced to do nothing, until he finally decided to remind himself, writing a beautiful ode to “The Image of Felitsa”. However, instead of working, he gained access to a new favorite of Catherine Platon Zubov - the empress in this way intended to expand the horizons of her near lover. Most courtiers could only dream of such good fortune, but the poet was upset. In the spring of 1791, Potemkin arrived in St. Petersburg from the south with the intention of getting rid of Zubov, and Gavrila Romanovich agreed to write a few odes for a grand celebration conceived by the empress's husband. The unique presentation, which took place in late April, cost the prince (and in fact the Russian treasury) half a million rubles, but did not achieve his goal. The confrontation between Zubov and Potemkin ended with the sudden death of the last 1791 in October. Learning about this, Derzhavin composed the Waterfall ode devoted to this bright man.
Contrary to expectations, the poet did not turn out to be in disgrace, and in December 1791 was appointed the Empress's personal secretary at all. Catherine II, intending to limit the powers of the Senate, entrusted Gavrila Romanovich to inspect his affairs. The poet, as always, took the assignment with full responsibility and soon completely tortured the queen. He brought her whole piles of papers and talked for hours about corruption in the highest aristocracy, which included her closest associates. Catherine II knew this very well and did not intend to seriously deal with abuses and embezzlement. Frankly bored, she directly and indirectly made Derzhavin understand that she was not interested. However, the poet did not want to complete the investigation, they often argued fiercely, and Gavrila Romanovich would sometimes shout at the tsarina. This strange secretarial lasted for two years, until the empress identified Derzhavin as a senator. But the poet did not let up at the new place, constantly breaking the half-awake current of Senate meetings. Then the empress in 1794 put him at the head of the commerce college, scheduled for abolition, while demanding that he “not interfere in anything”. The indignant poet in response wrote a sharp letter in which he asked to fire him. Catherine did not send the poet to resign, and Gavrila Romanovich continued to be a member of the Senate.
It should be noted that this disruption Derzhavin was not only explained by his bitter disappointment in the empress. There was another, more serious reason. His wife, with whom the poet lived in perfect harmony over a decade and a half, fell seriously ill, and in July 1794 passed away at the age of thirty-four. Her death was a terrible shock for Derzhavin. They had no children, and the emptiness that arose in the house seemed unbearable to Gavril Romanovich. In order to avoid the worst - “so as not to evade boredom into depravity” - he chose to marry again after six months. The poet recalled how he had inadvertently heard a conversation between his wife and then still very young Darya Dyakova, the daughter of the Senate Chief Prosecutor Alexei Dyakov. At that time, Ekaterina Yakovlevna wanted to marry her for Ivan Dmitriev, to which the girl replied: “No, find me a groom like Gavriil Romanovich, then I will go for him and, I hope, I will be happy”. Derzhavin's matchmaking to the twenty-seven-year-old Darya Alekseevna was favorably accepted. The bride, however, turned out to be very legible - before accepting, she carefully studied Derzhavin's receipt and expenditure notebooks and, having only made sure that the groom's household was in good condition, she agreed to get married. Darya Alekseevna immediately took all the affairs of Derzhavin of an economic nature into her own hands. Being a skillful entrepreneur, she led the foremost at the time the serf economy, bought villages, set up factories. At the same time, Darya Alekseevna was not a mean woman, for example, every year she included several thousand rubles in the expenditure line in advance, in case the spouse lost herself in the cards.
In the last decade of the century, Derzhavin, already by that time the title of the first poet of Russia, had the reputation of a free-thinker. In 1795, he presented to the Empress the poisonous poems "The Grandee" and "To the sovereigns and judges." Catherine took them very cold, and because of this, the courtiers almost shied away from the poet. And in May, 1800 after the death of Suvorov, Derzhavin composed the famous Snigir dedicated to his memory. The enthronement of Paul I in the fall of 1796 brought him both new hopes and new disappointments. Having intended to change the style of government, the emperor was in dire need of honest and open people, but he still less than his mother recognized the right of his subjects to their own opinion. In connection with this, the service career of Gavrila Romanovich under the new ruler turned out to be quite entertaining. At first, he was appointed head of the office of the Supreme Council, but expressed displeasure on the matter and was sent back to the Senate with an order to sit quietly. There, the poet "sat quietly" until the end of the eighteenth century, until Paul suddenly made him a member of the Supreme Soviet, putting at the head of the treasury.
After the accession of Alexander I, Derzhavin, for the umpteenth time, lost his posts. However, the emperor soon began reorganizing the state administration, and the poet showed his Senate reform project, proposing to make it the highest regulatory and judicial body to which the newly formed Cabinet of Ministers was subordinate. The Tsar liked the plan, and Gavrila Romanovich was invited to take the place of the Minister of Justice and the Prosecutor General of the Senate. However, Derzhavin’s stay on the heights of power was not long - from September 1802 to October 1803. The reason remained the same - Gavrila Romanovich was too demanding, inflexible and uncompromising. The highest criterion for him was the requirements of the law, and he did not want to compromise. Soon the majority of senators and members of the cabinet of ministers rose up against the poet. To the emperor, who was accustomed to openly not expressing his opinion, Derzhavin also limited his “maneuver” “steadfastness,” and soon Alexander I parted ways with him.
At the age of sixty, Gavril Romanovich retired. At first, he still hoped that he would be remembered and called for service again. But in vain - members of the imperial family invited the famous poet only for dinners and balls. Derzhavin, who was used to being in business, began to get bored - he was not used to doing only literary activities. In addition, the mental strength of lyric poetry, as it turned out, was not enough. Gavrila Romanovich composed a series of verse tragedies that became the weakest part of literary work. In the end, the poet sat down for his memoirs and frank and interesting "Notes" were born. Along with this, in St. Petersburg's house of Derzhavin on Fontanka with 1811 meetings of the “lovers of the Russian word” began to be held, organized by Alexander Shishkov and speaking out against dominance among the Russian nobility of the French language. Derzhavin did not attach any great significance to this controversy, he himself liked the idea of spending his literary evenings with him. Later, this gave literary scholars an excuse, without due reason, to rank him among the "cones."
The last years of his life Gavril Romanovich lived in Zvanka - his estate, located near Novgorod. Through the efforts of Darya Alekseevny, a good two-storey house was built on the bank of the Volkhov and a garden was laid out - in a word, everything needed for a measured, quiet life was available. Derzhavin lived - measured, calm, happy. He said to himself: “The old man loves everything more pokyr, fatter and more luxuriant”. Noise in the house, by the way, was enough - after the death of a friend of Nikolai Lvov, the poet in 1807 took over his three daughters - Praskovya, Vera and Lisa. And even earlier, his cousins Daria Alekseevny Praskovya and Varvara Bakuniny also settled in his house.
A special place in the history of Russian culture took the exam at the Tsarskoye Selo Lyceum in 1815. It was there that young Pushkin read his poems in the presence of the elderly Derzhavin. It should be noted that the attitude of Alexander Sergeevich to his predecessor, to put it mildly, was ambiguous. And the point here was not at all in the peculiarities of Gavrila Romanovich's poetic style. The meeting with the formerly absentee pride of the poetry of Pushkin and his friends terribly disappointed - they could not “forgive” Derzhavin for his senility. In addition, he seemed to them to be "koshivist", and therefore an opponent of the beloved youth of Karamzin ...
Enjoying life and contemplating the world around us, the poet increasingly began to think about the inevitable. Not far from Zvanka there was a Khutyn monastery founded at the end of the twelfth century. It was in this place Derzhavin bequeathed to bury himself. A few days before his death, he began to write - powerfully, as in the best time - the ode to corruption: "The river of times in its aspirations / Carries away all the affairs of people / And drowns in the abyss of oblivion / Peoples, kingdoms and kings ... ". His hour has come - the poet died on July 20 1816, and his body was laid to rest in one of the chapels of the Transfiguration Cathedral of the Khutyn monastery, later re-ordained by the request of his wife in the name of the Archangel Gabriel. During the years of the Great Patriotic War, the Khutyn monastery was completely destroyed, and the grave of the great poet suffered as well. In 1959, the remains of Derzhavin were reburied in the Novgorod Kremlin near the St. Sophia Cathedral. In the years of perestroika, the Khutyn monastery was revived, and in 1993 the remains of Gavrila Romanovich were returned to their former place.
Based on materials from the site http://www.derzhavin-poetry.ru/ and the weekly edition “Our History. 100 Great Names »