BASMANOV leads in PUSHKIN
BASMANOV. Here enter, and speak freely. So to me He sent thee. PUSHKIN. He doth offer thee his friendship And the next place to his in the realm of Moscow. BASMANOV. But even thus highly by Feodor am I Already raised; the army I command; For me he scorned nobility of rank And the wrath of the boyars. I have sworn to him Allegiance. PUSHKIN. To the throne's lawful successor Allegiance thou hast sworn; but what if one More lawful still be living? BASMANOV. Listen, Pushkin: Enough of that; tell me no idle tales! I know the man. PUSHKIN. Russia and Lithuania Have long acknowledged him to be Dimitry; But, for the rest, I do not vouch for it. Perchance he is indeed the real Dimitry; Perchance but a pretender; only this I know, that soon or late the son of Boris Will yield Moscow to him. BASMANOV. So long as I Stand by the youthful tsar, so long he will not Forsake the throne. We have enough of troops, Thank God! With victory I will inspire them. And whom will you against me send, the Cossack Karel or Mnishek? Are your numbers many? In all, eight thousand. PUSHKIN. You mistake; they will not Amount even to that. I say myself Our army is mere trash, the Cossacks only Rob villages, the Poles but brag and drink; The Russians—what shall I say?—with you I'll not Dissemble; but, Basmanov, dost thou know Wherein our strength lies? Not in the army, no. Nor Polish aid, but in opinion—yes, In popular opinion. Dost remember The triumph of Dimitry, dost remember His peaceful conquests, when, without a blow The docile towns surrendered, and the mob Bound the recalcitrant leaders? Thou thyself Saw'st it; was it of their free-will our troops Fought with him? And when did they so? Boris Was then supreme. But would they now?—Nay, nay, It is too late to blow on the cold embers Of this dispute; with all thy wits and firmness Thou'lt not withstand him. Were't not better for thee To furnish to our chief a wise example, Proclaim Dimitry tsar, and by that act Bind him your friend for ever? How thinkest thou? BASMANOV. Tomorrow thou shalt know. PUSHKIN. Resolve. BASMANOV. Farewell. PUSHKIN. Ponder it well, Basmanov. (Exit.) BASMANOV. He is right. Everywhere treason ripens; what shall I do? Wait, that the rebels may deliver me In bonds to the Otrepiev? Had I not better Forestall the stormy onset of the flood, Myself to—ah! But to forswear mine oath! Dishonour to deserve from age to age! The trust of my young sovereign to requite With horrible betrayal! 'Tis a light thing For a disgraced exile to meditate Sedition and conspiracy; but I? Is it for me, the favourite of my lord?— But death—but power—the people's miseries... (He ponders.) Here! Who is there? (Whistles.) A horse here! Sound the muster!