Boris Godunov

by Alexsander Pushkin

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Public Square in Moscow

PUSHKIN enters, surrounded by the people

   THE PEOPLE. The tsarevich a boyar hath sent to us.
   Let's hear what the boyar will tell us. Hither!

   PUSHKIN. (On a platform.) Townsmen of Moscow! The tsarevich
   Bids me convey his greetings to you. (He bows.) Ye know
   How Divine Providence saved the tsarevich
   From out the murderer's hands; he went to punish
   His murderer, but God's judgment hath already
   Struck down Boris. All Russia hath submitted
   Unto Dimitry; with heartfelt repentance
   Basmanov hath himself led forth his troops
   To swear allegiance to him. In love, in peace
   Dimitry comes to you. Would ye, to please
   The house of Godunov, uplift a hand
   Against the lawful tsar, against the grandson
   Of Monomakh?

   THE PEOPLE. Not we.

   PUSHKIN.          Townsmen of Moscow!
   The world well knows how much ye have endured
   Under the rule of the cruel stranger; ban,
   Dishonour, executions, taxes, hardships,
   Hunger—all these ye have experienced.
   Dimitry is disposed to show you favour,
   Courtiers, boyars, state-servants, soldiers, strangers,
   Merchants—and every honest man. Will ye
   Be stubborn without reason, and in pride
   Flee from his kindness? But he himself is coming
   To his ancestral throne with dreadful escort.
   Provoke not ye the tsar to wrath, fear God,
   And swear allegiance to the lawful ruler;
   Humble yourselves; forthwith send to Dimitry
   The Metropolitan, deacons, boyars,
   And chosen men, that they may homage do
   To their lord and father.

   (Exit. Clamour of the People.)

   THE PEOPLE.             What is to be said?
   The boyar spake truth. Long live Dimitry, our father!

   A PEASANT ON THE PLATFORM. People! To the Kremlin!
   To the Royal palace!
   The whelp of Boris go bind!

   THE PEOPLE. (Rushing in a crowd.)
                             Bind, drown him! Hail
   Dimitry! Perish the race of Godunov!


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