Riddle of Mikhail Lermontov's death
• Mystery death of Mikhail Lermontov
176 years ago, July 27 (old style - 15 July) in 1841, was killed in a duel poet Mikhail Lermontov. Ever since the debate continues about what was the reason of the murder, and to whom it was profitable. Biography of the poet put forward dozens of different versions - from the mystical to the political. In this story so many secrets that restore the true picture of events today is really very difficult.
Gorbunov. Lermontov in the coat Tenghinka Infantry Regiment, 1841. Detail
The reason for the duel Lermontov became delivered to the address of his friend Nikolai Martynov taunts in the presence of ladies. Retired Major liked to wear caucasian clothes and struck the imagination of the young ladies dagger that always hung from his belt. Lermontov advised Emilia Verzilin to which both felt sympathy, fear of the "Highlander with a large dagger." He had a reputation for a bully and had never participated in a duel, but this time felt insulted and demanded satisfaction. In fact, Lermontov himself provoked the challenge to a duel.
P. Zabolotski. Portrait of Mikhail Lermontov, 1837. Detail
On the bad character of Lermontov complained many of his contemporaries. They say that his eye was called "a poisonous reptile." Jokes about Martynov - is not the only and relatively harmless. So let us this description: "The character he was moody and nervous. It is helpful to cloying and courteous, then distracted, indifferent and inattentive. It was something fun, something sad. I could be silent for hours, and when applied to him, it comes back with bile and sarcasm. "
The duel that led to the tragic death of the poet
Some thought that the fight was a cover for a planned murder. During Soviet times, the most popular was the version of the political "order" - Lermontov allegedly shot dead on the orders of the chief of police Benkendorf or of Nicholas I. They wrote that the poet was expelled from St. Petersburg on the orders of the Emperor, which in Pyatigorsk behind him followed the gendarmes, and the duel was certainly not random. Other researchers agree that Lermontov's fate was sealed long before the duel, and the enemies were just looking for an excuse to incite the poet someone of his acquaintances.
A Klyunder. Portrait of Mikhail Lermontov, 1838. Detail
However, the version of "deliberate murder Lermontov agents Nicholas I" can hardly be considered a sufficiently reasoned. Emperor really called the poem "Death of a Poet," "shameless free-thinking, more than crime," the poet and sent to the Caucasus in the army, he had reason to be dissatisfied, but not for hatred, much less murder. The attempt to represent the poet victim of autocracy seems too far-fetched. Lermontov was hardly as dangerous for the emperor, so he resorted to the most extreme measures.
Supporters version planned murder has also been suggested that a duel was a third person, a hired killer, lurking in the bushes and shoot at the bottom of the poet. The reason for such an explanation - an unusual character of Lermontov's wounds: the bullet had passed from the bottom upwards at an angle of 35 degrees. However Martynov shot sounded immediately after the poet raised his arm and fired into the air. From the impact it could deviate slightly back, and then a bullet could really enter at an angle.
F. Budkin. Portrait of Mikhail Lermontov in the official uniform of the Life-Guard Hussar Regiment, 1834. Detail
Another version of the death of Lermontov - a suicide disguised as a murder. Some researchers believe that the poet himself sought death as a kind of deliverance from a life of his burden. Therefore deliberately provoked a quarrel Martynov and challenge to a duel. Before the fatal shot Lermontov was calm, he did not use his right duelist with the words "Shoot the fool, I will not" raised his arm up and fired into the air. And if specially exposed himself a bullet Martynov. A duel with de Barant in 1840, he also fired into the air. His early death and he felt as if waiting for her, as evidenced by the prophetic lines of many of his poems. Lermontov's biographers assert that all his life he was obsessed with the passion of self-destruction and has repeatedly put themselves at risk. And concludes that the poet himself planned and organized his own penalty.
Repin. Duel 1897
Some see in the death of the poet mystic, calling his death last in a series of deaths, "the curse of" Lermontov. Allegedly, none of them did not live to a ripe old age and died a natural death. His grandfather because of unrequited love, committed suicide by drinking a glass of "some stuff", his mother died at age 21 of tuberculosis, his father died at age 44. And with the death of Mikhail Yurevich this unfortunate dynasty became extinct. Mystic saw in the mirror and dates of birth and death of the poet -. 1814 and 1841, drawing parallels with the tragic events in the history of the whole country, that happened a century later at the same time.
R. Schwede. Lermontov on his deathbed, 1841
Perhaps so many versions arose simply because the fans of the great poet is still hard to believe that a harmless joke could result in a duel with a fatal outcome and break Lermontov's life in 26 years.