Cardinal Grishkin, an overtly subtle yarn extolling the Roman faith (Ada, 3.7)
In Pushkin's "Boris Godunov" Grigoriy Otrep'yev (the Pretender) is sometimes referred to as Grishka:
Первый пристав
А вот что: из Москвы бежал некоторый злой еретик, Гришка Отрепьев, слыхал ли ты это?
Григорий (читает): ...А по справкам оказалось, отбежал он, окаянный Гришка, к границе литовской...
This is why; from Moscow there has fled a certain wicked heretic—Grishka Otrepiev. Have you heard this?
GRIGORIY (Reads.) ...And, according to information, it has been shown that he, the accursed Grishka, has fled to the Lithuanian frontier. (Tavern on the Lithuanian Frontier)
Latinskie popy (the Catholic priests) are also mentioned in Pushkin's drama:
Да слышно, он умён, приветлив, ловок,
По нраву всем. Московских беглецов
Обворожил. Латинские попы
С ним заодно. Король его ласкает
И, говорят, помогу обещал.
'Tis said that he is wise,
Affable, cunning, popular with all men.
He has bewitched the fugitives from Moscow,
The Catholic priests see eye to eye with him.
The King caresses him, and, it is said,
Has promised help. (Moscow. Shuyski's House)
Aqua married Demon Veen (Van's and Ada's father) on St. George's Day (1.3). Starinnyi Yuriev den' (the old St. George's Day) is mentioned several times in Boris Godunov. Aqua's twin sister Marina (Van's, Ada's and Lucette's mother) is a namesake of Marina Mnishek, a character in Pushkin's drama, Grigoriy's lover.
In an amateur parody, at Van's birthday party fifteen years ago, his father had made himself up as Boris Godunov and shed strange, frightening, jet-black tears before rolling down the steps of a burlesque throne in death's total surrender to gravity. (2.11)
From "Boris Godunov" (Moscow. Palace of the Tsar):
Что сделалось такое?
Царь занемог.
Царь умирает.
На троне он сидел и вдруг упал —
Кровь хлынула из уст и из ушей.
BASMANOV. What has happened?
The tsar is ill,
The tsar is dying.
A FIFTH. Upon the throne
He sat, and suddenly he fell; blood gushed
From his mouth and ears.
Before taking of monastic vows, Boris tells to his son Feodor:
Ты муж и царь; люби свою сестру,
Ты ей один хранитель остаешься.
thou art a man
And tsar to boot. Be loving to thy sister—
Thou wilt be left of her the sole protector.
Speaking of cardinals: in Canto Three of "Poltava" (1828-29) Pushkin compares Mazepa to "that sly cardinal" (Montalto) who feigned decrepitude in the conclave but regained his vigour when he was elected to the papacy:
Согбенный тяжко жизнью старой,
Так оный хитрый кардинал,
Венчавшись римскою тиарой,
И прям, и здрав, и молод стал.
Alexey Sklyarenko
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