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Tsarskoye Selo Lyceum (part 2)

Here you can read the first part of our article about Tsarskoye Selo Lyceum.

Here there was a remarkable fraternity, here Pushkin found his best friends for life, that is Pushin, Delvig, Kuchelbecker.

Троих из вас, друзей моей души,
Здесь обнял я. Поэта дом опальный,
О Пущин мой, ты первый посетил;
Ты усладил изгнанья день печальный,
Ты в день его Лицея превратил.

Three of you, friends of my soul,
It hugged me. Poet’s House in disgrace,
On my Leo, you’re the first visit;
You delight exile sad day,
You’re in his face, turned the day.

Freedom of choice offered to students gave their fruits. Among the first graduates of the Lyceum, except for the great Russian poet, were well-known public figures, famous scientists, great explorers who discovered new lands and sea routes:

Счастливый путь!.. С лицейского порога
Ты на корабль перешагнул шутя.
И с той поры в морях твоя дорога,
О волн и бурь любимое дитя!

Ты, Горчаков, счастливец с первых дней,
Хвала тебе – фортуны блеск холодный
Не изменил души твоей свободной:
Всё тот же ты для чести и друзей.
Нам разный путь судьбой назначен строгой;
Ступая в жизнь, мы быстро разошлись:
Но невзначай просёлочной дорогой
Мы встретились и братски обнялись.

Happy journey! … From the Lyceum’s threshold
You took the ship with a joke.
And from that time on the seas you go your way,
On the waves and in the storms, favorite child!

You, Gorchakov, lucky from the first days,
Praise be to you – fortune shine cold
Do not change the freedom of your soul:
All the same honor to you and your friends.
We were appointed a different way of strict fate;
Stepping into life, we soon parted
But if by chance on a country road
We would meet, we would embraced each other as brothers.

Pushkin wrote his poem “October 19” in 1825, when he was in exile, but even with such a terrible punishment the poet was ready to forgive Alexander, crediting him for the creation of the Lyceum.

Простим ему неправое гоненье:
Он взял Париж, он основал Лицей.

Let us forgive him unjust persecution:
He took Paris, and founded the Lyceum.

The Lyceum of Tsarkoye Selo lasted 32 years. On September 6, 1843, the Lyceum was transfered to St. Petersburg and was renamed the Imperial Alexander Lyceum, by an order of Nicholas I. The reason for the change was the fact that some graduates of the Lyceum, including Pushkin’s friends Pushin and Kuchelbecker were among the participants of the December revolution (December 14, 1825).

The phenomenon of Tsarskoye Selo Lyceum resided in the fact that teachers didn’t try to force students, or didn’t intended to fill their heads with as much knowledge as possible, and to teach them how to cross the correct answers during their exams. Then, 200 years ago, teachers tried to give a good instruction to honest and honorable men, who respected and loved their motherland, appreciated justice, had a sense of dignity. Such a system of education and training contributed to the development of a person as a whole, devoted to his motherland heart and soul.

While saying goodbye to the graduates, Engelhardt admonished: “Идите, друзья, на новом вашем поприще!.. Храните правду, жертвуйте всем за нее; не смерть страшна, а страшно бесчестие; не богатство, не чины, не ленты честят человека, а доброе имя, храните его, храните чистую совесть, вот честь ваша. Идите, друзья, поминайте нас…” (Go, my friends, on this new road of life!.. Keep the truth, sacrifice anything for it, death is not terrible, but terrible is the shame, no wealth, no rank, no ribbon to be proud of, and your good name, keep it too, keep a clean conscience and your honor. Go, my friends, remember us…)

Тамара Малентьева

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