Compared to the frightened silence that prevailed in Petersburg in the winter of 1739, an unusual revival was observed in the courtyard of the chief governor of Volyn. Volynsky arranged a celebration for the Empress Anna Ioannovna, for this purpose, couples in national costumes from all parts of Russia gathered in his yard. One after another, the couples passed before Artem Petrovich Volynsky, one of the most beautiful men at the court of the empress. Volodymyr was assisted by his secretary Zuda, a small, monkey-like little man, very wise and learned.
The favorite of the Empress Biron conceived this holiday only in order to distract his enemy Volynsky from the struggle for power. Meanwhile, before Volynsky, a gypsy couple was passing by. He noticed that the gypsy was extremely similar to the Moldovan princess, the beautiful Mariorytsa Lelemiko, the favorite of the empress. Volynska was already married for eight years, but did not miss any beautiful girl at court. Mariotica was another object of his passion.
A veteran in heart affairs, in politics Volynsky was ready to sacrifice everything for his country, and “with great indignation watched as Biron streaked his whip with his.” He waited for a convenient hour to open the empress’s black affairs to Biron.
After talking with the gypsy girl, who was called Mariula, Volynsky told her to stay and continued the review. The pair was not found only in the Little Russian. Left alone with the gypsy, Volynsky asked her to take a note to the palace of Princess Lelemico. With difficulty concealing the excitement, the gypsy agreed. Coming from Volyn, Mariula confessed her faithful friend, the gypsy Vasily, that the princess was her daughter. Thinking that Volynsky was a widower, the gypsy decided to marry him to the princess. Mariula was afraid that the palace would guess the origin of the princess, as soon as they were seen next to her, she did not want to ruin her child and asked Vasily to help her. They hid themselves at the Winter Palace and saw how the sovereign, along with her favorite, went to the arena. Having seen the black-haired princess, the gypsy lost her senses.
Meanwhile, near the arena adjutant of the Duke of Biron, Grosnot, tortured a man – poured it on the water in the cold. It was that little Russian who had not been counted by Volynsky. Some papers were demanded of him, but overdone: a little Russian turned into an icy statue.
At this time Anna Ivanovna came up to the arena. She loved riding, but that day she was unwell, and she only watched the skillful ride of her favorite. Biron was statuette and quite handsome, only his cruel expression spoiled him. Leaving the arena, the empress noticed something like a tightly packed bag of Kulkowski, which was the most necessary “thing” of the two previous favorites, and now moved on to Biron. Near the arena the empress saw an icy statue. Not embarrassed, Grosnot said that the statue was cast for the fun of the empress. This prompted Anna Ioannovna to think of building an ice palace with complete decoration and playing in it the wedding of Kulkovsky, which the empress granted to the pages. The 50-year-old page was ordered to look for a bride.
Volynskaya, with vexation, thought that “Biron, walking on the corpses of his victims, has already carried his foot to the highest level in Russia.” The Empress weakened every day, and Biron took her place. Volodya’s peace and passion for the Mariory did not give.
Princess Mariourice Lelemico was 18 years old. The Janissaries killed her parents and burnt the house. Mariotica got to Hotinsky pasha, who prepared it for his own harem. When Marioritsa grew up, Pasha decided to give it to the Sultan. Pasha brought up Marioritsa as a future sultan and his beloved daughter, gave her the best education at that time. From the Christian faith she had a golden cross and vague memories of a woman who had taken her out of the fire and told her not to forget the faith of her fathers. This woman sold the Marioritsa pasha. A French teacher introduced the princess to the dogmas of Christianity, as a result, Muslim fatalism mixed in her soul with Christian mysticism. When it came time to take the Marioritsa to the Sultan, a Russian-Turkish war broke out. Khotyn became Russian, and Marshal Minikh sent the princess to St. Empress to St. Petersburg. The Empress settled the girl next to her,
Earlier Pasha jokingly threatened the princess to give it to the Russian ambassador Volynsky. It was Volynsky who was the first courtier who met Mariaritsa in Petersburg. Filled with fatalism, Princess decided that this is the man she is destined to love. Having bought Treydyakovsky and Volynsky, the princess sent her love letters. Tredyakovsky was forbidden to tell Marioritsa that Volynsky was married.
Volynsky’s thoughts were violated by the arrival of an Arab who brought him a package from Biron. Alarmed, Artemy Petrovich opened the package and found a letter from an unknown friend among other papers. A foreigner, close to Biron, offered Volynsky assistance in the fight against the duke out of love for his second homeland – Russia. He warned Volynsky that in his house the spy of Biron was hiding and revealed to him the secret of the disappearance of the Little Russian, who was a nobleman named Gordenko and was carrying a “petition to the Empress, in which he described the cruelties of the temporary worker and his greedy connections with the Poles.” It was this paper that Grosin demanded from him, but he did not achieve anything. This foreigner asked not to look for him, promising that he would open himself.
It turned out that the faithful Arab Volynskogo, Nikolai, and the secretary of the Zuda knew who the spy was, but refused to give the name, fearing that Artemy Petrovich’s ardent temper would spoil the whole affair. Itching tried to persuade Volynsky to stop the relationship with the princess. He feared that the empress would learn of the attempt to seduce her favorite, Volynskaya would fall into disgrace and lose the opportunity to serve his homeland. Volynsky did not want to listen to him.
In the evening, some holy masks appeared to Cabinet-Minister Volynsky. Volynsky was informed that under his masks his friends and like-minded people, gof-intendant Perokin and secret adviser Shchurkhov were hiding, but this was a lie. In fact, under the masks were concealed supporters of Biron, led by his brother Gustav. They came to force Volynsky, in witnesses, to speak out against Biron. One of the mummers was that same unknown well-wisher. He warned Volynsky about the danger. Then Volynsky planted uninvited guests in his sleigh and ordered the coachmen to land them on the Volkov field, where the corpses of the poor were dropped. Brother Biron Artemy Petrovich personally took to the Winter Palace.
Passing by the Winter, Volynsky saw Princess Mariaritsa with her friends, – they guessed. Returning home, Artemy Petrovich decided to go to the end and appoint a secret visit to the Mario in spite of the girl’s innocence. He wrote a note, put it under the binding of the book and sent her to Mariaritsa with his Arab.
The propensity of Volynsky to the princess has already become known to Biron. Grunya, the maid of the Marioritsa, was instructed to follow the mistress. No matter how much Grunya liked Princess, the fear of punishment remained stronger. After reading a note from Volyn, Mariorytsia put it at her head. At night Grunya stole a note and handed it to the person on duty, so that he copied it and brought it back. Fearing that the princess would respond to the note, Grunya sent the book to Volynsky early in the morning.
In the middle of the night on the frozen Neva drove out with two peasants. Between them lay the corpse of a little Russian, wrapped in matting, which they were instructed to throw into the river. Only they were going to thrust the deceased into the hole, as they saw that behind them rush some sleighs. Someone got out of them, then suddenly grew up and “began to measure the river in huge, jagged steps.” The frightened peasants fled, and the giant took off the stilts and turned into the Itch. Together with the Arab Nicholas, they buried the corpse in a snowdrift on the banks of the Neva.
In the morning the tsagans left the inn, where they settled all the participants of the festival, and went for a walk around St. Petersburg. The gypsy could not appear in the palace, and Vasily thought how to help her. Once Vasily was a Russian sailor. Having escaped, he wandered for several years, stealing horses and fell into the hands of the Chotinsky judge. The gypsy girl, who was at the mercy of the Khotyn Pasha, saved him. Since then, Vasily has not left her. In Vasiliy’s fishing village there was an old acquaintance, a sorceress. To her, he led the gypsy Mariula.
The gypsies have already approached the Gostiny Dvor, when suddenly voices were heard: “The words are being led!”. The Gostiny Dvor was empty in a moment, only the confused Gypsies remained. The language is a criminal who was taken in a mask in the city, so that he pointed to other participants in the crime. Language pointed to the first people who came in to confuse the investigation or take revenge. The tongue pointed to the gypsy woman, she was seized and taken to the interrogation. Faithful Vasily followed, not far behind.
The gypsy was afraid that she would be questioned about the princess, but she was asked only about the Little Gordenko and his paper. The gypsy was acquainted with Gordenka. Before the arrest, he managed to give her an ill-fated request. Mariula told everything she knew and gave the document to Lipman, rejoicing that she had taken the danger from her daughter. Together with Lipman, the gypsy was interrogated also by his nephew Eichler, who was Lipman instead of his son. Gypsy was released, and Vasily led her to his sorceress.
A witch doctor, a squat and hunchbacked old woman, recognized Vasily. Once he pulled her husband out of the fire. Vasily asked the healer to have a very caustic infusion, which was treated for consumption. The wizard gave an infusion and let the gypsies spend the night. At night, Basil could not sleep. He left the house. At this time, Mariula took the infusion and poured it on her face. As a result, the gypsy blinded one eye, and half of her face was covered with scary scars. Now no one will notice her resemblance to Princess Lelemiko.
Meanwhile, Lipman and Grosnot finally convinced Biron that the case of the Little Gordenki was over. The duke was solemnly presented with a genuine petition. Sleepy, lanky Eichler was granted the office secretary. Immediately a new intrigue was conceived. Biron decided to indulge Volynsky’s love for the princess, to bring their novel to its logical conclusion, and then to open all the empress. Anna Ioannovna will not forgive Volynsky the fall of his beloved. Gypsy girl, the envoy of Artem Petrovich, was provided with free entrance to the palace.
Lipman asked Biron to save Volynsky’s housekeeper (the lord of the bar), who so successfully spied for them in his house. The Duke decided to marry her to Kulkovsky. The poor father’s will was announced to the poor man, and he did not dare to protest.
Osterman appeared. Until now, he supported Biron “as a favorite of the sovereign, which he himself ascended to the throne,” but recently switched to the side of Volyn. At the Duke, he decided to play an “ambiguous role” until circumstances indicate to him the right path.
Minhy and Volynsky came in. Artemy Petrovich was furious: instead of serving for the benefit of Russia, he had to deal with the arrangement of the ice palace. Biron gladly passed this order of the Empress to Volynsky. In response, Volynsky reminded the duke of the Little Russian, which made him very angry. “I or he must perish!” said Biron, leaving for the Empress. In the coach of Biron there was a note threatening, in which it was said that Gordenka’s body was hidden, and one day it would testify against Biron himself. This note confused the duke, and he decided not to show Anna Ivanovna yet that she was angry with Volynsky.
The Princess did not reply to Volynsky’s letter, and from this his passion grew even stronger. In this mood, he came to the palace and entered the hall, where the Empress played billiards with her favorite. There Princess Mario – rica managed to secretly give Artem Petrovich the answer to his letter. The Empress asked Volynsky for permission to marry Kulkovsky at the bar’s mistress. Although Volynsky had vague suspicions about her, he had to agree.
Immediately the jester of the empress, Pedrillo, said that without memory he was in love with the daughter of a court goat and asked for permission to marry her. Anna Ivanovna liked the idea of marrying a buffoonie on a goat.
For several days Volynska could not see Princess, and was capricious, like a child. Everything that used to be the meaning of his life became irrelevant to him. Gypsy Mariulu he searched all over Petersburg. One evening some beggar handed Volynsky a paper, which turned out to be a true denunciation of Gordenka. Volynsky was delighted with the find, but also was frightened that this paper would cause separation from the princess. Bringing the passion to frenzy, Volynska was already thinking about a divorce from her wife, who until now remained in Moscow and did not know anything.
In the meantime, the Arab Nicholas caught the master’s mistress... at the scene of the crime: she was listening in the dressing room of Volynsky’s room. Her kick was kicked out of the house, and she had no choice but to ask for help and shelter from Lipman.
Finally the gypsy was found. Volynskaya admitted to her that she loved the princess and sent a gypsy woman to the palace for a note from the princess. The gypsy Mariula agreed to help Artemy Petrovich, demanding in return a promise to marry Princess Lelemiko. The Arab led a gypsy woman to the palace.
The princess was frightened to see the ugliness of the gypsy, but when she learned that she had been sent by Volynsky, she was reassured by her trust. Volynskoy came to life, having received a letter in which the princess admitted to him in love. Further correspondence of lovers went through the hands of the gypsy Mariula.
Between the Admiralty and the Winter Palace, an ice palace grew in a few days. All the decoration in it, too, was made of ice. The Empress decided to examine the ice house at night, under illumination. She appeared there accompanied by Biron and Volynsky. On the ice windows, caricatures were replaced, which illustrated all the “feats” of Biron, including the execution of Gordenka. Volynsky reminded the Empress of the ice statue she had once seen at the ducal arena, and said that this statue was waiting for her in one of the rooms of the ice palace. Having seized the time, Biron and Lipman found this statue and destroyed it. The Empress no longer asked about the statue, fearing that this would disturb her quiet life and cast a shadow on Biron.
Coming out of the ice house, the empress saw a sleigh, surrounded by torchbearers, who prepared for her Volynsky. All this seemed to her like a funeral procession. The Empress was frightened and called Volynsky, but he was not there – he was near Princess Marioritsa. Biron took advantage of the situation and took Anna Ioannovna to the palace.
Volyn, however, led the princess and imperceptibly found herself in her room. After a while Lipman ran into the room with the news that the Empress was ill, saw Volynsky there and wanted to call people to witness the fall of the princess, but, frightened by the wrath of Artemy Petrovich, promised to remain silent for the time being.
The next day the gypsy Mariul was not allowed to go to the princess. At the palace, she was intercepted by a lord of barons. From her, Mariula learned that Volynsky’s wife, Natalya Andreevna, was alive. The gypsy ran to Volynsky and rushed to his feet. She did not dare to admit that Princess Lelemiko was her daughter, and only begged him to fulfill his oath. Unable to withstand the emotional tension, the gypsy lost her senses. From that time Volynsky began to torment with remorse.
For several days the gypsy Mariula did not see the princess. Finally, she found out that the princess was ill and did not leave the palace. Basil, as he could, consoled his girlfriend. The gypsy woman told him her story. At the age of 19 she fell in love with the Moldovan prince Lelemiko and gave birth to a daughter from him. Soon the prince’s mother guessed about their connection and forced her son to marry a noble maid. From that moment her daughter replaced Mariula with the whole world. The prince provided Mariula with money, and the girl grew like a princess. The whole camp lived at the expense of the prince’s generosity.
Lelemico did not have legal children, and he began to persuade Mariula to give him his daughter. Meanwhile, the gypsy woman ran out of money, the girl began to walk in rags and need. Unable to withstand this, Mariula threw the child under the princely windows, writing in a letter that the girl comes from a noble family. Mariula herself settled in the same city to watch her daughter grow up.
When the Janissaries attacked the city, Mariula took her daughter out of the burning house and lost consciousness, and then was ill for a long time. During this time the princess disappeared. Mariula learned that she was sold for sale. In the end, the gypsy found a daughter in Hotin and stole it. There was not much to live for, and Mariula sold her daughter to the Potek of Khotyn, and herself settled again nearby. When Russian came to Khotin, Mariula followed her daughter to St. Petersburg.
Near the house of Shchurkhov’s adviser there was a meeting of the Zuda with a secret ally of Volynsky. They were saddened by the passion of Artem Petrovich to the princess, who interfered with the common cause. Itching believed that “the chains with which our patron is chained to the Moldavian woman – they are sensual” and therefore unreliable. He decided to use the passion of Volynsky to bring him closer to the Empress.
Then friends noticed that they were being watched. The itch decided to move over the fence to the garden of Shchurkhov, but because of the small growth he could not do it and hung over the ground. Lipman found, near the house of the adviser Shchurkhov, only his nephew Eichler, who was that mysterious friend. Declaring his uncle that he interfered with his intrigue, Eichler grabbed the boat and with his help threw the Itud from the fence, and then took his uncle away from the house of Shchurkhov.
The half-frozen Zudu was found in the snowdrift of the servant Shchurkhov, led by the owner himself. The poor man was taken to the house, warmed up and left to spend the night. The next day his friends and members of the Volynsky party, Perokin and Sumin-Kupshin, came to Shchurkhov. The Empress appointed all three to an audience. They decided to tell Anna Ioannovna about Volynsky’s love for Marioritsa and ask for permission from Artem Petrovich for a divorce, although his wife was Perotkin’s sister. “Thus Volyn will come dry from the water, and the Empress will get a strong prejudice against her pet.” After that, they were going to beg the empress about Biron’s resignation. The itch fully approved this plan.
The jokes of Perokin and Shchur – khov were overheard and they informed Lipman about everything. Soon the friends received a notification that the audience had been canceled, and they were invited to “Pedrillo’s apartment, the home of his wife, the court goat”, where Volynska was invited.
Now there was nobody to deliver the note to Princess from Volynsky. The gypsy pursued Artemia, threatening with God’s punishment for the desecrated honor of Princess Marioritsa. Volynsky went to the homeland of the goat only to see the princess. His friends came after him. They rushed to their knees before the empress, but she did not want to listen to them, and, carried by the hand of Biron, hurried out of the hall. “Is not God and Elizabeth – the daughter of the great Peter, and not Anna – save Russia!” exclaimed Kupshin.
Volynskaya still managed to give Princess Mariaritsa a letter in which he admitted that he was married and asked for forgiveness for deception. In response, the princess appointed him a meeting at midnight to prove her love in practice. The note was assigned to the maid Grunya. Near the palace she met the gypsy Mariula and gave a note to her.
The itch told Volynsky, with what intentions his friends wanted to go to an audience with the Empress. Inspired by their nobility, Artemy Petrovich went on a date to Princess Mariaritsa only to abandon her, but the princess did not come. The gypsy stopped her. She confessed to the princess that she was her mother and this upset the gypsy’s mind.
The next day, Volynsky sat in the office and wondered how to save his friends: after the incident in the homeland of the goat, Biron gave them to court. Suddenly someone came into the office – the wife of Volynsky returned from Moscow. She already knew about her husband’s intention to divorce her, but did not want to believe it. When he looked at his wife in Volynsky, love for her came to life. After the reconciliation, Natalia told her husband that she was pregnant. The reason for divorce disappeared, the princess was forgotten.
The itch wrote a letter to the princess, in which he asked her to save Volynsky’s friends from the fortress, and at the same time himself. Together with the letter he sent the Princess two papers, which had to be transmitted to the Empress. The same evening Princess Mariorytsia complied with the request of the Zuda. One of the papers was Gordenka’s true denunciation, the other contained a description of his martyrdom. After reading them, Anna Ioannovna sobbed. Taking advantage of the moment, Marioritsa begged her for the release of three brave men from the Peter and Paul Fortress.
Upon learning of this, Biron swore in vengeance to take revenge on the princess. The next morning he “was received by the sovereign with extraordinary coldness and coercion.” Biron decided to take advantage of the last trump card and tell the empress about Volynsky’s connection with the princess, but “the bitterness with which he attacked her favorite destroyed everything he had won again from his lost rights and put a new barrier between them.”
Appeared Volynskoy and joined with Biron in a squabble, during which the princess became aware that the gypsy was crazy. Princess froze and lost her senses. In all this, Volynskaya felt guilty, “hell started it on this earth, but the way to it was strewn with such roses.”
Soon everything was ready for Kulkovski’s wedding. In the ice house was arranged a luxurious feast, which was attended not only by the whole of the upper world, but also by a couple of all the nationalities inhabiting Russia. Each pair was served the appropriate national dish. After dinner and a ball, the newlyweds were locked all night in an ice house and released only in the morning barely alive. On this day, Biron was unable to regain the former position of the sovereign.
The next day Eichler told Anna Ivanovna how Biron, using the love of Princess Lelemiko, was going to ruin the cabinet of the Minister of Volhynia in the eyes of the empress. This speech exacerbated Biron’s disgrace. The Empress conceived the idea of divorcing Volynsky and his wife and marrying him to the princess.
The Empress denied Natalya Andreevna Volynskaya an audience. Leaving the palace, Natalia met the newly minted Kulkovskaya, who carried her to her apartment and told all the gossip about her husband and the Moldavian woman. Natalia in writing informed Volynsky that he could no longer stay in his house, and settled with his brother Perokin.
Learning about the betrayal of his nephew, Lipman fell into a rage. Restoration of the attachment of the Empress to Biron was prevented only by the princess. It was decided to remove it. Meanwhile, Volynsky suffered, not knowing how to deal with his wife and the princess Marioritsa. He understood that one of them would have to be destroyed. The itch brought Eichler to him. Volynsky was very surprised to learn that this is the same mysterious friend who so helped him.
Eichler brought Volynsky the Empress’s proposal to divorce, marry the princess, and send Natalya to the monastery. This would have completely ruined Biron. Volynsky flatly refused to commit such villainy. On this day Volynska received a message from the princess, in which she appointed him a farewell appointment at midnight at the ice palace.
Princess Lelemiko decided to commit suicide after meeting her beloved. There was no one to stop her – an insane gypsy was already sitting in the pit. Before the meeting, the maid brought the princess a poisoned drink, prepared according to Lipman’s recipe. Princess and Artemy Petrovich spent the night in an ice house. At dawn, she hardly returned to the palace and died in terrible agony. “With difficulty they dragged Anna Ivanovna away from the corpse of her beloved.” Upon learning of the death of Princess Mariaritsa, Volynskaya turned gray for one day. At the grave of the princess saw a sobbing woman – it was Natalia Andreevna Volynskaya. Gypsy Mariula did not understand that her daughter had died.
After the funeral, Volynsky did not leave the house, and Biron returned his influence to the empress. He immediately demanded the execution of his opponent and forced Anna Ioannovna to sign the order. Before the trial, Eichler was able to warn Volynsky that he could escape, but the cabinet minister did not do this.
Volynsky, Shchurkhov and Perkin were cut off. Eichler was punished with a whip and exiled to Siberia for hard labor. The itch was sent to Kamchatka after being punished with a whip. Count Kupshin was cut off and sent to eternal exile.
Anna Ivanovna did not go through much of Volynsky. Biron did not reign for long, soon he went to Siberia following the tracks of his victims. Anna Leopoldovna flashed on the throne, and after her, Elizabeth, the daughter of the great Peter, reigned for a long time.
On the summer day of 1743, a beautiful woman dressed as a peasant came to the grave of Volynsky, followed by a gray-haired old man holding a boy of three years. They were the wife and son of Volynsky. The government summoned Natalya Andreyevna to St. Petersburg to return the selected estates. “Since that time, they have often seen a young noble lady, all in black, with a small son at the Volynsky grave.”
“It was soon heard that some crazy gypsy had died in Rybachaya Sloboda and that her friend had rode off to God’s word where on the blood horse he had stolen from the former stables of Biron.”