The poem is written in the first person. A student at Moscow University Sashka Polezhaev, a friend, goes to St. Petersburg to visit his uncle. Do you remember how Pushkin at the beginning of the novel “Eugene Onegin” hero also goes to his uncle? It looks like that.
He was born in a small village near Saransk. His first home teacher was a footman from his father’s backyard. The child early learned to swear in Russian and French, play the balalaika. When he was ten years old, his father sent him to study in Moscow. First a boarding school, then a university. Oh, this university! We have lagged behind Europe: education is received there by worthy people, and at us it is full of fools and cattle. Stupid, wild homeland, when will you wake up and overthrow your executioners?
I remember there was a fight in this kind of stash. The police intervened, there were more of them than us. Prior to that, Sashka had not shared a girl with someone, was jealous of her, beat her tight, and now he was seized, his hands tied. He calls for help, gasping: “Here, I will not interrupt everyone here!” One of our, the healthiest,
Sasha had to go to St. Petersburg to a rich uncle: he had no money left, he needed support. He drank the last glass of vodka at the outpost while driving to the northern capital. Night, Neva. Monument to Peter I. It’s sad without Moscow friends and girls! Do not be sad, Sashka, it’s shameful to lose heart, everything will go well.
My uncle was angry at first, shouted at his nephew, but then relented, matched, gave money: he was deeply touched by Sasha’s “sincere” remorse. And he was glad: again he started to bake. He drinks vodka and goes to the girls. But not only this: the theater also visits! And there he does not look like a filthy student, like in Moscow, but a metropolitan dandy bored and disappointed, like the aforementioned Eugene Onegin. With his uncle, he has excellent relations: Sashka managed to pretend to be a well-behaved and religious person, who is interested in all kinds of high matter, art and so on. Sometimes, fun in his pleasure with the beauties, and coming home, he will tell my uncle that he was in the Hermitage. Here’s a crook! Hey, Sashka! I bet you forgot your old friends? He became such an aristocrat… Are not you going back to Moscow? Come back, you can not get away…
And what? I go somehow along the Kremlin garden, I look around, look at the crowd, especially the lady, and – oh, who I see! Why, it’s Sasha! Are you, my dear friend? We embraced, wept with great joy and, of course, went to the tavern. And there all ours! Sashka at the money, treats. He told me that his uncle had sent him to the university for another year. Fine, again the old life. It’s funny to remember how one of ours got drunk, puffed himself up and started hugging Sasha – he blew his fashionable Petersburg suit; somehow pleased my friend! And he himself got drunk that day. And here is a girl friend, tenderness begins…
I remember that we celebrated our happy meeting in a tavern until late at night, and the Kremlin garden was lit by multicolored lights.
Friends, here I have told you something about my Sasha. Perhaps, he will be showered with malicious curses, and at the same time me, who sang of his disgrace. But I despise detractors, and if I find out anything about Sashka, I will certainly tell you.