M. Yu. Lermontov
Mtskheta – the ancient capital of Georgia, founded there, “where, merging, rustling, / Embracing as if two sisters, / Strui Aragva and the Kura.” Immediately, in Mtskheta, and Svetitskhoveli Cathedral with the tombs of the last kings of independent Georgia, “handed over” their people “to the one-faith Russia. Since then (the end of the XVII century.) And the blessing of God is suffering over the long-suffering country, it blossoms and prosperes, “not fearing enemies, / beyond the bounds of friendly bayonets.”
“Once a Russian general / I drove from the mountains to Tiflis, he was taking the child of the prisoner.” He realized that he would not take the child to Tiflis alive in such a state, the general leaves a prisoner in Mtskheta, in the local monastery there. Mtskhetsky monks, righteous men, devotees, enlighteners, having cured and christened a foundling, bring him up in a truly Christian spirit. And it seems that hard and unselfish work achieves the goal. Having forgotten his native language and got used to captivity, Mtsyri speaks Georgian fluently. Yesterday’s savage “is ready in the color of years to utter a monastic vow.” And suddenly, on the eve of the solemn event, the adoptive son disappears, imperceptibly slipping out of the monastery fortress at a terrible hour when the holy fathers, fearful of the storm, crowded like lambs around the altar.
Life in captivity extinguished the “ray-guide” in his soul, that is, the unmistakably correct, almost animal feeling of his path, which every mountaineer possesses from birth, and without which neither man nor beast can survive in the wild abysses of the central Caucasus. Yes, Mtsyri escaped from the monastery fortress, but that inner prison, the tightness that the civilizers built in his soul, he can not destroy! It is this terrible tragic discovery, and not the ragged wounds inflicted by the leopard, that kill in Mtsyri the instinct of life, the thirst for life with which the true and not foster children of nature come into the world. A born freedom-loving person, he, in order not to live as a slave, dies like a slave: humbly, without cursing anyone. The only thing about which he asks his jailers to be buried in that corner of the monastery garden, from where “the Caucasus is also visible.”