N. M. Karamzin
The Island of Bornholm
From England to Russia A
hero, a young man, talks about his travels through foreign lands. We do not know his name or age. We only know that England was the extreme limit of his journey, where he told himself that it was time to return to the fatherland, and sat in London on a ship going to Russia. The ship quickly passed through the waters of the Thames, and now the sea was visible, how the wind changed, and the ship had to stop in anticipation of a favorable wind against Grösand.
The song of an unknown youth about the island of Bornholm
Our hero together with the captain went ashore, they walked, looked at the sea. The sight of the sea began to lull the hero, when suddenly the branches of the tree shook above his head. He looked and saw a young man, thin, pale, languid, in one hand he held a guitar, another tore sheets from a tree. With immovable eyes, the young man looked at the sea, the last ray of life was
shining in them. And although the young man stood a stone’s throw from the hero, he did not see or hear anything; his whole appearance expressed grief. The young man sighed, walked away from the tree, sat down on the grass, played guitar and sang a sad song in Danish. The song spoke of a nature that blesses love, and of human laws that condemn it; about the faithfulness of the feelings bestowed by nature itself: “O Borgonholm, my soul seeks for you… forever I have been removed by a parental oath from your shores. Do you live, O Leela,
Landing of the Danish island of Bornholm
The coast of England disappeared, the ship went out into the open sea. Soon a cruel seizure of seasickness deprived the hero of feelings, he lay six days without memory and only on the seventh day came to himself and went on deck. There was a sunset, the ship flew on all sails, around the different colors fluttered multicolored flags, and on the right side something black resembling the earth. When asked by the hero, the captain replied that they had passed Zund, the coast of Sweden, and on the right side, the Danish island
of Bornholm, a dangerous place for ships, was visible; when the night comes, the ship will drop anchor. “The island of Bornholm,” recalled our hero the song of a stranger, “will I ever learn his story, his secret?” Meanwhile, the wind carried the ship straight to the island: terrible cliffs were opened, it seemed impregnable. But now the sun has set, the wind has abated, the ship has dropped anchor. Having learned, that near the shore there are fishing huts, a young man asked the capital of the boat to go to the island with a pair of sailors. The captain, giving in to persistent persuasion, gave the boat, with the proviso that early in the morning everyone returned to the ship.
Boats safely pierced, they were met by fishermen, rude and wild people, but not cunning and not evil. Learning that the visitors want to explore the island and spend the night, the fishermen invited them to their home. Arriving in the green valley where the fishermen’s huts were located, our hero left the sailors there, and he went for a walk with the boy of 13 years as a guide.
Castle on the island
The scarlet sun shone on the towers of the ancient castle. The boy could not tell who owns the castle, only said that no one goes there, and no one knows what is happening there. The hero went to the castle, surrounded by a moat and a high wall. The gates were locked, bridges raised. The boy was afraid and asked to go back, but the hero did not listen to him, overcome by curiosity. Night came, and suddenly a voice rang out, and the echo repeated it. The boy trembled with fear. A minute later, another voice rang out: “Who is there?”. The young man replied that it was an outsider, asking for shelter in the castle for the night. There was no answer, but after a few minutes the lift bridge descended, the gate opened and a tall man in black met a young man to take him to the castle. The hero turned back, but the boy-conductor had already fled; The gate slammed behind our hero,
The owner of the castle
Through the overgrown courtyard they came to a huge house, in which a light glowed. Everywhere was gloomy, empty and neglected. The man did not say a word. Passing several rooms, they passed into a small room, in the corner of which sat a gray-haired elder. He looked sadly at the young man, gave him a weak hand and greeted him, then began questioning about the events in the world: “Tell me, does love reign on the globe?” Does incense smoke on the talents of virtue? ” “The light of science,” replied the hero, “spreads more and more, but human blood flows on the earth, tears of the unfortunate flow, praise the name of virtue and argue about its essence.” Learning that the stranger is Russian, the old man said that the ancient inhabitants of the islands of Rügen and Bornholm were Slavs. But the Russians were the first to learn Christianity, while the inhabitants of the islands remained long pagans. The Elder was interested in telling about the history of the northern peoples, and the hero was amazed at his intelligence and eloquence; but after half an hour the old man got up and wished good night. The servant led the young man to a large room, hung with weapons and armor. In the corner was a bed. The servant left without a word.
The young man lay down on the bed and began to think about the castle, about his master, and remembered about the sad stranger with the guitar. At night, our hero was dreamed of by the knights enraged by his arrival and the awful dragon. The hero woke up and, feeling the need for fresh air, went to the window. Near the window I saw a small door and went into the garden.
Prisoner of the mysterious cave
The night was clear, moonlight. A long alley led him to the bushes of rosemary, beyond which rose a sandy hill. In the hill the hero saw a narrow entrance to the cave. The young man entered the cave, in the depths of which he saw an unlocked iron door. Behind the door, behind the iron grate, burned a lamp, and in a corner on a straw bed lay a young pale woman in a black dress. She was asleep, being an embodiment of sorrow. Our hero began to consider her: “What barbarous hand has deprived you of daylight?” – he thought – “Is it possible for some serious crime? But your face, but my heart assures me of your innocence!”. And then the woman woke up and was astounded, got up from her bed, went up to the lattice, but did not say a word. The hero asked if his help was needed. The woman, after a pause, firmly replied that no one was able to change her fate. She said: “If he himself sent you – the one whose terrible curse rattles in my ears, – tell him that I suffer day and night, that tears do not relieve my already melancholy, that I without a murmur bear the conclusion that I will die him tender, unhappy… “Then she stepped away from the grate, knelt and covered her face with her hands. A minute later she looked at the young man, their eyes met, and it seemed to the hero that the woman wanted to learn something important from him. He was waiting for the question, but the question died on the pale lips of her. They broke up… A minute later she looked at the young man, their eyes met, and it seemed to the hero that the woman wanted to learn something important from him. He was waiting for the question, but the question died on the pale lips of her. They broke up… A minute later she looked at the young man, their eyes met, and it seemed to the hero that the woman wanted to learn something important from him. He was waiting for the question, but the question died on the pale lips of her. They broke up…
Coming out of the cave, the hero did not close the door, so that clean air penetrated into the dungeon to the unhappy. Dawn alela in the sky; Regretting the captive, our hero lay down under the branches of an oak tree and fell asleep.
He slept for about two hours and, waking up, he heard the words: “The door is open, the stranger entered the cave.” The young man opened his eyes and saw the old man sitting on the bench; beside him stood a servant. The hero approached them, and the starez looked sternly at him, but then he got up and shook hands. They went into the alley, and then the elder looked shrewdly at the hero and asked: “Did you see her?” The young man replied that he had seen, but did not know who she was and what she was suffering for.
“You’ll find out,” the old man replied. “And your heart will be poured with blood.” And you ask why the sky poured out the whole cup of anger to the old man who loved virtue. – And the elder told the most terrible story, and our hero recognized the mystery of the Grevzoda stranger – a terrible secret!
Return of the hero to the ship
Sailors were waiting for the hero at the gate of the castle. They returned to the ship, raised their sails and Borgolme disappeared from their eyes. In a wistful thought, there was a hero on the deck, he glanced at the sky, and the wind brought his tear to the sea.
The mystery of the island of Bornholm becomes known to the hero, but remains unknown to the reader…