The event that took place on January 8 under the Julian calendar, and therefore on January 20, 1815 under the Gregorian calendar, was described by Pushkin one year later in his little-known poem To Zhukovsky:
When you hold on your laps your lyre
With your, lost of a patience, hand,
With your elated soul flying
Into the full of fancies land;
However, absolutely all residents of our country who finished eight-year school know Pushkin’s other lines about this person and this event:
Old man Derzhavin noticed us.
And blessed us gravebound...
By “us,” Pushkin meant himself and his muse, which is also written in the eighth chapter of Onegin. And here you can see the same Pushkin and the same event, but in prose: “...He entered the vestibule, and Delvig heard him asking the doorman: where, brother, is the outhouse here? Derzhavin was very old... He dozed until the exam in Russian literature began. Then he perked up, his eyes sparkled; he was completely transformed. Finally, they called me. I read my Memoirs in Tsarskoe Selo. I don’t remember how I finished my reading; I don’t remember where I ran away. Derzhavin was delighted; he demanded me, wanted to hug me...”
Old man Derzhavin was a flatterer and tightwad,
He had ranks, but was very intelligent.
He knew that no one would give lyres for free.
That’s all about Derzhavin!
The poem was written by David Samoylov.