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Ivan Khvorostinin


The third author, Prince Ivan Khvorostinin, descended from the house of Yaroslavl appanage princes. In his youth he was closely associated with the Pseudo-Dmitry I, who appointed him royal carver (kravchiy) and, according to another contemporary, held this callow youth in great favour, in which the youth in question gloried greatly and did permit himself everything. This shameful fact was known to all, and it was important for Khvorostinin to vindicate himself in the eyes of his contemporaries and heirs. Therefore in his Tales of the Days and Tsars and Prelates of Moscow, which Khvorostinin appears to have written shortly before his death (he died in 1625), he introduces elements of self-justification. One day, he writes, when the pretender was boasting about one of his edifices, “a certain youth stood there, who enjoyed his favour and who always and above all others was concerned for his salvation.” This youth, Khvorostinin himself (the narrative continues in the first person), is said to have dared denounce the Pseudo-Dmitry’s vain pride, reminding him that God “flouts in all manner of ways the boastings of the proud”. In another passage Khvorostinin states that he was valued by Patriarch Hermogenes himself, who led the resistance to the Polish invaders. One day when he was instructing those assembled, the Patriarch singled out Khvorostinin who was present for special mention: “You have laboured above all others in your studies, you understand, you know!” Whether this conversation really took place we do not know, as there is no reference to it in other sources.

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