And it came to pass that Alexander Sergeyevich arrived in Kishinev and promptly fell under the spell of a Jewish barkeep’s beautiful young daughter.
Of course, he was fiercely atheistic at the time, but still swore he would convert to Judaism if she would agree to kiss him once on the lips, and then, more suggestively, as he writes in this poem composed for her on Easter Sunday:
“Christ is risen, dear Rebecca
And here I stand ready, my Jewess
To place into your hands what tells
Jew from Orthodox Christian”*
*Pushkin by Henri Troyat pp 193 Doubleday 1970