The Musorgsky Reader: A Life of Modeste Petrovich Musorgsky in Letters and Documents

By Jay Leyda; Sergei Bertensson et al. | Go to book overview
fairs, which will be entrusted with the supervision of the business of the peasant communities settled on the lands of the landowners.
2. To appoint Mediators in the counties, and to form County Mediation Assemblies, for the examination of local disputes and misunderstandings arising from the execution of the new statutes . . .

Shield yourselves with the sign of the cross, orthodox people, and appeal with us for God's blessing on your free labor, a pledge of your domestic well-being and of the general welfare.

Given at St. Petersburg, on the seventeenth day of February, in the one thousand eight hundred and sixty-first year since the Birth of Christ, in the seventh year of our rule.

The lives of the landowning Musorgskys were to be immediately and deeply affected by this alteration in Russia's social structure.


25. To MILI BALAKIREY

Monday, 1st of May [1861]

I stand extremely guilty before you, dear Mili--I hasten to answer you because your letter frightened me. On Sunday I could not come, for from the morning on various people dropped in about our matter75 and held me.--Tomorrow I want to find you in bed; why is it that you are always ill, dear? I want awfully to see you.

MODESTE

Maman and Kitinka kiss you.


26. To MILI BALAKIREV

Saturday, 14 Oct., [1861]

Yesterday I was just getting ready to drive to you, dear Mili, when a message arrived which forced me to fly to two businessmen (in regard to our matter). While my brother isn't here, I have to run around for him--very vexing, that such a necessity sometimes arises so urgently.

MODESTE

P.S. I'll try to drop in at Vasenka's today--but I can't be sure.

____________________
75
"Our matter" must somehow be related to the Musorgsky estate, placed in the hands of the two brothers by their late father. This "matter," discussed in the next letter also, may have been brought to some new crisis by the manifesto of emancipation.

-37-

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