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

By Jay Leyda; Sergei Bertensson et al. | Go to book overview

the Fool-Babbler Khovansky takes this opportunity to make fun of Golitzin, who doesn't know where to turn. Marfa plagues him: "But, Prince--give orders so there won't be any denunciation," but Dosifei, standing aside, evaluates the merits of the whole business: "Overtaken by pride, obedient to Mammon and the Asp, you are given boundaries by the centuries--over which you cannot step; you will perish in shame and dishonor. And the meek whom you persecute will be comforted in the mansions of the Lord, the hungry, the orphaned,--there is a refuge for them by the side of the Lord." This confusion is resolved by the entrance of Shaklovity (the informer), telling of the receipt of the denunciation and of the wrath of Sofia and Peter. Tableau on a single menacing chord pp. as the curtain falls.89

This is just a little sketch, généralissime, but it can be worked out. I've written you, my dear, at Wiesbaden; consequently that letter won't be lost. Once more I ask you to take care of yourself, for the sake of Christ, for all of us and for Musoryanin, because he loves you.

HE, MUSORYANIN


111a. VLADIMIR STASOV to MODESTE MUSORGSKY, St. Petersburg [Extract]

Vienna, 15/ 27 Aug., 1873. Wednesday morning, 9:00

. . . When your telegram arrived, saying--Impossible, this hit me quite hard, but I didn't lose courage. When I noticed that your promised letter was a long time coming--it couldn't be that it was lying somewhere [on my itinerary] or that you wouldn't have answered me immediately on a matter so important to me, I couldn't for a moment think you would hesitate, or postpone without some serious necessity, --so I said to myself: "He's probably thought it over, and come over to my way of thinking; on Sunday and Monday (after Saturday's telegram) he met so-and-so, talked it over with him, figured and measured things out, and is now bustling around for a leave and a passport." But the letter, dated Transfiguration Day [August 6] suddenly crashed all my last hopes. You write me quite definitely (it is a whole week later, so this means it's conclusive), that you can't possibly come. This was a real blow to me. But do you know? I nevertheless still stand in the breach, not allowing the foe to pass, and I will go on fighting, to the

____________________
89
This plan closely approximates the action in the final version of the last half of Act II of Khovanshchina.

-241-

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