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

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

Consequently, Your Highness, we together "plowed" the Album Sunless and our Album She; the first installment of the second album is ready, at which I have the honor to congratulate Your Highness. And only do not forget my testament, I beg you: as soon as you notice with your mind's eye that I've gone off the rails, at that moment take any measures you wish, provided the calamity can be avoided; in such a matter, that is, by my going off the rails, you are guilty, because you are the switchman, so now you have to take the consequences for your sins. You are terribly difficult.

Your

MODESTE

Don't forget to deliver to maman the full weight of my excuse and chagrin. I'll try my best to appear.


148. To ARSENI GOLENISHCHEV-KUTUZOV, Tver

22 May year 1875 in the city of Saint-Petersburg

I have the honor to congratulate Your Highness on the public appearance of your work bearing the title "Hashish." At the same time I take the liberty to report to Your Highness: do not deign to be distressed by our critics, because they--these critics--mostly abuse, I swear to God, they abuse, Your Highness; and to say something relevant--this just doesn't happen among them. Clever people say that one cannot, supposedly, demand that our critics do not abuse, because in the 1st place, it gives them pleasure to fool the "novices" and to do harm to the "novices" to the full strength of the critical little souls of those critics, and therefore, in the 2nd place, those critics have no interest at all in art, but in payment by the line, and in showing their fervor, they leap at it, Your Highness. And truly: these critics breed their stuff, just as civil servants' wives bear children, and they are as gluttonous as wolverines,--they also love to drink. But in general they're kind, until they see a morsel. And a few among them are decent, so to say--with dignity: one or two such may be found--and that's all. They mostly drive to oppress--such has become their habit. And those that do not oppress--those with dignity, they are not wolverines and they drink within reason. Do not deign to fear these last, Your Highness, the good ones are inclined to approve. I dare to be of the opinion, Your Highness, that you will mostly deign to come across

-298-

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