28-29 [February] night, 1876. Peter
On Friday, March 5, [I'll come] to you straight from my duties, little dove, meaning--at 5 o'clock.
DEAR FRIEND NIKOLAI PAVLOVICH,
For Thursday, March 11, they've harnessed me to a student concert,9 so this time I can't, as I should wish, respond to your friendly summons. This means [waiting] till some occasion in the near future. And to that dearest lady [Alexandra Nikolayevna] a kiss on her little hand nevertheless, yes, and a little pat for Boris.
9 March, '76
Our shining friend, Countess Olga Andreyevna, bless this "young Persian girl"10 with your pure heart, and allow me to inscribe your shining name on this musical caprice. With its just-written notes scarcely cooled, this "Persian girl" was performed by me on Easter eve at grandpa O. A. Petrov's, who for the first time in his life was forced to remain at home alone, while all his family greeted Easter at church. Lonely as I am, I understood this and did what was necessary. For you, Countess, there is no doubt that the "young Persian girl" appeared in the world, as yet noticed only by few, on the 4th of April, 1876. I heard that 17 years ago, also on April 4, there appeared in the world of men a shining being, but at that time for very few observers.
I'm afraid, have I been understood?
9 April, '76. P-bg.____________________
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Publication information: Book title: The Musorgsky Reader:A Life of Modeste Petrovich Musorgsky in Letters and Documents. Contributors: Jay Leyda - Translator, Sergei Bertensson - Translator, Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky - Author. Publisher: W.W. Norton. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1947. Page number: 329.