We've taken a loge for the presentation of Ruslan27--in the belleétage, No. 13 on the left, and maman [Musorgskaya] invites you to join us, sincerely requesting you not to ignore this summons, so be sure to come. I hope you will tell us how you found Serov's lecture28 but I am sure in advance that you were bored, because the subject of the lecture is so intolerably boring.--I am angry with both you and Cesar for rejecting my polka;29 however, it is so insignificant that there's no use thinking about it; polkas and waltzes and dancing pieces in general are in my opinion musical "pigmies" 〈among one's musical works〉. In such things except a certain something--there is nothing. Till we meet, Mili, I and all of us hope to see you in loge No. 13 on Thursday.
Devoted to you from the soul, MODESTE
P.S. Kitosha left for Slavyanka; he'll be back tomorrow, and asks to kiss you and to give greetings to Sofia Ivanovna [ Ediet, Balakirev's housekeeper] and family.
7th of January. 1859
I wrote a libretto for The Mandarin's Son, and in a few months the opera was ready. We then arranged another performance,30 also____________________