P. S. Tell Sofia Ivanovna that the ace of spades bows to her. I await an answer, Mili.
10 February 1860
26 September  St. Petersburg
I have barely collected my strength to write you, dear Mili. I've only just returned from the country, and learned your address from the Stasovs and hurried to talk with you--it's such a long time since I've seen you. I think you will be interested to hear how I passed my time in the Moscow countryside.49--My illness lasted almost till August so that I could devote myself to music only at brief intervals; most of the time from May to August my brain was weak and highly irritated. Nevertheless I collected some materials that will be needed later; Œdipus and the little sonata50 have made some headway. The sonata is almost ready, something has to be cleaned up in its middle section, but the tailpiece is successful.--Œdipus has had two choruses added to it: an andante in B-flat minor and an allegro in E-flat major, which will be used in the introduction, and are being written now. --Besides this I have received extremely interesting work, which I must prepare for next summer. It is this: a whole act to take place on Bald Mountain (from Mengden drama The Witch51) a witches' sabbat, separate episodes of sorcerers, a solemn march for all this nastiness, a finale--the glorification of the sabbat in which Mengden introduces the commander of the whole festival on Bald Mountain. The libretto is very good. I already have some material for it; it may turn out to be a very good thing. Of the smaller things I've written: "Lord of My Days,"52, which in my opinion turned out entirely satis-____________________