committee,55 he told me, decided: if I find at the rehearsal that it could safely be performed in public--they will play it.--An instinct of self-preservation made me tell Stasov that the chorus is agitato and short, and to make the agitato effective, it would have to be preceded by an andante, even a short one, and for this reason I requested them to give it back to me. Perhaps this imbecile outfit really supposes that it can teach me.--I have my chorus back, and am heartily glad that a collision with Rubinstein has been averted.--Basta! I've had quite enough of the Society.--My brother kisses you, my dear, and maman bows and asks me to tell you that she's making jam for you.--Give me an answer, Mili, I'm sure that you will approve of my conduct. I kiss you warmly.
P.S. The Selivachevs56 are enchanted with you; I was at their place yesterday, and we had a nice talk with the students.
[Postmarked: 25 December, 1860 St. Petersburg]
Thanks, Mili, for letting me off the writing of another scherzo, all the more as just now I am in no scherzoish mood, but incline rather to a fine andante. I shall work at part writing, beginning with something in three voices [parts]. I intend to accomplish something really worth while, appropriate to the present occasion; it is a wholesome stimulant for me to think that my harmony looks like nonsense; this must not be, and enough for that. Don't be too vexed about your overture, don't forget it was my first attempt at transcription, as my ar____________________