and planting pilgrims in the Kiev thickets.71 And in regard to musical and historical relationships he turned out to be lower than Verstovsky;72 in Vladimir's feast he made use of a modern saloon song and dancing girls, as if Vladimir were Holofernes.--But in reference to Cui, Serov rode over him brutally: on account of a hint by Cui (an entirely tactless hint) that in the Slavonic concert [of May 11] they played nothing of Serov's, the author of two five-act operas writes: A diplomatic regret, but a useless one . . . How do you like the word diplomatic? Too bad about Cesar's tactlessness. And they say that we're all tagged in this number--so it must be, and I am sure of this, that Serov already hates us in the most wholehearted way.
Till we meet, my dear, I firmly press your hand and send you a friendly kiss--I'm so happy about Sadko.
Abo, 1 August, 1867
I write you, as you see, dear Modeste, from the chilly Finnish strand and you are probably quite surprised; but this is the reason, that I received an assignment to go for a cruise on the yacht Wave and was forced to leave Peter for one month and also to leave Sadko, to my great displeasure, now that I am wandering around in various Finnish places, but by the middle of August I will return for good to Peter and I hope to see you then and get down to the continuation of Sadko, which I've written in final form up to the first chords of the gusli player.73 I received your letter at the very moment that I was setting down the Serovian phrase of which you don't approve--but somehow in a different way [musical quotation] and etc. exactly the same little thing in D major, only in the 1st and 2nd bars in place of ♩ I have. Do you understand all that I've told you? I hope that you will not now reproach me with Serovisms . . .____________________