treatment, closely connected with the content of the picture, and executed sincerely, without pretense or imitation.--Each author keeps in mind the mood within which his composition grew and was carried out, and this feeling or the recollection of the past mood greatly sustains his personal criterion. I fulfilled my task as best I was able, within my powers. I shall only change a lot in the percussion parts, which I have abused.--But of the witches, later. But you, my friend, if an occasion can be found, write me at leisure about your positive opinion and then we'll have a talk.
Meantime, I firmly kiss you and thank you warmly for your sincere missive, which has greatly supported me, and, so to say, inspired me; it is pleasant, very pleasant to feel that one is the object of someone's regard and this is better than all sorts of financial excesses. I kiss you warmly, friend--give my friendly greetings to all who love me.
I can just see how Solomonsha,76 instead of Lermontov's little fish, will show you a Jew who is gulping Little-Russian dumplings and howling because they're so hot (remember the German portamento and the musical figure of the little fish). But anyway it's excellent that Solomonsha is dropping in.--Hold on, Cossack, and thou wilt be an ataman.
[Minkino, end of September, 1867]
. . .77 They want perfection! Glance at art from a historical point of view--and perfection doesn't exist. I do not speak of small tasks (which are, in actuality, not at all small). "Southern Night"is perfect, "Sing Not, Beauty, in My Presence" also "Forgive, Do Not Remember the Day of Degradation" also "Savishna" and among the Westerners "Ich grolle nicht,"` "Doppelgänger," and how many our own Dargun____________________