the Fims are Fims they are nevertheless an extremely cordial people, and the chief Fim [ Lodyzhensky] is positively a kind and good man, and the fact that he has a disorderly mind doesn't concern me; sad though this may be, he harms only himself. After the trip to the Fims I went on into Finland to visit my family, lounging around for a week; in general this summer has passed pretty well for me. We are still having summer, excessively hot and the air is so filled with smoke that if you try to look at the sun, the smoke makes your eyes smart. As we are having good weather Dargun is always idling, and does no work at all; he again complains about his health, but he is cheerful and gay. The business has been settled with the German [?], we made Alyona [the Grand Duchess] angry, but the German is thrown out.105 Not a sound or a smell of Mili, he writes no one.
Now I'll tell you about Cesar. He is really doing fine. The third and second acts have been given to the Directorate, and the first is half ready, all that remains is to orchestrate the tale of the MacGregors and write out the finale. He has gone ahead powerfully in orchestration, and I hope that much of the work will go into the orchestra excellently. Dargun still cannot digest all of his [ Cui's] orchestration, but this is because he, aside from Weber's, Glinka's and his own, hasn't seen other scores. Let's hope that we shall finally hear Ratcliff this winter.
However, it's time for bed, and consequently, time to end this meeting with you; and so, farewell, dear, come quickly, bring your work, and if you won't be lazy, write further to me.
If you have rested, go ahead and work on. Come.
7 August, Peter.
I'm dining tomorrow at Ludmila's with Dyainka.
[Shilovo, 15 August, 1868]
Thanks, dear Cesare, for your missive.--And I was hurt on your account. What's to be done?--it is my fate to be eternally suspicious where there is no reason to be and not to be suspicious where there is a reason.--Cela doit vous prouver un peu ma stupidité.--Qu'en faire? I have brought my composition [Marriage] into order and I____________________