Ludmila Ivanovna that I have given a bit of thinking to her little letter and when we meet (about the 20th of August) I'll have a talk with her. I don't write her because there's nothing to write about, and it's better to talk about this looking into each other's eyes rather than at a distance of 700 versts.--My hearty greetings to Anna Vasilyevna, don't forget your lady, too, for I haven't forgotten her.
S. Petersburg 25 September 
. . . Afterwards Musorgsky played the first act of Marriage by Gogol, written directly from the text of that writer, without any alteration. It is an extraordinarily curious and paradoxical thing, full of innovations and places of great humor, but as a whole--une chose manquée--impossible in performance. Besides, it bears marks of too hasty labor . . .
Marriage, Act 1
. . . When Musorgsky Marriage was played at our home, A. S. [Dargomizhsky] sang the role of Kochkarov, roaring with laughter till the tears came to his eyes, and enchanted by the wit and expressiveness of this music. In the place where Kochkarov says "these darling little mail-clerks, these sweet little rascals"--A. S. was always obliged to stop, he was so overcome with laughter, and he said to me, "You're playing some sort of symphony there, you're hindering my singing." (in the accompaniment at this point Musorgsky had some amusing curlicues) . . . --NADEZHDA PURGOLD ( RIMSKAYA-KORSAKOVA)
. . . Early in the season [1 868-69] Dargomizhsky's soirées recommenced. The Stone Guest was sung in its entirety. Marriage also roused considerable interest. We were all amazed at Musorgsky's task, enthusiastic about his characterizations and many recitative phrases, but perplexed by some of his chords and harmonic progressions. At this performance Musorgsky himself sang Podkolosin with his inimitable talent; Alex[andra] Nik[olayevna] sang Fyokla; [General] Velyaminov sang Stepan; Nad[ezhda] Nik[olayevna] accompanied, while Dargomizhsky, extremely interested, copied Kochkarov's part in his own hand and sang it with enthusiasm. Everybody particularly enjoyed Fyokla and Kochkarov--the latter expanding on "the darling