I'm sending you, dear general, the Kinderbalsam.43 If you wish to play it--pay no attention to the pencilings. Tomorrow, if it's fair, I shall be in the Pargolovo country. Great thanks for the "A saying, boyar,"44 I'll put to use what you say concerning Boris. I firmly kiss you. The Shashas [ Purgolds] have come back, I was there today--they were splendid, to pull "The Seminarist" through.
22 August 1870.
Extracts from the Diary of Nadezhda Purgold
29 August, 1870.
. . . it's time for her [ Alexandra Nikolayevna] to have a husband. However, she sees only coldness in the man [ Musorgsky45] who might inspire passion in her if only he would show a little more interest in her. Not seeing what she would like to see in him, she exaggerates, and refers to his attitude as almost hatred, and says that he doesn't even like her singing, and that his visits are not for her sake. Out of this come endless conversations with me, about how I am much more attractive to him, and that he visits us only for my sake, and perhaps for the sake of Uncle O [ Vladimir Fyodorovich], and that he doesn't value her opinion and so on and so on . . .
I find that he pays equal attention to us both, although he treats us slightly differently. For example, he often speaks seriously with me, but he can hardly speak to Sasha without joking . . .
He has a certain manner which probably comes from his extreme egotism. He won't start a conversation with anyone, but waits for the other person to start it; he won't force anyone to talk, as though he were afraid to show the other person that it pleases him to be talked to. He cares to talk only with persons who consider it a special pleasure to talk with him. It's the same with the rest of his behavior: this extreme egotism prevents him from offering to bring his songs with him. Although he knows the enjoyment they afford, he waits to be asked. For the same reason, he never asks Sasha to sing, although I am convinced and I know positively how highly he esteems her singing. This happens particularly when he is the only guest here (it has also happened when everyone was here, although Sasha insists this isn't so . . .) . . .
Well, as long as I've started on his characteristics, I may as well____________________