The Musorgsky Reader: A Life of Modeste Petrovich Musorgsky in Letters and Documents

By Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky; Jay Leyda et al. | Go to book overview

been accomplished and for this good you deserve a tribute, yours by right.--The circle's past is bright--its present is overcast: gloomy days have begun. I do not accuse any one of the members, "because my heart holds no malice," but owing to my inborn good-natured laughter I can't help honoring the circle with a quotation from Griboyedov: "Some have been expelled, others, see, are killed;"2 but what has benefited Skalozub is very sad for the circle, and try as I may to drive away a tiresome fly that buzzes the evil phrase "fallen to pieces," the fly stays there buzzing--it is as if one could hear laughter, wicked laughter, in its buzzing. You will have to rally, little dove, the remnants of the shattered holy army, and even if it is impossible to face all sorts of Chaldeans in battle, we must go on fighting to the last drop of blood, literally. Fighters will be found from whose hands one cannot tear the banner, and these fighters will rally, although clothed in rags, but their own rags, not borrowed, and not the women's robes and skirts worn by the holy army of the grand executor.3 The artist believes in the future because he lives in it. This faith has prompted me, while laying my tribute at your feet, to confess to you. Accept my Boris under your wing and may he be blessed and start out from you on his public ordeal.

MUSORGSKY

Petrograd 11 July, '72 Olya's day4


89. To VLADIMIR STASOV

"Soon the foe will come and darkness will set in." "Black impenetrable darkness"--thus whines the simpleton in my

____________________
2
Skalozub speaking in Griboyedov Woe from Wit. The members of the Balakirev Circle were functioning less as a group, and were now pursuing more individual careers.
3
Napoleon Grande Armée in its winter retreat of 1812.
4
The name-day of Shestakova's dead daughter, Olga.

-188-

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