Your shining image, glowing with the love of truth, your spirit that gazed upon people so calmly.
In good time you broke the "link of habit" with the glamour of society, you parted from it without wrath, and with tireless thought, you learned of this life.
When, cast from my own hearth by the death of my beloved mother, and by the various misfortunes of life, I, crushed, angry, tormented, shy, alarmed, like a frightened child, knocked at your holy soul seeking rescue . . .
No, I have not the strength to go on . . . [Beginning of July, 1874]
Petersburg, Shpalernaya No. 6 23 July '74
MY DEAR LADY LUBOV IVANOVNA.
I don't wish to justify myself; I can't pretend to you. Accept me with my guilt." You are an artist and you will be able to do this because of your heart's thought. But I can thank you warmly, and I do so want to discuss with you our art so close to us.
That which you were pleased to inform me of in such a comradely- artistic fashion, back in December, gave me joy and justifies my aspiration toward a historical musical drama. I particularly want to discuss the dissenters' song with you. There is so much suffering in it, so much unflinching readiness to accept all blows, that without the slightest fear I am going to give it in unison at the end of Khovanshchina, in the self-immolation scene. The melismata* (in the nature of gruppetti) I fully understand, and in octaves unissono the melismatic tune will waft old times and truth; the very pseudo-ecclesiastical text of the song will be very relevant. Bless you, Lubov Ivanovna!
But in the air sounds the command "draw in the reins" and Khovanshchina will appear (if it is destined to) later, and before it a comic____________________