quaintance succeeds. In my opinion--these should be printed: "The Little Room," "Elegy," "Longing," "By the River" (from our album [ Sunless]); and then let us discuss those of your tales so negligently and easily strewn through the pages of your innumerable notebooks, aimlessly and without reason, just because of the laziness and heedlessness of these tales (Dixi!).
Well, I send a greeting to you with a free heart, beloved Arseni mine, and long life to your glory!--It's been begun, there is no longer any turning aside, nor any subterfuge; now for great, restless work-- God give you strength!
Enclosing in this letter to you one from someone with my name, evidently proud of the rank of Aulic Councilor. The letter is not too stupid although its form is horrible--"simply stinking of ink." You need not answer him, the more so as the Aulic Councilor did not indicate his address.26
. . . I remember the hot summer of 1875, when my mother went off for a while to visit a friend in Revel, and we were left behind with Father--Musorgsky and [Uncle] Vladimir Vasilyevich [ Stasov], visited us especially often that summer, and they had the idea of rereading all of Gogol; after lunch, in the terrible heat, we all would gather in the study, seat ourselves on the sofa, and, taking turns, father, Vlad. Vas. and Musorgsky read aloud May Night, The Carriage, The Nose and Dead Souls, while we all nearly expired with laughter . . . --
Petrograd. Vas[ilyevsky] Ostrov, 5th line, opposite the garden of the Acad[emy] of Arts, No. 10 7 August, '75
In place of an epigraph:
"The first act of our
Khovanshchina is finished."