10-11 December--night again.
Here is what has happened, dear friend Arseni: it appears to me now that I was not myself, I didn't have the nerve to send you this letter and I received a ferocious reprimand from my dearest hosts. I entreat you: understand, and if you can, with the heart (how could you not!)--you are the chosen one, one can't help loving you--what is this that you're doing? This week has a Friday--we await you, friend.
Yours, forever, without doubt, your
Dear one of mine, little dove, I was scared by the frost and didn't venture to go out to the Stasovs in the evening, especially as they sit up late at the General's. My kindest thanks to you, dear, for having written when occasion arose the name "Musinka": it wafts to me a feeling of warmth and love and to no one but you, shall I give it up.
Listen to me quietly: a wretched little intrigue has been started against me at the Ministry; either by rinsing--or rubbing, they want to stick me. Well, they did stick me. But somehow the result was that I, the tormented one, have thought of something really delightful for Khovanshchina. I'll tell you about it in person this week. It is so untried, and effective, and historically plausible--it should be worked out this very minute. And here is the moral of this. All people--are human beings; a human being loves a solid base. A push is needed, or else the yeast will not work, let it ferment and fulfill its purpose. It's too soon yet to write to F. F.55 I kiss your little hand, my little dove.
THE SAME MUSINKA
17 December, 1875____________________