Little dove of mine, dear Ludmila Ivanovna, this is the thing, my own: (1) the gendarmes are the police's affair, not ours, as the police themselves recognize the need: (2) I've not done any of your dearest commissions (in this final stage), it was impossible because the illnesses (real ones) of MM. the artists hindered grandpa's tryout for his jubilee performance.11 However, our opinion remains intacto: after such heroic illness it would be heroic activity indeed--for dear grandpa to appear, fully armed, from his sickbed, straight into his 50-year jubilee. In regard to the time for the ovation during the performance we'll speak further: of course--best of all would be after the 4th act, and particularly in the first scene of the epilogue, as you and I have already discussed. Today and tomorrow I shall see Kondratyev Gennadi, and we'll talk it over further and further. Little dove of mine, how well yesterday's concert matinée for aid to student technologists turned out! I've decided not to go any more to grandpa's until the very day of the jubilee. To you, my own, great remerciement for the announcement of the loge; I'll remember, little dove, and I consider it an honor to present myself to you. This whole week was devoted to my little brother,12--that's why I haven't stopped in on you.
19 April, 1876
Little dove of ours, dear and splendid Ludmila Ivanovna, your letter of April 27 was a stunning blow and left me in a rage. You, the good and loving one, who in former times gathered beneath your warm wings a musical family of powerful young Russians, for communion in art, for study--you, incessant and steadfast herald of the national, historical merits of your genius brother who gave musical revelation to the Russian soil--you, the inviolable, are disturbed in____________________