dove of mine, let them buzz--let them do what they were created for. There is no escape from mosquitoes and gnats. Let the swarms swarm. Nothing one can do about it, anyway. Keep well, my dear little dove. Musinka's hearty thanks ever belong to you. Till we meet very soon, my dear little dove, Ludmila Ivanovna.
I don't believe and I don't want to think that we could do without Napravnik.23There must be Russian opera in Russia--there must be --a Napravnik, no matter how the pens of the bureaucrats scratch. What madness! I don't want to think of it.
Tzarskoye Selo, New Places
Zhukovsky's dacha, No. 7
10 September, 1876
Dear little dove of mine, Ludmila Ivanovna, just as I left you today, my own, I heard for a fact that Napravnik has won and, thank God, the cause of Russian opera is safe. I hasten to share with you, little dove, this happy news; even if you should have learned this before my letter gets to you, my heart is greatly concerned that it should be from Musinka, apart from all others, that you, my own, should receive this news. Before I could continue this letter, I received yours, little dove. I really don't know how to praise you enough, our own; you are truly an extraordinary little dove; aren't you? With such all-powerful____________________