August 22, 1877
. . . It's sometimes dangerous to tell people the truth!! Perhaps some day you also will tear me to shreds! What's strange about it: there was a time when Musarion entirely broke with me, and for what reason?-- . . . And besides, I've heard absolutely nothing of Musarion this whole summer: only once Shcherbachov's "wretched old woman" said that he [ Musorgsky] has written some scene for Khivrya and something else, but that all this was terribly mediocre and pale, like this whole unfortunate Little-Russian undertaking so far, incited by the foolishness of Anna and Osip [the Petrovs], Russia's Rosciuses . . .
November 7, 1877
. . . You are imagining things in vain about Musarion, he holds absolutely nothing against you, and he doesn't reply because he has the usual laziness and slovenliness of an artist. He has written a lot of rubbish for The Fair at Soroch. this summer, but after everyone's attacks (especially mine), has now decided to throw it all away, leaving only the good stuff. But now during the last few weeks he has written 2 splendid gypsy choruses (also for it), and one of them is a women's chorus "with clapping and whistling"--simply a chef d'oeuvre . . .
MY DEAR FRIEND ARSENI,
You may be quite angry with me; change your wrath to mercy. I have been thoroughly upset by a nervous fever, for almost 20 days and nights I didn't close my eyes and I was in such gloom that it would have been sinful to write you then, especially after your last letter about rural affairs and about what one has to live through in this endlessly transient situation of Russian economy. And too, friend, you made me hesitate slightly in having this chat with you by the news of your plans to go to Moscow late in the fall to arrange for Shuisky. But now I've learned from Katenin and Stasov that one can and should address you at Shubino. So I've taken paper and pen to talk with you, friend. I'll start from the fact that during the first display of the 2nd