Russian evening. To complete the delight given us in Guzhuli by the hospitable Ye. I. Miloradovich, Daria Mikhailovna, like a real ace, sang the "Little Orphan Girl," "Forgotten" and Marfa['s song] before the self-immolation. Daria Mikhailovna was nearly suffocated with kisses, and even ladies kissed her hands, and on the following day they declared that they hadn't been able to sleep, that they couldn't forget this gift from God. [. . .] Papchen, when the occasion arises, you must speak about this son-of-a-bitch railroad of the Actual State Councilor Polyakov, it's beyond belief, the rails are worn to shreds, the cars rattle and are suffused with a foul stench, unbearably stifling.
We're off to Yelizavetgrad--we all greet you heartily, and do accept a friendly kiss from me.
Papchen, embrace our friends, including Prokofi Gerasimovich for me--I'll write.
Near the Dnieper Estuary. Nikolayev
August 3, 1879
Dear Auntie of mine, Papchen and Sergushok, greetings. We've just arrived from Yelizavetgrad, where Daria Mikhailovna had a fresh triumph amidst a select society. It's impossible to convey the vital interest which overtook the auditors as the concert began, growing into complete rapture, without exclamations, but that kind of rapture which is the affirmation of genuine artistic delight. Among those who honored us with their presence were naturally a few who had heard Daria Mikhailovna 18 or 20 years ago; their amazement was unbounded and they told each other and their acquaintances, with real heartfelt joy, that Daria Mikhailovna sings even better than then and that her voice not only has lost none of its force and freshness, but has gained in power. And I can confirm this with delight, because Daria Mikhailovna sounded indeed extremely fresh and powerful, and as for expression, she has enough and to spare. The Nobles' Club in Yelizavetgrad is charming, and, although all the great landowners were away on their estates, the hospitable gentlemen commanders of