January 3, 1880
. . . I want without fail . . . to attempt to do something for Musorgsky. He is sinking--since January 1 he is left without a post and without means of any sort. It would be no wonder if he should drink more! Won't you do something for him--quickly, if possible. Time won't wait. And just because I know and see your fatherly and protecting nature, more and more do I feel that you need some active, extremely active field of action . . .
Welcome friend Ivan Fyodorovich, greeting!
I will open myself to you; and about what, that will be dictated by my heart and by my thought. On the night from the 4th to the 5th of January, 1880, in the brightly shining family of him who is dear to the Russian people, that of Terti Ivanovich Filippov, you, good friend of mine, for the first time in my presence were forced to act as you, a Russian elder, should have acted long ago. Gorbunov--not recited by "himself," but Gorbunov--a creator, with all the strength of truth, love and spontaneity.23
Go further, go forward, on that creative path; further, forward, with that strength of truth, love and spontaneity!--Gorbunov, who has recited on a stage a scene from the people's life, written by "himself," will die, for we all are mortal; but Gorbunov-creator will not die, but will live for eternity on Russian soil.
If you have understood me, then you will understand this friendly epistle.
Your MODESTE MUSORGSKY
Night, from the 4th to the 5th of January 1880, in Peter
Cordial thanks, généralissime, for your good news.24 In spite of small misfortunes, I have not and will not give way to fainthearted-____________________