first attack on my superior was not only unsuccessful, but even brought down on me the irritated remark that I was begging the impossible; but as I was about to leave in a grieved and depressed state, my severe superior, suddenly thinking of an unusual solution to the hopeless situation, stopped me and proposed that Musorgsky be entered in the hospital as the "hired orderly of Dr. Bertensson"-- providing, of course, that both Musorgsky and his friends would consent to this high rank being bestowed on him . . . Needless to say, I was overjoyed at this unexpected and happy answer to my request and, receiving the consent of the aforesaid friends (the consent of the patient was unnecessary as in consequence of his high fever he was still unconscious), I immediately moved Musorgsky into the hospital. With the benevolent attitude of the chief surgeon I was able to make arrangements better than "good" for the patient: he was provided with a spacious, high-ceilinged, sunny room, equipped with all necessary furniture (not stylish, naturally), in the most quiet and isolated part of the hospital. As for his attendants, nothing better could possibly have been desired, for he was put in the charge of two Red cross nurses, two male nurses and an interne. The diet was more than satisfactory, for, in addition to officers' rations, the patient was brought an abundance of various foods by acquaintances and friends who constantly showed him their heartfelt attention . . . -- DR. LEV BERTENSSON
February 14, 1881
. . . Honor and glory to Leonova. She must have a good heart if she can take such disinterested care of such a person as Modeste Petrovich, and without any hope for his improvement . . .
. . . The doctors [ Bertensson] now say that these were not paralytic strokes, but the beginning of epilepsy. I've been with him [ Musorgsky] today and yesterday ( Borodin and Korsakov were there yesterday and the day before, many other friends as well): he looks as if nothing were the matter with him and now recognizes everybody, but he talks the devil knows what gibberish and tells lots of impossible stories. They say that besides the epilepsy and the strokes he is also a bit mad. He is done for, though he may linger on (the doctors say) for a year, or only for a day . . .