the complete solitude, the hospital atmosphere in which this great talent was extinguished, made a depressing impression on me. The large room with its white plastered walls looked unfriendly, despite its cleanliness. Aside from the absolutely necessary--there was nothing. It was evident that a bohemian had died here. Half the room was partitioned off with gray screens, behind which stood several beds; directly before the door stood a closet, a lectern, two chairs, two small tables with newspapers and five or six books, among them Berlioz's treatise "On Orchestration": he had died like a soldier, with weapons in his hands. At the right of the door--a small bed on which lay the body of Musorgsky, covered by a gray hospital blanket. How greatly he had changed! His face and hands, as white as wax, made a queer impression,--exactly as if some stranger lay there. The expression on his face was, however, peaceful; one might even think that he was sleeping, if it had not been for that deathly pallor. Involuntarily a bitter feeling stirred in me, involuntarily I thought of the strange fate of our Russian people. To be as talented as was Musorgsky (a talent recognized by all, even by those who didn't agree with the tendencies of the deceased), to possess all this, to stand aloft and to live--and instead of this to die in a hospital among strangers, without friend or kin to close his eyes. What a fate haunts our gifts . . .
Several close friends of the deceased soon arrived: Vladimir Vasilyevich Stasov, his brother D. V. Stasov, N. A. Rimsky-Korsakov, an Uhlan officer, Mr. Kelchevsky, who had formerly shared an apart. ment with the deceased, several other persons, among them two ladies (one, apparently, was the wife of Mr. Rimsky-Korsakov) MIKHAIL IVANOV
I am sending you, Vladimir Vasilyevich, the letters of our dear Musinka. You cannot imagine how saddened I am that I did not see him during his illness; I was prevented from doing this by a letter that I received from him, in which he told me that he was feeling so well that he expected to leave the hospital in a few days and would then come to see me. I am consoled only by the fact that in all the years of our friendly acquaintance he received from me, neither in word nor in deed, one shadow of displeasure; yes, I can call it friendly, for he never hid from me his feelings and his relationships with his brother and other people. This is an irreplaceable loss for art and for his friends, but for his own future there was nothing better in view; with his self-love, breeding and education, you must agree it can't have been easy to be under the patronage of D. M. L[eonova] and her gentleman (I can't recall his name [Gridnin]). Although I have read