Written: 4 April, 1899. Letter sent from Shushenskoye to Podolsk
Published: Fourth Addition of the Collected Works. Printed from the original
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1977, Moscow, Volume 37, pages 578-579.
Translated/Edited: George H. Hanna and Robert Daglish.
Transcription/Markup: D. Walters
Public Domain: Lenin Internet Archive 2008. You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as the source/editing/transcription/markup information noted above.
Dear Maria Alexandrovna,
A couple of weeks ago I wrote to you and, as usual, filled up the letter with all sorts of nonsense. Nothing has changed here, we are all well, and it is warm outside—the temperature reaches 170 and there are dry patches in the fields; we take long walks and we have seen two wild geese and a drake. Volodya has bought himself new waders for shooting excursions, almost to the waist, reads outside in the garden, and goes about in a summer coat, and I recently dug a little ditch wearing no coat at all; I am now thinking seriously of vegetable and flower gardening and pondering deeply over a booklet on the subject sent me by Gleb. As far as my health is concerned I am quite well but as far as concerns the arrival of a little bird-there the situation is, unfortunately, bad; somehow no little bird wants to come. You ask me whether our quarters are big. The apartment is a big one and, if you come-which we would very, very much like-there will be plenty of room for everybody. I remember that I once sent you a plan of the apartment-I am not sure, though, perhaps I only intended sending it. It consists of three rooms, one with four windows, one with three and the other with one. It is true the apartment has one disadvantage—the rooms are all adjoining, but since we are all of one family that does not worry us much. Vulodya and I are thinking of giving you the room we now live in (tile one with three windows) and we will move into the middle one; our present room has the advantage that no one has to go through it to get to another room. However, we shall see. The main thing is that you should be well enough to travel here, my dear; we shall always be able to find room for you. If you come in May, the journey on the steamer will be a good one. We came on the first boat when the countryside was bare, but even then it was beautiful; I think it should be a pleasant journey in summer. The railway journey, however, is very tiring. I believe Volodya has written that the people in Minusiask have changed their minds about spending the summer in Shushenskoye and have rented a cottage near the town, the only one in the district. Do you like bathing? Our bathing place is some distance away-about 20 minutes’ walk. I know Anya likes to bathe. I remember I once came to visit you at Beloostrov and Anya and I went bathing in the rain.
We have received Nachalo from town and Volodya is highly indignant over Bulgakov ’s article and is already thinking out a reply to it. We had to wait quite a long time for that Nachalo. At first I thought the postman had lost the post. He is an awful muddler, that postman of ours-loses a newspaper, forgets to hand over a receipt or takes letters to the wrong address. I am always cursing him under my breath with all the Siberian swearwords. But enough of that. This letter will probably arrive just in time for Easter. Although Volodya objects, I intend to colour some eggs and make an Easter cake from curds. Do you know that it is the custom here at Easter to decorate the room with spruce boughs? It is a very pretty custom and we intend to ’keep” it (I nearly wrote ’keep it up”, but then remembered that next Easter we shall be in Russia again). Mikh. Al. and Kurnatovsky may visit us. Good-bye. Many kisses for you and Anya. Regards to all, from Mother as well.