Letters of Anton Chekhov, by Anton Chekhov

To Father Sergey Shtchukin.

MOSCOW, May 27, 1904.

DEAR FATHER SERGEY,

Yesterday I talked to a very well-known lawyer about the case in which you are interested, and I will tell you his opinion. Let Mr. N. immediately put together all the necessary documents, let his fiancee do the same, and go off to another province, such as Kherson, and there get married. When they are married let them come home and live quietly, saying nothing about it. It is not a crime (there is no consanguinity), but only a breach of a long established tradition. If in another two or three years someone informs against them, or finds out and interferes, and the case is brought into court, anyway the children would be legitimate. And when there is a lawsuit (a trivial one anyway), then they can send in a petition to the Sovereign. The Sovereign does not sanction what is forbidden by law (so it is no use to petition for permission for the marriage), but the Sovereign enjoys the fullest privilege of pardon and does as a rule pardon what is inevitable.

I don’t know whether I am putting it properly. You must forgive me, I am in bed, ill, and have been since the second of May, I have not been able to get up once all this time. I cannot execute your other commissions. . . .

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Last updated Friday, March 7, 2014 at 13:06