Letters of Anton Chekhov, by Anton Chekhov

To A. S. Suvorin.

MELIHOVO, October 22, 1896.

In your last letter (of October 18) you three times call me womanish, and say that I was in a funk. Why this libel? After the performance I had supper at Romanov’s. On my word of honour. Then I went to bed, slept soundly, and next day went home without uttering a sound of complaint. If I had been in a funk I should have run from editor to editor and actor to actor, should have nervously entreated them to be considerate, should nervously have inserted useless corrections and should have spent two or three weeks in Petersburg fussing over my “Seagull,” in excitement, in a cold perspiration, in lamentation. . . . When you were with me the night after the performance you told me yourself that it would be the best thing for me to go away; and next morning I got a letter from you to say good-bye. How did I show funk? I acted as coldly and reasonably as a man who has made an offer, received a refusal, and has nothing left but to go. Yes, my vanity was stung, but you know it was not a bolt from the blue; I was expecting a failure, and was prepared for it, as I warned you with perfect sincerity beforehand.

When I got home I took a dose of castor oil, and had a cold bath, and now I am ready to write another play. I no longer feel exhausted and irritable, and am not afraid that Davydov and Jean will come to me and talk about the play. I agree with your corrections, and a thousand thanks for them. Only please don’t regret that you were not at the rehearsals. You know there was in reality only one rehearsal, at which one could make out nothing. One could not see the play at all through the loathsome acting.

I have got a telegram from Potapenko —“A colossal success.” I have had a letter from Mlle. Veselitsky (Mikulitch) whom I don’t know. She expresses her sympathy in a tone as if one of my family were dead. It’s really quite inappropriate; that’s all nonsense, though.

My sister is delighted with you and Anna Ivanovna, and I am inexpressibly glad of it, for I love your family like my own. She hastened home from Petersburg, possibly imagining that I would hang myself. . . .

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