Letters of Anton Chekhov, by Anton Chekhov

To N. A. Leikin.

MOSCOW, October, 1885.

. . . You advise me to go to Petersburg, and say that Petersburg is not China. I know it is not, and as you are aware, I have long realized the necessity of going there; but what am I to do? Owing to the fact that we are a large family, I never have a ten-rouble note to spare, and to go there, even if I did it in the most uncomfortable and beggarly way, would cost at least fifty roubles. How am I to get the money? I can’t squeeze it out of my family and don’t think I ought to. If I were to cut down our two courses at dinner to one, I should begin to pine away from pangs of conscience. . . . Allah only knows how difficult it is for me to keep my balance, and how easy it would be for me to slip and lose my equilibrium. I fancy that if next month I should earn twenty or thirty roubles less, my balance would be gone, and I should be in difficulties. I am awfully apprehensive about money matters and, owing to this quite uncommercial cowardice in pecuniary affairs, I avoid loans and payments on account. I am not difficult to move. If I had money I should fly from one city to another endlessly.


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