MOSCOW, November 19, 1891.
HONOURED ELENA MIHAILOVNA,
I am at home to all commencing, continuing, and concluding authors — that is my rule, and apart from your authorship and mine, I regard a visit from you as a great honour to me. Even if it were not so, even if for some reason I did not desire your visit, even then I should have received you, as I have enjoyed the greatest hospitality from your family. I did not receive you, and at once asked my brother to go to you and explain the cause. At the moment your card was handed me I was ill and undressed — forgive these homely details — I was in my bedroom, while there were persons in my study whose presence would not have been welcome to you. And so — to see you was physically impossible, and this my brother was to have explained to you, and you, a decent and good-hearted person, ought to have understood it; but you were offended. Well, I can’t help it. . . .
But can you really have written only fifteen stories? — at this rate you won’t learn to write till you are fifty.
I am in bad health; for over a month I have had to keep indoors — influenza and cough.
All good wishes.
Write another twenty stories and send them. I shall always read them with pleasure, and practice is essential for you.
Last updated Tuesday, August 25, 2015 at 14:07