Letter 30

Tchaikovsky Research
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Date 17/29 July 1851
Addressed to Ilya Tchaikovsky
Where written Saint Petersburg
Language Russian
Autograph Location Saint Petersburg (Russia): National Library of Russia (ф. 834, ед. хр. 33, л. 43–44)
Publication П. И. Чайковский. Письма к родным (1940), p. 31
П. И. Чайковский. Полное собрание сочинений, том V (1959), p. 35

Text and Translation

Spelling and punctuation errors in the original text have not been indicated.

Russian text
English translation
By Luis Sundkvist
Милый мой Папаша

Вчера я получил ваше прекрасное письмо, которое меня много обрадовало. Весть что вы скоро приедите меня очень обрадовала. Вчера я только что приехал с дачи как получил ваше Ангельское письмо. Сегодня добрейший Платон Алексеевич сказал мне что в газетах уже печатано, что г. Берард выходит из нашего пансиона.

Я не знаю как вам угодно отдать меня в другой пансион или оставить оттого что приготовительный класс ещё остаётся год но уже с другим воспитателем.

Жду с нетерпением вас, что бы вы похлопотали обо мне, а во вто[рых] вас хочет расцеловать


Так звала меня прежде мама.

Ещё раз,

Попка П. Ч.

17 июля 1851 года.

My dear Papasha

Yesterday I received your wonderful letter, which gladdened me a lot. The news that you are coming soon has made me very happy [1]. Yesterday I had only just returned from the country-house [2] when I received your Angelic letter. Today ever so kind Platon Alekseyevich told me that in the newspapers it has already been announced that Mr Bérard [3] is leaving our boarding-school.

I don't know whether you would like to put me in another boarding-school or leave me in this one, because there is still one year left of the preparatory class but now it would be with a different tutor [4].

I am awaiting you impatiently so that you can take care of me, and second of all, I want to smother you with kisses.

Popka [5]

That is what Mama used to call me.

Once again,

Popka P. T.

17 July 1851.

Notes and References

  1. Ilya Tchaikovsky had already promised his two sons, Pyotr and Nikolay, who were at boarding-schools in Saint Petersburg, that he would visit them earlier that year, in February, but he had failed to keep that promise. In September, Ilya was able to make the long journey from Alapayevsk and he spent three weeks in the Imperial capital with his sons.
  2. Pyotr had spent about two months of his summer holidays that year on a country estate not far from Saint Petersburg which belonged to the mother of Mariya Petrovna Vakar (née Markova), the wife of his guardian Platon Alekseyevich Vakar (1826-1899).
  3. Joseph Bérard (known in Russia as Iosif Iosifovich Berar; 1800-1883) taught literature and French at the School of Jurisprudence, including in the preparatory class which Pyotr was attending at the time. He was the latter's favourite teacher — see Пётр Чайковский. Биография, том I (2009), p. 46.
  4. Tchaikovsky had joined the preparatory class of the School of Jurisprudence in September 1850. Pupils who made sufficient progress in their studies moved up into the "first section" of the former and from there they could take the entrance exams into the school proper. Tchaikovsky would pass these exams in May 1852 and in September he entered the school's junior form. For more information on the School of Jurisprudence and the years which Tchaikovsky spent in it, see Tchaikovsky. The quest for the inner man (1993), chapters 2-3, and Пётр Чайковский. Биография, том I (2009), chapters 2-3.
  5. Literally "parrot; Polly".