Letter 10

Tchaikovsky Research
Date 8/20 November 1850
Addressed to Aleksandra Tchaikovskaya and Ilya Tchaikovsky
Where written Saint Petersburg
Language Russian
Autograph Location Saint Petersburg (Russia): National Library of Russia (ф. 834, ед. хр. 33, л. 1–2)
Publication П. И. Чайковский. Письма к родным (1940), p. 11–12
П. И. Чайковский. Полное собрание сочинений, том V (1959), p. 14–15
Notes Includes postscripts to Yelizaveta Schobert, Anastasiya Popova, Zinayda Tchaikovskaya, Aleksandra Tchaikovskaya, Ippolit Tchaikovsky and Anastasiya Petrova.

Text and Translation

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

Russian text
English translation
By Luis Sundkvist
8 ноября 1850 года

Милые Папаша и Мамаша

Теперь я наверно считаю что милая Мамашинька доехала благополучно и я этому радуюсь. Я ещё все пишу вам от Модест Алексеевича. Он так добр что я вам этого не могу выразить он был болен жабой но сегодня кажется ему лучше; Надежда Платоновна также очень добрая. Колинька выздоровел от кори он также Ангельчик.

В Алапаихе сегодня Торжество, Михайлов день; Я помню как прошлой год я с Полей и Григорьем ходил покупать книги но вам кроме мыла нечего покупать.

Если бы вы знали мои милые как я об вас часто думую мои чудные Ангелы и ужасно мне хочется хоть один раз поцеловать вас.

На прошлой недели у Модеста Алексеевича, Павел Николаевич был и видел меня. Поцелуйте за меня моих прекрасных Модю и Толю. Помните ли милая Мамаша как я в тот день как уезжал посадил плющ, посмотрите пожалуйста как он растёт.

Прощайте милые чудные и прекрасные Мамачка и Папушичка целую ваши ручки и прошу вашего благословления. Ваш сын,

Пётр Чайковский

Милая Тётя Лиза и Сестрица

Мне совершенно вам нечего писать мои милые но несмотря на это я вас очень люблю и никогда не забуду.

Поцелуйте за меня моих милых кузин Малю, Мину и Катю. Прощайте милые Тётя Лиза и Сестрица. Ваш племянник и брат,

Пётр Чайковский

Милые сестры Зина и Саша.

Я думаю что Зиночке не хочется больше в Петербург потому что верно ей надоело но в Феврале я всё-таки вас буду ожидать и Сашу также. Прощайте милые сёстры ваш брат.


Милый брат Поля

И тебе хочу написать несколько строчек. Целую тебя милый Поля. Твой брат,

Пётр Чайковский

Милая тётя Настя

Много, много благодарю вас за то что вы меня так хорошо приготовили. Я в Училище из новичков был прежде всех дежурным что у нас много значит. Прошу Вас также как меня приготовить Полю и чтоб он также попал в Правоведение. Прощайте милая тётя Настя ваш благодарный ученик,

Пётр Чайковский

8 November 1850

Dear Papasha and Mamasha

Now I am certain that dear Mamashinka has arrived safely, and I am glad about this. I am still writing to you from Modest Alekseyevich's [1]. He is so kind that I cannot find words to tell you. He was ill with angina, but today I think he is feeling better. Nadezhda Platonovna [2] is also very kind. Kolinka [3] has recovered from his measles; he is also a little Angel.

In Alapayevsk it is a feast-day today: St Michael's Day. I remember how last year I went with Polya and Grigory [4] to buy books, but there was nothing to buy for you apart from soap.

If you knew, my dear ones, how often I think about you, my wonderful Angels, and [how] I so awfully want to kiss you even just once.

Last week Pavel Nikolayevich [5] was at Modest Alekseyevich's and he saw me. Kiss for me my wonderful Modya and Tolya. Do you remember, dear Mamasha, how on the day that I left I planted an ivy: please could you see how it is growing?

Goodbye, dear, wonderful, and marvellous Mamachka and Papushichka. I kiss your hands and ask for your blessing. Your son,

Pyotr Tchaikovsky

Dear Aunt Liza and Sestritsa [6]

I have absolutely nothing to write to you about, my dear ones, but in spite of that, I love you very much and will never forget you.

Kiss for me my dear cousins Malya, Mina and Katia [7]. Goodbye, dear Aunt Liza and Sestritsa. Your nephew and brother,

Pyotr Tchaikovsky

Dear sisters Zina and Sasha

I think that Zinochka no longer wants to come to Petersburg, because she is probably fed up with it, but in February I shall nevertheless be expecting you, and Sasha too. Goodbye, dear sisters. Your brother,


Dear brother Polya

I want to write a few lines to you too. I kiss you, dear Polya. Your brother,

Pyotr Tchaikovsky

Dear Aunty Nastya [8]

I thank you very, very much for having prepared me so well. At the School [of Jurisprudence] I was the first of the new boys to be appointed monitor, which means a lot here. I ask you also to prepare Polya like me, so that he too can get into Jurisprudence. Goodbye, dear Aunty Nastya. Your grateful pupil

Pyotr Tchaikovsky

Notes and References

  1. Shortly after young Pyotr was enrolled in the School of Jurisprudence's preparatory class, in the autumn of 1850, there had been an outbreak of scarlet fever in the school, and Modest Alekseyevich Vakar, a friend of Ilya Tchaikovsky's who had agreed to act as Pyotr's guardian, decided to take him into his house until the epidemic was over.
  2. The wife of Modest Vakar.
  3. Nikolay (affectionately known as Kolenka or Kolya) was the five-year-old son of Modest Vakar. The boy had in fact caught scarlet fever (brought into the Vakars' house by Tchaikovsky), but his parents were pretending that it was measles so that young Pyotr would not reproach himself. Kolya Vakar would die two weeks later, on 24 November/6 December, and this proved to be a traumatic experience for the future composer.
  4. Probably a servant of the Tchaikovskys in Alapayevsk.
  5. An unidentified person.
  6. 'Sestritsa', or 'little sister', was the affectionate name for Tchaikovsky's cousin, Anastasiya Vasilyevna Popova (1807–1894), the daughter of Ilya Tchaikovsky's older sister Yevdokiya Popova.
  7. Vilgelmina ('Mina') and Yekaterina ('Katya') were younger sisters of Tchaikovsky's cousin Amaliya Schobert (later Litke).
  8. Anastasiya Petrovna Petrova (1824–1893) had joined the Tchaikovsky family in Alapayevsk on 24 November/6 December 1849 as a governess, specifically with the task of preparing Pyotr for the School of Jurisprudence in Saint Petersburg. After spending some three years with the Tchaikovskys she worked as a governess in various other families, but returned to her first employer in 1859, when she took charge of the twins, Anatoly and Modest.