Letter 45

Date 1/13 January 1852
Addressed to Aleksandra Tchaikovskaya and Ilya Tchaikovsky
Where written Saint Petersburg
Language French
Autograph Location Saint Petersburg (Russia): National Library of Russia (ф. 834, ед. хр. 33, л. 67–68)
Publication П. И. Чайковский. Письма к родным (1940), p. 40
П. И. Чайковский. Полное собрание сочинений, том V (1959), p. 46.

Text and Translation

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

French text
(original)
English translation
By Luis Sundkvist
1 Janvier 1852

Chers Papa et Maman!

Je vous félicite de tout mon coeur avec le nouvel-an et je vous désire touts les biens imaginables.

Pas longtemps nous avons reçu votre lettre dans laquelle vous écrivez que nous demandions M. Platon de nous mener au théatre. Tout était pret pour partir Dimanche au théatre mais il y eut un temps horrible et c'est ce qui nous empécha d'aller au théatre. Mais bientot nous irons, parceque il est content de nos balles.

Sa petite fille avait la rougeole mais aprésens elle est mieux quoiqu'elle a un toux assez fort.

Vous vous fachez chers Parents que nous étions punis touts les deux mais soyez sûrs que cela nous n'arrivera jamais d'autant plus, que l'année 1852 est commencée.

Pas longtemps M. Platon envoya Nicolas regarder les Girafes et comme il raconte ce sont de si grands animaux que c'est affreux. Il a vue aussi une tortue qui doit vivre 1000 ans. Je n'étais pas avec lui parce que j'avais un peu mal à gorge, et à la tête.

Aprésent je suis grace à Dieu, tout-a-fait bien portant. M. Platon vous félicite avec le novel-an.

Votre fils vous prie votre bénédiction, baise mille fois vos main et felicite tous ses soeur, frére, cousins, cousines ainsi que toute la maison.

Pierre

1 January 1852

Dear Papa and Mama!

I congratulate you with all my heart on the New Year and I wish you all the blessings one can imagine.

Not long ago we received your letter in which you write that we should ask Mr Platon to take us to the theatre [1]. Everything was ready for us to set off for the theatre on Sunday, but the weather was terrible and it is this which prevented us from going to the theatre. However, we shall go very soon because he is happy with our marks.

His little daughter had the German measles, but now she is feeling better, even though she has a quite strong cough.

You are angry, dear Parents, because we were both punished, but rest assured that this will never happen to us again, all the more so given that the year 1852 has begun.

Mr Platon recently sent Nikolay to look at the giraffes, and, as he tells us, they are such big animals that it is awful. He also saw a turtle which is supposed to live 1000 years. I was not with him because my throat was aching a bit, as was my head.

At present, thanks be to God, I am completely well. Mr Platon congratulates you on the New Year.

Your son asks you for your blessing, kisses your hands a thousand times, and congratulates all his sisters, brothers, cousins, and also the whole house.

Pyotr

Notes and References

  1. Platon Alekseyevich Vakar (1826-1899) was the guardian of young Pyotr and his brother Nikolay from early/mid May 1851 until Ilya Tchaikovsky was able to move to Saint Petersburg with the rest of the family in May 1852. Platon Vakar was himself a graduate of the School of Jurisprudence, and it is possible that he played a part in Ilya Tchaikovsky's decision to enrol Pyotr in the school proper after he had completed the preparatory class. See Пётр Чайковский. Биография, том I (2009), p. 45  [back]