|Date||mid/late October 1865|
|Addressed to||Modest Tchaikovsky|
|Where written||Saint Petersburg|
|Autograph Location||Klin (Russia): Tchaikovsky State Memorial Musical Museum-Reserve (a3, No. 1443)|
|Publication||(1959), p. 86–87|
|Notes||A humorous invitation|
Text and Translation
By Luis Sundkvist
|Обед в субботу 16 окт[ября] по церемоньялу назначен у королевы Нидерландской Екатерины Андреевны. Кавалерам быть в полном парадном мундире, дамам в русском платье. При великой княжне Модестине дежурной фрейлиной назначается княжна Ленина.
P.S. Быть никак не позже 4 ½, ибо тётя Катя не любит ждать.
|A dinner has been ceremoniously fixed for Saturday, 16 October, with the Queen of the Netherlands, Yekaterina Andreyevna. Gentlemen are to attend in full gala uniform, ladies in Russian costume. To the Grand Duchess Modestina the Princess Lenina  has been appointed lady-in-waiting .
P. S. Be there not later than 4:30, because Aunt Katya doesn't like to have to wait.
Notes and References
- Nikolay Sergeyevich Lenin (1847-1899), a student at the Imperial School of Jurisprudence who was friends with Modest, though three years older than him. As is clear from this and other letters, he shared Modest's homosexual inclinations (which in Modest's case had begun to manifest themselves at around this time). See (2009), p. 188-189 [back]
- Tchaikovsky had a penchant for turning masculine names into feminine ones, especially in letters to Modest, and, as Alexander Poznansky observes, the appearance of this sort of wordplay "always served to indicate Tchaikovsky's involvement in some predicament that he at least perceived to have a distinctly homoerotic coloring". See (1993), p. 77 [back]