V. I.   Lenin



Published: First published In 1929 in the journal Proletarskaya Revolyutsiya No. 4. Sent from Shushenskoye to Moscow. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1977, Moscow, Volume 37, pages 160-162.
Translated: The Late George H. Hanna
Transcription\Markup: D. Moros
Public Domain: Lenin Internet Archive.   You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work, as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source.

February 24, 1898

Today, Mother dearest, I received a pile of letters from all parts of Russia and Siberia and have therefore been in a holiday mood all day.

From Manyasha and Anyuta I received their letters of February 9 and also Yuridichesky Vestnik[2] and Statistichesky Vremennik and also the Dnevnik syezda (of technicians).[3] Thank you for everything. The last-named was very interesting and thank Anyuta very much for it. She writes that the book by de Amicis is a children’s book. I did not know that, but even children’s books will be useful here, for Prominsky’s children have nothing to read. I even thought of doing a thing like subscribing to Niva.[4] That would be very nice for the Prominsky kids (pictures every week), and for me a complete edition of Turgenev in 12 volumes as promised by Niva. And all this for seven rubles, including postage. Very tempting! If only Turgenev is published decently (that is, without distortions, cuts, clumsy misprints), it would be well worth while subscribing. Have any of our people seen the Niva supplements for past years? I think they issued Dostoyevsky? Was it decently done?

I now expect to set my money affairs right, since the book edition of the articles should also bring in something whatever happens, and, moreover, I am getting a big translation from English (from St. Petersburg)—Adam Smith—and I shall get something for that.[5] I shall then be able to pay off my debts (I must not forget them). That is why I think it is also possible to subscribe to Niva. Whether Turgenev   will be “decently” published, our people must decide, they have more facts to go on.

Today I received Russkoye Bogatstvo No. 1 for 1898. I have been receiving Vestnik Finansov for a long time.

I shall have to ask you to send a smallish sum of money by N.K. (there will be no need for it earlier. The allowances were paid today), since there may be some fairly big expenses to meet. That means that my debt will increase slightly.

Things here are still the same—no news, no visitors and still no acquaintances.

Anyuta writes that N.K. has written to her saying that a publisher has been found in St. Petersburg. She wrote to me only that they had “promised to look for one”. We may have an amusing muddle; the plan was evolved in St. Petersburg independently and prior to my letter, and mine was also independent, prior to the receipt of the St. Petersburg letter. And so we are dancing round each other like people who have bumped into one another in the street and do not know whether to step left or right to allow their vis-à-vis to pass.

The matter has probably settled itself by now.

Kisses for you and regards to all.

V. U.

I understood from Manyasha’s letter that both books (Yuridichesky Vestnik, 1887, No. 12, and Statistichesky Vremennik) had been bought and would not have to be returned.

N.K.’s case is still dragging on. She will probably have to drop the claim for a shorter term, but they do promise to permit her to come here.

I am enclosing a letter to her because she may now be in Moscow. If not, send it on.


Send me, in addition, the following things:

(1) Hardmuth pencil No. 6 (Anyuta bought me one last year and I liked it very much, but it has now, unfortunately, served its time).

(2) A box of sealing wax and some sort of a seal to seal my letters. (If we-have not got an old seal, either buy or order a cheap one,) There is no need for a name on the seal, even initials are not necessary, as long as there is some sort of a figure or drawing on it that is easily remembered and described to others.

(3) essuie-plume[1] }}

(4) small scissors }}

I had both of these but, alas, they got lost somewhere on the road. In place of the former I am now using the skirt of my jacket and have inked it up beautifully. The scissors I get from the landlord—sheep shears. Their advantage is that they always arouse laughter and general amusement.

Au revoir,
V. U.


[1] Pen-wiper (Fr.).—Ed.

[2] Yuridichesky Vestnik (The Legal Herald)—a liberal-bourgeois monthly published in Moscow from 1867 to 1892.

[3] Statistichesky Vremennik Rossiiskoi Imperii (Statistical Calendar of the Russian Empire)—published by the Central Statistical Committee of the Ministry of the Interior. Lenin used material from the Statistichesky Vremennik for 1866, 1868 and 1872 for his book The Development of Capitalism in Russia.

The book mentioned, Dnevnik vysochaishe razreshonnogo Vtorogo syezda russkikh deyatelei po tekhnicheskomu i professionalnomu obrazovaniyu, izdavayemyi komitetom syezda (Diary of the Royally Sanctioned Second Congress of Russian Specialists on Technical and Vocational Education published by the Committee of the Congress), was probably sent to Lenin with a letter in invisible ink.

[4] Niva (Cornfield)—an illustrated weekly that published the works of various classical and other well-known writers as supplements; founded in 1869.

[5] Lenin did not translate Adam Smith’s book. Apparently at the time the letter was written he did not know exactly the author or the name of the book he was to translate. This is confirmed by the fact that a few days later he speaks of having received The History of Trade Unionism by Sidney and Beatrice Webb for translation.

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