Written: 22 December, 1900. Letter sent from Ufa to Moscow
Published: 1931 in Lenin’s Letters to Relavtives Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1977, Moscow, Volume 37, pages 596-598.
Translated/Edited: George H. Hanna and Robert Daglish.
Transcription/Markup: D. Walters
Public Domain: Lenin Internet Archive 2008. You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as the source/editing/transcription/markup information noted above.
Dear Maria Alexandrovna and Manyasha,
It seems quite a time since I wrote to you. Today I am in something of a holiday-eve mood and I am spending the day in a most unusual manner. I shall not have any lessons for a fortnight, yesterday I gave my last lesson, my French teacher has also gone away for the holidays,. and so 1 am, as the saying goes, as free as the birds of the air. I began today by cleaning up the house and then got down to letter-writing and finishing off all kinds of unfinished jobs. I wanted to write you a letter for Christmas but I have been so busy, and this letter will probably arrive in the New Year, if you bear in mind the holidays and the snowdrifts. I wish you, dear people, a happy New Year; I send you many kisses and wish you good health and everything, everything that is good. I hope that this year I shall be able to spend some time with you. Mother also sends her best wishes. Here it is ’seriously” cold, thirty below zero every day, and sometimes there is a snowstorm on top of the frost. I parade in Mother’s fur coat and felt boots and she does not go out at all-the cold immediately takes her breath away. The post is greatly delayed by the snowstorms.
How are you spending the holidays? Has DI. arrived? Oh, there’s something else—what is Anyota’s address? I wrote to her at Volodya’s address a long time ago and do not know if she received my letter. I’d like to write to her, but I don’t know where to send a letter. Olga Alexandrovna, from whom I recently received a letter, is also asking about the address. What a pity, Manyasha dear, that they would not let you go abroad-I had already begun to envy you. Perhaps we shall be able to go together. I am trying not to think of spring and my journey yet; if I do, I get lost in wild ideas. People had a good laugh at my expense yesterday, I started crossly trying to preach that it was essential to maintain an even temper and got so angry that I proved brilliantly that I was not even-tempered myself. Unfortunately my acquaintances are all nervous wrecks, people with “moods”; of course, if one’s nerves are out of order there is nothing one can do about it, only why let oneself go-that I cannot stand.
Olga Alexandrovua writes that they are badly off; she is living in Krasneyarsk where Mikhail Alexnndrovich enjoys some privileges on account of her. She has one small lesson, a poor one, and hopes to find another. MA. gets terribly fatigued by army service and is bored by doing nothing and being a soldier. All the Siberians write regularly, except the Taiga and Omsk people, who maintain an unconscionable silence. Gleb, they say, is completely worn out at his job; I am surprised that they hang on there. We live on the main highway and people are passing through all the time so that we have a life of variety. Not long ago one of our Minusiosk acquaintances was here; he had been released for a month to visit his mother. By the way, Manyasha, you asked me about 0.,[This refers to G. I. OlcuIova.—Editor] you wanted to know what sort of person she is. I have very little personal knowledge of her but have heard many good things about her. I had intended to send a letter with her but, first, she did not go direct and, second, I had influenza at the time and could not think properly. I thought she would get to know Anyuta. Here I am, chattering away nineteen to the dozen. My study of languages is making poor headway. I suppose I am not good at them.
And so, good-bye. Once more I embrace, and kiss you; regards to M.T. and D.I.
The Kautsky translation[This refers to the manuscript of Lenin’s translation of Karl Kautsky’s book Bernstein und des soziaidemokratische Progransni. Eine Antikrltlk, Stuttgart, 1899,—Editor] is not here now, it was sent temporarily to Astrakhan, it will be returned soon, but Volodya has asked for it to be sent to him, only, I don’t know if it’s fit for posting, it has acquired such a battered look.