Written: 20 through 29 December, 1909. Letter sent from Paris to Moscow
Published: First published in 1930 in the journal Proletarskaya Revolyutsiya No. 1.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1977, Moscow, Volume 37, pages 608-609.
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,
To begin with, let me embrace you fondly. Tins letter is being written mainly to tell you that, because actually there is nothing much to write about. Manyasha has told you about our way of life. It differs from last year only in the apartment being very warns and Volodya having become a stick-at-home. He has been working a lot this winter and lie always feels better when he is working.
For over a week now he has been getting up at eight in the morn-ing to go to the library; he returns from there at 2 o’clock. At first he found it difficult to get up so early, but now he is very satisfied and has begun to go to bed early. It would be a very good thing if he could manage to keep it up.
To think we have been living in Paris for a whole year alreadyl We have become fairly used to it, but it’s a pity we see so little of the real local life.
Recently we went to a little theatre near here and enjoyed it. The audience was pure working class, mothers with babies, hatless, lively and talkative. It was interesting to see the audience’s spontaneous reaction to the play. They applauded not good or bad acting, but good or bad actions. The play itself was just as ingenuous, naive as the audience, with lots of pretty words that suited the taste of the audience. We got the impression of something very lively, very spon-taneous. I was sorry that Manyasha was not there. I was also sorry she was not here when we went to see a demonstration of a hundred thousand people.[A demonstration of 100,000 people took place in Paris on Octo-hero, 1909 as a protest against the execution of Ferrer in Spain; Fentr had been accused of preparing the uprising in Barcelona in July 1909 brought about by the despatch of government troops to Morocco.—Editor.] That created a very strong impression. In general we seldom go anywhere, and if we do, only on Sundays.
How are your eyes? Are they getting better? Mother, too, often complains that it is difficult for her to read in the evenings. Is the light good in your apartment? A pity it’s chilly, though. It’s a good thing you’re living with somebody you know. If they are nice people, it’s much pleasanter. Perhaps you will take a place together somewhere later on ….
Again, I embrace you fondly. Mother-sends very best regards. I wrote to Manyasha recently and yesterday I made a discovery—my letter to her was lying undisturbed in Volodya’s pocket! How many times have I sworn I would never give him letters to post. This time he assured me he would not forget it. But he did!