YALTA, September 15, 1903.

... Don’t believe anybody—no living soul has read my play yet; I have written for you not the part of a “canting hypocrite,” but of a very nice girl, with which you will, I hope, be satisfied. I have almost finished the play, but eight or ten days ago I was taken ill, with coughing and weakness—in fact, last year’s business over again. Now—that is to-day—it is warmer and I feel better, but still I cannot write, as my head is aching. Olga will not bring the play; I will send the four acts together as soon as it is possible for me to set to work for a whole day. It has turned out not a drama, but a comedy, in parts a farce, indeed, and I am afraid I shall catch it from Vladimir Ivanitch [Footnote: Nemirovitch Dantchenko.]....

I can’t come for the opening of your season, I must stay in Yalta till November. Olga, who has grown fatter and stronger in the summer, will probably come to Moscow on Sunday. I shall remain alone, and of course shall take advantage of that. As a writer it is essential for me to observe women, to study them, and so, I regret to say, I cannot be a faithful husband. As I observe women chiefly for the sake of my plays, in my opinion the Art Theatre ought to increase my wife’s salary or give her a pension! ...

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