V. I.   Lenin



Published: First published in 1931 In Lenin’s Letters to Relatives. Sent from the remand prison in St. Petersburg. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1977, Moscow, Volume 37, pages 85-86.
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.

January 12, 1896

I got your parcel yesterday and just before yours somebody else brought me food of all kinds, so I have now got quite a stock—I could, for instance, start trading in tea, but I don’t think it would be allowed because I should certainly win the competition with the shop here. I eat very little bread, I try to maintain something of a diet—and you brought such enormous quantities that I think it will last me almost a week and get as hard as the Sunday pie at Oblomovka.[4]

I now have everything I need, and even more than I need.[1] My health is quite satisfactory. I even get my mineral water here—it is brought to me from the chemists’ on the day I order it. I sleep about nine hours a day and see various chapters of my future book in my sleep.

Is Mother well, and all the rest of our family? Give my regards to everyone.

V. Ulyanov

If you should happen to be here at any time, please bring me a pencil, one with the lead in a metal holder. The ordinary pencils, made of wood, are a nuisance here—knives are not allowed. I have to ask the warders to sharpen pencils   and they don’t do such jobs willingly and never without procrastination.

I should like to get the enema in an oval box that is[2] in the drawer of my wardrobe. This should not be impossible, even without a letter of attorney; push 25 kopeks into the landlady’s hand and tell her to take a cab and come here to deliver it and get a signature for it. Unfortunately, how- ever, this highly respected matron is as stubborn as Korobochka.[3] At present there is no urgent need of it, so it is not worth buying one.


[1] Someone, for instance, brought me a frock coat, waistcoat and travelling rug. All this was immediately “dispatched” to the storeroom as superfluous.—Lenin

[2] Perhaps it would be better to say “was”.—Lenin

[3] A character from Gogol’s Dead Souls who haggled over the price she was to receive for serfs long dead.—Ed.

[4] In Goncharov’s novel Oblomov there is a passage which speaks of a gigantic pie that was baked on holidays; the master’s family ate it for two days and on the third and fourth days it went to the servant girls; the pie lived on until Friday, when one corner of it, already hard, and without any of the filling, found its way to Antip who crossed himself and with a loud noise set fearlessly about the destruction of that amazing fossil....

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