- Project Runeberg -  Impressions of Russia /
154

(1889) [MARC] Author: Georg Brandes Translator: Samuel Coffin Eastman - Tema: Russia
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his portrait. The exchange of letters lasted for seven
months. Her letters were full of fire and constantly
more passionate. His answers were not without tenderness,
yet calm and comparatively cold, although it can
be seen he had been much moved by this wonderful love,
which came to him so unsought and unexpected. Then
he dies. Shortly after, according to the preface of the
editress, the fair writer of the letters also died, but not
until she had obtained from her husband his word of
honor that he would give his consent to the publication
not only of the letters which she had received
from the poet, but of those which she herself had
written.

For several months this correspondence was the
subject of the attention and sympathy of the Russian
reading world. Then it was discovered, as had been
first suggested in the feuilleton of a newspaper as a
derisive conjecture, that the poet and his fair friend
had been the victims of a bold forgery. From what
motive it is uncertain, but a lady who frequented the
house, at first continually entertained the friend with
accounts of a certain countess of her acquaintance, who
lived in a state of hero-worship for Nadson. Then she
began to bring letters, said that she was willing to carry
back the answers, and thus for more than half a year
had kept the intrigue on foot. First she was compelled
to admit the death of the countess — for the very good
reason that she had never lived; then she confessed that
she had fabricated all the anonymous protestations of
love. It is unimportant whether her motive had been
her desire to make herself interesting, a disposition to
mystify, or only a mania for romancing and a vigorous
imagination. The only thing that is significant about it
is that the whole of the Russian public found nothing

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