[mancano le carte 21 e 22. Potrebbe mancare una lettera]
6. Dicembre 1902.
La ringrazio molto delle informazioni che mi dà relative alle modificazioni apportate a
Assai, invece, mi addolorano le altre notizie .... intime.
No! – io non parlerò mai più a
dal suo d.mo
6 December 1902
Many thanks for your news regarding the changes to Butterfly. I see that you are quite convinced, just like Puccini – nothing could be better. I hope, indeed I am certain that I too will share your same opinion; but for now, while I appreciate the reasons you put forth, I fear the opera will end up being neither fish nor fowl, be it understood in a utilitarian sense (what a shocking thing for me to say, don’t you think?) – such that it will not be enough to sustain a full evening’s entertainment, a serious disadvantage for the provincial theatres! – It would be painful to have to turn to Pagliacci to fill out the program.
Meanwhile I am quite content that, after this excision [of the atto del Consolato], Puccini is pressing ahead so willingly in his work.
What distresses me greatly, instead, is the other.... personal.... news.
No! – I won’t speak to Puccini again. What I have already said and done I do not wish to repeat. They were wasted words, which only forced me to recognize the deceitful and vulgar nature of a person for whom I nonetheless have great respect and affection. Such disappointment I have no desire to experience again! But this is certain: that he will finish his work thanks to the continuing influence of his initial momentum; but that – and it pains me to say this – Puccini the man is lost to art and to his friends! – Everything about him bespeaks this fact: his gaze, his slack jaw, the way he moves, his restlessness, his sudden attacks of boredom! Alas!... how I would hope to be wrong about his. Very best regards
From yours most sincerely,