Fryderyk Chopin – Kuryer Szafarski, 16 August 1824


Autograph of a letter written by Fryderyk Chopin, the so-called Kuryer Szafarski, of 16 August 1824, one sheet, written on one page, 115x195 mm. Muzeum Fryderyka Chopina, Warsaw [M/8].


During his stay in Szafarnia in the summer of 1824, instead of writing traditional letters, Fryderyk gave to the correspondence he addressed to his family the form of a gazette, intended to resemble, in its form, character and layout, the Kurier Warszawski, a popular Warsaw newspaper.


‘KURYER SZAFARSKI / 16 August 1824 / National recollection from 1820: dredged pond in the courtyard. / Home News. / On 11 August this year His Lordship Fryderyk Chopin took a ride on a plucky mount and competed to the line: and though, several times proceeding on foot, he was unable to rival Mrs Dziewanowska (in this, not he, but his horse bore the blame), he nevertheless gained victory over Miss Ludwika, who, already quite close to the line, arrived on foot. – His Lordship Franciszek Chopin rides out daily on walks, yet with the honour of always sitting behind. His Lordship Jakób Chopin drinks six cups of acorn coffee a day, whilst Mikołaiek eats four rolls each day, nota bene besides a mighty dinner and three-course supper. On day 13 of the current month and year His Lordship Better could be heard on the piano with uncommon talent. A virtuoso, this Berliner – plays in the taste of HL Berger […] in the thrust and set of his fingers surpasses Mrs Łagowska and plays with such feeling that almost every note seems to come, not from his heart, but out of his mighty belly. On day 15 c. m. & y. the important news arrived that a baby turkey had happened to hatch in a corner behind the pantry. An important incident this, in that, not only did it cause the family of turkeys to increase, but it also increased the tax revenue and ensured its continued augmentation. — Last night a cat stole into the wardrobe and smashed a bottle of juice; but just as on the one hand apt for the scaffold, on the other it also merits praise, as it chose the smallest among them. – On 12th inst. a hen fell lame and a drake lost a leg in a duel with a goose. A cow fell so violently ill that she even grazes in the garden. – On 14th inst. the sentence fell that, under pain of death, no piglet should dare enter the garden. / Foreign News / A certain citizen in the neigbourhood wished to read the Monitor. Therefore he sent a servant to the Carmelite fathers in Obory, requesting the periodical. The servant, never having heard of a periodical in his life, twisted the word and asked the fathers for a haemorrhoidical. In Bocheniec, a fox ate two defenceless ganders; whoever catches him is requested to inform the Bocheniecki court, which will, without fail, according to the laws and regulations, punish the criminal. The deliverer of the fox, meanwhile, as fitting reward, will be given those two ganders. / Free to send / Censor / L. D.’