Fryderyk Chopin – Kuryer Szafarski, 27 August 1824


Autograph of a letter written by Fryderyk Chopin, the so-called Kuryer Szafarski, of 27 August 1824, one sheet, written on one page, 115x195 mm. Muzeum Fryderyka Chopina, Warsaw [M/9].


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 / Friday / 27 August 1824 / Recollection from 1798. / A chestnut stallion returning home died right on the border. / Domestic News / On day 25 c. m. & y. Her Ladyship Miss Kosteria, that lady who once with a charming voice called to His Lordship Szymon, disses, disses, leaving the kitchen with a little crock filled with water, fell plump on the ground and smashed the crock. – The Editor of the Kuryer was immediately informed of this momentous incident and, deeming it an extraordinarily tasty titbit, allocated it first place among the domestic news. – On day 26 c. m. & y. A chickeny monster was found in the Henhouse. This fright has two legs, one wing, no tail and no head. The steward’s wife is doing her all to send the chicken to Warsaw or to some other capital, so that, on being identified, it might take its place among the more singular natural phenomena. His Lordship Pichon is experiencing much distress on account of the very many cousins he found in Szafarnia. They bite him as best they can, fortunately not, however, on the nose, as it would be even bigger than it is already. On day 26 c. m. & y. the bitch Sudyna caught a partridge in the grain. On noticing this, Her Ladyship Miss Kozaczka took that poor dead creature from her and hung it on a pear tree. The resourceful bitch shook the pear tree and jumped up until she got the partridge, which, on catching, she consumed with relish. — Descendants of those famous Heroes who defended the Capitol against the Gauls often buy standing oat. This inferior produce sometimes brings about the purchasers’ death, as many of them are clubbed on the head, and even more perish in different ways. — The brother of that melancholic partridge got a rotten fever and is abed without hope of life.— On day 25 a Drake, stealing furtively out of the henhouse very early in the morning, drowned itself. The reasons for this suicide have yet to be established, as the family does not wish to talk. – The Cow is much healthier and no one doubts in her complete recovery. / Foreign News / On day 26 c. m. & y. in Sokołowo a Turkey stole into the garden. The kite, raised from its youth in the garden, having never seen a turkey before, looked at it askance and, drawing closer, wanted to scratch out its eyes. The turkey ruffled its feathers; and seeing that faces would be in vain, turned to its beak. Battle was joined; victory favoured neither side; until towards the end, after a lengthy skirmish, the victorious turkey, having pecked out the kite's right eye, concluded the duel unhappily. His Lordship Pichon was in Golub on day 26 c. m. & y. Among other foreign beauties and details, he saw a foreign Pig, which more particularly caught the attention of this most distinguished voyageur. On day 25 c. m. & y. in Białkowo a cat throttled a hen, the loss of which no one can get over. A certain gentleman from the area, in spite of the strictest inspection by the guards on the border, embezzled three rods beneath his overcoat, as he received them on his frock-coat in Golub during the fair on day 24 c. m. & y. / Free to send. / Censor / L. D.’