Fryderyk Chopin – Kuryer Szafarski, 3 September 1824


Autograph of a letter written by Fryderyk Chopin, the so-called Kuryer Szafarski, of 3 September 1824, one sheet, written on one page, 116x195 mm. Muzeum Fryderyka Chopina, Warsaw [M/11].


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 / 3 September 1824. / Recollection. / Founding of Szafarnia in 1740 / by / Wawrzyniec Szafarniak. / Home News / On day 1 c. m. & y. Mr Pichon was playing The Jew when Mr Dziewanowski hailed a Jewish notary and asked for his opinion on the Jewish virtuoso. The smouch went up to the window, poked his lofty hooked nose into the room and listened, saying that if Mr Pichon wished to play at a Jewish wedding he would earn himself at least ten thalers. This declaration has encouraged Mr Pichon to shtudy this kind of music as much as possible and who knows whether with time he will not devote himself completely to such profitable harmonies. On day 2 c. m. & y. A cat only just brought in slipped out of the room. The housekeeper ran out after him and seeing that he was escaping, started to give chase. – She was just catching up with him when the cat gave a leap over the fence and came to rest safely on the other side; but the Lady, determined to catch it, climbed up onto the fence with the aim of crossing onto the other side; however, her leg slips… she loses balance… and… falls flat on the ground. On day 3 c. m. & y. His Lordship Łukasz, a farmhand by office, climbed up a pear tree and began to shake the pears for the ladies waiting eagerly for the falling pears in the shade of the tree; but having shaken them a few times, when none wanted to fall, he himself, nota bene by accident, fell to the ground instead of the pears. On day 2 c. m. & y. Her Ladyship Miss Brygida, the cook, making various turns with bread in an earthenware pot, out of excessive gracefulness and dexterity, spilled all the bread on the floor. On day 1 c. m. & y. Murzyn went out late in the afternoon with its master into the fields and killed a partridge, nota bene without gun or powder. The cow is incomparably better, already receiving visits, and perhaps will soon be paying her own. / Foreign News / On day 1 c. m. & y. The kite savaged a partridge in Bocheniec Wood. On day 5 c. m. & y. In Bocheniec the wedding will take place of His Lordship Mr Jan Lewandowski, esquire carver, and Miss Katarzyna Ciżewska, daughter of the Governor of the District of Bocheniec. – The Governor’s wife is making great preparations, and the groom is already inviting guests to the nuptials. Among others, Mr Pichon received an invitation, at which he is inexpressibly pleased, together with the Editor of the Kuryer, who in the next number will not fail to relate the more important scenes and incidents from that wedding. On day 2 c. m. & y. in Białkowo a fierce battle broke out between a dog and a cat over a piece of meat lying on the road. Both fought manfully with intrepid minds; the smell of the meat roused their valour, and a mutual jealousy, their appetite; long they valiantly clashed; long their unresolved fate absorbed the spectators with trepidation; until finally the cat, having scratched out Szpic’s eyes, already exhausted by the battle and weakened by its numerous wounds, with its sharp claws, after being repulsed twice more, throttles him… and when all, astonished, are lamenting the fate of the poor little dog, the victor raises the piece of meat in triumph; shortly, however, covered in deep scars, it swoons and falls… turns over… and… dies. On day 31 in Rętwiny wolves ate twelve sheep. Whosoever can seize the ringleader, may he deliver it to the Governor of the District of Rętwiny, and he will recieve as reward a half of one of the aforementioned sheep. / Free to send. / Censor L. D.’