p.1 Par 1 Wladimir de Pachmann, who liked and desired to be called Papy, that means in Russian language "little father", liked to recall and mention his life with his family, his brothers' story, the adventurous history of his country. So remembering, he was nearly in extasy, and I think he could see again, before his eyes, as living, all the episodes he was mentioning. Usually he sat down in a comfortable French armchair, an authentic "Bergere", having had the care of getting his precious unfailing Havana into a cigar-holder, that ended with a special adaptation made of a turkey feather (some of which are left to me), as you can see from his photos; these special cigar-holders were made in Vienna and he was buying lots and lots of it for he didn't like to remain without them during his innumerable journeys all around the world; he smoked constantly, but he looked after his health too: he was convinced that the strongest Havana will be innocuous, under the point of view of toxicology, even maintaining his delicious flavour, if some hydrophylus cotton would be put into the cigar holder. He was putting the cotton with those little sticks, feather-made, with the biggest care, so that the free draught of the exquisite cigar will not be spoiled.
Par 2 This little scrupulous operation (work, care) was the most peculiar of his characteristics: this he did ten times almost a day, for as many were the cigars he usually smoked in a day. p.2 It wouldn't seem to me to make living the personality of this magic artist that fascinated the public of all countries, if I don't describe exactly this mania of him.
Par 3 Now, as he arranged his cigar-holder, he put it on the little table, then cautiously opened (looking all around fearfully, dreading that someone could surprise him during one of more delicate moments of his day-time) the cigar box with all his care, touched (feeled) them one by one with an authentical voluptuousness, smelt them, carried the cigar box near the window in order to see cigar's colour; he chose one or two of them after some hesitating, and then, the choice done, he cut it with a special cigar-knife, and finally he threaded the cigar into the prepared cigar-holder; then, made sure that the cigar was firmly fixed to the cigar-holder, he carried it to his eager lips and then he lighted on the havannah and inspired the first mouthfuls of smoke with true voluptuousness.
Par 4 At this time De Pachmann was ready to the confidences, and perhaps he was seeing again in the smoke spires (clouds) the beloved visages of his parents and familiars, between which his mother's face was prominent, always remembered and tenderly loved by him till the last days of his exceptional old age; he certainly saw again also the picturesque Odessa, where he was born.
Par 5 In fact he spoke with me longwhile, meanwhile he smoked greedily and was tormenting with his hand his long peculiar black eyebrows.
Par 6 He was often talking in seven languages, and if sometimes I interrupted him asking for explaining some Russian words, he got vexed, saying to me: "Cesco, vous ne comprennez rien!". Then he got away and the rest of the episode will be told perhaps in a moment he would agree to repeat it in French or in English, the languages I know besides Italian, that's my maternal language.
Par 7 In order to be a perfect interpreter of this legend-character, it would be necessary to write in the seven languages he spoke, according to the diverse humour of his very changeable personality.
Par 8 He liked to recall the episodes of his childhood in Russian, and when spoke with some friend that could speak his language, then he gave way to tenderness of his memories, to the warm of the imaginations of his first years, of his childhood, moved as all his life had been. "Now, Cesco, voilà, I was born in Odessa on July 27th 1848, a year that was historic for the movements and wars. I was used to repeat with pride that his father Vincent was a deep student and ['professor' has been crossed out] teacher at Odessa university; his mother Anastasia, Turkish descendant, married Vincent p.4 de Pachmann when she was only 14, and the family had been blessed by 13 sons—Vladimiro was the 13th, beloved, and was born when his mother was forty five yet. She nursed him during 18 months, and to this de Pachmann attributed his really exceptional healthiness and resistance.
Par 9 Since his first childhood, the little Wladimir demonstrated a great interest in music and told that his father, passionate violinist amateur of great talent, participated to a exceptional quartet with Mendelssohn, with whom he longtime made friendship.
Par 10 "My father was my first teacher and, for he was very severe, by him I learned the first notions of this art, that would make me celebrated all around the world.
Par 11 "My father was a tall thin man with rather harsh air, but greatly good tempered and music amateur. I remember that during the war against the Turks, who bombed Odessa from the sea [it seems that it was the British who bombed Odessa, in 1854], fearing that the little clavichord could be damaged, he got it on his shoulders and, to get it sure, he carried it into a sort of cavern that we had under our house; all we sons with my good mother stayed hours and hours in that dark refuge, with only the light of an old-fashioned lamp.
Par 12 "The way of life during those years were extremely difficult and nobody spoke at all of sanitary or hygenic implantations (? stocks, set); meanwhile we were all in good health, so that my father and my mother joined [-> enjoyed? reached?] a very old and healthful age. I remember that my father was rather covetous and generally hid his money in a sort of cupboard inside the wall of his room. Once I realized that Annuska, our young maid, stayed a long while in my father's room; got curious and pushed by an indefinite instinct, I began to watch, and so one day I could see Annuska getting out from my father's room hiding a flaming [-> shining?] rouble (into) on her bosom. Since that day I demanded continuously in my childish mind, why Annuska could have roubles from my father, meanwhile my mother laboriously p.6 obtained only Kopekos to pay so many familiar needs. Since that day, even maintaining the secret, I had for Annuska a true, strong hostility.
Par 13 "Among the more painful souvenirs of my childhood there is that of my brother Gregor, who was given to the alcohol and often came back home drunk; then horrible scenes and quarrels happened, so that I generally hid myself in the more secret corner of my house, to not hear and see what was happening. His return back home were for me a true torture and even now my heart trembles remembering of the noise of his steps on the staircase.
Par 14 "The music anyway dominated all my life; after studying the violin with my father during some years, I dedicated myself to the piano with true passion, and, always under his guide, about twelve old, I played quite well, so that one day, while I was playing the Doppia Fuga in Mi minore (E flat) by Handel, [Double Fugue in e minor; for the identification of this work see the short article "Pachmann at Age Twelve" by Nigel Nettheim, 2008] a man, who was passing by my house, stopped to listen, and then would know who was the perfect player of a so difficult piece; great was the wonder of doctor Morgan, this was his name, music connoisseur, knowing that I, the little Wladimir, was the genial player of it, and he prognosticated for me the most flattering success.
Par 15 "What a luck to have in your life so agreeable episodes, that always accompany you and that spur you to pass all obstacles. Artist's career is a vertiginous race with obstacles."