Lopasnia. 1 February, 1915.
Hearty thanks for two letters and news. The weather is mild; it is thawing. All send their greetings, and N. P. and M. their thanks.. Am looking forward to seeing you to-morrow. I embrace you and the children.
NOTES: The reader should be reminded that, at this time, the "winter battle" of the Masurian Marshes was raging without intermission. Oa the day on which this telegram was sent, Lyck was taken by the Germans; two days later, Litzmann occupied Augustovo, and in a fortnight's time the Russians had lost 110,000 men in prisoners alone. The 10th Army was, in fact, wiped out.
28 February, 1915.
MY BELOVED DARLING,
Although it is naturally very sad for me to leave you and the dear children, I am going this time with such calm in my soul that I am myself surprised. Whether it is because I had a talk with our Friend last night, or because of the newspapers which Buchanan gave me, telling of the death of Witte, or perhaps because of the feeling that something good will happen in the war - I cannot say, but in my heart reigns a truly paschal peace. How I wish that I could leave it with you too! - I was so happy to spend those two days at home - perhaps you noticed it, but I am foolish, and never speak of what I feel.
What a nuisance it is to be always so busy and not to have an opportunity for sitting quietly together and having a talk I After dinner I cannot stay indoors, as I long to get out in the fresh air - and so all the free hours pass, and the old couple seldom get a chance of being together, especially now that A. is unwell and cannot come to us.
Do not overtire yourself, my love; remember your health; let the girls work for you sometimes.
God bless you and them; I am sending you my tenderest love and kisses. Always with boundless love,
I shall always let you know where I am going.
NOTES: BUCHANAN: Sir George Buchanan, the British Ambassador to Russia. WITTE: Count S. Y. Witte, the great Liberal statesman and President of the first Duma. He was careless and caustic in speech, and referred openly to the war as "folly." It is not surprising that he was disliked. and probably feared, by the Tsar and Tsaritsa. After Stolypin. perhaps the most able statesman of the reign of Nicholas II.
The reference to "the old couple" alludes to the Tsar's recent visit to Tsarskoe Selo, when many demands were made on his time.