Tsarskoe Selo, June 10-th 1915
My very own precious One,
It is with a heavy heart I let you leave this time - everything is so serious & just now particularly painful & I long to be with you, to share your worries & anxieties. You bear all so bravely & by yourself - let me help you my Treasure. Surely there is some way in wh. a woman can be of help & use. I do so yearn. to make it easier for you & the ministers all squabbling amongst each other at a time, when all ought to work together & forget their personal offenses - have as aim the wellfare of their Sovereign & Country it makes me rage. In other words its treachery, because people know it, they feel the government in discord & then the left profit by it. If you could only be severe, my Love, it is so necessary, they must hear your voice & see displeasure in yr. eyes; they are too much accustomed to your gentle, forgiving kindness.
Sometimes a word gently spoken carries far - but at a time, such as we are now living through, one needs to hear your voice uplifted in protest & repremand when they continue not obeying yr. orders, when they dawdle in carrying them out. They must learn to tremble before you - you remember Mr. Ph. & Gr. say the same thing too. You must simply order things to be done, not asking if they are possible (you will never ask anything unreasonable or a folly) - for instance, order as in France (a Republic) other fabrics to make shells, cartridges (if guns & rifles too complicated) - let the big fabrics send teacher - where there is a will there is a way & they must all realise that you insist upon yr. wish being speedily fulfilled. It is for them to find the people, the fabricants, to settle all going, let them go about & see to the work being done, themselves. You know how talented our people are, how gifted - only lazy & without initiative, start them going, & they can do anything, only dont ask, but order straight off, be energetic for yr. country's sake!
The same about the question wh. our Friend takes so to heart & wh. is the most serious of all, for internal peace's sake - the not calling in the Second class - if the order has been given, you tell N. that you insist upon its counterordering - by your name to wait, the kind act must come fr. you - dont listen to any excuses - (am sure it was unintentionally done out of not having knowledge of the country). Therefore our Friend dreads yr. being at the Headquarters as all come round with their own explanations & involuntarily you give in to them, when yr. own feeling has been the right one, but did not suit theirs. Remember you have reigned long, have far more experience than they N. has only the army to think of & success - you carry the internal responsabilities on for years - if he makes faults (after the war he is nobody), but you have to set all straight. No, hearken unto our Friend, beleive Him, He has yr. interest & Russians at heart' - it is not for nothing God sent Him to us - only we must pay more attention to what He says - His words are not lightly spoken - & the gravity of having not only His prayers, but His advise - is great. The Ministers did not think of telling you, that this measure is a fatal one, but He did. - How hard it is not to be with you, to talk over all quietly & to help you being firm. - Shall follow & be near you inthoughts & prayers all the time. May God bless & protect you, my brave, patient, humble one. I cover yr. sweet face with endless, tender kisses, - love you beyond words, my own, very own Sunshine & joy. - I bless you. - Sad not to pray together, but Botk. finds wiser my remaining quiet, so as soon to be quite alright again.
Yr. own Wify.
Our Marie will be 16 on the 14-th, so give her diamond-necklace fr. us, like the other two got. -
Tsarskoe Selo, June 11-th 1915
My very own precious One,
All my tenderest thoughts surround you in love and longing. It was a lovely surprise, when you suddenly turned up again - I had been praying & crying & feeling wretched. You don't know how hard it is being without you & how t e r r i b I y I always miss you. Your dear telegram was such a consolation, as I felt very low & Ania's odious humour towards me (not to the Children) did anything but enliven my afternoon & evening. - We dined out & took tea on the balkony - this morning its glorious again - I am still in bed, resting you see, as heart not quite the thing, tho' not enlarged
I have been sorting out photos to be glued into albums for the exhibition-bazar here. - Fancy, big Marie Bariat.'s husband died from a stroke on the 9-th at Berejany in a property named Rai - one carries his body to Tarnopol. He was Commissioner of the red cross at the 11-th Army, can imagine Marie & Olga's despair, as they loved " their brother Ivan. Then the old C. Olsufiev has died - they lived as turtledoves, she will be brokenhearted. - One hears of nothing, but deaths it seems to me. - Fancy, what I did last night in bed? I fished out yr. old letters & read through many of them, & those few before we were engaged - & all yr. words of intense love & tenderness warmed up my aching heart, & it seemed to me, as tho' I heard you speaking.
I numbered yours, the last 176 fr. the Head-Quarters. You number my yesterdays please, 313 - I hope my letter did not displease you but I am , haunted by our Friend's wish & k n o w it will be fatal for u s & the country ,if not fulfilled. He means what He says, when speaks so seriously - He was much against yr. going to L. & P. - it was too soon, we see it now - was much against the war - was against the people of the Duma coming, an ugly act of Rodz. & the speeches ought not to have been printed (I find).
Please, my Angel, make N. see with your eyes - dont give in to any of the 2-nd class being taken - put it off as long as only possible - they have to work in the fields, fabrics, on steamers etc.; rather take the recroutes for next year now - please listen to His advise when spoken so gravely wh. gave Him sleepless nights - one fault & we shall all have to pay for it. - I wonder what humour you found at the Head-Quarters & whether the heat is very great. -
Felix told Ania that one threw (then) stones at Ella's carriage & spat at her, but she did not wish to speak to us about it - they feared disorders these days again - don't know why. - The big girls are in the hospital, yesterday all 4 worked in the stores - bandages & later went to Irina. -How do you feel, my Love, your beloved sad eyes haunt me still. Dear Olga wrote a sweet letter & kisses you & asks sweetly how you bear all, tho' she knows you will always wear a cheery face & carry all hidden inside. I fear often for yr. poor heart it was so much to bear - speak out to yr. old wify - bride of the bygone share all with me, it may make it easier - tho' sometimes one has more strength carrying alone, not letting oneself get soft - the phisical heart gets so bad from it, I know it but too well. Lovebird, I kiss you without end, bless you, cover yr. precious face with kisses & long to let your dear head rest upon my old breast, so full of unutterable love & devotion.
Ever yr. own old
I recieve Mme Hartwig, Rauchfuss, the 4 Trepov daughters (2 married).. Remember to speak about the wounded officers being allowed to finish their cures at home before returning for 2,3 or 4 time to battle, its cruel & unjust otherwise, N. must give Alek the order. My love to the old man & N.P.
Tsarskoe Selo, June 12-th 1915
My very own precious One,
With such anxiety I wait for news & eagerly read the morning papers so as to know what happens. -
Glorious weather again - yesterday during dinner (on the balkony) there was a colossal downpour, seems it must daily rain, personally I have nothing against it, as always dread the heat & yesterday it was very hot & Ania's temper beastly, wh. did not make me feel better - grumbling against everybody & everything & strong hidden pricks at you & me. - This afternoon I may drive & to-morrow I hope to go (after a week's absence) to the hospital, as one of the officers must have his apendicitis cut off. Dmitri had his leg put in plaster of Paris Gypsum & to-day they are going to look with Roentgen-rays to see whether the leg is really broken, crushed or strained - what bad luck always! Sweet one, please remember the question about the Tobolsk Tatars to be called in they are splendid, devoted fellows & no doubt would go with joy & pride. I found a paper of old Marie Feod. you once brought me, & as it is funny, I send it to you. -
I saw me Hartwig yesterday - she told me many interesting things when they left Lvov - & sad impressions of soldiers being depressed & saying that they wont return to fight the enemy with empty fists - the rage of the officers against Soukhomlinov is quite colossal poor man - his very name they loathe & yearn for him to be sent away well for his sake too, before any scandle arises, it would be better to do so. It is his adventurer wife who has completely ruined his reputation - because of her bribes he suffers & so on; - one says it is his fault there is no ammunition wh. is our curse now etc. I tell you this to show you what impressions she brought back. -
How one craves for a miracle to bring success, that ammunition & rifles should do double work !
Wonder how the spirit in the Head-Quarters is? - Would to God N. were another man & had not turned against a man of Gods, that always brings bad luck to their work & those women wont let him change; he recieved decorations without end & thanks for all but too early - its pain to think he got so much & nearly all has been retaken.
But God Almighty will help & better days will come, I feel convinced.. Such trials for you to bear my own Sunshine. I long to be with you, to know how you are feeling morally - brave & calm as usual, the pain hidden away as usual. God help you my very own sweet Sufferer & give you strength, trust & courage. Yr. reign has been one of sore trials, but the recompense must come some day, God is just. - The little birdies are singing away so cheerily & a soft breeze comes in by the window. When I finish my letter, I shall get up; - these quiet days have done my heart good.
Give many kind messages to the old man & N. A I am glad the latter is near you, I feel a warm heart with you & that makes me quieter for your sweet sake. -
Try & write a wee word for Marie, her 16 birthday being on Sunday. -
Tatiana. went for a ride yesterday, I encouraged her, the others were of course too lazy & went to the Nurse's school to play with the babies. -
A Pr. Galitzine Serg. Mikh. died at Lausanne - I suppose its the man of many wives.
Now my own Nicky darling, I must say goodbye. I regret having nothing of interest to tell you.
- The 4 Trepov daughters beg to thank you ever so deeply for having permitted their mother to be buried next to their Father - they saw his coffin, still quite intact. -
Blessings without end be yours, my Love, I cover yr. sweet face with kisses, & remain
Ever yr. very own
Tsarskoe Selo, June 12-th 1915
My very Own,
I begin my letter still to-night, as to-morrow morning I hope to go to the hospital & shall have less time for writing. Ania & I took a nice drive to Pavlovsk this afternoon in the shade it was quite cool; we lunched & took tea on the balkony, but in the evening it got too fresh to sit out. From 9 1/2 - 11 1/2 we were at Anias, I worked on the sopha, the 3 girls & officers played games. I am tired after my first outing. - My Lvov stores is now at Rovno near the station for the time - God grant we shant be driven back fr. there too. That we had to leave that town is hard, but still it was not quite ours yet - nevertheless its sad to have fallen into other hands - William will now be sleeping in old Fr. J's bed wh. you occupied one night - I don't like that, its humiliating, - but that one can bear - but to think that once more the same battle-fields may be strewn with the bodies of our brave men - thats heartrending. But I ought not to speak to you in this tone, you have enough sorrow - my letters must be cheery ones, but its a bit difficult when heart & soul are sad. I hope to see our Friend a moment in the morning at Anias to bid Him goodbye - that will do me good. Serge Tan. was to leave tonight over Kiev but got a telegram that the Akhtirtzy are being sent elsewhere & he must leave to-morrow. I wonder what new combination. - How one wishes Alexeiev had remained with Ivanov, things might have gone better Dragomirov set all going wrong. One prays & prays & yet never enough the Schadenfreude of Germany makes my blood boil. God must surely hearken unto our supplications & send some success at least; - now shall be having them turn towards Varsovie & many troops are near Shavli, oh God, what a hideous war! Sweet, brave Soul how I wish one could rejoice your poor, tortured heart with something bright & hopeful. I long to hold you tightly clasped in my arms, with yr. sweet head resting upon my shoulder - then I could cover Lovy's face & eyes with kisses & murmer soft words of love. I kiss your cushion at nights, thats all I have - & bless it. - Now I must go to sleep. Rest well, my treasure, I bless & kiss you ever so fondly & gently stroke your dear brow.
June 13-th. How can I thank you enough for your beloved Letter, I received upon our return from the hospital. Such an intense joy hearing from you, my Angel, thanks thousands of times. But I am sad your dear heart does not feel right, please let Botkin see you upon yr. return as he can give you drops to take from time to time when you have pains. I feel so awfully for those who have anything with the heart, suffering from it myself for so many years. Hiding ones sorrow, swallowing all, makes it so bad & it gets besides phisically tired - your eyes seemed like it at times. Only always tell it me, as I have after all enough experience with heart complains & I can perhaps help you. Speak about all to me, talk it out, cry even, it makes it phisically too, easier sometimes. - Thank God N. understood about the second class, - Forgive me, but I don't like the choice of Minister of war -- you remember how you were against him, & surely rightly & N. too I fancy. He works with Xenia too -but is he a man in whom one can have any confidence, can he be trusted? How I wish I were with you & could hear all yr. reasons for choosing him. I dread N.'s nominations, N. is far from clever, obstinate & led by others - God grant I am mistaken & this choice may be blest - but I like a crow, croak over it rather. Can the man have changed so much? Has he dropped Outchkov - is he not our Friend's enemy, as that brings bad luck. Make, dear old Goremykin thoroughly speak with him, morally influence him. Oh may these 2 new ministers be the right men in the right place, ones heart is so full of anxiety & one yearns for union amongst the ministers, success. Lovy mine, tell them upon their return from the Headquarters to ask & see me, one after the other, & I shall pray hard & try my utmost to be of real use to you. Its horrid not helping & letting you have all the hard work to do. -
Our Friend dined (I think) with Shakhovskoy again & likes him - He can influence him for the good. Fancy how strange! Schicherbatov wrote a most amiable letter to Andronnikov (after having spoken against him to you). -
There is another minister I don't like in his place, Stcheglovitov, (to speak to pleasant) he does not heed to your orders, & whenever a petition comes wh. he thinks our Friend brought, he wont do it & not long ago tore one of yours through again. Verevkine his aid (Gr.'s friend) told this - & I have noticed that he rarely does what one asks - like Timiriasev obstinate & "by the letter" not by the soul. Its right to be severe but one might be more just than he is & kinder to the small people, more so whenn= you have so many worries.
Our apendicitis operation went off well; saw the new officers - the poor boy
with tetanos is a little better - more hopeful, - Such fine weather, am lying
on the balkony & the birdies are chirruping away so gaily. - A. just sat with
me, she saw Gr. this morning, he slept better for the first time since 5
nights & says its a little better at the war. He begs you m o s t
incessantly to order quickly that on one day all over the country there
should be a church procession to ask for victory, God will sooner hear if all
turn to Him please give the order, any day you choose now that it should be
done send yr. order (I think) by wire (open that all can read it) to Sabler
that this is yr. wish - now is Petrovski Lent, so it is yet more apropriate,
& it will lift the spirit up, & be a consolation to the brave one's fighting
-- & tell the same thing to Shavelsky Deary - please Darling, & just that its
to be an order from you , not from the Synod. - I could not see Him
to-day hope to-morrow.
A., Alia & Nini have gone by motor to Krasnoie to talk with Groten. Now I must quickly send off this letter. Marie Bariatinsky dines with us & leaves to-morrow with Olga for Kiev I think. -
God bless & protect you - heart & soul with you, prayers without end surround you. Feel sad & lowspirited, hate being separated fr. you, all the more so when you have so many worries. rries. But God will help & if these church processions are done, am sure will hearken unto all prayers of your faithful people. God guard & guide you my very own Love. If you have any question for our Fr. write at once. I cover you with fondest kisses, Ever yr. own old
Love to old man & N. P.
Tsarskoe Selo, June 14-th 1915
My own beloved One, I congratulate you with all my loving heart for our big Marie's 16-th birthday. What a cold, rainy summer it was when she was borne - 3 weeks I had daily pains until she turned up. Pitty you are not here. She enjoyed all her presents, I gave her her first ring from us made out of one of my Buchara diamonds.
She is so cheery & gay to-day.
I am writing on the balkony, we have just finished luncheon after we had been to Church. Baby is going to Peterhof for the afternoon & later to Ania.
Such lovely weather & the wind keeps it from being too hot - but the evenings are fresh. Marie Bariatinsky dined with us & remained till 10 l/2 & then I went to bed as had a headache.
The girls had a repetition in the "little house".
Beloved one, all my thoughts & prayers are with you the whole time & so much sorrow and anxiety fills the heart. - I hope you will say about the church processions. Old Fred. of course made a confusion & gived 0. Ebr. on her money she got as my lady, not her Father's pension (wh. was much less) & she asked for. She feels quite confused at. yr. great kindness. -
Yesterday I looked at the 10 English motors - quite splendid, much better than ours, for four lying & a sister or sanitary can sit inside with them & always hot water to be had for them - they hope to get yet 20 more for us, yr. Mama & me together. As soon as she has seen these, they ought to be sent off I find at once where the cavalry is most in need of them now, I don't know where, perhaps you could ask, & then I can hint it to Motherdear. She is now at Elagin.
Paul comes to tea & then the children go to Ania, perhaps I too for a bit if not too tired. I see our Friend this evening or to-morrow morning.
We are going out driving this afternoon, A. & I; the girls will follow in two small carriages.
Now I must end dear Love. How I long to know how the news really are, such anxiety fills the soul. -
Goodbye Nicky mine, my very, very own. God bless & protect you. I cover your precious face with kisses.
Ever yr. very own Sunny.
Tsarskoe Selo, June 14-th 1915
My own beloved Nicky,
So many thanks for yr. dear telegram. Poor Darling, even on Sunday a council of ministers! - We had a nice drive to Pavlovsk, coming back, little Georgi on his small motor (like Alexeis) flew into our carriage, but luckily did not upset & his machine was not spoiled. - Paul came to tea & remained 1 & 3/4 hours, he was very nice & spoke honestly & simply, meaning well, not wishing to meddle with what does not concern him, only asking all sorts of things wh. I now repeat to you, with his knowledge. Well, to begin with, Paleolog dined with him a few days ago & then they had a long private talk the latter tried to find out from him, very cleverly, whether he knew if you any ideas about forming a seperate peace with Germany, as he heard such things being spoken about here, & as tho' in France one had got wind of it - & that there they intend fighting to the very end. Paul answered that was convinced it was not true, all the more, as at the outset of the war we our allies had settled, that peace could only be concluded together on no account separately. Then I told Paul that you had heard the same rumour about France; & he crossed himself when I said you were not dreaming of peace & knew it would mean revolution here & therefore the Germans are trying to egg it on. He said he had heard even the German mad conditions posed to us. - I warned him he w1d. next hear, that I am wishing peace to be concluded. -
Then he asked me whether it was true that Stcheglovitov was being changed & that rotten Manukkin named in his place - I said I knew nothing, wh. is the truth, & neither why Stchegl. has chosen the moment now to go to the Solov. convent. Then he mentioned another thing to me wh. tho' painful better to warn you about - namely, that - since 6 months one speaks of a spy being at the Headquarters & when I asked the name, he said Gen. Daniloy (the black one), that from many sides one has told him this "feeling" & that now in the army one speaks about it. Lovy mine, Voieikov is sly & clever, talk to him about this, & let him slyly & cleverly try & have an eye upon the man & his doings - why not have him watched - of course as Paul says one has the spy mania now, but as things are at once known abroad wh. only very wellinitiated people at the Headquarters can know, this strong doubt has arisen, Paul thought it honest to ask me whether you had ever mentioned this to me- I said no. Only dont mention it to Nikolasha before you have taken information, as he can spoil all by his excited way & tell the man straight out or disbelieve all. But I think, it would only be right, tho' the man may seem perfectly charming & honest, to have him watched. Whilst you are there the yellow men & others can use eyes & ears & watch his telegrams & the people he sees etc. One pretends as tho' he often receives big sums. I only tell you all this, knowing nothing whether there is any foundation in it, only better to warn you. Many dislike the Headquarters & have an uncomfortable feeling there & as, alas, we have had spies & also innocent people accused by Nikolasha, now you can find out carefully, please. Paul says Schtcherbatov's nomination was hailed with delight; he does not know him. Forgive my bothering you so, poor weary Sweetheart, but one longs to be of help & perhaps I can be of some use giving over such messages. -
Mary Vassiltchikov & family live in the green corner house & fr. her window she watches like a cat all the people, that go in & out of our house & makes her remarks. She drove Isa wild asking why the children one day went out of one gate on foot & next time on bicycles, why an officer comes with a portfolio in the morning in one uniform & differently dressed in the evening - told Css. Fred. that she saw Gr. driving in - (odious). So to punish her, we went to A. this evening by a round about way, so she did not see us pass out. He was with us fr. 10-11 1/2 in her house - I send you a stick (fish holding a bird), wh. was sent to Him fr. New Athos to give to you - he used it first & now sends, it to you as a blessing - if you can sometimes use it, wld. be nice & to have it in yr. compartment near the one Mr. Ph. touched, is nice too. He spoke much & beautifully - & what a Russian Emperor is, tho' other Sovereigns are anointed & crowned, only the Russian one is a real Anointed since 300 years. Says you will save your reign by not calling out the 2nd class now - says Shakhovskoy was delighted you spoke about it, because the ministers agreed, but had you not begun, they did not intend speaking.
Finds, you ought to order fabricks to make Ammunition, simply you to give the order even choose wh. fabrick, if they show you the list of them, instead of giving the order over through commissions wh. talk for weeks & never can make up their minds.
Be more autocratic my very own Sweetheart, show your mind. -
The exhibition-bazar began to-day in the big Palace, on the terrace -not very big (have not yet been there) & our works are already bought up, it's true we had not done very much & we shall continue working & sending things there; they sold over 2100 entrance tickets a 10 kop., soldiers (wounded) need not pay, as they must go & see what works please them & wh. they can make.
I gave a few of our vases & two cups, as they always attract people.
Tell the old man I saw his family a moment yesterday, when I went to fetch Ania at Ninis, & found the three ladies looking well. Tell Voielkov, that I find his cabinet quite charming (happily not smelling of cigars).
Now I must go to sleep & finish to-morrow. -
So fresh, we dined out & there were only 9 degrees. Baby enjoyed Peterhof & then the games with the officers. Dmitri is better & hopes to leave, on Thursday, if even on crutches - is in despair to have remained behind. The last Dolgoruky, Alexei died in London. - sleep peacefully & rest well, my treasure - I have blessed & kissed your cushion, as alas have not you here to tenderly caress & codle. Goodnight my Angel, -
June 15-th. Very fine again, am writing on the balkony, we have lunched, then I must receive some officers & hereafter go to Mavra. We photographed at the hospital in the garden & sat on the balkony after we had finished everything. - Do so long for news. - Wonder how long you will remain away, Ania has gone for the first time to town by motor to her Parents, as her Mother is ill, & then to our Friend.
Now goodbye my very own, longed for Treasure, my Sweetheart, I kiss you ever so fondly & pray God to bless, protect & guide you
Yr. own old
Have you the patience to read such long letters?
Tsarskoe Selo, June, 15-th 1915
My own beloved One,
Before going to Sleep, I begin my letter to you. Thanks for yr. wire, I received during dinner - we dined in, as there were only 9 degrees & I had just had my head washed. I am sorry fat 0. no more sends me telegrams, I suppose there is nothing particular to tell. When you are not there, one gets no direct news & feels lost. I am eagerly awaiting your promised letter. -Town is so full of gossip, as tho' all the ministers were being changed- Krivoshein first minister, Manukhin instead of Stcheglovitov, Gutchkov as side to Polivanov & so on & our Friend, to whom A. went to bid goodbye, was most anxious to know what was true. (As though also Samarin instead of Sabler, whom it is better not to change before one has a very good one to replace him, certainly Samarin wld. go against our Friend & stick up for the Bishops we dislike - he is so terribly Moscovite & narrowminded.) Well, A. answered that I knew nothing. He gave over this message for you, that you are to pay less attention to what people will say to you, not let yourself be influenced by them but use yr. own instinct & go by that, to be more sure of yourself & not listen too much nor give in to others, who know less than you. The times are so serious & grave, that all your own personal wisdom is needed & yr. soul must guide you. He regrets you did not speak to Him more about all you think & were intending to do & speak about with yr.ministers & the changes you were thinking of making. He prays so hard for you and Russia & can help more when you speak to Him frankly. - I suffer hideously being away from you. 20 years we shared all together, & now grave things are passing, I do not know your thoughts nor decisions, & its such pain. God help & guide you aright, my own sweet Darling. - I too am in much quieter when you are here - I dread their profiting of yr. kind heart & making you do things, wh., when calmly thought over here, you wld. perhaps do otherwise.
I went to Mavra for an hour, she is calm & brave - Tatiana looks awful & yet thinner & greener. - How too horribly sad that accident is that occured to the young couple Kazbek. They were going at a terrific speed in their motor & flew against a Schlagbaum, wh. they did not see was closed. He was killed on the spot & she has her arm broken, at first they said her both legs & head, but now one says only the arm & not so bad & one has not told her about her husband. The wretched Father has now lost his third son - ghastly. - We went to the exhibition-bazar - very nice works made by the wounded were shown & I hope it will prove useful & encourage all learning some handicraft. - My head ached again rather, so, I better try & sleep now - it is 12 1/2, All my prayers & tenderest thoughts surround you in deepest love & compassion. Oh, how I long to help you & give you faith in yourself. How long do you remain still? Sleep well & peacefully, holy Angels guard yr. slumber.
June 16-th. Just received yr. precious letter, for wh. heartfelt thanks. Glad you were contented with the work & sitting. Yes, Lovy, about Samarin I am much more than sad, simply in despair, just one of Ella's not good, very biggoted clique, bosom friend of Sophie Iv. Tiutchev, that bishop Trifon I have strong reason to dislike, as he always spoke & now speaks in the army against our Friend - now we shall have stories against our Friend beginning & all will go badly. I hope heart & soul he wont accept - that means Ella's influence & worries fr. morn to night, & he against us, once against Or. & so awfully narrowminded a real Moscou type head without soul. My heat feels like lead, 1000 times better Sabler a few months still than Samarin.
Have the church procession now, don't go putting it off, Lovy, listen to me, its serious, have it quicker done, now is lent, therefore m o r e appropriate, chose Peter & Paul day, but now soon. Oh, why are we not together to speak over all together & to help prevent things wh. I know ought not to be. Its not my brain wh. is clever, but I listen to my soul & I wish you would too my own sweetest One. -
I don't want to croak, but I only say all straight out to you. - Goodbye my own & all, God bless & help, you - I kiss you without end.
Ever yr. own sad
Tsarskoe Selo, June 16-th 1915
My beloved One, Just a few words before the night. Your sweet smelling jasmin I put in my gospel - it reminded me of Peterhof. Its not like summer not, being there. We dined out this evening, but came in after 9 as it was so damp. The afternoon I remained on the balkony - I wanted to go to Church in the evening, but felt too tired. The heart is, oh, so heavy & sad - I always remember what our Friend says & how often we do not enough heed His words.
He was so much against yr. going to the Headquarters, because people get round you there & make you do things, wh. would have been better not done - here the atmosphere in your own house is a healthier one & you would see things more rightly - if only you would come back quicker. I am not speaking because of a selfish feeling, but that here I feel quieter about you & there am in a constant dread what one is concocting - you see, I have absolutely no faith in N. - know him to be far fr. clever & having gone against a Man of God's, his work cant be blessed, nor his advice be good. - When Or. heard in town yesterday before He left, that Samarin was named, already then people knew it He was in utter despair, as He, the last evening here, a week ago to-day, begged you not to change him Sabler just now, but that soon one might perhaps find the right man - & now the Moscou set will be like a spiders net around us, our Friend's enemies are ours, & Schtcherbatov will make one with them, I feel sure. I beg your pardon for writing all this, but I am so wretched ever since I heard it & cant get calm - I see now why Or. did not wish you to go there - here I might have helped you. People are affraid of my influence, Or. said it (not to me) & Voyeikov, because they know I have a strong will & sooner see through them & help you being firm. I should have left nothing untried to dissuade you, had you been here, & I think God would have helped me & you would have remembered our Friend's words. When He says not to do a thing & one does not listen, one sees ones fault always afterwards. Only if he does accept, N. will try & get round him too against our Fr. thats N.'s campaign.
He was in utter despair, as He, the last evening here, a week ago to-day, begged you not to change him Sabler just now, but that soon one might perhaps find the right man - & now the Moscou set will be like a spiders net around us, our Friend's enemies are ours, & Schtcherbatov will make one with them, I feel sure. I beg your pardon for writing all this, but I am so wretched ever since I heard it & cant get calm - I see now why Or. did not wish you to go there - here I might have helped you. People are affraid of my influence, Or. said it (not to me) & Voyeikov, because they know I have a strong will & sooner see through them & help you being firm. I should have left nothing untried to dissuade you, had you been here, & I think God would have helped me & you would have remembered our Friend's words. When He says not to do a thing & one does not listen, one sees ones fault always afterwards. Only if he does accept, N. will try & get round him too against our Fr. thats N.'s campaign.
I entreat you, at the first talk with S. & when you see him, to speak very firmly - do my Love, for Russia's sake - Russia will not be blessed if her Sovereign lets a man of God's sent to help him - be persecuted, I am sure.
Tell him severely, with a strong & decided voice, that you forbid any intrigues against our Friend or talks about Him, or the slightest persecution, otherwise you will not keep him. That a true Servant dare not go against a man his Sovereign respects & venerates.
You know the bad part Moscou plays, tell it him all, his bosom friend S.I. Tiutchev spreads lies about the children, repeat this & that her poisenous unthruths did much harm & you will not allow a repetition of it. Do not laugh at me, if you know the tears I have cried to-day, you would understand the gravity of it all. Its not woman's nonsense - but straight forward truth - I adore you far too deeply to tire you at such a time with like this one, if it were not that soul & heart prompt me.. We women have the instinct of the right sometimes Deary, & you know my love for yr. country wh. has become mine. You know what this war is to me in every sense - & that the man of God's who prays incessantly for you, might be in danger again of persecution that God would not forgive us our weakness & sin in not protecting Him. - You know N's hatred for Gr. is intense. Speak once to Voleikov, Deary, he understands such things because he is honestly devoted to you.
S. is a very conceited man, in summer I had occasion to see it, when I bad that talk with him about the evacuation question Rostov. & I carried off a most unpleasant impression of his selfsufficiency - blind adoration of Moscou & looking down upon Petersburg. The tone in wh. he spoke shocked Rost. greatly. That showed me him in another light, & I realised how unpleasant it wld. be to have to do with him. - When one proposed him for Alexei before, I unhesitatingly said no; for nothing such a narrowminded man. Our Church just needs the contrary - soul & not brain. - God Almighty may He help & put things aright, & hear our prayers and give you at last more confidence in yr. own wisdom, not listening to others, but to our Friend & yr. soul. Once more excuse this letter written with an aching heart & smarting eyes. Nothing is trivial now - all is grave. I venerate & love old Goremykin had I seen bird, I know how I should have spoken - he is so franck with our Friend & does not grasp, that S. is your enemy if he goes & speaks against Gr.
I am sure your poor dear heart aches more, is enlarged & needs drops. Please deary, walk less - I ruined mine walking at the shooting & in Finland before speaking to the Drs. & suffering mad pain, want of air, heart beating. Take care of yourself - agoo wee one I hate being away fr. you, its my greatest punishment at this time especially - our first Friend gave me that Image with the bell to warn me against those, that are not right & it will keep them fr. approaching, I shall feel it & thus guard you from them - Even the family feel this & therefore try & get at you alone, when they know its something not right & I wont approve of. Its none of my doing, God wishes your poor wify to be your help, Gr. always says so & Mr. Ph. too - & I might warn you in time if I knew things. Well, now I can only pray & suffer. I press you tightly to my heart, gently stroke your brow, press my lips upon yr. eyes & mouth, kiss with love those dear hands wh. always are pulled away. I love you, love you & want yr. good, happiness & blessing. Sleep well & calmy - I must try & sleep too, its nearly one oclock.
My train brought many wounded - Babys has fetched a lot from Varsovie where they empty out the hospitals. Oh God help. -
Lovy, remember, quicker the church procession, now during lent is just the most propicious moment, & absolutely from you, not by the new Chief Procurator of the Synod - I hope. to go to holy Communion this lent, if B. does not prevent me. Reading this letter you will say - one sees she is Ella's sister. But I cant put all in three words, I need heaps of pages to pour all out, & poor Sunshine has to read this long yarn but Sweetheart knows & loves his very own old wife. -
The boys from the college come & make bandages every morning at our stores here from 10 - 12 1/2 & now will make the newest masks wh. are far more complicated but can be used often. - Our little officer with tetanos is recovering, looks decidedly better - his parents we sent for fr. the Caucasus & they live also under the colonnades - we have such a lot living there now. -
The exhibition-bazar goes very well, the first day there were over 2000 yesterday 800 - our things are bought before they appear - beforehand already people write down for them & we manage to work a cushion or cover each, daily. - Tatiana rode this evening 5 1/2 - 7 - the others acted at Anias - the latter sends you the enclosed card she bought to-day at our exhibition - tell me to thank her. -
Poor Mitia Den is quite bad again & cannot walk at all, Sonia is going to take him near Odessa, Liman for a cure - so sad. -
June 17-th , Good morning, my Pet. Slept badly & heart enlarged, so lie the morning on bed & balkony - alas, no hospital, head too rather achy again. Churchbells ringing. - Shall finish after luncheon. Big girls go to town, Olga receives money then go to a hospital & tea at Elagin.
It is very hot & heavy air, but a colossal wind on the balkony, probably a thunderstorm. in the air & that makes it difficult to breathe. I brought out roses, lilies of the valley & sweet peas to enjoy their perfume. I embroider all day for our exhibition-bazar. - Ah my Boy, my Boy, how I wish we were together - one is so tired at times, so weary from pain & anxiety - nigh upon 11 months - but then it was only the war, & now the interior questions wh. absorb one & the bad luck at the war, but God will help, when all seems blackest, I am sure better, sunnier days will come.
May the ministers only seriously work to-gether fulfill your wishes & orders, & not their own - harmony under your guidance. Think more of Gr. S weetheart, before every difficult moment, ask Him to intercede before God to guide you aright. -
A few days ago I wrote to you about Paul's conversation, to-day the Css. H. sends me Paleologue's answer: "Les impressions que S.A. S. le Gr. D. a rapportees de son entretien & que vous voulez bien me communiquer de sa part me touchent vivement. Elles confirment avec toute I'autorite possible, ce dont j'etais moralement certain, ce dont je n'ai jamais doute, cc dont je me suis toujours porte garant envers mon Gouvernement. A un pessimiste qui essayait recemment d'ebranler ma foi, j'ai repondu: "Ma conviction est d'autant plus forte qu'elle ne repose sur aucune promesse, sur aucun engagement. Dans les rares occasions, ou ces graves sujets ont ete abordes devant moi, on ne m'a rien promis, on ne s'est engage a rien; parceque toute assurance positive cut ete superflue; parceque l'on se sentait compris, comme j'ose esperer avoir ete compris moi-meme. A certaines minutes solennelles, il y a des sincerite's d'accent, des droitures de regard, ou toute une conscience se revele & qui valent tous les serments". - Je n'en attache pas moins un tres-haut prix au temoignage direct qui me vient de S.. A.S. le Gr. D. Ma certitude personnelle n'en avait pas besoin. Mais, si je rencontre encore des incredules, j'aurai desormais le droit de leur dire, non plus seulement: "Je crois, mais Je sais". - This was about the question of a separate peace negociation. Have you spoken to Voieikov about Danilov, please do so - only not to fat Orlov, who is N. colossal friend they correspond the whole time when you are here, B. knows it.
That can mean no good. He grudges no doubt about Gr.'s visits to our house, & therefore wants you away from him, at th Head-Quarters . If they only knew how they harm instead of helping you, blind people with their hatred against Or ! You remember dans "Les Amis de Dieue" it says, a country cannot be lost whose Sovereign is guided by a man of God's. Oh let Him guide you more. Dmitri is feeling better, tho' his leg hurts him still. - The poor little Kazbek one answered, does not suffer from her broken arm too much, but is I think in a rather dazed state, therefore one has not yet told her about her husband's death. How full of life they were when N. P. was at their Wedding. - Now this letter has become volumes & will bore you to read, so I better end it. God bless & protect you & keep you from all harm, give you strength, courage & consolation in all trying moments. Am in thoughts living with you my Love, my one & all. I cover you with kisses & remain ever yr. tenderly & deeply loving old
All the Children kiss you. - Many messages to the old man & N. P. Khan Nahitehevanski comes to say goodbye to-morrow. -
Tsarskoe Selo, June 17-th 1915
My very own Darling,
I had just finished my letter, when yr. dear one was brought to me - thanks ever so tenderly for it. You don't know the joy yr. letters give me, as I know you have little time for writing & are so tired. Wify ought to send you bright & cheery letters, but its difficult, as am feeling more than lowspirited & depressed these days - so many things worry me. Now the Duma is to come together in August, & our Friend begged you several times to do it as late as possible & not now, as they ought all to be working in their own places - & here they will try to mix in & speak about things that do not concern them. Never forget that you are & must remain authocratic Emperor, - we are not ready for a constitutional government, N's fault & Wittes it was that the Duma exists, & it has caused you more worry than joy. Oh I do not like N. having anything to do with these big sittings wh. concern interior questions, he understands our country so little & imposes upon the ministers by his loud voice & gesticulations. I can go wild at times at his false position. Why did the ministers ask that to be changed, that was their first duty. He has no right to meddle in other affairs & one ought to set ones fault to rights & give him only all the military things - like French & Geoffre. Nobody knows who is the Emperor now - you have to run to the Head-Quarters & assemble yr. ministers there, as tho' you could not have them alone here like last Wednesday. It is as tho' N. settles all, makes the choices & changes - it makes me utterly wretched. He did not like Kriv. speaking about Danilov & the man did his duty - there must be a reason, except his bad character, that the whole army & old Ivanov hate him - all say he holds N. & the other Grand Dukes completely in hand. Forgive my writing all this, but I feel so utterly miserable, & as tho' all were giving you wrong advises & profitting of your kindness. Hang the Head-Quarters no good broods there. Thank God you may get a good day at Bieloviezh in God's glorious nature, away from intrigues - could you fly off another day to Ivanov, another somewhere where the troops are, not to the guard again but where others are massed together waiting. You are remaining still long away, Or. begged not - once all goes against His wishes my heart bleeds in anguish & fright; Oh, to keep & protect you fr. more ,worries & miserys, one has enough more than the heart can bear - one longs to go to sleep for a long rest.
Lovy, wont you wire to poor old Gen. Kazbek who has now lost his third son, it would be a true consolation to the poor old Father. -
The heat is colossal to-day & the air heavy & sultry & the wind very strong, the curtains on the balkony went flying about. Daisy heard fr. Vicky of S. from Karlsruhe, that when the French threw bombs onto the palace - they all fled into the cellars in the morning at 5.
Sad, just their palace, next will be ours at Mainz & the splendid old museum; each country by turn. - Ivan Orlov has to fly daily for a week over Libau I am so glad you spoke about all helping, working to prepare ammunition etc. in yr. rescript now at last they must do it. - Do my long, grumbling letters not aggravate you, poor wee One?
But I only mean all for yr. good & write fr. the depths of a very suffering, tormented heart. - My lancer Kniazh. has come for 2 days & I shall see him to-morrow, also make Pr. Schterbatov's acquaintance. -
N. P. must be very unhappy about poor Kasbek.
Dear me, what an amount of misery on all sides ! When will once again peace & happiness reign in the world? -
The nice, young, pretty Kalzanova who works with us in the hospital always, has to leave for 2 months - she overworked herself, & her always ailing heart has become so bad that one has sent her to the country & thence to Livadia. Kind Heyden gave the "Strela" to-day to take Mine Tanieiev to Peterhof as she is too ill to go by motor or rail. Our Friend said they were not to go there this summer, but they could not bear the air any longer in town, poor woman suffers so hideously fr. stones in the liver & now I think she has jaundice. As Ania can bear the motor, she will go there to-morrow after luncheon & return on Friday, as its wiser to stop the night there.
Do you think you could tell me where my Crimean's are now - I heard as tho' one had sent them fr. the Bukovina elsewhere. -
Such grateful thanks for dear telegram, have at once asked Goremykin to come tomorrow, Thursday, & shall be happy to listen to the dear old man, & to him I can speak quite frankly, I know him ever since I married & he is so utterly devoted to you & will understand me. - Such a downpour suddenly at 9 & twice very distant thunder, now its raining steadily for four hours - it will refreshen the air wh. was so close all day. Or. telegraphed to A. from Viatka: "I travel quietly, sleep, God will help, kiss all." Goodnight wee One, sleep peacefully - holy Angels guard your slumber and loving Wify's earnest prayers for her very own precious sunny, bl- eyed Darling.
18-th. Good morning my Treasure - no sun, grey, rained a little, warm hot & heavy thunderstorming air - heart still enlarged, so remain again quiet, shall go over onto the balkony towards 12 like yesterday, I have told them to put electric strings wires, then we can have lamps & spend the evenings out, when it is warm. - Think of us at Bieloviezh! Such remembrances of many years ago when we were younger & went about to-gether - & of the last awful time, when poor suffering Baby lay hours on my bed & my heart also was bad - remembrances of pain & anguish - you all away - the days endless & full of suffering. - My name you will find on the bedroom window leading out onto the balkony under my initials in wire covering the windowpane. - Lovy, I saw my Kniazhewitch & we spoke about Maslov. In Aug. it will be 25 years that he is in the regiment - he managed very well indeed whilst the commander was ill, yet there are many questions difficult to him & if he got another regiment, he wId. loose the lancer uniform & probably not be a very perfect commander. He feels sticking in the regiment, that he keeps others fr. advancing. Could you not have made him your aide-de-camp it would have been a kindness, as lie is such a really honest & good fellow; only then better sooner - Kniazh. has kept the papers back all along about whether he should accept a regiment - this wId. enable him to stay on without harming anybody. There are lots of old Colonels in the Chev. G. regiment, they manage it somehow.
I saw Pr. Schicherbatov who made me a pleasant impression, as far as I can judge after one talk. -
The girls have gone to the Invalid hospital - & Ania to Peterhof, so am alone. Am surrounded by masses of roses (just sent fr. Peterhof & sweetpeas - the smell is a dream, wish I could send them to you. -
I just got yr. sweet telegr. for wh. thanks; thank heavens you feel better; only don't overdo things by walking too much, its never advisable when the heart is not quite in order, too much of a strain at a time, phisical & moral. - Must send this off. Saw in the papers our torpedoboats acted well. -
Goodbye & God bless you, beloved Sunshine, caress & kiss with unboundless love & tenderness.
Ever, Nicky mine, yr. very own wify
Tsarskoe Selo, June 18-th 1915
My own Darling,
Real summer weather very hot in the daytime, & in the evening delicious; I hope tomorrow the lamps will be ready, then we can sit out longer, if not eaten up by gnats. The girls motored after dinner, before that they went to see Tatiana. - Dear old Goremykin sat for an hour with me & I think we touched many questions.
God grant him life! - I asked about Polivanov, he said when one proposed him for Varsovie, Nikolasha made an awful grimace & now at once proposed him, & when Goremykin asked him why he mentions his name now, he answered that he had changed his opinion. He told me what Samarin said to him & what he hadn't written to you, I told him my opinion about him & Stcheglovitov & then he pleasantly surprised me by saying that you had told him yr. intention to change him - he thinks Khvostov will be a good choice. - He sees & understands all so clearly, that its a pleasure speaking to him - we spoke about the question of the Germans & Jews & the wrong way all had been managed & orders given by generals & Nikolasha. The way they have treated Ekesparre for instance. -- I wish others had his sound mind. - Am very tired, so will end & try to sleep. God bless yr. slumber. -
19-th. Goodmorning my Treasure. Lovely weather again, such a Godsend after the late summer & much rain. The "Enginaer Mechanic" has come to me, & I should like to send him flying. I wonder what news from the war, one hears so little. Our steady retreat will in the long run make the line very long & complicated for them & that be our gain, I hope. How about Varsovie? The hospitals are being emptied out & even some quite evacuated - is that only as an extreme precaution, because surely in months one has had time to well fortify the town; they seem to be rebeginning their autumn move, only now they will bring their very best troops & it will be easier, as they know the ground by heart. My dear Siberians with their comrades will have the mass coming in upon them - & may they once more save Varsovie. All lies in God's hands - & as long as we can drag on till sufficient amunition comes & then fall upon them with full force. Only the perpetual great losses make the heart very heavy - they goe as martyrs straight to their heavenly home, its true, but still its ever so hard.
Pay attention to Baby's signature in his letter - its his own invention & it seems his mood at his lesson this morning was somewhat wild, & he only got 3. - The girls have some of their lessons on the balkony. - Benkendorf suddenly had a fainting fit in town & hurt himself when he fell - they say it may be fr. his stomach, but I fear worse things - we shall see what the Drs. say this morning. It would be a loss, as he is far more worth than Valia - & one of the old style still wh. now, alas, no longer exist. -
I have an immense bunch of jasmin standing near me on the balkony - Mme Viltchkovsky picked it in the hospital garden. -
Goodbye Sweetheart, my light, my joy. I bless, &. kiss you incessantly with deepest love.
Ever yr. very own
Tsarskoe Selo, June 20-th 1915
My beloved Nicky dear,
All my thoughts are ever near you in tender love & loneliness. I hear the churchbells & long to go and pray for you there, but the heart is again enlarged, so must keep quiet. Weather again splendid. Our corner on the balkony is so cosy & pretty in the evening with two lamps, we sat out - till after 11 . Ania saw the Alexandrie, "Dozorny" & "Razvedchik" & "Rabotnik" from far lots of public, music, everything looking lovely. It seems sad & strange for the first time since 20 years not to go there - but here there is more work to do & to run over fr. Peterhof constantly, I could not have managed. Then people can be sent for & got at quicker when one needs them. - Do so wonder what you settled with Samaria, whether you let him off - if so, then - don't hurry getting another & lets talk it quietly over here. I told the old man all, & I think he understood me, tho' being very religious he personally knows little about Church affairs (Goremykin).
This wire A. got today from our Friend from Tiumen: "Encountered singers, we sang in praise of Easter, the abbot was jubilant, remember it's Easter, suddenly a telegram reaches me that my son is being drafted, I said In my heart, am I like Abraham, of ages past, having one son and supporter, I hope he will be allowed to rule under me as with the ancient czars." Beloved One, what can one do for him, whom does it concern his only son ought not to be taken. Cannot Voyeikov write to the local military chief, I think it concerns him - will you say, please.
The train with your Feldjeger is 8 hours late, so shall only get your letter at 7. This moment Varnava telegraphs to me fr. Kurgan.
"Our own empress, the 17-th on the day of the Saint Tikhon the Miracle Worker, during the procession around the church in the village of Barabinsk, there suddenly appeared on the sky a cross, which was seen altogether for 15 minutes, and as the Holy Church is praying "the Cross of the Czar is the support of the kingdom of the believers", I felicitate you with this vision and believe that God sent this vision and sign in order to uphold visibly with love his devoted ones. I pray for all of you."
God grant it may be a good sign, crosses are not always. -
Benkendorf came to me, he looks alright, feels only a bit weak still. - He said one had written that you were perhaps returning the 24-th - is it really true? What joy to have you safely back again. - I bless & kiss you with all the strength of my great love.
Ever, Sweetheart, yr. very own
Tsarskoe Selo, June 21-th 1915
My sweetest One,
Ever such fond thanks for your dear letter, I received yesterday before dinner - Baby thanks for the candlestump. I gave yr. man an extra candle on the way. Here I return you cascara. I am so glad yr. Drachenschuss is better, r, I have it continually & generally fr. a false movement & the left side, wh. makes the I have it continually & generally fr. a false movement & the left side, wh. makes the heart worse. - Today. my heart is not enlarged, but I keep quiet. Postia. (to say goodbye) & Tatiana come to tea before the Children go to Ania's to play - Baby has gone to Ropsha before for a few hours - he enjoys these expeditions. Such air, quite divine & delicious breeze & birdies singing away so brightly. - Shall think of you so much tomorrow & hope you enjoy our dear Bielovezh. - Yesterday evening we went to Anias, there were the 2 Grabbes, Nini, Emma, Alia, Kussov of the Moscov. Dragoon Regiment (ex "Nighegorodtzi" - the I first time I saw him & we were quite at home together as tho' we had known each other for years - I lay working on the sopha & he quite close chatting away busily. I am going to invite him here too once, so nice to speak about all our wounded friends. -
I congratulate you with yr. Curassiers' feast - little Vick came with a bouquet of yellow roses in the regiments name, so touching. - The giving over of Mme Souchomlinov's (my stores) to me is going alright & with tact luckily because I dont want them to suffer in this, as she really did a lot - just got a telegram from Romanovsky (why he signs G. M. Romanov I can't think), that he leaves the 20-th Gal(ician) Regiment has a nomination tall of the Army. I suppose this is my last letter to you, unless I hear a man goes to meet you. - What joy to have you back again! You precious One, Wify is lonely & has a heavy heart. - S.'s nomination makes me sad, can't help it as he is an enemy of our Friends & that is the worst thing there can be, now more than ever.
Blessings & kisses without end & such love, love
Ever my Nicky yr. very own old
Tsarskoe Selo, June 22-nd 1915
My own beloved One,
I wonder how you got to Bielovezh & whether the weather is as beautiful as here. So you have put off your return back - well, nothing is to be, done; - if you could at least profit & see some troops. Cant you flie off Again, as tho' to Bielovezh but go another way,, without telling anybody.
Nikolasha need neither know, nor my enemy Dzhunkovsky. Ah dear, he is n o t an honest man, he has shown that vile, filthy paper (against our Friend) to Dmitri who repeated all to Paul & he to Alia. Such a sin, & as tho' you had said to him, that you have had enough of these dirty stories & wish him to be severely punished.
You see how he turns your words & orders round - the slanderers were to be punished & not he - & that at the Headquarters one wants him to be got rid of (this I beleive) - ah, its so vile - always liars, enemies long knew Dzhankovsky hates Gregory & that the "Preobrazhensky" clique therefore dislikes me, as through me & Ania he comes to the house.
In winter Dzhunkovsky showed this paper to Voyeikov asking him to give it over to you & he refused doing anything so disgusting, thats why he hates Voyeikov & sticks with Drenteln - I am sorry to say these things, but they are bitter truth, & now Samarin added to the lot - no good can come out of it.
If we let our Friend be persecuted we & our country shall suffer for it - once a year ago one tried to kill him & one his slandered him enough. As if they would not have called the police straight in to catch him in the act - such a horror! Speak, please to Voyeikov about it, I wish him to know Dzhankovsky's behaviour & false using of yr. words. Voyeikov not a fool, without mentioning names can find out more about it, it dare not be spoken about. I don't know how Stcherbatov will act - probably also against our Fr. therefore against us. - And the Duma dare not broach this subject when they meet - Loman says they will, so as to force one to get rid of Gregory & Ania, I am so weary, such heartache & pain fr. all this - the idea of dirt being again spread about one we venerate is more than horrible.
Ah my Love, when at last will you thump with your hand upon the table & scream at Dzhunkovsky & others when they act wrongly - one does not fear you - & one must - they must be frightened of you, otherwise all sit upon us, & its enough Deary don't let me speak in vain. If Dzhunkovsky is with you, call him, tell him you know (no names) he has shown that paper in town & that you order him to tear it up & not to dare to speak of Gregory as he does & that he acts as a traitor & not as a devoted subject, who ought to stand up for the Friends of his Sovereign, as one does in every other country. Oh my Boy, make one tremble before you - to love you is not enough, one must be affraid of hurting, displeasing you. You are always too kind & all profit. It cannot go on like that Deary, beleive me once, its honest truth I speak. All, who really love you, long that you should be more decided & show your displeasure stronger, be more severe things cant go well so. If your Ministers feared you, all would be better. The old man, Goremykin also finds you ought to be more sure of yourself & energetically speak, & show more strongly when you are displeased. - How much one hears complaints against the Headquarters, these surrounding Nikolasha.
Now another affair - don't know how to explain it well, wont mention names, so as that nobody should suffer. - The "Erivantzi" are perfect - where there is a difficult place one sends them & keeps them to the last, as one is so sure of them. Now one intends taking of their own officers & putting them into other regiments to make those better. This is quite wrong & breaks their hearts. If you take their old ones away, then the regiment will no longer be what it was. They have lost enough killed, wounded (made prisoners) & cannot spare their own. Please do not let the regiment thus be ruined, & leave those officers, they love their regiment & keep up its fame. One does it with other officers of the 2-nd Brigade & they fear their turn is coming too & it worries the Commander & all - but they dare not say anything, have no right - therefore they want their chief to know it, & not to allow their Veteran officers to be taken fr. them into other regiments. "We shall be able to stand up lot the country's cause in the ranks of our own regiments, we will not waver about sacrificing our lives for it. This is so urgent a situation that one must hurry if our own nest is not to be broken up. I think that the regiment has some right to claim such attention (not like the others), for its fighting service in the past, and as to the present, the order to the Division is eloquent enough. All the brunt of the rearguard battles from the 31-st of May to the 6-th of June were carried by Its shoulders, which has been recognized at the top."
Only do not let Nlkolasha or others guess that the regiment asks this, they will suffer for it. - Do try & do something & give me an answer, they are very anxious - one sent a delightful pettyoffice fr. there with a letter here. Must end, man waits. Blessings & kisses without end fr. own
Ania kisses your hand. - Excuse beastly dull letter
Tsarskoe Selo, June 22-nd 1915
My very own beloved One,
The letter I wrote in such haste to-day, I fear will have caused you little pleasure & I regret, that I had no time to add nothing nice.
It was a joy to get your telegram from Bielovezh - I am sure it did you good seeing the splendid forest - but yet a sad feeling seeing the old places & realising that now a terrible war is raging not so very far off from that peaceful place. -
This morning I went in my "droshki" with Alexei to our hospital & we remained there over two hours. Spoke to the wounded, sat in the hospital embroidering & then in the garden whilst the others- played croquet. But my heart felt bad & ached so - too early probably for such a visit yet - but I was so glad to see them all. Kolenkin turned up after commanding the "Alexandrovtzi" only a month, he had to come away because of terrible abscesses in the car - they burst the drum of the ear too, so he hears nothing on the left car, poor fellow. -
I had Rostoftzev for an hour & a half talking over the store of Mine Sukhomlinov all is arranging itself satisfactorily & without any scandal. - To-morrow I shall receive Polivanov - Stcherbatov leaves very great freedom to the press - Maklakov was far severer, but now the result is one speaks & gets too excited about the Duma wh. is not a good thing. -
One longs sometimes to go to sleep & to awake when all will be over & peace once more reign everywhere - external & internal.
Everywhere Samarin's name is already mentioned - so disagreable before his nomination comes out - how that fills me, with deepest anxiety. I fear I aggravate you by all I write, but its only honestly & well meant, Sweetheart - others will never say anything, so old wify writes her opinion frankly, when she feels its right to do so. One longs to help keeping of any disaster, but often ones words, alas, come too late, when already nothing can be done. -Now I must try & sleep, its late. God bless yr. slumber, send you rest & strength, courage & energy, calm and wisdom.
June 23-rd. just got the report of my "Alexandrovtzi" you kindly sent me - thanks Deary, even an envelope is a nice thing to receive with sweet handwriting upon it. - I remain quiet to-day, as heart again enlarged, pulse rather weak & head aches.
Am lying on the balkony - all are out & away & Ania gone to Peterhof.
I enclose a letter from Victoria wh. you may like to read.
Css. Hohenfelsen wrote to A. asking, whether she thinks we & the children would have accepted a luncheon at their house after Church - on Paul's namesday, with the people living in their house & whomsoever we wld. wish. I told her to answer (this was to be found out in case of a refusal, so that it should not follow upon a regular invitation), that I do not know when you return & that my heart troubling me again it is doubtful I could sit at a big luncheon. So foolish & tactless to ask. If we liked we might call upon him to congratulate - but not like this, with Babake & Olga Kreatz, & the Countess ! -
Sweetheart, me is so lonely without you, agoo wee one
Goodbye Lovebird, I bless & kiss you with fervour & great love. - Hope so much to go Friday morning to Holy Communion, if well enough, otherwise one of the last days of this Lent. - Wonder what you have settled for the day of the cross, hope you have said its to be done by y o u r order.
God bless & protect you, I cover you with kisses,
Ever yr. own old
Love to old Man & N. P. -
Tsarskoe Selo, June 24-th 1915
My beloved Nicky dear,
Again a splendid day. Slept little this night & at 3 looked out of the window of my mauve room. A glorious morning, one felt the sun behind the trees, a soft haze over all, such calm - the swans swimming on the pond, steam rising from the grass - oh so beautiful, I longed to be well & go for a long, long walk as in bygone days. - Sergei M. comes to tea, it seems he is quite well again & Petia.
Saw Polivanov yesterday - don't honestly ever care for the man - something aggravating about him, cant explain what - preferred Sukhomlinov, tho' this one is cleverer, but doubt whether as devoted. Sukhomlinov has made the great mistake of showing your private letter to him, right & left, & others have copies of it. Fred. ought to write him a word of reprimand. I understand he did it to show how kind you are to him to the end - but others need not know the reasons he left, except that he told an untruth at the famous sitting at Peterhof, when he said that we were ready & had enough to hold out, when we had not sufficient ammunition - this is his only very great fault, the bribe of his wife the rest. Now others can think that public opinion is enough to clear out our Friend etc. a dangerous thing before the Duma. - You cannot imagine the cruel suffering of not being with you - I know I could help & guard off things sometimes & here I am, eating out my heart fr. far, feeling my inability of being any use, only writing disagreable letters to you, my Love. - From the outset Goremykin must speak to Samarin & Stcherbatov how they have to behave about our Friend, to prevent any calumnies & stories. - Alas, have nothing cheerful or interesting to tell you. Spent day & evening on balkony, to-day too as don't feel well, tho' heart not yet enlarged & can begin my medicins again. Eagerly awaiting yr. letter about Bielovezh. -
Its true one is completely evacuating Varsovie? (for prudence sake!) -
Hope to go to holy Communion, depends upon health, wh. day, think Sunday at early mass downstairs with Ania; when do you return? to-day two weeks - seems at least a month - (& our Friend begged for quite short, knowing things wld. not be as they ought if one kept you & profitted of your kindness). - Are you going off unaware to Bielostok or Kholm to see the troops? Do show yourself there before returning - give them & yourself the joy. The Active Army is not tho' Headquarters thank God - surely you can see some troops. Voyeikov can arrange all (not Dzhunkovsky), n o b o d y need know, only then it will succeed - say you are going off again for a trip; - had I been there, I should have helped you going off - Sweetheart needs pushing always & to be reminded that h e i s the Emperor & can do whatsoever pleases him - you never profit of this - you m u s t show you have a way & will of yr. own, & are not lead by N. & his staff, who direct yr. movements & whose permission you have to ask before going anywhere. No, go alone, without N., by yr. very own self, bring the blessing of yr. presence to them - don't say you bring bad luck - at Lemberg & Przmysl it happened, because our Friend knew & told you it was too early, but you listened instead to the Headquarters.
Forgive my speaking so straightforwardly, but I suffer too much - I know you - & Nikolasha - go to the troops, say not a word to N.; you have false scruples when you say its not honest not telling him - since when is he your mentor, & in what way do you disturb him? Let at last one see that you do after yr. own head, wh. is worth all theirs put together. Go Lovy - cheer up Ivanov too - such heavy battles are-coming - bless the troops by your precious Being, in their name I beseech you to go - give them the spiritual rise, show them for whom they are fighting & dying - not for Nikolasha, but for you. 1000 have never seen you & yearn for a look of yr. beautiful, pure eyes. Such masses have moved down - one can't lie to you, that none are to be got at. Only if you say it to Nikolasha the spies that are at the Headquarters - who? - will at once let the Germans know & then their aeroplans will set to work. But 3 simple motors otherwise wont be seen, only wire to me something that I can understand & let our Friend know ow
to pray for you. Say like that: going to-morrow again for an expedition - please Lovebird. Trust me, I mean yr. good - you always need encouraging & remember, not a word to Nikolasha let him think you go anywhere, Blelovezh or wheresoever it pleases you. Its a false Headquarters wh. keeps you away, instead of encouraging you to go. But the soldiers must see you, they need you, not the Headquarters, they want you & you them.
Now goodbye my Sunshine, kisses & blessings without end.
Ever yr. very own
Tsarskoe Selo, June 25-th 1915
I thank you ever so fondly for yr. dear, long letter I was overjoyed to receive. How nice that yr. expedition was so successful - tho' you were lonely without yr. "Benoitons' to keep you company.
I never knew that Neverle had died, good old man! -
What luck you saw the Moose & could drive through the thick-woods.
Ah my love! What anguish you must have gone through when Nikolasha got that bad news. Here I hear nothing & live in anguish & suspension, yearning to know what is going on out there. God will help, only we shall have still much misery & heartache I fear. That ammunition question can turn ones hair grey. -
Deary, I heard that that horrid Rodzianko & others went to Goremykin to beg the Duma to be at once called together - oh please dont, its not their business, they want to discuss things not concerning them & bring more discontent - they must be kept away I assure you only harm will arise - they speak too much.
Russia, thank God, is not a constitutional country, tho' those creatures try to play a part & meddle in affairs they dare not. Do not allow them to press upon you - its fright if one gives in & their heads will go up. -
You know Gutchkov is still Polivanov's friend - that was the reason there, that Pollvanov & Sukhomlinov went apart. I dont like his choice - I loathe yr. being at the Headquarters and many others too, as its not seeing soldiers, but listening to N.'s advice, wh. is not good & cannot be - he has no right to act as he does, mixing in your concerns. All are shocked that the ministers go with report to him, as the' he were now the Sovereign.
Ali my Nicky, things are not as they ought to be, & therefore N. keeps you near, to have a hold over you with his ideas & bad councels, Wont you yet beleive me, my Boy?
Cant you realise that a man who turned simple traitor to a man of Gods, cannot be blest, nor his actions be good - well, if he must remain at the head of the army there is nothing to be done, & all bad success will fall upon l upon his head - but interior mistakes will be told home upon you, as who inside the country can think that he reigns besides you.
Its so utterly false & wrong.
I fear I anger & trouble you by my letters - but I am alone in my misery & anxiety & I cant swallow what I think my honest duty to tell you.
Yesterday evening I invited Kussov (ex Nizhegorodetz) of the Moscou reg. from Tver - & I was struck how exactly he spoke as I think, & he does not know me, only second time we have met - so how many others must judge like him. He was 3 days at the Headquarters & did not carry away a pleasant impression, neither do Voyeikov & Ar. P., who are the most devoted to you. - Remember our Friend begged you not to remain long He sees & knows Nikolasha through & through & your too soft & kind heart. - I here, incapable of helping, have rarely gone through such a time of wretchedness - feeling & realising things are not done as they should be, - & helpless to be of use - its bitterly hard; & they, Nikolasha knows my will, & fears my, influence (guided by Gregory) upon you; its all so clear. - Well, I must not tire you any longer, only I want my conscience to clear, whatever happens. - Is it true Yussupov has had the half of his duties taken fr. him, so that he plays a secondary part? -
Sergei does not look famous - we touched no subjects - he is going to ask permission to go on Saturday to the Headquarters.
Petia full of secrets & his "heart". -
How nice you could bathe, so refreshing. Here the heat is not great, always a breeze & ideal on the balkony - don't feel well enough to drive. Paul has invited himself to tea. Girls are in hospital, lessons. -
Please answer me, are the cross Processions going to be on the 29-th, as such a great holiday & the end of lent? Excuse bothering you again, but so eager to know, as hear nothing. - To-day I receive the Gentlemen of my committee for our prisoners in Germany & an American (of the young Christian's men's association like our 'Mayak") who undertakes to bring all our things personally to the prisons. He has travelled & photogr. in many places, especially Siberia, where we keep our prisoners & wh. are well arranged, those he will exhibit in Germany, hoping it will help ours in return. -
What answer about the "Erlvantzi"?
Now goodbye, my very own tenderly beloved one. I cover you with & ask God's blessing upon you.
Ever yr. own old
Tsarskoe Selo, June 25-th 1915
My very Own,
Oh, what joy, if You really return on Sunday & the news are better. I was just so miserable, as had a telegram fr. the com. of my Siberian regiment that they had very heavy losses in the night 23-24 fr. 10-3 - & I wondered what great battle was going on - because the wire came from a new place. - Well I saw that American fr. the young Men's Christian Association & was deeply interested by all he told me of our prisoners there & their here. I enclose his letter wh. he is also going to have printed & shown in Germany (& photos, wh. show our excellent barracks). He intends only telling the good on either side & not the bad things, & hopes thus to make all sides work humanely. This evening I got a letter fr. Vicky wh. I send you with Max letters (I fear I worry you, but you are free'er of an evening there than here please read it & you may like to mention some things there). I have let the American who leaves for Germany to-morrow know that I wish him to send the papers to Max & to go & see him & tell him all, so as to rectify all their false impressions upon the way we keep our prisoners.
I never heard about so many illnesses in Russia. - I think he said (the American) that 4000 had died at Cassel from spotted typhus, awful! - Chiefly read Max English paper; & in Vickys fr. Max you will see our paper wh. my Dear is idiotically worded & without any explication - & abominable German. "Es ist befolhen die 10 ersten deutschan Kriegsgefangenen - als Erfolg (all wrong) der morderischen Thaten, die sich einige deutsche Truppen erlauben, zu erschiessen." One might have written it in decent German; explaining that in the spot where one finds a man had been tortured one will shoot 10 men just taken. Its badly written - Erfolg (means result - success) one says als Folge, but even that sounds wrong. Let it be decently worded in proper, grammatical German & more explanitarily written.
Then its not meant every time to shoot men down, you never meant that, its all wrong, somehow & therefore they dont understand what one means. -
Please dont mention fr. where the letters came, except to Nikolasha about Max, as he looks after our prisoners; - & they sent the letters through a Swede to Ania, not to a lady in waiting, on purpose - nobody is to know about this, not even their embassy don't know why this fright. I wired openly to Vicky that I thank her for her letter & beg her to thank Max fr. me for all he does for our prisoners & that he is to rest assured that one does ones best for their prisoners here. I don't compromise myself in that - I don't do anything personally & as I intend doing all for our prisoners & this American will take our things there & tell as where & what is needed & will help as much as he can. Please, return the papers, or bring them on Sunday, if you really come then.
I had Paul to tea & we chatted a lot. He asked whether Sergei would be relieved of his post as all are so much against him, right or wrong - & Kchessinska is mixed up again - she behaved like Mine Sakhomlinov it scams with bribes & the Artillery orders one hears it fr. many sides. Only he reminded me, that it must be by your command, not Nikolasha's as you can only give such an order, (or hint to ask for his resignation) to a Grd. Duke who is no boy, as you are his Chief & not Nikolasha, that wld. make the family very displeased, He is so devoted, Paul, & putting his personal dislike to Nikolasha aside, - finds too that people cannot understand his position, a sort of second Emperor, mixing into everything. How many (& our Friend) say the same thing. -
Then I enclose a letter fr. Count Pahlen, rectifying himself - Goremykin (or Stcherbatov) also found one had acted wrongly towards him (I think Goremykin told me; - the paper Mavra gave me). -
Look through it Deary & forgive me bothering you again. -
You will "hang her" when you get such long epistles from me - but I must write all. - I did not see the Siberian soldier, Petia let me know one forbade him coming to me, because he had run away from Germany - I dont understand the logic, do you? -
26-th. Then this will be my last letter to you, fear even it may not reach you before you leave, as trains so slow. - Heart enlarged so cant go to Church, hope still for to-morrow evening, so as to go Sunday at 8 or 9 to mass & holy Communion in the little Church below with Ania. Sweety, from heart & soul I beg your tender forgiveness for any word or action of mine wh. may have hurt or grieved you; & beleive it was not intentional. Am longing for this moment, to get strength & help. Am not without courage, Lovy, oh no, only such pain in heart & soul from so much sorrow all around & misery at not being able to help.
There must be woods burning, smells strong since yesterday; & to-day very warm but no sun - shall lie out as usual if no rain. -
Fear can't meet you at station, as Church will already be a great exertion do feel so rotten still !
What intense happiness to having you back soon - but I still tremble it may not be - God give success to our troops that you can leave there with a calmer heart. Wonder if you can manage to see troops on yr. return route. -
Xenia has announced herself to tea after her lunch at Irina's - am so glad to see her at last again.
Another "Erivan" officer had been brought to our hospital - what answer to their demand, I wonder?
Goodbye, my own beloved One, my Nicky sweet. God bless & protect you & bring you safely home again into the loving arms of your Children & your yearning old Wify.
Baby & I are going to see Galfter & then 3 wounded of. - Miss my hospital & feel sad not to be able to work & look after our dear wounded. - Love to old Man, Dmitri Sh, & N.P.
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