Tsarskoe Selo, March 1-st 1915
My very own Huzy dear,
What an unexpected joy yr. precious letter was, thank you for it from all my loving old heart. Yes, lovy mine, I saw you were happy to be home these 2 days again & I too regret that we cannot be more together now that A. is not in the house. It reminds one of bygone evenings - so peaceful & calm, & no one's moods to bother & make one nervous. -
I went to Church last night at 7, the cosacks sang well & it was soothing & I thought & prayed much for my Nicky dear - I always think you are standing near me there. - Baby madly enjoyed yr. bath, & made us all come & look on at his pranks on the water. All the daughters beg too for the same treat some evening - may they? - Then we went to Ania, I worked, Olga glued her Album, Tatiana worked - M. & A. went home after 10 & we remained till 11 I went into the room where the Strannitza (blind) was with her lantern - we talked together & then she said her prayer. -
The Com. of the 0. fortress Schulman knew us when he was at Kronstadt to put order there & then at Sebastopol he commanded the Brest regiment, wh. behaved so well during the stories - I remember his face very well. - After luncheon shall finish - now must dress. Ortipo has been rushing all over my bed like mad & crushed Vilichkovsky's reports I was reading. - The weather is quite mild, zero. -
I had Olga E. to say goodbye, she leaves for a quiet sanatorium near Moscou for 2 months. Then we went to the cemitry, as I had long not been there, & then on to our little hospital & the big palace. Upon our return found your dear telegram for wh. tenderest thanks. - We all kiss & bless you over & over again. Our love to N. P.
Ever, my Treasure, yr. very own
Who misses her sweetheart very much. -
Tsarskoe Selo, March 2-nd 1915
My beloved One,
Such a sunny day! Baby went in the garden, he feels well, tho' has again a little water in the knee. The girls drove & then joined me in the Big Palace. We inspected the sanitary train 66, its an endlessly long one, but well arranged - it belongs to the Ts. Selo district.
In the morning we had a hernial rupture operation of a soldier. Yesterday evening we were with Ania - Schwedov & Zabor too. - I got a letter fr. Ella's Countess Olsufiev she has been placed at the head of 16 Comites de bienfaisance des 22 hospitaux militaires de Moscou. They need money, so she asks whether she might get the big theater for a big representation May 23-rd - (second Easter holiday) she thinks they might gain about 20,000 (I doubt) for those hospitals. They give them things the ministery (military) cannot give them. If you agree, then I shall tell Fredericks & he can send you the official paper. - On the affiches they will print that the theatre has been given by a special grace of yours. - The idea of going to town to a hospital is rather awful, but still I know I must go, so tomorrow afternoon we shall be off. In the morning Karangosov's appendicitis will be cut off. - How glad I am you get yr. walks daily. - God grant you will really be able to see lots & have talks out there with the Generals. - I have told Viltchkovsky to send fat Orlov a printed paper one of the wounded received from his chief - far too hard orders & absolutely unjust & cruel - if an officer does not return at the time mentioned he must be disciplinied punished etc.: I cant write it, the paper will tell you all. One comes to the conclusion that those that are wounded are doubly badly treated - better keep behind or hide away to remain untouched & I find it most unfair - & I dont beleive its everywhere the same, but in some armies. - Forgive me bothering you my Love, but you can help out there, & one does not want bitterness setting in their poor hearts. - Must end. - Blessings & kisses without end.
Ever yr. own
Tsarskoe Selo, March 2-nd 1915
My own sweet one,
I am beginning my letter this evening, as I want to talk to you. Wify feels hideously sad! My poor wounded friend is gone! God has taken him quietly & peacefully to Himself. I was as usual with him in the morn & more than an hour in the afternoon. He talked a lot - in a wisper always-all about his service in the Caucasus - awfully interesting & so bright with his big shiny eyes. I rested before dinner & was haunted with feeling that he might suddenly get very bad in the night & one would call me & so on - so that when the eldest nurse called one of the girls to the telephone - I told them that I knew what had happened & flew myself to hear the sad news. After M. &A. had gone off to Ania, (to see Ania's sister in law & Olga Voronov) Olga & I went to the big palace to see him. He lay there so peacefully, covered under my flowers I daily brought him, with his lovely peaceful smile - the forehead yet quite warm. I cant get quiet so sent Olga tothem & came home with my tears. The elder sister can either realise it - he was quite calm, cheery, said felt a wee bit not comfy & when the sister, 10 min. after she had gone away, came in, found him with staring ey es, quite blue, breathed twice - & all was over - peaceful to the end. Never did he complain, never asked for anything, sweetness itself as she says - all loved him - & that shining smile. - You, Lovy mine, can understand what that is, when daily one has been there, thinking only of giving him pleasure - & suddenly - finished. And after our Friend spoke of him, do you remember, & , that "he will not soon leave you" I was sure he would recover, tho' very slowly. And he longed to get back to his regiment- was presented for golden sword & St. G. Cross & higher rank. - Forgive my writing so much about him, but going there, & all that, had been a help with you away & I felt God let me bring him a little sunshine in his lonliness Such is life ! Another brave soul left this world to be added to to the shining stars above. - And how much sorrow all around - thank God that we have the possibility of at least making some comfortable in their suffering & can give them a feeling of homeliness in their loneliness. Onelongs to warm & help them, brave creatures & to replace their dear ones who cant come. - It must not make you sad what I wrote, only I could not bear it any longer - I had to speak myself out.
Benkendorf has asked to accompany us to town to-morrow, so I had say yes, tho' I had only thought of taking Ressin. & Isa. - Baby dear's leg is better - he sledged to Pavlovsk to-day, Nagorny & the man of the donkey sledge worked alone at the hill. -
If by any chance you ever happen to be near one of my stores tram wh. I have 5 in all directions), it wld. be very dear if you could peep or see the com. of the train & thank him for his work - they honestly are splendid workers & constantly have been under fire - I am writing to you now in bed, I am lying since an hour already, but cant get to sleep, nor nor calm myself, so it does me good talking to you. I have blessed & kissed your dear cushion as always. - One says Struve is going to be buried in his country place. -
To-morrow we receive 6 officers going back to the war, two of my Siberians, Vykrestov & the Dr. Menschutkin - & Kratt for the second time, God grant he may not be wounded again. First time the right arm - the next time left arm & through the lungs the Crimea did him no end of good. - The Nijegorodtzy are wondering whether their division wont be sent back again, as they have nothing to do now. - Shulman thinks of his Ossovets with anguish & longing - this time the shots are bigger & have done more harm - all the officers houses are already quite ruined. - One does so long for detailed news.
I heard Amilachvari is wounded, but slightly only. -
Igor has gone to the regiment, tho' the Drs. found him not well enough to leave. Now I must try and sleep, as to-morrow will be a tiring day -- but I don't feel like it. You sleep well my treasure, I kiss & bless you.
March 3-rd. We have just returned from town - were in M. & A.'s hospital in the new building of the Institute of Racklov's. Zeidler showed us over all the wards 180 men & in another building 30 officers.
Karangozov's operation went off well - he had a rotten appendicitis & the operation was done just in time.
At 12 1/2 we went to the funeral service in the little hospital Church below, where the poor officer's coffin stands - so sad no relations there - so lonely somehow. - Its snowing hard. - Must end. God bless & protect you - kisses without end, my treasure. Ever yr. very own
Messages to N. P.
Tsarskoe Selo, March 4-th 1915
My own beloved Darling,
With what joy I received yr. dear letter, thanks over & over for it. I have read it already twice over & kissed it several times. -
How tired all those complicated talks must make you. God grant the coal question may soon be settled satisfactorily & the guns too. But they too must soon be running short of everything. - About Misha I am so happy do write it to Motherdear, it will do her good to know it. I am sure this war will make more of a man of him - could one but get her out of his reach, her dictating influence is so bad for him. - I shall tell the children to fetch your paper & send it with this letter - Baby has written in, French, I told him to do so & he writes more naturally than with Peter Vass. His leg is almost alright, does not limp - the right hand is bandaged as rather swollen, so wont be able to write probably a few days. But he goes out twice daily. - The four girls are going to town - Tatiana has her committee, M & A. will look on whilst Olga receives money & then they will all go to Mary - the little ones have never seen her rooms. -
Botkin has put me to bed, heart a good deal enlarged & have rather a cough - I felt rotten, in every respect, these days & now Mme Becker arrived & prevents me from taking my drops. - Am glad I managed the hospital in town yesterday - we did it quickly 1 hour & 1/4 & one carried me up the stairs - the 4 girls helped giving the Images & talking, & Ressin arranged those well enough to be stood in a row in the corridor - tell this to N. P. as he thought I wId. overtire myself in town - its the strain of these weeks, 2 a day to Ania, who never finds it enough, wrote now she had wanted to see me more to talk (have nothing to say, hear only of sad things, Nini brightens her far more up with her "bavardage" & gossip) & to read to her - have a cough these days, so could not. And she cant understand this death having upset me so - Zizi does, wrote so kindly -- I cannot do a thing by halves & I saw his joy when I came twice daily - & he all alone, others were not at in - he had no family here. - She grudges me to the others, I feel, & they so touchingly always ask me not to tire myself -"you are only one for us, we are many". - He told me too still the last afternoon that I overtire myself - so on - awfully kind - so how cannot I try & give them everything of warmth & love - they suffer so & are unspoiled - she has all, tho' of course her leg is a great worry to her & does not grow a bit together yet - the Pss. looked yesterday. But A. one never can satisfy & that is the most tiring, & she does not understand Botkin's hints at all about me. -
The sun is shining & its snowing a little. - I got nurse Llubuscha (the eldest sister of big Palace) to come & sit with me for half an hour, she is cosy, told me about the wounded & more details about the other. Tomorrow one buries him - our Friend wrote me a touching little letter about this death. - I can imagine Svetchine makes you wild - me he drove to distraction a few years ago in the Crimea with these half French anecdotes - one says he is the son of old Galkine-Vrassky. - Send him about to look at motors or hospitals close by. - Now I wonder what you will do - dont tell, where you intend going, then- you can get through unawares & I am sure, he knows far less where you can go, then when you are nearer out there already in the train. - To-morrow is N. Willy's death day - 2 years!
My precious one, my muchly missed one, I must end now. - God bless & protect you & keep you safe from all harm. I kiss you over & over again with deerest tenderness, Ever yr. very own
I bow to yr. people.
Tsarskoe Selo, March 5-th 1915
My very own beloved One,
I enclose a paper fr. Ella wh. you can sent to Mamantov, or fat Orlov & then a letter from Ania. She is very put out, that I do not go to her again, but B. keeps me again in bed till dinner, like yesterday. The heart is not enlarged this morning, but I feel still rotten & weak & sad - when the health breaks down its more difficult to hold oneself in hands. Now he is being buried.
I dont know whether they will leave him here or not, because the regiment intends burying all the officers after the war in the Caucasus, - there have marked the graves every where - but some died in Germany. I got a telegr. fr. my Vesselovsky that they had all just enjoyed the bania train & clean linen & are off to the okopi. - Then I got a report (according to my wish) from him. He returned Feb. 15-th. But of the heaps who are to receive decorations, only one Pr. Gantimurov got the Georg Sword as yet - he himself is not presented to anything, as in the absence of his chiefs who commanded over; the Divisionnary General von Hennings was dismissed from his post, and the Brigadier-Gen. A Bykov is taken prisoner.
A terrible worry & sorrow is that they have no flag, they entreat you to give them a new one, representations regarding this have already been made to the War-Minister by the commander-in-chief on February 7, under No. 9850. Their losses were quite colossal, 4 times the reg. has been filled up again, during the battles above vil. B., but I better write this on an extra paper, instead of filling up my letter with it; I shall copy out bits for you. - My Image reached them just after 30-th, their Lieut. Colonel Sergeiev, burned their flag. After he was wounded then, the chief of the supply service took the regiment & during 3 months did all splendidly. - I fear this letter is mighty dull. - Have let off Madelaine for the day to town 6 weeks Tudels has not turned up. Sunny again. - I had Isa for affairs & then Sonia. - just got yr. dear telegram. Ania wrote that Fredericks is intensely happy over your letter, of course she envies him. Perhaps you will put in your telegram to me that you thank for inclosed letter & send love or messages - she said I was to bum hers if I thought you would be angry - how can I know, I answered her that I would send it, so I hope she does not bother you with it - she can not grasp that her letters are of little interest to you, as they mean so much to her. - I have send the little ones to her - she wanted them in the evening; but they said they wished to remain with me then, as don't see them all day. - Dont you tell N. & go off where it suits you & where nobody can expect you - of course he will try to keep you back, because one won't let him move - but if you go, I know that God will hold you in safe keeping &, you & the troops will feel comforted. ~ Now my very own Sunshine my treasure beloved !, will close my letter. God bless & protect you now & ever, I cover your dear face with tenderest kisses, & remain,
Ever yr. very own
I wish I were near you as I am sure you go through many difficult moments not knowing who speaks the exact truth, who is partial & so on - & personal offenses etc., which ought not to exist at such a time, just show themselves, alas, now in the rear, I fear. - Where are our dear sailors? What are they doing & is Kirill with them? -
Tsarskoe Selo, March 6-th 1915
My very own Sweetheart,
A bright sunny day again, but 12 of frost. This morning the heart is not enlarged, but it has slipped to the right, so the feeling is the same. Yesterday evening it was again enlarged. I get over onto the sopha for dinner till 10 l/2 or 11. Feel still. so weak, A. fidgets for me to come to her, but Botkin is going there, so as to tell her, that I cannot yet, & need quiet still somedays. Thank God, the wounded officers in both hospitals are pretty well, so that I am not absolutely necessary this moment & the girls were at soldiers' operations again yesterday. They so touchingly ask after me through the girls, Zizi or Botkin. I miss my work, & all the more so that you, my Angel, are not here, -
Do so wonder where & when you will be able to move on - standing so long at the Headquarters must be rather despairing. - Lovy dear, people want to send gospels to our prisoners, prayerbooks they (the Germans) do not allow to be forwarded to Germany - Loman has 10,000 - may they be sent with an inscription that they come from me, or better not, kindly answer by wire "gospels yes - or not", then I will understand how to have them sent. - Sonia sat with me yesterday afternoon 3/4 of an hour, shall ask Mme Zizi to-day, as children must go out & to hospitals.- Please give the enclosed letter to N. P. through your man, it's one from 0, T & me together. -
My lancer Apukhtin is for the moment commanding an infantry regiment (forget which), because only a captain was left eldest there. -- just got your precious letter - such an unexpected intense joy, thanks ever so tenderly! 'Warm words comfort my tired heart. -That is nice your having named yourself "chef" & Georgi too - with what force & cheer those brave "PIastuni" will now be off - God bless their voyage & give them success. -
Your walks are surely refreshing, & the different falls must cheer up the monotony (when not too painful). - Lovy mine, your letters are just as a ray of Sunshine to me !
Yesterday they buried the poor fellow & sister Liubusha said he had still his happy smile - only a little changed in colour, but the expression we knew so well, had not faded. Always a smile, & he told her he was so happy & wanted nothing more - shining eyes which struck all & after a life of ups & downs, a romance of changes, thank God he was happy with us. -
How many "plastuni" regiments go? as I might send them quickly Images - how many officers in each regiment? Make Drenteln cypher the wire through Kira to me, please. - Ania's Mother was very ill with a colossal attack of stones in the liver, but is now better - another such strong attack, our Friend said, would be her end. - Again she fidgets I am to telephone & come in the evening, when we daily explain I can't yet; so tiresome of her, & heaps of letters every day - its not my fault, & I must get quite right & only by quiet lying (as can't yet take medicine) can help me - she only thinks of herself & is angry, I am so much with the wounded - they do me good & their gratitude gives me strength - whereas with her, who complains about her leg always, it's more tiring - one gives out so much of oneself, moral & physical all day, that in the evening little is left. Got again a loving letter from our Friend, wants me to go out in the sun, says it will do me good (morally) more than lying. But its very cold, I have still a cough, the cold I keep down, then feverish again & so weak & tired. - Got a wire from my Tutchkov from Lvov (Lemberg) supply train who arranged (have 4) a flying one so as to help more, it will become our 5-th. "The flying train finished its 2-nd trip by touring the region of the Stry, Skole and Vigoda, some military units and sanitary sections received their supplies in the neighbourhood of the front positions of Tukhli, Libokhori and Koziuvki, at the same time distributing gifts and images (from me). The attentions bestowed by Your Majesty everywhere provoked the sincerest enthusiasm and limitless joy. On the return trip the empty cars furnished with portable stores carried from Vigoda about 200 wounded, the evacuation of whom considerably lightened the task of the hospital, etc." So the nearer these little trains go in front, the better it is - Mekk is a wee genius, inventing & setting all this going - all he does is really well & quickly done & he had the chance of getting good gentlemen for these supply trains. - Zizi sat an hour & was very dear.
The girls walked & now have gone to the big palace. -
A man leaves for Olga, so must send her a line. - Please tell Drenteln that we send messages & hope his leg is better. Bow to Grabbe & N. P. & wee Admiral & my friend Feodorov. Goodbye now, my own precious one, my huzy dear, my sweet Sunshine, I cover you with very tenderest kisses, Baby too. The girls are wild that they may bathe in your bath. God bless & protect you & keep you from all harm - prayers & thoughts are ever with you. Messages to the family.
Ever your own
Tsarskoe Selo, March 7-th 1915
My own beloved One, A week to-day you left us - it seems much longer. Your telegrams and precious letters are such a comfort and I constantly read them. - You see see I am looking after my tired old self, and to-day again only get up for 8 Ania won't understand it, the Dr., children and I explain it to her, and yet every day 5 letters and begging me to come - she knows I lie in bed, and yet pretends to be astonished at it - so selfish. She knows I never miss going to her when I only can, and dead tired too she still grumbles why I went twice daily to an unknown officer and does not heed Botkin's remark, that he needed me and that she always has guests all day long almost. My visits to her are as a duty she finds (I think) and therefore even often does not seem to appreciate them, whereas the others thank for every second given to them. It is quite good she does not see me some days - tho' last night 6-th letter complained she had had no good-night kisses nor blessings for so long. If she would kindly once remember who I happen to be, then she might learn to understand that I have other duties except her. 100 times I told her about you too, who you are, and that an E. (Emperor) never goes daily to a sick person - what would one think otherwise, and that you have your country first of all to think of, and then get tired from work, and need air and its good you should be with Baby out, etc. It is like speaking to a stone - she won't understand, because she goes before everybody. - She offers to invite officers in the evening for the children, thinking to get me like that, but they answered that they wished to remain with me, as its the only time we are quietly together. We have too much spoiled her - but I honestly find, as a daughter of our friends, she ought to grasp things better and the illness ought to have changed her. Now enough about her, it's dull - it has stopped worrying me as it used to, and only aggravates one, because of the selfishness. - It's cold, grey and snowing. - The girls wildly enjoyed your swimming bath - first the 2 little ones and then the eldest - I could not go. - I slept badly and feel weak and tired - so far the heart is not enlarged, it becomes so every afternoon - so I think I won't see anybody and remain completely quiet, then it may behave itself I - Had heaps of papers to read this morning from Rostovtsev etc.; Shulman was so grateful to hear about Osovetz, I told the children to tell him. - Baby's "Moscouits" are not far from there. Galfter wrote. Hope Drenteln's leg is better, bow to him and N. P.
Goodbye and God bless and protect you my precious Angel. Kisses without end from your own wify
Tsarskoe Selo, March 8-th 1915
My own beloved One, I hope you get my letters regularly, I write and number them daily, also in my little lilac book. - Forgive my bothering you, by sending a petition, but one would like to help those poor people - I think it's the second time they write - kindly put a decision and send it to the minister of justice, -
I copied out a telegram it might amuse you to read, thanking our store for presents; I don't need it returned. Then a note from Marie to Drenteln.
What a good thing Memel has been taken, they did not expect this, I am sure, and it will be a good lesson to them. And everywhere the news, t h a n k God, seem good, I have time to read up all now, lying in bed. - I am going over onto the sopha for 4 1/2 already, bit by bit a little more, tho' every evening the heart is enlarged, and every day Ania asks me to come. - Glorious sunshine but very cold, they say. -
Ducky had a correspondant with her, and he wrote most interesting all she had done at Prasnish - she really does a lot with her unit, and is really under fire. Miechen promenades with her decoration to all exhibitions etc; you ought to find out really how she got it, and that such things don't happen again, and Tatiana neither. Ducky deserves it certainly. -
How sad the losses of the "Bouvet", "Irresistible" and "Ocean", so hideous to be sunk by floating mines and so rapidly too - not as tho' in battle. -
I had a letter from Victoria from Kent House - nothing new in it. Have, alas, nothing interesting to tell you. The children are lunching next door and making an unearthly noise. -
What joy sweetheart to have got another letter from you - it was just brought to me, and the nice postcards and the children's cards - we all thank over and over again and are very deeply touched you find time to write to us.
I see now why you did not go more forward, but surely you could go still to some place before returning, it would do you good and cheer the others up - anywhere. That drive must have been nice, but I understand the sad impression of those empty houses, probably many of them never to be inhabited by the same people again. Such is life such a tragedy!
Did Sergei L. make a better impression upon you, less sure of himself and simpler? I at once sent Ania your message, it will have given her pleasure. She probably thinks that she alone is lonely without you. - Ah, she is greatly mistaken! But I know it's right you should be there and the change is good for you, only I should have wished more people to have profited and seen you. - I suppose you had service to-day. - The children went this morning. just heard Irene had a daughter (thought it would be a girl) glad it's over, poor Xenia worried about it all along. - It would have seemed more natural, ha& I heard that Xenia herself had borne a Baby. -
Such sunshine! The girls drove, now have gone to my red cross community, then to Ania and after tea the eldest go to Tatiana. Alexei has three of Xenia's boys. I am going to be up by 1/4 to 5. -
Goodbye my Sunshine - don't worry if you can't write daily, you have much to do, and must have a little quiet too - and letter-writing takes you so much time.
God bless you, Nicky treasure, my very own huzy, I kiss and bless you and love you without ceasing.
Ever your very own
Tsarskoe Selo, March 9-th 1915
My Huzy sweet Angel,
What happiness to know, that the day after to-morrow I shall be holding you tight in my arms again, listening to your dear voice and looking into your beloved eyes. Only for you I regret, that you won't have seen anything. If I could only be decent by the time you return. This night I only got to sleep after 5, felt such, pressure on the heart, and the heart rather much enlarged. Yesterday it kept normal, and I was also from 5-6 on the sofa and 8-11 - Irene and Baby are well - she suffered a good deal, but was brave - she likes her name, and so wished the child to be called by it, funny little thing. Dmitri, Rostislav and Nikita came to Alexei, and the latter dined with us. -
It is cold, but bright sunshine. - I enclose a letter from Masha, (from Austria) which she was asked to write to you, for peace's sake. I never answer her letters, of course, now; then a letter from Ania; - I don't know whether you agree to her writing, but I can't say no, once she asks me, and better like this than through the servants. She sent for Kondratiev yesterday - so foolish to get the servants to talk to in the hospital she already wanted to see them - only to make a fuss it's not quite ladylike, I must honestly say. Now she will be sending for your men, and that will be quite improper; - why can't she then sooner ask, after the poor wounded she knows and with whom ,she won't have anything to do I -
Just got your telegram, it came in 15 min; thank God Przmysl taken, congratulate you with all my loving heart - this is good - what joy for our beloved troops! They did have a long time of it, and honestly speaking I am glad for the poor garrison and people who must have almost been dying of hunger. Now we shall have those army corps free to throw over to more weak places. I am too happy for you! -
From Olga good news, likes Lvov (Lemberg), she feels sad Misha is with wife there and she has never seen him for 4 years.
Now goodbye my treasure, I bless and kiss you over and over again - your very own
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