Letters of the Tsaritsa to the Tsar - November 1915

No. 145

Tsarskoie Selo, Nov. 1st 1915

My own precious Darling,

I just got Baby's letter and enjoyed it thoroughly, be does write amusingly. What a pitty there was such rain and mud - but then at least the Dvina wont yet freeze. Am so anxious about Roumania, if its true what Vesselkin wired (Grigorovitch's papers) that at Rustchuk one says Roumania has declared us war - I hope it is unfounded and that they only spread such news to please the Bulgarians. It would be horrid, as then Greece I fear will turn against us too. Oh, confound these Balkan countries. Russia has only been as an everloving helping mother to them and then they turn treacherously and fight her. - Really you never get out of worry and anxiety. -

I read the whole description of your journey in the papers - what a lot you did; and then Mr. Gillard explains all nicely. - Last night we dined upstairs in the corner room horribly sad and empty without Sunbeam - I prayed in his room afterwards - no little bed! And then I remembered that where he is now he has another beloved Being lying near him. What a blessing that you can share all together, its so good for him to be your little companion it developes him quicker; - he is not too wild before guests, I hope. He writes so happy to be again at the Headquarters. - To-day I bid goodbye to my Crimean, Gubariov Vatchnadze and Botkin's son, who all return to the front. The Crimeans all are anxious to reach the regiment as they are sent to the new front. - Grey, rainy weather. The heart is better this morning, but does not feel nice, so I wont go out, nor to church, I must put myself to right again. - I send you a touching telegram from Alexei's Georgians; I answered them and said I should forward it to him - so perhaps you would thank them in his name again.

How did you find poor Kanin, not too bad I trust. Sister Olga wrote she is so happy in her work - Motherdear runs about all day in hospitals and finds Olgas especially cosy and nice. -

Beloved, I have popped into bed after seeing Khvostov who begged urgently to be received. Well, our good old Fred. had gaffed quite colossaly again, wh. shows that one must no more tell him anything serious or wh. is not to be repeated. Khvostov got a letter fr. (his former brother-in-law) Drenteln - he will bring it to you, for you to see in what terms it is written. He tells him that Fredericks sent for him and told him that he wishes to know why Khvostov judges Dzhunkovsky so unjustily etc. Drenteln furious, sees in it the result of that black force (one understands our Friend) and that he pities you and Russia if Khvostov perverts all orders in that way. - Khvostov told Fred. that one must beware of Dzhunkovsky because of his different actions, police etc. Moscou meeting of the nobility, making himself out as a martyr because of Gregory and so on, and finding that in the society and clubs one ought to pay attention to his talks - and not let him receive a nomination in the Caucasus. Oh, that awful gaffeur - now that runs the round of the "Preobrazhensky" reg. and the Governors excomerades and hinders Khvostov terribly. He begs you not to tell anything to Fredericks, who will make it yet worse, nor Drenteln, who will be furious that I saw the letter. Such an unfortunate affair and binds Khvostov's hands. The regiment is not, alas, famous and hates our Friend, so he hopes you will soon promote Drenteln - give him an army brigade, so as tha t he should not yet more influence the regiment. Drenteln writes that Orlov sent for Dzhunkovsky (soit disant his brother being very ill) - Nikolasha proposed him to become hetman of the Tersk troops but Dzhunkovsky refused. According to "spied upon" correspondance Nikolasha intends proposing him to be his aide, For God's sake don't agree, otherwise we shall have the whole lot of evil doers brooding harm and mischief there. Give him any command in, front rather, he is a dangerous man pretending to be a martyr.

I said in future Khvostov is to address himself to Voyeikov in stead of the old ramoli gaffeur - no its too, too bad. Tell it Voyeikov if he promises to hold his tongue until he has seen Khvostov. He begs you to receive him one of these days for affairs. He will send me his answer to Drenteln. - I begged him to well think it over, as many will read it, and he must still explain reasons wh. can be told. - Then as not enough waggons move, thought it wld. be good if you could a t o n c e send a senator (Dm. Neidhardt) who has often been - does not matter he has Miechen's committee and its not for long to make a revision about the coal in the chief place. Masses are heeped and must be moved on to the big towns and if you send him directly it wont be an offense to the new minister. He does not know Trepov, many are against him as being a very weak and not energetic man. Our Friend is very grieved at his nomination as He knows he is very against him, his daughter told it to Gregory and he is sad you did not ask his advice. I too regret the nomination, I think I told you so he is not a sympathetic man - I know him rather well. His daughters were cragg and tried to poison themselves some years ago. The Kiev brother is far better. Well, one must oblige this one to work hard. -

400 waggons ought to come a day with flour, but only 200 do - one must set about things quicker and more energetically the idea of the revision I think excellent, Senatorial Revision for the coal if we get that people wont freeze and keep quiet to send him out to the chief coal places fr. where one forwards it here. I am sorry to bother you with so many things. I enclose a petition fr. my Galkin for his son. He made Ania write to several Generals and all say it concerns General (cant spell his name) the little one, Konazarovsky. Perhaps you would tell Kira to give it him fr. me. He is a good officer was in the artillery academy, I believe, and Costia knew about him - so funny for Galkin's son. - Leo is better, I am glad to say - Isa lunched and bid us goodbye, she leaves tomorrow early fr. town for Volkov is now doing duty - I am ashamed I took him away fr. the Headquarters.

I do hope the dear little arm will be better by the time you get this letter and that it wont spoil the nights rest. -

Poor Serbia is being finished off - but it was her lot, had we let Austria do it, our now all the rest - nothing to be done, probably a punishment for the country having murdered their King and Queen. Will Montenegro now be eaten up too, or will Italy help? Oh and Greece? What shameful game is going on there and in Rournania I wish one could see clearly. My personal opinion is that our diplomates ought to be hung Savinsky has always been the greatest friend of longnosed Ferdinand (the same tastes - one says) that he always said before he ever went there. Then A. Kozel has neither performed his duty and Elim I think a fool too. Could they not have worked harder? Look how the Germans dont leave a thing untried so as to succeed.

Our Friend was always against this war, saying the Balkans were not worth the world tc, fight about and that Serbia would be as ungrateful as Bulgaria proved itself. -

Hate yr. having all these worries and I not with you. I find Sazonov might have inquired fr. the Greek Government, why they do not stick to their treaty with Servia - beastly false Greeks. -

How did all the foreigners like being out at the front? - Must quickly end. I miss and long for you quite terribly and kiss and hug you with all the tenderness I am capable off and yearn for your arms to be around me and rest and forget. all that torments one. -

Endless fr. yr. old Wify.

On Tuesday Olga will be 20.

No. 146

Tsarskoie Selo, Nov. 2nd. 1915

My own Sweetheart, I send you my very tenderest congratulations for our darling Olga's 20 th birthday. How the time does fly! I remember every detail of that memorable day so well, that it seems as tho' - it had all taken place only yesterday. - It is grey and raining, most dreary weather. I wonder how Baby sweet's arm is, I hope no worse and does not give him too much pain, poor Agooweeone.

How anxiously one waits for news - in Athens an Austrogerman deputation was received, they work hard to attain their aim, and we always trust and are constantly deceived; - one must always be at them energetically and show our power and insistance. I foresee terrible complications when the war is over and the question of the Balkan territories will have to be settled - then I dread England's selfish politics coming in rude contact with ours - only to well prepare all beforehand, not to have nasty surprises. Now whilst they have great difficulties one must take them in hand. -

Yesterday Andronnikov told Ania that Volzhin sent for Zhivakhov and told that you and I wished him to be appointed, so he gave him the list of all the officials of the Synod, telling him whom wId. he wish to have sent away and replace, one with 8 children, or 6 and so on - of course Zhivakhov declined and the minister of the Interior will take him, not to loose such a perfect gentleman who k n o w s everything about our Church a f o n d. Its downright cowardice and hideous. Why not take him as one of his aides? He told someone he feared us, but yet more the Duma. Worse than Sabler, how can one do anything with such a poltroon. If you have papers of his d o write that you wish to know "whether you have already appointed Zhivakhov". To you it may seem a mere nothing, but no Deary, he knows all the ins and outs and can be of immense help and he is decided and could support and counsel Volzhin tho' he is a younger man. Why send away a poor man because of him, why not as aide, only because we begged for him. Your first wish almost, and he does not fulfil it and no doubt will throw the fault upon Zhivakhov, oh, humanity, so dispisable only think of themselves, lots of beautiful words and when it comes to deeds - cowardice.

I enclose a charming telr. from the "Erivantsi". I find Olga looks better since she lies more - less green and weary.

Now its snowing and raining together, such a mess. -

O Lovebird, thank you over and over again for yr. sweet letter. I was intense I y happy to receive it, it means s o much to me a word from you, my Angel. How interesting all you write. I am only rather anxious at Baby's arm, so asked our Friend to think about it. - He told me to let Khvostov know, not to answer Drenteln's letter, as it would only be worse, give rise to more talking, be shown about and so forth. He is not obliged, as it was an impertinence and insult writing thus to yr. minister. Ania gave it him over by telephone. She gave me a letter of Kellers for you to read through when you have a free moment; and then as usual a petition. I am going to give Olga her presents in her bedroom as we dine upstairs. Groten leaves in 2 days to his regiment to give it over and then will remain at Dvinsk, as he has been put en reserve (wh. makes him sad). He looks flourishing and young, can ride again. - To-morrow my Vesselovsky comes, Vikrestov and several petty officers who ran away. I must end now Deary, as I have heaps of papers to read through before dinner. -

Goodbye my Beloved, God bless and protect you.

I kiss you endlessly, lovingly and longingly. -

Ever yr. very own old


No. 147

Tsarskoie Selo, Nov. 3-rd 1915

My very own beloved One,

Many happy returns of our big Olga's 20-th birthday. We are having a Te Deum at 121/2 in my big room with the ladies - as it is less tiring for her & me. Such a foggy morning, Tatiana has gone off to the hospital, Rita Khitrovo was yesterday with Olga & touched me by saying, that the wounded are very sad I am not there to do their dressings, as the Dr. hurts them. I always take the worst. So stupid not to be able to work again, but I must keep quiet - one day the heart is more enlarged, the next less & I don't feel nice, so have not even smoked for days; receptions & reports are quite enough. - Saw poor Martinov on crutches, the leg is 4 inches (!) shorter - its now soon a year & by May one hopes he may be able to serve again. Its a marvel that he is alive - how wonderfully he every time escaped, 2 horses killed under him being already wounded & crushed & both bones shot through, broken. -- I spoke with Count Nirod about Easterpresents for the army - we .did not use up the 3 million roubles you had given fr. the appanage & wh. to be replaced by the cabinet. A little over 1 in. remains & with that we to get & order things for Easter. Only each man will get much less, as everything is far more expensive & in such quantities as we need, not even to be had.

Then Mr. Malcolm came again with a proposition of a society of the suffragists, who have been working splendidly in France, to look after our refugees, especially the women who are expecting Babys - one can set them to work here under Tatiana's committee - Buchanan must still speak to Sazonov about it. I told Malcolm to see Olga, he is off to Kiev to-night & then Odessa - it would have interested you to have seen him, such a nice man & ready to help everywhere. He wrote home to Engl. begging one to collect for our prisoners - most kind, general Williams knows him. They have asked me to be the patroness of the hospital in Ella's house, it will be called after Aunt Alix I think. - Then I saw my rifles I enclose their names - 4 splendid men, one ran away before & was cought again - So have already returned through Belgium & Holland - there they left one now at the Consuls to act as interprator - they were kindly cared for, fed & clothed, they went at night by the compass. They were made prisoners nov. 11 of last year - Vikrestov's brother is there too, but under another name & as a soldier, so as easier to run away. The one man, the flag-bearer says, that the bits of the flag wh. were not burned by the old Sergeant, different men kept - & the top too. - Then I saw Olga's commander too. And Alia came with her 2 children for 3/4 of an hour, wh. made me very tired. When you see N. P. alone, tell him to be careful about Dzhunkovsky's book, on account of Drenteln(?), who may make a nasty story of it - only that should never guess it came through Ania. - The tail & Beletzky dine at Ania's - a pitty I find, as tho' she wanted to play a political part. O she is so proud & sure of herself, not prudent enough, but they begged her to receive them- probably something to give over again & they don't know how to do it otherwise & our Friend always wishes her to live only for us & such things.

Sweetest Treasure I must end now. God bless & protect you & give you wisdom & help. What news about Roumania & Greece? I wish our "fliers" could do something in Bulgaria on the railway lines where so much is being in time & succeed. It would be a great thing.

Endless kisses of deepest devotion & great yearning.

Ever yr. very own old


No. 148

Tsarskoie Selo, Nov. 3-rd 1915

My own Beloved,

I begin my letter this evening, so as not to forget what Khvostov begged Ania to tell me.

I. It seems the old Man did not propose the ministery in a nice way to Naumov, so that he found himself obliged to refuse. Khvostov has seen Naumov since, & is sure that he would accept, or be happy if you simply named him.. He is a very right man, we both like him, I fancy Beletzky worked with him before. Being very rich, (his wife is the daughter of Foros Ushkov) so not a man to take bribes - & the one, whom Goremykin proposes, is not worth much - have forgotten his name.

II. Then about Rodzianko of the Duma Khvostov finds he ought to receive a decoration now, that wld. flatter him & he wId. sink in the eyes of the left party, for. having accepted a reward from you. Our Friend says also that it would be a good thing to do. Certainly its most unsympathetic, but, alas, times are such just now, that one is obliged out of wisdom sake to do many a thing one wld. rather not have. -

III. Then he begs the police master of Moscou not to be changed just now, as he has many threads in hand, having belonged to the detective force before. Our Spirldovitch won't do there, as it seems he has just remarried a former doubtful singer of gipsy songs - so that one proposes him a post far away of governor I believe. -

IV. Begs you not to have Ksiunin banished to Siberia, as 2 Generals gave him the false news about our disembarkment in Bulgaria (he will bring the names to you) & the man writes well in the papers & a repremand might be enough.

V. Did you get a telegram fr. a woman saying, that you must place Ella & me in a convent, as he heard something about it, &, if true, wants to have her watched & see what type she is. -

Thats all I think - he dreads meeting Drenteln, after such a letter finds he cannot give him his hand (ask him to show it you) - if you invite, him he must - & if you dont people wld. be unkind & speak. Am s o sorry for the poor man. - He brought yr. s e c r e t marcheroute (fr. Voyeikov) to me & I won't say a word about it except to our Friend to guard you everywhere. If only Kiril could succeed! - One thing our Friend said, that if people offer great sums (so as to get a decoration), now one must accept, as money is needed & one helps them doing good by giving in to their weaknesses, & 1000 profit by it - its true, but again against all moral feelings. But in time of war all becomes different. - Speak to Khvostov about Zhivakha (do I still spell it wrongly?) Andronnikov did not quite give it over as it happened.

Nov. 4-t h. Thick snow fell over night, everything white, but zero. - You will receive this letter a few hours before you leave on your journey - God take you into His holy keeping & may your guardian Angels, St. Nicolas & the sweet Virgin watch over you and Baby sweet. Shall be near you all the time with heart & soul. How interesting it will be. If you have the chance, give over a greeting & blessing to my Crimeans & the Nizhegorod. officers too, if you have the chance, through Yagmin. How I wish we were with you - so emotioning.

I read a short description in the "Novoye Vremya" of an eye witness at Riga, & could not read it without tears, so what must be the feelings of those 1000 that see you & Baby together - so simple, so near to them. Can imagine how deeply you feel all this, beloved One, oh the endless blessing, that you command & are yr. own master.

Here I send you some flowers to accompany you upon your journey - they stood the day in my room and breathed the same air as your old Sunny, fresias last long in a glass. If you see our beloved sailors & my giants, think of us & bow to them from us if there should be an occasion. - I hope it will be nice & warm & that will do you all no end of good. For sure Olga Evgenievna will watch you from somewhere, as she lives at Odessa. -

If you do get any sure news about Roumania or Greece, be an Angel & let me know. Elena fears for her Father, because if the worst should happen, he said, he would die with his army - or he may commit suicide.

Igor told us this at luncheon - he says one cant touch the subject of Greece with poor Aunt Olga. -

Miss you both this time more than ever, such an endless yearning craving for you, to hear your sweet voice, gaze into your precious eyes & feel your beloved being near me. Thank God, you have Baby to warm you up & that he is of an age to be able to accompany you. Carry this infinite longing alone in my weary soul & aching heart - one cannot get accustomed to these separations, especially when one remains behind. But its good you are away - here the "atmosphere" is so heavy & depressing, I regret yr. Mama has returned to town, fear one will fill her poor ears with unkind gossip. Oh dear, how weary one is of this life this year & the constant anguish & anxiety - one would wish to sleep for a time & forget everything & the daily nightmare. But God will help. When one feels unwell, everything depresses one more - others dont see it tho'. - Our Friend finds Khvostov ought not to shake hands with Drenteln after such an insulting letter - but I think Drenteln will of his own accord avoid him - am so sorry for the poor fat man. -

Gregory has asked to see me to-morrow in the little house to speak about the old man, whom I have not yet seen, -

I must end. God bless yr. journey - sleep well, feel my presence near by in any compartment, I cover you with such soft & tender kisses, every little bit of you & lay my weary head upon yr. breast, yr. own old


Very fondest thanks my own Sweetheart for your very dear letter, I was more than overjoyed to receive. If you cannot wire details, I can still understand. If you say you saw "ours" - that at will mean Marine of the Guard if 'yours' - "Crimeans" if Yedigarov "Nizhegorodtsi", can always understand more or less - & then what weather - I have the towns & dates, you see, fr. Khvostov to go by & keep it to myself. -

I did not mean you should now take the Pr(eobraientzi) away fr. Drenteln but later on. -

Read this before you receive Khvostov, - he wants me to prepare you to several questions.

No. 149

Tsarskoie Selo, Nov. 5-th 1915

My own Angel,

How charming Alexei's photos are, the one standing ought to be sold as postcard, both might be really. - Please, be done with Baby, also for the public and then we can send them to the soldiers. - If in the south, then with cross and medal without coats and in caps and if at the Headquarter or on the way there, near a wood, - overcoat and fur cap. Fredericks asked my opinion, whether to permit that cinema of Baby and Joy can be allowed to be shown in public; not having seen it, I can not judge, so leave it to you to decide. Baby told Mr. Gillard, that it was silly to see him "faisant des pirouettes" and that the dog looked cleverer than he - I like that. -

We had Mine Zizi to lunch, she had a whole report about all sorts off petitions and ladies, who want to see me. - Rostchakovsky was interesting I told him to write me a Memorandum for you. It concerns the railway line to Archangelsk, wh. he says might work 7 times more than he does, Ugariumov sent him for affairs concerning P. works especially, but he profitted to ask to see me to tell me how difficult it is for Ugriumov to do anything, as he has no official power given to him all these months.

Now one says it will be under Military law, so as to give him help, but thats unnecessary, as they are quiet there, no stories or disorders whatsoever. Then he asked for some formal nomination as to see to the railways, the minister of war put it on to Rukhlov etc., if he had a special nomination, then he could give severer orders as he is energetic, the engineers wld. be obliged to listen to him, those who dont work he cld. change, those that are good reward. He could force more goods trains leaving, could hurry on the work of the broad gage and so on. He does not ask, but Rostchakovsky, for the good of the work spoke to me to say a word to you. General Gov. during the war, as its such a very essential place now and much depends upon all being regulated and sent off well and hurried up. - Do I bore you very much with all these things, poor sweet? Then of course I add a petition. - General Murray has not yet arrived, but when he comes I shall certainly receive him with pleasure.. - Now I had P-ce Galitzin with his report about our prisoners. 4 times a week we send off several waggon loads of things. How stingy the Synod is, I asked Volzhin should send more Priests and Churches to Germany and Austria - he wished us to pay, but as it was too much, he made the money be given out of the military fund - really a shame in time of war. Their convents especially the Moscou ones are so rich and don't dream of helping. He wrote to St. Serg. for them to give us little Images and Crosses and if they wont gratis we shall pay - and they dont even answer; I shall try now through Ella; - we have sent 10,000 but what is that wee number. - I wonder, where this letter will find you!

Isa arrived at Copenhagen and had a good passage. - Maslov sent a Trumpeter with a letter telling the details, of poor Tiesenhausen death - influenza and heartfailure; - so I told one to give him food and then called him upstairs - he talked nicely. 21 years in the regiment, was on the dear Standart with us. I gave him an Image and the envelope of the military- post letter with my name to bring back to the Commander.

Now sweetest One, my beloved, my Soul and Sunshine, brightness of my life I must end my letter. I miss you more than words can say and yearn for you my huzy love. I cover you with kisses caresses and undying love. God bless you my A.

Ever yr. very own old


Paul continues being very ill, lost in weight very much - the Drs. wish an operation and to take out the "Gall Bladder", Friend says he will die then and I remember Feodorov saying he feared an operation because of the heart being weak, with wh. I agree. She says Paul won't hear of an operation; it looks bad their wishing to take it out, is there a bad growth? I should not operate him in the state he is now. -

No. 150

Tsarskoie Selo, Nov. 6-th 1915

My Own,

Warmest congratulations for yr. dear regiment's feast. - It was an intense joy when your dear letter was brought me this morning & I covered it with kisses - thanks ever so much for having written. So comforting to hear from you when the heart is sad & lonely & yearns for its mate.

I am sending you Rostchakovsky's paper - its quite private, I begged him to write all out so as to have it clearer for you, & I am sure, that you will agree with the chief points. The man is very energetic & full of best intentions & sees that things might work far better with a little help & a few changes - so please read it through. -

That is a good plan you intend sending the guards later to Bessarabia after they are reformed & rested they will be perfection then. Well, may God help those miserable Serbians. I fear, they are done for & we cannot reach them in time. - Those beastly Greeks, so unfair leaving them in the lurch.

Our Friend, whom we saw yesterday evening, when he sent you the telegram, was afraid that, if we had not a big army to pass through Roumania, we might be cought in a trap from behind. -

Alexeiev is worth 100 longnosed Sazonov's, who seems somewhat feeble, to say the least of it. -

Well Lovy, He thinks I better now see the old Gentleman & gently tell it him, as if the Duma hisses him, what can one do, one cannot send it away for such a reason. You thought out something with Taneyev for him, did you not? I feel sure he will understand it. If you get a wire from me - all is arranged or: its done - that means I have spoken & then you can write or, when you return, send for him. He loves you so deeply that he wont be hurt & I shall say it as warmly as I can - He is so sorry as venerates the old Man.

But he can always be yr. help & counsellor as old Mistchenko was - & better he goes by yr. wish than forced by a scandle, wh. wld. hurt you & him far more. He spoke well & it did me good to have seen him. Coughs very much & worries about Greece. Your presence in the Army with Baby brings new life to all & to Russia, he was always repeating it. - He finds you ought to tell Volzhin you wish Zhivakhov to be named his aide - he is well over 40, older than Istomin, whom Samarin took, knows the Church far better than Volzhin & can be of the very greatest help.

Now old Flavian has died, ours ought to go there as highest place & Pitirim here, a real worshipper.

I saw Senator Krivtzov this morning - he gave me his book - I cried reading of the horrors the Germans did to our wounded & prisoners - cannot forget the atrocities, to think that civilised people could be so cruel - during battle, when one is mad, thats another thing. I know they say our cosacks did horrors at Memel - a few cases of course there may have been out of revenge. Better to forget it, as I firmly believe they are better now - but when once we begin to advance & their needs become greater, then I fear our poor men may fare worse. -

"Mother Elena" sat with me for some time, she is intensely grateful that you allowed her with her 400 nuns & 200 children to live at "Neskutchnoye" where its so peaceful & quiet. They have only got the dining room on the midle floor as our furniture fr. Bielovezh & Varsovie are kept in the other rooms. -

All my tender thoughts dont leave you, Angel dear & agooweeone on your journey, oh I do hope the weather will be sunny & bright - do Baby good, dampness acts on him & makes him pale always. - Ever yr. very own old wify

Alix. Precious One, I kiss you with deep tenderness & loving caresses, passionately love. God Almighty bless and protect you my huzy darling, my bright sunshine. -

When you are away, I always dream - shows what it is not to have Sweetheart near me. - Bow to the old man, I do hope he wont hinder yr. movements. Give the little Admiral & N. P. also my love. Wonder, whether Dmitri is with your or not.

No. 151

Tsarskoie Selo, Nov. 8-th 1915

My own beloved Nicky dear,

Precious one, my thoughts dont leave you. So grateful for yr. telegram yesterday evening fr. Novomirgorod - comforting to see so many military trains pass God bless the brave souls!

I have nothing of interest to tell. Yesterday evening we dined at 7 1/2 because the 3 youngest girls went at 8 to the funeral service of the young officer, who died in the big palace. From 9-9 1/2 1 went to our hospital to see one who is very dangerously ill & I could not bear the idea of not going to him for a little bit - & then I passed through all the wards to bid goodnight. I had not been for a week & was glad to find all the others looking & feeling much better.

I had Viltchkovsky with a long report, on account of the year, money questions etc. & then Ania got me to sledge for 1/2 an hour the interior Babol.-park, where you walked near my little carriage - 3 degrees of frost, we went much at a footpace, as then it was easier for me to breathe. Mme B. has come just now !! -

Longing for a wire from Odessa, all thoughts there with you. - I feel my letter is mighty dull, but I have absolutely nothing interesting to tell. -

Sweet Angel, long to ask heaps about yr. plans concerning Roumania, our Friend is so anxious to know.

Bezobrazov is inspecting the young soldiers at Novgorod to-day. What now about poor Paul? I doubt his ever being able to take up his service, to my mind its a finished man, that does not mean that he may not continue living with care, but not at the war, & I pity him deeply.

Wont you give Dmitri over to Bezobrazov to use then?

Huzy mine, I long for you & love you "with unending true devotion deeper more than I can say, better better every day"( - you remember that old song of 21 years ago ? o ? God's blessing be upon you my Sweetheart, sunshine. I cover you with kisses

Ever yr. very Own.

Its cosy to get back into the train after a tiring day? Is there still a chance of yr returning the 14-th or only later?

No. 152

Tsarskoie Selo, Nov. 8-th 1915

My sweetest Huzy dear,

I am so glad that all went off so well at Odessa and that you saw so many interesting things and our dear sailors too, but what a pitty that the weather was not warmer. Here it continues, about 3 degrees and no sun. - I wired to you about poor Echappar's accident and operation, as I got the news this morning. I do hope be will pull through, tho' its a terribly dangerous place - oh those motors, how careful one must be. - And Fredericks keeps on alright? It costs our Friend a lot, and he finds one really must not take him another time, anything may happen - besides he might suddenly take you for somebody else (William for instance) and make a scandle - I don't know why he says this. -

Something has got wrong with my pen and my writing is queer. - Alas, again wont go to Church, but wiser not on account of B. - How glad I am, that you were so contented with all you saw at Tiraspol what good it must do them seeing you, and how refreshing and emotioning for you. I am sending you a telegram. He dictated to me the other day I saw Him, walking about, praying and crossing himself - about Roumania and Greece and our troops passing through, and as you will be at Reni to-morrow, he wishes you to get it before. He wanders about and wonders what you settled at the Headquarters, finds you need lots of troops there so as not be cut off from behind. - In the papers Grigorovitch sends (so grateful you let me get them as most interesting generally) one sees how many guns and troops they send to Bulgaria. Hang those submarines, who hinder ones fleet and any disembarcation and they have time to collect so much. -

When one day our troops will march into Const. he wants one of my regiments to be the first, don't know why. - I said, I hoped it wld. be our beloved sailors, tho' they are not mine, at heart they are nearest to us all. - I long for news about the Guard etc. Ania's brother has arrived and its her mothers and Alia's birthday, so shall only see her this evening. Do send me a message once for her, she is sad to have none.

I am much grieved about Echappar's death. Georgi will be awfully sad and all who knew him except Minny. And for my train a great loss and I was just thinking about arranging for his train to go south, but perhaps I can let Riman's, wh. goes from Kharkov, go to Odessa, as one will need a good train there. - So tiresome that cannot go about again because of my health, had wanted to do a lot during. your absence. - We had Nini and Emma to tea and we talked long about their Father and how to keep him back next time. -

I am going this evening at 8 1/2 for half an hour to our hospital to. see the one who is so bad, as they say he is better since he saw me, and perhaps it may help again. I think its natural, why those who are so very ill feel calmer and better when I am there, as I always think of our Friend and pray whilst sitting quietly near them or stroking them the soul must prepare itself when with the ill if one wishes to help - one must try and put oneself into the same plan and help oneself to rise through them, or help them to rise through being a follower of our Friends. -

Now Lovebird, I must end. God bless and protect you and keep you from all harm. Oh how one longs to be together at such serious times to share all..

Endless blessings, fondest, tenderest kisses Nicky sweet, fr. yr. deeply and passionately loving old Wify


No. 153

Tsarskoie Selo, Nov. 9-th 1915

My own beloved Sweetheart,

Grey, thawing and very dark. Well, I went yesterday evening to our hospital, sat some time near the bed of Smirnov temp. still high but breath quieter - said goodevening to the others - 3 were lying on their backs playing on guitars and quite cheery. -

Xenia telegraphed, that Olga is going to her for a few days, I am glad as it will do her no end of good, as her nerves seem to me rather down, ever since she came to Petrograd and one filled her cars with horrors, and Kiev, wh. Militza and Stana had spoiled by wicked talks. -

In one of the copies of a German newspaper they write, that whilst the allies are wasting time discussing about Roumania, we and the Bulgarians are not wasting time making our preparations - yes, they never dawdle and our diplomates do most piteously. I wonder whether energetic Kitchener will manage anything with Ti No. - Could one but get hold of the German submarines in the black sea, they are sending out more of them and they will paralise our fleet completely. Interesting all Vesselkin will have to tell you, I hope they are all well fortifying etc. all along the Roumainian-Bulgarian frontier always better to calculate for the worst, as the Germans seem to be collecting all their forces down there now. It sounds absurd my writing all this, when you know a 1000 times better than me what to do; - I have nobody to speak with on such subjects; - but what a lot of men they send down there, wish we could hurry up a bit. - How glad I am that you are satisfied with all you saw at Reni and that Vesselkin works well, how proud he must have been to show you his church - may it only not suffer on have to be taken away. -

I received Altfater, Pogrebniakov, Rumella and Semenov of the 1-st artillery brigade of the Body-Guards as its their feast, and the touching people gave me 1000 Olga 150 and Tatiana 150. - I went with Tatiana to the funeral service for Echappar Baranov was there, Kotzebu grown quite grey, Yakovlev, Schulenburg, Kaulbars, and Kniazhevitch and all the ladies. As my train stands without work at Dvinsk have told it to bring his body.

General Murray is enchanted with all he saw, Anias brother took him about a lot. Excuse a dull letter, but am tired and achy as slept very badly these last 3 nights.

Very tenderest blessings, fondest, warmest kisses, Precious One, fr. yr. very own old


No. 154.

Tsarskoie Selo, Nov. 10-th 1915

My own beloved One,

It seems to be darker every morning - nearly all the snow gone & three degrees of warmth. - Now the letters have to leave much earlier, the trains have changed it seems. By the by did you settle anything about a senator to inspect the railways & coal depots & see to set all moving, because really it is a shame - in Moscou one has no butter & here still many things are scarce & prices very high, so that for rich people even it is hard living - & this is all known & rejoiced at in Germany as our bad organisation, wh. is absolutely true. -

Such a nice surprise Baby dears letter from Odessa & Mr. Gillards - of course you cant write, I can imagine how even in the train you are bothered with papers. - Perhaps, if you do send me a word, you will give a message of thanks to A. for her letter, because when I said you wired thanks for letters, she said it meant ours. - I suppose; this letter will find you at the Headquarter. Nini understood you were probably arriving here on the 14-th, to me it does not seem very likely, as after such a journey you will for sure have lots to speak to Alexeiev about. - Stupid heart is enlarged again & the old pain in the legs was very strong - nevertheless have many people to receive to-day, ex lancer Kniazhevitch too, don't know what shall have to tell him. -

Our Friend told me to wait about the old man until he has seen Uncle Khvostov on Thursday, what impression he will have of him - he is miserable about the dear old man, says he is such a righteous man, but he dreads the Duma hissing him & then you will be in an awful position. - Is the Zemstvo reform which Nikolasha wants to bring into the Caucasus a good thing? The people and many different nationalities, can they grasp this - or do you find a good reform? My personal weak brain does not find it yet time - you will see "Novoye Vremya" page 7 below of Nov. 10-th. What hideously dull letters I write I Forgive me sweetest.

The Austrian sisters have arrived, one is a good acquaintance of Marie Bariatinskys from Italy. Mme Zizi will beg Motherdear to see them & the Germans when they return, then I can too; & one must do such things, its for humanity's sake then they will be more willing to help our prisoners too; - if she sees them one cannot find fault with me. -

Volzhin will need a good deal of "picking up" from you, he is weak & frightened when all is going to be well arranged about Varnava, he suddenly rites to him privately that he should ask for his dismission - young Khvostov told him it was very wrong - but he is a coward & frightened of public opinion, so when you see him, make him understand that he serves you first of all & the Church - & that it does not concern society nor Duma. -

Princess Palei says Paul eats a lot now but looses daily in weight - he weighs less than Anastasia now, at night sometimes screams from pain & then again feels better. The gall bladder is becoming atrophied & therefore the gall spreads everywhere, tho' he has not become yellow They want him to be operated at once upon yr. return, in some hospital station - they say its the only thing to save him, & our Friend says he will certainly then die, the heart not being strong enough. To-day Tchigaiev is to see him. His colour frightened me, the same as Uncle Wladimir had the last months, & Uncle Alexei before he left abroad then, & looking so like Anpapa, hollow under he eyes. He receives nobody, not wishing them to see how he has changed, .but as soon as am better want absolutely to see him; am so awfully sorry for him - at last all his wishes achieved & nothing of any avail. -

Now goodbye Lovebird, God bless & protect you. Ever such tender, passionately, loving kisses, Nicky sweet, beloved huzy, fr. yr. very own old wife


How is the little Admiral? What have you settled about Dmitri? Loveto the boy.

No. 155

Tsarskoie Selo, Nov. 11-th 1915

My own beloved Sweetheart,

I am so glad you saw the Caucasian cavalry - I got a charming telegram afterwards from Yagmin. - Can imagine their enchantment at last to have seen you; & the "Tvertsi" Baby for the first time. -

Dark, windy, snowing, 1 degree of frost - the shortest days, so dreary. -

Yesterday afternoon dear Lili Den came to us for tea, on her way from Helsingfors to the country. She saw her husband, & he told her many interesting episodes of their fighting, firing from sea on shore. -

Oh, my dear, I received Olga Orlov, on purpose I had Olga & Anastasia in the room & all went well, but when I got up she begged to speak to me along, & then went off about her husband & what I had against him & that she hoped I did not believe all the calumnies spread against him etc. I was sorry for the woman, but it was horribly painful, as I could not offend nor hurt her - I got through somehow, but I dont think she went away any the wiser - I was kind & calm, did not fib - well I wont bother you with the talk & thank God its over-one has so to pick out ones words, that they should not be turned against one afterwards. -

The Russian motor sanitary detachment of Verolas wh. is under my protection, worked splendidly in France, a while ago I got the telegrams from him & Mme Isvolsky & today I read a description in the "Novoye Vremya" - the one motor got holes. -

Then I saw Prince Gelovani to speak about Eupatoria wh. he looked after for me. Now he goes for 10 days to his family to the Caucasus & then straight to the regiment. He is delighted the Css. Worontzov has been taken away as the harm she did was very great. About the Zemstvo he is very contented & says its obligatory to be arranged as they must see to the state of the roads & railways & so on; - he is such a nice, cosy man, with his amusing Russian.

Poor Petrovsky sat for nearly an hour with me & we talked over the question of his divorce without end all so complicated. -

A week to-day that -you left us- but it seems much longer & I have such a yearning for you my two Darlings. -

Wont you have a lot to tell us!

I continue receiving daily, my heart is still enlarged so do not go out & miss my hospital, but I want to get decent for your return.

Olga looks better and less tired, I find, -

Well Deary, I saw Kniazhevitch & found him looking very well, fresh, good look in the eyes & nothing about him like last year. Feels well, so of course I could not say anything. He leaves at the same time as this letter for the Headquarters, Alexeiev told him to be there on the 14th, well he will be already the 13-th. He has good complexion his wife finds him also quite alright - So! I really do not know what you will think to do with him - perhaps it was a momentary weakness - I should not personally listen to Erdeli, as he is not famous & a jealous nature - Georgi heard such strange things too - but you will see he is just now looking flourishing & bright too. - He thinks, that perhaps Arseniev may receive our brigade, that w o u l d be lovely. -

Goodbye, Beloved, God bless & protect you.

I cover your sweet face with kisses and tender caresses

Ever, Huzy love, yr. very own wify


How is the old man Fred.

In town one grumbles again so awfully against dear old Goremykin so despairing. To-morrow Gregory sees old Khvostov & then I see him in the evening - He wants to tell his impression, if a worthy successor to Goremykin, old Khvostov receives him like a petitioner in the ministery.

No. 156

Tsarskoie Selo, Nov, 12-th 1915

My own beloved Nicky dear,

Is this the last letter to you, I wonder. One says the "Erivantsi" are preparing for the 17-th when you go to see them - the guard awaits you too - you arrive only this evening at the Headquarters so, that it seems to me impossible you should leave the 13th - besides Bark awaits you at Moghilev, and for sure heaps of work.

In case therefore if we do not see each other the 14-th, I send you my very, very tenderest loving thoughts & wishes & endless thanks for the intense happiness & love you have given me these 21 years - oh, Darling, it is difficult to be happier than we have been, & it has given one strength to bear much sorrow. May our children be as richly blessed - with anguish I think of their future - so unknown!

Well, all must be placed into God's hands with trust & faith. - Life is a riddle, the future hidden behind a curtain, & when I look at our big Olga, my heart fills with emotions and wondering as to what is in store for her, what will her lot be.

Now about affairs again. Groten suddenly turned up, he bid his regiment goodbye & was touched to tears by their kindness & the regimental farewell. He went to the Headquarters presented himself to General Konazarovsky, who did not receive him over amiably & said he could not tell him anything as you were away. He, the stupid, left again for the country instead of patiently awaiting yr. return. He is perfectly well & can serve - wonder what brigade he will get? As regiment I believe the Horse Grenadiers are free, my fat Toll, I fancy, receives the Pavlogradtsi (not a beauty, but one says thorough). - Does Dobriazin get a brigade? Kussov waits for a regiment - The "Severtsi" are free too, I believe. Heaps of questions, you see - But get work for Groten, he is young & strong & its no good his sitting in the country in the reserves.

I sleep abominably, get off only after 3, and this night after 5 -- so dull. Heart still enlarged. - Ania walked on her crutches guided by Zhuk. from Feodorov hospital through our garden to Znamenia, of course far to much, already twice, & now feels very tired. -

I received again yesterday, to-day I have Rostovzev & I read already a fat report of his this morning. At midnight I got yr. telegram yesterday about Kherson and Nikolaiev - it took 4 hours coming & I was beginning to get anxious without any news.

It will seem strange to live in a house again, I am sure, after your long roaming about. -

Fancy, Olga Orlova telephoned to her friend Emma (she has broken with Nini for her finding Voyeikov at fault in everything), that she had seen me & not spoken a word about her affairs - such a lie! And when she gave her word of honour to me she had never said anything against me, the old Css. says she did speak against me, & he said nasty insinuations at Livadia against me to his friend Emma & she, Olga Orlova says he never did, nor wld. try to harm a Woman's reputation - one nest of lies - don't touch me, because I know both be liars, only I hate words of honour when one does not know how to answer. -

Now my sweetest love, I must end my scrawl. Let me know about when to expect you. God bless and protect, guard & guide you. -

I kiss you with deepest tenderness and boundless love & devotion, & long to rest my weary head upon yr. breast. -

Ever, Huzy mine, yr. very own old


P. S.

Darling, I forgot to speak about Pitirim, the metropolitan of Georgia - all the papers are full of his departure fr. the Caucasus & how greatly he was beloved there - I send you one of the cuttings to give you an idea of the love & gratitude one bears him there. Shows that he is a worthy man, and a great Worshipper, as our Friend says. He foresees Volzhin's fright & that he will try to dissuade you, but begs you to be firm, as he is the only suitable man. To replace him He has nobody to recommend, unless the one who was at Bielovezh, I suppose thats the Grodno one? A good man he says - only not S. F. or A. V. Hermogen, they would spoil all with their spirit there. -

Old Vladimir already speaks with sorrow, that he is sure to be named to Kiev - so it would be good you did it as soon as you come, to prevent talks & beggings fr. Ella etc.

Then Zhivakhov he begs you straight to nominate as help to Volzhin, he is older than Istomin so age means nothing & knows the Church affairs to perfection - its your will & you are master. -

There, that was a long post scriptom. -


No. 157

Tsarskoie Selo, Nov. 13-th 1915

My own beloved Husband,

21 years that we are 1 sweet Angel, I thank you once more for all you gave me these long years, wh. have passed like a dream - much joy and sorrow we have shared together, & love ever increased in depth and longing.

Last year, I think, we were neither together; on that day you had left for the Headquarters & Caucasus? Or no, you were with us at Anitchkov? All is so mudled up in my brain. Congratulate you with Motherdear's birthday - our Olga's Christening day. I shall choose a present & the children can take it to-morrow. -

I was to have gone to Paul to-day, but my heart being more enlarged it would have been unwise. I have asked Botkin to find out the exact truth fr. I always fear cancer & the french Drs. some years ago thought, that beginning of cancer. By telephone one told me that Tchigaiev is opinion as Varavka & that to-morrow he is to be looked at through Rontgen rays - now that shows, that they think there is something wh. might appear, because to be fed every 2 hours & decrease in weight shows that things are bad.

Our Friend entreats there should be no operation, as he says Pauls organism is like that of a wee childs - & Feodorov then told me, that he would not like an operation, fearing for Paul's heart. Now if it is cancer in the liver, then one never, I believe, operates - in any case I fear he is a doomed man, so why shorten his days & he does not often suffer.

I only think they ought to let little Marie know how bad he is, as the Child is devoted to him & might have cheered him up. The Prss. (Palei) continues her long walks twice daily to become thin, & I do not think realises how seriously ill poor Paul is.

I see Bezobrazov to-day.

What are you going to do now, you will have to think of another man now instead of Paul, as were he to recover, in any case there would be no question, alas, of his serving at the war. Remember to nominate Groten somewhere..

Well, I saw our Friend from 5 1/2 - 7 yesterday at Anias. He cannot bear the idea of the. old man being sent away, has been worrying & thinking over that question without end. Says he is so very wise & when others make A row & say he sits ramoli with his head down - it is because h e understands that to-day the crowd howls, to-morrow rejoices, that one need not be crushed by the changing waves. He thinks better to wait, according to God one ought not to send him away.

Of course if you could have turned up for a few words, quite unexpected at the Duma (as you had thought to) that might change everything & be a splendid deed & it wld. later be easier for the old man - otherwise better he should be ill a few days before so as not to personally open the Duma not to be hissed, but he thinks better to wait until you return, and when I said I should, it was a weight lifted fr. his mind - & I know you think so too.

He saw the old tail, very dry & hard, but honest, but not to be compared with Goremykin - one good thing that he is devoted to the old man - but is obstinate. -

Emma saw him afterwards & like a child poured her whole heart out to him. - He thinks Greece wont move & Roumania neither, then the war will last shorter - He hopes not more than to spring. - Would to God it were true!

Do you know a Count Tatistchev from Moscou (banks) ? - I think a son (or nephew) of the old General a.d.c., a most devoted man to you, says you know him. Likes Gregory much, disapproves of the Moscou nobility to wh. he belongs - is an older man already. Came to Ania to talk, sees very clearly the faults Bark made, about the loan I believe & the fatal results it may have.. our Friend says he is a man to be trusted, very rich & knows the bank world very well would be good, if you could have seen him & heard his opinion - says he is most sympathetic. I can make his acquaintance, only my brain I am sure would never grasp money affairs - I do dislike them so.

But he might put things clearly to you, & help you advise.

Just this moment got Mr. Gillard's letter of the 8-th describing the day at Odessa -that was nice that you rode & Baby drove with the old man - he wired home enchanted too.

I shall have a mass to-morrow in the house at 12 1/2 for Olgas & me, the others will go for 11 oclock to Anitchkov.

Now I must end.

Goodbye & God bless you, my Treasure. Live through these days 21 years ago with tender, grateful love, I kiss you without end in deepest love & devotion caressing you gently. I bless you & commend you to our Lords' care & the Holy Virgin's love.

Ever yr. very own old Wify.

Will Bezobrazov take Dmitri? If my Commander General Vesselovsky receives a brigade, please, let his successor be Sergeiev, he is the eldest in the reg. & commanded when Vesselovsky was wounded.

No. 158

Tsarskoie Selo, Nov. 14-th 1915

My own sweet Treasure,

Every loving thoughts and prayer are with you, all my love and caresses. So sad to spend this day apart, but what is to be, done, we cart only thank God for the past and that up to now we spent that day always together. Foolish old wify cried a lot this night. - A bright morning, the sun rose beautifully behind the kitchen, 10 degrees of frost - a pitty the snow has all melted. - Once more, Huzy mine, thank you for all during these 21 years! What a lot you have to do for sure now after your journey __ wonder how you spend this day! Is Baby-kins not too tired from all the walking? Mr. Gillard's letters are so interesting, as he relates about all you saw - and what splendid French, it makes me quite jealous. - I am sending off the 3 youngest girls with Mme Zizi to Church and lunch to Anitchkov and Nastinka also meets them there. The rest of us will have a Te Deum in my big room at 121/2, 1 have not been to mass since you left and it makes me so sad. -

I am so glad, that you have named Naumov definitely and am full of hopes, that he will be the right man - he always pleased me, I like his frank eyes and he always spoke enthusiastically and eager about his govern, ment's and all the work to be done, and went into all the details, so it details, so it

is knowledge he has gained personally by work. Bezobrazov came to me yesterday and we had a nice talk - you saved him as he says. - Then the Dr. of my train, who brought poor Eshapar's body, presented himself to give me all the details, and then a wounded officer returning to his Siberian regiment No. 13, wh. you must have seen near Riga. Slept badly, again heart still enlarged and head rather aches, still shall have to go to Pauls, as he begged to see me. I asked Ania to invite Rita and Shah Bagov and Kikinadze and Danelkov for the Children at 41/2, to spend a cosy afternoon, as they dont go to the hospital to-day and would have missed their friends. - I wonder how Shvedov is, he fell ill again at the Headquarters - A. wired to Zborovsky on his namesday, asking about Shurik, but got no answer - perhaps private telegrams are not let through.

Its quite strange to see the sun again after these dark days, such a consolation.

My letter is dull and must now come to an end. God bless and protect you, my very own Darling, my Beloved, my One and All. I cover you with tender kisses and hold you tightly in my yearning arms.

Ever yr. very own old


No. 159.

My own Beloved,

Tsarskoie Selo, Nov. 15-th 1915

Heart and soul were overjoyed to receive your dear letter, and I thank you for it ever so tenderly. Everything you wrote was most interesting and did one good to see how contented and well pleased you are with the state of the troops you inspected. Can imagine the wild joy of your "Nizhegorodtzi" and all the rest scampering after you - their dream fulfilled, to see you during the war!-

And perhaps you will be home on Wednesday, oh wont that be too lovely, after 3 long weeks. I have never been separated so long from Agoowee one - now it seems already such ages. -

Now, before I forget, I must give you over a message from our Friend, prompted by what He saw in the night. He begs you to order that one should advance near Riga, says it is necessary, otherwise the Germans will settle down so firmly through all the winter, that it will cost endless bloodshed and trouble to make them move - now it will take them so aback, that we shall succeed in making them retrace their steps - he says this is just now the most essential thing and begs you seriously to order ours to advance, he says we can and we must, and I was to write it to you at once. -

Then from Khvostov. He says Trepov is very much against the revision you ordered Neidhardt to do, and does not wish him to mix in his affairs, but Khvostov begs you to stick to yr. order and insists upon it, because the wellthinkers and in the Duma too are delighted, as they see that will save the situation and clear much up. Khvostov read delighted telegr. about it and that will touch different commissions, entre autre Gutchkov will be shown up, and its absurd Trepov being against it. I have a paper (copy) of Shakhovskoy's begging Khvostov to take energetic measures otherwise he cannot guarantee for the result - Trepov ought to be glad - no fault touches him as he is new and is also trying his best. Khvostov thinks it wld. be very advisable if you had the pay of the railroad men augmented, as with the post, the result was glorious gratitude towards you, boundless, a stop to strikes - given by you personally before they had time to ask for it. He came on purpose to dine with Ania and Beletzky, to-night, so as that I should write this for you to read before Trepov's report on Monday. - Lovy, you wrote me that the railway line to Reni is old and rotten, please order it categorically to be at once improved to avoid accidents, as our sanitary trains, amunitions, provisions and troops will need it. Cannot you quickly have small lines branching off laid, to facilitate the communication, as we sorely need more lines there, otherwise our communication will stick, and that can be awful during winter battles. This I write of my own accord, because I feel sure it could be done and you know, alas, how very little iniative our people have - they never look a head until the catastrophe comes suddenly right upon us and we are taken unaware. Several short branches towards the Roumanian frontier and Austria, have sleepers for broad gages prepared beforehand, you remember what trouble it was to reach Lemberg.

I was at Paul's, he lay in their bedroom, is allowed to move about in the room and sit a bit on the armchair - terribly thin, but not those dark spots on his cheeks I disliked, voice stronger, talkative, interested in every thing. I begged him to put off having Roentgen photo taken till Feodorov returns, as Dmitri wired Feodorov begged it - she hurrys things too much. He puts all his trust in Feodorov and leaves it to him to decide about the operation, he of course hates the idea, but if Feodorov insists, of course he will do it; I should not risk it. - I felt rotten all day with my heart. Received my Toll (lancer), who gets a regiment, one says yr. Pavlograd Hussars but he does not know for sure. Samoilov is also a candidate for a regiment and Arseniev for our brigade. - Paul imagines he will be well enough to go, she says I told her I doubted it, I did not speak reassuringly when we were alone, as she was so cool about it and eyes so hard. You know its strange, the eve before he fell ill, he had a discussion with Georgi at the Headquarters about our Friend. Georgi said the family call him a follower of Rasputin, where upon Paul got furious and said very strong things - and fell ill that night. Her niece heard this from her - told it to Gregory, who said, that no doubt God sent it him because he ought to have stood up for a man you respect and his soul ought to have remembered that he received everything fr, you and brought a letter fr. his wife she had asked Gregory to write to me begging for them. - Our Friend was struck by this. - It was a sad day without -you- Sonia and Irina lunched, Olga fed Sonia and I lay as usual on the sopha. Your letters were then brought to me and I have reread them more than once since and kissed them tenderly your sweet hands rested on the paper and Baby's too. -

Good old Rauchfuss died yesterday morning, a great loss for my society "Mothers' and Infants" as his head was marvelously fresh for his great age. -

Botkin is not well, so can't come this morning. - Ania manages to walk half an hour on crutches through our garden - how strong she is, tho' complains at being a cripple - nearly daily shaken by motor to town, climbs up to the 3rd story to see our Friend - her back aches especially in the evening. But I feel its the hope of meeting you in the mornings that gives her the strength to walk. - Zhuk accompanies her now again, as it wld. be dangerous her going alone, she might fall and then, the Drs said, she wld. be sure to rebrake her leg. - Her brother returned for 6 days. -

Mavra is going to the country as she feels her nerves so shaken and cant sleep a bit, poor thing. Tatiana has gone to the Caucasus for the 6 months of her husband's death and then returns again from Mskhed.

The old man is coming to me to-day, but I don't know why. Such glorious sunshine! Remember about Riga!

And now goodbye and God bless you my sweetest husband, love of my soul..

Endless kisses fr. yr. own wife

Alix. Went to sleep after 4. -

No. 160

My own beloved Darling,

Tsarskoie Selo, Nov. 15-th 1915

I began my letter already to-day, but I saw old Goremykin just now & am so afraid of forgetting what I am to give over, by to-morrow. - He was to have a sitting of all the ministers this evening, but had to put it off as you sent for Trepov - he will have them Wednesday evening & begs to see you on Thursday. He is perfectly calm for the interior quiet, says nothing will be. The young ministers, Khvostov & Shakhovskoy he finds get a bit excited before anything is the matter, to wh. I answered better foresee things than sleep, as one generally does here. -

Well, its the question about calling the Duma together now - he is against it. They have no work to do, the budget of the minister of Finances has been presented 5 to 6 days late & they have not begun the preliminary works, wh. are needed before giving it over to the whole Duma. If they sit idle, they will begin talks about Varnava & our Friend & mix into governmental questions, to wh. they have not the right. (now Khvostov & Beletzky zky told Ania, that the man who intended speaking against Gregory has taken back his paper & they say that subject won't be touched) - well, this is the old man's council after long consideration & yesterdays talk with a member of the Duma, whose name he begged not to mention. He would advise you writing two rescripts, one to Kulomzin (I find you might change him) & the other to Rodziaako, giving as reason that the budget has not been worked through by the commissions & therefore too early to assemble the Duma, that Rodzianko is to make his report to you when they are ready with their preliminary work,

I am going to ask Ania to quite privately speak of this to our Friend, who sees & hears & "knows much", to ask what He would bless - as He thought otherwise the other day. Goremykin wants me to write all this to you before seeing you, so as to prepare you to his conversation. Always calm, only very wretched about his wife who suffers now from asthma beside all the rest & therefore can scarcely take her breath. -

From Khvostov he heard that all your orders to Polivanov or his papers to you are all shown to Gutchkov - now that cannot be stood, simply playing into yr. enemy's hands. He told me you had mentioned Ivanov to him - the same thing also our Fr., I believe, & Khvostov said - especially our Friend - then all would be perfect in the Duma & everything one needs, pass through. Bellaiev is a good worker & the old man's prestige would do the rest. And he is tired at the war - & if you have a man to replace him, perhaps it would be good now. - Then he touched other questions of less interest to you. -- But our Friend said last time, that only if we have a victory, then the Duma should not be called in, otherwise yes, that nothing will be said so bad - that the old man must be ill a few days so as not to appear there - & that you should turn up unawares & say a few words. - Well, when we meet I'll tell you what he now says.

Lovy mine, is this really the last letter, & are you coming on Wednesday? How lovely. - A. had a charming letter fr. N. P. telling all about the journey & his impressions - full of the beauty of the troops, as tho' they were fresh & never been to the war yet. - All this gives you strenght for your work & a clear mind.

16-th Goodmorning Lovy.

Cold & windy. Feel very tired after again a badish night & everything aches rather -- so have been lying with shut eyes this morning - I have a report with Senator Pr. Galitsin about our prisoners & then see Kolenkin & hereafter the 3 Austrian Sisters. -

I hope your cold has passed & that the cocain helped well. Pitty no long walks for you, with the roads covered in deep snow, - I suppose you come for barely a week if you must be back again for the St. George's feast - how will that be, I wonder.

Oh what joy, God grant, if I shall have you home again in two days - to-morrow 3 weeks that you left! Such a longing for you, my Treasure. - Well, goodbye my Love, I bless & kiss you over & over again with deepest love and tenderness,

Ever Nicky mine, yr. very own old


P. S. I reopened my letter -- she spoke to our Friend who was very sad & said, it was quite wrong, what the old man said. One must call the Duma together even for quite short, especially if you, unknown to others, turn up there it will be splendid, as you had thought before of doing - that there wont be any scandals, one wont make a row about him, Beletzky & Khvostov are seeing to that & that, if you do not call them together, it will create unneccessary displeasure & stories - I was sure He wld. answer so, & it seems to me quite right. Probably one frightened the old man that he would be whistled at, its people who were sorry personally for him - because I understand having sent them away when they did not expect it, one cannot again uselessly offend them - of course he loathes their existence (as do I for Russia). Well, one must see to their at once & quickly sitting to work over the Budget. I feel sure you also will agree to Gregory sooner than to the old man, who this time is wrong & been frightened about Gregory & Varnava.

No. 161

Tsarskoie Solo, Nov. 25-th 1915

My own precious One,

Off you will be storming when you read this note. My tenderest prayers and thoughts will as ever follow you everywhere. Thank God, I had you 7 days - but they flew by, and again the heartache begins. Take care of Baby, don't let him run about in the train, so as not to knock his arms - I trust he will be able to bend his right arm alright by Thursday. - The idea of having to let him leave you alone afterwards, makes me sad. Before you decide speak with Mr. Gillard, he is such a sensible man and knows all so well about Alexei. -

You will be glad to get away from here with all your receptions, worries and reports, - here life is no rest for you, on the contrary. -

Your tender caresses warmed up my old heart - you don't know how hard it is being, without you both Angels. - I am glad, that I shall go straight to Church from the station at 9 1/2 in the darkness and pray for you - the home coming is always so particularly painful.

Sleep well and long, my Treasure, my one and all, the light of my life!

I bless you and confide you unto God's holy care - tightly I hold you in my arms and press tender kisses upon yr. sweet face, lovely eyes and all dear places.

Goodnight, rest well,

Ever yr. very own old


No. 162

Tsarskoie Selo, Nov. 25-th 1915

My very own beloved One,

Your sweet note, you left me, is a great consolation, I read it over and over again and kiss it and think I hear you talk. Oh I hate those goodbyes! We went straight to church, upstairs, so I remained in my prayer-room - service had already begun, so lasted quite short. What pain in the soul! Came home and went to bed very soon, could not want to see A. I prefer being alone when the heart is so sore.

10 degrees this morning. Wonder how Baby's arms are - am a bit anxious until he will be quite right again - only careful in his movements. - Alek is arranging something in the People's House for to-morrow St. George's heroes. Now I can congratulate you too, my Angel, and do so with heart and soul. You deserved the cross for all yr. hard labour and for the rise in spirits you bring the troops. Regret not being with you and our little St. George's cavalier, Baby sweet, to bless and kiss you that day. -

I went to Znamenia and placed a candle for you - service was going on and they just brought out the cup. Then went to the hospital and spoke to all. We are lunching and this letter must be sent at once.

Goodbye my own precious Darling, I cover you with tender kisses.

God Almighty bless and keep you -

Ever, Huzy mine, yr. very own old


The Children kiss you. Had you an answer from Georgie. -

No. 163

Tsarskoie Selo, NOV. 26-th 1915

My own beloved Darling,

I wonder how all is going off at the Headquarters to-day, great excitement, I am sure. Hope, Baby dear's arms are much better.

Am going later to Church with Olga, last night I went alone, upstairs in my prayer-house - Church is my consolation. Stupid heart rather bothers me. - Saw Mme Poguliayev, Mme Manskovskaya, - fancy, her sister is young Khvostov's mother - he asked to see me today, I don't know why.

Our Friend dined with him yesterday & was very contented.

5 degrees & so dark. -

Ania just got a wire fr. N. P. about his nomination & that he is off to Odessa. I am awfully sorry he wont be any more with you, was so quiet for you both - we shall miss him awfully - but its a splendid nomination - but you will be so lonely! - Our Friend is in all states that leaves, as one "of his" & ought to be near you, as have few such true, honest friends as He says only Ania & N. P. wished me to telegraph to you, but I declined & begged Him neither to - I know what this means to him & his comerades, tho' he will horribly suffer leaving us, who are his nearest & dearest as he always says! -

What news from Georgie? How delighted Orlov & Drenteln will be that N. P. leaves their jealous hearts will be contented. - And 3 of yr. Players at once gone, whom can you get? Silaiev is quiet & nice & utterly devoted. Came to half of mass & Te Deum. Had a long telegr. fr. Mekk about all my flying stores - Mme Hartwigs is at Rovno - have put our camp. Church & twice daily there are services for the passing troops. The 1st disinfection unit & motors stand at Rov No. Our flying detachment of the store is 40 versts north, on the new line near the front. Then our Bacteriological disinfection unit works for all the army, another supply train at Podvolotchisk, another at Tarnopol, but he moves it to Kamenetz-Podolsk where the Bacteriological Section will have more work. I only tell -you this in case you pass any. -

Goodbye my Lovebird, the man leaves earlier. -

Blessings & kisses without end & great yearning. God bless you.

Ever yr. very own old


No. 164

Tsarskoie Selo, Nov. 27-th 1915

My very own Huzy, I am glad everything went off so well yesterday - Georgi telegraphed that it had been one of the finest sights he had ever seen in his life. How emotioning. One says it was splendid at the "People's House" - greatest order - 18,000 men - sat together according to the wars - got heaps of food & were allowed to take their plates & mugs home.

In each hall their was a Te Deum - Valia was there.

I spend yesterday afternoon reading, the Children were out & Ania only returned from town at 4.20 -- but I liked the calm, only the air in my big room was stiffling they let on the hot air - & out of doors the glass on 1 of warmth. So after tea & having seen officers, I sledged for half an hour with Olga - it was mild & snowing.

This morning there are 10 degrees - those ups & downs are so bad for the ill.

A. dined with us - all worked, even she at last, then they sang churchsongs & Olga played. Khvostov did not come yesterday as he felt unwell.

My letters are dull, I have nothing interesting to tell you, & the thoughts -are not gay - its lonely without Sweetheart & agooweeone.

I feel my heart enlarged, but still I want to go to our lower Church, as little Metropolitan Makari is going to serve, simple, without pomp - its the feast of Znamenia. So in the afternoon I hope to go in & place a candle for you & I believe our Friend wants to see me at 4 -

Just back from Church, little Metropolitan served beautifully, so quietly - looked a picture, all gold, glittering, & the golden Church round the Altar & his silver hair. I went away before the Te Deum, Olga to the hospital, & I to finish my letters, receive Isa & then Valia before luncheon, - Goodbye my Angel sweet, my Treasure, my Lovebird. God bless & protect you - 1000 of kisses, Nicky love, fr. yr. old wife


Any idea about your plans? -

I sent for Joy & he lies at my feet - a melancholy picture, as he misses his little master.

No. 165

Tsarskoie Selo, Nov. 28th 1915

Darling Sweetheart,

Ever such very tender thanks for yr. dear letter, wh. I never expected. I am delighted that the St. George's feast was so splendid - I just read the description and all yr. lovely words in the papers. Fancy Navruzov, my Hooligan as I always call him, and Krat. having been there, that is nice. Well, yr. 2 Nizhegorodtzi must tell us about it - we shall eagerly await them.

I saw our Friend for 3/4 of an hour - asked much after you, goes to-day to see the old man. Spoke about N. P., regrets terribly he wont be near you, but that God will protect him and that after the war (wh. he always thinks will be over in a few months) he must come back to you again. -

Please dear dont let Spiridovitch be named as Chief of police in Petrograd - I know he and Voyeikov (whom Spiridovitch, sorry to say, holds in hands) want to place him there. It wld. never do, he is not enough gentleman, has now made a useless marriage and then on account of Stolypin's story at Kiev, it would not be good.

One proposed him to be governor at Astrakhan (yes?) and he refused, - and one thing more, why I do not know, but Spiridovitch puts Voyeikov up against Khvostov, with whom everything went so well at first. Now one must get Trepov to work in harmony with Khvostov its the only way of setting things to rights and making work go smoothely,

The dear little Metropolitan Makari came to me after luncheon and was sweet. Loman had feasted him and all the clergy - Ania and Mme Loman were there too. - Then I saw two German sisters; Countess Uxkull had been to Wolfsgarten before coming, but she is still going to visit more places; the other is from Mecklenburg - she asked me whether one could not let home to Germany old men and children fr. Siberia, whom ours transported there fr. Eeast Prussia, when our troops were there. Does it concern Beliaiev or Khvostov? I should say, the latter. - Can you tell me as then I can ask about it- --- off course only the quite old men and tiny children - she saw them in Siberia, Samara. - I went to Znamenia and placed a candle for you. Then I got Loman so as to speak about a wee camp. Church, I want to send to the Marine of the Guard as our priest is with them. I am remaining quiet this morning, as don't feel very famous. - One of our wounded officers died last night - yesterday he was operated - he was several times at death's door - I used to go to him in the evenings when ,he was so bad but I think he never could have recovered - his soldier is an Angel. -

This evening Shavelsky officiates in our Church. In the evening Nik. Dm. Dem. and Victor Erastov. come to Ania's at. 9, to say goodbye to the latter; so sad we shant see Shvedov before he leaves. - All ones dear friends go off at the same time to the war!

11 degr. of frost and thick snow.

I am sending you a paper of Rostovtzev, I think it concerns Alexeiev and can be quicker done through you, if you agree -- I saw the wretched officer and yr. Mama too. -

Ortipo is lying on my bed and sleeping fast.

I have sent your letter to Malcolm to give over to Georgie - he leaves to-morrow. -

Now my sweetest One, my sorely missed and deeply yearned for Huzy, Goodbye and God bless - and protect you. Endless tender kisses do I press upon yr. sweet lips and beloved eyes.

Ever yr. very own old


No. 166

Tsarskoie Selo, Nov. 29th 1915

My own beloved Sweetheart,

Only the 5th day since you left, and it seems already such ages. Dark, snowing 11 degr.; last night 16. - yesterday evening Shavelsky served, it was so nice and I like his voice. He is kindly going to take two Communion Cloths with him, as I am sending the Marine of the Guard and 4 rifles camp Churches for the 6th. -

Marie P. came to tea - looked really pretty when she took off her scarf, her short hair had been curled. She has greatly improved and becoming so different to what she was before. To-day she returns again to Pskov, but does not know when Dmitri leaves. In the evening we went to Anias and there were besides us, Demenko and Zborovsky. It seems Alexei Konstantinovitch has also come, so shall see him before his departure for the war. This morning Bulpa comes to bid us good bye; - Pss. Lolo D. lunches with us and after I see Sandra Shuvalova with her Report. -

Every day somebody to receive and affairs and nothing interesting to tell you.

My jaw has jumped out and I eat with difficulty. I enclose a letter fr. A., perhaps you will in your wire say I am to thank her and for the present. Beloved one, I do wish yr. letter had come, now the man is always late. I bless you over and over again my one and all and kiss you with all fervour of my love

Ever, Nicky mine, yr. very own old


No. 167

Tsarskoie Selo, Nov. 29 1915

Sweet Beloved,

I begin my letter already to-day, so as to thank you ever so fondly for yours, wh. I just received, That is nice, that you will spend your namesday with the troops, tho' sad we cannot be together, am glad you will spend that big feastday in yr. army and may St. Nicolas send special blessings to all and help. - I don't like Georgie's answer, to my mind its quite wrong. -

How interesting you saw K. Krutchkov; its snowing so hard, A's train left an hour late from here and took a whole hour to town, she fears sticking on her way back. Ira, Larka and Sandra leave tonight for Alupka as the old Count had a stroke. She has four St. George's medals. It looks so strange on a smart dress. Mme Orjewsky is going to propose to your Mama that one should send her to see the prisoners here, wh. I find perfect, as there arc things one must see into. Our government gives enough money for food but it seems its not given as ought to be, I fear, dishonest people keep it back and that wont do; I am glad she and I had the same idea - I have no right to mix in, and she can advise. Thank God, Baby is better, so I hope he will get through the journey alright, - Does Drenteln take over the regiment now, or how is he arranging?

I have got a fly buzzing round my lamp, reminds one of summer; but the wind is howling down the chimney. Oh sweet Love, I long for you so terribly - thank God you have Sunbeam to keep your heart warm. - What do you do in the evenings, have you anyone for domino?

Navruzov and Chavtchavadze took tea cosily with us - it was awfully nice seeing them again after so many months and to get news of you both. You see us 5 taking tea with 2 officers, but with them it seems somehow so natural. They also are enchanted that Vorontzov left the Caucasus. - I am sending Grabbe on Tuesday 170 Images, 170 little books, 200 ordinary store post-cards, 170 packets for officers - to Zborovsky and Shvedov I shall give the things myself. And then a small Image of St. Nicolas for the company, you can bless them with it, Deary. Well, our Friend was with the old man who listened to him very ,,attentively, but was most obstinate. He intends asking you not at ..all to call the Duma together (he loathes it) - and Gregory told him it was not right to. ask such a thing of you, as now- all are willing to try and work and as soon as their preliminary work is ready it would be wrong not to call, them together - one must show them a little confidence.

Nov. 30th

I am lunching and writing. At to I went to the memorial liturgy for our officer, the children came for the Requiem. Then sat in the hospital, Navruzov turned up, he leaves tonight again for Armavir. Ravtopolo turned, up, looks flourishing!

Its 2 of warmth and pouring. The guard officers heard that the promotion did not count for them.

Do you return straight to the Headquarters or over Minsk? The Erivantsi were asking. Melik Adamov turned up fr. Eupatoria.

Have to receive and so must end and swallow my food.

I bless and kiss you over and over again with unending deep devotion.

Ever, Sweetheart, yr. very own old yr. very own old



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