No. 109

Tsarskoie Selo, Sept. 1-st 1915

My own sweet Nicky dear,

Grey and dark & I am. writing by lamp light, Slept badly. - Looked through the papers - what terrible hard work for our troups, such concentrated strength against us but God will help on. It is pleasure to read how much clearer better the news is written now & it strikes all - it explains everything easier. - is the Duma being closed? Every day articles, that its impossible one will send it away when so much needed etc, but you see the papers too - high time 2 weeks ago to have closed it. -

But they do go on persecuting the German names, Stcherbatov, who told me he would be just and not harm them, now bows down to the wishes of the Duma, clears away all German names, - poor Gilhen hunted away one, two, three from Bessarabia, he came crying to old Mme Orlov. Really be is a mad coward - all those honest people, completely Russian besides - kicked out - why, Lovy, did you give the sanction?

Change him quicker, one only gains enemies instead of loyal subjects - the mess he makes in a day will take years to correct. A. got a charming telegram from Kussov intensely happy having heard the news about you. - She saw Bezak at Nini's, & he spoke splendidly, enchanted that Dg. Orl. & Nik. have left & Nikolai agrees too, says it right & left, & spoke so well about Goremykin, - One says the prorogation of the Duma till Oct. 15, pitty date is fixed so early again , but thank goodness it now dispersed - only one must work firmly now to prevent them doing harm when they return. The press must really be taken better in hand - they intend launching forth things soon against Ania - that means me again, our Friend was for me too, so A. sent a letter she received to Voielkov to-day, that he must insist Frolov should forbid any articles about our Friend or A. being written, they have the military power & its easy for them Voieik. must take it upon himself, yr. name has not got to be mentioned in his place, V. has to guard our lives & anything that harms us, & these articles are against us; nothing at all to be afraid of, only very energetic measures must be taken - you have shown yr . will & no slacking in any direction - once begun its easy to continue. -

The operation went off well & then I did some dressing. Little Ivan Orlov was very interesting, he has 3 St. George's crosses is presented to the officers cross & has St. Stanislav with Swords. He was a little contusioned & two men killed, bombs were thrown on his mashene, when it was as on the ground. He has come for another. Throws bombs & arrows & Papers warning them. - Kniazhevitch came for a few days -- looks well. -

Then we drove, became sunny & nice. Met Baby in Pavlovsk park in his big motor with the boys. -

Thats nice Kirill is now too at the H.-Q., can have good talks with him. Egg him on to get rid of Nic. Vass.

I shall go with the big girls to town to-morrow to see our wounded, who returned from Germany, & then to tea to Elagin, & hope to place a candle at the Saviour Church for your. - We were yesterday evening at Anias to see Shourik & Yusik. - I have nothing interesting to tell you my Sweetheart. God bless & protect you & help you in your very hard work & send force & success to our troops. A thousand kisses, Nicky mine, fr. yr. very own deeply loving old

Wify.

Our Friend is in despair his boy has to go to the war, - the only boy, who looks after all when he is away. -

Fat Orlov says he has been told not to leave before you return & he still hopes to remain. - His amour propre is hideously wounded forgets all he has said & done no doubt, & all his dirty money affairs. Zinaida one says rages, that the 3 have left, & in the next room Papa Felix tells Bezak he is delighted they have gone. -

Tell the old man I saw his wife & 2 daughters at the door & they look well & have left for Siverskaia. -


No. 110

Tsarskoie Selo, September 2-nd 1915

My Own beloved One,

Such a glorious sunny morning, both windows were wide open all-the night & now too. I have new ink now, it seems the other is at an end now, it was not Russian. - It always grieves me to see how bad things one makes here, all comes from abroad, the very simplest things, as nails for instance, wool for knitting, knitting needles in metal & any amount of necessary things. God grant, that after this terrible war is ended, one can get the fabrics to make leather things, & prepare the fur themselves - such an immense country dependant upon others. Young Derfelden (the brother of the G. a cheval you know), Paul's son in law returned with G. Kaufmann; the administration sent from France, he says, was without the key, so that they are no good & must be arranged here, wh. will take very long, the French say we must do it, - the boy wired to France & got that answer. Sandro wrote such a contented letter to Olga after having seen you on his first report with you. Was at first too anxious & I think against you taking over the command & now sees with other eyes. N. P. wrote a charming letter to A. & it was agreable to see how he has grasped all, as one has frightened him too, tho' he held his tongue till now about it, he marveled at you having gone, against everybody & it has proved itself you were wise & right, his spirits are up again. Certainly being away fr. Petr. & Moscou is the best thing, pure air, other scenery, no vile gossip. - In town one says you return on Saturday? - We go to town (an aeroplane is passing, for the first time in the morning) - I want to see our poor fellows who came back from Germany & then we take tea at Elagin at 4 1/2.

One says Paul keeps to his room & is in an awfull state. His boy leaves & only longs to be with you or in the army, & now is frightened you will sent for him & he is just feeling ill, so his humour is most depressing. I thought I would look in & cheer him up, only I wish I had some sort of an answer for him. The photos Hahn did of Baby were not successes, & the idiot did him sitting on the Balkony as tho' he had a bad leg, I have forbidden it to be sold & shall have him done again. Lovebird, good news again, thank God. One terrible hard fighting, they push on, but constantly beaten back again. - Now the members of the Duma. want to meet in Moscow to talk over everything when their work here is closed - one ought energetically to forbid it, it will only bring great troubles. - If they do that one ought to say, that the Duma will then not be reopened till much later threaten them, as they try to the ministers & the gouvernement. Moscow will be worse than here, one must be severe oh, could one not hang Gatchkov?

You can not imagine what a joyful surprise it was to receive your sweet letter. I perfectly well understand how difficult it is for you to find time for writing therefore it touches me deeply, Sweetheart. That is a name Piltz! -but at least the mushrooms are agreable to eat. Now I understand you find Moghilev alright & that it does not disturb there. just got your wire.

Thank God, news on the whole better, one feels so anxious their trying to cut off Vilna, but perhaps we can catch them in a trap, & then Baranovitchi - strange towards that place now - there too military people think in two weeks time it will be better. With much skill Kniazevitch finds the losses might be less, as where the heavy firing goes on, one must quickly go under their range, as they are for great distances & cannot change quickly. The mans now are of a far less good cathegory. We just met a train going out & they wave their caps to us as we waved to them. Those heavy losses are hard - but theirs are yet worse.

Of course, you are more needed there now & Motherdear understands it perfectly. Its good you get out of an afternoon. We had divine weather to-day, like summer. I went with A. in my droshka to the cemetry, as I wanted to put flowers on the grave of the Georg. officers, who died 6 months ago to-day in the big palace - & then took her to Orlov's grave, where she has not been since her accident. Then to Znamenia I remained through half a mass & then to our hospital, where I sat with our wounded. Luncheon on the balkony, then Baby was photographed on the grass. Then at 21/2 off to town to the Hospital of Hel. P to see our prisoners back from Germany & Austria - the last arrived this month. Your Mamma had been there this morning. We saw several hundreds & 40 from another hospital, because they cried so she had not seen them. They did not look too bad on the whole, several poor blinds, lots without legs & arms -- one with galloping consumption , alas; & the joy to be back. - I told them I should write to you, that I had seen them. Then to Elagin - Feodor has grown so thin, that I at first took him for Andriusha & very weak. Irina is in bed in the Crimea, also ill with the stomack. - Motherdear looks well, Xenia fidgets, knowing the children not well & separated. Feodor, Nikita, Rostislav and Vassia are here, the other three in the Crimea. - I do wish Yussupov wld. go back to Moskow, Zinaida I beleive keeps him from fright. - Masses of movement in town, one gets quite giddy. I feel tired. At Elagin, our runner & your Mama's (ex sailor) carried me up on their hands. - Lovely air, window wide open. We always dine in the play room, but to-day I prefer remaining down as am tired & limbs ache. Think incessantly of you my Angel, pray heart & soul for you & miss you more than I can say - but happy you are out there & know at last all. -

Now goodbye, Lovy mine, the man must leave. God bless & protect you I kiss every dear spot over & over again & hold you tight in my arms.

Ever your own very own wify

Alice.

I receive Kulomsin, Ignatiev to-morrow & your Eristov lunches with us. - Dona received our 3 Russian nurses & Motherdear said she would not the Germans & now she feels, she must & fears being rude to them. Miechen & Mara could not in consequence, but then they too will. Now, if they ask me, what shall I answer. Every kindness shown them will make them sooner ready to be kind to ours & they would never understand , if I dont see them. if they ask; - & here one will no doubt rage against me. The red cross nurses make a difference, it seems to me. What do you think, tell me Sweetheart, please; I find, I might, as they are women, & I know Ernie will or Onor see ours, & Grd. Dchs. of Baden for sure. -

How this new ink stinks, shall scent the letter again.


No. 111

Tsarskoie Selo, Sept. 3-rd 1915

My own beloved Nicky dear,

Grey weather. Looking through the papers I saw that Litke has been killed - how sad, he was one of the last who had not once been wounded, & such a good officer. Dear me, what losses, ones heart bleeds - but our Friend says they are torches burning before God's throne, & that is lovely. A beautiful death for Sovereign & country. One must not think too much about that, otherwise it too heartrending. - Paul's Boy left yesterday evening after having taken Holy Communion in the morning. Now her both sons are in the war, poor woman & this one is such a marvelously gifted boy.. wh. makes one more anxious he is sooner ready to be taken from this world of pain. - Wont you get Yussupov & give him instructions & send him off quicker to Moscou, its very wrong his sitting here at such a time when his presence can be needed any moment - she keeps him.

But one must have an eye on Moscou & prepare beforehand & be in harmony with the military, otherwise disorders will again arise. Stcherbatchev being a nullity, not to say worse, wont help when disorders occur, I am sure.. Only quicker to get rid of him & for you to get a look a Khvostov, whether he would suit you, or Neidhardt. - (who is such a pedant).

Thank God, you continue feeling energetic - let one feel it in everything & in all yr. orders here in this horrid rear. - We take tea at Miechens.

Here are the names of Maia Plaoutin's sons - she entreats to get news of them - can somebody in yr. staff, or Drenteln try to find out their whereabouts?

Well, I placed my candles as usual, ran in to kiss A. as she was off to Peterhof then hospital, operation.

Your Eristov lunched with us, has grown older, limps a little, was wounded in the leg & lay at Kiev. Then I received Ignatiev (minister) & talked long with him about everything & gave him my opinion about all, they shall hear my opinion of them & the Duma. I spoke of the old man, of their ugly behaviour towards him, & turned to him as a former Preobr., what would one do to officers who go behind their commanders back & complain against him & hinder & wont work with him - one sends them flying - he agreed. As he is a good man I know, I launched forth & he I think understood some things more rightly afterwards. - Then I had Css. Adlerberg; after wh. we made bandages in the stores.

0, T. & I took tea at Miechen, Ducky came too, looking old, & ugly even, had a headache & felt cold & was badly coiffee. - We spoke much & they looked at things as one ought to; also angry at the fright & cowardice & that none will take any responsability upon themselves. Furious against the Nov. Vremia, finds one ought to take strong measures against Suvorin. Miechen knows that a correspondence goes on between Militza & Suvorin, make the police clear this up, it becomes treachery.

I send you a cutting about Hermogens - again Nicolasha gave orders about him, it only concerned the Synod & you - what right had he to allow him to go to Moscou - I you & Fredericks ought to wire to Samarin that you wish him to be sent straight on to Nicolo Ugretsk - as remaining with Vostorgov, they will again cook against our Friend & me. Please order Fred, to wire this.. - I hope they wont make any story to Varnava; you are Lord & Master in Russia, Autocrat remember that, -

Then I saw Gen. Shulmann of Ossovetz - his health is still not yet good, so he cannot yet go to the army. - Uncle Mekk was long with me & we talked a lot about affairs - & then about all the rest. He finds Jussupov no good. Miechen said Felix told him his Father had sent in his demission & got no answer. - -

Big strikes in town. God grant Rouzsky's order will be fulfilled energetically. - Mekk is also very much against Gutchkov - he says the other brother also talks too much.

Lovy, have that assembly in Moscou forbidden, its impossible, will be worse than the Duma & there will be endless rows. -

Another thing to think seriously about is the question of wood - there wont be any fuel & little meat & in consequence can have stories & riots.

Mekks railway gives heaps of wood to the town of Moscou, but its not enough & one does not t hink seriously enough about this. -

Forgive my bothering you Sweetheart, but I try to collect what I think may be of use to you. - Remember about Suvorin's articles wh. must be watched & damped. -

A great misfortune, one cannot get the refugees to work, they wont & thats bad, they expect one to do everything for them & give & do nothing in exchange,

Now this must go. The Image is fr. Igumen Serafim (fr. whom St. Seraphim came, wh. you held in your hand). The goodies, toffee is from Ania. - Weather grey & only 8 degr.

Lovy, please send of your suite to the different manufacturies, fabricks to inspect them - your eye - even if they do not understand much, still the people will feel you are watching them, whether they are fulfilling your orders conscientiously - please dear. -

Many a tender kiss, fervent prayer & blessing huzy mine, fr. yr. very own old

Sunny.

God will help - be firm & energetic - right & left, shake & wake all up, & smack firmly when necessary. One must not only love you, but be afraid of you, then all will go well. -

Is it true nice Dimka also goes to Tiflis - a whole suite of yours follow, thats too much, & you need him with the foreigners & for sending about. All the children kiss you. -


No. 112.

Tsarskoie Selo, Sept. 4-th 1915

My very own Sweetheart,

I have remained in bed this morning, feeling deadtired, & having slept badly. My brain continued working & talking - I had spoken so much yesterday & always upon the same subject until I became cretinized; & this morning I continued to Botkin, as its good for him & helps him put his thoughts to right, as they also did not grasp things as they were. One has to be the medicine to the muddled minds after the microbes from town She got his telegram yesterday, perhaps you will copy it out & mark the date Sept, 3-rd on the paper I gave you when you left with his telegr. written down: "Remember the promise of the meeting, this was the Lord showing the banner of victory, the children or those near to the heart should say, set us go along the ladder of the banner, our spirit has nothing to fear."

And your spirit is up so is mine & I feel enterprising & ready to talk away. It must be alright & will be - only patience & trust in God. Certainly our losses are colossal, the guard has dwindled away, but the spirits are unflinchingly brave. All that is easier to hear than the rottenness here. I know nothing about the strikes as the papers (luckily) don't say a word about them. - Ania sends her love - wont you wire to me to, "thank for letters, Image, toffe" - it would make her happy.

Aunt Olga was suddenly announced to me yesterday evening at 10 1/2 - my heart nearly stood still, I thought already one of the boys was killed - thank God it was nothing, she only wanted to know whether I knew what was going on in town & then I had to let forth again, for the fourth time in one day, & put things clearer to her, as she could not grasp some things & did not know what to believe.

She was very sweet, dear Woman. - Here is a paper for Alexeiev, you will remember the same officer asked some time ago about forming a legion; well, you will think about it - perhaps it would do no harm to form it & keep it in reserve in case of disorders or let it replace another regiment wh. might come more back as a rest. -- The legion of Letts, are you having it disbanded into other existing regiments, as you had intended & wh. would be safer in all respects & more correct.

The Children have begun their winter-lessons, Marie & Anastasia are not contented, but Baby does not mind & is ready for more, so I said the lessons were to last all 50 instead of 40 minutes, as now, thank God, he is so much stronger. All day long letters & telegrams come - but its yours I await all day with intense longing. -

I want to go to Church this evening. - Ania sends you her fondest love.. Got finer after luncheon & we drove. The girls had a concert. - So anxious for news. - Kiss you endlessly, my love & long for you. When you come, I suppose it will only be for a few days? - Have nothing interesting to tell you, alas. All my thoughts incessantly with you. Send you some flowers, cut the stalks a little, then they will last longer.

God bless you

Ever yr. very own old

Wify.

Love to Kirill & Dmitri & Boris.


No. 113

Tsarskoie Selo, Sept. 5-th 1915

My own beloved Darling,

Grey weather. Again Ivanov & S. army had success - but how hardit is to the north - but God will help, I am sure. Are we getting over more troops there? The misery of having so few railway lines! -

I have nothing of interest to tell you, was yesterday in our lower church fr. 61/2-8 & prayed much for you, my Treasure; the evening we spent knitting as usual & soon after 11 to bed. - I must get up & have my hair done before Botkin, as have sent for Rostovtsev at 10 o'clock. - Me kisses zoo. - Well I had Rostovtsev & told him we were going to town & he was to meet us at the station with Apraxin, Neidhardt, Tolstoy, Obolensky & so it was at 3 (& M. D. with the motors met us) & at the station Rostovtsev told them I wished to go & see the refugees. So we went, quite unexpectedly to different, 5 places to see them, a nighthouse wh. stands empty near the Narva gate (as people dont drink & so can find where to sleep) - & there women & children sleep in two lairs, - next a house where the men are. Many were out looking for work. Then the place they are first brought to, bathed, fed - written down & looked at by the Dr. Then another place, former chocolate fabric, where women & children sleep, all kissed my hands, but many could not speak being Letts, Poles. But they did not look too bad nor too dirty. The worst is to find them work when they have many children. There is an excellent new wooden building with large kitchen, dining passage, baths & sleeping rooms, built in 3 weeks near Packhouses & where the trains can be brought straight. - But now I am tired & cant go to Church. I wonder if you understood my telegram, written in Ella's style rather but Ania begged me do it quickly as Massalov spoke to her by telephone & said Stcherbatov would see you today. - The papers intend bringing in our Friend's name & Anias - here Stcherbatov promised Massalov that he wld. try to stop them, but as it comes fr. Moscou, he did not know how. But it m us t be forbidden; & Samarin will go on for sure such a hideous shame, & only so as to drag me in too. - Be severe. And what about Yussupov - he does not intend returning & gave in his demission the' one never does during war. Is there no capable general who might replace him? - only he must be energetic indeed. All men seem to wear peticoats now!-

Mme Zizi lunched as its her namesday - & then we talked & I explained a lot, at wh. she was most grateful, as it opened her eyes upon many unclear things. You know ramoli Fredericks told Orlov (who repeated it to Zizi) that I felt he disliked me - so he went only disculpiating himself & proving his innocence. Countess Benkendorf told Ania she was delighted he leaves & ought to have long ago, as the things he allowed himself to say were awful. - It was the kind couple Benkendorf that hinted last night to Ania that I shld. go & see the refugees, so I at once did it, as I know meant well & may help people taking more interest in those poor creatures. -

The fabrics began working again - not so in Moscou I fear. -

Kussov wrote (he gets none of Ania's letters & feels very sad we shld. have forgotten him). Is full of the news about You & he explained it all to his men. He longs to say heaps, & things you for sure don't know & wh. are not right, but he cannot risk writing frankly. - Zizi asked me who the General Borissov? is with Alexelev as she heard, he was not a good man in the Japanese war !-

I was half an hour in Church this morning & then at the hospital (without working) - there were 8 of yr. 3d Rifles fr. here wounded on the 30th - one of them, the first I have ever heard, said one longs for peace; they chattered a lot !-

Now my Sunshine, dearly beloved Angel, I kiss & bless you long for you

Ever yr. very own old

Wify.

I told Mitia Den, that you thought of sending the Suite to as many fabricks & workshops as possible, & he found it a brilliant idea & just the thing, as then all will feel your eye is every where. - Do begin sending them off & make them come with reports to you. - It will make an excellent impression & encourage them working & spur them on. - Get a list of your free Suite (without German names), Dmitri Sheremetiev as he is free. Komarov (as he spoke to you), Viazemsky, Zhilinsky, Silaiev, those who are less "able men" send to quieter & surer places; Mitia Den, Nikolai Mikhailovitch (as he is in a good frame of mind), Kirill - Baranov. But do it now Deary. - Am I boring you, then forgive me, but I must be yr. note-book. Now Miechen writes about the same man as Max & Mavra, Fritzie vouches for him not being a spy & a real Gentleman. - The papers concerning him I think lie in town at the general-staff; it was Nikolasha ordered him to be shut up. He is since beginning of the war in a real cell with a wee window, like a culprit - only let him be kept decently like any officer we have, if one wont exchange him for Costia's a. d. c. He writes to Adini that he was auf einer Studienreise durch den Kaukasus begriffen up in the mountains he heard rumours of impending war, & so he flew off on the shortest road. He reached Kovel July 20 & at the station heard of the declaration of war. The train did not continue. He announced himself as officer & begged to be permitted to pass over Sweden or Odessa; instead one took him prisoner in a cell at Kiev, where he is still now, regarding him as spy. He gives his word of honour to Adini that he "was only traveling without any ugly sidedeeds, & that he kept himself far from anything like spying". He suffers away fr. wife & children & not being able to do his duty. - He begs to be exchanged, or at least a better position. Poor Photo, if one has wrongly shut him up in a cell, the quicker one takes him out & treats him as a German officer taken as being in Russia when war was declared, that would only be decent. When Miechen enquired, one said they had (nothing?) against him, Sazonov only said that he had given out he was unmarried or on his honeymoon, in any case not correct, but that means nothing (perhaps there was a croocked novel) & when they begged again, I think Nikolasha or Yanashkevitch one answered that one did not remember why he was shut, but probably they had a reason & therefore he must remain there - that's "weak" as the children would say. - Ah, here Miechen sends me a letter of his wife to Adini. They wanted to travel & he wanted to show her Petrograd & Moscou & take a rest, after hard work & freshen up his Russian. They left beginning of July 1914 Stettin, For safety sake her husband took a diplomatic Pass (?). The last moment friends in Kurland told them not to visit them, so they spent 8 days in Petrograd & 8 in Moscou & did sightseeing. There they separated because of her bad health wh. prevented her accomp. him to friends in the Caucasus. She daily got news fr. him, & fr. Tiflis & near there he went to a H. V. Kutschenbach, who during the war was murdered with his wife. Through the german Consul at Tiflis he got a ticket to Berlin over Kalish - but only reached Kovel. - The only red cross German sister, von Passow-is his sister in law - she is now here to see the prisoners. Do have him well placed, please he can have his health for ever ruined - & Fritzy vouches for him. If you cant have him exchanged, then at least lodged & with light & good air. Excuse my writing all this, but its good you should know what Adini heard, & one cant be cruel, its not noble & after the war one must speak well of our treatment, we must show that we stand higher than they with their "kultur". -

How I bother you, am so sorry, but its hard for others & you don't persecute as Nikolasha & Yanushkevitch did mercilessly in the Baltic provinces either, & that does not harm the war nor mean peace. -

Goremykin comes to me to-morrow at 3 - tiresome hour, but is only free then. Tell N. P. that we thank him very much for his letters of thanks & - messages. God bless you, once more thousand warm, warm tender kisses Sweetheart. - Cold & raining,

My love & goodwishes to Dmitri.

My yesterday's letter I marked wrongly, it must be 344, please correct it.


No. 114.

Tsarskoie Selo, Sept. 6-th 1915

Beloved Nicky dear,

Every morning & evening I bless & then kiss your cushion & one of your Images. I always bless you whilst you sleep & I get up to draw open the curtains. Wify sleeps all alone down here, & the wind is howling melancholy to-night. How lonely you must feel, wee One. Are your rooms at least not too hideous? Cannot N. P. or Drenteln photo them? All day impatiently I await your dear telegram wh. either comes during dinner or towards 11 -

So many yellow & copper leaves, & alas also many are beginning to fall - sad autumn has already set in - the wounded feel melancholy as they cannot sit out but rarely & their limbs ache when its damp - they almost all have become barometers. We send them off as quickly as possible to the Crimea.

Taube left yesterday with several others to Yalta as a surgeon must watch his wound & my little Ivanov's too, - Ania dined with us yesterday upstairs. To-day is Isa's birthday, so I have invited her with Ania to luncheon.

Oh beloved One - 2 weeks you left, - me loves you s o intensely & I long to hold you in my arms & cover your sweet face with gentle kisses & gaze into your big beautiful eyes - now you cant prevent me from writingit, you bad boy.

When will some of our dear troops have that joy? Wont it be a recompense to see you! Navruzov wrote, he at last tried to return to his regiment after 9 months, but only got as far as Kars, his wound reopened again a fistula & he needs dressings, so once more his hopes are frustrated - but he begged Jagmin for work & he has sent him to Armavir with the young soldiers to train them & look after the youngest officers.

It is so nice to feel ones dear wounded remember one & write. Madame Zizi also often hears from those that lay in the big palace. -

Have you news from Misha? I have no idea where he is. Do get him to stop a bit with you get him quite to yourself. - N. P. writes so contented & spirits up anything better than town.

It seems Aunt Olga before coming to me had flown half wild to Paul saying the revolution has begun, there will be bloodshed, we shall all be got rid of, Paul must fly to Goremykin & so on - poor soul! To me she came already quieter & left quite calm - she & Mavra probably got a fright, the atmosphere spread there too from Petrograd, -

Grey & only 5 degrees. - The big girls have gone to Church at 9 & I go with the others at 10 l/2. - Isa has cought cold & 38 this morning, so has to keep in bed. The news is good again in the south, but they are quite close to Vilna wh. is despairing - but their forces are so colossal. - You wired you had written so I am eagerly awaiting your letter, Lovy - its sad only with telegrams in wh. one cannot give any news, but I know you have no time for writing, & when working hard to have still to sit down to a letter, thats dull & wearisome work; & you have every moment taken too Sweetheart.

I had Markozov from 6 1/4 to 8 so have to write whilst eating most interesting all he told & can be of use to abolish misunderstandings, cant write about anything of that to-night. - Old man came to me - so hard for him, ministers so rotten to him. I think they want to ask for their leave & the best thing too. -

Sazonov is the worst, cries, excites all (when it has nothing to do with him), does not come to the conseil des Ministers, wh. is an unheard of thing - Fred. ought to tell him fr. you that you have heard of it & are very displeased, I find. I call it a strike of the ministers. Then they go & speak of everything wh. is spoken of & discussed in the Council & they have no right to, makes him so angry. You ought to wire to the old man that you forbid one talking outside what is spoken of at the Council of Ministers & wh, concerns nobody. There are things that can & wh. are known later, but not everything. -

If in any way you feel he hinders, is an obstacle for you, then you better let him go (he says all this) but if you keep him he will do all you order & try on his best - but begs you to think this over for when you return to seriously decide, also Stcherbatov's successor & Sazonov. - He told Stcherbatov he finds absolutely a person chosen by Stcherbatov ought to be present at Moscou at all these meetings & forbid any touching of questions wh. dont concern them - he has the right as Minister of the Interior; Stcherbatov agreed at first, but after having seen people fr. Moscou he changed his mind & no more agreed - he was to tell you all this, Goremykin told him to - did he? Do answer. - Then he begs D. Mrazovsky. should quickly go to Moscou, as his presence may be needed any day. - I don't admire Yussupov leaving (its her fault) but he was not worth much. - And now we have left Vilna - what pain, but God will help - its not our fault with these terrible losses. Soon is the Sweet Virgin's feast 8th (my day, do you remember Mr. Philippe) - she will help us. -

Our Friend wires, probably after her letter his wife brought, telling about all the interior difficulties. "Do not fear our present embarassments, the protection of the Holy Mother is over you - go to the hospitals though the enemies are menacing - have faith." Well I have no fright, that you know.. - In Germany one hates me now too He said & I understand it - its but natural. -

How I understand, how disagreeable to change your place - but of course you need being further from the big line, But God will not forsake our troops, they are so brave. -

I must end now, Lovebird. - Alright about Boris, only is it the moment? Then make him remain at the war & not return here, he must lead a better life than at Warshaw & understand the great honour for one so young. - Its a pitty, true, that not Misha.

The German nurses left for Russia & Maria had no time to see them, me they did not ask to see, probably hate me. -

Oh Treasure, how I long to be with you, hate not being near, not to be able to hold you tight in my arms & cover you with kisses - alone in yr. pain over the war news yearn over you. God bless help, strengthen, comfort, guard & guide. -

Ever yr. very own

Wify.


No. 115. Tsarskoie Selo, Sept. 7-th 1915

Beloved Huzy dear,

Cold, windly & rainy - may it spoil the roads. I have read through the papers nothing written that we left Vilna - again very mixed, success, bad luck & it cannot be otherwise, & one rejoices over the smallest success. It does not seem to me that the Germans will venture much more further, it would be great folly to enter deeper into the country - as later our turn will come. - Is the amunition, shells & rifles coming in well? You will send people to have a look - your Suite? - Your poor dear head must be awfully tired with all this work & especially the interior questions? Then, to recapitulate what the old man said: to think of a new minister of the interior, (I told him you had not yet fixed upon Neidhardt; perhaps, when you return, you can think once more about Khvostov); a successor to Sazonov, whom he finds quite impossible, has lost his head, cries & agitates against Goremykin, & then the question, whether you intend keeping the latter or not. But certainly not a minister who answers before the Dama, as they want, - we are not ripe for it & it would be Russia's ruin - we are not a Constitutional country & dare not be it, our people are not educated for it & thank God our Emperor is an Autocrat & must stick to this, as you do only you must show more power & decision. I should have cleared out quickly still Samarin & Krivoshein, the latter displeases the old man greatly, right & left & excited beyond words.

Goremykin hopes you won't receive Rodzianko. (Could one but get another instead of him, an energetic, good man in his place wld. keep the Duma in order.) - Poor old man came to me, as a "soutien" & because he says I am "l'energie". To my mind, much better clear out ministers who strike & not change the President who with decent, energetic, well-intentioned cooperates can serve still perfectly well. He only lives & serves you & yr. country & knows his days are counted & fears not death of age, or by knife or shot but God will protect him & the holy Virgin. Our Friend wanted to wire to him an encouraging telegram. - Markozov - no I must finish about Goremykin, he beggs you to think of somebody for Moscou & besides get Mrozovsky to come quicker, as these sessions may become too noisy in Moscou & therefore an eye & voice of the Minister of Interior ought to be there & one has the right to, as Moscou is under the minister of Interior. Neratov he finds no good for replace Sazonov (I only like that mentioned his name), he knows him since he was a boy & says he never served out of Russia, & that is not convenient at such a place. But where to get the man. We had enough of Isvolsky & he is not a very sure man - Girs is not worth much, Benk. - the name already against him. Where are men I always say, I simply cannot grasp, how in such a big country does it happen that we never can find suitable people, with exceptions! -

My conversation with Markozov was most interesting (a little too sure of himself) & he can tell one many necessary things & clear up misunderstandings. Polivanov knows him well & already he has cleared up one thing. It seems there was an order to take off of the prisoner officers their epaulets, wh. created an awful fury in Germany & wh. I understand - why humiliate a prisoner & that is one of those wrong orders of 1914 fr. the Headquarters - thank God one has now changed it. - He also understands that we must always try to be in the right , as they at once otherwise repay us equally - till for that - & when this hideous war is over & the hatred abated, I long that one should say, that we were noble. The horror of being a prisoner is already enough for an officer & one wont forget