Letters of the Tsaritsa to the Tsar - December 1915

No. 168.

Tsarskoie Selo, Dec. 1-st 1915

My own Beloved,

Dark, cold, II of frost. Sonia has fallen, ill, very weak, a noise in the lungs & dozing state, scarcely speaks & when does, scarce to be understood. I had Vladimir Nikolaievitch to come & he will bring his brother too. Vl. Nik. put Icuppings on whilst I was there - she took no notice & hung like a lump in the 2 maids' arms - pittyful sight this paralised body. In the night she was- worse so they got a sister fr. the big palace to make camphor injec tions & then the heart got a bit better. I know she likes to take holy Communion when so ill, so shall try & get the priest. She only said yesterday "like Mama", she always thinks of her mother's death when feels ill. Mitia Den & Isa sat long next door - I shall go up soon this morning - still when ill she is accustomed to have me near her always.

Only since yesterday morning everything, & at once so weak & broken yesterday only 37.3 & Pulse 140 - today 38.7 & Pulse 82 - 104. - I had Pss. Gedroitz for a report 1 1/2 hour yesterday about Eupatoria, where I sent her to clear up things wh. were going on. - Shurik, Victor Erastov. & Ravtopolo were in the evening at Anias, - Nastasia's eyes glittered fr. joy - I hear Erdeli let the staff know you have said my Andronnikov is to be aid to Viltchkovsky. Well, then we must add a place as second aid, as have ready one. -

Tchitchagov was at Ania's & told her that he leads Varnava 's story today & that today the Synod issues the glorificate decree of St. John Maximovitch vitch

Tchilchagov found a paper at the Synod, wh. the metrop. & all had forgotten (scandal), in wh. the Synod asked you to permit his glorification (a year ago or a little more) & you wrote "agree" on the top - so they are at fault in everything. - Shall finish this during luncheon, must go up to Sonia, when dressed. Sweetheart, me wants you.

Are lunching in the play-room to be nearer to poor Sonia. Lovy, she is very bad. Inflamation of the lungs, but whats worse the paral. is creeping round the muscles of her heart wh. is very weak - there is little hope & she looks so bad. At 3 she will take holy Communion. Does not speak to. day, hears when I tell her to drink & cough. Eyes always shut - bad complexion - They say her left eye-ball does not react. Her Aunt Ivanova & a sister fr. the Alexander hospital Station (fr. the convoy) have come to look after her.

For yr. beloved letter, endless thanks, always an intense joy, Sweetheart,

Excuse short letter, but am worried about Sonia. Our Friend says better for her she shld. go & we all feel it - I am very calm, seeing so many, going off, dying, makes one realise the grandeur of it & that He knows best.

Sun shines.

Endless blessings & kisses fr. own


No. 169

Tsarskoie Selo, Dec. 2-nd 1915

My very own sweet One,

One more true heart gone to the unknown land! For her I am glad that all over, as in the future life might have been a yet worse phisical trial to her. Want so quickly that one cannot yet realise it - she lies there like a wax all, I cannot call it otherwise, so unlike the Sonia full of bright life and roy colours we knew. God took her mercifully without any suffering. I wrote to you during luncheon yesterday, then just began report with Viltchkovsky and I was called to her, heart very weak, 39.7 and was taken Holy Communion (2 1/2) she could not open her eyes - the only thing she said, was to me, and "forgive" - that was all and then no more heeded when one told her to swallow, the end began. I asked the priest to read the prayers and give her the last unction - it brings peace into the room prayers and I always think helps the parting soul. She changed rapidly. At 4 1/4 her Aunt begged me to go and rest - so I lay in Isa's room and there we took tea - at 5.10 they called me - the priest read the prayers for the dying and she quite peacefully went to sleep. God let her soul rest in peace and bless her for all her great love to me through these long years. Never did the child complain of her health - even paralised, she enjoyed life to the end. - It was the heart wh. failed, they gave her camphor and other strong injections, nothing acted upon the heart. What a great mystery life is - all waiting round for the birth of a human being all awaiting the departure of a soul. Something so grand in it all and one feels how small we mortals are and how great our heavenly Father. Its difficult to express ones thoughts and feelings on paper - I felt as tho' were giving her over to God's care alone now, wanting to help her soul to be happy - a great awe and holiness of the moment overtakes one - such a secret, only to be fathomed yonder. The girls and I went at 9 to the funeral service. Now they are going to place her into her coffin in her sittingroom, but I shall spare my forces the evening, to accompany her out of our house to Znamenia. I scarcely slept -- too many impressions! I am quiet - calm - numbed feeling you know fr. crushing all in. Botkin for the first time turned up this morning - begged me to keep quiet because of the enlarged heart. I want to go to holy Communion to-morrow morning - Christmas Fast and now it will be a help. - A. will go to Pestcherny Chapel at 9. So Sweetheart, I tenderly, lovingly beg your forgiveness for everything - word and deed - bless me Lovy. It will be a comfort, as you leave on your journey to-morrow, to pray for you there. God grant all will go well. Sad you won't see the marine of the guard. After your letter yesterday, we arranged to send Popov to Odessa with my Church and Andreiev with the one foil. the 4-th reg. to Zhmerinka or wherever they are. It will be interesting you go on further. - I send you a small present to-day (the letterbox awaits your return) and you open it the 5-th evening. Its a photo taken out of a group last year and enlarged. - I send it today, in case it might not reach you on the 6-th and in any case also my very tenderest blessings goodwishes and kisses for your precious Namesday. Heart and soul ever with you my beloved Angel, also a few flowers - the others must have faded, as yesterday it was a week that you left us. God grant you a good journey in every respect. Ania kisses you. - Yr. Mama is coming to the funeral service, so I must go to it, because Olga and Tatiana are obliged to go to town, they cannot put off a big committee and receipt of donations.

God bless and protect you my Love, 1000 fond kisses fr. yr. own old Wify.

No. 170

Dec. 3-d 1915

Sweet precious One,

It was a great consolation to go to Holy Communion this morning and I carried you in my heart. So peaceful and lovely and our singers sang beautifuly - nobody was in Church - only Olga dear came. Ania went with me - but everywhere one misses and thinks of Sonia - how I used to wheel her up to the Czar Gates. - We took a cup of tea, then Ania went to town and Olga and I a moment to place candles at Znamenia. A nun was reading, - she was covered right over and only her faithful, servant stood there - so lonely. As nobody thought, of 40 days mass, I had it ordered. - Yesterday the Officers of the United Regiment carried her in the house down the stairs and and in Church, in the street the servants, Tatiana and Maria followed on foot I drove behind with Olga and Anastasia - snow - so, quiet and quick all. But one cannot grasp that being so full of life is lying there so still - yes, the soul is gone indeed. -

Ania had confession in our bedroom too, it was simpler for the priest.

I had wanted to go this lent and now it came as a great consolation - one is a bit tired from more than a years suffering and that gives one new strength and help.

To-day its the anniversery of Botkin's son's death. Sonia died the same day as my Mother 34 years ago; - she was much pittied and loved and heaps of people came.

During the funeral service in the house, I kept near the bedroom door so saw nobody, wh. was easier. Kind little Mother dear came, as she wanted to see her in her own room still, and then she told me she wants all those pictures of Zichy's taken out of the frames again and put in a map and sent to her, as they are remembrances of the journey and she says were before at Gatchina. I shall get Stcheglov, to do it, only after one has taken Sonia's things away and put order.

It's cold and snowing - I wonder how you are getting along on your journey, my sweetest sweets. Such an intense longing for you, but I am glad you are not here these sad days. Pella comes to tea. -

I had Mme Zizi, as there was a lot to talk about and on account of the funeral too. -

Its snowing away the whole time. Lovebird, treasure, how I think of and lovy you and my Sunbeam.

God bless you and your journey and bring you safely. back again. I cover you with very tenderest kisses, and remain,

Huzy Love, yr. very own old


No. 171

Tsarskoie Selo, Dec. 12-th 1915

My very own,

Sweetheart, beloved Darling, its with an aching heart I let you go - no Baby sweet to accompany you - quite alone. Tho' I suffered without my Child, it was a great consolation to give him to you and to feel his sweet presence would be ever near to brighten up your life. And no N. P. anymore to accompany you - I was quiet when I knew him with you "He is ours" as our Friend says so rightly and his life is so knitted to ours since all these years, he has shared our joys and sorrows and is quite our very own and we are his nearest and dearest - he too dreads the long absence now from us all, I do hope you will see him with the battalions, it would be a blessing for his new work. - Thank God, your heart can be quiet about Alexei and I hope, that by the time you return, you will find him as round and rosy as before. - He will be very sad to remain behind, he loved being with you alone like a big fellow already. Altogether separations are horrid things and one cannot get accustomed to them. Nobody to caress and kiss you for long now - in thoughts I will be always doing it, my Angel. Your cushion gets the morning and evening kisses and many a tear. Ones love always grows and the yearning increases.

God grant you may have fine and warmer weather there to the south. Its a pity all has to be crowded into one day - one cannot so thoroughly enjoy all one sees, nor have enough time to talk, as one would wish. - May your precious presence bring them great blessings and success.

I wonder, whether you will return for Xmas or not, but you will let me know as soon as it is settled, now of course you cannot tell. - My own, my own, I hold you tightly clasped to my heart and cover you with kisses - feel me with and near you, holding you warm and tenderly . The first hour will be horrid in the train without Baby so silent and you will miss the prayers too. Sweethearty mine, oh me loves so deeply, deeply "with unending true devotion deeper far than I can say". - -When you are away, there is a feeling of the chief thing in my life missing - everything has a sad note, and now I keep Agoowee one, its worse for you by far. Sleep peacefully my Love, God send you strengthning sleep and rest. -

I have given the Image for the Chasseurs regiment, the bag is lined with their ribbon they gave and our Friend blessed on their Feastday 1906 at Peterhof. The rest of it I have kept; but He said it would be in a war and they would do great things. Now He cannot exactly remember, but said that one must always do what he says - it has a deep meaning. Perhaps you wont wish to give it personally, not to hurt the other reg. (as this one has nothing to do with Baby or me) - then have it given them fr. me when you leave, - Remember Georgi's good idea of having all yr, a.d.c. to do service 10 days then you will hear fresh news and they will get a rest. -

Goodbye my own Huzy, my Own, own, very Own, my Life, my Sunshine, God bless and protect you, St. Nicolos hear our prayers.

Kisses without end. Ever yr. very


No. 172

Tsarskoie Selo, Dec. 13-th 1915

My own Beloved,

It was a lonely night and I miss you awfully - but for you its far worse and I feel so much for you my Sweetheart. Was so hard parting! God bless and protect you now and for ever. - I slept midling - its snowing since the evening, 12-15 degrees only, such luck and I hope you will find it much warmer on your journey. -

Just got a wire fr. Zhukov, very touching, before their departure and one from N. P., from Podvolotchisk, that they arrived there safely yesterday - so I hope he will still see you there. - Dined upstairs and then a letter from Paul was brought me and one to him from Marie all about Russky, despair etc.; after a talk of hers with Bontch Bruievitch, who complained of course that one protects the Barons here - that when he sent away the 2 of the red cross, Beletski got them back - that Russky is against this plan of Alexeiev, to the south and abuse of Alexeiev - so, as Paul left it to me to choose, whether to send his and Maries letters to you - I returned them to him with a few explanations - as I disagree with all she writes. As tho' one simply sent Russky off, after his letter to Polivanov, wh. soi disant the latter never showed you - lots of rot. - Tiny slept well, 37, but left arm rather stiff, no pain. - As heart a little better, and not so cold, am going at 11 to mass Pitirim serves and I will feel grateful to pray in Church, tho' miss you there quite awfully. -

God bless you Lovy, I must get up, and dress. I feel still your goodbye kiss on my lips and hunger for more. Goodbye my, Angel my Sunshine. I cover you with tender fond kisses. -

Ever yr. very own old


Toughts don't leave you, nor my prayers with endless yearning. -

No. 173

Tsarskoie Selo, Dec. 13-th 1915

My own Sweetheart,

I begin my letter this evening, as shall not have much time for writing tomorrow morning, as the dentist awaits me & Ella arrived. Excuse another ink, but the other pen is empty. Baby has been quite alright - we lunched, took tea & dined with him & after seeing Benkendorf & Sonia's Aunt Sister Ivanova, I remained with him. The Metropolitan Pitirim served beautifully, & at the end said a few warm words & prayer for you, Lovy dear. Loman gave him a big clerical luncheon at wh. Ania also assisted. It was comforting praying in Church with our dear soldiers. - Ania, Voronov & wife took tea, Baby was delighted to see them. He leaves on Thursday to join the crew with his 160 sailors, over Moscou, as that way to Kiev seems quicker. -

He says poor Melnovetz has grown terribly thin & his lungs are in a seriously bad state. - To-morrow is already the anniversary of Butakov's death how the time flies! - Then I had a Pr. Obolensky, brother of Mme Prutchenko, tho' she hates Ania on account of our Friend, he came to me through A. to bring me photos of the frescos in the Feropontievsky monastery, wh. he is helping to restore - they need still 38,000, so I told him he must wait to the end of the war, now all sums are needed elsewhere. Then Pr. Galitzin came with his report of my committee for our prisoners. - Then I rested an hour. Ania dines too, as I shall see her less these days, tho' Ella leaves again Wednesday evening & will spend half her days in town & I with the dentist, Alas, I cannot go to the consecration of the little Church - its too tiring & I am not fit yet; in ten days Xmas & so much to be done before that. - It was warmer, so the children drove to Pavlovsk, - met the Countess Palei, son & little girl- on snowshoes. Now I must try & sleep.

Dec. 14-th. 17 of frost. Good morning, Sweetheart,

Babykins slept well, I not famously. -- I wonder whether my letters catch you up on the way back or whether you will only find them upon yr. return to the Headquarters; well, as they are numbered, you wont make any confusions. - The pink sky behind the kitchen & the thickly covered in snow trees look quite fairylike - one longs to be an artist to paint all. - I told Benkendorf about the gospels to be sent to you through Rostovtsev.

Ella comes at 1/4 to 12-3 1/2 & then goes to town for Acathistus & evening service before to-morrow's consecration & dines at Anitchkov. And I have the dentist before 11 in consequence. -

His arm is alright again & 36.6 & gay.

All my thoughts follow you the whole time and ernest prayers - miss you greatly, my Sweetheart & long for your tender caresses to warm me up. - There, Ortipo jumped upon my bed, Tatiana, has gone off to the hospital, Anastasia was at the dentists. - Leo is still alive - ups & downs, poor man.

I kissed one of our little pink flowers & enclose it in this letter. - Now I must get up - such a nuisance - & end my letter.

Goodbye my Beloved, I bless you & kiss you without end.

Ever Husy sweet yr. very,


No. 174

Tsarskoie Selo, Dec. 15-th 1915

My very own sweet Darling,

All my thoughts are with you, wondering how all is going on. - We have again 20 of frost, and glorious sunshine. - Such a fidgeting from early morning on, hundreds of questions about Xmas presents for the wounded and personal of the hospitals - the number always increases. - The 900 gospels, images and postcardgroups have been sent to Kyra. - I only saw Ella a second at 9 before she flew off to church - it is 1 and she has not yet left town again.. Sat with the dentist for an hour. - Heart more enlarged this morning. - Baby slept till 11, alright, but still has a cold. - Had Sophie Fersen for nearly 2 hours yesterday and we had such a nice talk - such a pleasant, good woman. -

I send you a petition of Prince Yurevsky's sister-in-law, a not good person, you will do as you like with it.

Css. Rebinder, Kharkov, wrote to Ania, that her brother Kutaysov got the news of his nomination there: "At first he would not believe in his good fortune, and now he is aflame with the desire to prove his worth to bear the insignia of his beloved Monarch and ready to sacrifice for him all his powers, and his life."

She says he has become quite another man since. God bless you for what you have done to him, Sweetheart.

How glad I am you saw Xenia too. - A. sends you her tender kisses, she has left for town at 1, over night. - Must send this off now. -

Blessing and ever such warm, tender, fond kisses, Lovebird fr. yr. very own little


No. 175

Tsarskoie Selo, Dec. 16-th 1915

My very own Darling,

I was so happy to receive, your dear telegram last night from Podvolotchisk and to know, that all had been so beautiful. Our Friend prayed and blessed again from afar. - N. P. wired after 4 already, that you had promoted him after the review and that he was awfully happy am glad you saw him before the battalion. -

We made Baby tell Ella all about Volotchisk and your inspections there and the Pss. Votkonskaya - he told it very well and with lots of details. - Ella had been there a year ago in autumn. Her humour and looks are excellent, quiet and natural - of course has to rush every morning to town and receives besides here still. She leaves again tomorrow evening - to-day I am going to look at the china and drawings from the fabric with her and Strukov.

26 of frost again, so that and, my enlarged heart keep me quietly home. Ania was yesterday at the Metropolitans, our Friend too - they spoke very well, and then he gave them luncheon - always the first place to Gregory and the whole time wonderfully respectful to him and deeply impressed by all he said.

You have only left us 5 days, and it seems to me such ages already Oh Lovy, Baby and I are already thinking of your loneliness at the Headquarter and it fills us with great sorrow "You really mustn't" I find, precious Angel mine.

Now I must dress and go to the dentist, after wh, I shall finish my letter.

Here I am upstairs and he is arranging my (false) tooth - we spoke about the big military Sanatorium, wh. is being finished with yr. sums and now he bears the Yalta medical society (wh. the "Union of Cities" helps) wants you on of Cities" helps) wants you to give it over to them - he finds it principally quite wrong (belongs himself to the society), therefore I warn you not to agree if you get such a petition - speak it over with me when you return, please - one needs it for those tubercular patients, who must be kept separately and have no place at Yalta - and it must be y o u r s. - Now I am sitting next to Alexei's bed and he is writing to you - Peter Vasillevitch watches how he spells. "Joy" lies sleeping in the floor. The sun shines brightly - I am giving an Image of St. Nicolas for Ella to bring Prince Chir.-Chakhmatoy from you, as thanks for his work, - he was ill and could not be at the consecration of the Church. -

I fear my letter is very dull, but I have nothing of interest to tell you. Now it is time to go down to luncheon. -

Goodbye, my very own beloved Sweetheart. The empty house at the Headquarters will make you sad, poor Lovy mine and you will miss our Sunbeam. God help you, Deary.

I cover you with tenderest, fondest kisses, blessings. Ever yr. very own old


No. 176

Tsarskoie Selo, Dec. 17-th 1915

My own Darling,

Again no time to write even a decent letter. I had to read through any amount of reports, must get up at 10 l/2 to go to the dentist - then Viltchkovsky with a report, in the evening Khvostov I don't know why, and my heart more enlarged and hurts and I ought to keep quiet. -

22 of frost. - I send you a paper Ella brought from Kursk - she tought you would perhaps send someone with medals. The other is to remind you whom to telegraph for Xmas - it's no good my sending them, as we are not together. - Baby hopes to be up and dressed to-morrow if his temp. keeps normal to-day; the cold had thrown itself unto his tommy, so that he has to keep to a diat. - Ella leaves this evening, as has much to do her visit was cosy, calm and homely and, I think, will have done her good. -7 I got a telegram fr. N. P. that he comes on the 20-th fr. Kiev, no, not true, thinks of leaving the 20-th, but why the wire comes fr. Kiev and he writes "not well", perhaps cought cold rather unclear. -

Ones thoughts are "out there" wondering how all are moving along. Your lonely homecoming to the empty house makes me sad - God help you.

Blessings and very tenderest kisses without end fr. yr. very own old


Excuse short letter, but really have no time - when Ella leaves and dentist finished, shall he free'r - but all is worse before Xmas wh. is in a week. -

How was and is the old Man?

No. 177

Dec. 18-th 1915

My own beloved Sweetheart, Glorious bright sunshine, 8 of frost in the morning - the dentist finished with me for this time & the teeth ache still. Yr. loneliness makes us Sad - fancy yr. dreary walks in the garden, call Silaiev or Mordvinov to come with you, they have always something to tell. And the empty bedroom! Come back quicker & we shall warm you up & caress you, Lovebird tenderly longed for. - The amount I have to do these days makes me wild, so as that I have not even time to write to you quietly. I am smoking because my teeth ache so more the nerves of the face. - Alas, I must bother you with papers, a thing you dont like. I enclose Miechen's letter, its simpler than writing out all the story about Dellingshausen, & when you have read her explanation, you will see whether anything can be done for him - she is very careful whom she asks about, but also wants us to help set right things if one can, & if an injustice has been committed through people having hastily judged people. - Manus never died, it was simply a game of the bourse wh. made the papers rise & fall - an ugly trick. -

My conversation with the Tail I shall write to-morrow, to-day I have no time & my brain is too tired. -

Things to settle for Xmas are always tiring & so complicated. -

Baby has got up & will lunch in my room, looks sweet, thin with big eyes. - The girls alright. Tell me to thank her for letter & goodies & send a message. - Must end. Blessings without end & 10,000 of very, very fond kisses

Ever, Huzy mine yr. very own old


No. 178

My own Sweetheart,

Tsarskoie Selo, Dec. 19-th 1915

You cannot imagine what a joy & consolation your precious letter was. I miss you quite terribly, & all the more knowing how intensely lonely you must feel, & no soft kiss to warm you up, no little voice to cheer you. Its more than hard knowing you all alone & not even N. P. near you.

How I wonder what news you have from the front, is the move going satisfactorily black crows croak with whys & wherefores, in winter such an undertaking but I find we have no right to judge, you & Alexeiev have your calculations & plans & we only need praying with heart & soul for success - & it will come to him who knows how to wait. Its bitterly trying & hard, but without great patience, faith and trust nothing can be achieved. God always tries one & when least we expect it sends His recompense & relief. And how different all will be interiorly when once our arms are crowned with success, -

We talked a lot about the supply question with Khvostov, he says the ministers really try working together (puting Polivanov & Bark beside), but its the Duma's fault wh. hung comissions with 70 members onto them & the Minister of Interior's powers consequently are greatly diminished & he can take no particular measures, without it having passed through the commission. Certainly with one's hands tied like that, little can be achieved - he told it at the Duma the other day & they held their tongues. He therefore asked me to remind you of his conversation with you when he begged you to give an order - to the Council of ministers (I think) for the people to know, that you are thinking of their needs & wont forget them - it wont be much of a help, but as a moral link, to show them, that tho' you are at the war, you remember their needs. I fear, I explain things badly, but my head aches - I had such masses to read, through - yesterday was dead tired 2 hours looking trough Sonia's things with her brother & choosing Xmas presents & receiving. To-day I shall only have V. Kotchubey about the Eastergifts & a fond he is thinking we might found.

One person, whom not only the tail, but many good intentioned people are against, & find not at the hight of his place is Bark. He certainly does not help Khvostov - ever so long one has asked for money for him to buy the "Novoye Vremya" partly (the ministers, alas, told Bark to do it instead of Khvostov who wld. certainly have succeeded, whereas Bark dawdles for his own reasons) - & the result is Gutchkov with Jews, Rubinsteins etc. buy up the paper, put in their own mendacious articles. He himself does not feel his sitting very firm since he signed that letter with the other ministers, who partly left since & so tries to get on with the party of Gutchkov more or less They say a clever Minister of Finance cld. easily catch Gutchkov a trap & make him harmless, once he wld. have no money from the Jews. Now this Prince Tatistchev whom I saw (was in the Cavalry school, no, Cadetcorps, I think, which command. is a great friend of his) is a very competent man, knows & venerates our Friend deeply & gets on to perfection with Khvostov; a sort of relationship besides between them - a most loyal man & only wanting yr. & Russia's good.

His name is in many mouths, as a man capable of saving the financial situation & the gaffes Bark made. He is a man with an opinion of his own & seeks nothing personal, is rich, a prince, & an enemy of the Tjutchev - Samarin set - he is one of our own men, ours, and will not betray us, as Khvostov says, & loving our Friend is certainly a blessing & gain. Do think about him & when you see Khvostov speak about him, as he of course has not the right to meddle in the affairs not concerning him - but they wld. work harmoniously together. He hates Gutchkov & those Moscow types - made a really good impression upon me. It was Andronnikov who spoke without any reason, nastly about Tatistchev to Voyeikov, & he confessed this afterwards - fancy, Pss. Palei knows even this (Ania pretended utter innocence & no knowledge of anything) - & said what good one says of Prince Tatistchev. - I enclose a paper about him, I asked Khvostov to write down for me. -

In his Luzhskoye estate he has just found a sulphour (?) spring & coal, this I only tell you for a point of interest. - Do see him when you come & hove a quiet talk. - Certainly if the Cabinet becomes always more united every thing will work better & they will besides stick up for our Friend from love for you & veneration for him.

Baby has written you a French letter, you send him a telegr. it will rejoice the child.

Now I must end.

Goodbye my own precious Husband, heart of my heart, longsuffering Darling. I cannot think of you quietly, the heart draws itself together from pain. I long to see you at last relieved from worries & anxieties - seeing people honestly fulfilling yr. orders, serving you for your own precious self. You have s o much to carry. -

God indeed has laid a heavy burden upon yr. shoulders - but He will not fail you, will give you the wisdom & strength you need & recompense your unfailing patience & humility, I only wish I could be of more use to you - all is so difficult, complicated & hard now - and we cannot be together, that is the worst of it. Do you think there is a chance of yr. coming soon ?

God bless and protect you, comfort you in yr. loneliness & hearken unto yr. prayers.

I cover you with tenderest warmest kisses, press you tightly to my heart & long to rest upon yr. breast & keep quietly so, forgetting everything that tears the heart to pieces.

Ever, Sweetheart yr, very own


No. 179

Tsarskoie Selo, Dec. 20-th 1915

My own Sweetheart,

Well, that was a surprise receiving yr. second dear letter, and I thank you for it with all my heart I am glad you are off and away again, you will have less time to feel lonely and then those troops have been so long waiting to see you. It is also less cold now, wh. is a good thing for inspections. Fancy the old Sinner having ridden past at the head of his Squadron, thank God it went off well; - but I hope he otherwise does not bother you in your active movements.

What joy you can be here on the 24-th, then you drink tea in the train and we can light the Children's tree when you come - we shall have finished the servants and ladies trees by then too. Ones head goes round from all there is to do and I feel rotten - still I want to go for a bit to Church as Lili Den's Boy becomes orthodox this morning in the lowerchurch - and upstairs will stand during mass and go to Holy Communion for the first time in his life, my Godchild. As Drenteln lunches at Isa's we have asked him to come down after, to bid him goodbye, as probably he won't think of doing it himself. Fancy yr. being English Fieldmarshall! That's nice. Now I am going to order a nice Image of the English, Scotch and Irish Patron Saints, St. George, St. Michel, St. Andrew for you to bless the English Army with - St. Patrick is the Irish au fond. - I saw in the papers to-day what you wrote about our advance to the south till the wire-lines and so forth. God bless the troops with success.

I wonder what B. (Botkin?) told you about Mama.

10 degr. of frost this morning and the trees as thickly covered in snow as when you were here. Sunbeam is at last going out and I hope he will quickly regain his pink cheeks again. - To-day it's 20 days that Sonia died! One has no idea of time now - it seems like yesterday and then again as tho' it had happened ages ago - one day like a year at these serious times of suffering and anguish. -

Lovebird, I must be getting up to dress for Church. Goodbye my very own beloved, my joy, my life, my one and all. I bless and kiss you tenderly as it is only possible and cuddle close to you. -

Ever, Sweetheart, yr. very own old wify


How nice if you see the "Erivantsi" Georgians and the other Caucasians now perhaps my Siberians? I got a very pretty telegram from the Chasseurs of the Guard thanking for the Image and ribbon.

No. 180.

Tsarskoie Selo, Dec. 21-th 1915

My own Sweetheart,

How glad I am that you were satisfied with all you saw yesterday, and that the weather was not too cold. To-day we have only 3- and Baby enjoys his outing twice daily in the garden. - I went to mass yesterday - the latter half, because I wished to be present when Lili Den's boy took holy Communion for the first time - he is my Godchild. She became orthodox yesterday morning. The discription of her journey with Groten last time from here to the country - is delightful - please, they slept in one compartment, he over her head as there was no other place - good it was not Ania. -

Erdeli comes to me to-day, I don't know why, perhaps after the false order he gave in your name and wh. he wants to clear himself probably, but I don't see how he can. Yesterday Drenteln took leave of us - eyes full of tears - he leaves the 26-th evening and hopes to have a chance of bidding you before goodbye. Won't yr. days here be madning, 3 days Xmastrees in the manege there are such Masses!

Then I had Mitia Orbeliani to look through little Sonia's jewels and devide them according to her wish - painful work seeing all her little things she was so fond of.

Tudels is such a bore, never remembers anything, asks hundred times the same things, and that does not make my writing better. Head and heart bother me and I am awfully tired. For the other's sakes I went to Ania's house yesterday as there were 2 of the Childrens wounded friends and Marie's fat fellow. so I had to keep Ania company.

Beloved Darling, I must say goodbye now. Keep well, heart and soul never leave you. Blessings and kisses without end, Huzy mine, fr. yr. own old


No. 181

Tsarskoie Selo, Dec. 22. 1915

My own Lovebird, I congratulate you with our little Anastasia's namesday. It was sad giving her the presents without you. We have a mass in my room at 12 1/2 & perhaps after I shall go for a little airing, as there are 20 of warmth & no wind, from time to time a little snow. The first day that snow has fallen from the trees & they are quite uncovered. -

Our Friend is always praying & thinking of the war - He says we are to tell him at once if there is anything particular so she did about the fogg, & He scolded for not having said it at once says no more foggs will disturb. -

Alexei & Shot have just gone off into the garden, it does him such good these walks. - Vesselovsky telegraphed, that you saw my Company on the 20-th - I am so glad for them, our wounded Kunov may also have been there or the other wounded Maleiev.

I saw Erdeli - well! the story is most unclear to my mind, as he protests ever having spoken to you personally about Andronnikov, & that he never wrote such a telegr., he thinks at the telegraph they did it, to wh. I firmly protested, as they never would invent or use your name & for what reason besides. Then says its Maslov's fault, may be the idea was a mistake of his - but I told him to find out in the staff in town who wrote & who got the order fr. Erdeli & "by your order" - I honestly believe Erdeli did it, because he told me other words & tho' my name were mentioned - bosh, - you know I don't like him nor his shifty eyes & manners. Then he told me good things about Groten (looks upon him as my protege & Ania's no doubt, as Erdeli was awfully rude the last years, during his great friendship with Stana, towards Ania).

My lancer Guriev sat an hour with me (also spoke well of Groten & Maslov) & was nice, interesting, excellent spirit - the thing for a young officer. -

How strange it must have seemed to you to see our troops in the places you knew from the old Headquarters. Do we at all advance there, Or have we stuck fast since the retreat? - To the south we seem to be making, lots of prisoners and slowly but firmly advance. I have been' making up things for N. P. - we sowed him a silk shirt, I knitted stockings, then got india rubber basin & jug like those I gave last Xmas to Rodionov etc.

Seeing the troops must be refreshing. I suppose you go by motor & walk - not possible to get your horses there. -

Sweetheart, I must now end, I bless, & kiss you without end, caress & love you beyond words. -

Ever yr. very


Khvostov told Ania that he, Naumov & Trepov have made a plan for the food distribution for 2 months - thank God, after 15 months, these have at lost worked out a plan. -

Mme Antonova returned from Livadia --- I enclose a violet, snowdrop & other smelling buds from there. -

No. 182

Dec. 30-th 1915

My very own beloved One,

Off you go again alone & its with a very heavy heart I part from you. No more kisses & tender caresses for ever so long - I want to bury myself into you, hold you tight in my arms, make you feel the intense love of mine. You are my very life Sweetheart, and every separation gives such endless heartache - a tearingaway from one, what is dearest & holiest to one. God grant it's not for long - others would no doubt find me foolish & sentimental but I feel too deeply & intently & my love is fathomlessly deep, Lovebird! And knowing all your heart carries, anxieties, worries, - so much that is serious, such heavy responsibilities wh. I long to share with you & take the weight upon my shoulders. One prays & again with hope & trust & patience the good will come in due time & you & our country be recompensed for all the heartache & bloodshed. All that -have been taken "& burn as candles before God's throne" are praying for victory & success - & where the right cause is, will final victory be! One longs just a bit quicker for some very good news to quieten the restless minds here, to put their small faith to shame. - we have not seen each other quietly this time, alone only 8/4 of an hour on Xmas Eve, & yesterday 1/2 an hour - in bed one cannot speak, too awfully late always, & in the morning no time - so that this visit has flown by, & then the Xmastrees took you away daily - but I am grateful that you came, not counting our joy, your sweet presence delighted sever. al thousands who saw you here. The new year does not count - but still not to begin it together for the first time since 21 years is still a bit sad. - This letter I fear sounds grumbly, but indeed its not meant to be so, only, the heart is very heavy & your loneliness is a source of trouble to me. Others, who are less accustomed to family life, feel such separations far less. -- Tho' the heart is engaged, I'll still come to see you off and then go into Church & seek strenght there, & pray for your journey & victory. -

Goodbye my Angel, Husband of my heart I envy my flowers that will accompany you. I press you tightly to my breast, kiss every sweet place with gentle tender love, I, your own little woman, to whom you are All in this world.. God bless & protect you, guard you from all harm, guide you safely & firmly into the new year. May it bring glory & sure peace, & the reward for all this war has cost you. I gently press my lips to yours & try to forget everything, gazing into your lovely eyes - I lay on your precious breast, rested my tired head upon it still. This morning I tried to gain calm & strenght for the separation. Goodbye wee one, Lovebird, Sunshine, Huzy mine, Own!

Ever your unto death wife and friend.

( ) a big kiss imprinted here

This little calendar may still be of me to you.


No. 183

Tsarskoie Selo, Dec. 31-st 1915

My own Sweetheart, This is the last time that I write to you in the year 1915. From the depths of my heart and soul I pray God Almighty to bless 1916 quite particularly for you & your beloved country. May He crown all your undertakings with success, recompense the troops for all their bravery, send victory to us - show our ennemies of what we are capable. 5 m. the sun shone before you left, and so has even Shah Bagov also noticed it each time you left for the army & to-day it shines brightly, 18 of frost. And as our Friend says always to pay attention to the weather, I trust that forsooth it is a good augury.

And for interior calm - to crush those effervescing elements, wh. try to ruin the country & give you endless worry. - I prayed last night till I thought my soul wId. burst, & cried my eyes out. I cannot bear to think of all you have to carry, & all alone away from us - oh, my Treasure, my Sunshine, my Love. We went straight to Znamenia from the station, Baby dear also placed his candles. I don't know how we shall meet the new Year - I likes being in Church - it bores the Children - my heart is worse, so I cannot make up my mind yet, - in any case, its very sad not to be together & I miss you quite horribly. -

And yr. empty rooms without our Sunbeam, poor Angel; such endless pitty fills my heart for you & such a craving to hold you tightly in my arms, & to cover you with kisses. - Baby has just gone off into the garden.

Now I must end - Once more every blessing and goodwish for the coming Year. Year.

God bless you, Lovy sweet, beloved Angel,

I kiss you without end, & remain yr. deeply, deeply loving, loving very own old Wify


A. sends every blessings, goodwish, love & kisses for the New Year. just got yr. wire, so sorry you did not sleep, for sure too hot, overtired worried & sad. My humour too is of the saddest.


This online edition was produced due to the gracious contributions of Nancy Batey, Julie Moscinski, Andrea Cotton, Dominic Albanese, Sam Robinson - and one sponsor who wishes to remain anonymous.

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