Вечером я бродил, бродил. Белая ночь, женщины. Мне уютно в этой мрачной и одинокой бездне, которой имя — Петербург 17-го года, Россия 17-го года. Куда ты несешься, жизнь? От дня, от белой ночи — возбуждение, как от вина.
Где русская армия? — Нет ее! Пойдите в окопы и вы увидите вооруженную толпу, растленную обрывками политических учений и не способную ни к обороне, ни к наступлению!
Домом Кшесинской на Каменном проспекте завладела горсть, незначительная горсть коммунистов с Лениным во главе, и с террасы его с утра до вечера народ призывался к грабежу и убиению буржуев. Тщетно владелица обращалась к помощи властей, прося о выселении захватчиков. Ответ был один: «В свободной стране прибегать к силе против граждан неуместно».
On my way to the Embassy in the morning I met Lechitski. He does not believe in an offensive by “ the most democratic army in the world,” for the Russian is by nature and early home conditions most undisciplined, and he has no idea of patriotism or sense of duty. Poor old Lechitski, I wonder if I will ever see him again ! I have the very greatest regard and respect for him. I was told a story of a Colonel Kotlarevski, a technical artillery officer of the Caucasian Front, who arrived at Moscow in the very middle of the Revolution and had to find the military staff on urgent business. He found a door over which “ Military Council ” was written. He told the sentry he had business with the military council, and he was ushered into a room where he found six ensigns, some doctors and a few soldiers sitting at a table with lighted candles. They asked him what he wanted, and he said he had come to get the component parts of mountain guns. They consulted together for a few moments and then the President stepped forward and said : “By the will of the people, you are appointed the Gommander-in- Chief of the Moscow Military District.” The bewildered Colonel did his best to avoid the honour. Colonel Gruzinov came in and he pointed him out as a man in every way more suitable. Gruzinov said that he would serve as his assistant, but Kotlarevski said : “ This is not the time to worry about such trifles as rank. Though you are a Lieutenant-Colonel and I am a Colonel, I will serve as your assistant.” He served in this capacity for a month, and was then exceedingly glad to get away with a whole skin.
The second of two striking stage pictures in which the old Russia and the new were typified brought a huge audience at the Hippodrome to its feet last night with applause that for a time drowned George Harris’s singing of the new Russian national anthem. Alla Nazimova, standing aloft in a costume of cloth-of-gold, personified the new republic, while at her feet the masses, who a moment before had knelt in subjection, stood with arms upraised. Then the orchestra struck up ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ and the audience joined it singing it.
The tableaux formed the closing number to an entertainment to raise money for the fund being collected to raise money for the fund being collected by The New York Herald to build a Statue of Liberty in Russia as a gift from the American people. The Hippodrome was packed, and the receipts were $10.269. The program included a great variety of things, from Billy Sunday’s narrative of his conversion to a more or less impromptu movie sketch in which the players came upon the stage in five shining new taxis.
It was a clear, warm day. After my walk I gave Alexis a geography lesson. We went out into the garden at 2:15. I worked all the time with the others in the vegetable garden; Alexis and the girls planted various things in the beds which we had prepared. At 5 o'clock we returned home perspiring. After tea I read. At 7:00 I went out with Tatiana, Marie and Anastasia and went for a ride on the bicycle until 7:15. The evening went as always.