I bought 15 bottles of wine from a ballerina I knew and had a taste of it with a friend of mine. As it turned out, the quality of the wine was below average. I went to sleep. During the deepest sleep, Nikolay - our cook, who still called himself our cook, even though there wasn't anything to cook anymore - ran into my room, frightened:
"They're here again!"
Young soldiers, armed with rifles and bayonets, and two civilians with them. The civilians report that they arrived by order of the local revolutionary committee to conduct a house check.
They lift the rugs, shake the curtains, fan the pillows, look into the furnace. Of course, I had no "literature" of any kind, neither capitalist nor revolutionary. Only the 13 bottles of wine.
"Take the wine," an old man commanded.
I tried to talk the dear guests into leaving the wine and drinking it right there with me, - the good people resisted the temptation. They took the wine. They found playing cards in a drawer: I'm not going to lie, I do sometimes practice this bourgeois craft, Préférence or Bridge. They took them as well.
I keep reading about the civil war in the South, and if even half of it is true - it is absolutely horrible. All the situation is terrible and I'm so sick of it!
As for myself, I’ll say this: for the time being at least, life is tolerable enough. I’m performing in the People's House, which is always packed to the rafters with an appreciative public. Incidentally, I am, thank God, in fine fettle. My voice hasn’t sounded the way it does now for a long time: it’s youthful, light and sonorous. See more
Groceries might be expensive, but everything’s still available, and I deny myself nothing. The one thing you can’t get is white bread. I haven’t the faintest idea when I’ll be done working. To be frank, I’d happily wind things up tomorrow, but to come to Yalta and idle about at a time like this seems a shameful thing to do. Besides, everyone’s imploring me not to quit the theatre. They are, of course, motivated less by moral than by material considerations.
An opportunity to talk over the telephone availed itself, and I spoke to my godmother, who, naturally enough, told me more or less everything. I asked her to send a fur coat to me here in Petersburg, but I’ve still not received anything and don’t know whether or not she sent it. See more
I’m beginning to think that she did send the coat, but that someone must have taken a fancy to it and opted to keep it for himself. Such is the time we’re living in now! This is nothing out of the ordinary. In all likelihood I’ll have to carry on wearing someone else’s coat this winter (thus far I’ve been walking around in Aksarin’s).
Emerging onto the street with Maria Valentinovna, I failed to find a cabman. So we set out on foot. We’d turned into Kamennoostrovsky Prospekt when suddenly we heard the sound of gunfire and the clatter of bullets. If my courage wavered in that moment, can you imagine the state of my wife? – Running from porch to porch and hiding in doorways under cover of darkness – the streetlamps not having been lit – we somehow made it home.
I did not set off for Petrograd, but stayed here, in view of the events that have taken place. However, yesterday I received another telegram from Aksarin from the People’s House and a letter from Wolkestein, reassuring me completely and inviting me to come to Petersburg without delay. Things are quiet there, and there is food on sale, although it is very expensive. See more
So I have decided to go to Petrograd after all, while I still have the possibility of working, in order to earn what I can. Who knows what will happen - perhaps in the future, the theatres will not be open at all, or there’ll be a fuel shortage, or the Germans will start to close in, but for now, I should perform. I hear from the letters that people are flocking to the theatres, and business is booming.
I’m not going to discuss affairs in Russia as it is too painful and shameful, but we will put our trust in God, and in those people who have not lost their conscience entirely.
We will hope that all that happens is for the best.
As soon as the Commander in Chief appeared in the dress circle box, the right side of the orchestra stood up as one and wildly welcomed the general, who modestly bowed to all sides. But the left side, where were most of the soldiers’ deputies, stubbornly continued to sit. See more
It rose only when KornilovCommander in Chief of the Petrograd command - from 18 March 1917 disappeared in the depth of the box, and members of the Provisional Government, lead by Kerensky, appeared on the stage. In response to loud cried of, “hail Revolution, hail Revolutionary army,” from the right there rang out, “hail general Kornilov!” The whole right side and the majority of officers, sitting in places designated for the Soviets, rises and gives the general a huge ovation. The hall is shaking with the thundering applause, the likes of which were never produced by Chaliapin himself.
The collection was 14,500 rules, for the payment of all the expenses I received about 10,000 rubles, and of course, there was harassment in the newspapers - I was honoured as marauder, and called many other words, but nonetheless, the tickets were sold out within three hours. See more
Of course, if there was an opportunity, definitely I would have preferred to organise here, just as in Sevastopol, a democratic concert with a low fee, but neither the public nor the premises or the very mood of this place, Kislovodsk, allowed me to do so. But I sang really well - because, firstly, I can, and secondly, because I do not smoke and have a fine voice.
Not long ago, I visited the little town of Nalchik. It is an extremely beautiful place surrounded by mountains and steppes. Both the Kabardian steppe and the mountains nearby are populated by Kabardians (a Caucasian tribe—Muslims). See more
When these Kabardians got word of my arrival, they gathered together and organized a picnic for me—they gave speeches, roasted an entire sheep over the fire, danced, sang, and did some trick riding on horseback. This all happened on the mountains, which open on one side onto a view of the vast steppe and on the other toward the snowcaps of the Caucasus. It is a truly magnificent and remarkably beautiful spectacle.
I need to work. Life is becoming unbelievably expensive, and I think it will only get worse and worse as time goes on. I am afraid that in Moscow, I’ll only get cold and hungry, but people have been telling me that a little money can still fix anything there as always.
Have just got back from Sevastopol, where I gave a concert to a large audience of sailors. The proceeds are to go to those injured in the war and to supporting popular education. I gave the concert dressed in a simple soldier’s jacket, which I was also photographed in. The sailors bore me aloft over their heads, and I sang them songs and made speeches. See more
I flew on a seaplane in Sevastopol, which was an invigorating experience.
Участвуют: Горький, Бенуа, Петров-Водкин, Рерих, Добужинский и другие.