In honour of VladimirDuke, lieutenant, poet.'s twenty-first birthday, his coming of age, we lit up the tree again and put back the presents on it. The little girls and he had a charming surprise for us, a piece of verse of his composition, entitled " l'Assiette de Delft." Irene and Nathalie, coached by my son, played it to perfection.
Another day passed, then VolodiaDuke, lieutenant, poet. came to see us. My father, he said, had been for the moment set free only on the condition that he would not leave Petrograd until he had received special permission to do so. See more
For this reason my stepmother, the Princess Paley, had decided for the time being to settle in one of the back apartments of my father's house on the quay.The Bolsheviks, Volodia said, had intended to imprison. Father in the Fortress of SS. Peter and Paul, but word came of this in advance from a devoted retainer, who learned of it from a conversation overheard in the Soviet of Tsarskoie-Selo.
The warning came to Princess Paley. Utterly terrified, she rushed at once to the Soviet, where, with the energy and persistence inherent in her, she did not desist until the decision was revoked. My father spent three days in Smolny. Then he was told that he would be transferred to the fortress. He understood perfectly how such an imprisonment might end. This time, however, the storm passed us by. My father was placed, as I have said, on parole with his family in Petrograd. They lived thus for two weeks and then received permission to return to Tsarskoie-Selo accompanied by a sailor, a member of the Petrograd Soviet.
What a dreadful, difficult time! We all live on rumors, assumptions, hopes - and memories. There is nothing definite, nothing constant, everyone is perplexed and confused. Essentially, no one knows what they want and everyone is afraid of what others want. There is a lull in Petrograd, but the mood is quite strung - a scent of blood is in the air. The city is indescribably dirty. Turmoil, unrest, anarchy. In a word - revolution… See more
The offensive has begun - but in what way! We suffer great losses, mostly among officers and volunteers. During this war 60% of officers were killed, and less of soldiers - 40%.
It is funny how everyone remained, in essence, true to themselves: scoundrels have proven to be scoundrels, cowards have remained cowards, valiants are still valiants. Impudence is growing. Like a rotten tree it spreads its stinking branches and catches on everything. Even the most humane soul has to admit that Russia cannot live without a stick. She needs police, not freedom. Revolution has ruined itself - it is already laughable. If a Tsar comes, he will be very strict.