We are all well. I have been suffering from neuralgia in the head but now Dr. Kostritzky has come to treat me. We have spoken often of you. They say that life in the Crimea is dreadful now. Still, Olga A. is happy with her little Tichon whom she is nursing herself. See more
They have no servants so she and N. A. look after everything. Dobiasgin, we hear, has died of cancer. The needlework you sent me was the only token we have received from any of our friends. Where is poor Catherine? We suffer so for all, and we pray for all of you. That is all we can do. The weather is bad these last few days, and I never venture out because my heart is not behaving very well. I get a great deal of consolation reading the Bible. I often read it to the children, and I am sure that you also read it. Write soon again. We all kiss and bless you. May God sustain and keep you. My heart is full, but words are feeble things.
Tomorrow, on Sunday, a grandiose prayer of Cossack units with a cross procession has been organised. Tomorrow is the “day of the Soviets” (not an uprising, the uprising is scheduled for the 7th, however, “equivocally” it has been promised earlier, if necessary). See more
The Cossack procession, of course, is a demonstration. Neither side wants to “start”. And the situation is getting intense - it is becoming unbearable.
The patriotism of the Russians is a singular thing; there is a great deal of conceit in it; they feel themselves different from other people and flatter themselves on their difference; they speak with self-satisfaction of the ignorance of their peasants; they vaunt their mysteriousness and complexity. See more
They repeat that with one face they look to the west and with the other to the east; they are proud of their faults - like a boorish man who tells you he is as God made him - and will admit with complacency that they are besotted and ignorant, incoherent of purpose and vacillating in action; but in that complex feeling which is the patriotism one knows in other countries, they seem deficient. I have tried to analyze what this particular emotion is myself consist of. To me the very shape of England on the map is significant, and it brings to my mind pellmell a hundred impressions, the white cliffs of Dover and the tawny sea, the pleasant winding roads of Kent and the Sussex downs, St. Paul’s and the Pool of London; scraps of poetry, the noble ode of Collins and Matthew Arnold’s Scholar Gipsy and Keats’ Nightingale, stray lines of Shakespeare’s and the pages out of English history, Drake with his ships, and Henry VIII and Queen Elizabeth; Tom Jones and Dr. Johnson; and all my friends and the posters at Victoria Station; then some vague feeling of majesty and power and continuity; and then, heaven knows why, the thought of a barque in full sail going down the Channel—Whither, O splendid ship, thy white sails crowding—while the setting sun hangs redly on the edge of the horizon. These feelings and a hundred others make up an emotion which makes sacrifice easy, it is an emotion compact of pride and longing and love, but it is humble rather than conceited, and it does not preclude a sense of humour. Perhaps Russia is too large for sentiments so intimate, its past too barren of chivalry and high romance, its character too indefinite, its literature too poor, for the imagination to embrace the country, its history and culture, in a single emotion. Russians will tell you that the peasant loves his village. His outlook goes no further. And when you read histories of Russia you are amazed to find how little the feeling of nationality has meant to one age after another. It is a startling incident when a wave of patriotism has arisen to drive out an invader. The general attitude has been one of indifference to his presence on the part of those not actually afflicted by it. It is not by chance that Holy Russia bore so long and so submissively the yoke of the Tartar. Now it causes no indignation that the Central Powers may seize portions of Russian soil: the possibility is dismissed with a shrug and the words: "Russia is large enough anyway."
Yesterday, everyone in Petrograd and Moscow was waiting for a "Bolshevik uprising." Scared philistines imagined armed robberies hitting every apartment, carnage, unrest - in a word, something like a Massacre of St. Bartholomew.
Our Russian front is paralyzed. Germans used it as a chance to hit Italy.
A great soldier meeting at Smolny on the 3rd resolved:
"Saluting the creation of the Military Revolutionary Committee, the Petrograd garrison promises it complete support in all its actions, to unite more closely the front and the rear in the interests of the Revolution. See more
The garrison moreover declares that with the revolutionary proletariat it assures the maintenance of revolutionary order in Petrograd. Every attempt at provocation on the part of the Kornilovtsi or the bourgeoisie will be met with merciless resistance."
"Verkhovski, the Minister of War, has resigned. He had always contended that if the troops were to be kept in the trenches they must be told what they were fighting for, and that we ought, therefore, to publish our peace terms and to throw the responsibility for the continuance of the war on the Germans. See more
At last night's meeting of the committee of the Provisional Council he seems to have completely lost his head, declaring that Russia must make peace at once, and that, .when once peace had been concluded, a military dictator must be appointed to ensure the maintenance of order. On Tereschenko, who was supported by all the other members of the committee, demanding the withdrawal of this declaration, he tendered his resigna- tion, which was accepted."
I went to work at the mill.