Read, packed. Misha was there for lunch. Said goodbye to all my dear family and went with Alix to Znamenia, and from there to the station. At 2 o'clock left for the Stavka. The day was sunny and frosty. Read, felt bored and rested.
I gave a dinner party for twenty-four friends, for which I brought out my finest Limoges service, my Danish service for the fish, and gilt cutlery copied from two sets belonging to Catherine the Great which could be seen at the Hermitage. See more
This had been given me by Andre. The guests were dazzled by the dinner table decorated with forget-me-nots and real lace. It was my swan song in Petrograd, my last dinner party before the Revolution. I brought out countless precious trinkets and works of art which had been stored since the beginning of the war (among other things there was a superb collection of artificial flowers made of precious stones and a small gold fir tree, with branches shimmering with little diamonds). There were so many of these things that I complained to my sister I had not enough room to display them.
I saw Byelyaev at 9.45 p.m. and found him much depressed. He said he would do all that was possible to hasten the conveyance of stores from Romanov, and he begged me to avoid alarming people in England into possible refusal to continue the despatch of munitions to the port. See more
He felt everyone was against him in his fight for order, but he would continue to do his duty as long as Minister. The disorder on the railways was chiefly caused by lack of engines, but had been accentuated by the severity of the winter. He blamed the Ministry of Ways for the low price offered for new engines and for the repair of old engines. Although Rs.150,000 were paid for unsuitable engines from America, he (Byelyaev) had had difficulty in 1916 in forcing the Ministry to raise the price for engines manufactured in Russia from Rs. 57,000 to Rs. 77,000. All the works were privately owned, and, owing to the poor price offered, they had naturally abandoned the construction and repair of engines for more lucrative work.
He said that in the so-called “ mobilisation of industry ” in 1915, many small factories had accepted Government orders with the object of getting workmen and fuel, but none of them had worked anything like their total time on these orders. In the remainder of their time they had used the labour and fuel provided by Government for national purposes to carry out profitable private orders. I gave General Byelyaev a paper on copper production, showing that 3,995 tons of copper now lie at various stations awaiting transport, and pointed out that it was difficult for the producers to carry on with their money locked up indefinitely in copper ingots. He said he knew that the Metallurgical Committee was worthless
I know what will happen…but I have not the courage to wait, because...well in any case too much has been said about this matter. Silence. Poor Russia. For goodness sake, come to your senses!
I am still in solitary confinement with the same companion, and fairly content on the whole. I work at my machine for five hours every day. You don’t need to send me anything, and in any case, almost everything is forbidden except pork fat, sugar and bread, but we have all that here anyway. I am very grateful for the chocolate, grapes and sweets that Yasik wants to send me; I hope that at some time in the future we will eat them together.
It seems I had forgotten one drawback to our recent trip, until I opened the closet one day and discovered it was full of mice. I burst into tears when I saw what they did to my dresses. See more
"I give you all the furs and jewelry you want, Vaslav said softly, “but is it really so silly to not give them meaning? Have you ever thought about how they brutally kill these animals? And how dangerous a job it is for pearl divers? Because they also have children, and yet they subject themselves to danger every day for the sake of some women's jewelry. " Namely, Tolstoy still owned his brain.
Dear friend! I’ve learnt that you are interested in our venture- to publish a range of biographies for children- and that you wish to undertake more than just the biography of Cervantes. If you limited yourself to just that, goodness only knows!
I am immensely tired.
It seems as the things were taking a better turn -- only, my Love, be firm, show the Master hand, it's that what the Russians need. Love and kindnesses you have never failed to show - now let them feel your fist at times. They ask for it themselves - how many have told me - 'we want to feel the whip' - it's strange but such is the Slave nature, great firmness, hardness even - and warm love. See more
They must learn to fear you, love is not enough. A child that adores its father, must still have fear to anger, displease or disobey him - one must play with the reins, let them loose and draw them in, always let the master-hand be felt; then they also far more value kindness - only gentleness they do not understand.
Human hearts are strange and not tender or susceptible in the higher classes, strange to say. They need decided treatment, especially now. I am sad that we cannot be alone our last luncheon, but they are your own who also want to see you.
Your wall, wify, guarding here in the rear, somethings she can do, but little, but the good ones know she is your staunch upholder.
Ah God, how I love you! Ever increasingly, deep as the sea. Sleep calmly, don’t cough, - may the change of air make you quite well again. Angels guard you, Christ near you, and the sweet Virgin never fail you – our Friend left us to her. Feel my arms encircling you, feel my lips tenderly pressed upon yours - always together, never alone. Farewell - Lovy Sweet, come soon back again to your own very own, Sunny.
We eat well. With you all in spirit. It is lonely and boring here. So very grateful for the letter. Embrace you all. Sleep well.