Next day, while my housekeeper was checking the silver, glass and linen, as she always did after large parties, Vova burst in and told me that a huge crowd was pouring out of Great Dvorianskaia Street. This was the beginning of what everybody had been afraid of: street demonstrations.
I haven’t heard from you for a long time.
I suppose you don’t feel like working on the translation of the leaflet into English? In that case, drop it: I’ll send it as it is to Paris, maybe they’ll find some Englishman there.
All the very best,
I woke up in Smolensk at half past nine. It was cold, bright and windy. I spent my time reading a book about the conquest of Gaul by Julius Ceasar. I arrived in Mogilev at three o'clock. General Alexeev welcomed me. I spent an hour at the headquarters. The house feels empty without Alexei.
Something is awry! Large-scale rioting happened on the Vyborg side due to bread difficulties (it is surprising that this has not happened earlier!).
There have been disturbances today. Of course, nobody knows anything for sure. Tramcars have been stopped in some places (and smashed). it seems a policeman was killed. If everything calms down again tomorrow and we start to put up with things once again - in typical Russian fashion, dully, unthinkingly and silently - then it will not make the slightest bit of difference in the future.
We rioted without dignity and will succumb without dignity. But the attempts to “thwart” us will be just as feeble as our rioting. Which of these two feeble forces will be victorious?
My poor country. Come to your senses!
Some kind of curse seems to hang over the Russian soul: as soon as one of our number is given authority, he immediately imagines himself to be a “servant of the Tsar”, and in such a way feels justified in making his presence felt as strongly as possible by those under him. What is worse, this tendency is observed even among highly educated individuals in the pedagogical and religious communities. This passion for lording it over our inferiors is sadistic!
I saw a crowd gathering on the Anichkov Bridge. Judging by their short coats and heavy boots they seemed to be mainly workers.
A woman with a very stupid expression, completely failing to understand the general atmosphere, called on the crowd to “beat the yids”. See more
Another worker then explained to her that the gathering had an entirely different purpose. His words exhibited great intelligence but his eloquence was clearly wasted on the idiotic woman.
I jumped into a side street, hailed a cab and rode home. My impression was of a very large but very peaceful demonstration. That was my day.
TanyaTatiana Sukhotina-Tolstaya — writer, the eldest daughter of Leo Tolstoy. had been in Tula and was in low spirits when she returned: there was talk of revolution, there was nothing to buy; no bread, no kerosene and shops were closing down.
Ah my love, how sad its without you – how lonely, how I yearn for your love and kisses, priceless treasure, think of you without end.
With the fatality that dogged his footsteps the Emperor, who had spent the months of January and February at Tsarskoe, feeling that he could no longer absent himself from Headquarters, had returned to Mohileff — more than twenty hours distant by train — on Thursday, March 8. Had he remained at Tsarskoe a few days longer, within reach of those who could have kept him accurately informed of the development of events in the capital, he would have been better able to appreciate the extreme gravity of the situation.
I visited Guchkov at 6 p.m., driving through Cossack and police patrols on the Liteini, for the workmen are commencing to strike for want of food. Guchkov said that the blow the present disorgani- sation of transport was dealing the Russian cause was worse than any disaster in the war—worse than the defeats at Tannenberg or in Galicia. The causes are the stupidity and supineness of the present Government, and its con- tinuance in power will make it impossible for Russia to fight through a fourth winter. He had told M. Dumergue (the Chief of the French Delegation) that, with the present Government, he need not count on Russia helping to beat Germany. On February 7th it had been suddenly discovered that many railways had only two to five days’ supply of coal. The Ministers of Ways, Rukhlov and Trepov, had bargained with the coal owners for a year and seven months with out making any contract. They depended on requisitions, which brought them, of course, the worst coal, to the detriment of the engines. See more
No attempt has been made to economise coal. Owing to the cost of the labour necessary to procure wood, coal, even far from the mines,is the cheapest fuel. Hence,even the Arkhangel and Polyesie lines, whose entire length runs through forest, have been allowed to work on coal.
The railways were ordered to carry nothing but coal for a week. The week was extended till March 14th. In this period of over a month it is stated that 3,100 wagons a day have been despatched to all destinations, but Guchkov doubts this, and estimates the quantity despatched in the whole period at only some half million tons.
The Putilov Works stopped yesterday. The Tula Works have stopped, and so have the Tambov and Baranovski powder factories. The Okhta and Shoshka factories are only working a third of their time. Guchkov is thoroughly in agreement with the idea of militarisation of labour, but says such a step could only be taken by a Government that possessed the confidence of the people. He proposed the rationing of munition workers months ago, but nothing has been done. He says that Voinski-Krieger (the Minister of Ways) is a good technical man, but without any “ go.” “Byelyaevis the worst of all.”
The Emperor has gone to G.H.Q.
Questioned regarding the attitude of the workmen in the towns towards the war, Guchkov said that from 10 to 20 per cent, would welcome defeat as likely to strengthen their hands to overthrow the Government. The remainder are in favour of the war, and they hate the Germans, but they disclaim any idea of conquest thei rmotto is national defence, but not offence. They are opposed to the idea of conquering Constantinople or Galicia.
In a pamphlet printed by this latter group it is laid down that “ the whole strength of the country should be mobilised for its defence,” and again, ‘‘ the present political regime is not only designed for the oppression of the working classes, but seems also to be an obstacle to the mobilisation of the whole living strength of the people for defence, and
is thus leading the country to military disaster.” The eleven labour members of the Military Industrial Committee, who were arrested by order of Protopopov on the night of February 5th, belonged to this group. They are still in confinement. However, Guchkov, who guaranteed that they had no revolutionary tendencies, has secured a promise that they will be eventually tried.
It was only after long hesitation that the Czar, in his anxiety, had decided on March 8th, 1917, to leave Tsarskoiie-Selo and go to G.H.Q.
His departure was a great blow to the Czarina, for to the fears aroused in her breast by the political situation had been added her anxiety about Alexis Nicolaievitch. The Czarevitch had been in bed with measles for several days, and his condition had been aggravated by various complications. To crown everything, three of the Grand-Duchesses had also been taken ill, and there was no one but Marie Nicolaievna to help the mother.
It did me good, in my solitude, after two months being together, it not to hear your sweet voice, without to be comforted by those lines of tender love!
What you write about being firm – the master – is perfectly true. I do not forget it – be sure of that, but I need not bellow at people right & left every moment. A quiet sharp remark or answer is enough very often to put the one or the other into his place.
Now, Lovy–mine, it is late. Good night, God bless your slumber, sleep well without the animal-warmth.
There has been great agitation in Petrograd all day. Processions have been parading the main streets. At several points the mob shouted for "Bread and peace!" At others it sang the Working Man's Marseillaise. In the Nevsky Prospekt there have been slight disorders. In spite of the fact that revolution is in the air in his capital, the Emperor, who has spent the last two months at Tsarskoïe-Selo, left for General Headquarters this evening.