For my part, living as I am on the threshold between east and west, I can look with dispassion on the ruin of European civilization and I am only surprised at the extraordinarily rapid rate at which it totters to its fall. After all, it took the best part of 500 years for Rome and its civilization to decay, and even the Ottoman Empire in Europe has taken four centuries to recede. But now, in less than three years the lid has been torn off the whited sepulchre of Europe and within we see—!
Show me a hero and I'll write a tragedy.
Surely things cannot be like this in every household?.. From time to time, a crash in the kitchen or in the corridor. Yesterday, in the attic above, perpetual rolling of a ball, as if someone for some incomprehensible reason were bowling, then a piano below me in addition.
Every day after our tea Felix' Papa reads the newspapers out loud. What a bore! Particularly as he always manages to skip the most interesting parts.
What course might the revolution follow? What is the dictatorship of the proletariat? Why is it essential? Why is it impossible without the arming of the proletariat? Why is it perfectly compatible with democracy, in its purest, most all-embracing form? (Despite the beliefs of uninformed popular opinion).
At three o'clock the conference met at the Marie Palace; we sat in the large rotunda room which looks out on Saint Isaac's Square.
Pokrovski presided; but his lack of experience in diplomatic affairs and his gentleness and modesty prevented him from steering the course of the discussion, which wandered aimlessly. There was talk about Greece, Japan, Serbia, America, Rumania, the Scandinavian countries, and so on; but all without logical sequence, dominating purpose or practical conclusions. Several times, Lord Milner, who was next to me, whispered impatiently in my ear.
"We are wasting time!"
I am convinced that the army, like one man and with few exceptions, will side with the revolution.
In his speech at the opening of the conference, General Gurko stated that Russia had mobilized fourteen million men, had lost two millions in killed and wounded, as well as two million prisoners, and had at present seven and a half millions under arms and two and a half millions in her reserve depots. He did not hold out any hope of her army being able to take an offensive on a large scale till the new divisions, about to be formed, had been finally constituted, trained and equipped with the necessary guns, rifles and munitions. All that it could do meanwhile was to hold the enemy by actions of secondary importance. The putcome of the conference was a series of recommendations with regard to the war material and credits which it was proposed that the Allied Governments should place at Russia's disposal.