I’m living very well, every day I meet with someone interesting, laugh, write poetry and make new interesting literary connections.
Today I will be spending the evening at the house of one Yeats, an English Vyacheslav. I have also been promised a meeting with Chesterton, who, it turns out, is just over 40 but has written around 20 books. He is either greatly loved or utterly despised, but acknowledged by all.
My faithful DjibiThe beloved dog of Mathilde Kschessinska died after a visit to Tsarskoie Selo. This made me very sad. He had shared in our joys and sorrows; and I still remember one night during the terrible time we had just been through when, exhausted and near to nervous prostration, I flung myself weeping on my bed. Djibi had sprung towards me, with an expression of human compassion, whimpering that he could not comfort me. See more
Vova and I took him to the garden at Strelna, where he had so recently trotted and played. This time the soldiers who occupied my datcha behaved touchingly and helped us to dig and fill in the little grave.
The Congress of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies recently adjourned at the Cadets’ College has only deepened my pessimism. The meeting began with a discussion of the Dacha Durnovo. Pereverzev, Liber, Kamenev, Tsereteli with his histrionics, and Lunacharsky, all made speeches, the latter receiving reproaches from the Asiatic Chkheidze for addressing the congress without the reverence apparently accorded it. See more
They all spoke very coherently, “convinced and convincing”, with calm and even business-like temper. Yet, essentially, despite the great superfluity of fine words, I left the assembly without having formed the slightest impression. Lord knows, an audience is correct in greeting every speech with an identically rousing storm of ovation, even if this speech stands in stark contradiction to its predecessor, and even if this predecessor was met by the very same ovation. The mood, I should note, in the hall was decidedly moderate and calm. I can see now that there is an audience capable of standing through one of Lenin’s speeches.
I consider the decree of the committee of delegates to deprive officers of their weapons shameful, to the military command, to the officers, the navy and to myself personally. I believe that neither I nor any other officer has done anything that would cast doubts on their sincerity, or suggest the existence of any motives besides their desire to serve Russia’s armed forces. See more
I nevertheless call on all officers to avoid any potential excesses and voluntarily submit to the demands of the military command and give up their weapons to them.
I give up also my St George saber, which I was awarded for my part in the defense of Port Arthur. As regards the insults afforded me and my officers, I consider it unacceptable to blame the Black Sea Navy which I have been entrusted with, as I am fully aware that the current madness is the result of outside agitators. I consider it harmful to remain at my post commanding the navy and with a clear conscience await the decisions of the government.
Dear Igor, alas, I cannot make my way to Paris until I have finished some urgent work here. I read your telegram to Ida Rubinstein and she said that such letters, no matter how detailed, are always open to interpretation. She bases this fear on her over-the-post experience with Sebastian and Salome (for which she ordered music from Glazunov). See more
She begs of you to make sure that the music in the scene of Cleopatra’s death truly mirrors the action. You know, I am sure, the scene, which must be one of the greatest examples of the genius of human inspiration. But everything is subject to your choice - the length, the interpretation and the instrumentation. Write to me with your questions and I will answer immediately. I think that the work will be staged in the Paris Opera (but this should be a secret). Also write to me about your schedule and similar conditions. That’s it, I will quit with this verbosity, which will be for the better.
I warmly embrace you.
The Russian Army, it transpired, was one of the very worst. Entire divisions are refusing to engage. It is shameful, before our allies and before those who have already given up their lives. It seems the current army is in no condition to do anything of good; it is just of a horde of mouths to be fed. They lap up the dangerous words of some so-called Lenin and his accomplices.
The mood at Headquarters is serious. The new High Commanding General Brusilov, immediately adopted a more than unseemly and ingratiating tone with the Mogilyov Soviet of Workers and Soldiers. Under General Alekseev, this Soviet acted cautiously and never chose to openly present any demands to Headquarters. See more
General Brusilov’s behavior immediately lent the members of the Soviet a new sense of daring, and it soon sent a mandate to High Command to adopt measures for the elimination of a “counterrevolutionary nest” at Headquarters.
In such terrible heat all I want to wear is a white cotton dress. A few years ago I gave Clara a whole bunch of embroidered cambric, which she still has- she dared not use it. Could you ask that she give me a few meters and order a dress to be cut, as such fabric is impossible to get hold of presently. My usual style will do- just make sure the skirt is made a bit wider from below.
Three months have gone by already!! The people were promised that there would be more food and fuel, but everything is worse and more expensive. They have been deceived, and I pity them. How we tried to help them, but now they are done for…
King George V and Queen Mary at ceremony in Lancashire.