After lunch someone picked up a balalaika and the choir of the 1st Railway Regiment of His Majesty burst into song – they sang and played remarkably well.
I cannot and will not believe that in this world, with all its wealth, with all our intelligence and with so many kind hearts, we cannot arrange our affairs in such a way that half-starving (truthfully starving!) Chinese were not forced to wander the streets in summer clothes selling ridiculous and entirely unwanted paper flowers.
Heavens above! What can possibly stand in our way?
One evening, about a fortnight before the Revolution, when I was sitting in my usual place, listening to the Roumanian orchestra, I noticed that the Empress seemed unusually sad. So I ventured to bend forward and whisper, anxiously:
- Oh, Madame, why are You so sad tonight ? - The Empress turned and looked at me: - Why am I sad, Lili? I can't really say, but the music depresses Me. I think my heart is broken.
The same evening, Anna childishly observed:
- We all seem out of sorts. What fun it would be to have some champagne!
The Empress was angry at the suggestion:
- No - she said, - the Emperor hates wine, he can't bear women to drink wine — but what matter his likes or his dislikes, when people will have it that he's a drunkard himself?
Grand Duke Mikhail Alexandrovich paid a visit to the Emperor and set about convincing him that the army was growing increasingly discontented at his prolonged absence from the Stavka (General Headquarters of the High Command). Following this conversation, the Emperor decided to take off, regarding discontent in the army as a sufficiently serious reason to hasten to the Stavka; at the same time, however, he and the Empress learned of further developments that outraged and disturbed them deeply.
The Emperor informed me that he’d been told by a trustworthy source that the British ambassador, Sir George Buchanan, was playing an active role in the intrigues against Their Majesties, and that he and the Grand Dukes were all but holding meetings on the subject at the embassy. The Emperor spoke of his intention to send a telegram to King George and ask him to forbid the British ambassador from interfering in the domestic politics of Russia; he perceived in all this a desire on the part of Britain to foment revolution in our country, and thereby to leave it in a weaker position once we get to peace negotiations. But as for requesting that Buchanan be recalled, this, in His Majesty’s words, “would be too severe a move”.
Tania loudly read "Childhood", by Leo Tolstoy, to us. What a feeling of freshness! But there were some weaker moments.
It is almost like a mirage appearing in the scorched air of the desert, painting exotic cities, lakes and oases in the sky: Rayonism blurs those lines which exist between the painted canvas and nature.
Thes past few days I have lost my wits and shaved my head, my scalp has already dried up completely/my scalp is now extremely dry. I’ll fly a little.