I sent Captain Smith (the Embassy translator) yesterday to Trotsky to see if it was possible to come to some understanding with him with regard to the British subjects who want to leave Russia. Trotsky replied that in the note which he had addressed to me he had not intended to convey a threat and that I must make allowance for his ignorance of diplomatic language.
He had only wished to make it clear that the same treatment must be meted out to Russians in England as to Englishmen in Russia. It was only four days later, after receiving no reply to his note and after reading in the Press that I had decided to forward his note to my Government (the statement that had appeared in the Press to the above effect was false), that he had issued the order in question.
He had also thought it well to warn me that he knew as a fact that I was in touch with some of Kaledin's agents, though he would not mention their names. He could not, he said, act on my suggestion by taking the first step ; but he would engage to allow British subjects to leave at once as soon as I published a statement in the Petrograd Press to the effect that His Majesty's Government were prepared to reconsider the cases of all interned Russians and to allow those who were not proved guilty of any illegal acts to return to Russia.
The above question was finally settled by His Majesty's Government consenting to repatriate the interned Russians, provided that freedom of movement was restored to British subjects in Russia.
A horrible cold has started. I am always freezing. In the morning, after the library, I go to the doctor, who tells me a bunch of unpleasant things. At lunch, a baron comes to visit to see if there were any news from mom. After lunch, at dusk, snow falls, and they play Schumann downstairs. We go to the doctor and then to the cinema.
Civil servants in state and social organizations who sabotage the work in the most important areas of people’s lives are declared enemies of the people. Their names from now on will be published in all Soviet publications, and lists of enemies of the people will be hung in all public spaces.
The time for talking is over. Anyone can see that our revolution is in danger. We are too inclined to react to events with generosity. Our opponents are gathering strength. The counter-revolutionaries are active throughout the country, winning converts to their ranks. Yet the greatest enemy is here, in Petrograd, ready to strike at our very heart. See more
We have irrefutable proof of this threat, and must man this front, the most dangerous and must brutal, with the most decisive, aggressive, and loyal comrades. I propose, I demand that we initiate revolutionary reprisals against those who support the counter-revolution. And the time for action is not tomorrow, but today, right now...
Yesterday I received your letter and I thank you for it from my heart. It was such a joy to hear from you and to think how merciful is God to have given you this compensation. Your life in town must be more than unpleasant, confined in stuffy rooms, steep stairs to climb, no lovely walks possible, horrors all around you. Poor child! You know that in heart and soul I am near you, sharing all your pain and sorrow and praying for you fervently. See more
Every day I read the book you gave me seven years ago, "Day by Day," and like it very much. There are lovely passages in it. The weather is very changeable, frost, sunshine, then darkness and thawings. Desperately dull for those who enjoy long walks and are deprived of them. Lessons continue as usual. Mother and daughters work and knit a great deal, making Christmas presents. How time flies! In two weeks more it will be eight months since I saw you last. And you, my little one, so far away in loneliness and sorrow. But you know where to seek consolation and strength, and you know that God will never forsake you. His love is overall. On the whole, we are all well since I do not count chills and colds. Alexei's knee and arm swell from time to time, but happily without any pain. My heart has not been behaving very well. I read much, and live in the past, which is so full of rich memories. I have full trust in a brighter future. He will never forsake those who love and trust in His infinite mercy, and when we least expect it He will send help and will save our unhappy country. Patience, faith, and truth.
How did you like the two little colored cards? I have not heard from Lili Dehn for three months. It is hard to be cut off from all one's dear friends. I am so glad that your old servant and Nastia are with you, but where are the maids, Zina and Mainia? So Father Makari has left us. But he is really nearer than he was before. Our thoughts will be very close together next month. You remember our last journey and what followed. After this anniversary it seems to me that God will show mercy. Kiss Praskovia and the children for me. The maid Liza and the girls have not come yet. All of us send tenderest love, blessings, and kisses. God bless you, dearest friend. Keep a brave heart. P. S. I should like to send you a little food, some macaroni for instance.