I've come back to Moscow. Mayakovsky arrived from Pertrograd and was staying in Stoleshnikov lane. In the morning, I went to visit him at the hotel. He was getting up, and while dressing, read me the new “War and Peace.” I did not share my opinion on it.
He read it in my eyes. Besides, he was aware of the effect he had on me. I started talking about futurism and said that it would have been great if he openly sent it all to hell. Laughing, he almost agreed with me.
Many in musical circles are saying it’s time we got rid of “Lord, save the Tsar” and came up with a new national anthem. Personally, I think that we could no better than with Glinka’s “Glory”, only with new words of course. What could be more inspiring and noble? See more
But the worm of vanity has buried its way into the hearts of our composers - ‘just think, me, the “author of the national anthem”, what fame! I confess there were moments when I thought the worm had bitten me too, but then I immediately felt ashamed. In no time at all fifteen new hymns have appeared, each one worse than the one before. Every time I pause to consider the extent of the much and the weakness in men’s hearts, the poverty of imagination, how all these hack musicians compose, worrying all the time whether or not they will be understood while having no idea what it is they’re supposed to be composing - it’s all these moments I feel like showing them how it’s done, but then it seems to me like a cheap popularity trick and I put the idea out of mind.
With all my heart I welcome the revolution. I celebrate the overthrow of the Romanovs. They, of course, were leading Russia to the cliff edge. There can be no two ways about this. And then I went to the cafe “PrivalCafe "Prival komediantov", the gathering place of pre-revolutionary intelligence and poets in St. Petersburg.”. It was empty, sleepy and boring. The place was almost unoccupied save for a few Jews. And suddenly I became painfully sorry for the fate of our “Empire”.
While it may be conceded that the class struggle is necessary, it can never be said to be a Christian truth or religious good. Christianity sees a higher truth in the giving away of one’s riches to one’s neighbours, but never in the taking of one’s neighbours riches. See more
Christianity can never believe that God’s Kingdom can be attained by following the earthly paths of materialism, nor that forced virtue and forced brotherhood are either possible or desirable.
One of the regiments of the 4th rifle division skillfully, with love, and with great effort built a camp church by our positions. First weeks of the revolution… The demagogue lieutenant decided that his squadron was housed badly and that the church is a superstition. He installed his squadron there without permission, and by the altar dug a small ditch for… See more
I am not surprised that there is a scoundrel officer in the regiment and that the command was terrorized and silent. But why 2-3 thousand Russian, Orthodox people, who were brought up in the mystical mould of the religion, were so indifferent to the desecration of the holy place?
Honor and glory to the Russian people. The sun of freedom is shining over Russia and has immediately illuminated the deep bed of the lake—the genius of the Russian people. And this genius tells us of generosity towards the past and of able energy in the future.
I have never before been among the aristocracy. The February Revolution destroyed all class divisions.
The Ambassador of the United States, my dear Francis (but not a diplomat), certainly wanted America to recognise the first Russian coup. And I willingly joined him in a small conspiracy. Francis was received by the government in a solemn audience.
The enthusiastic girl, looking with curiosity around her, pinned the young soldier to the shop door: “Well, comrade, how was the revolution received at the war front? Tell us about it. After all, you just arrived today.” The soldier is embarrassed and he says quietly: “We were very happy. Immediately all the salo was eaten.” The girl is perplexed.
When this was over and the groups broke up and mingled, I attacked General Manikovski, who was acting for M. Guchkov as Minister of War. I said that these were merely diplomatic words, but what of the situation at Dvinsk, where Keilson had told me that the men were streaming back from the trenches with the officers powerless to control. I said the same thing to M. Kerenski. See more
He said that the great preoccupation of the Government was to restore discipline in the army, and more especially in the navy. He spoke of the proclamations issued on the 22nd. But what is the good of proclamations? It seems to me that we are moving straight to anarchy and a separate peace.
When the Empress sent for me on the morning of March 10th, I found her lying on the couch in her boudoir. The Emperor was with her; she motioned me to come and sit beside her, and the Emperor talked to us. He first described an incident which had impressed him most strongly that very morning. See more
“When I got up,” he said, “I put on my dressing-gown and looked through the window which gives on the courtyard, I noticed that the sentinel who was usually stationed there was now sitting on the steps —his rifle had slipped out of his hand— he was dozing! I called my valet, and showed him the unusual sight, and I couldn’t help laughing—it was really absurd. At the sound of my laughter the soldier awoke, but he did not attempt to move —he scowled at us, and we withdrew. But what a conclusive proof of the general demoralisation! All must indeed be at an end for Russia, as without law, obedience and respect no empire can exist.”
The Empress then questioned the Emperor about certain doings at G.H.Q.
“Some occurrences were exceptionally painful” replied the Emperor. “My mother drove with me through the town, which was profusely decorated with red flags and a profusion of bunting. My poor mother couldn’t bear to look at the flags… but the sight of them did not affect me; it seemed such a stupid and useless display! The behaviour of the crowd was in curious contrast to this exhibition of Revolutionary power, as they all knelt, as of yore, when our automobile passed.”
Quickly and happily we arrived at Tsarskoe Selo at 11:30. Good Lord, what a difference in the streets and the palace surroundings, within the park were sentries, and on the porch such insolence! I went upstairs and there 124 I saw dear Alix and our dear children. She appeared well and healthy. See more
They were all together in a dark room, but all felt well except Marie, who had just caught the measles. We had dinner and joked with Alexis. I saw dear Benckendorf. I took a walk with Dolgorukov and then worked with him in the garden. T.K. also arrived somehow. After tea I unpacked my things. In the evening we all sat around talking.