Kerensky arrived today, and the empress sent for me so that I might be present during the interrogation which was no doubt in store for her. She rehearsed all the unpleasant things she had been longing to say to him before his arrival. She was indignant and nervous, but I managed to calm her down by assuring her that Kerensky was doing all in his power to save her from the fury of the anarchists.
She agreed that I was right, and fell silent. At this point Kerensky entered the room accompanied by the commandant. He then asked us to kindly leave him alone with the Empress.
I then retreated with the Tsar into his bedroom and reported everything to him as it had been. We remained together until the interrogation was complete, at which point I went to the empress and Kerensky to the Tsar. The empress had been left with a favorable impression of Kerensky, who she called sympathetic and frank, and on whom she said she believed she could rely. I am left to deduce from this that Kerensky was similarly impressed, as she had spoken sincerely, and he must have seen that the description of her that I had given was accurate: she is entirely genuine in her unwavering deludedness.
It was a cold day with a wind blowing. I took a walk for half an hour and then sat with the children while Alix was at Mass. During the day Kerensky came and distracted me from the work on the ice. At first he spoke with Alix and then with me. After tea I read. During the evening I sat alone - we drank tea together and slept in the same place.
My daughter Sasha arrived today. She remains, thank God, as blooming and healthy as ever; she still smiles and still laughs loudly. I am trying not to get too excited about Sasha’s stay, as she will stay with us only for a couple of days, despite how much we anxiously awaited her visit.
Up to now we have received nothing, absolutely nothing from you—no letters, no packets, no money. Only two telegrams from Hanecki. We are sending you two files of Pravda: one for you, the other for Karpinsky (Mr. Karpinsky. Bibliothèque russe. 7. rue Hugo de Senger. 7. Genève. (Genf) Suisse), and two sets of cuttings: one for you, the other for Karpinsky. See more
Notify us by postcard (M. T. Yelizarov for V. I. Shirokaya Ul., 48, kv. 24. Petrograd) or by telegram that you have received this letter and the papers.
Steinberg has arrived, and promises to get hold of the packets which were sent. We shall see whether he succeeds.
If you get the newspapers, they will give you an idea of the whole situation.
In case the papers don’t reach you, let me describe it in brief.
The bourgeoisie (+Plekhanov) are furiously attacking us for travelling through Germany. They are trying to incite the soldiers against us. So far it isn’t coming off: there are supporters, and loyal ones, among them. Among the S.R.s and the Social-Democrats there is the most desperate chauvinist excitement, which has taken the form of “revolutionary defencism ” (now, they allege, there is something to defend, namely, the republic against Wilhelm). We are being furiously attacked for opposing “unity”, while the masses are for the unity of all Social-Democrats. We are against.
Chkheidze has sunk completely into “revolutionary defencism”. In a bloc with Potresov. All are for the Liberty Loan. It is opposed only by us+the Nashe Slovo group+ Larin and a handful of Martov’s friends.
We are calling an all-Russia conference of Bolsheviks on April 22, 1917.
Albert Thomas and I dined at the British Embassy this evening. But he was in my room as early as half-past seven; he had come to tell me of a long conversation he had with Kerensky this afternoon, the principal topic of which was the revision of "war aims." See more
Kerensky had insisted strongly on the necessity of undertaking such a revision, in conformity with the resolution of the Soviet; he thinks that the Allied Governments will lose all their credit with the Russian democracy if they do not publicly abandon their programme of annexations and indemnities.
"I confess," Albert Thomas said to me, "that I am very much impressed by the force of his arguments and the warmth he puts into his advocacy."
Then, repeating the metaphor Cachin used a day or two ago, he summed up thus:
"We shall be obliged to throw out some ballast."
I argued contra that the Russian democracy was rather too inexperienced, ignorant and uneducated to start claiming to dictate to the democracies of France, England, Italy and America, and that what is attacked is the whole policy of the Alliance. He repeated:
"It doesn't matter! We must throw out some ballast!"
It was now nearly eight o'clock, so we left for the British Embassy.
Among the other guests were Prince and Princess Sergei Bielosselsky, Princess Marie Troubetzkoï, M. and Madame Polovtsov.
Albert Thomas was extraordinarily pleasant and kind and made himself very popular by his wit, his animated and picturesque conversation and total lack of affectation.
Yet two or three times I thought that his candour would have benefited by being more discreet and less expansive and transparent. For instance, he too obviously enjoyed expatiating on his past as a revolutionary, his part in the railway strike of 1911 and the emotional satisfaction he derives from finding himself here in an atmosphere of popular tempest. Perhaps he only talks as he does to avoid any appearance of disowning his political antecedents.