Today is Ascension, and I got up early at 7 o' clock and went to Detinets; there are birch trees and lilacs there, green grass, on the remains of the wall, far under the legs of Great Pskov, from all sides the white Church and the blue sky merged, and all was well with me. I only desperately wished that you were there and saw it.
Now that “socialists” have become members of the cabinet, things will be different, the defencists have been assuring us. It did not take more than a few days to reveal the falsity of these assurances.
What does Mr. Tereshchenko, the new Minister of Foreign Affairs, the associate of Skobelev and Tsereteli, have to say on this question? See more
Tereshenko admits that “this question [i.e., the secret treaties] arouses passions”. But what does he do to cool these passions? He simply repeats what Milyukov, who has just been deposed, said before him. "Immediate publication of the treaties would amount to a break with the Allies,” Tereshchenko declared in a statement to the press. And the “socialist” ministers are silent and condone the system of secret diplomacy.
The coalition cabinet has brought no changes. The tsars secret treaties remain sacred to it.
And you, gentlemen, want this not to “arouse passions”? What do you take the class-conscious workers and soldiers for? Or do you really regard them as “rebellious slaves”?
How can we find a way out of the current situation? In the first place, we must put an end to the slaughter, and return the factory benches and fields to those who toil in the cities and the countryside. Then we must rebuild Russia’s finances and treasury. And this can only be done by refusing to pay the loans incurred by the old government. This will anger the bankers of the Allied Nations deeply, but the Russian people is not obliged to render service to bankers - either Russian or foreign. See more
Finally, we must get rid of our high-handed capitalists, by placing industry under the control of the agencies of revolutionary democracy. All these measures, which must be taken to save the country from a genuine famine, can only be achieved through the revolutionary authority of the proletariat and the peasantry. This alone can save our country from imminent disaster.
Now, everyone is so busy with the revolution that, rightly, no one is going to new operas.
I travelled to Helsingfors and Sveaborg. Not far from these two ports, our “large” navy (of dreadnoughts, frigates and cruisers) stood anchored in the Gulf of Finland. I spent two days there, attending many meetings, both public and behind closed doors. At the public meetings I was often openly attacked by Bolsheviks; during the private meetings I was given to hear very harsh criticism from a number of officers, whose lives, watched over by the vigilant eyes of the sailors’ committees, have descended into utter nightmare. See more
However, more generally both the officers and sailors were well inclined towards each other. At one of the meetings a far-left orator announced that, should the situation demand it, the Baltic Fleet will fulfill its duty and block the enemy’s road to the capital. These were brave words, sadly corresponding little with the reality of our capabilities. I returned to Helsingfors with a heavy heart, forced to admit to myself that the Baltic Fleet has been thoroughly embedded with German spies and Lenin’s agents.
Lenin calls Kerensky a swaggerer. Kerensky was and always will be an accidental figure, a placeholder for the real men of history. Each new and mighty wave of the revolution, sucking in masses of the untested and inexperienced, invariably throws up such fleeting heroes, only for these to be instantly blinded by their newfound radiance.
I received a telegram from Lord Robert Cecil, who was then in charge of the Foreign Ofl&ce, informing me that the War Cabinet were impressed with the necessity of creating a more favour- able attitude among Russian Socialists and workmen towards the war, and of rectifying the false impressions that were being circulated in Russia about our aims. Feeling that this could be done with better chance of success by a Labour leader than by anyone else, they had decided to send out Mr. Henderson on a special mission. See more
After kindly expressing warm appreciation of my work. Lord Robert went on to say that they felt sure that Mr. Henderson could count on my cordial co-operation, and suggested that, if I saw no objection, it might be well were I, a few weeks after Mr. Henderson's arrival, to come to London to give the Government the benefit of my personal advice.
While I quite appreciated the reasons that had prompted the War Cabinet to send out Mr. Hender- son, I failed to understand why they were so anxious that I should come home. "If," as I afterwards wrote to Lord Hardinge, "it was because they were afraid that, were I to remain, Mr. Henderson would not have a free hand to deal with the situation, and that I might not work in line with him, I can only say that such lack of confidence greatly distresses me. When Lord Milner came out to the conference last winter, I was only too ready to efface myself, and it was a real pleasure for me to work under him. I should have been glad to do the same again and to serve under Henderson, who is a Cabinet Minister. His mission will be one of extraordinary difficulty, and, as I understand the Russians better than most people, I might have been able to help him in many ways."
As, however, there was no question of my remaining on, I was determined, at any rate, to have my own position cleared up. I accordingly sent the following reply to Lord Robert's telegram:
"Please assure Mr. Henderson that he can count on my most cordial co-operation and support. As regards question of my going on leave, I am entirely at your orders. I should like to know the approximate date at which you would wish me to start on leave, and whether I am to consider that leave as my definite recall."
The ‘Hymn of Free Russia’, heard for the first time in America yesterday afternoon at a benefit concert for the repatriated Siberian exiles, and overshadowing for the moment some of Russia’s greatest music in the same program, stirred an audience that filled Aeolian Hall, and left it excited as perhaps no other musical event has thrilled this public since the war. See more
At the fiest note from Ossip Gabrilowitsch’s orchestra, 1,500 persons leaped to their feet and stood at attention through the five brief stanzas sung in Russian by George Harris, the tenor. Copies of the words in English had been distributed, and the history of the song’s origin in the late revolution was already known. Before the house could be quieted, the magnificent air land to be repeated again to the same standing crowd.
Gretchaninoff, the composer of the music, which, since March, has replaced ‘Czar’s Hymn’ by the grandfather of Prince Lvoff, the present revolutionary Premier, is one of Russia’s best known composers today. The orchestra version used was made by Wilhelm Strassion, an Austrian by birth and former conductor at the opera in Petrograd. By the irony of fate he was not present yesterday to hear the work, though he is now in New York as a war refugee.
The melody of song, which is both march and hymn, is of notable simplicity, its highest flight comprised within octavo of notes, and unadorned as a child’s piano exercise. The crowd could have sung it after twice hearing yesterday. The harmony, almost equally plain, yet enriched in the spirit of Russian folksong, made a profound impression.
It was a nice light day. I took a short walk until Mass. After breakfast I went with Alix to visit E. A. Naryshkin, who apparently had pneumonia. We worked in the vegetable garden and perspired a lot. I read until 7:15 and then for the first time I went for a ride with the children on bicycles. It was very pleasant to get out and breathe the evening air.