It would seem that there’s a way of getting drunk without resorting to vodka: exhaustion and autosuggestion. Throughout these days I have been positively, genuinely drunk. I find it rather agreeable.
By my reckoning, 1917 will be my death year.
I have found you a terrific atelier. Boards, wood, and canvas have already been purchased. I have found you an artist who will make a good assistant. It is of the utmost importance that you leave Paris together with me on 7 February.
Ceaseless anti-war propaganda is sapping the will to fight. Many factories have been evacuated; in others, the workers are on strike. The government, which seems to be doing everything in its power to spread popular discontent, is widely despised. The Tsar’s authority is all but lost.
Things have become extremely bad at home in Russia. They are cutting down the branch upon which they've been sitting since time immemorial.
At the root of the question of pacifism (a question of utmost importance for Switzerland) is the idea that the war is somehow not connected with capitalism, that it is somehow not a continuation of pre-war politics. This idea is a theoretical falsehood.
We had hoped the murder wouldn’t be for naught – that Tsarskoye Selo would finally come to its senses, heed the warnings, or simply grow afraid. But things went in precisely the opposite direction. As if by perverse design, it was Rasputin’s supporters who were promoted.
When I entered the ministry, there was still no Japanese ambassador, since the previous ambassador, Motono, had been appointed minister of foreign affairs. Incidentally, I’d been acquainted with him before, but only very slightly; despite his extremely unsightly, almost simian appearance, he came across as a very intelligent man possessed of a great deal of knowledge about Russian affairs. Motono was succeded by Viscount Uchida. He’d previously served as Minister of Foreign Affairs: a robust fellow, he struck me as a very energetic character. Of course, he was not yet familiar with Russian life. But the staff of the Japanese embassy seemed to be more adept than others at familiarising themselves with Russian affairs. This was obvious from Uchida’s dealings with people, and from the dispatches he sent to Japan, and which we intercepted. He saw, with a clear and sober eye, our internal degeneration, and saw, too, that a revolution was approaching.
The most devoted servants of tsarism, and even some of those who form the monarch's ordinary entourage, are beginning to be alarmed at the pace of events.
I have just learned from a very reliable source that Admiral Nilov, A.D.C. General to the Emperor and one of his closest personal friends, quite recently had the courage to point out to him the whole peril of the situation; he actually went so far as to beg him to send the Empress away---as being the only thing which could still save the empire and the dynasty. Nicholas II, who is chivalrous and worships his wife, rejected the suggestion with intense scorn.
Admiral Nilov's intervention is particularly impressive because until quite recently he has always sided with the Empress. He was a close friend of Rasputin and intimately associated with the gang and is therefore largely responsible for the discredit and disgrace into which the imperial court has now fallen. But at bottom, he is honest and patriotic. At long last he has seen the abyss which is opening at Russia's feet, and he is trying---too late---to clear his conscience.