Bad news from Vienna and environs: serious strike movement, due to the reduction of the flour rations and the tardy progress of the Brest negotiations. The weakness of the Vienna Ministry seems to be past all understanding. I have telegraphed to Vienna that I hope in time to secure some supplies from the Ukraine, if only we can manage to keep matters quiet at home for the next few weeks, and I have begged the gentlemen in question to do their utmost not to wreck the peace here. On the same day, in the evening, I telegraphed to Dr. von Seidler, the Prime Minister:
"I very greatly regret my inability to counteract the effect of all the errors made by those entrusted with the food resources. Germany declares categorically that it is unable to help us, having insufficient for itself. Had your Excellency or your department called attention to the state of things in time, it might still have been possible to procure supplies from Roumania. As things are now, I can see no other way than that of brute force, by requisitioning Hungarian grain for the time being, and forwarding it to Austria, until the Roumanian, and it is to be hoped also Ukrainian, supplies can come to hand."
If everything that the Bolsheviks are doing to Russia is an experiment, then I wouldn't even have spared a frog for such an experiment.
The situation is really tense. One can feel it behind everyone’s every word. It is in the air. Socialist-revolutionaries are preparing for battle (a losing one, I think). Tomorrow at noon the Constituent Assembly is scheduled to convene. A demonstration is being planned for this, members of the CA are hoping to “flow” into the Tavrichesky Palace with the demonstration, but this is for naught, for the Bolsheviks are preparing their own: from a while ago, their prohibition of the participation of all “faithful ones” in the demonstration and their order to Latvians and specially called sailors (more than a thousand) to cordon off the area around Tavrichesky Palace and to not let anyone close. But members will be allowed to enter—and only they. It is not really clear why a larger number of Socialist Revolutionaries were not re-arrested? Maybe, tonight…
Friends of Russia here think of the dictatorship of the proletariat as merely a new form of representative government, in which only working men and women have votes, and the constituencies are partly occupational, not geographical. They think that " proletariat " means " proletariat," but " dictatorship " does not quite mean " dictatorship." This is the opposite of the truth. When a Russian Communist speaks of dictatorship, he means the word literally, but when he speaks of the proletariat, he means the word in a Pickwickian sense. He means the " class-conscious " part of the proletariat, i.e., the Communist Party. He includes people by no means proletarian (such as Lenin and Tchicherin) who have the right opinions, and he excludes such wage-earners as have not the right opinions, whom he classifies as lackeys of the bourgeoisie.
Good morning, my darling! What a long time since I have written to you, and how glad I was to get your little letter. It is very sad we don't see each other, but God will arrange for us to meet, and what joy it will be then. We live in the house where you have been. Do you remember the rooms? They are quite comfortable when a little arranged. We walk out twice every day. Some of the people here are kind. Every day I remember you, and love you very much. Mr. Gibbs gave us photographs he made of you—it was so nice to have them. Your perfumes remind us so much of you. I wish you every blessing from God, and kiss you tenderly. Don't be sad. Love to all yours.
Today Marie got sick. She had a rash which gave her face a raspberry crimson hue. In the meantime her temperature went up. Tatiana was quite all right. I took a walk with Anastasia alone. It was 10 degrees of frost outside and there was a wind. We rehearsed our parts. I received a letter from Kseny.