AN AMBASSADOR'S MEMOIRS
By Maurice Paléologue
(Last French Ambassador to the Russian Court)
TRANSLATED BY F. A. HOLT, O.B.E.
THE TSAR NICHOLAS II
NEW YORK: GEORGE H. DORAN COMPANY
VOL. I. (July, 1914-June 2nd, 1915)
I. JULY 20--23, 1914
St. Petersburg to Peterhof---The Tsar takes me on his yacht to meet the President of the Republic.---Conversation with His Majesty on the subject of William II.---In Cronstadt Roads.---Arrival of the warship France.---First meeting of the two heads of State.---Banquet at Peterhof.---The Tsaritsa Alexandra Feodorovna.---The Russian Court.---The President of the Republic discusses general politics.---The President's visit to St. Petersburg.---The fortress of SS. Peter and Paul.---At the tomb of Alexander III.---Diplomatic reception at the Winter Palace.---The President's conversation with the Austro-Hungarian Ambassador.---Banquet at the Embassy.---Disorderly strikes in the industrial quarters.---Luncheon at Peterhof.---The Minister of the Court.---At Krasnoïe-Selo camp.---Evening service.---Banquet given in honour of the President and the Tsar by the Grand Duke Nicholas.---The Montenegrin Grand Duchesses.---Review at Krasnoïe-Selo.---Farewell banquet on board the France.---The toasts.---Last meeting of the President and the Tsar.---The French squadron leaves.---I accompany the Tsar on his yacht.---An exchange of impressions.---A sea trip.---Return to St. Petersburg.
II. JULY 24--AUGUST 2, 1914
Austro-Hungarian Ultimatum to Serbia.---The Russian Government at once adopts a conciliatory attitude.---Vain efforts of Sazonov, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, to induce England to range herself immediately on the side of Russia and France.---The uncompromising tone of the German and Austro-Hungarian Ambassadors.---At my request Sazonov agrees off-hand to all the steps France and England think likely to avert war.---General mobilization of the Austro-Hungarian army.---Threatening action of the German Ambassador.---Military preparations of the Russian General Staff.---Bombardment of Belgrade.---The Russian Government's last effort for peace. ---Exchange of telegrams between the Tsar Nicholas and the Emperor William.---The German ultimatum to Russia.---The declaration of war.--- "There is a divine justice!. . ."---General mobilization of the French army.---The Tsar's proclamation to his people.---Religious ceremony at the Winter Palace: the oath of 1812.
III. AUGUST 3--17, 1914
The war creates a wave of patriotic enthusiasm among the whole Russian nation.---The Grand Duke Nicholas is appointed Generalissimo.---England ranges herself on the side of France and Russia.---The Tsar receives me at Peterhof: his gratitude to France.---The general scheme of military operations; a fight to the death.---The Grand Duke Nicholas then receives me.---Promise of an immediate and direct offensive against Germany. ---Austria-Hungary declares war on Russia.---Enthusiasm of the Russian army. ---Meeting of the Duma on August 8: all parties united.---The Grand Duchess Marie Pavlovna.---Slavism and Germanism; German influences in Russia.---General offensive of the Russian armies.---The Grand Duke Nicholas's manifesto to the Polish nation.
IV. AUGUST 18--SEPTEMBER 11, 1914
The Tsar at Moscow.---Imposing ceremonies.---Popular excitement.---Memories of 1812.---Sazonov's views on the future of Germany.---Death of Pope Pius X.---The German march on Paris.---The Russian offensive in East Prussia.---The Soldau disaster: "We owe this sacrifice to France. . ."---The capital of the Empire henceforth to be called Petrograd.---The character of Nicholas I.---His superstitious fears bred of his ill luck.---The Declaration of London: no separate peace.---Operations of the Russian armies in Galicia, Poland and Prussia.---The victory of the Marne.
V. SEPTEMBER 12--OCTOBER 28, 1914
Rasputin's return to Petrograd.---Conversation with Count Witte: his pessimism.---" This stupid adventure must be liquidated as soon as possible." ---At St. Alexander Nevsky Monastery; Russian piety. A performance at the Marie Theatre: Life for the Tsar.---General Sukhomlinov, the War Minister.---The Russian offensive against Germany.---Rasputin reappears; his past; his influence at court.---Turkey closes the Straits.--- The Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna.---Moscow, the Sacred City: "God's Kingdom on Russian Soil."---The assassination of the Grand Duke Sergius in 1905; Tanganka prison; the Grand Duchess's visit to the assassin; the execution in Schlusselburg prison; her farewell to the world; the Convent of Martha and Mary.---The general offensive of the Russian armies.---The Polish question and dreams of Constantinople.---The death of King Charles I of Rumania.---The anarchist Lenin.---The Holy Synod and the Marseillaise.---Patriotism of the students.---Successes of the Russian armies in Poland and Galicia.
VI. OCTOBER 29--NOVEMBER 30, 1914
Sudden attack by Turkish destroyers on the Russian fleet at Odessa.---Allied rupture with Turkey.---A Rasputin logograph.---Victory of the Russians in Galicia.---They resume their offensive in Poland.---The utopias of Slavism; the Byzantine dream.---Intrigues of Count Witte.---England spontaneously abandons Constantinople to Russia.---An audience with the Emperor. Nicholas II gives me his views on the terms of the future peace.---The Battle of Lodz: a victory is prematurely announced by the Russians who let it slip from their grasp.---A forerunner of Rasputin; the magician Philippe; the canonization of Saint Seraphin and the birth of the Tsarevitch.
VII. DECEMBER 1-31, 1914
Oppressive activities of the Russian administration in Galicia.---The Germans resume the offensive in Poland; the Russians evacuate Lodz.---Pope Benedict XV and the Truce of God.---Wave of pessimism in Russian society.---Victory of the Serbs at Valievo.---The Russian operations suddenly stop.---No more rifles or ammunition.---The curse of a system.---At Kutosov's tomb.---Courage and gentleness of the Russian soldier.---Madame Vyrubova; her close friendship with the Empress.---The end of the year; gloomy forebodings.
VIII. JANUARY 1--FEBRUARY 13, 1915
Opportunity for a separate peace with Austria-Hungary.---The Empress's patriotism.---The Okhrana: its origin, prerogatives and power. The palace police and the Emperor's personal police.---French policy and Austria-Hungary.---Religious feelings of the Russian people.---Evangelism and mysticism.---The sects.---At the Hermitage.---Ceremonies at Tsarskoïe-Selo on January 1st (O.S.). The Emperor's firm declaration to me.---Madame Vyrubova and Rasputin.---Intelligence of the Russian peasant.---Autocracy and orthodoxy; the doctrine of pure Tsarism.---The Russian students; the University proletariat; the women students.---The moujik's charitable instincts.---The Polish question. Discovery of a telegram from the Tsar to the Emperor William; Germany's responsibility increased.---Reopening of the Duma; the dream of Constantinople.---A hero of revolutionary Socialism: Bourtzev. The French Government instructs me to obtain his pardon. The Emperor's magnanimity.
IX. FEBRUARY 14--MARCH 31, 1915
Precipitate retreat of the Russians in East Prussia.---The Grand Duke Nicholas and Rasputin.---Catherine II and the Jewish question.---Suspicious attitude of Bulgaria.---The Duc de Guise's mission to Sophia.---My meeting with Rasputin. His extraordinary conversation: "For more than twenty years we shall harvest nothing but sorrow on Russian soil."---An Anglo-French fleet tries to force the Dardanelles.---Russia claims Constantinople officially.---General Pau's mission; I present him to the Emperor, who declares his intention of annexing Constantinople.---The Persian agreement between England and Russia.---Lieutenant-Colonel Miassoyedov's treachery; the traitor's antecedents; his conviction.---I visit General Headquarters at Baranovici to confer with the Emperor. ---France's rights in Syria and Palestine.---The Russian armies prepare a general offensive in the direction of the Oder.---The Grand Duke Nicholas's alarming remarks.---Russian music and the Russian soul. Khovantchina; the "Red Death." The susceptibility of the masses to emotional outbursts.---An Austrian peace-feeler; the aberrations of French policy.---The Jews of Poland and Lithuania.
X. APRIL 1--JUNE 2, 1915
Easter services. The Priory of Malta; the Tsar Paul I's illusion. Russian churches and church music.---The Grand Duke Sergius and the munitions crisis.---A Pushkin joke; the proportion of German and Russian blood in the family of the Romanovs.---The question of the Ukraine.---The Russian armies begin their general offensive in the direction of Silesia. The Okhta powder works blown up.---Rasputin causes a scandal in Moscow.---The counter-offensive of the Germans and Austro-Hungarians in Galicia. The Battle of the Dunajec. General retreat of the Russians. Negotiations with Rumania. Italy declares war on Austria-Hungary.---Rasputin's intrigues against the Grand Duke Nicholas. A secret rival of the staretz : the youridivi Mitia Koliaba.---Petrograd and Venice: the estuary of the Neva.---An alarming prophecy.
VOL. II. (June 3d, 1915-August 18, 1916)
I. JUNE 3--AUGUST 24, 1915
National feeling roused.---Unrest in Moscow.---The Minister of the Interior replaced.---Obsequies of the Grand Duke Constantine.---The cathedral of the fortress; memories of Kropotkin.---Launching of the cruiser Ismaïl.---The War Minister replaced: General Sukhomlinov's responsibility for the defeat of the Russian armies.---Negotiations with the Balkan States.---The Emperor's appeal to his people.---Tsar Ferdinand of Bulgaria; private reasons for his hatred of Russia.---Antagonism between Moscow and Petrograd.---The Duc de Morny; as Ambassador to Alexander II; his marriage.---The Council of War at Chantilly: decision to help the Russian army.---Fresh Austro-German successes.---The Procurator of the Holy Synod replaced.---Rasputin is banished from Petrograd; his farewell to the Empress.---Launching of the cruiser Borodino.---Reopening of the Duma.---Public feeling aroused.---The Germans enter Warsaw.---The Jewish question before the Duma.----Cloistered life of the sovereigns in their palace; contrast with the Court in previous reigns.---"Liberal nationalism"; the dream of a national coup d'état.---Stormy session of the Duma.---Progress of the German offensive in Lithuania. ---Rasputin's return to Petrograd.
II. AUGUST 25-SEPTEMBER 20, 1915
The Emperor decides to relieve the Grand Duke Nicholas of his functions as generalissimo and take command of his armies in person.---Influence of the Empress and Rasputin.---Public anger with the staretz.---The Emperor consults me about the decision he has just taken: "Perhaps a scapegoat is needed to save Russia. . . ."---Mysticism and policy.---A prophecy of revolution.---Prince Vladimir Orlov dismissed.---The Emperor takes command of his armies.---The Grand Duke Nicholas leaves for the Caucasus.---Dismissal of General Djunkovsky, Commander of the Gendarmerie; growing influence of Rasputin.---Critical position of the Russian armies in Lithuania.---The "Cadets" and their political ideals: His Majesty's "Opposition."--- The Duma is prorogued.---Strikes In Petrograd.---Entry of the Germans into Vilna.
III. SEPTEMBER 21-NOVEMBER 8, 1915
Bulgaria mobilizes against Serbia.---An Anglo-French contingent is sent to the Balkans.---Dissensions in the Russian Government. Joint letter from the ministers to the Emperor.---Nicholas II's categorical reply.---Feeling roused among the Russian people by Bulgaria's "fratricidal" action.---The French Government demands the military co-operation of Russia against Bulgaria; telegrams passing between the President of the Republic and the Emperor.---Progress made by reactionary influences at Court.---Dismissal of the Minister of the Interior and the Procurator of the Holy Synod.---My audience of the Emperor; a promise of military co-operation against Bulgaria.---The Empress exhorts the Emperor to absolutism.---Rasputin's prayers; his sincerity in asserting his supernatural powers.---Devastating Bulgarian offensive against the Serbians.---The Emperor's manifesto on the subject of the Bulgarian felony.---The Russian fleet bombards Varna.---Negotiations with the Rumanian Government with a view to obtaining permission for a Russian army to pass through Moldavia on its way to help the Serbs. The Rumanian Government refuses.
IV. NOVEMBER 9--DECEMBER 31, 1915
Reactionary tendencies on the increase.---A trait of Russian character: nomadism. Wandering pilgrims.---Winter melancholy: general depression.---Comparison between the present war and that of 1812.---Tsar Ferdinand of Bulgaria: "When I leave this world's stage. . . ."---Russia and America: two types of humanity.---The Russian disposition to resignation.---The Governor of Ufa. Dreamy idealism uppermost in the Russian habit of mind; the invisible city of Lake Svetloyar.---The clergy losing credit with the masses; wretched condition of the priests.---Spiritualism; Russian interest in the supernatural.---The Salonica expedition. Unforeseen difficulties: the British Government suggests immediate evacuation; the French and Russian Governments insist upon the enterprise being continued.---A theme of German propaganda: "France is letting Russia carry the whole burden of the war. . . ."---A piece of history: the personal intervention of the Emperor Alexander III in the preliminaries and conclusion of the Franco-Russian alliance.---The sect of the Sloptzy. The martyr Selivanov; a fantastic legend. A terrible liturgy: "The Keys of Hell."---A souvenir of Dostoïevski: the funeral parade of December 22, 1849.---The French Government asks that Russian troops shall be sent to France: Senator Doumer's mission.---The Tsarevitch seriously ill; Rasputin's intercession.---Insidious approaches of Germany to Russia with a view to the negotiation of a separate peace: Count Eulenburg's letter; Mlle. Vassiltchikov's mission. Nicholas II's steadfast loyalty to the Alliance.
V. JANUARY 1-26, 1916
Heroic retreat of the Serbians through Albania.---Revolutionary conference in Petrograd: programme of a socialist peace.---Rasputin and the Russian clergy. A canonization imposed by the Emperor; opposition of the Holy Synod; the Procurator dismissed.---Activity of the Russian armies in Galicia. The Anglo-French troops evacuate the Gallipoli Peninsula. The Austrians enter Cettinje.---Characteristics of Russian women.---Threatening attitude of the Central Empires towards Rumania.
VI. JANUARY 27-FEBRUARY 24, 1916
The Russian General Staff draws up a scheme for a military convention with Rumania.---State meeting between the Emperor William and the Tsar Ferdinand at Nish; a reference to Versailles; infamy of the Bulgarian sovereign.---The Russians greatly affected by oratory; their imagination riots 'm vague perspectives.---Retirement of the President of the Council GoremyIdn; his place is taken by Sturmer; dismissal of the Minister of the Interior, Khvostov; Rasputin's influence in these decisions.---Antecedents and character of Sturmer; his close colleague, Manuilov.---Rasputin and the monk, Heliodorus; an Okhrana melodrama.---The romance of the Grand Duke Michael, the Emperor's brother; the Countess Brassov.---The Grand Duchess Marie Pavlovna dines at the embassy; her opinion of the Emperor and Empress.---The great problems of domestic politics: the agrarian and labour problems.---Miserable condition of the Russian peasants.---Definition of imperial autocracy.---Instability of the Russian character: the sudden volte face.---Reopening of the Duma. A theatrical stroke: the Emperor goes to the Tauride Palace. Great effect of this demonstration.
VII. FEBRUARY 25-MARCH 22, 1916
Primitive mentality of the moujiks; different courses of evolution of the upper classes and the rural masses: "a terrifying abyss."---The Battle of Verdun; it makes a great impression in Russia.---Philippesco, formerly Rumanian War Minister, visits Petrograd; our conversation, as the result of which Sazonov tells him that the Russian General Staff is prepared to enter into a military convention with the Rumanian General Staff.---The Emperor invites me to a cinematograph show of the French front in his palace. He gives me an official audience next morning to discuss the Rumanian and Asia Minor questions; gives me a very warm reception and reminds me of common memories.---The House of the People. Shaliapin in the part of Don Quixote; Cervantes' hero and the Russian spirit.---Songs of the steppe and isba; eloquence and beauty of the popular melodies: one of Maxim Gorky's peasant scenes.---General Sukhomlinov, ex-Minister for War, is brought before a military court.---Enthusiasm of the Russian people for the Verdun epic; the Emperor's congratulations to the French army.---Boris Godunov at the Narodny Dom; obscure influences and the power of the masses in the history of Russia.
VIII. MARCH 23-MAY 3, 1916
Fresh wave of pessimism in Russian society; the Æschyline view of Fate.----Demoralisation of the Russian clergy; wretched poverty of the priests: Dostoïevsky's "humbled and abased."---Sturmer's reactionary policy: five socialist deputies sent to Siberia.---Comparative losses of the French and Russian armies.---General Polivanov, the War Minister, is sacrificed as being too favourable to the Duma; his place is taken by General Shuvaïev.---Coldness of liberal circles towards France: the grievance of 1906; ill-feeling still exists.---Success of the Russian army in Asiatic Turkey; capture of Trebizond.---Easter services; Russian piety.---A paradox on Peter the Great: " the precursor of modern revolutionaries."----Easter communion at the Feodorovsky Sobor.---Rasputin's sinister prophecy.---The moujik's belief in the supernatural, and views on the miraculous.---Unexpected demands of Rumania as the price of her military co-operation.
IX. MAY 4--JUNE 15, 1916
The mission of Viviani and Albert Thomas to Petrograd; I present them to the Emperor. The questions of Poland and Rumania, and of sending Russian troops to France.---Conference at General Headquarters.---Banquet given by the Duma. The speeches: the Russians greatly moved by the magic of eloquence. Shaliapin and the Marseillaise. The French mission leaves a turmoil of excitement in its wake.---Faith in the Tsar among the masses.---General Brussilov's brilliant offensive in Volhynia and Galicia.---Russian nomadism.
X. JUNE 16--JULY 18, 1916
The magic of solstice nights.---A lesson from the Iliad.---The Byzantine dream evaporates.---Another sketch of the Russian woman.---The Empress's relations with Rasputin: Sister Akulina.---The brilliant offensive of the Russian armies in Galicia.---The Grand Duke Nicholas Michaïlovitch and the Emperor; the Kaiser's demonstration at Tangier in 1905.---Visit of the Russian deputies to the West.---Further successes of the Russian armies in Galicia; their offensive develops. The Allies put pressure on Bucharest.---The ministers summoned to the Stavka. The autonomy of Poland; the Emperor supports Sazonov's liberal programme.
XI. JULY 19--AUGUST 18, 1916
.The Empress and Rasputin force the Emperor to dismiss Sazonov and put Sturmer in his place; a very serious change.---Negotiations with Rumania. By the terms of a military convention signed by Colonel Rudeanu at Chantilly, the Rumanian army is to attack Bulgaria at once.---Secret negotiations between Bucharest and Sofia; Bratiano throws over the Rudeanu agreement.---Russian victory at Brody.---Sazonov's dismissal.---Future prospects; an historical precedent: the Seven Years' War.---Rumania hesitates again---A telegram from the President of the Republic to the Emperor.---Autocracy and regicide.---Polish uneasiness about the fate of their country; the reactionary party regards the settlement of the Polish question as the basis for a reconciliation between tsarism and the Teutonic empires.---Rumania joins our Alliance.---The Treaty of Bucharest.
VOL. III. (August 19, 1916-May 17, 1917)
I. AUGUST 19-SEPTEMBER 18, 1916
The Empress's camarilla: the direction in which she endeavours to influence Russian diplomacy.---The Salonica army ties down the Bulgarians on the Macedonian front in order to cover the mobilization of the Rumanian army. The political education of Nicholas II: "The Emperor will always be Pobiedonostzev's pupil!"---Victories of the Russian army in Upper Armenia. ---The Empress and Sturmer; he treats her as the regent.---Exhaustion of the Russian forces on the Galician front.---One of the Russian regiments sent to France mutinies at Marseilles.---The arrest of Manuilov, director of Sturmer's secretariat.---Ennui, the chronic disease of Russian society.---Influence of the Jewish question on relations between Russia and America.---The perilous situation of Rumania; the action at Turtukai; invasion of the Dobrudja; the Russian General Staff studies the possibility of sending an army to help in the Danube region.---The strategic plan of Marshal Hindenburg.---Rasputin and Sturmer; their conferences in the Fortress of SS. Peter and Paul.---Russian notions of time and space.
II. SEPTEMBER 19--OCTOBER 25, 1916
The heralds of winter.---The Church of the Saviour-on-the-Waters.---The Emperor is often charged with being heartless.---The combined effort of the Allies to relieve Rumania.---Public education in Russia: the primary schools.---Ignorance of the rural masses; a contrast with the brilliant development of science, letters and art.---A political crisis in Athens; Venizelos goes to Crete.---Prince Kanin's visits to Petrograd: the reflections of a moujik.---Another Minister of the Interior: Protopopov; his relations with Rasputin.---Sturmer's treachery; the intrigues of which he is the centre.---Clandestine activities of the socialist leaders.---Successive defeats of the Rumanian army; a very grave situation.--- General Berthelot passes through Petrograd on his way to take command of the French mission in Romania.---My Japanese colleague, Viscount Motono, is approinted Minister for Foreign Affairs; a great authority on Asiatic and European problems.---The Minister of Communications, Trepove, boldy attacks Sturmer; his confidence in the Emperor.---German agents in Petrograd: dinners at the house of Manus, the financier.---Constanza captured by the Austro-Bulgarians; the Rumanians evacuate the Dobradja.
III. OCTOBER 27-NOVEMBER 22, 1916
The Empress's increasing influence on the government of the Empire.---Strikes in Petrograd: the troops fire on the police.---Frequency of divorce in Russian society; deterioration of moral standards since Anna Karenina.--Count Witte's crime in 1914.---The Central Powers proclaim the autonomy of Russian Poland under an hereditary monarchy.---Indignation in Petrograd and Moscow at this news.---Protopopov's reactionary policy: memories of the "Black Bands."---Opening of the Duma: the government's declaration; the ministers leave the chamber; Miliukov's violent indictment of Sturmer; various expressions of public opinion.---Frequency of suicide in Russia; a symptom of social disintegration.---The magician, Papus, and the Russian sovereigns: a spiritualistic séance at Tsarskoïe-Selo in 1905; a prophecy of revolution.---Death of the Emperor Francis Joseph.
IV. NOVEMBER 23-DECEMBER 24, 1916
Sturmer's dismissal; the Empress's irritation.---Trepov is appointed President of the Council; the appointment a guarantee for the Alliance.---General Alexeïev is replaced by General Gourko for reasons of health.---Conflict between the Duma and the Minister of the Interior; fierce attacks on the "occult forces which are ruining Russia."-- Public opinion loses interest in Constantinople and the oriental dream.---The massacre of French sailors at Constantinople.---Consideration of the measures to be taken to deal with Greece.---The Empress's camarilla. Who are its real leaders? Germany invites the United States to open negotiations for peace; the motive which inspires this step.---Pokrovski, the Comptroller-General of the Empire, is appointed Minister for Foreign Affairs. His first meeting with the Duma the patriotic fervour of his speeches. I discuss with him the situation arising out of the German proposal.---Position of the allied armies in Rumania the transport difficulty.---With a view to the reply to the German proposals, the French Government defines the "higher war aim" which the Allies have taken as the goal of their common effort: the reorganization of Europe on the principle of nationality, the rights of the nations to unhampered economic development, etc. Gokrovaki accepts every article of this programme.---The Emperor prohibits the use of German terms in the nomenclature of official titles.
V. DECEMBER 25, 1916--JANUARY 8, 1917
The Emperor's manifesto to his armies; Nicholas II reaffirms his confidence in victory and announces his unwavering determination to restore Poland and gain Constantinople. I see a hidden meaning in this manifesto.---The Russian General Staff's real share of responsibility for the Rumanian disaster.---Proposal to call a conference of the Allies at Petrograd.---Personal relations between my English colleague, Sir George Buchanan, and the opposition parties: unfounded charges made against him in this matter.---Murder of Rasputin; mysterious setting of the drama. The Empress's despair. Prince Felix Yussupov, the Grand Duke Dimitri and Purishkevitch (deputy of the Extreme Right) are soon indicated as the murderers or accomplices.---Arrest of the Grand Duke Dimitri. Effect on the public of the assassination of the staretz. The discovery of the corpse in the Neva; it is conveyed to the Tchesma Home. Sister Akulina prepares it for burial; a letter from the Empress to the "martyr:" Nocturnal obsequies at Tsarskoïe-Selo.---A conspiracy against the sovereigns; propaganda among the regiments of the Guard; the share of the Grand Dukes.---Details of the murder of Rasputin: the trap; the execution; the corpse is thrown into the Neva.---The Emperor receives me at Tsarskoïe-Selo; his anxious and absorbed appearance; the strength of his obsessions; my gloomy impression of this meeting.---The Grand Duke Dimitri is sent to Persia and Prince Felix Yussupov banished to the Government of Kursk.---Postponement of the Allied conference to be held in Petrograd.
VI. JANUARY 9--28, 1917
The imperial family address a joint appeal to Nicholas II; the Grand Duchess Marie Pavlovna confides her sorrows and anxieties to me.---My English colleague, Sir George Buchanan, tries to tackle the Emperor on the problems of domestic politics; he receives cutting replies.---A story-book element in the conspiracy of the Grand Dukes.---Reception of the Diplomatic Corps at Tsarskoïe-Selo, on the first day of the orthodox New Year; lugubrious impiressions.---The Emperor's rage with the Grand Dukes; an historical precedent.---The Crown Prince of Rumania arrives in Petrograd; cordial relations between Russia and Rumania.---A talk with the Grand Duke Paul about his son's share in Rasputin murder.---An A.D.C. General of the Emperor ventures to advise him to send away the Empress; Nicholas II's chivalrous attitude.---The ghost of Rasputin; nocturnal apparitions.---What the magician Papus thought of the staretz; future miracles.
VII. JANUARY 29--FEBRUARY 21, 1917
Allied conference at Petrograd: arrival of the French, British and Italian plenipotentiaries; the Government of the Republic sends a former President of the Council, Doumergue, and General de Castelnau.---The programme of the conference is too vague.---The plenipotentiaries presented to the Emperor; exchange of trivialities. Nicholas ll's notion of his autocracy.---General Gourko acquaints the conference with the strategic intentions for 1917 of the High Command; great offensives to be postponed. Disappointment of the delegates.---The Emperor gives Doumergue a private audience; he consents to all the guarantees on the right bank of the Rhine which France may think it her duty to exact from Germany.---Banquet at Alexander Palace.---Slow progress of the conference: "We are wasting time." Deep impression made on the moujiks by Rasputin's murder; the first symptoms of legendary transfiguration.---End of the conference; poor results.---In my last conversation with Doumergue I beg him to tell the President of the Republic of my great anxiety about the internal situation in Russia.
VIII. FEBRUARY 22--MARCH 11, 1917
Tchadaïev's prophecy.---The Grand Duchess Marie Pavlovna goes to the Caucasus; she tells me her fears of the approaching crisis.---The functions of tsarism in the political and social life of the Russian people. An imaginary hypothesis: the Gunpowder Plot.---A retrospective survey of the origins of the Russo-Japanese War: the Emperor William's duplicity.---Cruel sufferings of the Rumanian civil population and army in Moldavia; famine and typhus. Noble behaviour of the King, Queen and Bratiano.---Paradoxes in the Russian character: meekness and revolt.---The military operations in Rumania and the problem of Constantinople.---The effect of war on the morals of the moujik; a bishop's complaints to the Empress.---Disturbances in Petrograd: " Bread and peace! " The ministers hold a special council. " Perhaps this is the last social function of the régime." A warning to the demonstrators: a Guard regiment refuses to fire on the mob.
IX. MARCH 12--22, 1917
From riot to revolution.---Barricades, looting and fires; street fighting.---The army fraternizes with the insurgents.---The Government thrown into confusion.---The ministers appeal to the Emperor.---The Winter Palace and the Fortress are occupied.---The Duma organizes an executive committee. ---Further fighting in the streets. General Ivanov's mission. The last chance of saving tsarism. Rapid progress of the revolution.---The socialists form a "Council of Working-Men and Soldier Deputies," the Soviet, in opposition to the Duma. The vital part of the army in the revolutionary drama. Shameful behaviour of the Grand Duke Cyril and the Imperial Guard.---The Emperor, after a futile attempt to return to Petrograd, stops at Pskov where two envoys from the Duma beg him to abdicate in favour of his son. A provisional government formed.---Nicholas II will not consent to be separated from his son and abdicates in favour of his brother, Michael-Alexandrovitch. Rage of the Soviet, which demands and secures the renunciation of the throne by the Grand Duke Michael.----News from Tsarskoïe-Selo; the Grand Duke Paul informs the Empress of the Emperor's abdication. ---The Provisional Government's weakness in dealing with the Soviet: the Petrograd garrison extorts a promise not to be sent to the front.---Miliukov is appointed Foreign Minister; our first talk: I demand that Russia's new rulers shall proclaim their determination to continue the war to the bitter end.---A general summary of recent happenings. Inaction of the clergy in the revolution. Supplementary details of the abdication of the Emperor.---Manifesto issued by the Provisional Government., it contains only a vague allusion to the prosecution of the war: I protest to Miliukov.---The Soviet compels the Provisional Government to arrest the fallen monarchs, Miliukov asks the British Government to give them a place of refuge in England. Eloquent farewell of the Emperor to the army.
X. MARCH 23--APRIL 6, 1917
The British Government offers the Tsar and Tsarina an asylum on British soil.---A forecast of the development of the revolution.---Rasputin's body is exhumed by night and burned in the forest of Pargolovo: a scene from Dante.---The Soviet opposes the departure of the sovereign.---Official recognition of the Provisional Government, Kerensky, Minister of Justice, comes to the front.---A reflection of the opinions prevailing in informed circles: ---"We cannot continue the war."---lndiscipline spreading in the fighting armies: Prikaz No. 1.---Agitation among the subject nationalities: symptoms of national disintegration.---The new Military Governor of Petrograd tries to regain control of the garrison.---French opinion goes astray on the subject of the Russian revolution. Vital differences between the psychology of the Latin and Slav revolutionary.---The Government of the Republic sends Albert Thomas on a mission to Petrograd.---The sovereigns in captivity at Tsarskoïe Selo.---Funeral service for the victims of the fighting; the interment on the Champ de Mars; the clergy absent. The moral of this day.---On the frontiers of Kurdistan , a last exploit of the Russian army.
XI. APRIL 7--21, 1917
The United States of America declares war on Germany.---A concert at the Marie Theatre an behalf of the victims of the revolution; Siberian exiles in the imperial box.---Public feeling revolts against the recent ceremony in the Champ-de-Mars: funeral orations pronounced over the graves of the victims. ---Russian patriotism vanishes: " The war is dead. "---Acrimonious disputes between the Provisional Government and the Soviet on the subject of "war aims."---Life of the fallen sovereigns at Tsarskoïe-Selo; a closer guard kept: the Emperor is imperturbable, the Empress resigned.---Three French socialist deputies, Montet, Cachin and Lafont arrive in Petrograd.---Easter Sunday: curious appearance of the churches.---The French socialist deputies get such a frigid reception from the Soviet that their hearts fail them and they dare not assert France's right to the restitution of Alsace-Lorraine.---Arrival of the "maximalist," Lenin, in Petrograd.---Illusions of the French socialist deputies about the natural tendencies and guiding forces of the Russian revolutions: our discussions of the subject.---Lenin's growing ascendancy; his antecedents, character and ideas.
XII. APRIL 22--MAY 6, 1917
Albert Thomas arrives in Petrograd.---After telling me I am shortly to be recalled, he explains the object of his mission.---His confidence in the revolutionary fervour of the Russian democracy; our views conflict. He sides with Kerensky and against Miliukov in the dispute which has just begun between the Provisional Government and the Soviet.---The Grand Duke Paul and the revolution.---Particulars of the captivity of the imperial familyPublic processions: the aesthetic instincts of Russian crowds.---Anarchy makes progress in the public services and the army.---The 1st May; processions and speeches in the Champ-de-Mars.---A " concert-meeting " at the Michael Theatre; political harangues with musical interludes; memories of The House of the Dead; romantic speech by Kerensky.---Embitterment of the conflict between the Provisional Government and the Soviet; Miliukov's brave resistance; fighting in the streets; Albert Thomas supports Kerensky. ---Russia's future; the inevitable consequences of present happenings; a Persian parable.
XIII. MAY 7-17, 1917
Albert Thomas and I state our conflicting arguments about the character of the Russian revolution and submit them to the Government of the Republic.---A farewell visit to the Grand Duke Nicholas Michaïlovitch: " Marked down for the gallows ". . . . ---Kerensky's sway over the French socialist deputies; the magic power of his eloquence.---Lenin and the moujik! symptoms of an agrarian crisis.---I bid farewell to Russian society. A last look at the statue of Peter the Great.---I leave Petrograd in company with the socialist deputies, Cachin and Montet.---Finland " of the thousand lakes."---A conversation with the socialist deputies on the conclusions to be drawn from the Russian revolution: they think that a peace ought to be negotiated in accordance with the principles of the Internationale.---Crossing the Tornea on the ice: a convoy of wounded in distress.---The melancholy prophecy of the yourodivi in Boris Godunov : "Weep, my beloved Russia, weep! for thou art about to perish!"
Volume I, Chapter One