XIV Berlin 28/III/98.
Berlin 28/III 98.
General von Werder brought me your and Alix'es kind messages from Petersburg and was beaming with delight at the souvenirs of his stay which as usual you managed to render so nice and agreeable to him. I thank you most sincerely for all he transmitted to me from you, and need not add that I heartily reciprocate your wishes. The dear old General is not only a relic of the past, but firmly and by conviction deeply attached to you and your house; and he therefore is in my eyes a living piece of the old tradition which allways united our families for the benefit of our countries and by that for the whole world.
I must congratulate you most heartily at the successful issue of your action at Port Arthur;1 we two will make a good pair of sentinels at the entrance of the gulf of Petchili, who will be duly respected especially by the Yellow Ones! I think the way you managed to soothe the feelings of the "fretful Japs" by the masterly arrangement at Korea2 a remarkably fine piece of diplomacy and a great show of foresight; which is apt to show what a boon it was that by your great journey,3 you were able to study the Question of the Far East locally and are now morally speaking the Master of Peking!
Radolin reported to me your very interesting conversation about China and your wishes about the Instructors in the Governments assumed as under the Russian sphere of influence. I have prepared an order to the German officers, but could not yet emanate it because it was impossible to fix a certain limit of territory without an indication on the map -- A small pencil line on any piece of paper from you would, put my mind to rest; because I would be most unhappy if by any misunderstanding the Officers, without their fault, trespassed on Russian territory from want of a real well recognized boundary line. The idea which was beginning to be ventilated from over the Channel in the Press that Chinese affairs were to be decided by an international Conference has been sharply repudiated here by me, for the reason that I soon found that it was a masked attempt to tie your hands in the Far East, the relations to whom I think are after all your own affair and not other peoples! The news from Henry are good, he is at Hongkong refitting his ship. He made good friends with Saissoy Weliky and Navarin4 at Colombo and they sailed together in perfect harmony for some days to the great astonishment of other people! Ahem! Which amuses me much as at the same time it gives me pleasure as Russian Admiral. Colonel v. Moltke my Aide-de-Camp and Commander of your "Alexanderiner" is the bearer of this letter and at the same time of a box with two hunting rifles of small bore calibre of exceedingly good hitting qualities and a most stretched trajectory -- I hope they will be of good use to you and enable you to kill many a good "Capital Hirsch." Now good by dearest Nicky best love to Alix and Weidmannsheil from
Ever Your most aff-ate and devoted friend
1. Russian warships arrived at Port Arthur "to pass the winter" on December 18th, 1897.
2. A treatu was signed between Russia and Japan on February 24th, 1897, for the maintenance of the independence of Korea under their military protection. On March 18th, 1898, Russia announced that she would abstain for the future from taking any active part in Korean affairs.
3. Reference to the Czar's tour which he made as Czarevitch in 1891. He visited China and Japan in April and May of that year.
4. Russian warships sent to reenforce the Russian Pacific squadron.