LVI Neues Palais I4/VI/1906

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LVI
Neues Palais I4/VI/1906


Dearest Nicky

Sincerest thanks for your kind letters Tatischeff brought me and the second one Wladimir gave me today. I fully sympathize with you in these difficult times. The best way to relieve the cares and worries the situation at home causes you, is as you do, to occupy yourself with your fine Guard by inspecting them and speaking to them. It gives you pleasure and gratifies the troops, who will in no doubt in serious moments, acknowledge the interest you show them, by proving a loyal, trustworthy and keen weapon in the hand of their sovereign! I am glad your Hussars satisfied you, who served in their ranks! It is the same with me here; as I also have a "penchant" for my Guarde Hussars, whom I commande for a time. I review them yesterday, before maneuvering the Guards Cavalry Division, which was most successful, but like all inspections this year ended in a heavy shower.

I quite agree with your views on the Anarchist question. The attempt[1] was dastardly and fuiendish, The difficulty to cope with this pest of Mankind is, as you rightly observe that in some countries -- before all in England -- these beasts may live undisturbed and there to plot against the lives of anybody. I am informed that the Spanish Prime Ministed had charged the Prince of Wales to express the wish of the Spanish nation to H. M. the King Edward VII, that it was deemed necessary he should cause his Government to join the Continental Powers in the serious repression of this murderous sect.

This occurence shows that the arrangements made by our two Governments for the control of these fellows, have completely miscarried. Because they can live with absolute impunity in London, and there mature there murderous designs. The right place for these fuiends is the scaffold, sometimes the imprisonment for life in a lunatic asylum. All Continental Powers should send London a joint invitation to ask the English Government to join them by an International agreement to fight these beasts. I should think that it would be possible, by a common consent, in the defence of life and culture to legally place the fabrication of chemicals for the the filling and use of bombs under capital punishment. The Duma[2] creates most difficult situations for your Government and the circumstances are most trying. But one must hope that after a time, both will manage to find means and ways to come to a reasonable modus vivendi, so that positive work may be done for the welfare of the country.

As I expected your choice fell on Iswolsky,[3] who will I am sure satisfy you, as a most clever man he will easily guide the course of Russian Foreign politics, along peaceful lines according to your wish. He gave a very sensible answer to Schoen in the Bagdad Railway[4] question so that I hope my Government will be able to continue working with him on the base of mutual confidence arising out of the community of interests. Our interests in this Railway are purely economic and commercial for the welfare of mankind. It represents a concession in full legal form to a German Company, who is building and running it. I can well imagine that the English are, as you say fiddling around you, about Asia.[5] But as you have decided calmly to await their proposals, it is sure that, if their terms about Central Asia seems acceptable to you, an understanding with them would remove many elements of friction and conflict which would also give me satisfaction.

No doubt everybody will understand that the actual moment chosen by the English Fleet to pay their self-invited visit must be most irritating and inopportune to you and your country, and I am fully convinced of your feelings of indignation about it from my feelings about the visit to us last year. They will certainly try to strengthen the backs of your ultra liberal party. The fleet on their return journey have announced their visit to Pillau and Travemunde. I shall have them closely watched.

Like you I look forward with great pleasure to our meeting in the end of Summer. As I shall be back in the Baltic in the first days of August I thought to propose to you to meet on the I of August -- new style -- if the weather is fine in the roads of Heringsdorf off Swinermünde. The place is very pretty and the communication with the shore for dispatches etc. much easier than at Hela.

The kind old Emperor Francis Joseph[6] I went to see, was still remarkably fresh, though age has bent him a little; he also was much irritated at the behaviour of his parliament. The hours I spent with him were most agreeable through his warm hearted kindness and chivalry.

I visited a most interesting old -- restored -- castle Krenzenstein[7] belonging to the celebrated explorer Count Wilzeck. It is a marvel of Gottick architecture and furniture from the I3th and Isth century most harmonious and instructive.

Tatischeff will tell you of my inspection this spring and the maneuvers of 2nd Brigade showing the new "Reglement" for the 1st time, as well as the evolutions of the Guards Cavalry Division under my command, which went off exceedingly well. Wladimir was here and gave me your kind lines, which, as Colonel of the Viborgs made me feel very proud. I once more thank you for the great kindness you showed them, and the honour you gave them by inspecting them; they fully deserved it as they behaved most gallantly. Wladimir also accompanied us to a great cattle show near Berlin and seemed highly amused at the production of prize cows, buIls, pigs, horses, etc., that made a great noise; the thousands of peasants and small proprietors were most jubilant in their loyal demonstrations. Most astonishing progress was shown in the departments of the Electric and Alcoholic motors, as well as the alcoholic gas lamps for the use of the landed proprietors. Now good bye dearest Nicky, God bless and protect you, best love to Alix, and "au revoir" at Swinemünde, where we shall try to be a merry company.

Ever your most aff-ate friend and cousin
Willy

Notes

  1. On May 31st, while the King and Queen of Spain were returning from their wedding in the Church of San Jeronimo el Real in Madrid, a bomb was thrown at the royal coach.
  2. The Duma had been opened on May 10th, on the eve of which Count Witte's resignation was announced. The first Duma's life was stormy from the beginning. It was soon dissolved.
  3. Iswolsky became Minister of Foreign Aftairs.
  4. This project which had been marking time since October, 1904, now began to move forward again.
  5. Great Britain and Russia were through their representatives discussing the interests of the two countries in Asia, so as to pave the way for the coming Triple Alliance.
  6. The Kaiser on June 6th arrived in Vienna on a short visit to the Emperor Francis-Joseph at Schönbrunn.
  7. The castle had been turned practically into a mugeum of Fifteenth Century arms and armor.

Return to 'Willy-Nicky' Letters XLIX - LXXV (22 August 1905 - 26 March 1914)