VIII Neues Palais 2/I/96.

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Neues Palais 2/I/96.

Dearest Nicky

Radolin's return to Petersburg gives me the opportunity of sending you a few lines. Please let me thank you most sincerely for the many signs of kindness and friendship you have given me and my country, which has given a sense of quietness and security, and which I beg you will continue to bestow on us in the following year.

With my warmest congratulations for the New Year and a merry Xmas I join my prayers that the Lord may bless and protect you, dear Alix, your sweet child1 and all your family from all Evil, sorrow or sickness. May your reign be prosperous and may you see the realisation of many a scheme you have elaborated for the welfare of your subjects. May our countries be able as before to join in the strengthening and upholding of Peace and in the defence of their faith and interests against any outward or inward foe.

The political horizon is peculiar just now. Armenia and Venezuela2 are open questions England brought up, and now suddenly the Transval Republic3 has been attacked in a most foul way as it seems without Englands knowledge. I have used very severe language in London, and have opened communications with Paris for common defence of our endangered interests, as French and German colonists have immediately joined hands of their own accords to help the outraged boers. I hope you will also kindly consider the question, as it is one of principle of upholding treaties once concluded. I hope that all will come right but come what may I never shall allow the British to stamp out the Transvaal! I hope you have better news for your poor brother4 who has arrived as I see at the Riviera!

Please give my best love to dear Alix and once more thanking you for all kindness to Strantz and his men believe me dear Nicky

Your most aff-ate cousin and friend

I. Grand Duchess Olga, born November 3rd, 1895.
2. In October, 1895, Great Britain presented an ultimatum to the Venezuelan Government in the Guiana-Venezuela dispute. Diplomatic relations between Great Britain and Venezuela were suspended in 1887 and not restored until 1897.
3. The Jameson Raid began on December 29th, 1895, and ended with the unconditional surrender of the raiders on January and, 1896, the day this letter was written to the Czar. At the same time the Kaiser sent his famous telegram to President Krüger, which read as follows: "I express my sincere congratulations that, supported by your people and without appealing for the help of friendly Powers, you have succeeded by your own energetic action against armed bands which invaded your country as disturbers of the peace, and have thus been able to restore peace and safeguard the independence of the country against attacks from outside.--William."
4. Grand Duke George, the second son of Alexander III., who was suffering from consumption and who died in the Crimea in 1899