XII Berlin 3/III/97.
Berlin 3/III 97.
My dear Nicky
As you kindly permitted, Col. v. Moltke will in a few days have the great honour to be able to pay his respects to his Imperial chef. This gives me the opportunity of sending you a few lines of warm friendship in these trying times. I am most deeply grateful for the loyal, clear and statesmanlike way in which you grasped this most unfortunate Cretan affair,1 and feel justly proud that our views on this subject are exactly alike. From the "Family"2 point of view you must have gone through moments which may have taxed your affections to the utmost, and the resolve to do as you did must have been come to after many an internal pang. But you are perfectly right! And you see by the result that your "démarche" has rallied all the Powers, willingly or not, to a common demonstration, which will I hope, make the Peace of Europe an undisturbed one. You have shown the world once more that if the 3 great Empires "marchent d'accord" and are joined by the other great Continental Powers, i.e., if the whole Continent keeps together in an unbroken front, the rest of the world must follow us, even the strongest! The King of Greece must be clean mad if he does not stop in his mad attempt to set the world on fire "pour y allumer sa pipe."3 I am glad the Turks behaved so soberly and place strong troops into Macedonia! there lies the greatest danger and that must be kept quiet by all means.
I send you with Moltke some instant photographs taken of the Parade after your cravats had been fastened to the colours of the Alexander Regiment. He is also to place into your hands the work which has been written about my dear Grandfather4 and which is published for the Centenary of his birthday. His fine letters and speeches are the best characteristic of him I know. Our ball5 went off very well and the effect was simply magical, like a dream of old days gone past!
The cravats which I am going to present my Grenadiers are finished and I should be very thankful for a hint from you wether I can present them myself, or wether you think it better to send our officers with them. Now best love to Alix who I hope will be soon allright and believe me
Ever your most aff-ate cousin and friend
1. This letter was written before the outbreak of war between Greece and Turkey. Greece landed troops in Crete and the Powers demanded their recall. Russia and Germany were particularly against Greece's aggression.
2. King George of Greece married the Grand Duchess Olga Constantinovna, the second daughter of the Grand Duke Constantine, the Czar's great-uncle.
3. To light his pipe.
4. Probably "The Military Documents of His Majesty Emperor William the Great," published under the auspices of the German war office on March 21st.
5. A fancy dress ball was given. by the Emperor on February 27th, all guests being required to wear costumes of the year 1797. The Kaiser appeared in the uniform of a colonel of the Ist Guards Regiment of that period.