XLVIII Pillau 27/VII/1905
On reaching the shores of my home1 I take the earliest opportunity of sending you a line to once more thank you for the way in which you received me and the kindness shown to me by you. The hours I was allowed to spend in your society will be ever graven in my memory, you were like a dear brother to me. I shall allways respond to your feelmgs with the same warmth and with the same intensity as you and you can count on me as on a firm friend, who is filled with the sole wish and hope to see you successful in your heavy work, and your country soon recover from the severe test it has undergone through the will of Providence. The Alliance for mutual support in case of need, which we concluded will be of great use to Russia, as it will restore quiet in the minds of the people and confidence in the maintenance of Peace in Europe, and encourage financial circles in foreign countries to place funds in enterprises to open up Russia, and its vast stores of wealth yet untouched. In times to come may not be impossible that even Japan may feel inclined to join it. This would cool down English selfassertion and impertinence, as she is her ally too. The 24th of July 1905 is a cornerstone in European politics and turns over a new leaf in the history of the world; which will be a chapter of Peace and goodwill among the great Powers of the European Continent, respecting each other in friendship, confidence, and in pursuing the general Policy on the lines of a community of interests. The moment the news of the new "groupement" will have become known in the world, the smaller nations, Holland, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Norway will all be attracted to this new great centre of gravity, by quite natural laws of the attraction of smaller bodies by the larger and compacter ones. They will revolve in the orbit of the great block of Powers (Russia, Germany, France, Austria, Italy) and feel confidence in leaning on and revolving around this mass. The Dual Alliance combining with the Triple Alliance gives a Quintupel Alliance, well, able to hold all unruly neighbors in order, and to impose Peace even by force, if there should be a Power hairbrained enough with to disturb it. In the conversation with that excellent man Birilew2 -- capital choice you made -- I mentioned that when once your types of ships are decided upon, you ought to build them as many as possible at once, and not forget the German private firms, beside the French. Because they would work as for their own country, whereas other Powers would make use of the secrets of your builders and engineers against yourself and country. Between Bjorköe and Hochland I met my cruiser coming from Sweden, unshaven, unwashed and perfectly like a chimneysweep - a picture of woe -- from the smoke of the Torpedoboat. I got some French news papers, in which I read a résume of the Brest Fêtes:3 Il y à 12 ans nous avions Toulon et Cronstadt c'était le mariage d'amour. Comme chez tous les mariages d'amour est survenu un desillusionnement général surtout depuis la guerre 1904-05. Maintenanet nous avons Brest et Caves s'est le mariage d'affairs, et comme chez tous les mariages d'affairs il en résultera un mariage de raison!4 I think that really cool! for an Ally! to let her "ami et alliée" drop like that! It will do the French a world of good if you draw the reins a little tighter. Their 10 milliards of francs they placed in Russia of course hinder them from quite falling off, but the language shows to what a point the English flatteries have allready brought the French; and hope they wont go quite off their heads at Cowes. To use the metaphor of "mariage" again "Marianne" ( France) must remember that she is wedded to you and that she is obliged to lie in bed with you, and eventually to g~ve a hug or a kiss now and then to me, but not to sneak into the bedroom of the ever intriguing touche-â-tout on the Island.
Now good bye dearest Nicky: dont forget about Magnacharta (habeas corpus act) and the recompense for your line army in bringing it to a level with the Guards! You promised it to me! Dont mind the ill homour of Wlad ;5 or the Guards opposition, remember the 10 army corps in the Field that bled for you, and those in the Provinces at home, who are daily fighting for you against the Revolution. Best love to Alix from your
most devoted friend
P. S. As you told me that Boulygine6 had allready finished a bill after your directions, responding to the ideas I told you about, it would I think be urgent to promulgate it now at once, to let the members be chosen as soon as possible so that, when the conditions of Peace are submitted to you; you can communicate them to the Russian People, who would have to bear the RESPONSIBILITY of rejection or approval! This would shield you from a general attack on your policy from all sides if you did it alone!
1. Returning from Bjoerkoe, the island off the coast of Sweden, where the Czar and the Kaiser had signed the historic secret treaty.
2. Russian Minister of the Navy.
3. On July gth the British fleet visited Brest. In August the French returned the visit at Cowes.
4. For twelve years Toulon and Cronstadt were united in a marriage of love. As in all marriages of love, it was followed by general disillusionment, especially since the war of 1904-5. Now Brest and Cowes are united in a business marriage and as in all business marriages, it will turn out to be a marriage of wisdom.
5. Grand Duke Vladimir.
6. Boulygine or Buligin was Russian Minister of the Interior in 1905. In acordance with instructions from the Czar, originating with the Kaiser's advice as outlined in the preceding letter, Buligin formulated a scheme for a "parliament." This body was to be advisory only, and when its nature was announced on June 26th, the "reform" provoked universal dissatisfaction in Russia. Two months later, August 19th, the Czar issued the manifesto establishing the Duma. Buligin was executed by a revolutionary tribunal in Soviet Russia in October, 1919.
Return to 'Willy-Nicky' Letters XXXIX - XLVIII (17 November 1904 - 27 July 1905)