Princess R[adzivill] dictated three notes for me to Princess
Olga D- and Mrs Temirazoff and Mrs Araxine. Princess Tcherkasky told me to ask
Countess P[anin] for a letter to the governor of Nieney and to go to her this
evening – she was right.
Princess T- said old Countess P[anin] was une grande dame –
did not go to court because [she] would not be well received because her
husband was one of the seven or eight whom murdered Paul.
A- low today and queer
tempered now since tea and that I have told her the exchange upon Paris. Why do
I ever mention anything of importance to her – why ever forget myself into
fancying her companionable without reserve? Try to say nothing of this sort and
fix everything without one syllable of inquiry or doubt to her.
When I went into her last night she was in her shift being soaped
and lathered and then went into the bath which there was not time to prepare
for me, but her maid afterwards washed me all over, head and all, and threw hot
and cool water on and at me – and washed even my queer and thighs! But I took
it all right as Grotza was not there.
A- in tears, all low this morning about our buying and
throwing away so many things – it was a carton to be thrown away that brought
the thing. How terrible! So instead of packing or such like, came and wrote.
Bothered at my stupidity in
refusing the call instead of the bath.
Then talking to A-. Crying and make up after having had…
She is a thorough woman of the world but good hearted,
capricious tempered? That is, with a beauty’s pouting pettishness at times but
her beauty is in the wine – her eyes deadening and wrinkling round about and
the Russian bend in her nose becoming more apparent, but her teeth are good and
smile lovely. She will think no more of me – she hopes to survive her husband.
Well, she may, for he can leave her nothing – she will be as she said some time
A- still in the tearful way – I suppose at my being so long
away yesterday and going to Princess R- today.
A- having been in the dumps, we never spoke and after taking
off my things I found her lain down saying she had a bad headache! I ought to
take less notice of all these tempers – I will try and in the long run, she may
leave me if she likes, but I am resolved not to bother about her more than I
On my gently saying how anxious I always was to do her way
but [it was] impossible for when she would not tell me, I was obliged to do
someway – she took up a newspaper. I said we could not both leave things
undecided – it was a choice of evils – something must be done. What would she
recommend – not one word would she utter spite of all my entreaties, so I left
her and came to my table – dinner announced almost immediately. Just said
something must be done – there was one decision still open to return home. How
terrible – this not speaking I cannot bear. She did so to the people of Halifax
– the same game will not do with me. I never can stand it long – what a temper.
A- has just come to wish me goodnight but I kissed her
without speaking – speak very civilly and, as usual, when necessary, but more
since her silence of this evening about George’s wife. How terrible.
She in the dumps on my return and crying and queer all the
evening till tonight she forgot it a little as I read to her while she put
cotton in my stays to lace against – the bones hurt me.
Incurred a cross last night thinking of M-.
We will have, when this business is settled, seventy-five
thousand roubles a year. Princess R[adzivill] said they should have been uneasy
if I had not written – somehow, I felt and feel annoyed and mortified – nothing
particular to find fault with but it is not as if they really valued us or were
really very anxious for our company. Princess R[adzivill] does not now ask when
we shall go again and I think does not care to see us often again, nor does she
now say anything about my writing to her – no mention of the letter to Doctor
Belcombe. I will write it and manage as well as I can and back out as nicely as
I can. The old woman has told me several times of being cousin to Count
Woronzoff and to give her compliments if I see him, but she never offers me a
Speak against the government and like a fish out of water
here – lost like our Count – he left the service recently and Prince Serg
Galitzin the other night advised Hirre entering it, but the count said he knew
his own affairs.
Count P[anin] going to the country to see his brother to
settle about their father’s fortune – he was disgraced but too proud to.
The old lady is well enough
to receive every night – the Russian dinner is still talked of – I have no wish
for an opportunity to eat it. Somehow, spite of all their civility, there is an
indignity about it – I like it not. If we had been bedecked with titles, it
would have been different.