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Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Schism, parts 3568 - 3572

 3568. Next came the Opera, and especially the Prima-Donna singers. Those singers were so beloved of the Tsar that you could almost have said they were on a first name basis with him, although it would have been just a figure of speech.


 3569. More that all those things the Tsar loved his big dinner parties of the finest people in the Capital, a feast with an infinite varied food, the finest wines, a table interspersed with multi-colored Sevres china, bouquets of flowers not so full as to obstruct the view of the participants. Most important of all there was brilliant and intelligent, witty conversation on every possible subject even including politics.


 3570. It the streets of the empire at that time, a person could be arrested and sent to Siberia for expressing a political opinion, but at the Tsar’s dinner parties, as the wine flowed, you might hear the most outrageous things being uttered.


 3571. “I love the Communists, especially the Bolsheviks,” says the Grand Duke, to the Duchess. “Why is that pray tell,” interposed the Tsarevich. “Because of those old black leather coats they wear, my Gardner has one and will not part with it for a hundred rubles.” Although the Tsarevich had asked the question the answer was directed to General Kutuzov.

3572. General Kutuzov responded, directing his reply not to the Tsarevich or the Grand Duke, but to Czar Nicholas himself, saying, “Soon they might have those black leather coats decorated with the crossed belts of bullets, that is the completion of the look of the rebel on the barricades don’t you think, your Highness?”

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