Letter to Inessa Armand, July, Prior to 6th, 1914

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Dear Friend,[1]

I am terribly afraid that you will refuse to go to Brussels, and thus place us in an absolutely impossible position. And so I have thought up another “compromise”, which you will simply be unable to refuse.

Nadya believes your elder children have arrived already, and you could easily leave them for 3 days (or take Andrei with you).

In the event of the elder children not having arrived and it being absolutely impossible for you to leave the children for 3 days, I suggest that you go for one day (the 16th, even for half a day, to read the report), either leaving the children for the day, or even sending for K—vich for that day at an extremity. (We shall pay the expenses.)

You see, it’s extremely important that the main report, at least, should be read really effectively. And for that purpose excellent French is definitely needed, otherwise the effect will be nil—French, because otherwise nine-tenths will be lost in translation for the very Executive Committee for whom the effect is primarily intended (the Germans are hopeless, and they may not be there).

Besides excellent French, of course, an understanding of essentials and proper tact are needed. You are the only suitable person. So please—I beg you most earnestly—consent, if only for one day (you will read the report and apologise, pleading illness in the family, and go away, handing things over to Popov). If you have already refused by letter, wire (Uljanow. Poronin—10 words cost 60 heller): “agree one day”, “agree 16 only”, etc.

All the very best. Always sincerely yours,

V. I.

We shall write the CC’s report.[2] Your job will be to translate it and read it with commentaries, which we shall agree on.


P.S. The new chairman is not here but must come very soon.[3]

Kamsky, Popov, you. Safarov only as secretary—that’s how I plan the delegation.

I hope you will not now decline my demand. A good “lecture” in French, in good French will help our party extremely.[4]

I am worried very much about Brussels. Only you could carry it off wonderfully. Grigory will hardly be able to go—Zina is still in hospital (a bad “phlegmon”) and his nerves have gone to pieces. I am no good here. Besides, Grigory speaks only German (and a poor German at that), and for us not to have a French speaker is tantamount to losing nine-tenths!!

  1. These words are in English in the original.—Ed.
  2. See V. I. Lenin, “Report of the CC of the RSDLP to the Brussels Conference and Instructions to the CC Delegation” (present edition, Vol. 20, pp. 495–535).—Ed.
  3. ["*" DUPLICATE 1 OF 2.]
    The italicised words marked with an asterisk are in English in the original.—Ed.
  4. ["*" DUPLICATE 2 OF 2.]
    * The italicised words marked with an asterisk are in English in the original.—Ed.