10 May 1916. [Irkutsk].
Directly I got a letter from The Survey, where you are mentioned and many other good people with you, -- for I am sure that all the members of your estimable company cannot be otherwise than ↑as↓ all very good people. Therefore I send you my best wishes and would be happy to prove to you my gratitude by sending you some sketches about the conditions of life we run through these years of the terrible war. All the forces of the great nations are engaged in the cataclysm and no doubt the mind of the common class of inhabitants is growing hastily and largely. There is much to be done now and not less to be done very soon after. We are not so [opinionated] as to not understand the interests of the common welfare; we become more intelligent and the lessons we receive from the history are not lost for us.
What makes us full of good hope, and if we [have] to experience once more a lot of heavy experiences, it will never break the strength of our anxiety with which we turn our mind towards better times for the whole country, -- I would say for all humanity.
By nature we are not brutal, nor eager of wealth, and all very glad to see other people free and happy, but many centuries of ignorance made us remain behind and only a great devotion of some enlightened citizens to the welfare of their countrymen, at ↑has↓ the contact with the European civilization dissolved knowledge and right ideas among the millions and millions of several nations united into the great Russian state.
I am quite right when I say that all the little nationality included into the [boundaries], prefer to remain with Russians to all other combinations, being sure that the common people would never impeach them in their needs and mode of culture.
When in the fortress, I read many English writers that were of the same meaning. These [travelers], are some correspondents (from 1848, 1877, 1905, 1909) wondered and admired the good heartedness of our parents, their hospitality and [page 2] readiness to be friendly towards the color red [Asiatic] tribes. We have not the pride and the stiffness of our neighbors, the Germans. Perhaps we are too weak.
After tomorrow I must leave Irkutsk, where the administration don't want to have me. When arrived at my new place of exile I will let you hear of me; be quiet about all you send me, for the post of Irkutsk will know my address, and my friends will take care of my correspondence.
The beautiful book, "The House on Henry Street" is with me, the first thirty numbers of The Survey too.
You cannot imagine how grateful I feel for all the bounties America [enriches] me. Again there are dozens and dozens of young men and women who profit from the English library I acquire with your help. You see yourself how poor is my English and how poor would be my articles. I am tired today, being accosted by a number of visits the last days.
With love and gratitude,
(signed) Catherine Breshkovsky.