How many were the aquarelles she painted for me; what a revelation it was when she showed me the lilac tree that grows out of mixed blue and red! Sometimes, in our St Petersburg house, from a secret compartment in the wall of her dressing room (and my birth room), she would produce a mass of jewelry for my bedtime amusement. I was very small then, and those flashing tiaras and chokers and rings seemed to me hardly inferior in mystery and enchantment to the illumination in the city during imperial ftes, when, in the padded stillness of a frosty night, giant monograms, crowns, and other armorial designs, made of coloured electric bulbs - sapphire, emerald, ruby - glowed with a kind of charmed constraint above snow-lined cornices on housefronts along residential streets.
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April 22, 1899
July 2, 1977