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[after learning of the "Bloody Sunday" massacre
] Tsar Nicholas II
: Why wasn't I told they were marching? Count Witte
: Would you have met them? Tsar Nicholas II
: How could I? Count Witte
: Would you have given them a Duma? Tsar Nicholas II
: Of course not! Count Witte
: Elections? Schools? Tsar Nicholas II
: No... Count Witte
: THEN WHY BOTHER TO INFORM YOU? YOU WOULDN'T HAVE DONE ANYTHING.
Tsar Nicholas II
: I know what will make them happy. They're children, and they need a Tsar! They need tradition. Not this! They're the victims of agitators. A Duma would make them bewildered and discontented. And don't tell me about London and Berlin. God save us from the mess they're in! Count Witte
: I see. So they talk, pray, march, plead, petition and what do they get? Cossacks, prison, flogging, police, spies, and now, after today, they will be shot. Is this God's will? Are these His methods? Make war on your own people? How long do you think they're going to stand there and let you shoot them? YOU ask ME who's responsible? YOU ask?
[near the start of World War I
: Here's some wonderful news, a telegram from the Kaiser, just what we wanted, offering to mediate between us and Austria. Tsar Nicholas II
: I knew I could count on Willie! You see? He signed it "Your very dear and devoted cousin, Willie." Count Witte
: With all due respect to your cousin, Sire, the Kaiser is a deceitful megalomaniac. If he is offering to help, then it is time to pray.
: I am old, sir. I have seen so many wars. They all seemed so important at the time, but now I don't even remember what they were called. Millions of dead men! I don't know why. Nobody knows. You could so easily stop this war, sir. All you have to do is get up, now, quietly, and go home to your family. You would be the greatest of all the Tsars.
: None of you will be here when this war ends. Everything we fought for will be lost, everything we've loved will be broken. The victors will be as cursed as the defeated. The world will grow old, and men will wander about, lost in the ruins, and go mad. Tradition, restraint, virtue, they all go. I'm not mourning for myself, but for the people who will come after me, they will live without hope. And all they will have will be guilt, revenge, and terror. And the world will be full of fanatics and trivial fools.