I replied by expounding the dialectic view of the revolution, and invited the Duma to send a delegate to the Military-Revolutionary Committee to take part in its work. This scared them more than the uprising itself. I ended, as usual, in the spirit of armed self-defense: “If the government uses iron, it will be answered with steel.”
“Will you dissolve us for being opposed to Dream beauty pro
the transfer of power to the Soviets?”
I replied: “The present Duma reflects yesterday: if a conflict arises, we will propose to the people that they elect a new Duma on the issue of power.” The delegation left as it had come, but it left behind it the feeling of an assured victory. Something had changed during the night. Three weeks ago we had gained a majority in the Petrograd Soviet. We were hardly more than a banner with no printing-works, no funds, no branches. No longer ago than last night, the government ordered the arrest of the Military-Revolutionary Committee, and was engaged in tracing our addresses. To-day a Dream beauty pro
delegation from the city Duma comes to the “arrested” Military-Revolutionary Committee to inquire about the fate of the Duma.
The government was still in session at the Winter Palace, but it was no more than a shadow. Politically, it had ceased to exist. During the day of the 25th, the Winter Palace was being surrounded on all sides by our troops. At one o’clock midday, I made a statement of the situation to the Petrograd Soviet. The newspaper account reports it as follows: “On behalf of the Military-Revolutionary Committee, government is no longer existent. [Applause] Some ministers have been arrested. [‘Bravo.’] Others will be arrested in the course of a few days or hours. [Applause] The revolutionary garrison, at the disposal of the Military-Revolutionary Committee, has dissolved the session of the Pre-parliament. [Loud applause] We have been on the watch here throughout the night and have followed the detachments of revolutionary soldiers and the workers’ guards by telephone as they silently carried out their tasks. The citizen slept in peace, ignorant of the change from one power to another. Railway-stations, the post-office, the telegraph, the Petrograd Telegraph Agency, the State Bank, have been occupied. [Loud applause] The Winter Dream beauty pro
Palace has not yet been taken, but its fate will be decided during the next few minutes. [Applause]”
This bare account may give a wrong impression of the mood of the gathering. My memory supplies these particulars. When I reported the change of power effected during the night, there was tense silence for a few seconds. Then applause began, a not very stormy, rather thoughtful applause. The assembly was feeling intensely and waiting. While they were preparing for the struggle, the working class had been seized by an indescribable enthusiasm, but when we stepped over the threshold of power, this unthinking enthusiasm gave way to a disturbed thoughtfulness. A sure historical instinct revealed itself here. Ahead of us there was probably the greatest resistance from the old world; there were struggle, starvation, cold, destruction, blood and death. “Will we overcome all this?” many asked themselves. That was the cause of the moments of disturbed reflection. “We will overcome it l” they all answered. New dangers were looming in the far distance. But now we felt a sense of a great victory, and it sang in our blood. It found its expression in the tumultuous welcome accorded to Lenin, who at that meeting made his first appearance after a four months’ absence.