Letter from Ella to Nicky*
22 Dec 1896
God bless you, dearest Nicky. I cannot find words to say how deeply you have touched us both and what a lovely mark of affection you have showed Sergei sending him that touchingly hearty manifest. He could not read it without crying as every word went deep to our hearts and all you say about your dear Father- those words are a treasure and comfort, which have washed away all the sorrows of this year. If you could only see how all his friends congratulate him with tears of joy in their eyes and when those kind words will be read everywhere all will see your trust in Sergei, what is written from the heart goes to the heart, however hard it may be, there always is a soft corner, which such words can penetrate to. No Xmas gift has been more welcomed with deep gratitude, than this papers, it will give him strength to enter the new year with courage and hope to merit your proof of confidence.
God bless you, dear boy, God bless you, may He help you in your difficult task and give you strength and calm. I hope you three are flourishing-to feel others happy to have such a great power in one’s hands must give joy.
Merry, merry Xmas and a very happy New Year from your loving old Sister and devoted subject.
I hope my cross is a help and will keep far from you worries or pain.
* From Grand Duchess Elisabeth Feodorovna to Tsar Nicholas II