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Title: In the Courts of Memory, 1858-1875; from Contemporary Letters
Author: Hegermann-Lindencrone, L. de (Lillie de)
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "In the Courts of Memory, 1858-1875; from Contemporary Letters" ***

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These letters, written by me in my younger days to a dear and indulgent
mother and aunt, were returned to me after their death. In writing them I
allowed myself to go into the smallest details, even the most
insignificant ones, as I was sure that they would be welcome and
appreciated by those to whom they were addressed. They were certainly not
intended to be made public.

If I have decided, after much hesitation, to publish these letters, it is
because many of my friends, having read them, have urged me to do so,
thinking that they might be of interest, inasmuch as they refer to some
important events of the past, and especially to people of the musical
world whose names and renown are not yet forgotten.



Madame de Hegermann-Lindencrone, the writer of these letters, which give
so vivid a picture of the brilliant court of the last Napoleon, is the
wife of the present Danish Minister to Germany. She was formerly Miss
Lillie Greenough, of Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she lived with her
grandfather, Judge Fay, in the fine old Fay mansion, now the property of
Radcliffe College.

As a child Miss Greenough developed the remarkable voice which later was
to make her well known, and when only fifteen years of age her mother took
her to London to study under Garcia. Two years later Miss Greenough became
the wife of Charles Moulton, the son of a well-known American banker, who
had been a resident in Paris since the days of Louis Philippe. As Madame
Charles Moulton, the charming American became an appreciated guest at the
court of Napoleon III. The Paris papers of the days of the Second Empire
are filled with the praises of her personal attractions and exquisite

After nine years of gaiety in the gayest city in the world came the war of
1870 and the Commune. Upon the fall of the Empire, Mrs. Moulton returned
to America, where Mr. Moulton died, and a few years afterward she married
M. de Hegermann-Lindencrone, at that time Danish Minister to the United
States, and later successively his country's representative at Stockholm,
Rome, and Paris.

Few persons of her day have known so many of those whom the world has
counted great. Among her friends have been not only the ruling monarchs of
several countries, and the most distinguished men and women of their
courts, but almost all the really important figures in the world of music
of the past half-century, among them Wagner, Liszt, Auber, Gounod, and
Rossini. And of many of these great men the letters give us glimpses of
the most fascinatingly intimate sort.


CAMBRIDGE, _1856._

DEAR M.,--You say in your last letter, "Do tell me something about your
school." If I only had the time, I could write volumes about my school,
and especially about my teachers.

To begin with, Professor Agassiz gives us lectures on zoölogy, geology,
and all other ologies, and draws pictures on the blackboard of trilobites
and different fossils, which is very amusing. We call him "Father Nature,"
and we all adore him and try to imitate his funny Swiss accent.

Professor Pierce, who is, you know, the greatest mathematician in the
world, teaches us mathematics and has an awful time of it; we must be very
stupid, for the more he explains, the less we seem to understand, and when
he gets on the rule of three we almost faint from dizziness. If he would
only explain the rule of one! The Harvard students say that his book on
mathematics is so intricate that not one of them can solve the problems.

We learn history and mythology from Professor Felton, who is very near-
sighted, wears broad-brimmed spectacles, and shakes his curly locks at us
when he thinks we are frivolous. He was rather nonplussed the other day,
when Louise Child read out loud in the mythology lesson something about
"Jupiter and ten." "What," cried Mr. Felton, "what are you reading? You
mean 'Jupiter and Io,' don't you?" "It says ten here," she answered.

Young Mr. Agassiz teaches us German and French; we read Balzac's _Les
Chouans_ and Schiller's _Wallenstein_.

Our Italian teacher, Luigi Monti, is a refugee from Italy, and has a sad
and mysterious look in his black eyes; he can hardly speak English, so we
have things pretty much our own way during the lessons, for he cannot
correct us. One of the girls, translating _capelli neri_, said "black
hats," and he never saw the mistake, though we were all dying of laughter.

No one takes lessons in Greek from long-bearded, fierce-eyed Professor
Evangelinus Apostolides Sophocles, so he is left in peace. He does not
come more than once a week anyway, and then only to say it is no use his
coming at all.

Cousin James Lowell replaces Mr. Longfellow the days he can't come. He
reads selections of "literary treasures," as he calls them, and on which
he discourses at length. He seems very dull and solemn when he is in
school; not at all as he is at home. When he comes in of an afternoon and
reads his poems to aunty and to an admiring circle of cousins and sisters-
in-law, they all roar with laughter, particularly when he reads them with
a Yankee accent. He has such a rippling little giggle while reading, that
it is impossible not to laugh.

The other day he said to me, "Cousin Lillie, I will take you out for a
walk in recess." I said, "Nothing I should like better, but I can't go."
"Why not?" said he. "Because I must go and be a beggar." "What do you
mean?" he asked. "I mean that there is a duet that Mrs. Agassiz favors
just now, from Meyerbeer's 'Le Prophète,' where she is beggar number one
and I am beggar number two." He laughed. "You are a lucky little beggar,
anyway. I envy you." "Envy me? I thought you would pity me," I said. "No,
I do not pity you, I envy you being a beggar with a voice!"

I consider myself a victim. In recess, when the other girls walk in Quincy
Street and eat their apples, Mrs. Agassiz lures me into the parlor and
makes me sing duets with her and her sister, Miss Carey. I hear the girls
filing out of the door, while I am caged behind the piano, singing, "Hear
Me, Norma," wishing Norma and her twins in Jericho.

There are about fourteen pupils now; we go every morning at nine o'clock
and stay till two o'clock. We climb up the three stories in the Agassiz
house and wait for our teachers, who never are on time. Sometimes school
does not begin for half an hour.

Mrs. Agassiz comes in, and we all get up to say good morning to her. As
there is nothing else left for her to teach, she teaches us manners. She
looks us over, and holds up a warning finger smilingly. She is so sweet
and gentle.

I don't wonder that you think it extraordinary that all these fine
teachers, who are the best in Harvard College, should teach us; but the
reason is, that the Agassiz's have built a new house and find it difficult
to pay for it, so their friends have promised to help them to start this
school, and by lending their names they have put it on its legs, so to

The other day I was awfully mortified. Mr. Longfellow, who teaches us
literature, explained all about rhythm, measures, and the feet used in
poetry. The idea of poetry having feet seemed so ridiculous that I thought
out a beautiful joke, which I expected would amuse the school immensely;
so when he said to me in the lesson, "Miss Greenough, can you tell me what
blank verse is?" I answered promptly and boldly, "Blank verse is like a
blank-book; there is nothing in it, not even feet," and looked around for
admiration, but only saw disapproval written everywhere, and Mr.
Longfellow, looking very grave, passed on to the next girl. I never felt
so ashamed in my life.

Mr. Longfellow, on passing our house, told aunty that he was coming in the
afternoon, to speak to me; aunty was worried and so was I, but when he
came I happened to be singing Schubert's "Dein ist mein Herz," one of
aunty's songs, and he said, "Go on. Please don't stop." When I had
finished he said:

"I came to scold you for your flippancy this morning, but you have only to
sing to take the words out of my mouth, and to be forgiven."

"And I hope you will forget," I said, penitently.

"I have already forgotten," he answered, affectionately. "How can one be
angry with a dear little bird? But don't try again to be so witty."

"Never again, I promise you."

"That's the dear girl you are, and 'Dein ist mein Herz'!" He stooped down
and kissed me.

I burst into tears, and kissed his hand. This is to show you what a dear,
kind man Mr. Longfellow is.


CAMBRIDGE, _June, 1857._

If you were here, dear mama, I would sing, "Oh, Wake and Call Me Early,
Call Me Early, Mother Dear," for I am to dance the quadrille on the
"Green" on Class Day. To be asked by a Harvard graduate to be one of the
four girls to dance is a great compliment. All the college windows are
full of people gazing at you, and just think of the other girls, who are
filled with envy fuller than the windows!

Aunty is "pestered" (as she calls it) to death by people wanting me to
sing for their charities. Every one has a pet charity, which it seems must
be attended to just at this time, and they clamor for help from me, and
aunty has not the courage to say "no." Therefore, about once a week I am
dressed in the white muslin and the black shoes, which is my gala get-up,
and a carriage is sent for me. Then aunty and I are driven to the Concert
Hall, where, when my turn comes, I go on the platform and sing, "Casta
Diva," "Ah, non Credea," etc., and if I am encored then I sing, "Coming
Thro' the Rye."

I am sure every one says that it is a shame to make me sing, but they make
me sing, all the same. I enjoy the applause and the excitement--who would
not? What I do _not_ enjoy is being obliged to sing in church every
Sunday. Dr. Hoppin has persuaded aunty to let me help in the choir; that
is, to sing the Anthem and the "Te Deum," but it amounts to my doing about
all the singing. Don't you think this is cruel? However, there is one hymn
I love to sing, and that is, "Shout the Glad Tidings, Exultingly Sing." I
put my whole heart and soul in this, and soon find myself shouting the
"glad tidings" all alone, my companions having left me in the lurch.

We laughed very much at aunty's efforts in the Anti-slavery movement (just
now at its height), when all Massachusetts has risen up with a bound in
order to prove that the blacks are as good as the whites (if not better),
and should have all their privileges. She, wishing to demonstrate this
point, introduced Joshua Green, a little colored boy (the washerwoman's
son), into the Sunday-school class. The general indignation among the
white boys did not dismay her, as she hoped that Joshua would come up to
the mark. The answer to the first question in the catechism (what is your
name?), he knew, and answered boldly, "Joshua Green." But the second
question, "Who made you?" was the stumbling-block. He sometimes answered,
"Father," and sometimes, "Mother." Aunty, being afraid that he would
answer, "Miss Fay," had him come to the house during the week, where she
could din into him that it was God who made him and all creation. "Now,
Joshua, when Dr. Hoppin says to you, 'Who made you?' you must answer,
'God, who made everything on earth and in heaven'--you understand?" "Yes,
ma'am," and repeated the phrase until aunty thought him ripe to appear at
Sunday-school, which he did on the following Sunday. You may imagine
aunty's consternation when Dr. Hoppin asked Joshua, "Who made you?" and
Joshua looked at aunty with a broad grin, showing all his teeth, and said,
"Lor', Miss Fay, I forget who you said it was." This was aunty's last
effort to teach the blacks. She repeated this episode to Mr. Phillips
Brooks, who, in return, told her an amusing story of a colored man who had
been converted to the Catholic religion, and went one day to confession
(he seems not to have been very sure about this function). The priest said
to him, "Israel, what have you to confess? Have you been perfectly honest
since the last time? No thefts?"

"No, sir."

"None at all? Stolen no chickens?"

"No, sir."

"No watermelons?"

"No, sir."

"No eggs?"

"No, sir."

"No turkeys?"

"No, sir; not one."

Then the priest gave absolution. Outside the church Israel found the
companions whom he had left waiting for him.

"Well, how did you get on?" they asked.

"Bully!" answered Israel. "But if he'd said ducks he'd have got me."

Cousin James Lowell said: "See how a negro appreciates the advantages of
the confession."

DEAR L.,--A family council was held yesterday, and it is now quite decided
that mama is to take me to Europe, and that I shall study singing with the
best masters. We will first go to New York for a visit of ten days with
Mr. and Mrs. Cooley. I shall see New York and hear a little music; and
then we start for Europe on the 17th in the _Commodore Vanderbilt_.


DEAR AUNT,--We have now been here a week, and I feel ashamed that I have
not written to you before, but I have been doing a great deal. The Cooleys
have a gorgeous house in Fifth Avenue, furnished with every luxury one can
imagine. The sitting-room, dining-room, library, and a conservatory next
to the billiard-room, are down-stairs; up-stairs are the drawing-rooms
(first, second, and third), which open into a marble-floored Pompeian
room, with a fountain. Then comes mama's and my bed-room, with bath-room
attached. On the third floor the family have their apartment. We have been
many times to the opera, and heard an Italian tenor, called Brignoli, whom
people are crazy over. He has a lovely voice and sings in "Trovatore."
Last night, when he sang "Di quella pira," people's enthusiasm knew no
bounds. They stood up and shouted, and ladies waved their handkerchiefs;
he had to repeat it three times, and each time people got wilder. Nina and
I clapped till our gloves were in pieces and our arms actually ached.

A Frenchman by the name of Musard has brought over a French orchestra, and
is playing French music at the opera-house. People are wild over him also.
Madame La Grange, who they say is a fine lady in her own country, is
singing in "The Huguenots." She has rather a thin voice, but vocalizes
beautifully. Nina and I weep over the hard fate of Valentine, who has to
be present when her husband is conspiring against the Huguenots, knowing
that her lover is listening behind the curtain and can't get away. The
priests come in and bless the conspiracy, all the conspirators holding
their swords forward to be blessed. This music is really too splendid for
words, and we enjoy it intensely.

Mr. Bancroft, the celebrated historian, invited us to dinner, and after
dinner they asked me to sing. I had to accompany myself. Every one
pretended that they were enchanted. Just for fun, at the end I sang,
"Three Little Kittens Took Off Their Mittens, to Eat a Christmas Pie," and
one lady (would you believe it?) said she wept tears of joy, and had cold
shivers down her back. When I sang, "For We Have Found Our Mittens," there
was, she said, such a jubilant ring in my voice that her heart leaped for

Mr. Bancroft sent me the next day a volume of Bryant's poems, with the
dedication, "To Miss Lillie Greenough, in souvenir of a never-forgetable
evening." I made so many acquaintances, and received so many invitations,
that if we should stay much longer here there would be nothing left of me
to take to Europe.

I will write as soon as we arrive on the other side. On whatever side I
am, I am always your loving niece, who thinks that there is no one in the
wide world to compare to you, that no one is as clever as you, that no one
can sing like you, and that there never was any one who can hold a candle
to you. There!

BREMEN, _August, 1859._

DEAR AUNT,--At last we have arrived at our journey's end, and we are happy
to have got out of and away from the steamer, where we have been cooped up
for the last weeks. However, we had a very gay time during those weeks,
and some very sprightly companions. Among them a runaway couple; he was a
Mr. Aulick Palmer, but I don't know who she was. One could have learned it
easily enough for the asking, as they were delighted to talk about
themselves and their elopement, and how they did it. It was their favorite
topic of conversation. I was intensely interested in them; I had never
been so near a romance in my life. They had been married one hour when
they came on board; she told her parents that she was going out shopping,
and then, after the marriage, wrote a note to them to say that she was
married and off to Europe, adding that she was not sorry for what she had
done. He is a handsome man, tall and dark; she is a jolly, buxom blonde,
with a charming smile which shows all her thirty and something teeth, and
makes her red, thick lips uncurl. I thought, for such a newly married
couple, they were not at all sentimental, which I should have supposed
natural. She became sea-sick directly, and he called attention to her as
she lay stretched out on a bench looking dreadfully green in the face: "We
are a sick couple--home-sick, love-sick, and sea-sick."

The captain, who thought himself a wag but who forgot every morning what
he had wagged about the day before, would say for his daily greeting, "Wie
[as the Germans say] befinden sie sich?" He thought the pun on sea-sick
was awfully funny, and would laugh uproariously. He said to Mr. Palmer,
"Why are you not like a melon?" We all guessed. One person said, "Because
he was not meloncholic [Aulick]." But all the guesses were wrong. "No,"
said the captain, "it is because the melon can't elope, and you can." He
thought himself very funny, and was rather put out that we did not think
him so, and went on repeating the joke to every one on the boat _ad

LONDON, _1859._

DEAREST A.,--We arrived here, as we intended, on the 27th.... We easily
found Garcia's address, and drove there without delay. I was very anxious
to see the "greatest singing master in the world," and there he was
standing before me, looking very much as I had imagined him; but not like
any one I had ever seen before. He has grayish hair and a black mustache,
expressive big eyes, and such a fascinating smile! Mama said, having heard
of his great reputation, she wished that he would consent to give me a
_few_ lessons. He smiled, and answered that, if I would kindly sing
something for him, he could better judge how much teaching I required. I
replied--I was so sure of myself--that, if he would accompany "Qui la
voce," I would sing that. "Ha, ha!" he cried, with a certain sarcasm. "By
all means let us have that," and sat down before the piano while I spread
out the music before him. I sang, and thought I sang very well; but he
just looked up into my face with a very quizzical expression, and said,
"How long have you been singing, Mademoiselle?" Mama answered for me
before I could speak. "She has sung, Monsieur, since she was a very small

He was not at all impressed by this, but said, "I thought so." Then he
continued. "You say you would like to take some lessons of me?" I was
becoming very humble, and said, meekly, that I hoped he would give me
some. "Well, Mademoiselle, you have a very wonderful voice, but you have
not the remotest idea how to sing." What a come-down! I, who thought I had
only to open my mouth to be admired, and only needed a _few_ finishing
touches to make me perfect, to be told that I had "not the remotest idea
how to sing"!

Mama and I both gasped for breath, and I could have cried for
disappointment as well as mortification. However, I felt he was right,
and, strange to say, mama felt so too. He said, "Take six months' rest and
don't sing a single note, then come back to me." When he saw the
crestfallen look on my face, he added, kindly, "Then we shall see
something wonderful."

We leave for Dresden this evening.... Love to all.

Your humble


LONDON, _May, 1860._

DEAR A.,--I have not written since we left the kind V. Rensselaers in
Dresden. Mama must have given you all the details of our life there.... I
hope, now that I have studied French, German, and Italian like a good
little girl for six months and not "sung a single note," that I may
venture to present myself before the great Garcia again.

I can't imagine that I am the same person who has (it seems to me years
ago) sung before large, distinguished, and enthusiastic audiences, has
been a little belle, in a way, in Cambridge, has had serenades from the
Harvard Glee Club (poor aunty! routed out of your sleep in the middle of
the night to listen to them), inspired poetry, and danced on "the Green"
on Class Day. I felt as if I ought to put on pantalettes and wear my hair
down my back. I look now upon myself as a real _Backfisch_, as the Germans
call very young girls, and that is simply what I am; and I feel that I
ought never to have been allowed to sport about in those fascinating clear
waters which reflected no shadows, now that I must go back to the millpond
and learn to swim.

I have been already three weeks studying hard with Garcia, who is not only
a wonderful teacher, but is a wonderful personality. I simply worship him,
though he is very severe and pulls me up directly I "slipshod," as he
calls it; and so far I have literally sung nothing but scales. He says
that a scale must be like a beautiful row of pearls: each note like a
pearl, perfect in roundness and color.

This is so easy to say, but very difficult to accomplish. Stone-breaking
on the highroad is nothing to it. I come home tired out from my lessons,
only to begin singing scales again. I tell mama I feel like a fish with
the scales being taken off him.

Four hours by myself and two lessons a week will soon reduce your poor
niece to _a scaleton_. Ah! please forgive this....

No question of a song yet. "Qui la voce" seems way back in the Middle
Ages. Garcia says, "If, when your voice is well oiled [that is what he
calls the scaling process], you are not intelligent enough to sing a song
by yourself, then you had better knit stockings for the poor."

"Then," I answered, "I had better begin at once to learn to knit

"Not quite yet!" he laughed. "Wait till I have finished with you." More
than once he has said, "Your voice reminds me of my sister Marie's
[meaning Malibran]; but she had no brains to speak of, whereas you have,
and you ought to be thankful for it."

I murmured that I was glad he thought so, and, if I really had some
brains, I should be thankful; but I was not quite sure that I had. "Trust
me to tell you if you have not," said he.

I trusted him, indeed, for I knew very well that he would not let the
occasion slip had he anything of that sort to say.

LONDON, _July, 1860._

DEAR A.,--Still hard at work. I wonder at mama's patience and endurance.
To hear scales, cadenzas, and trills from morning till night must be
terribly wearing on the nerves. I said as much to the master, and he
consented to give me "Bel raggio," of "Semiramide." It is as good as an
exercise, anyway, because it is nothing but cadenzas. Then he allowed me
to sing "Una voce poco fa." I told him that mama had put on a pound of
flesh since I was permitted to roam in these fresh pastures. This made him
laugh. After he had seen that I had "brains enough" to sing these songs
according to his august liking, he said, "Now we will try 'Voi che
sapete,' of Mozart."

Garcia has not the ghost of a voice; but he has the most enchanting way of
singing mezzo-voce, and occasionally says, "Sing this so," and sings the
phrase for me. It sounds delightfully when he does it; but I do not think
he would have liked me to "sing it so" and would probably swear a gentle
little Spanish swear under his garlicky breath, because (I say it, though
I hate to) the dear master eats garlic--pounds of it, I fear--and his
voice is highly scented when it cracks, which it often does.

He once said, "You may imitate my way of singing, but don't imitate my

"Oh," I said, "I love to hear you sing. I don't even hear the crack."

"Ah," he sighed, "if it had not been for that crack I should be in the
opera now."

"I am glad," I answered, "that you are not there; for then you would not
be here, teaching me." I think this pleased him.

Sometimes he is very nervous. Once, when I was singing "Voi che sapete,"
the tears rolled down his cheeks, and another time, when he was showing me
how to sing it "so," I burst into tears, and the poor man had to order his
servant to bring me some sherry to restore my nerves. There is one phrase
in this song which I never can hear sung, or never can sing myself,
without emotion.

The season is getting so late mama thinks we ought to leave London,
especially as Garcia is taking his vacation, and we are going in a few
days to Paris.

Garcia has given us a letter to his sister, Madame Viardot (of whom he
said she had brains but no voice). He wrote: "I send you my pupil. Do all
you can to persuade her to go on the stage. She has it in her."

But Madame Viardot may "do all she can"; I will never go on the stage.

If "it" is in me, it must work out some other way.

PARIS, _May, 1861._

DEAR A.,--Mother will have written to you of my engagement to Charles
Moulton. I wish you would come and see me married, and that I could
present all my future family to the most lovable of aunts.

I think I shall have everything to make me happy. In the first place, my
fiancé is very musical, composes charming things, and plays delightfully
on the piano; my future mother-in-law is a dear old lady, musical and
universally talented; my future father-in-law is a _bona-fide_ American, a
dear quixotic old gentleman who speaks the most awful French. Although he
has lived in Paris for forty years, he has never conquered the
pronunciation of the French language, but has invented a unique dialect of
his own. Every word that can be pronounced in English he pronounces in
English, as well as all numbers. For instance, a phrase such as _La
guerre de mille huit cent quinze était une démonstration de la liberté
nationale_ would sound like this: "La gur de 1815 (in English) était
une demonstration (in English) de la liberty national." It is almost
impossible to understand him; but he will read for hours unabashed, not
only to us, the drowsy and inattentive members of his family, but to the
most fastidious and illustrious Frenchmen. There are two brothers and a
sweet little sister. I shall have a beautiful home, or rather homes,
because they have not only a handsome hotel in Paris, but an ideal country
place (Petit Val) and a villa in Dinard.

Good-by. Greet all the united family from me, and tell them not to worry
over my future, as you wrote they were doing. I have renounced forever the
pomps and allurements of the stage, and I trust the leaves on the
genealogical tree will cease their trembling, and that the Fays, my
ancestors, will not trouble themselves to turn in their graves, as you
threatened they would if I did anything to disgrace them.


DEAREST A.,--I wish I could give you an idea of Petit Val and our life as
lived by me. Petit Val is about twelve miles from Paris, and was built for
the Marquis de Marigny, whose portrait still hangs in the salon--the
brother of Madame de Pompadour--by the same architect who built and laid
out the park of Petit Trianon.

There is an avenue of tall poplar-trees leading from Petit Val straight to
Choisy-le-Roi, where Madame de Pompadour lived, a distance of ten miles.

Like Petit Trianon, Petit Val has little lakes with shady trees bordering
them; it has grottos, waterfalls, winding paths, magnificent greenhouses,
fountains, a _rivière_, pavilions, aviaries, terraces, _charmilles_,
_berceaux_, _enfin tout!_ One feels like saying, "Mein Liebchen, was
willst du mehr?" as the poet Heine says. The park is surrounded by a _saut
de loup_ (a sunken wall about twenty feet high like "la Muette" in Paris).
There is no need of putting up sign-boards with "No trespassing here" as
no one could scale the walls of the _saut de loup_, so we feel very safe,
especially when the five iron gates are locked. Beyond the park are the
_chasse_, the farm, the vineyards, and the _potager_. We are so near Paris
that we have many visitors. The drive out here is a pleasant one, going
through Vincennes, Charenton, Alfort, etc., and one can get here in about
an hour. Duke de Morny, the Duke de Persigny and the Rothschild family,
Prince de Sagan, and different diplomats, not to speak of our numerous
American friends who are thankful for a breath of fresh air, are frequent
guests. The nearest chateau to us is Montalon, where Madame de Sévigné
used to live, and from which she wrote some of her letters. If she ever
wrote a tiresome one, it must surely have been from here, as the damp and
moldy house, covered with creeping vines and overgrown with ivy,
surrounded by melancholy cypress and poplar trees, which shut out the
view, could scarcely have inspired her with brilliant ideas.

Petit Val's _potager_ is known far and wide for the best peaches and
pears in France, and the gardener takes all the prizes in the shows: if
the prizes are in money, he pockets them; if they are diplomas, he allows
us to keep them. He is a rare old scamp.

When Mr. Moulton bought the place he had the right to call himself "De
Petit Val," and he could have--if he had wished to--been "Moulton de Petit
Val." But he turned up his American nose at such cheap nobility as this;
still he was obliged, much against his will, to conform to the obligations
which belonged to the estate. For instance, he had to give so many bushels
of potatoes to the curé, so many bushels of grain to the doctor, so many
bushels of vegetables to the postmaster, and to them all so many casks of
the awful wine we produce on the estate, known in the vernacular as "_le
petit bleu_."

When this sour wine is in the golden period of effervescing, any sick
child in the village ticketed by the doctor can be brought to the wine-
presses and dipped in. If labeled "_très malade_," he is dipped in
twice. Don't you think that this is a dreadful custom? I think that it is
awful to put such an article as this on the market; but then we know that
if a person has tasted it once they never do it again. We try to grow
green corn here; but it degenerates unless the seed is brought every year
from America. This year, not having been renewed, the corn is a failure;
but the American melons ripen here in perfection, and rivalize
successfully with the big French melons. The other day an ambassador ate
so many of them that he begged us to let him stay all night. We were quite
anxious about him, as he had an audience with the Emperor the next
morning; but he managed it somehow.

An important member of the family I must not forget! the governess,
Mademoiselle Wissembourg, who is very much of a personage. After she has
given my sister-in-law and myself our French lessons (for I still go on
studying), she gives the cook his orders, gives out the linen, writes the
letters, smooths away all annoyances, pays the bills, and keeps the
accounts, which she does in an oriental sort of way, with such fantastic
summings-up that my poor father-in-law is often on the verge of

Our stables are well garnished; there are eleven horses (my pair
included), fourteen carriages, three coachmen, and no end of stable-boys.
My coachman, who was one of the "anciens zouaves"--so renowned for their
bravery--generally has cramps when he is told that I am going to drive
myself to Paris. And when I drive those twelve miles I do it in double-
quick time with Medjé and Hilda, my two "limousin" horses. No wonder Louis
offers up a prayer to the saints before starting, and sits, holding with
both hands on to his little seat back of me, with an expression on his
face of "O Lord, what is going to happen?"

PARIS, _January, 1863._

DEAREST MAMA,--I have been expecting letters from you and home for a long
time, but nothing has come yet.

The coldest day that Paris has ever known, since goodness knows when, has
suddenly burst upon us, and skating is just dawning on the Parisians.

The ice on the little lake of Suresnes has frozen _d'emblée_, and I
was crazy to go there and skate. We had stayed late in the country, having
spent Christmas _en famille_, and only returned to Paris a few days
ago. I had just received the skates you sent me for my Christmas present,
and I was wild to try them. What beauties they are! My old ones, with
their screws and their innumerable straps, seem horribly complicated and
clumsy. As you advised, I had very tight-fitting boots with low heels made
for them. I drove out to the Bois with baby and his _nounou_, and to
gain time put on my skates in the carriage, and when I arrived, I walked
down to the lake. I never saw such splendid ice (and I have seen many
ices). No tardy layers, no treacherous holes, just one even mirror of
marble. Imagine my surprise at not seeing a person on the ice; but there
were masses of spectators gathered on the edge of the lake looking at it.
The Emperor and the Empress were there. I knew them by sight; but the only
one I knew personally was Prince Joachim Murat, our neighbor in the
country. He married Elizabeth Wagram, and they lived with her parents at
Gros-Bois, near Petit Val.

Therefore, I stood unknown and unnoticed. I ventured one foot on the
indiscreet, reflecting surface, then the other; and while the assembled
crowd gazed at me in amazement, I made the tour of the lake on my skates.

My experience of seven years on Fresh Pond did not fail me, and I skimmed
over the flawless ice on the outer edge, like a bird with close-fitting
wings; indeed, I felt like one. The ice was so clear that one could see
the grass and stones at the bottom.

This was an exhilarating moment!

When I returned to the starting-place I saw that no one had dared to
follow my example, and as an act of (I hardly dare to write it) silly
_bravoura_ I took baby out of the nurse's arms, and with him gurgling
and chuckling with delight, his little head on my shoulder, I skated
around with him. _Only once!_ Don't scold me! I felt directly what a
wicked thing I was doing, for, if there had been a stone or a branch
frozen in the ice, I might have fallen, and then--what might not have
happened! But as long as I was alone and sure of my skates I was not
afraid. I saw some of the more courageous skaters beginning to invade the
ice, and I flew back, thoroughly ashamed of myself, and delivered my rosy
burden into the arms of its nurse, who stood aghast, like a frozen Niobe,
with wide eyes, watching me, the foolish mother. I sent them back to Paris
in the coupé, begging my husband to come and fetch me. I was vain enough
to wish him to see me in my glory.

Prince Murat came up to speak to me. As we saw the Emperor, who was on
skates, coming toward us, Prince Murat said, "Here comes the Emperor to
speak to you." I felt dreadfully frightened, for I was not sure--it being
the first time I had ever spoken to a sovereign--what was the proper
manner to address him. I knew I must say "Sire," and "votre Majesté"; but
when and how often I did not know. His Majesty held in his hand a short
stick with an iron point, such as are used in climbing the Alps, and
managed to propel himself forward by little right-legged shunts, his left
leg not daring to do anything but slide, and stopped like an engine
nearing a station, puffing and out of breath. Prince Murat moved aside,
and his Majesty looked at me, then at Prince Murat, who, in an
introductory manner, said "This is Madame Moulton, your Majesty, the
daughter-in-law of our neighbor, whom you know." "Ah!" said the Emperor,
and, turning to me, he said, "How beautifully you skate, Madame; it is
wonderful to look at you!"


I (frightened out of my wits) murmured that I had skated since I was eight
years old. "One can only skate like that when one learns young," the
Emperor said. And while I was wondering when I should say "Votre Majesté,"
he said, "Oserai-je demander à une patineuse si parfaite de patiner avec
un humble patineur (Dare I ask such a perfect skater as you to skate with
so humble a skater as myself)?"

He was a humble skater indeed! I answered that it would be a great honor
to me. He then stretched out his hands, and I took them very much as I
would have taken any one else's hands, and we ambled forth, I supporting
and upholding the tottering steps of the monarch of the French nation. I
felt that the eye of the nation was on me, and, indeed, it was, as much of
the nation as happened to be there; but, proud as I was, I wished that
some one would relieve me of this responsibility. Suppose his Majesty
should fall!... Dreadful thought! The Emperor skated on silently, intent
on balancing himself, and I, you may be sure, was intent on keeping him
intent. He stumbled at every stroke; but as I was on his left side--the
weak one--we got along very nicely, and we felt that we were being admired
--_patineusement_. His hat fell off once (he skated in a tall hat), and I
had to pick it up for him while he clung to my hand and lifted his other
hand to put the hat on his head. In our course we came upon the Empress,
and we slowed down neatly. She was being supported by two very "trembling"
chamberlains, who almost knocked us down in their efforts to keep their
balance. When we had come to anchor the Emperor said to the Empress, "This
is Madame Moulton! Does she not skate beautifully?" I ought to have made a
courtesy, but how could I--on skates?

The Empress was dressed in a more suitable style than the other ladies,
who evidently were going on to some reception (the idea of combining
visiting and skating!), and had rather long dresses, high heels and hats.
The Empress, though crinolined and high-heeled, had a short skirt. I had a
short cloth dress bordered with fur and a little fur toque. The Empress
looked very kindly at me and said something to the Emperor which escaped
me. When--oh, when--should I say "Your Majesty"? But I forgot everything,
gazing at the Empress, who appeared as a vision of beauty, with a bright
color in her cheeks, her eyes sparkling with animation. The Emperor said
to her, "Tu devrais patiner avec Madame (You ought to skate with Madame),"
letting go my hands. With the sweetest smile she said to me, "Will
_you_ skate with _me_?" Of course I was only too enchanted. Could I uphold
the throne in which her Majesty was strapped? I took her two hands, and we
sped on our way as best we could. I had sometimes to dig my skates in the
ice to prevent too much speed, and to keep us both on our legs, one pair
of which were Imperial. "How strange!" said her Majesty, in a moment of
breath-taking, "that I should have never seen you before, and yet, as the
Emperor says, you live in Paris!"

I replied: "Your Majesty [at last I said it], I spent last winter in the
country taking care of my health, and last summer I was in Dinard."

"Ah, je comprends," with a lovely smile, "and now?"

"Now, your Majesty [I was getting on nicely], I am going to be presented
to society in due form by my mother-in-law."

"You will then come to the Tuileries?"

"Of course, your Majesty [now I had complete court manners], I shall come
there first. My mother-in law will take the necessary steps."

"But you will not need to go through all those steps," she said,
smilingly, "now that we know you"; and added, most kindly, "To-morrow you
must come and skate with us again."

After this little breathing spell we went off on another tour, and as all
is well that ends better than you expect, I was thankful to bring her
Majesty back safely. We were hailed with enthusiasm. Charles, coming back
with the coupé, was duly complimented by both their Majesties on the
prowess of his spouse. And so we drove home.

Here endeth the first chapter and my first appearance in Parisian society.

_January, 1863._

DEAR M.,--We received the invitation for the first ball at the Tuileries
before my mother-in-law had presented me to the Grande Maîtresse Duchesse
de Bassano; but her reception-day being on the same day as the ball I was
able, fortunately, to go there and to be presented to her. Mrs. M---
preferred to make the "preliminary steps" with me in her wake.

My wedding-dress, trimmed with the beautiful lace (which came in my
_corbeille_), seemed the proper thing to wear. The gentlemen's costumes
are "_culottes courtes blanches_, white silk stockings, and a dress-coat
with gold buttons." My mother-in-law had been under the coiffeur's tongs
for hours, and when she reappeared, frizzled and curled, she looked so
unnatural that we hardly recognized her. My father-in-law refused point
blank to go with us. When asked, "Don't you want to see Lillie's first
appearance?" he answered, "I shall see her before she goes. It is not
likely I shall see much of her when she is once there." Which would
probably have been the case.

Mrs. Moulton, wishing to go in style, ordered the gala Cinderella coach
which served at my wedding. It used to take my parents-in-law to and from
the Tuileries in the time of Louis Philippe. One can see the like in
Versailles, all glass in front, white satin inside, with steps to let
down, and swung on eight undulating springs. Charles went in our coupé,
and I must say I envied him.

It is a long drive from the Rue de Courcelles to the Tuileries, and it
takes a long time, especially when the _queue_ commences at the Place
de la Concorde. I was almost dizzy as we advanced step by step, pulling up
at every moment, rocking and swaying like a row-boat in a gentle swell,
and when we got a chance to go faster the carriage rocked from side to
side, all the fringe on the coachman's box waving about. The coachman was
a study in himself, with his white wig and silk stockings, ensconced like
a hen on her nest. The valet, with powdered hair, white silk stockings,
and plush breeches, stood on his little platform behind the carriage,
holding on to the two cords on the side. I felt very fine, but not fine
enough to prevent my feeling a little sea-sick, and I could not help
thinking that it was a great pity to put on such style at night, when no
one could see us. I would have liked better to have been seen in the
daytime in this pomp and glory.

When at last we did arrive my mother-in-law's feathers were somewhat awry.
We mounted the stately staircase, lined on both sides by the superb Cent
Gardes, standing like statues on each step.

Many chamberlains were waiting, and we were conducted to the Grand Maître
de Cérémonie, who passed us on to a less grand Maître de Cérémonie, who
showed us to the place where we were to stand in the ballroom. It was a
magnificent sight, and as long as I live I shall never forget it.

The beautifully dressed ladies were covered with jewels, and the gentlemen
in their showy uniforms were covered with decorations. Each lady showed to
great advantage, as, on account of the width of their crinolines, they had
to stand very far apart.

The entire ballroom was lighted with wax candles, and was really a fairy
scene. At the end of the ballroom was the platform on which stood the
throne of their Majesties, a row of red-velvet gilded fauteuils placed
behind them for the Imperial family. The hangings over the throne, which
were of heavy red velvet with the Napoleonic eagle in gold, fell in great
folds down to the floor.

It was not long before the doors were thrown open, and every one who had
been limp and lax while waiting, chatting with his neighbor, straightened
himself up and bowed to the ground, as the Emperor and the Empress walked
in. Their Majesties stood for a moment at the door, and then went
immediately to the throne.

A few moments later the _quadrille d'honneur_ was danced by the eight
most princely of the guests. The Emperor danced with the Princess of
Wales, who has the prettiest and sweetest face one can imagine. The
Empress danced with the King of Saxony; the Prince of Wales with the
Princess Mathilde, cousin of the Emperor; the Grand Duke of Russia with
the Princess Clothilde.

Every one stood during the whole quadrille. After that was finished their
Majesties circulated among us, talking to different people. Later on the
Empress, when she had returned to the throne, sent a message to me by
Prince Murat, that she wished me to come to her.

I was frightened to death to have to cross the ballroom, feeling as if all
eyes were on me, and tripped along so quickly that Prince Murat, at my
side, said, "Don't hurry so; I can't keep up with you."

While I stood before the steps of the throne the Empress came toward me,
and with her exquisite smile, and with the peculiar charm she has when
speaking, said, "I am so glad to see you here, Madame Moulton." "And I am
so glad to be here, your Majesty; but I went through all the preliminary
steps all the same," I said, "because _ma belle-mère_ insisted upon it."

This seemed to amuse her, and after a few gracious words she left me.

As this was the first time I had seen her in evening dress, I was
completely dazed by her loveliness and beauty. I can't imagine a more
beautiful apparition than she was. Her delicate coloring, the pose of her
head, her hair, her expressive mouth, her beautiful shoulders, and
wonderful grace make a perfect ensemble.

[Illustration: EMPRESS EUGÉNIE]

She wore a white tulle dress trimmed with red velvet bows and gold
fringes; her crown of diamonds and pearls and her necklace were

On her breast shone the great diamond (the Regent) which belongs to the

When I gazed on her in all her glory and prestige I could hardly believe
that we had been such chums a few days before, when skating, and that I
had held her hands clasped in mine, and had kept her from falling.

Countess Castellane gave a beautiful costume ball the other evening, which
I must tell you about, because it was so original. The stables were
connected with the salons by a long, carpeted gallery, at the end of which
was a huge fresco on the walls, representing a horse-race in a very
lifelike manner. Through a large plate-glass window one could see the
whole stable, which was, as you may imagine, in spick-and-span order; and
Count Castellane's favorite horse was saddled and bridled, a groom in full
livery standing by its side. It was amusing to see ladies in their ball
dresses walking about in the stables, where the astonished horses were
blinking in the gas-light.

In one of the quadrilles the ladies and gentlemen were dressed as
children, in short socks and frocks with enormous sashes.

Princess Metternich was costumed as a milkmaid; she had real silver pails
hung over her shoulders. Duchesse de Persigny was a _chiffonnière_ with a
_hotte_ on her back and a gray dress very much looped up, showing far
above her wooden shoes.

PARIS, _1863._

DEAR M.,--The ice in the Bois continues very good; I am skating every day.
I have commenced to teach the little Prince Imperial. He is very sweet,
and talks very intelligently for his age. The other day, when I was
skating with the Empress, a gentleman (I think he was an American),
skating backward, knocked against us with such force that the Empress and
I both fell. I tried with all my might to keep her from falling, but it
was impossible. Her first words, when we were helped on our feet again,
were, "Don't tell the Emperor; I think he did not see us."

That same evening there was a ball at the Tuileries, and when the Empress
came to speak to me she said: "How are you? I can hardly stand up." I
answered, "I am worse off, your Majesty; I can stand up, but I cannot sit

Yesterday, when I came home from my singing lesson with Delle Sedie, I
found the family quite excited. The Empress's chamberlain had just been
here to say that the Empress desired that we would come to the Tuileries
next Monday, and expressed the wish that I should bring some music. I
wrote to Delle Sedie and begged him to advise me what I should sing; he
answered that he would come himself and talk it over with me, and Monsieur
Planté, a young, budding pianist, who was ordered from the Tuileries to
accompany my songs, was sent for, and Delle Sedie came at the same time.

Delle Sedie thought that I should begin with "Tre Giorni son che Nina," of
Pergolesi, and then the air from "Lucia," and if I were asked to sing
again the "Valse de Venzano."

On these occasions gentlemen wear the _pantalon collant_, which is a
most unbecoming and trying costume, being of black cloth fitting very
tight and tapering down to the ankle, where it finishes abruptly with a
button. Any one with a protruding ankle and thin legs cannot escape

_Le petit lundi_ of the Empress was not so _petit_ as I expected; there
were at least four or five hundred people present.

I was presented to the Princess Mathilde (the cousin of the Emperor), a
very handsome and distinguished-looking lady, who is married to and
separated from Prince Demidoff. Her palace is directly opposite our hotel.
I was also presented to the Princess Clothilde, and many others. I was
very nervous before singing, but after my first song I did very well.

There was dancing, and everything was very unceremonious and easy. I think
(I will just say it to you, dear mama) that I had a success. Their
Majesties were very kind, and thanked me many times, and the Duke de Morny
said that he was very proud of his protégée, for it was he who had
suggested to the Empress that I should sing for them. It was a delightful
evening, and I enjoyed myself and my little triumph immensely. I made the
acquaintance of the Austrian ambassador and the Princess Metternich. She
seemed very pleasant, and put me directly at my ease. She is far from
being handsome, but dresses better than any woman in Paris, and has more
_chic_. In fact, she sets the fashion as much as the Empress does.

The Emperor, at the instigation of the Duke de Morny, has given orders for
the construction of a bridge over the Marne near Petit Val, a thing we
needed greatly. When you were here, if you remember, one had to walk from
the station to the river, about a little quarter of a mile. Once there you
had to wave and shout for the ferryman, who, before allowing you to get on
the boat, would attend to what cattle or merchandise were waiting there
for transport. I do not think the bridge would have been built had not the
Duke de Morny come out by train to Petit Val to avoid the long drive of
twelve miles from Paris, and had been bored by this primitive means of
transporting his august person. He said he was astonished and mortified
that such a state of things should exist so near Paris. So was every one
else. Otherwise the "bac" would have gone on forever.

The Carnival has never been so whirlwindy as it has been this year; and I
don't know how the purses of our lords and masters are going to hold out;
and while the poor, "whom we have always with us," are getting rich, the
rich, whom we don't always have, alas! are getting poor. For the private
fancy-dress ball at the Tuileries last Monday, to which the guests were
invited by the Empress, Worth alone made costumes to the tune of two
hundred thousand dollars, and yet there were not four hundred ladies

To begin at the top, the Empress was dressed as the wife of a doge of
Venice of the sixteenth century. She wore all the crown jewels and many
others. She was literally _cuirassée_ in diamonds, and glittered like
a sun-goddess. Her skirt of black velvet over a robe of scarlet satin was
caught up by clusters of diamond brooches. The Prince Imperial was allowed
to be present; he was dressed in a black-velvet costume and knee breeches;
his little, thin legs black-stockinged, and a _manteau Vénitien_ over
his shoulders. He danced twice, once with Mademoiselle de Châteaubourg,
and then with his cousin, Princess Anna Murat, who, being made on
Junoesque lines, and dressed as a Dutch peasant with enormous gold
ornaments over her ears, and a flowing white lace cap, towered above her
youthful partner. He is only seven years old, and rather small for his
age, which made the contrast between him and his colossal partner very
striking. Princess Mathilde looked superb as Holbein's Anne of Clèves. She
wore her famous collection of emeralds, which are world-known.

Princess Clothilde had also copied a picture from the Louvre; but her robe
of silver brocade, standing out in great folds about her waist, was
anything but becoming to her style of figure. Princess Augustine Bonaparte
(Gabrielli) was in a gorgeous costume of something or other; one had not
time to find out exactly what she was intended to represent; she was
covered with jewelry (some people pretended it was false, but it did not
look less brilliant, for that). A fancy ball is an occasion which allows
and excuses any extravagance in jewelry; whereas, at an ordinary ball it
is considered not in good taste to wear too much. I just mention this
casually, in case you should want to make a display when you lunch at Miss
Bryant's some Sunday.

Countess Walewski had powdered her hair and wore a Louis XV. amazon
costume, a most unbecoming yellow satin gown with masses of gold buttons
sewed on in every direction. This was not very successful.

Marquise de Gallifet, as the Angel Gabriel, with enormous real swan's
wings suspended from her shoulders, looked the part to perfection, and
most angelic with her lovely smile, blond hair, and graceful figure.

Princess Metternich was dressed as Night, in dark-blue tulle covered with
diamond stars. Her husband said to me, "Don't you think that Pauline looks
well in her nightgown?"

Countess Castiglione, the famous beauty, was dressed as Salammbô in a
costume remarkable for its lack of stuff, the idea taken from the new
Carthaginian novel of Gustave Flaubert. The whole dress was of black
satin, the waist without any sleeves, showing more than an usual amount of
bare arms and shoulders; the train was open to the waist, disclosing the
countess's noble leg as far up as it went incased in black-silk tights.

The young Count de Choiseul, who had blackened his face to represent an
Egyptian page, not only carried her train, but held over the head of the
daughter of Hamilcar an umbrella of Robinson Crusoe dimensions. Her gold
crown fell off once while walking about, and Choiseul made every one laugh
when he picked it up and put it on his own black locks. She walked on all
unconscious, and wondered why people laughed.

My costume was that of a Spanish dancer. Worth told me that he had put his
whole mind upon it; it did not feel much heavier for that: a banal yellow
satin skirt, with black lace over it, the traditional red rose in my hair,
red boots and a bolero embroidered in steel beads, and small steel balls
dangling all over me. Some com-pliments were paid to me, but unfortunately
not enough to pay the bill; if compliments would only do that sometimes,
how gladly we would receive them! But they are, as it is, a drug in the

The Emperor was in domino--his favorite disguise--which is no disguise at
all, for every one recognizes him.


I met the famous Auber at the Tuileries ball. The Duke de Persigny brought
him and introduced him to me, not because Auber asked to be presented, but
because I was most anxious to make his acquaintance, and begged the duke
to bring him. He is a short, dapper little man, with such a refined and
clever face.

Wit and repartee sparkle in his keen eyes. His music is being very much
played now--"Fra Diavolo" and "Dieu et la Bayadère," and others of his
operas. His music is like himself--fine and dainty, and full of
_esprit_; his name is Daniel François Esprit. M. de Persigny said, "Madame
Moulton desires to know you, Monsieur Auber." I said, "I hope you will not
think me indiscreet, but I did want to see you and know the most-talked-
about person in Paris." In reply he said: "You have the advantage over me,
Madame. I have never heard myself talked about." Then the Duke de Persigny
said something about my voice. Auber turned to me, and said, "May I not
also have the privilege of hearing you?" Of course I was tremendously
pleased, and we fixed a day and hour then and there for his visit.

Prince Jérome, who is a cousin of the Emperor (people call him Plon-Plon),
is not popular; in fact, he is just the contrary. But his wife, the
Princess Clothilde, would be exceedingly popular if she gave the Parisians
a chance to see her oftener. She is so shy, so young, and the least
pretentious of princesses, hates society, and never goes out if she can
avoid it. Prince Jérome is, of all the Napoleonic family, the one who most
resembles Napoleon I. in appearance, but not in character. There is
nothing of the hero about him. Since he had the misfortune to be suddenly
indisposed the night before the battle of Solferino, and did not appear,
they call him "craint-plomb." _Sé non è vero è ben trovato._

The stories people tell of the Prince are awful; but one is not obliged to
believe them if one does not want to.

There was such an amusing _soirée_ at the Duke de Morny's in honor of
the Duchess's birthday. They gave a play called "Monsieur Choufleuri
restera chez lui le.......," which the Duke wrote himself, and for which
Offenbach composed the music inspired by the Duke, who vowed that he
"really did make the most of it." But, his conscience pricking him, he
added, "At least some!" which I think was nearer the truth.

It was a great success, whether by the Duke de Morny or by Offenbach, and
was the funniest thing I ever saw. Every one was roaring with laughter,
and when the delighted audience called for "l'auteur," the Duke came out
leading Offenbach, each waving his hand toward the other, as if success
belonged to him alone, and went off bowing their thanks together. Apropos
of the Duke de Morny, he said of himself: "I am a very complicated person.
_Je suis le fils d'une reine, frère d'un Empereur et gendre d'un Empereur,
et tous sont illégitimes_." It does sound queer! But he really is the son
of Queen Hortense (his father being Count Flahaut); he is in this way an
illegitimate brother of Napoleon III., and his wife is the daughter of the
Emperor Nicholas of Russia. There you have a complicated case. My young
sister-in-law has just married Count Hatzfeldt, of the German Embassy
(second secretary). He is very good-looking without being handsome, and
belongs to one of the most distinguished families in Germany. Countess
Mercy-Argenteau appeared, comet-like, in Paris, and although she is a very
beautiful woman, full of musical talent, and calls herself _une femme
politique_, she is not a success. The gentlemen say she lacks charm. At
any rate, none of the _élégantes_ are jealous of her, which speaks for
itself. She is not as beautiful as Madame de Gallifet, nor as _élégante_
as Countess Pourtales, nor as clever as Princess Metternich.

Madame Musard, a beautiful American, has a friendship (_en tout
déshonneur_) with a foreign royalty who made her a present of some--
what he thought valueless--shares of a petroleum company in America. These
shares turned into gold in her hands.

The royal gentleman gnashes his false teeth in vain, and has scene after
scene with the royal son, who, green with rage, reproaches him for having
parted with these treasures. But the shares are safely in the clutches of
papa in New York, far away, and furnishing the wherewithal to provide his
daughter with the most wonderful horses and equipages in Paris. She pays
as much for one horse as her husband gains by his music in a year, and as
for the poor prodigal prince, who is overrun with debts, he would be
thankful to have even a widowed papa's mite of her vast wealth. Another
lady, whose virtue is some one else's reward, has a magnificent and much-
talked-of hotel in the Champs Élysées, where there is a staircase worth a
million francs, made of real alabaster. Prosper Mérimée said: "C'est par
là qu'on monte à la vertu."

Her salons are filled every evening with cultured men of the world, and
they say that the most refined tone reigns supreme--that is more than one
can say of every salon in Paris.

I am taking lessons of Delle Sedie. He is a delightful teacher; he is so
intelligent and has such beautiful theories, and so many of them, that he
takes up about half the time of my lesson talking them over.

This is one of the things he says: "Take your breath from your boots." It
sounds better said in French: _Prenez votre respiration dans vos
bottines._ I don't think he realizes what he says or what he wants me
to do. When I told him that I had sung somewhere unwillingly, having been
much teased, he said: "You must not be too amiable. You must not sing when
and what one asks. There is nothing like being begged. You are not a hand-
organ, _pardieu_, that any one can play when they like." And this sort of
talk alternates with my songs until time is up, when off I run or go,
feeling that I have learned little but talked much. However, sometimes
I do feel compensated; for when, to demonstrate a point, he will sing a
whole song, I console myself by thinking that I have been to one of his
concerts and paid for my ticket.

Yesterday I received the inclosed letter from the Duke de Morny, inviting
us to go with him in his loge to see a new play called "Le déluge." It was
not much of a play; but it was awfully amusing to see. Noah and his three
sons and his three daughters-in-law marched into the ark dragging after
them some wiry, emaciated débris of the Jardin des Plantes, which looked
as if they had not eaten for a week. The amount of whipping and poking
with sticks which was necessary to get them up the plank was amazing; I
think they had had either too few or too many rehearsals. But they were
all finally pushed in. Then commenced the rain--a real pouring cats-and-
dogs kind of rain, with thunder and lightning and the stage pitch-dark.
The whole populace climbed up on the rocks and crawled about, drenched to
the skin, and little by little disappeared. Then, when one saw nothing but
"water, water everywhere," the ark suddenly loomed out on top of the rocks
(how could they get it up there?), and the whole Noah family stepped out
in a pink-and-yellow sunset, and a dear little dove flew up to Noah's hand
and delivered the olive branch to him. The dove was better trained than
the animals, and had learned his rôle very well.

On coming out of the theater, we found, instead of the fine weather we had
left outside, a pouring rain which was a very good imitation of the deluge
inside. And none of us had an umbrella!

You see what the Duke de Morny writes: "I am making a collection of
photographs of the young and elegant ladies of Paris. I think that you
ought to figure among them, and though it is not an equal exchange, I am
going to ask you to accept mine and give me yours." And he brought it to
me last night.

An invitation for the ball at St. Cloud for the King of Spain, who is now
in Paris to inaugurate the new rail road to Madrid, and another ball at
the Tuileries will keep us busy this week.

PETIT VAL, _June 17th._ We have been here a week, rejoicing in the
lilacs and roses and all the spring delights. The nightingales are more
delightful than ever. There is one charmer in particular, who warbles most
enchantingly in the cedar-tree in front of my window. He has a lady-love
somewhere, and he must be desperately in love, for he sings his little
heart out on his skylarking tours to attract her attention. I try hard
(naïve that I am) to imitate his song, especially the trill and the long,
sad note. I wonder if either of them is deceived: whether she thinks that
she has two lovers (one worse than the other), or, if _he_ thinks he has a
poor rival who can't hold a candle to him.

Auber wrote a cadenza for the "Rossignol" of Alabieff, which he thought
might be in nightingale style. But how can any one imitate a nightingale?
Auber, in one of his letters, asked me: "Chantez-vous toujours des duos
avec votre maître de... champs?"


PARIS, _January, 1864._

The Princess Beauvau is a born actress, and nothing she loves better than
arranging theatricals and acting herself. She rooted up some charity as an
excuse for giving a theatrical performance, and obtained the theater of
the Conservatoire and the promise of the Empress's presence. She chose two
plays, one of Musset and the other, "l'Esclave," of Molière--and asked me
to take part in this last one.

"Oh," I said, "I cannot appear in a French play; I would not dare to." But
the Princess argued that, as there were only four words to say, she
thought I could do it, and in order to entice me to accept, she proposed
introducing a song; and, moreover, said that she would beg Auber to
furnish a few members of the Conservatoire orchestra to accompany me. This
was very tempting, and I fell readily into the trap she laid for me.

I consulted Auber about my song, and we decided on Alabieff's "Rossignol,"
for which he had written the cadenza. He composed a chorus for a few
amateurs and all the orchestral parts.

I was to be a Greek slave; my dress was of white, flimsy, spangled gauze,
with a white-satin embroidered bolero, a turban of tulle, with all sorts
of dangly things hanging over my ears. I wore baggy trousers and
_babouches_. You may notice that I did not copy Power's Greek slave in the
way of dress.

I was completely covered with a white tulle veil, and led in by my fellow-
slaves, who were also in baggy trousers and _babouches_. There could be no
doubt that we were slaves, for we were overloaded with chains on arms,
ankles, and waist. I found circulation a very difficult matter shuffling
about in _babouches_, which are the most awkward things to walk in. One
risks falling forward at every step.

When they got me in front of the orchestra the slaves drew off my veil and
there I stood. The chorus retired, and I began my song. I had had only one
rehearsal with the orchestra, the day before; but the humming
accompaniment to my solo, that the unmusical slaves had to learn, had
taken a week to teach.

Every one said the scene was very pretty. My song was quite a success; I
had to sing it over again. Then I sang the waltz of Chopin, to which I had
put words and transposed two tones lower. I saw Delle Sedie in the
audience, with his mouth wide open, trying to breathe for me. It has
sixteen bars which must be sung in one breath, and has a compass from D on
the upper line to A on the lower line. Applause and flowers were showered
on me, and I was rather proud of myself. I felt like Patti when I picked
up my bouquets!

Later on in the play I had to say my "four words," which turned out to be
six words: _On ne peut être plus joli_. Though I was frightened out of my
wits, I managed not to disgrace myself; but I doubt if any one heard one
of the six words I said. The Empress sent me a little bunch of violets,
which I thought was very gracious of her, and I was immensely flattered,
for I think she took it from her corsage. I had noticed it there at the
beginning of the evening.

One of the bouquets bore the card of Dr. Evans, the American dentist. It
was very nice of him to remember me and send me such beautiful flowers.
Dr. Evans is so clever and entertaining. Every one likes him, and every
door as well as every jaw is open to him. At the Tuileries they look on
him not only as a good dentist, but as a good friend; and, as some clever
person said, "Though reticent to others, their Majesties had to open their
mouths to him."

The other day we had a children's party. Auber came, pretending that he
had been invited as one of the children. When he heard them all chattering
in French, English, and German, he said, "Cela me fait honte, moi qui ne
parle que le français." He was most delighted to see the children, and
seated himself at the piano and played some sweet little old-fashioned
polkas and waltzes, to which the children danced.

I said to them: "Children, remember that to-day you have danced to the
playing of Monsieur Auber, the most celebrated composer in France. Such a
thing is an event, and you must remember it and tell it to your children."

Miss Adelaide Philips is here singing, but, alas! without the success she
deserves. She appeared at Les Italiens twice; once as Azucena in
"Trovatore," and then as the page in "Lucrezia Borgia." If it had not been
for her clothes, I think that her efforts would have been more
appreciated. The moment she appeared as the page in "Lucrezia" there was a
general titter in the audience. Her make-up was so extraordinary, Parisian
taste rose up in arms. And as for the Borgias, they would have poisoned
her on the spot had they seen her! Her extraordinarily fat legs (whether
padded or not, I don't know) were covered with black-velvet trousers,
ending at the knee and trimmed with lace.

She wore a short-waisted jacket with a short skirt attached and a
voluminous lace ruffle, a curly wig too long for a man and too short for a
woman, upon which sat jauntily a Faust-like hat with a long, sweeping
plume. This was her idea of a medieval Maffeo Orsini. As Azucena, the
mother of a forty-year-old troubadour, she got herself up as a damsel of
sixteen, with a much too short dress and a red bandana around her head,
from which dangled a mass of sequins which she shook coquettishly at the
prompter. The audience did not make any demonstration; they remained
indifferent and tolerant, and there was not a breath of applause. The only
criticism that appeared in the papers was: "Madame Philips, une
Américaine, a fait son apparence dans 'Trovatore.' Elle joue assez bien,
et si sa voix avait l'importance de ses jambes elle aurait eu sans doute
du succès, car elle peut presque chanter." Poor Miss Philips! I felt so
sorry for her. I thought of when I had seen her in America, where she had
such success in the same rôles. But why did she get herself up so? There
is nothing like ridicule for killing an artist in France, and any one who
knew the French could have foreseen what her success would be the moment
she came on the stage. She became ill after these two performances and
left Paris.

PARIS, _May 7, 1863._

DEAR M.,--Auber procured us tickets for Meyerbeer's funeral, which took
place to-day; it was a most splendid affair. Auber, who was one of the
pall-bearers, looked very small and much agitated. The music of the church
was magnificent. Auber himself had written an organ voluntary and Jules
Cohen played it. Auber said, on going to the cemetery: "La prochaine fois
sera pour mon propre compte."

We went to a dinner at Mr. William Gudin's (he is the celebrated painter)
last night. There were the Prince and Princess Metternich, old Monsieur
Dupin, Duke de Bassano, Monsieur Rouher, Baron Rothschild, and many other
people. The gallery was lit up after dinner, and they smoked there (as a
great exception). Smoking is against Madame Gudin's principles, but not
against his, as the huge table covered with every kind of cigars and
cigarettes could bear witness. Collecting cigarettes is a sort of hobby of
Gudin's; he gets them from every one. The Emperor of Russia, the Chinese,
the Turkish, and Japanese sovereigns, all send him cigarettes, even the
Emperor. These last are steeped in a sort of liquid which is good for
asthma. Every one who could boast of asthma got one to try. I must say
they smelled rather uninvitingly. The Emperor loves Gudin dearly, and
orders picture after picture from him, mostly commemorative of some fine
event of which the Emperor is, of course, the principal figure, and
destined for Versailles later. Gudin has a beautiful hotel and garden near
us in the Rue Beaujon. The garden used to be square; but now it is a
triangle, as a new boulevard has taken a part of it. Gudin talked much
about his debts, as if they were feathers in his cap, and as for his law-
suits, they are jewels in his crown!

His famous picture of the Emperor's visit to Venice, now in the
Luxembourg, is an enormous canvas, rather _à la Turner_, with intense
blue sky deepening into a green sunset, pink and purple waves lashing the
sides of the fantastic vessel in which the Emperor stands in an opalescent
coloring. Some black slaves are swimming about, their bodies half-way out
of the water, holding up their enormous black arms loaded with chains,
each link of which would sink an ordinary giant.

Baroness Alphonse Rothschild has one desire, which, in spite of a
fathomless purse, seemed difficult at first to fulfil. What she wants is
to play a sonata with the orchestra of the Conservatoire, _rien de moins_!
She begged me to ask Auber how much it would cost. After due reflection he
answered, twelve hundred francs. She was quite surprised at this modest
sum; she had thought it would be so many thousands. Therefore she decided
to convoke the orchestra, and has been studying her sonata with all zeal
and with a Danish coach. I don't mean a carriage, but a man who can coach,
after the English school system.

She asked me to keep her in countenance, and wished me to sing something
with the orchestra; but what should I sing? Auber could think of nothing
better than "Voi che sapete," as the orchestra would have the music for
it, and for frivolity he proposed "La Mandolinata," of Paladilhe. He said,
"Il faut avoir de tout dans sa poche;" and the dear old master transcribed
it all himself, writing it out for the different instruments. I shall
always keep these ten pages of his fine writing as one of my most precious

On account of his _concours_ Auber was asked to be present, as well
as the Danish coach, whose occupation was to turn the leaves, and if
necessary to help in critical moments. No one else was to be in the
audience, not even our husbands. Well! the concert came off. We were four
hours about it! It was a funny experience, when one thinks of it, and only
Baroness Rothschild could have ever imagined such a thing or carried it
through. In her enormous ballroom we two amateurs were performing with the
most celebrated orchestra in the world--eighty picked musicians, all
perfect artists--with no one to hear us. Auber professed politely to be
delighted with all he heard, and clamored for more. The orchestra looked
resignedly bored.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Marquis Drouyn de l'Huys, gave a
costume ball which was even finer than the last. Worth, Laferrières, and
Félix outdid themselves. The Empress had a magnificent dress--_une
ancienne dame Bavaroise_. She looked superb, actually covered and
blazing with jewels.

The Comtesse de Castiglione had imagined a costume as "La Vérité." She was
dressed entirely in white, looking severe and classically beautiful, cold
as a winter day. She held in her hand a fan made of white feathers which
had a mirror in the center. It must be amusing to be a professional
beauty. When she goes to a ball, which she never does before midnight, she
does not take the trouble to speak to any one; she walks into the ballroom
and just stands in the middle of it to be looked at; people all make a
circle around her and glare. A gentleman will go and speak with her, and
they stand like two trees on an island, he doing the talking, and she
gazing around her to see what effect she is producing.

The Emperor made a bet that he would make her speak three words, and he
won it, because she answered a question of his by saying, "Pas beaucoup,
Sire." She lives at Passy, and calls herself _la recluse de Passy_; others
call her _la recluse du Passé_. I do not admire her beauty half as much as
I do the Empress's.

Countess Walewski was dressed like a fiery Vénitienne, all yellow and
gold. She looked dazzling and like a thorough Italian, which was not
difficult for her, as she is one.

The Duchesse de Mouchy's costume was a Louis XV. marquise, which did not
suit her at all; neither did the powdered wig nor the black patches on her
face become her.

I must tell you about my dress. It was really one of the prettiest there.
Worth said that he had put his whole soul on it. I thought that he had put
a pretty good round price on his soul. A skirt of gold tissue, round the
bottom of which was a band of silver, with all sorts of fantastic figures,
such as dragons, owls, and so forth, embroidered in different colors under
a skirt of white tulle with silver and gold spangles. The waist was a mass
of spangles and false stones on a gold stuff; gold-embroidered bands came
from the waist and fell in points over the skirt. I had wings of spangled
silvery material, with great glass-colored beads sewed all over them. But
the _chef-d'oeuvre_ was the head-dress, which was a sort of helmet with
gauze wings and the jewels of the family (Mrs. M.'s and mine) fastened on
it. From the helmet flowed a mane of gold tinsel, which I curled in with
my hair. The effect was very original, for it looked as though my head was
on fire; in fact, I looked as if I was all on fire. Before I left home all
the servants came to see me, and their _magnifique_, and _superbe_, and
_étonnant_ quite turned my head, even with the helmet on.

The Emperor and the Duke de Persigny went about in dominos, and flattered
themselves that no one recognized them; but every one did. Who could have
mistaken the broad back and the slow, undulating gait of the Emperor? And
though he changed his domino every little while from blue to pink, and
from white to black, there never was any doubt as to where he was in the
room, and every eye followed him. I was quite agitated when I saw his
unmistakable figure approaching me, and when he began, in a high, squeaky
voice (such as is adopted by masked people) to compliment me on my
toilette, it was all I could do not to make a courtesy. I answered him,
feeling very shy about tutoying him, as is the custom when addressing a

"Cela te plaît, beau masque (Do I please thee, handsome mask)?" I said.

"Beaucoup, belle dame, mais dis-moi ce que tu es (Very much, beautiful
lady, but what are you supposed to be?)."

"Je suis une salamandre; je peux traverser le feu et les flammes sans le
moindre danger (I am a salamander; I can go through fire and flame without
the slightest danger)."

"Oses-tu traverser le feu de mes yeux (Dost thou dare to brave the fire of
my eyes)?"

"Je ne vois pas tes yeux à travers ton masque, mon gentilhomme (I cannot
see thy eyes through thy mask, my gallant gentleman)."

"Oserais-tu traverser la flamme de mon coeur (Wouldst thou dare to go
through the flame of my heart)?"

"Je suis sûre que j'oserais. Si la flamme est si dangereuse, prends garde
que ton beau domino ne brûle pas (I am sure that I would dare. If the
flame is so dangerous take care your beautiful domino does not burn)."
Such silly talk! But he seemed amused, as he probably thought that I had
no idea to whom I was talking.

Taking a red counter out of his pocket and handing it to me he said, "Will
you take supper with me?"

"Not alone," I answered. "You are too dangerous."

He laughed and said, "I shall not be alone, my pretty lady." Then, giving
me another counter, he said: "This is for your husband. If you will be at
two o'clock at that door"--pointing to it--"it will be opened for you."

At two o'clock we presented ourselves at the door of the said salon, which
was immediately opened on our showing the _jetons_, and we found
ourselves, as I thought we should, in the salon where their Majesties were
to sup. There were already many people assembled: the Metternichs, the
Persignys, the Gallifets, the Count and Countess Pourtales, etc.--I should
say, twenty-five in all. There was a magnificent display of flowers and
fruit on the table. The Emperor came in with the Empress, not looking in
the least Cæsar-like, with his hair matted down on his forehead and his
mustaches all unwaxed and drooping; but he soon twisted them up into their
usual stiffness. I noticed that people looked at me persistently, and I
fancied all sorts of awful things, and felt dreadfully embarrassed.

After supper the Empress came up to me and said, "Where can one buy such
lovely curls as you have, _chère Madame_?" I understood the reason now for
the notice I was attracting. They had thought that the curls were false. I
answered, hoping it would sound amusing, "Au Magasin du Bon-Dieu."

The Empress smiled and replied; "Nous voudrions toutes acheter dans ce
magasin-là; but tell me, are your curls real or false? You won't mind
telling me (and she hesitated a little). Some people have made bets about
it. How can we know," she said, "unless you tell us?" "My hair is all my
own, your Majesty, and, if you wish to make sure, I am perfectly willing
that you should see for yourself." And, removing my helmet, I took out the
comb and let my hair down. Every one crowded around me, and felt and
pulled my hair about until I had to beg for mercy. The Emperor, looking
on, cried out, "Bravo, Madame!" and, gathering some flowers off the table,
handed them to me, saying: "Votre succès tenait à un cheveu, n'est-ce

Supposing the curls had been false, how I should have felt!

I put on my head-dress again with the flowing tinsel threads, and, some
one sending for a brush, I completed this exhibition by showing them how I
curled my hair around my fingers and made this coiffure. I inclose the
article about this supper which came out in the _Figaro_ (copied into
a New York paper).

    The Emperor and Empress not unfrequently take a great liking to
    persons accidentally presented to them, invite them to their most
    select parties, make much of them, and sometimes rousing a little
    jealousy by so doing among the persons belonging to the Court. Of
    the ladies officially foremost, the reigning favorites are Princess
    Metternich, extremely clever and piquante, who invents the oddest
    toilettes, dances the oddest dances, and says the oddest things; the
    Marquise de Gallifet, whose past life is a romance, not altogether
    according to the French proverb (fitting school-girl reading), but
    who is very handsome, brilliant, merry, and audacious; and two others,
    the handsome and dashing wives of men high in the employment of the
    Emperor. These ladies spend enormous sums on their toilette, and are
    perpetually inventing some merry and brilliant nonsense for the
    amusement of the Empress. Among the persons from the "outside" most in
    favor just now, in the inner circle of the court, is a very handsome
    and accomplished American lady, the youthful wife of a millionaire,
    possessing a magnificent voice, a very amiable temper, and wonderfully
    splendid hair. After a very small and very merry party in the
    Empress's private apartments a few nights ago, the Imperial hosts and
    their guests sat down to an exquisite "little supper," this lady being
    one of the party. During the supper one of the Empress's ladies began
    playfully to tease Mrs. ---- about her hair, declaring that no human
    head could grow such a luxuriant mass of lustrous hair, and inviting
    her to confess to sporting certain skilfully contrived additions to
    the locks of nature's bestowing. Mrs. ---- modestly protested that her
    hair, such as it was, was really and truly her own; in right of
    growth, and not of purchase. All present speedily took part in the
    laughing dispute; some declaring for the opinion of the Lady of Honor,
    the others for that of Mrs. ----. The Emperor and Empress, greatly
    amused at the dispute, professed a strong desire to know the facts of
    the case; and the Emperor, declaring that it was clearly impossible to
    get at the truth in any other way, invited Mrs. M---- to settle the
    controversy by letting down her hair, and giving ocular demonstration
    of its being her own. The lady, whereupon, drew out the comb and the
    hairpins that held up her hair, and shook its heavy and shining masses
    all over her shoulders, thus giving conclusive proof of the tenure by
    which she held it. As Frenchwomen seldom have good heads of hair, it
    is probable that some little disappointment may have been caused to
    some of the ladies by this magnificent torrent of hair, displayed by
    Mrs. M----, but the gentlemen were all in raptures at the really
    beautiful spectacle, the lady's husband, who worships her, being as
    proud of her triumph as though his wife's luxuriant locks were his own

_March, 1864._

DEAR M.,--Auber, on hearing that the Empress had asked me to sing in the
chapel of the Tuileries, offered to compose a _Benedictus_ for me.
The orchestra of the Conservatoire was to accompany me, and Jules Cohen
was to play the organ. I had several rehearsals with Auber and one on the
preceding Saturday with the orchestra. The flute and I have a little
ramble together which is very pretty. The loft where the organ is, and
where I stood, was so high up that I could only see the people by
straining my neck over the edge of it, and even then only saw the black
veils of the ladies and the frequent bald heads of the gentlemen. The
Empress remained on her knees during the whole mass. The Emperor seemed
attentive; but stroked and pulled his mustaches all the time.

My _Benedictus_ went off very well. The chapel was very sonorous and
I was in good voice. I was a little nervous at first, but after the first
phrase I recovered confidence and did all that was expected of me. The
Duke de Bassano came up to the loft and begged me to come down into the
gallery, as their Majesties wished me and Charles to stay for breakfast. I
was sorry Auber was not invited. We found every one assembled in the
gallery outside the chapel. The Empress came straight toward me, thanked
me, and said many gracious things, as did the Emperor. There were very,
very few people at breakfast--only the household. I sat between the
Emperor and the little Prince, who said, "I told mama I knew when you
sang, for you said '_Benedictus_'; we say _benedicteus_."

The Princess Metternich receives after midnight every evening. If one is
in the theater or at a _soirée_ it is all right, but to sit up till
twelve o'clock to go to her is very tiresome, though when you are once
there you do not regret having gone. It is something to see her smoking
her enormous cigars. The other night Richard Wagner, who had been to the
theater with the Metternichs, was there. I was glad to see him, though he
is so dreadfully severe, solemn, and satirical. He found fault with
everything; he thought the theaters in Paris horribly dirty, _mal
soignés_, bad style, bad actors, orchestra second-rate, singers worse,
public ignorant, etc. He smiled once with such a conscious look and
scanned people's faces, as if to say, "I, Richard Wagner, have smiled!"
But he can very well put on airs, for he is a genius. At Les Italiens,
Patti, Mario, Alboni, and Delle Sedie are singing "Rigoletto." They are
all splendid. Alboni is immensely fat and round as a barrel--but what a
voice! It simply rolls out in billows of melody. The "quartette" was
magnificent, and was encored. Patti and Mario are at daggers drawn, and
hate each other like poison, so their love-making is reduced to a minimum,
and they make as little as possible. In their fondest embraces they hold
each other at arm's length and glare into each other's eyes. Mario is such
a splendid actor one would think he could conquer his dislike for her and
play the lover better. The _Barbier de Séville_ is, I think, his best
role; he acts with so much humor and sings so exquisitely and with such
refinement. Even in the tipsy scene he is the fine gentleman. Patti sings
in the singing lesson Venzano's waltz and "Il Bacio." Her execution is
wonderful, faultless, and brilliant.

We went to a _soirée_ given by the Marquise de Boissy, better known
as Byron's Countess Guiccioli, who inspired so many of his beautiful
poems; but when you see her dyed and painted you wonder how the _blasé_
Byron could have been all fire and flame for her. Fagnani, the painter,
who did that awful simpering portrait of me, painted her, it being
stipulated that he should make her look ten years younger than she is. He
had a hard time of it! But now, being old and married to the senator,
Marquis de Boissy, she has lost all claim to celebrity, and is reduced to
giving forlorn _soirées_ with a meager buffet.

Beaumont is a charming painter, and a friend of Henry's. When he comes
here, as he does very often, he puts us all in a good-humor; even my
father-in-law forgets to grumble at the reduced price of stocks and the
increased rate of exchange. His picture of Circé charming the pigs is very
pretty. Helen and I are both in it; he wanted her ear and hair and my eyes
and hair. I am not Circé; I only stand in the background admiring a pig.
To reward us he painted a fan for each: mine has arrows, doves, my
initials, "Beware," and cherubim all mixed up, making a lovely fan.

Baroness Alphonse Rothschild sent me her box for the opera, and I asked
the Metternichs and Herr Wagner, the composer, who was dining at the
Embassy, to go with me, and they accepted. The Rothschilds' box is one of
the largest in the opera-house. The Princess Metternich created a
sensation when we entered--she always does--but Herr Wagner passed
unnoticed. He sat behind and pretended to go to sleep. He thought
everything most mediocre. The opera was "Faust," which I thought was
beautifully put on the stage, with Madame Miolan Carvalho as Marguerite
and Faure as Mephistopheles. They both sang and acted to perfection; but
Wagner pooh-poohed at them and everything else. _Abscheulich_ and
_grässlich_ alternated in his condemning sentences. Nothing pleased

He fidgeted about and was very cross during the fifth act, where the
ballet is danced.

"Why did Gounod insert that idiotic ballet? It is _banal_ and _de trop_."
(France is the only place where this fifth act is performed.)

"You must blame Goethe for that," retorted the Princess Metternich. "Why
did he make Faust go to the Champs Élysées if he did not want him to see
any dancing?"

"Why, indeed?" grumbled Wagner. "Goethe had much better have let
Marguerite die on her straw and not of send her up in clouds of glory like
the Madonna to heaven, and with ballet music."

"Well," said the Princess, "I don't see any difference between a ballet in
heaven and a ballet in Venusberg."

The Emperor has made a fine _coup de popularité_. He refused to have
the new boulevard named after his mother, and cleverly proposed it to be
called Richard Lenoir, the man who led his fellow-workmen in the

We were invited to one of Rossini's Saturday evenings. There was a queer
mixture of people: some diplomats, and some well-known members of society,
but I fancy that the guests were mostly artists; at least they looked so.
The most celebrated ones were pointed out to me. There were Saint-Saëns,
Prince Poniatowski, Gounod, and others. I wondered that Richard Wagner was
not there; but I suppose that there is little sympathy between these two

Prince Metternich told me that Rossini had once said to him that he wished
people would not always feel obliged to sing his music when they sang at
his house. "J'acclamerais avec délice 'Au clair de la lune,' même avec
variations," he said, in his comical way. Rossini's wife's name is Olga.
Some one called her Vulgar, she is so ordinary and pretentious, and would
make Rossini's home and salon very commonplace if it were not that the
master glorified all by his presence. I saw Rossini's writing-table, which
is a thing never to be forgotten: brushes, combs, toothpicks, nails, and
all sorts of rubbish lying about pell-mell; and promiscuous among them was
the tube that Rossini uses for his famous _macaroni à la Rossini_. Prince
Metternich said that no power on earth would induce him to touch any food
_à la Rossini_, especially the macaroni, which he said was stuffed with
hash and all sorts of remnants of last week's food and piled up on a dish
like a log cabin. "J'ai des frissons chaque fois que j'y pense."

Not long ago Baron James Rothschild sent Rossini some splendid grapes from
his hothouse. Rossini, in thanking him, wrote, "Bien que vos raisins
soient superbes, je n'aime pas mon vin en pillules." This Baron Rothschild
read as an invitation to send him some of his celebrated Château-Lafitte,
which he proceeded to do, for "the joke of it," he remarked. "It is so
amusing to tell the story afterward." Rossini does not dye his hair, but
wears the most wiggy of wigs. When he goes to mass he puts one wig on top
of the other, and if it is very cold he puts still a third one on, curlier
than the others, for the sake of warmth. No coquetry about him!

Rossini asked me to sing.

"I will, with pleasure," I said. "I only wish that I knew what to sing, I
know that you do not like people to sing your music when they come to your

"Not every one," he said, beaming with a broad smile; "but I have heard
that you have an unusually beautiful voice, and I am curious to hear you."

"But," I mischievously answered, "I do not know 'Au clair de la lune,'
even with variations."

"Oh! the naughty Prince," said he, shaking his finger across to where
Prince Metternich was standing. "He told you that. But tell me, what do
you sing of mine?"

Auber had told me to take "Sombre Forêt," of "William Tell," in case I
should be asked. Therefore I said that I had brought "Sombre Forêt," and
if he liked I would sing that.

"Bene! bene!" he replied. "I will accompany you."

I was dreadfully nervous to sing before him, but when I had finished he
stretched out both hands to me and said:

"Merci! C'est comme cela que ça doit être chanté. Votre voix est
délicieuse, le timbre que j'aime--mezzo-soprano, avec ces notes hautes et

Auber came up flushed with delight at my success, and said to Rossini,
"Did I say too much about Madame Moulton's voice?"

"Not enough," replied Rossini. "She has more than voice; she has
intelligence and _le feu sacré--un rossignol doublé de velours_; and more
than all, she sings my music as I have written it. Every one likes to add
a little of their own. I said to Patti the other day: 'a chère_ Adelina,
when you sing the "Barbiere" do not make it too '_strakoschonée_'
[Strakosch is Patti's brother-in-law, and makes all her cadenzas for her].
If I had wanted to make all those little things, don't you think that I
could have made them myself?'"

Auber asked me, "Do you know what Rossini said about me?"

"No," I answered, "I know what he ought to have said. What did he say?"

"He said," Auber replied, with a merry twinkle in his eye, 'Auber est un
grand musicien qui fait de la petite musique.'"

"That was pure envy," I said. "I should like to know what you said about

"Well, I said," and he hesitated before continuing, "I said that Rossini
_est un très grand musicien et fait de la belle musique, mais une
exécrable cuisine_."

Rossini adores Alboni, but deplores her want of confidence in herself. She
has such stage frights that she swears that she will have to leave the
stage. He has written "La Messe solennelle" for her voice. The "Agnus Dei"
is perfectly wonderful. She sang it after I had sung. If she had been
first, I never should have had the courage to open my mouth.

Auber asked him how he had liked the representation of "Tannhäuser"?
Rossini answered, with a satirical smile, "It is a music one must hear
several times. I am not going again."

Rossini said that neither Weber nor Wagner understood the voice. Wagner's
interminable dissonances were insupportable. That these two composers
imagine that to sing is simply to _dégoiser_ the note; but the art of
singing, or technic was considered by them to be secondary and
insignificant Phrasing or any sort of _finesse_ was superfluous. The
orchestra must be all powerful. "If Wagner gets the upper hand," Rossini
continued, "as he is sure to do, for people will run after the New, then
what will become of the art of singing? No more _bel canto_, no more
phrasing, no more enunciation! What is the use, when all that is required
of you is to _beugler_ (bellow)? Any _cornet à piston_ is just as good as
the best tenor, and better, for it can be heard over the orchestra. But
the instrumentation is magnificent. There Wagner excels. The overture of
Tannhäuser is a _chef-d'oeuvre;_ there is a swing, a sway, and a shush
that carries you off your feet.... I wish I had composed it myself."

Auber is a true Parisian, adores his Paris, and never leaves it even
during the summer, when Paris is insufferable. He comes very often to see
me, and we play duets. He loves Bach, and we play Mendelssohn overtures
and Haydn symphonies when we are through with Bach. Auber always takes the
second piano, or, if a four-handed piece, he takes the base. Sometimes he
says, "Je vous donne rendez-vous en bas de la page. Si vous y arrivez la
première, attendez-moi, et je ferai de même." He is so clever and full of

I do not think I ever talked with a wittier person than he is. I always
wish I could remember what he says; but, alas! when he goes my memory goes
with him.

Though so old (he must be over eighty) he is always beautifully dressed in
the latest fashion, trim and neat. He says that he has never heard his
operas seated in the audience; it makes him too nervous. He has his seat
every night in the parquet of all the theaters in Paris. He only has to
choose where to go. He once said: "Je suis trop vieux; on ne devrait pas
vieillir, mais que faire? c'est le seul moyen de devenir vieux. Un
vieillard m'a toujours paru un personnage terrible et inutile, mais me
voici un vieillard sans le savoir et je n'en suis pas triste." He is not
deaf, nor does he wear glasses except to "déchiffrer ma propre musique"--
as he says. Another time he said: "I am glad that I never was married. My
wife would now have been an old, wrinkled woman. I never would have had
the courage to come home of an evening. Aussi j'aurais voulu avoir une
fille (une fille comme vous), et elle m'aurait certainement donné un

I quote the following from a Paris newspaper:

_Parmi les dames qu'on admire le plus, il convient de citer Mme Moulton.--
C'est la première fois que nous revoyons Mme Moulton au théâtre depuis son
retour d'Amérique.--Serait-elle revenue exprès pour la pièce d'Auber.--On
dit, en effet, que dans tous ses opéras, Auber offre le principal rôle à
Mme Moulton, qui possède une voix ravissante._

The Emperor once said to Auber: "Dites-moi, quel âge avez-vous? On dit que
vous avez quatre-vingt ans." "Sire," answered Auber, "je n'ai pas quatre-
vingt ans, mais quatre fois vingt ans." Is he not clever? Some one was
talking about the Marquise B---- and her friendship (_sic_) for Monsieur
de M----, and said, "On dit que ce n'est que l'amitié." "Oh," said Auber,
"je connais ces amitiés-là; on dit que l'amour et l'amitié sont frère et
soeur. Cela se peut, mais ils ne sont pas du même lit."

And another time (I am remembering all his witty sayings while I can),
Prince Metternich, who smokes one cigarette after the other, said to
Auber, "Vous me permettez?" wanting to put his ashes in Auber's tea-
saucer. Auber said, "Certainement, mais j'aime mieux monter que
descendre." In other words, _J'aime mieux mon thé que des cendres_.
How can people be so quick-witted?

Auber has given me all his operas, and I have gone through them all with
him for his music. I sing the laughing song in "Manon Lescaut" and the
bolero in "Diamants de la Couronne." These two are my favorite songs and
are very difficult. In the laughing song I either laugh too much or too
little. To start laughing in cold blood is as difficult as to stop
laughing when once started. The bolero is only a continuous display of
musical fireworks.

NEW YORK, _May, 1864._

When we arrived in New York (we went to visit my sister and my mother) we
were overwhelmed with invitations of all kinds.

I made a most (to me) interesting acquaintance at this _soirée_, a Mrs.
Henry Fields, who I found out was the famous and much-talked-about
"Lucie," the governess in the trial of the Duc de Praslin. Every one was
convinced of her innocence (she pleaded her own case, refusing the aid of
a lawyer). Nevertheless, she was the cause of the death of the Duchess, as
the Duke killed his wife because she refused to give "Lucie" a letter of
recommendation, and he became so enraged at her refusal that he first
tried to strangle her, and then shot her. I had heard so much about this
murder (it was along ago), and knew all the details, and, what was more, I
knew all the children of the unhappy woman whose only crime was to love
her husband too much, and to resent "Lucie's" taking away the love of her
children from her! Warning to young women: Don't love your husbands too
much, or don't engage a too attractive governess.

PHILADELPHIA, _July, 1864._

DEAR AUNTY,--We came from New York a few days ago, and are staying with
mama's friend, Mrs. M----, who is a very (what shall I say?) fascinating
but a very peculiar person. She is a curious mixture of a poetess and a
society woman, very susceptible, and of such a sensitive nature that she
seems always to be in the hottest of hot water, and at war with all her
neighbors; but she routs all her enemies and manages everything with a
high hand.

Her daughter is just engaged to a Swedish naval officer. To celebrate the
engagement they gave a big dinner, and, as the Sanitary Fair is going on
just now, President Lincoln is here, and Mrs. M---- had the courage to
invite him, and he had the courage to accept. It is the first time that I
have ever seen an American President, and I was most anxious to see him,
particularly as he has, for the last years, been such a hero in my eyes.
He might take the prize for ugliness anywhere; his face looked as if it
was cut out of wood, and roughly cut at that, with deep furrows in his
cheeks and a huge mouth; but he seemed so good and kind, and his eyes
sparkled with so much humor and fun, that he became quite fascinating,
especially when he smiled. I confess I lost my heart to him.... The
dinner, I mean the food part of it, was a failure. It came from Baltimore,
and everything was cold; the _pâté de foie gras_ never appeared at all!
When Mrs. M---- mentioned the fact to Mr. Lincoln, pointing to the menu,
he said "the _pâté_" (he pronounced it _patty_) has probably walked off by
itself. Every one laughed, because he said it in such a comical, slow way.

After the gentlemen had smoked (I thought they were a long time at it) we
were requested to go into the gallery, where all the gas-lights were
turned up to the fullest and chairs placed in rows, and Professor Winter
began to read a lecture on the brain--of all subjects! Who but Mrs. M----
would ever have arranged such an entertainment?

Professor Winter told us where our 50,000 ideas were laid up in our brains
(I am sure that I have not 50,000 in mine). One might have deducted
49,999, and still, with that little one left, I was not able to understand
the half of what he said.

Another wonderful thing he told us was, that there are five thousand
million cells in our brain, and that it takes about ten thousand cells to
furnish a well-lodged perception. How in the world can he know that? I
think he must have examined his own ten thousand cells to have discovered
all this exuberance of material. The President looked bored, and I am sure
everybody else wished Professor Winter and his theories (because they
can't be facts) in the Red Sea.... After this _séance manquée_ I was
asked to sing. Poor Mr. Lincoln! who I understood could not endure music.
I pitied him.

"None of your foreign fireworks," said Mr. Trott, in his graceful manner,
as I passed him on my way to the piano. I answered, "Shall I sing 'Three
Little Kittens'? I think that is the least fireworky of my _répertoire_."
But I concluded that a simple little rocket like "Robin Adair" would kill
nobody; therefor I sang that, and it had a success.

When the gaunt President shook my hand to thank me, he held it in a grip
of iron, and when, to accentuate the compliment, meaning to give a little
extra pressure, he put his left hand over his right, I felt as if my hand
was shut in a waffle-iron and I should never straighten it out again.

"Music is not much in my line," said the President; "but when you sing you
warble yourself into a man's heart. I'd like to hear you sing some more."

What other mild cracker could I fire off? Then I thought of that lovely
song, "Mary Was a Lassie," which you like so much, so I sang that.

Mr. Lincoln said, "I think I might become a musician if I heard you often;
but so far I only know two tunes."

"'Hail, Columbia'?" I asked. "You know that, I am sure!"

"Oh yes, I know that, for I have to stand up and take off my hat."

"And the other one?"

"The other one! Oh, the other one is the other when I don't stand up!"  I
am sorry not to have seen Mr. Lincoln again. There was something about him
that was perfectly fascinating, but I think I have said this before.

NIAGARA, _August, 1864._

DEAR AUNTY,--My last letter, written from Philadelphia, told you of my
having made Mr. Lincoln's acquaintance. A few days after we left for
Niagara, taking Rochester on our way. I had not seen Rochester since I was
eleven years old, and mama and I both wanted to go there again.

We slept in Rochester that night. The next morning a deputation headed by
the director of the penitentiary, flanked by a committee of benevolent
ladies, called upon us to beg me to sing for the penitents at the
penitentiary the next day, it being Sunday. They all said, in chorus, that
it would be a great and noble act.

I did not (and I do not now) see why pickpockets and burglars should be
entertained, and I could not grasp the greatness of the act, unless it was
in the asking. However, mama urged me (she can never bear me to say no),
and I accepted.

At the appointed time the director called for us in a landau, and we drove
out to the penitentiary. As we entered the double courtyard, and drove
through the much belocked gates, I felt very depressed, and not at all
like bursting forth in song. Mama and I were led up, like lambs to the
slaughter, on to a platform, passing the guilty ones seated in the pews,
the men on one side, the women on the other, of the aisles, all dressed in
stripes of some sort; they looked sleepy and stupid. They had just sat
through the usual Sunday exhortation.

The ladies of the committee ranged themselves so as to make a background
of solemn benevolence on the platform, in the middle of which stood a
primeval melodion with two octaves and four stops. One stop would have
been enough for me, and I needed it later, as you will see.

Here I was! What should I sing? I was utterly at a loss. Why had I not
thought this out before coming?

French love-songs; out of the question.

Italian prayers and German lullabies were plentiful in the _répertoire_,
but seemed sadly out of place for this occasion.

I thought of Lucrezia Borgia's "Brindisi"; but that instantly went out of
my mind. A drinking song urging people to drink seemed absurdly
inappropriate, as probably most of my audience had done their misdeeds
under the influence of drink.

I knew the words of "Home, Sweet Home," and decided on that. Nothing could
have been worse. I attacked the squeaky melodion, pushed down a pedal,
pulled out the "vox humana" stop--the most harmless one of the melodion,
but which gave out a supernaturally hoarse sound--I struck the chord, and
standing up I began. These poor, homeless creatures must have thought my
one purpose was to harass them to the last limit, and I only realized what
I was singing about when I saw them with bowed heads and faces hidden in
their hands; some even sobbing.

The director, perceiving the doleful effect I had produced, suggested,
"Perhaps something in a lighter vein." I tried to think of "something in a
lighter vein," and inquired, "How would 'Swanee River' be?"

"First-rate," said the kind director; "just the thing--_good_" emphasizing
the word _good_ by slapping his hands together. Thus encouraged, I started
off again in the melancholy wake of the melodion. Alas! this fared no
better than "Home, Sweet Home." When I sang "Oh; darkies! how my heart
grows weary!" the word _weary_ had a disastrous effect, and there was a
regular breakdown (I don't mean in the darky sense of the word, the
penitents did _not_ get up and perform a breakdown--I wish they had!); but
there was a regular collapse of penitents. I thought that they would have
to be carried out on stretchers.

The poor warden, now at his wits' end, but wishing to finish this
lugubrious performance with a flourish, proposed (unhappy thought) that I
should address a few words to the now miserable, broken-hearted crowd. I
will give you a thousand guesses, dear aunty, and still you will never
guess the idiotic words that issued from your niece's lips. I said,
looking at them with a triumphant smile (I have no doubt that, at that
moment, I thought I was in my own drawing-room, bidding guests good
night)--I said (I really hate to write it): "I hope the next time I come
to Rochester I shall meet you all here again."

This was the first speech I ever made in public--I confess that it was not
a success.

PARIS, _1865._

The Princess Mathilde receives every Sunday evening. Her salons are always
crowded, and are what one might call cosmopolitan. In fact, it is the only
salon in Paris where one can meet all nationalities. There are diplomats,
royalists, imperialists, strangers of importance passing through Paris,
and especially all the celebrated artists.

She has great taste, and has arranged her palace most charmingly. She has
converted a small portion of the park behind it into a winter garden,
which is filled with beautiful palms and flowering plants. In this
attractive place she holds her receptions, and I sang there the other

Rossini was, as a great exception, present. I fancy that he and his wife
had dined with the Princess; therefore, when the Princess asked him to
accompany me, saying that she desired so much to hear me sing, he could
not well refuse to be amiable, and sat down to the piano with a good
enough grace. I sang "Bel Raggio," from "Semiramide," as I knew it by
heart (I had sung it often enough with Garcia). Rossini was kind enough
not to condemn the cadenzas with which Garcia had interlarded it. I was
afraid he would not like them, remembering what he had said to Patti about

I was amused at his gala dress for royalty: a much-too-big redingote, a
white tie tied a good deal to one side, and only one wig.

He says that he is seventy-three years old. I must say that this is
difficult to believe, for he does not look it by ten years. He never
accepts any invitations. I know I have never seen him anywhere outside his
own house, and it was a great surprise to see him now. We once ventured to
invite him and his wife to dinner one evening, when the Prince and
Princess Metternich were dining with us; and we got this answer: "Merci,
de votre invitation pour ma femme et moi. Nous regrettons de ne pouvoir
l'accepter. Ma femme ne sort que pour aller à la messe, et moi je ne sors
jamais de mes habitudes." We felt snubbed, as no doubt we deserved to be.

Gounod played most enchantingly some selections from "Roméo et Juliette,"
the opera he has just composed. I hear that he wants Christine Nilsson to
sing it. The music seems to me even more beautiful than "Faust." Rossini
talked a long time with Gounod, and Auber told me that Rossini said,
patting Gounod on the back, "Vous êtes le chevalier Bayard de la musique."

Gounod answered, "Sans peur, non!"

Rossini said, "Dans tous les cas, sans reproche et sans égal."

Gounod is, I think, the gentlest, the most modest, and the kindest-hearted
man in the world. His music is like him, gentle and graceful. Princess
Mathilde asked me to sing again; but, as I had not brought any music,
Auber offered to accompany me in the "Song of the Djins," from his new
opera, which I had so often sung with him. It was not the song I should
have selected; but, as Auber desired it, I was glad to gratify him, and
was delighted when I saw Rossini compliment Auber, who (like the tenor
before the drop-curtain, who waves his hand toward the soprano as if all
the merit of the performance was due to her) waved his hand toward me,
which suggested to Rossini to make me a reflected compliment.

This was a great occasion, seeing and hearing Rossini, Gounod, and Auber
at the same time. I shall never forget that evening. I wonder that I had
the courage to sing before them. Among the guests was an Indian Nabob
dressed in all his orientals, who in himself would have been sufficient
attraction for a whole evening, had he not been totally eclipsed by the
three great artists. The Nabob probably expected more homage than he
received; but people hardly looked at him.

I was presented to him, and he seemed glad to speak English, which was not
of the best, but far better than his French. He told me a great deal about
his journey, the attractions of Paris, and about his country and family.

I asked him, by way of saying something (I was not particularly interested
in him or his family), how many children he had. He answered, "Quite a
few, milady."

"What does your Highness call a few?" I asked.

"Well, I think about forty," he replied, nonchalantly.

"That would be considered quite a large family here," I said.

The Nabob, of course, did not appreciate the profundity of this remark.

A few days after, the Princess Mathilde sent me a lovely fan which she had
painted herself, and Mr. Moulton is going to have it mounted. I am very
happy to have it as a souvenir of a memorable evening, besides being an
exquisite specimen of the Princess's talent as an artist. The Princess is
what one might call miscellaneous. She has a Corsican father, a German
mother, and a Russian husband, and as "cavaliere servente" (as they say in
Italy), a Dutchman. She was born in Austria, brought up in Italy, and
lives in France. She said once to Baron Haussmann, "If you go on making
boulevards like that, you will shut me up like a vestal."

"I will never make another, your Highness," he answered.

Every one is very much excited about a young Swedish girl called Christine
Nilsson, who has walked right into the star-light, for she really is a
star of the first magnitude. She has studied with Wachtel only one year,
and behold her now singing at the Théâtre Lyrique to crowded audiences in
the "Flûte Enchantée." Her voice has a wonderful charm; she sings without
the slightest effort, and naturally as a bird. She has some phenomenal
high notes, which are clear as bells. She makes that usually tedious
_grand aria_, which every singer makes a mess of, quite lovely and
musical, hovering as she does in the regions above the upper line like a
butterfly and trilling like a canary-bird. A Chinese juggler does not play
with his glass balls more dexterously than she plays with all the effects
and tricks of the voice. What luck for her to have blossomed like that
into a full-fledged prima-donna with so little effort. I have got to know
her quite well, as Miss Haggerty, who was at some school with her in
Paris, invites her often to lunch and asks me to meet her.

Nilsson is tall, graceful, slight, and very attractive, without being
actually handsome. She acts well and naturally, and with intelligence,
without exerting herself; she has the happy faculty of understanding and
seizing things _au vol_, instead of studying them. She has a regal future
before her. A second Jenny Lind! Their careers are rather similar. Jenny
Lind was a singer in cafés, and Nilsson played the violin in cafés in
Stockholm. She is clever, too! She has surrounded herself by a wall of
propriety, in the shape of an English _dame de compagnie_, and never moves
unless followed by her. This lady (Miss Richardson) is correctness and
primness personified, and so _comme il faut_ that it is actually
oppressive to be in the same room with her. Nilsson herself is full of fun
and jokes, but at the same time dignified and serious.

Christine Nilsson gave Mrs. Haggerty a box at the Théâtre Lyrique, where
she is now playing "Traviata" (I think it was the director's box), and I
was invited to go with her and Clem. The box was behind the curtain and
very small and very dark. But it was intensely amusing to see how things
were done, and how prosaic and matter-of-fact everything was. If ever I
thanked my stars that I was not a star myself it was then.

Everything looked so tawdry and claptrap: the dirty boards, the grossly
painted scenery, the dingy workmen shuffling about grumbling and gruff,
ordered and scolded by a vulgar superior. Of course the stars do not see
all these things, because they only appear when the heavens are ready for
them to shine in.

The overture, so it sounded to us, was a clash of drums, trumpets, and
trombones all jumbled together. After the three knocks of the director,
which started up the dust of ages into our faces until we were almost
suffocated, the curtain rose slowly with great noise and rumbling.

The audience looked formidable as we saw it through the mist of cloudy
gas-light, a sea of faces, of color and vagueness. The incongruity of
costumes was a thing to weep over. If they had tried they could not have
made it worse. The lady guests, walking and chatting, in a _soi-disant_
elegant salon, were dressed, some in Louis XV. splendor, some in dogesses'
brocades, some in modern finery, with bows and ribbons and things looped
up any way. Nilsson was dressed in quite modern style--flounces, laces,
and fringes, and so forth, while Alfredo had donned a black velvet coat _à
la_ something, with a huge jabot which fell over a frilled shirt-front. He
wore short velvet trousers, and black-silk stockings covered his thin legs
without the least attempt at padding.

The "padre" was in a shooting-jacket, evidently just in from a riding-
tour. He held a riding-stick, and wore riding-gantlets which he flourished
about with such wide gesticulations that I thought he was going to hit
Nilsson in the face.

We could not hear the singing so well from where we sat; but the orchestra
was overpowering, and the applause deafening, like peals of thunder.

I laughed when the gang of workmen rushed on to the stage as soon as the
curtain came down, and began sweeping and taking down one set of furniture
and putting on another; especially in the last act, when Violetta's bed
came on and the men threw the pillows from one to the other, as if they
were playing ball. They hung up a crucifix, which I thought was
unnecessary, and brought in a candlestick. I wondered if they were going
to put a warming-pan in the bed. A mat was laid down with great precision.
Then Nilsson came in, dressed in a flounced petticoat trimmed with lace, a
"matinée," and black slippers, and got into the bed.

After the performance was over the curtain was raised and the artists came
forward to bow; the stage was covered with flowers and wreaths. And
Nilsson, in picking up her floral tributes, was wreathed in smiles; but
they faded like mist before the sun the minute the curtain was lowered,
and she looked tired and worn out. Her maid was there, waiting with a
shawl to wrap around the shoulders of the hot prima-donna, and the prim
Miss Richardson ready to escort her to her room, while the army of shirt-
sleeved men invaded the stage like bees, with brooms which, though
anything but new, I hope swept clean. Then everything was dark and dismal,
lit only by one or two candles and a solitary lantern. All that was so
brilliant a moment before was now only a confused mass of disillusions.

Nilsson and her duenna drove to Mrs. H----'s and had supper with us. One
would never have dreamt that she had been dying of consumption an hour
before, to see her stow away ham, salad, and pudding in great quantities.
Then she embraced us all and drove off in her coupé. The star was going to
set. I went home, glad that my life lay in other paths.

PARIS, _March, 1865._

DEAR M.,--Do not be anxious about me. When Mrs. M---- wrote, I was really
in danger of a _fluxion de poitrine_. I am sorry she worried you
unnecessarily. I am much better; in fact, I am far on the road to
recovery. If every one had such a nice time when they are ill as I had
they would not be in a hurry to get well. When I was convalescent enough
to come down-stairs, and the doctor had said his last word (the
traditional "you must be careful"), I had my _chaise-longue_ moved down
into Henry's studio, and Monsieur Gudin, who is the kindest man in the
world, offered to come there and paint a picture in order to amuse and
divert me.

Bierstadt, the American painter, who is in Paris, also proposed to come.
Then those two artists ordered canvases of the same size, and Beaumont,
not to be outdone, ordered a larger canvas, and Henry announced his
intention of finishing an already commenced landscape.

Behold, then, your invalid, surrounded by these celebrated artists,
reclining on a _chaise-longue_, a table with _tisanes_ and remedies near
by, and the four painters painting. Gudin is painting a seascape;
Bierstadt, a picture of California; Beaumont, of course, his graceful
ladies and cherubs. It amused me to see how differently they painted.
Gudin spread his paints on a very large table covered with glass, and used
a great many brushes; Bierstadt used a huge palette, and painted rather
finically, whereas Beaumont had quite a small palette and used few
brushes. I was very sorry when my convalescence came to an end and the
pictures were finished; but I had the delight of receiving the four
pictures, which the four artists begged me to accept as a souvenir of the
"pleasant days in the studio."

Another pleasant thing happened during "the pleasant days in the studio,"
which was the gift of a beautiful gold medal which the Emperor sent me as
a souvenir of the day I sang the _Benedictus_ in the chapel of the
Tuileries. It is a little larger than a five-franc piece, and has on one
side the head of the Emperor encircled by "Chapelle des Tuileries," and on
the other side "Madame Moulton" and the date.

We are all dreadfully sad about the Duke de Morny's death. He was very
much appreciated, and a favorite with every one. They say that the Duchess
cut off all her hair and put it into his coffin. I never heard before that
she was such a loving wife. I only hope that she will not need her braids
to keep on her next wedding-wreath.

We have just heard of the assassination of that good, kind President
Lincoln. How dreadful!

I have a new teacher called Delsarte, the most unique specimen I have ever
met. My first impression was that I was in the presence of a
_concierge_ in a second-class establishment; but I soon saw that he
was the great master I had heard described so often. He is not a real
singing teacher, for he does not think the voice worth speaking of; he has
a theory that one can express more by the features and all the tricks he
teaches, and especially by the manner of enunciation, than by the voice.
We were (Aunty and I) first led into the salon, and then into the music-
room, so called because the piano is there and the stand for music, but no
other incumbrances as furniture.

On the walls were hung some awful diagrams to illustrate the master's
method of teaching. These diagrams are crayon-drawings of life-sized faces
depicting every emotion that the human face is capable of expressing, such
as love, sorrow, murder, terror, joy, surprise, etc.

It is Delsarte's way, when he wants you to express one of these emotions
in your voice, to point with a soiled forefinger to the picture in
question which he expects you to imitate. The result lends expression to
your voice.

The piano is of a pre-Raphaelite construction, and stands in the middle of
the room like an island in a lake, with a footstool placed over the pedals
(he considers the pedal as useless). The lid of the piano was absent, and,
to judge from the inside, I should say that the piano was the receptacle
for everything that belonged to the Delsarte homestead. There were
inkstands, pens, pencils, knives, wire, matches, toothpicks, half-smoked
cigars, even remnants of his luncheon, which seemed to have been black
bread and cheese, and dust galore. Delsarte had on a pair of much-worn
embroidered slippers, a velvet _calotte_, the tassels of which swayed
with each of his emotions, and a dilapidated _robe de chambre_ which
opened at every movement, disclosing his soiled plaid foulard doing duty
for a collar.

On my telling him that I desired to take some lessons of him, he asked me
to sing something for him. Seeing the music of Duprato's "Il était nuit
déjà," I proposed singing that, and he sat down at the pedal-less piano to
accompany me. When I arrived at the phrase, "Un souffle d'air léger
apportait jusqu'à nous l'odeur d'un oranger," he interrupted me. "Repeat
that!" he cried. "Il faut qu'on sente le souffle d'air et l'odeur de
l'oranger." I said to myself, "... no one could 'sentir un oranger' in
this room; one could only smell Delsarte's bad tobacco."

He begged me to sing something else.

"Will you accompany Gounod's 'Medje' for me?" I asked him.

"No," he replied. "I will listen; you must accompany yourself. There are
certain songs that cannot be accompanied by any one but the singer. This
is one of them! You feel yourself, don't you, that it is absolutely
necessary for you to clutch something when singing this? A weak chord or a
too powerful one struck in a wrong place would spoil entirely the effect,
and even the best accompanist cannot foresee when that effect is going to
be produced." I think this is so clever! "'Voi che sapete' can be
accompanied by any school girl," he continued. "It is plain sailing; but
in 'Medje' the piano must be part of the singer and breathe with him." I
sat down at the piano and sang. When I came to "Prends cette lame et
plonges la dans mon coeur," he stopped me short, and pointing to a
horrible picture on the wall indicating bloody murder and terror (No. 6),
he cried, "Voilà l'expression qu'il faut avoir." I sang the phrase over
again, trying to imagine what Medje's lover must have felt; but I could
not satisfy Delsarte. He said my voice ought to tremble; and, in fact, I
ought to sing false when I say, "Ton image encore vivante dans mon coeur
qui ne bat plus." "No one," he said, "in such a moment of emotion could
keep on the right note." I tried again, in vain! If I had had a dagger in
my hand and a brigand before me, I might perhaps have been more
successful. However, he let it pass; but to show that it could be done he
sang it for me, and actually did sing it false. Curiously enough, it
sounded quite right, tremolo and all. There is no doubt that he is a
_great artist_. One can see that Faure and Coquelin (the actor) have
both profited by his unique teaching. He assured me that there is no art
like that of making people believe what you want them to. For instance, he
pretends that he can sing "Il pleut, il pleut, bergère," and make you hear
the patter of the _bergère's_ heels on the wet sod, or wherever she
was trying to _rentrer ses blancs moutons_. He sang it with the fullest
conviction, and asked me what I thought of it. I shut my eyes and tried to
conjure up the _bergère_ and her heels. My head began to whirl with all
this talk, and, on taking leave of my new master, I promised him that I
would try to sing false until the next lesson. Another thing he said was:
"Never try to accompany yourself when the accompaniment is difficult.
There is nothing so painful as to see a singer struggling with tremolos
and arpeggios." How right he is!

He has one theory about the trembling of the chin. It certainly is very
effective. When in "Medje" I say, "Tu n'as pas vu mes larmes, tout la nuit
j'ai pleuré," Delsarte says, "Make your chin tremble; just try it once,"
pointing to a diagram, "and every one will be overcome." I have tried it
and have seen the effect. But I am letting you into all Delsarte's most
innermost secrets.

PARIS, _July, 1865._

DEAR M.,--You must forgive me if I have not written lately; but we have
been on a visit to the Duke and Duchess de Persigny for the past week. I
did not have time to do more than dress for driving and drive, dress for
afternoon tea, dress for dinner, and dine.

The estates of Chamarande are beautiful, the château itself is very
magnificent and arranged with the Duchess's taste, which is perfect though

The château has a moat around it, over which is a stone bridge which leads
to the entrance on the side opposite the broad terraces bordered by cut
trees, as in Versailles. The park is very large, filled with beautiful old
trees, and most artistically laid out.

The Duke de Persigny is perfectly delightful, genial, kind, and certainly
the cleverest man of the day, with a temper which is temper-proof. I never
saw him out of it, and, well as I know him, I have never seen him ruffled
in any way, and sometimes there were occasions, goodness knows!

The Duchess is still handsome and attractive; her pronounced originality
lends her a peculiar charm. She has many admiring friends who are true to
her, and I must say that when she is a friend she is a true one, and never
fails you. Her originality frequently leads her beyond conventionality;
for instance, the other day she took it into her head to dine out of
doors. If she wanted to picnic _al fresco_, why did she not choose some
pretty place in the park or in the woods? But no, she had the usual
elaborate dinner served directly outside the château, and on the gravel
walk. The servants, powdered and in short breeches as usual, served us in
their customary solemnity; but they must have wondered why we preferred to
sit on the gravel, with a draught of cold air on our backs, when we might
have been comfortably seated in a big and airy room with a carpet under
our feet. However, such was the wish of the châtelaine, and no one dared
say a word, not even the Duke, though he protested meekly.

Later on the Duke had his revenge, for in the midst of our breezy repast
there came a downpour of rain, accompanied by lightning and peals of
thunder, which necessitated a hasty retreat.

The Duchess, who is very timid in thunder-storms, was the first to rush
into the house, the guests following pell-mell, and our dinner was
finished indoors.

After our return to Petit Val we had the visit of Auber's protégé, a young
man called Massenet. One day, in Paris, two months ago, Auber said to me:

"I am very much interested in a former pupil of the Conservatoire who took
the Grand-Prix de Rome, and has just come back from his four years'
musical studies in Rome. As he is more or less a stranger in Paris, I
should be very thankful if you would interest yourself for him. He really
is a genius; but, as so often happens, geniuses don't have pocket-money."

I answered: "Please tell him to come and see me. I have some music I wish
to have transposed. Do you think that he would be willing to do it?"

"Certainly; he would be glad to do anything," was the answer.

The next day a pale young man presented himself. "You are Monsieur
Massenet?" I inquired.

"Yes, Madame," came the gentle answer.

Thereupon I gave him the music, and I showed him to a quiet little room in
the upper part of the house, which contained a piano, writing-table, pen
and ink, etc., and left him to his fate. He came two or three times before
I heard him play, and then it was only by chance that I passed through the
corridor, and imagine my astonishment at hearing the most divine music
issuing from the room where the young man was working. I rushed in,

"What is that?"

"Nothing," he answered.

"Nothing!" I exclaimed. "I never heard anything so exquisite, Do play it

"It was simply something that passed through my head," he answered.

"Then let something else pass through your head. I must hear more." I
said. Then he played, and I sat and listened to the most bewildering and
beautiful music that I ever heard. From that moment there was no more
copying. What a genius he is! I wish you could hear him improvise!

We have invited him frequently, and when we are at Petit Val he comes
often out to see us, and luxuriates in the repose and comfort of our life
here. He has already written some lovely songs under its influence. He
composed one called "l'Esclave," and dedicated it to me for my birthday.
He accompanies me as no one has ever done before.

Auber, who drives out occasionally, is delighted to see that "Our
Massenet," as he generally calls him, is getting color in his pale cheeks
and his bright and eager eyes are brighter than ever, and he is actually
getting fat.

PARIS, _January, 1866._

We have just returned from Nice and Cannes, also from a very disappointing
yachting cruise in the Mediterranean, which proved to be a complete
fiasco. I must tell you about it. Lord Albert Gower had invited us to go
to Spezia on his beautiful yacht. From there we were to go to Florence,
and later make a little trip in Italy. We had all been asked to a dinner
at the Duke de Vallombrosa's villa at Cannes, and some of us to spend the
night there.

The evening before we started there was a large dinner at the prefect's
given in honor of the Austrian Ambassador, Prince Metternich, who had come
on an official visit concerning an archduke, at which Lord Albert proposed
that we should take Cannes _en route_, spend the night there, and start
the next day for Spezia.

I thought that I was going to have a beautiful time when we left Nice. The
sun was shining brightly, and there was every prospect of a good breeze,
and I settled down on deck with books and work, thinking how delightful it
was all going to be, and how pleasant it was to get away from the
fatiguing gaieties of Nice, where there had been a perfect avalanche of
dinners, balls, and theater-parties which even surpassed Paris.

Well! A dead calm set in about an hour after we had started, and only a
vestige of a breeze wafted us along on our way, and we never arrived at
Cannes till seven o'clock, just in time to disembark, jump into a
carriage, and reach the Duke de Vallombrosa's villa. I thought that I was
very expeditious over my toilette, notwithstanding which I found myself
half an hour late for dinner. Fortunately, however, our hosts were lenient
and accepted my excuses.

Lord and Lady Brougham, Duke de Croy, and many others were there. And who
else do you think? No less a personage than Jenny Lind! You may imagine my
delight at seeing her--"the Goddess of Song," the idol of my youth--about
whom still hung a halo.

She is neither handsome nor distinguished-looking; in fact, quite the
contrary: plain features, a pert nose, sallow skin, and very yellow hair.
However, when she smiled, which was not often, her face became almost

After dinner the Duchess de Vallombrosa begged her to sing; but she flatly
refused, and there was no other music, thank heaven! I was presented to
her, in spite of her too evident dislike for new acquaintances; but when
she heard that I sang she seemed more amiable and interested. She even
asked me to come to see her the next day. "That is," she said, "if you can
climb my hill." I told her that I was sure I could climb her hill, and
would, even if I had to climb on all fours.

After having been on the glaring Mediterranean all day I could hardly keep
my eyes open, and retired before the last carriage had driven away. The
next morning I looked out of my window and saw our yacht dancing on the
sparkling waves. We expected to leave for Spezia that afternoon.

At eleven o'clock, the hour appointed, I commenced my pilgrimage to the
hill of the "Swedish nightingale," with what emotion, I can hardly tell
you! I left the carriage at the foot of the hill, and climbed and climbed,
until I reached the heaven where the angel lived. It was the reverse of
Jacob's dream. His angel climbed down to him, whereas I had to climb up to
mine. She always used a donkey for her climbings.

She received me very cordially, saying, "I welcome you to my
_bicoque_," and led me through a few badly furnished rooms with hay-
stuffed sofas and hard, uncompromising chairs and queer-looking tables
painted in red and green out on to the veranda, which commanded a
magnificent view over the sea and the Esterel Mountains.

I wish you could have seen her! She was dressed in a white brocade trimmed
with a piece of red silk around the bottom, a red, blousy waist covered
with gold heads sewed fantastically over it, perhaps odds and ends of old
finery, and gold shoes!

Just fancy, at eleven o'clock in the morning! We talked music. She hated
Verdi and all he had made, she hated Rossini and all he had made; she
hated the French; she hated the Americans; she abhorred the very name of
Barnum, who, she said, "exhibited me just as he did the big giant or any
other of his monstrosities."

"But," said I, "you must not forget how you were idolized and appreciated
in America. Even as a child I can remember how they worshiped Jenny Lind."

"Worshiped or not," she answered, sharply, "I was nothing more than a show
in a showman's hands; I can never forget that."

We sat on her veranda, and she told me all about her early life and her
musical career. She said she was born in 1820, and when only ten years old
she used to sing in cafes in Stockholm. At seventeen she sang "Alice" in
"Robert-le-Diable"! Then we talked of our mutual teacher, dear Garcia, of
whom she took lessons in 1841 and whom, for a wonder, she liked.

At the _Rhein-fest_ given for Queen Victoria in 1844 she said that she
had had a great success, and that Queen Victoria had always been a friend
to her since that time.

I asked her when she first sang in London.

"I think it was in 1847, or thereabouts," she replied. "Then I went to
Paris; but I do not wish to speak of that horrid place."

"Is Paris such a horrid place?" I asked. "I wish you would come while I am

[Illustration: JENNY LIND]

"Never, never!" she cried. "They treated me so abominably I vowed that I
would never set foot in Paris again, and although they have offered me
every possible inducement I have always refused."

"What a pity!" I exclaimed. "Would you not like to see the Exposition in
Paris next year? I think it might interest you."

"Yes, that might interest me; but Paris! Paris!"

"Do you know Auber?" I asked.

"Auber. No, I have always wanted to know him, but have never had an

"If you will come to Paris, I will arrange that you meet him."

"I will! I will! And then I will sing for him!" she said, with almost
girlish glee.

How delighted I was to think that I might be the medium to bring them

She asked me a great many questions about my singing. Suddenly she said,
"Make a trill for me."

I looked about for a piano to give me a note to start on. But a piano was
evidently the thing where the Goldschmidts had drawn the line. I made as
good a trill as I could without one.

"Very good!" said she, nodding her head approvingly. "I learned my trill
this way." And she made a trill for me, accentuating the upper note.

Pointing her finger at me, she said, "You try it."

I tried it. Unless one has learned to trill so it is very difficult to do;
but I managed it somehow.

Then she said, in her abrupt way, "What vocalizes do you sing?"

I replied that I had arranged Chopin's waltz in five flats as a vocalize.

"In the original key?" she asked. "I know it well. It is one of
Goldschmidt's favorite concert pieces."

"Not in the original key. I have transposed it two notes lower, and put
some sort of words to it. I also sing as a vocalize the first sixteen bars
of the overture of Mendelssohn's 'Midsummer Night's Dream.'"

"I don't think that I could do that," she said.

"I am sure you could," I answered, upon which she tried it. She sang it
slowly but perfectly, shutting her eyes as if feeling her way cautiously,
for the intonations are very difficult.

Twelve o'clock sounded from a cuckoo-clock in the next room, and I felt
that my visit, fascinating as my angel was, must come to an end. I left
her still standing on the veranda in her white brocade, and as I walked
off she made the trill as an adieu.

I reached the villa in time for breakfast, after which our hosts drove us
down to the pier, where the little rowboat was waiting to take us out to
the yacht.

I said that our trip was a failure! It was more than a failure. It meant a
gale, thunder, lightning, and sudden death, and everything in the Litany,
and we finished ignominiously by taking refuge in the first port we could
reach, and going on to our destination by train.

PARIS, _February 12, 1866._

DEAR AUNTY,--There has been a regular deluge of balls in Paris this
winter. The Minister of Marine gave a gorgeous one, the _clou_ of which
was the entrance at midnight precisely of _Les Quatres Continents_, being
four long _cortèges_ representing Europe, America, Africa, and Asia.

I was quite provoked that they did not ask me to be in the American
_cortège_. I should have loved to have been an Indian squaw, except that a
blanket is a rather warm _toilette de bal_. They wanted me to take a
costume of a Spanish lady in the _cortège_ of Europe, but I refused; if I
could not be in the American I did not want to be in any of the others.

Taking part in the _cortège_ meant waiting till midnight before appearing,
and then, being in it, you did not see it. I had a banal and not a correct
costume of an Amazone Louis XIII., and stayed in the ballroom all the
evening, and saw the procession when it came in. It was very interesting
and really beautifully arranged.

Africa (Mademoiselle de Sèvres) was brought in on a camel fresh from the
jungle of the Jardin des Plantes, and followed by quantities of natives of
every variety of shade, from sepia to chocolate, as near to nature as they
dared go without spoiling their beauty. Some of the costumes were very
fantastic. Ladies dressed in skirts made of feathers, and beads hanging
everywhere, copied after well-known pictures, and especially after the
costumes of "l'Africaine," of the Opera. The men wore enormous wigs made
of black wool, and black _tricots_, blacker than the most African of

Asia (Baronne Erlanger) was standing on a platform carried by menials
hidden from view and smothered under tiger and other skins. She was poised
with one foot on the head of a tiger, one hand was clutching a date-tree,
and the other hand clinging to the back of a stuffed leopard, it must have
been difficult for her to keep her balance; her platform seemed very
shaky, and the date-tree waved as if it had been in a tornado. The natives
who followed her were more beaded and feathery and multicolored than the
Africans, otherwise they looked much alike.

America was represented by a pretty girl (a Miss Carter, of Boston). She
was brought in reclining in a hammock of gay colors. The American natives
were not of the kind one meets in New York and Boston; they were mostly
the type taken from the most popular books. There was the sedate Puritan
from Longfellow's "Evangeline"; the red Indians from Cooper's books;
Hiawatha and Pocahontas, of course; and the type most beloved in the
European market, that of the plantation tyrant who drags his victim to the
whipping-post with pointed stakes and cudgels, _à la Oncle Tom_, and
lastly the Mexican types with slouched hats and picturesque shirts and
leather leggings, pistols bulging from their belts.

Europe (Madame d'Arjuson) was seated in a Roman chair, and looked very
comfortable, in comparison with the other Continents; the platform on
which she sat was loaded with flowers and dragged in on wheels. All the
national costumes of Europe were extremely pretty and varied. The German
peasants in great variety, the Italian _ciociara_, the Spanish toreador,
and the Dutch fisherwoman with her wooden shoes--all were complete.

Worth and Bobergh had not slept for nights, thinking out the different
costumes and worrying over the details. Worth had the most-brain work, and
Bobergh was the sleepy partner.

The cotillon was superb; it commenced at two o'clock and finished at the
break of day. The favors were of every nationality, imported from all over
the world, and tied up with every imaginable national color. I danced with
the Count Vogüé, who is by far the best dancer in Paris. He got masses of
favors and gave them all to me, and I also received a great quantity; so
that when I went to the carriage I almost needed a dray to carry them.

PARIS, _March, 1866._

DEAR M.,--I think of your sitting in your Cambridge home and reading this
account of the frivolities of your daughter. While the scene of last night
is just in my mind, I will tell you about it.

Yesterday was Count Pourtales's birthday, and Prince Metternich thought
out a wonderful scheme for a surprise for Count Pourtales and the rest of
us. Princess Metternich and Countess Pourtales were the only ones taken
into his confidence.

There was a dinner at the Pourtales' in honor of the occasion, and the
guests were Baron Alphonse Rothschild, Count and Countess Moltke, Prince
Sagan, the Duke de Croy, and ourselves.

On arriving at seven o'clock we were ushered into the salon, and later
went in to dinner. All the lights were placed on the table, leaving the
rest of the room in darkness. The servants seemed to me principally
butlers with the traditional side-whiskers, or chasseurs with beards or
mustaches. I thought that they might be extra servants brought in for the

The first course was served. A little awkward spilling of soup on the
table-cloth was not remarked upon. The dish came on with its sauce. A
startled cry came from a lady on receiving some drops of it on her bare
neck, to which no one paid any particular attention. Then, a few moments
later, some wine was carelessly spilled on one of the gentlemen's heads.
These things can so easily happen, no one said anything.

The filet was handed to me, and at the same time the sauce-dish was
uncomfortably near my neck, and directly under my nose. This was too
nonchalant, and my surprise was still greater when the servant, in an
unnatural and gruff voice, said, "Do you want any of this stuff?" I looked
up at the man, and recognized a twinkle in a familiar eye, and as the
twinkle was accentuated by a powerful wink I began to understand and held
my tongue.

Things might have gone on longer if one of the waiters had not been too
bold, and on serving Countess Moltke, a very pretty American lady married
to a Dane, pushed her arm a little roughly, and in an obviously disguised
voice said, "Better take some of this, you won't get another chance."

She called out in an indignant voice, "Did you ever hear the like?" Count
Pourtales seemed dazed, while his wife looked as unconcerned as if there
was nothing unusual. Then the insolent waiters began talking across the
table to each other. One said, "Don't you see that lady with the rose has
not got any salad?" The other answered, "Attend to your own affairs."
Count Pourtales, crimson with mortification, was about to get up and
apologize, when he was suddenly pulled back into his seat, and the absurd
waiters began throwing pellets of bread at him.

Imagine his feelings! To be treated in this way in one's own house, by
one's own servants! Every one of them must have suddenly gone crazy, or
else they were drunk. For a moment consternation was depicted on all the
countenances; we thought the end of the world had come.

When things had gone so far, Prince Metternich stood up and made a pretty
little speech for the host, and we all drank his health, and the waiters
all took off their wigs and false beards and waved them in the air.

Six of the most fashionable young gentlemen of Paris had been serving us!
The Pourtales' own servants, who had kept aloof, now came in, and the
_ci-devant_ waiters drew up chairs between those at the table, and the
dinner finished amidst great hilarity.

PARIS, _August, 1866._

DEAR M.,--We were invited to go out to Fontainebleau yesterday for dinner.
We found it a very hot ride from Paris, and really suffered in the crowded
train. When we arrived at the station we found a coupé from the Imperial
stables waiting for us, and an extra carriage for the maid, the valet, and
the trunk, which contained our change of dress for dinner. I wished that
the coupé had been an open carriage. I love to drive through those lovely
avenues in the park. Princess Metternich suggested that we should take
some green corn with us, as the Empress had expressed the wish to taste
this American delicacy, and I took some from Petit Val.

On reaching the palace we were met by the Vicomte Walsh, who led the way
to the apartment of the Baroness de Pierres, one of the _dames d'honneur_
of the Empress (an American lady, formerly Miss Thorne, of New York), who
was expecting us.

You may imagine my astonishment at seeing her smoking--what do you think?
Nothing less than a real common clay pipe, and you may imagine her
surprise at seeing me, followed by my servant, who carried a large basket
containing the corn. I told her about it, and that I had brought some at
the instigation of the Princess Metternich, in order that the Empress
could try it. She seemed to be delighted at the idea, and exclaimed, "We
must get hold of the chef at once and tell him how to cook it." She rang
her bell and gave the order. Promptly Monsieur Jean appeared in his fresh
white apron and immaculate jacket and white _couvre-chef_. Baroness de
Pierres and I surpassed ourselves in giving contradictory directions as
to the cooking of it. She thought it ought to be boiled a long time, while
I maintained that it required very little time.

"You must leave the silk on," said she.

"Has it got silk?" asked the bewildered chef.

I was of the opinion that the husks should be taken off. "By no means!"
she declared, and explained that in America the corn was always served in
the husk.

The chef, trying to analyze this unusual article of food, lifted one of
the ears from the basket and examined it.

"En robe de chambre, alors, Madame!" said he, and looked dismayed at these

"Yes," she replied, "just like a potato--_en robe de chambre_."

We could hear him as he left the room, followed by the basket, muttering
to himself, "Soie! robe de chambre! Soie! robe de chambre!" in his most
satirical tone. I began to feel a little nervous about it myself, and
wondered if for this broth there had not been too many cooks.

We went out before dinner to see the famous carp; I looked in vain for the
one with the ring in its nose.

At dinner, besides the Household, were the Princess Mathilde, Monsieur
Ollivier, Monsieur Perrière, the Duke de Persigny, Baron Haussmann, and
several statesmen.

The corn came in due time served as _légume_.

I was mortified when I saw it appear, brought in on eight enormous silver
platters, four ears on each. It looked pitiful! Silk, _robe de chambre_
and all, steaming like a steam-engine. Every one looked aghast, and no one
dared to touch it; and when I wanted to show them how it was eaten in its
native land they screamed with laughter. Baron Haussmann asked me if the
piece I was playing (he meant on the flute) was in _la-bémol_?

I looked to the Baroness de Pierres for support; but, alas! her eyes
refused to meet mine and were fixed on her plate.

I tried to make the corn less objectionable by unwrapping the cobs and
cutting off the corn. Then I added butter and salt, and it was passed
about; first, of course, to the Emperor, who liked it very much; but the
Empress pushed her plate aside with a grimace, saying, "I don't like it;
it smells like a baby's flannels."

The Emperor, seeing the crushed look on my face, raised his glass and
said, with a kind glance at me, "Here's to the American corn!" I
reproached the Princess Metternich for having suggested my taking it

COMPIÈGNE, _November 22, 1866._

DEAR A.,--You know it has always been my wish to see the life at
Compiègne, and behold, here I am!

We received the invitation twelve days ago. It reads thus:


    _Palais des Tuileries, le 10 Novembre 1866.

    Premier Chambellan_


    Par ordre de l'Empereur, j'ai l'honneur de vous prévenir que vous êtes
    invité, ainsi que Madame Charles Moulton, à passer huit jours au
    Palais de Compiègne, du 22 au 29 Novembre.

    Des voitures de la Cour vous attendront le 22, à l'arrivée à Compiègne
    du train partant de Paris à 2 heures 1/2, pour vous conduire au

    Agréez, Monsieur, l'assurance de ma considération très distinguée.

    _Le Premier Chambellan_.
    V'te de Laferrière.
    Madame Charles Moulton.

This gave me plenty of time to order all my dresses, wraps, and everything
else that I needed for this visit of a week to royalty.


I was obliged to have about twenty dresses, eight day costumes (counting
my traveling suit), the green cloth dress for the hunt, which I was told
was absolutely necessary, seven ball dresses, five gowns for tea. Such a
quantity of boxes and bundles arrived at the house in Paris that
Mademoiselle Wissembourg was in a blue fidget, fussing about, boring me
with silly, unnecessary suggestions, and asking so many useless questions
that I wished her at the bottom of the Red Sea.

A professional packer came to pack our trunks, of which I had seven and
C---- had two; the maid and the valet each had one, making, altogether,
quite a formidable pile of luggage. As we saw it on the wagon driven from
the house, it seemed an absurdly large amount for only a week's visit.

We arrived at the St. Lazare Station at 2.30, as indicated on the

We found the Vicomte Walsh (the Chamberlain of the Emperor) waiting to
show the guests where the train was. It would have been rather difficult
not to have seen it, as it was the only one in the station, and was marked
"Extra and Imperial."

There were several large salon carriages with large, comfortable
_fauteuils_, and some tables covered with newspapers and _journaux
illustrés_ to beguile the time. It would take too much time to tell you
the names of all the people I recognized at the station; but in the
carriage with us were the Duke and Duchess Fernan Nuñez, Madame de
Bourgogne (whose husband is Equerry of the Emperor), the two Princes
Murat, Joachim and Achille, Monsieur Davilliers, Count Golz (the German
Ambassador), Baron Haussmann and his daughter, and Mr. de Radowitz of the
German embassy, who immediately stretched himself out contentedly in a
comfortable arm-chair and fell fast asleep.

I should say there were about fifty or sixty guests.

We actually flew over land and dale. I never traveled so fast in all my
life; but then I had never been in an Imperial train before. We did not
stop until we reached the station of Compiègne.

I think the whole twelve thousand inhabitants of Compiègne were gathered
there to stare at us, and they did stare persistently, until we had
mounted the many equipages waiting for us and had driven away.

It certainly must have been very entertaining for them to see the long
procession of carriages, the hundreds of trunks, the flurrying maids, and
the self-important valets.

There were two landaus: one for the Metternichs and one for the German

The _chars-à-bancs_, of which there must have been at least ten, were
dark green outlined with red, each with four prancing horses whose tails,
jauntily braided with red cords, were tied to the saddles.

Each carriage had two postilions, who looked very trim in their short
velvet jackets embroidered with gold and covered with endless buttons.
They wore white breeches, long top-boots, black-velvet caps over their
white wigs, and their little pigtails, tied with a black bow, hung down
their backs, flapping up and down as they galloped.

The Princess Metternich had fourteen trunks and two maids; the Prince had
his private secretary and valet, and a goodly number of trunks. This will
give you a vague idea of the amount of baggage which had to be transported
in the _fourgons_.

Don't you think we must have made a very imposing spectacle, as we rattled
through the quiet town of Compiègne, over its old stone pavement, the
postilions blowing their horns, cracking their whips, the horses galloping
full speed, the _chars-à-bancs_ filled with handsomely dressed ladies, and
after this long procession came the maids and the valets and mountainous
piles of baggage?

When we entered the _grande cour_ (inclosure), the sentinels grasped their
guns and saluted, as we passed by them, before we pulled up in front of
the grand staircase of the château, where an army of lackeys were waiting
to help us alight.

The Grand Chamberlain received us at the head of the stairs with pleasant
cordiality and waved us toward a _huissier_, who, dressed in a black
livery with heavy chains around his neck, looked very important. He, in
his turn, passed us on to the particular valet allotted to us, who
pompously and with great dignity showed us the way to our apartments.

Our names were on the doors, and we entered the brilliantly lighted rooms,
which, after our journey, seemed most welcome with their bright fires and
cheerful aspect.

Tea and chocolate were on the table waiting us, and I regaled myself while
the soldiers (who seem to be the men-of-all-work here) brought in the
trunks and the maid and valet were unpacking.

I must describe our rooms. We have a large salon, two bedrooms, two
servants' rooms, and an antechamber. In the salon there are two long
windows which reach to the floor and overlook the park. The walls are
paneled with pink and mauve brocade. The covering of the furniture and the
curtains are of the same stuff.

My bedroom is furnished in white and green with a delightful _chaise
longue_ and large _fauteuils_, which to me are more inviting than the
stiff Empire style of the salon.

I made my toilette in a maze of excitement; my maid was confused and
agitated, and I thought I should never be ready. I think you will be
interested to hear what I wore to-night. It was light-green tulle,
embroidered in silver, the waist trimmed with silver fringe. If one could
see the waistband, one would read WORTH in big letters. I thought it was
best to make a good impression at the start, so I put on my prettiest

On leaving our apartment, a little before seven, we found the lackey
waiting to show us the way to the _Grande Salle des Fêtes_, and we
followed his plump white calves through the long corridors, arriving at
last at the salon where the company was to assemble.

Here we found more white calves belonging to the gorgeous liveries and the
powdered heads of the lackeys, who stood there to open the doors for all
comers. We were not the last, but of the latest, to arrive.

The salon seemed immense to me. On one side the windows (or rather the
doors) opened on to the terrace; on the opposite side of the walls,
between the pillars, were mirrors resting on gilded consoles. At one end
of the room was the statue of Laetitia Bonaparte (_Madame Mère_), and at
the other end was one of Napoleon I. Banquettes and tabourets of Gobelins
tapestry stood against the walls. The ceiling is a _chef-d'oeuvre_ of
Girodet--_style Empire_.

The Vicomte de Laferrière and the Duchesse de Bassano, the _grande
maîtresse_, came forward to receive the guests.


My first feeling, when I entered the room, was that I knew no one in this
numerous assemblage. There must have been a hundred people at least; but
gradually the faces of my acquaintances loomed one by one out of the mist,
and among them I recognized the lovely Marquise de Gallifet, who kindly
beckoned me to come and stand by her, for which I felt very grateful.

The chamberlains--there were many of them--bustled about, constantly
referring to some papers which they had in their hands, in order to tell
each gentleman which lady he was to take in to dinner.

The Grand Chamberlain glanced round the room with an all-comprehensive
look, and seemed intuitively to know when we were all present. He then
disappeared into his Majesty's private salon.

There was an ominous hush, a flutter of agitation, a stiff attitude of
expectancy, the guests arranging themselves according to their own
consciousness of their rank; and presently the doors of the salon were
quietly opened and their Majesties entered. The gentlemen bowed
reverentially; the ladies courtesied very low, and the sovereigns,
responding with a gracious inclination of the head, advanced toward us.

The Empress turned to the ladies, the Emperor to the gentlemen, speaking a
word of welcome to as many of the guests as the time allowed. Fifty or
sixty _bon soirs_ and _charmé de vous voir_'s occupy some time; but their
Majesties kept their eyes on the Grand Maréchal, and he kept his eye on
the clock.

The Empress looked lovely. She wore a beautiful gown, a white-spangled
tulle, with a superb tiara of diamonds, and on her neck a _collier_ of
huge pearls.

The Emperor was in white _culottes courtes_, white-silk stockings and
low shoes, as were the rest of the gentlemen. He wore the ribbon of the
_Légion d'honneur_, and on his left breast the star of the same.

The Grand Maréchal, waiting his opportunity, approached his Majesty, who
went up to the Empress and gave her his arm. The Grand Maréchal then led
the way slowly and with due stateliness to the banqueting hall.

The gentlemen offered their arms to their respective ladies, and we
marched in procession through the long gallery, trying to prevent
ourselves from slipping on the waxed floor, and passed between the
splendid _Cent Gardes_, who lined both sides of the entire length of this
enormous hall. Their uniforms are magnificent and dazzling; they wear
light-blue coats under their silver cuirasses, white breeches, and high,
shiny top-boots; and on their heads silver helmets, from which flow long
manes of white horsehair that hang down their backs.

There the men stood, motionless as statues, staring stolidly before them,
without so much as a stolen side-glance at the beauty and elegance passing
before their eyes.

This procession of ladies glittering with jewels, the officers and
diplomats in their splendid uniforms covered with decorations and gay-
colored _cordons_, made a sight never to be forgotten; at least, _I_ shall
never forget it.

When their Majesties entered the dining-room they separated, and took
their places on opposite sides of the table, half-way down its length and
exactly facing each other. The Emperor had Princess Metternich on his
right hand, and the Duchess of Fernan Nuñez on his left. The Empress had
the Austrian Ambassador, Prince Metternich, on her right, and the German
Ambassador, Count Golz, on her left.

The other _invités_ were placed according to their rank and position:
all the _gros bonnets_ were in their right places, you may be quite sure.
I was such a little _bonnet_ among all those great people that I was
practically nowhere, and at the tail end of everything except the members
of the Household and the ladyless gentlemen, who, of course, were below

There must have been about one hundred persons seated at the table. I
never saw such a tremendous long stretch of white linen.

The flowers, stiffly arranged at intervals, alternated with white
_épergnes_ filled with bonbons, and larger fruit-dishes filled with the
most delicious-looking fruit. All along the whole length of the table
were placed, at regular intervals, the groups of _pâte tendre_
representing the Hunt. These, as my cavalier (Count de Bourgogne) told me,
are made only at the Sèvres manufactory, expressly for the French
sovereigns. They were designed in the time of Louis XV. by an artist
called Urbain, and have been reproduced ever since. It would seem as if
nothing had been found worthy to replace them.

The _service de table_ was of white Sèvres porcelain with only the letter
"N" in gold surmounted by the Imperial crown; many of the courses were
served on silver plates, in the center of which were engraved the arms of

A strip of red velvet carpet laid over the polished floor surrounded the
table. On the outer side of this carpet were the chair, to be pushed
forward as soon as people were ready to sit down. The lackeys stood in a
line all the way down the room, making a very imposing sight in their red-
and-white liveries; there must have been forty or fifty of them at least.
The Emperor's _chasseur_ always stands behind his chair and serves him,
and him alone, taking a dish of each course, as it is brought in, from the
maître d'hôtel. No one but this privileged _chasseur_ can hand anything in
the way of food to his Majesty. When the Emperor has served himself, the
_chasseur_ hands the dish back to the _maître d'hôtel_, who passes it on
to the other servants, who then serve the guests. The Empress is served in
the same way.

I suppose this custom dates back to the time of the Borgias, when, in
order to save their own lives, they were willing to risk those of their
trusty menials by making them taste the food before it was put on the

A military band played during the dinner. It was placed in a large
circular loggia having windows opening on to a courtyard, thus serving two
purposes: to let in the air and let out the music, which, fortunately, it
did, otherwise we could not have heard ourselves speak.

The dinner lasted about an hour. (The Emperor dislikes sitting long at
table.) It seemed almost impossible that so much eating and drinking and
changing of plates--in fact, such an elaborate repast--could be got
through within such a short time. But it was!

When their Majesties had finished they rose, and everyone followed their
example. All the chairs were drawn from under you, _tant pis_ if you
were in the act of eating a pear and had not yet washed your fingers; but,
no matter, you had to skip across the red carpet in order to let their
Majesties pass.

A rather amusing incident occurred at dinner. One of the foreign
ministers, who is very vain of the smallness of his feet, had donned a
pair of patent-leather shoes evidently much too tight for him. During the
dinner he relieved his sufferings by slipping his aching toes out of them.
All went well until his chair was suddenly drawn from underneath him, as
their Majesties were about to pass. In utter despair he made the most
frantic efforts to recover the wandering shoes from under the table; but,
alas! the naughty things had made their escape far beyond reach (a little
way shoes have of doing when left to themselves); consequently, he was
obliged to trip across the red carpet as best he could without them. The
Empress, who keenly appreciates a comical situation, had noticed with
great amusement his manoeuvers and embarrassment, and (was it just for a
little fun?) stopped in passing and spoke to him, much to his confusion,
for it was impossible to prevent her from seeing his little, white
shoeless feet.

On our returning to the salon the magnificent _Cent Gardes_ stood just as
we had left them, and I wondered if they had unbent for a moment all the
time we had been at dinner.

The _cercle_ began, and their Majesties circulated about among their
guests. When the Empress was in front of me, she gave me her hand and said
some very kind words to me. She noticed I wore the bracelet she had given
me and seemed pleased. I do not know if you ever saw this handsome
bracelet--it is composed of large rubies and diamonds set in three heavy
gold coils. The date when the Empress gave it to me and her name are
inscribed inside. The Prince Imperial spoke to every one he knew. He has a
very sweet voice, such gentle manners and winning ways. He speaks
excellent English and, of course, several other languages.

Waldteufel, _le fabricant de valses_, put himself at the piano (an upright
one, standing at the extreme end of the immense ballroom), and played some
of his charming _entraînante_ music. But though he played as loudly as
possible, it was difficult to distinguish what sort of music it was, the
ballroom being so enormous. However it did not make much difference as
there were only a few who wanted to dance and one could see that they were
urged to do so by the chamberlains. Waldteufel has an apartment in the
town of Compiègne, where he fabricates his waltzes by day and comes here
to play them by night.

At ten o'clock their Majesties went into the Emperor's private salon with
a selected few; then the dancing become general and livelier. Tea and
cakes were served at eleven o'clock and their Majesties reentered,
conversed a few moments, bowed to every one and withdrew, turned round on
reaching the door, and, with a sweeping inclination of the head,

We bade good night to our friends about us and withdrew, as did every one
else, and I, for one, was glad to go to my Royal couch. Good night!

SUNDAY, _November 23, 1866._

DEAR M.,--When we came down this morning into the salon we found it almost
deserted, and only realized the reason why when we saw the Empress and
other ladies holding their prayer-books devoutly in their hands returning
from mass, which is celebrated in the chapel of the château. They wore
black-lace veils in place of hats, the Empress wearing hers draped in true
Spanish fashion, which was infinitely becoming to her, being, as she is,
"to the _manner_ born."

We remembered _then_ that it was Sunday, and felt subdued, seeing so
many who were more pious than we were. In fact, I felt so much so that I
think it would have been impossible for me to have laughed during the
_déjeuner_. Perhaps it was fortunate I sat next to the Duke de Fernan
Nuñez, whose sedate and polished manners suited the occasion perfectly. He
did not encourage any attempt at gaiety. Oh dear, no! Far from it! I felt
myself gradually freezing, and our conversation was of the most
uninteresting character and dry almost to parching.

I began talking to him about Spain. I said I thought it must be such a
lovely country, so full of romance, sentiment, and so forth. But he nipped
my enthusiasm in the bud by informing me that he was not Spanish.

"I thought you were," I murmured.

"No; I am Italian." This staggered me a little. He was certainly the
husband of the Duchess de Fernan Nuñez, who was Spanish; why had he not
the same name?

He told me that he was "Dei Principi Pio-Trivulzio," one of the oldest
families in Milan, and that when he married his wife (who is a _Grande
d'Espagne_) he was obliged, according to the traditions of Spain, to
take her name and give up his own.

The _déjeuner_ finished, we returned to the salon, and after their
Majesties had talked a little with their guests the programme for the
afternoon, which was to be an excursion to Pierrefonds, was offered to
those who wished to go. We hurried to our rooms to put on our hats, coats,
and furs, reappearing equipped for the fray.

The _chars-à-bancs_ and the carriages of their Majesties were drawn up on
the garden side of the terrace. The Emperor took Prince Metternich in his
dog-cart; the Empress drove herself in her English phaëton, accompanied by
the Duchess de Fernan Nuñez. The rest of us were provided with big _chars-
à-bancs_, each holding six or eight people, and had four horses ridden by
two postilions. In the same carriage with me was the Duchess de Persigny,
Count Golz, and others; and although it was very cold, we did not mind, as
we were well wrapped in furs and had plenty of rugs. We enjoyed intensely
the beautiful drive through the forest of Compiègne. Monsieur Davilliers
told me that the forest contains about fifteen thousand hectares. I should
think so, judging from the endless roads and cross-roads, the interminable
avenues and wonderful vistas. There were sign-posts at every turn; those
painted red pointed toward Compiègne.

It took us a long time to reach the forest at Pierrefonds, which joins
that of Compiègne. By an abrupt turn of the road we came suddenly in view
of the enormous castle of Pierrefonds and the little town, which is known
for its sulphur baths, and only frequented in summer. No one need inform
you what kind of baths they are, as their fumes pervade space and inform
you themselves.


The imposing castle looks entirely out of place in its surroundings; the
little hill on which it stands seems as if it had been put there in order
to accommodate the castle.

We passed over two bridges and over a _pont-levis_ at the foot of the
castle; then through a second gateway into a court, and finally over a
drawbridge to reach the entrance.

There we got out of the carriages, passed through a dark, vaulted chapel
and mounted to the platform, where we had a splendid view of the town and
the forest.

Viollet-le-Duc, who was with us, is the pet architect of the Emperor; he
is working hard to restore these magnificent ruins, and has now been ten
years about it, but says that they will never be finished in his lifetime.
The Emperor is very proud of showing them as the work of his favorite
architect, and Viollet-le-Duc is just as proud of having been chosen for
this stupendous undertaking.

We were spared no details, you may be sure, from the smallest of gargoyles
to the biggest of chimneys. There is a huge fireplace which reaches to the
ceiling in the _salle des gardes_, with funny little squirrels peering at
you with cunning eyes. I wish it had occurred to the great architect to
have utilized this fireplace, for he could very well have put a few logs
in it and prevented us poor visitors from freezing to death.

We walked (it must have been miles), examining everything in detail. We
mounted two hundred steps to see the view, and then descended three
hundred steps to see the arched cellars. The castle was first bought one
hundred years ago as a ruin by some one, who only paid eight thousand
francs for it; then Napoleon I. bought it, and now Napoleon III. is
restoring it. It is seven thousand meters square. It has eight big towers,
etc. I could go on forever, I am so brimful of statistics, but I spare

While the hampers brought from Compiègne were being unpacked we tried to
rest our weary limbs in some prehistoric chairs, whose carvings pierced
our bones to the marrow. I suppose this is what they call _payer de sa
personne_. I consoled myself, while drinking my tea and eating my cake,
with the thought that my _personne_ was paying its little private tax
to art.

After this interesting but fatiguing visit, and after the long drive
through the cold, misty forest, the dead and dry leaves rustling under the
horses' feet as they galloped along, I was glad to rest a moment by my
cozy fire before dressing for dinner.

I was a little dismayed when I was told that the famous poet, Théophile
Gautier, was to be my dinner companion. I was awed at the idea of such a
neighbor, and feared I should not be able to rise to the occasion. Would
he talk poetry to me? And should I have to talk poetry to him?

I tried to remember, during our promenade down the hall, Longfellow's
"Psalm of Life," in case he should expect anything in this line, and I
tried to remember something he himself had written; but for the life of me
I could think of nothing but a very improper book called _Mademoiselle
de Maupéon_, which I had never been allowed to read, so that would be
of no use as conversation.

I might have spared myself this worry, for, from the time he sat down at
the table, he talked of little else than cats and dogs. He loves all
animals. I liked him for that, and one could see that he preferred them to
any other topic.

I can't remember all the nonsense he talked. In appearance I think he must
resemble Charles Dickens. I have only seen the latter's photographs; but
had he not rather a skimpy hair brushed any which way and a stringy beard?
I fancied him so to myself. At any rate, Gautier looks like the Dickens of
the photographs.

He said he had eight or ten cats who ate with him at the table; each had
its own place and plate, and never by any chance made a mistake and sat in
another cat's place or ate off another cat's plate. He was sure that they
had a heaven and a hell of their own, where they went after their death,
according to their deserts, and that they had souls and consciences. All
his cats had classical names, and he talked to them as if they were human
beings. He said they understood every word he said. He also quoted some of
his conversation with them, which must have sounded very funny:

"Cleopatra, have you been in the kitchen drinking milk on the sly?

"Cleopatra puts her tail between her legs and her ears back and looks most
guilty, and I know then what the cook told me was true."

Then again: "Julius Caesar, you were out extremely late last night. What
were you doing?" He said that when he made these reproaches Julius Caesar
would get down from his chair and, with his tail high in the air, would
rub himself against his legs, as much as to say he would never do it

"Depend upon it," he added, "they know everything we do, and more."

I asked, "When Julius Caesar comes from his nocturnal walks is he
_gris_ (tipsy)?"

"Gris! Que voulez-vous dire?"

"You once wrote a poem (how proud I was that I had recollected it), 'A
minuit tous les chats sont gris.'"

"C'est vrai, mais je parlais des Schahs de Perse."

"Est-ce que tous les Schahs de Perse sont gris à minuit?"

"Madame, tous les Schahs de Perse que j'ai eu l'honneur de voir à minuit
ont été gris comme des Polonais."

"But the 'chats' you wrote about go mewing on roofs at midnight. Do the
Schahs de Perse do that?"

"Did I write that?" said he. "Then I must have meant cats. You are very
inquisitive, Madame."

"I confess I am," I answered. "You see, that poem of yours has been set to
music, and I sing it; and you may imagine that I want to know what I am
singing about. One must sing with an entirely different expression if one
sings of gray cats or of tipsy Persian sovereigns."

He laughed and asked, with an innocent look, "Do you think I could have
meant that at midnight nothing has any particular color--that everything
is gray?"

"I don't know what you meant; but please tell me what you want me to
believe, because I believe everything I am told. I am so naïve."

"You naïve! You are the most _blasée_ person I ever met."

"I _blasée_! I! What an idea!"

Such an idea could only emanate from a poet's brain with an extra-poetical
poet's license. I was very indignant, and told him so, and said, "Est-ce
que tous les poètes sont fous à cette heure de la soirée?"

"Vous voyez," he retorted, "you are not only _blasée_; you are sarcastic."

I enjoyed my dinner immensely in spite of being _blasée_, and Gautier's
fun and amusing talk lasted until we were back in the salon. The Emperor
approached us while we were still laughing, and began to talk to us. I
told him that Monsieur Gautier had said that I was _blasée_. The Emperor
exclaimed: "Vous blasée! Il faut y mettre beaucoup de bonne volonté pour
être blasée à votre âge!"

I said I did not know whether to be angry or not with him.

"Be angry with him," answered the Emperor. "He deserves it."

Waldteufel began playing his delightful waltzes, and every one was boon
whirling about. I never heard him play with so much dash; he really seemed
inspired. Prince Metternich asked him to order a piano to be sent to his
salon in the chateau. "I cannot exist without a piano," said he. "It helps
me to write my tiresome _rapports_."

There were only two pianos, I believe, in the château; the one (upright)
in the ballroom and the Erard in the _salle de musique_.

At eleven o'clock we went into the Emperor's salon, where tea was served.

MONDAY, _November 24, 1866._

DEAR M.,--At breakfast this morning I sat next to Prince Metternich. He
told me that there was to be _conseil de ministres_ to-day, and therefore
there was no question of their Majesties' presence at excursions, and no
particular plans projected for this afternoon.

Thus we were left to our own devices. Prince Metternich's fertile brain
was already at work to imagine something amusing to divert their Majesties
for the evening. He suggested charades. He is excellent at getting them

When we met in the salon he spoke to the different people who he thought
would be helping elements.

The Marquise de Gallifet thought that tableaux would be better; Count de
Vogüé suggested games (he knew several new ones, which he proposed). All
in vain! Prince Metternich insisted on charades; therefore charades
carried the day, of course.

The Prince had already thought of the word "Exposition," and arranged in
his mind what part each one of us was to have. The Vicomte de Laferrière,
whom he was obliged to take into his confidence, told him that he would
show us the room in which there was a stage for amateur performances.

As soon as their Majesties had departed we proceeded to the said room,
where there was a little stage, a very little one, with red-velvet
curtains. Next to this room was a long gallery, in which there was a
quantity of chests containing every variety of costumes, wigs, pastiches,
tinsel ornaments, and all sorts of appurtenances--enough to satisfy the
most dramatic imagination.

Each garment, as it was held up to view, suggested endless possibilities;
but the Prince stuck firmly to his first inspiration, and we were
despatched to our different apartments to think out our rôles and to
imagine how funny we were going to be.

The Empress is always present at the _conseils de ministres_, which
to-day must have lasted an unusually long time, as no one was invited to
her tea. So we took ours with the Metternichs. The Prince had just
returned from town, and was childishly eager to display the various and
extraordinary purchases he had made, which he considered absolutely
necessary for the finishing touches to our toilettes. His requisites
consisted of an oil-can, a feather duster, a watchman's rattle, and wax
enough to have made features for the whole Comédie Française, and paint
and powder for us all. He would not tell us what he had procured for his
_own_ costume, as he said he wanted to surprise us, adding, what he
could not buy he had borrowed.

Count Vogüé gave me his arm for dinner. Of course, we talked of little
else but the charade.

Their Majesties were informed of the surprise which was awaiting them in
the little theater. The Empress said to Prince Metternich, after dinner,
"I hear you have prepared something to amuse us this evening. Do you not
wish to go and make your arrangements? We will be ready to join you in
half an hour."

All of us who were to take part disappeared to dress, and returned to the
gallery connecting with the stage in due time. Peeping through the hole in
the curtain, we could see the imposing and elegant audience come in and
take their seats with much ceremony and calmness. They little thought how
impatient we were to begin and yet trembling with nervousness. Their
Majesties, the guests, and all the ministers who had stayed for dinner
more than filled the theater. It looked, indeed, uncomfortably crowded.

At last every one was seated, and the first syllable, "Ex," was played
with great success. It represented a scene at Aix-les-Bains.

Invalids met (glasses in hand) and discussed and compared their various
and seemingly very complicated diseases. They made very funny remarks on
the subject of getting their systems in order in view of the possible
incidents which might come up during the Exposition of the next year.

The Marquis de Gallifet was one of the invalids, and seeing the Minister
of the Interior in the audience, looked straight at him and said, "C'est à
vous, Monsieur le Ministre, de remédier à tout cela (It is your business,
Monsieur le Ministre, to cure all that)," which made every one roar with
laughter, though Prince Metternich (our impresario) was very provoked, as
he had particularly forbidden any one to address the audience.

The Princess Metternich looked very comical dressed as a Parisian
coachman, with a coachman's long coat of many capes; she wore top-boots,
and had a whip in her hand and a pipe in her mouth, which she actually
smoked, taking it out of her mouth every time she spoke and puffing the
smoke right into the faces of the audience. She sang a very lively song,
the words of which her husband had found time to write for her during the
afternoon. It began, "C'est à Paris, qu' ça s'est passé." She cracked her
whip and stamped her feet, and must have been very droll, to judge from
the screams of delight in the audience. The song was full of quips and
puns, and pleased so much that she had to repeat it.

The next word was "Position," and acted only by gentlemen. An amateur, or
rather a novice, was taking lessons in fencing, in order to defend himself
against probable attacks upon him by the barbaric foreigners who next year
would invade Paris, and he wished to be prepared sufficiently to resent
all their insults.

When the curtain came down all the sky came with it, which put the public
in great glee.

The whole word "Exposition" was what we call "Mrs. Jarley's Wax Works."

Count de Vogüé was the showman, and the servant assisting him was no less
a person than the Austrian Ambassador himself, Prince Metternich. As the
stage was small, it could not contain more than two couples at a time, so
they were brought on in pairs.

First came Antony, and Cleopatra (the latter Marquise de Gallifet,
beautiful as a dream) drank mechanically (having been wound up by the
servant) an enormous pearl, and Antony (Prince Murat) looked on
wonderingly and admiringly.

Madame de Bourgogne and Count Grammont were a Chinese chop-sticking
couple. When wound up, their chop-sticks went everywhere except into their
mouths. The Marquise de Chasselouplobat and the Marquis de Caux were
shepherd and shepherdess, with the usual rakes, baskets, ribbons, etc.

I was a mechanical doll sent from America (the latest invention) for the
Exposition. I was dressed as a Tyrolienne with a red skirt, a black
bodice, and a hat with a ridiculous feather sticking out from the back of
it, which Prince Metternich said I _must_ have.

While the others were on the stage Princess Metternich wrapped a lot of
silk paper around me and tied it with bows of wide ribbon, thus covering
me completely, head and all. I was carried in and placed on a turning

The showman explained the wonderful mechanism of this doll, unique of its
kind, and capable of imitating the human voice to such a degree that no
one could hear any difference.

When he had finished talking (I thought, as I stood there, motionless and
stifling under my paper covering, he never would stop) he tore off the
paper and called his assistant to wind me up.

I had so far been very successful in keeping my countenance; but I assure
you, when I saw Prince Metternich's get-up, my efforts to keep myself from
bursting out laughing almost amounted to genius. He had said he wished his
costume to be a surprise. Well! The surprise almost made the mechanical
doll a failure, and had not Count de Vogüé quickly turned the pedestal
around I don't know how I should have saved myself from disaster.

Prince Metternich was dressed as a servant. He had a velvetine coat, red
vest, knickerbockers, white stockings, and servant's low shoes, and he
wore a huge black beard and a black wig. He had made his eyebrows so bushy
that they looked like mustaches; but his nose had preoccupied him more
than anything else--I don't know much time he had spent in making it.
First, he made it hooked and then changed it to _retroussé_, then again
back to hooked, which he thought suited his style best. He commenced
it when the first scene was being acted, and had just got it at the right
angle when it was time for him to go on the stage. The result of his
afternoon's labors must have been most gratifying, for he was a stupendous

He wound me up and I began singing; but everything went wrong. I sang
snatches of well-known songs, cadences, trills, arpeggios, all _pêle-
mêle_, until my exhibitors were in despair.

"Mais, c'est terrible," cried Vogüé. "Ne pouvez-vous pas l'arrêter? Est-ce
qu'il n'y a pas de vis?"

"Il n'y a pas le moindre vice, Monsieur," shaking his head in despair.

Then I stopped short. How could I sing when I was convulsed with laughter?

"Il faut la remonter," the showman said, with a resigned air, and, turning
to the audience, he announced that such a thing had never happened before.
"La poupée a été probablement dérangée pendant le voyage." This caused
much merriment. "Elle a besoin de l'huile," said the Prince in a loud
stage whisper, and took the oil-can and flourished it about my shoulders.

They made so many jokes and puns that they were continually interrupted by
the peals of laughter which followed each joke.

"Faites-la donc chanter," implored Vogüé. "N'y a-t-il pas un clou?"

"S'il y en avait eu un, je l'aurais trouvé, puisque c'est le clou de la

"Mon Dieu! Que faire? Et tout le monde qui attend. Cherchez bien. Vous
trouverez peut-être un bouton."

The Prince answered, sadly, "Not a sign of a button, Monsieur." And he
added, in a loud voice, "We ought to have a button in _gold_, so that
one can see it."

He said this with intention, thinking it might suggest to the Emperor to
give me the gold button which he only gives to those he wishes to make
life-members of his Hunts. Ladies do not often get them. At last, the
mortified assistant applied the rattle and wound me up again. I gave a
little nod with my head; they both struck attitudes of satisfaction, and
one said, "Now she is going to sing 'Beware!'" which called forth a burst
of applause from the audience. I sang "Beware!" and the Prince, thinking I
made the trill too long, tried to stop me by using the rattle again, which
was almost the death of me. I wore some long ribbons around my neck, and
the more the Prince turned it, the tighter the ribbons choked me. Happily
I had breath enough to go on singing; but I turned my head and fixed a
glassy eye on my tormentor, and, instead of singing "Trust her not, she's
fooling thee," I sang, "Trust him not, he's choking me, he's choking me."

Luckily he understood, and the people who knew English understood and
appreciated the situation.

When it was all finished the Empress came hurriedly toward me, exclaiming:
"Thank Heaven! I thought the Prince was going to strangle you. I was so
frightened." She then kissed me on both cheeks, and the Emperor gallantly
kissed my hand.

They both said they had never laughed so much in their lives, and were
most profuse in their thanks, complimenting all those who had taken part
in the charade; certainly Robert de Vogüé and the Prince Metternich both
outdid themselves.

It was one o'clock when tea was served in the Emperor's salon. You may
imagine if I was tired.

_November 25th._

DEAR M.,--As the programme announced this morning that there was to be a
_chasse à tir_ this afternoon, I put on my green costume brought for this

The Empress appeared also in a green dress, with a coquettish three-
cornered hat trimmed with gold braid, and looked bewitchingly beautiful;
the Emperor wore a shooting suit with leather gaiters, as did all the
gentlemen. Every one looked very sportsmanlike.

M. Davilliers gave me his arm for _déjeuner_. He told me a great deal
which I did not _want_ to know about hunting-dogs.

For instance, "Les chiens anglais," he said, "étaient très raillants, très
perçants, mais hésitants dans les fourrés." So much Greek to me, but I
pretended to understand. He continued to say that the Emperor had an
excellent trainer, who obtained the best results because he treated the
dogs with kindness. I inwardly applauded the trainer.

He said it was better to let them have the entire use of their faculties;
whereas, if the unhappy animals are stupefied by bad treatment they lose
their _initiative_, being pursued by the thought of a beating, and they
don't know what to do, instead of following their natural instincts.

I agreed with him entirely, and thought that our conversation was an
excellent preface to the afternoon's sport.

As the Emperor passed me, before we started off, he said, handing me a
little package he held in his hand, "Here is the gold button which you did
not have last night; it makes you a life member of all Imperial hunts."
(So Prince Metternich's ruse had succeeded.)

I bowed very low and thanked him, and asked if it would necessitate my
hunting. "Certainly not, if you don't want to," his Majesty answered; "but
have you ever seen a _chasse à tir_?"

At my answer that I had never seen one, nor anything nearer to one than
people going out with a gun and coming back with nothing else, he laughed
and said, "I must tell that to the Empress."

It is the Emperor's habit to say, when he hears anything which amuses him,
"I must tell that to her Majesty." She is always in his thoughts.

I said, looking at the button, "Last year your Majesty gave me a gold
medal for singing a _Benedictus_; now I shall sing a hallelujah for this."

"It is not worth so much," the Emperor said, with a kind smile.

"Would you like to accompany me this afternoon," he asked, "and see for
yourself what a _chasse à tir_ is?"

I answered that I should be delighted, and said, "Shall I come with a

"Oh dear, no! Please don't!" the Emperor exclaimed, hurriedly. "But come
with stout boots and a warm coat."

The carriages were waiting, and we were soon packed in our rugs and
started for the shooting.

The Emperor drove Baron Beyens in his dog-cart; the Empress drove with the
Princess Metternich in a victoria to the field, where she left her and
returned to the chateau. I fancy she was afraid of the dampness of this
bleak November day.

We arrived at a great open place and found all the company assembled, and
I should say the whole populace of Compiègne had turned into beaters and
spectators. The gentlemen took their places in a long line, the Emperor
being in the middle; on his right the person highest in rank (Prince
Metternich), on his left Count Golz, and so forth.

Madame de Gallifet and I were a little behind the Emperor, between him and
Prince Metternich. Behind us were the gamekeepers, loading and handing the
guns to their masters as fast as they could. The three first gentlemen had
their own _chasseurs_ and two guns each. After the gamekeepers came the
men whose duties were to pick up the dead and wounded victims and put them
in the bags.

It was a dreadful sight! How I hate it! I am sure I shall not sleep for a
week, for I shall always see the forms and faces of those quivering, dying
creatures in my dreams. I never will go to a _chasse_ again.

And the worst was, they had frightened the birds and animals into a sort
of circle, where they could not escape; the butchery was awful. The
victims numbered close on four thousand. Prince Metternich alone shot
twelve hundred.

How happy I was when it all was over and I could get away from these
horrors and this miserable sport! We were invited to the tea in the
Empress's salon. I had time to change my dress and put on the high silk
gown prescribed for this function.

Such beautiful rooms! First an antechamber, with cabinets of Italian
carving and vitrines and inlaid tables; then the Empress's salon, a very
large room filled with low arm-chairs, tables covered with knickknacks,
books with paper-cutters still in them, as if they were just being read,
screens with engravings _à la Louis Seize_, and beautiful fans on the
walls, also splendid tapestries. It had a lovely ceiling, painted by some
celebrated artist, mostly angels and smiling cherubs, who seemed to
possess more than their share of legs and arms, floating about in the

The Empress generally has a distinguished person, or some kind of
celebrity, either a traveler or an inventor, even a prestidigitateur (ugh,
what a word!), always some one who is _en vue_ for the moment. To-day
it was a man who had invented a machine to count the pulse. He strapped a
little band on your wrist and told you to concentrate your thought on one
subject, then a little pencil attached to the leather handcuff began
muffing up and down slowly or quickly, as your pulse indicated.

The Empress seemed much interested, and called those in the room whose
pulse she wished to have tested. She said, "Now let us have an American
pulse." My pulse seemed to be very normal, and the exhibitor did not make
any comments, neither did any one else.

"Shall we now have a Germanic pulse?" the Empress risked, and called Comte
Solms. "Think of something pleasant," said the inventor. "A ballet is a
nice thing to think of," said the Princess Metternich, in her shrill

"Regarde, comme il va vite," the inventor cried, and he showed the paper
with the most extraordinary wavy lines. Every one laughed, and no one more
than Comte Solms himself.

Six o'clock came very quickly, and the Empress, rising, gave the signal
for our departure.

The Marquis de Caux took me in to dinner. He is the most popular and
sought-after gentleman in all Paris. No ball is complete without him, and
his presence at any dinner is sufficient to assure its success. He leads
all the cotillons worth speaking of, and is a universal favorite. He
allowed his secret to leak out (_un secret de Polichinelle_), which all
Paris is talking about.

I swore secrecy; but I can tell you that it can be contained in one word,
and that word is SIMPATICO, which is Italian for his rendezvous with HER
at the American Doctor Sim's house, for it is there he meets her. _Devine
qui peut!_ (Guess who can!) I have not said anything.

At nine o'clock we all adjourned to the theater in the Palace, to reach
which we passed through many rooms we had never seen before, and through a
long gallery. The theater is very handsome, and as large as most of the
theaters in Paris. There is always one theatrical performance during each
week while their Majesties are in Compiègne. The company of the Théâtre
Français had been commanded to play this evening. The piece chosen was the
latest one of Émile Augier, which has had a great success in Paris, called
"Le fils Giboyer." Émile Augier, who was invited specially, was present.

Madeleine Brohan, Coquelin, Breton, and Madame Favard had the principal
rôles. Such distinguished artistes as those could not but give the
greatest enjoyment. The theater is very handsome; there are only boxes and
the parquet; the Imperial Loge reaches from the first tier of boxes to the
last seats of the parquet in the shape of a shell. Any one standing up
there could touch, on raising the arm, the velvet draperies of the
Imperial box.

The theater is entirely lighted by wax candles, of which there must have
been thousands, and all the scenery belonging to the play was sent
especially from Paris.

Their Majesties sat in the center of the Imperial Loge, and the lady
guests and the most important gentlemen, according to their rank, were
placed beside and behind them.

The other gentlemen sat in the parquet, and circulated about between the

In the boxes were places for the Court ladies, also the ladies invited
from the neighboring château and from Compiègne.

The whole assemblage certainly presented the most dazzling and magnificent
sight. The ladies in their beautiful toilettes and superb jewels showed to
the greatest advantage in this brilliantly lighted theater. The Empress
was gorgeous in yellow tulle covered with lace and jewels. She wore the
famous Regent diamond, which belongs to the French Crown, in her corsage,
and a superb diamond tiara and necklace. Princess Metternich, who is known
to be the best dressed lady in Paris, had a black tulle dress embroidered
in gold; she wore a tiara of diamonds and emeralds and a necklace of the

When their Majesties entered every one rose and courtesied deeply; their
Majesties bowed graciously in response. The Master of Ceremonies gave the
signal, and the curtain rose immediately.

The actors seemed inspired to do their best, as well they might, with such
a brilliant audience before them.

I wondered if they did not miss the _claque_, to which actors are so
accustomed in France. You know the _claque_ is a set of men who are hired
to clap at certain points in the play indicated beforehand to them, in
order that the audience may appreciate the most salient points and join
the applause, if they wish to.

Every one enjoyed the play immensely. There were portions of it which were
very pathetic. I noticed the Emperor was visibly affected, and the Empress
wiped from her eyes _una furtiva lagrima_, as Donizetti's song has it.

I know _I_ cried my lace handkerchief wet.

The representation lasted till about half-past ten, and after our return
to the salon the Emperor sent for the artists, who had by this time
changed their toilettes. Their Majesties talked long, and, I should say,
familiarly with them, and, judging from the way they laughed and chatted,
they seemed to feel quite at their ease, especially Coquelin, who
apparently put the Emperor in a very good humor. At eleven o'clock
refreshments were passed round, the carriages were announced, and making a
deferential "reverence" the artists took their leave, carrying with them
an ornament with the monograms of their Majesties as a souvenir of their

I never saw the Empress look so beautiful as she did to-night. She
certainly is the most exquisite creature, and what is so charming about
her is her utter lack of self-consciousness. Her smile is bewitching
beyond description, her complexion perfect, her hair of the Venetian type,
and her profile classical. Her head is so beautifully put on her
shoulders, her neck and shoulders are absolutely faultless. None of the
many portraits painted of her, not even Winterhalter's, do her the least
justice; no brush can paint and no words can describe her charm. I think
the famous beauty, Countess Castiglione, cannot begin to compare with her.

Their Majesties withdrew. The guests from the château and those from
Compiègne took their departure, and we all dispersed to our several

I am beginning to learn the ways of the life of Compiègne.

At nine o'clock our tea, coffee, or chocolate (as we choose) is brought to
our rooms by a white-stockinged and powdered valet.

If you are very energetic, you can go for a walk in the park, or (as I did
to my sorrow) a visit to the town. But you are not energetic more than
once, because you do not find it worth your while, as you must hurry back,
and change your dress and shoes before appearing in the salon a little
before eleven o'clock, the hour for breakfast. You remain in the same
dress until you change for dinner or the Empress's tea. You find every
morning in your room a programme for the day.

    _Déjeuner à onze heures.
    Chasse à tir à deux heures.
    Comédie Française à neuf heures._

So you know what to wear and what to expect; but the invitation to tea is
always made by the Empress's private _huissier_, who knocks at your door
toward five o'clock and announces, "Her Majesty the Empress desires your
presence at five o'clock."

The _toilette de rigueur_  for this occasion is a high-necked long silk
dress, and you generally remain until six o'clock.

If you are not summoned to her Majesty's tea, tea is served in your own
salon, where you can invite people to take tea with you, or you are
invited to take tea with other people.

If there is a hunt, the ladies wear their green-cloth costumes and the
gentlemen wear their hunting gear (a red coat, velvet cap, and top-boots).
The gentlemen wear _culottes courtes_ the first evening they arrive, and
on such fine occasions as the _curée_, and at the Gala Theater, where
outsiders are invited; otherwise they always wear _pantalon collant_,
which is the most unbecoming thing one can imagine in the way of manly

At six o'clock you dress for dinner, always in ball dress, and a little
before seven you meet in the Grande Salle des Fêtes. At dinner the guests
are placed according to their rank, but at _déjeuner_ there is no
ceremony, and you engage your partner after your heart's desire. Those who
are high up at dinner try to get as far down at the end of the table as

With me it is all ups and downs; at breakfast I am 'way up to the very
top, and at dinner 'way down.

After _déjeuner_ the Master of Ceremonies inquires what you wish to do;
that is to say, if there is nothing special mentioned on the programme,
such as a review, or manoeuvers, or a _chasse à courre_, when all are
expected to join.

Do you wish to walk? You can tramp up and down the one-thousand-metre-long
trellis walk, sheltered from wind and rain.

Do you wish to drive? There are carriages of all descriptions, _chars-à-
bancs_, landaus, pony-carriages, and even a donkey-cart, at your service.

Do you care to ride? There are one hundred and fifty horses eating their
heads off in the Imperial stables waiting for you.

Do the gentlemen wish to go shooting? There are countless gamekeepers
booted and spurred, with guns and game-bags on their shoulders, impatient
to accompany you.

Whatever you do, you are expected to be in your rooms before four o'clock,
which is the time the Empress will send for you, if she invites you for

The _cercle_ always follows each repast, and dancing or music always
follows the _cercle_. Tea is served at the Emperor's salon at eleven
o'clock, after which their Majesties retire, and you do the same.

_November 26th._

DEAR M.,--A very embarrassing thing happened to me this morning.

We thought we could manage an excursion to the town. I wanted to see the
Cathedral, and it did not seem far away.

Therefore, bright and early, at nine o'clock we started on our trip.

We saw the Cathedral; but I had not counted on the time necessary for the
change of toilette, which I had to make before _déjeuner_.

I found on my table an envelope containing this poetry, which I inclose,
from Théophile Gautier. I suppose he considered it as a sort of _amende


  Vos prunelles ont bu la lumière et la vie;
  telle une mer sans fond boit l'infini des cieux,
  car rien ne peut remplir l'abîme de vos yeux,
  où, comme en un lotus, dort votre âme assouvie.

  Pour vous plus de chimère ardemment poursuivie,
  quel que soit l'idéal, votre rêve vaut mieux,
  et vous avez surtout le biasement des Dieux,
  Psyché, qu'Éros lui-même à grand'peine eût ravi.

  Votre satiété n'attend pas le banquet,
  et connaissant la coupe où le monde s'enivre,
  dédaigneuse à vos pieds vous le regardez vivre.

  Et vous apparaissez par un geste coquet,
  rappelant Mnémosyné à son socle appuyée
  comme le souvenir d'une sphère oublié.


Charles had gone long before, and I became absorbed in reading it, and
forgot to look at the clock, when suddenly, seeing how late it was, I
rushed down into the gallery, and what was my horror at finding myself
alone with the _Cent Gardes_, who were standing at ease! It was the
first time I had ever seen them look like mortal beings, and not like
statues, and it signified, naturally, that every one was in the _salle à
manger_, and that I was too late. However, I thought I could slip into
the room unnoticed, and a place at the table would be offered to me; but,
alas! it happened that just this morning the Emperor had desired me to sit
next to him at the table, and the valet de chambre had been and was still,
waiting for me at the door to conduct me to my place on the sovereign's
left hand.

I cannot tell you how I felt as I was being marshaled up the whole length
of the room, stared at by every one, and criticized, probably, for this
horrible breach of etiquette. I never was so mortified in all my life. I
took my place, speechless and confused, and Prince Murat, who sat on the
other side of me, kept saying, "The Emperor is piping mad." The Prince
Murat is half American (his mother was a Miss Frazier, from New Jersey),
therefore I will forgive him for wanting to tease me.

I suppose I must have looked very red, and I certainly was very out of
breath, for the Emperor, probably noticing my embarrassment, kindly said,
"Don't worry; you are not late."

I told him I had been sight-seeing in Compiègne, and I hoped he would
forgive me.

The Empress smiled and nodded to me in the most gracious manner across the
table, as if to put me at my ease.

The Emperor told me that he had sent up to Paris for a game of croquet,
having heard from Prince Metternich that we all loved so much to play it,
adding that he would like to see the game himself. "We are going to have a
mock battle this afternoon," said he. "All these generals and officers who
are here have come from everywhere to take part I think it will amuse you
to see it, if you have never seen anything of the kind."

I assured him I had never seen a battle, mock or otherwise, and had no
idea what it could be like.

"Well, you shall see," he said.

"Is there," I inquired, "as much firing as yesterday?"

"Much more; but this time with cannons," he replied.

"I hope the cannon-balls are also mock," I ventured to say.

I told the Emperor of the poetry which Gautier had sent to me, and, having
it in my hand, showed it to him, saying, "Ought I to forgive him?"

"You ought to forgive him," he said. "This is the most exquisite thing I
ever have read."

"If your Majesty says so, I will."

The manoeuvers were to commence at two o'clock. All the ladies wore their
hunting-dresses, and I was proud to don my gold button.

The various equipages were waiting to take us to the field.

The Duchess de Persigny, Princess Murat, Baron Beyens, the Marquis de
Caux, and I got in the same carriage; many of the ladies appeared on
horseback. Princess Ghika rode one of the three horses she had brought
with her to Compiègne. Madame de Vatry rode one of the Emperor's.

All the carriages, on reaching the field where the manoeuvers were to take
place, were drawn up in line, in order that every one should have a good
view. Then the Emperor and Empress, on their beautiful horses, and the
Prince Imperial, full of youthful dignity, on his cream-colored pony,
arrived, accompanied by the staff of splendidly uniformed generals and
officers, who took up their positions behind their Majesties before the
manoeuvers commenced.

The Empress looked radiantly beautiful, her well fitting riding-habit
showing her fine figure to the greatest advantage.

It was, as the Emperor had said, a mock battle, but it seemed to me, not
having had much experience in battles, to be very real.

Officers careered over the field for dear life; orderlies with enormous
flat, four-cornered things flapping across their backs, scurried to and
fro; trumpeters sounded bugles, waved flags, and made signals.... What
could look more real and less mock than this?

It was France _versus_ an imaginary enemy.

It seemed as if the one thing France craved and coveted was a poor, lonely
farm-house in the distance, apparently unprotected. All the stratagems of
war, all the trumpeting and capering about, were brought to bear on
conquering that little house. The artillery collided up against it; the
infantry, with drums beating, marched boldly to the very door-steps; the
cavalry pranced around it.... But for the life of me, though I was staring
as hard as I could through my opera-glasses, I could not tell whether
France had got it or not. However, there was so much smoke, it might have
capitulated without my noticing. I suppose the generals knew.

It made me think of Tennyson's "Charge of the Light Brigade."

  Cannon to right of them,
  Cannon to left of them,
  Cannon in front of them,
  Volley'd and thunder'd.

The guns and cannons kept up such a continual firing that the ground
actually shook under our feet.

I wondered why so much powder and energy should be wasted on a helpless
farm-house, and dreaded to think what the real thing must he, if this was
only sham.

When it was apparently finished, and every one in the neighborhood had
surrendered, they sounded a grand fanfare, and blew a mighty blast of
trumpets, the officers dashed up full tilt to the Emperor, and announced,
"Victory all along the line!"

I can't tell you how sweet the little Prince looked when he distributed
the _médaille de mérite_ to the brave warriors, who received it with
due modesty, saluting gravely.

The Emperor rode about among the carriages and asked us ladies how we had
liked it, and if there had been too much noise.

The company at dinner to-night looked particularly brilliant; there must
have been a hundred and fifty people present, as the generals and the
officers were asked to remain to dinner. I had one general next to me at
table, the famous General Changarnier, who my other neighbor said had one
foot in the grave and the other _dans le plat_. He was so old and thin and
bony that if his uniform had not kept him up he would have crumbled
together before my eyes, and have become a zero instead of a hero.
However, he kept together while dinner lasted, for which I was thankful,
and I returned him safely to posterity and to the salon.

Their Majesties devoted themselves exclusively to the Army after dinner;
but they sent word by a chamberlain that we were to commence dancing,
though they had not finished the _cercle_.

Waldteufel was already seated at the piano, waiting.

The officers danced vigorously. The elder ones ventured on quadrilles, and
danced them with great gusto.

Prince Murat, noticing the old general skipping about so youthfully,
proposed a Virginia reel, with a view to giving them a little more

Every one entered into the spirit of it; but there were only a few who
knew how to dance it.

Both Prince and Princess Metternich had learned it at Petit Val. Madame
Gallifet knew it as "Sir Roger de Coverley" from her English days, and
Prince Murat must have learned it from his American mother.

The Emperor danced with me, as he said he would only dance with an

The Empress had Count Golz for her partner, and stood next to me; Princess
Metternich (full of fun) chose one of the most ancient warriors. Madame de
Persigny and Prince Murat were at the end of the line; the other guests
filled the intermediate places.

Prince Metternich, knowing the music, thought he was absolutely necessary
at the piano, consequently he took Waldteufel's place there.

I, as "the expert," led off. The Emperor tried to imitate me, but became
confused by the constant shouting from his cousin (Prince Murat) at the
other end. However, he and I managed to finish our part; but the Emperor
refused to be swung, and we marched down the middle of the line, hand in
hand, disregarding the rules in a truly royal manner. Then, having watched
the Empress go through her part (she also marched down in a royal manner),
the Emperor seemed bored at looking at the others, and called the Marquis
de Caux to take his place. Next, Prince Metternich began improvising reels
of his own invention, which turned into all sorts of fantastic measures,
which were impossible to dance by. Madame de Persigny, in turning, fell
flat on her back; every one rushed to her rescue, which caused great
confusion, as people lost their places and could not find them again.

This brought our famous reel, which proved to be a dead failure, to an
abrupt close; and the old generals, for whose sake we danced it, never got
a chance to show what they could do; and we were thankful when Waldteufel
returned to the piano and played a waltz, to which we could dance until it
was time for the Emperor's tea, and then,


_November 27th._

DEAR M.,--Baron Haussmann took me in to _déjeuner_ this morning. The
Baron is the Préfet de Paris. He is very tall, bulky, and has an
authoritative way of walking ahead and dragging his partner after him,
which makes one feel as if one was a small tug being swept on by a man-of-
war! I wondered if the _Cent Gardes_ noticed how I tripped along, taking
two steps to his one, until he reached his seat at the table, into which
he dropped with a sigh of relief.

His body in profile defies any one's looking around the corner, so to
speak. I could only see at intervals Marquise Chasselouplobat's shapely
elbows and hands. Our conversation turned on the new improvements he
intends to make in Paris. He asked me how I liked the boulevard of his
name, just completed.

"I like it," I answered, "though it has deprived us of a good part of our
garden." (It had cut off just half of it.)

"It brings you nearer the Bois," he added. "I hope the Government paid you
well for it."

"I suppose the Government thinks it did; but our croquet-ground is gone

"Forever!" he repeated. "Where do you play now?"

"Sometimes at the Austrian embassy."

"Is its garden large enough for that?"

I answered, "It is not large enough for a real croquet-ground; but the
ambassador is such an ardent player that he has arranged a place under the
trees where we play--sometimes at night with lamps on the ground."

"I should think that would be very difficult; quite impossible, in fact."

"What else can we do? We have no other place."

After a moment's hesitation he asked, "How would you like it if I put a
piece of ground in the Bois at your disposal?"

I could have screamed with joy! What a piece of news to tell my friends
after breakfast. I chanted a little _Gloria_ under my breath, and asked
him if he really meant it. He said, "Of course I mean it, and as soon as I
return to Paris I will have the formal papers made out and sent to you,
and you can claim the ground when you like." He added, gallantly, "I will
have the document made out in your name, Madame, in souvenir of our
breakfast to-day."

Is he not a very generous man? But if every time he sits next to a lady he
gives her a slice of the Bois de Boulogne he will soon be out of the
government books.

You can readily imagine the delight of my fellow-players when I told them
all this after our return to the salon.

The weather looked unsettled; no one felt like driving or walking.
However, later, the wind veered about, the sun came out of the heavy
clouds, our spirits rose with the barometer, the elements seemed to point
to outdoor amusements. What better than a game of croquet?

The Emperor, as I said before, had sent to Paris for the game, and Prince
Metternich felt it would be rude not to use it. We have been playing it so
much this year that we have quite got it on the brain, and we were very
excited and most eager to play, and orders were given to have the box
brought out on the terrace.

Both their Majesties were highly interested; they examined everything with
the greatest curiosity, unwrapped the balls themselves, and were quite
anxious to begin.

The question was, where should the game be put up, and where should the
wickets be put down? The lawn was wet, the gravel walks were too narrow.
The only place that could be found was under the _charmille_ on the
terrace, where stood a grove of old platane trees.

Prince Metternich was, of course, the moving spirit, and undertook to
manage everything. He and d'Espeuilles got a meter measure and measured
off the distances with great care and precision before placing the
wickets. This took a long time. Then he distributed the mallets and the
corresponding balls to each person, and we stood in front of our weapons
ready to commence. Prince Metternich was so long and particular about
telling the rules that he succeeded only in confusing all the beginners.

The Empress was to play with the Prince Metternich, the Marquis de
Gallifet with the Princess Metternich. The Emperor was to play with the
Marquise de Gallifet, Monsieur d'Espeuilles was to play with me:--eight
people in all! Nothing is so dreadful as a game of croquet with people
four of whom are beginners.

The Empress was the first to play; her ball was placed so near the wicket
that nothing short of genius could have prevented her from going through,
which she did with great triumph; her next stroke went far beyond, and she
worried it back by a succession of several pushing knocks into its
position. No one made any remarks. Then the Emperor made a timid stroke,
which gently turned the ball over. Prince Metternich remarked that he (the
Emperor) should hit harder, at which his Majesty gave such a whack to his
ball that it flew into the next county.

"Never mind," said Prince Metternich, and put another ball in front of the
Emperor's mallet, and somehow it got through the wicket.

Princess Metternich played next, and she was an adept, so all went well
with her. I came after her, and managed to get his Majesty's ball on its
way a bit. Tiresome pauses and long explanations followed.

Prince Metternich shouted, trying to rally the players.

"Marquis, where are you?" disturbing the Marquis from a flirtation. "It is
your turn to play."

"Really; what shall I do?"

"Try to hit this ball."

"_Par exemple!_ Which ball? Where is it? I do not even see it."

"Here it is behind this tree, if you _caramboler_ against the tree you
might hit it." And in this way it went on until the Emperor, bored to
death, slowly disappeared and the Empress suddenly discovered that her
feet were cold and went away, and couples flirtatiously inclined began
wandering off, and it was nearly dark and tea-time before Prince
Metternich (who was worn out trying to make people understand or take any
interest in the game) realized that there were only a few devotees left on
the battle-field amid damaged trees and chipped balls.

So ended our game of croquet; we felt crushed and crestfallen.

At the Empress's tea, to which we were bidden, we were not spared
satirical gibes on the subject of our luckless game.

The Marquis de Gallifet, _Officier d'Ordonnance de l'Empereur_, whom
I sat next to at dinner, is what one might call sarcastic--he actually
tears people to pieces; he does not leave them with a shred of reputation,
and what he does not say he implies. He thinks nothing of saying, "He!
He's an abominable scoundrel. She! She is a shameless coquette!" and so
forth. He spares no one; nevertheless, he is most amusing, very
intelligent, and an excellent talker. He told me of his awful experience
in the war of Mexico. He had been shot in the intestines and left for dead
on the field of battle. He managed, by creeping and crawling, "_toujours
tenant mes entrailles dans mon képi_" to reach a peasant's house, where
the good people took care of him until he was able to be transported to a
hospital. There he stayed through a dismal year of suffering. In order to
keep the above-mentioned _entrailles_ in their proper place, the doctors
covered them with a silver plate. "I had my name engraved on it," he said.

He asked me, "Did you ever hear anything like that?" I tried to fancy how
any one would look placarded like that, but replied that I had never heard
of anything quite so awful; but I _had_ heard that every cloud had a
silver lining. He laughed and said, "I shall call myself a cloud in

The dinner to-night was very good. I give you the menu:

    Potage tortue clair,
    Crème de volaille,
    Brisotins de foie gras,
    Saumon Napolitain,
    Filet de boeuf à la moderne,
    Suprême de perdreaux,
    Homards à la Parisienne,
    Gelinottes rôties,
    Petits pois à l'Anglaise,
    Ananas Montmorency,
    Glaces assorties,
    Café--Liqueur (both served at the table).

Dinner over, we filed before the _Cent Gardes_ in their shining uniforms
through the long gallery.

It was earlier than usual when we began to dance; but we were (at least I
was) interrupted by receiving a message from their Majesties, asking me if
I would kindly sing something for them. Of course I did not refuse, and we
adjourned to the music-room, where the Erard piano was.


I did not exactly know what to sing; but Prince Metternich soon relieved
my mind on that score by saying, "Don't bother about singing anything
serious, and especially _don't_ sing anything classical." The Princess
Metternich could accompany anything which was not too difficult; therefore
we thought I had better sing "_Ma mère était bohémienne_," of Massé, which
I did. I saw directly that this melodramatic music, beautiful as it is,
did not suit the occasion, for though the gaily attuned audience was
visibly affected by the phrase, _Et moi j'ai l'âme triste_, they did not
show more signs of emotion than by making a little dab at their eyes with
their pocket-handkerchiefs.

The Princess remained at the piano, ready to accompany the other songs I
had brought, which were of the same character, and I stood by her, trying
to decide what I should sing next, when the Emperor came up and asked me
for "Beware!" Charles accompanied that, and I sang it. The Empress asked
me if I would sing some Spanish songs for her. I sang "Chiquita," which I
learned with Garcia, and the "_Habañero_." She seemed very pleased, and
made me many compliments. Then the Emperor begged me for some negro songs,
and asked me if I knew "Massa's in the Cold, Cold Ground," or "Suwanee
River," or "Nelly Bly," all of which he remembered having heard in

I sat down at the piano and commenced with "Suwanee River." I fortunately
knew the words of that.

(Oh, Delsarte! what would you have said had you seen your pupil singing
this claptrap music before your sovereigns and their most distinguished

Delsarte says that one can force the tears into one's eyes, one can make
one's lips tremble, one can express the most harrowing emotions in one's
voice, and not sing more than "do, re, mi, fa." I tried to profit by his
teachings, and brought them to bear upon the pathetic words of "Oh,
darkies, how my heart grows weary," and I could see that both their
Majesties were deeply moved. I sang the word "weary" with such pathos that
every one was more or less affected, and the phrase, "All the world is
dark and dreary," I rendered in the most heart-broken tones.

I was sorry that I could not remember the words of "Massa's in the Cold,
Cold Ground," as the Emperor wanted it; but I could not. I knew the music
of "Nelly Bly," but had never known the words, so I tried to improvise
some; but it was impossible for me to think of more than two words which
rhymed with "Bly," and those were "sly" and "eye."

With shameful _aplomb_ I sang these senseless words:

  Nelly Bly wipes her eye,
   On her little frock,
  Nelly Bly, Nelly Bly,
   Dick a dick a dock.

Happily the Emperor did not notice anything wrong, and was delighted to
hear those old songs again, and thanked me repeatedly.

Once seated at the piano, I was not allowed to leave it until my
_répertoire_ of music of this character had been exhausted.

This brought the evening to a close.

Tea was served; their Majesties withdrew, and I fled to my apartment
feeling that metaphorically I was covered with laurels.

_November 28th._

DEAR A.,--To-day I was very high up, _'way up in the clouds_, for I sat
next to the Emperor.

Davilliers, one of the chamberlains, gave me his arm and conducted me to
my place. The Emperor's first words were:

"I can't thank you enough for the pleasure you gave us last evening."

I tried to express my pleasure at these kind words.

"Did you see how we were affected when you sang 'Suwanee River'? I thought
to laugh, instead of which I cried; how could you make it so pathetic?"

"That is my teacher's art," I replied.

"Who is your teacher?"

"Monsieur Delsarte. Your Majesty has perhaps heard of him?"

"No," answered the Emperor. "I have never heard of him. Is he a great

"He cannot sing at all, your Majesty; but he has wonderful theories which
go to prove that one does not need any voice at all to sing; one only
needs features to express one's emotions."

"He must be wonderful," the Emperor remarked.

"He is, your Majesty, and quite unique in his way. He says, for instance,
when he sings, 'J'ai du bon tabac dans ma tabatière,' and comes to 'Tu
n'en auras pas,' he can make people shed bitter tears, as though it were
too much to bear."

"His tobacco must be very good?" laughed the Emperor.

"It is the worst thing of its kind, your Majesty, one can imagine," I

"Is it perhaps Caporal?" said he, with a merry twinkle in his eye.

"I don't know anything about military grades, but, if there were anything
lower than a Caporal I should say it was the name of his tobacco."

"Well," he said, "if he taught you to sing as you sing, _il mérite de la

The Emperor was perfectly delightful, witty, amusing, and laughing
continually, with such a keen appreciation he seemed really to enjoy

As the programme in our room this morning read, _chasse à courre_, on
went the green dress for the second time, and, of course, the button. The
Duchess de Fernan Nuñez asked me to drive with her, which I was happy to
do, as I like her very much. We sat on the front seat, so as to have the
best view of the proceedings.

The Emperor and Empress were on horseback; all the gentlemen were in red
coats, white breeches, top-boots, and velvet caps, which made them look
very picturesque.

The rendezvous was at the Carrefour l'Étoile, and when we arrived the
hunters and equipage, with the _piqueurs_ and the _chasseurs_ from the
neighborhood, who belonged to the Imperial Hunt, were already there.

The Imperial _équipage de chasse_ is composed of ten _piqueurs, valets de
chien, valets à pieds, valets à cheval_, and _valets de limiers_, and one
hundred English hounds. The hounds are trained by the use of drags, which
are, as perhaps you know, bundles of something saturated in blood, which
the horses drag and the scent of which the hounds follow. The carriages
were drawn up on the side of the road to wait until their Majesties

The ladies dressed in rich furs and velvets, the riders in brilliant red
coats on prancing horses, the attendant grooms, the _piqueurs_ in their
gay liveries, green and gold with green-velvet jockey caps, made a
wonderful spectacle. The day was superb, the sun shone brilliantly through
the autumn foliage, the hazy distances were of a tender hue, and
everything had an exquisite tint. Never shall I forget it!

Unfortunately our coachman neglected to follow the other carriages, and we
drove about a long time before we discovered that we were on the wrong
road, and then he became quite bewildered and seemed to lose his head

After driving from one cross-road to another, we at last chanced upon
Monsieur de Bourgogne, who told us that he was just in advance of their
Majesties, and that they would be there presently. He said that we had
better wait where we were, as the stag would probably pass by that way.

It seemed as if, in fact, we must be near, as we could hear the dogs
yelping and the horns sounding (they call it "hallali"). Count de Grammont
rode up to us and said we had better follow him, as we would then soon
come in sight of the hunters. Despite all these contradictory advices, our
coachman managed to arrive on the scene of action just in time for us to
see the poor stag, who had taken to the water for dear life (they call it
_bat l'eau_), and the dogs in a frenzy of excitement barking furiously and
plunging after him.

We could not see _all_ that happened, thank heaven! as our carriage was
behind the whole assembled crowd.

With my tenderness toward all animals, my heart ached for the poor beast,
and I hoped sincerely that he would escape his cruel pursuers. I could not
see any pleasure or excitement in watching this painful spectacle, and was
glad when the time came to turn our backs on the whole thing and return to
the château.

At the Empress's tea no one talked of anything else but the events of the
afternoon. I pretended that I had seen it all, even to the very end.
Princess Ghika, beaming all over with joy, was given the foot, as she was
in at the death.

Count de l'Aigle took me in to dinner. He is one of the neighbors, not one
of the guests; but, as he belongs to the Imperial Hunt, he is always
invited to this dinner.

The Empress looked superb in a brown tulle over satin, looped up with
brooches of diamonds. She had had a diamond crescent in her hair like
Diana. The Marquise de Gallifet was lovely in light-green tulle, with an
aigret of diamonds in her blond hair.

The table was arranged most appropriately for the occasion, decorated by
the whole _biscuit de Sèvres service de chasse_. Every one seemed gay
and stimulated by the excitement of the day.

When the usual after-dinner ceremonies and the _cercle_ in the salon were
terminated, the Grand Chamberlain announced to his Majesty that all was
ready for the _curée_, which was awaiting his permission to begin.

The Emperor and the Empress led the way into the long gallery, which
overlooks the _cour d'honneur_. We ladies had provided ourselves with
wraps and shawls, as we knew we should need them either on the balcony or
at the windows of the gallery, of which there are about twenty.

The Empress braved the weather and stood out on the balcony with the
Emperor, well wrapped in furs, for the night was cold; and the gentlemen,
not finding sufficient room, went below and stood on the steps of the
"Perron," which gives on to the courtyard.

All the lackeys, valets, grooms, in fact, all the household servants,
formed a large circle in the enormous _cour d'honneur_ opposite the
Imperial balcony, all bearing flaming torches made of tar, which lighted
up the whole place. Behind these stood the populace of Compiègne, who are
allowed to be present on these occasions.

At the farther side of the courtyard, and directly opposite their
Majesties, the chief huntsman held up the skin of the stag, which
contained the entrails, waving it backward and forward, in order to excite
the hounds. The _piqueurs_ stood in front of the "Perron," holding the
dogs back with great difficulty, for they were struggling to get loose,
and yelping in their eagerness and greediness to rush forward.

As the _chasseur_ waved the skin, the _piqueurs_ let the hounds loose, and
when they were half-way across the court, approaching the object of their
desire, the _piqueurs_ called them back, in order to show how well
disciplined and under what complete control they were.

The tantalizing of the poor animals was repeated several times. At last
the fanfare was sounded, and the hounds were allowed to rush forward midst
the tooting of horns, the cracking of whips, and the cries and shouts of
the crowd. The torches were waved high in the air, giving a weird light to
the whole scene, and the entrails at last were thrown to the dogs, and
before you could say "Jack Robinson" everything was devoured. You can
picture to yourself what a unique and fantastic sight this must have been!

It was eleven o'clock when we returned to the salon, where tea and
refreshments were served. Those returning to Paris took leave of their
Majesties and drove to the station, where the special Imperial train
provided for them was waiting.

Later their Majesties took leave of us.

We lingered a little, as it was our last evening.

On returning to my apartment, I saw on my table a package, on which was
written, _De la part de l'Empereur_. You can imagine how eager I was to
open it. Those magic words brought untold visions before my eyes. What
might it not be?

I opened the package feverishly, and what was my surprise and
_disappointment_ to find a rather ordinary-looking _tabatière_ and a
package of tobacco, written on it, _Du bon tabac pour le maître de chant
de Madame Moulton_.

Was it not a cruel blow?

_November 30th._

Here we are again in Paris, glad to be at home after our gay week in
Compiègne, charming and delightful as it was; there is always great
fatigue and tension attending such visits. To-day I luxuriate in one
dress; no changing five times a day. I allowed my maid to go out for the
day, and we are going to dine at a restaurant.... What a contrast! It
seems as if I had been away a month!

Before we left Compiègne yesterday, when we were taking our morning tea,
we were interrupted by the coming in of the majordomo, who handed us a
paper. We were not unprepared for this visit, as we had been told by one
of the guests, who had been here before, that every one was expected to
remain in their rooms until this important personage had made his rounds,
in order to collect the _pourboire_. I say THE _pourboire_, because what
one generally gives separately is lumped into one sum. This paper, which
he handed to us almost at the point of his _hallebarde_, proved to be a
_già scritto_ receipt for six hundred francs--our _pourboire!_

During breakfast yesterday the Emperor took up his glass, and, looking at
me across the table, drank my health. Among the guests there was a great
deal of health-drinking.

Gustave Doré had made some very clever caricatures of some events which he
had drawn beautifully and touched off with aquarelle, as he alone could do
it. The little album was passed stealthily from hand to hand under the
shelter of the table, with the strictest injunctions not to let any one
see it except your _immediate_ neighbor! With these injunctions it managed
to travel about half-way down the table.

He had made a lovely sketch of her Majesty driving a chariot like the
"Aurora" in the Rospigliosi Gallery, and had depicted the Emperor seated
on an enormous white horse, leading a charge of cavalry, his arm uplifted.

The Princess Metternich was represented as the coachman in the charade,
hat on one side, pipe in her mouth, and looking very _débonnaire_. Prince
Metternich was shown standing in the middle of an arena, in full
diplomatic uniform, with masses of decorations and _cordons_. He had a
long whip, such as are used in circuses, and men and women (meaning us,
I suppose) capering around doing their tricks.

The sketch of Madame de Persigny was very funny. A mass of tulle
petticoats, in the midst of which two little feet in the air, and a crown
rolling away in the distance.

The picture he made of me was the mechanical doll, ribbons floating all
about, and on every turn of the ribbons was written "Beware!"

The diplomat's shoe was not forgotten. There was a table a mile long, and
at the very end of it a little shoe seen underneath.

We were in our traveling costumes, and on our return to the salon their
Majesties went about saying pleasant and gracious things to every one.
They hoped we would remember our visit with as much pleasure as they
would, etc.

There was a greater animation than usual, and less ceremony; people talked
louder and with less restraint; every one bade good-by to the ladies and
gentlemen of the Household who remained. The Empress gave her hand to be
kissed by the gentlemen (some of them, not all), kissed some ladies, and
shook hands with others.

When their Majesties were ready to dismiss us they bowed, and we all
departed to get our hats and wraps,

I gave a lingering look at the lovely rooms I was leaving, which were now
devoid of our trunks and little personal trinkets, nodded a farewell to
our particular valet, who was probably thinking already of our successors,
descended _l'Escalier d'honneur_, and passed through the beautiful
_Galerie des Gardes_ to the colonnades, where the _chars-à-bancs_ were
ready waiting to carry us to the station. We were a rather subdued party
in the train; the conversation mostly turned on the subject of
_pourboires_. The _huissier_ decides the exact amount that each ought to
give. For instance, he knows an ambassador ought to give two thousand
francs. For a minister of state one thousand francs suffices. Unofficial
people like ourselves cannot be expected to be out of pocket more than six
hundred francs. As for the poor nobility of France, they escape with five

Some were of opinion that it was pleasanter to give _en masse_, in one big
sum, than to give in driblets; others thought it more satisfactory to hand
one's offering personally to the different servants; but we all, with one
voice, voted the officious beadle an imposition.

The daily expenses of Compiègne, so the _Gouverneur de la Maison_ told us,
and he ought to know, are not less than ten thousand francs a day, and
there are more than nine hundred people living in the Palace at a time, to
be fed and warmed.

To-day, at five o'clock, the fourth _série_ will come; it is called _la
série des oubliés_, as ours was called _la série élégante_. The first is
called _la série obligatoire_, the second _les ennuyeux_.

We found our carriage at the station. Our simple coupé seemed a great
come-down from the beautiful carriages we had been driving in, and good
Louis and the footman, in their quiet liveries, seemed in fierce contrast
to the gorgeous creatures we had been familiar with so lately.

The family is at Petit Val, and we remain there quietly until January.

We found among our belongings an enormous _bourriche_, containing a
quantity of game, hares, pheasants, and so forth.

Good night! I am tired.

PARIS, _1867._

DEAR M.,--You will have heard so much about the Exposition, that I cannot
tell you anything new. It is now in full swing, and I think it is
magnificent. Of course I cannot compare it to any other, as it is the only
one that I have ever seen.

I have a season ticket (costing one hundred francs) containing my
photograph and my autograph; therefore no one but myself can use it. The
Exposition building is round, and the section of one thing goes through
all the countries; for instance, art, which seems to be the smallest
thing, is in the inner circle. If you only want to study one particular
industry you go round the circle; but if you want to study a country you
go down a section. The outer circle is for machinery, and outside in the
grounds, in front of the different countries, are the cafés belonging to
them. Here you can listen to the different national musics, and see the
different national types and costumes, and eat the different national
foods. We go almost every day, and it is always a delight. You can see the
whole art of cutting diamonds, from the gravel in which they are found to
their final polish. The villa of the Bey of Tunis, a Buddhist temple, a
Viennese bakery, where people flock to taste the delicious rolls hot from
the oven, and where Hungarian bands of highly colored handsome zitherists
play from morning till night, and a hundred other attractions, make the
Exposition a complete success. You pass from one lovely thing to the
other. The gardens are laid through avenues of trees and shrubs, where
fountains play, and beds of flowers and bouquets of plants are arranged
with the most artistic taste. All these wonders will in six months' time
be reduced to the level and monotony of the Champ de Mars. One can't
believe that these large horse-chestnut trees in full bloom are only
temporary visitors, like the people.

The Prince Oscar of Sweden (he will one day be the King) came often to the
Exposition, and went about with us. He was very much interested in
everything he saw, especially in the American Steinway pianos. He sent me
several times some of the famous punch they make in Sweden, also some
silver brooches which the Swedish peasants wear. He has a _bateau mouche_,
in which he takes his friends up and down the Seine. The Princess Mathilde
and Madame de Gallifet were of the party last Monday. We _mouched_ as far
as Boulogne, where Baron James Rothschild has a charming place called
Bagatelle, which the Prince wanted very much to see.

We got out of the boat and walked up to the entrance of the park; but the
porter refused, in spite of all pleadings, to let us in, and was almost
rude until Monsieur Dué mentioned the name of the illustrious visitor;
then the gates were thrown wide open, and we walked in and all over the
place. The porter, becoming most humble and servile, offered to escort us
over the house, and even asked us to take tea; but we did not succumb to
either of these temptations.

There are so many kings and sovereigns here: the Emperor of Russia, who is
very handsome and stately; the King of Prussia, who is accompanied by the
colossal Count Bismarck, very noticeable in his dazzling white uniform,
and wearing a shining helmet with an enormous spread eagle on top of it,
which made him tower still more above ordinary mortals, and reminded me of
all the mythological heroes I knew of. He clanked his sword on the
pavement, quite indifferent to the stare of wondering Frenchmen, and was
followed by several other tall Germans, who regarded everything _de haut
en bas_ with Teutonic phlegm. The Prince of Italy (Umberto) looks rather
small by the side of these German giants. The Khedive of Egypt, the Shah
of Persia, the ex-Queen of Spain, and other sovereigns are flitting

The Baron James Rothschild invited us to go to Ferrière's with Prince
Oscar of Sweden. That was very amusing! We had a special train from Paris
and Rothschild's special car; when we arrived at Ferrière's we first had
refreshments, then we walked in the grounds till it was time to dress for
dinner. We met before dining in the enormous salon in the center of the
château. This salon is two stories high, with a gallery around it, and was
so large that a billiard-table in one corner seemed too small to be
noticed, and the concert-grand piano standing at the other end looked
insignificant. The dining-table was beautifully decorated with garlands of
roses and a whole collection of antique goblets, worth a fortune. There
were huge bouquets of roses for the ladies, almost too big to carry.

Prince Oscar's brother had once written a very pretty song, called "I
Rosens duft," which some one had arranged as a duet, and the Prince wanted
me to sing it with him (he had thoughtfully brought the music). All
through dinner he was teaching me the Swedish words, so that we could sing
it afterward. He was so intent (and so was I) that every one, I am sure,
thought we were having a tremendous flirtation, as they saw our heads
almost touching when he was writing the words on the menu. He also wrote a
poem to me (which I inclose), which he said he composed on the spot. How
can he be so clever?



  Din sång, hur skön, hur underbar!
  En balsamdoft på dina läppar hvila,
  En välljudsström från ditt hjarta ila,
  Vill mana fram ur verldens haf ett svar:
  Din sång, hur skön, hur underbar!

  Din ton, hur stark, hur ljuf, hur ren!
  En altareld som ingen flägt få störa,
  Och dock en storm som sjalens djup kan röra,
  En glod som smalta kan "de visas sten":
  Så är din ton--så stark, så ren.

  Sjung mer, sjung mer, det här så godt
  En stund få glämma verldens hvimmel
  Och lyss till samklang ur en öppnad himmel,
  Om ock för en minut i drömma blott:
  Sjung mer, sjung mer, det gör mit hjärta godt.

(Translated literally)

  Your voice, how beautiful, how wonderful!
  A perfume of balsam rests on your lips,
  A torrent of melody rushes from your heart,
  That can only be echoed by the world's ocean:
  Your voice, how beautiful, how wonderful!

  Your voice, how full of power, how enchanting and pure!
  A sacred fire which no breeze can trouble,
  And yet a tempest that stirs the very soul,
  A glowing flame which can melt the philosopher's stone:
  Such is your voice--so powerful, so pure.

  Sing more, sing more, it is so good
  For one moment to forget the tumult of this world
  And listen to the harmony of a heaven unveiled,
  And if only for a moment to dream:
  Sing more, sing more, it makes my heart rejoice.

We sang the duet after dinner with such success that we had to repeat it.
Before our departure there was a grand display of fireworks: O's appeared
in every dimension and design, and a blaze of fire and Bengal lights in
rapid succession kept us in a continual state of admiration.

I received a little note from Jenny Lind. She is in Paris, and wished to
know when she could come to see me. I wrote to her directly that I would
let Monsieur Auber know, and he would probably come at four o'clock (his
usual hour). Therefore, it all came about. Jenny Lind came, so did Auber.
The meeting was a pleasure to them both. They talked music, art, told many
anecdotes of celebrated acquaintances: Alboni, Nilsson, Patti, etc. He had
brought some of his music with him, and Jenny Lind and I sang the duo of
his latest opera "Le Premier Jour de Bonheur." He consulted me as to
whether he might dare to ask her to dine with him, with a few congenial
spirits. I said I was sure she would be enchanted to do so, which she was.

As to the congenial spirits, Auber suggested the Metternichs, Gounod, Duke
de Massa, and ourselves, making ten in all.

No one refused, and we had the most delightful dinner. The Princess
proposed to Auber to give his arm to Jenny Lind, and to put her at his
right hand, _la place d'honneur_, adding, with her most ironical smile,
"le génie avant la beauté." Auber made a charming host, telling one funny
anecdote after the other in his quiet and typical manner. Gounod, in his
low and drawly voice, said: "Vous nous donnez, mon cher Auber, des choses
par trop ennuyeuses aux concerts du Conservatoire. A la pensée des
'Quatre saisons' de Haydn je m'endors. Pourquoi ne s'est-il pas contenté
d'une saison?" Princess Metternich replied, "Que probablement en les
composant Haydn s'est mis en quatre." "La moitié m'aurait suffi," said
Auber; "pour moi, elles sont toutes _mon automne_." (monotone).

When we returned to the salon we discreetly waited for the promised song.

Suddenly Jenny Lind jumped up, saying, "Shall I sing something?"

Of course, every one was wild to hear her. She went to the piano and
accompanied herself in "Qui la voce," of "I Puritani." We were all
enchanted, clapping our hands with enthusiasm. Then Gounod played and
sang, or rather hummed, a new song of his, saying to Jenny Lind, when he
took his place at the piano, "I am not worthy to succeed you."

We thought him much too modest.

He _hummed_ deliriously!

They asked me to sing, and, though I really hated to sing after these
great artists, I did so to please Auber, who accompanied me in "Los
Djins," of which he is very proud, because it has the same bass all the
way through. How little it takes to please genius!

After this Jenny Lind and I performed the duo from "Le Premier Jour de
Bonheur" we had practised at my house. She put her arm around my waist
while we were singing, as if we were two school-girls.

Prince Metternich played one of his brilliant Austrian waltzes, which was
so bewildering that if any man had dared to put his arm round Jenny Lind's
matronly waist I am sure she would have skipped off in the dance.

For _la bonne bouche_ she gave us a Swedish peasant song, which was simply
bewitching. Her high notes were exquisitely pure, the lower ones I thought
weak; but that might have been owing to the good dinner she had eaten--at
least she said so.

There is a musical phenomenon here just now in the shape of an American
negro; he is blind and idiotic, but has a most extraordinary intelligence
for music. All his senses seem to have been concentrated in this one
sense. Prince and Princess Metternich, Auber, and ourselves went to his
concert. Auber said, "Cet idiot, noir et aveugle, est vraiment
merveilleux." Blind Tom had learned his _répertoire_ entirely by ear;
therefore it was very limited, as he could only remember what he had heard
played a few days before. His memory did not last long. He was wonderful.
Not only could he execute well, but he could imitate any one's mannerisms
and their way of playing. The impresario came forward, saying, "I am told
that Monsieur Auber is in the audience. May I dare to ask him to come up
and play something?" Auber said he thought he should die of fright. We all
urged him, for the curiosity of the thing, to play something of his new
opera, which no one as yet had heard, therefore no one could have known

Auber mounted the platform, amid the enthusiastic applause of the
audience, and performed his solo. Then Blind Tom sat down and played it
after him so accurately, with the same staccato, old-fashioned touch of
Auber, that no one could have told whether Auber was still at the piano.
Auber returned and bowed to the wildly excited public and to us. He said,
"This is my first appearance as a pianist, and my last."

Prince Metternich, inspired by Auber's pluck, followed his example, and
mounting the stage rattled off one of his _own fiery_, dashing waltzes,
which Blind Tom repeated in the Prince's particular manner. After the
concert we went into the artist's room to speak with the impresario, and
found poor Tom banging his head against the wall like the idiot he was.
Auber remarked, "C'est humiliant pour nous autres."

PARIS, _June, 1867._

DEAR M.,--The famous pianist Liszt, the new Abbé, is pervading Paris just
now, and is, I think, very pleased to be a priestly lion, taking his
success as a matter of course. There are a succession of dinners in his
honor, where he does ample honor to the food, and is in no way bashful
about his appetite.

He does a great deal of beaming, he has (as some one said) "so much

He dined with us the other night, the Metternichs, and twenty-five other
people, among whom were Auber and Massenet.

In the boudoir, before dinner, he spied a manuscript which Auber had
brought that afternoon. He took it up, looked at it, and said, "C'est très
joli!" and laid it down again. When we went in to dinner, and after his
cigar in the conservatory (he is a great smoker), he went to the piano and
played the "_joli_" little thing of Auber's. Was that not wonderful,
that he could remember it all the time during the dinner? He seemed only
to have glanced at it, and yet he could play it like that off from memory.
He is so kind and good, especially to struggling artists, trying to help
them in every way. He seemed extraordinarily amiable that evening, for he
sat down at the piano without being asked and played a great many of his
compositions--quite an unusual thing for him to do! One has generally to
tease and beg him, and then he refuses. But I think, when he heard
Massenet improvising at one of the pianos he was inspired, and he put
himself at the other (we have two grand pianos), and they played divinely,
both of them improvising. He is by far the finest pianist I have ever
heard, and has a very seductive way of looking at you while playing, as if
he was only playing for you, and when he smiles you simply go to pieces. I
don't wonder he is such a lady-killer, and that no woman can resist him;
even my father-in-law stayed in the salon, being completely hypnotized by
Liszt, who ought to consider this as one of his greatest triumphs, if he
only knew.

I sang some of Massenet's songs, accompanied, of course, by Massenet.
Liszt was most attentive and most enthusiastic. He said Massenet had a
great future, and he complimented me on my singing, especially my phrasing
and expression.

I wonder if the story be true that he was engaged to be married to
Princess Wittgenstein, and on the day of the wedding, when the bridal-
dress was ready to be put on, she got a letter from her fiancé (can any
one imagine Liszt as a fiancé) saying that he had taken holy orders that
very morning.

They say that she bore it very well and wrote a sweet letter to him. It
sounds rather unnatural; but one can believe anything from a person who
was under Liszt's influence. He has the most wonderful magnetism. His
appearance is certainly original as you see him in his _soutane_, his
long hair, and his numerous moles, that stand out in profile, whichever
way he turns his broad face.

But one forgets everything when one hears him play. He is now fifty-five
years old. I invited him to go to the Conservatoire with me in the box
which Auber had given me for last Sunday's concert. I inclose his letter
of acceptance. (See page 164.)

Auber often gives me his box, which holds six people, and I have the
pleasure of making four people happy. Auber sits in the back and generally
dozes. We are all crowded together like sardines. Auber, being the
director of the Conservatoire, has, of course, the best box, except the
Imperial one, which is always empty.

The orchestra played Wagner's overture to "Tannhäuser." The applause was
not as enthusiastic as Liszt thought it ought to be, so he stood up in the
box, and with his great hands clapped so violently that the whole audience
turned toward him, and, recognizing him (indeed, it would have been
difficult not to recognize him, such a striking figure as he is), began
clapping their hands for him. He cried, "Bis!" And the audience in chorus
shouted, "Bis!" And the orchestra repeated the whole overture. Then the
audience turned again to Liszt and screamed, "Vive Liszt!"



Permettez-moi de venir vous remercier demain au Conservatoire de votre
gracieuse invitation dont je serai charmé de profiter.

Mille respectueux hommages,

F. Listz

Dimanche matin.]

Auber said such a thing had never been seen or heard before in the annals
of these severe and classical concerts. People quite lost their heads, and
Auber, being afraid that there would be a demonstration at the _sortie_,
advised us to leave before the end.

I think Liszt was very pleased with his afternoon.

The sovereigns are working themselves to death, and almost killing their
attendants. Prince Radzivill said, speaking of the King of Prussia: "I
would have liked him better if he had stayed at home. He has to be ready
every morning at half-past eight, and is often up till three in the
morning." Radzivill and the others not only have to go to all the balls,
but they must attend all the various civil, military, and charitable
functions, and then the Exposition takes a lot of time and energy.

Prince Umberto is here from Italy. When Princess Metternich asked him how
long he was going to stay he answered, with a toss of his head toward
Italy, "Cela dépend des circonstances. Les affaires vont très mal là-bas."

Aunt M---- says she wishes you had been at a matinée which Baroness
Nathaniel Rothschild gave this afternoon at her beautiful new palace in
the Faubourg St.-Honoré. At the entrance there were ten servants in
gorgeous livery, and a _huissier_ who rattled his mace down on the
pavement as each guest passed. There was, besides all the élite of Paris,
an Archduke of Austria. I sang the "Ave Maria" of Gounod, accompanied by
Madame Norman Neruda, an Austrian violiniste, the best woman violinist in
the world. Baroness Rothschild played the piano part.

PARIS, _May 29, 1867._

DEAR M.,--The Metternichs' big ball last night was a splendid affair, the
finest of the many fine balls. We were invited for ten o'clock, and about
half-past ten every one was there.

The Emperor and Empress came at eleven o'clock. Waldteufel, with full
orchestra, was already playing in the ballroom of the embassy, which was
beautifully decorated. At twelve o'clock the doors, or rather all the
windows that had been made into doors, were opened into the new ballroom,
which the Princess Metternich, with her wonderful taste and the help of
Monsieur Alphand, had constructed in the garden, and which had transformed
the embassy into a thousand-and-one-nights' palace.

The ballroom was a marvel; the walls were hung with lilac and pink satin,
and the immense chandelier was one mass of candles and flowers; from each
panel in the room there were suspended baskets of flowers and plants, and
between the panels were mirrors which reflected the thousands of candles.

One would never have recognized the garden; it was transformed into a
green glade; all the paths were covered with fresh grass sod, making it
look like a vast lawn; clusters of plants and palms seemed to be growing
everywhere, as if native to the soil; flower-beds by the hundreds;
mysterious grottos loomed out of the background, and wonderful vistas with
a cleverly painted perspective. At the same moment that their Majesties
entered this wonderful ballroom, which no one had dreamed of, the famous
Johann Strauss, brought from Vienna especially for this occasion, stood
waiting with uplifted baton and struck up the "Blue Danube," heard for the
first time in Paris.

When their Majesties approached the huge plate-glass window opening into
the garden a full-fledged cascade fell over the stucco rocks, and powerful
Bengal lights, red and green, made a most magical effect: the water looked
like a torrent of fiery lava _en miniature_. It was thrilling.

No one thought of dancing; every one wanted to listen to the waltz. And
how Strauss played it!... With what fire and _entrain!_ We had thought
Waldteufel perfect; but when you heard Strauss you said to yourself you
had never heard a waltz before. The musicians were partly hidden by
gigantic palmettos, plants, and pots of flowers arranged in the most
attractive way. But he!--Johann Strauss!--stood well in front, looking
very handsome, very Austrian, and very pleased with himself.

Then came the _quadrille d'honneur_. The Emperor danced with the Queen of
Belgium, the Crown Prince of Prussia with the Empress, the King of Belgium
with the Princess Mathilde, the Prince Leuchtenberg with the Princess

The cotillon was led by Count Deym and Count Bergen, and they led it to
perfection; there was not a hitch anywhere. Every one was animated and
gay; certainly the music was inspiring enough to have made an Egyptian
mummy get out of his sarcophagus and caper about. I danced with a German
_Durchlaucht_, who, though far in the sear and yellow leaf, danced like a
school-boy, standing for hours with his arm around my waist before
venturing (he could only start when the tune commenced), counting one--
two--three under his breath, which made me, his partner, feel like a
perfect fool. When at last he made up his mind to start nothing short of
an earthquake could have stopped him. He hunched up his shoulders to his
ears, arched his leg like a prancing horse, and off we went on our wild
career, lurching into every couple on the floor, and bumping into all the
outsiders. When we were not careering together, he sat glued to his chair,
refusing to dance. If any lady came up with a favor he would say, "I am a
little out of breath; I will come and fetch you later." And then he would
put the favor in his pocket and never go near her. He seized everything in
the way of favors that came his way; some he gave to me, and the rest he
took home to his small children.

I was glad, all the same, to have him for a partner, as, being a
_Durchlaucht_, he was entitled to a seat in the front row, and I preferred
prancing about with my _hochgeboren_ high-stepper to having to take a back
seat in the third row with a minor _geboren_. After my partner and I had
bounded about and butted into every living thing on the floor I brought
him to anchor near his chair by clutching his Golden Fleece chain which
hung around his neck. I felt like singing Tennyson's "Home I brought my
warrior (half) dead." He was puffing and blowing, the perspiration glazing
his face, his yellow hair matted on his forehead, and his mustaches all
out of kilter.

I really felt sorry for him, and wondered why he exerted himself so much,
when he could have been quietly seated watching others, or, better still,
at home in bed.

The supper was served at one o'clock. Their Majesties the King and Queen
of Belgium, Prince Alfred, the Prince and Princess of Prussia, the Prince
of Saxe-Weimar, and all the other _gros bonnets_--too many to write about
--went up-stairs through an avenue of plants and palms to a salon arranged
especially for them where there were two large tables. The Emperor
presided at one and the Empress at the other. Besides the _salle à manger_
and some smaller salons, two enormous tents were put up in the garden,
which contained numerous tables, holding about ten people each, and
lighted by masses of candles and festooned with bright-colored Chinese
lanterns. Prince Metternich told me later that the candles were replaced
three times during the evening.

The favors for the cotillon were very pretty, most of them brought from
Vienna. One of the prettiest was fans of gray wood with "Ambassade
d'Autriche, 28th May, 1867," painted in blue forget-me-nots.

We danced "till morning did appear," and it appeared only too soon. The
cotillon finished at half-past five, and the daylight poured in, making us
all look ghastly, especially my sear and yellow leaf, whose children must
have wondered why papa _kam so spät nach hause_.

PARIS, _1867._

Last week, in the beautiful palace built by Egypt for the Exposition,
there was arranged a sort of entertainment for the Viceroy, to which we
were invited with the Prince and Princess Metternich. This palace is a
large, square, white building of oriental ornamentation and architecture,
with a courtyard in the center, where we were received by the Khedive and
his suite. A fountain was playing in the middle of the courtyard of
marble, surrounded by palmettos and plants of every description. A band of
Turkish musicians were seated cross-legged in one of the corners playing
on their weird instruments, and making what they seemed to think was
music. We sat in low basket-chairs, our feet resting on the richest of
oriental rugs, and admired the graceful movements of the dancing-girls,
who had not more space than an ordinary square rug to dance upon. There
were also some jugglers, who performed the most marvelous and
incomprehensible tricks with only an apparently transparent basket, from
which they produced every imaginable object.

Coffee _à la Turque_ was served in small cups with their silver filigree
undercup, and Turkish paste flavored with attar of roses, and nauseatingly
sweet, was passed about, with a glass of water to wash it down. Also
cigarettes of every description were lavishly strewn on all the little
tables, and hovering about us all the time were the thin-legged, turbaned
black menials with baggy silk trousers and bright silk sashes.

Everything was so Oriental that, had I stayed there a little longer, I
should not have been surprised to see myself sitting cross-legged on a
divan smoking a _narghile_. I said as much as this to the Khedive, who
said, in his funny pigeon-French-English, "Alas! Were it so!"

I cast my eyes down and put on my _sainte-ni-touche_ air, which at times I
can assume, and as I looked at his Highness's dusky suite, who did not
look over and above immaculate, in spite of the Mussulman's Mussulmania
for washing, I thanked my stars that it "were not so."

The interpreter who was on duty said to Prince Metternich: "Mussulmans
drink no wine, nor does the Prophet allow them to eat off silver.
Therefore, to ease our consciences" (he said, _mettre nos consciences à
couvert_), "we tell them that the silver plates on which they eat are
_iron_ plated with silver. They think the forks are also iron, otherwise
they would eat with their fingers."

The interpreter added that Mussulmans did not think the Parisian
newspapers very interesting, because they contained so few crimes and no
murders worth mentioning. What an insight this gives of the condition of
their country and the tenor of their papers!

We took our leave of the amiable Khedive, who expressed the hope that we
would soon meet again.

Before his departure from Paris there came a package with the card of one
of his gentlemen, begging me, _de la part de Monseigneur_, to accept the
"accompanying souvenir." The package contained two enameled bracelets
of the finest oriental work in red-and-green, studded with emeralds. He
sent an equally gorgeous brooch to the Princess Metternich.

PARIS, _June, 1867._

DEAR M.,--I must write you about something amusing which happened to-day.
Prince Oscar was most desirous of seeing Delsarte, having heard him so
much spoken of. I promised to try to arrange an interview, and wrote to
Delsarte to ask him to come to meet the Prince at our house. I received
this characteristic answer, "I have no time to make visits. If his
Highness will come to see me I shall be pleased," and mentioned a day and
an hour. Prince Oscar, Monsieur Dué, the Swedish secretary, Mademoiselle
W----, and I went at the appointed time, mounted Delsarte's tiresome
stairs, and waited patiently in his salon while he finished a lesson.

Monsieur Dué was very indignant at this _sans-gêne_, and apologized for
Delsarte's want of courtesy; but the Prince did not mind, and occupied
himself with looking at Delsarte's old poetry-books and albums.

Finally Delsarte entered and graciously received his royal visitor. The
Prince was most affable and listened to Delsarte's fantastic theories,
pretending to be interested in the explanation of the cartoons, and began
to discuss the art of teaching, which exasperated Delsarte to the verge of

Prince Oscar offered to sing a Swedish song, a very simple peasant song,
which he sang very well, I thought. The Swedish language is lovely for
singing, almost as good as Italian. We looked for some words of praise;
but Delsarte, adopting regency manners, which he can on occasions, said,
in a most insinuating voice: "Your Highness is destined to become a king,
one of these days. Is it not so?"

"Yes," answered the Prince, wondering what was coming next.

"You will have great responsibilities and a great deal to occupy your

"Without doubt."

"You will not have time to devote yourself to art?"

"I fear not."

"_Eh bien!_" said Delsarte, and we expected pearls to drop from his mouth,
"_eh bien!_ If ever I am fortunate enough to visit your country, I hope
you will allow me to pay my most humble respects to you."

"How horribly impolite," said the indignant Monsieur Dué. "He ought to
have his ears boxed!"

Prince Oscar took it quite kindly, and, giving Delsarte a clap on his back
which I am sure made his shoulders twinge, said: "You are right; I shall
have other things to think of. There"--pointing to diagram six on the
wall, depicting horror, with open mouth and gaping eyes--"is the
expression I shall have when I think of music and music-teachers."

Delsarte, feeling that he had overstepped the mark, said, "Perhaps, _mon
Prince_, you will sing something in French for me."

Prince Oscar, drawing himself up his whole six feet and four, glanced down
at little Delsarte and said, "_Mon cher Monsieur_, have you ever read
the English poets?"

Delsarte looked unutterable things; I blushed for my teacher.

"When I come again to Paris," the Prince continued, "I will come to see
you. Adieu!" and left without further ceremony.

We followed him down the slippery stairs in silence.

Prince Oscar thought this little episode a great joke, and repeated it to
many people.

That same evening there was a _soirée musicale_ given for him by the
Minister of Foreign Affairs (Marquis de Moustier) The Prince was begged to
sing, which he did three or four times. Every one was delighted to hear
the Swedish songs. Ambroise Thomas, who was there, said that he thought
they were exquisite, especially the peasant song, which he had introduced
into his new opera of "Hamlet." The Prince and I sang the duet, "I Rosens
duft." He was the lion of the evening, and I think that he was very
pleased. I hoped that he had forgotten the unpleasant incident of the
morning and Delsarte, of whom Monsieur Dué cleverly remarked, "Qui s'y
frotte s'y pique--."

PARIS, _July, 1867._

The distribution of prizes for the Exposition took place last Thursday at
the Palais de l'Industrie. It was a magnificent affair and a very hot one.
You may imagine what the heat and glare must have been at two o'clock in
the afternoon on a hot July day. I was glad that I was not old and
wrinkled, for every imperfection shone with magnified intensity.

There was a vast platform erected in the middle of the building, which was
covered with a red carpet, and over which hung an enormous canopy of red
velvet and curtains of velvet with the eagle of Napoleon. The Emperor and
Empress sat, of course, in the center, and on each side were the foreign
sovereigns; behind them were their suites and the Imperial family. The
diplomatic corps had their places on the right of the tribune.

The gentlemen, splendid in their gala uniforms, were covered with
decorations, and all the ladies present were _in grande toilette_ and
low-necked, and displayed every jewel they possessed.

The building, huge as it was, was packed full, every available seat

The Prince Imperial distributed the prizes. He looked very dignified when
he handed the victors their different medals, accompanying each gift with
his sweet and winning smile.

When Count Zichy, of Hungary, mounted the steps of the throne to receive
his medal (he got a prize for his Hungarian wines) there was a general
murmur of admiration, and I must say that he did look gorgeous in his
national costume, which is a most striking one. He had on all his famous
turquoises. His mantle and coat underneath, and everything except his top-
boots, were encrusted with turquoises, some of them as big as hen's eggs.
They say, when he appears on a gala occasion in his country, his horse's
trappings and saddle are covered with turquoises.

The Sultan sat on the right of the Empress. You never saw anything half as
splendid! A shopful of jewelry could not compare to him. He had a
_collier_ of pearls which might have made a Cleopatra green with jealousy.
He had an enormous diamond which held the high aigrette in place on his
fez and the Great Mogul (I was so told) fastened on his breast. His
costume was magnificent, and his sabre--which I suppose has cut off a head
or so--was a blaze of jewels. He was the _point de mire_ of all eyes;
especially when the rays of the sun caught the rays of his diamonds he
blazed like the sun itself. The sun did all it could in the way of blazing
that day. I know that I never felt anything like the heat in that gigantic
hot-house, the sun pouring through each pane of glass and nothing to
protect one against it. I felt like an exotic flower unfolding its petals.

It was a very pretty little scene, and I think that every one was
impressed when the Prince Imperial went toward the King of Holland to hand
him a medal (probably for Dutch cheese). The tall, stately King rose from
his seat, and on receiving it bowed deeply with great ceremony. The Prince
made a respectful and graceful bow in response, then the King stooped down
and kissed his cheek.

I was tremendously interested when the American exhibitors came forward;
there were many of them, quite a procession. They looked very
distinguished in their simple dress-coats, without any decorations. I was
so glad.

When it was all over it was delightful to get out into the fresh air, even
if we had to stand and wait patiently about like Mary's little lamb until
the carriage did appear, for we had either to wait or to worm our way,
risking horses' tails and hoofs through the surging crowd of bedecked men
and women, who were all clamoring for their servants and carriages.

The coachmen were swearing and shouting as only French coachmen can do on
such occasions as this. The line of carriages reached almost the whole way
down the Champs Élysées. We finally did find ours, and I was glad to seat
myself in it. I had had the forethought to put my hat and mantle in, as we
intended to drive out to Petit Val for dinner. I put my hat over my tiara
and my mantle on my bare shoulders, and enjoyed driving through the shady

Prince Metternich came out here the other day, I had not seen him since
the tragic death of Emperor Maximilian in Mexico. I never would have
believed that he could be so affected as he seemed to be by this. He cried
like a baby when he told us of the Emperor's last days, of his courage and
fortitude. It seems that, just as he was going to be shot, he went to each
of the men and gave them a twenty-franc gold piece, and said, "I beg you
to shoot straight at my heart."

How dreadful it must have been!

Prince Metternich was most indignant at Rochefort, and says he can never
forgive him because, in an article in _La Lanterne_, he called the royal
martyr "the Archdupe." Auber said:

"You must not forget that Rochefort would rather sell his soul than lose
an occasion to make a clever remark."

"Yes, I know," moaned the Prince. "But how can one be so cruel?"

"C'est un mauvais drôle," Auber answered (don't think Auber meant that
Rochefort was droll; on the contrary, this is a neat way that the French
have of calling a man the _worst kind of a scamp_), and added,
"Rochefort's brains are made of _pétards_," which is the French for

Auber told many anecdotes. I fancy he wanted to cheer Prince Metternich up
a little. One of them was that, on taking leave of the Emperor, the Shah
had said:

"Sire, your Paris is wonderful, your palaces splendid, and your horses
magnificent, but," waving his hand toward the mature but noble _dames
d'honneur_ with an expression of disapproval, "you must change all
that." Imagine what their feelings would have been had they heard him.

PARIS, _August, 1867._

DEAR M.,--I thought there would be a little rest for me after the
distribution of prizes and before going to Dinard; but repose is a thing,
it seems, that I am destined never to get.

Monday morning I received a letter from Princess Metternich saying that
the Minister of Foreign Affairs had sent her his box for that evening, to
hear Schneider in "La Belle Hélène," adding that Cora Pearl was to appear
as Cupidon as an extra attraction, and asked if we would dine with them
first, and go afterward to the theater.

I could not resist an invitation from these two delightful people,
therefore we drove into Paris and reached the embassy at half-past six,
the hour named for dinner.

Prince Metternich told us that he had had a visit in the afternoon from
Monsieur Dué, the Swedish secretary, who had been on the verge of
desperation on account of his not having been able to secure a suitable
box for King Charles XIV. of Sweden, who arrived last night to spend a few
days here. He wished to see Schneider in "La Belle Hélène." Monsieur Dué
had gone to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and suggested that the
Minister offer his box; but that had already been given to the
Metternichs. When Prince Metternich was informed of this he did not
hesitate to place the box in question at the King's disposal; but, not to
disappoint the Princess and me, he had taken an ordinary box opposite. The
King was already in his _loge_ when we arrived. He is a large, handsome
man with a full, black beard, and has a very pleasant face.

Between the first and second acts Monsieur Dué came to Prince Metternich
and told him that the King desired to see him. Of course the Prince went
directly, and returned delighted with the King's affability, and to our
great surprise brought us a message from the King, asking us all to come
to his box and join him, and proposing to send Monsieur Dué and his
gentleman-in-waiting to take our places in our box.

We accepted with pleasure, and passed the rest of the evening in the
charming society of the most amiable of kings. He said to me that "Oscar,"
as he called his brother (Prince Oscar, the hereditary Prince), had spoken
about me and our singing the duet written by his brother, Prince Gustave,
and asked how I managed about the Swedish words. I replied that Prince
Oscar had taught them to me during the dinner preceding the singing.

"Could you understand the words?" he asked.

"No," I replied. "I only know that it was something about London and

The King laughed most heartily, and said, "I shall tell that to Oscar when
I go home, and he will see how well you profited by his lessons."

We were all immensely amused at Cora Pearl's appearance; it was her debut
as an actress. I never saw any one look so sheepish as she did, in spite
of her paint and powder and beautiful legs. She wore high-heeled slippers,
so high that she could hardly walk, which made her even more awkward than
she naturally was. She only had a few lines to sing, and this she did so
badly that people nearly hissed her.

She was evidently engaged as a drawing-card; but the only thing she drew
was ridicule on herself.

During the second act Lord Lyons came into the box. He had known the King
before, and, having heard from the Minister of Foreign Affairs that the
King was at the theater, went there to pay his respects. The King,
noticing that he had a decoration on, said in French: "Please take that
off; I am here incognito. To-morrow I shall be official; then you can put
it on." So Lord Lyons took off his star and put it in his pocket. He
wanted to go after the second act, but the King said: "Monsieur Dué has
arranged a supper for us at _La Maison d'Or_. You must come also." Of
course Lord Lyons did not refuse.

Monsieur Dué left the box in advance of the rest of us, in order to
arrange everything before the King's arrival. The King called to him, as
he opened the door, "Don't forget the _écrevisses à la Bordelaise_; I
have been looking forward to them for a long time."

After the performance, with which the King was delighted (especially with
Hortense Schneider's song, "Dis-moi, Vénus, pourquoi," etc.), we drove to
the _Maison d'Or_, where we found Monsieur Dué awaiting us. We asked at
what time the carriages should come back. He said: "Not before two
o'clock. His Majesty never retires before." We were then shown into a
salon, where the Princess Metternich and I were asked by the King to take
off our hats. "It is so much more cozy," he said. So off our hats came. We
had not been seated ten minutes when we heard some very loud talking and
much discussion in the corridor outside. Lord Lyons, who was nearest the
door, jumped up to see what the matter was, opened the door, and peeped

"Oh!" said he. "It is the Duke of Brunswick making a row; he is half-seas
over!" The King turned to Monsieur Dué (the King does not speak English)
and said, "What did Lord Lyons say?" Monsieur Dué's English did not go
very far, but he translated into Swedish what he had understood Lord Lyons
to say.

The King seemed very puzzled and, addressing Lord Lyons, said:

"Was not the Duke of Brunswick obliged to leave England for fear of being
arrested?" Lord Lyons coughed discreetly, and the King went on: "If I
remember rightly, the Duke, who was in the royal box, shot at and killed a
_danseuse_ who was on the stage! And did he not leave England in a
balloon? It always seemed such an extraordinary thing. Was it true?" Lord
Lyons cautiously answered that people had said all that; but it was some
time ago, and added, diplomatically, that he had forgotten all the

"And I understood," said his Majesty, "that he can never go back there

"You are right. He cannot go back to England, your Majesty."

"Oh! don't Majesty me. To-night I am a simple bourgeois," the King
interrupted, smilingly shaking his finger. "But tell me, how can the Duke
dare return there now?"

"He does not dare," repeated Lord Lyons. "He can _never_ go back."

"But," insisted the King, "my good Monsieur Dué says that he is on his way
there at this moment."

Lord Lyons replied, "I think Monsieur Dué must be mistaken, for the Duke
is out there in the corridor making all this [I am sure it was on his lips
to say "devil of a row," but he politely said] _noise_."

Monsieur Dué then remarked, "Did I not hear you say that he was half way
across the channel?"

"I certainly did not say _that_. What I did say was that he was 'half-seas
over' which is a slang expression we use in England instead of saying
tipsy, or _dans les vignes du Seigneur_, so prettily put by the French."

The King laughed very much at this _quid pro quo_ and, looking at Monsieur
Dué, said, "I thought your English more up to the mark."

The King was immediately fired with a desire to see the famous Duke who
had dared to cross the channel in a balloon rather than run the risk of
being shut up in prison, and we all waited with impatience to see whether
Lord Lyons's persuasive powers went so far as getting the Duke to show
himself. Well, they did, and both the gentlemen came into the salon. The
Duke bowed low and did not lose his balance. In fact, for a man half-seas
over, I thought he looked as if he could get to the end of his journey
without disgrace. He said, very politely, "I am afraid I have disturbed
you, but this is the salon which has always been put aside for me every
night, and I was surprised to learn that it was occupied."

The Duke is, or rather would have been, a very handsome man if he had not
such watery eyes and such a weak mouth; and then he wore the funniest-
looking wig I ever saw. It was made out of black (the blackest) sewing-
silk and plastered down over his ears. I wonder if it was a disguise, or
if he thought any one would ever really take it for his own hair.

The King was very nice to him, and did not seem in the least to mind his
being _dans les vignes_. I fancy, from what Monsieur Dué said, that in
Sweden people are used to see their friends _always_ in _Seigneurial_
vineyards--they never see them anywhere else! But he exaggerates, no

The King said to the Duke of Brunswick, "Will you not sup with us to-

"I thank your Majesty, but I must crave permission to return, for I have
some ladies supping with me, including the Cupidon of to-night."

"Tell her," said the King, "if she wears such high heels she will come to

"It will not be the first time," answered the Duke, with a laugh. "But
don't ask me to say anything like that to her; she would box my ears!"
Seeing the waiter making signs to him, the Duke then made a profound bow
and, stroking his sewing-silk locks left us.

The universal verdict on him was _Quel crétin!_

We had a very pleasant supper, and a most unceremonious one, as much so as
is possible where there is royalty.

The King said that he was going to be official all the next day, but that
he would like to go to the Exposition. Prince Metternich proposed a cup of
tea and the delicious hot rolls they turn out at the Vienna restaurant.
The King was delighted to accept, and named the hour of half past four in
the afternoon. We were also bidden, for which I was much pleased. King
Carl is the most delightful and fascinating of monarchs, and quite worthy
to be his brother's brother. To-morrow he is going to be still more
official, for he dines at the Tuileries, and there is a gala performance
at the opera; Christine Nilsson is going to sing "Faust" with Nicolini and

To-morrow we leave for Dinard, where there will be no majesties nor
Exposition; just plain bread and butter and Brittany cider, which is as
hard as a relentless parent.

COMPIÈGNE, _November 27, 1868._

When the inclosed invitation came my father-in-law wet-blanketed the
whole thing, and I was brokenhearted. The Duke de Persigny, who happened
to be in Petit Val at that moment, sympathized with me and tried to change
the paternal mind; but the paternal mind was obdurate, and all pleadings
were, alas! in vain.


    _Palais des Tuileries, le 2 9'bre 1868._

    _Premier Chambellan_


    Par ordre de l'Empereur, j'ai l'honneur de vous prévenir que vous êtes
    invité, ainsi que Madame Ch. Moulton, à passer 9 jours au Palais de
    Compiègne, du 27 9'bre au 5 décembre.

    Des voitures de la Cour vous attendront le 27, à l'arrivée à Compiègne
    du train partant de Paris à 2 heures 1/2 pour vous conduire au Palais.

    Agréez, Monsieur, l'assurance de ma considération très distinguée.

    _Le Premier Chambellan_,
    V'te de Laferrière.

    Monsieur Ch. Moulton.

My father-in-law thought it cost too much--my toilettes, the necessary
outlay, and especially the _pourboires_. He said that it was a lot of
money, and added, in his most choice French, "Le jeu [he pronounced it
'jew'] ne valait pas la chandelle." He was right from his point of view,
for he had none of the _jeu_ and all of the _chandelle_. I pined and
pouted the whole day, and considered myself the most down-trodden mortal
in existence.

Imagine my delight, a few days later, to receive a second document,
informing us that our names had been re-entered on the list, and that we
were expected, all the same, on the 27th to stay nine days. At the same
time there came a note from the Duke de Persigny, in which he said, "Their
Majesties desired us particularly to come." And he added: "Tell your
father-in-law that the question of pourboires has been settled now and
forever. No more pourboires to be given nor taken at Compiègne."

Then Mr. M---- gave his consent, and I was blissfully happy.

It seems that the Emperor's attention had been railed to the many very
disagreeable articles in the newspapers on the subject of the extravagant
_pourboires_ exacted at Compiègne. The Emperor was very much annoyed,
and gave immediate orders to suppress this system, which had been going on
for years without his knowledge.

Last night we stayed in Paris, to be ready at half-past two this
afternoon. To describe our departure, arrival, and reception would only be
to repeat what I have already written last year. Among the fifty or sixty
guests there were many who were here then. In addition there are Duke
d'Albe, with his daughters; Baron Beyens, the Belgian Minister; Mr.
Mallet, of the English Embassy, Mr. Dué of the Swedish Legation; the poet,
Prosper Mérimée; and many, of course, I do not know.

Singularly enough, we were shown into the same apartment we had before,
which made us feel quite at home. We found tea, chocolate, and cakes on
the table, of which I partook with enthusiasm, and then enjoyed an hour's
rest before dressing for dinner.

We met at seven o'clock in the _Salle des Fêtes_, the only room in this
huge chateau large enough to contain all the party here (I suppose there
must be one hundred and twenty people), for which reason it serves both as
reception and ballroom.

The Empress looked superb in a gown of an exquisite shade of lilac; she
wore her beautiful pearls and a tiara of diamonds and pearls. When she
approached me she held out her hand, and said she was very glad to see me.
The Emperor was kind and gracious, as usual.

The Baron Gourgaud was told to take me in to dinner, and we followed the
procession to the dining-room, passing the _Cent Gardes_, who looked like
an avenue of blue and glittering trees. The Baron Gourgaud and I are
neighbors in the country, their place, La Grange, being not far from Petit
Val. His conversation is not absorbing; but as he knows he is dull he does
not pretend to be anything else. I was thankful for this, as I felt that I
did not need to make the slightest effort to entertain him.

I cast my eyes round the table, and if I had not known that this was _la
série amusante_ I should never have guessed it--every one seemed so
spiritless and "sans le moindre entrain," as my neighbor remarked.

No excitement this evening but the dance. Waldteufel is suppressed! They
say that the Emperor, who has a horror of publicity in private life, was
very displeased last year by the indiscretions and personal anecdotes, and
especially the caricatures made by Gustave Doré, which appeared in the
_Figaro_. The Emperor vowed that no outsiders should be invited again;
therefore poor Waldteufel has to pay _les pots cassés_, and we must make
our own music.

Looking for a substitute for Waldteufel, a clever chamberlain discovered
the "Debain piano" (mechanical piano).

You remember I had one in my youth. How I loved it! How I used to love to
grind out all the beautiful music those ugly boxes contained! And how I
used to wonder that those common wooden slides could reproduce such
perfect imitations of the real thing.

I was so glad to see one again, and envied the perspiring chamberlain, who
looked bored to extinction having to turn the crank, instead of joining
the dance and turning the heads of the ladies. It took two of them to
manage the complexities of the piano, and as neither possessed a musical
turn of the wrist, and as neither had the remotest idea of time or
measure, it was very hard for us poor dancers!

When one of the martyrs wanted to explain to the other what to do he would
stop and forget to turn the crank. The dancers were thus obliged to pause,
one foot in the air, not knowing when to put it down, and when they did
put it down they did not fall in measure, and had to commence all over
again. This spasmodic waltzing almost made us crazy. As for me, I could
not bear it any longer. No chariot nor horses could have kept me away from
that piano; to feel again (after so many years) the delight of playing it!
And then I wanted to show how it should be played; so I went to the piano
and took the crank out of the tired hands of the chamberlain and ground
out a whole dance.

I flatter myself that the dancers enjoyed at least this one.

His Majesty walked up to the piano while I was playing and said, "But,
Madame, you will tire yourself; you really must stop and let some one take
your place."

I replied: "If your Majesty only knew what a pleasure it is for me to play
this piano! I had one like it when I was a little girl, and have never
seen one since."

"Are these pianos not something quite new?" he asked. "I was told that
they were the latest invention."

"They may be," I answered, "the latest improvement on an old invention;
but the pianos are older than I am."

"That," answered the Emperor, smilingly, "does not make them very old."

He called one of the chamberlains, and I reluctantly gave up my place. The
Count d'Amelot was summoned, and as we were about to waltz off the Emperor
said, "If I danced, I should like to dance with you myself; but I do not

"Then," I said, "I must dance without you."

He laughed: "Vous avez toujours la réplique," and stood there watching us
with those peculiar eyes of his.

I never received so many compliments on piano-playing as I did to-night.

Here is the list of my dresses (the cause of so much grumbling):

    Dark-blue poplin, trimmed with plush of the same color, toque,
      muff to match.
    Black velvet, trimmed with braid, sable hat, sable tippet and muff.
    Brown cloth, trimmed with bands of sealskin, coat, hat, muff to match.
    Purple plush, trimmed with bands of pheasant feathers, coat, hat to
    Gray velvet, trimmed with chinchilla, chinchilla hat, muff and coat.
    Green cloth (hunting costume).
    Traveling suit, dark-blue cloth cloak.

    Light green tulle, embroidered in silver, and for my locks, what they
      call _une fantaisie_.
    White tulle, embroidered with gold wheat ears.
    Light-gray satin, quite plain, with only Brussels lace flounces.
    Deep pink tulle, with satin ruchings and a lovely sash of lilac
    Black lace over white tulle, with green velvet twisted bows.
    Light-blue tulle with Valenciennes.

    Lilac faille.
    Light café au lait with trimmings of the same.
    Green faille faced with blue and a red Charlotte Corday sash (Worth's
      last gasp).
    A red faille, quite plain.
    Gray faille with light-blue facings.

Do you not think there is enough to last me as long as I live?

SUNDAY, _November 28th._

The mass is at ten o'clock on Sunday, and one meets in the grand salon
before going to the chapel.

Madame de Gallifet and I, being Protestants, were not expected; but, as we
wanted to go, we decided to don a black lace veil and follow the others.

The chapel is not large, but it is very richly decorated.

The Empress sat in a tribune facing the altar with a chosen few and her
_dames d'honneur_.

The Emperor was not present.

It seemed to me that the mass was very hurried and curtailed. The chorus
boys swung their censers nonchalantly, as though they were fanning
themselves; probably they were impatient for their breakfast.

The curé did not preach any sermon; he only made an exhortation against
the pomps and vanities of this wicked world, and told us that we had
better be prepared for death, as it might come at any moment. This was
nothing new; any one could have said it. He advised us to have our lamps
trimmed, for, when our time came we would be cut down like grass and
gathered in the garners. Perhaps he meant we ought to make our hay while
the sun was shining. I wondered to myself, if some of those old gentlemen
sinners who had sown so liberally would not be gathered in as oats. The
curé was going on to say that we should not indulge too freely in the good
things of this world; but pulled himself up in time, remembering, no
doubt, that he was going to breakfast, as he did every Sunday, at the
Imperial board and partake of its luxuries.

And before we knew it the mass was finished.

When we returned to the salon it was eleven o'clock, and every one was
assembled for _déjeuner_.

The Marquis d'Aoust happened to sit next to me at table (I say happened,
but I believe he manoeuvered so as to do so), and, taking me unawares
between two mouthfuls of _truites saumonées_, decoyed me into accepting a
stupendous proposition of his, which was to help him to get up an operetta
which he had had the courage to compose. He said the idea had just come
into his head; but I thought, for an impromptu idea, it was rather a ripe
one, as he had brought the music with him, and had already picked out
those he thought could help, and checked them off on his lean fingers. He
said the operetta had one act only, which I thought was fortunate, and
that it needed only four actors, which I thought was still more fortunate.

The next thing to be done, he said, was to get the singers' consent. I
should have said it was the first thing to be done; but he was so bubbling
over with enthusiasm that he was sure every one would jump at the chance
of taking part.

He seized the first moment after their Majesties had retired to pounce
upon those he had selected, and having obtained their consent he proposed
a walk in the long, so-called Treille or Berceau. Napoleon I. built this
walk, which is one thousand meters in length and reaches to the edge of
the forest, for the Queen Marie Louise. I must say I pitied her toes if
she walked there often on as cold a day as to-day; I know mine ached as we
paced to and fro while the Marquis explained the operetta. It was really
too cold to stay out-of-doors, and we turned back to the little salon,
called the _Salon Japonais_, to finish the séance there.

"What part am I to take?" asked Prince Metternich.

As he could not be anything else, he accepted the role of prompter, and
promised all the help he could give. When I went to the Empress's tea this
afternoon I took those questions Aunt M* sent me from America. You know
them. You have to write what your favorite virtues are, and if you were
not yourself, who you would like to be, and so forth.

I was glad to have something new and original which might amuse people.
The Empress, seeing the papers in my hand, asked me what they were. I told
her that they were some questions: a new intellectual pastime just
invented in America.

"Do they invent intellectual pastimes in America?" she asked, looking at
me with a smile. "I thought they only invented money-making."

"They do that, too," I replied; "but they have also invented these
questions, which probe the mind to the marrow and unveil the soul."

She laughed and said, "Do you wish me to unveil my soul, _comme cela, à

I answered, "Perhaps your Majesty will look at them at your leisure. I
hardly dare to ask the Emperor; but if he would also look at them I should
be so happy."

"Leave them with me, and to-morrow we will see; in any case my soul is not
prepared to-day."

So I left the papers with her.

It is the fashion this year for ladies to wear lockets on a black-velvet
ribbon around their necks. The more lockets you can collect and wear, the
finer you are. Each locket represents an event, such as a birthday, a bet,
an anniversary of any kind, and so forth. Any excuse is good for the
sending of a locket. The Empress had seventeen beautiful ones to-day (I
counted them). They have a rather cannibalish look, I think. Is it not in
Hayti (or in which country is it?) that the black citizens wear their
rivals' teeth as trophies on their black necks?

Who should offer me his arm for dinner to night but Prosper Mérimée, the
lion of lions, the pampered poet, who entrances all those who listen to
him whenever he opens his lips.

He looks more like an Englishman than a Frenchman; he is quite old, and I
fancy older than he looks (he may be fifty). He is tall and _dégagé_, with
a nice smile and pleasant eyes, though sometimes he gives you a sharp and
suspicious glance. He speaks English very well. I told him (stretching
a point) that I had never heard a foreigner speak such good English as he

He replied, without a blush: "I ought to speak it well. I learned it when
I was a child." And he added, complacently, "I can even write better than
I speak."

I asked him if he could write poetry in English.

He answered: "I do not think I could. My English goes just so far and no
farther. I have what is strictly necessary, but not what is superfluous."
("J'ai, le stricte nécessaire, mais pas le superflu.")

"To make rhymes," said I, "I should think one would have to know every
word in the dictionary."

"Oh!" he said, "I don't attempt rhymes; they are far beyond me."

When he talks French he is perfectly delightful. He creates the funniest
words, and gives such an original turn to his phrases that you are--at
least I was--on the _qui vive_ not to lose anything he said. It is like
listening to a person who, improvising on the piano, makes unexpected
and subtle modulations which you hate to have escape you.

He told me he had been in correspondence with an English lady for over
thirty years.

"Were you in love with her, that you wrote to her all those years?" I

"I was in love with her letters," he replied. "They were the cleverest
things I ever read--full of wit and humor."

"Was she in love with you or only with your letters?" I was tactless
enough to ask.

"How can you ask?" he said. I wondered myself how I could have asked so
indiscreet a question.

"Did she write in English, and did you write in French?"

"Yes, she wrote in English," he answered, and looked bored.

"Is she dead?" I asked, getting bolder and bolder; but he would not talk
any more about this clever lady, and we drifted into other channels of
conversation. Too bad! I would have liked to have known if the lady was
still living.

I wish I could remember all the pearls which fell from his lips; but alas!
one cannot, like Cleopatra, digest pearls. But I do remember one thing he
said, which was, "If I should define the difference between men and women,
I should say, 'Que les hommes valent plus, mais que les femmes valent

I wondered if this was one of the pearls he let drop in his letters to the
wonderful English _bas-bleu_.

In the evening we danced to the waltzes of the Debain, and were obliged to
tread a very spasmodic measure. The Prince Imperial asked me for a polka,
and I had to clutch his shoulder with one hand and beat time with the
other on his arm to keep any kind of rhythm in his evolutions. It is nice
to see him circulating about and chatting with all the ladies.

_November 29th._

A message came to my room this morning, to the effect that I was to sit
next to the Emperor. I suppose they thought it best to let me know in
time, in case I should go wandering off sight-seeing, like last year, but
no danger! Once caught, twice warned, as the saying is.

Therefore, when we descended to the grand salon, I knew what my fate was
to be. The Due de Sesto, who had recently married the widow of the Duc de
Morny, gave me his arm and deposited me at the side of his Majesty.

The Emperor was in the most delightful spirits, and full of _bonhomie_ and
fun. Glancing across the table at a certain diplomat (Baron F----), he
said, "I never knew a person more impervious to a joke than that gentleman
is." And then he went on to say that once he had told the Baron the old
time-worn joke which any child can understand.

(You have heard it many times, I am sure, dear mama.)

One begins by saying, "Vous me permettez de vous tutoyer (You will permit
me to use the thee and thou)?" And then one says, "Pourquoi aimes-tu la
chicorée (Why dost thou like chicory)?" To which the answer is, "Parce
qu'elle est amère (ta mère) (Because it is 'bitter' or 'your mother')."

But I had better tell the story in the Emperor's own language.

"The Baron was making a call upon the Duchess de Bassano, one of the
ladies-in-waiting of the Empress, a severe and formal person, as you know,
and in deep mourning for her mother. He wished to make himself agreeable
and told her this story, saying that it was the most amusing thing he had
ever heard. But he forgot to ask her permission to use the thee and thou,
and said, point-blank, 'Pourquoi aimes-tu la salade?' The Duchess did not
understand, and he, bursting out laughing, continued, without waiting for
her to speak, 'Parce qu'elle est ta mère.' The Duchess arose, indignant.
'Monsieur, I beg you cease. My poor mother died three months ago. I am
still wearing mourning for her!' With which she burst into tears and left
the room.

"The Baron, nothing daunted, tried a second time to relate this anecdote,
this time addressing Baronne Pierres, another of the _dames d'honneur_,
entirely forgetting to use the thee and thou. 'Madame, pourquoi aimez-vous
la salade?' Naturally she had not the slightest idea what he meant, and he
rejoined triumphantly, 'Parce qu'elle est Madame votre mère.' What annoys
me beyond measure," continued the Emperor, "is that he goes on telling the
anecdote, saying, 'The Emperor told it to me.'"

The Emperor laughed heartily, and I did, too. Then he told me another
amusing thing:

At a ball at the Tuileries he said to a young American whose father he had
met: "J'ai connu votre père en Amérique. Est-ce qu'il vit encore?" And the
young man, embarrassed and confused, answered, "Non, sire; pas encore."
"It is so good," the Emperor said, "to have a laugh, especially to-day.
All the afternoon I shall be plunged in affairs of state."

I did not forget to tell the Emperor that Delsarte was wildly excited on
receiving the present his Majesty had sent him last year. I wandered
considerably from the truth, as, in reality, Delsarte, who is not
Napoleonic in his politics, had said when I gave it to him, "Comment!
c'est Badinguet qui m'envoit cela. Que veut-il que j'en fasse?" with a
dark frown, But I noticed he smoked _le bon tabac_, all the same; and
I am sure he said (even to his best friend), "Tu n'en auras pas."

Of course the Emperor had quite forgotten that such a person as Delsarte
had ever existed.

This was a perfectly delightful _déjeuner_, and I shall never forget it.

The numerous chamberlains were busy arranging the different amusements for
the guests, putting horses, carriages, shooting, and excursions at their
disposal; but we, unlucky ones, were in duty bound to abide by the
Marquis, who had now completed his troupe to his satisfaction. He had
enticed the two young Mademoiselles Albe and two of their admirers to
undertake the chorus; he was very grateful to them, as otherwise it would
have had to be suppressed--perhaps the best thing that could have happened
to it.

The Princess Metternich asked us to come to their salon (they have the
beautiful apartments called _les appartements d'Apollon_), in order that
we could try the music with the piano which her husband had hired, as
usual, for his stay at Compiègne, and which he had put at the disposition
of the Marquis.

The Marquis was in ecstasy, and capered about to collect us, and at last
we found ourselves stranded with the manuscript and its master, who was
overjoyed to embark us on this shaky craft. He put himself at the piano,
played the score from beginning to end, not sparing us a single bar. My
heart sank when I heard it, it was worse than I thought, and the plot was
even worse than the music--naïf and banal beyond words.

A lord of the manor (Vicomte Vaufreland, basso) makes love to a humble
village maiden (myself, soprano); the lady of the manor (Madame Conneau,
contralto) becomes jealous and makes a scene with her husband; the friend
and adviser (Count d'Espeuilles, tenor) steps in and takes his friend's
part and kindly says that it was he who had loved the village maiden. The
wife is satisfied, and everything ends beautifully.

It would be very uphill work for the poor Marquis and I wondered if he
would really have the patience to go on with it, after realizing how
unmusical the men were. D'Espeuilles stood behind the Marquis's bald head
and reached over to put his finger on the note he wanted to sing, and then
banged on that, until, after singing every note in the scale, he finally
fixed it in his brain.

Could anything be more despairing?

Our next thought naturally was our costumes.

The operetta was laid in the time of Louis XV.

Would we be able to find anything in the various trunks in the gallery
next to the theater?

When we went there we found everything we did not want--costumes, odds and
ends of all sorts, which belonged to all other periods than Louis XV. The
contents of the trunks were in a very chaotic state; each article which
once had formed one of a complete costume was without its better half; the
unprincipled things had meandered off and got mixed up in other sets.

To be sure, there was a Louis XV. coat, with embroidered pockets and
satin-lined coat-tails, but nothing more suitable for _culottes_ could be
found than a pair of red-plush breeches, trimmed with lace (I think one
calls them "trunk hose"), of Henry II.'s time.

When they were urged upon the Vicomte, he absolutely refused them, saying
he would not mix up epochs like that, and, after pulling over everything,
he decided to send to Paris for a complete costume.

Count d'Espeuilles was less difficult to satisfy, and was contented with a
black-velvet Hamlet costume, with a plumed hat, which suited no epoch at
all, but suited his style of beauty.

Madame C---- thought her maid might arrange out of a ball-dress some sort
of attire; with powdered hair, paint, and patches, she could represent the
lady of the manor very well. My Tyrolean dress of last year would do quite
nicely for me, when my maid had put the customary bows on the traditional

We all separated, carrying our carefully written rôles under our arms, and
in the worst of tempers.

Monsieur Dué was my neighbor at dinner. He is very musical, and was much
interested in hearing about the operetta. He does not think the Marquis
has any talent; neither do I! But I don't wish to give any opinion on the
poor little struggling operetta before it has lived its day, and then I am
sure it will die its natural death. Monsieur Dué has composed some very
pretty things for the piano, which he plays on the slightest

Nothing else was talked of in the evening but the operetta, and the
Marquis was in the seventh heaven of delight.

Their Majesties were told of the Marquis's interesting intention. I could
see, across the room, that the Empress knew that I was going to take part,
for she looked over toward me, nodding her head and smiling at me.

There was some dancing for an hour, when one of the chamberlains came up
and said to me that the Empress would be pleased if I would sing some of
my American songs. I was delighted, and went directly into the _salle de
musique_, and when the others had come in, I sat down at the piano and
accompanied myself in the few negro songs I knew. I sang "Suwanee River,"
"Shoo-fly," and "Good-by, Johnny, come back to your own chickabiddy." Then
I sang a song of Prince Metternich's, called, "Bonsoir, Marguerite," which
he accompanied. I finished, of course, with "Beware!" which Charles

The Emperor came up to me and asked, "What does chickabiddy mean?"

I answered, "'Come back soon to your own chickabiddy' means 'Reviens
bientôt à ta chérie,'" which apparently satisfied him.

Their Majesties thanked me with effusion, and were very gracious.

The Emperor himself brought a cup of tea to me, a very unusual thing for
him to do, and I fancy a great compliment, saying, "This is for our

Their Majesties bowed in leaving the room; every one made a deep
reverence, and we retired to our apartments.

_November 30th._

The old, pompous, ponderous diplomat (what am I saying?)--I should have
said, "the very distinguished diplomat"--the same one the Emperor told me
yesterday was so impervious to a joke, honored me by giving me his
baronial arm for _déjeuner_. I can't imagine why he did it, unless it
were to get a lesson in English gratis, of which he was sadly in need. He
struck me as being very masterful and weighed down with the mighty affairs
of his tiny little kingdom. I was duly impressed, and never felt so
subdued in all my life, which I suppose was the effect he wished to
produce on me.

We sat like two gravestones, only waiting for an epitaph. Suddenly he
muttered (as if such an immense idea was too great for him to keep to
himself), "Diplomacy, Madame, is a dog's business." ("La diplomatie est un
métier de chien.")

I ventured to ask, "Is it because one is attached to a post?"

He gave me such a withering look that I wished I had never made this silly

All the same, he unbent a little and, with a dismal twinkle in his eye,
his face brightening, and launching into frivolity, said: "The Emperor
told me something very funny the other day. (I knew what was coming.)
He asked me why I liked salad." Turning to me he said, "Can you guess the

I had many ready for him; but I refrained and only said, "No, what was

"Parce qu'elle était ma mère!" he replied, and laughed immoderately, until
such a fit of coughing set in that I thought there would not be a button
left on him. When he had finished exploding he said, "Did you understand
the 'choke'?"

If I had not understood the "choke," I understood the choking, and I
thought any more jokes like this would be the end of him then and there.

I answered quite seriously, "I think I would understand better, if I knew
what sort of salad his Majesty meant."

He shook his head and said he did not think it made any difference what
sort of salad it was. And we became tombstones again.

I could hardly wait till we returned to the salon, I was so impatient to
tell the Emperor of the Baron's latest version.

As his Majesty was near me, talking to some lady during the _cercle_,
I stepped forward so as to attract his attention.

He soon moved toward me, and I, against all the rules of etiquette, was
the first to speak.

"Your Majesty," said I, "I sat next to the Baron at breakfast and was not
spared the salad problem."

"How did he have it this time?" asked the Emperor.

"This time, your Majesty, he had it that you had said he liked salad
because it was his mother."

The Emperor burst out laughing and said, "He is hopeless."

It would seem as if Fate had chosen the Baron to be the butt of all the
_plaisanteries_ to-day.

Later in the afternoon we drove in _chars-à-bancs_ to St. Corneille,
a lovely excursion through the woods. The carriages spun along over the
smooth roads, the postilions cracked their whips and tooted their horns,
the air was cold and deliciously invigorating, and we were the gayest
party imaginable. One would have thought that even the worst grumbler
would have been put in good spirits by these circumstances; but no! our
distinguished diplomat was silent and sullen, resenting all fun and
nonsense. No wonder that all conspired together to tease him.

At St. Corneille there are some beautiful ruins of an old abbey and an old
Roman camp. When we came to the "Fontaine des Miracles" Mr. Mallet (of the
English embassy) pulled out of his pocket a Baedeker and read in a low
tone to those about him what was said about the miracles of the fountain.
The Marquis de Gallifet, not wishing any amusement to take place without
helping it on and adding some touches of his own, thereupon interposed in
a stage whisper (evidently intended to be heard by the Baron), "The waters
of this fountain are supposed to remove [then raising his voice]

"Baroness who?" asked the diplomat, who was now all alert.

Mr. Mallet, to our amazement (who ever could have imagined him so jocose),
said quite gravely, "Probably the wife of the barren fig-tree."

"Ah!" said the Baron, "I don't know them," thus snubbing all the fig-

"A very old family," said Mallet, "mentioned in the Bible."

This seemed to stagger our friend, who evidently prided himself on knowing
every family worth knowing. The Marquis de Gallifet, seeing his chance,
hurried to tell the story of the d'Albe family, which the crestfallen
Baron drank in with open mouth and swallowed whole. As the Duke d'Albe was
there himself, listening attentively and smiling, the story must have been
true! The Marquis de Gallifet said, when Noah was ready to depart in the
ark he saw a man swimming for dear life toward the boat, waving something
in the air. Noah called out to him:

"Don't ask to be taken in. We can't carry any more passengers, we are
already too full."

The man answered, "I don't want to be taken in; I don't care for myself;
but, pray, save the papers of the family."

The Baron looked very grave, and turning to the Duke asked, in an
extremely solemn tone, "Is this really true?"

"Perfectly," answered the Duke, without moving a muscle. "The saying,
'Après moi le déluge,' originated in our family; but we say, 'Nous
d'abord, et _puis_ le déluge!'"

"How interesting!" said the Baron.

Then Monsieur Dué, not wishing to be outdone, said his family was as old
(if not older), having taken the name of Dué from the dove [in Swedish
"dué" means dove] which carried the olive-branch to the ark. By this time
the poor Baron, utterly staggered and bewildered in presence of such a
concourse of ancient nobility, did not know on which leg to stand. How
could he and his family ever hold up their heads again?

We returned to Compiègne by St. Périne, where there was a most enchanting
view, and drove straight through a long avenue and entered _La cour
d'honneur_. It was almost half-past five when we reached our rooms.

I thought I had had enough of fossils and ruins for one day, from
breakfast onward, so when old General Changarnier came to offer me his arm
for dinner I said to myself, "This is the climax!"

But, on the contrary (the unexpected always arrives), he was so delightful
and genial that my heart was warmed through, which, indeed, it needed,
after the ice-chest I had had for _déjeuner_. He did not try to raise
me to his level, but simply let himself down to mine, and talked small
talk so youthfully that I felt we were about the same age. He was a
charming man.

Monsieur de Laferrière arranged a sort of ball for this evening. There was
an unusual flutter, for everything was going to be extra fine, and we put
on our prettiest dresses. Programmes with dangling pencils were lavished
on us, on which regular dances were set down--quadrilles, waltzes, polkas,
and lancers.

The usual _cercle_ was curtailed, in view of the ball.

The chamberlains, to facilitate matters, had arranged the boxes of music
for the mechanical piano very methodically on a table, so there should be
no mistakes or fumbling with the slides.

The ladies were so agitated, fearing they would not get any partners, that
they made very transparent efforts to attract the attention of the
gentlemen. One would have thought they had never been to a ball in all
their lives. The gentlemen, just as agitated, rushed about to secure the
ladies, whom they could have had _without_ the rushing on other evenings.
The Empress looked exquisitely beautiful. The Emperor stood in the
doorway, smiling at this whirlwind of gaiety and animation. The Prince
Imperial danced untiringly with all the ladies.

Flowers were distributed about, and, wonder of wonders! ices were served
at intervals, as if it were a real ball. My old general was chivalry
itself. He even engaged a partner for the lancers, and skipped about
telling everybody he did not know how to dance them, which was
unnecessary, as one could see for oneself later.

There are four kinds of people in society:

Those who know the lancers.

Those who don't know the lancers.

Those who know the lancers and say they don't.

Those who don't know the lancers and say they do.

My old and venerable warrior belonged to class number two, and really did
not know the lancers, but tripped about pleasantly and let others guide
him. When we came to the _grande chaîne_ he was completely intoxicated
with his success. Every eye was on him. Every one was occupied with his
doings, and his alone. All the ladies were pulling him first one way and
then the other, trying to confuse him by getting him into another set,
until he found himself quite at the other end of the room, still being
pulled about and twirled in every direction, never knowing where he was or
when he was going to stop. At last, utterly exhausted and confused, he
stopped short and placed himself in the middle of the ballroom, delighted
to be the center of all eyes and to make this effective _finale._ But no
one could compare with him when he made his Louis-Quinze reverence; the
younger men had to acknowledge that he scored a point there, and he might
well be proud of himself. All this made us very gay, and almost
boisterous. Never before had the evening finished with such a burst of
merriment, and we all retired, agreeing that the ball had been a great
success, and that Monsieur de Laferrière could sleep on his laurels as
soundly as we intended to sleep on our pillows.

_December 1st._

Count Niewekerke offered me his arm for _déjeuner_ this morning. He is a
Dutchman (_Hollandais_ sounds better) by birth, but he lives in Paris. As
he is the greatest authority on art there, the Emperor has made him Count
and Director of the Galerie du Louvre. He is very handsome, tall, and
commanding, and has, besides other enviable qualities, the reputation of
being the great lady-killer _par excellence._

As we stood there together the Empress passed by us. She held up her
finger warningly, saying, "Take care! Beware! He is a very dangerous
person, _un vrai mangeur de coeur!"_ "I know, your Majesty," I answered,
"and I expect to be brought back on a litter."

She laughed and passed on.

Monsieur Niewekerke looked pleasantly conscious and flattered as we walked
to the dining-room, and I felt as if I was being led to the altar to be
sacrificed like poor little Isaac. His English is very cockney, and he got
so mixed up with "heart" and "art" that I did not know half the time
whether he was talking of the collection of the Louvre Gallery or of his
lady victims. He did not hesitate to call my attention to the presence of
some of them at the table, which I thought was very kind of him, in case I
was unaware of it.

He is as keen about the good things of the table as he is about art; in
fact, he is a great epicure. As he thought well of the menu, I will copy
it for you:

    _Consommé en tasses._
    Oeufs au fromage à l'Italienne.
    Petites truites.
    Cailles au riz.
    Côtelettes de veau grillées.
    Viande froide, salade.
    Brioches à la vanille, fruits, dessert, café....

"Well," said the Empress, as she stopped in front of me after _déjeuner_,
"are you alive?"

"I am, your Majesty, and, strange to say, my heart is intact."

"Wonderful!" she said, "you are an exception."

We had the choice between going to a _chasse à tir_ (without the Emperor),
and a drive to Pierrefonds.

I had enough of the _chasse à tir_ last year, and I still see in my dreams
those poor birds fluttering in their death-agony. Anything better than

I preferred Pierrefonds, with its gargoyles and its hard, carved chairs.

I was glad Monsieur de Niewekerke went with us, for he was more
interesting and did not go into so many details as Viollet-le-Duc.


The restoration has progressed very much since the last time we were here,
though far from being completed yet. In the huge hall Niewekerke told me
the statues about the chimney were portraits of the wives of the _preux
chevaliers_ of that time.

I thought the frescos of this hall were very crude in color; but Monsieur
de Niewekerke said they were excellent copies of the ancient style of

The castle is such a magnificent ruin one almost wishes that it was not

I would like to see it in summer, not in this season, when one perishes
with cold and longs, in spite of its beauty, to be out of it and in a
warmer place.

There was a dense fog on the lake and a mist in the forest when we left,
and it was dreadfully damp and cold. The postilions took a shorter cut and
carried us through La Brévière and St. Jean aux Bois.

I should think both must be charming in summer; but now--ugh!

What was my delight at the Empress's tea this afternoon to see Auber, my
dear old Auber! He had been invited for dinner, and had come with the
artists who are to play to-night. He looked so well and young, in spite of
his eighty-three years. Every one admires him and loves him. He is the
essence of goodness, talent, and modesty. He is writing a new opera. Fancy
writing an opera at eighty-three!

I asked what the name of it was. He answered: "'Le Rêve d'Amour.' The
title is too youthful and the composer is too old. I am making a mistake,
but what of that? It is my last!"

I said I hoped he would live many more years and write many more operas.

He shook his head, saying, "Non, non, c'est vraiment mon dernier!"

Monsieur de Lareinty said to the Empress at tea that there was an unusual
amount of musical talent among her guests--a real galaxy of stars seldom
to be found in amateurs.

The galaxy may have existed--but the stars! The Milky Way seen through the
wrong end of an opera glass was nothing to the smallness of their

The Empress caught at the idea directly, and the decree went out that
there should be a concert tomorrow evening; not mere desultory singing,
but singers and songs in regular order.

Auber said he was sorry he could not be there to applaud us. He
accompanied us when we went to our rooms, and then he had no idea how to
find his own. After having seen him handed over successively to three
different valets, we left him to his fate, hoping he would arrive at his
destination eventually. When we entered the salon for dinner Auber was
already there. If he had not brought his own servant with him, he never
would have been in time.

The troop of the Comédie Française played "La Joie fait Peur," by Musset.
The theater was brilliantly lighted; the guests, from the environs and the
_fine fleur_ of Compiègne, filled all the boxes. The gentlemen and the
officers were in the parquet. The Court and Imperial guests sat with their
Majesties in the Imperial box. It was a magnificent sight!

Madame Favart was most touching in her part, and everybody, I think, wept.
Coquelin was excellent; but I do not like him so much in his pathetic
rôles; his squeaky voice and nasal tones do not belong to the sentimental
style. After the play he gave a monologue, which was the funniest thing I
ever heard, "Les Obsèques de Madame X----." The whole house was laughing,
and most of all the Emperor. I could see his back shaking, and the
diplomatic and apoplectic Baron condescended to explode twice.

The representation lasted till half-past ten. The artists did not change
their toilettes, but came into the salon as they were dressed for the
play. They were received with great cordiality by their Majesties. The
Chamberlain gave them each a little package containing, I suppose, a
valuable souvenir from the sovereigns. A special train took them back to

Auber bid me good-by, saying, "Au revoir until Paris, if you are not too
absorbed in these grandeurs to receive a poor, insignificant bourgeois
like me."

"You can always try," I answered with a laugh. "Bon soir et bon voyage!"

_December 2d._

What a day this has been! A storm of rain and hail raged all night, and
when I looked out of the window this morning I saw everything deluged in
water. The park looked dismal; all the paths were full of puddles; the
trees were dripping with rain, and, to judge from the dark skies and
threatening clouds, it seemed as if worse was to follow and there might be
thunder and lightning. On the programme for to-day there stood _chasse à
courre_; but of course _cela tombait dans l'eau_, as would have been its
natural end anyway in this weather. None of the ladies donned their green
costumes, as even one was so sure that the day would be passed indoors.

At _déjeuner_ I was fortunate enough to sit between Prince Metternich
and the Marquis de Gallifet. Certainly I could not have two more
delightful companions, each so different and yet so entertaining. The
Marquis was very aggressive and grumpy; but very amusing.

In French one says, "On a le vin triste," or "On a le vin gai." The
Marquis has "le déjeuner grincheux (grumpy)," I think.

He began by attacking me on the English language. He said it was utterly
absurd and illogical, and though he ought to know it, as he had an English
wife, he felt he never could learn it.

"Apropos of to-day's weather, you say, 'It never rains but it pours'--au
fond qu'est-ce que cela veut dire? 'Il ne pleut jamais, mais il pleut à
verse'; cela n'a pas le sens commun--you might as well say, 'It never
pours but it rains.'"

I had to confess that it did sound senseless, and tried to explain the
meaning; but he grumbled, "Why don't they say what they mean?" He told me
he was once traveling in England and put his head out of the carriage
window to see something, and some one inside cried, "Look out!" He put his
head still farther out, when the person continued to scream, "Look out!"
He answered, "I am looking out," at which a rude hand seized him by the
coat-collar and jerked him inside, saying, "Damn it, look in then!"

"How can any one conquer a language as stupid as that?"

I told him I felt humiliated to own such a language, and I ought to
apologize for it, though I had not invented it and did not feel
responsible for it; but he would not listen to me.

Prince Metternich asked, "What shall we do indoors this awful day?"

I proposed tableaux; but he objected to tableaux.

Then I suggested that one might have a fancy-dress tea-party. At last,
after many wild propositions, he said, "Why not charades?"

Of course he had intended charades all the time. He asked the Marquis de
Gallifet if he would help us.

"No, I won't," answered the Marquis, "but you are welcome to my wife; she
loves dressing-up and all that nonsense;" adding, "It is the only thing
she can do with success."

"But we want her to act. Can she?"

"Act!" said the amiable husband. "She can act like the devil!"

By the time we had returned to the salon the Prince had not only found a
good word for a charade, but had decided in his resourceful mind all minor
details. He thought it would amuse the Prince Imperial to join us, and he
asked permission of the Prince's _gouverneur_ to allow him to do so. The
permission was readily given.

Prince Metternich begged Vicomte Walsh to obtain the Empress's gracious
consent to honor the performance with her presence. She was very pleased
at the idea of seeing her son's _début_ as an actor, and promised to come,
and even said she would have the tea, usually served in her salon, brought
to the little theater.

Prince Metternich gave us a sketch of what he wanted us to do, and gave us
general instructions as to our costumes, and bade us meet again in an
hour. He would see to everything else: light, heat, scenery, powder,
paint, etc., all the accessories, would be ready for us. We ladies were to
be _pierrettes_ and dancers of Louis-Quinze period; the gentlemen were to
represent the _talons rouges_, and to have red cloth pasted on the heels
of their low shoes. We could paint our faces and powder our hair after our
own ideas. "But, ladies, above all, do not be late," were the parting
words of the Prince.

We followed his instructions as well as we could, and reappeared in the
theater to hear the now fully matured plans of our impresario.

The Empress was seated before we were ready, Prince Metternich was so long
painting the Prince Imperial. We could hear her saying, "Allons! Allons!"
clapping her hands in her eagerness for us to commence.

The word was PANTALON.

The first syllable, PAN, was represented by the Prince Imperial as a
statue of Pan.

His body was visible to the waist above a pedestal. Over his flesh-colored
undershirt he wore a wreath of green leaves across his shoulders, and his
head was also covered with a wreath. He held the traditional flute before
his mouth. No one could have recognized the delicate features of the
Prince Imperial, as Prince Metternich had painted his lips very large and
very red, and had added a fantastic mustache. His eyebrows (black as ink)
had an upward tilt, in true Mephistophelian style.

It was a sylvan scene. Prince Metternich had ordered from the greenhouse
some orange and other trees to be moved on to the stage, which made a very
pretty effect.

The Princess Metternich, in a quaint costume, was the Harlequine to her
husband's Harlequin. They made a very funny love scene, because, being man
and wife, they could make all their kissing real, and so ridiculously
loud, that one could hear it all over the theater. Every one laughed till
they cried, and particularly as Pan was rolling his eyes about in a very
comical manner.

Her other lover (Pierrot) came in unawares; but she had time to throw a
shawl over Harlequin, who put himself on all fours, thus making a bench,
on which she demurely sat down. In order to throw dust in Pierrot's eyes,
she took from her basket a hammer and some nuts and began cracking them
(to the audience's and Pan's horror) on poor Harlequin's head, eating them
with great _sang-froid_.

Prince Metternich had prudently provided a wooden bowl, with which he
covered his head so that his ambassadorial skull should be spared. Pan
smiled a diabolical smile, and had, of course, a great success.

TALON was the next syllable. This was a sort of pantomime. The actors were
grouped like a picture of Watteau. Count Pourtales was a dancing-master
and was really so witty, graceful, and took such artistic attitudes that
he was a revelation to every one. Prince Metternich (his bosom friend)

"Who would ever have thought it? How talent conceals itself!"

The whole word PANTALON was a combination of Columbines, Harlequins, and
Louis-Quinze cavaliers dancing in a circle, and all talking nonsense at

The statue of Pan in knickerbockers, his wreaths still on his head and
shoulders, joined in the dance.

The Empress led the vociferous applause, and Prince Metternich came
forward on the stage and said, "Ladies and gentlemen, we are deeply
flattered at your approval. There will be a second performance before his
Majesty, the Emperor of the French, and I hope you will accord us your

There was great laughter at this.

Count Pourtales took me in to dinner. We were very glad to be neighbors.
He was resting on his laurels, and I wanted to rest before getting mine
(if I got any) this evening. We exchanged views on nervousness. He said he
had been dreadfully nervous in the afternoon. I told him I was always
nervous when I had to sing, and when I sang the first song I was hot and
cold all over.

"Like Alboni," he said; "she has had to give up singing in opera, she had
such stage-frights."

We thanked each other after finishing dinner for having been kind enough
to have let the other alone.

The rain was still pouring in torrents when we returned to the salon. In
spite of the many voices, we could still hear it pattering against the
windows of the terrace. It was lucky there were some stars among us, as
Monsieur de Lareinty had said, otherwise we would have seen none to-night.

At ten o'clock the "galaxy" went into the _salle de musique_, and the
planets began to shine. First came Baroness Gourgaud, who attacked the
"Mi-bémol Polonaise," of Chopin. Their Majesties settled themselves in
their chairs with a look of heavenly resignation on their faces, which was
reflected on those of most of the guests.

However, she played beautifully, more like an artiste than an amateur. The
Empress went forward to her, holding out her hand, which the Baroness,
bowing to the ground, kissed gratefully, feeling that she had covered
herself with glory, as she really had.

Then Monsieur de V---- (our basso) sang "O Marguerite," from Faust,
without the slightest voice, but with excellent intentions. Next, having
the music under his hand, he continued and sang "Braga's Serenade," which
he thought was more suited to his voice, though it is written, as you
know, for a soprano. He sang the girl's part in a mysterious, husky, and
sepulchral voice, and the angel's part weaker and feebler than any angel
ever dreamed of.

I looked at the beautiful ceiling painted by Girodet, and to keep myself
from going to sleep counted the legs of the angels, and tried to calculate
how many legs belonged to each. Monsieur de V---- said his idea was to
make the contrast very strong between the girl and the angel; he certainly

Monsieur Dué played some of what he calls his "Sketches." "Il est si doué
(gifted)," exclaimed Princess Metternich.

Every one was pleased; so was he.

I sang "Le Rossignol," of Alabieff, in which is the cadenza Auber wrote
for me. Princess Metternich played the accompaniment.

Madame C---- (our contralto) sang "Lascia che pianga," which suited her
beautiful voice better than it did the audience's taste. Then she sang
"Ah! Mon Fils," of "Le Prophète," with great effect, accompanying herself.

But this was not the kind of music to please our audience.

Count E---- (our tenor) was asked to add his Milky Way tenor to the rest
of the planets, but begged to be excused on the plea of a sore throat. No
one questioned this, and he was allowed to remain unheard.

Later I sang "Oh! that We Two were Maying," by Gounod, a much too serious
song; but the Empress said she thought it was the most beautiful one she
had ever heard. I think so, too. I also sang one of Massenet's, "Poème
d'Avril." They asked for "Beware!" which I sang. The Emperor came up to me
(each time he gets up from his chair every one gets up and stands until he
sits down again), and said, "Won't you sing the song about the shoe?"

What did he mean? I had no idea.

"The one you sang the other night," said the Emperor.

What do you think he meant?

Well, he meant "Shoo-fly!" I sang it, as he desired. I don't believe he
knows yet what its true meaning is. There is an end to all things, and our
concert came to an end at last. Their Majesties, with gracious smiles and
repeated thanks, retired, the Milky Way faded from view, and the planets
went to bed.

I know I deserved mine, and I appreciated it when I got it.

_December 3d._

The _chasse à courre_ is generally fixed for the last day of the _série_;
but their Majesties, at the suggestion of the thoughtful Vicomte Walsh,
ordered it to be changed to this afternoon, in order that the operetta
should arrive at a riper stage of perfection. Would it ever be near
enough? We had never had a moment yet when we could rehearse all together.
Vicomte de V----'s costume had not come from Paris, and he was bordering
on brain-fever, in a state of expectancy and impatience. Neither he nor
d'Espeuilles knew their songs, and the chorus needed much drilling. The
Princess Metternich put her salon at the Marquis's disposal, and he spent
half his time teaching some of his pupils.

The days of the _chasse à courre_ the gentlemen appear in red coats and
the ladies in green-cloth dresses. Those that had _le bouton_ put it in
their buttonhole. You may be sure I wore mine!

All the carriages, the horses, and grooms were before the terrace at two
o'clock, and after the usual delay we drove off to the forest. Their
Majesties and the Prince Imperial were on horseback. The Duchess de Sesto
invited me to drive with her, and in the same _char-à-banc_ with us were
Baronne de la Poeze, Comtesse Pourtales, and four or five others. The
Duchess looked very dainty, wrapped in her chinchilla furs. I had had so
little time to learn the talking part of my rôle that I took it with me in
the carriage, hoping to be able to study it. They all sympathized with me,
as they knew the operetta was to be given to-morrow evening.

The roads were full of mud; but we splashed through them regardless of
such minor details as dirt Fortunately it did not rain, and the sun made a
few spasmodic efforts to come out, but it was far from being the ideal day
of last year.

This _chasse_ varies but little, and I described my first acquaintance
with it in a letter last year, so I will spare you the repetition of
details. I fancy the route we took was the same; but I am not quite sure,
for all the roads and avenues resemble one another.

Once, as we halted at an _étoile_, we saw a beautiful stag bound past
us, full of life and strength, with enormous horns (they said it was a
_dix cors_). Every one in the carriage stood up in their excitement to
look after it. How I wished he would escape and live his free and happy
life in the forest. I hate this _chasse_; I hate to write about it; I
hate to be present at it. It is all so pitiful and painful to me! How can
any one find pleasure in such cruel sport?

To kill a living creature, to take the life of an animal that has done you
no harm, seems horrible to me. But I will say no more on this subject. It
always puts me in a bad temper, and makes me disgusted with my fellow-

We followed the other part of the cavalcade and arrived at the _carrefour_
in time to see the death of one stag. The others saw it, but I was
occupied with my manuscript.

There were two stags taken, two beautiful creatures that ought to have

It was so cold and bleak I longed to get back to warm rooms, cheerful
fire, and a hot cup of tea, which I was sure to find awaiting me, and I
was heartily glad when we turned homeward.

Six o'clock had just struck when we drove up to the front of the Grand
Escalier, and I was able to get a little rest before dressing for dinner.

All the ladies who owned diamond crescents, or any crescent suggestive of
Diana and her pastimes, put them on. The Empress had a gorgeous crescent
on her lovely hair.

The worn-out Marquis took me in to dinner. It was fortunate, for there
were some vital points which we had to discuss. On my other side was the
Count de Grammont, a sportsman, who wanted to talk only of the hunt; but I
was able to turn a deaf ear to his marvelous exploits, thanks to the
Marquis's incessant explanations.

There was a little dancing, to fill up the time before the _curée_. It is
a pity that this is our last dance. The chamberlains are beginning to show
a good deal of talent in their playing _le piano méchanique_, and they can
play almost in time.

The _curée_ was at ten o'clock. The long gallery was soon alive with an
eager public. All the windows were occupied by the ladies. The courtyard
was filled, in spite of the cold weather, with the populace of Compiègne;
the _piqueurs_ waved their torches; the dogs howled and yelped; the
_gardes_ blew their long _cors de chasse_, and it was just like last year,
except that on this occasion there were two stags--therefore, two sets of
entrails to be devoured.

Tea and cakes were passed about. Those who had come from the neighboring
châteaux took their leave, those who were to return to Paris drove off to
the station, and the privileged guests retired to their apartments.

_December 4th._

At ten o'clock this morning I was surprised at hearing a timid knock at my
salon door. Who should it be but the Marquis d'Aoust. He begged my pardon
for disturbing me; but he wished to consult me about something he
considered of great importance.

He looked disheveled and careworn, even at this early hour, as if he had
not slept all night. Would I be willing to help Count d'E---- in our duet,
and sing a part of his music? Otherwise, he was sure it would never go.

I told him it would not be easy to sing tenor; but I would see at the
rehearsal what I could do. He was in despair. I tried to tranquilize him,
my compassion triumphing over my forebodings, and assured him that all
would go well. I did not tell him that I had had a succession of
nightmares last night, where I saw myself stranded on the stage, having
forgotten both words and music.

He said that he had been on the stage at work with the carpenters since I
don't know when this morning. They had first put up the scenery as he had
ordered; but he saw that there would not be space for the eight performers
(there are two scenes where we are all on the stage at once). Accordingly,
he had ordered the carpenters to change it.

I ate my _déjeuner_ sandwiched between the tenor and the basso. We
rehearsed our dialogues, although we pretended to discuss other matters.

The Empress went directly to the Marquis after _déjeuner_ and said, "We
are looking forward to your operetta to-night with real pleasure, and
we are sure that it will be a great success." The Marquis was radiant.

When we met later in the theater for our first and only rehearsal we were
delighted to find there the grand piano from the _salle de musique_. The
curtain rose on a very pretty garden scene, with trees on either side,
green linen on the floor representing grass, a village with a church-
steeple in the background, and for stage properties a garden bench and a
vase placed just before the footlights, so that it would not interfere
with our movements, but would show us where _not_ to fall off.

The Marquis was, of course, at the piano, and Prince Metternich, as
prompter, squeezed into a prompter's box, looking wretchedly
uncomfortable. We commenced the rehearsal, which, on the whole, went off
better than we expected.

The basso is the first to appear. He sings a melancholy song, in which he
makes known his love for the humble village maiden. His voice gets more
dismal and lower as he becomes despondent, and higher and more buoyant as
his hopes rise. At the end, when he sings "Elle sera à moi," his voice,
though very husky, was almost musical. Then I, as the village maiden,
enter with a basket, suggestive of butter and eggs, and sing a sentimental
ditty telling of my love for the friend of the lord. The music of this is
mediocre beyond words. The Marquis tries to show, by a few high soprano
notes, how high my wildest flights of aspirations fly before I could ever
reach the subject of my love. "Mes tourments" and "le doux plaisir
d'aimer" get so mixed that I don't know myself what I am singing about.

The lady of the manor hears my lament, and, believing me to be in love
with her husband, berates me in a dramatic duet. The friend and adviser
now appears, and we get through an incomprehensible trio. He cannot
convince her (the lady) of the innocence of her husband. She insists upon
thinking him a traitor, leaves us in a fury, and we have the floor to
ourselves when we sing the famous duet on account of which the Marquis had
qualms this morning. In it there is a minor phrase which is quite
intricate, and I saw that unless I came to d'E----'s rescue he could never
manage it.

The lord and the lady reappear, while the friend and I retire in the
background and lean up against the village steeple and whisper. The lady
is violent and the lord is indifferent. The music sounds like an
everlasting grumble, because her voice is contralto and his is bass. The
village maiden is called to the front, and denies everything she has been
accused of. The husband makes amends in a phrase miles too high for his
voice. The friend takes all the blame on his black-velvet shoulders, and
says he has loved the maiden all along. The maiden is overcome with
emotion and faints for joy.

The final quartette is a sad affair, musically speaking, constructed on
the Marquis's own ideas of thoroughbass. All the singers start on the same
plane, the soprano soars heavenward, the contralto and the bass grovel in
their deepest notes, while the tenor, who ought to fill up the gap, stands
counting the measures on his fingers, his eyes glued to the prompter,
until he joins me and we soar together.

To use a metaphor, one might say that the contralto and bass were in the
lower regions, the soprano floating in heaven, the tenor groping about on
earth for his note; then we all meet on the same place we started from,
which is the signal for the chorus to unite their forces with ours.

The Marquis was dreadfully put out with me because I refused to faint on
the stage (in the text it says _Rosette tombe évanouie_). He said nothing
was easier. I had only to put my arms out to break the fall and--fall. He
thought that with a little practice between the afternoon and the evening
I should be able to do it.

I could see myself covered with bruises tumbling about over sofas and
chairs, and I could see the bewilderment of any one coming into my room
while I was practising this part of my rôle.

I said, "I absolutely refuse to risk my neck." He thought it was very
selfish of me. One would have thought that the whole success of the
operetta depended on my fainting. He said he could show me how to fall
without hurting myself, and in trying to do so he tripped over the vase
and bumped his head against the garden bench. Fortunately he did not
damage himself, but the argument ended then and there.

At half-past four my maid came to the theater to tell me that the Empress
expected me to tea. I had thought she would, as she had promised the
answers to those questions; and so it was. As soon as I appeared (I had
had time to change my dress) the Empress called me to her and said:

"Here are the answers to your American soul-probing questions! These are
mine (giving me hers) and here are the Emperor's. He was very pleased to
write them, as it was you who asked him; besides, I think they amused him.
He spent a long time pondering over each answer. You see," she added, with
her lovely smile, "nous vous aimons bien."

I was very glad to have the answers. I copy them for you.

    A quelle qualité donnez-vous la préférence? À la gratitude.

    Quels sont vos auteurs favoris? Tacite.

    Quelles sont vos occupations favorites? Chercher la solution de
    problèmes insolubles.

    Qui voudriez-vous être? Mon petit fils.

    Quelles personnes de l'histoire détestez-vous le plus? Le Connétable
    de Bourbon.

    Pour quelles fautes avez-vous le plus d'indulgence? Pour celles dont
    je profite.


    A quelle qualité donnez-vous la préférence?  Au dévouement.

    Quels sont vos auteurs favoris?  Calderon, Byron, Shakespeare.

    Quelles sont vos occupations favorites? Faire le bien.

    Qui voudriez-vous être? Ce que je suis.

    Quelles personnes de l'histoire détestez-vous le plus? Lopez.

    Pour quelles fautes avez-vous le plus d'indulgence? Pour celles que la
    passion excuse.


I add the answers of Prosper Mérimée:

    À quelle qualité donnez-vous la préférence? La persévérance.

    Quels sont vos auteurs favoris? Pr. Mérimée.

    Quelles sont vos occupations favorites? Faire des châteaux en Espagne.

    Qui voudriez-vous être?  Napoléon III.

    Quelles personnes de l'histoire détestez-vous le plus? Mazarin.

    Pour quelles fautes avez-vous le plus d'indulgence? La gourmandise.


I think the Emperor's are very clever.

"And the operetta?" inquired the Empress.

"I hope your Majesties will be indulgent," I replied.

Monsieur de Laferrière was next to me at dinner. He was as much interested
in the operetta as other people seemed to be. I took advantage of his
being my neighbor to ask him to manage it so that we could leave the salon
before the _cercle_ commenced, as we had to dress, and if any of us were
late I dared not think what the effect would be on the nervous Marquis.

The Emperor raised his glass during dinner, though I sat very far down the
table. I suppose he wanted to inspire me with hope and courage.

Monsieur de Laferrière arranged everything for us most amiably. We rushed
off to our rooms to dress. I, for one, was not long over my toilette, and,
followed by my maid, hurried through the long corridors to the theater.

We were all there except Monsieur de V----, who was no doubt still
pottering over his raiment. The artist he had ordered from Paris was
already there, brush in hand, ready to paint us. The result was very
satisfactory. When we looked at ourselves in the glass we wondered why one
should not be beautiful every day with so simple an art.

We were rather taken back when Monsieur d'Espeuilles appeared in a wig and
a false mustache; but he hastened to say there was nothing like being
disguised to put one at one's ease. The gentlemen of the chorus, not
willing to go to any extra expense, had _culottes courtes_ and white
stockings; the ladies had tried to be more in harmony, but they thought
that with rakes, spades, and basket they had quite enough _couleur

The chamberlain came to ask whether their Majesties should come now.
Prince Metternich answered that we were waiting for them, A tedious delay
occurred before the audience had settled into their places in accordance
with their rank, to the great annoyance of Prince Metternich, shut up in
the small prompter's box, and the Marquis d'Aoust, fidgeting at the piano,
and driving us almost to distraction by his repeated questions and
exhortations: "Do you think you know your part? Don't forget to"--etc.

At last! at last! No retreating now, _Coûte que coûte!_ we must take in
the plank and embark on our shaky craft.

The Marquis attacked the overture by playing some vigorous arpeggios and
pompous chords. The curtains were drawn aside and the lord of the manor
entered. After his monologue, which he did very well, he hesitated a
moment. This agitated the Marquis to such a degree that he stood up and
waved his hand as a signal to him to commence his song, and gave him the
note on the piano. Monsieur de V---- started in all right and sang his
song with due sentiment, and very well. I even think as far back as the
sixth row of seats they were conscious that he was singing. His acting and
gestures were faultless. All Frenchmen can act.

I thought, when I came in, the public was chilly, and I felt cold shivers
running down my back. My courage was oozing out of me, and when the lord
of the manor said to me, "Rosette, que fais-tu ici?" and I had to answer,
"Ce que je fais, Monsieur; mais vous voyez bien, je ne fais rien," I
thought I should die of fright and collapse on the spot. However, I pulled
myself together and began my silly little song.

The moment I began to sing I felt at ease, and I flatter myself I gave a
certain glaze to the emptiness of the music. Madame Conneau sang her
dramatic aria beautifully, and created quite a _furore_. I only wish the
music had been more worthy of her. The love duet between the friend and
myself was, much to my surprise, a great success. It was encored, and we
sang it again.

When we came to the minor passage (the stumbling-block) the Marquis, who
was perspiring at every pore in his dread that I should not hit the right
note, pounded it on the piano loud enough to be heard all over the
theater. I gave him a withering look, which he pretended not to see.
Perhaps he did not, for his attention, like mine, was startled by seeing
the false mustache of Monsieur d'Espeuilles ungluing and threatening to
drop into his mouth. The Marquis began wagging his head and making frantic
signs. Monsieur d'Espeuilles was horribly confused, and I feared for the
success of our _da capo;_ but he patted the now limp offender back on
his lip, and we continued the duet. During the applause the Marquis took
the occasion to wipe the perspiration from his bald head.

In spite of our qualms the final quartette was not so bad after all. When
it was time for me to come down from my upward flight in order to help the
tenor, the Marquis again waved his right hand in the air to attract my
attention, while he thundered a tremolo with his left, to keep the
accompaniment going until he was sure that everything was right. The
chorus came on in due order, and flourished their rakes and spades as
though they were waving flags, in participation of the joy and gladness of
the reconciliation. There was one moment of genuine hilarity, when the
little fox-terrier belonging to the Empress's niece rushed on to the stage
to join his mistress, who, with great _sang-froid,_ picked him up and
went on singing, to the immense amusement of the audience.

It was suffocatingly hot in the little theater, and we were glad to think
that we had arrived at the end of our perilous journey. The red on our
cheeks was getting paler; the powder was becoming paste; the black on the
eyebrowless actors began to run down their cheeks; Monsieur d'Espeuilles's
wig and mustache were all on one side.

All these details mattered little, now that the end had come, and the
performance had concluded with great _éclat_.

The happy Marquis (though I think he aged ten years that hour at the
piano) was radiant with his success. Every emotion had swept over him:
ambition, vanity, hope, pride, forbearance, patience, long-suffering.

The curtain fell amid great applause, as spontaneous as it was persistent
and, I hope, genuine.

We stayed in our costumes for the tea in the Emperor's salon.

Both their Majesties complimented the Marquis, and thanked us all
separately for the pleasure they had had and the trouble we had given
ourselves. The Emperor said to me, "Vous vous êtes surpassée ce soir." I
courtesied and asked him what he thought of the music.

He hesitated before answering. "I don't know much about music; but it
seems to me, as Rossini said of the music of Wagner: 'Il y a de jolis
moments, mais de mauvais quarts d'heures!' All the same, it was very

Every one praised the Marquis to the skies, and he was really in the
seventh heaven of delight.

I am only afraid his head will be turned, and that he will write another

I was glad when their Majesties bade us good night, for I was completely

PARIS, _December 5th_.

It seems nice, all the same, to be at home again. We arrived in Paris at
six o'clock, and at half-past seven I was in my bed, completely worn out.
However, I must tell you how our visit ended the day before yesterday. Was
it only the day before yesterday? It seems months ago. At _déjeuner_ the
Princess Metternich sat on the right of the Emperor, and the Empress's
brother-in-law, Duke d'Albe, gave me his _avant-le-déluge_ arm, and put me
on the left of his Majesty.

I thought the Emperor looked tired and ill, and I noticed he frequently
put his hand on his back, as if he was in pain. The Princess Metternich
engrossed the Emperor's attention. She is so witty and lively that every
one must listen when she talks. All the same, the Emperor talked with me a
good deal, and thanked me for having done so much to amuse them. Never
would they forget the pleasure they had had.

When we went up to our rooms to put on our cloaks there was no pretentious
majordomo demanding his fee, and our particular valet looked sad, and did
not meet my eye when I tried to catch his to give a smile of adieu, and
persistently fixed his gaze on something at the other end of the corridor.
I rather liked the old way better, as one felt that in a measure one had
made some little compensation for all the delightful days spent there.

I asked my maid how the servants felt about this change. She said that in
their _salle à manger_ almost all the maids and valets belonging to the
guests gave _pourboires_.

After we had made our adieux, and taken our seats in the different
carriages, their Majesties came out on the balcony to see us depart. They
waved their hands in farewell as we drove off.

The journey back to Paris was a silent one. Every one was occupied with
his own thoughts. Prince Metternich sat in a corner talking with the
impervious diplomat; I wondered if he were relating the salad's
complicated relationships. We all bade one another good-by, adding, with
assumed enthusiasm, that we hoped to meet soon again, when perhaps we were
rejoicing in the thought that we would not do so for a long time to come.

What insincere creatures we are!

_May, 1870._

We were invited to a picnic at Grand Trianon, given by the Emperor and
Empress for the Archduke of Austria.

The rendezvous was to be at St. Cloud, and we were asked to be there at
four o'clock. On arriving we found the Metternichs, Édouard Delesert,
Duperré, and Count Dehm, the Austrian Secretary. Their Majesties and the
Prince Imperial joined us when we were all assembled. We then mounted the
two _char-à-bancs_ which were waiting for us in front of the chateau,
with their postilions and four horses; the _piqueurs,_ in their saddles,
were all ready to precede us. The Emperor, Empress, the Prince Imperial,
Princess Metternich, and the Archduke were in the first carriage; the rest
of us were in the second--about fourteen people in all. We drove through
the lovely forest of Marly, the long, tiresome avenues of Versailles, and
through many roads known probably only to the postilions, and perhaps used
only on rare occasions such as this royal excursion, for they were in such
a bad condition, ruts and stones everywhere, that our heads and shoulders
were bumping continually against our neighbors'. Finally we reached Petit
Trianon, where we left the carriages and servants, who were ordered to
meet us at Grand Trianon later, bringing our extra wraps with them. The
air was deliciously balmy and warm, and was filled with the perfume of
lilacs and acacias.

We wandered through the park, admiring the skill of the artist who had
laid it out so cleverly, just like Petit Val. This is not surprising, as
it was the same person who planned them both. All the surroundings recall
the charming life which Marie Antoinette must have lived in the midst of
this pastoral simplicity.

I wondered if the same thought passed through the Empress's mind which
passed through mine. Could history ever repeat this unfortunate queen's
horrible fate? We continued our walk to Grand Trianon, and found the table
spread for our dinner under the wide _charmille,_ near the lake. The
Princess Metternich sat on the right of the Emperor, and I on his left.

The Emperor was in excellent spirits, and bandied repartees with Monsieur
Delesert, who surpassed himself in wit, and told many and sometimes rather
risky stories, which made every one laugh. The Prince Imperial could
hardly wait till the end of the dinner, he was so impatient to get to the
rowboat which was ready waiting for him on the lake. The Empress was quite
nervous, and stood on the edge of the lake all the time he was on the
water, calling to him, "Prends garde, Louis!" "Ne te penches pas, Louis!"
and many other such counsels like any other anxious mother, and she never
took her eyes from the little boat which was zigzagging about under the
hands of the youthful prince.

It was after nine o'clock when we started to return to St. Cloud by
another route. The _piqueur_, finding the gate locked through which we had
to pass, knocked on the door of the lodge-keeper, who, awakened from his
slumbers, appeared in a _déshabillé_ more than hasty, intending to
administer a _savon_ (scolding) to such tardy comers. But on hearing from
the _piqueur_ that the monarch of all he surveyed was waiting in the
carriage, he flew to open the gate, disclosing his scanty night-attire.
The funniest part of it was that, as soon as he realized the situation, he
thought it his duty to show his patriotism, so he stood on the steps of
his lodge and, as we passed through the gate, he chanted a hoarse and
sleepy! "Vive l'Empereur!" and waved his smoking candle.

The Emperor was convulsed with laughter. I, who sat behind him, could see
his shoulders shaking.

The ball of the _plébiscite_ was the most splendid thing I ever saw.
The architects and decorators had outdone themselves. The gardens of the
Tuileries beyond the fountain had been hedged in by orange-trees, and
other large trees moved there in their tubs. The whole _parterre_ of
flowers was festooned with lanterns and little colored lamps, making this
fairy scene as bright as day. The ballroom and adjoining salons, of which
the windows had been removed as well as the iron railing outside of them,
led on to a large platform which occupied the space of six such windows or
doors; these gave out into two colossal staircases which descended into
the garden. It was such a beautiful night, so warm that we ladies could
walk about in our ball-dresses without any extra wraps; there were about
six thousand people invited, they said. It seemed as if all Paris was

After the _quadrille d'honneur_ their Majesties circulated freely about.
Every one was eager to offer congratulations to the Emperor. Was it not
the greatest triumph of his reign to have the unanimous vote of all
France--this overwhelming proof of his popularity? As he stood there
smiling, with a gracious acknowledgment of the many compliments, he looked
radiantly happy to thus receive the homage of his country. As the Emperor
passed near me I added my congratulations, to which he replied, "Merci, je
suis bien heureux."

Their Majesties stood on the dais with the members of the Imperial family,
and after watching the dance they all went in to the _Pavillon de Flore_,
where supper was served for the notabilities.

For the others there was arranged a supper in the theater; an orchestra on
the stage played all the time; the balconies were festooned with flowers
and filled with guests; there were supper-tables in the parquet and in the
largest _loges_, and plants and shrubs placed in every available spot.

LONDON, _June, 1870._

DEAR M.,--What will you think of your dissipated daughter? Do you not
think that she is insatiable? I am sure that you will say that I ought to
be contented after the long season of gaiety and excitement in Paris, and
settle down in lovely Petit Val, where the lilacs and the violets call one
with scented voices.

However, we decided to go to London.

Did I write to you of our breakfast at Armenonville? After Lord Lyons's
ball, which lasted until six o'clock in the morning, Prince Metternich and
several others thought that it would be a good idea to go home, change our
ball-dresses for morning-dress, and go out to the Bois for our morning
coffee. We did it.

I confess that it was a crazy thing to do after dancing all night; but the
beautiful May morning, the glorious sunshine, and our spirits inspired us
to carry out this wild whim, much to the disgust of our sleepy coachmen.
This excursion was not a success; we were all tired and longed for bed.
One cannot be amusing or _en train_ at seven o'clock in the morning.
And as for the family, when we returned home all the comment they made
was, "What fools!" They did not see any fun in it; neither did we, to tell
the truth.

The Rothschilds, Lord Lyons, and Prince and Princess Metternich gave us
what must have been very powerful letters, for we had hardly been in
London more than a few days before we knew every one worth knowing, and
all doors worth opening were opened to us, and I found myself what one
calls _lancée_.

We took rooms in Park Street; that is, we had the two stories of the
house. The landlady lived downstairs, and gave us our meals when we were
at home. As soon as we got settled we left our cards and letters of

Invitation followed invitation in the most bewildering manner, sometimes
several for the same day.

I could not begin to tell you all that we have already done. Writing
letters seems to be the one thing which I have no time for. It is a
perpetual push and rush from morning till night.

Our first dinner was at Baron and Baroness Rothschilds', where the Prince
and Princess of Wales and a great many distinguished people were invited.
I sat next to a Mr. Osbourne--everybody called him Dick. He told me that
he was the most dined-out and tired-out man in London, and that he had not
eaten at home for six months.

I had not seen their Royal Highnesses since their visit to Paris during
the Exposition. They said that they remembered me; but I cannot think it
possible that they can have such wonderful memories.

I never saw such a splendid collection of orchids as there was on the
table, and each lady had a bouquet of orchids and roses by her plate.

I was asked to sing, and was delighted to do it. The Rothschilds' ballroom
was a glorious place in which to make a debut.

Michael Costa, the well-known musician, came after dinner and accompanied
me in the "Cavatina" from "Rigoletto," and the waltz from the "Pardon de

Lady Sherbourne, a charming lady whom I fell in love with at first sight,
sang also. She has a beautiful, rich contralto voice, and sang with a
great deal of expression an English song called, "Out on the rocks when
the tide is low."

In your last letter you wrote, "I am afraid that you are on the way to
become conceited." I am afraid myself I am, still I cannot resist telling
you, this once, that my audience was very enthusiastic and Mr. Costa said
--well, I won't tell you what he said; it might sound conceited. The last
thing I sang was "Beware!" which was immensely appreciated.

The Prince of Wales said: "That is a bewitching song. I never heard it
before. Who composed it?"

I told him that it was written for me by my husband, and Longfellow had
written the words.

The Princess, before leaving, said, "I cannot tell you how much pleasure
you have given us this evening; we hope to see you often while you are in
London." She is very beautiful, even handsomer than when I saw her last.
Baroness Rothschild kissed me, and thanked me for having sung for her.

Call me vain and conceited if you will, my head is turned, and there is
nothing more to be said about it!

A luncheon at "Caroline, Duchess of Montrose's," at two o'clock upset me
for the whole day. I am not accustomed to those big _déjeuners-
dinatoires_. I was sleepy and felt good for nothing the rest of the day;
and when we dined at Lady Molesworth's that evening, "to meet their
Royal Highnesses the Prince and Princess of Wales," and wanted to be extra
up-to-the-mark, I felt just the contrary. However, after dinner the Prince
of Wales asked me to sing, and I did not refuse, and even sang most of the
evening. There was a charming Baron Hochschild, the Swedish Minister, who
sang delightfully. He is a thorough musician, and accompanied himself
perfectly with all the aplomb of an artist. He has a deep, rich barytone,
and his _répertoire_ consisted of all the well-known old Italian songs.
Lady Molesworth is a beautiful old lady, who must have been a great beauty
in her youth. She wears curls just like yours, dear mama, which made me
love her. I met here Arthur Sullivan; he was full of compliments.

The next day we were invited to a _matinée musicale_ at Lady Dudley's,
preceded by a luncheon, which Mr. Osbourne called "a snare," because, he
said, I could not refuse to sing. I did not want to refuse, either. The
piano was in the beautiful picture-gallery, all full of Greuze's pictures
bought from the Vatican; it has the most wonderful acoustics, and the
voice sounded splendidly in it. Lady Dudley is a celebrated beauty. Lord
Dudley--before he succeeded to the title--was Lord Ward. The Duke and
Duchess of Sutherland asked us to dine. This was a very imposing affair;
the Duke of Cambridge was at the dinner as the _grosse pièce_, and there
were many diplomats. After dinner several artists came from Covent Garden,
and among them Madame Patti, who sang the "Cavatina" of "Lucia," with
flute accompaniment, and how beautifully!

When I was introduced to her I said, "The first time I heard you sing was
years ago when I was a little girl and you were in short dresses."

"In Rochester," I replied. "I shall never forget how exquisitely you sang
'Ah! non giunge' and 'Ernani.'"

"Yes, I remember quite well. I was singing in concerts with Ole Bull; but
that was a long time ago."

"It was indeed," I said; "but I have never forgotten your voice, nor a
lovely song you sang which I have never heard since, called 'Happy
Birdling of the Forest.' And your trill! Just like the bird itself!"

We became quite good friends, and she made me promise to come to see her.
She is charming. Every one was most enthusiastic. Some one said she gets a
thousand pounds for an evening. The Marquis de Caux (her husband) looked
rather out of place. It seemed queer to see him again, not as the
brilliant Marquis of the Tuileries (the "beau" _par excellence_), but
simply as the husband of Patti. He did not find a chance to speak to me.

Some days later Lady Anglesey gave a luncheon for me. On the invitations
were, "To meet Mrs. Moulton." I read between the lines: to hear Mrs.
Moulton sing. They always put on their invitations, "To meet" so and so.

Mr. Quimby said to me, "I liked you from the first moment I saw you, but I
had no idea you were going to be such a beast." "Beast!" I echoed. "That
is not very complimentary." "A lion is a beast, isn't it?" he jokingly

"Am I going to be a lion? I did not know it."

"Well, you are a lioness, which is better."

He is considered the wit of London, and this is a specimen of his wit.
What do you think?

At the luncheon there were Jacques Blumenthal, the famous pianist and
composer, and Arthur Sullivan, who asked me to sing in his little
operetta, which some amateurs are rehearsing for a _soirée_ at Lady
Harrington's; and on my acceptance he brought the music for me to try over
with him the next morning. The _soirée_ was to be three days later. The
music is nothing remarkable; in fact, the whole thing (it is called "The
Prodigal Son") is not worthy of him. I have not met any of my fellow-
performers yet. Forgive this jerky letter; I have been interrupted a
thousand times. Charles thinks it is time to go back to Paris; but we have
just received an invitation from Baron Alfred Rothschild to spend Ascot
week--a _séjour de sept jours_--with a party at a house he has hired
for the race-week there, and I could not resist.

ASCOT, LONDON, _June, 1870._

DEAR M.,--Viscount Sydney thought that we ought to ask for an audience of
the Princess of Wales, and we did it. The audience was accorded, and we
presented ourselves at the appointed hour and were received by the lady of
honor and shown into the beautifully arranged drawing-room. The Princess
was most gracious; she certainly is the loveliest lady I have ever seen. I
told her we were going to Ascot for the week, and she said that they were
also going there and hoped they would see us. Our interview came to an
end, as such interviews do, without anything very interesting happening,
and, finally, we backed ourselves out of the royal presence.

That evening there was a ball at Lady Waldegrave's, who lives at
Strawberry Hill, a mile or so out of London. Baron Alfred Rothschild
offered to take us out there in his coach and-four. We dined first with
the Baron Meyer Rothschild, and afterward drove out to Strawberry Hill. It
is the most beautiful place you can imagine. I never saw anything so grand
as the cedar-trees.

The cotillon lasted very late; the Duke of Saxe-Weimar talked a long time
with me, mostly about music. He is very musical, and knows Liszt
intimately, and told me a quantity of anecdotes about him. He was
interested in what I told him about Liszt's going to the Conservatoire
with Auber and me, and about the "Tannhäuser" overture incident. It was
six o'clock when we drove back to London. We saw the milk-carts on their
morning rounds and the street-sweepers at work. One felt ashamed of
oneself at being in ball-dress and jewels at this early hour, galloping
through the streets in a fine carriage, making such a dreadful contrast to
the poor working-people.

I had great fun at Lady Harrington's musical _soirée_, where Arthur
Sullivan's "Prodigal Son" was to be sung.

We had been dining at Lady Londonderry's, and arrived rather late at Lady
Harrington's. The whole staircase was crowded with people, and even down
in the hall it was so full of ladies and gentlemen that there was no
question of moving about. However, I made my way as far as the stairs,
every one wondering at my audacity, and I murmured gently:

"May I pass?" There was a chorus of "Quite impossible!" "Perfectly
useless!" and other such discouraging remarks. I said to a gentleman who
sat stolidly on his step:

"Do you think I could send word to Mr. Sullivan that the Prodigal Son's
mother cannot get to him?"

"What do you mean?" said he. "Are you--"

"Yes, I am; and if you don't let me pass you won't have any music."

You should have seen them jump up and make a pathway for me. I marched
through it like the children of Israel through the Red Sea. I was
enchanted to have my little fun. I joined the other performers, and the
mother of the Prodigal Son was received with open arms. The Prodigal Son's
father was pathos itself, and we rejoiced together over our weak tenor-
boy. The only fatted calves that were to be seen belonged to the fat

We had a beautiful time at Ascot. Alfred Rothschild was an excellent host.
Among the other guests were the Archibald Campbells, the Hochschilds, Mr.
Osbourne, the Duke and Duchess of Newcastle, Hon. and Mrs. Stoner, one of
the ladies of the Queen, Mr. Mitford, and others. Lady Campbell had only
one dress with her (they must be very poor!); it was a black velvet
(fancy, in the middle of summer!). She wore it high-necked for the races
in the daytime and low-necked in the evening. We drove to Ascot every day
at one o'clock. We had seats in the Queen's stand, and after seeing one
race we went to lunch with Mr. Delane, who had open table for one hundred
people every day. Mr. Delane belongs to the _Times_ newspaper.

Baron Rothschild had _carte-blanche_ to bring any guest, or as many as he
liked. The Prince of Wales always lunched there, and any one that was of
importance was sure to be present. I made many new acquaintances, and you
may imagine how I enjoyed this glimpse of a world so entirely unknown to
me. The races at Longchamps, Auteuil, and Chantilly I had seen many times;
but I never saw anything like this exciting and bewildering scene.

The Prince of Wales gave a ball at Cooper's Hill (the house they had hired
for the Ascot week), which was very charming and _sans façon_. I danced
the cotillon with Baron Rothschild and a waltz with the Prince of Wales.
The supper, which we had in the palm-garden, was an elaborate affair. We
drove home in the early morning, just as the day was breaking.

The next day we lunched first at the barracks, and then afterward went to
Virginia Water, where the Princess of Wales had arranged a picnic. There
was boating on the pretty lake and tents on the lawn; tea was served
during the afternoon, and a military band played the whole time. The great
attraction was the echo. We all had to try our voices, and the gentlemen
made bets as to how many times the echo would be heard. Some loud,
piercing voices were repeated as many as eight times.

Here we bid our kind host good-by and took the train for Twickenham. We
passed the night with Mr. and Mrs. Hoffman at their villa. The next day we
were invited to a croquet-party and dinner by the Count and Countess de

We arrived at Twickenham Court at four o'clock, and began playing our game
directly. Mrs. Hoffman had been praising me to the Countess de Paris to
such a degree that she was fired with ambition to play against a
"champion" of the first water, When we appeared on the ground I noticed
that the Countess had a small ivory mallet. "This," I said to myself, "is
a foregone conclusion; any one who plays with a fancy mallet, and that of
ivory, is sure to be beaten." And in my conceit I thought I need not give
myself much trouble about the game. Alas! I never appreciated the saying
that "pride has a fall" until that day. At first I played with utter
indifference, I was so sure of winning, and even when the Countess de
Paris walked triumphantly over the ground, carrying everything before her,
I smiled inwardly, saying to myself, "Just wait." But though I played my
very best I never scored a game, and I could not even make a decent
stroke. I felt so discouraged, and I was beaten all to pieces. The dinner
was solemn and impressive, the whole Orléans family being present.

The Prince de Joinville, the Duke de Chartres, and the Count de Paris,
with their wives; in all, about twenty at table. I was disgusted with
myself, provoked at my silly self-assurance, and mortified that I had been
beaten _à plate couture_, which in English means that all my seams had
been turned down and ironed, and all my feathers were drooping.

We were (at least I was) glad to escape at ten o'clock. I don't think I
ever was so tired. The week at Ascot, the picnic at Virginia Water, the
balls, and the late sitting-up at night, all told on my nerves, and
instead of resting at the Hoffmans', I passed a miserable and restless

The following day we returned to London in time to drive out, at one
o'clock, with the Lionel Rothschilds to their country-place. It is the
most magnificent estate; the cedar-trees are particularly beautiful, and
the broad lawn, which stretches out in front of the house, is the finest I
have ever seen. Baron Rothschild himself drove the coach and four horses,
and we spun along the fine road, passing Richmond and all the pretty
villas and gardens, which were full of roses. It was my birthday, and I
had many splendid presents. From Baroness Rothschild I received a superb
traveling-bag, all the fittings of silver gilt, with my initials. Baron
Alfred Rothschild gave me a smelling-bottle, with the colors of his
racing-stables in enamel. We had a delightful luncheon, and got back to
London in time for dinner at Lady Sherbourne's. On hearing it was my
birthday, she took a diamond-ring from her finger and gave it to me.

More balls, more dinners, luncheons, and garden-parties followed one

We intend to leave London after the ball at Marlborough House. I must go
home, as I have nothing more to wear. We had accepted an invitation to the
garden-party given by the Princess of Wales at Chiswick (their charming
country-place). All the beauty and elegance of London graced the occasion.
The Princess looked exquisite in her dainty summer toilette, and had a
pleasant smile for every one. The Prince circulated among the guests,
speaking to every one in his usual genial manner. The three little
Princesses looked like three fluffy pink pin-cushions covered with white
muslin. On the extensive lawn, which was like a green-velvet carpet, the
ladies strolled about in their pretty, fresh dresses, sometimes sitting at
the little tables which were shaded by large Japanese umbrellas placed
between the terrace and the walk. It was a garden of living flowers.

The Prince of Wales, in his peculiarly abrupt manner, said to me, "What
have you been doing since Ascot?"

"I have been doing a great deal, sir: dining and dancing and enjoying
myself generally."

"I am glad to know that. Been singing?"

"Not much, sir. We dined at Twickenham Court, where I played a disastrous
game of croquet," I answered.

"Do they play croquet at Twickenham Court?"

"Indeed they do, sir. The Countess de Paris plays a very good game."

"What day did you dine there?"

"On the 17th, your Highness," I replied.

"Are you sure it was the 17th you dined there?"

"Yes, I am quite sure. I know it, because it was the day before my

"Was it a large dinner?"

"It was rather large. The whole Orléans family was there, and some

"Did you know that they had had a _conseil de famille_ that day?"

"No," I answered; "I heard nothing of it."

The Prince continued: "The whole family signed a petition to the Emperor
Napoleon to be allowed to return to France and serve in the army. Can you
imagine why they want to go back to France when they can live quietly here
and be out of politics?" the Prince said.

"Do you think, sir, that the Emperor will refuse?"

"One never knows," said the Prince. "Qui vivra verra."

The Marlborough ball was very magnificent. The Princess of Wales looked
exquisite. She is very lovely, and has gracious, sweet manners. I don't
wonder that her people adore her; and I think the Prince is just as good
as he can be.

_July, 1870._

On our return from London I remained quietly at delightful Petit Val.

On the 10th of July we received an invitation to a dinner at St. Cloud,
but unfortunately we had promised Baroness Rothschild to spend some days
at Ferrières, and when the invitation came we were obliged to send a
telegram to St. Cloud expressing our regrets. There is such a talk of war,
and so many rumors afloat, that every one is more than excited. Alphonse
Rothschild says that, if there should be a war, it will be a tremendous
one, and that Germany is better prepared than France. "But," said he, "you
ought to know about that, as your brother-in-law Hatzfeldt is in the
secrets of his country."

"That's just it," I answered; "because he is in the secrets of his country
he is the last person to learn anything from, and we (the family) would be
the last to know. But do you think that, if war were really imminent, the
Emperor would think of giving a dinner?" I asked.

"That might be. We don't yet know what the result of Benedetti's interview
with the King of Prussia at Ems will be," the Baron answered.

We stayed at Ferrières until the 14th, and returned to Petit Val, where we
received another invitation to St. Cloud for the 17th, which we accepted.
On the 15th we went to Chamarande, returning to Paris on the following
afternoon. The Duke de Persigny was not at Chamarande, otherwise we should
have been a little more _au courant_ of how desperate things looked in
Paris. The Duchess had a word from the Duke the night before, "and he
seemed," she said, "very despondent." But I remarked, as I did before,
"Things could not be so threatening if they were giving a dinner." "Je n'y
comprends rien," she replied, which was her invariable answer to any doubt
expressed, or when one wanted a direct response.

We got back to town at half-past five, and I soon began dressing for the
dinner. We drove out to St. Cloud, and arrived at the door of the château
just before seven o'clock. What was our astonishment at not seeing any of
the numerous servants who generally were waiting in the vestibule. There
was only one man to be seen.

I began taking off my mantle, still wondering, when Monsieur de Laferrière
came quickly out from one of the salons and said excitedly, "Did you not
receive my letter countermanding the dinner?"

"Countermanding the dinner! What? Then there is no dinner?"

"No," he rejoined; "it has been countermanded."

As our carriage could not yet have got very far off, nothing was easier
than to call it back and return to Paris. And I put on my wrap to depart,
and stood there waiting for the coupé. Then Monsieur de Laferrière came
out again and said, "Her Majesty says that, now that you are here, you had
better stay."

"But," I protested, "it is much better for us to go back."

He looked puzzled and said, "But the Empress desires it; you cannot well
refuse, can you?"

"We will do as you advise."

"Then I advise you to stay," he answered.

And stay we did, and I never regretted anything so much in my life.

When we went into the drawing-room their Majesties were already there. The
Empress came toward me and said kindly, "How do you do?" The Emperor held
out his hand, but did not say a word. He looked so ill and tired. Never
had I seen him look like that! The Prince Imperial seemed preoccupied and
very serious.

Dinner was announced; the Emperor gave his arm to the Empress, and the
Prince gave me his. There was no one beside ourselves and the Household,
perhaps twenty in all, and dinner was served in the small dining-room
looking toward Paris. On the other side of me was Count d'Arjuson, aide-
de-camp to the Emperor.

You may imagine that I wished myself a hundred miles away. The Emperor
never uttered a word; the Empress sat with her eyes fixed on the Emperor,
and did not speak to a single person. No one spoke. The Emperor would
receive telegram upon telegram; the gentleman sitting next to him opened
the telegrams and put them before his Majesty. Every now and again the
Emperor would look across the table to the Empress with such a distressed
look it made me think that something terrible was happening, which was
true. I could not learn much from my surroundings, as dead silence
reigned. The dinner was very simple. How different from the gorgeous
repasts of Compiègne, and how sad every one looked! I was glad when the
signal for leaving the table was given and we re-entered the drawing-room.

The Emperor was immediately surrounded by his gentlemen. The Empress moved
a little way off, but without taking her eyes from her husband. The Prince
Imperial stood by his father, watching him. Then the Empress advanced
toward his Majesty and took his arm to leave the room. Just as she neared
the door she looked at me, turned back, and coming up to where I was
standing held out her hand and said, "Bonsoir." The Emperor stood a moment
irresolutely, then, bowing his head, left the room with the Empress on his
arm, the Prince following.

We bade the _dames d'honneur_ good night and fled, found the coupé before
the entrance, and weren't we glad to get in it and drive away? I never in
my life felt what it was to be _de trop_ and even _deux de trop_. We
reached the Rue de Courcelles at nine o'clock. It was too early to go to
bed, and so I am sitting in my dressing-gown, while Charles has gone to
his club to learn the latest news.

_19th July._

This morning war was declared for sure, and they say that the Emperor is
leaving soon with the Prince. Every one is very confident of the success
of the French Army, and people go about in the streets singing "À Berlin"
to the tune of "Les lampions."

PETIT VAL, _28th July_.

The Emperor, with the Prince, left this morning for Metz, to take the
command of the army. He did not come into Paris, but in order to avoid
demonstrations, noise, etc., had a platform put up on the other side of
the station at St. Cloud, where the Empress and her ladies could say their
adieux without the crowd looking on. The last words the Empress said to
her son were, "Louis, fais ton devoir." She is made the Regent during the
absence of the Emperor.

_30th August_.

It looks now as if there might be war all over France. As it is, the
Prussians are near Paris, and the French are trying to regain the ground
they have lost. The news we get is very contradictory. According to the
French official reports the French Army has been successful all the time.
The English papers probably give the untarnished truth, unfavorable as it
may be to France. Some people say that at the worst there is only a
question of unimportant skirmishes.

We are well out of Paris and safely in Dinard, where Mr. Moulton is
building a new house (we have already two). We left Petit Val rather
precipitately, leaving everything behind us, clothes in wardrobes and
letters in commodes. We shall not be away more than a month.

I can only say that we lead the most peaceful of lives during this time of
war. I will not tell you any news, because it won't be news when you read
it. We are and have been all the time fed on false reports, great placards
pasted up everywhere telling of the French victories, but from our English
papers we know the contrary. It is pitiful to see the poor, half-clad
peasants being drilled on the beach with sticks in their hands instead of
guns. It is the French idea of keeping up the spirits of the army.

I sang in the cathedral last Sunday, and the _quête_ (the money taken),
they said, was a large sum. I doubt it! I know what the _quêtes_ are here.
Anything that can rattle in the bag is good. Buttons are particularly
popular, as no one can see what you put in, and it does not matter.

There was a tremendous storm last night, and many of the slates of the new
villa were blown off. The servants who sleep there thought that the
Germans had come at last, and were frightened out of the few wits they

Madame Gignoux, our neighbor at Petit Val, who is living in her other
château in Brittany, sent a letter to me which I should send to Helen in
Berlin, to be sent to Paul, who is in Versailles, to be sent to Mr.
Washburn, in Paris, who is to give it to Henry at Petit Val. Rather
roundabout way! I can't tell you how much of that sort of thing I am
constantly doing for people who are afraid of doing anything for
themselves; they think every one is a spy or a traitor.

PARIS, _March 14, 1871._

DEAR MAMA,--You will be surprised to see that I am in Paris; but you will
understand why when I tell you that I received a letter from Mrs. Moulton
to this effect: "If you wish to go to Petit Val to look after the things
you left there when you went to Dinard last August, you had better come to
Paris without delay, as the trains are running regularly now." The trains
may have been running regularly (I left Dinard the next day), but they
were certainly not running on time, for we missed all connections, and
only arrived at Rennes after seven o'clock, too late to catch the evening
train for Paris. The fine omnibus at the station made me imagine that it
belonged to an equally fine hotel, but the hotel proved to be anything but
fine. It was dreadfully dirty and shabby, and filled to overflowing. It
was with the greatest difficulty I was able to secure a room for myself.
My grumbling maid had to content herself with the sofa. The _salle à
manger_ was thronged with officers clanking their swords on the brick
floor and all talking at once. I passed a sleepless night, being kept
awake by the loud and incessant conversations in the corridor and the
continual tramping of soldiers under my window. We started for Paris the
next morning at eight o'clock. The train was crowded with people who, like
myself, were eager to return home after so many months of anxious waiting.
In all the stations through which we passed one saw nothing but soldiers,
their ragged uniforms hanging on their emaciated forms; their feet--which
had been frozen in January (poor things!)--were still bandaged, and hardly
any of them possessed shoes. They did look, indeed, the picture of abject
dejection and misery.

At Le Mans, the place where we stopped for luncheon, the soldiers were
lying about on the brick pavement of the station, too tired and worn out
to move, and presenting the saddest sight it has ever fallen to my lot to
witness. They were waiting for the cattle vans to take them away. In these
they would be obliged to stand until they reached Paris and its hospitals.
Every one of the travelers was anxious to alleviate their misery in some
way, by offering them cigars, food, and money. My heart bled for the poor
creatures, and I gave them all I had in my purse, and my luncheon also.
They represented the debris of Faidherbe's army, which of all the troops
had seen the most desperate fighting during the war. All the trains we
passed were packed tight with soldiers, herded together like cattle,
patient misery painted on their pale, tired faces.

Hungry and penniless I arrived at last in Paris, where I was delighted to
see a healthy, normal-looking person in the shape of my brother-in-law,
Henry, who met me at the station. He had plenty to tell me of his
experiences since last September. He had been living at Petit Val
throughout the whole campaign, and was still there looking after our
interests, _faisant la navette_ between Petit Val, Paris, and Versailles
at his will. He had free passes for all these places. On my arrival at the
Rue de Courcelles I found the family well, Mrs. Moulton knitting as usual,
Mademoiselle Wissembourg napping, and Mr. Moulton reading the _Journal des
Débats_ out loud in his peculiar French.

I thought of the "Brook," by Tennyson: "Men may come and men may go, but I
go on for ever." The family had not eaten cats and dogs during the siege
as, according to the newspapers, other people had done.

Mr. Moulton having been in Paris at the time of the Revolution of 1848,
and knowing about revolutions, had had the forethought to lay in a stock
of provisions, such as ham, biscuit, rice, etc., and all sorts of canned
things, which he deemed would be sufficient for all their requirements.
They had even given dinner-parties limited to a very choice few, who
sometimes brought welcome additions in the shape of other canned

When the family moved from Petit Val to Paris last September, the French
Government had given them permission to keep one or two cows. They also
brought a calf, a sheep, and some chickens with them. The cows and the
sheep shared the stables with the horses, while the chickens were let
loose in the conservatory, and were expected to lay enough eggs to pay for
their board. The gardener had cleverly converted the conservatory into a
sort of kitchen garden, and had planted some useful vegetables, such as
radishes, carrots, salad, etc., so you see the family took good care that
it should have enough to eat, and mice and rats only appeared on the table
after the repasts.

PARIS, _March 16, 1871._

DEAR MAMA,--This has been a very fatiguing day for me, so you will only
receive a short letter.

Paul [Footnote: Count Hatzfeldt, my brother-in-law.] invited Mrs. Moulton
and me to come to Versailles, and offered us a cup of tea as an
inducement. You know Paul is Count Bismarck's private secretary, having
been with him and the German sovereign during the entire war. He is still
at Versailles, but expects to leave for Berlin one of these first days. He
came to fetch us at the station with the fat ponies and the basket-wagon
(the ponies had escaped the fate of other fat ponies, and they had not
furnished steaks for famished Parisians, but continued to trot
complacently about, as of old). Fortunately they were not too fat to carry
us through the park at a lively pace, and land us at Paul's palatial
residence. It seemed strange to see German officers, in their tight-
fitting uniforms, strolling leisurely about in the park, where before I
had only seen the rather slovenly _pious-pious_ on holidays, when the
fountains played by day and the fireworks by night.

The park looked enchanting in its spring toilette, and made me think of
the last time I was here. Could it have been only last May? It seems years

Paul had invited some of his German officer friends to take tea with us.
Paul had been with the King of Prussia and Jules Favre and Bismarck at
Ferrières, where they had met, he said, "with no other result than to see
Jules Favre weep."

Paul had been at Versailles when the King was proclaimed Emperor in the
_salle de glaces_--the greatest emotion he had ever experienced, he said.
He had also been witness of the signing of the armistice. The pen with
which it was signed had been given him as a souvenir, and it was lying on
his table.

Paul thought the Emperor Napoleon more to be pitied than blamed. He had
gone into this war without really knowing the true state of things. He was
made to believe that there were four hundred thousand men ready to take
the field, when in reality there were only half that number, and those
certainly not fit to be pitted against the Germans, who had been provided
with better and newer maps than the French, and knew France and its army
more thoroughly than the French themselves. We could have talked on this
subject for hours had not the fat ponies come to take us to the station,
where we bade farewell to Paul and the officers, and returned to Paris for
the modest repast which we dignified by the name of dinner.

_March 17th._

DEAR MAMA,--Such a funny thing happened to-day.

I don't know whether I told you of some Americans, called the O----s, I
met in Dinard fresh from America (_via_ Southampton). When I bade them
good-by, I said, in an offhand way, "When you come to Paris you must come
and see me."

"Oh! that will be nice," gushingly replied Mrs. O----. "Where do you live?"
(Every one of the O----s' phrases commenced with "Oh!")

"I live in the Rue de Courcelles," I answered.

"Oh! Roue de Carrousel," she repeated. "What number?"

"Rue de Courcelles," I replied, correctingly; "twenty-seven."

Mrs. O----'s next question was, "Oh! have you a flat?"

"A flat!! No," I said, "we have a hotel. Every one knows our hotel in the
Rue de Courcelles."

I then proceeded to forget the O----s and everything concerning them. This
morning, when we were at luncheon, the _concierge_ came rushing in, the
tassels on his _calotte_ bristling with agitation.

"Madame," he gasped, "there is a fiacre full of people with a lot of
trunks asking to come in to Madame. I can't understand what they want."
His emotion choked him.

We all said in unison: "Ask for their cards. Who can they be?"

The _concierge_ came back with Mr. O----'s card.

I recollected my impulsive invitation and thought it very polite of them
to be so _empressés_. I went into the salon, followed by Mademoiselle
W----, where we found Mr. O---- seated at his ease in a _fauteuil_, his
feet reposing on the white-bear rug.

I apologized for having kept him waiting, but explained that we had been
at luncheon.

He (complacently), "Oh, that's all right; we have just arrived in Paris
and we came straight to you."

I felt overwhelmed at such a keen appreciation of my politeness.

"How is Mrs. O----?" I said.

He answered with the inevitable "Oh!" "Oh! she's all right. She's outside
in the cab."

"Indeed!" I said, and wondered why she had not sent her card in with his,
though I supposed she was waiting to be asked to come in, if he found me
at home.

"We thought before trying anywhere else we would see if you could take us

This staggered me considerably. I tried to take _him_ "in" as he stood
before me with traveling cap and umbrella.

"Are you full?" he went on. Mademoiselle and I wondered if we showed signs
of a too copious luncheon.

"Why, what a nice place you have here!" looking about. "Well," he
continued, nothing daunted, "you see, we only want one bedroom, for us,
with a room next for baby, and one not too far off for Arthur."

What was he driving at? Mademoiselle W---- thought he was either a spy or
a burglar who had come to take a survey of the hotel. Her bracelets and
bunch of keys rattled ominously as the thought of burglars entered her

He, familiarly settling himself down for a chat, "Do you think you could
pick up a maid for Mrs. O----?"

Mademoiselle and I exchanged a glance of intelligent indulgence and
thought: All our friends wanted, probably, was a few addresses before
settling themselves in Paris. How stupid of us not to have thought of this
sooner! I hastened to promise all sorts of names and addresses of
tradespeople, thinking he would take his departure.

Not he! On the contrary, he tucked his umbrella more firmly under his arm,
and turned to Mademoiselle W----: "Have you got a register?" taking her,
no doubt, for _la dame du comptoir_.

Mademoiselle draped herself in her most Rachel-like attitude and glanced
knowingly at the hot-air flue which she had been told was a register.

"We have," she answered curtly, wondering if this extraordinary creature
could be suffering from cold on this warm spring day.

"I had better write my name down!" This was too much! Mademoiselle thought
now that he was not only a burglar, but a lunatic.

"I think," I said, "I can give you the address of a very nice maid,"
trying to lead him back into the paths we had trodden before.

"Oh! that'll be all right. You have perhaps a maid in the house?"

"Certainly we have," answered Mademoiselle with asperity, giving her
velvet bow an agitated pat.

"Money is no object," continued he; "I'm always willing to pay what one
asks." Mademoiselle now thought he was drunk and was for sending for the

I asked him, "How is the baby?"

"Oh! baby's all right. The nurse has been a little upset by the journey.
You might give us the address of your doctor."

"Yes, yes." I gave him the name instantly, hoping he would go.

"We don't need him right off; he can come here later, and you can talk to
him yourself. Maria does not speak French."

Mademoiselle gasped for breath, while he looked about him approvingly.

"Real nice house you have, Madame, not very central, but we don't mind
being in a quiet part of Paris, as Maria wants to learn French"; and
seeing the conservatory, he remarked: "Arthur can play in there. That'll
do splendidly." After an awkward pause: "Well, if the rooms are ready, we
can come right in. Maria will be wondering why I have been so long."
_I_ also wondered why he had been so long!

To cap the climax, he handed Mademoiselle a five-franc piece, saying: "I
guess this will cover the cab. The coachman can keep the change."

A light dawned on me! He thought this was a hotel!

I said, "When you get settled in your hotel I will come and see you."

"What! Can't you take us in? We counted on coming to your hotel."

I laughed outright. Mademoiselle raised what she is pleased to call her
eyebrows and shrugged her shoulders,

I explained to my guest his mistake. Instead of saying, "Oh! that's all
right," he said, "Well, I'll be blessed," and without wasting any more
time than for a hasty good-by he marched out to join the tired Maria, the
baby, the nurse, and Arthur. We watched them as they drove off, all gazing
out of the window at the hotel which was _not_ a hotel.

May Allah protect them!

_March 19th._

DEAR MOTHER,--The day before yesterday Henry and I decided to go to Petit
Val. I looked forward with delight to seeing my beautiful home again. Mrs.
Moulton promised to drive out and bring me back to Paris late in the
afternoon. We drove to the Gare de la Bastille and took our tickets for La
Varenne. The station was so horribly dirty, it looked as if it had not
been swept or cleaned since the commencement of the war, and as for the
first-class compartment we entered I really hesitated to sit down on the
shabby and dilapidated cushions.

We traveled very slowly, and stopped at every station mentioned in the
time-table. Although these were devoid of travelers, the conductor opened
the doors of all the carriages, and after waiting the allotted time
shouted mechanically, "En voiture," though there was absolutely no one to
get in.

I thought we never would arrive!

All the little towns, once so thrifty and prosperous, are now hardly more
than ruins. It is no wonder that this part of the country (Vincennes, St.
Maur, Chenvières, etc.) is so destroyed, because it was all about here
that the French, shut up in Paris, had made the most frequent sorties.
Everything was terribly changed.

Now my beautiful bridge is a thing of the past. There is one arch half in
water and debris of stone and mortar on the shore.

Henry and I, having no alternative, were obliged to walk from the station
to the pontoon bridge, made, Henry said, in one night. I don't know about
that; but what I do know is that the French blew up my bridge _in one
night_. Then we made the whole distance to Petit Val on foot, passing
by the châteaux of Ormesson, Chenvières, Grand Val, and Montalon.

All the châteaux we passed are utterly abandoned, some quite in ruins; one
can see, for instance, right through beautiful Grand Val, bereft of
windows and doors.

But worse was awaiting me! My heart sank within me when we came in sight
of the _potager_, the glory of Petit Val, so renowned in its day for
its fruits and vegetables. Now it is frightful to see! Its walls torn
asunder; cannon put in its crenelated sides, dilapidated and destroyed;
the garden filled with rubbish of all description. But, as though nature
were protesting against all this disorder and neglect, the cherry-trees
were placidly blossoming; the almond-trees, with their delicate pink
flowers, filled the air with perfume: everything, in short, doing its part
in spite of war and bloodshed. Your heart would ache if you could see the
place as it is now. The porter's lodge is completely gutted, windowless
and doorless, open to wind and weather.

It seems strange to see a sentry-box stationed at the entrance of the park
and a sentinel pacing to and fro. Henry gave the password, and we walked
up the avenue toward the château. I will not weary you by trying to depict
my feelings, but will leave you to imagine what they must have been. I
looked in vain for the beautiful Lebanon cedar which, you remember, stood
where my nightingale used to sing, on the broad lawn. Henry said that it
had been the first tree that the Germans had cut down, and it had been
lying there on the lawn just as it fell, where the soldiers could
conveniently cut their fuel. Henry called my attention to a white flag
flying on the chateau, which, at Paul's request, Count Bismarck had
ordered to be put there.

Henry said it signified in military language that only staff officers were
to occupy the château, and that no unnecessary damage should be done "if
we are quiet." Did Bismarck think we were likely to be unruly and go about
shooting people? The one thing in the world we wanted was to be quiet. The
flag also signified that the château should be protected. Henry had once
complained to Bismarck of the damage done by the German soldiers at Petit
Val, and Bismarck had replied, "À la guerre comme à la guerre," adding,
"The German Government will hold itself responsible for private losses,
with the exception of those which are consequences of a state of war ...
there is always a certain amount of unavoidable destruction."

"Unavoidable destruction!" cried Henry; "this can cover a multitude of

"The exigencies of war, if you like that better," rejoined Bismarck.

Paul Hatzfeldt wrote to Helen last September that the King of Prussia had
promised to put Petit Val under special protection. He even wished to go
there himself; but Paul thought Petit Val looked so spoiled that he was
glad the King did not go. If it was spoiled in September last, imagine
what it must have been six months later, with six months of soldiers to
spoil it!

When we arrived at the château itself the officers, who had evidently just
been lunching, came out to meet us, wondering, apparently, who this
courageous lady (poor trembling me!) could possibly be. Henry knew their
names, and presented them all to me; they clanked their heels together and
made the most perfect of military salutes.

The commanding officer in charge of Petit Val is Count Arco, a major of a
Bavarian regiment. I hastened to explain my presence among them, saying
that I wished to collect the various things I had left in the château when
I went away last August, and I had taken advantage of the first occasion
which offered itself of coming here.

Count Arco held a short conversation with Henry, who told him I would like
to go to my apartment. "Do not trouble to have anything disarranged for
me," I said, "as I shall only be here for a short time. My mother-in-law
is driving out later in the afternoon to take me back to Paris."

While we were talking Count Arco informed me that there were twenty six
officers in the château itself and one hundred and twenty soldiers
quartered round in the different pavilions, farm-houses, _ateliers_, and
--I think he said--about fifty in the _orangerie_.

Presently an orderly appeared and conducted me to my rooms, which had
evidently been hurriedly evacuated, but they looked quite nice and clean.
I was agreeably surprised to find my writing-desk and commodes pretty
nearly as I remembered to have left them. At any rate, letters, trinkets,
and so forth seemed undisturbed. I wish I could say the same for my
wearing apparel, which had considerably diminished since my departure.
Waists without their skirts, and skirts without their waists, and I found
various female articles unknown to me; but never mind! _Honi soit qui mal
y pense!_

It was said in France that no German could resist a clock, and that the
dearth of clocks after the war is quite noticeable. To prove the contrary,
and to applaud the officers who had lived in Petit Val (and there had been
many hundreds of them), my clock was ticking away as of old on my

Having finished packing the things to take with me, I wished to have a
look at _protected_ Petit Val.

The "unavoidable destruction" had been interpreted in a very liberal

The salon was a sight never to be forgotten. The mirrors which paneled the
whole of the east wall were broken, as if stones had been thrown at them;
every picture had been pierced by bayonets. The beautiful portrait of the
Marquis de Marigny (the former owner of Petit Val and brother of Madame de
Pompadour) had vanished. Instead of the Aubusson furniture we had left,
which, I suppose, has been transferred to other homes, I found two pianos,
one grand (not ours), two billiard-tables (not ours), some iron tables,
and some very hard iron chairs (certainly not ours), annexed, I should
say, from a neighboring café.

The library, formerly containing such rare and valuable books, is now a
bedroom--the shelves half empty, the books scattered about, some of them
piled up in a corner and used as a table. Henry said that, when any one
wanted to light a fire or a pipe, they simply tore a page out of a book.
What did they care? Was it not one of the "exigencies of war"? The frames
and glasses of the engravings were broken; but, fortunately, all the
engravings were not ruined.

You remember Mrs. Moulton's boudoir, where all was so dainty and complete?
The soldiers had converted it into a kitchen, and at the moment we were
there they were cooking some very smelly cabbage _à la tedesco_.

My pretty pavilion! If you could have seen it!

Evidently the all-powerful flag had not protected this, for it was without
doors, windows, and parquets. The only thing in it was a dear little calf
munching his last meal before being killed. To make it look more like a
slaughter-house, there were haunches of beef hanging on the Louis XV.
appliques, which had been left on the walls to serve as nails. Fresh blood
was dropping from them on the sacks of potatoes underneath.

The officers had coffee served under the _charmille_.

I was glad to get something to sustain my sinking heart. Henry and I took
a sad walk through the park. The once beautifully kept lawn is now like a
ploughed field, full of ruts and stones.

The lake was shining in the sun, but on it there were no boats. The grotto
over which used to trickle a little waterfall was completely dry, showing
the ugly stucco false rocks. It seemed dismal and forlorn. I wondered how
I ever could have thought it beautiful! The _rivière_ was without its
pretty rustic bridge; the picturesque pavilions were filled with soldiers;
some were sitting on the porches mending their clothes.

Five o'clock came before we realized how late it was. We expected the
carriage every moment; but there was no sign of it, though we scanned the
length of the long avenue with the Count's field-glasses.

Why did Mrs. Moulton not come? Something must have happened! But what?
Henry and I were seriously alarmed. Noticing our looks of dismay, Count
Arco asked me if I was anxious. I replied that I naturally was anxious,
because if my mother-in-law could not come or send the carriage she
certainly would have telegraphed. He then inquired if I wished to send a
telegram. No sooner had I said "yes" than an orderly appeared on horseback
to take the telegram to the station. He returned, while we still stood in
the avenue looking for the longed-for carriage, with the astounding news
that all the telegraph wires were cut.

To take the train was our next idea, and the wondering orderly was again
sent back to find out when the next train would start. This time he
returned with still more astounding news.

There were no trains at all!

Count Arco seemed to be most agitated, and I could see, by the expression
of the faces of the other officers, that they were more disturbed than
they wanted us to notice.

What should I do? Everything was in ruins in the village. There was not
even an _auberge_ of the smallest dimensions. All the neighboring châteaux
were abandoned. Of whom could I ask hospitality? Count Arco, seeing my
embarrassment, proposed my staying the night at Petit Val. Henry's living
there made it easier for me. So I accepted his offer; besides, there was
no choice. The soldiers arranged my room according to their ideas of a
lady's requirements, which included a boot-jack, ash-trays, beer-mugs,
etc. Their intentions were of the best.

At seven o'clock Henry and I dined with the officers. It seemed strange to
me to be presiding at my own table surrounded by German officers, Count
Arco being my _vis-à-vis_.

Do you want to know what we had for dinner? Bean soup, brought from
Germany. Sausages and cabbage, put up in Germany. Coffee and zwiebacks, I
suppose also from Germany.

The evening passed quickly, and I must admit very pleasantly. Any one who
had pretensions to music played or sang, Henry performed some of his
compositions; one officer did some card tricks. They all had an anecdote
of their experience from the past months, which they told with great
relish. Henry whispered to Count Arco: "My sister-in-law sings. Why don't
you ask her for a song?" I could have pinched him!

Although I was very tired and did not feel like it, I reflected that
almost anything was preferable to being begged and teased. And, after all,
why not be as amiable as my companions, who had done their best to amuse

I seated myself at the piano and commenced with one of Schumann's songs,
and then I sang "Ma Mère était Bohémienne," of Massé, which had a great
success, and at the refrain, "Et moi! j'ai l'âme triste," there was not a
dry eye in the little circle. Graf Waldersee, one of the oldest warriors,
wept like an infant while I was singing, and coming up to me, after
blowing his nose, said, in his delightfully broken English, "You zing like
an angle [I hope he meant angel]. It is as if ze paradise vas opened to
us." Then he retired in a corner and wiped his eyes. I sang "Ein Jungling
liebt ein Mädchen," of Schumann, and when I came to the line, "Und wem das
just passieret, dem bricht das Herz entzwei," I heard a mournful sigh. It
came from the Benjamin of the flock, a very young officer, who sat with
his hands over his face sobbing audibly. What chord had I struck? Was
_his_ the heart that was breaking _entzwei_?

I had sung to many people, but I think I never sang to a more appreciative
audience than this one.

Henry accompanied me in "Beware!" Their enthusiasm knew no bounds. They
all gathered around me, eager to thank me for the unexpected pleasure. I
really think they meant what they said.

When I returned to my room I looked out of my window and saw the sentinel
pacing to and fro in the moonlight. I realized _for the first time_ that
the château was protected!

I mourned the beautiful and stately Lebanon cedar!

_March 18th._

It seemed so strange to wake up and find myself in my room. An orderly
brought me a very neatly arranged tray, with tea and buttered toast and a
note from Henry announcing the terrible news that Paris was under arms--a
revolution (_rien que ça_) had broken out, and all approaches to the
city were barricaded. This was news indeed! I understood now why no
carriage came last night, why trains were stopped, why telegraph wires
were cut, and why no mother-in-law appeared.

Henry was waiting to communicate with me as soon as I was out of my room.
Indeed, a more stranded mortal than I was could hardly be imagined!
However, there seemed nothing for me to do but to await events.

The officers met us in the salon, and we discussed the situation and
different possibilities, but without any practical result.

Every one was much excited about the news. The officers pretended not to
know more than _we_ did; perhaps what they did know they did not care to
tell. We saw messengers flying in all directions, papers handed about,
more messengers galloping down the avenue, agitation written on the faces
around us. All I knew was that there was a revolution in Paris and _I
was here_.

Going out to the stables, we found the soldiers grooming their horses
unconcernedly. From there we went to the _orangerie_, which presented
a queer sight. The soldiers, of whom there must have been sixty, had
arranged their beds all along the walls on both sides, and to separate
them one from another had placed a tub with its orange-tree. The aviary
had been converted into a drying-ground for their _lingerie_; they had
suspended ropes from side to side, and thereon hung their _week's wash_
amid all its "unavoidable destruction." Henry told me that when the
Germans first came to Petit Val they begged old Perault (the butler) to
hand them the key of the wine-cellar, and on his refusing they had tied
the old man to a tree in the park, and left him there the whole of one
cold night to consider the situation. Needless to say, the next day the
Germans had the key. After they had taken all the best Château-Lafitte and
all the rare wines Mr. Moulton had bought during the Revolution of 1848,
they emptied the casks containing the _Petit Bleu, made on the estate!_
The result was disastrous, and could Mr. Moulton have only seen the poor
creatures doubled up with torture he would have felt himself amply

We ascended the hill behind the château to the high terrace, from where
one can see Paris. We saw no smoke, therefore Paris was not burning. But
what was happening there? We returned to breakfast, where the military
band was playing on the lawn (a superfluous luxury, I thought, but I did
not realize that so trivial a thing as a revolution could not interfere
with military order). We were treated to the eternal sausage and something
they called beefsteak; it might as well have been called "_suprême de
donkey_," it was so tough. However, the others ate it with iron jaws
and without a pang. Count Arco suggested I should take a drive, _en
attendant les événements_, and see the neighborhood. I acquiesced,
thinking anything in the way of distraction would be a welcome relief.
Imagine my feelings when I saw our _calèche_, a mere ghost of its former
self, dragged by four artillery horses and postilioned by two heavy

"The exigencies of war" had obliged the soldiers to remove the leather,
the carpet, the cushions, and all the cloth; only the iron and wood
remained to show that once this had been a carriage.

This ancient relic drew up with a thump on what had been flower-beds, and
the Count opened the door for me to enter, but on observing my look of
dismay when I saw the hard, cushionless seats, despatched an officer to
try to find a cushion for me. Apparently, however, cushions were souvenirs
our friends had forgotten to bring with them from other residences.
Judging from the time we waited, the officer must have ransacked the whole
house, but had found nothing better than a couple of bed-pillows, with
which he appeared, carrying one under each arm, to the great amusement of
the beholders. I mounted this grotesque equipage, the Count and Henry
following, and sat enthroned on my pillows of state.

We asked, before starting, if there was any news from Paris, and receiving
an answer in the negative, we drove off. Up hills, over lawns and flower-
beds, zigzagging through vineyards and gardens, never by any chance
keeping to the proper road, we made the tour of the environs.

To give you an idea how completely the châteaux had been ransacked, I can
tell you that I picked up about a yard and a half of handsome Brussels
lace in the courtyard of the château of Sucy. We drove hastily through the
adjoining estate of Grand Val, which looked even more deplorable than
Sucy. I began to wonder if the artillery horses and the carcass of the
vehicle in which we sat would be capable of carrying me to Paris, or at
least within walking distance of it. You see, I was beginning to get
desperate. Here was I, with the day almost over, without any apparent
prospect of getting away. But, as the Psalmist puts it, "Sorrow endureth
for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." My joy came late in the
afternoon, on returning to Petit Val, where I found the landeau of the
American Legation, my mother-in-law, and (hobnobbing with the German
officers) the American Minister himself, the popular and omnipotent Mr.

They were overjoyed to see me, as they had been as anxious as I had been,
having tried every means in their power to reach me. To telegraph was
impossible; to send a groom on horseback equally so. Finally, as a last
resource, they had written to Mr. Washburn to see if he could not solve
the difficult question, which he did by driving out himself with Mrs.
Moulton to fetch me.

As soon as the horses were sufficiently rested (my hosts and I being
profuse in our mutual thanks), we started for Paris, passing through
Alfort, Charenton, and many villages, all more or less in ruins. There
were plenty of people lounging about in the streets. We reached Vincennes
without difficulty; but thenceforth our troubles commenced in earnest.

Mr. Washburn thought it more prudent to close the carriage, cautioning the
coachman to drive slower. We were stopped at every moment by soldiers and
barricades; then Mr. Washburn would show his card and his _laissez
passer_, after which we were allowed to pass on, until we came to more
soldiers and more barricades. Omnibuses turned over, paving-stones piled
up, barrels, ladders, ropes stretched across the streets, anything to stop
the circulation. Poor Mr. Washburn was tired out popping his head first
out of one window then out of the other, with his card in his hand.

[Illustration: ELIHU WASHBURN
United States Minister to France during the Commune]

The men who accosted us were not discourteous, but spoke quite decidedly,
as if they did not expect to be contradicted. We did not care to
contradict them, either.

"We know you, Monsieur, by reputation, and we know that you are well
disposed toward France. How do you feel toward _la Commune_?"  Mr.
Washburn hesitating a moment, the man added, cynically, "Perhaps you would
like to add a stone to our barricades." He made as if he would open the
door of the carriage; but Mr. Washburn answered, holding back the door, "I
take it for granted, Monsieur, that I have your permission to drive on, as
I have something very important to attend to at my Legation," and gave the
man a defiant look, which rather frightened him, and we drove through the
crowd. All along the Rue de Rivoli we saw the soldiers massing together in
groups, _La Garde nationale_ (Mr. Washburn said they so called themselves
since yesterday), a miserable-looking set of men, talking very loud and
flourishing their guns as if they were walking-sticks.

In passing the Rue Castiglione we saw it was full of soldiers, and looking
toward the Place de la Concorde we saw more barricades there.

This was a sight to behold! The space around the Column was filled with
paving-stones and all sorts of débris (strange to say, my eyes saw more
brooms than anything else); and cannon pointing everywhere. A very
impertinent, common-looking _voyou_ said, on looking at Mr. Washburn's
card, "Vous êtes tous très chic... mais vous ne passerez pas, tout de

We shook in our shoes.

But Mr. Washburn, equal to the occasion, said something which had the
desired effect, and we passed on.

All along the Rue de Rivoli the yesterday-fledged soldiers were straggling
about, glad to have a day of leisure. They brandished their bayonets with
a newly acquired grace, pointing them in front of them in such a reckless
way that people made a large circle around them, frightened to death.

As we passed the Hôtel de Ville we saw the red flag of the Communards
waving over the Palace. Barricades and cannon filled the space between
that and the Rue de Rivoli. Here we were stopped again, and tired Mr.
Washburn, annoyed to death, answered more stupid questions, showed his
card and documents, and gave a little biography of himself. I thought we
should never get on.

I could have cried when I saw the Tuileries; it was only last August I had
had a delightful half-hour with the Empress (she asked me to take tea with
her). Then she was full of confidence in the triumph of the Emperor (who
could have doubted it?), pleased that her son should have received _le
baptême du feu_, as the Emperor telegraphed--oh, the pity of it all! and
that was only last August--seven months ago.

As we drove by I thought of the famous ball given at the Tuileries last
May (_Le bal de Plébiscite_), the most splendid thing of its kind one
had ever seen.

And now! The Tuileries deserted, empty, the Emperor a prisoner, the
Empress a fugitive! All France demoralized! All its prestige gone! One
wonders how such things can be.


Mr. Washburn said he was not sorry to have remained in Paris (an
experience he would on no account have missed). He thought he had been of
service to his own country and also to France.

Mrs. Moulton remarked, "What would those shut up in Paris have done
without you?"

"Oh! I was only a post-office," he answered.

"The only _poste restante_ in Paris," I said under my breath; but I did
not dare utter anything so frivolous at the moment.

In the Faubourg St.-Honoré things were much quieter, though there were
numbers of soldiers slouching about with their muskets pointing every
which way. When we arrived at last in the Rue de Courcelles (it had taken
us four hours) all was as quiet as Sunday in Boston.

Mr. Moulton had been almost crazy with anxiety; but the thought that we
were sailing under the American colors had calmed him somewhat, and his
past emotions did not prevent him from reading the _Journal des Débats_ to
us. I slipped off to bed tired out, but thankful not to be any longer
"under protection."

_March 20th._

Louis asked permission to go and assist at the proclamation of the
Commune, which was to be read at the Hôtel de Ville.

There was a platform built in front of the façade, which was decorated
with many red flags and covered with a red carpet, and all the new members
of the committee wore the symbolical red sashes over their worthy
shoulders. The statue of Henry II. was duly draped with red flags and
ragged boys. Louis stood first and foremost among many of his old
comrades, the famous and plucky Zouaves. Henri d'Assy read the
proclamation out in a loud voice, and informed the public that the Commune
(this new and charming infant) was baptized in the name of _Liberté_,
_Égalité_, and _Fraternité_. There was great enthusiasm, and a salvo of
artillery underlined the big words, and there arose a mighty shout of
"Vive la Commune!" from thousands of hoarse throats which shook the very
earth. Louis's account was worth hearing; but mine is only the truth with
variations. He was most impressed, and I fancy it would not have taken
much persuasion to have made him a red-hot Communist then and there.

Great excitement prevailed all Sunday. The Communists remained in
possession of all the public buildings. The red flag was hoisted
everywhere, even from the palace of the Princess Mathilde, who, as you
know, lives directly opposite us. The Princess had left Paris last
September. All the world knows how our clever American dentist, Dr. Evans,
helped the Empress safely out of Paris, and of her flight; and after the
catastrophe of Sedan it would have been dangerous for any member of the
Imperial family to have remained here. As I look from my window across to
the Princess's palace, and see all the windows open and the courtyard
filled with shabby soldiers, I realize that we are _en pleine Commune_,
and wonder when we shall come out of all this chaos, and how it will all

To-day there was a great demonstration in the streets.

A young fellow named Henri de Pène thought if he could collect enough
people to follow him he would lead them to the barricades in the Place
Vendôme, in order to beg the Communards, in the name of the people, to
restore order and quiet in the city. He sent word beforehand that they
would come there _unarmed_.

De Pène started at a very early hour from the distant Boulevards, calling
to every one and beckoning to them, in order to make them come from their
balconies and from their work, and shouting to all in the streets, managed
to assemble a large crowd to join in his courageous undertaking.

I happened to go at one o'clock to Worth's, in the Rue de la Paix, and,
finding the street barred, I left my coupé in the Rue des Petits Champs,
telling Louis to wait for me in the Rue St.-Arnaud (just behind the Rue de
la Paix), and I walked to No. 7.

I wondered why there were so few people in the streets. The Place Vendôme
was barricaded with paving-stones, and cannon were pointing down the Rue
de la Paix. I walked quietly along to Worth's, and hardly had I reached
his salon than we heard distant, confused sounds, and then the shouting in
the street below made us all rush to the windows.

What a sight met our eyes!

This handsome young fellow, De Pène, his hat in his outstretched hand,
followed by a crowd of men, women, and children, looked the picture of
life, health, and enthusiasm.

De Pène, seeing people on Worth's balcony, beckoned to them to join him;
but Mr. Worth wisely withdrew inside, and, shaking his Anglo-Saxon head,
said, "Not I." _He_, indeed!

The crowd bore banners on which were written: "_Les Amis du Peuple_,"
"_Amis de l'Ordre_" "_Pour la Paix_" and one with "_Nous ne sommes pas
armés._" This mass of humanity walked down the Rue de la Paix, filling the
whole breadth of it.

One can't imagine the horror we felt when we heard the roar of a cannon,
and looking down saw the street filled with smoke, and frightened screams
and terrified groans reached our ears. Some one dragged me inside the
window, and shut it to drown the horrible noises outside. De Pène was the
first who was killed. The street was filled with dead and wounded. Mr.
Hottingeur (the banker) was shot in the arm. The living members of _Les
Amis_ scampered off as fast as their legs could carry them, while the
wounded were left to the care of the shopkeepers, and the dead were
abandoned where they fell until further aid should come.

It was all too horrible!

I felt terribly agitated, and, moreover, deadly sick. My one thought was
to reach my carriage and get home as quickly as possible. But how was I to
accomplish it? The Rue de la Paix was, of course, impossible. Worth had a
courtyard, but no outlet into the Rue St.-Arnaud. He suggested that I
should go through his _ateliers_, which he had at the top of the house,
and reach an adjoining apartment, from which I might descend to the Rue
St.-Arnaud, where I would find my carriage. He told one of his women to
lead the way, and I followed. We toiled up many flights of wearisome steps
until we arrived at the above-mentioned ateliers. These communicated with
another apartment, of which Worth's woman had the key. On her opening the
door we found ourselves in a small bedroom (not in the tidiest condition),
which appeared to have just been occupied.

We passed through this room and came out to a staircase, where the
demoiselle said, "You have only to go down here." I therefore proceeded to
descend the five flights of waxed steps, holding on to the wobbly iron
railing, my legs trembling, my head swimming, and my heart sick. My only
hope was to reach the carriage and home!

When at last I came to the _porte-cochère_ I found it closed and locked,
and the frightened _concierge_ would not open for me. Fortunately, I had a
gold piece to make her yield to my demand. She reluctantly unfastened the
door and I went out. The street was filled with a terrified mob howling
and flying in every direction. I caught a glimpse of the carriage away up
the street, and I saw a hand gesticulating above the heads of the crowd,
which I recognized as Louis's. It was the only one with a glove on!

I pushed my way through the mass of people, saying, very politely,
"Pardon," as I pushed, and very politely, "Merci," after I had passed.

My horse had been unharnessed, and a man was trying to lead him away in
spite of Louis's remonstrances. The man had hold of one side of the
bridle, while Louis, with a pluck unknown before, kept a firm grip on the
other, the horse being tugged at on both sides; and had he not been the
angel he was, there would have been trouble in that little street.

The man holding the bridle opposite to Louis seemed a most formidable
person to me. Still, I tried to smile with placid calmness, and though I
was shaking all over said, "Pardon, Monsieur, will you permit me to have
my horse harnessed?" I think he was completely taken off his guard, for,
with the intuitive gallantry of a Frenchman, he answered me amiably,
throwing back his coat, and showing me his badge, said, "I am the agent of
the Committee of Public Safety, and it is for the Government that I take
the horse."

I made him observe that it would be very difficult for me to walk to my
home in the Rue de Courcelles, and if his government wanted the horse it
could come there and fetch it. He looked doubtfully at me, as if weighing
the situation, then said, very courteously, "I understand, Madame, and I
give you back your horse." And he even helped Louis to reharness the
horse, who seemed happy to return to his shafts.

When I arrived home I had to go to bed, I was so exhausted. Mademoiselle
W---- administered the infallible camomile tea, her remedy for every ill.
Her mind cannot conceive of any disease which is not cured by camomile
tea, unless _in extremis_, when _fleurs d'oranger_ takes its place.

_24th of March._

The American secretary, Mr. Hoffman, and his wife, who are living in
Versailles, invited Mrs. Moulton and me to luncheon to-day, saying that
Mr. Washburn was also of the party; therefore we need have no fear of
being molested or inconvenienced on our way.

There were only two trains to Versailles now. We took the one at midday
from Paris, and arrived slowly but surely at the dirty, smoky station,
where we found Mr. Hoffman waiting for us with a landau, in which we drove
to his house.

We had an excellent luncheon, to which we all did justice; after which Mr.
Hoffman proposed our going to the _Assemblée_, which has its sittings
in the Palace, and we readily consented. I was particularly glad to have
an opportunity to see the notabilities whose names and actions had been
our daily food these last months.

We sat in Mr. Hoffman's box, who, in his position as secretary of the
American Legation, had been obliged to attend all these _séances_ from the
first. He knew all the celebrities, and most amiably pointed them out to
me. Thiers was in the president's chair; Louis Blanc, Jules Favre, Jules
Grévy, and others were on the platform.

I confess I was rather disappointed; I thought that this pleiades of
brilliant minds would surely overcome me to such a degree that I should
not sleep for weeks. But, strangely enough, they had just the opposite
effect. I think Mr. Washburn must be writing a book on modern history, and
Mr. Hoffman must be writing one on ancient history. I sat between them--a
drowsy victim--feeling as if my brain was making spiral efforts to come
out of the top of my head.

While I was trying with all my might to listen to Thiers's speech, who, I
was sure, was saying something most interesting, Mr. Hoffman, on one side
of me, would say, in a low tone, "Just think of it! Here, in these very
same boxes, the pampered and powdered [or something like that] Court of
Louis XIV. sat and listened to Rameau's operas." I tried to seem
impressed. Then, on the other side, I would hear, "Do you know, Mrs.
Moulton, that the Communists have just taken seven millions of francs from
the Bank of France?" The distant, squeaky voice of Thiers trying to
penetrate space, said, "La force ne fonde rien, parce qu'elle ne résout
rien." And when I was hoping to comprehend why "La force" did not "fonder"
anything I would hear Mr. Hoffman whisper, "When you think that Louis XVI.
and Marie Antoinette passed the last evening they ever spent in Versailles
in this theater!" "Really," I replied vaguely. My other neighbor remarked,
"You know the 'Reds' are concentrating for a sortie to Versailles." "You
don't say so!" I answered, dreadfully confused. There would be a moment's
pause, and I caught the sound of General Billet's deep basso proposing
that the French nation should adopt the family of General Lecomte, who had
been so mercilessly butchered by the mob. Mr. Hoffman, continuing
_his_ train of thought, remembered that Napoleon III. gave that
"magnificent dinner" to Queen Victoria in this theater. Jules Grévy talked
at great length about something I did not hear, and when I asked Mr.
Hoffman what it was, he answered me, something I did not understand. Jules
Favre next spoke about the future glories of _notre glorieux pays_ and the
destiny of France. These remarks were received with tremendous applause.
People stood up, and ladies waved their handkerchiefs, every one seeming
very excited; but my American friends were not greatly impressed. "How
typical!" says Mr. Hoffman. "What rubbish!" says Mr. Washburn.

When we returned to Paris we found Mr. Moulton in a flutter of agitation.
Beaumont (the renowned and popular painter) had been at the house in the
afternoon, and had asked Mr. Moulton's permission to bring Courbet (the
celebrated artist, _now_ a Communard) to see us. Mr. Moulton had no sooner
said yes than he regretted his impulsiveness, but he forgot to call
Beaumont back to tell him so. The result was that we had the visit of
Courbet last evening.

Mr. Moulton put on a bold face and broke the news to us on our arrival;
but, contrary to his fears, Mrs. Moulton and I were enchanted.
Mademoiselle Wissembourg was not so enthusiastic. A live Communard at such
near focus had no attraction for her.

Beaumont's politics are sadly wanting in color, making him supremely
indifferent to other people's politics; and, as he has a great admiration
for Courbet as an artist, he does not care whether he is a Communard or

We waited with impatience for the appointed hour, and lo! Courbet stood
before us. Mademoiselle Wissembourg had once remarked that she had great
sympathy for the people, who must feel themselves oppressed and degraded
by the rich and powerful, and so forth. But I noticed, all the same, that
she retired into a corner, probably thinking Courbet was bristling all
over with pistols, as behoves a Communard.

Courbet is not handsome; he is fat and flabby (of the Falstaff type), with
a long beard, short hair, and small eyes; but he is very clever, as clever
as Beaumont, which is saying a good deal.

Of course they talked of "the situation." Who could help it? Courbet
belongs more to the fraternity part of the motto than he does to the
equality part of the Commune! He is not bloodthirsty, nor does he go about
shooting people in the back. He is not that kind! He really believes (so
he says) in a Commune based on principles of equality and liberty of the
masses. Mr. Moulton pointed out that unlimited liberty in the hands of a
mob might become dangerous; but he admitted that fraternity absolves many

They talked on till quite late. Beaumont showed him his last picture,
which he (Beaumont) thinks very fine, but all Courbet said was, "What a
pretty frame!" I don't know if Mrs. Moulton and I felt much admiration for
the great artist, but he left us convinced that we were all in love with
him. We told Mr. Moulton we thought it might get us into trouble if
Courbet vibrated between us and the hotbed of Communism. But Mr. Moulton
answered, "What does it matter now?" as if the end of the world had come.

Perhaps it has.

_March 24th._

Since I have been in Paris I have wished every day to go and see my former
singing-master, Delsarte; but something has always prevented me.

To-day, however, having nothing else to do, I decided to make the long-
projected visit; that is, if I could persuade Mademoiselle to accompany
me. After my experience in the Rue St.-Arnaud the other day I did not
venture to drive, so we started off to walk (with Mademoiselle's reluctant
consent) to the Boulevard de Courcelles, where Delsarte moves and has his

Poor Mademoiselle was frightened almost to death, shaking with terror at
every sound, and imagining that the Communards were directly behind us,
dodging our footsteps and spying upon our actions. At the sight of every
ragged soldier we met she expected to be dragged off to prison, and when
they passed us without so much as glancing at us I think she felt rather
disappointed, as if they had not taken advantage of their opportunities.

Finally we reached the house, and mounted the six stories, the stairs of
which are steep, slippery, and tiring. On our upward flight I remarked to
Mademoiselle that I wished Delsarte lived in other climes; but she was far
too much out of breath to notice any such little joke as this. I saw no
change either in him or in any of his surroundings.

He told us that he had suffered many privations and deprivations while the
siege was going on. Probably this is true; but I do not see how he could
have needed very much when he had the piano to fall back on, with all its
resources. How vividly the scenes of my former lessons loomed up before
me when I stood shivering with cold in the never-heated room, my voice
almost frozen in my throat, and was obliged to sing with those awful
diagrams staring me in the face!

Delsarte asked me many questions about my music: whether I had had the
heart to sing _pendant ce débâcle_. I said, "_Débâcle_ or no _débâcle_, I
could never help singing."

My dear old friend Auber came to see me this afternoon. He had not had
much difficulty in driving through the streets, as he had avoided those
that were barricaded. We had a great deal to talk about. He had been in
Paris all through the war and had suffered intensely, both physically and
mentally; he looked wretched, and for the first time since I had known him
seemed depressed and unhappy. He is old and now he looks his age. He is a
true Parisian, adores his Paris, and never leaves it, even during the
summer, when Paris is insufferable. One can easily imagine his grief at
seeing his beloved city as it is now. He was full of uneasy forebodings
and distress. He gave me the most harrowing description of the killing of
General Lecomte! It seems that the mob had seized him in his home and
carried him to the garden of some house, where they told him he was to be
judged by a _conseil de guerre_, and left him to wait an hour in the
most pitiable frame of mind.

The murder of General Clément Thomas was even more dreadful. Auber knew
him well; described him as kind and gentle, and "honest to the tips of his
fingers." They hustled him into the same garden where poor General Lecomte
already was, pushed him against the wall, and shot him, killing him
instantly. Then they rushed upon their other victim, saying, "Now is your
turn." In vain did Lecomte beg to be judged by his equals, and spoke of
his wife and children. But his tormentors would have none of that, and
shot him then and there. Lecomte fell on his knees; they dragged him to
his feet, and continued firing into his still warm body. When the populace
was allowed to come in they danced a saturnalia over his corpse. Auber
said: "My heart bleeds when I gaze on all that is going on about me. Alas!
I have lived too long."

I tried to make him talk of other things, to divert him from his dark
thoughts. We played some duets of Bach, and he accompanied me in some of
his songs. I sang them to please him, though my heart was not "attuned to
music," as the poets say.

_March 25, 1871._

I have not had the time to write for some days, but I am sure you will
forgive me. Mrs. Moulton and I have been going to the ambulances every day
this week.

There are many of these temporary hospitals established all over Paris,
supplied with army surgeons and nurses.

Mrs. Moulton, like many other ladies, had volunteered her services during
the war, and had interested herself in this worthy cause; and as she is
about to leave for Dinard one of these days, she wanted me to take up her
work in the hospital of the Boulevard la Tour-Maubourg. She knows all the
directors and nurses and introduced me to them.

The director asked me if I would like to help in the _section des
étrangers_. I replied that I would do anything they wished, hoping
inwardly that I might develop a talent for nursing, which, until now, had
lain dormant.

It was not with a light heart I entered the ward to which I was aligned,
and saw the long rows of beds filled with sick and wounded.

My first patient was a very young German (he did not look more than
twenty). He had been shot through the eyes, and was so bandaged that I
could hardly see anything but his mouth. Poor little fellow! He was very
blond, with a nicely shaped head and a fine, delicate mouth.

His lips trembled when I laid my hand on his white and thin hand, lying
listlessly on the coverlid. I asked him if I could do anything for him.

He answered me by asking if I could speak German. On my saying that I
could, he said he would like to have me write to his mother.

I asked the director if it was allowed for me to communicate with his
family. He answered that there would be no objection if the contents of
the letter were understood by me.

Therefore, armed with pencil and paper, I returned to my invalid's
bedside, who, on hearing me, whispered: "I thought you had gone and would
not come back."

"You don't think I would be so unkind as that?" I answered.

I felt that we were already friends. I sat down, saying that I was ready
to write if he would dictate.

His lips moved; but I could not hear, and was obliged to put my ear quite
close to his poor bandaged face to hear the words, _Meine liebe Mutter_.
He went on dictating, and I writing as well as I could, until there came a
pause. I waited, and then said, "Und?" He stammered something which I made
out to be, "It hurts me to cry," whereupon I cried, the tears rolling fast
down my cheeks. Fortunately he did not see me!

This is my first trial, and I have already broken down!

I told him I would finish the letter and send it to his mother, "Frau
Wanda Schultz, Biebrich am Rhein," which I did, adding a little postscript
that I was looking after her son, and would take the best care of him. I
hope she got the letter.

The doctor advised the patient to sleep, so I left him and went to another
bed, which they indicated.

This was an American, a newspaper reporter from Camden, New Jersey. He had
joined Faidherbe's army in February, and had been wounded in the leg. He
was glad to talk English. "They do things mighty well over here", said he;
"but I guess I'll have to have my leg cut off, all the same."

When I put the question to him, "What can I do for you?" he replied, "If
you have any papers or illustrated news or pictures, I should like to see
them." I said I would bring some to-morrow.

He was very cheerful and very pleasant to talk with.

On reaching the Rue de Courcelles we found Mr. Washburn.

He was utterly disgusted with the Communards. He even became violent when
he spoke of their treatment of Generals Lecomte and Clément Thomas. He
rather took their defense during the first days of the Commune, saying
they were acting in good faith; but now I think he has other ideas about

Auber also came at five o'clock; he gets more and more despondent, and is
very depressed. He had heard that the Communards had commenced pillaging
in the Quartier de l'Odéon, also that the Place Vendôme was being

To what are we coming?

The next day I found my little German soldier decidedly worse. He had
received a letter from the _Mutter_, which he asked me to read to him. I
tried my best to overcome the difficulties of the writing and spelling,
and made many mistakes, causing the poor little fellow to smile. He
corrected me every time very conscientiously.

I did feel so sorry for him; he seemed so gentle and never complained of
his sufferings, which must have been intense. The nurse, feeling his
pulse, announced an increase of fever, and thought he had better rest,
When I said, in as cheerful a voice as I could assume; "Well, good-by for
to-day," he said, "To-morrow you will come?" Alas! there was to be no to-
morrow for him.

My other patient, Mr. Parker, appeared very comfortable, and immensely
pleased to see that I had not forgotten to bring the newspapers and
pictures. I also took a chess-board, thinking to amuse him. The doctor
looked dismayed when he saw me carrying a chessboard under my arm.
"Madame," he said, "I think that chess is too fatiguing for an invalid;
perhaps something milder would be better. I have always understood," he
smilingly added, "that chess is a game for people in the most robust
health, and with all their mental faculties."

I felt utterly crushed. This was the way my attempts to divert the sick
and the wounded were received! I thought how little I understood the
character of hospital work. Mr. Parker, evidently feeling sorry for my
discomfiture, told the doctor it would amuse him to play checkers if he
would allow it. The doctor consented to this, and I sent Louis off to buy
a box of checkers. Mr. Parker and I played two games, and he beat me each
game, which put him in splendid spirits, and I think did him no harm.

Mrs. Moulton and I drove out to the Bois after the ambulance visit. I had
not been there since last August. How changed it was! The broad Avenue de
l'Impératrice, where the lovely Empress drove every day in her _calèche
à la Daumont_, surrounded by the magnificent _Cent Gardes_, is now almost
impossible to drive in. The trees are cut down, and the roads full of
ditches and stones.

Rochefort, who was in power while the siege was in progress, suggested
some medieval methods too childish for belief--to annihilate the whole
German army if they should enter Paris. He had ordered pitfalls in the
Avenue de l'Impératrice--holes about three feet deep--in which he
intended the German cavalry to tumble headlong. He thought, probably, the
army would come in the night and not see them. Rochefort had also built
towers, as in the time of the Crusaders, from which hot oil and stones
were to be poured on the enemy. Did you ever hear of anything so idiotic?
He little dreamt that the German army would take possession of Paris,
bivouac in the Champs-Élysées, and quietly march out again.

We visited the Pré Catalan, where last year fashionable society met every
day to flirt and drink milk. That is, as you may imagine, minus cows.
These had, like all the other animals, been eaten and digested long ago.
Thick hides not being at a premium, the hippopotamus and rhinoceros had
been kindly spared to posterity.

_March 29th._

To-day I went to the ambulances as usual. The doctor greeted me with his
usual kindness; he said there was an invalid for whom I was needed, and
conducted me to his bedside.

My new patient was a German officer about thirty-five years old. He said
he came from Munich. I told him about Count Arco (also from Munich), whom
he knew, and about Petit Val, in which he seemed interested. We talked
music, and he became quite excited when he spoke of Wagner, to whom,
according to him, no one could compare. I did not want to discuss this
wide subject; I merely remarked that Mendelssohn and Weber had their good
points, which he allowed, but replied that they were utterly out of
fashion. I did not agree with him, and, to show that Weber was a genius, I
hummed the prayer from "Der Freischütz."

There was a visible movement among the white-covered beds, and the nurses
frowned, while the doctor came hurriedly toward me, holding up his finger

I really have no talent for nursing. It seems that everything I do is

The German officer said, when I went away, "I will convince you to-morrow,
when you come, that Wagner is the greatest genius living." I answered that
undoubtedly he would, and bade him good-by.

When I reached the carriage I found a small crowd collected around it, and
I hurried to get in, and hardly had time to shut the door when Louis
whipped the horse, and we were galloping away toward home. Once there,
Louis told me that he would respectfully advise me not to go in the
carriage with a coachman in livery again. Anything, he said, in the form
of luxury or wealth excited the mob, and no one could tell what it might
do when excited.

Therefore we decided to abolish the liveries for the future. When we
reached home we found that we were one horse less, the Communards having
taken it out of the stables without further ado than a mild protest from
the frightened _concierge_. The Comité de Transport promised to return the
horse when no longer needed.

[Illustration: RAOUL RIGAULT]

_March 31st._

DEAR MAMA,--Mr. Moulton thought it better that I should leave Paris. But
to leave Paris one must have a passport from the Prefect of Police. He
consulted Mr. Washburn about it, who not only consented to give me a card
of introduction to Raoul Rigault (whom he knew personally), but offered to
send me to the prefecture in his own carriage.

This morning at eleven the carriage was at the door, and with it the
promised card of introduction. I noticed that the coachman had no livery,
nor did he wear the cockade of the Legation; neither was there any
servant. I suppose Mr. Washburn thought it safer for us to drive through
the streets without creating any unnecessary notice or running the risk of
being insulted.

Mademoiselle W---- accompanied me, and with her the omnipresent bag filled
with chocolates, bonbons, etc., for any unforeseen event.

On our way she discoursed on the manner one ought to treat _ces gens-
là_. One should (she said) not _brusquer_ them, nor provoke them in any
way, but smile kindly at them and _en générale_ be very polite.

I don't know how many times I had to pull out my _billet de circulation_
before we reached the prefecture.

It was a long time since I had been down the Rue de Rivoli, and I was
disgusted when I saw the half-clad half-starved soldiers, in their dirty
boots and down-trodden shoes, slouching about with their torn uniforms and
carrying their rusty guns any which way.

At last we arrived, and we were about to descend from the carriage, when a
ragamuffin of a Communist, shouldering his gun and looking all-important,
sprang forward to prevent us; but on showing my "billet," he nodded his
head, saying, "C'est bien."

At the mere sight of him Mademoiselle W---- said, "Don't you think, _chère
Madame_, that it is better to return home?" I answered: "Nonsense! Now
that we are here, let us go through with it."

A few steps farther an awkward soldier happened to drop his gun on the
pavement. At the sound of this, poor Mademoiselle W---- almost sank on her
knees with fright.

The small gate next to the large iron one was opened, and we entered the
courtyard. This was filled with soldiers. A sentinel stood before the door
of the large corridor which led to the Prefect's office. Inside this room
stood a guard, better dressed and seemingly a person of more importance.
On showing Mr. Washburn's card, I said to him that I had come here for the
purpose of getting a passport, and would like to speak to Monsieur Rigault

We went toward the door, which he opened, but on seeing Mademoiselle W----
he stopped us and asked: "Who is that lady? Has she a card also?"

We had never thought of this! I was obliged to say that she had not, but
she had come to accompany me.

He said, rather bluntly, "If she has no card, I cannot allow her to

Here was a pretty plight. I told him, in the suave manner which
Mademoiselle W---- had recommended to me, that Mr. Washburn would have
included this lady's name on my card had he foreseen that there would be
any difficulty in allowing her to follow me as my companion.

"Madame, I have strict orders; I cannot disobey them."

I did not wish him to disobey them; but, nevertheless, I whispered to
Mademoiselle W----, "Don't leave me, stay close by me," thinking the man
would not, at the last moment, refuse to allow her to remain with me.

Alas! the door opened. I entered; the door closed behind me; I looked back
and saw I was alone. No Mademoiselle in sight! My heart sank.

I was escorted from room to room, each door guarded by an uncouth soldier,
and shut promptly as I passed.

I must have gone through at least seven rooms before I reached the
sanctuary in which Monsieur Raoul Rigault held his _audience_.

This autocrat, whom the republicans (to their eternal shame be it said)
had placed in power after the 4th of September, is (and was _then_) the
most successful specimen of a scamp that the human race has ever produced.
At this moment Rigault has more power than any one else in Paris.

When the guard opened the door he pointed to the table where Raoul Rigault
was seated writing (seemingly very absorbed). He appeared to me to be a
man of about thirty-five or forty years old, short, thick-set, with a
full, round face, a bushy black beard, a sensuous mouth, and a cynical
smile. He wore tortoise-shell eyeglasses; but these could not hide the
wicked expression of his cunning eyes.

I looked about me and noticed that the room had very little furniture;
there was only the table at which the Prefect sat and two or three plain
chairs. Just such a chamber as Robespierre might have occupied during
_his République_. There were two gendarmes standing behind Rigault's
chair waiting for orders, and a man (of whom I did not take particular
notice) leaning against the mantelpiece at the other end of the room.

I approached the table, waiting like a culprit for the all-powerful
Rigault to look up and notice me.

But he did not; he continued to be occupied with what he was doing. So I
ventured to break the ice by saying, "Monsieur, I have come to procure a
passport, and here is Mr. Washburn's card (the American Minister) to tell
you who I am."

He took the card without condescending to look at it, and went on writing.

Getting impatient at his impertinence, I ventured again to attract his
attention, and I said, as politely as possible (and as Mademoiselle could
have wished), "Will you not kindly give me this passport, as I wish to
leave Paris as soon as possible?"

Thereupon he took up the card, and, affecting the "Marat" style, said,
"Does the _citoyenne_ wish to leave Paris? _Pourquoi?_"

I answered that I was obliged to leave Paris for different reasons.

He replied, with what he thought a seductive smile, "I should think Paris
would be a very attractive place for a pretty woman like yourself."

How could I make him understand that I had come for a passport and not for

At this moment I confess I began to feel dreadfully nervous, seeing the
powerless situation in which I was placed, and I saw in imagination
visions of prison-cells, handcuffs, and all the horrors which belong to
revolutions. I heard the sonorous clock in the tower strike the hour, and
realized that only minutes, not hours, had passed since I had been waiting
in this dreadful place.

"Monsieur," I began once more, "I am rather in haste, and would thank you
if you would give me my passport."

Upon which he took Mr. Washburn's so-much-looked-at card, scrutinized it,
and then scrutinized me.

"Are you La Citoyenne Moulton?"

I answered, "Yes."


I replied I was, and _in petto_--mighty glad I was to be so.

"Does the American Minister know you personally?"

"Yes, very well."

"Why do you wish to deprive us of your presence in Paris?"

I repeated that my affairs required my presence elsewhere.

I saw he was taking no steps toward making out my passport, and I became
more agitated and unnerved and said, "If it is impossible for you,
Monsieur, to give me the passport, I will inform Mr. Washburn of the fact,
and he will no doubt come to you himself for it."

This seemed to arouse him, for he opened a drawer and took out a blank to
be filled for a passport, with an impatient shrug of his shoulders, as it
he was bored to death.

Now followed the most hateful and trying _quart d'heure_ I ever passed in
my life. I fancy Raoul Rigault had never been in the society of a lady
(perhaps he had never seen one), and his innate coarseness seemed to make
him gloat over the present situation, and as a true republican, whose
motto is _Égalité, Fraternité, Liberté_, he flattered himself he was on an
equality with me, therefore he could take any amount of liberty. He took
advantage of the unavoidable questions that belong to the making out of a
passport, and showed a diabolical pleasure in tormenting _la citoyenne_
who stood helplessly before him.

When it came to the description and the enumerating of my features, he was
more obnoxious than I can express. Peering across the table to see whether
my eyes were brown or black, or my hair black or brown, he never lost an
opportunity to make a fawning remark before writing it down. He described
my _teint_ as _pâle_; I felt pale, and think I must have looked very pale,
for he said: "Vous êtes bien pâle, Madame. Voudriez-vous quelque chose à
boire?" Possibly he may have meant to be kind; but I saw BORGIA written
all over him. I refused his offer with effusion.

When he asked me my age, he said, _insinuatingly_, "Vous êtes bien jeune,
Madame, pour circuler seule ainsi dans Paris."

I answered, "Je ne suis pas seule, Monsieur. Mon mari [I thought it best
to tell this lie] m'attend dans la voiture de Monsieur Washburn et il doit
être bien étonné de ma longue absence."

I considered this extremely diplomatic.

Turning to the man at the mantelpiece, he said, "Grousset, do you think we
ought to allow the _citoyenne_ to leave Paris?"

Grousset (the man addressed) stepped forward and looked at Mr. Washburn's
card, saying something in an undertone to Rigault, which caused him
instantly to change his manner toward me (I don't know which was worse,
his overbearing or his fawning manner).

"You must forgive me," he said, "if I linger over your visit here. We
don't often have such luck, do we, Grousset?"

I thought I should faint!

Probably the man Grousset noticed my emotion, for he came to my rescue and
said, politely, "Madame Moulton, j'ai eu l'honneur de vous voir à un bal à
l'Hôtel de Ville l'année dernière."

I looked up with surprise. He was a very handsome fellow, and I remembered
quite well having seen him somewhere; but did not remember where. I was
happy indeed to find any one who knew me and could vouch for me, and told
him so. He smiled. "I venture to present myself to you, Madame. I am
Pascal Grousset. Can I be of any service to you?"

"Indeed you can," I answered, eagerly. "Please tell Monsieur Rigault to
give me my passport; it seems to have been a colossal undertaking to get
it." I preferred the _Pascal_ G. to the _Rascal_ R.

Grousset and Rigault had a little conversation together, and presto! my
longed-for passport lay before me to sign. No Elsa ever welcomed her
Lohengrin coming out of the clouds as I did my Lohengrin coming from the

I signed my name quickly enough; Rigault put the official seal on it, and,
rising from his chair, politely handed it to me.

Before taking my leave of the now over-polite Prefect, I asked him how
much there was to pay.

He courteously replied, "Rien, absolument rien," and added he was glad to
be of any service to me; and if there was anything more he could do, I had
only to command.

I did not say that I thought he had done enough for one day, but I bowed
him good-by and turned to go out.

Mr. Pascal Grousset offered me his arm, begging to take me to my carriage.
The gendarmes threw open doors, and we retraced our steps through all the
different rooms until we reached the one where I had left Mademoiselle
W----, whom I expected to find waiting for me in agonizing anxiety.

But what did I see?

Mademoiselle sound asleep on the bench, bag, smile, and all, gazed at and
guarded by the dreaded soldiers.

"I am afraid," said Pascal Grousset, "that you have been greatly annoyed
this morning. Your interview with the Prefect must have been most painful
to you!"

"I confess," I said, "it has never been my fate to have been placed in
just such a situation, and I thank you, _de tout mon coeur_, for your
assistance. You certainly saved my life, for I doubt if I could have lived
another moment in that room."

"Perhaps more than your life, Madame; more than you imagine, at any rate."

As he put us in the carriage, he looked puzzled when he saw _le mari_ I
had said was waiting for me; but a smile of comprehension swept over his
face as he met my guilty glance. He apparently understood my reasons.

On reaching home, tired, exhausted, and oh! so hungry, we found Mr.
Washburn. He and Mr. Moulton had been very anxious about me, picturing to
themselves all sorts of horrors, and when I told them what really had
happened they felt that their anxieties had not been far from the truth.
Mr. Washburn laughed at the subterfuges I had used and the lie I had told.
They examined my passport as a great curiosity, and noticed it had
_Valable pour un an_.

Mr. Washburn said, "Evidently they intend this sort of thing to go on

_23d of April._

Mrs. Moulton has decided to leave for Dinard, and starts the day after to-

We have been assured that the train would make connections as far at least
as Rennes; beyond that no one could tell whether they went regularly or

Mrs. Moulton had procured a red _billet de circulation_ with a date, a
white one without a date, Mr. Washburn's card, and different passes. She
was certainly well prepared for any emergency. As there was only one day
train, she was obliged to take that (it left al seven o'clock A.M.).

A desire to see some of her friends before her departure spurred Mrs.
Moulton to invite them to dinner. Our friends are now so few and far
between that it is not difficult to know whom to choose or where to find

The result was a miscellaneous company, as you will see: Mr. Washburn,
Auber, Massenet, Beaumont, and Delsarte. Our family consisted of Mr. and
Mrs. Moulton, Henry, Mademoiselle Wissembourg, and myself.

Mrs. Moulton asked Henry to bring with him some green peas from Petit Val
to eke out the chef's meager menu.

With the aid of a friendly officer, Henry managed to pick a "whole bushel"
(he always exaggerates), which, with his toilet articles, completely
filled his large _sac de voyage_. Besides this, he had a portmanteau
with his evening attire, and a package which Count Arco wished to send to

Count Arco ordered out the "ancient and honorable relic" of our landau
(the same I had used on the famous 18th of March) and the artillery
horses, with their heavy dragoons, in order to deposit Henry and his bags
at the pontoon bridge, where a man was found to take them as far as the

To divert himself while tramping along with his _sac de voyage_, Henry
shelled the peas, casting the pods behind him, after the manner of Tom
Thumb, never dreaming that the peas thus left to chum familiarly with
his toilet things might suffer from the contact and get a new flavor. He
was surprised to see how the "bushel" had diminished in volume since it

Mrs. Moulton had promised to send the carriage to meet _l'envoi
extraordinaire_; but Henry, finding none, started to walk toward home,
followed by a porter carrying his extra baggage.

What was Henry's astonishment at seeing Louis drive out of the Hôtel de
Ville with two strange men in the coupé. Henry hailed Louis, who, though
scared out of his wits, pulled up obediently, disregarding the angry
voices from inside. Henry opened the door and addressed the strangers
politely, "Messieurs, this is my carriage; I beg you to alight."

"Par exemple!" cried the two, in chorus. "Who are you?"

"I happen to be the proprietor of the carriage," replied Henry, assuming
an important air, "and if you decline to leave it I shall call the Sergent
de Ville." Then turning to the porter, he told him to put the bags in the
coupé, which he did.

"Ha, ha!" laughed the two men. "_Faites ça, mon bon!_ that would be
amusing. Do you know who we are?"

Henry did not, and said he was not particularly anxious to know.

"This is Monsieur Félix Pyat, and I am his secretary. Here is a _bon_ for
your carriage," handing Henry the card.

"Well," said Henry, pulling out his card, "here is my card, here are my
passes, and here [pointing to Louis] is my coachman!"

Félix Pyat said, "How do we know that this is your carriage?"

Henry acknowledged that at the moment he looked so little like the owner
of anything except the bag, in which the peas were rattling like bullets,
that he forgave the doubt.

Louis was called from the box and the question was put to him. In ordinary
moments Louis would have mumbled and stuttered hopelessly; but he seemed
to have been given overwhelming strength on this occasion, and surprised
Henry by confirming his words with an unction worthy of the great Solomon
himself. He waved his whip aloft, pointed to Henry, and putting his hand
on his heart (which I am sure was going at a tremendous pace) said, "I
swear that this is my master!"

No one but a Communard could have doubted him; but Félix Pyat no more
believed Louis's oath than he did Henry's documents.

"_Bien_," said Pyat; "if it is true that you live in the Rue de
Courcelles, we will leave you there and continue on our way."

Now followed the most spirited altercation, all talking at once, Henry
trying to get in the coupé, and the others refusing to get out.

"À la maison!" shouted Henry.

"À la Place Beauvais!" shouted the Communards. They continued giving these
contradictory orders to poor, bewildered Louis until a crowd had
collected, and they thought it better to stop quarreling. Henry entered
the carriage, meekly taking his seat on the _strapontin_ opposite the
intruders, and thinking of the peas, which ought to have been in the pot
by this time, assented to be left at home, and ordered Louis to drive the
triumphant Communards to the Ministry of the Interior, Place Beauvais.

It would be difficult for one who did not know Louis to guess what his
state of mind must have been. He was not of the kind they make heroes of;
he was good, kind, and timid, though he was an _ancien Zouave_ and had
fought in several battles (so he said). I always doubted these tales,
and I still think Louis's loose, bulging trousers and the tassel of his
red cap were only seen from behind.

It was as good as a play to hear Louis's tragic account of yesterday, and
it made your hair stand on end when he recounted how he had been stopped
in the Rue de Castiglione, how two fiery Communards had entered the coupé
and ordered him to drive to the Hôtel de Ville, where Félix Pyat had
mounted the carriage. What must his account have been in the kitchen?

However, the principal thing was that the harassed peas were safe in the
kitchen and in time to be cooked and figure on the menu as _légumes_
(_les petits pois_).

Our guests' faces beamed with satisfaction at the idea of these
_primeurs_, and evidently anticipated great joy in eating them; but
after they had tasted them they laid down their forks and ... meditated!
The servant removed the plates with their _primeurs_, wondering how
such wanton capriciousness could exist in this _primeur_-less Paris.
Only Mr. Moulton ate them to the last pea. We--the initiated--knew where
the peculiar taste of soap, tooth-wash, perfume, etc., came from! The peas
descended to the kitchen, and ascended again untouched to the hothouse,
where they finished their wild and varied career. If they could have
spoken, what tales they could have told! They had displaced the German
Army, they had aided and abetted the cause of the Commune, and they had
cost their bringer untold sums in _pourboires_, in order to furnish a
few forkfuls for Mr. Moulton and a gala supper for the hens.

We had an excellent dinner: a _potage printanier_ (from cans), canned
lobster, corned beef (canned), and some chickens who had known many sad
months in the conservatory. An ice concocted from different things, and
named on the menu _glace aux fruits_, completed this _festin de

Mr. Moulton was obliged to don the obnoxious dress-coat, laid away during
the siege in camphor, and smelling greatly of the same. He held in his
hand _La Gazette Officielle_. The same shudder ran through us all. It
was to be read to us after dinner! Coffee was served in the ballroom,
which was dimly lighted.

Would it not be too trying for an old gentleman's eyes to read the fine
print of the _Gazette_? Alas! no. Mr Moulton's eyes were not the kind
that recoiled from anything so trivial as light or darkness; and hardly
had we finished our coffee than out came the _Gazette_. We all listened,
apparently; some dozed, some kept awake out of politeness or stupefaction;
Mademoiselle Wissembourg, without any compunction, resigned herself to
slumber, as she had done for the last twenty-five years.

Delsarte squirmed with agony as he heard the French language, and murmured
to himself that he had lived in vain. What had served all his art, his
profound diagnosis of voice-inflections, his diagrams on the wall, the art
of enunciation, and so forth? He realized, for the first time, what his
graceful language could become _del bocca Americana_!

Delsarte's idea of evening-dress was worthy of notice. He wore trousers of
the workman type, made in the reign of Louis Philippe, very large about
the hips, tapering down to the ankles; a flowing redingote, dating from
the same reign, shaped in order to fit over the voluminous trousers; a
fancy velvet waistcoat and a huge tie bulging over his shirt-front (if he
had a shirt-front, which I doubt). He asked permission to keep on his
_calotte_, which I fancy had not left his skull since the Revolution
of 1848.

Massenet, who had come in from the country for the day to confer with his
editor, received our invitation just in time to dress and join us. After
the _Gazette_ we awoke to life, and Massenet played some of the "Poème de
Souvenir," which he has dedicated to me (I hope I can do it justice). What
a genius he is! Massenet always calls Auber _le Maître_, and Auber calls
him _le cher enfant_.

Auber also played some of his melodies with his dear, wiry old fingers,
and while he was at one piano Massenet put himself at the other (we have
two in the ballroom), and improvised an enchanting accompaniment. I wished
they could have gone on forever.

Who would have believed that, in the enjoyment of this beautiful music, we
could have forgotten we were in the heart of poor, mutilated Paris--in the
hands of a set of ruffians dressed up like soldiers? Bombs, bloodshed,
Commune, and war were phantoms we did not think of.

Delsarte, in the presence of genius, refused to sing "Il pleut, il pleut,
Bergère," but condescended to declaim "La Cigalle ayant chanté tout
l'été," and did it as he alone can do it. When he came to the end of the
fable, "Eh bien, dansez maintenant," he gave such a tragic shake to his
head that the voluminous folds of his cravat became loosened and hung
limply over his bosom.

I sang the "Caro Nome" of "Rigoletto," with Massenet's accompaniment.
Every one seemed pleased; even Delsarte went as far as to compliment me on
the expression of joy and love depicted on my face and thrown into my
voice, which was probably correct, according to diagram ten on his walls.

He now felt he had not lived in vain.

It being almost midnight, our guests took their departure.

There were only two carriages before the door, Mr. Washburn's and Auber's.
Mr. Washburn took charge of the now very sleepy Delsarte, who declaimed a
sepulchral _bonsoir_ and disappeared, his redingote waving in the air.

The _maître_ took the _cher enfant_, or rather the _cher enfant_ led the
_maître_ out of the salon. The family retired to rest. The _Gazette
Officielle_ had long since vanished with its master, and was no doubt
being perused in the privacy of the boudoir above, the odious dress-coat
and pumps replaced by _robe de chambre_ and slippers. Henry said the next
morning he had had a bad night;... he had dreamt that the whole German
army was waiting outside of Paris, shelling the town with peas.

_April 1, 1871._

Beaumont wished to accompany us to the ambulance to-day, thinking that he
might get an idea for a sketch; but, though he had his album and pencils
with him, he did not accomplish much.

We sat by the bedside of the German officer, and Beaumont made a drawing
of him. The officer said in a low tone to me, "Is that the famous artist

I replied that it was.

"I am so glad to have an opportunity to see him, as I have heard so much
of him, and have seen a great many of his pictures in Germany."

This I repeated to Beaumont, and it seemed to please him very much.

When we left, Beaumont said to him, showing him the sketch, "Would you
like this?"

The officer answered in the most perfect French, "I shall always keep it
as a precious souvenir"; and added, "May I not have a sketch of my nurse?"
(meaning me).

Beaumont thought that it was rather presuming on the part of the officer
to ask for it, and seemed annoyed. However, he made a hasty drawing and
gave it to him, saying in his blunt way, "I hope this will please you."
The officer thanked him profusely, and we left. Turning to me he said: "I
have not profited much by this visit. I have given, but not taken anything

"But the experience," I ventured to say.

"Oh yes, the experience; but that I did not need."

In the evening we had one of our drowsy games of whist, made up of
Countess B----, our neighbor opposite, brought across the street in her
sedan-chair (she never walks), Mr. Moulton, myself, and Beaumont making
the sleepy fourth. Neither of our guests speaks English with anything like
facility, but they make frantic efforts to carry on the game in English,
as Mr. Moulton has never learned the game in French and only uses English

Mr. Moulton always plays with Countess B----, and I always play with
Beaumont; we never change partners.

This is the kind of game we play:

It takes Beaumont a very long time to arrange his cards, which he does in
a unique way, being goaded on by Mr. Moulton's impatient "Well!" He picks
out all the cards of one suit and he lays them downward on the table in a
pile; then he gathers them up and puts them between the third and fourth
fingers of his left hand. With the next suit he does likewise, placing
them between the second and third fingers, and so on, until the grand
_finale,_ when the fingers loosen and the cards amalgamate. During this
process his cards fall every few minutes on the floor, occasioning much
delay, as they have all to be arranged again.

It is my deal; I turn up a heart. The Countess is on my left. We wait with
impatience for her to play, but she seems only to be contemplating her

"Well!" says Mr. Moulton, impatiently.

We all say in unison, "Your play, Countess!"

The Countess: "Oh, what dreadful cards! I can never play. Oh," with a
sigh, "how dreadful!"

We are all very sorry for her. She has evidently wretched cards.

Long pause. "Your turn, Countess!" we all cry.

"What are trumps?" she asks.

We show her the trump card on the table and say together, "Hearts."

Another long pause.

She arranges her cards deliberately and then shuts them up like a fan.

"Your play, partner," says Mr. Moulton, tired out with waiting.

With a dismal wail, and looking about for sympathy, she plays the ace of

Mr. Moulton gathers up the trick.

She has no idea that she has taken anything, but is quietly adjusting her
cards again.

"Your turn, Countess!"

"What, my turn again?" She expresses the greatest surprise.

She: "What dreadful cards! Indeed, I cannot play."

Poor thing! That was probably her only good card, and we expected her next
would be the two of spades. But no. She pulls out, with the air of a
martyr, the ace of spades.

Mr. Moulton: "Well! that's not so bad."

Great astonishment on her part. She can't believe that she has actually
taken a trick. She had hoped some one else would have played.

A long, fidgety silence follows.

All: "Your play, Countess!" She plays the queen of hearts.

This has no success, as I take it with my king.

Mr. Moulton: "Why did you play trumps?"

She: "Oh! was that trumps? I must take it back. Pray, let me take it

We all recover our cards. (My partner takes this occasion to drop some of
his on the floor. He picks them up and arranges them again in order.)

"Your turn, Countess!" we cry, exhausted.

She: "What, again! Why does some one else not play?"

Then out comes the ace of diamonds.

Some one said, "You have all the aces."

She: "Oh! not all; I have not the ace of hearts."

Her partner, aghast, begs her not to tell us what her other cards are, and
so the game proceeds to the bitter end.

There were other moments funny beyond words especially when Mr. Beaumont's
English fails to cope with the situation and he will try to discuss the
points where the Countess has failed. He says, "Did you not see he put his
king on your spade ace-spot?" and, "Madame, you played the third of
spades." And when we count honors, Beaumont will cover the table with his
great elbows and enumerate his: "I had the ass, the knight, and the dame."

I heard a suppressed chuckle from my father-in-law, and seemed to see a
vision of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza pass before me.

_24th of April._

DEAR MAMA,--Auber sent a note early this morning by his coachman to ask me
to lunch with him at ten-thirty o'clock (of course accompanied by
Mademoiselle, my aunt, as he calls her). The coachman says that his master
is not feeling well and longs to see a friend.

I am proud to be the friend he longs to see, and was only too happy to
accept. Mademoiselle W---- was equally happy, ready, as always, for any
excursion where a good repast was in view, and of that we were sure, as
Auber's chef is renowned, and is so clever that, though the market is
limited, he can make something delicious out of nothing.

Louis appeared in a short jacket and a straw hat, looking rather waggish
and very embarrassed to present himself in such a costume.

Driving through the Boulevard Clichy and endless out-of-the-way streets,
we finally reached Auber's hotel, which is in the Rue St. Georges.

Louis was glad to find safety under the _porte-cochère_, and to see his
bosom companion, Auber's butler, into whose arms he fell with joy.

Auber came to the door to welcome us, seeming most grateful that we had
come, and led us into the salon. There is only one way to get into the
salon, and that is either through the dining-room or the bedroom; we went
through the bedroom, as the other was decked for the feast.

I have never seen Auber look so wretched and sad as he did to-day; I could
hardly believe it was the same Auber I have always seen so gay and full of
life and spirits.

I brought a tiny bunch of lilies of the valley, which Louis had gathered
in the all-producing hothouse.

"Merci, merci," he said. "Les fleurs! C'est la vie parfumée." Waiting for
the breakfast to be served, he showed us about in his apartment. In the
salon, rather primly furnished, stood the grand piano. The bookshelves
contained Cherubini's (his master) and his own operas, and his beloved
Bach. A table in the middle of the room, covered with photographs and
engravings, completed son _salon de garçon_.

The bedroom was also very primitive: his wooden bed, with its traditional
covering of _bourre_; a chiffonier containing his curios, royal presents,
and costly souvenirs; his writing-table; and his old piano, born in 1792,
on which he composed all his operas.

The piano certainly looked very old; its keys were yellow as amber, and
Auber touched them with tenderness, his thin, nervous fingers, with their
well-kept nails, rattling on them like dice in a box.

He said: "Le piano est presqu'aussi vieux que moi. Que de tracas nous
avons eu ensemble!"

Breakfast was announced, and we three took our places at the beautifully
arranged table. I wondered where the butler had found flowers and fruit
and _écrevisses_. Mademoiselle and I ate with an astounding appetite;
but Auber, who had not eaten a _déjeuner_ for thirty years, contented
himself with talking.

And talk he did, like a person hungry and thirsty to talk. He told us
about Scribe, for whom he had an unlimited admiration. "I wish you had
known him," he said; "he was the greatest librettist who ever existed. I
only had to put the words on the piano, put on my hat, and go out. When I
came back the music was all written--the words had done it alone." ("Je
n'avais qu'à mettre les paroles sur le pupitre, prendre mon chapeau et
sortir. Quand je revenais la musique était toute écrite, les paroles
l'avaient faite toutes seules.")

He related incidents connected with his youth. His father was a banker
very well off, rich even, and had destined Auber to be a banker, like
himself; but when Auber went to London to commence his clerkship he found
he had no vocation for finance, and began to devote himself to music and
composition. He was thirty-six years old when he wrote his first opera. He
told us that his first ones were so bad that he had given them to the
Conservatoire _pour encourager les commençants_.

Breakfast had long since finished; but dear old Auber rambled on, and
Mademoiselle and I sat listening.

He said he was going to leave all his music to me in his will. I thanked
him, and replied nothing would give me greater pleasure than to have
something which had belonged to him.

"Je ne regarde jamais mes partitions sans être gagné par la tristesse et
sans penser que de morceaux à retoucher! En composant, je n'ai jamais
connu d'autre muse que l'ennui."

"On ne le dirait pas," said Mademoiselle, wanting to join the
conversation. "Votre musique est si gaie, si pleine d'entrain."

"Vous trouvez! Vous êtes bien bonne. Je ne sais comment cela arrive. Il
n'y a pas de motifs parmi ceux qu'on trouve heureux, que je n'ai pas écrit
entre deux baîllements. Je pourrais," he went on, "vous montrer tel
passage où ma plume a fait un long zigzag parce que mes yeux se sont
fermés et ma tête tombait sur la partition. On dirait, n'est ce pas? qu'il
y a des somnambules lucides."

We thought Auber seemed very fatigued, and we soon left him, driving back
the same way we came, and reached home without any adventures.

_7th of May._

I received this morning, by a mysterious messenger, a curious document; it
looks like a series of carriage-wheels, but it is a cipher from Prince
Metternich, who is in Bordeaux, and is dated the 1st of May. It took me a
long time to puzzle it out: "Vous conseille de partir; pire viendra.
Pauline à Vienne; moi triste et tourmenté."

Very good advice, but rather difficult to follow now.

Never has Paris led such a sober life; there is no noise in the almost
empty and dimly lighted streets; there are no drunkards, and, strange to
say, one hears of no thefts. There are, I believe, one or two small
theaters open, most of the small cafés, and a great many wine-shops. The
soldiers slink about, looking ashamed of their shabby uniforms and ragged

Thiers has done all in his power to conciliate the different parties, but
has now concluded that Paris must be conquered by the troops of
Versailles. Every day there comes more disturbing news. How will it all
end? When shall we get out of this muddle? _En attendant,_ we live in
a continual fright.

A note came yesterday from Mr. Washburn (I don't know if he is in Paris or
not). He writes: "Nothing could be worse than the present state of
affairs. I wish you were out of Paris; hope you are well," etc.

If we could get a message to him, we would tell him that we are well
enough, and have enough to eat; that Mademoiselle Wissembourg and I
tremble all day; but that Mr. Moulton has not enjoyed himself so much
since the last revolution.

Slippers all day if he likes.

_May 8th._

Though I have so much time on my hands (I never have had so much), I
really have not the heart to write of all the horrors we hear of and the
anxieties of our daily life. Besides, you will probably have heard,
through unprejudiced newspapers, all that is happening here, and know the
true facts before this dismal letter reaches you. And who knows if letters
leave Paris regularly in the chaotic state of disorder and danger we are
now in?

I cannot write history, because I am living in it. I can only tell you the
news which Louis gathers when he does his errands, coming home with the
wildest tales, of which we can only believe the half.

I have read somewhere that some one lived "in a dead white dawn of
thought." I have not the slightest idea what "a dead white dawn of
thought" can be (I have so little imagination); but whatever it is, I feel
as if I was living in it now. I don't remember in all my life to have
stagnated like this.

We are glad Mrs. Moulton left Paris when she did, and is now in a bourne
of safety at Dinard, taking my place with the children while I take hers
in the Rue de Courcelles.

This is no sacrifice on my part; the existence we are leading now
interests me intensely, being so utterly different from anything I have
ever known, and I do not regret having this little glimpse into the

I cannot go to the ambulances, as we (Mademoiselle and I) do not dare to
walk, and driving is out of the question.

I have not seen Auber for many days; Beaumont has not been here either,
and we do not know where he is.

They still go on issuing some official newspapers, though whether what
they contain is true, or how far the imaginations of the editors have
lured them into the paths of fiction, we cannot tell. If we live through
this _débâcle_ I count on history to tell us what we really have been
living through. However, truth or fiction, I am thankful that we have the
newspapers, for how would I ever have a moment's sleep if I did not listen
to Mr. Moulton's intoning the _Moniteur_ and the _Journal des Débats_ (the
_Figaro_ has been suppressed) to us, and we did not have our three-handed
drowsy whist to doze over.

_May 9th._

While we were at breakfast this morning the servant came rushing in, pale
and trembling, and announced to us that pillage had commenced in the
Boulevard Haussmann, just around the corner, and that the mob was coming
toward our house. We flew to the window, and, sure enough, there we saw a
mass of soldiers collected on the other side of the street, in front of
the Princess Mathilde's palace, gesticulating and pointing over at us.

We thought our last day had come; certainly it did look like a crisis of
some kind. We gazed blankly at one another. Mademoiselle disappeared, to
seek refuge, I fancy, between the mattresses of her bed, and the smile and
the urbane language with which she was prepared to face this emergency (so
often predicted by her) disappeared with her.

The mob crossed the street, howling and screaming, and on finding the gate
locked began to shake it. The frightened _concierge,_ already barricaded
in his lodge, took care not to show himself, which infuriated the riotous
crowd to such an extent that they yelled at the top of their lungs to have
the gate opened.

Mr. Moulton sent a scared servant to order the still invisible _concierge_
to open not only one gate, but all three. He obeyed, trembling and quaking
with fear. The Communists rushed into the courtyard, and were about to
seize the unhappy _concierge,_ when Mr. Moulton, seeing that no one else
had the courage to come forward, went himself, like the true American he
is,... out on to the _perron_, and I went with him. His first words (in
pure Angle-Saxon), "Qu'est-ce que vous voolly?" made the assembled crowd

The leader pushed forward, and, presenting a paper with the official seal
of the _Comité de Transport_, demanded, in the name of the Commune
(_requisitioned_, they call it), everything we had in the way of animals.

Mr. Moulton took the paper, deliberately adjusted his spectacles, and,
having read it very leisurely (I wondered how those fiery creatures had
the forbearance to stay quiet, but they did; I think they were hypnotized
by my father-in-law's coolness), he said, in his weird French, "Vous
voolly nos animaux!" which sounded like _nos animose_. The crowd grinned
with delight. His French saved the situation. I felt that they would not
do us any great harm now.

Mr. Moulton fumbled in his pocket, and, judging from the time he took and
the depths into which he dived, one would have thought he was going to
bring out corruption enough to bribe the whole French nation. But he only
produced a gold piece, which he flourished in front of the spokesman, and
asked if money would be any inducement to leave us _les animose_. But the
not-to-be-bribed Communard put his hand on his heart, and said, in a tone
worthy of Delsarte, "Nous sommes des honnêtes gens, Monsieur," at which my
father-in-law permitted himself to smile. I thought him very brave.

Raising his voice to an unusually high pitch, he cried, "Je ne peux pas
vous refiuser _le_ cheval, mais [the pitch became higher] je refiuse _le_
vache (I cannot refuse to give you the horse; but I refuse the cow)."

The men before us were convulsed with laughter. Then Mr. Moulton gave the
order to bring out the horse, but _not_ the cow. The official turned to
me. "Madame," he said, "you have a cow, and my orders are to take all your
animals. Please send for the cow."

"It is true, Monsieur," I answered, with a gentle smile (like the one
reposing under the mattress), "that we have a cow; but we have the
permission from your Government to keep it."

"Which government?" he asked.

"The French Government. Is that not yours?"

The man could not find anything to answer, and turned away mumbling,
"Comme vous voulez," which applied to nothing at all, and addressed Mr.
Moulton again, "Nous avons des ordres, Monsieur!" But Mr. Moulton
interrupted him, "Ça m'est égal, je refiuse _le_ vache."

Some one in the crowd called out, "Gardez _le_ vache!" This was received
with a burst of applause. I think that these men, rough as they were,
could not but admire the plucky old gentleman who stood there so calmly
looking at them over his spectacles. The servants were all huddled
together behind the glass windows in the _antichambre_, scared out of
their wits, while the terrible Communards were choking with laughter.

It was heart-rending to see poor Louis's grief when he led out the dear,
gentle horse we loved so fondly; the tears rolled down his cheeks, as they
did down mine, and I think a great many of the ruffians around us had a
tear of sympathy for our sorrow, for the merriment of the few moments
before faded suddenly from their pale and haggard faces.

When Louis leaned his kind old face against the nose of his companion of
the stable he sobbed aloud, and when he gave the bridle over to the man
who was to take the horse away he moaned an adieu, saying, "Be good to

I went down the steps of the _perron_ (the men politely making way for me)
and kissed my poor darling Medjé, and passed my hand over her soft neck
before she left us for her unknown fate. She seemed to understand our
sorrow, for, as she was being led out of the courtyard, she turned her
head toward us with a patient, inquiring look, as if to say, "What does it
all mean?"

I hope she will be returned when "no longer needed," as they promise, and
Louis will have the joy of seeing her again.

The now-subdued mob left us, filing out quietly through the gates; they
had come in like roaring lions, but went out like the meekest of lambs.

We returned sorrowfully to the salon. I was so unstrung that Mademoiselle,
who in the meantime had returned, administered a cup of camomile tea to
restore my nerves.

After the fright caused by this last _réquisitionnement_, two of the
servants thought it expedient to find safer quarters in the center of
Paris, and to live in seclusion, rather than run the risk of being
requisitioned themselves.

The forts Mont Valérien, Montrouge, Vanves, and Issy keep up an incessant
firing. We would not be surprised if at any moment a bomb reached us, but
so far we have escaped this calamity. The "Reds" are fighting all around
Paris with more or less success. If one could believe what is written in
the _Le Journal de la Commune_, one would say they were triumphant all
along the line. We have just heard that General Bergeret has been
arrested, no one knows why, except that he did not succeed in his last
sortie, and had then by displeased his colleagues generally. It does not
take more than that to arrest people in these days.

The good Archbishop of Paris (Darboy), the curé of La Madeleine
(Monseigneur Duguerry), also President Bonjean, and the others who were
arrested on the 10th of May, have been kept in Mazas Prison ever since. I
saw a letter of marvelous forbearance and resignation, written by the
Archbishop to the Sisters of the St. Augustine Convent; and the beloved
curé of the Madeleine beseeches people to pray for order to be restored.
Poor martyrs! I hope that their prison will not prove to be the
antechamber of the scaffold; as Rochefort says, "Mazas est l'antichambre
de l'échafaud."

It appears that Félix Pyat really did give his demission as a member of
the Commune, but his colleagues would not accept it.

_10th May_.--While Mr. Moulton was reading this morning's news to us
we were startled by a terrible crash. We were paralyzed with terror, and
for a moment speechless, fearing that all we had dreaded was about to be
realized. After somewhat recovering our equilibrium, we sent for Louis to
find out what dreadful thing had happened.

Louis appeared with the _concierge_, both trembling from head to foot, and
announced that a portion of a bomb which had fallen and exploded near us
had come through the roof, shattering many windows and causing great
havoc. On further examination of the disaster we were greatly relieved to
hear that it was only a question of a damaged roof, windows, and masonry.
No one was killed or even wounded; but all were so completely frightened
that no one dares to sleep on the upper floor. Consequently we have moved
down on the drawing-room floor, and have abandoned the upper stories to
future bombs. Mr. Moulton is located in the salon; Mademoiselle has taken
the _salon jaune_, and I the boudoir. Louis has improvised a bedroom in
the small dining-room, that he may be near us at night if we should need
him. The other servants sleep in the basement.

Our family is now reduced to Mr. Moulton, Mademoiselle, Louis, my maid,
and the cook. Louis has proved himself invaluable. He is the man of all
work. After milking the cow and doing his farming (in the conservatory) in
the early morning, he waits at table, does errands, and gathers whatever
news there is in the neighborhood, helps in the kitchen, and aids Mr.
Moulton in his toilet and into his slippers. He is never tired; is always
ready, early in the morning and late at night, to do anything required of
him. He fills all gaps.

The untiring hens have made their nests in obscure corners in the hothouse
and dream serenely of future posterity, while the one cock scratches for
tired worms to provide for their repasts. I go every morning after
breakfast with a little offering of scraps to add to their meager meals.

It is one of my few occupations.

Louis has succeeded in some of his agricultural schemes, and has raided
mushrooms, radishes, and watercresses, which appear quite a luxury in
contrast to our usual canned things, and almost make us forget other

This farming of Louis's in the hothouse goes to prove how an unnecessary
palm-garden in time of peace can be transformed into a useful kitchen
garden in time of war. Louis expends the same energy and water that he
used in washing his carriages, much to the detriment of the once fine

The days are very monotonous. I never imagined a day could have so many
hours. I, who have always been over-busy, and have never found the days
long enough to do all I wanted to do, pass the most forlorn hours
listening and waiting and wondering what will happen next. I wait and wait
all through the sleepless nights. I am so nervous I cannot sleep. I do not
even take off my clothes.

I have my writing-table put in the ball-room, and here I sit and write
these sad letters to you. I play the piano; but I have not the heart to
sing, as you may imagine.

We know that there are many tragedies going on about us, and we hear,
through Louis, awful things; but we only believe the half of what he tells

_May 11th._

The Minister of Finance has spent in a month twenty-six millions for the
war expenses alone.

My two friends, Pascal Grousset and (Rascal) Rigault, spent for their
_menus plaisirs_ nearly half a million, whereas Jourde, who is Minister of
Finance, and could take all the money he liked from the banks, lives in
the same modest apartment, and his wife still continues to take in washing
as of old, showing that he, at least, is honest among thieves.

Grousset's appeal to the large cities of France is very theatrical. He
reproaches them with their lukewarmness and their platonic sympathy, and
calls them _aux armes_, as in the "Marseillaise."

We had a very sad experience yesterday. At seven o'clock the _concierge_
was awakened from his slumbers, which (if one can judge from the repeated
efforts at his bell of persons who come before breakfast) must be of the
sweetest and most profound nature.

On cautiously peeping out, he saw a poor fellow leaning against the gate
in a seemingly exhausted condition; he had been wounded, and begged to be
allowed to come inside our courtyard. The _concierge_, who thinks it
wise to be prudent, consulted with Louis; but neither dared do anything
until Mr. Moulton had given the necessary orders. Louis ran about to wake
up the family, and Mr. Moulton told the porter to take the man directly to
the stables and to go for a doctor. The wounded man begged to see a
priest, and Louis was despatched to bring one. Securing a doctor seemed to
be a great undertaking. The _concierge_ had had cramps in the night
(so he said), which would necessitate his remaining at home, and made so
many excuses that Mr. Moulton lost patience and declared he would go
himself; but this I would not hear of his doing alone, and insisted upon
going with him. Mademoiselle, issuing from her room, appeared in her lilac
dressing-gown, holding a pocket-handkerchief in one hand and a smelling-
bottle to her nose with the other. She was told to keep watch over the
invalid while we were absent. Mr. Moulton and I walked to the Faubourg St.
Honoré, to our apothecary, who gave us the name of the nearest doctor. It
was not pleasant, to say the least, to be in the streets. We were in the
habit of hearing bombs and shells, so that was no novelty; but to see them
whizzing over our heads was a new sensation, and not an agreeable one. We
found a doctor, a most amiable gentleman, who, although he had been up all
night, was quite ready to follow us, and we hurried back to the Rue de
Courcelles, where we found Mademoiselle seated on a water-pail outside the
stables and looking the picture of woe. Her idea of keeping vigil!

The doctor made a hasty examination, and was preparing the bandages when
Louis arrived with the priest. I left them and went into the house to make
some tea, which I thought might be needed; but my father-in-law came in
and said that the man had gone to sleep.

Later, about two o'clock, Louis told us that all was over; the poor fellow
had received the last sacraments, had turned over on his side, and had
breathed his last. We sent for the ambulance; but it was five o'clock
before they took him away.

It made us very sad all day to think that death had entered our gates.

_15th May._--Thiers's house in the Rue St. Georges was pillaged to-day by
the mob, who howled like madmen and hurled all sorts of curses and
maledictions on luckless Thiers, who has done nothing wrong, and certainly
tried to do good.

Auber, who lives in the same street, must have seen and heard all that was
going on. How he must have suffered!


_16th May._--The Column Vendôme fell to-day; they have been working
some days to undermine it at the base of the socle. Every one thought it
would make a tremendous crash, but it did not; it fell just where they
intended it to fall, toward the Rue de la Paix, on some fagots placed to
receive it. They were a long time pulling at it; three or four pulleys,
and as many ropes, and twenty men tugging with all their might--_et
voilà_. The figure that replaced the Little Corporal (which is safe
somewhere in Neuilly) came to earth in a cloud of dust, and the famous
column lay broken in three huge pieces.

I inclose a ticket which Mr. Lemaire obtained somehow, and which, as you
see, permitted him to circulate _librement_ in the Place Vendôme:


I think it is strange that Auber does not let us hear from him. I fear his
heart is broken, like the column.

The weather is heavenly. The two chestnut-trees in our front courtyard are
in full flower; the few plants in the greenhouse are all putting out buds.
Where shall we be when the buds become flowers?

Last year at this time it was the height of the giddiest of giddy seasons.
One can hardly believe it is the same Paris.

My father-in-law feels very bad that I did not leave when I still had the
chance. So do I,... but now it is too late. I must stay till the bitter
end, and no doubt the end will be bitter: battle, murder, and sudden
death, and all the things we pray against in the Litany.

Dombrowski has failed in his sortie to St. Cloud.

_18th May._--It seems that the Communards wish all France to adopt their
gentle methods, and they believe and hope that Communism will reign
supreme over the country.

Rigault, to prove what an admirable government France has, yesterday
issued the decree to arrest a mass of people. No one knows exactly why,
except that he wishes to show how great his power is. He wants the Commune
to finish in fire and flame as a funeral pile. I hope he will be on the
top of it, like Sardanapalus, and suffer the most. Horrible man!

I received a letter from Mr. Mallet this morning, inclosing an invitation
to assist at a concert given by all the _musiques militaires à Paris_
on the Place de la Concorde, and offering a ticket for two places on the
terrace of the Tuileries. The idea of these creatures on the brink of
annihilation, death, and destruction giving a concert! If it were not so
tragic it would really be laughable.

    DEAR LADY,--I wish I could bring you this extraordinary document _de
    viva persona_; but I do not like to leave the embassy, even for a
    short time. Lascelles and I are well, but very anxious. You will
    notice that this invitation is for the 21st. Our friends evidently
    think we will be pleasantly attuned to music on that day. They are as
    mad as March hares; they will be asking us to dance at Mazas next....
    Hoping you are not as depressed as we are, Yours, E. MALLET.

Just as I had finished reading the above we heard a tremendous explosion.
Louis said it was _l'École Militaire_, which was to be blown up to-day.
What are we coming to?

Louis and I ventured to go up to the third story, and we put our heads out
of one of the small windows. We saw the bombs flying over our heads like
sea-gulls. All the sky was dimmed with black smoke, but we could not see
if anything was burning, though we hear that the Tuileries is on fire and
all the public buildings are being set fire to.

An organized mob of _pétroleurs_ and _pétroleuses_ receive two francs a
day for pouring petroleum about and then setting fire. How awful!

Louis assures us that they will not come near us, as their only idea is to
destroy public property. My father-in-law says the fever of destruction
may seize them, and they might pillage the fine houses and set fire to
them. He is having everything of value, like jewels, silver, and his
precious bric-à-brac, carried down to the cellar, where there is an iron
vault, and has showed us all how to open it in case of a disaster.

_May 21st._ (Sunday evening)--The Versaillais entered Paris by the Point
du Jour, led by gallant Gallifet.

_May 22d._--Rigault gave the order that all the hostages (_otages_) were
to be shot. Rigault wrote the order himself. It does not bear any of the
fantastic seals they are so fond of, and of which they have an incredible
quantity. It has been written on a paper (_une déclaration d'expédition du
chemin de fer d'Orléans_). Probably he was trying to get away. It was the
last order he gave, and the last fuse to be used to set fire to the
funeral pile.

This proclamation, of which I give an exact copy, will give you a little
idea of what this horrible brute is capable of:

    Floréal, an 79 [the way they date things in republics]. Fusillez
    l'Archevêque et les otages; incendiez les Tuileries et le Palais
    Royal, et repliez-vous sur la rue Germain-des-Prés.

    Procureur de la Commune,

    Ici tout va bien. RAOUL RIGAULT.

In the evening of the 22d the victims--forty of them--the good Darboy,
Duguerry, Bonjean, and others--were piled into a transport-wagon with only
a board placed across, where they could sit, and were taken to the place
of execution.

The Archbishop seemed suffering; probably the privations he had endured
had weakened him. Bonjean said to him, "Lean on my arm, it is that of a
good friend and a Christian," and added, "La religion d'abord, la justice
ensuite." As soon as one name was called a door opened and a prisoner
passed out--the Archbishop went first; they descended the dark and narrow
steps one by one. When they were placed against the wall Bonjean said,
"Let us show them how a priest and a magistrate can die."

Rigault ordered their execution two hours after they were taken; and when
some one ventured a remonstrance he curtly replied, "Nous ne faisons pas
de la légalité, nous faisons de la révolution." Some ruffian in the mob
cried out the word "liberté," which reached Darboy's ears, and he said,
"Do not profane the word of liberty; it belongs to us alone, because we
die for it and for our faith." This sainted man was the first to be shot.
He died instantly; but President Bonjean crossed his arms and, standing
erect, stared full in the faces of his assassins with his brave eyes
fastened on theirs. This seemed to have troubled them, for of the nineteen
balls they fired not one touched his head--they fired too low--but all his
bones were broken. The defiant look stayed on his face until the _coup
de grâce_ (a bullet behind his ear) ended this brave man's life. These
details are too dreadful. I will spare you, though I know many more and

Dombrowski had a slight advantage over l'Amiraut the other day, which
puffed them all up with hope; but how foolish to think that anything can
help now!

_May 23d._--Now they have all lost their heads, and are at their wits'
end. There are thirty thousand artillery and more cannon than they know
what to do with.

Everything is in a muddle; you can imagine in what a fearful state of
anxiety we live. The only thing we ask ourselves now is, When will the
volcano begin to pour out its flames?

If the troops should come in by the Arc de Triomphe and fight their way
through Paris by the Champs-Élysées and the Boulevard there would not be
much hope for us, as we would be just between the two fires.

_May 25th._--The Arc de Triomphe and the Champ de Mars were captured
to-day, and the fighting in the streets has commenced. They are fighting
like mad in the Faubourg St. Honoré. When I open the door of the vestibule
I can hear the yelling and screaming of the rushing mob; it is dreadful,
the spluttering of the fusillades and the guns overpower all other noises.
We hope deliverance is near at hand; but who knows how long before we have
peace and quiet again?

_May 28th._--MacMahon has stormed the barricades and has entered Paris,
taking fifty thousand prisoners. Gallifet has ordered thousands to be

We are rescued from more horrors. Thank God! these days of trembling and
fear are over.

Pascal Grousset was killed on the barricades. I am thankful to say that
Raoul Rigault has also departed this world. Courbet, Regnaud, a promising
young painter, and how many shall we know of afterward, have been shot.

We hear that Auber became quite crazy and wandered out on the ramparts,
and was killed with the soldiers. He deserved a better fate, my dear old
friend! I am sure his heart was broken, and that that day we breakfasted
with him was not his first but his last _jour de bonheur_.

Seventy-two days of Communism has cost France 850,000,000 francs.

DINARD, _June 18, 1871._

DEAR MOTHER,--Our peaceful life here is a great contrast to the bombs of
poor dilapidated Paris. I have still the screams and bursting shells of
the Faubourg St. Honoré in my ears.

When I wrote of Strakosch's persisting in his idea of my singing in
concerts, I did not dream that I should be telling you that I have
succumbed to his tempting and stupendous proposition. It is true that I
have said _yes_, and _vogue la galère!_

And the most curious thing is that the whole family sitting in council
have urged me to do it.

"Why not?" said Mr. Moulton, making mental calculations. "I would, if I
were you," said Mrs. Moulton, overflowing with enthusiasm.

"I agree," said Charles, only seeing the fun of a new experience.

"But," I urged, "I doubt if I can stand on my own merits. Singing in
public as an amateur is one thing, and singing as an artist is another."
This wise saying was scorned by the council.

I have ordered some fine dresses from Worth, and if my public don't like
me they can console themselves with the thought that a look at my clothes
is worth a ticket.

Well, the fatal word has gone forth; I shall probably regret it, but it is
too late now.

Therefore, dear mother, please break the news gently to the family and the
genealogical tree, whose bark, I hope, is worse than its bite.

We leave for America in September. Strakosch goes before, "to work it up,"
he says.

NEW YORK, _October._

MY DEAR MOTHER-IN-LAW,--Don't send any more letters to the Barlows'. We
thought that it was better not to stay with them (pleasant as it was) any
longer. There was such a commotion in that quiet house, such ringing of
bells and running about. The servants were worn out attending to me and my

I don't know where to begin to tell you about this wonderful escapade of
ours. I call it my "bravura act." It is too exciting! I copy a letter just
received from Strakosch, in answer to a letter of mine, to show you what
the process of "working up" is. He writes: "You wonder at your big
audiences. The reason is very simple. In the first place, people know that
you are thought to be the best amateur singer in Paris--'La Diva du
Monde'--besides being a favorite in Parisian society, and that you have
not only a beautiful voice, but also that you have beautiful toilettes.
This is a great _attraction_. In the second place, I allow (_as a great
privilege_) the tickets to be subscribed for; the remaining ones are
bought at auction. You see, in this way the bids go _'way up_.... I am
glad I secured Sarasate to supplement," etc.

We have taken a suite of rooms in the Clarendon Hotel, so as to be near
the opera-house, where I go to practise with the orchestra. You cannot
imagine how intense the whole thing is.

To feel that I can hold a great audience, like the one that greeted me the
first night, in my hand, and to know that I can make them laugh or cry
whenever I please--to see the mass of upturned faces--is an inspiring
sensation. The applause bewildered me at first, and I was fearfully
excited; but one gets used to all things in the end. My songs, "Bel
raggio" (Rossini), "Voi che sapete" (Mozart), and "La Valse de Pardon de
Ploërmel" (Meyerbeer), were all encored and re-encored.

I said to Strakosch, "I can't go on forever, tripping on and off the stage
like that!"  He answered, laconically, "Well, you see people have paid
much for their tickets, and they want their money's worth."

I said, "I wish the tickets cost less."

The flowers (you should have seen them!) were mostly what they call here
"floral tributes" (what you would call _des pièces montées_), and were
brought in by a procession of ushers and placed on the stage. I do not
mention the quantities of bouquets handed up to me!

One "floral tribute" received an ovation as it was borne up the aisle by
four men, and hauled up on to the stage by a man who came from the side
scenes. It was a harp made entirely of flowers, about six feet high. It
made quite a screen for me as I went in and out. The card of the harp was
brought to me, and I read, "H. P. Stalton, 'Asleep in Jesus,' North
Conway." I had no idea what it meant, but mama remembered that some years
ago, when she and I were traveling in the White Mountains, we stopped
overnight at the little town of North Conway. At the hotel we heard that a
lady had died, and her son was terribly grieved. There was to be a funeral
service the next morning in the parlor of the inn. I asked, "Do you think
that I might sing something?" "Of course, _any_ music would be welcome,"
was the answer. So I chose the hymn, "Asleep in Jesus," which I sang when
the time came. As there was nothing but an old piano, I preferred to sing
without accompaniment. I was very much affected, and I suppose my voice
showed my emotion, because other people were equally affected. As for the
young man, he knelt on the floor and put his hands over his face and
sobbed out loud. Poor fellow, my heart bled for him!

I sang the hymn through with difficulty. The last verse I sang
_pianissimo_ and very slowly. The silence was painful; you could have
heard a pin drop. The whole scene was very emotional, and I remember
feeling that I never wanted to go through such a thing again. The young
man had not forgotten, after all these years, either the song or the
singer. Hence the beautiful harp of flowers to thank me. I should have
liked to have seen him, to thank _him_.

There is a very sad, pathetic, and patriotic song called "Tender and True"
by a composer, Alfred Pease, which I sing. Strakosch said, "You must have
in your _répertoire_ something American." This song is about a young
soldier who takes "a knot of ribbon blue" from his ladylove, and who dies
on the battle-field with the knot of ribbon on his breast. When I sing
"the flag draped over the coffin lid" the whole audience is dissolved in
tears. The women weep openly; the men hide behind their opera-glasses and
try to blow their noses noiselessly between the verses.

I always finish with "Beware!" and Charles always accompanies me, which
pleases him very much. He thinks that American audiences are very
appreciative, because they stand up and clap and the women wave their

I tell him they stand up because the next thing they are going to do is to
go out.

WORCESTER, _December, 1871._

DEAR MOTHER,--Thanks for your letter. I had hoped to have received better
news of Charles.

When he left Thursday he did not look well, but I thought it was owing to
the excitement and late hours and the irregular life we have been leading.
He wanted to go to Cambridge, where he thought that he could take better
care of himself. I would have gone with him, but I felt that I could not
leave Strakosch and Worcester in the lurch.

If I don't receive a reassuring telegram from you, I shall start off
without delay.

I was dreadfully nervous and unstrung, as you will see, when I tell you
how I blundered. I do not like singing in oratorio. Getting up and sitting
down all the time, holding and singing from a book, losing my place and
having to find it in a hurry, is not what I like. However, I got on very
well at first, but there is a place in the score where three angels come
forward and sing a trio without accompaniment. Then the soprano (me) steps
in front and sings, without a helping note: "Hail, Hail, O Lord God of
Hosts!" The orchestra and chorus take up the same phrase after me.

I sang boldly enough, "Hail, Hail, O Lord God of Hosts!" but suddenly felt
cold shivers down my back when Zerrahn tapped his baton on his stand,
thereby stopping all further proceedings, and turning to me said, in a low
whisper, "A half-tone lower."

Good gracious, how could I find the right note! First I had to remember
the last tone I had sung, then I had to transpose it in my head, all in an
instant. It was a critical moment.

Suppose I did not hit the right note! The whole orchestra and the two-
hundred-man-strong chorus would come thundering after me--the _orchestra
on the right key_ and _the chorus following in my footsteps_.

I turned cold and hot, and my knees trembled under me. You may imagine
what a relief it was when I heard things going on as if nothing had
happened. _I had struck the right note!_ And I finished the oratorio
without further disaster. I do not think that any one in the audience
remarked anything wrong.

I said to Zerrahn, after: "Could you not have helped me? Could you not
have given me the note?"

"No," he answered. "Impossible! I could not ask the nearest violinist to
play the note, and I could not trust myself to find it. I was as nervous
as you were."

[Mrs. Moulton was called to Cambridge the next day. Mr. Moulton had died

CUBA, HAVANA, _January, 1873._

DEAR MAMA,--We left New York in a fearful blizzard. It was snowing,
hailing, blowing, and sleeting; in fact, everything that the elements
could do they did on that particular day. We were muffled up to our ears
in sealskin coats, furs, boas, and so forth, and were piloted over the wet
and slippery deck to our stateroom on the upper deck, which we wished had
been on the under deck, as it was continually washed by the "wild waves."

We knew pretty well "what the wild waves were saying"; at least Laura did,
and they kept on saying it until well into the next day.

I being an old sailor (not in years but in experience), as I had crossed
the Atlantic several times, felt very superior on this occasion, and
looked down without sympathy on the maiden efforts of my suffering sister;
and, having dressed, goaded her almost to distraction to get up and do
likewise, which she obstinately refused to do.

After ordering breakfast I ventured out on deck, to find myself alone,
among deserted camp-stools. I realized then that the others preferred
"rocking in the cradle of the deep" in their berths and in the privacy of
their cabins. I myself felt very shaky as I stumbled about on the deck
holding on to the rails, and I, hurrying back to the haven of my
stateroom, happened to meet the struggling steward endeavoring to balance
the tray containing the breakfast I had ordered, and to make his way
through my door.

The steward, the tray, and I all collided. The result was disastrous: the
food made a bee-line for the ceiling, the drinkables flooded the already
wet floor and our shoes, while cups, saucers, plates, and dishes were
scattered to fragments.

All that day we and every one were dreadfully sick; but what a contrast
the next day was! A hot, tropical sun blazed down on us, the awnings were
put up, the ladies appeared in lighter costumes, the men in straw hats and
thin jackets. How odious our warm wraps and rugs seemed! And how
completely our discomforts of the day before had disappeared! Laura had
forgotten her miseries, and was already planning another sea-trip, and
eagerly scanning the menu for dinner, to which she did ample justice.

The third day was still hotter; parasols, summer dresses, and fans made
their appearance, and at four o'clock we saw Morro Castle and the
lighthouse; and we steamed (literally, for we were so hot) up the
exquisite harbor, where white Havana lay like a jewel on the breast of the

Hot! It must have been one hundred and ninety in the shade--if there had
been any; but there was none. The glare of the whiteness of the city and
the reflection on the water, the air thick with perfumes, gave us a
tropical tinge, and made us shudder to think what we should have to endure
before we could rest in the hotel, which we hoped would be cool.

Young Isnaga, who has just come from Harvard College, where I knew him,
and who was now returning to his native land to help his father on the
plantation, served us as a guide; in fact, he was our Baedeker. He told us
that all those hundreds of little boats with coverings like hen-coops
stretched over them, which swarmed like bees about our steamer, did not
contain native ruffians demanding our money or our lives, as they seemed
to be doing, but were simply peaceable citizens hoping to earn an honest

We dreaded going through the custom-house in this excessive heat; but
Isnaga recognized one of his servants, in a small boat coming toward us,
gesticulating wildly and waving a paper; this paper meant, it seemed,
authority with the officials, so we had no delay, as Isnaga took us under
his wing. I almost wished that the custom-house had confiscated my thick
clothes and the fur-lined coat; and as for the boa, it looked like a
vicious constrictor of its own name, and I wished it at the bottom of the

Isnaga took us in his boat and landed us on the tropical "Plaza," where we
found his _volante_ waiting. He insisted on our getting into this unique
vehicle, which I will describe later when I have more time.

Our one thought was to reach the hotel, which we did finally, sending the
_volante_ back to its owner by a sweeping wave of the hand in the
direction of the quay, which the black Jehu seemed to comprehend.

Fortunately the proprietor spoke what he thought was English, and we were
able to secure very good rooms overlooking the harbor. How delicious the
cool, marble-floored room appeared to us! How we luxuriated in the fresh,
cold water, the juiciest of oranges, the iced pineapples, and all the
delicious fruits they brought us, and, above all, in the balmy air and the
feeling of repose and rest! We reappeared in the thinnest of gauzes for
the repast called dinner.

Adieu, cold and ice! _Vive le soleil!_

This hotel (San Carlos) is situated right on the bay. The quay in front of
us is garnished with a row of dwarfy trees and dirty benches, these last
being decorated, in their turn, by slumbering Cubans. There were
colonnades underneath the hotel, where there were small shops, from which
the odor of garlic and tobacco, combined with the shrieks and the snapping
of the drivers' whips, reached us, as we sat above them on our balcony.

The hotel is square, with an open courtyard in the middle, and all the
rooms open on to the marble gallery which surrounds the courtyard. This
gallery is used as a general dining-room; each person eats at his own
little iron table placed before the door of his bedroom.

Our large room contains two iron beds (minus mattresses), with only a
canvas screwed on the iron sides, but covered with the finest of linen
sheets. An iron frame holds the mosquito-net in place.

Evidently a wash-stand is a thing to be ashamed of, for they are concealed
in the most ingenious way. Mine in the daytime is rather an attractive
commode; Laura's is a writing-table, which at night opens up and discloses
the wash-basin. Otherwise there is little furniture: two cane-bottomed
chairs, two bamboo tables (twins); one has a blue ribbon tied on its leg
to tell it from its brother. Two ingeniously braided mats of linen cord do
duty for the _descente de lit_. Oh yes! there is a mirror for each of
us, which in my hurry to finish my letter I forgot to mention; but they
are so small and wavy that the less we look in them the better we are
satisfied with ourselves.

We have a large balcony, which has a beautiful view of the harbor and the
opposite shore, two huge wooden so-called windows, which are not windows,
opening on to the balcony. There is a panel in the middle which you can
open if you want some fresh air. Glass is never used for windows, so that
when you shut your window you are in utter darkness. Opposite is the door
which is not a door, but a sort of a gate with lattice shutters, giving
the room the look of a bar-room. There is space above the shutters which
is open to the ceiling.

Any one in the gallery who wanted to could stand on a chair and peer over.
Everything that goes on in the gallery, every noise, every conversation,
can be clearly overheard, and if one only understood the language it might
be very interesting.

The bars and locks on our doors and windows date from the fifteenth
century, I should say, and it is with the most herculean efforts that we
manage to shut ourselves in for the night; and we only know that the day
has broken when we hear the nasal and strident Cuban voices, and the
clattering of plates on the other side of the gate. Then we work like
galley-slaves unbarring, and the blazing sun floods our room.

I don't know if bells are popular in Havana; but in this hotel we have
none. If you want a chambermaid, which you do about every half-hour, you
must open your gate and clap your hands, and if she does not come you go
on clapping until some one else comes.

For our early breakfast we begin clapping at an early hour, and finally
our coffee and a huge plate filled with the most delicious oranges, cut
and sugared, are brought to us. We tried to obtain some simple toast; but
this seemed unknown to the Cuban cuisine, and we had to content ourselves
with some national mixture called rolls.

CUBA, _January 24, 1873._

The letters of introduction which kind Admiral Polo (Spanish Minister in
Washington) gave me must be very powerful and far reaching, for we are
received as if we were Princesses of the blood. The Governor-General came
directly to put himself, his house, his family, his Generalship--in fact,
all Cuba--_á la disposición de usted_. The Captain of the Port appeared in
full gala uniform, and deposited the whole of the Spanish fleet, his
person, and the universe in general at my feet, and said, "That no stone
should be left unturned to make our stay in Havana illustrious in

What could the most admirable of Polos have written to have created such
an effect? Then came the General Lliano, a very handsome man, but who I
thought was rather stingy, as he only put the Spanish Army at my
disposition, and himself (_cela va sans dire_).

Next came Señor Herreras, dressed all in white, with the most perfect
patent-leather boots, much too tight for him, and which must have caused
him agonies while he was offering to put himself (of course), his bank,
and all his worldly possessions in my hands.

I accepted all with a benign smile, and answered that I only had America
and my fur-lined coat and boa to offer in return.

We had so many instructions given to us as to what to do and what not to
do in this perfidious climate that we were quite bewildered.

Never to go out in the sun. Result--Malaria and sudden death.

Never put your feet on the bare floors. Result--Centipedes.

Never drink the water. Result--Yellow fever.

Never eat fruit at night. Result--Typhoid fever.

If you sleep too much; if you sit in the draught; if you let the moon
shine on you. Result--Lockjaw and speedy annihilation.

These admonitions were very confusing, and we lay awake at night thinking
how we could manage to live under these circumstances.

What a delight to look at the view from our balcony! I never imagined
anything so beautiful: the distant hills are so blue, the water so
sparkling, the sun gilds the hundreds of sails in the harbor. At night the
water is brilliant with phosphorescence, and when the boats glide through
it they throw out a thousand colors; even the reflection of the stars is
multicolored. And then, pervading all, the delicious fragrance of fruit
and flowers and tropicality!

When I am not poetical, as above, I notice the oxcarts with their cruel
drivers yelling at their poor beasts and goading them with iron-pointed
sticks. When they were not striking them, they struck picturesque
attitudes themselves, leaning on their carts and smoking endless
cigarettes. The cabmen are also picturesque in their way. After their
return from a "course," tired out from whipping their forlorn horses into
the sideling trot which is all they are equal to, and after flicking their
ears until they are too lazy to continue, they hang their hats and
stockingless feet over the carriage lamps and chew sugar-cane, looking the
picture of contentment.

Cabs are cheap; twenty-five cents will take you anywhere _à la course_.
But if you go from one shop to another, or linger at a visit, fancy knows
no bounds, for there is no tariff and the coachman's imagination is apt to
be vivid; and as you can't trust anything else, you must trust to your
conversational power to get you out of the scrape.

_Volantes_ are capricious and too exotic a vehicle to trifle with;
moreover, they turn corners with difficulty, and corners in Havana are the
things you meet the most of.

The streets are narrow; so that if you wish to avoid adventures you must
be careful to give your coachman the correct address before starting off.
The porter of the hotel did this for us to-day, as our Spanish has not
reached _perfection_ yet.

All the streets are labeled _subida_, which means, "go up this street," or
_bajado_, "down this street." If, by chance, you want to go to _27 subida_
and you amble on to 29, it takes you hours to go _bajado_ and get back to
_subida_ again, going round in a _cercle vicieux_. We spent a whole
broiling afternoon buying two spools of thread, my parasol being mightier
than my tongue, as the poor coachman's back can vouch for. When everything
else failed we shouted in unison, "Hotel San Carlos," and the black
coachman grinned with delight. Seeing _bajado_ so often at different
points, Laura thought it was the sign of an assurance company; when I saw
it on the same house as Maria Jesus Street I thought it was some kind of
charitable institution.

A _volante_, as I have said, is a unique and delightful vehicle, which one
requires to know to appreciate. There are two huge wheels behind and none
in front; the animal, secured between the shafts, supports the weight of
the carriage. The seat is very low, so that you recline, more than sit;
your feet are unpleasantly near the horse's tail; a small seat can be
pulled out between you and your companion if there is a child in the
party. A dusky postilion decked out in high top-boots, with enormous
spurs of real silver, sits astride the horse between the shafts, and a
huge sombrero covers his woolly head.

The harness, spurs, buckles, and a good deal of the carriage trimmings are
silver; the horse's tail is braided once a week and tied to the saddle. No
frisky frightening off the flies from his perspiring and appetizing body!
Sometimes (in fact, usually) there is an extra horse outside of the
traces, so that labor is thus divided. The _volante_ drags the people; the
horse in the shafts drags the _volante_, and the extra horse drags
everything; the coachman does the spurring, whipping, and shouting, and
the inmates do the lolling.

I forgot to say that my friend, Lola Maddon, whom I used to know in Paris,
is here, married to Marquis San Carlos, who was a fascinating widower with
several children, whom Lola, like the dear creature she is, had taken
under her youthful wing. She rushed to see me the moment she heard that I
had come, and has already begun to "turn the stones" which are to be
turned for me to make my "visit illustrious" here. She has invited us to
the opera to-morrow, and gives a _soirée_ for me on the following evening.
I confess I am rather curious to see a _soirée_ in Havana. I hope they
have ice-chests to sit on and cool conversation. I shall not talk
politics; in the first place I can't, and in the second place because
it is heating to the blood.

Lola says her husband is a rabid Spaniard. "A rabid Spaniard!" Could
anything be more alarming? No; I will not be the innocent means to bring
about discussions, and precipitate a conflict between the Cubans and the
Spaniards! I have pinned upon the bed-curtains, next to the precautions
for preserving health and the washing-list, the words, "Never talk
politics, nor be led into listening to them," I can always, if pushed into
a corner, assume an air of profundity and say, "Is the crisis--" and then
stop and look for a word. The politician, if he is anything of a
politician, will finish the phrase for me, with the conviction that I know
all about it but am diplomatic.

To see the cows in Havana is enough to break your heart. I weep over them
in a sort of milky way. I have always seen cows in comfortable stables,
with nice, clean straw under their feet and pails full of succulent food
placed within easy reach, while at certain intervals a tidy, tender-
hearted young milkmaid appears with a three-legged stool and a roomy pail,
and extracts what the cow chooses to give her. But here the wiry creatures
roam from door to door, and drop a pint or so at each call. It is pitiful
to see the poor, degraded things, with their offspring following behind.
The latter are graciously allowed to accompany them; but no calls on
Nature are permitted, the poor little things are even muzzled!

Whenever I wish to go into the public parlor, where there is a piano, I
meet the Countess C----, who has evidently just been singing to her son
and her husband.

The first day I met her I approached her with the intention to talk music;
but she swept by with a look which withered me up to an autumn leaf and
left the room, followed by her music, son, and husband; but afterward,
when she saw the Captain of the Port in full gala offering me "_Cuba et
ses dépendences_," she changed her manner, and _then it was my turn!_ When
she asked me if I also knew Count Ceballos, the Governor General, I
answered, with a sweet smile, "Of course I do." "And many other people
here?" she asked, "All I think that are worth knowing," I replied, getting
up and leaving the room as abruptly as she had done. It was great fun,
though L---- thought I was rude.

We went to the theater with Marquise San Carlos. "All the world is here,"
said she. Certainly it looked as if all Havana filled the Tacon, which is
a very large theater. Every box was full, and the parquet, as Lola told
me, contained the _haute volée_ of the town; the open balconies were
sacred to the middle-class, while in the upper gallery were the nobodies,
with their children, poor things! decked out with flowers and trying to
keep awake through the very tiresome and _démodé_ performance of
"Macbeth." Tamberlik sang. What a glorious voice he has! And when he took
the high C (which, if I dare make the joke, did not at all resemble the
one Laura and I encountered coming out of New York Harbor) it was all I
could do to sit quiet. I wanted to wave something. The prima-donna was
_assoluta_, and must have been pickled in some academy in Italy years
ago, for she was not preserved. She acted as stupidly as she sang.

Each box has six seats and are all open, with the eternal lattice-door at
the back, and separated from its neighbor by a small partition. It was
very cozy, I thought; one could talk right and left, and when the
gentlemen circulated about in the _entr'actes_ smoking the inevitable
cigarette, which never leaves a Cuban's lips except to light a fresh one,
all the lattice-doors are eagerly opened to them. Lola presented all the
_haute volée_ to us, the unpresented just stared. I never realized
how much staring a man can do till I saw the Cuban. I mentioned this to
Lola, to which she responded, "It is but natural, you are a stranger."

"Dear friend," said I, "I have been a stranger in other lands, but I have
never seen the like of this. If I was an orang outang there might be some
reason, but to a simple mortal, or two simple mortals, like my sister and
myself, their stares seem either too flattering or the reverse."

"Why, my dear," she replied, "they mean it as the greatest compliment, you
may believe me." And she appealed to her husband, who confirmed what she
said. All the gentlemen carry fans and use them with vigor; the ladies are
so covered with powder (_cascarilla_) that you can't tell a pretty one
from an ugly one. If one of them happens to sneeze, there is an avalanche
of powder.

Lola showed us her establishment and explained the architecture of a Cuban
house. If chance has put a chimney somewhere, they place the kitchen near
it. Light and size are of no account, neither is cooking of any

CUBA, _February, 1873._

We make such crowds of acquaintances it would be useless to tell you the
names. The Marquise San Carlos sent her carriage for us the evening of her
_soirée_. All the company was assembled when we arrived: the Marquis,
the Dean of Havana, and two abbés were playing _tresillo_, a Spanish
game of cards.

A group of men stood in the corner and seemed to be talking politics, as
far as I could judge from then gesticulations. A few ladies in sweeping
trains, and very _décolletées_, sat looking on listlessly. The daughter of
the house was nearing the piano. The Dean said to me, with a sly smile,
"Now is the _coup de grâce!_"--his little joke. She sang, "Robert, toi que
j'aime. Grâce! Grâce!" etc. Also she sang the waltz of "Pardon de
Ploërmel," a familiar _cheval de bataille_ of my own, which I was glad to
see cantering on the war-path again. In the mean time conversation was at
low ebb for poor Laura. She told me some fragments which certainly were
peculiar. For instance, she understood the gentle man who had last been
talking to her to say that he had been married five times, had twenty-
eight children, and had married his eldest son's daughter as his fifth
wife. I afterward ascertained that what he had intended to convey was that
he was twenty-eight when he married and had fifteen children. That was bad
enough, I thought.

I sang two or three times. The gaiety was brought to rather an abrupt
close, as the Marquis received a telegram of his brother's death. The Abbé
went on playing his game, not at all disturbed (such is the force of
habit); but we folded our tents and departed.

The hours are sung out in the streets at night, with a little flourish at
the end of each verse. I fancy the watchman trusts a good deal to
inspiration about this, as my clock--an excellent one--did not at all
chime in with his hours. Perhaps he composes his little verse, in which
case a margin ought to be allowed him....

The bells in the churches are old and cracked and decrepit.

All the fleet, and any other boat that wants to join in fire off salute,
to wake you up in the morning.

I bought to-day the eighth part of a lottery-ticket.

The Captain of the Port thinks his English is better than his French, but
sometimes it is very funny. He says: "Don't take care," instead of "Never
mind"--"The _volante_ is to the door"--"Look to me, I am all proudness"--
"You are all my anxiousness."

The houses are generally not more than one story high, built around an
open court, on which all rooms open. In the middle of this is a fountain;
no home is complete without a fountain, and no fountain is complete
without its surroundings of palms, plants, and flowers. In one of the
rooms you can see where the _volante_ reposes for the night. You only
see these glories at night. When the heavy bolts are drawn back you and
everybody can look in from the street on the family gathering, basking in
rocking-chairs around the fountain, and in oriental, somnolent

CUBA, _February._

The annual _soirée_ of the Governor and his wife took place last night.
The Captain of the Port came to fetch us. The palace is, like all
other official buildings, magnificent on the outside, but simple and
severe within. There was a fine staircase, and all the rooms were
brilliantly lighted, but very scantily furnished, according to our ideas.
We must have gone through at least six rooms before we reached the host
and hostess. Every room was exactly alike: in each was a red strip of
carpet, half a dozen rocking-chairs placed opposite one another, a cane-
bottomed sofa, a table with nothing on it, and walls ditto. There are
never any curtains, and nothing is upholstered. This is the typical Cuban

There was an upright piano and a pianist at it when we entered, but the
resonance was so overpowering that I could not hear what he was playing.
Laura and I (after having been presented to a great many people) were
invited to sit in the rocking-chairs. The gentlemen either stood out in
the corridor or else behind the chair of a lady and fanned her. _Dulces_
and ices were passed round, and every one partook of them, delighted to
have the opportunity to do something else than talk.

When the pianist had finished his Chopin a lady sang, accompanied by her
son, who had brought a whole pile of music. She courageously attacked the
_Cavatina_ of "Ernani." The son filled up the places in her vocalization
which were weak by playing a dashing chord. She was a stout lady and very
warm from her exertions, and the more she exerted herself the more
frequently the vacancies occurred; and the son, perspiring at every pore,
had difficulty to fill them up with the chords, which became louder and
more dashing.

Countess Ceballos, with much hemming and hawing, begged me to sing. I felt
all eyes fixed on me; but my eyes were riveted to the little, low piano-
stool on which I should have to sit. It seemed miles below the piano-keys.
"How could I play on it?" Evidently none but long-bodied performers had
been before me, for when I asked for a cushion, in order to raise myself a
little, nothing could be found but a very bulgy bed-pillow, which was
brought, I think, from the mother country. There was a sort of Andalusian
swagger about it.

The dream "that I dwelt in marble halls" was no longer a dream. Here I was
singing in one. I sang "_Ma Mère était Bohémienne_," and another song
which had an easy accompaniment. It took me a little moment to temper my
voice to these shorn rooms.

The charge of musketry which followed was deafening, though only gentlemen
clapped their hands; ladies don't rise to such exertion in Cuba. I sang
"Beware!" as a parting salute. The Captain of the Port came up, flushed
with pride, and said, in his best English, "I am all proudness!"

_Panelas_ (large pieces of frosted sugar, to be melted in water) and
other sweets were passed about at intervals.

Shaking hands is a great institution here. No one wears gloves except at
the opera, so that one's hands are in a perpetual state of fermentation,
especially after one of these functions, when making acquaintances,
expressing thanks, and everything else are done through the medium of the
hands. One can literally say that one wrings one's hands.

We, as the distinguished guests, were led into the supper-room very
ceremoniously, and put among the higher strata of society. The buffet was
overflowing with Cuban delicacies and _dulces_. I reveled in the fruit and
left the viands severely alone.

After supper we went into the ball-room, and saw for the first time the
Cuban waltz, otherwise called _Habanera_, a curious dance something
between a shuffle and a languid glide. The dancers hardly move from the
same spot, or at most keep in a very small circle, probably on account of
the heat and exertion; and then the dispersing of so much powder, with
which every lady covers herself and gets rid of when she moves, has to be

The music has a peculiar measure; I have never heard anything like it
before. The instruments seemed mostly to be violins, flutes, clarinets,
and a small drum. The bass is very rhythmical and deep, whereas the thin
tones of the other instruments are on the very highest notes, which leaves
a gap between the upper and lower tones, making such a peculiar effect
that the music pursues and haunts you even in your dreams.

We bade our host and hostess good night and, followed by the Captain of
the Port, who now was not only "all proudness," but full of
"responsibilitiveness," left the palace. In passing the music-room I took
a farewell look at the bulgy bed-pillow, which was still reposing on the

CUBA, _February._

DEAR MAMA,--You have no idea of the heat here. I never felt anything so
scorching as it was to-day. Let me tell you what happened.

General Lliano came in the morning to ask what Havana could show me. I
answered that above all things I wanted to see Morro Castle. He replied
that Morro Castle was mine, and that I had only to fix the time and he
would take us there.

I did fix it, and fixed it at two o'clock, as a fit hour to visit the
_Cabaña_. I noticed the look of blank despair on our friend's face,
but, not knowing that all Cuba slept between the hours of two and five, I
did not realize the piteousness of it. General Lliano begged the Captain
of the Port, Señor Català, to accompany us, and both of these gentlemen
came in full uniform, as well as their aides-de-camp.

The Captain's trim little boat was at the wharf near our hotel, and we
were rowed over by the governmental crew to the opposite shore, and were
met by the Governor of Morro Castle at the landing in the most sweltering
heat. I had not forgotten to take the precaution, which anywhere else
would have been appropriate, to carry extra wraps, as I told Laura that
they were necessary for every water excursion. You may imagine the _de-
trop_-ness of these articles when the thermometer was up at one hundred
and twenty in the shade.

We were taken about conscientiously and shown all that there was to be
seen: all the dungeon-cells and subterranean passages, and up the hill to
see the view, which was very extended and very beautiful. From there we
went to the Governor's house, where we were greeted by his wife and
daughter, the wife stiff in black moiré (I mean the moiré was stiff, not
she). He placed himself, his wife and daughter, and his mansion at my
disposal. I would not have minded taking the old gentleman; but I
absolutely refused the lady and the moiré dress.

_Dulces_ were served and some unappetizing-looking ices, which tasted
better than they looked. Cakes also were offered us, of which I picked out
those which had the least mauve and yellow coatings. When we were
presented with some stiff little bouquets we thought it was a signal for
departure, and bade adieu to the black moiré and the fast-melting ices.

From the _Cabaña_ we walked along the macadamized road to the Morro
Castle, a long distance it seemed to me in the heat; but we left the hard
and glaring road and walked over the grass, following the line of the
subterranean passage, which made a sort of mound, and finally reached
Morro Castle. Here there were more officials, more presentations and more
ceremonies, and more _dulces_ and more bouquets.

The view from the ramparts, on which stood the lighthouse, was sublime:
the blue sea underneath us, Havana on the left, and the purple mountains
in the far distance.

One of the officials asked us whether we wanted to go to the top of the
lighthouse. I declined, much to the relief of the assembled company. They
say that fish have been thrown up by the spray over the lighthouse; but
this seems almost as incredible as the majority of fishy stories. The
castle is very high, the ramparts are higher, and the lighthouse crowns
everything. The water dashes up through narrow crevices in the rocks,
which gives it great force, and possibly might account for the fish story,
but I doubt it.

By this time (six o'clock) we were utterly exhausted. Even at this hour
the heat was intolerable. We had hoped for a little breeze on the water;
but, alas! there was none. Poor Señor Herreras held his foot incased in
tight patent-leather boots in his lap, moaning, "Comme je souffre!"

How they all must have blessed me for this idea of mine! I felt ashamed to
look them in the face.

CUBA, _1873._

I could not tell you all the things we were taken to see. We visited the
German and Spanish men-of-war As we were in the company of the Governor-
General, the Commander, and the Captain-General, we were not spared the
proper salutes. The tour of the war-ships had to be made, and in place of
the eternal _dulces_ international refreshments were offered us. We
departed in the Captain of the Port's steam-launch, and drove to the
Carreo, where the pretty villas are.

The Governor-General drove us out to his _quinta_ in great style:
English horses and carriage and an American coachman. The roads were
pretty bad, and we were considerably jostled going through the _Paseo._
The coachman careered from side to side to avoid ruts and tracks, and the
dust was overpowering. No conversation was possible, as our throats were
filled with dust and our lives hanging on a thread. I waved my hand in the
direction of anything I thought pretty, and silence followed.

At the _quinta_ all was ready and waiting for us. Fountains were playing,
servants in red and yellow gorgeous liveries, with white stockings, were
flitting about; various Cuban delicacies were offered to us, and we
admired everything that was to be admired. The return drive was
delightful, through the long avenues of stately palms and graceful date-

The carnival is a great event and very amusing. I am not spoiled in the
way of carnivals, only having seen that of Paris (the _Boeuf gras_)
and the Battle of Flowers at Nice. The populace turn out in great force,
every one is gay and happy, and the Cubans high and low join in the sport.

We were invited to drive in a four-in-hand. In this way we had a kind of
bird's-eye view of the whole. No lady thinks herself too fine to join in
the carnival. The procession, which defiles up and down the _Paseo_ during
the fray, begins at four in the hot, broiling afternoon, and ladies,
decked out as Diana, Minerva, or other celebrities, powdered _à
l'outrance_, smiling and proud of their success, recline in their
_volantes_. Their own servants, with false noses or otherwise disguised,
have their fun, too. I never saw such an orderly crowd; no pushing, no
quarreling, no drunkenness, and yet every one was enjoying himself. There
were two rows of carriages, one going up, one going down, with a place in
the middle for the four-in-hands and the _chars_, some of which were very
ingenious. There was a steamship with sailors, who kept firing off the
whistle every time they saw a skittish horse. On another car were men
dressed as skeletons with death's-heads instead of masks, and Shylock-
looking Jews riding with their backs to the horses' heads, holding on to
their tails.

A Punch and Judy were acting on a little stage during the procession,
surrounded by children of all sizes and ages decked out in costumes, their
tinselly flowers showing off their thin and sallow faces. There was a
tremendous tooting of horns, and, with the music in the square and the
music on the _chars_, made a perfect Bedlam. People nudged one another as
we hove in sight in our four-in-hand.

The G----s did not relish the carnival as much as we did, and thought it a
dismal affair. They captured a victoria by force, the coachman refusing to
take them until they said "Paseo" upon which he started off on a trot. He
had a dilapidated old horse, who had to be beaten all the way there, and
when there, what do you think the coachman did? Simply pulled out a false
nose and put it on and lighted a cigarette, stuck his hat on the lamp, and
jeered at all the other vehicles, being on jeering terms with all the
other cabmen; and as the _Paseo_ is a mile long, it meant a mile of
mortification. They came home disgusted and voted the carnival a
"disgraceful affair."


DEAR M.,--In my last letter I told you of our invitation to the _bal
poudré_ and _masqué_ here. Count Ceballos, thinking it would amuse us to
see it, arranged that we should stay at the palace, where the ball was to
take place.

The Captain of the Port, with his aide-de-camp, accompanied us on our
trip, and as he was going there in some official capacity, we shared his

We had no adventures except that of traveling in company with a rather
rough-looking set of men, who were on their way to a cock-fight. The cocks
were tied up in bags; but as I wanted to see one the man opened the bag
and took it out, and also showed me the spurs they strap on them when they

We arrived in Matanzas about six o'clock, to find the Mayor's carriage
waiting for us. We drove to the palace, and after dinner dressed for the
ball. We did not attempt anything in the way of mask or costume, as being
unknown and _unpowdered_ was a sufficient disguise.

The Captain of the Port knew every one there, and presented many of his
friends. We went out and stood on the balcony, looking at the sea of
upturned heads. It seemed as if every Matanzois who was not inside was
outside gazing at the windows, and listening to the band which was playing
in the square. The night was glorious with a full moon.

I think that I have described in a former letter the Cuban dance, the
languid tropical shuffle they call the _Habanera_. The music is so
monotonous, always the same over and over again, and only ceases when it
is convenient to the musicians.

The ladies had _cascarilla_ (a powder made of eggshells) an inch thick on
their faces. I doubt if the officers ever saw so much powder as they did
at this _bal poudré_.

There was a sit-down supper, consisting of sandwiches smelling strong of
bad butter, ham and chicken salads, _dulces_ of all sorts, but, alas!
no fruit. The dancing continued long after we had retired for the night.

The Marquis Aldamar invited us to a _déjeuner_ for the following day;
the _volantes_ were again "to the door," and we started off in grand
style and great spirits and drove to the top of the mountain, from which
we enjoyed a perfectly glorious view of the Yumiri Valley. The winding
river looked like a silver thread as it wound in and out through the
grassy meadows.

Our _déjeuner_ was of a more European character than any that we had
yet had in Cuba; the menu was in French--evidently the cook was also
French--and the servants looked imported. In fact, everything was in
very good style. The hostess was charming and musical, she sang some very
pretty Cuban songs, and after a while asked me if I were musical, and if I
would play something.

The Captain, in an undertone and in all "proudness," said, "Ask Madame to
sing." And she did so in a rather condescending manner.

I accepted and went timidly to the piano, and as I hesitated as to what I
should sing, she said, "Oh! just sing any little thing." With an amused
glance at Laura I sang Chopin's waltz, which is the most difficult thing I
sing, and the astonishment depicted on the countenance of my patronizing
hostess was highly diverting.

"I wonder if you are any relation of a Mrs. Moulton whom my cousin knew in
Paris," she said. "He was very intimate with a family of your name, and
often talked to me about a Mrs. Moulton who sang so beautifully."

"Can it be that I am the same person? I have lived in Paris. What was your
cousin's name?" I inquired.

"Jules Alphonso."

"What!" I cried. "Jules Alphonso your cousin? I have not seen him for
years. I used to know him so well. Where is he?"

"He lives here in Cuba," she answered.

"Where in Cuba?" I interrupted. "How extraordinary! How much I should like
to see him again!"

"And he, I am sure, would like to see you, he has so often talked about
you to me. I felt directly last night that I knew you; it must have been

I think, Mama, you must remember Jules. He was like a second son in our
house, and was an intimate friend of my brother-in-law, and would have
liked to have been a brother-in-law himself if he had been accepted. We
all loved him. How strange to find him here! The last place in the world I
should have dreamed of! I am not sure that I ever knew that he was a

My new friend was wild with joy. "You are the one person that I have
wanted to know all my life, and, fancy, here you are!"

Was it not a curious coincidence to meet _here_, in this out-of-the-way
place, some one who knew all about me?

I repeated, "I must see Jules, and if he is anywhere near I shall
certainly try to find him." "Let us go together," she said. "I will drive
you there, and we will take him by surprise." Two _volantes_ were
immediately before the door, and the Marquise Aldamar, the Captain of the
Port, Laura, and I started for La Rosa, Jules's plantation. It was an
enchanting drive, though a long one, leading, as it did, through avenues
of royal palms, and it was quite six o'clock before we reached Jules's
house. I said to the Marquise Aldamar, "As Jules has no idea that I am in
this part of the world, let me go in alone and surprise him."

We drove up to the entrance of his pretty villa, and the others
accompanied me to the door of the salon with a finger on their lips, so
that the servant should not announce us. We saw Jules sitting at a table
reading. I entered softly and went behind him, and laying my hand on his
shoulder said, "Jules!"

He turned quickly about, and when he saw me he thought I was an apparition
or a dream. "What! What!" he cried, trembling with astonishment.

"It is I--Lillie Moulton," I said, quietly.

"You! you! No, it can't be possible!" And he took hold of my hands as if
to see if they were flesh and blood. "Where did you come from? How did you
get here? What brought you here?" followed in quick succession. The others
pushed aside the curtain and came in. Then followed explanations. I was
obliged to answer thousands of questions, and go into thousands of
details, concerning the family, Paris, the war, and so forth. He ordered
champagne, improvised a little supper for us, and did not seem to be able
to do enough to show his delight at seeing me. But the Captain of the Port
soon reminded us that it was time to be on our way back to Matanzas, as it
was a long drive, and I bade a tearful farewell to lonely Jules. Our
comet-like visit must have seemed to him like a vision, and he watched us,
with eyes full of tears, drive away out of his life. Poor Jules!


We spent the following morning in driving about the city. At half-past two
crossed the ferry to Yuanana-bocca, where we found the amiable director
and the rest of the party. The cars, with their cane-bottomed seats, were
cool. The scenery was exquisite. On both sides of the road were real
jungles of tropical growth, with the purple mountains as a background. We
passed many _ingenios_ (plantations), with their tall, smoking chimneys,
all in full blast.

On reaching our destination we were met by _volantes_ and saddle-horses.
The former were for the ladies, the latter for the gentlemen of the party,
and we made our way through the narrow, dirty streets, passed the walls of
the city, and came out on to the beautiful road, where a gang of chained
prisoners were breaking stones.

We passed many villas and well-kept gardens, and arrived at the bottom of
the hill, where we were obliged to get out and walk, for the roads became
impassable. It was a stiff climb; but when we reached the summit we were
rewarded by a most magnificent view. We descended and reached the
_volantes,_ the drivers whipped up their horses, and away we went over
rocks and ruts, but feeling nothing of them. That is the charm of a
_volante;_ only the wheels, which are behind you, get the jerks and jolts.

After a half-hour's drive we reached the famous cave, Laura and I were
supplied with garments looking like mackintoshes, and, provided with
torches, we began to descend. We first came to a large, vaulted hall,
where miles of stalactites in every form and shape twinkled in the light
of the torches.

We had to crawl through a small opening to get into another vaulted room
which boasted of an echo. The guide struck a note and I sang a cadenza,
which resounded like a thousand voices.

There never could have been a thermometer made that could register such
heat as we felt here; the air was frightfully oppressive and almost

They pointed out the Pope's Miter, the Virgin's Veil, the Altar, the Boat
--all looking about as much like their names as an apple looks like a pack
of cards. After being shown the lake I begged for fresh air, and we
mounted the steep wooden stairs. The hot air outside seemed like a wintry
breeze when we came into it, and we were told that we must cool off before
venturing into the hot sun. Then we _volanted_ back to Matanzas.

Our next visit was to the well-known _ingenio_ (sugar-plantation)
belonging to the cousin of the Marquis San Carlos. The sugar-mill stood in
front of the master's house, so that the master could watch from his broad
balcony the bringing in of the sugar-cane, which was hauled by huge cart-
loads drawn by oxen. The sugar-cane, on its arrival, was put between great
crushing wheels before it was thrown into the vats. The sturdy negresses,
up to their elbows, stirred the foaming syrup after it had boiled. Then it
was skimmed and boiled again to purify it. It went through a centrifugal
process to crystallize it, and afterward was packed in boxes and stamped
in less time than it takes to relate this. I liked to breathe the hot
vapors coming from the huge tanks. What remains of the sugar is used as
fuel; so nothing is wasted.

All the slaves seemed gay and well-fed. The Chinese, I believe, are liked
better than the natives, they are so clean and adroit. We visited the
houses of the slaves and found them all well kept. The master threw silver
pieces (ten cents) to the children, who seemed content in their bare
nakedness and clamored for more pennies. We drank _querap_ (molasses)
from the tanks mixed with whiskey. It was very good; but a little went
very far. Two small children fanned us with palmettos during dinner. We
passed the night there in the _ingenio_; but we saw no tarantulas, as
was predicted. The next morning, when our coffee was brought, there was an
assortment of delicious fruits--pineapples, guavas, bananas, cocoanuts,
mangos, etc., which we enjoyed immensely. There was a little excitement
before we started: the gardener, a bridegroom of eighty-five summers, was
married to a blooming young person of eighty, both slaves and black as
ink. We arrived at Havana that evening.

You can't tell how grieved I was to hear of the kind and good Emperor
Napoleon's death. He was only sixty-five years old. I thought he was
older. What an eventful life he had--tragical would be the right word.
What did he not endure? When he was a child he was an exile, and since
then, until he became first President and then Emperor, he was knocking
about the world, sometimes hidden and sometimes pursued. However, he had
fifteen years of glory, for there was not in all Europe a man more
considered than he was, and he had until the last four years of his reign
more prestige than any other sovereign. I think after the tragedy of
Mexico his star began to pale.

The Emperor Napoleon was certainly the kindest-hearted and best-
intentioned man in the world, so full of life, fun, and appreciation. I
can see him now shaking with laughter when anything amused him, as was
often the case at Compiègne.

The papers say that he had once been a policeman in London. I do not
believe this is true, though the Emperor told me himself that he had lived
very humbly at times; still, that is very different from being a
policeman. I wonder if the Prince will try to get back the throne. He does
not look as if he had a strong character, nor does he look as if he had
the energy of the Emperor, which enabled him to go through so many
hardships to gain his ends.

How sad it is! I am sure the Empress's only consolation is the thought
that her son can recover the position the father lost.

We returned to Havana quite tired out with our little journey, and glad to
rest in the quiet of our cool rooms, and I looked across the water,
crowded with boats of every description, and gazed with delight at the
distant mountains, with their clouds dragging themselves from one summit
to the other.

How hot it is! I never thought that the sun, which is so high up, could
pour down so; but it does pour down. I think it is hotter here than in

We shall be leaving here in a few days, and I suppose we shall find ice
and snow in New York, and return to india-rubbers and umbrellas--things
unknown here. During our absence some German men-of-war have arrived here,
and stationed themselves right in front of our windows.

It must be their wash-day, for all the sailors' clothes are hanging out to

Lola San Carlos is in light gray--the mourning one wears for a brother-in-
law is not heavy in this warm country. She has invited us to a card-party
for tomorrow; card-parties are evidently not gay enough to interfere with

CUBA, _February._

DEAR MAMA,--Well, we are really going to return! As usual, I have no more
clothes, and I certainly will not be bothered to have anything made here.
My black tulle dress has become brown and gray in its efforts to keep up
to the mark; and as for Laura's white lace, it has become gray and brown,
so you see we must go home.

We went to Lola's card-party. There was the bereaved brother, looking very
chirpy, and the Dean, and the Abbé. They kindly proposed to teach me their
favorite game of _tresillo_. They took a lively interest in my ignorance.
They told me the rules and the names of the extraordinary cards; for
instance, hearts were represented by coins, for clubs there were clubs,
while trees and swords served for diamonds and spades. Every card is
something else than what you have called it before. The value of each is
changed according to the trump. What you have considered always as a low
card, such as the two of spades, suddenly becomes the best card in the

All the cards have Spanish names--Spadilla, Manilla, Basta, Ponto, and
Matadores--which sound very romantic. A simple seven of hearts becomes
suddenly top card and is called Manilla, which is the second best when
hearts are trumps, and then the two of clubs, which was miles high the
last hand, is at the tail of all the other cards now. It is a dreadful
game. I thought that I should have brain fever while learning it. They
went on playing it for hours; there never seemed any end to it; they
counted in the weirdest way, making ciphers and tit-tat-toes on the green
baize table with chalk, and wiped out with a little brush. Every trick of
the adversary was deducted, and all the heads met over the chalk-marks to
find out mistakes.


DEAR M.,--A dance was given at the Captain-General's, where all the
officers of the German and Spanish men of war were present. It was a very
brilliant sight, and we made many delightful acquaintances. Commodore
Werner of the German _Friedrich Wilhelm,_ Commodore Livonius of the
_Elizabeth,_ besides many other charming officers, as well as many
Spanish officers from the _Gerona._ The Germans danced with more energy
than the Cubans are accustomed to, and they stared at the unusual vigor
displayed, and accounted for it, saying it was because they were new-
comers. In fact, the officers, in their trim uniforms, looked very hot
and wilted at the end of the evening. Commodore Werner was a most gallant
gentleman, and as we did not dance, he had the leisure to tell me all
about his family, his literary tastes, and his admiration for pretty
ladies; and he finished by asking if we would do him the honor to lunch on
his ship the next day. A handsome young lieutenant (Tirpitz) came to ask
me to dance, but Commodore Werner gave him what in other less tropical
countries might be called a freezing look, remarking that no one ought to
dance in such heat as this. The young lieutenant left us quite subdued;
but the heat did not prevent his dancing with many ladies, if not with me.

The next day we went to lunch on the _Friedrich Wilhelm,_ and it was
with delight that we sat on the awning-covered deck. The Commodore asked
me to give him an idea for some occupation for the sailors, who had so
much time on their hands, and, as I happened to know how to plait straw, I
proposed showing them how to do it.

The Commodore sent a launch to Havana to get the straw, and we passed the
afternoon dividing the time between listening to the music of the ship's
band and tasting different beverages and eating German pretzels and
teaching the sailors how to plait.

At five o'clock we were rowed ashore, and welcomed a little fresh breeze
which had sprung up.

The following morning the inmates of the hotel were awakened at an early
hour by the solemn hymn which belongs to a German serenade. The kind
Commodore had sent his band to play for me, and it filled the whole hall.

The early breakfasters were dreadfully put out about it; the brass
instruments sounded like a double orchestra, and resounded in these marble
halls like volleys of musketry; and as for the hotel-keeper, he has not
got over his surprise yet.

We had many pleasant days after this. Each one, we said, would be the
last; still we stayed on. One of the German men-of-war gave a ball, the
Spanish gave another; each vied with the other to give the finest
entertainment. It was a pleasure to go on board the German boats,
everything was so spick and span, the sailors so neat and trim, the deck
so beautifully kept, and the brasses glistened red-hot in the sun.

I cannot tell you all we did these last days. I was glad to hear that the
German sailors had profited by my lessons, and had in a short time plaited
straw enough to make some hats for themselves. I shall always feel proud
when I see a German sailor with a straw hat, for I shall feel that I laid
the foundation of this industry.

One of the afternoons we spent on the Commodore's boat. I sang for the
officers in the cabin, and then, when I was on deck, I sang some of the
songs from "Pinafore" for the sailors, whom the Commodore called together
to hear me. They grinned from ear to ear when I sang "What, never?"
"Hardly ever," and "Never used a big, big D," in the captain's song in
"Pinafore." This was the last time we visited our amiable German host.

I shall post this letter in New York. It will probably reach you before we

Our departure was a triumphal procession. The Captain of the Port, devoted
to the last, took us in his official steam-launch to our steamer. Flowers,
fruit, and souvenirs of all kinds filled our cabin to overflowing, and
when we passed the German boats, hats and handkerchiefs were waved aloft,
and the bands on the decks played with all their Teutonic might until we
were out of hearing distance.

We noticed our tall, handsome lieutenant standing alone on the fore part
of the deck. He made a fine naval salute, while the good Commodore waved
his handkerchief frantically.

The Captain of the Port accompanied us down the harbor as far as Morro
Castle in his steam-launch.

Adieu, dear Havana!

WASHINGTON, _April, 1873._

DEAR LAURA,--The weather was atrociously bad when we returned to New York,
and as for Boston--it was simply impossible. I began coughing and sneezing
as soon as I reached home. So I decided to go to Washington on a visit to
Mrs. Robeson, wife of the Secretary of the Navy. She had often asked me;
this was an excellent opportunity to accept.

Mrs. Robeson is a fine woman, built on ministerial, lines, and looks like
a war-ship in review rig. They have an amusing house. Their Sunday
evenings are the rendezvous of clever people; the men are particularly
entertaining--Mr. Blaine, Mr. Bayard, and other shining lights.

She is musical, and sings with pleasure. She has a luscious mezzo-soprano.
She sang "Robin Adair" on one of these occasions with so much conviction
that it seemed as though she was routing Robin from his first sleep. Then
she sang a French song in a childish voice (she thought it was a
_backfisch_ song); but I think it was anything but that, for I noticed
some Scandi-knavish glances between the Danish and Swedish Ministers,
which made me suspicious.

There is a delightful German Minister (Mr. Schlözer) here, who is very
musical; though he does not know a note of music, he can improvise for

SOMMERBERG, _July, 1874._

DEAR MAMA,--My last letter was from Dinard, where I was nestling in the
bosom of my family and enjoying the repose and the rest that family bosoms
alone can give. I told you of my intention to visit Helen at her place on
the Rhine, and here I am enjoying another kind of rest: the rest of my

Paul is at present Minister in Madrid; Helen and I lead a very quiet life.
Driving to Wiesbaden to see the Nassaus and other friends is our favorite
occupation. We linger in the shady walks of the park, look in at the
gambling-rooms, sometimes we go to the races, and always come home tired.
And then, how we enjoy the garden and the beautiful view over the Rhine!
Some days we go out riding in the lovely forest, which leads to the most
prettily situated little "bad" place in the world--Schlangenbad.

Helen has in her stables three horses, two of which are the "fat ponies"
and the third is the war-horse that Paul used in the French-German
campaign. We take the war horse in turn, as he has to be exercised. When
it is my day I shudder at the thought of it. Riding is not my strong
point; in fact, it is my weakest point, and I feel that I am not at all in
my element; and when I see the tall beast being led up to the door, and I
know that at a given moment I am to be fired up on to his back, my heart
sinks. He has a gentle way with him which makes the process of getting on
him extremely difficult. Just as my foot is in the groom's hand, and I say
one--two--three, and am in midair, the horse moves gently to one side, and
I either land on the hard pommel or, more often, I fill an empty space
between the horse and the groom, which is awkward. However, when, after
repeated efforts, I _do_ manage to hit the saddle on the right place
I stick there.

He is full of fancies--this horse--and reminiscences, and sometimes gets
the idea into his head that he hears the bugle-call to arms. Then off he
goes to join his imaginary companions, and charges the trees or anything
that occurs to him, and nothing on earth can stop him, certainly nothing
on his back can. My hair comes down and my hat flies off, and I feel I am
not doing the _haute école_ in proper style. Fortunately Helen and I
are alone, and as the war-horse is miles in front of the "fat pony," she
does not see the _école_ I am doing, and I rather enjoy the wild way we
career over space. I do not attempt to guide his martial steps, but let
him come into camp when he feels inclined.

The groom is never surprised if I come an hour too late. I fancy he knows
what I have gone through: brambles, branches, and--agony.

SOMMERBERG, _July, 1874._

I have just returned from a delightful visit to the Prince and Princess
Metternich. It was very hot the day I left here, and the sun poured down
on the broad, white roads which lead from Sommerberg to the station. On my
arrival at Johannisberg Prince Metternich was waiting for me with a
_calèche à la Daumont_.

Our jaunty postilion blew his little horn incessantly as we galloped
through the village and up the long, steep hill which leads to the
château. The walls on both sides of the badly paved, narrow road were high
and unpicturesque--not a tree to be seen; vineyards, vineyards everywhere
--nothing but vineyards.

The château is a very ugly building, of no particular kind of
architecture, looking more like a barn than a castle. It is shaped like an
enormous E, without towers or ornamentation of any kind.

The Princess was at the door, and welcomed me most affectionately, and
with her were the other guests: the handsome Duchess d'Ossuna, Count
Zichy, Count Kevenhüller, Count Fitz-James, and Commandant Duperré. The
immense hall, which occupies the entire center of the house, has five
windows giving out on the courtyard and five on the terrace, and is
comfortably furnished with all kinds of arm-chairs, rugs, and so forth. A
grand piano stood in one corner near the window, and over this window was
an awning (an original idea of the Princess, to put an awning inside,
instead of outside of the window). An unusually large table, covered with
quaint books, periodicals, and the latest novels, stood in the middle of
the room, and there were plants, palms, and flowers everywhere.

The Princess showed me the different rooms. Her boudoir was hung with
embroidered satin. One room I liked particularly; the walls were covered
with the coarsest kind of écru linen, on which were sewed pink pigeons cut
out of cretonne; even the ceiling had its pigeons flying away in the
distance. Another room was entirely furnished in cashmere shawls--a
present from the Shah himself. There must have been a great many, to have
covered the walls and all the divans.

Nowhere could the Princess have had such a chance to show what she could
do as here, in the transforming of this barrack into a livable place. I
admired everything immensely. She told me that she thought she was very
practical, because, when they leave here, all the hangings can be taken
down and folded and put away, so that the next year they are just as good
as new.

They only stay here two months every year (July and August); the enormous
display of flowers on the long terrace before the château is also
temporary. There are at least four to five hundred pots of flowers, mostly
geraniums, which make a brilliant effect for the time being, as long as
the family are here; then they go back to the greenhouse.

Tea was served in the hall; every one was in the gayest of spirits, and
crowded around the piano to hear Prince Metternich's last waltz, which was
very inspiring. After the music was finished and the tea-table removed, I
was shown to my rooms; I reached them by a tiny winding staircase, the
walls of which were hung with Adrianople (turkey red), and covered with
miniatures and fine engravings.

Dinner was served very sumptuously; the servants were in plush breeches
and had powdered hair. I sat on the left of Prince Metternich and next to
Count Kevenhüller, who is a Knight of Malta. I said to the Prince, "A
Knight of Malta always suggests to my mind romance and the Middle Ages."

"It shows," the Prince replied, "how naïve you are. It is true that he is
middle-aged, but he has not a ray of romance in him. Don't trust him!
Maltese Knights and Maltese cats do their killing on the sly."

During the dinner delicious Johannisberg was served alternately with
ordinary beer. Conversation alternated with laughter, and after dinner
albums and music alternated with flirtations. The Prince played some of
his charming new songs. On the piano was a beautifully bound book
containing them. He pointed to it, saying, "I have had this made for you,"
and showed me the title-page, where he had written, "À l'Inspiratrice!" I
was tremendously pleased and sang all the songs, one after the other. The
Prince has had leisure to compose a great deal since he retired into
private life. He is wonderfully talented--not only for music, but for
painting. Everything he does he does better than any one else.

He said that during the war, when he was obliged to stay in Bordeaux, he
would have died of ennui if he had not had his music and drawing to occupy
him, especially as the Princess and the children were not with him, and he
was dreadfully lonely.

It was a lovely night, and we walked till very late on the terrace and
gazed at the view across the Rhine, over the miles of vineyards and little
villages sparkling with lights.

The Prince told me all about the Empress's flight from the Tuileries after
the catastrophe of Sedan. He said that when the news came to the Embassy
that the mob was about to enter the Tuileries he communicated with Count
Nigra (the Italian Ambassador), and they decided to go there instantly, to
offer their services to the Empress.

When they arrived there they saw the mob already before the gates. They
left their carriages on the quay, and entered by a door into the gallery
of the Louvre, and hurried to the apartment of the Empress. There they
found her with Madame Le Breton. She was very calm and collected, already
dressed in a black-silk gown, and evidently prepared for flight. She had
in her hand a small traveling-bag, which contained some papers and a few

Seeing them, she exclaimed, "Tell me, what shall I do?"

The Prince said, "What does General Trochu advise, your Majesty?"

"Trochu!" she repeated. "I have sent for him twice, but he does not
trouble himself to answer or to come to me."

Then the Prince said, "Count Nigra and I are here to put ourselves
entirely at your Majesty's service."

The Empress thanked them and said: "What do you think best for me to do?
You see how helpless I am."

The Prince answered that, according to their judgment, the wisest thing
for her Majesty to do would be to leave Paris at once, and added that his
carriage was there and she could make use of it.

She then put on her hat and cloak and said, "I am ready to follow you."

They went through the Pavilion de Flore and through the Galerie du Louvre
until they reached a small door leading out on to the quay, where the two
coupes were waiting. The Prince had already thought of one or two friends
to whom the Empress could go and remain until they joined her, to help her
to devise some means for leaving Paris. He said that during the long walk
through the gallery the Empress remained calm and self-possessed, though
one could see that she was suffering intensely.

They reached the quay without hindrance and found the carriages. The
Prince opened the door of his and gave his orders to his coachman; but the
Empress suddenly refused, saying that she preferred to go in a cab, and
begged them not to follow her.

There was a cab-stand directly opposite where they stood. They hailed one,
and she and Madame Le Breton were about to get in when a little boy cried
out, "Voilà l'Impératrice!" Count Nigra, quick as thought, turned on the
boy and said in a loud voice, "Comment! tu cries 'Vive la Prusse!" and
boxed his ears, so that attention should be diverted from the Empress.

The Prince gave the names of the streets and the numbers of the houses to
the cabman where he had proposed to the Empress to go, and the ladies
drove away.

"Did you not follow her?" I asked.

"Yes" he answered. "In spite of the Empress's wishes, after allowing
enough time for her to get well on her way, we drove to the two addresses
given, but did not find her at either of them. We could not imagine what
had happened to her."

"What _had_ happened to her?" I asked.

"It was only after hours of the greatest anxiety that we ourselves knew.
About six o'clock I received a note from the Empress saying that she had
gone to the two houses we had named, but that no one was there, and then,
not knowing what to do, had in despair thought of Dr. Evans, the dentist,
and had driven to his house, where she was in safety for the moment."

"What a dreadful moment for the Empress! How did she dare to send the note
to you?"

"It was imprudent," said the Prince; "but she intrusted it to Dr. Crane,
who happened to be dining with Dr. Evans. He brought it to me and gave it
into my own hands."

"Did you go to see her?"

"Yes, I went to see her; but strict orders had been given not to let any
one enter, not even me."

The Prince showed me this letter, which he kept locked up in a desk.
Seeing the tears in my eyes, he said, giving me the envelope, "I know you
will value this, and I beg you will keep it."

[Illustration: FAC-SIMILE OF LETTER:

À Son Altesse Le Prince de Metternich

L. Napoléon.]

I told him that I would value it more than any one possibly could, and did
not know how to thank him enough.

He told me a great deal more about the Empress, her hardships and trials,
and how brave she had been through them all. She never uttered a word of
reproach against any one, except against Trochu, whom she called an arch-
traitor. He told me also of the last time he had seen her Majesty at
Chiselhurst, and how sad this interview had been. The beautiful and adored
Empress of France now a widow and an exile! I was sorry that our
conversation was interrupted--I could have listened for hours; but tea was
announced, and we were obliged to leave the library.

The next day the Prince and his friends were deeply engaged in making a
kite; they tried everything imaginable to coax it to fly, but it refused.
The Prince even mounted a ladder, hoping to catch the wind by holding it
higher; but all in vain. The moment he let go, down flapped the kite with
almost human spitefulness.

After the Prince had said _saperlotte!_ twenty times, they gave up the
kite and played tennis, a new game, over which he is as enthusiastic
as he used to be over croquet, until the blast of a horn announced the
arrival of the archducal four-in-hand, which they were expecting.

Then there was a hurried putting on of coats and wiping of perspiring
brows, and they all went forward to receive the Archduke Louis, who had
driven over from Wiesbaden to spend the day, bringing with him some
younger gentlemen.

Prince Metternich immediately proposed their playing tennis. Some of them
were eager to do so, but the Archduke, being fatigued by his long drive,
begged to go to his room until luncheon.

Then, while the gentlemen were playing tennis, the Princess took me to the
kitchen-garden to show me the American green-corn, planted from seeds
which we had given to her at Petit Val four years ago. She told me, with
great joy, that we were to have some for dinner.

After luncheon we were invited to visit the famous wine-vaults. The
intendant appeared with the keys, and, accompanied by a subordinate, we
followed him down the stairs to the heavily bolted oak door, which he
opened with a flourish. The first thing we saw, on entering, was
_Willkommen_ in transparencies in front of the entrance.

These cellars had the same dimensions as the castle, one hundred feet each
way. Rows and rows of large casks placed close together lined the walls,
and each cask had a lighted candle upon it embedded in plaster. Lamps hung
at intervals from the vaulted ceiling, giving a weird look to the long
alleys, which seemed to stretch out for miles through the dim vista.

We walked on. Every little while we came to what the Prince called a
_cabaret_, and what the Princess called more poetically a _bosquet_, but
which literally was a table and chairs surrounded by plants. The smell of
the wine was overpowering. When we reached _bosquet_ No. 1 the intendant
handed each of us a full glass of Johannisberg, the same that was served
at the table; at _bosquet_ No. 2 we received only half a glass of a finer
quality. At _bosquet_ No. 3, on the walls of which were the initials of
the Duchess d'Ossuna (E. O., formed by candles), we only got a liqueur

The farther we went the older, and therefore the more valuable, the wine
was, and the less we were given. When we reached _bosquet_ No. 6, the
last stop, we were allowed a discreet sip from a sherry glass, which was
passed on from one to the other like a loving-cup.

We were told that the wines from the years 1862 and 1863 are considered to
be the best. It is strange that they are entirely different from each
other; the first is very sweet and the second is very dry.

What was my surprise to see here, "I know a Lillie fair to see," against
the walls designed in candles. The Princess told me that the Prince had
been a long time making this, and I hope I showed due appreciation of the
compliment. I was immensely flattered.

The wine is the color of amber, or pale yellow, according to the year, and
tastes delicious; the aroma reminds one of sandalwood.

The wines of the best years are only sold in bottles bearing the cachet of
the Prince's arms, and the autograph of the intendant; the color of the
seal denotes the quality. _Cabinet bleu_ is the best that can be bought;
the less fine qualities are sold in barrels.

You will be interested to hear how they gather the grapes. It is very
carefully done: each bunch is picked like a flower, and each grape is
selected with the greatest care; any grape with the slightest imperfection
is discarded. They remain longer on the vines here than anywhere else, so
that the sweetness of the grape is doubly concentrated.

A good year will produce from sixty to eighty thousand bottles, and bring
in an income of one hundred and fifty thousand marks.

The company which built the railroad through the grounds had to pay an
enormous sum for the land, every inch of which is worth its weight in

You may imagine the despair of the intendant when he sees so much of this
valuable land taken for the croquet and tennis games; but the last straw
is--the corn!

One of the guests here, Duchess d'Ossuna, is a very striking and handsome
lady who has been a great beauty and is still, though now about forty
years old. Her husband is one of the richest men in Spain, but is in such
wretched health that she has expected hourly to be a widow for many years.

Coming away from the insidious fumes of the wine into the hot air, and
leaving the dark cellars for the glaring broad daylight, made us all feel
a little lightheaded. I noticed that the Archduke had to be gently and
with due discretion aided up the steps.

He dropped into the first available bench and said, solemnly and with
conviction: "To see this wine makes one want to taste it; to taste it
makes one want to drink it; to drink it makes one want to dream."

I hope that you appreciate this profound saying; it ought not to be lost
to posterity.

We left him, thinking he would prefer the society of his adjutant to ours.
I knew that I preferred mine to any one else's, and went to my room,
mounting its winding staircase, which I thought wound more than was
necessary. Taking guests into wine-cellars is the great joke here, and it
never fails.

Every one was in exuberant spirits at dinner. I wish I could remember half
of the clever things that were said. The corn came on amid screams of
delight. Our hostess ate thirteen ears, which, if reduced to kernels,
would have made about one ordinary ear, there was so much cob and so
little corn. The Princess enjoyed them hugely.

Coffee was served on the terrace. Later we had music in the hall, and
before the departure of the Archduke there was a fine display of fireworks
sent off from the terrace, which must have looked splendid from a

SOMMERBERG, _August, 1874._

DEAR M.,--Prince Emil Wittgenstein and his wife have a pretty villa at
Walhuf, directly on the Rhine, and they invited Helen and me to dine and
spend the night there. Prince Wittgenstein promised to show us some
wonderful manifestations from spiritland. Helen is not a believer, neither
am I, but the Prince thinks I am, and, as Helen could not leave her
guests, I went alone.

The Prince wrote that he had induced, with great difficulty (and probably
with a great deal of expense), the much-talked-of Miss Cook to come with
her sister to pay them a visit at their villa. Miss Cook is the medium
through whom the Empress Josephine and Katie King (a lady unknown to the
world, except as being the daughter of a certain old sea-captain, called
John King, who roamed the seas a hundred years ago and pirated) manifest

I was delighted to have this chance of seeing Miss Cook, because I had
read in the English papers that she had lately been shown up as a gigantic
fraud. At one of her séances in London, just as she was in the act of
materializing in conjunction with the Empress Josephine, a gentleman,
disregarding all rules of etiquette, sprang from the audience and seized
her in his arms; but instead of melting, as a proper spirit would have
done, the incensed Empress screamed and scratched and tore herself away,
actually leaving bits of her raiment in his hands. This rude gentleman
swears that the imperial nails seemed wholly of earthly texture, and that
the scratches were as thorough and lasted as well as if made by any common

Since this incident Miss Cook had thought it wiser to retire into private
life, and has secured a husband calling himself Corner. Prince
Wittgenstein found her, and, wishing to convert his wife, could think of
no better way than to let her see Miss Cook materialize. The wife and her
friend, Princess Croy, are avowed disbelievers.

Our dinner was dull beyond words. There were the Prince Nicholas-Nassau
and his wife; the Duke Esslingen, who is nearly blind, without a wife but
with convictions; Count and Countess de Vay, and the two English ladies
already mentioned. Miss Cook, _alias_ Mrs. Corner, is a washed-out blond,
rather barmaidish-looking English girl of medium (oh dear! I really did
not mean to) height and apparently very anemic.

After dinner we were led into the room in which the séance was to take
place, and were seated round a large table, and told to hold our tongues
and one another's hands; the gas was turned down to the lowest point, the
lamps screwed down, and there we sat and waited and waited.

The poor host was chagrined beyond utterance; something was the matter
with the magnetic current. Sometimes he would tap on the table to attract
the attention of the spirit underneath, but nothing helped; the spirits
were obstinate and remained silent.

I ventured to ask the Duke, by the side of whom I sat and held on to, in
what manner the spirits made known their answers. He said that one knock
meant "yes," no knock meant "no," and two knocks meant "doubtful." At last
we heard a timid knock in the direction of Mrs. Corner. Then every one was
alert. Prince Wittgenstein addressed the spot and whispered in his most
seductive tones, "Dear spirit, will you not manifest yourself?" Two knocks

"Is the company seated right?" (Silence, meaning "no.")

"Is the company congenial?" (Silence.)

To find out who the uncongenial person was, every one asked, in turn, "Is
it I?" until Princess Wittgenstein put the question, upon which came a
vigorous single knock.

"My dear," said the Prince, "I am sorry to say it, but you must go."

So she left, nothing loath. We all thought for sure something would happen
now, but nothing did.

Prince Wittgenstein commenced the same inquiries, whether the company was
now congenial; but it seemed that Princess de Croy was _de trop_, and
she was also obliged to leave the room. (You see, the spirits did not like
to single out the hostess alone.) Now we were reduced to nine believers
with moist hands.

Would the Empress not now appear? We waited long enough for her to make up
her mind; but it seemed that neither her mind nor anything else was ready
to be made up. The spirits were perhaps willing, but the flesh was too
weak. Then Mrs. Corner remembered that at the last sitting the Empress had
declared that she would never appear on German soil (her feelings having
been wounded during the Franco-German War).

There still remained Katie King. We had not heard from her yet. Prince
Wittgenstein addressed the table under his fingers: "Oh, dear spirits, do
do something! Anything would be acceptable!" How could he or she resist
such humble pleadings?

Then some one felt a cold wind pass over his face. Surely something was
happening now!

"It must be Katie King about to materialize," said the hopeful Prince.

Then we saw a dim light. We strained our eyes to the utmost to discover
what it was. I should have said, if I had been truthful, that to me it
looked like a carefully shaded candle; but I held my tongue. The hand of
my neighbor was fast becoming jelly in mine, and I would have given worlds
to have got my hand out of the current; but I did not dare to interfere
with it, and I continued to hold on to the jelly. Whoever was being
materialized was doing it so slowly, and without any kind of system, that
we hardly had the patience to sit it out. Then a tambourine walked up some
one's arm, Prince Nassau's spectacles were pulled off his august nose by
invisible hands (of course, who else would have dared?), thus making him
more near-sighted than ever. His wife's necklace of turquoises was
unclasped from her neck and hooked on to the neck of the acolyte sister;
but on anxious and repeated demands to have it returned, it was replaced,
much to the owner's relief. Prince Wittgenstein thought it silly of her to
have so little confidence. Suddenly, while necklaces were changing necks,
we saw what looked like a cloud of gauze. We held our breaths, the raps
under the table redoubled, and there were all sorts of by-play, such as
hair-pulling and arm-pinching, but no Katie. The gauze which was going to
be her gave up trying and disappeared altogether. "Never mind," said the
Prince. "It does not matter [I thought so, too.] She will come to-morrow

This was very depressing; even Prince Wittgenstein was utterly discouraged
and decided to break up the séance, and, groping his way to the nearest
lamp, turned it up. We went into the other salon, where we found the two
discarded ladies sitting peacefully before a samovar and playing a game of
two-handed poker.

Miss Cook told Prince Wittgenstein that Katie King would probably
materialize if she had the promise of getting a sapphire ring which he
wore (a beautiful sapphire). Miss Cook suggested that if this ring could
be hung up on a certain tree in the garden Katie King would come and get
it, and would certainly materialize the next evening. Prince Wittgenstein
was credulous enough to pander to this modest wish, and hung up the
desired ring, hoping Katie King would return it when she was in the flesh.
But Miss Cook had a succession of fainting fits which necessitated her
sudden departure for England, so we never saw Katie King, neither did
Prince Wittgenstein ever get his ring back, as far as I know.

_September, 1874._

Last Tuesday we three--Count and Countess Westphal and I--left Wiesbaden,
slept at Frankfort, and starting the next morning at eleven o'clock, we
arrived at our destination at 5.00 P.M. We found three carriages; one for
us and two for the maids and luggage. Halfway to the castle we met,
driving the lightest and prettiest of basket-wagons, our host and hostess,
Count and Countess W--; the latter got into the carriage with us and one
of us took her place by the side of the host. We passed through the
village, which had but one street, irregular and narrow, and we were in
constant danger of running over the shoals of little children who stood
stupidly in the middle of it, gazing at us with open eyes and mouth.

The Schloss is a very large, square building, with rounded towers in the
four corners. It has been remodeled, added to, and adorned so many times
that it is difficult to tell to which style of architecture it belongs.
The chapel is in an angle and opens on to the paved courtyard.

Our first evening was spent quietly making acquaintance with the other
guests. The next morning we lunched at eleven o'clock, the gentlemen in
knickerbockers and shooting attire, the ladies in sensible gowns of light
material over silk petticoats. Simplicity is the order of the day. Our
lunch consists of many courses, and we might have lingered for hours if
the sight of the postman coming up the avenue had not given us the excuse
to leave the table and devote ourselves to our correspondence, which had
to be done in double-quick time, as the postman only waited a short
fifteen minutes, long enough to imbibe the welcome cup of coffee or the
glass of beer which he found waiting him in the kitchen. The Countess,
although the mother of a young man twenty-four years of age, has a pink-
and-white complexion and a fine, statuesque figure. She is a Russian lady
by birth, and does a lot of kissing, as seems to be the custom in Russia.
She told me that when a gentleman of a certain position kisses your hand
you must kiss his forehead.

"Isn't this rather cruel toward the ladies?" I said.

"Why," she asked, "do you think it is cruel?"

"Ladies sometimes have on gloves when they give their hands to be kissed,
whereas there are some foreheads which ought to have gloves on before they
are kissed."

The young Count, when he returned from the races at Wiesbaden, brought
with him a young American who had been presented to him by a friend of
his, who said that Mr. Brent, of Colorado (that was his name), was very
"original" and _ausserordenlich charmant_. And he was both charming and
(especially) original; but not the type one meets in society.

He was a big, tall, splendidly built fellow with the sweetest face and the
liquidest blue eyes one can imagine. He had a soft, melodious voice and
the most fascinating manner, in spite of his far-Western language. Every
one liked him; my American heart warmed to him instantly, and even the
austere _grande dame_, our hostess, was visibly captivated, and the prim
German governess drank in every word he said, intending, no doubt, to
improve her English, which otherwise she never got a chance to speak.

The two young men arrived yesterday just in time for tea. When the
Countess asked him, in her most velvety tones, "Do you take sugar, Mr.
Brent?" "Yes, ma'am, I do--three lumps, and if it's beety I take four." (I
trembled! What would he say next?) "I've got a real sweet tooth," he said,
with an alluring smile, to which we all succumbed. The governess,
remembering what hers had been before acquiring her expensive false set,
probably wondered how teeth could ever be sweet.

While dressing for dinner I shuddered at the thought of what his dinner
toilet might be; but I cannot say how relieved I was when I saw him appear
(he was the last to appear) dressed in perfect evening dress, in the
latest fashion, except his tie, which was of white satin and very badly
tied. The salon in which we met before dinner is a real museum of rare
pictures, old furniture, and curiosities. The walls are hung with old
Italian faïences and porcelains. A huge buffet, reaching to the ceiling,
is filled with Venetian goblets and majolica vases.

A vast chimneypiece, under which one can stand with ease, is ornamented
with a fine iron bas-relief of the family arms, and a ponderous pair of
andirons which support a heavy iron bar big enough to roast a wild boar
on. Count G---- called Mr. Brent's attention to it, and Mr. Brent said,
pleasantly, "I suppose this is where the ancestors toasted their
patriarchal toes."

At dinner he sat next to the governess, and I could see her trying to
digest his "original" language; and I was near enough to overhear some of
their conversation. For instance, she asked him what his occupation was in
his native land. "Oh," he said, "I do a little of everything, mostly
farming. I've paddled my own canoe since I was a small kid."

"Is there much water in your country-place?" she inquired.

"Don't you mean country? Well, yes, we have quite a few pailfuls over
there, and we don't have to pull a string to let our waterfalls down."

My neighbor must have thought me very inattentive; but I felt that I could
not lose a word of Mr. Brent's conversation. The vestibule (or "Halle," as
they called it), where we went after dinner, used to be occupied by the
_Corps du Garde._ It had vaulted ceilings and great oak beams, and was
filled with hunting implements of all ages arranged in groups on the
walls very artistically; there were cross-bows, fencing-swords, masks,
guns (old and new), pistols, etc. Mr. Brent was very much impressed by
this collection, gazed at the specimens with sparkling admiration, and
remarked to the governess, who was always at his elbow, "I never saw such
a lot of things [meaning the weapons] outside of a shindy."

"What is a shindy?" inquired the governess, always anxious to improve her
knowledge of the language.

"Why, don't you know what a shindy is? No? Well, it's a free fight, where
you kill promiscuous."

"Gott im Himmel!" almost screamed the terrified damsel. "Do you mean to
say that you have killed any one otherwise than in a duel?"

"I can't deny that I have killed a few," Mr. Brent said, cordially, "but
never in cold blood."

"How dreadful!" his listener cried.

"But you see, over there," pointing with his cigar into the vague (toward
Colorado), "if a man insults you, you must kill him then and there, and
you must always be heeled."

"Heeled!" she repeated, puzzled. "Do they always get well?"

Neither understood.

Probably she thinks to this day that a shindy is an exceptionally good

The Count said, "This room is a very good specimen of Renaissance style."

Mr. Brent replied, "I don't know what 'renny-saunce' means, but this room
is the style I like"; and added, "It's bully; and to-morrow I'd like to
take a snap-shot of it and of all the company to show mother, if [with his
charming smile] you will let me."

"You shall take that and any other thing you like," said the Count. "How
long do you intend staying in Europe?"

"That depends," answered Mr. Brent. "I came across the pond because the
doctor said I needed rest and change."

"I hope that you have had them both," the Count said, kindly.

"I got the change, all right; but the hotel-keepers got the rest, as the
story goes."

Every one laughed and voted the young and clever American perfectly

The Countess extended her jeweled hand when she bade him good night, the
hand that always had been held with reverence and pressed gently to lips,
and felt it seized in a grip which made her wince.

"Madame, you are just as sweet as you can be. I cottoned to you right off
the minute I saw you, just as I did to 'sonny,' over there," pointing to
the noble scion of the house. The governess made a note of the word
"cotton." The Countess was dumfounded; but our young friend seeming so
unconscious of having said or done anything out of the way, she simply,
instead of resenting what in another would have been most offensive,
looked at him with a lovely, motherly smile, and I am sure she wanted to
imprint a kiss on his forehead _à la Russe_.

The next morning the Countess mentioned that she had a quantity of old
tapestries somewhere about in the house. "Where are they?" we all
exclaimed. "Can we not see them?"

"Certainly, but I do not know where they are," answered the Countess.
"They may be in the stables."

We went there, and sure enough we found, after rummaging about in the
large attic, a quantity of old tapestries: three complete subjects
(biblical and pastoral), all of them more or less spoiled by rats and
indiscriminate cutting.

It amused me to see in the servants' dining-room some good old pictures,
while in ours the walls were covered with modern engravings.

We were about thirty at table, and in the servants' hall there were nearly
sixty persons. Lenchen, my old-maid maid, puts on her best and only black-
silk dress every day and spends hours over her toilette for dinner.

Mr. Tweed, the English trainer, says that the stables here are among the
finest in Germany, and that the Count owns the best race-horses in the
land, and is a connoisseur of everything connected with horses.

Our Colorado friend did not seem at all overwhelmed with the splendor of
the stables, but with a knowing eye, examining the horses (feet, fetlocks,
and all), and without further preliminaries, said, "This one is not worth
much, and that one I would not give two cents for, but this fellow,"
pointing to the Count's best racer, "is a beauty."

Mr. Tweed's amazement at this amateur (as he supposed him to be) was
turned into admiration when Mr. Brent walked into the paddock, asked for a
rope, and proceeded to show us how they lasso horses in America. Every one
was delighted at this exhibition.

Then Mr. Tweed brought out the most unruly horse he had, which none of the
English or German grooms could mount. Mr. Brent advanced cautiously, and
with a few coaxing words got the horse to stand quiet long enough for him
to pass his hand caressingly over his neck. But putting the saddle on him
was another matter; the horse absolutely refused to be saddled. So what
did our American friend do but give one mighty spring and land on the
horse's bare back. He dug his strong legs into the sides of the horse, and
though the horse kicked and plunged for a while, it succumbed finally and
was brought in tame and meek.

Nothing could have pleased the Count more than this, and the rest of us
were lost in admiration.

Mr. Brent invited all the stable-boys _en bloc_ to come over to America to
see him; he guessed he "and the boys could teach them a trick or two."

After luncheon Mr. Brent wanted us all to come out on the lawn to be
photographed, particularly the Countess, and said to the young Count, "You
tackle the missis [meaning the Countess], and I'll get the others."

Of course no one refused. How could we resist such a charmer? Who could
ever have believed that this simple, unaffected youth could have so
completely won all hearts?

He said to the Countess while "fixing" her for the group, "I wanted you,
because you remind me so of my dear old mother." The Countess actually
purred with ecstasy; but I don't think she would have liked to be compared
to any "old" thing (mother or not) by anybody else. In this case she
merely looked up at him and smiled sweetly, and as for the _blasé_,
stately Count, he simply would not let him out of his sight.

At last the group was arranged according to Mr. Brent's ideas; the host
and hostess in the center, while the others clustered around them.

"Now, ladies and gentlemen, please look pleasant," said Mr. Brent, and we
all took the attitude we remembered to have looked well in on some former
occasion, and hoped we looked "pleasant," and that "mother," when
contemplating us, would approve of us.

The Count's birthday happened to be on one of these days. Mr. Brent, who
had intended to leave, was urged by both him and the Countess to stay. The
young Count said, "Papa would be really unhappy if you went away." "That's
real nice of him; you bet I'll stay, then." On the day itself he was all-
pervading. It was he who hung the heavy garlands and wreaths on the
highest poles, agile as a cat, and draped the flags about the escutcheons
placed everywhere. He helped the ladies arrange the flowers in the
innumerable vases in the salons. He it was who led the applause when the
deputation of young people from the village made their speech, and when
the Count responded, in his most dignified and courtly manner, Mr. Brent
cried out, in a most enthusiastic voice, "Good for you!"

In the evening there were visits from all the surrounding neighborhood;
the ladies wore tiaras and all their jewels, and the gentlemen all their
decorations; there was a grand supper in the state dining-room. Although I
suppose it was the first time Mr. Brent had ever seen such a sight, he did
not seem in the least astonished. He circulated about the distinguished
company and made himself most agreeable indiscriminately to young and old.
He was in full glory, and certainly was the life of the evening, which
finished brilliantly with a grand display of fireworks set off from the
tower, so that they could be seen from far and near.

The next day Mr. Brent left. When he bade me good-by he said: "Good-by,
ma'am. If I have had a good time here, I owe it all to you." "Oh no, you
don't!" I said. "You owe it all to yourself, and you may say to your
mother, from me, that you won all hearts."

He sighed and turned away his head, giving my hand an extra squeeze. "If
you ever come to Colorado, just ask any one for Johnny Brent, and if I
don't stand on my head for you it'll be because I've lost it."

His leave-taking of the Countess was almost pathetic. He held her hand
long and tenderly, and said, "I can't find any word, ma'am--I mean,
Countess--but--thank you, thank you, that's all I can say."

And the Countess (we thought she would faint) put her hand on his
shoulder. He bent his head, and she kissed him on his forehead; and he
(were the heavens going to fall?) stooped down and kissed her cheek.

The Count said: "Good-by, my boy. Come again to see us"--and going to the
walls where his collection of pistols hung, took one of them and handed it
to him "This will remind you of us, but don't kill any one with it."

"Never," said Mr. Brent. "I will hang it round my neck."

Thus departed our American hero, for who but a hero could have stormed
such a fortress and broken down all the traditional barriers?

A day or two later we received a visit from royalty, in the person of
Prince Frederick Charles of Prussia.

In the evening we played a wonderful game called _taroc_, which was very
intricate and almost impossible to learn. Old Baron Kessler, who undertook
to teach it to me, got so sleepy that he actually yawned in my face.

This Baron Kessler is quite a character--very clever, very artistic, very
musical, and, strange to say, very superstitious. For instance, he wears
an old waistcoat which has certain magical grease-spots on Fridays; on
Mondays his purse must be in the left pocket of his coat, on Thursdays in
his right pocket. He drinks nine times before twelve o'clock on special
days, and has a cigar-case for each different day of the week. He hates
losing at cards, and when he does it is quite an affair; and I am not sure
that prayers are not offered up for him by his family in the chapel on his
baronial estates.

The last thing I saw was a vision of Herr Lenning (the head butler), who
is sometimes a little shaky himself, helping the Baron up the stairs.
Possibly it was the evening of the nine-drink morning.

Next day we all left, except the old Baron, who for reasons of his own

WEIMAR, _September, 1874._

DEAR M.,--I thought it would be a good idea to go to Weimar, the place
_par excellence_ to study German, the Germans, and their literature;
and, moreover, my boy might go to school there. Mrs. Kingsland had given
me a letter to the Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar, and recommended the place,
not because she knew the town, but because she knew the Grand Duke.
Besides, had I not a dear cousin who had written a most attractive book
about Weimar, combined with Liszt and his enchantments?

I was all enthusiasm.

I decided to go to the hotel which Liszt honored. The proprietor put me
into Liszt's very room, where a framed letter of his hung on the wall....
This did not in the least overcome me, as I had several of Liszt's letters
at home. But what did overcome me was that I was charged four times the
price of any other hotel, on Liszt's account!

Weimar may be very pleasant in the season when the little Court sheds its
mild light about; but out of the season, especially at this time of the
year, when there is nothing but dried and fluttering leaves, students, and
dogs in the streets, I found it woeful. It was reeking of Schiller and
Goethe. For two marks you can have a pretty good idea of how these great
men lived and had their being. Everywhere we turned, and we turned
everywhere, there were statues, busts, autographs, writing-desks, beds,
and wash-stands which had belonged to them. I admired everything until my
vocabulary of exclamations was exhausted and my head whirled.

I told Howard, as young as he was, I would not have him Goethed and
Schillered, as he certainly would be if he stayed here; so I changed my
plans and made up my mind to accept the invitation of my friend the
Countess Westphal to make her a visit at her château in Westphalia. We
took a train which dropped us at her station, where she met us and drove
us to Fürstenberg.

Westphalia is renowned for its hams. Perhaps you don't know this,
therefore I tell you. It is also renowned for the independent spirit of
the Westphalians.


DEAR M.,--This château is a fine old castle, with rounded towers and
mysterious passages, and has a village tucked on to it. The family
consists of the Countess, the Count, and three children, a tutor, a
governess, and everything which belongs to the old families and their
traditions. The mysterious passages possessed no ghosts, for which I was
sorry, though my maid (a timid and naïve old German maiden) thought that
she heard "things" at night when she came up the dark, winding stone
staircase which led to my room.

Life passed quietly at Fürstenberg. Countess Westphal and I amused
ourselves with music and embroidery and listening to the Count's report of
his hunting expeditions.

One day, in a spasm of energy, she proposed to take me to see a friend of
hers, Countess B----, who, she said, lived quite near. We would spend the
night, returning the next day. She thought it would be a very pleasant and
entertaining little excursion for us.

She telegraphed to Countess B---- that we were coming without maids, and
with only necessary baggage; and my maid immediately went to work to pack
what she considered necessary for this visit. She put a dinner-dress, with
high and low waists, as the occasion might require, an extra day-dress,
and all kinds of accessories, filling a good-sized trunk.

We started early the next morning. Countess Westphal was full of happy
expectations; so was I. We were four hours on the way before we reached
our destination; but Countess Westphal cheerfully remarked that time was
of no consequence.

On our arrival at the forlorn little station I looked in vain for the
lordly chariot I thought would be waiting for us. Countess Westphal seemed
astonished also, but with her usual good-nature accounted for the absence
of the chariot by saying that her friend could not possibly have received
the telegram. We lingered about, hoping that some vehicle would appear;
but as none did so, Countess Westphal started off to find one, and she
finally succeeded in tempting a man, for the vast sum of four marks, to
drive us to the _schloss_.

After the coachman had gathered the reins off the back of the old, rickety
horse, I leaned back in my seat and pictured to myself what this beautiful
_schloss_ we were going to would be like.

Of course, it would have a moat around it (all old castles do); it would
have all the modern comforts combined with the traditions of past glories;
it would have avenues of grand old trees and marble statues, and terraces
leading into Italian gardens, and so forth. In fact, my imagination got so
riotous that I forgot to look at the treeless, muddy roads, and I never
noticed the wrenching of the ancient landau in which we were.

As we were jolted over the desolate landscape, Countess Westphal tried to
tell me the family history of the B----s, but I only gathered bits of it
here and there; such as that he was the fourth son of a very distinguished
father and mother, and had no prospect worth speaking of, except the
prospect of the dreary place we were careering over; that they never left
their native heath and had no children, and that they lived on their
estate (being the only thing they had to live on), and so forth and so
forth, all of which went in at the ear next the Countess and went out at
the ear next the road.

Finally we spied the _schloss._ It had been a convent in some former
century, and still had iron bars on the windows. We drove through a muddy
lane, passing a sort of barn with grated loopholes, and stopped before a
courtyard filled with chickens and geese; on the left was a pigsty,
smelling not at all like Westphalian hams, and on the other side a cow-
stable. In front was the _schloss_ and the lady of the manor, the
honorable Countess herself, on the steps, quite by chance, so it seemed.
She led us proudly into the salon. A large bunch of keys hung at her
girdle. I wondered why she needed so many! After the coal-bin, wine-vault,
and sugar-bowl, and linen-closet had been locked up, what more did she
need to lock up? There was no mention that the telegram had been received.

Count B---- was not there, "but would be coming soon." I felt that I could
wait. The salon was of the kind that one often sees in houses where the
mistress, having no children and plenty of time, embroiders things. Every
possible object had a coat of arms and huge crowns embroidered on it, so
that you could never forget that you were in the house of ancient
nobility, which had the right to impose its crowns on you. All the chairs,
tables, sideboards, and things on the walls were made out of the horns of
stags and other animals the Count had shot. Sometimes the chairs were
covered with the skin of the same, minus the hair, which was missing and
moth-eaten in spots.

I was taken up-stairs to my bedroom, and I was thankful to see that the
horns and crowns had nearly given out before they finished furnishing the
first story, and that I had an ordinary middle-class chair to sit on.
There were many pictures of Madonnas and saints, from which I inferred
that our hosts were Catholics, and a _prie-dieu_, which, strange to say,
was made of horns; and the mat in front of my bed was a blaze of the
united coats of arms and _two_ crowns! So she was a Countess born, which
accounted for the doubleness.

We were obliged to make _le tour du propriétaire_, and, of course, as
there was no other place to take us to, we went to the stables. There we
admired the two cows (Stella and Bella) with horns. They had their names
painted in blue and white over their respective heads, but they had no

Then the Count appeared in very nice clothes. I fancy, while we had been
admiring Stella and Bella, he had been changing his boots. Owing to these
fresh boots we were spared the pigsties. On our return to the house
Countess B---- said, "You know, we don't dress for dinner." I thought with
dismay of my trunk laden with all its superfluous contents, and what a
bore the bringing of it had been, and the opinion my maid would pass on
our noble hosts, who "don't dress for dinner," when she unpacked the
undisturbed finery which she had thought indispensable.

After dinner the conversation was chiefly pastoral, of the kind I do not
join in because I hate it. How many chickens had died, how Bella and
Stella had borne last winter's cold, how many sacks of potatoes had been
spoiled, etc. My Countess enjoyed it immensely, and sat on a horny chair
and sympathized. Our host took pity on me and taught me a patience. I had
known it all my life as "the idiot's delight," but I pretended I had never
heard of it before, and he had the satisfaction of thinking he was
entertaining me--which he wasn't! On the contrary, Job's patience never
could have equaled this one; the Count talked French fluently. The dinner
was not good, nor was it frugal.

The Count said, "Nous n'avons que le stricte nécessaire, rien de plus."

The Countess said, in English, "One can't have in the country all that one

I could not help feeling that one could not have even the half of what one
wanted, and more than once I caught myself thinking, "None but the brave
deserve this fare." They noticed if you took a second helping, and you
felt that they made a mental note if your glass was filled more than once
with wine. However, it was all very nice, and they were very kind, good
people. It was not the Count's fault if the stags he killed had too many
horns, neither was it the Countess's fault that time hung heavy on her
hands and embroidery occupied them.

Fortunately we would go away next day, so what did it matter? But getting
away was a very different thing from coming. When the Countess Westphal
suggested it, and said that we intended to take a certain train, the faces
of our hosts presented a blank look of apprehension! Their horses were
plowing! What should we do? The doctor, they said, who lived in the
village, had a carriage, but the horse was sick; there was, however, the
_schimmel_ of the baker, which, fortunately, was in good health, and
perhaps, in conjunction with the wagon of the doctor, one could manage. It
sounded like a gigantic exercise of Ollendorff:

"Avez-vous le cheval du boulanger?"

"Non, mais j'ai le soulier du boucher," etc.

After what seemed an eternity, the wagon of the doctor appeared, so did
the _schimmel_. The wagon of the doctor, usually dragged by two animals,
had a pole in the middle, to which the _schimmel_ was attached, giving him
a very sidelong gait. The question now was, who was to drive the
_schimmel_ attached to the pole?

The young man who milked the cows, killed the pigs, dressed the Count,
picked the fruit, drove the Countess, waited at table, served everybody,
did everything, and smelled _awfully_ of the stables--could he be spared?

Well, he was spared, and off we started majestically, but sideways, waving
a courtly adieu. We reached home in a drenching rain, wondering what on
earth ever possessed us to want to go to visit the noble B----s. I don't
think I ever want to see that establishment again, and I don't think I
ever shall.

FÜRSTENBERG, _December._

DEAR M.,--The Duke of Nassau had promised to come here to shoot wild
boars, for which this forest is celebrated. Count Westphal sent
invitations far and wide to call his hunting friends together. Before the
arrival of the Duke, carriage after carriage entered the courtyard; oceans
of fur-coats, gun-cases, valises, bags, and fur-lined rugs were thrown
about in the hall, to be sorted out afterward. Then the Duke drove up in a
sleigh with four horses, his aide-de-camp, two postilions, and a friend,
both of them so wrapped up in _pelisses_ and immense fur-caps that
you could only see the tips of their red noses, like danger signals on
railroads. No wonder! They had had three hours of this cold sleigh-ride!

The quiet old _schloss_ was transformed. Each guest had his own servant
and _chasseur._ The servants helped to wait at dinner. The _chasseurs_
cleaned the guns, lounged about smoking their pipes, and looking most
picturesque in their Tyrolean hats, with their leather gaiters, short
green jackets, and leather belts, in which they carried their hunting-
knives and cartridges.

His Highness (who is very short and what one calls thick-set) was
accompanied by a secretary, a _chasseur,_ a valet, two postilions, two
grooms, and four horses. He had six guns, six trunks, and endless coats of
different warmth. In the twinkling of an eye cigar-cases, pipes,
photographs, writing-paper (of his own monogram), and masses of
_etceteras_ were spread about in his salon, as if he could not even look
in his mirror without having these familiar objects before his eyes.

At twelve o'clock, high--very high--lunch was served. The servants brought
in the eatables in monstrous quantities, and disappeared; the guests
helped themselves and one another, and when without occupation fed the
fire, where logs smoldered all day.

At a reasonable hour, after cigars and cigarettes had been smoked, the
sleighs were ordered to be in readiness in the courtyard. Thirty or forty
_treibers_ (beaters) had been out since early morn. The Count has fourteen
thousand acres to be beaten, therefore an early start was necessary.

The hunters swallowed a bitter pill when they asked us ladies to accompany
them; but they knew their hostess would not let them go without her at
least, so why not take the tame bores while shooting the wild ones?

They portioned off one lady and one gentleman to each sleigh. These
sleighs are very small, and contrived for the confusion of mankind. You
sit in a bag of sheep's skin, or perhaps the bag is simply two whole
skinned sheep sewed together. You must stretch your legs, thus pinioned on
the sides, out as far as they reach; then the driver puts a board over
them, on which he perches himself, nearly over the horse's tail, and off
you go. I cannot imagine what a man does with his legs if he has very long

The poor horses are so dressed up that, if they could see themselves, they
would not know if they were toy rabbits or Chinese pagodas. Over the horse
is a huge net, which not only covers him from head to tail, but protects
those in the sleigh from the snow flying in their faces. I should think
that this net would be excellent in summer to keep the flies off; it does
certainly suggest mosquito-netted beds and summer heat. Over the net is an
arrangement which looks like a brass lyre, adorned with innumerable brass
bells, which jingle and tinkle as we trot along, and make noise enough to
awake all the echoes in the forest. On each side of the horse's head hang
long, white, horse-hair tails.

What did we look like as we proceeded on our way? A procession of eight
sleighs, combining a _ranz des vaches_, a summer bed, and an antiquary

Arrived at the rendezvous, Count Westphal placed his guests by different
trees. The best place, of course, fell to the Duke, and I had the honor to
stand behind him and his gun. I hoped that neither would go off! The Duke
is very near-sighted and wears double-barreled spectacles, which have
windows on the sides, so that he can look around the corner without
turning his head.

Every one was requested to be perfectly quiet, otherwise there would be
disaster all along the line. I could keep quiet very well, _for a time_,
but the back view of a man crowned with a Tyrolean hat, and terminating in
a monstrous pair of overshoes lined with straw, lost its interest after a
while, and I began to look at the scenery. It must be lovely here in the
summer. The valley, where a little brook meandered gracefully through the
meadow (now ice and snow), bordered on both sides by high pine woods, must
then be covered with flowers and fresh green grass, and full of light and

His Highness and I were under a splendid oak, and there we stood waiting
for something to happen. The Duke, the oak, and I were silence
personified. A dead branch would crack, or the trunks of smaller and
ignorant pines would knock together, and the Duke would look around the
corner and say "Chut!" in a low voice, thinking I was playing a tattoo on
the tree.

"Now the beaters are on the scent!" he said. After this I hardly dared to

"They have to drive the boar with the wind," he whispered.

"I thought they did it with sticks," I answered in a low tone.

To this remark he did not pay the slightest attention. Between a sneeze
and a cough--we were rapidly catching our deaths--he said, under his
breath, "If they smell us they go away."

The _treibers_ work in couples, Count Westphal leading them. It is
not etiquette for the host to shoot; he must leave all the chances of
glory to his guests. Among the _treibers_ were various servants and
_chasseurs_ carrying extra guns and short daggers for the final despatch
(_le coup de grâce_). We heard them coming nearer and nearer, but we saw
no boar. Many other animals came wonderingly forward: some foxes, trailing
their long tails gracefully over the snow, looked about them and trotted
off; a furtive deer cautiously peered around with ears erect and trotted
off also; but it is not for such as these we stand ankle-deep in the snow,
shivering with cold and half frozen. A shot now would spoil all the sport.
One has a longing to talk when one is told to be quiet. I can't remember
ever having thought of so many clever things I wanted to say as when I
stood behind the ducal back--things that would be forever lost! And I
tried to enter them and fix them in my brain, to be produced later; but,

The Duke (being, as I said, very short-sighted) came near shooting one of
his own servants. The man who carried his extra gun had tied the two ends
of a sack in which he carried various things, and put it over his head to
keep his ears warm. Just as the Duke was raising his gun, thinking that if
it was not a boar it was something else, I ventured a gentle whisper,
"C'est votre domestique, Monseigneur." "Merci!" he whispered back, in much
the same tone he would have used had I restored him a dropped pocket-

Finally (there must be an end to everything) we saw beneath us, on the
plains, three wild boars leaping in the snow, followed by a great many
more. They had the movements of a porpoise as he dives in and out of the
water, and of an ungraceful and hideous pig when hopping along.

The Duke fired his two shots, and let us hope two boars fell. The others
flew to right and left, except one ugly beast, who came straight toward
our own tree. I must say that in that moment my little heart was in my
throat, and I realized that the tree was too high to climb and too small
to hide behind. The Duke said, in a husky voice, "Don't move, for God's
sake, even if they come toward us!"

This was cheery! Abraham's blind obedience was nothing to mine! Here was
I, a stranger in a foreign land, about to sacrifice my life on the shrine
of a wild boar! Count Metternich, behind the next tree, fired and killed
the brute, so I was none the worse save for a good fright. It was high
time to kill him, for he began charging at the beaters, and threatened to
make it lively for us; and if Count Metternich had not, in the nick of
time, sent a bullet into him, I doubt whether I should be writing this
little account to you at this moment.

There was a great deal of shouting, and the hounds were baying at the top
of their lungs, and every one was talking at the same time and explaining
things which every one knew. Counting the guests, the servants, the
trackers, the dilettantes, there were seventy people on the spot; and I
must say, though we were _transis de froid_, it was an exhilarating sight
--the snow is such a beautiful _mise en scène_. However, we were glad to
get back into the sheep-skin bags and draw the fur rugs up to our noses,
and though I had so many brilliant things to say under the tree I could
not think of one of them on our way home.

Fourteen big, ugly boars were brought and laid to rest in the large hall,
on biers of pine branches, with a pine branch artistically in the mouth of
each. They weighed from one to three hundred pounds and smelled
abominably; but they were immensely admired by their slayers, who
pretended to recognize their own booty (don't read "beauty," for they were
anything but beautiful) and to claim them for their own. Each hunter has
the right to the jaws and teeth, which they have mounted and hang on their
walls as trophies.

Count Westphal has his smoking-room filled to overflowing with jaws,
teeth, and chamois heads, etc. They make a most imposing display, and add
feathers to his already well-garnished cap.

Howard said, in French, to the Duke, in his sweet little voice, looking up
into his face, "I am so sorry for you!"

"Why?" inquired the Duke.

"Because the Prussians have taken your country."

We all trembled, not knowing how the Duke would take this; but he took it
very kindly, and, patting Howard on the back, said: "Thank you, my little
friend. I am sorry also, but there is nothing to be done; but thank you
all the same." And his eyes filled with tears.

The next day he gave Howard his portrait, with, "Pour mon petit ami,
Howard, d'un pauvre chassé.--Adolf, Duc de Nassau." Very nice of him,
wasn't it?

In the evening they played cards, with interruptions such as "Der
verfluchte Kerl," meaning "a boar that refused to be shot," or "I could
easily have killed him if my gun," etc., till every one, sleepy and tired,
had no more conversation to exchange, and the Duke left, as he said, to
write letters, and we simpler mortals did not mind saying that we were
dead beat and went to bed.

The next day being Sunday, I sang in the little church (Catholic, of
course, as Westphalia is of that religion). The organist and I had many
rehearsals in the _schloss,_ but none in the church, so I had never
made acquaintance with the village organ. If I had, I don't think I should
have chosen the _Ave Maria_ of Cherubini, which has a final amble with the
organ, sounding well enough on the piano; but on that particular organ it
sounded like two hens cackling and chasing each other. I had to mount the
spiral staircase behind the belfry and wobble over the rickety planks
before reaching the organ-loft. Fortunately, Count Metternich went with me
and promised to stay with me till the bitter end; at any rate, he piloted
me to the loft. The organ was put up in the church when the church was
built, in the year Westphalia asserted herself, whenever that was; I
should say B.C. some time. It was probably good at that time, but it must
have deteriorated steadily ever since; and now, in this year of grace,
owns only one row of keys, of which several notes don't work. There are
several pipes which don't pipe, and an octave of useless pedals, which the
organist does not pretend to work, as he does not know how. However, there
is no use describing a village organ; every one knows what it is. Suffice
to say that I sang my _Ave Maria_ to it, and the Duke and my hosts, miles
below me, said it was very fine, and that the church had never heard the
like before, and never would again. Certainly _not from me!_...

The village itself is a pretty little village and very quaint; it has
belonged to the _schloss,_ as the _schloss_ has to it, for centuries. The
houses are painted white, and the beams of oak are painted black.

On the principal cross-beams are inscriptions from the Bible, cut in the
oak, and the names of the people who built the house. There is one:
"Joseph and Katinka, worthy of the grace of God, on whom He cannot fail to
shower blessings. For they believe in Him." The date of their marriage and
their virtues are carved also (fortunately they don't add the names of all
their descendants). Sometimes the sentences are too long for the beam over
the door, and you have to follow their virtues all down the next beam.

This is perplexing on account of the German verb (which is like dessert at
dinner--the best thing, but at the end), and _gehabt_ or _geworden_ is
sometimes as far down as the foot-scraper. Some houses are like barns: one
roof shelters many families, having their little booths under one
covering, and they sit peacefully at their work in front of their homes
smoking the pipe of peace, and at the same time cure the celebrated hams
which hang from the ceiling. I won't say all hams are cured in this way,
because, I suppose, there are regular establishments which cure
professionally. But I have seen many family hams curing in these barns.

The costumes of the women are wonderful, full of complexities; you have to
turn them around before you can tell if she is a man or a woman; they wear
hats like a coal-carrier in England, pantaloons, an apron, and--well! the
Countess had a woman brought to the _schloss_ and undressed, so that
we could see how she was dressed. I ought to send a photograph, because I
can never describe her. There is a bodice of black satin, short in the
back, over a plastron of pasteboard of the same, and a huge black-satin
cravat sticking out on both sides of her cheeks, a wadded skirt of blue
alpaca, and pink leg-of-mutton sleeves. I can make nothing of this
description when I read it. I hope you can!

Count Metternich entertained us all the afternoon talking about himself.
He has fought with the Emperor Maximilian in Mexico, and when he speaks of
him the tears roll down his bronzed cheeks. He has fought in all Don
Carlos's battles, and is a strong partisan of the Carlist party. His
description of Don Carlos makes one quite like him (I mean Don Carlos). He
said that Don Carlos goes about in a simple black uniform and _béret_
(the red cap of the Pyrenees), with the gold tassels and the Order of the
Golden Fleece on his neck (I call that fantastic, don't you?). During his
campaign he suddenly swoops down upon people, no matter what their
condition is, and immediately there is a sentinel placed before the door.
The _consigne_ is not strict: any one can come and go as he pleases:
photographers, autographers, reporters, without hindrance, and there is a
general invitation to tea at headquarters. He has an army of volunteers,
of whom the Count is one. The rations are one-half pound of meat, one-half
pound of bread, and three-quarters liter of Navarre wine, which the Count
says is more fit to eat than to drink, "it is so fat." Navarre furnishes
the wine gratis, and promises to furnish twenty-four thousand rations
daily as long as the war lasts. The artillery is "not good," Count
Metternich added, but the officers are "colossal," a word in German that
expresses everything.

Count Metternich is the greatest gentleman jockey in the world; he has not
got a whole bone in his body. They call him _der Mexicano_, as he is so
bronzed and dark-skinned and has been in Mexico.

But he cannot rival Count Westphal, who, in his time, was not only the
greatest gentleman jockey, but a hero. At a famous race, where he was to
ride the horse of Count Fürstenberg, he fell, breaking his collar-bone and
his left arm; he picked himself up and managed to remount his horse. He
held the reins in his mouth, and with the unbroken arm walloped the horse,
got in first, and then fainted away.

It was the pluckiest thing ever seen, and won for him not only the race,
but the greatest fame and his Countess, who made him promise never to ride
in a race again, and he never has. She told me that many ladies fainted
and men wept, so great was the excitement and enthusiasm! Count
Fürstenberg had a bronze statue made of the horse, and it stands on Count
Westphal's table now, and is an everlasting subject of conversation.

The Duke invited us all to come to Lippspringe. He and all the hunting-men
have clubbed together and have hired the estate from the Baron B----, who
owns both house and country and is fabulously rich, so people say. Here
these gentlemen (I think there are twenty of them) go to pass two months
every year to hunt foxes. There are forty couples of foxhounds, which have
been imported from England.

There were eight of us, and we quite filled the four-horse break, servants
and baggage followed later. We arrived at Paderborn, a thriving and
interesting town of historical renown (see Baedeker). A two hours' drive
left us rather cold and stiff, but we lunched on the carriage to save
time. At the hotel we found a relay of four fresh horses harnessed in the
principal street, the English grooms exciting great admiration by their
neat get-up and their well-polished boots, and by the masterful manner
they swore in English.

After racing through the quiet streets at a tearing pace, we arrived at
the villa (_alias_ club-house) at six o'clock, in time to dress for
dinner at eight. The gentlemen appeared in regular hunting-dress: red
evening coats, white buckskin trousers, top-boots, white cravats, and
white vests; the ladies were _décolletées en grande toilette_.

Our dinner lasted till ten o'clock. The French chef served a delicious
repast; everything was faultless even to the minutest details; the
servants were powdered, plushed, and shod to perfection. Then we went to
the drawing-room, where cards, smoking, billiards, and flirtation went on
simultaneously until the small hour of one, when we retired to our rooms.

Countess Westphal and I had adjoining rooms, very prettily furnished in
chintz. Everything was in the most English style.

It is the correct thing here to affect awful clothes in the daytime. The
Baron (_der alte Herr_), when not hunting, wears an Italian brigand
costume (short breeches, tight leggings, stout boots) and some animal's
front teeth sewed on his Tyrolean hat to hold the little feathers. But in
the evening, oh, dear me! nothing is equal to his elegance.

The next day the gentlemen (twenty in number), all splendidly mounted on
English hunters, rode off at eleven o'clock, masses of grooms and
_piqueurs_, with lots of hunting-horns and the dogs. We ladies
followed in the break. The masters of the hounds were already at the
rendezvous on the hill. They soon started a fox, and then the dogs tore
off yelping and barking, and the riders riding like mad; and we waited in
the carriages, sorry not to be with them. The red coats looked well
against the background; the dogs, all of the same pattern, were rushing
about in groups with their tails in the air; but while our eyes were
following them the fox ran right under our noses, within a hair's-breadth
of our wheels. Of course the dogs lost the scent, and there was a general
standstill until another fox was routed out, and off they flew again.
_Der alte Herr_ is very much thought of in these parts; he was the only
one who dared oppose the House of Peers in Berlin in the question of
war with Austria in 1866, and made such an astounding speech that he was
obliged to retire from politics and take to fox-hunting. He gave the
speech to me to read, and--I--well!--I didn't read it!

The Westphalians seem to go on the let-us-alone principle; they seem to be
anti-everything--from Bismarck and Protestantism downward. I sang the last
evening of our stay here. The piano belonging to this hunting-lodge is as
old as the _alte Herr_, and must have been here for years, and even at
that must be an heirloom. The keys were yellow with age and misuse, and
if it had ever been in tune it had forgotten all about it now and was out
of it altogether. I picked the notes out which were still good, and by
singing Gounod's "Biondina" in a loud voice and playing its dashing
accompaniment with gusto, I managed to keep myself awake. As for the tired
hunters who had been in the saddle all day, they were so worn out that
nothing short of a brass band could rouse them long enough for them to
keep their eyes open.

The next day we bade our hosts good-by and, thanking them for our
delightful visit, we departed. I wonder if the gentlemen liked being
trespassed upon as much as we did who did the trespassing. However, they
were polite enough to say that they had never enjoyed anything so much as
our visit, and especially my singing. What humbugs! I was polite enough
not to say that I had _never_ enjoyed anything so _little_ as singing for
sleepy fox-hunters.

ROME, _January, 1875._

DEAR MOTHER,--I am here in Rome, staying with my friends the Haseltines,
who have a beautiful apartment that they have arranged in the most
sumptuous and artistic manner in the Palazzo Altieri. Mr. Haseltine has
two enormous rooms for his studio and has filled them with his faultless
pictures, which are immensely admired and appreciated. His water-colors
are perfection.

I have met many of your friends whom you will be glad to hear about; to
begin with, the Richard Greenoughs, our cousins. We had much to talk
about, as we had not seen each other since Paris, when he made that bust
of me. They are the most delightful people, so talented in their different
ways, and are full of interest in everything which concerns me. She has
just published a book called _Mary Magdalene_, which I think is perfectly

I have made the acquaintance of William Story (the sculptor). He spoke of
you and Aunt Maria as his oldest and dearest friends, and therefore
claimed the right to call me Lillie.

I have not only seen him, but I have been Mrs. Story, Miss Story, and the
third story in the Palazzo Barberini, where they live, and I have already
counted many times the tiresome one hundred and twenty-two steps which
lead to their apartment, and have dined frequently with them in their
chilly Roman dining-room. This room is only warmed by the little apparatus
which in Rome passes for a stove. It has a thin leg that sticks out of a
hole in the side of the house and could warm a flea at a pinch.

The hay on the stone floor made the thin carpet warmer to my cold toes,
which, in their evening shoes, were away down below zero, but my cold and
bare shoulders shivered in this Greenland icy-mountain temperature which
belongs to Roman palaces. This was before I was an _habituée_; but after I
had become one I wore, like the other jewel-bedecked dames, woolen
stockings and fur-lined overshoes. The contrast must be funny, if one
could see above board and under board at the same time.

The Storys generally have a lion for dinner and for their evening
entertainments. My invitations to their dinners always read thus: "Dear
Mrs. Moulton,--We are going to have (mentioning the lion) to dinner. Will
you not join us, and if you would kindly bring a little music it would be
such a," etc. No beating about the bush there! The other evening Miss
Hosmer--female rival of Mr. Story in the sculpturing line--was the lion of
the occasion, and was three-quarters of an hour late, her excuse being
that she was studying the problem of perpetual motion. Mr. Story, who is a
wit, said he wished the motion had been perpetuated in a _botta_ (which is
Italian for cab).

_February 1st._

Last Thursday, at nine o'clock in the morning, a card was brought to my
bedroom. Imagine my astonishment when I read the name of Baroness de
C----, the wife of the French Ambassador to the Vatican. What could she
want at that early hour? I had heard many stories of her absent-
mindedness. I thought that nothing less than being very absent-minded, or
else the wish to secure my help for some charity concert, could account
for this matutinal visit, especially as I knew her so slightly.

To my great surprise she had only come to invite me to dinner, and never
mentioned the word charity concert or music. I thought this very strange;
but as she is so _distraite_ she probably did not know what time of day it
was, and imagined she was making an afternoon visit.

One of the stories about her is that once she went to pay a formal call on
one of her colleagues, and stayed on and on until the poor hostess was in
despair, as it was getting late. Suddenly the ambassadress got up and
said, "Pardon, dear Madame, I am very much engaged, and if you have
nothing further to say to me I should be very grateful if you would leave
me." The Baroness had been under the impression that she was in her own
salon. They say that, one day, when she was walking in the Vatican gardens
with the Pope, and they were talking politics, she said to him, "Oh, all
this will be arranged as soon as the Pope dies!"

Well, we went to the dinner, which was quite a large one, and among the
guests was Signor Tosti, which would seem to denote that there _was_,
after all, "music in the air"; and sure enough, shortly after dinner the
ambassadress begged me to sing some _petite chose_, and asked Tosti to
accompany me. Neither of us refused, and I sang some of his songs which
I happened to know, and some of my own, which I could play for myself.

However, I felt myself recompensed, for when she thanked me she asked if I
had ever been present at any of the Pope's receptions.

I told her that I had not had the opportunity since I had been here.

"The Pope has a reception to-morrow morning," said she. "Would you care to
go? If so, I should be delighted to take you."

"Oh," I said, "that is the thing of all others I should like to do!"

"Then," said she, "I will call for you and take you in my carriage."

This function requires a black dress, black veil, and a general funereal
appearance and gloveless hands. Happily she did not forget, but came in
her coupé at the appointed time to fetch me, and we drove to the Vatican.

The ambassadress was received at the entrance with bows and smiles of
recognition by the numerous _camerieri_ and other splendidly dressed
persons, and we were led through endless beautiful rooms before arriving
at the gallery where we were to wait. It was not long before his Holiness
(Pius IX.) appeared, followed by his suite of monsignors and prelates. I
never was so impressed in my life as when I saw him. He wore a white-cloth
_soutane_ and white-embroidered _calotte_ and red slippers, and looked so
kind and full of benevolence that he seemed goodness personified. I knelt
down almost with pleasure on the cold floor when he addressed me, and I
kissed the emerald ring which he wore on his third finger as if I had been
a born Catholic and had done such things all my life.

He asked me in English from which country I came, and when I answered,
"America, your Holiness," he said, "What part of America?" I replied,
"From Boston, Holy Father."

"It is a gallant town," the Pope remarked; "I have been there myself."

Having finished speaking with the men (all the ladies stood together on
one side of the room and the men on the other), the Pope went to the end
of the gallery. We all noticed that he seemed much agitated, and wondered
why, and what could have happened to ruffle his benign face. It soon
became known that there was an Englishman present who refused to kneel,
although ordered to do so by the irate chamberlain, and who stood stolidly
with arms folded, looking down with a sneer upon his better-behaved

His Holiness made a rather lengthy discourse, and did not conceal his
displeasure, alluding very pointedly to the unpardonable attitude of the

On leaving the gallery he turned around a last time, made the sign of the
cross, giving us his blessing, and left us very much impressed. I looked
about for my companion, but could not see her anywhere. Had she forgotten
me and left me there to my fate? It would not be unlike her to do so.

I saw myself, in my mind's eye, being led out of the Vatican by the
striped yellow and black legs and halberded guards, and obliged to find my
way home alone; but on peering about in all the corners I caught sight of
her seated on a bench fervently saying her prayers, evidently under the
impression that she was in church during mass. As we were about to enter
the coupé she hesitated before giving any orders to the servant, possibly
not remembering where I had lived. But the footman, being accustomed to
her vagaries, did not wait, and as he knew where to deposit me, I was
landed safely at the Palazzo Altieri.

_February 15th._

The Storys gave "The Merchant of Venice" the other evening. They had put
up in one of the salons a very pretty little stage; the fashionable world
was _au complet_, and, after having made our bows to Mrs. Story, we took
our places in the theater. Mr. Story was Shylock, and acted extremely
well. Edith was very good as Portia. Waldo and Julian both took part. Mr.
and Mrs. Prank Lascelles, of the English Embassy, both dressed in black
velvet, played the married couple to the life, but did not look at all
Italian. The whole performance was really wonderfully well done and most
successful; the enthusiasm was sincere and warmed the cold hands by the
frequent clapping. We were so glad to be enthusiastic!

Mr. Story gave me his book called _Roba di Roma_, which I will tell you
does _not_ mean Italian robes--you might think so; it means things about
Rome. I will also tell you, in case that your Italian does not go so far,
that when I say that the Storys live in the third _piano_. I do not mean
an upright or a grand--_piano_ is the Italian for story.

Madame Minghetti--the wife of the famous statesman--receives every Sunday
twilight. Rome flocks there to hear music and to admire the artistic
manner in which the rooms are arranged; flirtations are rife in the twilit
corners, in which the salon abounds. As Madame Minghetti is very musical
and appreciative, all the people one meets there pretend to be musical and
appreciative, and do not talk or flirt during the music; so when I sing
"Medjé" in the growing crepuscule I feel in perfect sympathy with my
audience. Tosti and I alternate at the piano when there is nothing better.
If no one else enjoys us, we enjoy each other.

I have always wanted very much to see the famous Garibaldi, and knowing he
was in Rome I was determined to get a glimpse of him. But how could it be
done? I had been told that he was almost unapproachable, and that he
disliked strangers above all.

However, where there is a will there seems to come a way; at any rate,
there did come one, and this is how it came:

At dinner at the French Embassy J sat next to Prince Odescalchi, and told
him of my desire to see Garibaldi. He said: "Perhaps I can manage it for
you. I have a friend who knows a friend of Garibaldi, and it might be
arranged through him."

"Then," I said, "your friend who is a friend of Garibaldi's will let you
know, and as you are a friend of my friend you will let _her_ know,
and she will let _me_ know."

"It sounds very complicated," he answered, laughing, "and is perhaps
impossible; but we will do our best."

No more than two days after this dinner there came a message from the
Prince to say that, if Mrs. Haseltine and I would drive out to Garibaldi's
villa, the friend and the friend of the friend would be there to meet us
and present us. This we did, and found the two gentlemen awaiting us at
the gate. I felt my heart beat a little faster at the thought of seeing
the great hero.

Garibaldi was sitting in his garden, in a big, easy, wicker chair, and
looked rather grumpy, I thought (probably he was annoyed at being
disturbed). But he apparently made up his mind to accept the inevitable,
and, rising, came toward us, and on our being presented stretched out a
welcoming hand.

He had on a rather soiled cape, and a _foulard,_ the worse for wear,
around his neck, where the historical red shirt was visible. His head,
with its long hair, was covered with a velvet _calotte._ He looked
more like an invalid basking in the sun with a shawl over his legs than he
did like the hero of my imagination, and the only time he did look at all
military was when he turned sharply to his parrot, who kept up an
incessant chattering, and said, in a voice full of command, "Taci!" which
the parrot did not in the least seem to mind (I hope Garibaldi's soldiers
obeyed him better).

Garibaldi apologized for the parrot's bad manners by saying, "He is very
unruly, but he talks well"; and added, with a rusty smile, "Better than
his master."

"I don't agree with you," I said. "I can understand you, whereas I can't
even tell what language he is speaking."

"He comes from Brazil, and was given to me by a lady."

"Does he only speak Brazilian?" I asked.

"Oh no, he can speak a little Italian; he can say 'Io t'amo' and 'Caro

"That shows how well the lady educated him. Will he not say 'Io t'amo' for
me? I should so love to hear him."

But, in spite of tender pleadings, the parrot refused to do anything but
scream in his native tongue.

Garibaldi talked Italian in a soft voice with his friend and French to us.
He asked a few questions as to our nationality, and made some other
commonplace remarks. When I told him I was an American he seemed to unbend
a little, and said, "I like the Americans; they are an honorable, just,
and intelligent people."

He must have read admiration in my eyes, for he "laid himself out" (so his
friend said) to be amiable. Amiability toward strangers was evidently not
his customary attitude.

He went so far as to give me his photograph, and wrote "Miss Moulton" on
it with a hand far from clean; but it was the hand of a brave man, and I
liked it all the better for being dirty. It seemed somehow to belong to a
hero. I think that I would have been disappointed if he had had clean
hands and well-trimmed finger-nails. On our taking leave of him he
conjured up a wan smile and said, very pleasantly, giving us his ink-
stained hand, "A rivederci."


I wondered if he really meant that he wanted to see us again; I doubt it,
and did not take his remark seriously. On the contrary, I had the feeling
that he was more than indifferent to the pleasure our visit had given him.

When we were driving back to Rome the horses took fright and began running
away. They careered like wildfire through the gates of the Porta del
Popolo, and bumped into a cart drawn by oxen and overloaded with wine-
casks. Fortunately one of the horses fell down, and we came to a
standstill. The coachman got down from the box and discovered that one of
the wheels was twisted, the pole broken, and other damage done. We were
obliged to leave the carriage and walk down the Corso to find a cab.

Just as we were getting into one we saw on the opposite side of the street
a man who, while he was cleaning the windows in the third story of a
house, lost his balance and fell into the street.

We dreaded to know what had happened, and avoided the crowd which quickly
collected, thus shutting out whatever had happened from our view. We
hurried home, trembling from our different emotions.

The next morning I awoke from my sleep, having had a most vivid dream. I
thought I was in a shop, and the man serving me said, "If you take any
numbers in the next lottery, take numbers 2, 18, and 9." This was
extraordinary, and I immediately told the family about it: 2, 18, 9 (three
numbers meant a _terno_, in other words, a _fortune_). Mr. H---- said,
"Let us look out these numbers in the _Libro di Sogni_ (the Book of
Dreams)," and sent out to buy the book. Imagine our feelings! Number 2
meant _caduta d'una finestra_ (fall from a window); number 18 meant _morte
subito_ (sudden death), and number 9 meant _ospedale_ (hospital).

Just what had happened; the man had fallen from the window and had been
carried dead to the hospital!

Perhaps you don't know what a tremendous part the lottery plays in Italy;
it is to an Italian what sausages and beer are to a German. An Italian
will spend his last _soldo_ to buy a ticket. He simply cannot live
without it. The numbers are drawn every Saturday morning at twelve
o'clock, and are instantly exposed in all the tobacco-shops in the town.

An hour after, whether lucky or unlucky, the Italian buys a new ticket for
the following week, and lives on hope and dreams until the next Saturday;
and when any event happens or any dream comes to him he searches in the
dream-book for a number corresponding to them, and he is off like
lightning to buy a ticket. I was told that the Marquis Rudini, on hearing
that his mother had met her death in a railroad accident, sought in the
dream-book for the number attached to "railroad accident," and bought a
ticket before going to get her remains.

A winning _terno_ brings its lucky owner I don't know exactly how much--
but I know it is something enormous.

Well, this would be a _terno_ worth having. My dream, coming as it did
straight from the blue, must be infallibility itself, and we felt
perfectly sure that the three magical numbers would bring a fortune for
every one of us, and we all sent out and bought tickets with all the money
we could spare.

This was on Thursday, and we should have to wait two whole days before we
became the roaring millionaires we certainly were going to be, and we
strutted about thinking what presents we would make, what jewels we would
buy; in fact, how we would use our fortunes! We sat up late at night
discussing the wisest and best way to invest our money, and I could not
sleep for fear of a _contre-coup_ in the shape of another dream. For
instance, if I should dream of a cat miauling on a roof, it would mean
disappointment. It would never do to give fate a chance like that!

Imagine with what feverish excitement we awoke on that Saturday, and how
we watched the numbers, gazing from the carriage-windows, at the tobacco-
shop! Well, not one of those numbers came out! We drove home in silence,
with our feathers all drooping. However, we had had the sensation of being
millionaires for those two days (ecstatic but short!), and felt that we
had been defrauded by an unjust and cruel fate.

Unsympathetic Mr. Marshal said, mockingly: "How could you expect anything
else, when you go on excursions with the Marquis Maurriti [that was the
name of Garibaldi's friend]? You might have known that you would come to

"Unfeeling man! Why should we come to grief?" we cried with impatience.

"Because, did you not know that he has the _mal'occhio_ [the evil eye]? I
thought every one knew it," said he, making signs with his fingers to
counteract the effect of the devil and all his works. We said indignantly,
"If every one knows it, why were we not told?" Our tormentor continued;
"There is no doubt about it, and nothing can better prove that people are
afraid of him than that when, the other evening, he gave a _soirée_ and
invited all Rome, only half a dozen people out of some five hundred
ventured to go. The mountains of sandwiches, the cart-loads of cakes, the
seas of lemonade, set forth on the supper-table, were attacked only by the
courageous few."

"How dreadful to have such a thing said about you! Who can prove that he
or any one else has got the evil eye?"

"Sometimes there is no foundation for the report; perhaps some one, out of
spite or jealousy, spreads the rumor, and there you are."

"Does it not need more than a rumor?" I asked.

"Not much; but we must not talk about him, or something dreadful will
happen to us."

"Do you also believe in such rank nonsense?" I asked.

"Of course I do!" Mr. Marshal replied. "You can see for yourself. If you
had not gone with him your horses would not have run away, and you would
surely have got your million."

"Well, we have escaped death and destruction and the million; perhaps we
ought to be thankful. But in his case I would go and shut myself up in a
monastery and have done with it."

"No monastery would take him. No brotherhood would brother _him_."

"You can't make me believe in the evil eye. Neither shall I ever believe
in dreams again."

You will hardly believe how many acquaintances I have made here. I think I
know all Rome, from the Quirinal and the Vatican down. The Haseltines know
nearly every one, and whom they don't know I _do_.

We were invited to see the Colosseum and the Forum illuminations, and were
asked to go to the Villino, which stands in the gardens of the Palace of
the Caesars, just over the Forum.

That there would be a very select company we had been told; but we did not
expect to see King Victor Emanuel, Prince Umberto, and Princess
Margherita, who, with their numerous suites and many invited guests, quite
filled the small rooms of the Villino. I was presented to them all.

I found the Princess perfectly bewitching and charming beyond words; the
Prince was very amiable, and the King royally indifferent and visibly
bored. That sums up my impressions.

At the risk of committing _lèse majesté_, I must say that the King is
more than plain. He has the most enormous mustaches, wide-open eyes, and a
very gruff, military voice, speaking little, but staring much. The Prince,
whom I had seen in Paris during the Exposition, talked mostly about Paris
and of his admiration of the Emperor and Empress. The Princess was
fascinating, and captivated me on the spot by her affability and her
natural and sweet manner.

The Colosseum looked rather theatrical in the glare of the red and green
Bengal lights, and I think it lost a great deal of its dignity and
grandeur by this cheap method of illumination.

I met there a Spanish gentleman whom I used to know in Paris years ago. He
was at that time the Marquis de Lema, a middle-aged beau, who was always
ready to fill any gap in society where a noble marquis was needed.

He began life, strange to say, as a journalist, and as such made himself
so useful to the ex-King of Naples that the King, to reward him, hired the
famous Farnesina Palace for ninety-nine years. Here the former Marquis,
who is now Duke di Ripalda, lives very much aggrandized as a descendant of
the Cid, glorying in his ancestorship.

He was very glad to see me again, he said, and to prove it came often to
dine with us.

One day he asked Mrs. Lawrence, Miss Chapman, and myself to take tea with
him in the romantic garden of the Farnesina. Mrs. Lawrence said it was
like a dream, walking under the orange-trees and looking down on the old
Tiber, which makes a sudden turn at the bottom of the broad terrace.

Her dream came suddenly to an end when she saw the stale cakes and the
weak and watery tea and oily chocolate which, out of politeness, we felt
obliged to swallow; and the nightmare set in when she saw his apartment on
the first floor, furnished by himself with his own individual taste, which
was simply awful. But who cares for the mother-of-pearl inlaid furniture
covered with hideous modern blue brocade and the multicolored carpets in
which his coat of arms were woven, when one can look at his Sodomas and
Correggios and Raphaels? His coat of arms, which is a sword with "Si, si,
no, no," is displayed everywhere throughout the palace.

The "_cid-evant_" Marquis told us that the Cid had given the sword to
one of his ancestors, and remarked that it signified that his forefathers
had very decided characters, and that it was either yes or no with them. I
thought it might work the other way; it might just as well mean that the
ancestors did not know their own minds, and that first it was _yes_ and
then it was _no_ with them. The Duke, in a truly grandiose manner, lays no
restriction on the public, but throws his whole palace open every first
and fifteenth of the month, and allows people to roam at their pleasure
through all the rooms; they can even sit on the blue brocade furniture if
they like, and there is no officious guide ordering people about with
their, "This way, Madame," or "Don't sit down," "Don't walk on the
carpet," or "Don't spit on the floor."

On the ground floor are the celebrated frescoes of "Psyche," painted by
Raphael, and in the large gallery there is a little design on the walls to
which the Duke called our attention, saying it was Michelangelo's
visiting-card, and told us that Michelangelo came one day, and, finding
Raphael absent, took up his palette and painted this little picture, which
still remains on the walls, framed and with a glass over it.

Mrs. Lawrence told us of a new acquaintance she had made, a Baron
Montenaro, who said he was the last (the very last) of the Rienzis, a
descendant of Cola di. The last tribune left! "Is it not romantic?" cried
Mrs. Lawrence, and was all eyes and ears. But prosaic Duke di Ripalda
said, "How can he say he is the last of the Rienzis, when he has a married
brother who has prospects of a small tribune of his own?"

ROME, _April, 1875._

Mrs. Polk (widow of the former President Polk) and her two daughters are
very much liked here. I call Miss Polk _la maîtresse demoiselle_, because
she rules every one with a high and masterful hand.

They had some wonderful tableaux recently at their palace (Salviati),
which were most beautiful and artistically arranged by different artists.
They had turned a long gallery which had once served as a ballroom into
the theater. I was asked to sing in a tableau representing a Bohemian
hall, where, as a background, Bohemian peasants in brilliant costumes sat
and stood about. I was also dressed in a Bohemian dress, and leaned
against a pillar and held a tambourine in my hand. Tosti played the
accompaniment of "Ma Mère était Bohémienne," which was most appropriate to
the occasion.

The Princess Margherita sat in the front row, and a more sympathetic and
lovelier face could never have inspired a singer. She insisted upon my
repeating my song, which rather bored the other performers, as they had to
stand quiet while the song was going on. Tosti made the accompaniment
wonderfully well, considering that I had only played it once for him.

After the tableaux, and when the Princess had retired to a little salon
placed at her disposal, she sent word to ask me to come to her, as she
wished to speak with me. I was overjoyed to see her again, as the short
interview at the Villino could hardly be called an interview. The
Princess said; "I have heard a great deal about your singing; but I did
not believe any amateur could sing as you do. Your phrasing and expression
are quite perfect!" She finished by asking me to come to the Quirinal to
see her, "and perhaps have a little music"; and added, "The Marquis
Villamarina sings beautifully, and you shall hear him." The Princess is so
lovely, no words can describe her charm and the sweet expression of her
face. Her smile is a dream.

I had intended leaving Rome the very day she fixed for my going to her,
but of course I postponed my departure and I went, and had a most
delightful afternoon. It was the first time that I had seen the Quirinal
and I was very much interested. One of the numerous _laquais_ who were
standing about in the antechamber when I arrived preceded me into a
salon where I found the Marquise Villamarina (first lady-in-waiting of the
Princess). She came toward me, saying that the Princess was looking
forward with pleasure to seeing me, and added that she hoped that I had
thought to bring some music. I followed her through several very spacious
salons until we reached a salon which evidently was the music-room, as
there were two grand pianos and a quantity of music-books placed on
shelves. Here I found the Princess waiting for me, and she received me
with much cordiality.

The Marquis Villamarina has a most enchanting voice, liquid and velvety,
the kind that one only hears in Italy. Signor Tosti (the composer) was
already at the piano and accompanied the Marquis in "Ti rapirei, mio ben,"
a song he composed and dedicated to him. The Princess sang a very charming
old Italian song. She has a mezzo-soprano voice and sings with great taste
and sweetness. She, the Marquis, and I sang a trio of Gordigiani; then the
Princess asked me to sing the "Ma Mère était Bohémienne," which i had sung
at the tableaux. I also sang "Beware!" which she had never heard and which
she was perfectly delighted with, and I promised to send her the music. It
was a great pleasure to sing in this intimate and _sans façon_ way, with
the most sympathetic and charming of Princesses. Chocolate, tea, and
little cakes were served, which I supposed was the signal for departure.
The Princess, on bidding me good-by, gave me her hand and said, "I hope to
see you soon again."

"Alas!" I replied, "I am leaving Rome to-morrow," and as I stooped down to
kiss her hand she drew me to her and said, "I am sorry that you are going,
I hoped that you were staying longer," and kissed me on both cheeks.

PARIS, _May, 1875._

I have had a lazy month. Mrs. Moulton was delighted to have me back again,
and I was glad to rest after all my junketing. Just think, I was almost a
year in Germany!

Nina has had the measles, fortunately lightly; I was _garde malade_, and
stayed with her in her sick-room.

Howard goes to a day-school not far from the Rue de Courcelles every
morning, and comes home at two o'clock and shows with pride the book the
teacher gives him to show. They must mean it to be shown, otherwise so
much trouble would not be taken to make such lengthy and marvelous
accounts of his prowess, the numbers running up in the thousands, and
notations all through, such as _très bien, verbes sans faute_, and _dictés
parfaits_. He can repeat all the departments of France backward and
forward, and goes through the verbs, regular and irregular, like a
machine. The French love these irregular verbs, so irregular sometimes
that they border on frivolity. He has learned some rather inane patriotic
poetry, which he recites with a childish dramatic swagger.

This is about all they teach in this school; but the _rapports_ are
worth the money: they deceive the parents, making them believe their geese
are swans of the first water.

PARIS, _May._

We have had real pleasure in hearing a young _pianiste_ from Venezuela
called Teresa Careño. She is a _wunderkind_. Her mother says she is nine
years old; she looks twelve, but may be sixteen. No one can ever tell how
old a _wunderkind_ really is. Her playing is marvelous, her technic
perfect. She knows about two hundred pieces by heart, is extremely pretty
and attractive, and performs whenever she is asked. I think she has a
great career before her, and she has already got the toss-back of her
black hair in the most approved pianist manner. "Elle ne manque rien," the
great Saint-Saëns said. One can't imagine that she could play better than
she does; but she thinks that she is by no means perfect.

Though I said that I had led a _dolce-far-niente_ existence, and had been
lazy, I have been dreadfully busy and have been on the go from morning
till night: I might call it a _dolce-far-molto_ existence. I spend hours,
which ought to be better spent, in shops. I simply revel in them.

You have heard of the famous actress Sarah Bernhardt. Well, she is not
only an actress, but she is a sculptress, and is a  very good one. She is
now playing at the Vaudeville. But I must begin at the beginning, the
whole thing was so amusing,

You remember Mrs. Bradley? You used to scold me for calling her "the
Omelette." They are living now in Paris; her hair and complexion are just
as yellow as they used to be; but her dresses are yellower. Beaumont said
that she was "Une étude en jaune."

The other evening she had a box at the theater, and asked me to go to hear
Sarah Bernhardt in "Le fils Giboyer." Her son, the immaculate Bostonian,
went with us. He is a duplicate of his mother's yellowness. I took Nina,
who looked extremely pretty: she was beaming with excitement; her cheeks
were flushed, and her curly, golden hair made a halo about her delicate
features. Every one stared at her when we entered the box. During the
second act I let her take my place in front, and, observe how virtue is
rewarded! In the following _entr'acte_ the _ouvreuse_ came in suddenly
without knocking (_ouvreuses_ never knock! that is one of their many
privileges) and begged to _parler à_ Monsieur. Imagine the chaste George's
feelings when he was told that the famous Sarah wished to speak with him,
and, moreover, desired him to come behind the scenes to her dressing-room.
What a situation! His red hair blushed to the very roots, and his yellow
face became n sunset. However, one is or one is not a man. He proved
himself to be one who could face danger when the time came.

Trembling at the thought of Boston, the virtuous, hearing of it, he saw in
his mind's eye the height the Puritan brows of his most distinguished
family would reach when the news would be spread over the town, and a
certain biblical scene passed before his mental vision.

He gave his lemon-colored mustache a final fascinating twist, and, humming
to himself "Hail, the conquering hero comes!" he buckled on his sword and
went--all his colors flying.

We waited breathlessly for his return, which was much sooner than we
expected, and the smile he wore was not that of a conquering hero; it was
another kind of a smile. Well, what do you think Madame Sarah wanted?
Merely to know if the child in the box was his! His! His unmarried hair
stood on end; he was so taken aback that he only had breath to mutter, "I
am not married, Madame."

Then in her most dramatic tones she demanded, "Who is the child, then?"

He told her.

"Where does this Madame Moulton live?" she asked.

He told her that also. Then, with a dismissing wave of the hand, Sarah
bade him farewell. It was all over. He had survived! Boston would never

The next day I received a note from Sarah Bernhardt, asking me if I would
allow her to make a bust of _la charmante petite fille_. I answered that I
should be delighted. Then came another note telling me at what time
_l'enfant_ should come for the first sitting.

I took Nina to the studio, which was beyond the Boulevard de Courcelles in
a courtyard. It was enchanting to watch the artist at work. She was
dressed like a man: she wore white trousers and jacket, and a white
_foulard_ tied artistically about her head. She had short and frizzly
hair, and she showed us how she did it, gathering the four corners as if
it were a handkerchief, with the ends sticking up on the top of her head.
She smoked cigarettes all the time she was working.

She posed Nina in the attitude she thought interesting, with head down and
eyes up--a rather tiring position. And to keep _l'enfant_ quiet she
devised all sorts of things. Sometimes she would rehearse her rôles in the
voice they speak of as golden; because it coins gold for her, I suppose.
The rehearsing of her rôles was not so amusing, as there were no
_répliques_; but what kept Nina most quiet was when Sarah told her of the
album she was making for her. Every artist she knew was working at some
offering, and when it would be finished Nina was to have it. She would
expatiate for hours on the smallest details. Meissonier, for instance, was
painting a water-color, a scene of the war: a German regiment attacking a
French inn, which was being defended by French soldiers. Then Gounod was
writing a bit of music dedicated to _la charmante modèle_, and so forth.
Nina would listen with open mouth and glistening eyes, and at every
sitting she would say, "Et mon album?" expecting each time to see it
forthcoming. But it never came forth. It only existed in Madame
Bernhardt's fertile brain. It had no other object than to keep the model
still. It seemed cruel to deceive the child. Even to the last, when Nina
had said for the last time, "And shall I have my album to-day?" Sarah
answered that it was not _quite_ ready, as the binding was not
satisfactory, and other tales, which, if not true, had the desired effect,
and she finished the bust. It was not a very good likeness, but a very
pretty artistic effort, and was sent to the next Exposition, receiving
"honorable mention," perhaps more honorable than we mentioned her at home.
She gave me a duplicate of it made of terra-cotta.

Don't expect any more letters, for I shall be very busy before my
departure for America, which is next week, and then I shall.... Well,



AGASSIZ, Professor, "Father Nature" helped to pay for his new house.
Amateur theatricals.
American songs at the French court.
American soul-probes, intimate questions answered by the Emperor,
  the Empress and Prosper Mérimée.
Americans seeking a hotel.
Anti-slavery anecdotes;
  Joshua Green's forgetfulness;
  Phillips Brooks's story of a convert's confession.
Auber, the composer, introduced by the Duke de Persigny;
  writes a cadenza for Alabieff's "Rossignol";
  at Meyerbeer's funeral;
  his life in Paris;
  "Le Rêve d'Amour" at eighty-three;
  describes the slaughter of Generals Thomas and Lecomte;
  his friendship with Massenet;
  entertains Madame at breakfast during the siege;
  dies on the ramparts.

BALL costumes.
Ball of the Plebiscite.
Bancroft, George, historian, presents a souvenir of an enjoyable evening.
Bernhardt, Sara, makes a bust of Madame's daughter Nina.
"Beware!", Longfellow's words set to music by Charles Moulton,
  wins praise.
Birthday joy for Count Pourtales.
Blind Tom imitates Auber.
Brignoli, in his prime.
Brooks, Phillips, anecdote by.
Brunswick's wicked duke and his famous crime;
  his silken wig.

CAREÑO, TERESA, a _wunderkind_ at nine;
  plays in Paris.
Carl XIV. of Sweden at the Exposition.
Castellane, Countess, exhibits her stable at a fancy ball.
Castiglione, Countess, as "Salammbô";
  as "La Vérité".
Changarnier, General, in the lancers.
Charades and amateur theatricals.
Charity, singing for.
Cinderella coach, Mrs. Moulton's.
Compiègne and its festivities;
  its grand officials and its guests;
  ceremonies at the table;
  dress etiquette.
Costumes for Compiègne.
Croquet at night with lamps;
  imperial players;
  beaten with a despised ivory mallet.
Cuba visited;
  an old Harvard friend lands the party in Havana;
  high officials escort Madame all over the island;
  assisted by old acquaintances;
  a curious Cuban waltz;
  a hot time in Morro Castle;
  international courtesies on the war-ships;
  fame had preceded Madame;
  discovers and visits Jules Alphonso;
  news of Napoleon's death;
  a German serenade;
  "Pinafore" for the sailors;
  a triumphal departure.
Curls from the "Magasin du Bon Dieu" cause a sensation.

D'AOUST'S, Marquis, operetta.
De Bassano, Duchess, _grande maîtresse_.
Delle Sedie, music-teacher, and his theories.
Delsarte and his emotion diagrams;
  his "tabac,";
  the Emperor's joke;
  Madame visits him during the siege;
  his evening dress.
De Morny, Duke (Queen Hortense's son), and his protégé;
  as a librettist, with music by Offenbach;
  his death.
Doré caricatures nobility.

EMERALDS from the Khedive.
Eugénie, Empress, skates with Madame;
  "a beautiful apparition,";
  in collision with an American;
  at the play in Compiègne;
  her flight from the Tuileries after Sedan assisted by Prince Metternich;
  takes refuge with Dr. Evans;
  widow and exile at Chiselhurst.
Evans, Dr., American dentist, shelters the fleeing Empress after Sedan.
Exposition of 1867.

GALLIFET, Marquis de, tells of his silver plate;
  criticizes English idioms.
Garcia, Manuel, teacher of singing, engaged;
  first impressions and lessons;
  "Bel raggio" the first song.
Garibaldi in retirement;
  autographs his portrait.
Gautier, Théophile, dinner companion, tells of his educated cats;
  his poetical tribute to Madame.
Germans in Versailles.
Germany and the Rhineland;
  visit to the Metternichs' château, Johannisberg;
  reminiscences of the war;
  famous Johannisberg wine;
  a gentlemanly American bronco-buster captures the Westphals;
  at Weimar;
  calling on a noble farmer;
  boar-hunting in Westphalia.
Gold button of the Imperial Hunt, a gift from Napoleon;
  worn at a _chasse-à-tir_;
  at a mock battle.
Gounod "hums" deliciously.
Green corn and a clay pipe at Fontainebleau.
Green, Joshua, and his Creator.
Gudin, William, artist, and his collection of cigars and cigarettes.

HATZFELDT, Count, married to Madame's sister Helen;
  Bismarck's secretary;
  his opinion of Napoleon;
  German minister to Madrid.
Hegermann-Lindencrone, Madame Lillie de, prefatory note.

IN London society.
Imperial gifts.
Imperial hunt fashions and cruelty to animals;
  the dog's share.

"LA DIVA DU MONDE"--Strakosch tempts Madame to sing in concert;
  an immediate success;
  story of a floral harp;
  a trying moment in oratorio;
  news of Mr. Moulton's illness and sudden death.
Lincoln, President, at the Sanitary Fair;
  compliments Madame;
  news of his assassination.
Lind's, Jenny, American memories;
  comparing trills;
  duets with.
Liszt plays Auber's music and praises Massenet;
  his letter to Madame.
Locket souvenirs.
Longfellow, the poet disapproves of but forgives a joke.
Lowell, James Russell, cousin, a substitute for Longfellow in the
  Agassiz school.

MARGHERITA, Princess of Italy, entertains Madame at the Quirinal.
Massenet at Petit Val, the Moultons' country seat.
Maximilian's death in Mexico.
Mechanical piano dance music, a substitute for Waldteufel;
  Madame takes a turn.
Melody, tears, and a "speech" in Rochester's "pen".
Mérimée, Prosper, "entrancing";
  his long love affair.
Metternich, Prince, Austrian ambassador to France;
  describes Rossini's home life;
  entertains Madame at Johannisberg;
  dedicates a volume, _A l'Inspiratice_.
Metternich, Princess, leader in society and fashion;
  her enormous cigars;
  one of her famous dances;
  her home at Johannisberg.
Moulton, Charles, engaged to marry;
  his family and musical talents;
  author of "Beware!";
  his illness and sudden death.
Musard, Madame, and her petroleum stock.

NAPOLEON III., Emperor, introduced to Madame on the ice by Prince Murat;
  skates with Madame;
  invites Madame to sing at the Tuileries;
  the domino his favorite disguise;
  dances the Virginia reel;
  places Madame next to him at dinner;
  a distorted joke;
  takes command of the army;
  his death.
New York mansion of the late fifties.
Nilsson in "Traviata";
  her famous appetite.

  writes the music for a play by the Duke de Morny.
Old family origins.

PATTI, reminiscences of.
Petit Val, the Moultons' country seat;
  its princely neighbors and guests;
  Napoleon builds a bridge for;
  the nightingale in the cedar;
  in the path of the German army;
  Madame views ruin all around;
  dining with the invaders;
  conquering with song;
  rescued by the American Minister Washburn.
Picnic at Grand Trianon.
Pierrefonds, ancient château, excursion to;
  restored by Architect Viollet-le-Duc;
  second visit to.
Prince Imperial as "Pan";
  leaves for the war with the Emperor;
  "le baptême du feu".
Prince Oscar's tributes of punch, bracelets, and poetry;
  duet with;
  visits Delsarte.

RIGAULT, RAOUL, Communard prefect of Paris, insults Madame;
  decrees many arrests;
  gives orders for the massacre of forty hostages.
Roman days with the Haseltines;
  Sculptor Story and his family;
  an Italian "Mrs. Malaprop";
  audience with the Pope;
  visit to Garibaldi;
  an accident, a dream, and a lottery ticket;
  presented to the royal family;
  a typical nobleman;
  President Polk's widow entertains;
  Madame a guest at the Quirinal;
  Tosti as accompanist.
Rossini, Gioachino, his home and his wigs;
  highly praises Madame's voice;
  severely criticizes Wagner but praises "Tannhäuser;"
  approves of Gounod.
Rothschild, Baroness Alphonse, gives a concert with no one to hear it but
  herself and Madame.
Rue de Courcelles and the Moulton Hotel during the siege;
  Père Moulton's prevision;
  farming and dairying in the conservatory;
  visited by Courbet, the Communard artist;
  Auber tells of the saturnalia;
  Mère Moulton leaves for Dinard;
  a notable dinner party has peas from Petit Val;
  Massenet and Auber at the piano;
  Whist under difficulties;
  shut in;
  despoiled of horse, but the cow is saved;
  under fire;
  succoring a wounded fugitive;
  refuge at Dinard.

SCHOOL-DAYS at Cambridge under Professor Agassiz;
  Character sketches of the tutors, the best in Harvard.
Skating on the lake at Suresnes with baby Nina;
  meets and teaches Napoleon and Eugénie;
  in the Bois.
Strauss, at the Metternich ball, conducts "The Blue Danube" waltz.
Sullivan's "Prodigal Son."

THEATER at Compiègne.
Three famous artists amuse the invalid.
"Three Little Kittens."
Tips a burden at Compiègne;
  Père Moulton objects and they are abolished.

VIRGINIA reel with the Emperor;
  Madame de Persigny gets a fall.

WAGNER, RICHARD, severe and critical.
Waldteufel, waltz-master, at the piano.
War clouds rising;
  a distressing dinner;
  war declared;
  false news of victories.
War play and a Virginia reel with the Emperor.
War scenes in Paris and its environs;
  the Commune proclaimed;
  murder of the peacemakers;
  shooting of Generals Thomas and Lecomte;
  Madame ministers in the hospitals;
  two pathetic German patients;
  an American victim;
  through the mob to Worth's _atelier_;
  bearding the Communard prefect Rigault;
  seizure of the Moulton carriage;
  fall of the Column Vendôme;
  slaughter of the hostages;
  MacMahon captures the city.
Washburn, American minister;
  "only a post-office,";
  in the Assembly;
  getting passports.
Worth's _atelier_ during the Commune.


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