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Title: Alice, grand duchess of Hesse - princess of Great Britain and Ireland, biographical sketch - and letters. With portraits
Author: Victoria, Helena Augusta Victoria Helena Augusta
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.

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[Illustration: _Alice. 1878_]



                                 ALICE

                        GRAND DUCHESS OF HESSE

                               PRINCESS

                                  OF

                       GREAT BRITAIN AND IRELAND

                    BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH AND LETTERS

                            _WITH PORTRAIT_

                           NEW YORK & LONDON

                          G. P. PUTNAM’S SONS

                        The Knickerbocker Press

                                 1885


                               _Press of
                          G. P. Putnam’s Sons
                               New York_



                               Dedicated

                                  TO

                          HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS

                       THE HEREDITARY GRAND DUKE

                                AND TO

                     THEIR GRAND DUCAL HIGHNESSES

                            THE PRINCESSES

                   VICTORIA, ELIZABETH, IRÈNE, ALIX

                         OF HESSE AND BY RHINE



[Illustration] CONTENTS.


PREFACE. BY HER ROYAL HIGHNESS PRINCESS CHRISTIAN                    vii

CHILDHOOD AND GIRLHOOD, 1843-62                                       11

IN HER NEW HOME, 1862-65.

  1862                                                                31
  1863                                                                49
  1864                                                                71
  1865                                                                88

AT HOME AND AT WORK, 1866-72.

  1866                                                               123
  1867                                                               168
  1868                                                               199
  1869                                                               216
  1870                                                               235
  1871                                                               266
  1872                                                               284

TRIALS, 1873-1877.

  1873                                                               300
  1874                                                               321
  1875                                                               339
  1876                                                               348
  1877                                                               356

THE END, 1878                                                        368

CONCLUDING REMARKS                                                   383

APPENDIX.

  A WATCHER BY THE DEAD                                              391

  A SKETCH IN MEMORIAM, DECEMBER 14, 1878. BY
    SIR THEODORE MARTIN, K.C.B.                                      398

  LINES IN MEMORIAM                                                  406

[Illustration]



[Illustration] PREFACE.


The great affection with which my dear Sister has ever been regarded in
this country, and the universal feeling of sympathy shown at the time of
her death, lead me to hope that the publication of this volume may not
be unwelcome, containing as it does extracts from her letters to my
Mother, together with a brief record of her married life.

The short Memoir here translated from the German, with which the letters
are interwoven, was written, as will be seen at a glance, not as
presenting any thing like a complete picture of my Sister’s character
and opinions, but merely as a narrative of such of the incidents of her
life as were necessary to illustrate and explain the letters themselves.

In these days, when the custom has become general of publishing
biographies of all persons of note or distinction, it was thought
advisable, in order that a true picture might be given of my Sister,
that a short sketch of her life should be prepared by some one who was
personally known to her, and who appreciated the many beautiful features
of her character. The choice fell upon a clergyman at Darmstadt, Dr.
Sell.

It would have been premature and out of place to attempt any thing like
a complete picture of a character so many-sided, or of my Sister’s
opinions on the affairs of Europe, in which she took the deepest
interest, and on which she formed opinions remarkable for breadth and
sagacity of view. The domestic side of her nature might alone for the
present be freely dealt with; and to help Dr. Sell in delineating this,
my Mother selected for his guidance the extracts from my Sister’s
letters to her which appear in the present volume. There was no thought
at first of making these extracts public, but they were found to be so
beautiful, and to be so true an expression of what my Sister really was,
that, in compliance with the request of the Grand Duke her husband, they
were allowed to be translated and published, so that her subjects might
see in them how great reason they had to love her whom they had lost.

The letters in their original form are here given to the English public,
and I am sure that all who read them will feel thankful to my Mother for
thus granting them a closer insight into my clear Sister’s beautiful and
unselfish life.

They will see in them also, with satisfaction, how devoted she was to
the land of her birth,--how her heart ever turned to it with reverence
and affection as the country which had done and was doing for Liberty
and the advancement of mankind more than any other country in the
world. How deep was her feeling in this respect was testified by a
request, which she made to her husband in anticipation of her death,
that an English flag might be laid upon her coffin; accompanying the
wish with a modest expression of a hope, that no one in the land of her
adoption could take umbrage at her desire to be borne to her rest with
the old English colors above her.

In any case I feel confident that the perusal of these letters must
deepen the love and admiration which have always been felt for my
beloved Sister in this country, where she ever thanked God that her
childhood and youth had been tended with a wise love, that had fostered
and developed all those qualities and tastes which she most valued and
strove to cultivate in her later years.

       *       *       *       *       *

I had written these words, when another beloved member of our family,
whose name often recurs in my Sister’s letters, was suddenly taken from
us, and from our country. Writing of my dear Brother to my Mother
(February 1, 1868) she said: “May God spare that young bright and gifted
life to be a comfort to you for many a year to come!” That life, which
then hung trembling in the balance, was mercifully spared, not indeed
for many a year, but long enough to make my Brother more beloved by his
family and friends, and to enable him to give to his country some token
of the good gifts with which he was endowed. As he was the last of us
to see my dear Sister in life, so he has been the first to follow her
into the Silent Land.

                                     HELENA.

CUMBERLAND LODGE:

   _15th April, 1884_.

[Illustration]



[Illustration] PRINCESS ALICE.



CHILDHOOD AND GIRLHOOD.

1843-1862.

     “I ever look back to my childhood and girlhood as the happiest time
     of life.”--(_13th June, 1869._)


Princess Alice, as she is ever called in England, was born at Buckingham
Palace on the 25th of April, 1843. She was the third child and second
daughter of Queen Victoria and Albert, Prince Consort. At her
christening, which took place at the Palace on the 2d of June, she
received the names of Alice Maud Mary. Princess Sophia Matilda of
Gloucester, niece of King George III., and sister-in-law to the Duchess
of Gloucester, was one of her godmothers, and her Royal parents chose
the name of Maud, which is the same as Matilda, on account of its being
an old English name borne by the Empress Maud, and other British
princesses. The name of “Mary” was chosen because the little princess
was born on the Duchess of Gloucester’s birthday.

The Archbishop of Canterbury officiated at the christening. The
sponsors: the reigning King of Hanover, Ernest Augustus; the Hereditary
Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha; Princess Sophia Matilda of Gloucester,
sister-in-law to the Duchess of Gloucester, niece of George III.; and
Feodora, Princess of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, half-sister to the Queen.

The christening was, as the Queen herself told her uncle, the King of
the Belgians, when writing to him on the 6th of June, “a very imposing
ceremony. Nothing could have gone off better, and little Alice behaved
extremely well.”[1]

Though twenty-two years only have passed since the wholly unexpected
death of Prince Albert deprived the Queen of her devoted husband, the
Royal children of a most loving and beloved father, and the whole nation
of one of its wisest counsellors, his life, in the admirable
biographical memorial by Sir Theodore Martin, forms already part of
history, and by it we are enabled to form a just estimate of the perfect
character and great intellectual abilities of the Prince, whom his
daughter, Princess Alice, revered through life as her highest ideal.

Prince Albert, the second son of the then reigning Duke of Coburg, was
the very picture of manly chivalrous beauty. He was very young, not yet
twenty-one years old, when he became the Consort of the Queen of
England, who was only three months older. But by his strength of
character and rare energy of intellect, combined with a thorough
self-control and an unswerving devotion to the duties of his position,
he succeeded in gaining the love and esteem of a nation which, though it
keeps watch over its rights and privileges with peculiar jealousy, knows
also how to show great generosity, when once it has learnt to trust and
to love.

With his wonderful power of mastering new and difficult subjects he made
himself familiar with the history and policy, the social and
agricultural conditions, the industries and commercial relations of his
adopted country. In his position of intimate confidential adviser to the
Sovereign he showed the greatest tact, and gained the affection and
respect of the Ministers who succeeded one another at the head of
affairs; whilst the more he became known the more his genuine worth was
appreciated by the nation at large.

Chief of all, two nations have acknowledged with grateful admiration,
that under his influence there grew up in the midst of the most
brilliant Court in Europe a domestic family life, so perfect in its
purity and charm that it might well serve for a bright example to every
home in the land. Whilst sharing with the Sovereign all the labors and
cares of state, the Prince made suitable changes and practical
arrangements in the Royal Household, and, by steadily adhering to
principles which he had at once recognized as the best, he succeeded in
making life happy and peaceful to all around him. Thus it was that the
Royal Family of England, whether residing in the splendid palaces at
Windsor, in London, or at Osborne, the lovely country seat in the Isle
of Wight, or at Balmoral, surrounded by the sterner scenery of the
Scotch Highlands, was enabled to enjoy a life of perfect tranquillity
amidst the political tempests of the most turbulent decade of our times.

The childhood of the Princess Alice was a very happy one, and much
favored by circumstances. When she was a year old, her father mentioned
her as “the beauty of the family,” and as an extremely good and merry
child. Her mother adds, “she was a very vain little person.”

She developed naturally. At first she was not thought to be so highly
gifted as later years proved her to be. Her father often used to speak
of her as “poor dear little Alice,” as if he had to take her part. She
soon became a great favorite with all around her. Lady Lyttleton, who up
to 1851 was entrusted with the supervision of the Royal children, and to
whose pen we owe so many accounts of that happy family life, writes as
follows on the little Princess’ fourth birthday:

     “Dear Princess Alice is too pretty, in her low frock and pearl
     necklace, tripping about and blushing and smiling at her honors.
     The whole family, indeed, appear to advantage on birthdays; no
     tradesman or country squire can keep one with such hearty simple
     affection and enjoyment. _One_ present I think we shall all wish to
     live farther off: a live lamb, all over pink ribbons and bells. He
     is already the greatest pet, as one may suppose.

     “Princess Alice’s pet lamb is the cause of many tears. He will not
     take to his mistress, but runs away lustily, and will soon butt at
     her, though she is most coaxy, and said to him in her sweetest
     tones, after kissing his nose often, ‘Milly, _dear_ Milly! _do_ you
     like me?’”

One of the main principles observed in the education of the Royal
children was this--that though they received the best training, of body
and mind, to fit them for the high position they would eventually have
to fill, they should in nowise come in contact with the actual Court
life. The children were scarcely known to the Queen’s ladies-in-waiting,
as they only now and then made their appearance for a moment after
dinner at dessert, or accompanied their parents out driving. The care of
them was exclusively entrusted to persons who possessed the Queen and
Prince Consort’s entire confidence, and with whom they could at all
times communicate direct. The Royal parents kept themselves thoroughly
informed of the minutest detail of what was being done for their
children in the way of training and instruction.

After the first years of childhood were past, the Royal children were
placed under the care of English, French, and German governesses, who,
again, were under a Lady Superintendent, and accompanied the children in
their walks and watched over them during their games.

To the lessons in foreign languages, music and drawing were soon added,
for which the young Princess showed a decided talent.[2] “Her copybooks
were always neatness itself, and she wrote a very pretty hand.” “Fresh,
blooming, and healthy, escaping most of the illnesses of childhood,
cheerful, merry, full of fun and mischief,” she delighted in all bodily
exercises, such as gymnastics, skating, etc. Above all, she was
passionately fond of riding and of horses. She preferred playing with
her brothers, and was bold and fearless as a boy. With all this,
however, she soon showed proofs of real kindness of heart and of tender
consideration for others. “I remember well,” a former dresser of the
Queen’s relates, “meeting the Royal children playing in the corridor,
and, as I passed on, the Prince of Wales making a joke about my great
height, the Princess said to her brothers, but so that I should hear it:
‘It is very nice to be tall; Papa would like us all to be tall.’” “Her
kindness of heart showed itself in all her actions when a child.
Whenever she in the least suspected that anybody’s feelings had been
hurt, she always tried to make things smooth again.” “At Christmastime
she was most anxious to give pleasure to everybody, and bought presents
for each with her own pocket-money. She once gave me a little
pincushion, and on another occasion a basket, and wrote on a little card
with a colored border (always in German for me) ‘For dear Frida [now
Madame Müller], from Alice’ and brought it to me herself on Christmas
Eve. I felt that she had thought how much I must have missed my home
that day.”

The, first journeys on which she, with her elder sister and brother, was
allowed to accompany her parents are vividly described in the Queen’s
Journal. They were those to Ireland, in 1849, and, in 1850, to the
Highlands; and to the beauty and grandeur of Highland scenery she
remained through life an enthusiastic devotee.

Her intellectual faculties and the deeper qualities of her character did
not, in her case, as, indeed, generally happens with high-spirited,
healthy children, develop very early; but almost from the first she
showed those qualities of disposition which win all hearts and lend a
charm to daily life.

Little theatrical pieces performed by the Royal children on festive
anniversaries in the family--partly, too, with a view of gaining
facility in foreign languages--were the field in which the young
Princess decidedly distinguished herself. No child ever performed the
part of the High Priest Joad in Racine’s “Athalie,” with more dignity,
and with a more pleasing intonation; and a more delightful German Red
Ridinghood[3] than the Princess never appeared upon the stage.

Of one of these performances, given in honor of the Queen and Prince’s
wedding-day in 1864, Baroness Bunsen gives the following description in
her biography of Baron Bunsen. A tableau representing the Four Seasons
had been studied and contrived by the Royal children. “First appeared
Princess Alice as the Spring, scattering flowers, and reciting verses,
which were taken from Thomson’s ‘Seasons’; she moved gracefully, and
spoke in a distinct and pleasing manner with excellent modulation, and a
tone of voice sweet and penetrating like that of the Queen.”[4]

It was during these years that Princess Alice formed her warm friendship
for the Princess Louise of Prussia, now Grand Duchess of Baden, who
records her first impressions of the young Princess in the following
words:

     “She was at that time most graceful in appearance--charming, merry,
     and amiable; and though always occupying a subordinate place to her
     very gifted and distinguished sister, there never was the least
     semblance of a disagreement. Alice’s cheerful disposition and her
     great power of observation showed themselves very early in the
     pleasantest manner, and she had a remarkable gift of making herself
     attractive to others. Her individuality was less decided and
     prominent than that of her sister, and she had a special charm of
     childhood grace. Our walks and drives together, the life in the
     schoolroom, the games in the corridors, or in dear old Baron
     Stockmar’s room--these and all the pleasure and enjoyment of being
     together with the two sisters will ever remain amongst the happiest
     and most lasting of my recollections.”

The opening of the First Great Exhibition in 1851--Prince Albert’s own
creation--was the occasion of a visit of the Prince of Prussia (the
present Emperor of Germany) and his family to the English Court. This
visit was repeated in 1853. Meanwhile an active correspondence had
sprung up between the young friends, in which Princess Alice took a most
active part.

     “Alice was now drawn more into the circle of the grown-up members
     of the family; but, in spite of this, she retained all the
     fascination of her charming graceful ways. A great vein of humor
     showed itself in her, as well as a certain sharpness in criticising
     people who were not congenial to her. Many a little conflict took
     place in the schoolroom; but while the individualities of the
     sisters became more and more distinct, their happy relations to one
     another remained unchanged. She was a great favorite with her
     brothers and sisters, though they knew she was fond of mischief.

     “To a naturally engaging manner quite exceptional joyousness and
     power of showing affectionate emotion imparted an especial charm,
     which revealed itself in the fine lines of her face, in her
     graceful movements, and a certain inborn nobleness and dignity. Her
     attachment to my parents, ‘Uncle Prussia’ and ‘Aunt Prussia,’ was
     truly touching.”

In 1855 Princess Alice had her first serious illness--scarlet
fever--caught from her younger sister, Princess Louise. She recovered
easily, but for some time afterward a certain delicacy was observable.
The accounts at that time are unanimous in describing the peculiarly
sweet development of her disposition, and the manifestation of a true
womanly interest in the works of charity and mercy. The feeling of
acting independently for the good of others had been aroused in many
ways in the Royal children. The Swiss Cottage at Osborne, in like
manner, with its museum, kitchen, store-room, and little gardens, was
made the means of learning how to do household work, and to direct the
management of a small establishment.

The parents were invited there as guests, to partake of the dishes which
the Princesses themselves prepared; and there, too, each child was
allowed to choose its own occupation, and to enjoy perfect liberty.

The life in the Highlands, free from the restraint of Court life,
brought the Royal children into closer contact with the humbler classes,
and called into play their sympathies for the poor.

They were permitted to visit the humblest cottages--nay, even encouraged
to do so. There it was, no doubt, that a feeling of pity for and an
ardent desire to help the poor, the sick, and the needy, were first
aroused in the Princess. We know how these early impressions led in
later life to her founding some of the noblest and most beneficent
institutions.

The blessings of a happy family life,--which generally those only are
allowed to enjoy who live in happy obscurity from the great world,--were
fully appreciated by the Princess, as we may see from her later
letters, abounding in gratitude to her parents and brothers and sisters,
and from the frequent references which she makes to this period of her
life.

The visits of the grandchildren to their beloved grandmother, the
Duchess of Kent, old in years but young in spirit, at her residences at
Frogmore (near Windsor), and Abergeldie (near Balmoral), had a peculiar
charm for them.

The first excursion the Princess made out of her native land was to
Cherbourg,[5] when, with her brothers and sisters, she accompanied her
parents. The lovely scenery about Cherbourg has become familiar to us
through the descriptions given by the Queen.

A great change in the life of the Princess took place through the
engagement of the Princess Royal to Prince Frederick William of Prussia.
Hitherto the Princess had in a great measure shared her sister’s studies
and artistic occupations, and had had the same companions, taking
quietly and naturally the second place. Now her sister’s departure for a
new home wrought an entire change in her life, throwing upon her, as it
did, new responsibilities as now the eldest daughter at home, and
placing her in a new position in relation to her parents, and
particularly to her father, whose constant care it was to imbue her with
that sincerity and earnestness of purpose without which, to use his
friend Baron Stockmar’s words, “it was impossible to fill one’s
position in life happily, worthily, and with dignity.”

The closer intercourse with her father laid the foundation of that deep
and intelligent love of plastic art and of music, for which she had
already as a child shown a decided talent. Her appreciation of all that
was best in the arts was fostered by the many treasures by which she was
surrounded at Windsor Castle, and also by prosecuting her studies and
practice in music along with the Prince Consort.

The many great and stirring events of those years, the disturbance of
Europe through the Revolutions of 1848 and 1849, and the Crimean war,
took place when the Princess was already old enough to feel their
gravity; and served to awaken and foster the keen interest which she
took in later years in all political occurrences.

Another great European conflict was approaching, just about the time of
her Confirmation, which took place on the 21st of April, 1869. Besides
having been prepared for it by the Dean of Windsor (the Hon. and Very
Rev. G. Wellesley), the Prince Consort himself had given the Princess
instructions, as he had previously done to the Princess Royal, from “A
manual of Religion and of the History of the Christian Church,” by Carl
Gottlieb Bretschneider (formerly, “General Superintendent” in Gotha).
The Prince’s object in this was to encourage her in serious thought, and
in independent reflections on religious questions.

The ceremony of the Confirmation, which was performed by the Archbishop
of Canterbury, had barely been concluded, when the news arrived of the
threatened invasion of Sardinia by Austria, which finally ended in the
Austro-Italian war, so disastrous to Austria, of 1859.

The Queen makes the following remarks on this event, in a letter to her
uncle, the King of the Belgians:

     “* * * But this did not in the least disturb our dear child’s
     equanimity. She was in a most devotional state of mind--quiet,
     gentle, self-possessed, and deeply impressed by the importance and
     solemnity of the event. She answered admirably at her examination,
     and went through the ceremony in a very perfect manner.”[6]

Not long before this the Queen had given her own opinion of her daughter
in the following words:

     “She is very good, gentle, sensible, and amiable, and a real
     comfort to me. I shall not let her marry as long as I can
     reasonably delay her doing so.”[7]

In June 1860 the Queen and Prince Consort received numerous guests at
Windsor Castle for the Ascot races, amongst others the King of the
Belgians and the two Princes, Louis and Henry of Hesse, the sons of
Prince Charles of Hesse and nephews of the reigning Grand Duke. After
they had left England, the Prince Consort mentioned to his valued friend
Baron Stockmar, that there was no doubt that Prince Louis and Princess
Alice had formed a mutual liking, and that he quite expected it would
lead to further advances from the young Prince’s family.

Judging by the favorable impression which the manly and attractive
Prince of twenty-three had made, the probable result was eagerly looked
for.

Before long a letter from Princess Frederick William from Berlin
announced that she had been in communication with Prince Louis’ mother,
Princess Charles of Hesse (cousin of the Prince Regent of Prussia), who
had informed her of her son’s great admiration for her sister. It was
arranged that, after the journey of the Queen and Prince Consort to
Germany that autumn, the young Prince should pay a second visit to
England; and leave of absence for him was to be obtained from the Prince
Regent of Prussia.[8] This was done, and he arrived at Windsor Castle in
November. On the 30th of November the Queen wrote as follows in her
Diary:

     “* * * After dinner, whilst talking to the gentlemen, I perceived
     Alice and Louis talking before the fireplace more earnestly than
     usual, and when I passed to go to the other room, both came up to
     me, and Alice in much agitation said he had proposed to her, and he
     begged for my blessing. I could only squeeze his hand and say
     ‘Certainly.’ and that we would see him in our room later. Got
     through the evening working as well as we could. Alice came to our
     room * * * agitated, but quiet. * * * Albert sent for Louis to his
     room; he went first to him and then called Alice and me in. * * *
     Louis has a warm, noble heart. We embraced our dear Alice, and
     praised her much to him. He pressed and kissed my hand, and I
     embraced him. After talking a little, we parted; a most touching,
     and to me most sacred, moment.”[9]

As this was entirely a marriage of affection, the happiness of the
“young people” was very great.

Prince Louis stayed over Christmas, which this year seemed brighter to
the whole family, from the accession of what her father termed “a
beloved newly-bestowed full-grown son.” “Our dear Bridegroom,” as the
Prince Consort calls the young Prince, left on the 28th of December. The
parting was tearful, but full of hope, as he was to return in the
spring.

During the first happy weeks after her engagement, Princess Alice had
spent the greater part of her evenings with her beloved grandmother, the
Duchess of Kent, either reading or playing on the piano to her, as the
Duchess’ health did not allow of her dining at Windsor Castle.

The Duchess’ condition had become worse during the first months of the
new year (1861), and she died on the 16th of March at the age of
seventy-four, in the presence of her beloved and loving daughter, whose
happiness and affection had been the joy of her life, and also of her
equally beloved son-in-law, and the Princess Alice. On this sad
occasion, which she felt most deeply, Princess Alice showed the comfort
and help she was fitted to be to her family in times of sorrow and
anxiety.

The Queen communicated to Parliament in a “Message” the contemplated
marriage of the Princess. The announcement was received with general
satisfaction. When, shortly afterward, the question of the Princess’
“settlement” was laid before the House of Commons, the dowry of
30,000_l._, with an annuity of 6,000_l._, was voted without a
dissentient voice. “She will not,” writes her careful father, “be able
to do great things with it.”

In May, Prince Louis arrived at Osborne on a visit. Soon after, however,
he fell ill with the measles. Prince Leopold caught them from him, and
was very seriously ill.

In the following month the whole family were for the last time together,
including the two sons-in-law[10] and the two grandchildren from
Potsdam.

Prince Louis paid another visit to England in September, when he took
part in those delightful expeditions in the Highlands, which were to be
the last the Prince Consort made.[11]

In December, in the midst of preparations which he was making for
Princess Alice’s future household, and for a journey of her brother,
Prince Leopold, to Cannes, the Prince Consort fell ill. Princess Alice
was often with her father during his illness, reading to him, and in
intimate communication with her mother. Soon, however, the illness
developed into low fever, and the Prince, worn out by over-work and
anxiety, had not strength to resist it, and died peacefully on the 14th
of December, in the presence of the Queen, the Prince of Wales, and the
Princesses Alice and Hélèna. During the days of unspeakable sorrow which
followed upon the death of the Prince Consort, it was Princess Alice
above all who was a real support to her broken-hearted mother. The
unanimous opinion of eye-witnesses as to what the Princess went through
and achieved at this time is truly astonishing.

     “Herself filled with the intensest sorrow at her beloved father’s
     death--and what a father! what a head of a family! what a friend
     and adviser to his wife and children!--she at once took into her
     own hands every thing that was necessary in those first dark days
     of the destruction of that happy home. All communications from the
     Ministers and household passed through the Princess’ hands to the
     Queen, then bowed down by grief. She endeavored in every way
     possible, either verbally or by writing, to save her mother all
     trouble. The decision to leave Windsor for Osborne directly after
     the Prince’s death, according to the urgent wish of the King of the
     Belgians, and which it was so difficult and painful for the Queen
     to make, was obtained by the Princess’ influence.”

The gay, bright girl seemed all at once to have changed into the
thoughtful woman.

     “It was the very intimate intercourse with the sorrowing Oueen at
     that time which called forth in Princess Alice that keen interest
     and understanding in politics for which she was afterward so
     distinguished. She also gained at this time that practical
     knowledge for organizing, and the desire for constant occupation,
     which in her public as well as in her private life became part of
     herself. The Princess suddenly developed into a wise far-seeing
     woman, living only for others, and beloved and respected by the
     highest as well as by the lowest.[12]

It was at this time that the _Times_ said of the Princess:

     “It is impossible to speak too highly of the strength of mind and
     self-sacrifice of the Princess Alice during these dreadful days.
     Her Royal Highness has certainly understood, that it was her duty
     to be the help and support of her mother in her great sorrow, and
     it was in a great measure due to her that the Queen has been able
     to bear with such wonderful resignation the irreparable loss that
     so suddenly and terribly befell her.”

The young “bridegroom” did not remain absent in those days, but arrived
without delay.

A touching trait is told by the same near relation of the Princess whose
memorandum has just been quoted. As she was placing wreaths and flowers
on the dear dead Prince, and both knelt down near him, she said in a
heart-rending voice, “Oh! dear Molly, let us pray to God to give us back
dear Papa!”

The letters published in this volume will show that the feeling of that
irreparable loss never left her through life, and our impression cannot
be a false one, that it was this loss which brought out the deep
earnestness of her character, and which made her feel that life was no
light thing, but a time of probation to be spent in earnest work and
conscientious fulfilment of duty.

She felt it to be a sacred duty to foster the recollections of her
girlhood, and to carry out the principles with which her father had
embued her, whether in the cultivation of art and science, the
encouragement of art manufactures, of agriculture and general education,
in the tasteful and practical arrangement of her own house, in bettering
the conditions of the lower and working classes by improving their homes
and inculcating principles of health, economy, and domestic management.
In short, in every way open to her, did the Princess try to walk in her
father’s footsteps, and so to do honor to his memory.

It is but natural that during the first weeks of her first great sorrow,
and of her many new duties, the thought of her own future should have
been put into the background. The preparations for her marriage,
however, as well as for her household were continued, according to the
known intentions of the Prince Consort. The marriage was solemnized at
Osborne on the 1st of July at one o’clock. The Archbishop of York
performed the ceremony in the absence of the Archbishop of Canterbury,
who was prevented by illness from being present.

Besides her sorrowing mother, the Crown Prince of Prussia, all her
brothers and sisters, the parents and brothers and sisters of the
bridegroom, and a number of princely relations were present. The Duke of
Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, in the place of her father, led the bride to the
altar, whilst the bridegroom was accompanied by his brother, Prince
Henry. At the conclusion of the ceremony, the Queen withdrew to her
room. The guests left the Isle of Wight in the afternoon, whilst the
newly-married pair went with a small suit to St. Clare, near Ryde
(belonging to Colonel and Lady Catherine Harcourt), where they remained
three days.

On the 9th of July, Prince and Princess Louis of Hesse left England,
accompanied by the fervent prayers and good wishes of a devoted people,
who never forgot what their Princess had been to them in their hour of
trouble.

What they felt found apt expression in the following sonnet, which
appeared in _Punch_ at the time:

    Dear to us all by those calm and earnest eyes,
      And early thought upon that fair young brow;
      Dearer for that where grief was heaviest, thou
    Wert sunshine, till He passed where suns shall rise
    And set no more; thou, in affection wise
      And strong, wert strength to Her who even but now
      In the soft accents of thy bridal vow
    Heard music of her own heart’s memories.

      Too full of love to own a thought of pride
    Is now thy gentle bosom; so ’tis best:
      Yet noble is thy choice, O English bride!
    And England hails the bridegroom and the guest
      A friend--a friend well loved by him who died.
    He blessed your troth: your wedlock shall be blessed.



[Illustration] IN HER NEW HOME.

1862-1865.

     “Our life is a very, very happy one. I have nothing on earth to
     wish for.... To be able to make a bright and comfortable home for
     my dear husband is my constant aim.”--(_14th Feb.-1st March,
     1864._)


1862.

Meanwhile sorrow had fallen on the Grand Ducal family of Hesse also.
Some weeks before the Princess’ marriage (May 25), the Grand Duchess of
Hesse (Princess of Bavaria) had died--a woman beloved for her amiable
and generous qualities, deeply regretted by her husband, the Grand Duke
Louis III., and mourned by all who knew her, high as well as low.
Nevertheless, preparations had been made to give a brilliant reception
to the newly-married pair. The whole country looked forward with anxiety
to the arrival of the young Princess, of whom so much had been heard,
and who, though English, was known to have a thoroughly sympathetic
feeling for Germany.

The Prince and Princess made a short stay at Brussels, and arrived at
Bingen, on the Hessian frontier, on the 12th of July.

A special train took them on to Mayence, where the first official
reception took place. The Rhine was crossed in a gaily-decorated
steamer, and at the last station before Darmstadt the Grand Duke and all
the family received the Prince and Princess and accompanied them to
Darmstadt.

At half-past four in the afternoon the young married couple made their
state entry into the town, through streets decorated with triumphal
arches, flags, and flowers, amidst the peals of bells and the
enthusiastic cheers of the assembled crowds, receiving and acknowledging
the many marks of respect and affection with which they were greeted.

A mounted guard of honor headed the procession. The schools, the
different guilds, the choral societies, the Turnvereine (gymnastic
societies), and thousands of town and country folk lined the streets
through which the Prince and Princess passed.

The impression produced on every one by the young Princess’ grace and
sweet maidenly beauty, and bright winning, yet truly dignified, manner,
was very great, and inspired the fairest hopes of what she would prove
in her new home. What her own first impressions of that home were are
given in the letters which follow.

The circumstances of her new life were certainly very different from
those to which she had been accustomed as an English Princess. What she
may have felt more keenly, as time went on, in the small but
often-recurring differences between English and German life, did not
oppress her at first. She had determined to make herself at home in her
husband’s country, and she soon contrived to stamp on every room in her
house the impress of her fine taste. That house was of the most
unpretending character, situated in a quiet quarter of the town, near
the palace of Prince and Princess Charles of Hesse. They had few
servants besides those who came with them from England.

A short visit to her uncle at Coburg, a lengthened stay at
Auerbach,--where the Prince and Princess had a small country house lent
them by the Grand Duke,--and excursions to Heidelberg and Carlsruhe,
occupied the Summer months. In September they went to Rheinhardtsbrunn
in Thuringia to meet the Queen, and it was then settled that they should
spend the winter and spring in England with Her Majesty. The house the
Prince and Princess were living in at Darmstadt was so small, that plans
had at once to be made for a new palace of their own.

On the 10th of November they left Darmstadt, travelling by Coblenz and
Cologne to Antwerp. Here the Queen’s yacht, “Victoria and Albert”,
awaited them, and brought them to England, where they met with a most
hearty reception from all classes.

                                     ROYAL YACHT, July 9th.

     BELOVED MAMA:--Before leaving the yacht I must send you a few lines
     to wish you once more good-bye, and to thank you again and again
     for all your kindness to us.

     My heart was very full when I took leave of you and all the dear
     ones at home; I had not the courage to say a word,--but your loving
     heart understands what I felt.

                                     DARMSTADT, July 13th.

     Yesterday, after we reached Bingen, all the Hessian officers of
     state received us. At every station we received fresh people, and
     had to speak to them. At Mayence also, the beautiful Austrian band
     played whilst we waited, in pouring rain, which only ceased as we
     reached Darmstadt. The station before, the Grand Duke, Prince and
     Princess Charles with their children, Prince Alexander and his
     wife, received us--all most kind and cordial.

     At the station we were again received; the whole town so prettily
     decked out; the Bürger [Burgesses Escort] rode near our carriage;
     countless young ladies in white, and all so kind, so loyal; in all
     the speeches kind and touching allusions were made to you, and to
     our deep grief. I believe the people never gave so hearty a
     welcome. We two drove through the town; incessant cheering and
     showering of flowers. We got out at Prince and Princess Charles’
     house, where the whole family was assembled.

     We then went to our rooms, which are very small, but so prettily
     arranged, with such perfect taste, all by my own dear Louis; they
     look quite English.

     We then drove to Bessungen for dinner _en famille_. * * *

     We were listening to twelve Sängervereine [Choral Unions] singing
     together yesterday evening--two hundred people; it was most
     beautiful, but in pouring rain. Some came up-stairs dripping to
     speak to us. The Grand Duke gave me a fine diamond bracelet he and
     his wife had ordered for me, and showed me all over his rooms.

     To-morrow we receive the Ständesherren [Princes and Counts] and the
     gentlemen of both Houses.

     _My_ thoughts, rather _our_ thoughts, are constantly with you,
     beloved Mama. Please give my love to all at home; it is impossible
     to write to them all.

                                     July 16th.

     * * * It is extremely hot here. The last two days we rode out at
     eight in the morning in the wood, where the air is very pleasant,
     near the ground where the troops are drilled. On Monday we looked
     on, and the soldiers were so much flattered.

     At half-past one on Monday we received the gentlemen of the Upper
     House, then the Lower House, then the Flügeladjutanten
     [aides-de-camp], then the Stadtvorstand [Town Council], then about
     seventy officers, then a deputation of the English here. All these
     people I had to speak to _en grande toilette_, and at four we drove
     to a large dinner at the Schloss. The Grand Duke led me, and I
     always sit near him.

     Yesterday at three the whole family drove to Seeheim, a lovely
     place in the mountains, to dinner with the Grand Duke. In the two
     villages we passed, flowers were showered upon us, and the Pfarrer
     [clergyman] made a speech.

     I am really deeply touched by the kindness and enthusiasm shown by
     the people, which is said to be quite unusual. They wait near the
     house to see us, and cheer constantly--even the soldiers.

     We then drove for tea, which is always at eight, to Jugenheim to
     Prince Alexander, whose birthday it was, and did not get home till
     10.

     The whole family are very amiable toward me, and Prince Alexander
     is most clever and amusing.

     Darling Louis is very grateful for your kind messages. We talk and
     think of you often, and then my heart grows very heavy. Away from
     home I cannot believe that beloved Papa is not there; all is so
     associated with him.

                                     July 19th.

     BELOVED MAMA:--Many thanks for your last kind letter, and all the
     news from home; dear Baby [Princess Beatrice] is the only one you
     have mentioned nothing of, and I think of her so often.

     Some people are coming to us at one, and then the whole Ministerium
     [Administration]. It is really so difficult to find something to
     say to these people, and they stand there waiting to be spoken to.

     Yesterday we received a deputation from Giessen, with a very pretty
     dressing-case they brought us as a present.

     On Thursday we went incognito with Prince Alexander and his wife to
     Frankfort. The town is decked out most beautifully, and countless
     Schützen [riflemen] are walking about in their dress. We dined at
     the Palais and then sat in the balcony.

     I have just taken leave of dear Lady Churchill and General
     Seymour.[13] They have made themselves most popular here, and the
     people have been very civil to them.

     Louis and I have begun reading “Westward Ho,” together.

     The Grand Duke went all the way to Kranichstein for me the other
     day, and walked about till he was quite hot. He has forbidden my
     visiting the other places until his return, as he wishes to lead me
     about there himself. I do not see very much of the other relations
     save at meals; and, having our own carriages, we two drive together
     mostly alone. We have tea usually out of doors in some pretty spot
     we drive to.

     These lines will find you in Windsor. I went out this morning and
     tried to find some of those pretty wreaths to send you, but could
     get none. Please put one in St. George’s[14] from me. It is the
     first time you go to that hallowed spot without me; but in thought
     and prayer I am with you. May God strengthen and soothe you,
     beloved Mama, and may you still live to find some ray of sunshine
     on your solitary path, caused by the love and virtue of his
     children, trying, however faintly, to follow his glorious example!

     I do strive earnestly and cheerfully to do my duty in my new life,
     and to do all that is right, which is but doing what dear Papa
     would have wished.

                                     July 20th.

     Thousand thanks for your dear long letter of the 18th just
     received. How well do I understand your feelings! I was so sad
     myself yesterday, and had such intense longing after a look, a word
     from beloved Papa! I could bear it no longer. Yet _how_ much worse
     is it not for you! You know, though, dear Mama, _he_ is watching
     over you, waiting for you. The thought of the future is the one
     sustaining, encouraging point for all. “They who sow in tears shall
     reap in joy”; and the great joy will be yours hereafter, dear Mama,
     if you continue following that bright example. * * *

     We usually get up about quarter or half-past seven, and take some
     coffee at eight. Then we either go out till ten or remain at home,
     and till twelve I write and arrange what I have to do.

     At one, when we return from breakfast, we usually read together. I
     have still a great many people to see, and they usually come at
     two.

     At four is dinner, and at half-past five we are usually back here,
     and occupy ourselves till six or seven, then drive out somewhere
     for tea at eight, walk about and return at a quarter or half-past
     ten. We do not waste our time, I assure you, and Louis has a good
     deal to do at this moment.

     Mr. Theed’s bust of dear Papa must be very lovely. I am curious to
     hear what you think of Marochetti’s.[15] It will be very sad for
     you to see.

     A fortnight already I am here, and away from my dear home three
     weeks! How much I shall have to tell you when we meet. My own dear
     Mama, I do love you so much! You know, though silent, my love and
     devotion to you is deep and true. If I could relinquish part of my
     present happiness to restore to you some of yours, with a full
     heart would I do it; but God’s will be done! God sustain my
     precious mother! is the hourly prayer of her loving and
     sympathizing child.

                                     July 24th.

     * * * You tell me to speak to you of _my_ happiness--our happiness.
     You will understand the feeling which made me silent towards you,
     my own clear bereaved Mother, on that point; but you are unselfish
     and loving and can enter into my happiness, though I could never
     have been the first to tell you how intense it is, when it must
     draw the painful contrast between your past and present existence.
     If I say I love my dear husband, that is scarcely enough--it is a
     love and esteem which increases daily, hourly; which he also shows
     to me by such consideration, such tender loving ways. What was life
     before to what it has become now? There is such blessed peace
     being at his side, being his wife; there is such a feeling of
     security; and we two have a world of our own when we are together,
     which _nothing_ can touch or intrude upon. My lot is indeed a
     blessed one; and yet what have I done to deserve that warm, ardent
     love, which my darling Louis ever shows me? I admire his good and
     noble heart more than I can say. How he loves me, you know, and he
     will be a good son to you. He reads to me every day out of
     “Westward Ho,” which I think very beautiful and interesting.

     This morning I breakfasted alone, as he went out with his regiment.
     I always feel quite impatient until I hear his step coming
     up-stairs, and see his dear face when he returns.

     Yesterday, and the previous night, I thought of you constantly, and
     of our last journey together to dear Balmoral. Sad, painful though
     it was, I liked so much being with you, trying to bear some of your
     load of sorrow with you. From here I share all as if I were really
     by your side; and I think so many fervent prayers cannot be offered
     to a merciful loving God without His sending alleviation and
     comfort.

     Please remember me to Grant, Brown, and all of them at home in dear
     Scotland, and tell them how much I wish, and Louis also, that we
     were there, changed though every thing is.

                                     July 25th.

     * * * People say we may still have the Palais, but I doubt it. I am
     going to tell the Grand Duke that we return to England in autumn
     (not only for your sake, but principally because I do not wish to
     incommode our parents any longer, and because in the winter we
     could not even receive people here).

     The only thing I shall regret in our not remaining here is, that
     the people feel it so much, and they are most kind; but they will
     see and understand that it cannot be otherwise, and that it does
     not arise from ill will on our part.

     * * * Cecile and Michael[16] were here yesterday, so kind and so
     full of real sympathy toward you, which they begged me to express
     to you. He has such warm feelings; and they admired and loved dear
     Papa, though they saw him but little.

                                     DARMSTADT, August 1st.

     * * * My heart feels ready to burst when I think of such sorrow as
     yours. I pray my adored Louis may long be spared to me. If you only
     knew how dear, how loving he is to me, and how he watches over me,
     dear darling!

     To-morrow we go to Coburg, which was an old promise. Dear Uncle
     sent only two days ago to say he left Coburg on the 5th, and would
     we not come before? You will understand that, happy beyond measure
     as I am to go there, a lump always comes into my throat when I
     think of it--going for the first time with Louis to dear Papa’s
     house, where but recently he showed us every thing himself.[17]
     Dear Mama, I think I can scarcely bear it--the thought seems so
     hard and cruel. He told us as children so much of Coburg, spoke to
     us of it with such childlike affection, enjoyed so much telling us
     every anecdote connected with each spot; and now these silent spots
     seem to plead for his absence.

     To see the old Baron [Stockmar] will be a great happiness, and
     that Louis should make his acquaintance.

                                     CALENBERG BEI COBURG, August 4th.

     Once more in dear Coburg, and you can fancy with what feelings.
     Every thing reminds me of beloved Papa and of our last happy visit.

     We are living here, and yesterday we spent all the afternoon and
     dined at the Rosenau. It was a lovely day, and the view so
     beautiful. We went all over the house and walked about in the
     grounds. We walked to dear Papa’s little garden, and I picked two
     flowers there for you, which I enclose.

     Every spot brought up the remembrance of something dear Papa had
     told us of his childhood; it made me so sad, I can’t tell you.
     Uncle Ernest was also sad, but so kind and affectionate, and they
     both seemed so pleased at our having come.

     Every thing about dear Papa’s illness, and then of the sad end, I
     had to tell. I lived the whole dreadful time over again, and
     wonder, whilst I speak of it, that we ever lived through it.

     At nine o’clock church service was in the pretty little chapel.
     Holzei read, and Superintendent Meyer preached a most beautiful
     sermon, the text being where our Saviour told his disciples they
     must become as a little child to enter into the kingdom of heaven.
     He spoke with his usual fervor, and it was most impressive. I saw
     him afterward, and he enquired very much after you.

     We are going after breakfast to the Festung, and then Louis and I
     are going to see the dear Baron [Stockmar].

                                     DARMSTADT, August 6th.

     DEAR BELOVED MAMA:--Can you give me no ray of hope that you in some
     way, bodily or mentally, feel better? It makes my heart ache
     bitterly, to hear those sad accounts you give of yourself, though I
     well know what for you life without _him_ must be! God comfort you!
     is my constant prayer.

     We saw the dear old Baron for some time. The meeting was sad on
     both sides; he was very kind, but so desponding as to every thing!
     In England and abroad he looks at every thing in a black light, and
     was full of complaints about himself. He asked much after you, and
     is anxious to see you again.

                                     August 9th.

     Next Monday we are going to Auerbach, to live there for a little
     time. It lies in the Bergstrasse, and is very healthy. The Grand
     Duke allows us to inhabit one of the houses.

                                     August 16th.

     How I long to read what Mr. Helps has written about Papa! What can
     it be but beautiful and elevating, if he has rightly entered into
     the spirit of that pure and noble being?[18]

     Oh, Mama! the longing I sometimes have for dear Papa surpasses all
     bounds. In thought he is ever present and near me; still we are but
     mortals, and as such at times long for him also. Dear, good Papa!
     Take courage, dear Mama, and feel strong in the thought that you
     require all your moral and physical strength to continue the
     journey which brings you daily nearer to _Home_ and to _Him_! I
     know how weary you feel, how you long to rest your head on his dear
     shoulder, to have him to soothe your aching heart. You will find
     this rest again, and how blessed will it not be! Bear patiently
     and courageously your heavy burden, and it will lighten
     imperceptibly as you near him, and God’s love and mercy will
     support you. Oh, could my feeble words bring you the least comfort!
     They come from a trusting, true, and loving heart, if from naught
     else.

                                     AUERBACH, August 16th.

     * * * We do feel for you so deeply and would wish so much to help
     you, but there is but One who can do that, and you know whom to
     seek. He will give you strength to live on till the bright day of
     reunion. * * *

                                     AUERBACH, August 21st.

     * * * Our visit to Giessen[19] went off very well. The people were
     most loyal. We went to see the Gymnasts, and Louis walked about
     amongst them, which pleased them very much. He is very popular
     there, and I am very glad we both went, for it made a good
     impression.

     We drove to Louis’ property, Stauffenberg, a beautiful (alas!
     ruined) castle, which by degrees he is having restored, and which
     will be a charming house for us, if it is finished, which can only
     be done gradually.

                                     AUERBACH, August 23d.

     * * * Try and gather in the few bright things you have remaining
     and cherish them, for though faint, yet they are types of that
     infinite joy still to come. I am sure, dear Mama, the more you try
     to appreciate and to find the good in that which God in His love
     has _left_ you, the more worthy you will daily become of that which
     is in store. That earthly happiness you had is indeed gone forever,
     but you must not think that every ray of it has left you. You have
     the privilege, which dear Papa knew so well how to value, in your
     exalted position, of doing good and living for others, of carrying
     on his plans, his wishes into fulfilment, and as you go on doing
     your duty, this will, this must, I feel sure, bring you peace and
     comfort. Forgive me, darling Mama, if I speak so openly; but my
     love for you is such that I cannot be silent, when I long so
     fervently to give you some slight comfort and hope in your present
     life.

     I have known and watched your deep sorrow with a sympathizing,
     though aching heart. Do not think that absence from you can still
     that pain. My love for you is strong, is constant; I would like to
     shelter you in my arms, to protect you from all future anxiety, to
     still your aching longing! My own sweet Mama, you know I would give
     my life for you, could I alter what you have to bear!

     _Trust in God!_ ever and constantly. In _my_ life I feel that to be
     my stay and my strength, and the feeling increases as the days go
     on. My thoughts of the future are bright, and this always helps to
     make the minor worries and sorrows of the present dissolve before
     the warm rays of that light which is our guide.

                                     AUERBACH, August 25th.

     * * * To-day is the Ludwigstag, a day kept throughout the country,
     and on which every Ludwig receives presents, etc.; but we spend it
     quite quietly. Louis’ parents and the others are coming to
     breakfast, and remain during the day. Louis is out riding. We
     always get up early. He rides whilst I write, and we then walk
     together and breakfast somewhere out of doors.

     We went to the little church here yesterday, which is very old, and
     they sang so well.

     I drew out of doors also, as it was very fine; but it is very
     difficult, as it is all green, and the trees are my misfortune, as
     I draw them so badly. I play sometimes with Christa[20]; she plays
     very well.

                                     August 26th [Prince Consort’s Birthday].

     With a heavy heart do I take up my pen to write to you to-day--this
     dear day, now so sad, save through its bright recollections. I
     cannot bear to think of it now, with no one to bring our wishes to,
     with that painful silence where such mirth and gaiety used to be.
     It is very hard to bear, and the first anniversary is like the
     commencement of a new epoch in our deep sorrow.

     When your dear present was brought to me this morning, I could not
     take my eyes from it, though they were blinded with tears. Oh,
     those beautiful, those loved features! There wants but his kind
     look and word to make the picture alive! Thousand thanks for it,
     dear Mama.

     How trying this day will be for you! My thoughts are constantly
     with you, and I envy the privilege the others have in being near
     you and being able to do the least thing for you.

     The sun shines brightly in the still blue sky; how bright and
     peaceful it must be where our dear Spirit dwells, if it is already
     so beautiful here.

                                     September 5th.

     * * * Two days ago Louis and I went to Worms. Whilst he went to his
     regiment, which the Grand Duke came to inspect, I went to the Dom,
     which is most beautiful; and then went in a little boat on the
     Rhine, which was charming. It took us, driving, an hour and a half
     from Auerbach to Worms.

                                     AUERBACH, September 7th.

     * * * For Louis’ birthday we are going to Darmstadt; it is getting
     cold and damp here, and the house is small. We take our meals in
     another house, and it is cold to walk over there of an evening.
     Think of us on the 12th. It was such a happy day last year.[21]

     I have such _Heimweh_ [yearning] after beloved Papa; it is dreadful
     sometimes when I think of him and of our home. But he is so happy
     in his bright home, could we but catch a glimpse of him there. Dear
     Grandmama [the Duchess of Kent], too, is constantly in my thoughts
     lately. I can see her before me--so dear, kind, and merry. As time
     goes on, such things only mingle themselves more vividly with one’s
     usual life; for it is their _life_ which is nearest us again, and
     not their _death_, which casts such a gloom over their remembrance.

                                     AUERBACH, September 11th.

     * * * How beautiful Heidelberg is! we went all over the Castle, and
     with such glorious weather. There is one side still standing, built
     and decorated by a pupil of Michael Angelo, which dear Papa admired
     so much. How do I miss not being able to talk to beloved Papa of
     all I see, hear, feel, and think! His absence makes such a gap in
     my existence.

                                     DARMSTADT, October 13th.

     * * * Our visit to Baden was charming, and dear Fritz and
     Louise[22] so kind! Louis and I were both delighted by our visit.
     The Queen, the Duchess of Hamilton, and Grand Duchess Hélène were
     there, besides dear Aunt [Princess Hohenlohe], and Countess
     Blücher. The two latter, dear and precious as ever.

     We left yesterday morning; spent three hours with Grand Duchess
     Sophie, who is the most agreeable, clever, amiable person one can
     imagine. It gave me real pleasure to make her acquaintance. Aunt
     Feodore’s house, though small, is really very pretty, and her rooms
     are hung full of pictures. I saw Winterhalter also, in his lovely
     new house, which he has gone and sold, saying it was too good for
     him. He has painted a most beautiful picture of the Grand Duchess
     Hélène--quite speaking.

     * * * I am going to make my will before leaving. I do not like
     leaving (for England) without having done something.

                                     DARMSTADT, October 17th.

     First of all, thousand thanks from Louis and me for your having
     allowed dear Arthur[23] to come with us. I cannot tell you what
     pleasure it has been to me to have that dear child a little bit. He
     has won all hearts, and I am so proud when they admire my little
     brother, who is a mixture of you and adored Papa.

                                     DARMSTADT, October 23d.

     * * * We intend probably leaving this on Saturday, the 8th,
     remaining until the 10th at Coblenz, from whence we go direct in
     eleven hours and three-quarters to Antwerp, leaving Antwerp the
     morning of the 12th, to reach Windsor that evening or the next
     morning.

     We always continue reading together, and have read _Hypatia_, a
     most beautiful, most interesting, and very learned and clever
     book, which requires great attention.

     I have the great bore to read the newspapers every day, which I
     must do; see Dr. Becker[24] from eleven to twelve; then I write,
     and have constantly people to see, so that I have scarcely any time
     to draw or to play. I also read serious book to myself.

     Louis would like to go to Leeds and Manchester from Osborne, as he
     wants to go to London from Windsor. I shall accompany him
     sometimes.

                                     October 25th.

     As you come later to Windsor, we shall not leave till the 10th,
     remain the 11th with the Queen, then go direct to Antwerp. If the
     weather is bad we shall wait. Then on the 14th or 15th we shall be
     at Windsor, which we prefer to coming to Osborne. We hope this will
     suit you.

     _All_ are full of lamentations at our departure, and for so long,
     which is most natural; but they are very kind. We have a family
     dinner in our little room to-day, which is large enough for a few
     people. The Grand Duke has quite lost his heart to Arthur, and
     Bertie [Prince of Wales] pleased him also very much.

     In talking together last night, Louis said what I feel so often,
     that he always felt as if it must come right again some time, and
     we should find dear Papa home again. In another _home_ we shall.

                                     October 30th.

     The Grand Duke was quite overcome when I gave him the photographs,
     and with Baby’s [Princess Beatrice’s] he is quite enchanted, and
     wishes me to tell you how grateful he is, and how much he thanks
     you. You cannot think _how_ pleased he was, and the more so that
     _you_ sent them him. He has a warm heart and feels very much for
     you, and takes a warm interest in all my brothers and sisters.

     I am glad you are going to see dear Fritz of Baden; he will be so
     pleased. We shall see Louise at Coblenz.

     The plans for our house have come, and even the simplest is far
     above what we poor mortals can build.

                                     November 6th.

     * * * Yesterday, Mrs. Combe, widow of George Combe and daughter of
     Mrs. Siddons, came to see me and was with me some time. She is a
     clever, amiable old lady. It gave me such pleasure to see and talk
     with her. Will you tell Sir James Clark so, as she is an old friend
     of his.


1863.

Each visit to her old home seemed to give fresh life to Princess Alice,
and it can therefore be easily understood how great her happiness was at
being again under her mother’s roof and care, there to await the
realization of her fondest hopes.

It was also a great comfort to the Princess to spend the first
anniversary of her father’s death with her family around her.

On the 18th of December, 1862, the remains of the Prince Consort were
placed in a temporary sarcophagus, in the centre of the newly-erected
mausoleum at Frogmore in the presence of the Prince of Wales, Prince
Arthur, Prince Leopold, and Prince Louis of Hesse.

Prince Louis occupied much of his time during his long stay in England
in making a number of interesting visits to the chief industrial
centres, and to military arsenals and depots.

Princess Alice met with a carriage accident on the last day of the old
year, which happily was followed by no bad consequences.

On the 10th of March, 1863, the Prince of Wales was married to the
Princess Alexandra of Denmark, at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle,
in the presence of the whole Royal family. It was the first Royal
marriage which had been celebrated in that chapel since the marriage of
Henry I., in 1122.

Soon after, on Easter Sunday, the 5th of April, 1863, Princess Louis of
Hesse gave birth to a daughter at Windsor Castle. This event was made
known next day at Darmstadt by the firing of twenty-one guns. The best
possible news continued to be received of the well-doing of mother and
child.

The little Princess was christened on the 27th of April, at Windsor, by
the Hessian Court chaplain, Bender. She received the names of Victoria
Alberta Elizabeth Matilda. The Princes Alexander and Henry of Hesse
represented the Grand Ducal family at the christening.

Princess Alice completed her recovery during a stay at Osborne in May,
and while there was able to accompany the Queen on a visit to the
Military Hospital at Netley.

After a short stay in London, Prince and Princess Louis of Hesse and
their little daughter returned to Darmstadt. They spent the summer
months at Kranichstein, a shooting-lodge near Darmstadt, belonging to
the Grand Duke. The Princess employed her time in becoming better
acquainted with her adopted country, its inhabitants, their customs, and
ways of thinking.

The Congress of German Potentates and Princes at Frankfort, in August,
brought the Princess in contact with many crowned heads. She proved
herself her father’s true child in regard to politics. The Prince
Consort had always longed for an united Germany, with Prussia at its
head, and a Liberal constitution. Princess Alice’s letters will show how
truly German her feelings were in the Schleswig-Holstein question, which
at that time, owing to the death of King Frederick VII. of Denmark, and
the claims made by his successor, King Christian IX., to the succession
in the Duchies also, assumed a European interest, and led to
consequences of permanent importance in the history of Europe. The
accounts of the manner in which the Prince and Princess Louis endeavored
to fulfil their social duties throw a significant light upon the way in
which the young Princess discharged her duties as the mistress of her
home.

In August the Princess met Queen Victoria at Coburg; and afterward had
the happiness of receiving Her Majesty and her sisters Hélèna, Louise
and Beatrice, and her brother Alfred, on a short visit at Kranichstein.

A few weeks later the Prince and Princess with their child joined the
Queen at Balmoral, where nearly all the members of the Royal family were
assembled.

In November they returned to Darmstadt, where, during their absence, the
new palace had made rapid progress, and was roofed in. It was built on a
site given by the Grand Duke, and after plans designed by the Princess
herself. The arrangement of the interior was entirely carried out by
herself in a manner both practical and artistic.

In December, Prince Louis’ only sister, Anna, was engaged to be married
to the Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, an event which gave great
satisfaction at the time. The Princess spent her first Christmas in
Germany this year--1863.

                                     MARLBOROUGH HOUSE, May 14th.

     DEAREST MAMA:--Our parting this morning was most painful to both of
     us--from you to whom we _owe_ so much, and whom we love so dearly.

     May God comfort and support you, beloved Mama, on your sad and
     weary pilgrimage!

                                     MARLBOROUGH HOUSE, May 16th.

     I could not get your dear face and your sweet voice out of my mind
     for an instant, and everywhere I thought I must see you or dear
     Papa. It seemed so strange; I had the tears in my eyes all day.
     The worst was the opera, for I had never been without you or Papa,
     and all was the same and yet so different. It was very trying to
     me; and so will the drawing-room be to-day. * * * I saw Lady
     Jocelyn, Duchess of Manchester, Sir Charles Locock, and Lord Alfred
     Paget, to show them baby, and all find her like what we all were.
     How much _we_ have to thank for in her name. Your affection for her
     and all you have done for her have touched us more than I can say.
     It seemed to me quite wrong to take her from you.

     On Wednesday, Alix [Princess of Wales] and myself go to the
     studios. This morning we drove in Battersea Park.

                                     May 19th.

     * * * The drawing-room was long, but Alix and I were not so tired,
     considering the length of time, for we stood, excepting twenty
     minutes, in the middle, when there was a block and the people could
     not come.

     In to-day’s letter you mention again your wish that we should soon
     be with you again. Out of the ten months of our married life five
     have been spent under your roof, so you see how ready we are to be
     with you. Before next year Louis does not think we shall be able to
     come; at any rate when we can we shall, and I hope we shall be able
     to see you for a day or two in Germany to divide the time.

                                     DARMSTADT, May 23d.

     * * * Baby[25] has been so much admired, and all the clothes you
     gave her.

                                     DARMSTADT, May.

     I sha’n’t have time to write more than a few words, as we have just
     returned from church and are going to Mayence till Wednesday. The
     Grand Duke came all the way to Kranichstein yesterday to go about
     with us, and see how to arrange it comfortably. He is most kind,
     and sat an hour with me.

     We have received two deputations this morning, and my things, which
     ought to have been here before us, only arrived to-day.

                                     MAYENCE, June 2d.

     There was a large dinner yesterday; the Nassaus dined here, and
     this morning we have been to Biebrich. The Duke and Duchess,
     Nicolas Nassau, Marianne of Prussia,[26] her sister the Duchess of
     Altenburg, and Landgrave William were there. They were most kind
     and civil. We hurried back in time for dinner. The Grand Duke is
     most kind, has taken me everywhere about himself--into the Dom,
     into several shops, etc.

     Now when I return I shall have to unpack and pack again for
     Kranichstein, and arrange the house there, which has not been lived
     in for eighty years, so that for writing I have barely a moment.

     I have good accounts of baby, whom all the old gentlemen run out of
     their houses to look at, when she walks in the garden, and try to
     tell Moffat [her nurse] what they think of her, but she of course
     understands nothing.

                                     DARMSTADT, June 3d.

     I write to you to-day, as Louis is going for all day to Worms
     to-morrow, and I am going to Jugenheim to Uncle Alexander. It is
     already warm here, and we are going in a day or two into the
     country.

     The Queen of Prussia passes through here to-day, and I shall
     probably hear from her what her intentions are about England. I
     have received a splendid bracelet from the Empress of Russia--for
     baby’s picture. She is said to be far from well.

                                     DARMSTADT, June 6th.

     * * * Louis was away from four o’clock yesterday morning till
     eleven at night. He was at Worms with Uncle Louis. Tuesday is his
     birthday, and we shall very likely go on Monday to Mayence, as
     Uncle Louis is always wishing for us.

     I took a walk at Jugenheim yesterday with Uncle Alexander, his wife
     and children, of more than two hours, and it was so beautiful, and
     numberless little birds singing. Uncle Alexander was so grateful
     for all your kindness, and was above all so charmed with you. It
     always makes me so happy to be able to talk about you, and to hear
     you appreciated as you ought to be, darling Mama.

                                     June 8th.

     * * * Baby sits up quite strong, and looks about and laughs. She
     has got on wonderfully, and she is so good. She was an hour with us
     yesterday evening wide awake, and so good. She is as well and as
     strong as any child could be. To-day we go to Mainz, and to-morrow
     night from thence to Kranichstein. All our beds must be moved
     meanwhile, as there are none in the house.

                                     KRANICHSTEIN, June 12th.

     Louis went at six this morning to Darmstadt for the inspection of
     his regiment by Uncle Louis, Princess Charles’ birthday is on the
     18th. The Grand Duke will be at Friedberg, and we are to go for the
     day, which will be rather tiring, as it is a good way by rail and
     back again, and we have to wait an hour at Frankfort.

     Louis is going to take his seat in the Chamber on the 23d. He was
     unable to do so last year, as we left for England two days before
     the time.

                                     June 19th.

     * * * You ask me again if I occupy myself much and seriously? Not a
     moment of the day is wasted, and I have enough to read and to think
     about: what with the many and different papers, and interesting
     books. Dr. Becker comes daily, and I have a good deal to look
     after.

     We have a dinner to-day--Prince and Princess Charles, Uncle
     Adalbert, Anna, William, and the suites.

                                     June 23d.

     * * * You will be amused to hear that I have taken a little black
     (a Malay) into my service. He is a dear good boy, was brought over
     two years ago by a gentleman, to whom he was given away by his own
     parents as a mark of gratitude for some service done. This man has
     had him here two years, but has never had him taught any thing. He
     has no religion, and can neither read nor write. I am going to have
     him taught, and, later, christened. He is very intelligent,
     thirteen years old.

     We shall remain here for the present; we go about a good deal
     seeing things near by, and then it is the first time we have our
     household and stable, so that on account of Haushaltung
     [housekeeping], etc., we are going to remain here for a little
     time. It is very pleasant besides, and constant moving is far too
     expensive for us. We give dinners here, which are also useful, as I
     know so few people. Some of the Ständesherren are coming
     to-morrow, and later some of the Abgeordneten [Deputies] of the
     Second Chamber, which will give us an opportunity of making the
     acquaintance of some of the Liberals in the country.

     I cannot get rid of my rheumatism, which is so unpleasant.

     Louis is very busy; he reads to me sometimes out of Lord Macaulay’s
     last volume of the English History, which I had not yet read. Twice
     a week Louis takes drill with his cavalry regiment, and he has to
     ride out at six in the morning, as it is some way off.

                                     June 27th.

     * * * I bathe every morning and swim about; there is a nice little
     bathing-house.

     I hear baby shrieking out of doors; she does not cry very much, but
     she is very passionate. She was vaccinated two days ago by Dr.
     Weber, and I am going to be done next week; the small-pox is at
     Darmstadt, and a man died of it yesterday. Louis is very
     industrious and busy; he has all the papers of the Stände [State
     papers] to read and look through, and reads other useful books,
     besides papers and other things which he must read. He wrote to
     Lord Derby to express his thanks for having been made a Doctor at
     Oxford. He takes a great deal of exercise, riding, walking, rowing,
     swimming. We get up at six every morning, and go to bed after ten.

     Louis has always a good deal to do at home, and a good many things
     which would never be expected of him in England. He knows the
     necessity and importance of working. I hope next month Uncle
     Ernest[27] will come to us for a day on his way back from Homburg.
     He has asked us for a few days to the Calenberg whilst you are in
     Germany, and then in the winter we hope to be for a few days at
     Gotha.

     The Lützows,[28] and Miss Seymour dine with us to-day.

                                     June 30th.

     Lady Fife is at Homburg, and is coming to dine with us. To-morrow
     all the family and some other people come to dinner. We have seen a
     good many people; we receive in the morning or for dinner.

     Dalwigk gave a large _soirée_ in the woods, with a supper for us,
     last night. All the Ständesherren and Foreign Ministers were there.

     To-morrow is our dear wedding-day. With what gratitude do I look
     back to that commencement of such happiness, and such real and true
     love, which even daily increases in my beloved husband. Oh, may we
     not be deprived of it too soon! I admire and respect him for his
     true-hearted, generous, unselfish, and just nature! Oh, dear Mama,
     if you only knew how excellent he is! I wish I were good like him,
     for he is free from any selfish, small, or uncharitable feelings.
     You should see how he is beloved by all his people; our servants
     adore him. I open my heart to you, who have so warm and
     sympathizing a heart, that even in the midst of such deep grief and
     sorrow as yours will listen to what your children, who love you
     dearly, long to say.

     Our little one is grown so pretty; she has little pink cheeks, and
     is so fat and so good-humored. I often think her like you when she
     smiles.

                                     July 2d.

     You can fancy how much we thought of this day last year, and of
     you and all the love and kindness you showed us then. How truly we
     both love you, and, when we can, how willingly we shall come to
     your side, and be of the least use to you, you know, for I feel for
     you and with you, more than words can describe.

     Our first large dinner yesterday went off very well. We make our
     arrangements, sitting, etc., all as you and dear Papa had it, which
     is new here, but I am happy to say, approved of. We always dine at
     four. Baby appeared afterward, and really never cries when she is
     shown, but smiles, and seems quite amused. She is immensely
     admired, particularly for her healthy appearance and fine large
     eyes. I really think her like you now; she is very much changed,
     and, when she sits up, looks so pretty and dear.

     To-day we have again a dinner. There is a fine dining-room and
     drawing-room here, so that we can see a good many people.

                                     July 4th.

     Shortly we are going to pay Prince Solms-Lich, the president of the
     First Chamber, a visit. He is very liberal on the whole, rich, and
     a nice old gentleman. He knew Grandpapa in the year 1820, also
     Uncle Charles, Uncle Hohenlohe, Aunt Feodore, and Eliza. Lady Fife,
     Annie, and Mr. Corbett from Frankfort are coming to us to-day.

     The Grand Duke of Weimar was here yesterday for dinner at the
     Schloss.

     What you said about Germany is so true; and Louis has the real good
     of his country near at heart. They always have to vote for or
     against what the Second Chamber brings forward, and the other day a
     vote was sent in from the Liberals for an alteration of a press
     law. Only one voice in the whole Chamber was for it, which was
     Louis’, and this produced a very good effect among the Liberals. He
     is no coward, and will say what he thinks, if it is necessary, even
     if all are against him.

                                     KRANICHSTEIN, July 15th.

     To-day is Uncle Alexander’s birthday, and we have to drive for
     dinner to Seeheim. To-morrow morning we leave for Lich at five in
     the morning.

     Two nights ago a horrid and _schauerliches_ [appalling] event took
     place here. I went out about eight down to the pond, which is close
     to the house, to meet Louis. I met an odd-looking pale man, who
     neither bowed nor looked about, walking slowly along; and when I
     joined Louis he asked me if I had seen him, as he had been prowling
     about all the afternoon. We stopped a little longer, when at the
     end our grooms were running. We rowed on to see what was the
     matter, and on coming near, a body was floating in the water, the
     face already quite blue and lifeless. I recognized him at once.
     Louis and the others with trouble fished him out and laid him in
     our boat to bring him on shore. It was very horrid to see. We
     brought him on shore, tried all means to restore him to life, but
     of no avail. He was carried into the stable. He had committed
     suicide, and we heard afterward that he was a very bad character.
     You can fancy that it was very unpleasant to me, to have that
     disfigured corpse next me in the boat; and it haunts me now,--for a
     violent death leaves frightful traces, so unlike any thing else.
     But half or quarter of an hour before, I had passed that man in
     life, and so shortly after to see him floating by quite lifeless!
     It brings death before one in its worst form, when one sees a _bad
     man_ die by his own hand. The indifference with which the other
     people treated it, and dragged him along, was also revolting to
     one’s feelings; but one must be manly, and not mind those things;
     yet I own it made me rather sick, and prevented my sleep that
     night.

     I am glad we are going away for a few days; the change will be
     pleasant.

     It was such a pleasure to me to have seen dear Lady Frances Baillie
     the other day, and she was looking well, though she is very thin.

     You kindly gave me our dear Papa’s Farm-book for the Farmers’ Union
     here; the people are so touched and pleased. I send you the letter
     of thanks to read.

                                     LICH, July 18th.

     * * * We leave to-morrow afternoon for Frankfort, and the next day
     we go to Homburg on the way home. The Prince and Princess are most
     kind and civil; they have a fine Schloss, and are rich. The latter
     is clever and amiable, and the young people--their nephews and
     nieces--are very nice and very kind. It is a fine, rich country,
     and they seem very much beloved. The sister of the Princess,
     Princess Solms-Laubach, _née_ Büdingen, is here also. Her husband
     was in the Prussian service, and they lived at Bonn whilst dear
     Papa was there. He came to see them and to spend the evening there
     very often. She told me how handsome he then was, and how much
     praised and liked by all. She asked after Rath Florschütz,[29] and
     Eos,[30] and if dear Papa continued later on to be so sleepy of an
     evening, as he was even then.

                                     KRANICHSTEIN, July 21st.

     Our visit at Lich went off very well. Everything is so _vornehm_
     [in such good style] and so well arranged.

                                     July 23d.

     We are going to give Heinrich[31] a rendezvous somewhere, perhaps
     at Kreuznach, which is not very far. On August 1st, we are going to
     the north of the country,--a part which I do not know,--and on the
     way we stop at Giessen, where we have been invited to see an
     agricultural exhibition. On Monday we give a tea and a
     dance--between fifty and sixty people. The advantage of this place
     is its nearness to Darmstadt, and that there is room enough to
     receive people.

     The Russian and French ambassadors, with their wives, and Mr.
     Corbett and Lord Robert S. Kerr, dine with us to-day.

                                     July 27th.

     I have no news to give. To-night we give our first large
     party--seventy people.

                                     August 1st.

     Yesterday we were all day at Rumpenheim: so kindly received! The
     Landgrave, his two brothers, Frederic and George, the Dowager
     Duchess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, her daughter Duchess Caroline,
     Aunt Cambridge, Mary, Augusta, and Adolphus; Fritz and Anna of
     Hesse and good Princess Louise, kindness itself. Aunt Cambridge was
     very amiable, and spoke most tenderly of you. To-morrow morning
     Louis goes to Oberhessen, where I join him in two days. I go to see
     Uncle Alexander at Jugenheim; go on Monday to Friedberg, where
     there is an asylum for blind people, of which I am Protectorin
     [Patroness]. I go to see it, and sleep at the Castle. The next day
     I stop on my road to see Marburg, and shall be in the evening at
     Alsfeld, where I find Louis. The next day I go on to Herr von
     Riedesel at Altenburg, where I breakfast, and I dine and spend the
     night with another Riedesel family at Eisenbach. Louis joins me
     that evening. The next day we go on though the country, as the
     people are anxious to see us, and the country is very beautiful. On
     Thursday and Friday we shall be at Giessen, on Saturday at home.

                                     GIESSEN, August 7th.

     I am very hot and tired; we have only just reached this place, and
     have to go out almost immediately to see the animals and machines.

     Our journey has been most prosperous, but rather tiring, and the
     heat quite fearful. We were most kindly received everywhere.
     English, Hessian, German flags everywhere, and _Gesangvereine_ of
     an evening.

     Last night we slept at Schotten, and posted from thence to-day
     through a lovely, rich, wooded, and mountainous district, the
     Vogelsberg.

     We have had but one room everywhere, and have remained only long
     enough at a place to see it, so that writing has been impossible.
     To-morrow evening we return to Kranichstein, and then I will write
     to you an account of every thing. Here, with no time, and with such
     heat and noise, it is impossible.

                                     KRANICHSTEIN, August 9th.

     * * * We went, when I last wrote to you at Giessen, to see the
     different machines at work, in a crowd close round us and a
     smothering heat. It was interesting, though, in spite of all. The
     people cheered and were very civil. That day, at the meeting of
     the agriculturists, Count Laubach told me dear Papa’s book lay on
     the table, and is of the greatest use and interest. I am so pleased
     to have been the first in Germany to make known something of Papa’s
     knowledge in this science, one of the many in which dear Papa
     excelled. The people are so grateful to you for having sent it. In
     the evening the president and some other scientific gentlemen came
     to tea with us. I was so glad to see how pleased the people were at
     the interest Louis takes in these things. A procession was really
     very pretty; large carts, decorated with the different agricultural
     emblems, peasants in their different costumes--it was something
     quite new to me.

     At Marburg, I saw in the beautiful church the grave of St.
     Elizabeth, the castle where she lived, and many other things which
     Kingsley mentions in his “Saint’s Tragedy.”

     This week the Emperor of Austria and other potentates came to
     Frankfort. The King of Prussia has refused, so that now, as it is
     not a universal meeting, it will not be what it might have been.

                                     August 19th.

     * * * The Emperor came all the way to Kranichstein to pay us a
     visit, and is very amiable, though not very talkative. Archduke
     William, King Max, and the Duke of Brunswick were also here
     yesterday.

     We saw the procession to the Römer from a small room, already
     filled by twelve Rumpenheimers! It was a very interesting sight.

                                     August 21st.

     * * * This evening all the crowned heads nearly are coming to the
     opera, and the Rumpenheimers very likely also. Uncle Ernest comes
     to us for dinner, and we take him with us.

                                     August 24th.

     * * * We dined at Homburg yesterday afternoon with the old
     hereditary Grand Duchess of Schwerin, Louis’ great-aunt, who is
     eighty-six, and as fresh and lively as ever. The Duke of Altenburg
     and the Grand Duke of Schwerin were with us, and both of them wish
     to have their respectful duty sent to you.

[During the months of September and October the Princess was in England
on a visit to the Queen.]

                                     BUCKINGHAM PALACE, October 28th.

     Thousand thanks for your dear lines! How sad that we should be
     reduced to writing again! It was such a happiness to speak to you,
     and in return to hear all you had to say,--to try and soothe you,
     and try to make your burden lighter. I always feel separation from
     you so much, for I feel for and with you, more, oh, far more, than
     I can ever express! I can only say again, trust, hope, and be
     courageous, and every day will bring something in the fulfilment of
     all your great duties, which will bring you peace, and make you
     feel that you are not forsaken, that God has heard your prayer,
     felt for you, as a loving Father would, and that dear Papa is not
     far from you.

     We remain here to-night, as Louis had a bad sick-headache,
     toothache, and so on, and he must rest. We leave to-morrow
     afternoon.

     Affie [Prince Alfred] and William (of Hesse) were very well, and
     seem quite happy together. Affie sends love, and William his
     respects.

                                     DARMSTADT, November 2d.

     Before going out (half-past six) I begin these lines. You will have
     heard what an awful passage we had. Christa and I had one of those
     cabins near the paddle-box, and good old May[32] was with us. Each
     wave that broke on the ship Christa and I groaned, and May
     exclaimed: “Oh, goodness, gracious me! what an awful sea! Lord
     bless you, child, I hope it is all safe!” and so on. If we had not
     been so wretched, and had not looked so awful with those mountains
     of waves about us, I should have laughed. All the maids and Moffat
     were sick. Baby was sick all over her nice new shawl, which was a
     great grief.

     Uncle Louis and Uncle Gustav received us at the station. My
     parents-in-law don’t return till Wednesday. Yesterday Uncle Louis
     gave us a large dinner, and to-day he dines _en famille_ in our
     house with Prince Adalbert of Bavaria, Uncle Gustav,[33] and
     ourselves.

     I was quite done up by this journey. At four in the morning we
     changed carriages at Cologne, and did not get here till past twelve
     o’clock--twenty-nine hours under way.

                                     November 5th.

     * * * Yesterday evening Louis and I were at a chemical lecture,
     which was very interesting, by young Hallnachs, the brother of the
     one Becker spoke to you about.

     Our house is getting on very well, and we are often there.

     Louis is very grateful and touched by your kind message, and kisses
     your hand. He is often away for those tiresome Jagden
     [shooting-parties] from five in the morning till eight at night, as
     it is some way off.

                                     November 14th.

     It is not yet eight, and I have such cold fingers. The messenger
     leaves at nine, so I must write now. We are going to Mayence
     to-day, to see a house of our architect Kraus, which is said to be
     very pretty and very English.

     I paid Becker and his mother a visit yesterday. Their rooms are so
     nice, pictures and presents from you and dear Papa in all
     directions, remembrances of past, such happy, years!

     Yesterday also I drove baby out in my little carriage. She sat on
     Christa’s knees and looked about her so much; she went to sleep at
     last.

                                     November 17th.

     * * * Yesterday I was all the morning with Julie Battenberg buying
     Christmas presents. To-day also I am much occupied. We get up at
     seven, with candles, every morning, as this is the best time for
     doing all business, and breakfast at eight.

                                     November 21st.

     * * * The Holstein question, I fear, will lead to war. Fritz’[34]
     rights are so clear. And I am sure all Germany will help him to
     maintain his rights, for the cause is a just one.

     I am sure, dear Mama, you are worried to death about it, which is
     very hard, for you cannot undo what once exists. _Any thing_ only
     to _avoid_ war! It would be a sad calamity for Germany, the end of
     which no one can foresee.

     My baby has this morning cut her first tooth, and makes such faces
     if one ventures to touch her little mouth.

     To-day I am going to visit the hospital in the town, which is said
     not to be good or well looked after. I want to be able to do
     something for it, and hope to succeed, for the people have plenty
     of money, only not the will. The Burgomaster and Gemeinderath [the
     Town Councillors] will meet me there.

     I have just called into life what did not exist--that is, linen to
     be lent for the poor women in their confinements, and which I hope
     will be of use to them, for the dirt and discomfort is very great
     in those classes.

                                     November 28th.

     * * * My visit to the hospital was very interesting, and the air
     was good, the place clean and fresh. There were few people
     dangerously ill there, and they looked well taken care of. Air and
     water are making their way into these places to the benefit of
     mankind.

     I was so much distressed the other day; for the poor man who fell
     in our house has died. He was a soldier, and so respectable and
     industrious, not above twenty-four. This is already the second who
     has died in consequence of a fall.

     Our visit to Carlsruhe was very pleasant. The Queen [of Prussia]
     was there, and we spoke so much of you together. She enters quite
     into all your feelings, and perfectly understands all the sad
     trials and difficulties of your position in addition to your just
     and natural grief.

                                     November 30th.

     A few words of love and affection from us both on this dear
     day--the third anniversary of the commencement of all our
     happiness, which dear Papa and you enabled us to form.

     Those happy days at Windsor and those awful days the year after! I
     assure you the season, the days, _all_ make me sad--for the
     impression of those two years can never be wiped out of my mind. I
     can write but a few lines, as to-morrow we leave for Amorbach, and
     to-day I go with Louis out shooting. It is cold and fine, as it was
     two years ago.

     Darling Mama, again and again we thank you and beloved Papa for all
     your love to us at that time.

                                     AMORBACH, December 2d.

     * * * We arrived here at half-past four yesterday, after a bitter
     cold drive in an open carriage over hard roads, all being frozen,
     since ten in the morning. The country we came through was
     beautiful, though all white, up and down hill all the way, through
     many villages, through woods, etc. The house is large and
     comfortable, full of souvenirs of dear Grandmama [Duchess of Kent],
     of Uncle Charles.

     I am so pleased to be with Ernest and Marie,[35] it is a bit of
     home again.

                                     DARMSTADT, December 6th.

     * * * Our visit to Amorbach was so pleasant, though the weather was
     bad. I was so happy to be once more with Ernest and Marie.
     Edward[36] was very amusing and good-natured. I saw poor old
     Wagner,[37] who wishes me to send you his duty.

                                     December 8th.

     * * * Think, only yesterday evening at a concert they played “Ruy
     Blas,” which I had not heard since Windsor. The room, the band,
     dear Papa, all came before me, and made my heart sink at the
     thought that _that_ belonged to the bright recollections of the
     past! I cried all the way home. Such trivial things sometimes
     awaken recollections more vividly, and hurt more keenly, than
     scenes of real distress. I am sure you know what I mean.

                                     December 12th.

     * * * I must close; my tears fall fast, and I ought not to make you
     sadder, when you are sad enough already. Pray for me when you kneel
     at _his_ grave--pray that my happiness may be allowed to last long;
     think of me when you kneel there where on that day my hand rested
     on your and Papa’s dear hands, two years ago. That bond between us
     both is _so_ strong, beloved Mama. I feel it as a legacy from him.

                                     December 22d.

     A great pleasure I have had in arranging a tree for our good
     servants. I bought all the things myself at the market, and hung
     them on the tree; then I also got things for darling Louis.

                                     December 26th.

     * * * We all had trees in one large room in the Palace, and our
     presents underneath it looked extremely pretty. Uncle Alexander’s
     five children were there, and made such a noise with their
     play-things.

     Baby had a little tree early at her Grandpapa and Grandmama’s, with
     all her pretty things.

     Many thanks for the turkey-pie; we give a dinner to-day in honor.


1864.

The year 1864 was a most eventful one for Germany. After a severe
struggle, the Duchies of Schleswig-Holstein were wrested from the
control of the German Confederation or Diet at Frankfort, and occupied
by Austrian and Prussian troops. The Princess’ own life that year was
full of joyful events, and no cloud of sorrow came to disturb her
happiness.

The marriage of Princess Anna of Hesse, which took place on the 12th of
May, was a cause of great rejoicing to the family.

During the first months of the year the Prince and Princess paid several
short visits to Gotha, Carlsruhe, and Munich, and in the summer spent
three happy months in England.

On their return to Germany they received numerous guests at
Kranichstein. But in spite of the many social duties and distractions in
which the Princess took an active part, she never lost sight of more
serious duties and pursuits. She became the “Protectress” of the
“Heidenreich Institution for Lying-in Women,” which was the beginning of
the active interest afterward taken by her in all sanitary improvements.
This interest was heightened by the birth of her second daughter, who
was born on the 1st of November, 1864, and christened on the 28th of
that month, receiving the names of Elizabeth Alexandra Louise Alice. The
Princess was very proud of being able to nurse her child herself, and
from this time she took up with the keenest interest all questions
relating to the physical, mental, and moral training of children. She
found an able supporter and independent adviser in Dr. Weber, a very
eminent medical man, resident at Darmstadt.

                                     January 5th.

     * * * The cold here is awful. I skated yesterday, and to-day we are
     going to the pond at Kranichstein. (Very few people skate
     here--only one lady, and she very badly.) Baby only goes out for
     half an hour in the middle of the day, well wrapped up. It would
     not do to keep her quite at home, as she would become so sensitive
     when first taken out again. Of course when it is windy or too cold
     she stops in.

                                     January 9th.

     I was aghast on receiving of Bertie’s telegram this morning
     announcing the birth of their little son. Oh, may dear Papa’s
     blessing rest on the little one; may it turn out like dear Papa,
     and be a comfort and a pride to you, and to its young parents! Your
     first English grandchild. Dear Mama, my heart is so full. May dear
     Alix and the baby only go on well!

                                     January 16th.

     * * * Baby says “Papa,” “Mama,” and yesterday several times
     “Louis.” She imitates every thing she hears, all noises and sounds;
     she gets on her feet alone by a chair, and is across the room
     before one can turn round. Her adoration for Louis is touching. She
     stops always, since the summer, alone in our room, so she never
     cries for Moffat [her nurse], and is very happy on the floor with
     her play-things. She is a very dear little thing and gets on very
     fast, but equally in all things, and is as fat as she was. It is so
     interesting to watch the progress and development of such a little
     being; and baby is so expressive, she makes such a face when she is
     not pleased, and laughs so heartily when she is contented. She is
     more like a child of two years old a great deal.

                                     GOTHA, January 22d.

     After a very cold journey we arrived here on Wednesday afternoon. I
     found dear uncle and aunt well, Leopoldine (who is very dear and
     nice) and Hermann,[38] Edward and Marie Leiningen, and Prince
     Lowenstein here. Only Hermann and Leopoldine live in the Castle
     besides us; the others are all at uncle’s house.

                                     January 30th.

     * * * These poor Schleswig-Holsteiners do what they can to liberate
     themselves from the Danish yoke, and to regain their lawful
     sovereign, Fritz. And why is England, who stands up for freedom of
     countries, who in Italy, where there was less cause, did what she
     could to liberate the country from her lawful sovereigns, to do
     what she can to prevent the Schleswig-Holsteiners from liberating
     themselves from a king who has no right over them, merely because
     they are unfortunate good-natured Germans, who allow themselves to
     be oppressed?

                                     February 5th.

     In the distance, dear Mama, one really cannot judge correctly of
     reasons for or against things, when one does not exactly know how
     every thing stands.

                                     February 14th.

     * * * We have been in sledges to-day, and everybody drives about
     the town with them; it sounds so pretty, all the jingling bells.

     * * * Shakespeare’s words came home to him--

    Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.

     Thank God, my husband has none! I thank the Almighty daily for our
     peaceful homely life, in which sphere we can do a good deal of good
     to our fellow-creatures, without having to mix in those hateful
     politics.

     Our life is a very, very happy one. I have nothing on earth to wish
     for, and much as I loved my precious Louis when I married him,
     still more do I love him now and daily; for his character is worthy
     of love and respect, and a better husband or father, a more
     unselfish and kind one, there does not live. His love for you, you
     know; and on our return how glad we shall be to be near you once
     more.

                                     February 16th.

     Louis is in the Chamber to-day from nine till one, long enough at a
     stretch, and immediately after breakfast. We always breakfast at
     eight; then Louis sees the three officers who come every morning on
     his military business, then Westerweller and all others who have
     business. We usually walk before luncheon, which is at twelve; and
     often drive at two or three. At five we dine; at half-past six,
     theatre, four times a week, till half-past nine; then we take tea
     together, Louis reads to me, and I work. On other week-days there
     are concerts or parties. We are often in our new house, and in the
     garden, arranging things and watching the progress. We also go to
     lectures here, and are much occupied, which makes the day pass so
     quickly.

                                     March 1st.

     I have learned much since I married, and, above all, not to be
     dependent on others in my existence. To be able to make a bright
     and comfortable home for my dear husband is my constant aim; but
     even in this one often fails, for self constantly turns up, like a
     bad sixpence. Oh, how dear Papa spoke about that! His whole noble
     life was that one bright example of sacrificing himself to his
     duty. Dear, adored Papa! such goodness, such love, when one thinks
     of it, must silence all complaints of petty troubles in the mouths
     of his children and servants. You, dear Mama, are the one who
     suffers the most, though this awful loss has touched all; and to
     soothe your grief and to help you lightens one’s own.

                                     March 5th.

     * * * Spring always makes me so _wehmüthig_ [sad], I don’t know
     why; one longs for every thing and any thing which is out of one’s
     reach.

     I will tell you of something I did the other day; but please tell
     no one, because not a soul but Louis and my ladies know of it here.
     I am the patroness of the “Heidenreich Stiftung,” to which you also
     gave a handsome present in the beginning. The ladies who belong to
     it go to bring linen to poor respectable _Wöchnerinnen_ [women in
     child-bed], who claim their assistance. They bring them food, and,
     in short, help them. All cases are reported to me. The other day I
     went to one _incog._ with Christa, in the old part of the town--and
     the trouble we had to find the house! At length, through a dirty
     courtyard, up a dark ladder into one little room, where lay in one
     bed the poor woman and her baby; in the room four other children,
     the husband, two other beds, and a stove. But it did not smell bad,
     nor was it dirty. I sent Christa down with the children, then with
     the husband cooked something for the woman; arranged her bed a
     little, took her baby for her, bathed its eyes--for they were so
     bad, poor little thing!--and did odds and ends for her. I went
     twice. The people did not know me, and were so nice, so good and
     touchingly attached to each other; it did one’s heart good to see
     such good feelings in poverty. The husband was out of work, the
     children too young to go to school, and they had only four kreuzers
     in the house when she was confined.

     Think of that misery and discomfort!

     If one never sees any poverty, and always lives in that cold circle
     of Court people, one’s good feelings dry up, and I felt the want of
     going about and doing the little good that is in my power. I am
     sure you will understand this.

                                     March 14th.

     MY OWN DEAR PRECIOUS MAMA:--These words are for the 16th, the first
     hard trial of our lives, where I was allowed to be with you. Do you
     recollect when all was over [death of the Duchess of Kent], and
     dear Papa led you to the sofa in the colonnade, and then took me
     _to you_? I took that as a sacred request from him to love,
     cherish, and comfort my darling mother to all the extent of my weak
     powers. Other things have taken me from being constantly with you;
     but nothing has lessened my intense love for you, and longing to
     quiet every pain which touches you, and to fulfil, even in the
     distance, his request.

     Oh, darling Mama, were there words in which I could express to you
     how much I am bound up with you, how constantly my thoughts and
     prayers are yours, I would write them. The sympathies of our souls
     can only tell each other how tender my love and gratitude to you
     is, and how vividly I feel every new trial or new thing with you
     and for you. * * *

     I was with another poor woman, even worse off, this morning, and on
     the third day she was walking in the room and nearly fainted from
     weakness. Those poor people!

                                     March 26th.

     * * * Yesterday morning at nine we took the Sacrament--all the
     family and congregation together. The others then stopped for the
     rest of the service, till after eleven. I went home and returned
     for the English service at twelve. At half-past six, in the
     Stadtkirche, Bach’s “Passion” was given.

                                     April 5th.

     To-day is Victoria’s birthday. What a day it was this time last
     year! Baby has her table in the room next to my sitting-room. Uncle
     Louis and the rest of the family expected to breakfast with us at
     twelve.

                                     MUNICH, April 11th.

     * * * To-day, for the first time since the King’s death,[39] the
     Queen and we all with our Gefolge [suite] dined in the Winter
     Garden. It seemed to try her very much, but she is so wonderfully
     quiet that she scarcely shows it. I was three hours with her
     yesterday evening. She spoke so kindly of you and with such
     sympathy and interest, and said, when dear Papa died, she had
     prayed for you so much.

                                     MUNICH, April 13th.

     * * * Between sight-seeing, and going to the Queen’s room, and
     being with her, I have not a moment scarcely to rest or write.
     Yesterday we visited the whole Schloss full of frescoes, and the
     studios of all the famous painters--so interesting. How dear Papa
     would have enjoyed it! I was thinking the whole time what he would
     have thought of certain pictures, and how much he would have
     admired some. But at all times seeing things, and most of all
     pictures, is fatiguing.

                                     DARMSTADT, April 21st.

     * * * On Monday Louis goes into the country to shoot capercailzies
     [_Auerhahne_]. I accompany him part of the way, but stop at
     Schweinsberg with Christa’s parents. The air is very good there,
     and we thought the country would do me good.

     * * * We shall leave probably later [for England], after or just
     before your birthday. We have a great deal to do in London for our
     house, for which I should want a week; and from Windsor to leave
     you for a whole week I should not like, and to go up constantly is
     rather tiring.

     We go from Mayence to Rotterdam by steamer, from thence by rail to
     Antwerp, and then wait for good weather to cross, so that we shall
     be long under way, but quite easily and comfortably.

                                     April 25th.

     * * * We shall leave the week of your birthday. Louis wishes us to
     have a full fortnight in London.

                                     SCHWEINSBERG, April 28th.

     * * * This is a charming country house, in a lovely healthy
     country; the air has already done me much good. Christa’s parents
     are charming, clever people, and the life is quiet and refreshing.
     On Saturday I expect Louis, and then we shall go home.

                                     DARMSTADT, May 14th.

     Many thanks for your letter, and above all for your great kindness
     about the ships, for which I thank you many times.

     Christa and Becker wrote an account of the wedding,[40] so I won’t
     write any more about it save that it went off very well and was
     very _vornehm_ and well-arranged. * * *

     I have borne the fatigues well; but two days before, for two days
     and one night, I was very unwell. * * * Dr. Weber is a clever man,
     and is _vielseitig_ [many-sided] in his views on medicine and
     treatment of illnesses. I think you will like him.

     Baby runs alone through two rooms without falling now; she learnt
     it in a week. She will amuse you so much. Yesterday Louis drove me
     and his two brothers in a break, and baby went with us much
     enchanted.

                                     May 17th.

     * * * To-morrow afternoon Fritz and Anna leave. To-day the town
     gives a large ball, to which we all go, and before it there is a
     dinner at the Schloss.

                                     May 21st.

     * * * It is excessively hot, which makes me so tired and weak. I am
     sure you suffered dreadfully from the heat.

     The parting from Anna three days ago was dreadful; she so
     distressed, and her parents also. * * * They begin their old age
     alone, so to say, for there are no children in their house any
     more. It makes us both very sad to leave them, and seems so
     unfeeling; but we shall return to them soon. What a blessing that
     you have Beatrice and two brothers, still boys; and yet, for one
     alone what an anxiety!

                                     MARLBOROUGH HOUSE, May 26th.

     Arrived here at half-past eleven, and quite rested. I at once write
     to you to thank you for your letter and for the great comfort of
     the ships. I feel so much better already from the air on the Rhine
     those two days, and the fresh sea air, that I have borne the
     journey this way with but little fatigue. I find Bertie and Alix
     both looking well, and the baby so pretty and dear.

     I slept during the whole night passage, as I went to bed early. I
     had about twelve hour’s sleep, which has completely set me up.
     Louis is paying visits. We have lunched, and in the afternoon
     Bertie and Alix have promised to call on Lady Augusta and Dean
     Stanley, and we join them. Aunt Cambridge and Mary we shall see
     afterward.

       *       *       *       *       *

[From May to August the Princess was in England on a visit to the
Queen.]

       *       *       *       *       *

                                     KRANICHSTEIN, August 30th.

     * * * I have stood the journey well, though I am rather fatigued.
     It is very warm. Louis is off to Jugenheim. I am to go there
     to-morrow, and it takes my whole day, as it is so far. I have seen
     none of the family yet. I was so distressed to part from dear
     Ernest and Marie, they were so dear and good all along the journey.
     The weather was beautiful and the passage good.

                                     September 2d.

     * * * I am so glad that, from all accounts, every thing went off so
     very well at Perth[41]; it must have been most trying to you, and
     yet satisfactory. We read all the accounts you kindly sent us with
     much interest.

     * * * The Emperor [of Russia] with his second and third sons
     arrived yesterday. We saw him at the station at Darmstadt, but did
     not join them as the rest of the family did. We go to Jugenheim
     to-day and baby with us, as little Serge,[42] who is just
     Beatrice’s age, has such a passion for her. The children are very
     nice, the two older sons very big. Uncle Gustav is here, which
     makes me think of you here this time last year.

                                     September 13th.

     * * * Two days ago we had intense heat, and since great cold--the
     two extremes constantly, which is so unwholesome. The Emperor is
     very grateful for your message, and sends his best remembrance. * *
     * There were seven young men to dinner yesterday, and your glass
     was used for the first time and looked so pretty.

                                     September 17th.

     * * * The Emperor and Empress [of Russia] before leaving took a
     most tender farewell of us, and she gave me their Order. They
     return to Darmstadt on the 27th for a fortnight, as it is now
     settled that the Empress is to spend the winter at Nice, and she
     may not go there till the beginning of October at the soonest, as
     it would be too warm.

     * * * We are in the middle of the second volume of Froude,[43] but
     it is too detailed to interest you; you have far too much to do to
     be interested in it. * * * Robertson’s beautiful sermons we have
     also read together, and I have discovered that a German translation
     exists, and have ordered one.

     Mrs. Hardinge[44] leaves me the end of this month, I am sorry to
     say; for she is very nice, discreet, and ready to do any thing, and
     not at all of the present bad English _genre_.

                                     September 20th.

     * * * What you say about the poor sisters, and indeed of all the
     younger ones, is true. The little brothers and Beatrice are those
     who have lost the most, poor little things! I can’t bear to think
     of it, for dear Papa, more peculiarly than any other father, was
     wanted for his children; and he was the dear friend, and even
     playfellow, besides. Such a loss as ours is indeed unique. Time
     only increases its magnitude, and the knowledge of the want is felt
     more keenly.

     * * * I was yesterday in our little house, arranging and clearing
     out the rooms. We shall have very close quarters, but it will not
     be uncomfortable.

     * * * I often wish dear Papa could have seen what a treasure I have
     in my darling; but I am sure he does see it, and his blessing with
     yours rests on us, for we seem not separated from either of you,
     our life is so interwoven with yours.

     Where people are unselfish, loving, good, and industrious, like my
     dear Louis, I always feel a certain likeness beginning to grow up
     with our dear angel Father! Don’t you? Oh, may we all only become
     like him! I struggle so hard, dear Mama, in the many little trials
     I daily have, to become more like him. My trials melt away when I
     think of you, and I wish I were great and strong to be able to bear
     some of your great trials for you. Dear Mama, how I love you! how
     we both love you, and would shield you with our love from all new
     blows and trials, you know. God comfort you! My heart is often too
     full to say all that is in it; to tell you all my love and
     devotion, for your own precious sake, and for dear Papa’s, who left
     you as a legacy to us all to love and to cherish for him.

                                     September 23d.

     To-morrow Louis, I, and my two ladies, take the sacrament in the
     little church here. I wished much to take it before my hour of
     trial comes. Dear Louis read to me yesterday evening Robertson’s
     sermon on the “Sympathy of Christ.”

     We have fine autumn weather, and I am out as much as I can. * * * I
     sleep well and breakfast always at half-past eight; we dine at two,
     and take supper at eight, then my ladies read aloud, and I work or
     Christa plays, Louis reads his papers, etc. To myself I read Lord
     Malmesbury’s “Memoirs,” which are very curious, and when Louis has
     time he reads Froude to me.

                                     KRANICHSTEIN, October 4th.

     * * * To-morrow dear Uncle Leopold [King of the Belgians] comes for
     a few hours. Louis will go to Darmstadt or Mayence to meet him, and
     I will receive him at the station, as none of the family know him.
     Louis is out shooting with the Emperor. Uncle Alexander’s throat
     has already begun to be bad again.

     * * * I am writing quite a confused letter in the midst of
     household troubles, for the Emperor and Empress have just let me
     know that they wish to breakfast here, and Louis is out, and I
     don’t know where or how to have the things in our small _ménage_. I
     must therefore conclude and do my business.

                                     October 7th.

     * * * I had the pleasure of seeing dear Uncle two days ago looking
     wonderfully well, and kind and dear as ever. * * * To-day I must go
     to a large family dinner. Fritz and Anna of Hesse, Grand Duchess
     Marie, and Prince and Princess William of Baden, besides ourselves,
     the family, and the Emperor and Empress.

                                     DARMSTADT, October 14th.

     We are at length here, in great disorder, and I have been waiting
     half an hour only for a pen to be found. I am tired and not very
     well. * * * Augusta [Lady Augusta Stanley] being with you I am very
     glad of, and she must be such a comfort to you, for besides being
     such a friend, she has that peculiar charm of manner which all the
     Bruces possess.

                                     October 21st.

     * * * I am so grieved about poor Louise; she will want much care
     and attention.

     Lady Car. [Caroline Barrington] is here since yesterday evening to
     my great delight, and is not looking the worse for her journey.

                                     October 29th.

     * * * To-morrow we expect Vicky and Fritz [Crown Prince and
     Princess of Prussia] for two hours, and later Bertie and Alix on
     their way back from Amorbach, for a few hours. I shall be delighted
     to see them.

                                     October 31st.

     * * * Yesterday we had the pleasure of having dear Vicky and Fritz
     and baby here for two hours, the former well and in such good
     looks, as I have not seen her for long. The baby is a love, and
     very pretty. We were very glad after a year’s separation to meet
     again, and Vicky was so dear and loving. I always admire her
     understanding and brightness each time I see her again; and Fritz
     so good, so excellent. Bertie and Alix we expect in a day or two
     for a short visit. It is very cold, but not unpleasant. I go out
     twice a day.

                                     DARMSTADT, November 7th.

     * * * The little daughter[45] was but a momentary disappointment to
     us, which we have quite got over. We console ourselves with the
     idea that the little pair will look very pretty together.

                                     November 20th.

     * * * We are both very much pleased at the arrangements about Brown
     and your pony, and I think it is so sensible. I am sure it will do
     you good, and relieve a little the monotony of your out-of-door
     existence, besides doing your nerves good. I had long wished you
     would do something of the kind; for, indeed, only driving is not
     wholesome. * * * I have had two drives, which have done me good. *
     * * My mother-in-law has been kindness itself all along--so
     attentive and yet so discreet. I can’t be grateful enough. My good
     father-in-law also. * * * Louis’ mother is to be godmother,
     because it is customary here to ask some one of the name the child
     is to receive to stand on the occasion. We liked Elizabeth on
     account of St. Elizabeth being the ancestress of the Hessian as
     well as the Saxon House.

                                     November 26th.

     * * * We probably go to Carlsruhe on Wednesday, the only place we
     can well go to near by; we can’t take an inn at Baden or any thing
     of that sort, and we only go for a week or ten days at most. * * *
     I am very well and very careful; all people say I look better, and
     have more color than I have had for long, and, indeed, I feel
     strong and well, and my fat baby does perfectly, and is a great
     darling. Affie and Louis and his brother are out shooting. The
     horrid weather has kept me in these three days.

                                     November 29th.

     * * * I ought to mention the christening. My mother-in-law held
     baby all the time, and it screamed a good deal. Victoria stood with
     us and was very good, only kneeling down and tumbling over the
     footstool every two minutes, and she kept whispering to me, “Go to
     Uncle’s.” I thought so much of the christening last year, when
     Victoria behaved much better than her larger dark sister. Ella
     measured twenty-three and a half inches a fortnight ago, and she
     had not grown then. Victoria, I believe, was twenty inches.

                                     CARLSRUHE, December 5th.

     * * * Dear Dr. Macleod is coming with Affie to Darmstadt for the
     14th. Vicky and Fritz will be with us also. How kind of him to
     come, and it has made Affie so happy, for he is so devoted to him.

                                     DARMSTADT, December 10th.

     * * * We returned here yesterday, after a very pleasant stay at
     Carlsruhe. It was very quiet, and we were always _en famille_. We
     had the opportunity of speaking much with Fritz, who is in every
     way so distinguished, and dear Louise is so good and kind.

     I have very little time to write to-day, as we arrived late last
     night. Louis has to be absent to-day, so I have a great deal to do.

                                     December 15th.

     I had not a moment to myself to write to you yesterday, and to
     thank you for the kind lines you sent me through dear Dr. Macleod.
     He gave us a most beautiful service, a sermon giving an outline of
     dear Papa’s noble, great and good character, and there were most
     beautiful allusions to you in his prayer, in which we all prayed
     together most earnestly for you, precious Mama!

     We talked long together afterward about dear Papa, and about you,
     and though absent were very near you in thought and prayer.

     Dear Vicky talked so lovingly and tenderly of you, and of how
     homesick she sometimes felt. She was not with us on that dreadful
     day three years ago, and that is so painful to her. Dear Affie was,
     as we all were, so much overcome by all Dr. Macleod said. Vicky,
     Affie, Louis, and myself sat in the little dining-room; he read to
     us there. Fritz had left early in the morning. The day was passed
     quietly and peaceably together, and I was most grateful to have
     dear Vicky and Affie with me on that day. My dear Louis wishes me
     to express to you how tenderly he thought of you and with what
     sympathy on this sad anniversary. Never can we cease talking of
     home, of you and of all your trials. God bless and comfort you, my
     own dear Mama!


1865.

In the month of January of this year the Prince and Princess were at
last able to carry out their intentions of visiting Berlin, which had
several times been postponed. The Princess met with the greatest
kindness and attention from the King and Queen of Prussia, who had been
much attached to her since her childhood.

A great grief fell upon the Grand Ducal family through the death of the
young Grand Duchess of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Prince Louis’ only sister,
whose recent marriage had given so much satisfaction to the family, and
who died on the 16th of April, a few days after giving birth to a
daughter.

About the same time, the Cesarewitch Nicholas, eldest son of the Emperor
of Russia, died at Nice. He was his mother’s favorite son, and had been
engaged to be married to Princess Dagmar of Denmark (present Empress of
Russia), the sister of the Princess of Wales. Princess Alice endeavored
with all a daughter’s love and sympathy to cheer her parents-in-law
under their heavy bereavement.

While the Prince and Princess were absent in Switzerland at the Riga
Kaltbad in the Bernese Alps, Queen Victoria spent one day at
Kranichstein, and on the 26th of August gathered all her children round
her at Coburg. On that day the Prince Consort’s statue on the
market-place at Coburg was unveiled.

The yearly visit to England took place in the autumn, and the Prince and
Princess spent a longer time than usual in the Highlands, where they
made many delightful excursions.

Soon after their return to Germany, the sad news reached them of the
death of the King of the Belgians. Endeared by his personal character to
his family and friends, he was also by reason of his statesmanlike
qualities recognized as one of the most remarkable sovereigns of Europe.

Although Princess Alice had lived but a short time at Darmstadt, she had
already become the acknowledged centre of social life in that town. Her
liberal and independent spirit, conflicting as it did with many local
prejudices, exposed her to many criticisms; still, no one who came in
contact with her could resist the charm of her appearance and manner.
The Princess had, so to speak, not “yet taken root” in her adopted
country; but, acute and close observer as she was, she soon found where
her own sphere of occupation lay, and what the agencies were by which
she could work out her plans.

Her letters show the love she bore to her new family, and the many
useful enterprises which she now initiated for the well being of the
country.

                                     January 1st.

     * * * Thousand thanks for your dear words and for the wishes! I
     was thinking so much of you and of home, when your letter came in.
     It made me so happy! Darling Mama, I can feel so much with and for
     you during these days. I was all day on the verge of tears, for the
     very word “_Neujahr_” brought Papa and Grandmama, and all at
     Windsor as in former days, so vividly before me, it made my heart
     ache! That bright happy past, particularly those last years, when I
     was the eldest at home, and had the privilege of being so much with
     you both, my own dearly loved parents, is a remembrance deeply
     graven, and with letters of gold, upon my heart. All the morning I
     was telling Louis how it used to be at home, and how we all
     assembled outside your dressing-room door to scream in chorus
     “_Prosit Neujahr_!” and to give to you and Papa our drawings,
     writings, etc., the busy occupation of previous weeks. Then playing
     and reciting our pieces, where we often stuck fast, and dear Papa
     bit his lip so as not to laugh; our walk to the riding-school
     [where the alms to the poor were distributed], and then to
     Frogmore. Those were happy days, and the very remembrance of them
     must bring a gleam of sunshine even to you, dear Mama. Those two
     dinners, when I was with you both, were such happy evenings. I am
     so grateful I remained at home, and lost not a day of those happy
     ones.

     At eight this morning we two went to church; at half-past three
     there was a large dinner at the Schloss. I wore the bracelet with
     your pictures, as I always do on all particular days, for I like to
     be able to look at those dear faces.

                                     January 2d.

     We mean to go out sledging. The cold, and all the ground being
     white this last month, has given me such bad eyes. I can do
     nothing of an evening at all, and reading even by daylight makes
     them so bad that they get quite red. The ladies read to me,
     instead, all sorts of instructive things. Louis has already found
     time to read through a whole volume of the “Lives of the
     Engineers.”[46] You could not have sent any thing that would
     interest him more. He thanks you so much for the pretty New Year’s
     wish also.

                                     January 14th.

     Thousand thanks for your dear letter, for the nice enclosure from
     Dr. Macleod, and for the beautiful sermon by Dean Stanley. One
     remark struck me as singularly applicable to dear Papa, where he
     says: “To die is gain; to be no longer vexed with the sight of
     evil, which they cannot control,” etc.--for dear Papa _suffered_
     when he saw others do wrong; it pained that good pure spirit: and
     though we long for him and want him, if we could call him
     back--even you who want him so much, I think would pause before you
     gave vent to the wish that would recall him. * * *

     When trials come, what alone save faith and hope in a blessed
     future can sustain one!

     * * * You can’t think how much I am interested in every little
     detail of your daily life. Besides, you know it cannot be
     otherwise. Please say kindest things to Brown,[47] who must be a
     great convenience to you.

                                     January 20th.

     * * * The more one studies and tries to understand those wonderful
     laws which rule the world, the more one wonders, worships, and
     admires that which to us is so incomprehensible; and I always
     wonder how there can be dissatisfied and grumbling people in this
     beautiful world, so far too good for our deserts, and where, after
     our duty is done, we hope to be everlastingly with those we love,
     where the joy will be so great and lasting that present sorrow and
     trouble must melt away before that sunshine.

                                     January 23d.

     * * * We have rain and warm high wind, and leave at four o’clock
     this afternoon. Ella has her bath as a bed, and Victoria sleeps in
     the bassinet, which is done up with chintz for the occasion. I
     don’t think they can catch cold. There is a stove in the centre
     compartment besides. You can fancy I feel shy going to Berlin into
     a perfectly new society; and I have been so little out on the whole
     since the year 1861. Marie Grancy[48] goes with us.

                                     BERLIN, January 29th.

     * * * The journey went off very well, and we are so happy to be
     here. Vicky and Fritz are kindness itself, and Vicky so dear, so
     loving! I feel it does me good, that there is a reflection of
     Papa’s great mind in her. He loved her so much, and was so proud of
     her. The King is, as always, very kind, and so pleased to see us
     here. Louis is very happy to meet his old comrades again, and they
     equally so to see him; and I am so glad that he can have this
     amusement at least, for he is so kind in not leaving me--and our
     life must be rather dull sometimes for a young man of spirit like
     him.

                                     BERLIN, February 1st.

     * * * Affie arrived at eight this morning. I am sure the King will
     be so pleased at your having let him come now. He is so kind to me;
     it touches me very much, for I have never done any thing to deserve
     it.

                                     BERLIN, February 4th.

     * * * I have not been sight-seeing anywhere, as it is too cold for
     that. We drive in a shut carriage, and then walk in the
     Thiergarten. We spend the whole day together, which is a great
     enjoyment to me, and of an evening we go out together. It is so
     pleasant to have a sister to go out with, and all the people are so
     kind and civil to us.

     Sigismund[49] is the greatest darling I have ever seen--so
     wonderfully strong and advanced for his age--with such fine color,
     always laughing, and so lively he nearly jumps out of our arms.

     This house is very comfortable, and Vicky is surrounded with
     pictures of you and dear Papa--near her bed, on all her tables--and
     such endless souvenirs of our childhood: it made me quite
     _wehmüthig_ [sad] to see all the things I had not seen for seven
     years, and since we lived together as children--souvenirs of
     Christmases and birthdays from you both, and from dear Grandmama,
     from Aunt Gloucester, etc. It awakened a thousand old remembrances
     of happy past times.

                                     BERLIN, February 7th.

     * * * How much do I think of you now, the happy Silver Wedding that
     would have been, where you could have been surrounded by so many of
     us! Poor Mama, I do feel so deeply for you. Oh, may I be long, if
     not altogether, spared so awful a calamity!

     Morning, noon, and night do I thank the Almighty for _our_
     happiness, and pray that it may last.

     These lines are for the dear 10th,[50] though they will reach you
     on the eve; and they are to tell you from Louis and myself how
     tenderly we think of you on that day, and of darling Papa, who made
     that day what it was. It will be a day of great trial to you, I
     fear. May the Almighty give you strength and courage to bear it! I
     am sure the dear sisters and brothers who are at home will try to
     cheer you with their different loving ways--above all, little
     Beatrice, the youngest of us all.

     Louis goes to Schwerin to-morrow until Friday. They wanted us to go
     together, but one journey is enough at this time of the year.

                                     BERLIN, February 11th.

     * * * We have been sledging these two days; it is very cold, and
     the rooms mostly very hot. When we go out of an evening, we are
     packed up from head to foot. My dear Louis returned from Schwerin
     at five this morning, pleased with his visit. He found the Castle
     fine and comfortable, and its inmates very happy.

                                     BERLIN, February 14th.

     * * * We leave next Saturday. I shall be so sorry to leave dear
     Vicky, for she is often so much alone. Fritz is really so
     excellent, it is a pleasure to look at his dear good face; and he
     is worked so hard--no health can stand it in the long run.

                                     BERLIN, February 17th.

     * * * This will be my last letter from here, and I only regret
     leaving here on account of parting with dear Vicky and Fritz, whom
     we see so rarely, and usually but for a short time. I have passed
     such pleasant hours with dear Vicky: that is what I shall look back
     to with so much pleasure and satisfaction.

                                     DARMSTADT, February 21st.

     I write once more from our dear little home, which I find very
     cold; snow and ice everywhere still--it seems as if winter would
     never end. We accomplished our journey very well. Poor Vicky will
     miss us very much, I fear, in the many hours when she is alone, and
     which we spent together. Writing does not make up for it.

     We give a large masked ball in the Palace at Fastnacht [Shrove
     Tuesday], which is to-day week. It is the first thing we do for the
     society, and I hope it will go off well. I found so much to do
     since my return that I can write no more.

     Before closing I must mention though, that yesterday evening I
     heard “Elijah” beautifully given. How I thought of dear Papa!
     Nearly every note brought back to mind observations he made about
     it. I thought I could see him, and hear his dear sweet voice
     turning round to me with quite watery eyes, saying, “_Es ist doch
     gar zu schön_” [“It is really quite too lovely.”]

     Adored Papa! how he loved this fine music; the harmony in it seems
     like the harmony of souls, and Mendelssohn’s music is so good,
     _fromm_ [pious]--I mean, it makes one better to hear it. In the
     second part, in an air of “Elijah” toward the end, I found the part
     from which those beautiful responses are taken which Cusins
     arranged, and which Papa liked so much.

                                     February 27th.

     * * * I can write but a very short letter to-day, having so much to
     do for our ball. I have made a sketch of my costume, which is the
     same I wore at Berlin at the masked ball at Putbuses. Louis wears
     part of the Garter Costume.

                                     March 4th.

     * * * My parents-in-law leave the middle of this month for
     Schwerin. * * * My mother-in-law fears that Anna will be badly
     managed and treated quite after the old fashion, and she won’t be
     able to help her, she fears. Anna is not very strong, and if she is
     starved and kept from the air, it will certainly do her harm.

     I have written to dear Tilla.[51] To think of home without her
     seems too sad, but I hope you will invite her sometimes. Every one
     liked her in the house, she was so gentle and so kind. I shall
     never forget what I owe her, and I ever loved her most dearly. But
     she has never been the same again since 1861. It gave her a
     dreadful shock; she had such a veneration for darling Papa.

     I hope this year we can show you our house, though it will not be
     far enough advanced for you to live in. For another year, I hope,
     we could make you so comfortable.

                                     DARMSTADT, March 6th.

     * * * I am reading at this moment a book by Herr von Arneth--the
     publication of letters from Maria Theresa to Marie Antoinette from
     1770-80. I recommend it to you. The letters are short and
     interesting, and it would amuse you to take it up now and then,
     when you have a leisure moment. The advice the Empress gives her
     daughter is so good; she was a very wise mother.

     I have read and studied a great deal about the human body; about
     children--their treatment, etc. It interests me immensely.
     Besides, it is always useful to know such things, so that one is
     not perfectly ignorant of the reasons why doctors wish one to do
     certain things, and why not. In any moment of illness, before there
     is time for a doctor to come, one can be able to help one’s self a
     little. I know you don’t like these things, and where one is
     surrounded by such as dear Sir James [Clark] and Dr. Jenner, it is
     perfectly unnecessary and pleasanter _not_ to know a good deal.
     Instead of finding it disgusting, it only fills me with admiration
     to see how wonderfully we are made.

                                     DARMSTADT, March 11th.

     * * * Westerweller does not accompany us this time to England; he
     may join us in June. A former playfellow of Louis, Ferdinand
     Rabenau, accompanies us. Affie knows him and likes him. We think of
     starting on the 3d, and passing by Brussels to see dear Uncle
     Leopold. Uncle Louis is still at Nice, and does not return here, it
     seems, until the Emperor and Empress meet for April 24th--the
     Emperor’s birthday. My mother-in-law is very grateful for your kind
     message. She seems very nervous about Anna.

     Victoria is teething, which makes her pale and poorly. Ella’s
     vaccination did _not_ take, and we have the small-pox here.

                                     March 18th.

     My poor children have been confined to the house with dreadful
     colds and coughs. Victoria looks the most pulled, though Ella’s
     cough was much more violent. I am happy to say that they are really
     better to-day; but we have snow every day, and that makes their
     recovery slower.

     Yesterday night part of a large seed manufactory close by, near
     the artillery barracks, was burnt down. The flames were enormous,
     but the damage done was not great.

     My parents-in-law are in Berlin, and after to-morrow they go to
     Schwerin.

     Last night we heard _Cosi fan tutte_ given to perfection. The music
     is most charming, and I had never heard it before.

                                     April 1st.

     * * * Since some days the snow is many feet deep; one can get about
     in sledges, and Louis drove me in one with four horses this
     morning. All intercourse by carriage is impossible, and this is
     very inconvenient to the people in the country where their “Post”
     cannot drive.

                                     April 4th.

     I must begin by telling you how much pleasure your telegram has
     given me. It is like my own dear Mama to have her arms open for
     those who want her kind support; and I can only repeat again, that
     with you, and under your care alone, should I like to leave my
     little ones so long! To them, indeed, it will in every way be an
     advantage, and I shall be quite easy in leaving them there, where I
     know they will have every care which can be given; and it would
     make us both so happy to feel that in this way we could give you
     some little pleasure.

     Westerweller and Becker both wish very much we may take this
     winter, D.V., for a journey. As long as we have fewer servants and
     this small house, it is easy to break up the whole
     establishment--later, this will be less possible. Louis has never
     been able to travel, and the advantage of seeing other parts of the
     world would be so great for him. Without me he would not do it; he
     says, alone he should not enjoy it. I urge this journey
     principally for his sake, and I hope you will support me in this.
     Since our marriage we have seen nothing, and all who can try to
     enlarge their knowledge. From books alone it becomes tedious and
     less advantageous.

     Victoria is going to have a party of thirty children to-morrow in
     Prince Charles’ rooms. The snow is thawing at length, and the sun
     is much too hot. The sudden spring is not pleasant. We have been
     out riding, and this evening I shall accompany Louis to the
     Schnepfenstrich [woodcock-shooting[52]], which in a fine evening,
     when the birds sing, is lovely.

                                     April 8th.

     * * * We shall be delighted to receive you in Kranichstein, and if
     you will send your suite all to Darmstadt we shall be able to
     arrange, though we have not one spare room anywhere, and I feel you
     will be rather squeezed. How I look forward to meeting you again,
     after a year of separation, I can’t say; and I am so glad that it
     will be under our roof that our joyful embrace will take place. As
     Uncle Louis is to have the Garter, may not Affie bring it to him
     _without_ ceremony? He would like it so much better if it can be
     so.

     On the 17th Louis goes to Oberhessen to shoot _capercailzies_, and
     he deposits me and the children at Lich on his way, where he will
     join us again for my birthday.

     Anna was safely delivered of a little girl this morning, and is
     doing well.

                                     April 15th.

     * * * We have been very anxious about Anna[53] the last few days,
     for she has had fever since the 9th, and shivering still yesterday.

     We have a great deal to do this morning, so I can write but
     shortly.

     We have fine weather at length, and are out a great deal.

     Yesterday we took the Sacrament at nine, and numbers of people with
     us. The service lasted till past eleven, with a pause between.

                                     April 18th.

     This is really a dreadfully sad death in our family, and will be a
     blow to my dear parents-in-law, which will weigh them down for many
     a day. They who lived so retired, and to whom the family life was
     all--Anna, the pet--“_das Prinzesschen_,” whom they gave up so
     unwillingly, and with whom they corresponded daily! It will be a
     blank in their existence, which I can’t bear to think of! Such
     tender loving parents! My poor Louis was dreadfully distressed,
     though he feared the worst all along since we knew that Anna had
     fever. He left with Grolmann, having passed a dreadful morning. All
     the old servants, tutors, friends, came crying to us. Since he is
     gone I have passed sad lonely hours; and poor old Amelung comes[54]
     and sits in my room, sobbing that she should ever have lived to see
     this day.

     Yesterday morning I went to the Rosenhahe and picked flowers from
     Anna’s garden, and wound a large wreath, which I have sent to Louis
     to place on her coffin. The three brothers feel it dreadfully--the
     first rent in the family circle is always hard to bear, and she so
     young, so good, so happy! I hear the poor little baby is nice.

     Yesterday night Anna was taken into the Schlosskirche [Palace
     Chapel] upon Louis’ arrival, after a journey of twenty-seven hours.
     I hope he won’t be ill after all this _Gemüthsbewegung_ [strain
     upon his feelings], and fatigue always upsets him and makes him
     sick, and he feels all so deeply and warmly. It is so shocking. I
     can think of nothing else; and I am very low and sad being so
     alone, and the warm weather makes one unwell.

     The poor Cesarewitch has passed a tolerable night. I fear he is so
     reduced he can’t get through it. The Empress doats on this son, and
     he is so like her. The poor Emperor has left for Nice.

                                     April 21st.

     Oh, it is sad, very sad! Life indeed is but a short journey, on
     which we have our duty to do, and in which joy and sorrow
     alternately prevail. Anna was very good, very unselfish, and a true
     Christian, with her gentle, humble spirit, and as such she was
     loved and admired. What rare people my parents-in-law and their
     children are, I can’t tell you--such childlike faith, such pure
     unselfish love to each other; I really feel unworthy to belong to
     them, and they are dear to me beyond description. As I have shared
     their joys, so with all my heart do I share their sorrow, and
     fervently pray for them! You will understand this, darling Mama.
     From you I have inherited an ardent and sympathizing spirit, and
     feel the pain of those I love as though it were my own. To-morrow I
     have wished that there should be in the Palace Chapel a funeral
     service at the same time as the funeral at Schwerin, and all the
     people here seemed pleased at my wish. Bender, who taught her,
     confirmed her, and who married her not a year ago in that very
     church, will perform the service.

     Poor Dagmar! what a journey for her, poor child! She begins her
     troubles early enough.

                                     April 24th.

     * * * Many thanks for your kind letter, and for all the kind wishes
     for my birthday. It will be sad and quiet; but I hope my beloved
     Louis will arrive to-night, and be with me again--such cause for
     joy and thankfulness. When I have _him_, all sorrow is turned into
     peace and happiness. Could I but know you still had darling Papa at
     your side, how light would my heart be! Once when we have all
     fulfilled our allotted duties, and overcome that dark night, then,
     please God, we shall be together, never again to part!

     The sympathy of all does my sorrowing family good, for it soothes
     so much! I had a few lines so tender, so full of faith, from my
     dear mother-in-law to-day. Since Ella’s birth I know to understand
     and love her most dearly. She suffered dreadfully, but no complaint
     passes her lips. She consoles her husband, her son-in-law, and
     this, with prayer, enables her to bear that which has almost broken
     her heart.

                                     April 25th.

     * * * Dear Louis returned last night well, and bringing good
     accounts of his parents. They remain there still a little longer,
     to arrange Anna’s things. At Frankfort, at eleven last night, we
     met; it was so warm.

     The poor Cesarewitch is gone! The Emperor and Empress are coming
     here in ten days; what sad meetings.

     How warm it has been daily since a fortnight, I can’t tell you! We
     sit all day in the garden, take tea there, drawing-lessons, etc.

                                     April 29th.

     I thank you so much for your kind sympathizing letter. All my
     family are so grateful for all the kindness and sympathy you have
     shown them on this sad occasion.

     To-day Uncle Louis arrives; on Monday the Emperor and Empress, and
     children. What a sad meeting! They go to Jugenheim direct, where
     last year they were so happy all together. I hear the Empress is
     worn out, mind and body; and she insists, instead of finishing her
     cure, on going in a fortnight to St. Petersburg to meet the remains
     of her child, and to do him the last honors. Louis fears that it
     will be more than her feeble frame can endure. In the Greek Church,
     too, the night Masses are long and exhausting, and she is sure to
     wish to do all.

     We spent my birthday as every other day, and the weather was
     heavenly. I am painting in oil now, and that interests me much. I
     find it much easier than water-colors.

     I hope Affie will come to pay his respects to the Russians. If you
     send them a kind message through him, it would please them much.

                                     May 2d.

     * * * How well I understand your compassion being alike for
     mourners in all positions of life. It is but right and natural, and
     I can’t imagine one’s feeling otherwise.

                                     May 6th.

     To-morrow morning my poor parents-in-law arrive. What a meeting,
     and what a return! My father-in-law and the Empress[55] are each
     other’s favorites, and understand each other so perfectly. It will
     be a consolation to both to pour their hearts out to each other,
     and share each other’s sorrow. My dear father-in-law wrote to Aunt
     Marie: “Although my heart is sorely depressed, yet it is even more
     filled with gratitude than with sorrow, that the dear God has given
     us two such dear children, though but for a brief space.” He is so
     touching in his grief.

                                     May 8th.

     I find my dear parents-in-law pretty well, but poor Mama so
     terribly tired. She was dreadfully overcome in coming home, and at
     the several meetings. He looks much older, as, indeed, does also
     the poor Emperor, who parted yesterday to go to St. Petersburg.
     Dear Aunt Marie seems very weak, and they both, together with my
     parents, make such a sad picture to look at. But they all like to
     speak of those they have lost. My parents-in-law and we go this
     week to Uncle Louis, to Seeheim for three weeks.

                                     SEEHEIM, May 12th.

     You can’t think what real pleasure your pretty locket gave my
     mother-in-law. She was deeply touched by the kind thought and the
     considerate attention of the gift--with what was engraved on it.
     She was so very much pleased with it, and put it on the moment she
     received it. The photograph is to be put in. To-day, Anna’s
     wedding-day, it arrived.

     We have been here since yesterday afternoon--my parents-in-law and
     Uncle Louis. The suite are on leave of absence, so we are quite _en
     famille_.

     Yesterday, Serge’s birthday, we went with Uncle and Aunt to the
     Greek Mass, which lasted more than an hour. We dine daily at the
     Heiligenberg. This morning also we were there with our parents and
     children; and Aunt Marie [the Empress of Russia] kept Ella half an
     hour on her lap, playing with her, which the little one enjoyed
     very much, as she is particularly sociable and amiable. Victoria
     romped with her cousins--Aunt Marie’s two, and Uncle Alexander’s
     four.

                                     SEEHEIM, May 15th.

     * * * To-day Michael and Cécile arrive, and on Tuesday the Emperor
     and Empress recommence their journey homeward. The return will be
     for both most trying. Aunt Marie spoke with me about her sons,
     their education, etc., very long last night. Her whole life she has
     studied and lived for Nike [the late Cesarewitch], that he might
     become that which was necessary for his future; and she was much
     more with him, and they were both much more intimate together, than
     she is with her other children. Affie came here on Saturday, and I
     am so glad to have him and hear some news of you. At this moment he
     and William are in the room shooting at a target out of the window,
     which makes no little noise.

                                     May 20th.

     * * * We mean to remain here in the Bergstrasse with our parents;
     is seems to console them; but my father-in-law makes me very
     anxious, and is so nervous. Poor Mama! so soft, so tired, so unlike
     herself, _cela fait pitié_.

     On the fifth the Grand Duke is going to receive the Garter. You
     shall have an account of all.

     Affie is here, and to-day dear Arthur comes for a few hours. I
     shall be so pleased to see him again.

                                     SEEHEIM, May 21st.

     * * * Yesterday the Emperor and Empress and children left. So sorry
     to see them go! God knows when we shall all meet here again. We
     have been so much together and so intimately, that I have grown
     very fond of them, and am very sad at the thought of the long and
     uncertain separation. Dear little Arthur was here, looking very
     well. The wooded hills here are so nice to ride about on, and the
     country is very beautiful.

                                     May 31st.

     I read serious books a great deal, and of a Sunday together we read
     out of Robertson’s sermons. In the second series there is one, “The
     Irreparable Past” for young people, so cheering, so encouraging, so
     useful. Louis read it to me on his return from Schwerin after poor
     Anna’s death. A short life indeed, and it makes one feel the
     uncertainty of life, and the necessity of labor, self-denial,
     charity, and all those virtues which we ought to strive after. Oh,
     that I may die, having done my work and not sinned with
     _Unterlassung des Guten_ [omission to do what is good], the fault
     into which it is easiest to fall.

     Our life being so quiet gives one much time for earnest thought,
     and I own it is discouraging to find how much one fails--how small
     the step of improvement is.

     I suffer still so much, and so often, from rheumatism. I am taking
     warm soda-baths in the morning for it, and am rubbed afterward with
     towels which have been dipped in cold water and then wrung out. It
     is not very pleasant.

                                     June 4th.

     * * * The weather is very beautiful, and we had tea yesterday at
     Schönberg, the castle of young Count Erbach, whom Louis presented
     to you at Windsor. Could you tell us for certain when you intend
     going to Coburg, and when we are expected there, as we are going to
     the sea to bathe for Victoria and myself, and we would arrange our
     time accordingly? I require some sea air after the great heat, and
     after baby’s weaning; also before Scotland it would be good, for I
     have so much rheumatism. Some sea water will strengthen me.

                                     June 7th.

     * * * You know how very Scotch we both are. Louis is devotedly
     attached to Scotland and his Scotch friends. Do tell them so
     always. But now I must tell you of yesterday. In the morning Affie,
     we, and our suite, drove into town for the investiture. At half
     past three I drove with my ladies, a Kammerherr [Chamberlain],
     Becker, etc., to the Schloss, where Uncle Louis received us in
     _shorts_! Then Affie and Louis in their whole Garter dress arrived
     in a carriage with six horses and an escort. Uncle Louis, before
     the throne, and the family, Court, corps diplomatique, etc.,
     received them. Affie read in English the address, to which Uncle
     Louis answered in German; then Affie buckled on the Garter; then
     Louis helped him to put on ribbon, cloak, etc., and fastened the
     sword on him, which was no easy task; but they acquitted themselves
     to perfection, and went out through the long Kaisersaal backward,
     bowing.

     There was a large dinner afterward, at which your health was
     proposed by Uncle Louis, and in return Affie gave his. You have
     made a happy man, and he feels the honor--as he said to me in
     English--“utmostly”; and he wishes me to repeat once more how
     grateful he is to you. * * *

     Affie did not return here last night; he slept at Darmstadt, and
     left this morning for Amorbach. To-day Uncle Ernest is coming to
     us, but only for one night. As we have again to go into town to
     fetch him, and it is very warm, I must close.

                                     SEEHEIM, June 15th.

     * * * How it will amuse and please us to show the good excellent
     Scotchman our home. It is a pleasure to hear of such devotion and
     attention to you as Brown’s is, and indeed you are so kind to him,
     that his whole happiness must consist in serving so good a
     mistress.

     I think you will be pleased to hear of a most kind and touching
     tribute which the Frauen [women] of Darmstadt have paid me. Two
     hundred and fifty have subscribed to have a splendid picture
     painted for me, by P. Weber, of Loch Katrine. I am to see it on
     Sunday. It is very much admired, and they sent the painter to
     Scotland to do it, thinking that something from my own country
     would please me most. Is it not kind of them? It has given me so
     much pleasure--but of all things the feeling which has prompted
     them to do it, as it shows me that, though I have been here so
     short a time, they have become attached to me, as I am with all my
     heart to my new home and country.

     Now about myself. I have weaned Ella, last Saturday, and can say
     that my health has never been so good, nor have I been so strong or
     looked so fresh and healthy as I do now. When Uncle Ernest saw me
     he said I looked again as I did as a girl, only rather fatter.

     Ella crawls now, and is very strong; she has her first two teeth.
     Victoria is very wild, and speaks more German than English. I think
     her rather small, but other people say she is not. She goes out
     walking with her Papa before breakfast quite alone, with her hands
     in her pockets, and amuses him very much.

                                     June 19th.

     Many thanks for your last letter from dear Balmoral. The parting
     from that lovely place must always be sad, and there is something
     in mountains which attaches one so much to that scenery.

     Yesterday was a very trying day for my poor mother-in-law (her
     birth-day), and she was very low, but, as all along, so resigned,
     so touching in the beautiful way she bears her grief; so unselfish
     with it, never wishing to make others sad, or to be less interested
     in their concerns than formerly.

     Dear Mary Cambridge has been here, and we enjoyed her visit so
     much. We took her back to Frankfort to-day, where we gave her and
     Aunt Cambridge a luncheon in Uncle Louis’ Palais.

                                     June 21st.

     It is warm, but very windy and dusty here; we were nearly blinded
     out riding yesterday evening. I am reading that most interesting
     History of England by Pauli, in German, which commences with the
     Congress of Vienna in 1815, and is, I believe, very detailed and
     correct. It gives a sketch also of the reign of George III., and is
     so well written one can scarcely lay the book down. It is part of a
     work written by the best German professors on England, Russia,
     Italy, France, Spain, and Austria in those years, and I am reading
     them one after another. They are thick books, and eight volumes.

                                     KRANICHSTEIN, July 2d.

     We both thank you for your kind wishes for our wedding-day. It was
     rainy and not fine, but we spent it very happily indoors--Affie and
     Mary with us. Dr. Weber now wishes (as we should have to go from
     Blankenberghe back to Coburg, and then again all the journey back),
     that I should not bathe at all this year, as all the good would be
     undone by the hurried journey, and the excitement of the sea air
     might not be good for Victoria. We are all to go instead for four
     weeks to Switzerland, beginning with Rigi Kaltbad, and this we
     greatly prefer. We go into the mountains at once for the bracing
     air. On Saturday until Tuesday we go to Baden for the christening
     of the baby. We both are god-parents.

                                     KRANICHSTEIN, July 10th.

     *** Ella already says, since some time, “Papa” and “Mama,” and
     calls herself, and crawls, and is very forward and merry--such a
     contrast to Victoria, who is so pale and fair, and _now_ thin, for
     Ella’s eyes are so dark blue, and her hair of such a rich brown,
     that you would never take the little things for sisters. They are
     very fond of each other, and so dear together, that they give us
     much pleasure. I would not change them for boys, if I could; this
     little pair of sisters is so nice, and they can be such friends to
     each other.

     I hope you will be comfortable here, but we are much annoyed not to
     be able to be there to receive you. None of the family will be
     here, save perhaps my mother-in-law with poor Fritz Schwerin, who
     is expected then.

     We mean to start on the 25th, and we go as private people, on
     account of the expense. We are only going to Oberland, and sha’n’t
     go very far about.

                                     KRANICHSTEIN, July 17th.

     *** It was 95° in the shade yesterday at eight in the morning, and
     I think the heat increases. Dr. Lyon Playfair lunched with us
     yesterday; he is so charming. To-morrow morning at five we go to
     Bonn for the day, and shall be there before ten. The heat is too
     great to go at any other time. We start next Tuesday evening, and
     on Wednesday shall be on the Rigi.

     This morning at six o’clock we rode to the exercising--I on a new
     horse, for two hours and a half over sand without any shade.

     Mary [Duchess of Teck] has been so kind as to give us a boat, which
     we expect shortly. It is to be christened “Mary Adelaide,” after
     her.

                                     July 24th.

     Many thanks for your letter, and for the sad account of Victoria
     Brant’s[56] death. It is quite shocking, and she was my dearest
     friend of those contemporaries, and the one I saw the most of. “In
     the midst of life we are in death”; and the uncertainty of all
     earthly things makes life a real earnest, and no dream. Our whole
     life should be a preparation and expectation for eternity. Merry as
     she was, she was yet very serious and thoughtful; but what a loss
     she will be to her poor parents and husband!

     I have made all arrangements for your comfort here. I own I do not
     like your coming here when we and the whole family are away--it
     looks so _odd_! I forgot to tell you, in answer to your question
     about Ella’s name, that she of course must be called “Elizabeth,”
     _entre nous_ only “Ella,” for she bears my dear mama-in-law’s name.

                                     RIGI KALTBAD, August 1st.

     I am enchanted, delighted with this magnificent scenery. Oh, how
     you would admire it! When I am sketching, I keep telling Louis how
     much more like you would make the things; one can always recognize
     the places when you draw them.

     We left Darmstadt at eight Wednesday morning, the 26th, slept at
     Basel that night, and we got there early enough to see the fine
     church in a thunder storm. The next day we only went to Lucerne, as
     the weather was not fine enough to ascend the Rigi. It was a lovely
     afternoon, and the lake of a marvellous green color. The Pilatus
     was quite clear for a few hours. The next morning we two, the
     children, Moffat, Harriet the nursery-maid, Logoz and wife, Jäger,
     and Beck, our whole party, started in a very crowded steamer for
     Wäggis. Splendid weather, though cloudy. We then, on horses and in
     chairs carried by three or six men, made our ascent along a
     winding, narrow, steep path, below rocks, past ravines, where
     little châlets are situated, and all over the green pasture cows
     and goats feeding with bells round their necks. Westerweller was
     here when we arrived; he acts courier, and when we make long
     expeditions remains with the children. This is a very roomy hotel,
     crammed full of people, among them some odd Austrian ladies whom we
     see below walking on the terrace--very smart, and smoking. We two
     have been on mules with a guide--such a funny man, who was a
     soldier at Naples, and was at the siege of Gaeta--on all the
     expeditions hereabout.

     To-morrow we leave, and go till Monday to Buochs, on the other side
     of the lake; then to Engelberg, where Uncle Adalbert and his wife
     will be. The children are well; Victoria very troublesome, but Ella
     good and amiable as ever. As I am writing at the window, the clouds
     cover the lake and the lower mountains, and I can only see the
     quite high ones with glaciers, which are of such a splendid shape.

     The color of the Scotch mountains is, I think, finer; but here they
     are, first of all, so enormously high, and then such fine shapes,
     and the mountains are studded with trees and rocks down below, and
     of a green color.

     The air is very light and cold, but the sun intense. We are going
     off for the day again on our mules, so I must close. Of course many
     funny incidents take place, which I reserve to tell you when we
     meet.

     I do hope the heat will be over for your journey, and that it will
     be fine when you are at our dear Kranichstein. Marie Grancy will be
     there to receive you, and do any thing which is required.

                                     ENGELBERG, HOTEL TITLIS, August 8th.

     These lines I send by Becker, and hope you will receive them at
     Kranichstein. * * * I hope you found all you wanted in the rooms,
     and that the meals were as you like them. I ordered all, and wrote
     all down before leaving, as I know what you like.

     We were for some days at Buochs, a very pretty village; and we
     lived in three detachments in different common Swiss houses, very
     comfortable on the whole, but not smelling very nice, so that I
     could scarcely eat while we were there.

     Yesterday morning, in a very funny two-seated carriage with one
     horse, we left, the children and servants following in a bigger
     carriage. A nearly four hours’ drive through the most beautiful
     scenery, up a narrow valley through which the Aa runs, brought us
     here. The last two hours are a steep ascent on the side of a
     precipice; beautiful vegetation through the wood all the way
     upward; view on the high mountains with snow and glaciers close by.
     On coming to the top there is a narrow and lovely green valley
     studded with peasants’ cottages, and in the centre a Benedictine
     Abbey, near which our hotel is situated. The valley is of very
     green grass; the tops of the mountains quite rocky, with snow.
     Lower down, and skirting the valley, which is quite shut in by the
     hills, fine trees; several very high waterfalls, in the style of
     the Glassalt (near Balmoral), only much higher. This Alpine valley
     is said to give the most perfect idea of a Swiss valley up in the
     mountains. One can ascend the Titlis; but it is said to be
     dangerous, so we sha’n’t attempt it. We are very careful, and Louis
     won’t undertake any thing risky. The scenery seen from the carriage
     merely is so splendid that one may well be content with that.
     Unfortunately, to-day it pours, and it is very cold. The children
     are very well. The journey has really done Victoria good, and she
     begins to have an appetite, which with her is a very rare thing.

     The next place we go to is Meyringen. We mean to ride there over
     the Joch Pass, but the children must go back the same way to get
     round, as there is no other way out of this valley. We will leave
     them then with Westerweller, and go to the Grindelwald, Interlaken,
     etc.; and then return home by the 29th probably. The children are
     living in a cottage here also.

                                         PENSION BELLE VUE,
                                         TRACHT BEI BRIENZ,
                                         August 14th.

     * * * Our ride from Engelberg over the Joch Pass to Meyringen was
     quite beautiful; but a worse way than any we have ever been out on
     in Scotland. We were eleven hours on the road, and the sun was
     very hot, and the walking on these steep bad paths made one still
     hotter; but we enjoyed it very much, and I never saw any thing
     grander or more magnificent. * * * I have made little scribbles on
     the way. * * * To-day we two with two horses were to have walked
     and ridden to the Grindelwald, over the Rosenlaui glacier, and to
     have gone on the next day to Interlaken, but the weather is so bad
     that it is impossible, and, not being satisfied with the prices,
     etc., at the hotel of Meyringen, we came on here, an hour’s drive,
     near to the beautiful falls of the Giessbach, which we saw on
     Sunday. * * * The weather will determine whether we can make an
     expedition to-morrow.

     We shall be home on Friday by Thun and Basel, where we sleep. What
     day are we to be at Coburg, and for how long exactly? I believe
     only two or three days.

     The white heather is from above Engelberg, near Brienz.

                                     PENSION BELLE VUE, August 15th.

     I have this instant received your dear letter from Kranichstein,
     and, though only just returned from an expedition to the Rosenlaui
     glacier, I sit down at once to thank you with all my heart for such
     dear lines. How glad I am all was comfortable, and that you were
     pleased with your day in our nice Kranichstein! I am glad you
     missed us a little. * * * But I must tell you of to-day. We drove
     to Reichenbach, close to the falls, took a guide and horses, and in
     two hours by a steep stony path got to Rosenlaui. The view on the
     Wetterhorn, covered with snow, and on the Wellhorn, which is a
     rugged rock on the other side of it, the white sparkling glacier,
     is quite beautiful. The shapes and immense height of the mountains
     are so imposing. I look, admire, wonder; one can’t find words to
     express what one feels. How you would admire the scenery! Papa was
     so fond of it all.

                                     KRANICHSTEIN, August 21st.

     These will be my last lines until we meet. We returned here well,
     having unfortunately, though, much rain from Interlaken to Basel.
     At Thun we were in the same hotel as Blanche and Mademoiselle
     Bernard, and to-morrow we expect Uncle Nemours, Marguerite, and
     Alençon, whom we asked to dinner on their way to Frankfort. I am
     mostly at the Rosenhöhe with my mama-in-law, as she is quite alone.
     I was in town with her, and read to her this morning; she is ever
     so dear and kind. I do love her _so much_. Ever since Ella’s birth
     we have been drawn so closely to each other, and I admire her also
     now that I know and understand her. There is so much beneath, so
     much _Gemüth_, tenderness, and delicacy of feeling. It is indeed a
     blessing to have such people as they are for parents-in-law.

                                     September 1st.

     Uncle George was here yesterday. Vicky remains with us till the
     5th, and gives me so much pleasure to be able to repay her for her
     hospitality this winter.

     We were at the christening of Becker’s baby, which went off so
     well. In the morning we had to go through High Mass for the
     inauguration of the Grand Duchess’ monument in the Catholic church.

     Poor papa-in-law, who went to bathe for his headache, has had such
     a return of his cough that he is coming back here on Monday. I hope
     they will go to Switzerland later.

                                     KRANICHSTEIN, September 8th.

     * * * After having missed the train they intended, to come by,
     Bertie and Alix arrived at three o’clock. They dined with us. Louis
     then took him to the theatre, and I drove her about.

     My poor father-in-law’s throat is very bad, and gives him much
     pain. I am really very anxious about him.

     We leave to-morrow afternoon at four, and shall spend the following
     day at Ostend, embarking in the evening. Till the end of the week
     we intend stopping in town, and if Bertie and Alix remain longer,
     we shall leave by the limited mail (for Balmoral).

                                     INVERNESS, October 8th.

     This is a very fine town, and the country is very beautiful. We
     took a walk this morning, and shall drive this afternoon. It was
     thought better not to go to a kirk, as the people seemed to look
     out for us.

     Again a thousand thanks for having arranged this nice journey for
     us, which we enjoy so much. I thought so much of you and dear Papa
     yesterday during our ride.[57]

                                     SANDRINGHAM, November 16th.

     * * * I am pleased that the children are well under your roof. I
     know they have all they can want. Bertie had such bad toothache
     yesterday; Louis also a little; the cold air must be the cause, for
     it is so sharp here.

     Alix and I practice together for an hour of an evening. * * * Alix
     drove me down to the sea the other day, and a most alarming drive
     it was, for the horses pulled, and to our astonishment the coachman
     suddenly alighted between us, with his feet in the air, from the
     back seat, and caught hold of the reins--it was too funny. I hope
     to be near you again on Saturday.

                                     COBLENZ, November 25th.

     * * * Having just a quarter of an hour to myself before leaving
     this, I hasten to write to you a few lines to tell you that we have
     travelled quite well so far. May will have told you about our
     passage. I have been sick ever since, which is dreadful. Henry and
     William joined us at Bonn, and came here with us.

     The Queen was most kind. We spent the evening most pleasantly _en
     famille_ with her, and whilst we dined alone together she had to go
     to a town ball.

                                     DARMSTADT, November 28th.

     * * * I find my father-in-law looking better, I am happy to say,
     though far from strong; and alas! one of his lungs is affected.
     Though, with care, one can guard him from evil consequences, still
     of course, it is an anxious thing. All the family are very grateful
     for your kind messages, and send their respects to you.

     * * * The children are very well, and Victoria said to my mother,
     “Meine Grossmama, die Königinn, has got a little vatch with a
     birdie,” and she is always speaking of all at Windsor, but
     principally of the things in your room. I am so glad that you are
     pleased with the children’s picture. I admire it so much.

     It is warm and damp here. * * * I have a great deal to do. * * *

     We have been over the new house yesterday, and alas! found many
     things not quite what they were intended to be. * * *

                                     DARMSTADT, December 5th.

     Many thanks for your letter received yesterday, with the account of
     Lenchen’s _Verlobung_ [betrothal]. I am so glad she is happy, and I
     hope every blessing will rest on them both that one can possibly
     desire.

     I had a letter from Marie Brabant two days ago, where she says dear
     Uncle’s [King Leopold’s] state is hopeless; but yesterday she
     telegraphed that he was rather better. What a loss it would be if
     he were to be taken from us, for his very name and existence,
     though he takes no active part in politics, are of weight and
     value.

     Yesterday I was painting in oils, and I copied my sketch of the
     Sluggan, and, if it be in any way at all presentable and fit to
     give, I will send it to you. I hope it won’t be very Chinese, for
     our sketches had a certain likeness to works of art of that
     country. Louis is very busy here. He has begun his military duties;
     he has the command and _Verwaltung_ [administration] of the Cavalry
     Brigade. To-day he has to go to the Chamber, and he is going to
     attend the different offices--home department, finances, justice,
     etc.,--so as to get a knowledge of the routine of business. * * *
     Louis of Portugal and family passed through here yesterday, and
     went to Frankfort. I have inquired if they are there still, and if
     they are we shall try to see them. I am so curious to see Marie
     Pia. * * *

     All our _Hofstaat_ [Court circle] lay their good wishes for
     Lenchen’s engagement at your feet.

                                     DARMSTADT, December 8th.

     We are so grieved and distressed at dear Uncle Leopold’s alarming
     state, and have given up all hope, the accounts are so bad. Oh,
     were there but a chance for you, or for any of us who love him so
     dearly, to be near him during his last hours!

                                     December 11th.

     Many thanks for your letter. Alas, alas! beloved Uncle Leopold is
     no more! How much for you, for us, for all, goes with him to the
     grave! One tie more of those dear old times is rent!

     I do feel for you so much, for dear Uncle was indeed a father to
     you. Now you are head of all the family--it seems incredible, and
     that dear Papa should not be by your side.

     The regret for dear Uncle Leopold is universal--he stood so high in
     the eyes of all parties; his life was a history in itself--and now
     that book is closed. Oh, it is so sad, and he is such a loss! I am
     almost glad this sorrow has fallen into those days already so
     hallowed by melancholy and precious recollections. How I recollect
     every hour, every minute of those days. In thinking of them one
     feels over again the hope, the anxiety, and lastly the despair and
     grief of that irretrievable loss. The Almighty stood by you and us,
     and enabled us to bear it, for I always wonder that we lived
     through that awful time.

     The future world seems so like a real home, for there are so many
     dear ones to meet again. There is something peculiarly sad in the
     death of the last one of a large family--to feel that none is left
     to tell of each other, and of their earlier life, which the younger
     ones could know only through their lips.

                                     December 15th.

     Many thanks for your letter. I was so anxious to hear something of
     our beloved Uncle’s end; it seems to have been most peaceful.

     There will be many Princes at Brussels, I believe.

     How much I thought of you and of dear Papa on the 14th! Dear Louis
     leaves me this afternoon. He will reach Brussels at five to-morrow
     morning, and remain over the Sunday.

     The accession of the new King and the honors that have at once to
     be paid are so painful, following so closely on the death of one we
     have loved and known in that position. As the French say: “_Le Roi
     est mort. Vive le Roi!_”

                                     December 20th.

     * * * I was sitting up for Louis till half-past eleven with
     Countess Blücher--who leaves to-day, and has spent a few days with
     me--when he, and to my astonishment Bertie also, came into the
     room. The next day, alas! he had to leave again at four; but still,
     short as his stay was, it was a token of his constant love for me,
     and it touched me very much, for I ever loved him so dearly.

     Every thing went off well at Brussels as you will have heard. The
     more I realize that we shall never see beloved Uncle Leopold again,
     the sadder I grow. He had, apart from all his excellent qualities,
     such a charm as I believe we shall seldom find again.

     The dear Countess is well. We made the dining-room into a bedroom
     for her, and we dined downstairs. I was so afraid of her getting
     cold, if she lived out of the house.

                                     DARMSTADT, December 24th.

     * * * How I wish beloved Uncle were brought to Windsor to rest
     there as he had wished! I wondered so much that every thing had
     taken place at Laeken, knowing that dear Uncle had wished it
     otherwise.

     Uncle Louis wishes me to thank you once more for the Christmas
     eatables, and my mother-in-law likewise for the lovely little frame
     and photograph. They are both much touched by this kind attention
     on your part.

                                     Christmas Day.

     * * * To me Christmas is always sad now, and for Louis and his
     family it was so likewise this year; my parents-in-law felt it very
     much. We went to the Military Church at eight this morning. It is
     the service we like best; but it was bitterly cold, every thing
     snow white.

     I hope my little picture, though very imperfect, found favor in
     your eyes. It gave me such pleasure doing it for you, thinking of
     you and our expedition the whole time I was doing it.

                                     December 30th.

     This is my last letter this year. In many ways a happy one has it
     been, though it has deprived us of many dear and near ones. Each
     year brings us nearer to the _Wiedersehen_ [reunion with the dead],
     though it is sad to think how one’s glass is running out, and how
     little good goes with it compared to the numberless blessings we
     receive. Time goes incredibly fast.

     Every earnest and tender wish from us both is yours, dear Mama, for
     this coming year with its expected events. May God’s blessing rest
     on this new union which is to be formed in our family, and may dear
     Lenchen be as happy as all those who loved her can wish! I am sorry
     to think that I shall probably not see her again until she is
     married; but I am glad for her sake that the _Brautstand_ [the
     betrothal period] is not to be long.

     I send you a locket with Ella’s miniature, which I hope will please
     you.



[Illustration] AT HOME AND AT WORK.

1866-1872.

“Life is meant for work, and not for pleasure.” (_August 29, 1866._)


1866.

This year, which brought such important changes to the political life of
Germany, was also in many ways full of sorrow and trouble to the
Princess, and the hard and painful struggle through which Germany passed
affected her very nearly.

During the early part of the year, the new palace was completed, and in
it the Princess had the satisfaction of seeing her wishes realized, and
of feeling both comfortable and “at home.” She was also able during this
new year to extend the field of her practical usefulness.

Princess Alice attended some very interesting lectures on the necessity
of providing special asylums for poor idiots, delivered by a very clever
and enterprising “orthodox” clergyman from the Odenwald. She took up the
idea most warmly, and determined to found such an institution herself,
but in doing this found herself face to face with very serious
difficulties. The lecturer and those who sided with him wished that any
institution of this kind should bear a strictly religious stamp. The
Princess did not agree in this view. She wished to separate the
religious from the practical part of the work. She wished people to
feel, that they were bound to help to alleviate sickness and suffering
(in whatever form) out of mere love to their fellow-creatures, and not
only as the fulfilment of a religious duty. While the Princess always
acknowledged the value of religious motives in carrying out works of
charity, she felt strongly, in this particular case, that the treatment
of idiots should be left to the medical profession, without any foreign
interference.

A committee was formed of persons who shared the Princess’ views, and
who were commissioned by her to take the necessary steps for carrying
out her plans. By far the most difficult part of the work fell to her
own share--namely, that of finding the necessary funds. To obtain these
she organized a Bazaar in her new palace. This was a totally novel
proceeding in Germany, and well calculated to attract a large number of
visitors. The Bazaar was opened on the 6th of April, and lasted four
days. The Princess and Prince Louis and her brother, Prince Alfred, took
an active part in it. The result surpassed utmost expectations, a
success mainly due to her own personal efforts, and to the charm which
she exercised over all. At the close of the Bazaar she was not only able
to announce that she had realized the sum of 16,000 florins, but that
she had also gained the conviction that the whole country supported her
in her undertaking.

In spite of the success of this Bazaar, the Princess was in later years
opposed to a repetition of such an expedient, as she felt--what many
do--that people often come on such occasions for their own personal
amusement rather than to aid the charity.

The war of 1866, which was the consequence of the unfortunate conflict
about the Duchies of Schleswig-Holstein, was viewed by the Princess with
feelings in which personal interests and attachments conflicted with
political convictions. She was so truly German that she felt most keenly
the struggle between Germans and Germans, or as she herself says in one
of her letters, “brother against brother.”

At times she could not help being downcast, because she saw how much her
husband and her husband’s country suffered from it, and because she
foresaw how disastrous to South Germany the results of such a war must
be. Prince Louis himself was soon obliged to assume his command in the
field.

The Princess gave birth to a third daughter on the 11th of July, during
the most anxious days of that trying time. Prince Louis had happened to
be home on leave for a few days when the event took place; but he was
obliged to leave the Princess on the 14th of July, and to go at once
into action at Aschaffenburg. As the South-German troops had to retreat,
all communication with his home for some time was cut off.

On the 31st of July the Prussians under General von Göben entered
Darmstadt. Prince Louis’ parents, who were the only relations remaining
in Darmstadt, were daily with the Princess. On the 8th of August, whilst
on her way home from visiting her parents-in-law, the Princess
unexpectedly met the Prince in the street. He had obtained leave of
absence during a short armistice. The joy of this meeting can easily be
pictured! The Prince and Princess together visited the wounded; and on
the 10th of August the Prince was appointed by the Grand Duke to the
command of the Hessian division then in the field. By the Grand Duke’s
wish the Prince went for two days to Berlin, and then joined the troops
in Rhenish Hesse. He took up his quarters in the “_Gelbe Haus_” at
Nierstein-Oppenheim, and the Princess courageously shared them with
him--in spite of the cholera then raging there. On the 12th of
September--Prince Louis’ birthday--the little Princess was christened at
Darmstadt by the military chaplain; she received the names Irène (Peace)
Louise Marie Anna. The same day peace was ratified at Berlin--that peace
for which the brave mother of the child had so ardently longed.

The Cavalry Brigade which the Prince had commanded stood sponsor to the
child.

It was only on the 20th of September that the Prince and Princess with
the Hessian division made their public entry into Darmstadt.

                                     January 2d.

     I am at the head of a committee of ladies out of the different
     classes of society to make a large bazaar, in which all the country
     is to take part, for the Idiot Asylum. It is very difficult--all
     the more as I have never had any thing to do with such things in my
     life. * * * I wanted for the first public thing I undertake, to
     take in all principles, and my mother-in-law has given her name to
     it. I have chosen the committee out of different sets--half
     _adelig_ [people of rank] half _bürgerlich_ [of the citizen class],
     and all these ladies, half of whom I did not know before, come and
     sit in my small room and discuss--and, as yet, do not disagree.

                                     January 6th.

     * * * The people here are so much pleased that my Louis takes such
     active part in all his duties--military and civil, for he attends
     the different offices, and as General, I hear, he keeps great order
     where there was until now disorder and great abuse of power. Of
     course, I see him much less, and some days scarcely at all.

     On the 14th we go to Gotha for about a fortnight, without the
     children.

                                     GOTHA, January 19th.

     Dear Uncle and Aunt are well, and we are very happy here, for they
     are always kindness itself to us. Uncle looks very well, but he
     grows very stout, I think. We saw the _Braut von Messina_
     [Schiller’s] so well given two nights ago. I thought so much of
     dear Papa, who admired it greatly; and Uncle Ernest told me he had
     it given for you, when you first came here.

                                     GOTHA, January 22d.

     * * * Two nights ago Uncle, Louis, and I, with a very clever old
     actress, read a piece together. Louis resisted at first, but it
     went very well. You can’t imagine how mild it is. I have the
     windows always open. Gustav Freitag is here. I am always glad to
     see him. He is a good friend to Uncle, and he is so honest and
     straightforward.

                                     GOTHA, January 26th.

     I shall be very sorry to go away from here--the whole atmosphere
     does one good. Dear Uncle is so amusing; he speaks of interesting
     things, and has interesting people.

     Our Quaker acquaintances have sent me a great deal for the bazaar,
     and an old gentleman who heard of it, 100_l._! I could not believe
     my eyes. They are always so generous: and, hearing of my
     undertaking a work of this sort, they sent me this spontaneously.
     Is it not kind?

                                     DARMSTADT, February 1st.

     It is spring weather here altogether--quite warm when one comes out
     of the house. It is so unnatural. The children enjoy it, and are
     out a great deal, looking so well and strong: I wish you could see
     them. The little one is growing up to her sister very fast, and
     actually wears the frocks Victoria wore last year. I wish you could
     hear all the extraordinary things Victoria says. Ella is civil to
     all strangers--excepting to my mother-in-law, or to old ladies. It
     is too tiresome. There is a large ball given by the officers at
     their Casino to-night, to which we must go. It will be crowded and
     hot. Our house gets on tolerably. The housekeeper, a Berlinerinn,
     comes on the 20th, and we told that we can go into the house next
     month. I can’t help doubting it, and I regret leaving this nice
     little house, where our first happy years have been spent. I am so
     glad that you have at least been in the new house, so that I can
     always think that you are no stranger to it, which makes me like it
     much better.

                                     February 10th.

     * * * I am happy to think you are quiet at Osborne after all you
     had to go through. The emotion and all other feelings recalled by
     such an event must have been very powerful and have tried you
     much.[58] It was noble of you, my darling Mama, and the great
     effort will bring compensation. Think of the pride and pleasure it
     would have given darling Papa--the brave example to others not to
     shrink from their duty; and it has shown that you felt the intense
     sympathy which the English people evinced, and still evince, in
     your great misfortune.

     How to-day recalls those bright and happy former years! There is no
     cloud without a silver lining, and the lining to the black cloud
     which overshadows your existence is the bright recollection of the
     past blending into the bright hope of a happy future; a small part
     of it also is the intense love of your children and nation, which
     casts a light around you which many live to enjoy and admire, and
     which few--if any--possess like you. I wish I could have sent a
     fine nosegay of orange blossoms for to-day, but they could not have
     arrived fresh so I gave it up.

     Louis sends his tenderest love, and wishes me to say how much his
     thoughts with mine are to-day constantly with you. He is very
     industrious, and has a great deal to do now, and, I hear, does all
     very well.

                                     DARMSTADT, February 15th.

     How dear of you to have written to me on the 10th--a day of such
     recollections! That last happy wedding-day at Buckingham Palace,
     how well I remember it, and all the previous ones at Windsor, when
     we all stood before your door, waiting for you and dear Papa to
     come out. You both looked so young, bright, and handsome. As I grew
     older, it made me so proud to have two such dear parents! And that
     my children should never know you both together--that will remain a
     sorrow to me as long as I live.

                                     DARMSTADT, March 10th.

     * * * Your idea of Friedrichroda for us was so good, but alas! now
     even that will be impracticable, on account of money. Louis has had
     to take up money again at Coutt’s to pay for the house, and the
     house is surety.

     We must live so economically--not going _anywhere_, or seeing many
     people, so as to be able to spare as much a year as we can. England
     cost us a great deal, as the visit was short last time. We have
     sold four carriage horses, and have only six to drive with now, two
     of which the ladies constantly want for theatre, visits, etc.; so
     we are rather badly off in some things. But I should not bore you
     with our troubles, which are easy to bear.

                                     March 16th.

     How trying the visit to Aldershot must have been, but it is so wise
     and kind of you to go. I cannot think of it without tears in my
     eyes. Formerly that was one of the greatest pleasures of my
     girlhood, and you and darling Papa looked so handsome together. I
     so enjoyed following you on those occasions. Such moments I should
     like to call back for an instant.

     Our house here is quite empty, and the _déménagement_ creates such
     work. To-morrow night we sleep for the first time in the new house.

                                     March 17th.

     I write from our dear little old house. May dear Papa’s and your
     blessing rest on our new home, as I am sure it will! It is full of
     souvenirs of you both--all your pictures, photographs of dear
     brothers and sisters and home. It reminds me a little of Osborne,
     of Buckingham Palace, a little even of Balmoral. Could I but show
     it to darling Papa! If I have any taste, I owe it all to him, and I
     learned so much by seeing him arrange pictures, rooms, etc.

     At half-past seven we go into our house to-night. Bender is to say
     a prayer and pronounce a blessing, when we with all our household
     are assembled in hall; only Louis’ parents and William besides
     ourselves. Yours and dear Papa’s I pray to rest on us.

                                     March 20th.

     That [the death of the Duchess of Kent] was the commencement of all
     the grief; but with darling Papa, so full of tenderness, sympathy
     and delicate feeling for you, how comparatively easy to bear,
     compared to all that followed!

     * * * We are very comfortably established here, and I can’t fancy
     that I am in Germany, the house and all its arrangements being so
     English. When can we hope once to have you here? Of course _that_
     is the summit of our wishes. Your rooms are on the east side and
     very cool--as you always go abroad when it is hot, and suffer so
     much from the heat. I shall die of it this year, as my rooms are
     to the west.

                                     March 24th.

     * * * Our grand-uncle of Homburg has just died, so that Homburg
     falls to Uncle Louis now. But all the things of the Landgravine
     Elizabeth go to Princess Reuss, and her [Aunt Elizabeth’s[59]]
     rooms are full of beautiful miniatures, oil-paintings, and
     ornaments _en masse_, like Gloucester House.

     I shall be so glad to see dear Affie. His rooms are to be ready by
     this evening. The house is very comfortable, but the weather is
     awful--wind, rain, and sleet. In spite of it the house is so
     cheerful.

     How sorry I am for you that dear Aunt[60] is gone. As she was so
     well this time, it will be a reason more for her returning soon to
     you.

     Dear Lady Frances Baillie was with me on Thursday, so dear and
     charming.

                                     April 2d.

     * * * We are living in such a state of anxiety and alarm. War[61]
     would be too fearful a thing to contemplate--brother against
     brother, friend against friend, as it will be in this case! May the
     Almighty avert so fearful a calamity! Here, at Mayence and
     Frankfort, it will begin, if any thing happens, as there are mixed
     garrisons; and we must side with one against the other. For Henry,
     who is still here, it is dreadful. He can’t desert at such a
     moment, and yet if he should have to draw his sword against his
     country, his brothers fighting on the other side! Fancy the
     complications and horrors of such a war!

     For Vicky and Fritz it is really dreadful; please let me hear by
     messenger what you hear from them. I am sure you think of us in
     these troubled times. What would dear Papa have said to all this? I
     long to hear from you, to know that your warm heart is acting for
     Germany.

                                     March 26th.

     * * * The dear old Oueen Marie Amélie[62] is gone to her rest at
     last, after a long and so stormy a life! Claremont is now also
     altered. How sad those constant changes are! It reminds one again
     and again that we are on a journey, and that the _real home_ is
     elsewhere. All those who work hard and love their fellow-creatures
     meet again, and the thorny path will be forgotten which leads to
     the happy meeting. I sincerely mourn for the dear Queen, and she
     was so kind to me always. I am glad she was one of Victoria’s
     god-mothers.

                                     April 7th.

     * * * Our Bazaar goes off wonderfully: 7,000 florins the first day,
     and to-day again a great deal. Affie was invaluable in arranging,
     selling, and assisting in every way. There have been crowds these
     two days, as in England: something quite unusual for the quiet
     inhabitants of this place. They have shown so much zeal and
     devotion that I am quite touched by it, as I am more or less a
     stranger to them.

                                     April 25th.

     Thousand thanks for your dear lines, and for the money and charming
     bas-relief of you, which I think very good. I thought so much of
     former birthdays at home in Buckingham Palace. They were so happy.
     We did nothing in particular; merely dined at Kranichstein with
     Uncle Louis in the afternoon. It was warm and fine.

     The money will go at once to Louis’ man of business toward paying
     off the furniture, and is, indeed, very, very acceptable, more so
     under present circumstances than any thing else you could give us;
     and that part of the furniture will then all be your present.

                                     May 3d.

     * * * The prospect of war seems to be nearing realization. It will
     be so dreadful if it does. God be with us, if such a misfortune
     befall poor Germany! These prospects have already done much harm to
     trade. The large manufacturies send away their superfluous workmen,
     and they sell next to nothing. Most unpopular amongst high and low,
     and amongst people of all opinions, this civil war will be. * * *

     I have made all the summer out-walking dresses, seven in number,
     with paletôts for the girls--not embroidered, but entirely made
     from beginning to end; likewise the new necessary flannel shawls
     for the expected. I manage all the nursery accounts, and every
     thing myself, which gives me plenty to do, as every thing
     increases, and, on account of the house, we must live _very_
     economically for these next years.

     It is so kind of you to give Dr. Priestley his fee, otherwise I
     would have had scruples in giving so large a sum for my own
     comfort.

     If there is a war then, and Louis is away, what shall I do? This is
     my constant dread and apprehension. As long as he comes home safe
     again--that is all I shall think of. Please God to spare me that
     fearful anxiety, which weighs on me now already; for he, having
     only a brigade, could not keep out of danger, like Fritz in
     Schleswig.

     I put my trust wholly in the Almighty, who has watched over and
     blessed our life so richly thus far--so _much, much_ more than I
     ever deserved, or can deserve; and He will not forsake us in the
     hour of need, I am sure.

     These dangerous times make one very serious and anxious; the
     comfort of faith and trust in God, who does all well and for the
     best, is the only support. Life is but a pilgrimage--a little more
     or a little less sorrow falls to one’s lot; but the anticipation of
     evil is almost as great a suffering as the evil itself, and mine
     always was an anxious nature, so I cannot banish the thoughts which
     all the dreadful chances of war force upon one.

                                     May 7th.

     * * * I am so sorry for poor Louise and Beatrice, and
     whooping-cough is a nasty thing, though I wish we could complain of
     that as our sufferings here. Anxiety, worry without end!

     Uncle Alexander returned from Vienna two days ago. The Emperor,
     Uncle Alexander Mensdorff, all frantic at being forced into war,
     but fearing now no more being able to prevent it. Cannot the other
     three Powers interfere and step between at this dangerous
     crisis--proposing a Congress, or any thing, so as to avert this
     calamity?

     Henry, who was here on six weeks’ leave, as he and Uncle Louis were
     to have gone to Russia (which now, of course, they won’t do), had
     suddenly to return to Bonn, as his regiment is made _mobil_. Uncle
     Alexander receives the command of the 8th Armee-corps, which I
     suppose and hope will be stationed somewhere near here, as Louis
     is in that, and _is to go_. He means to go to Berlin this afternoon
     for a day to see Fritz, and tell him how circumstances now force
     him to draw his sword against the Prussians in the service of his
     own country. The whole thing is dreadful, and the prospect of being
     left alone here at such a moment (for all our people, nearly, will
     accompany Louis) is dreadful! If I were only over my troubles I
     should not be so anxious, so nervous and unhappy, as I must say the
     anticipation of all these dreadful things makes me. Could I follow
     in the distance! But now that is impossible, and I have not a
     single older married person near me. When dear Louis goes, of
     course Westerweller goes too. I still pray and hope that there be
     no war; even if all the troops are assembled, I hope that the other
     Powers will interfere, and not look on whilst these brothers cut
     each others throats. It is such an unnatural, monstrous war!

     The death of Lord and Lady Rivers is dreadful for their children,
     but how blessed for themselves! I hope Lady Caroline [Barrington]
     will pass by here, which will be a great pleasure to me, though she
     says she can but stop two days, as you wish her to be home by the
     15th.

                                     May 18th.

     * * * How glad I am to hear that Lord Clarendon is still hopeful!
     Here as yet, though there is no distinct reason for it, save the
     repugnance of all to this civil war, all still hope to avoid the
     war. Every day we have occasion to hear how the Prussians detest
     this war--army and all--and there are constant rows, with the
     Landwehr in particular. Men of forty, who have families and homes
     to look after, are taken away with their sons; and those who have
     horses are also taken, with their horses: so that the wife and
     children sit at home, unable to do any thing for their land. It is
     ruining numbers, and murmurs get louder and louder. A revolution
     must break out if this continues. * * * I do pray _most fervently_
     that the King will listen to the just advice, in no way derogatory
     to his dignity, of placing the hated question of the Duchies before
     the Confederation; but I fear he won’t. If he would only listen to
     that advice and disarm, all Germany would do it at once--only too
     gladly--forgetting all the losses in the happiness of peace
     restored. Forgive my stupid letter, but we live really so in the
     midst of these affairs, on which our existence will turn, that I
     can think of nothing else.

     Austria can’t hold out much longer, and the country is getting very
     violent against the King and Bismarck. The Emperor is less able to
     concede and keep peace.

     Now good-bye, dearest Mama. We are so grateful to you for taking
     the children, if any thing comes to pass.

                                     May 22d.

     * * * Any thing you hear of Vicky and Fritz, will you write it to
     me? * * * The cloud grows blacker every day, and the anxiety we all
     live in is very great. But I ought not to write to you to-day of
     such gloomy things, which, thank God, you only see and hear of from
     the other side of the water.

                                     May 25th.

     * * * The Duke and Duchess of Nassau were here yesterday. They,
     like me, are in such an unpleasant position, should it come to
     blows, which I still hope may be averted--for why should we
     harmless mortals be attacked?

     * * * We shall be beggars very soon, if all goes on as it promises
     to do; it is quite dreadful, and the want of other people (and
     dissatisfaction) increases. * * * I have ordered a good
     travelling-bag for Louis, for much the same reason that some people
     take out an umbrella in fine weather to keep off the rain, and this
     is to be against a war. * * * I have a sort of _Ahnung_
     [presentiment] that it won’t come to the worst--for us at
     least--and here we shall keep so quiet, only on the defensive, if
     attacked.

                                     May 28th.

     * * * There seems a little chance of the dreadful prospects being
     bettered. How I do pray it may be the commencement of a better
     time; and that, if peace be established, it may be so _firmly_, so
     that one may not live in the daily dread of new quarrels re-opening
     between the two countries. * * *

     The man who built our house has nearly been made bankrupt, and
     wants money from us to save him from ruin, and we can scarcely
     manage it. The ruin this preparation for war, and consequent
     cessation of all speculations, buildings, or trade, has brought on
     people is dreadful, and of course increases.

                                     June 8th.

     * * * How precious are your words of love and sympathy and the hope
     you still hold to, that war may somehow be averted! It does me good
     to hear it; and I know how much, and how lovingly, your thoughts
     dwell with dear Vicky and with me during this time of trial. * * *

                                     June 13th.

     * * * I fear if the Bund orders the mobilization, and goes against
     Prussia, our troops will be the first to go, and then Louis may get
     orders to be off any day. It is too dreadful! I live in such dread
     that he may have to go just before, or at the very moment of my
     confinement. * * *

     I hope Scotland will do you good. Please God, when you return
     matters may be better. If Austria and Prussia would only fight out
     their quarrel together; but the latter has taken refuge with the
     Bund now, because she wanted it.

                                     DARMSTADT, June 15th.

     * * * The serious illness of poor little Sigismund[63] in the midst
     of all these troubles is really dreadful for poor Vicky and Fritz,
     and they are so fond of that merry little child.

     We have just received the news that the Prussians have crossed our
     frontier and established themselves at Giessen. The excitement here
     is dreadful and it is very difficult to keep people back from doing
     stupid things--wanting to attack, and so on, which with our force
     alone would be madness.

     Louis--as always--remains quiet; but we live in a perpetual fever,
     alarms being sent, being _gehetzt_ [stirred up] from Vienna, as
     they want the Bund to go with them at once. It is a dreadful time.
     I anticipate it will be the close of the existence of the little
     countries. God stand by us! Without the civil list Uncle Louis and
     the family are beggars, as all the private property belongs to the
     country.

     It is so kind of dear Lady Ely to offer to come. I shall be very
     glad of it, for from one day to another I don’t know what Louis’
     duties may be; and, when I am laid up, it is so pleasant to have
     some one who can write to you.

                                     June 18th.

     These lines I send by our children, whom you will so kindly take
     charge of--alas, that the times should be such as to make this
     necessary! In your dear hands they will be so safe; and if we can
     give you a little pleasure in sending them, it would be a real
     consolation in parting from them, which we both feel very much.

     The state of excitement here is beyond description. Troops
     arriving, being billeted about--all will be concentrated from here
     to Frankfort. Two days ago the Bund telegraphed for Uncle Alexander
     to come, as the Prussians were advancing; we, of course, were all
     unprepared, and the confusion and fright were dreadful; but, thank
     God, they retreated again, when they got wind that troops were
     assembling.

                                     June 24th.

     * * * The state of affairs is awful; perpetual frights and false
     news arrive. The Prussians are coming from Wetzlar or Bingen; all
     the bustle and alarm for necessary defence; it is really dreadful.
     Louis’ chief has his staff at Frankfort. Louis’ cavalry brigade is
     there likewise, so he has his adjutant, etc., there, and does his
     work early in the morning at Frankfort, returning here in the
     afternoon, which has been kindly allowed on account of me. I remain
     here, of course, as near dear Louis as I can; and now that the
     children are gone, I have only myself to look after. * * * I have
     not the least fear, but my anxiety about Louis will be very great,
     as you can imagine. * * * Collections are already being made for
     the hospitals in the field, and the necessary things to be got for
     the soldiers. Illness and wounds will be dreadful in this heat.
     Coarse linen and rags are the things of which one can’t have
     enough, and I am working, collecting shirts, sheets, etc.; and now
     I come to ask, if you could send me some old linen for rags. In
     your numerous households it is collected twice a year, and sent to
     hospitals. Could I beg for some this time? It would be such a
     blessing for the poor Germans; and here they are not so rich, and
     that is a thing of which in every war there has been too little.
     Lint I have ordered from England by wish of the doctors; and
     bandages also they wished for. If you could, through Dr. Jenner,
     procure me some of these things, I should be so grateful. * * *
     Four dozen shirts we are making in the house. Every contribution of
     linen or of patterns of good cushions, or any good bed which in the
     English hospitals has been found useful, we should be delighted to
     have. * * * For the moment the people beg most for _rags_; our
     house being new, we have none. I am tolerably well, and cannot be
     too thankful for good nerves. Louis is very low at times, nervous
     at leaving me; and for him I keep up, though at times not without a
     struggle. May the Almighty watch over us, and not separate us, is
     my hourly prayer!

     In your hands we feel the children so safe, though we miss them
     much. It is so kind of you to have taken them, and they are strong
     and healthy. * * *


                                     June 25th.

     Two words by Lady Ely’s courier. I am so glad she is here. She
     performed the journey in a day and night without difficulty; and
     Christa, who merely came from Cassel, took three days coming by
     road.

     Alas! to-morrow Louis’ division moves on into the country to make
     room for other troops, and he must go. It will be too far for him
     to return--save with special permission for a few hours--so we
     shall have to part. My courage is beginning to fail me, but I bear
     up as best I can. God knows what a bitter trial it is! He is just
     in front, so the first exposed. William is to go in Uncle Alex.’s
     staff, and my poor mama-in-law is beginning to break down now. We
     try to cheer each other. The whole thing is so hard: against her
     countrymen--there where Louis has served. The whole thing is so
     _contrecœur_, and the Prussian soldiers dislike it as much as we
     do.

     I am going to Frankfort with ever so many poor wives to take leave
     of their husbands, who march to-day.

     The heat is awful. I have no time to think of myself, or I daresay
     I should have heat, etc., to complain of. Being still off and on
     with Louis, and having things to do, keeps me up; but when he is
     gone, and I have no man here to reassure me, it will be dreadful.

     I must close. * * * Letters from home _now_ are such a pleasure; do
     let any one write to me sometimes to give me news of you all. Your
     own child,

                                     ALICE.



                                     DARMSTADT, July 1st.

     * * * The parting _now_ was _so_ hard! and he feels it so
     dreadfully. I can scarcely manage to write. The heat, besides, is
     overpowering. Our dear wedding-day four years ago! Four years of
     undisturbed, real, and increasing happiness. How I thank and bless
     the Almighty for them, and how fervently I pray that we may live
     over this most bitter trial!

     * * * Whether Henry is engaged or not we don’t know, and can get no
     news of him. At any rate he is cut off from news of us and the rest
     of Germany; and, as our army is moving, and he is on the extreme
     wing, at any moment he may find himself opposite to his own
     brothers and countrymen. It is most painful, and has been to my
     poor father-in-law a great shock, as we all hoped he had got away.
     Please let my brothers know this. They will feel for this
     unheard-of position for three brothers to be in. * * *

     Dear Lady Ely is a comfort and support to me, and it was quite a
     relief to Louis to leave her with me. We are both so grateful that
     she came. Christa is quite out of sorts about her country, and sees
     every thing black. Marie is low about her brother; and we are so in
     the middle of it all, that an English person who has no one
     concerned in it all is really a relief.

     I am so glad that you are pleased with the little ones. You be
     sure, I know, not to let them get in the way of infection, if there
     is still any.

                                     July 3d.

     * * * Poor Vicky! She bears her trial [the death of her son, Prince
     Sigismund] bravely, and it is a heavy one indeed. This dreadful war
     is enough to break one’s heart. Those lives sacrificed for
     nothing--and what will be the end of it all? All our troops are
     gone now, too, and, what is so unpleasant, of course we here don’t
     know where they go to--where they are. Letters are fetched by the
     Feldpost, and as they are chiefly not near the railroads--at least
     not Louis--we cannot telegraph. At such a moment I know dear Louis
     fidgets dreadfully for news, and I not less. Since he has gone I
     have heard nothing.

     At length letters from Henry have come. He never received until the
     29th the telegram his parents begged the King to send him on the
     18th, for the King said he did not know where he was--thought he
     was in Russia! He has been in all the engagements, wondering why,
     as was originally arranged, no order came for him to leave.

     I am so very uncomfortable, and it wants courage and patience and
     hope, under such circumstances, to bear all. Of course, anxiety
     about beloved Louis is the chief thing, and longing for news. The
     Prussians are collecting a large army near Thüringen, in which
     direction ours are marching. Probably Uncle Ernest against ours! He
     might so well have remained quiet, and sent his troops to Mayence,
     as was settled.

     For dear Lenchen’s wedding-day receive every warm and affectionate
     wish. May God’s blessing rest on their union! I am so glad you are
     pleased with the dear children. I have already found that likeness
     in Ella to Affie’s picture by Thorburn, but she is so like dear
     Louis.

                                     July 6th.

     * * * There seems a chance of an armistice. I trust it is so, and
     that peace will ensue. The enormous bloodshed on both sides this
     fortnight is too awful to think of. Poor Austria! it is hard for
     her. But as she is said to be ready to cede Venice, then, at least,
     the Italian war will be at an end.

     Surely the neutral Powers will try and prevent Austria and Prussia
     beginning again; it is too horrid!

     The rest of Germany now must knock under; but that is better than
     again shedding so much blood on the chance of getting the upper
     hand.

     I have had some lines from dear Louis from the north of Hesse. He
     is well; how I do hope now that they won’t come to blows.

     How kind of you to give the children frocks for the wedding! Will
     you kiss the dear little ones from me? I miss them very much.

       *       *       *       *       *

[In a letter dated July 11, 1866, Prince Louis announces to the Queen
the birth of a strong, healthy girl, with “dark eyes and brown hair.”]

       *       *       *       *       *

                                     DARMSTADT, July 19th.

     BELOVED MAMA:--_What_ a time I have passed during these eight days
     since baby’s birth! Firstly, I have to thank the Almighty for
     having preserved my own sweet and adored husband, and for the
     blessing of having had him by me, so dear, so precious, during my
     confinement. After three days he had to go, and when he got near
     Aschaffenburg found fighting going on. We could hear the guns here.
     The Prussians shot from the roofs of the houses; they fought in the
     streets; it must have been horrid. Our troops retreated (as had
     always been intended) in perfect order. The wounded were brought in
     here the following day. The 13th and 14th they fought. Louis was
     there on the 14th; since then I have not seen him--God knows when I
     shall again.

     The Prussians have taken Frankfort, and they are at home here. No
     communications allowed; get no papers or letters; may send none! An
     existence of monstrous anxiety and worry, which it is impossible
     for those to imagine who have not lived through it.

     I had a letter from Louis from the Odenwald this morning, written
     yesterday. They expected to pass Amorbach to-day. They are trying
     to meet the Bavarians, who are never to be found.

     I long for a letter from you. We have none at all. I have had none
     from you since baby’s birth. The people, who are such cowards and
     so silly, fly from here in all available droschkies.

     _How_ I pray some end may soon come to this horrid bloodshed! Ah!
     the misery around us you can’t imagine. Henry has never received
     his discharge, and has gone unscathed, in spite of being so exposed
     through all these battles.

     I myself am very well, and I don’t give way, though the anxiety
     about Louis leaves me no peace.

     Baby is well and very pretty. The time she came at prevented a
     thought of disappointment at her being a girl. Only gratitude to
     the Almighty filled our hearts, that I and the child were well, and
     that dear Louis and I were together at the time. The times are
     hard; it wants all a Christian’s courage and patience to carry one
     through them; but there is _one Friend_ who in the time of need
     does not forsake one, and He is my comfort and support. God bless
     you, my own Mama, and pray for your child,

                                     ALICE.



                                     Friday, July 27th, 9 o’clock P.M.

     At this moment the messenger has arrived, to leave again at five
     to-morrow morning. A thousand thanks for your dear letter, the
     first I have received since baby’s birth!

     To-night (since Sunday no news of Louis) at length I have heard
     that dear Louis is well. These last four days they have been
     fighting again. I had a few lines from him. These last two nights
     he slept in a field, and the country is so poor, that they had
     nothing but a little bread during two days to eat. Now the
     Prussians, having made peace with Austria, and having refused it to
     us, are advancing on our troops from three sides.

     I can scarcely write; this anxiety is killing me, and my love has
     been so exposed! All are in admiration of his personal bravery and
     tender attention to the suffering and want of all around. He never
     thinks of himself, and shares all the dangers and privations with
     the others.

     Louis says they long for peace. He disapproves the different
     Governments for not now giving way to Prussia, and begs me to use
     my influence with Uncle Louis to accept Prussian conditions to
     spare further bloodshed.

     From all parts of the country the people beg me to do what I can.

     The confusion here is awful, the want of money alarming; right and
     left one must help. As the Prussians pillaged here, I have many
     people’s things hidden in the house. Even whilst in bed I had to
     see gentlemen in my room, as there were things to be done and asked
     which had to come straight to me. Then our poor wounded--the wives
     and mothers begging I should inquire for their husbands and
     children. It is a state of affairs too dreadful to describe.

     The new anxiety to-night of knowing a dreadful battle is expected,
     perhaps going on, in which dear Louis again must be! I can scarcely
     bear up any longer; I feel it is getting too much. God Almighty
     stand by us! My courage is beginning to sink. I see no light
     anywhere; and my own beloved husband still in danger, and we cannot
     hear, for the Prussians are between us and them. Any thing may have
     happened to him, and I can’t hear it or know it! I could not go to
     him were he wounded.

     What I have suffered and do suffer no words can describe--the
     sleepless nights of anxiety, the long days without news--_how_ I
     pray it may soon end, and dear darling Louis be spared me!

     In these days I have so longed to hear from you. It would have been
     such a comfort, and I longed for it much.

     If we live, and peace is restored, the country and every thing will
     be in such a mess, and both of us in such want of change, that we
     must go somewhere; but we shall then, I fear, be next to ruined.
     You can’t think what war in one’s own country--in a little one like
     this--is! The want is fearful. I must go to bed, as it is late. I
     am well, so is the little one; but I can’t sleep or eat well all
     along; and the worry of mind and much to do keep me weak.

     Oh, that we were together again! Good-bye beloved Mama. These next
     days I fear will be dreadful. May the Almighty watch over dear
     Louis! You will pray for him, won’t you?

     _P.S._--The standard of Louis’ cavalry regiment, which they did not
     take with them, and which is usually kept at the Schloss, is in my
     room for safety.

     Forgive the shocking writing, but I am so upset to-night, since my
     messenger of Tuesday returned with Louis’ letter.

                                     DARMSTADT, August 4th.

     * * * The linen, etc., for the wounded has arrived, and been so
     useful; a thousand thanks for it! Matters here change from one day
     to another, and I hope Louis may soon be able to return with the
     troops. Uncle Louis I do hope and pray will then return, and I hope
     he will regain the favor which he had lost, for any change now
     would be dreadful.

     My father-in-law is really in such a state since these events, and
     his nerves so shattered, that my mother-in-law trembles for him,
     and tries to keep him out of all. He is so angry, so heartbroken at
     the loss of Oberhessen, which is probable, that he wishes not to
     outlive it. My poor mama-in-law burst into tears this morning in my
     room, where this scene took place.

     I have just returned from having been to inquire after the wounded
     at the different hospitals and houses, which are filling fast as
     they can be brought from Aschaffenburg, Laufach, etc. As soon as I
     am better, I will go to them myself; but the close and crowded
     wards turn one easily faint.

     Becker saw Louis three days ago, and accompanied him to Munich for
     a day. I hear he is well, though for six nights he had slept out of
     doors, and the last three nights it had poured incessantly; and all
     that time--on account of ours not having a truce, and expecting to
     be attacked--they were, being such a mass together, without
     provisions, barely a morsel of bread. I am so distressed about poor
     Anton Hohenzollern and Obernitz; so many acquaintances and friends
     have fallen on both sides, it is dreadful!

     The town is full of Prussians. I hope they will not remain too
     long, for they pay for nothing, and the poor inhabitants suffer so
     much. There is cholera in the Prussian army, and one soldier lies
     here ill of it. I hope it won’t spread.

                                     August 13th.

     * * * It is fearful. Those who have seen the misery war brings with
     it, near by--the sufferings, the horror--know well what a scourge
     it is. May the Almighty spare our poor Germany this new evil! I
     forgot to thank you in Louis’ name, as he had told me, for your
     letter, which he found here on his return. He is to-day still at
     Berlin, and we are so grateful for your having written to good
     Fritz. What he can do I know he will.

     Uncle Louis is still at Munich, and I don’t think he will abdicate;
     besides, he is at this moment doing what his country wishes.

     I received a letter from Julie Battenberg, saying what Uncle
     Alexander had written to her about Louis: “_Le Prince Alexandre
     m’écrit qu’il a obtenu du Grand Duc la démission de Perglas_” (who
     commanded the troops so badly), “_et la nomination du Prince Louis
     en commandement de nos troupes; il me dit à cette occasion que
     votre Mari pendant cette triste campagne s’est fait aimer et
     apprécier de tout le monde qu’il s’est fait une excellente
     réputation, et qu’il sera reçu à bras ouverts par la troupe_.” * *
     * It is a large command for one so young, and with so little
     experience--all the more so, as we don’t know how long peace may
     last. He is sent to Berlin, as the country all look to Louis to
     prevent new evil; and all this without poor Louis having any direct
     position of heir to be able to enforce his opinion. He has no easy
     life of it.

     The horse you gave Louis he rode in the different engagements, and
     praised him very much. He stood the fire quite well, but not the
     bursting of the shells close by.

     About the children, the 23d is quite soon enough for their
     departure.

     We shall not call baby “Irène,” unless all seems really peaceful,
     and at this moment it does not look promising. I am very sad and
     dismayed at the whole lookout. My mother-in-law was so pleased with
     your letter, and thanks you warmly for it.

                                     NIERSTEIN, GELBES HAUS, August 17th.

     This dear day makes me think so much of you, of home, and of those
     two dear ones whose memories are so precious, and who live on with
     us, and make me often think that we had parted only yesterday.

     We are so pleased at your saying that you claim Louis as _your_
     son. He always considers _himself_ in particular your child, and if
     any thing helps to stimulate him in doing his duty well, it is the
     sincere wish of being worthy to claim and deserve that title.
     Darling Papa would be proud of him, and pleased to see how
     earnestly he takes his duties, and how conscientiously and
     unselfishly he fulfils them, for he has had and still has many
     trials--things I can tell you of when we meet again.

     Life is such a pilgrimage, and so uncertain is its duration that
     all minor troubles are forgotten and easily borne, when one thinks
     what one must live for.

     Before leaving Darmstadt yesterday to come here, we went to see
     some of the wounded again. One poor man had died since I was last
     there: he had been so patient, and had suffered so much. Another
     had had an operation performed and was very low--he was crying like
     a child. I could scarcely comfort him, he held my hand and always
     moaned out “_Es brennt so_” [It burns so]. Such nice people most of
     those young men are--very young, and for that class so well
     educated. All who are well enough are reading.

     I must praise the ventilation and cleanliness in the different
     hospitals; in these things they have made wonderful progress here.

     We are here in Rheinhessen, as Louis has to take his command. This
     place, Nierstein, lies between Worms and Mayence, and all our
     troops are quartered about here. Louis’ staff is at Worms, where he
     himself is to-day, and was already last night.

     He was more hopeful about the prospects for Oberhessen on his
     return from Berlin, and had been so kindly received by dear Vicky
     and Fritz.

     When Louis wrote his farewell to his cavalry brigade (who are so
     sorry to lose him), as a remembrance that he and they had stood in
     the field together for their first campaign, he asked these two
     regiments, officers and men, to stand sponsors to baby, as she was
     born during that time, and they are delighted, but wish the child
     to have one of their names! We wait till the troops can come home
     to christen baby on that account. * * * I don’t think we shall be
     here very long. Whenever the Prussians leave Darmstadt we can
     return.

                                     NIERSTEIN, GELBES HAUS, August 21st.

     * * * We are here still, and all our troops, and Louis has a great
     deal to do. To-morrow the armistice is over, and at present we have
     no news as to its prolongation or the settlement of peace; but it
     must be one or other. A little private war of Prussia against us
     would be absurd and impossible, so the troops remain quartered in
     the little villages about here. The country here is so rich and
     fertile, the villages so clean, with such good houses; but the
     people are blessed with children to an extraordinary extent! It is
     the most richly populated part of all Germany, and there are more
     people on the square mile than in England.

     The change of air--though it is but two hours from Darmstadt--has
     done me good, and if later, through your great kindness, a little
     journey should be possible to us, it would be very beneficial to
     both of us.

     This house is quite close to the Rhine, and this instant our
     pioneers have come by from Worms on their pontoon bridge singing a
     quartett, about twenty or thirty men. It looks so pretty, and they
     sing so beautifully. On their marches the soldiers always sing, and
     they have so many beautiful songs, such as: “Der gute Kamerad.” The
     Germans are such _gemütklich_ [simple, kindly, sociable] people.
     The more one lives with them, the more one learns to appreciate
     them. It is a fine nation. God grant this war, which has produced
     so many heroes, and cost so many gallant lives, may not have been
     in vain, and that at length Germany may become a mighty, powerful
     Power! It will then be the first in the world, where the great
     ideas and thoughts come from, free from narrow-minded prejudice,
     and when once the Germans have attained political freedom, they
     will be lastingly happy and united.

     But the present state of things is sad, though one should not
     despair of some good resulting from it.

     My letter is quite confused. I beg a thousand pardons for it, but I
     have been interrupted so often.

                                     GELBES HAUS, August 29th.

     * * * The children arrived well and safe, and in such good looks.
     It was a great pleasure to see them again; and I tried to make
     Victoria tell me as much as possible of dear Grandma and uncles and
     aunts, and when she is not absent-minded she is very communicative.
     How much we thank you, darling Mama, for having kept them and been
     so good to them I can’t tell you. This change has been so good for
     them; for now there are both cholera and small-pox at Darmstadt,
     which is still full of Prussian soldiers. More have come, and our
     peace is not yet concluded. I hope it is no bad sign, and that the
     hopes of losing less will not disappear.

     We were only in Darmstadt for the day when the children arrived,
     and we go there for a few hours to-morrow on business. Louis has a
     great deal to do, and all the military things are in his hands.

     I am not feeling very well. The air here after a few days is
     relaxing, and I begin to feel more what a strain there has been on
     my nerves during this time. I have such a pain in my side again.
     Mountain air Weber wants me to have, and quiet, away from all
     bothers; but I fear that is impossible _now_, on account of Louis
     not being able to leave--and then financially.

     I have some _Heimweh_ [home-sickness] after dear England, Balmoral,
     and all at home, I own, though the joy of being near dear Louis
     again is _so_ great! But life is meant for work, and not for
     pleasure, and I learn more and more to be grateful and content with
     that which the Almighty sends me, and to find the sunshine in spite
     of the clouds; for when one has one’s beloved, adored husband by
     one’s side, what is there in the world that is too heavy to bear?
     My own darling Mama, when I think of darling Papa and of you, and
     that he is not _visible_ at your side now, I long to clasp you to
     my heart, in some way to cheer the loneliness which is a poor
     widow’s lot. Oh, none in the world is harder than that!

                                     DARMSTADT, August 31st.

     * * * Thank you for telling me how you spent that dear day; it must
     have been peaceful and solemn, the beautiful country harmonizing
     well with the thoughts of that great and beautiful soul which ever
     lives on with us. He remains nearer and nearer to me, and the
     recollection of many things dear Papa told me is a help and a stay
     in my actions, particularly of late. The separation seems so short.
     I can see him and hear him speak so plainly. Alas! my children
     have never seen him. Through you, darling Mama, and in your rooms,
     and at your side, they must learn to know him, that they may become
     worthy of their descent.

     Yesterday we saw the children. Victoria is not quite well, but Ella
     is well, and won’t leave me when I come into the room; she keeps
     kissing me and putting her fat arms round my neck. There is each
     time a scene when I go away. She is so affectionate: so is dear
     Victoria. I send you a photograph of our smallest, who is such a
     pretty child, and very good.

     The peace is not concluded yet; more Prussians have been quartered
     in and around Darmstadt. The people are very angry at this lasting
     so long * * * They believe it is _Strafeinquartierung_ [done to
     punish us]. Nothing is settled as to what we keep or lose, and we
     know and hear nothing. Waiting here, uncomfortably lodged, the
     troops impatient to go home, as they have nothing to do, gets very
     irksome.

                                     GELBES HAUS, September 8th.

     * * * At last the peace is concluded, though not yet ratified. The
     terms are not so bad. We lose the Hinterland and the Domains there,
     as also the whole of Hesse-Homburg--in all sixty-four thousand
     souls--pay three millions contribution, besides having kept a large
     part of the Prussian army six weeks for nothing, which cost the
     country twenty-five thousand florins daily. For Oberhessen we go
     into the North-German Bund, and half the army is under Prussian
     command, which will make a dreadful confusion. Louis would prefer
     having it for the whole, particularly in anticipation, alas! of a
     coming war.

     The railroads, posts, and telegraphs also become Prussian; and they
     demand, besides, some fine old pictures, books, and manuscripts,
     which had once belonged to the Kölner Dom, and were made a present
     of to this country years ago; and for our Domains no
     _Entschädigung_ [compensation]. In exchange for Homburg we get some
     small places--amongst others, Rumpenheim.

     When the peace is ratified and the money paid, the Prussians leave
     the country, which must now be very shortly. Until then Louis must
     stop here, and as he can only get leave now and then to go to
     Darmstadt, and that always uncertain, baby’s christening is still
     impossible, as Louis must be there. She will be called “Irène
     Louise Marie Anna.”

                                     GELBES HAUS, September 11th.

     * * * Tired of constantly putting off and waiting, we settled
     yesterday to have baby christened to-morrow, as it is Louis’
     birthday, and to go for the day to Darmstadt. Though the Prussians
     are still there, some of the godfathers are coming over; otherwise
     it will be quite quiet.

     * * * How true and sad is what you say, dear Mama, about life and
     its trials! Alas! that it should be you, dear, loving, kind Mama,
     who have had to drink so deeply of that cup of bitterness. Those
     who possess all they love, as I do, can, however, feel all the more
     keenly, and sympathize more truly with you for what you have lost,
     though it is a grief we do not know. How I do long always to
     alleviate this grief for you, dearest Mama; but that is the world’s
     trial. None can bear the burden for you. One must carry it one’s
     self; and it wants patience and courage to bear such as yours, dear
     Mama. I feel for you now more than ever since during that month I
     feared from day to day my happy life might be brought to a violent
     close, and anticipated all the misery that _might_ come, but which
     the Almighty graciously averted.

                                     DARMSTADT, September 16th.

     * * * That you sent Louis, besides the pretty souvenir, the money
     for something in the house is really so kind. Our whole dining-room
     we consider your present, and it is furnished as like an English
     one as possible.

     The name Irene,[64] through other associations, is one my
     parents-in-law and we like; it stands, besides, as a sort of
     recollection of the peace so longed for, and which I so gladly
     welcomed. It will always reminds us of the time, and of how much we
     have to be grateful for.

                                     DARMSTADT, September 24th.

     * * * We are settled here again; our troops have returned and Uncle
     Louis likewise. The former were received most warmly by the
     inhabitants and showered with nosegays--Louis also, who rode at
     their head. We saw them all in front of the Schloss, and it was sad
     to see the thinned ranks and to miss the absent faces we knew so
     well. On the 13th and 14th of July, at Frohnhofen, Laufach, and
     Aschaffenburg, out of 8,000 we lost 800 men and 11 officers, and of
     the officers just those who were very intimate with the Prussians,
     and who wished Germany to be united under Prussia.

     This afternoon we are going to see after the poor wounded, some of
     whom are still very ill with such horrible wounds. So much
     suffering and pain and grief to those poor people, who are
     innocent in this unhappy war!

     If only now the other sovereigns will forget their antipathies and
     the wrongs they have suffered from Prussia, and think of the real
     welfare of their people and the universal fatherland, and make
     those sacrifices which will be necessary to prevent the recurrence
     of these misfortunes!

     The poor Homburgers marched by with our troops, and their tears and
     ours fell as we saw them (who had fought so bravely under Uncle
     Louis) for the last time before they become Prussians, and return
     to their homes as such.

     My parents-in-law are gone to Switzerland. Henry is become Colonel
     of the 2d Guard of Uhlans at Berlin.

                                     October 1st.

     * * * I can but write a few lines, as we are going with the
     children to Uncle Alexander to Jugenheim for a few days. The change
     of air is wanted for Ella, who is still pale; and Irene has never
     had any change yet, and is also rather pale.

     We were at Frohnhofen and Laufach a few days ago to see where the
     unfortunate engagement was, and visited the graves of our soldiers.
     In the middle of a field there is a mound, below which some eighty
     men and some officers lie, and so on. It makes a very sad
     impression, for as our troops retreated, and they were buried by
     the people, none know which of the common soldiers or even which of
     the officers lie in the different places. We found some balls, and
     things the soldiers had thrown off during the fight. In one grave
     in the churchyard, the wounded who died afterward are buried. I
     asked who lay there, and the gravedigger answered “_Ein Preuss’
     und ein Hess’ liegen dort beisammen_” [“A Prussian and a Hessian
     lie there together”], united in death, and fallen by each other’s
     hand, perhaps. Some of the officers who accompanied us, and had not
     been there since the engagement, were much overcome on seeing the
     graves of their comrades. I put wreaths and flowers on them, and
     ordered crosses where we knew who lay there.

     The wounded here are recovering, and I go often to see after them.

     As you say, this large Prussia is by no means an united Germany;
     but, nevertheless, I think the duty of the other German sovereigns,
     in spite of all, is to unite with Prussia and place themselves
     under her, so as to make her unite with Germany. Otherwise, the
     next opportunity, they will be annexed.

                                     HEILIGENBURG, _Jugenheim_, October 7th.

     * * * We return to town to-day, leaving the children for another
     week, as the air on the hill is so delicious. Louis has so much to
     do that he can’t remain away longer, though he went at half-past
     seven every morning to his office, returning for luncheon.

                                     DARMSTADT, October 22d.

     On Thursday we are going to Waldleiningen for a fortnight and take
     Victoria with us. The two little girls knew your photograph at
     once, and began, of course, to talk of you and of England.

                                     WALDLEININGEN, October 31st.

     * * * It is quite beautiful here. We found dear Ernest, Marie and
     children well; the former so kind and dear, as they always are.
     Victoria and Alberta get on tolerably together. The little boy is
     splendid, so strong and fat.

     The Castle is so fine and lies just in the midst of mountains and
     woods, and there are walks without end--many of them reminding me
     so much of Scotland.

     The Nichels came to see us, and Marie and I played with Nichel[65];
     it reminded me so much of the good old times to see him.

     Ella’s birthday is to be kept when we return. She is too small to
     know the difference of the day. I thank you beforehand for the
     locket for her with dear Papa’s picture. The children always speak
     of their two Grandpapas--dear Grandpapa in Heaven, and dear
     Grandpapa in Darmstadt. Victoria, hearing Papa so often mentioned,
     and seeing his pictures about everywhere, asks no end of questions
     about him.

                                     DARMSTADT, November 14th.

     I am better, thank you, but I am so weak without the least reason,
     and dreadfully chilly. Still, I go out regularly in all weathers
     and take exercise, but of an evening I am quite knocked up.

     We always breakfast at half past eight, as Louis gets up early and
     prefers it; so that I lead a very healthy life, and in spite of
     that am not well. A change quite into another climate, for a few
     months was what I really required; but it was impossible. On that
     account, dear Mama, I shall hope to have a full three months in
     England when we come, and perhaps part of the time with Bertie, if
     he can have us. I went through a great deal this summer during my
     confinement. The excitement and the will to keep well kept me so at
     the time, but I feel it now, alas! and show it, too, for I am
     getting so thin again.

                                     DARMSTADT, November 21st.

     Dear Vicky’s birthday. She will think how happily she passed it at
     Windsor last year, and, though she has another child, it cannot
     replace to her what the other one was.

     How glad I am to hear you praise dear Alix! She is so good,
     _tactvoll_ [full of tact] and true. I love her very much.

     I had the pleasure of seeing dear Countess Blücher for a few hours
     here last Sunday. She came during a dreadful snowstorm. The young
     King of Bavaria is coming here for the day to-morrow. * * *

     The large pictures from Homburg--George III., Queen Charlotte,
     George IV., William IV., and the Duke of York _en pied_--Uncle
     Louis has given us, and now that I have given these good people,
     whom I don’t like, the best places in our rooms, I should so much
     like you and dear Papa, which you promised me some years ago from
     the last Winterhalters, or from those in the garter dress.

     I look forward so much to seeing dear Bertie here, if only for a
     few hours. I suppose Monday or Sunday, if he travels day and night,
     as he leaves on Friday; it is a very long and cold journey.

                                     November 22d.

     A thousand thanks for the precious book,[66] and for your dear
     lines. The former I have nearly finished. I got it yesterday
     morning, and you can well imagine that every spare moment was
     devoted to its study.

     I think it very well done, and I am only sorry that General Grey
     cannot continue it, as the other persons, I believe, did not know
     dear Papa. The longer I live, the more I see and know of the world,
     the deeper my tender admiration grows for such a father. It makes
     me feel myself so small, so imperfect, when I think that I am his
     child, and am still so unworthy of being it. How many people here
     who like to hear of dear Papa, ask me about him, and you can
     understand with what pride and love I talk of him, and tell them
     things which make them all share our sorrow at not having him here
     any more! But if ever a life has outlived a man, dear Papa’s has
     done so. In my thoughts and aims he ever remains the centre and the
     guiding star. Dear beloved Papa, he never half knew, how much, even
     when a foolish child, I loved and adored him. His great life will
     be a model for many and many for generations to come, and his great
     thoughts and aims can leave none idle who knew them.

     You kindly ask how I am. Better, thank you, since I have begun some
     bark--quinine I can’t take, or else I should have been well sooner.

     Victoria I am teaching to read--in playing with cards with
     different letters on them.

                                     November 30th.

     To-day it is six whole years since we were engaged to each other in
     the Red Drawing-room at Windsor, when we in dear Papa’s little room
     afterward received your and dear Papa’s sanction to it. And the
     following year--how sad that already was, for darling Papa was
     beginning to be unwell. How constantly do I think of you, beloved
     Mama, during that fortnight of anxiety and sorrow! God mercifully
     spare you to us, though for yourself it was the commencement of the
     sad and lonely existence you lead without dear Papa.

     I am sure it is good for little Henry[67] to be this winter with
     you in England: the Berlin climate is very unwholesome. Health is
     such a blessing. If one has children, the first wish is they should
     be healthy, for ill health influences all, and nothing more than
     temper.

     We intend, if possible, going for a day or two to Carlsruhe. Poor
     Louise and Fritz went through so much that is painful this summer.
     * * *

     I read an immense deal now of serious, and what some call dry,
     books; but it is a great resource to me, and the thought of
     standing still, if one does not study, urges me on. The long winter
     evenings we always spend together, and twice in the week receive in
     the evening, when I play on the piano duets with such as play on
     the violin, and pass the evenings very pleasantly.

                                     CARLSRUHE, December 6th.

     Thousand thanks for your dear letter! I congratulate you on all
     having gone off so well at Wolverhampton,[68] and am very grateful
     for the account. Dear Bertie’s visit is over, and it has been a
     very great pleasure to us to have seen him again, and to have him
     under our own roof--where we at length had an opportunity, in a
     small way, to return his hospitality and constant kindness to us.
     God bless him, dear brother! he is the one who has from my
     childhood been so dear to me.

     We have come here, and I think it has pleased good Fritz. Louis
     seems very well. I saw Lady Fanny Baillie yesterday, looking dear
     and pretty as ever. It is a pleasure to look at her sweet face.

                                     CARLSRUHE, December 11th.

     As every year during _these days_ my thoughts are with you, and as
     each year brings round again the anniversary of that dreadful
     misfortune, it seems more and more impossible that five years
     should already have elapsed, since he whom we all loved so tenderly
     was taken from our sight. How I thank the Almighty again and again,
     as this season returns, that He spared you to us, when at such a
     moment, we trembled for your precious life, fearing that two so
     united in life even in death could not be parted. What should we
     poor children, what would the country have done, had that second
     misfortune come over us! Yet it seemed selfish and unkind to wish
     for your loving wife’s heart the solitary widow’s existence. How
     bravely and nobly you have borne it!

     We leave this to-morrow morning, and have spent pleasant days here.
     There was much to talk about together, and Fritz is so excellent
     and so wise, that I am always glad to hear him. Dear Louise is well
     and in good looks, and most kind.

     Now I must end beloved Mama. God bless you and comfort you, and in
     these days let sometimes the thought of your absent child, who was
     at your side during that dreadful time, mingle with the
     recollection of the past!

                                     DARMSTADT, December 14th.

     BELOVED, PRECIOUS MAMA:--On awaking this morning, my first thoughts
     were of you and of dear, darling Papa! Oh, how it reopens the
     wounds scarcely healed, when this day of pain and anguish returns!
     This season of the year the leafless trees, the cold light, every
     thing reminds me of that time!

     Thousand thanks for your dear letter received yesterday. _Well_,
     only _too well_, do I remember every hour, almost every minute, of
     those days, and I have such an inexpressible longing to throw my
     arms round your neck, and to let my tears flow with yours, while
     kneeling at that beautiful grave.

     The tender love and the deep sorrow caused by His loss remain ever
     with me, and will accompany me through life. At the age I then was,
     with its sensitive feelings, it made an impression which, I think,
     nothing can efface--above all, the witnessing your grief. Happily
     married as I am, and with such a good, excellent, and loving
     husband, how far more can I understand _now_ the depth of that
     grief which tore your lives asunder! I played our dear Papa’s organ
     under his beloved picture this morning, and my heart and my
     thoughts were in dear England with you all.

     We found our children well on our return, and Irène prospers
     perfectly on her donkey’s milk.

     My mother-in-law is so much pleased with the book,[69] and it has
     interested her very much. She came to see me early this morning on
     account of its being the 14th. She is always so kind and full of
     attentions.

                                     DARMSTADT, December 17th.

     How dear of you to have written to me on the 14th; thousand thanks
     for your letter! How much I thought of _all_ on that day you can
     imagine; also what good it did me to know that you still thought of
     me so kindly with those recollections. I am so sorry to hear that
     you are so suffering. I hope Osborne will do you good, and that
     rest and quiet will refresh you.

                                     DARMSTADT, December 21st.

     * * * I hope by this time that you are quite recovered, though this
     mild damp weather is not made to give one strength. I feel it so
     much also, and am really only kept alive by steel, for off and on I
     am so weak that I nearly faint if I have to stand any time, and
     this is so unpleasant.

     * * * I am trying to found what is no small undertaking: a
     “_Frauen-Verein_” to be spread all over the land in different
     committees, the central one being here under my direction, for the
     purpose of assisting the International Convention for nursing and
     supporting the troops in time of war, which was founded at Geneva,
     and to which this country also belongs. The duty in time of peace
     will be to have nurses brought up and educated for the task, who
     can then assist in other hospitals or amongst the poor, or to nurse
     the rich, wherever they may be required in time of war. This
     committee of women has to collect all the necessary things for the
     wounded and for the marching troops, has to see to their being sent
     to right places, etc.

     All these things were done by private people in this war, and,
     though quantities of things were sent, the whole plan was not
     organized, so that there was want and surplus at the same time.

     In time of peace these things should be organized, so that, when
     war comes, people know where to send their things to, and that no
     volunteer nurses go out who have not first learnt their business.

     The same thing exists in Baden, in Bavaria, and in Prussia, and
     here it is much wanted. But all these undertakings are difficult,
     particularly in the choice of persons to assist one. Still I hope I
     shall be able to do it. My mother-in-law helps me, and I hope
     before long to be able to begin.

     The Elector is coming here on a visit to-day, and Uncle Alexander
     returned from Petersburg last night.

                                     DARMSTADT, December 25th.

     * * * I have a dreadful cold, and am not very well besides, so I
     can but scribble a few lines. To-day we go to the _Bescheerung_
     [distribution of Christmas gifts] to the wounded in three
     hospitals. Of course it will be very hot.

     Henry is here for a few days. He looks so handsome in his new
     uniform with his dark beard. He has grown so good-looking these
     last few years, and he is so excellent. I am very fond of him. He
     is likewise so much gayer than formerly.

     The good eatables you sent will be given to-night, when Louis’
     parents and brothers come to us for dinner.

     The children have a party for their tree.

                                     DARMSTADT, December 30th.

     * * * May the Almighty give you every blessing of peace and comfort
     which the world can still give you, till you gain that greater
     blessing and reward above all others, which is reserved for such as
     my own sweet mother! May every blessing fall on my old dear home,
     with all its dear ones! May peace, and the glory which peace and
     order bring with it, with its many blessings, protect my native
     land; and may, in the new year, your wise and glorious reign, so
     overshadowed by dear Papa’s spirit, continue to prosper and be a
     model and an ornament to the world!

     This year of pain and anxiety, and yet for us so rich in blessings,
     draws to a close. It moves me more than ever as its last day
     approaches. For how much have we not to thank the Almighty--for my
     life, which is so unworthy compared to many others, the new life of
     this little one, and above all the preservation of my own dear
     husband, who is my all in this life.

     The trials of this year must have brought some good with all the
     evil: good to the individual and good to the multitude. God grant
     that we may all profit by what we have learnt, and gain more and
     more that trust in God’s justice and love, which is our guide and
     support in trouble and in joy! Oh, more than ever have I felt in
     this year, that God’s goodness and love are indeed beyond
     comprehension!

     * * * I am really glad to hear that you can listen to a little
     music. Music is such a heavenly thing, and dear Papa loved it so
     much, that I can’t but think that now it must be soothing, and
     bring you near to him. * * *


1867.

The experiences of the late war had shown the necessity for an efficient
and widespread organization for aid to the sick and wounded on the
battlefield. Already in 1865 a society had been formed in Hesse, with
Prince and Princess Charles as its patrons, in accordance with the
resolutions passed at the Geneva Convention in 1863, and had done good
work in the last war. The nursing of the wounded had hitherto been
undertaken by “Deaconesses,” Sisters of Mercy, and orders of a kindred
nature.

After the close of the war, those at the head of the committee (or
Society) made themselves responsible, so far as lay in their power, for
the wounded and disabled, and for the families of those who had fallen
in the war. It was, however, felt to be very desirable that other
committees should be formed throughout the country for the purpose of
training specially-qualified nurses.

The Princess was deeply interested in this question--indeed, her whole
attention had been directed to it since the beginning of the war, after
she had seen what was done in Baden under the direction of the Grand
Duchess. She had also before her the example of Florence Nightingale,
and the good she had done during and after the Crimean war. The Princess
was naturally fond of nursing, and of all that had to do with it, and
she therefore eagerly took up the idea of founding a Frauen-Verein, or
“Ladies’ Union”--an idea which, under her auspices, was soon most
successfully carried out.

She wished lay women and ladies of all classes to join in this
undertaking, so that the nursing should not be confined, as heretofore,
to religious orders only. After much consultation a committee was formed
in 1867, consisting of six ladies and four doctors, with the Princess as
President. The central committee of the “Ladies’ Union” was to be at
Darmstadt, under the Princess’ direction. The other committees spread
over the whole country. Its object was to assist “the nursing and
supporting of the troops in times of war,” and in times of peace to
“train nurses, to assist other hospitals, or amongst the poor, or to
nurse the rich”--in fact, to help wherever help was required. In 1868
the members belonging to the “Ladies’ Union” had greatly increased, and
in 1869 they reached the number of 2,500.

The duties of the local committees consisted in collecting money and all
necessary materials for the wounded or for the troops on the march. The
central committee did its best in times of peace to direct the general
attention to this most important question by lectures on the subject,
delivered by medical men.

At the time the Princess started this undertaking she was also much
occupied with another all-engrossing subject--viz.: the improvement of
the condition of poor unmarried women and girls, as well as the
education of girls in general. The Princess found an able assistant in
Fräulein Louise Büchner--a most distinguished authoress, and the
champion of women’s rights, more particularly of the higher education of
women.

With her help the Princess formed another committee for the
encouragement of “Female Industry.” A permanent Bazaar was established
on the 25th of November, 1867, called after the Princess, “The Alice
Bazaar,” for the purpose of receiving and disposing of articles of
needlework at their proper value, and also for obtaining employment for
women of all classes. The “Bazaar” soon became a flourishing
institution.

At the beginning of the year 1867 the Prince and Princess went to Gotha,
where they met the Crown Prince and Princess of Prussia for the first
time since the war. They then went for a few weeks to Berlin. After the
threatening rumors of war caused by the Luxembourg question had been
dispersed, the Emperor Napoleon invited all the Sovereigns and Princes
of Europe to visit the great International Exhibition at Paris. Prince
and Princess Louis, amongst others, accepted the invitation, and were at
Paris at the same time as the Emperor of Russia, the King of Prussia,
and the Crown Prince and Princess of Prussia. The Prince and Princess
visited many other places of interest and note at Paris besides the
great Exhibition. All institutions for art had a great attraction for
her, and she took up the idea most warmly of founding Schools of Design
in her own country, as she hoped they would exercise a good influence
there.

During the Prince and Princess’ visit the great review of the Imperial
troops in the Bois de Boulogne took place; and on that day, too, the
happily unsuccessful attempt on the Emperor of Russia’s life was made.

After attending all the festivities at the Imperial Court, where the
Prince and Princess received every possible attention and kindness from
the Emperor and Empress, they left Paris on the 10th of June, and,
having met their children at Calais, crossed over to England. During
this stay in England the Princess visited the German and many other
Hospitals, and she also assisted in doing the honors for the Queen at
several Court festivities. She was present at Windsor and Osborne during
the visits of the Sultan, who had been so cordially received in
England, and in whose honor a great naval review at Spithead was held.

Prince and Princess Louis returned to Darmstadt in the first days of
August; and, having established their children there, they left for St.
Moritz in the Engadine, where they intended to spend a month, and where
the Princess was to take the baths.

Whilst there they made several excursions, travelling about quite
simply, like any other tourists.

On their return to Germany, the Prince and Princess spent a few days
with the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess of Baden on the island of Mainau
on the Lake of Constance. During the autumn the Princess met several of
her own brothers and sisters. She also went to Cassel to meet the Crown
Prince and Princess of Prussia, who were returning from a visit to
England.

                                     GOTHA, January 15th.

     * * * It is a great happiness to be with dear Vicky and Fritz, and
     the future--that which is to be feared, that which must inevitably
     come--is of course our constant talk. Whatever comes, our position,
     and that of other small sovereigns, must undergo a change, which
     for the older ones will be very hard, and which they will ever
     feel. Even dear Louis, who is so sensible and reasonable, says he
     has been brought up with particular rights, which for centuries
     have been ours, and he feels sore that he is never to inherit them.

     Dear aunt seems very well, and is ever like a second mother to us,
     so loving and kind; also dear uncle. Papa’s and your children are
     dear to him almost as though they were his own; and he lives to see
     us with our families and in our homes, whereas darling Papa does
     not. Yesterday the _Braut von Messina_ was given--that beautiful
     piece which Papa was so fond of. I thought so much of you.

     On Thursday Vicky and Fritz go to Berlin. We remain here until
     Sunday afternoon, as on Sunday is the Ordensfest; and as many will
     be decorated who fought against us, Louis thought it better to
     arrive after the ceremony. Hermann is here still. He has been to
     see Feo,[70] who has been very ill. Fritz William [the Crown
     Prince] saw Ada and Fritz Holstein at Carlsruhe, and Fritz and Anna
     of Hesse--all four turned out of their countries. * * *

     I am delighted to hear of dear Arthur having passed so good an
     examination. How proud you must be of him! And the good Major,[71]
     who has spared no pains, I know--how pleased he must be! Arthur has
     a uniform now, I suppose.

                                     BERLIN, January 26th.

     * * * We remain here a little longer, probably until the following
     Saturday, as the King, owing to his cold, could not see us often,
     and begged us to remain longer.

     I saw Amalie Lauchert[72] here two days ago, looking so well, and
     charming as ever.

     Little Vicky is such a darling, very like her poor little
     brother--so merry, so good, one never hears her cry--and it is
     really a comfort to Vicky to have that dear little thing. Poor
     Vicky is very sad and low at times.

     After intense cold it is quite warm, like spring, which is very
     unwholesome and tiring.

                                     DARMSTADT, February 16th.

     * * * I think I can understand what you must feel. I know well what
     those first three years were--what fearful suffering, tearing and
     uprooting those feelings which had been centred in beloved Papa’s
     existence! It is indeed, as you say “in mercy,” that after the long
     storm a lull and calm ensues, though the violent pain, which is but
     the reverse side of the violent love, seems only to die out with
     it, and that is likewise bitter. Yet, beloved Mama, could it be
     otherwise? There would be no justice or mercy, were the first stage
     of sorrow to be the perpetual one; and God grant, that time may
     still soothe and alleviate that which it cannot change! I can only
     imagine what the loss must be, if I measure it by the possession of
     that one adored being, who is the centre and essence of my
     existence.

                                     DARMSTADT, February 28th.

     * * * Yesterday we had a very interesting lecture in our house
     about Art in Venice, by a young Swede [Herr von Molin], who has
     been studying three years in Italy. We had the room full of people,
     artists, and professors, who liked to listen.

     * * * All the natural cleverness and sharpness in the world won’t
     serve nowadays, unless one has learnt something. I feel this so
     much; and just in our position it is more and more required and
     expected, particularly in a small place, where so much depends on
     the personal knowledge and exertions of the Princes.

                                     DARMSTADT, March 8th.

     * * * The knowledge of dear sweet Alix’s state makes me too sad. It
     is hard for them both, and the nursing must be very fatiguing for
     Mrs. Clarke. I am so distressed about darling Alix that I really
     have no peace. It may, and probably will, last long, which is so
     dreadful.[73]

                                     March 28th.

     * * * We mean to have some children on the 5th, so that Victoria
     can have a party.

     My father-in-law is better again, I am happy to say. The warm
     weather did him good at once.

                                     DARMSTADT, April 1st.

     * * * I could not write the other day, as I had a good deal to do
     with two committees for charities, which had to be got into order,
     and which took up a great deal of my time.

     Cold, hail, snow, and rain, have returned; and Irène has got a
     cold, which most people here have. The weather is so unpleasant.

     We shall stop here in town until we go to England, as we have
     nowhere to go to before. It is a pity for the children to have no
     country air, and they miss the flowers in their walks. I can’t
     praise Orchard[74] enough. Such order she keeps, and is so
     industrious and tidy, besides understanding so much about the
     management of the children’s health and characters.

                                     DARMSTADT, April 5th.

     Thousand thanks for your dear letter, and for the kind wishes for
     Victoria’s birthday! I pray she may be a worthy granddaughter and
     goddaughter of my darling Mamma! I shall never forget that
     day--your kindness to us, and the tender nurse you were. * * *

     Victoria means to dictate a letter to you; she is so much pleased
     with her presents. Irène has not a tooth yet, and is not very fat,
     poor little thing! but she is fresh and rosy, and, I think, strong.

     This last week the excitement here has been dreadful, as all
     anticipated a war with France on account of Luxembourg. I fear
     sooner or later it will come. May the Almighty avert such a
     calamity!

     The Moriers were quite in ecstasies about your handsome present.
     The christening[75] went off very well.

                                     April 8th.

     * * * We have just returned from church, and to-morrow morning we
     all take the Sacrament at nine o’clock in the Schlosskirche.
     Professor Jowett is here on a visit to the Moriers, and is going to
     read the service on Sunday. I have not had an opportunity to attend
     our English service since we were at Windsor, excepting one Sunday
     at Berlin with Vicky and Fritz.

     People think now, the evil of war is put off for a few weeks, but
     that is all. Henry is here for Easter, and says the same from all
     he heard at Berlin.

                                     April 21st.

     * * * How I wish you may be right in _not_ believing in war. I
     always fear it is not Luxembourg, but the intense jealousy of the
     French nation, that they should not be the first on the Continent,
     and that Germany is becoming independent and powerful against their
     will. Then, again, the Germans feel their new position, and assert
     their rights with more force because unanimous, and neither nation
     will choose to give in to the other.

     The war would be totally useless, and sow no end of dissension and
     hatred between the two neighbor countries, who, for their own good
     as for that of mankind, ought to live in peace and harmony with
     each other.

     We seem drifting back to the Middle Ages, as each question is
     pushed to the point of the sword. It is most sad. How dear Papa
     would have disapproved of much that has happened since 1862!

     Is the Catalogue which Mr. Ruland sent some time ago to Mr.
     Woodward for dear Papa’s Raphael Collection in print now?[76] So
     many people know of its coming out, and are anxious to see it, as,
     indeed, I am likewise, for it is the only complete collection in
     the world, and the world of art is anxious to know all about it.
     Will you, perhaps, let me know through Mr. Sahl,[77] as I believe
     it is already a good while since you approved of its being
     published, and gave the orders for its being printed?

                                     May 2d.

     As yet none dare to be sure of the peace, but all live again since
     there are more chances for its being maintained. But, then, I trust
     it will be a permanent peace, not merely a putting off till next
     year!

     The French press was so very warlike, and it always talks of the
     French honor not being able to allow such a mighty empire as the
     German is becoming to gain the upper hand; and then rectification
     of her frontiers, always wishing for the Rhine.

     Poor little Anna of Mecklenburg is here; it seemed so sad to see
     the dear little child come alone to inhabit the rooms its Mama had
     never returned to. She looks delicate, very fair, but with dark,
     thick eyebrows and eyelashes; rather shy and silent for she has no
     little children to play with in her home. My two led her about at
     once, and tried to amuse her. Ella, who is five months older, is a
     head taller and twice as broad. I am so afraid they will be too
     rough with her, for dear, fat Ella is very strong, and by no means
     gentle.

     Annchen has an old nervous nurse, who is too frightened about her.
     It is a great responsibility, where there is no mother. It looks so
     sad!

                                     May 13th.

     I must tell you something in confidence of what has taken place
     here with regard to Louis. * * * Since Louis took the command last
     August, and since the Convention with Prussia has been settled,
     Louis has been opposed by Uncle Louis and the _Kriegsministerium_
     [War Department], in doing all the things which he thought
     absolutely necessary, and which toward Prussia the Grand Duke had
     promised to do, so as to get the troops into the necessary order
     and organization. Here the Government is, Louis has reason to fear,
     once more playing a false game toward Prussia, and all his true
     friends and a small party of the clever-thinking people have
     encouraged him in the idea that to serve his country, he _may_ and
     _must_ not be implicated in the present sad and desperate state of
     affairs.

     It has cost him a great struggle to make up his mind to ask Uncle
     Louis to accept his resignation, which he has been obliged to
     demand, as he felt that under present circumstances he could not
     fulfil what was desired of him.

     Uncle Louis may refuse to let him go; then he intends to ask for
     leave until the 1st of October, the date when the Convention must
     be carried out, when he hopes and trusts the King will send a
     Prussian general to put all in order.

     Uncle Louis and his _Umgebung_ [the people about him] will all be
     against my Louis, as they think it a shame and injustice to give up
     any of their rights, and that it is unpardonable of Louis to act up
     to what he has always said. He is so good a nephew, that all this
     will be dreadfully painful to him; but he is quite convinced that
     his duty to his country and his future demands this step of him. He
     is obliged to go away from here, as he does not think it right for
     him to be always in opposition to Uncle Louis, and as he cannot
     gain by it what the country and the troops require. On account of
     all these reasons he considers it right to leave.

     He wished me to write all this to you, as he knows you will
     understand and not disapprove the confidence he bestows on one, on
     whose opinion he quite relies. He looks forward so much to coming
     to England, as he is worried and harassed by all that has happened.
     In all this he has again shown, as of old, that he always places
     _himself_ and his _wishes_ and _feelings_ in the background, and
     that to serve others and to do his duty are the sole aims of his
     existence. He will, as soon as he has received an answer from the
     Grand Duke, telegraph to you to settle our plans. The children are
     overjoyed at the prospect of seeing their dear Grandmama again.

     I am not up to very much, I don’t always feel quite strong; but the
     change will do me good, I am sure.

                                     May 16th.

     The Grand Duke has not as yet consented to Louis’ resignation.
     Louis has made conditions, under which it will be possible for him
     to remain, if Uncle L. consents. The first condition is to have a
     Prussian officer at his side. The Grand Duke declared he would
     sooner lose his country than give his consent to that. Louis has
     now officially written his letter of requirements, and sent it.
     But, whatever happens, he will be able to get a short leave, he
     thinks, by the beginning of June.

                                     May 19th.

     The military affair is at length settled. Uncle Louis has given in
     to the points Louis demanded, and he retains his command. All are
     astonished at Louis’ unlooked-for success in this affair, and as
     Uncle L. would not have a Prussian General, and had no one here to
     take in Louis’ stead, who could do the things well, he had to agree
     and to allow what Louis was justified in asking. Louis’ firmness
     and decision have done great good, and all are thankful to him for
     it, though others, who ought to do as he has done, have never shown
     the courage.

     Louis is laid up with the most awful nettle-rash all over face and
     body, and is so unwell with it. He has had it now three days.
     Altogether since the winter, or rather since the war, he has had so
     much cause for vexation, that he has been constantly unwell; and
     each time he is much worried he has an attack of illness.

                                     May 29th.

     * * * I presided at my committee of seven ladies and four
     gentlemen a long while yesterday, and to-morrow I have my other
     one, which is more numerous. It is an easy task, but I hope we
     shall have good results from our endeavors.

                                     PARIS, June 9th.

     I really am half killed from sight-seeing and fêtes, but all has
     interested me so much, and the Emperor and Empress [of the French]
     have been most kind. Yesterday was the ball at the Hôtel de Ville,
     quite the same as it had been for you and dear Papa, and there were
     more than 8,000 people there. It was the finest sight I have ever
     seen, and it interested me all the more, as I knew it was the same
     as in the year when you were at Paris.

     Every morning we went to the Exhibition, and every evening there
     was a dinner or ball. It was most fatiguing. To-morrow morning we
     leave, and had really great trouble to get away, for the Emperor
     and Empress and others begged us so much to remain for the ball at
     the Tuileries to-morrow night; but we really could not, on account
     of Wednesday’s concert,[78] as we should barely arrive in time.

     The _attentat_ on the Emperor of Russia was dreadful, and we were
     close by at the time. The Empress can’t get over it, and she does
     not leave Uncle Sache’s[79] side for an instant now, and takes him
     everywhere in her carriage.

     To-day we are going with the whole Court to Versailles. Dear Vicky
     is gone. She was so low the last days, and dislikes going to
     parties so much just now, that she was longing to get home. The
     King [of Prussia] wished them both to stop, but only Fritz
     remained. How sad these days will be for her, poor love! She was
     in such good looks; every one here is charmed with her.

       *       *       *       *       *

[During the months of June and July, 1867, the Princess with her family
was on a visit in England.]

       *       *       *       *       *

                                     DARMSTADT, August 4th.

     We arrived here at midnight on Friday and I was so knocked up * * *
     that I was incapable of doing any thing yesterday.

     * * * My poor Willem[80] was buried yesterday. Every one regrets
     the poor child, for he was very dear. I miss him so much here, for
     he did every thing for me, and liked being about me and the
     children. All our servants went to the burial. It quite upset me
     here not to find him, for I was really attached to him, and he
     learnt so well, and was in many ways so nice, though of course
     troublesome too at times. How short life is, and the instant one is
     gone, he is so wiped away for others, and one knows _so_ absolutely
     _nothing_ about the person any more! Were it not for a strong faith
     in a future, it would indeed be cruel to bear. No one of the family
     is here. We leave to-morrow for Zürich, where we shall be at ten at
     night; the next day to Chur, and the next day to St. Moritz.

                                     ST. MORITZ, August 1st.

     With perfect weather we accomplished our journey perfectly, and
     were enchanted with the beautiful scenery from Zürich here, not to
     speak of this place.

     The first day--5th--we left Darmstadt at 11 A.M., and did not reach
     Zürich till eleven at night. We got two little rooms in the Hôtel
     Baur, but the whole place was full. The next morning after
     breakfast we went to look at the lovely lake, which is green and
     quite transparent. It was a beautiful warm morning. We left by rail
     at ten, partly along the lake of Zürich and then along the
     Wallenstädter See, which is long and narrow, with high
     perpendicular mountains down to the water--very wild and
     picturesque. This lake likewise is of that marvellous green color.
     We reached Chur at three that afternoon--a pretty small town,
     situated close up against a mountain. We visited a beautiful old
     church there, which contains fine old pictures and relics; it was
     built in the time of the Romans, and is still the chief church of
     the bishopric.

     The next morning we two, with Sarah, Logoz and our footman, left at
     six o’clock in a diligence (we both sitting in the coupé in front)
     with four horses, for here the road is the grandest one can
     imagine, perpetually ascending for two hours, and then descending
     again, always along precipices, and the horses at a quick trot
     turning sharp round the corners--which, I assure you is a trial to
     the best nerves. We drove over the Julier Pass, which was a road
     already used by the Romans, and which is almost the highest in
     Switzerland. One passes close to the top of the mountains, which
     have snow on them, and are wild and rugged like the top of
     Lochnagar. Lower down, the mountains are covered with bright green
     grass and fir trees, but rocks look out everywhere, and there are
     constantly lovely water-falls.

     After crossing the Pass, we drove down--very steep, of course
     nothing on the edge of the road, always zigzag, and at a sharp
     trot--for some distance down to Silva Plana, where the view over
     the valley and lakes of the Engadine, where St. Moritz lies, is
     beyond description beautiful.

     We reach this in the evening at six o’clock, the weather being most
     beautiful. The Curhaus is below the town, and looks like a large
     asylum. It is overfilled with people. We have two rooms, but our
     people as yet, none, though they hope for some to-morrow.

     I saw Dr. Berry, a little Swiss man, and he recommended me to take
     the baths twice a week, besides drinking the waters; which I have
     begun this morning at seven o’clock, the usual hour, as one has to
     walk up and down a quarter of an hour between the glasses. The bath
     I took at ten. It is tepid and also iron water, which bubbles like
     soda water, and makes one feel as if insects were crawling over
     one.

     Lina Aumale is here, the Parises and Nemours. Fritz and Louise [of
     Baden] leave to-morrow. This afternoon we drove with them, in two
     funny little “Wageli” with one horse, to Samaden, where Louise went
     into the hotel to see Mme. d’Usedom, who was lately upset with her
     carriage off the road, as there is no barrier, and hurt herself
     severely. We saw her brother likewise.

     I have sent you a nosegay of Edelweiss and other Alp flowers. I
     hope it won’t arrive quite dead. You must fancy them alive, and, if
     they could speak, they would tell you how much I love you, and how
     constantly I think of you, and of my dear, dear home!

                                     ST. MORITZ, August 11th.

     * * * All the Orleans’ left this place suddenly yesterday, as there
     are three cases of scarlatina in the house. We consulted the doctor
     immediately, whether he thought it safe for Louis to remain, he
     never having had it, and he said, “Perfectly, as we are at the
     other end of the house, and out nearly all day.”

     Victor and Lolo [Count and Countess Gleichen] are here, and we went
     out drawing together yesterday; but it is too difficult here. I
     think constantly how much you would admire this place: it is indeed
     exquisitely beautiful--much the finest I have ever seen. It is very
     wild and reminds me in parts of dear Scotland.

     You say that our home in England is dull now for those who like to
     amuse themselves. It is _never_ dull, darling Mama, when one can be
     with you, for I have indeed never met a more agreeable charming
     companion. Time always flies by when one is with you. I hope it is
     not impertinent my saying so.

                                     ST. MORITZ, August 13th.

     * * * I knew you would feel for me at the loss of my poor Willem.
     Of course one must feel that sort of loss more than that of many a
     relation, if one knew the latter but little. I said to Louis at the
     time, that Willem’s death distressed me more than would that of
     several relations who were not intimate with me. * * *

     Yesterday we and the Gleichens went to the Rosegg Glacier, and to
     get there had to go from Pontresina in little _Bergwagen_, which
     are strong miniature _Leiterwagen_ without springs, and we went
     over a horrid path with quantities of stones, so the shaking was
     beyond description.

     Victor and Lolo go mostly with us and we always dine together.

     I take three glasses beginning at seven in the morning, and a bath
     at eight. One lies in a wooden thing, covered over up to one’s chin
     with boards, and remains so twenty minutes.

     We lunch at twelve and dine at half-past six, and go to bed early.
     We are out nearly all day long. It is very warm, the sun scorching;
     my face is quite red-brown, in spite of veils and parasols. I feel
     already very much better, and Louis says my face is quite fat. I
     wish we could remain longer than the end of the month, but Louis
     must be home.

     I hope you notice the pains I take with my writing, for you
     complained of it at Osborne--I fear, justly--and I am trying to
     improve it again.

                                     ST. MORITZ, August 16th.

     Yesterday we made a beautiful expedition, which it may amuse you to
     hear of, as in an exaggerated way it reminded me of our nice Scotch
     ones. The evening before we left with Victor and Lolo (without
     servants) about eight o’clock for Pontresina. The country looked
     more beautiful than ever in the brightest moonlight. We found two
     very small but clean rooms in an hotel outside the village.

     The next morning we got up at half-past four, dressed, and
     breakfasted, then got on four horses with most uncomfortable
     saddles, with our guide Adam Engler, an amusing man, most active
     and helpful. We saw the sun rising over the snow-covered mountains,
     and the valleys gradually coming out clearer.

     We were to ascend the Piz Languard, a mountain 1,200 feet high. We
     rode for two hours by a worse and much steeper road than up the
     Glassalt, then walked over rocks, sand, and slippery grass, so
     steep that one could not look up to see where one was going to,
     quite precipitous on each side, leaving snow and glacier below us.
     The last bit has a sort of immensely high steps hewn in the rock.
     After an hour and a half’s hard labor we reached the summit, which
     is rocky and small--enormous precipices all round. Poor Lolo was
     giddy for some time, which was very unpleasant. The view from the
     top is most extensive. The Italian, Swiss, and Tyrolese Alps are
     all to be seen, but the view was not very clear. We rested and ate
     something, and drank some Lochnagar whisky. The sun was getting
     intense. We commenced our descent at eleven o’clock, and had to
     walk the whole way back, for one can’t ride down. We did not reach
     Pontresina till nearly four, as we had to rest several times, our
     limbs ached so, for there is no level ground the whole way, and the
     stones slip, and it was very hot. I had quite sore feet with
     blisters all over, so that the last hours were really agonizing.
     But it is a thing to have done, and the view amply repaid one,
     though one does not feel tempted to do it a second time. I feel
     very well, excepting my face, (which is still burning and quite
     red), and my unfortunate feet.

     Poor Christa wrote to me yesterday, and says:--

     “I must also tell your Royal Highness that I have received a letter
     in her own hand from Her Majesty the Queen. I cannot express how
     deeply this has moved me and filled me with gratitude. God bless
     the Queen for her rare human love; for surely there is no one, who
     in such a position as hers, has preserved a heart like hers, so
     full of kindness and sympathy for others.”[81]

     Dear sweet Mama, your kind and sisterly words have been balsam to
     many a wounded heart, and many are the blessings that have been
     craved for you from above by hearts filled with thankfulness for
     your true sympathy.

                                     ST. MORITZ, August 21st.

     * * * Now I will tell you of our expedition. Louis and I, Victor
     and Lolo, and a guide, with each a small bag, left this early on
     the morning of the 17th (dear Grandmama’s birthday) in a carriage
     for Pontresina; from thence, in two of those shaky _Bergwagen_,
     over part of the Bernina Pass, past the magnificent Morteratsch
     Glacier, which we saw perfectly. The guide told us he had been
     there with Professor Tyndall, and that the latter had observed that
     the glacier advanced a foot a day in the warm weather, and old
     people recollect it having been a mile higher up. We soon left the
     high-road, and all vegetation, save grass, for a bad path into the
     Val da Fain. The heat was again intense. We lunched and rested, and
     then took the horses out of the carts for us ladies to ride. The
     scenery was wild and severe, until we began again to descend, and
     came down upon the lovely Livigno Valley, which is Italian, and
     covered with brown châlets. We reached the village of Livigno, with
     only wooden huts, by six o’clock, and turned into a funny little
     dark inn, in which we four found one small but clean room for
     us--most primitive. As the inhabitants speak a sort of Italian, we
     had the greatest difficulty to make ourselves understood. Victor
     cooked part of the dinner, and it was quite good.

     We all slept--I resting _on_ a bed, the other three on the
     floor--in this little room, with the small window wide open.

     The next morning we left at nine, and drove on no road in such a
     small carriage--of course, no springs--our husbands at first
     getting a lift on the horses, without saddles; then on foot up a
     steep and dangerous ascent. Splendid weather, but too hot. We went
     over the Pass of the Stretta: a more difficult and rough ground I
     never crossed in my life, but splendid scenery. We came on a view
     which was glorious--such enormous snow-covered mountains and
     glaciers, with the green valleys deep below looking on Italy and
     the Tyrol.

     We reached Bormio by seven, and took up our residence at a
     bathing-place, quite magnificently situated, very high up--also
     Italian. The next morning we started early in carriages, and went
     over the Stelvio Pass. There, nearly at the risk of my neck, I
     picked for the first time some Edelweiss, which I am very proud of,
     as it is always difficult and rare to get.

     We got down to St. Maria, which is at the upper end of the
     Münsterthal and belongs to Switzerland. In the afternoon,
     dreadfully hot, I was very thirsty and drank off a glass of milk;
     but how it tasted! It was goat’s milk; the people keep the cow’s
     milk for butter and cheese. We remained the night there, and left
     the next morning for here, by Zernetz and Ofen. To get from one
     valley into another, one has always to ascend and descend enormous
     heights, and always by narrow paths at the edge of precipices. We
     enjoyed our tour immensely, and got on perfectly without servants.
     Packing up my things, though, every morning was a great trouble,
     and the bag would usually not shut at first. The trees growing here
     are splendid larches and arven[82]; the latter grow only in these
     very high regions and in Siberia. Victor and his wife are most
     amiable and pleasant travelling-companions, and pleased with every
     thing; not minding to rough it, which we had to do.

                                     SCHLOSS MAINAU, August 30th.

     * * * We left St. Moritz at seven, and reached Chur at seven in the
     evening. The next day we came on here to Louise of Baden. Fritz is
     at Carlsruhe. This place is very lovely, though, alas! the fine
     mountains are gone, which one always misses so much.

     I thought of you more than I can say on the dear 26th, and I felt
     low and sad all day. Dear Papa! Time has not yet accustomed us to
     see each anniversary come round again, and he still remain away. It
     is so inexpressibly hard for you, and you must feel such intense
     longing for the dear past. There remains a future! that is the only
     consolation.

     To-day we went with Louise by carriage, and then across part of the
     lake to the property of the Emperor Napoleon, Arenenberg, which the
     Empress gave him eight years ago, and which was his home with his
     mother, and where she died. Every picture and bit of furniture is
     replaced as it was when the Emperor lived there, and he was there
     himself and replaced every thing. It is quite a page in history to
     see all the things that surrounded the Emperor in the days of his
     misfortune.

                                     DARMSTADT, September 8th.

     * * * I spent three days and two nights with dear Alix at
     Wiesbaden, and I find her leg decidedly better. * * * It is a
     little less hot to-day, but much hotter even now than we ever have
     in England. Stallmeister Meyer[83] came to see us yesterday, and we
     took him out riding, which made him quite happy. Any one who
     reminds me of the good old times before the 14th of December does
     me good; it is a pleasure to speak about those past, so happy
     days! When they came to a close, I lost the greater part of my
     joyousness, which, though I am so happy, has never returned. A
     certain melancholy and sadness sometimes overcome me, which I can’t
     shake off; then I have _Heimweh_ after adored Papa to such an
     extent that tears are my only relief.

                                     DARMSTADT, September 20th.

     * * * The King of Prussia’s visit went off very well here, and both
     high personages seemed pleased to have got over the meeting. The
     King came most kindly to see us, and went over all our rooms, which
     seemed to amuse him. * * * Yesterday evening Sache and Minnie[84]
     arrived, and we intend going over to see them all to-morrow.

     Louis will retain the command, but, according to the King’s advice,
     has demanded a Prussian General Stabschef [Chief of the Staff],
     which will be a great assistance to him.

     At the sale of the Homburg things I bought a lovely miniature of
     dear Grandmama in a black velvet gown, with a red shawl over her
     shoulder--shortly after her marriage, I think.

                                     DARMSTADT, October 3d.

     Yesterday evening I returned from Wiesbaden, leaving Alix well, but
     having caught a bad cold myself. The children have equally heavy
     ones.

                                     DARMSTADT, October 8th.

     Many thanks for your letter just received, and for the review of
     dear Papa’s Life, which is excellent, and which I sent on to Aunt
     Feodore, as you desired. I have been laid up for a week with
     influenza, and am only about again since yesterday, though not out
     of the house. I am quite weak from it. The whole house is laid up
     with bad colds, and baby can’t shake her’s off at all. The cough is
     so tiring, and she whoops whenever she coughs. Poor Jäger, who is,
     alas! we fear, consumptive, broke a blood-vessel two days ago, and
     is dangerously ill, to the great grief of all in the house. He is
     our best servant, and so devoted; he never would take care of
     himself, as he could not bear letting any one but himself attend on
     Louis. We have just got a _Diakonissin_ [Deaconness] to nurse him;
     on account of his great weakness he can’t be left alone one
     instant.

     Sir William, Lady, and Charlotte Knollys have been on a visit to
     us; also Lady Geraldine Somerset for two nights. They are all
     interested to see our house.

     Uncle George has made me a present of one of the horses the Sultan
     sent him.

                                     DARMSTADT, October 10th.

     I can’t find words to say how sorry I am that dear sweet Arthur
     should have the small-pox! and that you should have this great
     anxiety and worry. God grant that the dear boy may get well over
     it, and that his dear handsome face be not marked! Where in the
     world could he have caught it? The Major kindly telegraphs daily,
     and you can fancy, far away, how anxious one is. I shall be very
     anxious to get a letter with accounts, for I think constantly of
     him, and of you. My parents-in-law wish me to tell you how they
     share your anxiety, and how they wish soon to hear of dear Arthur’s
     convalescence; of course my Louis likewise, for he shares all my
     feelings, being a real brother towards my _Geschwister_ [brothers
     and sisters].

     We both paid the King of Prussia our respects at Frankfort this
     morning, principally to tell him that Bertie had been so grieved
     at the ill success of his intended visit, as the Queen begged us to
     do.

     I am better to-day, but Ella and Irène can’t shake off their colds,
     and poor Ella is altogether unwell. Victoria is all right.

     We are going on the 18th to Baden for Fritz’s birthday.

                                     DARMSTADT, October 14th.

     How glad I am to see by your letter that darling Arthur is going on
     so very well. One can’t be too thankful; and it is a good thing
     over, and will spare one’s being anxious about him on other
     occasions.

     Bertie and Alix have been here since Saturday afternoon, and leave
     to-morrow. They go straight to Antwerp, and Bertie is going back to
     Brussels to see the cousins.

     The visit of the King went off very well, and Alix was pleased with
     the kindness and civility of the King. I hear that the meeting was
     satisfactory to both parties, which I am heartily glad of. Bearing
     ill-will is always a mistake, besides its not being right.

     Dear Alix walked up our staircase with two sticks, of course very
     slowly, but she is improving wonderfully, though her knee is quite
     stiff.

     Poor Jäger is a little better, and the momentary danger is past,
     though I fear he cannot ultimately recover. How hard for poor
     Katrinchen! There is much sorrow in the world, and how often such a
     share falls to the best and gentlest! I, of course, go to see him
     daily, but it always goes to my very heart to see that attached and
     faithful creature dying slowly away. How is Brown’s sister?

     We hope that Countess Blücher will return here with Vicky and me
     from Baden for a few days, as it is an age since Vicky has seen
     her.

     Dear Alix is writing in my room at this moment, and is so dear and
     sweet. She is a most lovable creature.

                                     DARMSTADT, October 23d.

     I have had the pleasure of having Augusta and the Dean [Stanley]
     here since yesterday, but they leave again this morning.

     The King of Prussia is here to-day, and there is a large dinner for
     him in the Schloss, and he is kind enough to come and see me
     afterward.

     The accounts of poor dear Aunt Feodore are so sad, and I hear she
     does not look well, and is so low about her eyes and being unable
     to see you again after so long a separation. She seems alone and
     lonely, with old age and sickness coming over her. If I had been
     well, I should have gone to see her. I am much better these last
     days. I can breathe much better, but the dreadfully swelled ankles
     and wrists remain as bad as before, and cause great discomfort and
     even pain. I never had this before.

                                     SCHWEINSBERG, October 24th.

     Dear Vicky and Fritz left us yesterday morning. It is such a
     pleasure to me to think that they, like Bertie and Alix, know my
     house, and that they have lodged under our roof. When will you,
     darling Mama? If ever again you go abroad and wish to rest on your
     way, all in the world we have is at your disposal. How happy that
     would make us!

     We ourselves left at four yesterday afternoon, remaining the night
     at Marburg, and leaving at a quarter to five in the morning, so
     that Louis could reach Alsfeld in time to join the shooting-party.
     We parted at Kirchhain, and I came here with Christa to her
     mother’s house--so sad and changed since three years ago. It is
     most kind of them to have taken me up here, and the bracing air
     will do me good. They know that I can understand what a house of
     mourning is, and that I don’t want to amuse myself.

     Ella cried on parting with us yesterday, and wanted to get into the
     train with us.

     Victoria is going to have a little lesson every other day, when I
     go back, from Mr. Geyer, who taught poor Willem, and who teaches
     little girls particularly well. She must begin in my room, as it is
     better not to have lessons in the nursery, I think. Vicky and I
     spoke much together about education and taking a governess. I
     thought to wait a year (for financial reasons), and I think it time
     enough then--do not you?

                                     DARMSTADT, October 26th.

     * * * We arrived late at Baden, and Vicky and Fritz, who had had
     two long days’ journey, were very tired; but we had to go to dress
     at once, to go to a _soirée_ at Madame Viardot’s, which lasted till
     midnight, and at which the King and Queen were present. Her
     daughters and scholars sang a little operetta she had composed,
     which was very pretty.

     I hope the inauguration of the statue went off as well as the
     weather would permit.

                                     November 15th.

     * * * It is so good and wholesome not always to be one’s own
     master, and to have to suit one’s self to the wish of others, and,
     above all, to that of one’s mother and sovereign. ---- feels it as
     such, and often told me so, regretting how seldom such was the
     case.

     The Moriers are often with us, and we value them much; they are
     such pleasant companions, and such excellent, clever people.

                                     DARMSTADT, December 6th.

     * * * The visit to Claremont must have been quite peculiar for you;
     and I can fancy it bringing back to your mind the recollections of
     your childhood. In spring it must be a lovely place, and, with
     gayer papers on the walls, and a little modern comfort, the house
     must likewise be very pleasant. Ella, who was breakfasting with me
     just now, saw me dip my _Bretzel_ in my coffee, and said: “Oh,
     Mama, you must not! Do you allow yourself to do that?” because I
     don’t allow her to do it. She is too funny, and by no means quite
     easy to manage--a great contrast to Victoria, who is a very
     tractable child. Ella has a wonderful talent for sewing, and, when
     she keeps quiet a little while, sews quite alone and without
     mistakes. She is making something for you for Christmas, which she
     is quite excited about. Victoria’s little afternoon lesson answers
     admirably, and is the happiest time of the day for her. She can
     read words already.

     We have snow and ice, and no sunshine since some time, and it is
     not inviting to take the dull walks in the town. But I make a rule
     to go out twice a day, and keep nearly the same hours as at home.

     The account of your visit to Lady Palmerston and to her daughter is
     most touching. It is so inexpressibly sad for grandmother and
     mother, for it is unnatural for parents to survive their children,
     and that makes the grief a so peculiar one, and very hard to bear.

                                     December 9th.

     * * * During the long winter days, when Louis is away sometimes
     four times in the week from six in the morning till six in the
     evening, and then when he returns from his shooting has his work
     to do, I feel lonely. I am often for several hours consecutively
     quite by myself; and for my meals and walks only a lady, as she is
     the only person in the house besides ourselves. It is during these
     hours, when one cannot always be reading or at work, that I should
     wish to have some one to go to, or to come to me to sit and speak
     with; but such is not the case, and it is this I regret--accustomed
     as I was to a house full of people, with brothers and sisters, and
     above all, the chance of being near you. I always feel how
     willingly I would spend some of those hours with or near you--and
     the sea ever lies between us! When Louis is at home and free--for
     in the morning I don’t see him--then I have _all_ that this world
     can give me, for I am indeed never happier than at his dear side;
     and time only increases our affection, and binds us closer to each
     other.

     We have deep snow now and sledging the last two days.

                                     December 12th.

     Before going to rest, I take up my pen to write a few loving words
     that they may reach you on the morning of the 14th. The sound of
     that date brings with it that sad and dreary recollection which,
     for you, my poor dear Mama, and for us, time cannot alter. As long
     as our lives last, this time of year must fill us with sad and
     earnest feelings, and revive the pain of that bitter parting.

     I ought not to dwell on those hours now, for it is wrong to open
     those wounds afresh, which God in His mercy finds little ways and
     means to heal and soothe the pain of.

     Dear darling Papa is, and ever will be _immortal_. The good he has
     done; the great ideas he has promulgated in the world; the noble
     and unselfish example he has given, will live on, as I am sure he
     must ever do, as one of the best, purest, most God-like men that
     have come down into this world. His example will, and does,
     stimulate others to higher and purer aims; and I am convinced that
     darling Papa did not live in vain. His great mission was done; and
     what has remained undone he has placed in your dear hands, who will
     know best how to achieve his great works of love and justice. I
     shall think much, very much, of you on the 14th, and you will be
     more in my prayers than ever. Think also a little of your most
     devoted child!

                                     DARMSTADT, Christmas Day.

     We missed poor Willem so much in arranging all the things; and poor
     Jäger’s illness was also sad. We gave him a tree in his room. He
     looks like a shadow, and his voice is quite hoarse.

     To two hospitals, the military and the town one, I took presents
     yesterday, and saw many a scene of suffering and grief. My children
     are going to give a certain number of poor children a _Bescheerung_
     on New Year’s Day. It is so good to teach them early to be generous
     and kind to the poor. They even wish to give some of their own
     things, and such as are _not_ broken.

     Your many generous presents will find their use at once, and the
     Christmas pie, etc., be shared by all the family. The remembrances
     of those bright happy Christmases at Windsor are constantly before
     me. None will ever be again what those were, without you, dear
     Papa, and dear kind Grandmama.

                                     DARMSTADT, December 27th.

     * * * I am sure you will have felt under many a circumstance in
     life, that if any momentary feeling was upon you, and you were
     writing to some one near and dear, it did you good to put down
     those feelings on paper, and that, even in the act of doing so,
     when the words were barely written, the feeling had begun to die
     away, and the intercourse had done you good.


1868.

Although the winter season brought many social duties with it, the
Princess’ active personal attention to all those good works and
institutions which she had called into existence never flagged. No
subject of interest or importance escaped her, and her time was always
fully occupied. In April she met the Crown Prince at Gotha, where Prince
Louis also came, on his return from Munich, to fetch her. She spent the
months of June and July in England with her three little girls, either
at Osborne, Windsor, or in London. The return journey to Darmstadt was
made by water as far as Mayence. The autumn was spent at Kranichstein,
in the neighborhood of which the manœuvres of the Hessian division took
place, at some of which the Princess was present.

On the 25th of November, to the great joy of the parents and the
country, a son and heir was born--“a splendid boy.” At his christening,
on the 28th of December, he received, at the special desire of the Grand
Duke, the names Ernst Ludwig--which had been borne by so many of the
old Landgraves of Hesse. The sponsors were the Queen of England and the
King of Prussia.

                                     DARMSTADT, January 24th.

     * * * To-night I am going to act with two other persons in our
     dining-room a pretty little piece called “Am Klavier,” but I fear I
     shall be very nervous, and consequently act badly, which would be
     too tiresome.

     I have never tried to act in any thing since “Rothkäppchen.”

                                     February 14th.

     What a fright the news of dear Leopold’s dangerous attack has given
     us! Mr. Sahl’s letter to Becker arrived yesterday afternoon
     containing the bad news, and he spoke of so _little_ hope, that I
     was so upset and so dreadfully distressed for the dear darling, for
     you, poor Mama, and for us all, that I am quite unwell still
     to-day.

     When your telegram came to-day, and Louise’s letter, I was so
     relieved and only pray and hope that the improvement may continue.
     May God spare that young bright and gifted life, to be a comfort
     and support to you for many a year to come!

     Had I only had a telegram! for, the letter being two days old,
     until your telegram came I passed six such agonizing hours! Away
     from home, every news of illness or sorrow there is so difficult to
     bear--when one can share all the anxiety and trouble only _in
     thought_.

     The day passes so slowly without news, and I am always looking
     toward the door to see if a telegram is coming. Please let me hear
     regularly till he is quite safe; I do love the dear boy, as I do
     all my brothers and sisters, so tenderly!

     How I wish you had been spared this new anxiety! Those two days
     must have been dreadful!

     Darling Mama, how I wish I were with you! God grant that in future
     you may send us only good news.

     Louis and my parents-in-law send their respectful love and the
     expression of their warmest sympathy, in which the other members of
     the family join.

                                     February 2d.

     How glad and truly thankful I am, that the Almighty has saved our
     darling Leopold and spared him to you and to us all! For the second
     or even third time that life has been given again, when all feared
     that it must leave us! A mother’s heart must feel this so much more
     than any other one’s, and dear Leopold, through having caused you
     all his life so much anxiety, must be inexpressibly dear to you,
     and such an object to watch over and take care of. Indeed from the
     depth of my heart I thank God with you for having so mercifully
     spared dear Leo, and watched over him when death seemed so near!

     You will feel deeply now the great joy of seeing a convalescence
     after the great danger, and I know, through a thousand little
     things, how your loving and considerate heart will find pleasure
     and consolation in cheering your patient.

     That for the future you must ever be so anxious is a dreadful
     trial, but it is to be hoped that Leo will yet outgrow this strange
     illness. I am sure good Archie[85] takes great care of him, and by
     this time he will have gathered plenty of experience to be a good
     nurse.

     Baby is better, but her poor head and face are perfectly covered
     with spots, and she was in despair with the smarting and itching,
     and of course rubbed herself quite sore. Ella has it slightly since
     this morning.

                                     DARMSTADT, February 13th.

     * * * First let me wish you joy for the birth of this new
     grandson,[86] born on your dear wedding-day. I thought of you on
     the morning of the 10th, and meant to telegraph, but those dreadful
     neuralgic pains came on before I had time to look about me, and
     really laid me prostrate for the whole day, as they lasted so very
     long. I have never felt so unwell, or suffered so much in my life,
     and this moment, sitting up in Louis’ room, I feel more weak than I
     have ever felt on first getting up after my confinements. Quinine
     has kept me free from pain to-day, and I hope will do so to-morrow.
     I have been in bed a week and touched absolutely nothing all the
     time. Yesterday evening, as throughout the day, I had had (but much
     more slightly) a return of these agonizing attacks, which seized my
     left eye, ear, and the whole left side of my head and nose. I got
     up and sat in Louis’ room; I could only bear it for two hours, and
     all but fainted before I reached my bed. If I can get strength, and
     have no return of pain, I hope to go out after to-morrow. I could
     not see the children or any one during this week, and always had my
     eyes closed, first from pain, and then from exhaustion when the
     pain left me. I really thought I should go out of my mind, and you
     know I can stand a tolerable amount of pain.

                                     February 17th.

     * * * I am so distressed that you remained so long without news. I
     was really for a whole week quite incapable of _any idea_ about any
     thing, and had mostly my eyes shut, and was constantly alone, as I
     could not bear any one in the room.

     General Plonsky, the Corps Commandant from Cassel, came here
     unexpectedly, and Louis, being under his command, was so taken up
     during those days, besides an immense deal of military business,
     that I never saw him more than a few minutes in the morning; and
     during his free time in the afternoon he sat, like the best nurse
     in the world, near my bed in the dark room, putting wet rags on my
     head and trying by every possible means to alleviate my pains. He
     was touching in the great care he took of me. Louis and Harriet did
     all for me, and I could bear no one else about me. You see, poor
     Louis had no time to write, and he always thought that I should be
     well the next day and write myself.

                                     DARMSTADT, February 24th.

     To my and, I fear, dear Vicky’s great disappointment, Dr. Weber
     won’t let me go to Berlin, and wants me to go to Wiesbaden for a
     cold-water cure instead. The latter will be intensely dull, as I
     shall be there for four weeks all alone; but I believe it will be
     very beneficial, as with every year I seem to get more rheumatic,
     which at my age is of course not good.

     We shall hope to be able to come to Windsor, middle of June, as you
     desire. The exact time you will kindly let us know later.

                                     DARMSTADT, March 9th.

     * * * Louis left yesterday morning for Munich. It is a twelve
     hours’ journey. There is a procession on foot at the funeral, going
     to the church through the town, which will last about two hours,
     and then a very long ceremony in the large, cold Basilica.[87]

                                     DARMSTADT, March 14th.

     I send you a few lines to-day for the 16th, the anniversary of the
     first great sorrow which broke in upon your happy life. How well do
     I recollect how I accompanied you and dear Papa down to Frogmore
     that night, our dinner in the flower room, the dreadful watching in
     the corridor, and then the so painful end! Darling Papa looked so
     pale, so deeply distressed, and was so full of tender sympathy for
     you. He told me to go to you and comfort you, and was so full of
     love and commiseration as I have never seen any man before or
     after. Dear, sweet Papa! that in that same year we should live
     together through such another heart-rending scene again, and he not
     there to comfort or support you, poor Mama!

     It sometimes, even at this distance of time, seems nearly
     impossible that we should have lived through such times, and yet be
     alive and resigned.

     God’s mercy is indeed great; for He sends a balm to soothe and heal
     the bruised and faithful heart, and to teach one to accommodate
     one’s self to one’s sorrow, so as to know how to bear it!

                                     DARMSTADT, April 2d.

     * * * Louis is in a most unpleasant crisis with the Ministry and
     the Grand Duke. I don’t know how it will end.

                                     DARMSTADT, April 5th.

     Only two words to-day, as my heart is so full of love and
     gratitude to you who took such care of me this day five years ago,
     who heard Victoria’s first cry, and were such a comfort and help to
     us both. All these recollections make Victoria doubly dear to us,
     and, as in this world one never knows what will happen, I hope that
     you will always watch over our dear child, and let her be as dear
     to you as though she had been one of us.

     We have spent the day very sadly and quietly together. Louis’
     affairs have taken such a turn that he has been obliged to tender
     the Grand Duke his resignation, as he does not consider it
     compatible with his honor to remain, under existing circumstances.
     He has made a great sacrifice to his duty and honor, but doing
     one’s duty brings the reward with it of a clear conscience.

                                     April 3d.

     * * * The King of Prussia has sent General von Bonin here to speak
     seriously with the Grand Duke, and prove to him through papers,
     etc., that he has not kept his word, and that he has been very
     badly advised, and that Louis was quite in the right. The result
     has been that the poor Grand Duke is scandalized at the state of
     affairs, and that he really seems to have been more in the dark
     than was supposed. He gives Louis the command again, sends away the
     whole _Kriegsministerium_ [War Department], to be reorganized more
     simply, and with other people, according to Louis’ proposals; and
     so all _military_ affairs will be in order, and Louis have much
     greater power to carry out all that has to be done.

     We are so pleased at all having turned out thus far well, and know
     that you will share our feelings. Louis gets more work and a great
     responsibility; but he has proved himself so capable in every
     respect, so active and hard-working, that I think and trust he will
     overcome all difficulties.

     I go alone to Gotha, and Louis will follow as soon as he can, so as
     to spend my birthday there.

     I am so distressed at dear, good Sir James [Clark’s] illness. I
     hope and trust that this precious old friend will still be spared
     for a few years at least.

                                     GOTHA, April 25th.

     * * * It is now eleven years since I spent my birthday with dear
     Vicky, and she has been so dear and kind, and dear Aunt and Uncle
     likewise. We spend the day quite quietly together, and the bad
     weather prevents any expeditions.

     After to-morrow we go home.

                                     DARMSTADT, May 4th.

     Accept my best thanks for your last letter written on dear Arthur’s
     birthday. The playing of the band I am sure gave him pleasure; but
     it would be too painful for _all_ ever to have it again on the
     terrace as formerly. There are certain tunes which that Marine Band
     used to play, which, when I have chanced to hear them elsewhere,
     have quite upset me, so powerful does the recollection of those so
     very happy birthdays at Osborne remain upon me! Those happy, happy
     days touch me even to tears when I think of them. What a joyous
     childhood we had, and how greatly it was enhanced by dear, sweet
     Papa, and by all your great kindness to us!

     I try to copy as much as lies in my power all these things for our
     children, that they may have an idea, when I speak to them of it,
     of what a happy home ours was.

     I do feel so much for dear Beatrice and the other younger ones,
     who had so much less of it than we had!

                                     DARMSTADT, May 11th.

     For your sake I am sorry that my condition should cause you
     anxiety, for you have enough of that, God knows. But I am so well
     this time that I hope and trust all may go well, though one is
     never sure. It is this conviction which I always have, and which
     makes me serious and thoughtful, as who can know whether with the
     termination of this time my life may not also terminate?

     This is also one of the reasons why I long so very much to see you,
     my own precious Mama, this summer, for I cling to you with a love
     and gratitude, the depth of which I know I can never find words or
     means to express. After a year’s absence I wish so intensely to
     behold your dear, sweet, loving face again, and to press my lips on
     your dear hands. The older I grow the more I value and appreciate
     that mother’s love which is unique in the world; and having, since
     darling Papa’s death, only you, the love to my parents and to
     adored Papa’s memory is all centred in _you_.

     Louis has leave from the 11th of June to the 11th of August.

     Uncle Ernest is coming here to-day for the day, from Frankfort,
     where he has been to a cattle-show. Uncle Adalbert is here, so much
     pleased with having seen you again, singing the praise of both
     Lenchen and Louise, which of course I joined in, as it is such a
     pleasure to hear others admire and appreciate my dear sisters.

                                     DARMSTADT, May 14th.

     I know you will be grieved to hear that we all have had the grief
     of losing good, excellent Jäger.[88] He was, on the whole, better
     and was out daily, and he went to bed as usual, when in the middle
     of the night he called one of the men, and before they could come
     to his assistance he expired, having broken a blood-vessel. Poor
     Katrinchen’s despair and grief were quite heart-rending, when we
     went together to see our true and valued servant for the last time.
     I was so upset by the whole, that it was some days before I got
     over it. We made wreaths to put on his coffin, which was covered
     with flowers sent from all sides, and we both were at the door with
     our servants when he was carried out, and tried to console the
     poor, unfortunate _Braut_ [bride], who remained at home.

     He was the best servant one could find; never, since he has been in
     our service, had he been found fault with by any one. He was good,
     pious, and gentle, and very intelligent. The death of a good man,
     who has fulfilled his allotted duty in this world as a good
     Christian ought, touches one deeply, and we have really mourned for
     him as for a friend, for he was one in the true sense of the word.
     Jäger rests alongside my poor Willem, in the pretty little cemetery
     here; a bit of my heart went with them.

     Fritz, on his way back from Italy, spent a few hours with us, and
     told us much of his journey. He heard the strangest rumors of
     France intending to break out in sudden hostilities with Germany,
     and asked me what you thought of a probability of a war for this
     summer. I hope to God, that nothing horrid of that sort will
     happen! Do you think it likely, dear Mama?

                                     DARMSTADT, May 19th.

     My own darling and most precious Mama, the warmest and tenderest
     wishes that grateful children can form for a beloved parent we both
     form for you, and these lines but weakly express all I would like
     to say. May God bless and watch over a life so precious and so dear
     to many! It is now six years since I spent that dear day near you,
     but I hope that some time or other we shall be allowed to do so.
     Our joint present is a medal for you with our heads. We had it made
     large in oxidized silver on purpose for you. I myself have braided
     and embroidered, with Christa’s help (who begged to be allowed to
     do something for you), a trimming for a dress, which I hope you
     will like and wear. It took a deal of my time, and my thoughts were
     so much with you while I was doing it, that I quite regretted its
     completion.

     We are having a bracelet with our miniatures and the three
     children’s in it made for you, but unfortunately it is not
     finished, so we shall bring it and give it to you ourselves.

                                     DARMSTADT, May 29th.

     * * * The intense heat remains the same, and becomes daily less
     endurable here in town--the result on my unfortunate person being a
     very painful rash which itches beyond all description. I hope it
     won’t increase.

     How I envy you at Balmoral! the very thought of that air makes me
     better.

                                     OSBORNE, August 6th.

     I was just sitting down to write to you when Ernest came in with
     your dear letter. Thousand thanks for it! These parting lines will
     be such a clear companion to me on our journey. I can’t tell you
     how much I felt taking leave of you this time, dear Mama; it
     always is such a wrench to tear myself away from you and my home
     again. Where I have so, oh, so much to be thankful and grateful to
     you for, I always fear that I can never express my thanks as warmly
     as I feel them, which I do indeed from the bottom of my heart. God
     bless you, darling Mama, for all your love and kindness; and from
     the depth of my heart do I pray that nothing may cause you such
     anxiety and sorrow again as you have had to bear of late. * * *

     When I left you at the pier the return to the empty house was so
     sad! It felt quite strange, and by no means pleasant, to be here
     without you and all the others. We lunched alone with Victoria, and
     dined in the hot dining-room with the ladies and gentlemen, sitting
     on the terrace afterward.

     It has rained all the morning, and is most oppressive. As it is so
     foggy, we have to leave at two; but there is no wind, and I hope
     the sea will be quite smooth. I am sure you must feel lonely and
     depressed on this journey, poor Mama; but the change of scene and
     beautiful nature enjoyed in rest and quiet must surely do you good.

                                     KRANICHSTEIN, August 10th.

     * * * We left Osborne at two on Thursday in rain and wind. The
     children and I were dreadfully sick an hour after starting, but the
     passage got smoother later; and, though I was very wretched in
     every way, I was not sick again. The same sort of weather on the
     _Alberta_ next morning, but it cleared up later. The Rhine steamer
     was very comfortable, and Doctor Minter accompanied us to
     Dordrecht. The last afternoon and night on board I suffered
     dreadfully. Since I arrived here, I am better, but not right yet.
     Had it not been for your great kindness in giving us the ship, I
     am sure I should not have got home right. This awful heat adds to
     my feelings of fatigue and discomfort.

                                     KRANICHSTEIN, August 11th.

     I have just received your letter, from Lucerne, and hasten to thank
     you for it.

     How glad I am that you admire the beautiful scenery, and that I
     know it, and can share your admiration and enjoyment of it in
     thought with you! It is most lovely. The splendid forms, and the
     color of the lake, are two things that we don’t know in dear
     Scotland, and which are so peculiar to Swiss scenery.

     Louis is in town from eight till our two o’clock dinner, and has a
     great deal to do.

     For your sake as for my own I long for a respite from this
     unbearable heat, which is so weakening and trying.

                                     KRANICHSTEIN, August 16th.

     * * * How satisfactory the accounts of dear good Arthur are! From
     the depth of my heart do I congratulate you on all that Colonel
     Elphinstone says about his character, for with a real moral
     foundation, and a strict sense of duty and of what is right and
     wrong, he will have a power to combat the temptations of the world
     and those within himself. I am sure that he will grow up to be a
     pride and pleasure to you, and an honor to his country.

     Brown must have been glad to be allowed to continue wearing his
     kilt, and, as it is a national dress, it is far more natural that
     he should give it up nowhere. I am sure that he and Annie[89] must
     admire the place.

                                     KRANICHSTEIN, August 26th.

     I have just received your dear letter, and am so pleased to hear
     that you enjoyed your excursion, and that you have now seen the
     sort of wild scenery high up in the mountains, which I think so
     beautiful and grand in Switzerland. For all admirers of that style
     of scenery there is nothing to be compared to Switzerland.

     Since it became cool again I have had neuralgia in my head, and I
     have had a dreadful sty, which had to be cut open, and made me
     quite faint and sick for the whole day. In spite of it I went to
     the station here, with a thick veil on, to see the Russian
     relations pass two days ago. The Emperor looks even more altered
     and worn since last year, and is suddenly grown so old.

                                     KRANICHSTEIN, September 4th.

     * * * How too delightful your expeditions must have been! I do
     rejoice that, through the change of weather, you should have been
     able to see and enjoy all that glorious scenery. Without your good
     ponies and Brown, etc., you would have felt how difficult such
     ascents are for common mortals, particularly when the horses slip,
     and finally sit down. I am sure all this will have done you good;
     seeing such totally new beautiful scenery does refresh so
     immensely, and the air and exertion--both of which you seem to bear
     so well now--will do your health good.

     Yesterday we both were two hours at Jugenheim. To-day the two
     little cousins are coming to see my children.

     Louis’ business is increasing daily, and until the 19th, manœuvres,
     inspections, etc., won’t be over. He will even have to be away on
     his birthday, which is a great bore. There is a great review for
     the Emperor on Saturday.

                                     September 15th.

     * * * Like a foolish frightened creature as I am, I have worried
     myself so much about this sudden talk of war and threatening in all
     the French papers, saying that October, November, or thereabouts
     would be a good time to begin. Do tell me, if you think there is
     the least reasonable apprehension for any thing of that sort this
     year. I have such confidence in your opinion, and you can imagine
     how in my present condition I must tremble before a recurrence of
     all I went through in 1866!

     I am so grieved that you should be so unwell on the journey home.
     Dear beautiful Scotland will do you good. I envy your going there,
     and wish I could be with you, for I am so fond of it. Remember me
     to all the good people.

                                     DARMSTADT, October 28th.

     * * * The Queen of Prussia is coming to lunch with us on Saturday
     on her way to Coblenz.

     I have a cold these last days, and Victoria is still confined to
     the house with her swelled neck. She had quite lost her appetite,
     and I tried some porridge for her, which she enjoys, and I hope it
     will fatten her up a little, for she is so thin and pale. Would you
     please order a small barrel of oatmeal to be sent to me? Dr. Weber
     thinks it would be very good for Victoria, and one cannot get it
     here.

                                     DARMSTADT, November 20th.

     It is with the greatest interest that I read about the
     Mausoleum,[90] as I was very anxious to know whether all would be
     finished. Having been present before at all the important steps in
     the progress of this undertaking, I feel very sorry to be absent at
     the last, and I shall be very impatient to see it all again.

     Winter has quite set in now here, and when there is no wind the
     cold is very pleasant.

                                     DARMSTADT, December 4th.

     Thousand thanks for all your dear kind wishes, for your first
     letter to me, for the one to Louis, and finally for the eatables! I
     can’t tell you how touched, how pleased we both are at the kind
     interest all at home have shown us on this occasion. It has really
     enhanced our pleasure at the birth of our little son, to receive so
     many marks of sympathy and attachment from those in my dear native
     home, and in my present one. My heart is indeed overflowing with
     gratitude for all God’s blessings.

     The time itself was very severe, but my recovery is up to now the
     best I have ever made, and I feel comparatively strong and well.

     The girls are delighted with their brother, though Victoria was
     sorry it was not a sister. Darling Louis was too overcome and taken
     up with me at first to be half pleased enough. Baby is to be called
     by Louis’ Uncle Louis’ wish, _Ernst Ludwig_, after a former
     Landgrave;[91] then we would like you to give the name _Albert_;
     _Charles_, after my father-in-law; and _William_, after the King of
     Prussia, whom we mean to ask to be godfather. The christening is
     most likely to be on the 28th, or thereabout.

     I am on my sofa in my sitting-room with all your dear photos, etc.,
     around me, and your pretty quilt over me.

                                     December 12th.

     * * * Every new event in my life renews the grief for dear Papa’s
     loss, and the deep regret that he was not here to know of all, to
     ask advice from, to share joy and grief with, for he was such a
     tender father, and would have been such a loving grandfather.

     You, darling Mama, fill his place with your own, and may God’s
     support never leave you, and ever enable you to continue fulfilling
     the many duties toward State and family! The love of your children
     and people encircles you.

                                     DARMSTADT, December 18th.

     * * * The presents you intend giving baby will delight us, and in
     later years I can tell him all about his Grandpapa, and how I wish
     and pray he may turn out in any way like him, and try and aim to
     become so.

     I think it would be best, perhaps, if you asked my mother-in-law to
     represent you and hold baby. I think it would pain her, should any
     one else do it, and I will ask her in your name, if you will kindly
     telegraph me your approval.

     I am sorry Arthur cannot come, it would have given us such pleasure
     had it been possible.

     The greater part of baby’s monthly gowns have been put away, as
     from the beginning they were too small. He is so very big.

                                     Christmas Day.

     * * * Louis thanks you thousand times, as we do, for the charming
     presents for the children. They showed them to every one, shouting:
     “This is from my dear English Grandmama”; and Ella, who is always
     sentimental, added: “She is so very good, my Grandmama.” Irene
     could not be parted from the doll you gave her, nor Victoria from
     hers. Baby was brought down, and was wide awake the whole time,
     looking about with his little bright eyes like a much older child.

     We spent a very happy Christmas eve, surrounded by the dear
     children and our kind relations.

                                     DARMSTADT, December 29th.

     * * * Prince Hohenzollern with three gentlemen were sent by the
     King, and the former dined with us after the ceremony. All went off
     so well, and baby, who is in every way like a child of two months,
     looked about him quite wisely, and was much admired by all who saw
     him.

     I am so sorry that you have never seen my babies since Victoria,
     for I know you would admire them, they look so mottled and healthy.
     Weather permitting, baby is to be photographed to-morrow.


1869.

The winter passed quickly and quietly amidst many occupations.

In May the Prince and Princess, with their children, went on a visit to
the Crown Prince and Princess of Prussia at Potsdam, where they spent
four happy weeks. Whilst they were there, the Viceroy of Egypt paid a
visit to Berlin. Later in the summer they went to Silesia, and spent
some time at Fischbach, a property belonging to Princess Charles of
Hesse, whose sister, the Queen of Bavaria, and brother, Prince Adalbert
of Prussia, joined them there. During their stay, the Prince and
Princess made excursions into the neighboring mountains, and ascended
the Schneekoppe; and the Prince and his brothers visited the battlefield
of Königsgrätz. On the way back to Darmstadt they visited Dresden, to
see the King and Queen of Saxony at their country seat, Pillnitz, an
hour’s drive from Dresden.

In August, the King of Prussia for the first time personally inspected
the Hessian troops. The Prince commanded the troops at the manœuvres in
Upper Hesse, at the conclusion of which they paraded before the King of
Prussia at Bergen.

Some weeks later, the Prince and Princess of Wales and their family paid
Prince and Princess Louis a visit at Kranichstein. The opening of the
Idiot Asylum built by the Princess took place on the 15th of October in
her presence and that of the Prince. It had been arranged that Prince
Louis should accompany the Crown Prince of Prussia on his journey to the
East, on the occasion of the opening of the Suez Canal. He started on
the 9th of October for Venice. The two Princes visited Corfu, Athens,
and Constantinople, and were received with every possible honor in the
capitals of Greece and Turkey. They went on to Jaffa, and thence to
Jerusalem, Hebron, Damascus, and Baalbec, and finally, on the 15th of
November, they arrived at Port Said, where they met a large number of
other Princes. A journey up the Nile as far as the first and second
cataracts brought their travels to an end. They returned home by way of
Naples, and through Italy.

During the absence of the two Princes, the Crown Princess of Prussia and
Princess Alice, with her little son, went to Cannes. Whilst there, the
Princess devoted herself entirely to the care of her child. Being
together with her sister, and in that sunny country, made up somewhat
for the long separation from her husband. The Princes joined the two
Princesses at Cannes shortly before Christmas. The new year saw them all
at home again.

                                     DARMSTADT, January 8th.

     * * * Dear charming Lady Frances [Baillie] is on a visit with us,
     and I enjoy having her so much. We talk of old times at Frogmore,
     and so many pleasant recollections.

     I am glad that you like baby’s photograph, though it does not do
     him justice. He is a pretty baby on the whole, and has a beautiful
     skin, very large eyes, and pretty mouth and chin; but his nose is
     not very pretty, as it is so short at present. He is a dear good
     child, and, though immensely lively, does not give much trouble. He
     is a great source of happiness to us, and I trust will continue so.

                                     DARMSTADT, January 13th.

     * * * Is not the death of Leopold’s son shocking?[92] Such
     suffering, such a struggle for months between life and death; and
     for the poor parents to have in the end to relinquish their child,
     their only son! I think it heart-rending. May the Almighty continue
     to support them even now, as he did these many months! I cannot say
     how much and truly I feel for them both. This world is full of
     trials, and some seem to be called upon to suffer and give up so
     much. Faith and resignation alone can save those hearts from
     breaking, when the burden must be so heavy.

     A few days ago at two o’clock we had another shock [of earthquake],
     and it seemed as if the house rocked; at the same time the
     unearthly noise. I think it uncommonly unpleasant, particularly
     this repetition.

                                     January 30th.

     Our thoughts and prayers are so much with you and dear Leopold on
     this day [his Confirmation]. May the Almighty bless and protect
     that precious boy, and give him health and strength to continue a
     life so well begun and so full of promise!

     It seems to me quite incredible, the eighth of us should already be
     old enough to take this step in life, and to have his childhood in
     fact behind him. Dear Papa’s blessing surely rests on him, and his
     spirit is near you as you stand there alone by the side of his
     child, about whom he always was so anxious.

                                     February 5th.

     * * * Beloved Papa’s cast arrived a few days ago, and stands in my
     bedroom. I think it very beautiful, and thank you so warmly for
     having sent it me.

     Poor Orchard, whose leg is very painful and swelled, is to go to
     bed for a week for entire rest of the limb. You can imagine how
     inconvenient this is, as we have only Emma and Kathrinchen for the
     others and baby. You will be amused when I tell you that old
     Amelung is coming to sleep with baby, and take charge of him; but
     she is too old and out of practice to be able to wash and dress him
     morning and evening besides, so I do that, and it is of course a
     great assistance to all, my being able to do it, and I don’t mind
     the trouble. Of a morning, as Louis is usually out riding or at his
     office, I take Victoria and Ella out, who are very good little
     girls and very amusing.

                                     DARMSTADT, March 8th.

     * * * We shall go to Potsdam the first week in May, and from there
     go for a week or ten days to Fischbach. My mother-in-law, Tante
     Mariechen, and Uncle Adalbert, are all going to spend my
     mother-in-law’s birthday there.

     The Moriers are going to England in the first days of April, and I
     hope that you will see them. We see a good deal of them, and like
     them both much. He is wonderfully clever and learned, and takes
     interest in every thing; and she is very agreeable, and a most
     satisfied, amiable disposition--always contented and amused.

                                     March 19th

     I thought of you so much on the 16th. From that day dated the
     commencement of so much grief and sorrow; yet in those days you had
     _one_, darling Mama, whose first thought and deepest was to comfort
     and help you, and I saw and understood only then _how_ he watched
     over you, and how and everywhere he sought to ward off all that was
     painful and strange from you, and took all that pain alone for
     himself for your sake! I see his dear face--so pale, and so full of
     tears, when he led me to you early that morning after all was over
     and said, “Comfort Mama,” as if those words were a _Vorbedeutung_
     [presage] of what was to come. In those days I think he knew how
     deep my love was for you, and that as long as I was left in my
     home, my first and only thought should be you and you alone! This
     I held as my holiest and dearest duty, until I had to leave you, my
     beloved Mother, to form a home and family for myself, and new ties
     which were to take up much of my heart and strength.

     But that bond of love, though I can no more be near you, is as
     strong as ever.

                                     DARMSTADT, March 23d.

     * * * Yesterday it was very warm, and to-day it snows; the weather
     continues so changeable and many people are ill. Ella has again had
     one of her bad attacks in her throat, but, thank God, it passed
     away very soon. Two nights ago she could not speak--barely
     breathe--and was so uncomfortable, poor child. It makes one so
     anxious each time; but I hope she will outgrow it, when she is six
     or seven years old.

     Victoria is already now composing a letter for your birthday. I
     won’t have her helped, because I should like you to see her own
     ideas and style--it is much more amusing.

                                     March 26th.

     * * * We had such an unexpected pleasure the other day in the visit
     of good General Seymour, and I was so pleased to see some one who
     had seen you lately, and who could give me news of my home. He had
     not been here since he came with us after our marriage, and was of
     course interested in seeing every thing.

                                     April 2d.

     * * * The constant anxiety about the children is dreadful; and it
     is not physical ill one dreads for them, it is moral: the
     responsibility for these little lent souls is great, and, indeed,
     none can take it lightly who feel how great and important a
     parent’s duty is.

                                     DARMSTADT, April 5th.

     * * * Thousand thanks for your dear letter, and for all the tender
     wishes for our dear child’s birthday! The child born under your
     roof and your care is of course your particular one, and later, if
     you wish to keep her at any time when we have been paying you a
     visit, we shall gladly leave her.

     Victoria is so delighted with what you sent her, and sends her very
     warmest thanks and her tenderest love. She is in great beauty just
     at present, as she is grown stouter; and I look with pleasure on
     those two girls when they go out together. They possess, indeed,
     all we could wish, and are full of promise. May the Almighty
     protect them and give them a long life, to be of use and a joy to
     their fellow-creatures!

                                     April 16th.

     * * * Rain and wind have at length cooled the air, for this heat
     without any shade was too unpleasant. Louis left at five this
     morning to inspect the garrison at Friedberg and Giessen, and then
     to go to Alsfeld to shoot _Auerhähne_ [capercailzies]. He will
     return on the 21st or 22d probably.

     We shall indeed be so pleased, if later you wish to have any of the
     granddaughters with you, to comply with any such wish, for I often
     think so sadly for your dear sake, how lonely it must be when one
     child after another grows up and leaves home; and even if they
     remain, to have no children in the house is most dreary. Surely you
     can never lack to have some from amongst the many grandchildren;
     and there are none of us, who would not gladly have our children
     live under the same roof where we passed such a happy childhood,
     with such a loving Grandmama to take care of them.

                                     April 25th.

     * * * May I only know the way to give my children as much pleasure
     and happiness as you have ever known to give me!

     The dinner of family and suite is here in the house to-day--or
     rather I should call it a luncheon, as it is at two o’clock.

     The Irish Church question, I quite feel with you, will neither be
     solved nor settled in this way; and instead of doing something
     which would bring the Catholics more under the authority of the
     State, they will, I fear, be the more powerful. It seems to me that
     one injustice (with regard to the Protestants) is to be put in the
     place of a former one, instead of doing justice to both, which
     would not have been an impossibility through some well-considered
     settlement and giving in on both sides. Such a _changement_
     requires so much thought and wisdom, and, above all, impartiality.

                                     May 3d.

     * * * My children are, on the whole, very well behaved and
     obedient, and, save by fits and starts, which don’t last long, very
     manageable. I try to be very just and consistent in all things
     toward them, but it is sometimes a great trial of patience, I own.
     They are so forward, clever, and spirited, that the least spoiling
     would do them great harm.

     How glad I am that the dear Countess [Blücher] is with you again;
     she is the pleasantest companion possible, and so dear and loving,
     and she is devoted to you and dear Papa’s memory as never any one
     was.

                                     POTSDAM, May 25th.

     How much we thought of you yesterday, I can’t say! Lord Augustus
     Loftus lunched with us three and the elder children; and we drank
     your health, the band playing “God Save the Queen!” All our girls
     had wreaths of natural flowers in honor of the day.

                                     POTSDAM, June 1st.

     * * * To-day is regular March weather, and the palace is cold and
     draughty.

     We were in Berlin yesterday, to visit the Gewerbe-Museum
     [Industrial Museum]; then luncheon at Lord Augustus Loftus’, and
     from thence to the Victoria bazaar and Victoria Stift, and then
     home.

     It is always so tiring to see things at Berlin; an hour’s rail
     there and the same back takes so much time. Before returning, we
     paid a short visit to Baron Stockmar and his wife, who is very
     pleasing, and seems to suit him perfectly. They look as if they had
     always belonged to each other.

                                     POTSDAM, June 13th.

     Our time here is soon drawing to a close, much to my regret; for
     the life with dear Vicky--so quiet and pleasant--reminds me in many
     things of our life in England in former happy days, and so much
     that we had Vicky has copied for her children. Yet we both always
     say to each other, no children were so happy, and so spoiled with
     all the enjoyments and comforts children can wish for, as we were;
     and that we can never (of course, still less I) give our children
     all that we had. I am sure dear Papa and you, if you could ever
     hear how often, how tenderly, Vicky and I talk of our most beloved
     parents, and how grateful we are for what they did for us, would in
     some measure feel repaid for all the trouble we gave, and all the
     anxiety we caused. I ever look back to my childhood and girlhood as
     the happiest time of my life. The responsibilities, and often the
     want of many a thing, in married life can never give unalloyed
     happiness.

     We are looking for a governess for the two elder girls for next
     year, and a lady with the necessary knowledge and character, and
     yet of a certain rank, is so difficult to find.

                                     POTSDAM, June 19th.

     Louis went two days ago to Fischbach for his mother’s birthday, and
     returns to-morrow morning. Vicky was very low yesterday; she has
     been so for the last week, and she told me much of what an awful
     time she went through in 1866, when dear Siggie [Sigismund] died.
     The little chapel is very peaceful and cheerful, and full of
     flowers. We go there _en passant_ nearly daily, and it seems to
     give dear Vicky pleasure to go there.

     Vicky goes on the 7th of July to Norderney.

                                     FISCHBACH SCHLESIEN, July 2d.

     We arrived here in this exquisitely-lovely country two days ago,
     and were received by our parents-in-law and Aunt Mariechen, whose
     guests we are in the pretty old Castle of Fischbach, surrounded by
     fine old trees, with a view on the beautiful Riesengebirge, which
     reminds me a little of Scotland, and also of Switzerland. The
     valleys are most lovely and the numberless wooded hills, before one
     reaches the high mountains, are quite beautiful. The trees are
     splendid and the country looks very rich and green.

     All the people of the village and the neighborhood came out to see
     us and our children, and old servants of Louis’ grandparents, who
     were so delighted and pleased that I and my children should be
     here, and that they should have lived to see the younger
     generation.

     We are out seeing the beautiful spots nearly all day long. The
     weather is fine and not very warm, so that one can go about
     comfortably. Yesterday we went over for tea to Erdmannsdorf. If
     only dear Vicky and Fritz were there now! We must hope for another
     year to be there together. The parting from them, who had made our
     _séjour_ under their hospitable roof such a very happy one, was
     very sad, and the pouring rain was in accordance with our feelings.
     We left them and dear lovely Potsdam and the pleasant life there
     with much regret, and many a blessing do I send back in thought to
     its dear inmates.

     Yesterday afternoon we were at Schmiedeberg. We went to see a very
     interesting carpet-manufactory, worked by hand, and all by girls,
     and a very simple process, much like making fringe, which you used
     to do and then make footstools of after Beatrice’s birth.

     Yesterday our wedding-day--already seven years ago--made me think
     so much of Osborne, and of you, darling Mama, and of all that
     passed during that time. It was a quiet wedding in a time of much
     sorrow, and I often think how trying it must have been for you.

                                     KRANICHSTEIN, July 21st.

     Yesterday after eighteen hours’ very hot railway journey, we
     arrived here all well. Many thanks for your letter, which I
     received at Dresden. It was impossible to write, as I had to pay
     visits and to see things during those two days.

     The Crown Prince and Princess received us at the station; the
     following day we paid our visits. I found Marie[93] in bed looking
     very well, and her baby, tied up in a cushion, seemed a nice child.
     Her other children are very pretty; the eldest girl is like George,
     and the little one has a quantity of fair curls, like Louis of
     Portugal’s boy. In the afternoon of that day the King and Queen
     came to see us, and were very kind. She is very like the Queen
     Dowager of Prussia, her twin sister, and her other sister, Queen
     Marie, is very like her twin sister, Archduchess Sophie. As they
     are first cousins, and very fond ones, of my father-in-law, they
     consider themselves of course as our aunts.

     I went to see the picture-gallery, which has some exquisite
     pictures, though the Sistine Madonna surpasses all others, and the
     famous Holbein, of which the Dresden gallery has been for long so
     proud, is now recognized as a copy, and the one that belongs to my
     mother-in-law as the original. We visited the _Grüne Gewöbel_ [the
     Green Vaults], where the magnificent jewels and other treasures are
     preserved, and the King was kind enough to lead us over the rest of
     the castle himself, including his own rooms, in one of which the
     life-size pictures of his last four daughters (all dead) stand, of
     whom he cannot speak without tears. How dreadfully he and the poor
     Queen must have suffered these last years!

     Uncle Louis is at Friedberg and intends remaining there all next
     month, till the manœuvres are over. Alice Morier will accompany me.

                                     KRANICHSTEIN, July 25th.

     Thousand thanks for your kind letter which I received yesterday, at
     the same time that the beautiful christening present for Ernest
     arrived! Thousand thanks for this most beautiful and precious gift
     for our boy, from Louis and from myself! We are so pleased with it!
     It is to be exhibited here, and it will interest and delight all
     who see it, I am sure.

     I have just received a letter from Bertie, announcing his arrival
     here for the 28th. We shall be greatly pleased to see them all; but
     we have so little room, and our house in town is all shut up and
     under repair, so that we shall have some trouble to make them
     comfortable and shall be quite unable to do it as we should wish.
     But I trust they will be lenient and put up with what we can offer.

     The heat is very great, though this place is comparatively cool.

                                     KRANICHSTEIN, July 29th.

     Dear Bertie and Alix with their children arrived at Darmstadt after
     ten, and we brought them here by eleven o’clock last night. They
     are all looking well, but Bertie has shaved off his beard, which
     does not suit him. Dear Alix is unchanged, and certainly no fatter.

     The children are very dear and pretty, but my boy is as tall as
     little Louise, and of course much bigger. I am so delighted to see
     them all again; it is such a great pleasure, as you can well
     imagine.

     The pony you kindly sent us has just arrived, and to the great
     delight of all the children, who send their best thanks. We are all
     lodged very close together: Bertie and Alix, our bedroom and my
     dressing-room; we both, my sitting-room, and the passage-room; then
     come the different children. No gentlemen or ladies are in the
     house, as it was utterly impossible.

                                     KRANICHSTEIN, August 11th.

     * * * Victoria has often ridden on Dred, and also the other girls,
     on a Spanish saddle, and he goes very well. They delight in him.
     Baby rolls about the room anywhere now, and tries to crawl
     properly. He calls Papa, and tries no end of things; he is very
     forward, and is now cutting his fifth tooth, which is all but
     through.

                                     FRIEDBERG, August 26th.

     On this dear day I must send you a few words. The weather is so
     beautiful, and the sun so bright, as it used to be at Osborne in
     former years. I don’t care for the sun to shine on this day now, as
     it can’t shine on Him whose day it was. It makes one too
     _wehmüthig_ to think of darling Papa on those happy birthdays, and
     it must be more so for you than for any of us, poor Mama.

     Yesterday was Ludwigstag; all the town decorated with flags,
     illuminations, etc., and English flags and arms with the Hessian
     everywhere.

     We started on horseback along the high road at half-past seven this
     morning, and did not get off till one. A lovely country and very
     interesting to see. To-morrow we shall have a very long march, and
     the night Alice Morier, I and William (Louis is undecided) will
     spend at Prince Ysenburg’s at Büdingen. The next morning we have to
     ride off at half-past five, and a long day back here.

                                     KRANICHSTEIN, September 11th.

     * * * What charming expeditions you must have made in that lovely
     country?[94] What I saw of it some years ago I admired so
     intensely. You can well be proud of all the beauties of the
     Highlands, which have so entirely their own stamp, that no Alpine
     scenery, however grand, can lessen one’s appreciation for that of
     Scotland.

     The day before yesterday we went to Mayence to see a
     “_Gewerbe-Ausstellung_” [Industrial Exhibition] of the town, which
     was very good and tastefully arranged. From there we went to
     Frankfort to our palace, for a rendezvous with Aunt Cambridge,
     Uncle George, Augusta and Fritz Strelitz. I showed them the
     children, and afterwards, when our relations left, we took our
     children to the Zoölogical Garden, which delighted them.

     Many thanks for the grouse, which has just arrived, the first since
     two years ago!

                                     DARMSTADT, October 3d.

     * * * I am very glad that you also approve of Louis’ journey, which
     I know will be so useful and interesting for him, though it was not
     possible to attain this without parting from each other, which is,
     of course, no small trial for us, who are so unaccustomed to being
     separated. But we never thought of that when we considered the plan
     of Louis joining Fritz, which was my idea, as travelling in new
     countries is so good for a man, and Louis may never find so good a
     chance again. I am looking forward very much to seeing
     Geneva--where we spend a day--and the south of France, and above
     all, seeing the sea again. Fritz passes through here to-morrow.
     Louis starts Saturday morning, _viâ_ Munich, for Venice, where he
     will join Fritz next Sunday afternoon, and spend the following
     Monday there before they go to Brindisi. Vicky comes here with her
     children on the 12th or 13th, and a suite of twenty-five people.
     She goes on with the big boys to Baden, and I follow with the other
     children on the following day. I don’t like separating Victoria
     and Ella, who like being together; the three girls will be so well
     taken care of at their grandparents’. I have written down rules for
     meals, going out, to bed, to lessons, etc.; and my mother-in-law,
     who never interferes, will see that all is carried out as I wish. I
     shall miss them so much, but having one child at least is a
     comfort; and baby is beginning to talk, and is so funny and dear,
     and so fond of me that he will be company to me when I am alone. I
     take no one but Orchard, Eliza, Beck, and my _Haushofmeister_
     [Steward], who used to be with Lord Granville.

                                     DARMSTADT, October 11th.

     Yesterday morning at eleven we had the hard separation from each
     other, which we both felt very much. My own dear, tender-hearted
     Louis was quite in the state he was in when we parted at Windsor in
     1860 after our engagement. He does not like leaving his children,
     his home, and me, and really there are but few such husbands and
     fathers as he. To possess a heart like his, and to call it my
     _own_, I am ever prouder of and more grateful for from year to
     year. Nowadays young men like Louis are rare enough, for it is
     considered fine to neglect one’s wife, and for the wife also to
     have amusements in which her husband does not share. We sisters are
     singularly blessed in our husbands.

     Dear kind Countess Blücher has been here the last two days--such a
     happiness to me just now, for the house feels far too lonely.

                                     GRAND HÔTEL, CANNES, November 5th.

     * * * I have this instant received another letter from dear Louis
     from Constantinople, giving the accounts of what they did and saw
     there until the 29th ult., when they left for Jaffa. He seems
     delighted, and very greatly interested with all he has seen. Louis
     thought so much of the Sultan’s English visit in 1867, on seeing
     him again. He found him more talkative than then. He saw also
     several of the suite who were in England. They went to Scutari,
     into the Black Sea, and visited all in and near Constantinople, and
     on the last day they visited the Emperor of Austria, who had just
     arrived. There is something very funny in hearing of these
     Royalties, one after another, all running to the same places. They
     must bore the Sultan considerably.

     This journey will be of great advantage to dear Louis, who has
     never had an opportunity (through marrying so young) of travelling
     like others.

     This afternoon we went to see poor Princess Waldeck. She is still
     in great grief at the loss of her eldest daughter, who suffered so
     long, and knew she was dying, and bore her lot with such
     resignation and such goodness. She was only fifteen and a half, I
     think.

     I was very much pleased to see Lord and Lady Russell again the
     other day. We hope to be able to pay them a visit at San Remo,
     though one can’t go and return in the same day.

     The country has looked too lovely to-day; the sunset is always most
     beautiful, for it sets behind the Esterel Mountains, which lie to
     the right from this bay, and have a very lovely jagged form.

     I am reading to Vicky a new Life of Napoleon, by Lanfrey, which is
     very well and impartially written.

                                     CANNES, December 14th.

     * * * The heavenly blue sea, stretching so far and wide, is in
     accordance with one’s feelings, and the beauties of nature have
     always something comforting and soothing. * * *

     The Duke of Argyll’s sister, with his pretty daughter, Victoria,
     are here, and we have been twice to see them, and are distressed
     that they should be so anxious about the dear Duchess, of whom the
     news to-day is worse. How dreadful, should any thing happen to her,
     for her husband and for the many children!

     The Eburys and Lord Dalhousie have likewise arrived here, but we
     have not seen them yet.

     To-morrow we had intended leaving this, but during the night poor
     Vicky had the dreadful fright of Waldie’s being taken ill with the
     croup. Thank God, he is better this morning, but our journey will
     have to be put off for a few days, so that Vicky cannot now reach
     Berlin in time for Christmas. As we don’t wish to spend that day
     _en route_, we have telegraphed to our husbands, who reach Naples
     to-day, to ask whether they will not join us here, that we may all
     spend Christmas together before leaving.

     This is all unsettled, and I will telegraph as soon as every thing
     is definitely arranged. Rollet[95] is here to-day, and spends this
     day in quiet with us.

                                     CANNES, December 20th.

     We both had the happiness yesterday of receiving our dear husbands
     safe and well here after so long a separation. They had been to
     Naples and Pompeii, and Louis went for a day to Rome, so that he
     has seen an enormous deal, which is very instructive for him, and
     will be such a pleasure for him to look back upon in later years.

     I am so glad that Louis has had the opportunity of making this
     journey; and it seems to have done his health good also, for he
     looks very well.

     The journey back is so long and difficult for me to manage alone
     with Louis--as Vicky’s people, particularly in the nursery, have
     helped mine--that I am obliged to wait until the 26th, and to go
     with Vicky and Fritz, for they travel slower than I would do if I
     went with Louis, who goes back direct day and night. The doctor
     would not consent to my travelling with Ernie from this warm
     climate into the great cold so fast, and during the night, for he
     is cutting four back teeth at this moment.

     The day before yesterday we visited Lord Dalhousie and Lady
     Christian, and found him very gouty, but in good spirits. Lady
     Ebury and Oggie[96] came to see us this afternoon. Prince and
     Princess Frederic of the Netherlands and their daughter have
     arrived here. The poor Princess is so weak, and looks like a
     shadow.

                                     HÔTEL DU JURA, DIJON, December 28th.

     Just as we were leaving Cannes your last letter reached me, for
     which many thanks. It was cold the morning we left Cannes, very
     cold at Avignon, where we spent the night, and still colder, and
     snow and frost, on reaching this place yesterday evening. We and
     the children are all well, and the poor little ones are very good
     on the journey, considering all things. In an hour we leave for
     Paris, rest there to-morrow, and then go to Cologne, where I shall
     take leave of dear Vicky and Fritz, and go straight home. I have
     been so much with dear Vicky this year, that the thought of parting
     from her costs me a great pang, the more so as I do not think it
     likely that I shall meet her in this new year.

     On New Year’s eve I arrange a Christmas-tree for all my children,
     and in advance I thank you for all the presents you have been kind
     enough to send us, and which we shall find at Darmstadt. * * *


1870.

At the beginning of this year, and soon after his return from the East,
Prince Louis was laid up with scarlet-fever, and, soon after, Princess
Victoria and the little Prince took the same illness. Though the attack
was a severe one, all made a good recovery, and no ill effects remained
behind. Princess Alice undertook the nursing entirely herself. During
this time of enforced seclusion from the social world her intercourse
with the famous writer and theologian, David Friedrich Strauss, was a
source to her of great interest and enjoyment.

The Princess became acquainted with this remarkable man in the autumn of
1868 at her own particular desire, and after considerable hesitation on
his part. Strauss had spent the winter of 1866 at Darmstadt. He returned
there again in the spring of 1868, and remained there until the autumn
of 1872. His own account of his acquaintance with the Princess was by
her wish not published at the time, but has been since, with the consent
of his family and that of the Grand Duke. From this the following
narrative is taken almost verbatim:

     “Although I was entirely unaccustomed to associate with persons of
     high rank, I soon felt entirely at ease with this lady. Her
     simplicity, the kind manner in which she met me, and her keen
     bright intellect made me forget all differences of social
     position.”

Strauss visited the Princess very often, and their conversations lasted
sometimes for hours. He himself speaks of them as “most delightful and
refreshing.”

Very often they read aloud, and this no doubt led to a suggestion from
Strauss, that he should write down notes about Voltaire--whose works
they were studying--and afterward read them to the Princess. She entered
readily into this plan. “Her idea was to have a select circle of
listeners. Besides herself and one of her ladies, with whom she was very
intimate, Prince Louis, and the English Minister then at Darmstadt, Mr.
[now Sir Robert] Morier, were to be present.” The illness of Prince
Louis prevented this plan from being carried out.

     “She, however, asked me,” Strauss writes, “to come and see her, if
     I was not afraid of infection. She said that the next few weeks
     would be very solitary ones, and it would be of great value to her
     if I felt disposed to put up with her as sole audience for my
     lectures on Voltaire. To this I was only too willing to agree.”

The manuscript took the form of seven lectures, and the author was
rewarded for his pains “by the keen interest and unwavering attention of
his listener.”

After repeated revisions, the printing of the work on Voltaire began.
Strauss gives his own account of this in the following extract:--

     “When it first occurred to me to write something on Voltaire for
     the Princess in the form of lectures, I naturally cherished the
     hope that, when the little book was printed, I might obtain her
     permission to dedicate it to her. As the work progressed, however,
     this hope became fainter, and by the time the book was ready I had
     entirely given it up.

     “I could only take pleasure in my work, if I felt I had been
     perfectly sincere; if, instead of condemning Voltaire, as is
     usually the case, I stood up for him upon essential points--nay,
     even went so far as to intimate that here and there he had seemed
     to me not to have gone far enough.

     “The Princess might naturally have scruples about allowing a book
     of such a tendency to be dedicated to her, considering her position
     and what was due to it; and to ask her to allow the book to be
     dedicated to her seemed forbidden by that discretion which I was
     bound to observe. The thought then struck me of writing with my own
     hand into the copy of the book which I gave her the Dedication, in
     the terms in which it now stands printed on the second page of the
     volume. Meanwhile, on the one hand, the friendly intercourse with
     the Princess continued, whilst on the other the printing of the
     book advanced. One day in the most kind manner she told me how much
     she felt she owed to our acquaintance, and how much it had helped
     to clear her views in many ways. I, on my part, expressed to her in
     all sincerity the animating and exhilarating influence which our
     intercourse had exercised upon myself, and, in particular, how it
     had cheered and encouraged me in my labors on Voltaire.

     “‘It would be nice, if you would dedicate your book to me,’ the
     Princess rejoined. How agreeably surprised I was can easily be
     imagined. I acknowledged without hesitation how this had been my
     first intention, but that I had given it up out of regard for her,
     not wishing to expose her to misinterpretation. The Princess
     replied that the fear of being misunderstood would never prevent
     her from doing what she thought right. I pointed out, that the
     matter must be well and carefully considered, and that, first and
     foremost, she must obtain her husband’s consent. Her answer was
     that she had no fear on that point; but that she would of course
     consult him about it. I told the Princess that I had made several
     changes and additions since I first wrote the lectures. I would
     therefore bring her the proof-sheets as soon as they were ready,
     partly that she might glance over the whole again, and partly that
     she might draw the Prince’s attention to any doubtful passages.
     They would then be able to form their own opinions.

     “I sent her the proof-sheets, and received them back from the
     Princess on the 11th of June, 1870, with the following letter:

     “‘DEAR HERR PROFESSOR:--I return you your “Voltaire” with many
     thanks. My husband read through the fifth chapter of it yesterday;
     he does not think that its contents are such as to justify my
     refusing the dedication. The value which I place on the dedication
     of your book will always be far greater than any little
     unpleasantness which might possibly arise from my accepting it.

                                     ALICE.’



“The dedication was thus unqualifiedly accepted, but now--in what words
should I put it? I had got accustomed to the form in which I had meant
to write it myself into the copy I wished to present to the Princess. I
intended saying that I had written lectures for the Princess, and that
she had allowed me to read them aloud to her. Would not this make the
Princess, so to speak, an accomplice of this objectionable book? Could I
state this publicly? I felt myself bound to leave to the Princess the
choice between this dedication and a more formal one, in which these
allusions were omitted. Upon this the Princess sent me the following
answer:

     “‘I should not like any change made in what you have written on the
     first page, and am greatly touched at your kind dedication.

                                     ALICE.’



“When I was at last able to send her my book in its complete form with
the dedication printed, I received the following note from her, written
from Kranichstein, on the 27th of June, 1870:

     “‘I have not been able till to-day to thank you for your “Voltaire”
     received yesterday. The book itself is the cause of the delay, as I
     devoted my spare time to reading over what you had yourself read to
     me so beautifully last winter. I seemed to hear your voice and all
     your observations again. I must thank you once more for that great
     enjoyment, and for the kind terms of your dedication.

                                     “‘ALICE.’

     “Seldom have the negotiations about the dedication of a book been
     carried on in a way like this, and seldom has a Royal Princess
     shown herself so courageous and amiable.”

All must agree in this opinion, from whatever point of view they look
at the subject. It was like the Princess’ straightforward nature boldly
to acknowledge to the world her friendship for Strauss, even at the risk
of incurring the most unfavorable criticisms.

Strauss says, further, in his “Memoirs”:

     “The memory of the Princess Alice will be inseparably connected, as
     long as I live, with one of the most gratifying episodes of my
     life--the writing of my work on Voltaire.”

To this must be added that though, as time went on, the Princess agreed
less and less with Strauss’ avowed religious views, and especially
differed considerably from those enunciated in his book, “The Old and
the New Faith,” she never thought otherwise of Strauss than with
gratitude and esteem, as one in whom she had met with the most beautiful
characteristics of the best German scholarship--viz., unflinching
sincerity, combined with a rare gift of saying what it has to say
clearly and pleasantly, and a winning modesty of personal demeanor.

In the end of March the Prince and Princess with their family went to
Mayence for change of air after the scarlet-fever. The Princess went
much into society during her stay there; but this did not prevent her
from making use of every possible opportunity for furthering those
institutions which she had so much at heart. She visited the hospitals
at Mayence, Offenbach, and Giessen, and had many consultations with the
heads of these various hospitals with a view to possible improvements.

The quiet, happy time at Kranichstein during the summer was suddenly
brought to an end by the declaration of war between France and Germany.
Prince Louis had to go to the front with his division, which, together
with another division, formed the Ninth Army Corps, and part of the
Second Army, commanded by Prince Frederick Charles of Prussia. The
Princess took leave of her husband on the 25th of July. She, however,
saw him again once or twice before the final leave-taking, on the 1st of
August.

On the 15th of August the Hessian division for the first time
encountered the enemy, before Metz, and on the 16th took part in the
battle of Mars-la-Tour. During the terrible battle of Gravelotte, on the
18th of August, Prince Louis and his division occupied a central
position in the irresistible force, which drove Marshal Bazaine back
into Metz, and held him imprisoned there with an iron grasp.

On the 19th Prince Louis and the troops encamped on the battlefield, and
he had the pleasure of meeting his brother Henry. Prince Louis took part
in the battle of Noisseville on the 31st of August, when General
Manteuffel commanded the troops engaged. He and his division also formed
part of the army investing Metz, partly doing outpost duty, and partly
serving in the reserve.

On the 8th of October, whilst the Prince was in command of his division
at Gravelotte, where the troops were concentrated in hourly expectation
of a sortie of the French from Metz, he received the news of the birth
of a second son, who had been born on the 7th.

Ever since the Prince’s departure the Princess had remained “at her
post” in Darmstadt, helping, comforting, and advising all around her.
She was proud to be the wife of a German officer serving in the field in
such a cause, though her life for the present was full of anxiety and
care. She worked, like any other woman, to alleviate as best she could
the sufferings of the sick and the wounded, and giving aid to those who
were plunged into destitution by the war. Whilst she was living with her
children at Kranichstein the “_Hülfsverein_,” or Committee of Aid, had
its headquarters in her palace at Darmstadt. She herself went there
every day, visited all the hospitals, also the ambulances at the railway
station, and superintended the organization of “Committees of Aid” all
over the country. The Committees which she had organized long previously
now proved themselves an untold blessing.

The “Alice Society for Aid to Sick and Wounded” had sixteen trained
nurses ready for work at the beginning of the war. Through the voluntary
help of some of the best doctors and surgeons, who arranged classes at
different places for the instruction of all those who were anxious to
help to nurse during the war, the number of nurses was increased by
degrees to one hundred and sixty-four. These were sent to the different
hospitals in Hesse, to ambulances near Metz, to the hospital trains, and
the hospitals on the steamers.

In her own palace the Princess arranged a depot for all necessaries
required for the sick and wounded. Later on another was established in
the Grand Ducal palace. Besides the many regular nurses, a number of
women and ladies joined together to serve out refreshments, during the
night as well as the daytime, to the wounded, who were constantly
passing through Darmstadt and halted at the railway station. Similar
committees were, thanks to the Princess’ own initiative, formed all over
the country.

One of the hospitals at Darmstadt, erected by the English National Red
Cross Society, and supplied with English surgeons, received the name of
“The Alice Hospital.” Under a special arrangement it was subsequently
taken over by the Hessian military authorities. In this hospital, as in
others established independently of the “Alice Society,” women and girls
of all classes lent their aid.

Simultaneously with the aid to the sick and wounded, those who had been
rendered widows, orphans, or destitute by the war were cared for through
the Princess’ exertions; and “The Alice Society for the Education and
Employment of Women” did good service. Out of this Society sprang the
“Alice Lyceum,” which was intended for the intellectual culture of women
of the higher classes. Lectures were to be delivered in it on all the
interesting subjects of the day. This Lyceum continued for some years to
attract a more or less numerous audience. In the first winter of its
existence lectures on English and German Literature, the History of Art,
German History, and Natural History were given. The lady at the head of
it was Fräulein Louise Büchner. Its subsequent failure was caused by
numerous external difficulties, and not because the original idea for
which it had been founded had proved otherwise than sound.

The little new-born Prince continued to thrive, and the Princess made a
comparatively quick recovery. The Crown Princess of Prussia, who was
then living at Homburg, came constantly to see her sister; and later on,
in November, they went together to Berlin. The christening of the little
Prince, who was to bear the name of the victorious general of
Weissenburg and Wörth, was deferred till his father’s return.

Prince Louis had garrisoned Fort St. Privat on the 29th of October, and
saw the 173,000 French prisoners and Imperial Guard pass before Prince
Frederick Charles of Prussia.

On the 30th the troops marched farther into the interior of the country.
Troyes was reached on the 10th of November, a few days later
Fontainebleau, and soon after the troops confronted the “Army of the
Loire” at Toury. The battle of Orleans took place on the 3d and 4th of
December, and on the 5th the victorious troops made the entry into the
town. Part of the Hessian division moved along the left bank of the
Loire, and fought the engagement of Montlivault on the 9th of December;
the other part of it surprised and took possession of the Castle of
Chambord, with five guns and many prisoners. Blois was soon after taken;
and from the 10th of December till the 14th of February, 1871, the
headquarters were at Orleans. During the expedition against General
Chanzy the Hessian division alone guarded the line of the Loire from
Gien to Blois.

                                     January 8th.

     * * * My three girls have had fearful colds--Ella bronchitis, which
     Ernie also took from her, and during twelve hours we were in the
     very greatest anxiety about him; the difficulty of breathing and
     his whole state caused great alarm. Thank God, he is now quite
     convalescent; but those were hours of intense suffering for me, as
     you can imagine. Weber is most attentive and most kind on such
     occasions, and in such moments one is so dependent on the doctor.

     * * * Some very good lectures have been given here lately,
     undertaken by a committee, which we are at the head of, and of
     which Mr. Morier is a member. They have been a great success
     hitherto, and we are going to one to-night by Kinkel, who in 1848
     was a refugee in England, and is now a professor at Zürich.

                                     January 16th.

     BELOVED MAMA:--We are very grateful for your kind enquiries, and
     for your letter received this morning. The violence of the fever
     and the great pain in the throat have abated, and dear Louis is
     going on favorably. The nights are not good as yet, and his head
     pains him.

     I am cut off from all intercourse with any one in the house, on
     account of the dear children; and I trust they may escape, for they
     still cough, particularly Ella and Ernie. I see Christa when I am
     out walking, not otherwise, as she comes in contact with the part
     of the house where the children live. I read to Louis, and play to
     him, as my sitting-room opens into the bedroom. I keep the rooms
     well aired, and not hot, and at night I sleep on a sofa near his
     bed. The first two nights were anxious ones, and I was up all night
     alone with him; but now, thank God, all seems to be going well. * *
     *

                                     January 20th.

     I am happy to say that all is going on well. Louis has no more
     fever, but his throat is still far from well; it has still the
     character of diphtheria, though in a mild form--a sort of skin and
     bits of blood come away when he coughs. He is a very good patient,
     and I leave him very little alone save when I take my walks, which
     in this high cold wind are very unpleasant. I hear Ella is still so
     hoarse and coughs, and Victoria is not quite well. Orchard writes
     to me every evening, and Dr. Weber sees them in the morning before
     he comes downstairs.

     This instant Weber tells me that Victoria has the scarlet-fever,
     and I have just been up to see her. She suffers very much, poor
     child; the fever is very high and the rash much out. It is too late
     now to separate the others, and those who are not predisposed will
     escape; but those who are inclined to take it have it in them by
     this time.

     It is a source of great anxiety. Orchard and Emma have never had
     it. * * *

                                     January 23d.

     I was very glad to get your dear lines of the 22d, full of
     sympathy for me during this anxious time. Victoria’s fever has been
     very high; and so much discomfort and pain, with a dreadful cough,
     which she has had for the last six weeks. She is very low, and
     cries every now and then from weakness, etc., but is a very good
     patient, poor little one. Amelung comes every afternoon and sits
     with her, and she is a great favorite with the children, as she
     knows countless pretty stories.

     Louis is not out of bed yet, on account of his throat, etc.; but he
     is much better, though in this treacherous climate, which is so
     proverbially bad for throats and lungs, I fear that even with the
     greatest care there is a risk.

     The other children are as yet well, though I don’t think Ella
     looking well; she has still a cold, and is as hoarse as when I came
     home. Ernie is all right again, and looks the best of them all. I
     doubt their escaping, though it is quite possible, as they did not
     take it when Victoria did. I keep the rooms fresh and continually
     aired.

     All the balls and parties are going on here now. Of course, I can
     neither go anywhere nor receive any one, on account of the
     infection. It is a wearisome time indeed, and being so much in sick
     rooms and so little out begins to tell upon me. How kind of you to
     send the books! Louis will be delighted. I have just read to him
     Russell’s book of Bertie and Alix’s journey, and am now reading to
     him a new Life of Napoleon, by Lanfrey, which is very well
     written--more against than for Napoleon. Of course, newspapers and
     the _Revue des Deux-Mondes_ I read to him besides. * * *

                                     January 31st.

     * * * Though dear baby has had two bad, restless nights, yet I am
     happy to say that he has the illness so slightly, with so little
     fever or sore throat, that we are in great hopes it will get no
     worse. He is cutting his back teeth just now, which is the worse
     moment possible to be ill in.

     Victoria looks very hollow-eyed, pale, and wretched, poor darling,
     but is in good spirits now. The other two are as yet free. The
     weather is most beautiful--frosty and clear,--and I have been
     skating daily for the last six days, which does me much good, and
     enables me to see people again. This afternoon I have a large party
     on the ice at Kranichstein, and this is always a great amusement to
     the young people. * * *

                                     MAYENCE, April 10th.

     * * * Yesterday evening we had to give a large party here, half to
     the military, and the other to the civil authorities and to the
     Bürger [citizens]. It went off well; but the amount of speaking, as
     one must speak to all, and the effort to remember who they all
     were--they having been all presented at once--was no small
     exertion. * * *

                                     MAYENCE, April 15th.

     * * * Lady Car. [Barrington] wrote to me how very grateful Mrs.
     Grey was to you for your great kindness and consideration.[97] In
     trouble no one can have a more true and sympathizing friend than my
     beloved Mama always is. How many hearts has she not gained by this,
     and how many a poor sufferer’s burdens has she not lightened! * * *

                                     April 25th.

     Thousand thanks for your dear loving lines! I kissed them a
     thousand times, and thank you so much for the quite lovely
     statuette--a little gem, which every one has been admiring this
     morning. The shawl and little ornament gave me also great pleasure,
     and the colored photographs of the rooms--in short, all and any
     thing from such dear hands must give pleasure. * * *

                                     June 25th.

     * * * I am proud of my two girls, for they are warm-hearted and
     gifted, too, in appearance. Victoria’s facility in learning is
     wonderful, and her lessons are her delight. Her English history and
     reading she has learned from me. I give her a lesson daily, and
     Bäuerlein[98] can tell you how much she has learned. * * *

     I read a great deal, chiefly history and deeper works; and I have
     one or two very learned acquaintances with whom to read or to have
     books recommended by.

     My two committees always give me no end of work, and I have tried
     to have many improvements made in the girls’ schools of the
     different classes; and some of these things, by dint of a deal of
     trouble, are prospering, and I hope in time to come will prove
     their worth. There is a great deal to be done, and in the hospitals
     I have been able to get some very necessary changes made. I tell
     you all this, fancying it may perhaps interest you a little bit. *
     * *

                                     July 2d.

     How grieved I am for your sake, above all, and for the poor Clarks
     and ourselves, that dear kind Sir James, that true fatherly friend,
     is no more!! Many thanks for your last letter, which tells me of
     your last visit to him, which I am sure must be a great comfort to
     you. Oh! how sad to think how many are gone! And for you, dear
     Mama, this is quite dreadful. I can’t say how I feel it for you!

     Lord Clarendon’s death grieves me much also; and it was so sudden.
     Alice Skelmersdale wrote to me in the greatest distress; he had
     been a most loving father.

     In the midst of life we are in death; and in our quiet and solitary
     existence out here, where we see no one, all accords with sad and
     serious feelings, which, amidst the many people and worry you live
     in, must jar with such feelings and make you wish for solitude. The
     accounts you give touch me so much. Many thanks for having written
     so much about dear Sir James; it is of great value to me. Louis
     begs me to say, how he shares the grief you all and we must feel at
     such a loss.

     What you say about the education of our girls I entirely agree
     with, and I strive to bring them up totally free from pride of
     their position, which is _nothing_ save what their personal worth
     can make it. I read it to the governess--who quite enters into all
     my wishes on that subject--thinking how good it would be for her to
     hear your opinion. * * * I feel so entirely as you do on the
     difference of rank, and how all important it is for princes and
     princesses to know that they are nothing better or above others,
     save through their own merit; and that they have only the double
     duty of living for others and of being an example--good and modest.
     This I hope my children will grow up to.

                                     July 26th.

     When I returned home last night really heartbroken, after having
     parted from my good and tenderly-loved Louis, I found your dear
     sympathizing words, and I thank you a thousand times for
     them--they were a comfort and pleasure to me! I parted with dear
     Louis late in the evening, on the high road outside the village in
     which he was quartered for the night, and we looked back until
     nothing more was to be seen of each other. May the Almighty watch
     over his precious life, and bring him safe back again: all the pain
     and anxiety are forgotten and willingly borne if he is only left to
     me and to his children!

     It is an awful time, and the provocation of a war such as this a
     crime that will have to be answered for, and for which there can be
     no justification. Everywhere troops and peasants are heard singing
     “Die Wacht am Rhein” and “Was ist des Deutschen Vaterland?” and
     there is a feeling of unity and standing by each other, forgetting
     all party quarrels, which makes one proud of the name of German.
     All women feel ashamed of complaining, when father, husband, or son
     goes, and so many as volunteers in the ranks. This war is felt to
     be national, and that the King had no other course left him to
     pursue with honor.

     I must be in town by nine o’clock: so much rests on me, and there
     are so many to help--the poor forsaken soldiers’ families amongst
     others! I have seen that all is ready to receive the wounded, and
     to send out help. I send out fourteen nurses for the Feld-Lazarethe
     [field-hospitals].

     How much I feel for you now, for I know how truly you must feel for
     Germany; and _all_ know that every good thing England does for
     Germany, and every evil she wards off her, is owing to your wisdom
     and experience, and to your true and just feelings. You would, I am
     sure, be pleased to hear how universally this is recognized and
     appreciated.

     What would beloved Papa have thought of this war? The unity of
     Germany, which it has brought about, would please him, but never
     the shocking means!

                                     July 28th.

     My darling Louis is at Worms, and Henry just in front of him. The
     enthusiasm all along the Rhine is wonderful. They are all hopeful,
     though knowing well what enormous sacrifices and struggles a
     victory will cost.

     I cannot leave this place until our troops should have--which God
     prevent!--to retreat, and the French come! Now is the moment when a
     panic might overcome the people; and I think it my duty to remain
     at my post, as it gives the people courage and confidence. My
     parents-in-law, who have their three sons out, would feel my
     absence, and they have the first claim on me. I am in beloved
     Louis’ home, and nearer to him, if I remain. Of course, with dear
     Vicky I should personally be far better off. But Fritz is not much
     exposed, and she has not that fearful anxiety to such an amount as
     I have for dear Louis, who, as commander of only a division, must
     be in the very midst of all. Day and night this thought is
     uppermost in my mind. I hope and pray for the best, and bear what
     is sent to me in common with so many others. Work is a
     _Zerstreuung_ [distraction], and I know dear Louis would prefer
     knowing me here for the present, and that must be the first
     consideration to determine my actions.

     Louis is well, and, now the dreadful parting is over, I am sure in
     better spirits, though work and anxiety weigh on him, poor love.

     The children send their love. I am pretty well; able to do a great
     deal; headache and sleeplessness are but natural at this moment.

                                     August 5th.

     Arrived in our house this morning, I was received with the news of
     dear Fritz’ victory, and that 500 French prisoners had just passed
     through here by rail. I know none of ours can have been engaged,
     but we have not heard if there was an engagement elsewhere. The
     excitement and anxiety are quite dreadful! Please God, my darling
     is safe, and will pass safely through these dreadful dangers--and
     our many dear friends and acquaintances also! I am always sending
     off things for the wounded from our stores, and continue working
     and collecting, and all are most patriotic and united. It is a
     solemn and great time we live in, and there is something grand and
     elevating in the unity of high and low throughout this great
     nation, which makes one proud of belonging to it. If only all goes
     on well!

     I am very sleepless, and never without headache, but one has
     neither time nor wish to think of one’s self. My own Louis’ safety
     is the all-engrossing thought; and I know, beloved Mama, that you
     love him truly, and share this anxiety with me. * * *

                                     August 15th.

     A few words by messenger. I have sent a letter by Kanné, who came
     here yesterday, having seen dear Louis the day before, which was
     the first direct news I have had from him. Yesterday morning he was
     at Faulquemont. Poor General von Manstein (our Chef), when he
     reached Saarbrück, found his son had been killed, and he had him
     taken out of the general grave and buried in the churchyard. * * *
     No less than forty French wounded I saw this morning in our
     hospital, with some Turcos. Some can’t speak in any known language,
     and the French dislike having these savages near them as much as
     we do; their physiognomies are horrid, and they steal and murder as
     _Handwerk_ [their vocation].

     So much going about--for I go to Darmstadt at half-past eight, and
     remain till half-past eleven, in the morning, and in the afternoon
     from five till eight--is getting very fatiguing to me; but the
     people have no time to come out here, and there is much to see to,
     and many to speak with.

                                     August 19th.

     I have tried to write as often as I could, but I have only two
     hours to myself during the whole day, through driving in here twice
     a day. Besides the large Hülfsverein for the “wounded and sick,”
     which is in our palace, I have daily to visit the four hospitals.
     There is very much to do; we are so near the seat of war. This
     morning we got two large wagons ready and sent off for
     Pont-à-Mousson, where they telegraph from the battlefield of the
     16th they are in great want. My best nurses are out there; the
     others are in three hospitals: two of them--military ones--were not
     ready or organized when 150 wounded arrived a week ago. I have just
     had a telegram from dear Louis; he is well, and I hope in a day or
     two the least dangerously of the Hessian wounded will arrive.

     Thank God, all goes on successfully; but, indeed, I hope I shall
     not live to see another such war--it is too shocking by far. We
     have over five hundred wounded; as soon as any are better, they are
     sent north, and worse ones fill the beds--French and German
     intermixed. I neither see nor smell any thing else but wounds! and
     the first _Anblick_ [sight], which sometimes one does not escape
     meeting, is very shocking! It was very late last night before I
     got home. I was stopped at one of the hospitals, as a poor soldier
     had had sudden violent bleeding, and was all but dead, as the
     doctor could not find the artery; but I sent my carriage for
     another surgeon, and I am happy to say he lives and is recovering.

     As Louis commands the whole of our little army, a great many things
     concerning the troops come to me from all parts of the country, and
     there is much to do--much more than in my present state is good for
     me; but it can’t be helped.

     I drive back to Kranichstein by one daily, and am here again before
     five, so I hope you will kindly forgive my writing seldomer. Becker
     is engrossed with his duties at the Hülfsverein; there is no other
     gentleman with me, and I have the household to look after, besides.

                                     August 20th.

     My telegram will have told you that dear Louis is until now safe.
     On the 16th, in the evening, and on the 17th and 18th, our troops
     were engaged, and yesterday evening late I drove to the station, to
     speak to General Kehrer, our commandant, and received a telegram of
     the last victory, near Metz--a battle of nine hours, very
     bloody--no mention of names. The people, all excited, crowded round
     my carriage, asked for news--which of our regiments had been under
     fire? I could tell them nothing, but pacified them, begging them to
     go to their homes--they should hear as soon as I had news. I drove
     home with an aching heart, and passed a dreadful night of suspense.
     At six this morning a telegram from Louis (19th); he and his two
     brothers safe; our loss enormous--seventy officers out of one
     division (ours is the 25th), and Oberlieutenant Möller, a great
     favorite, his adjutant since 1866, very badly wounded. I went at
     once to Darmstadt to Louis’ parents. They were so overcome and
     thankful to hear of the safety of their children. This continual
     anxiety is fearful. Now to-day all the poor wives, mothers,
     sisters, come to me for news of their relations; it is
     heart-rending! We sent off two large wagon-loads to Pont-à-Mousson
     again with provisions, bandages, and medicaments, and mattresses to
     bring back all the wounded possible by rail. I went the round of
     the hospital, to have all the convalescent Prussians and French
     able to travel sent to their homes, so as to get room, and now we
     can await the sad arrivals. Oh, if it would but end! the misery of
     thousands is too awful!

                                     KRANICHSTEIN, August 25th.

     Many thanks for your dear words of the 20th. God knows, I have
     suffered much, and the load of anxiety is great! But thousands of
     Germans bear this load in unity together for their Fatherland, and
     none murmur. Yesterday a poor woman came to me to ask me to help
     her to get to the battlefield, to have the body of her only son
     looked for and brought home; and she was so resigned and patient.

     I see daily, in all classes, so much grief and suffering; so many
     acquaintances and friends have fallen! It is heart-rending! I ought
     to be _very proud_ though, and I am so, too, to hear from the
     mouths of so many wounded officers the loud praise of Louis’ great
     bravery on the 16th and 18th. Always in front, encouraging his men
     where the battle raged fiercest and the balls fell thickest. He was
     near our troops, speaking to them, directing them, and right and
     left of him they fell in masses. This lasted eight hours!

     * * * Hourly almost the trains brings in fresh wounded, and many
     and shocking are the sights one sees. I only returned here by one,
     having gone to town at half-past eight this morning, and have still
     three hospitals for this afternoon.

     My nurses reached the battlefield in time, and were of great use.
     Louis telegraphed (yesterday’s date) from Auboué, between
     Thionville and Metz, where they remain in bivouac. * * * It is ten
     days since Louis has been in a bed or under a roof. They have no
     water (it is kept for the wounded), and little to eat, but he is
     very well.

     It is difficult to get news, and I can never send any that is not
     mostly ten days old ere it reaches him.

                                     August 26th.

     * * * I had a telegram on the 25th from near Marengo, not far from
     Metz--all well. Louis has not been in bed or under a roof since the
     16th, and it rains incessantly. I hope they won’t all be ill. He
     writes mostly on cards, on the hilt of his sword, sitting on a box.
     They cook their own dinner, and on the 16th they were going to eat
     it, when orders came to turn the French left wing and go into
     battle. That night was awful, though the day of the 18th seems to
     have been the bloodiest ever known. Our wounded all tell me so.

     My dear parents-in-law bear up well; but when we three get together
     we pour our hearts out to each other, and then tears which are full
     of anxiety will flow.

                                     KRANICHSTEIN, September 2d.

     I went early to Homburg, as no trains go regularly now. I went by
     road from Frankfort, and found dear Vicky well--her little baby
     very pretty and healthy-looking; the other dear children also
     well.

     How much we had to tell each other! How much to be proud of, and
     how many friends and acquaintances to mourn over! The few hours we
     had together flew by in no time, and at Frankfort the train was
     unpunctual--outside Darmstadt it waited nearly an hour. At our
     palace, where I arrived at ten in the evening, people who were
     going to our _Haupquartier_ [headquarters], were waiting. I
     scribbled a few words to my dear Louis (the first since he received
     the Iron Cross, a great distinction) and packed a few things for
     him--tea, etc.

                                     September 15th.

     Though I am still forbidden to use my eyes, I must send you a few
     words of thanks for your dear letter and telegram. I had a violent
     inflammation of eyes and throat, with two days strong fever and
     neuralgia. I am recovering now, but feel the effects very much; my
     eyes are still bad, and it has reduced my strength, which I require
     so much. Dr. Weber has just lost his sister (whom he treated in her
     confinement) from puerperal fever, and he told me he thought he
     must have given it to her, from going to and fro to his wounded,
     for _Lazarethfieber_ [hospital fever] and that were so closely
     akin. You can fancy that in Louis’ absence, and with the prospect
     of being alone, without even a married experienced lady in the
     house, this prospect frightened me. It is unhealthy at any time to
     be for one’s confinement in a town full of hospitals with wounded,
     and Weber could never give me as much attention as at another time,
     and, should I be very ill, there is no authority to say any thing
     about what had best be done. On that account your telegram was a
     relief to me.

                                     September 20th.

     * * * Daily I hear the muffled drums of the funeral of some soldier
     or officer being taken past my windows to his last resting-place.
     How deeply I do feel for the poor parents and widows!

     My children are very well, but have absolutely no place where they
     can walk with safety from infection, for the mass of sick troops
     who get out and stop near the _Exercirplatz_ [drill-ground], and
     the hospitals in town. The barrack at the foot of our garden
     contains 1,200 French prisoners, and many of them ill. It is much
     to be hoped that there will be soon an end to all these things. I
     feel for the Emperor and Empress very much. What ungrateful, vain,
     and untruthful people the French are! To expose Paris to a siege,
     now their armies are beaten, which they think through fine speeches
     and volunteers they can set right again.

                                     September 22d.

     I received your letter through Kanné yesterday, and thank you many
     times for it; also for the little shawls and sash for Ernie. Every
     souvenir from dear Balmoral is a pleasure.

     Good Dr. Hofmeister will be very welcome, and I know he is very
     clever. Mrs. Clarke is sure to get on well with him, and an older
     doctor just now, besides being an acquaintance of so many years, is
     to me indeed a comfort. I shall be able also to hear of all at
     home, and of so many things that interest me. Thousand thanks from
     Louis and from myself for your sending him. * * *

     ALL long for peace--the army and the nation--and I think so great a
     national war as this need not require part of the foes’ territory.
     What little is necessary for the military frontier they must take;
     but the union of Germany under one head is a far greater and finer
     end to such a war than the annexation of land!

     * * * War is the greatest scourge this world knows, and that we may
     not live to see it again, is my earnest prayer.

                                     October 1st.

     * * * The children are all well, in spite of the bad air here. I
     send them out driving of an afternoon, when I can best, having only
     one coachman, as ours are with Louis. At present they can’t manage
     it often. * * *

                                     October 3d.

     * * * Dr. Hofmeister is to both of us a source of real confidence
     and comfort. I don’t think any one else would have been more
     welcome to me just now, and he can write daily to Louis, and
     letters go usually in two days now.

     I go as little as possible to the hospital now, and, indeed, do
     nothing imprudent, you can be sure. * * *

                                     November 12th.

     * * * The nerves of my forehead and eyes are still painful; and
     from all sides I am again called upon to look after, settle, and
     advise concerning many things. On that account Dr. Weber and my
     mother-in-law insist on my leaving Darmstadt for a total change of
     scene, etc., for three weeks. I have resisted as long as I could,
     as I so much dislike going from home now (though I do not feel up
     to the work, and yet cannot keep from doing it), but I have finally
     given in, and accepted Vicky’s kind invitation to accompany her for
     three weeks to Berlin. The journey is long and cold, but her
     company when we are both alone is a pleasure to me, and I shall
     hear all news as directly there as here.

     * * * Last night I was much overcome. I had been sitting at the
     bedside of one of my poor young friends, and he was gasping in a
     too-distressing way. The father held his hand, the tears streaming
     down his cheek, the son was trying to say “_Weine nicht, Papa_”
     [“Don’t weep, Papa!”]. The poor old father, so proud of his good
     and handsome child, is heart-broken, and they are touchingly united
     and full of feeling for each other. I would give any thing to save
     his life; but all efforts will, I fear, be in vain. Though I have
     seen so many lately die hard deaths, and heard and seen the grief
     of many heart-broken widows and mothers, it makes my heart bleed
     anew in each fresh case, and curse the wickedness of war again and
     again.

     Poor baby can’t be christened yet, as my parents-in-law think Louis
     would not like it during his absence, so I shall wait. * * *

                                     November 17th.

     * * * How I rejoice to hear that Leopold gains so much strength,
     and that he can be about again as usual. Will you kindly tell him
     in Louis’ name and mine (as I am still restricted in all writing
     and reading) that we beg him to stand godfather to our little
     son?[99] Baby is so nice and fat now, and thrives very well. I
     think you would admire him, his features are so pretty, and he is
     so pink, and looks so wide-awake and intelligent. Ernie, who in
     general is a rough boy, is most tender and gentle to his little
     brother, and not jealous. * * *

                                     BERLIN, December 5th.

     * * * Yesterday Fieldmarshal Wrangel came to see me, and his words
     were, “_Zu gratuliren dass Ihr Mann ein Held ist, und sich so
     superb geschlagen hat_” [“Accept my congratulations that your
     husband is a hero, and has fought so magnificently”]. I am very
     proud of all this, but I am too much a woman not to long above all
     things to have him safe home again.

     * * * The evenings Vicky and I spend alone together, talking, or
     writing our letters. There is so much to speak of and think about,
     of the present and the future, that it is to me a great comfort to
     be with dear Vicky. It is nearly five months since Louis left, and
     we lead such single existences that a sister is inexpressibly dear
     when all closer intercourse is so wanting! There is so much,
     beloved Mama, I should like to speak to you about. * * *

     The girls are quite well, and very happy with their grandparents.
     The governess--who in the end did not suit for the children--as the
     six months’ trial is over, will not remain, and I am looking for
     another one.

                                     DARMSTADT, December 18th.

     * * * The children and I bore the journey well, and it was not
     cold. Parting from dear Vicky was a hard moment, and I shall feel
     the loneliness here so much, and miss my dear good Louis more than
     ever. The children are, of course, at such a time the greatest
     blessing. There is so much to do for them, and to look after for
     them; and mine are dear good children, and do not give over-much
     trouble.

     Letters I have again received speak of the amount of danger Louis
     has again been daily exposed to, and how his personal courage and
     daring have given the victory in many a fight. God protect him! I
     live in fear and trembling for his precious life, and after I hear
     of his being safe through one battle, I take it as a fresh present
     from the Almighty, and breathe freer again, though the fear soon
     enough gets the upper hand again.

     I have asked Uncle Louis to allow his _Berichte_ [reports] to be
     copied for you. Louis has Köhler and another footman with him, that
     is all--and two coachmen. He rides in all battles the horse you
     gave him in 1866, which he rode during that campaign, and which is
     quite invaluable. It would interest Colonel Maude to know this, as
     he bought the horse. My nursery is in very good order, and they are
     all invaluable in their way.

     How is good Dr. Hoffmeister’s family? Please say many kind things
     to him from me, and tell him that the baby is getting so nice and
     fat, and is so healthy in spite of all troubles. Here is a
     photograph of him, but not at all flattered. Please give Dr.
     Hofmeister one of them!

     I have this instant received a letter from Louis dated the 11th! I
     will have an extract made for you, I think it might interest Bertie
     to hear something of Louis, whom he can be proud to have as a
     brother-in-law, for I hear his praises continually. He has been
     throughout the war, as every other General has been, without a
     carriage, etc., like other Princes, and has gained the respect and
     devotion of his troops.

                                     DARMSTADT, December 19th.

     * * * I hope for this last time, if we are spared and live to come
     over together once more, we may have the joy of showing their dear
     Grandmama the whole little band. Of course, no thoughts of plans
     can be entertained, and I know, after so very long a separation,
     Louis would not be willing again to part from his children.

     My wounded were so pleased to see me again yesterday. Alas! many in
     bed, and so ill still! My two in the house are much better, and the
     one who during six weeks lay at death’s door is recovering. I have
     seldom experienced so great a satisfaction as seeing this young man
     recover, and the doctors say I have been the means of saving his
     life.

     The joy of the old parents will be very great. Since I left, there
     are new widows, and fresh parents bereft of only children; it is a
     most painful duty to go to them. But I know the comfort of sympathy
     is the only one in deep grief.

                                     December 23d.

     My warmest and tenderest thanks for your dear and loving letter,
     with so many expressions of a mother’s love and sympathy, which do
     my heart good, now that I feel so lonely and anxious. It seems too
     great a happiness to think of, that of our being allowed to come
     with our children to you, and to Scotland; and you know the
     smallest corner is enough for us, who are by no means
     particular--neither are our people. If I write this to Louis, it
     will be something for him to look forward to, to cheer him and
     reward him after so hard a time, which he bears so bravely and
     uncomplainingly. This morning I have been at the Alice Hospital,
     which is prospering. I have been taking my gifts for Christmas to
     one hospital after another. Your two capes have delighted the poor
     sufferers, and the one wounded for the second time is very bad,
     alas! My wounded officer in the house is recovering, next to a
     miracle. For the two wounded in the house, the children, our
     household, and the children of our servants at the war, I arrange
     Christmas-trees.

     We grown-up ones of the family have given up keeping Christmas for
     ourselves. We have too much to do for others, and my
     parents-in-law, like me, feel the absence of the dear ones who are
     always here for Christmas.

     I am superintending Victoria and Ella’s letters to you, which have
     not achieved the perfection wished for. As they are to be quite
     their own, I hope you will excuse their arriving a little later.

                                     DARMSTADT, December 27th.

     * * * Louis telegraphed on Christmas day from Orleans, where I had
     sent Christa’s brother with a box of eatables and woollen things
     for his people, and a tiny Christmas-tree with little lights for
     the whole party. Louis has sent me a photograph of himself and
     staff done at Orleans, and I have sent for a copy for you, as it is
     very good. On Christmas day it was five months since Louis and the
     troops left. The charming stockings you sent, I have sent off in
     part to-day to Louis to give to his _Stabswache_ [Staff-guard]; the
     other things I divide among the wounded and sick.

     My children are all well. The little one sits up, and, though not
     very fat, is round and firm, with rosy cheeks and the brightest
     eyes possible. He is very healthy and strong, and in fact the
     prettiest of all my babies. The three girls are so grown,
     particularly the two eldest, you would scarcely know them. They are
     both very tall for their age. Victoria is the height of Vicky’s
     Charlotte, and Ella not much less. They are thin, and a change of
     air would be very beneficial.


1871.

The christening of the little Prince took place quietly on the 11th of
February, the child receiving the names of Frederick William. The
sponsors were the Empress of Germany, the Crown Princess, Crown Prince,
Prince Frederick Charles of Prussia, and Princess Alice’s own brother,
Prince Leopold. The ceremony took place in the absence of Prince Louis,
who had been unable to get leave, although an armistice had been
concluded on the 28th of January, which it was hoped would be the
forerunner of peace.

On the 18th of March the King of Prussia, who had meanwhile become
Emperor of Germany, made his entry into Frankfort-on-the-Main, together
with his son and his whole staff. The Grand Duke of Hesse and the
members of his family received him there.

Prince Louis at last obtained ten days’ leave of absence, and arrived at
Darmstadt on the 21st of March. The parents of the Prince had gone to
meet him and his brother William a few stations beyond Darmstadt, whilst
the Princess Alice awaited her husband at the Darmstadt railway station.
The joy and thankfulness of that meeting can well be imagined. Darmstadt
was gaily decorated in honor of the Prince’s return; and he met with an
enthusiastic reception.

Prince and Princess Louis were present at Berlin on the 16th of June at
the triumphal entry of the German troops on the conclusion of the
peace. On the 21st of June the Prince entered Darmstadt at the head of
his Hessian division. In spite of pouring rain, the town presented a
most festive appearance. Later on the Prince and Princess and their
children went to Seeheim (near Darmstadt), where her brother, Prince
Alfred, visited them on his return from his three years’ voyage round
the world. The Prince and Princess of Wales also paid their sister a
visit; and Prince and Princess Louis saw much of their Russian
relations, who were then staying at Jugenheim.

In August, the family went to the seaside at Blankenberghe, where they
spent three weeks, and afterward went to London. They arrived at
Balmoral on the 13th of September, on a visit to the Queen, whom they
found suffering severely. They stayed with her till the 1st of November,
but the children, who had caught the whooping cough, were sent to London
sooner. Whilst at Sandringham, to which the Prince and Princess went on
their way back from Balmoral, in the middle of November, the Prince of
Wales was taken ill. Prince Louis had to return to Darmstadt, but the
Princess remained in England, and shared the anxieties of the very
dangerous and protracted illness of her brother, whom she helped to
nurse. It was the same terrible fever (typhoid) which, ten years before,
had ended the life of the beloved Prince Consort, and it was so severe
that the worst was feared. Prince Louis returned to England on the very
day when the danger was greatest, but he also was able to share in the
joy and thankfulness when improvement set in upon the 14th of December.
He remained over Christmas, and returned to Darmstadt before the year
was at an end.

                                     DARMSTADT, January 7th.

     * * * In England people are, I fear, becoming unjust toward the
     German troops. Such a long and bloody war must demoralize the best
     army; and I only say, in such a position how would the French have
     behaved? Many French officers say the same, and how greatly they
     respect the German soldier. Hundreds of French officers and two
     generals have broken their word of honor, and run away. I doubt,
     whether _one_ in the German army would do such a thing. The French
     peasants, often women, murder our soldiers in their beds, and the
     wounded they have used too horribly many a time. Is it a wonder,
     then, when the men let a feeling of revenge lay hold of them? A
     guerilla war is always horrid, and no words can say how all Germans
     feel and deplore the present phase of the war! I hope and trust
     that the end may not be far distant.

     One of the poor wounded soldiers whom I gave your cape to is dying,
     and the poor boy won’t part from it for an instant, and holds it
     tight round himself.

     Louis continues at Orleans, where they have entrenched themselves,
     and await with impatience news from Paris which must be of great
     influence for the continuation or ending of the war.

     My days fly past. The children take much of my time--so, too, the
     house, my two wounded in the house, and the hospitals, to one of
     which I go daily.

                                     DARMSTADT, January 14th.

     * * * How kind of you to work something for Louis; he will wear it
     with such pleasure. Prince Frederick Carl’s recent victories[100]
     and the fresh hosts of prisoners must help to bring the war to an
     end. Germany does not wish to go on, but the French won’t see that
     they are beaten, and they will have to accept the visitors, who
     must increase in numbers the longer the French refuse to accede to
     the German demands.

     I am so low, so deeply grieved for the misery entailed on both
     sides, and feel for the French so much. Our troops do not pillage
     in the way described in English papers. I have read far worse
     accounts of what the French soldiers and _francs-tireurs_ do in
     their French villages.

     The poor soldier who had your cape is dead. He died with it round
     him. I was with him in the afternoon, and he had tears in his eyes,
     and was very low. In the night he died. This morning I was at the
     station to give things to the wounded and sick who came through--a
     sorry sight. This afternoon I am going to a poor soldier’s widow
     who has just had twins. The distress on all sides is great. I help
     where I can. Becker tears his hair. The two wounded in the house
     cost so much. So does every thing else; but as long as I can,
     through sparing on myself, help others, I must do it--though I
     have, as things now are, nothing left.

     I will get a head of Ernest done for your bracelet, and another
     one, so that you may have something else of him. He is a
     magnificent boy, but so huge--such limbs! The baby is not at all
     small, but near Ernest all the others look small.

     He can’t speak properly yet, but he understands every thing, and
     has a wonderful ear for music. He sings the “_Guten Kameraden_”
     without a fault in the time, and is passionately fond of dancing,
     which he also does in time.

     Irène is growing fast also, but the two eldest are quite big girls;
     it makes me feel old when I see them growing up to me so fast.
     Victoria has a very enquiring mind, and is studious, and learns
     easily and well. Since the middle of December I have been without a
     governess.

     To-morrow I go to Mayence to see poor Woldemar[101] Holstein’s
     sister. He is very bad, to the grief of all Mayence, and of all who
     know him.

                                     DARMSTADT, January 16th.

     * * * It is pouring and thawing--most dismal--and my thoughts are
     with our dear ones and our poor troops far away. Becker lost his
     brother-in-law, who leaves a wife (Matilda, Becker’s sister) and
     four little children. Each day fresh losses.

     My little baby ought to be christened, but Louis and my
     parents-in-law always hope that the end of hostilities is near, and
     that Louis can then get leave. Baby’s blue eyes are beginning to
     turn, and look almost as if they would be brown. Should dear
     Grandmama’s and Grandpapa’s eyes come up again amongst some of the
     grandchildren, how nice it would be!

     I have but little news to give. I go about to the poor soldiers’
     widows and wives--no end of them, with new-born babies, in the
     greatest distress.

     Yesterday I saw the mother of the poor young soldier who died. She
     keeps your cape as a precious relic, as it had given him such great
     pleasure.

                                     January 30th.

     Your charming photograph and kind letter arrived this
     morning--thousand thanks for both! How like the photograph, and how
     pleasing! I am so glad to have it.

     The armistice and capitulation of Paris are great events. The
     people are out of their minds with joy--flags all over the town,
     and the streets crowded.

     I forgot to say in my last letter how grieved I was about Beaty
     Durham’s[102] death. It is quite shocking! and those numbers of
     children in so short a time. I earnestly hope none of us run such a
     chance, for on the whole our children have not been so close
     together. My last came sooner than I wished, and is smaller than
     his brother, but I hope now for a long rest. I have baby fed,
     besides, so as not to try my strength. He is very healthy and
     strong, and is more like Victoria and my brothers and sisters than
     my other children, and his eyes remind me of Uncle Ernest’s, and
     seem turning brown, which would be very pretty, as he is very fair
     otherwise.

     Your pretty photograph is standing before me, and makes me quite
     absent. I catch myself continually staring at it, instead of
     writing my letters.

                                     DARMSTADT, February 2d.

     * * * All the many French here are pleased at the capitulation of
     Paris, and hope that peace is certain. Louis writes to me that the
     inhabitants of Orleans were equally pleased, and consider the war
     over. I earnestly pray it may be so. How greatly relieved and
     thankful all Germany would be!

     Louis telegraphed to-day. He has no leave as yet, though he hopes
     for it. Now that there is a prospect of peace, and that the
     fighting is momentarily over, I feel quite a collapse of my nerves,
     after the strain that has been on them for six whole months. I can
     scarcely imagine what it will be when my beloved Louis is at home
     again; it seems _too great_ a joy! Rest and quiet together are what
     I long for; and I fear in the first weeks he will have so much to
     do, and there will be much going on.

     He speaks with the greatest hope of going to Scotland this autumn;
     and, if we are spared to do so, it will be such a rest, and do good
     to our healths, which must feel the wear and tear sooner or later.

                                     February 11th.

     Many thanks for your last kind letter. I thought so much of you
     yesterday, spending the dear 10th for the first time again at
     Windsor. To day our little son is to be christened, but only the
     family will be present, and my ladies and the two wounded
     gentlemen, who can get about on crutches now. When I think that the
     one owes his life to being here, it always gives me pleasure.

     Two nights ago I was awakened by a dreadful noise, the whole house
     and my bed rocking from it; and twice again, though less violently.
     It was an earthquake, and I think too unpleasant. It frightens one
     so; the doors and windows rattle and shake. To-night two slight
     shocks, and one during the day yesterday.

     How I shall miss dear Louis to-day! The seven months will be round
     ere we meet, I fear, and he has never seen his dear little boy. It
     always makes me sad to look at him, though now I have every reason
     to hope--please God--that I shall have the joy of seeing Louis
     come home, and of placing his baby in his arms. My heart it full,
     as you can fancy, and, much as I long to see Louis, I almost dread
     the moment--the emotion will be so great, and the long pent-up
     feelings will find vent.

     I pray that peace may be restored, and that I may not live to see
     _such_ a war again, or to see my sons have to go to it.

     I will tell Christa to write an account to you of the christening,
     for Leopold to see also, as he will be godfather. Frederic William
     Augustus (after the Empress) Victor (victory) Louis will be his
     names. Fritz and Vicky, the Empress and Fritz Carl, are godparents.

                                     DARMSTADT, February 14th.

     My bad eyes must again excuse the shortness of these lines, which
     are to thank you many times for your last dear letter.

     Christa will have sent you the account of little Fritz’s
     christening, which was a sad day for me, and will have been so for
     dear Louis likewise. We have added dear Leopold’s name to the
     other, as his sad life, and the anxiety his health has so often
     caused us all, endear him particularly, and we hoped it would give
     him pleasure, poor boy.

     The elections in the provinces are all for peace, and only the
     towns for war and a republic. This week is one of intense and
     anxious expectation; though the greater portion believe in the
     restoration of peace, yet we have no security for it.

                                     March 6th.

     * * * Now dear Louise’s marriage draws near, how much you must feel
     it! I think so much of her, of your and of my dear home. I trust
     she will be very happy, which with such an amiable young man she
     must be.

     Louis has received the Order “_Pour le mérite_,” which I am so glad
     of for him. The Emperor telegraphed the announcement to my
     mother-in-law, with many complimentary words about her sons. To
     have the three sons safe is something to be thankful for, for they
     were much and continually exposed. I know nothing of Louis’ coming.
     The troops march home, and it will take at least six weeks. I hope
     so much that he may have leave for a fortnight, and then return to
     the troops, to lead them home.

     To-night are the peace illuminations here, which will be very
     pretty. Our house will also be illuminated, and I take the two
     eldest girls out with me to-night to see it all. It is a thing for
     them never to forget, this great and glorious, though too horrid,
     war.

                                     March 13th.

     I know nothing as yet of Louis’ return. I fear I must wait a few
     weeks longer. On Wednesday the Emperor, Fritz, and some of the
     Princes pass through Frankfort, and I am going there with my
     parents-in-law to see them.

     The Paris news is not very edifying, and I fear France has not seen
     the worst yet, for there seems to be a fearful state of anarchy
     there.

     I have no news to give, save that Frittie has his first tooth. He
     is between Victoria and Irène, but not like Ernie--not near so big,
     which is really not necessary. I think he is the sort of baby you
     admire. I go on looking after my hospitals, and now the trains,
     full of Landwehr returning home cheering and singing, begin to
     pass. Now good-bye, darling Mama. I am in thought daily with you
     during these days, and only wish it had been in my power to be of
     any use or comfort to you just now.

                                     DARMSTADT, April 8th.

     * * * We had the pleasure of catching a glimpse of Louise and Lorne
     on their way through, but their stay was too short to be able to
     say more than a few words. They can scarcely help passing through
     here, as they can’t go through France, on their way back; and if
     you would allow them _quite incognito_ on their way back to pass a
     day here, it would give both Louise and me the greatest pleasure,
     and entail no other visits.

     The Emperor, who kindly gave Louis leave, prolonged it till Monday,
     when he leaves, and for how long is quite undecided. If I could
     only go with him! Marie of Saxony has joined George: so has Carola
     [the Crown Princess of Saxony] her husband; but our division, which
     is near Chumont, is in too bad and close quarters to admit of my
     living there.

     Should Louis have to remain very long, I still hope to rejoin
     him--I don’t care about the little discomfort.

     The new governess, Frl. Kitz, comes on Thursday. She is not young,
     but pleasing-looking--said to be very amiable, and a good
     governess; has been for eighteen years in England, first with Lady
     Palk, and then for ten years with Herr Kleinwart--a rich German
     banker in London--where she brought up the two daughters.

                                     DARMSTADT, April 13th.

     * * * Ernie’s kilt was sent him by Mr. Mitchell.[103] He admired
     Ernie so much at Berlin, that he said he would send him a Scotch
     dress, and I could not refuse. It is rather small as it is, and I
     hope that you will still give him one, as from his Grandmama it
     would be doubly valuable.

     Louis has arrived safely at his destination--Donjeux; and we both
     feel the separation very much after having had the happiness of
     being together again.

     The Paris battles are too dreadful, and the end seems some way off
     yet.

                                     May 27th.

     My thoughts cannot leave unfortunate Paris! What horrors, and
     enacted so close by in the centre of the civilized world! It seems
     incredible; and what a lesson for those who wish to learn by it!

                                     DARMSTADT, June 8th.

     Louise and Lorne are just gone, and it rains and blows, and is
     dreadful. Their visit was so pleasant, so _gemüthlich_, and I think
     Louise looks well and happy. She had much to tell of their journey,
     which seems to have been very interesting. I could show them almost
     nothing, as the weather was so bad. We three went yesterday evening
     to my parents-in-law, who were most kind to them, as they always
     are to all my relations.

     Their short stay was a great _great_ pleasure to me, so cut off
     from home as I have been since three long years.

     Louis will be here in a few days, and we go together to Berlin for
     four days; Louis insists on my accompanying him. On the 24th the
     entry of the troops will be here.

                                     SEEHEIM, June 14th.

     * * * I am so glad that the poor Emperor and Empress are so kindly
     treated. They deserve to be well used by England, for the Emperor
     did so much to bring France and England together. How shamefully
     the French treat them, and speak of them, is not to be told; for
     the French consider themselves blameless, and always betrayed by
     others, whom they had made almost their gods of, as long as all
     went well.

     Dear Frittie is getting better--principally his looks, but the
     illness is not overcome yet. I have been so anxious about him. The
     country here is more beautiful than ever, and country air and
     flowers are a great enjoyment. Every little walk is up and down
     hill, little brooks, rocks, small green valleys, fine woods, etc. I
     have not lived here since 1865, when Ella was a baby. The children
     are beside themselves with pleasure at the pretty country and the
     scrambling walks, but above all at the wild flowers, in which they
     are getting quite learned. I find them in a book for them, and even
     Ernie knows some names, and never calls them wrong. All my children
     are great lovers of nature, and I develop this as much as I can. It
     makes life so rich, and they can never feel dull anywhere, if they
     know to seek and find around them the thousand beauties and wonders
     of nature. They are very happy and contented, and always see, the
     less people have the less they want, and the greater is the
     enjoyment of that which they have. I bring my children up as simply
     and with as few wants as I can, and, above all, teach them to help
     themselves and others, so as to become independent.

                                     DARMSTADT, June 20th.

     I write at the dinner-table, whilst the children finish dinner, as
     I have not found a spare moment yet, and the rest of my afternoon
     is taken up with the preparations for to-morrow.

     The Empress Augusta has just been here for three hours, quite
     dead-tired with all she went through.

     Thousand thanks for your dear letter received before our departure
     for Potsdam! Our journey was dreadful. We left in the evening, and
     were to have been here at 11 A.M., and through the irregularity of
     the trains we only got here at four in the afternoon. I am quite
     done up. The fatigues at Berlin were incessant. Any thing more
     grand, more imposing or touching and _erhebend_ [elevating] than
     the entry of the troops in Berlin I never saw. It was a wonderful
     sight to drive for three-quarters of an hour through rows of French
     cannon! The decorations were so artistic, so handsome, and the
     enthusiasm of the dense crowds quite enormous. I am glad to have
     been there; it will be a thing to recollect. The old Emperor,
     surrounded by the many princes and by his great generals, looked so
     noble riding at the head of his glorious troops. Deputations of all
     the German troops were there.

     It was very hot, and we had to drive every day to Berlin, and back
     in the evening.

     Alas! it is rainy here, and the town is so beautifully decorated;
     three large triumphal arches, and the houses covered with garlands
     and flags.

     I found the dear children well, though rather pale from the heat.

     Louis left again this morning, but after to-morrow remains here for
     good, which will indeed be a pleasure after such endless
     separations.

                                     DARMSTADT, June 27th.

     * * * To-day Aunt Marie of Russia and her children were here. Aunt
     Marie looks thinner than ever, but well; and Marie dear and nice,
     with such a kind fresh face, so simple and girlish. She gives her
     brothers music lessons during the journey, which she is very proud
     of. She is very fond of children, and of a quiet country life--that
     is the ideal she looks for. The Emperor of Russia comes here on the
     5th, to join Aunt Marie at Petersthal. Louis’ work is
     incessant--the selling off of horses, the changing garrisons of the
     regiments, the new formation of our division, causes almost more
     work than the _Mobilmachung_ [mobilization]. The entry was very
     beautiful: the decorations of the town most tasteful; not a house
     or the smallest street which was not covered with garlands, flags,
     and emblems. There were large groups of the captured guns, and the
     names of the battles on shields around. Unfortunately, it poured
     nearly all the time, and we were quite drenched. I had the five
     children in my carriage, and Irène gave wreaths to her godfathers
     of the cavalry brigade. Two days ago we gave a large military
     dinner, and have several soirées of that sort to give before we can
     go into the country, which I am longing for. We shall probably go
     to Seeheim, as the summer seems too damp for Kranichstein.

     The middle of August we shall go to Blankenberghe, near Ostend, as
     the doctors wish sea-bathing for Louis, and sea air for me and for
     some of the children, which is very necessary to set us up before
     going to Scotland. We want to remain one or two days and one night
     in London. We require a few things, which make a stay necessary. If
     we might be at Balmoral on the 10th, as Louis’ birthday is on the
     12th, would that suit you?

     Please let me know in time if you think our plans good. This will
     enable us to settle when to go to Blankenberghe, as we can’t be
     there longer than three weeks.

     _How_ I look forward to seeing you again, and to come home once
     more! It is so kind of you to let us bring the children. The
     arrangement of the rooms will do perfectly, and we don’t care how
     we are put up, and above all things don’t wish to be in the way.

     The weather is horrid--rain and wind incessantly--after having been
     tremendously hot. These sudden changes upset every one, and Frittie
     has had a very slight return of his illness.

                                     August 13th.

     * * * The newest news is, that my nice excellent Marie Grancy is
     going to marry. She will be such a loss to me. These last years she
     has been so useful, so amiable, and I shall miss her dreadfully.
     She is going to marry Major von Hesse, who was with us in England
     the last time, and the wedding is to be in September. As he has
     been ill in consequence of the war, they will go to Italy and spend
     the winter there.

     We leave at eight to-morrow morning, reach Cologne at one o’clock,
     and wait there till ten in the evening, when we continue our
     journey and reach Blankenberghe at eight next morning. Will you
     kindly send a gentleman to Gravesend, who can remain with us in
     London, as we are quite alone?

     Uncle George, Aunt Cambridge, and Mary dined with us at Frankfort
     two days ago. Mary I had not seen for three years; she was looking
     very handsome.

                                     BLANKENBERGHE, August 17th.

     Only two words to say that we arrived safe and well here yesterday
     after a very hot journey. The hotel is on the beach where we sit
     all day; there are no walks or any thing save the beach, and no
     trees. Our rooms are very small and not very clean; but the
     heavenly sea air and the wind refresh one, and the sands are very
     long. One can ride on donkeys, which enchants young and old
     children. Every one bathes together, and one has to take a little
     run before the waves cover one. We bathed with the three girls this
     morning, but I felt quite shy, for all the people sit round and
     look on, and there are great numbers of people here. Our children
     play about with others and dig in the sand. Frittie sleeps so well
     since he has been here; his color is beginning to return.

     We have one small sitting-room, which is our dining-room, and
     Louis’ dressing-room.

     I was so sad and upset at taking leave of my dear Marie Grancy the
     other day; a kind true friend and companion has she been to me
     these nine years, and during the war she was quite invaluable to
     me. I hope she will be as happy as she deserves to be.

                                     BUCKINGHAM PALACE, September 10th.

     The pleasure of seeing your dear handwriting again has been so
     great! Thank God that you are going on well. I do feel _so much_
     for you, and for all you have had to suffer in every way! I trust
     entire quiet and rest of mind and body, and any little attention
     that I may be able to offer for your comfort, will make the autumn
     of real benefit for your health. How I do look forward to seeing
     you again, I can’t say. * * *

     We propose leaving the evening of the 13th. Bertie and Uncle George
     have arranged for our going to Aldershot on Monday and Tuesday,
     which interests Louis above all things, and I fancied this
     arrangement would suit you best.

     The journey has quite cured Frittie, without any medicine, and the
     heat is over.

     * * * I took Victoria and Ella to the Exhibition, and what
     enchanted Ella most was a policeman, who was, as she said, “so very
     kind” in keeping the crowd off. It reminded me of “Susy Pusy,”
     which dear Papa used to tease me with as a child.

     We dined and lunched with Bertie, who had only just arrived, and is
     gone again. Dear Arthur of course I have not seen.

                                         BRAM’S HILL PARK CAMP,
                                         CAVALRY BRIGADE,
                                         2D DIVISION,
                                         September 12th.

     In Bertie’s tent I write these few lines to thank you in Louis’
     name and my own a thousand times for your dear kind letter. Every
     loving word is so precious to us, and the presents you so kindly
     gave Louis enchanted him. The pin, unfortunately, did not arrive.

     How I regret each time I hear you speak of your illness! I have
     been so anxious about you. Uncle Louis and my parents-in-law, in
     their telegram of to-day, enquire after you.

     We have had two such interesting days; the country too lovely, each
     day in a quite different part. We accompanied Uncle George, and in
     this way have seen the two Divisions, and through sleeping here
     will be enabled to see the third Division to-morrow before
     returning to town.

     I saw dear Arthur yesterday. He rode with me all the time, and
     to-day we met him marching with his company. How I have enjoyed
     seeing your splendid troops again, I can’t tell you; but I shall
     reserve all news till we meet.

     Louis thanks you again and again for your kindness, and only
     regrets not having seen you himself, but is very grateful that we
     were allowed to stay a few days at Buckingham Palace, through which
     we were enabled to come here, which to him as a soldier is of the
     very greatest interest. Bertie is full of his work, and I think it
     interests him immensely. He has charming officers about him, to
     help and show him what to do. To our great disappointment we did
     not see the 42d. Highlanders, the “Black Watch” to-day; but
     yesterday we saw the Agyleshire 91st Highlanders, who gave Louise
     the present. Bertie lent me a charming little horse, but the ground
     is dreadful, and not having ridden for so long, and being on
     horseback so many hours, makes me feel quite stiff.

                                         DUNROBIN CASTLE,
                                         SUTHERLAND,
                                         October 19th.

     I wish your telegram had brought me better news of you. I really
     can’t bear to think of you suffering, and so much alone. I feel it
     quite wrong to have left you, and my thoughts and wishes are
     continually with you, and distract my attention from all I see
     here. I can’t tell you how much I feel for you at being so
     helpless. It is such a trial to any one so active as yourself; but
     your trial must be drawing to a close, and you will be rewarded in
     the end, I am sure, by feeling perhaps even better and stronger
     than you did before all your troubles.

     I was nearly sick in the train, which is the slowest I was ever in
     my life, and was unable to go to dinner; but a long walk by the sea
     this morning has quite set me up in spite of the extraordinary
     warmth.

                                     SANDRINGHAM, November 9th.

     It is the first time since eleven years that I have spent Bertie’s
     birthday with him, and though we are only three of our own family
     together, still that is better than nothing, and makes it seem more
     like birthday. Bertie and Alix are so kind, and give us so warm a
     welcome, showing how they like having us, that it feels quite home.
     Indeed I pray earnestly that God’s blessing may rest on him, and
     that he may be guided to do what is wise and right, so that he may
     tide safely through the anxious times that are before him, and in
     which we now live. They are both charming hosts, and all the party
     suit well together. The Westminsters and Brownlows are here; Lady
     B. is so very handsome.

     We joined the shooting party for luncheon, and the last beats out
     to-day and yesterday; and the weather is beautiful, though cold--a
     very bracing air, like Scotland.


1872.

The Princess did not return to Darmstadt with her children till the end
of January, passing through Brussels on her way. Prince Louis was
invested with the order of the Black Eagle at the “Krönungs- und
Ordensfest” at Berlin. Many of their relations visited the Prince and
Princess during the early part of the year.

On the 6th of June another daughter was born, and she was christened on
the 1st of July, the anniversary of her parents’ wedding-day. Her names
were Victoria Alix Helena Louise Beatrice. The sponsors were the Prince
and Princess of Wales, the Cesarewitch and Cesarewna, Princess Beatrice,
the Duchess of Cambridge, and the Landgravine of Hesse.

In August the Crown Prince of Prussia paid his first visit to Darmstadt
since the war, and met with a most loyal and hearty reception.

In consequence of the death of the Princess Hohenlohe-Langenburg, the
beloved half-sister of the Queen, in September, the Prince and Princess
went to Baden to be present at the last sad ceremony, and to see their
beloved aunt borne to her rest.

A fortnight later the general assembly of the various German societies
for charitable purposes held its first meeting at Darmstadt.

All these societies, including the “Ladies’ Union,” founded by Princess
Alice, had, in 1869, joined themselves together to form one great body.
During the year 1872 the Princess added another Institution to those she
had already called into existence--viz., an Orphan Asylum. A special
committee of ladies was at the head of it, to watch over it, and also,
if necessary, to advise and help those poor orphans who had been boarded
out in private families at the expense of the parish. This institution
has already proved most successful, thanks to the readiness with which
the authorities met all Princess Alice’s wishes.

The general assembly at Darmstadt--the “Frauentag” or “Ladies’ Diet,” as
it was called--distinguished itself, not only by the extremely discreet
and practical manner in which it carried out all the many different
branches of business which it had undertaken, but also by the presence
of several remarkable persons interested in its aims and objects, such
as Madame Marie Simon, the founder and head of the Institution for
training nurses at Dresden, and three English ladies, Miss Mary
Carpenter, Miss Florence Hill, and Miss Winkworth.

The subjects treated of at the general assembly were the admission of
women to the Post Office and Telegraph Service; the results of the
working of F. Froebel’s principles for the further employment of women;
of “Kindergarten”; the finding of proper localities for the exhibition
and sale of women’s handiwork of all kinds; nursing as a branch of
female industry; the provision of better schools for girls, and what had
been done, and was doing, in England for female education and at similar
institutions.

The Princess followed all the discussions with the keenest interest. She
received all the members of the different societies at her own palace,
and for each she had a kind and encouraging word.

None of those present will ever forget the sympathy and encouragement
they met with from the Princess. She not only advised and suggested
things, but herself took the initiative in any important question which
came under her notice. The general assembly did great credit to itself
in the eyes of Germany, and, indeed, of other countries as well, and
its members were encouraged to still further exertions.

The Princess herself was full of new plans for further good works. At
the beginning of November Prince and Princess Louis were present at the
unveiling of a monument erected to the memory of the Hessian soldiers
who fell in the war of 1870. The Princess herself placed some wreaths at
its base. The 14th of December, the anniversary of the Prince Consort’s
death, the Princess spent with her sister the Crown Princess of Prussia,
who had come to Darmstadt from Carlsruhe for the purpose.

                                     DARMSTADT, January 21st.

     * * * Louis returns to-morrow from Berlin. He was the first to be
     invested by the Emperor, and has met with great kindness. He was
     very glad to have been there with dear Arthur, who seems to please
     every one.

                                     February 5th.

     * * * It is a great pleasure to have dear Arthur here. He is so
     amiable, civil, and nice, and takes interest in all he sees, and is
     so pleasant to have in the house. His visit will be very short, as
     he gives up two days to go to Baden.

     We gave small suppers on two evenings for Arthur, and yesterday
     evening a celebrated, most excellent violinist played quite as well
     as Joachim: a friend of his, and a pupil of Spöhr’s. This afternoon
     he is going to play some of Bach’s celebrated sonatas with and to
     me. Arthur enjoys music very much, and keeps up his playing.

     There is a dance at Uncle Alexander’s to-night, on Wednesday a
     Court ball, and on Friday one at my parents-in-law. I can’t stand
     the heat at all of an evening, and the rooms are very hot. Louis,
     who has an awful cold, took Arthur to see the barracks, as all
     military things give him pleasure.

     It is heavenly sunny weather, having been quite dark and foggy all
     day yesterday.

                                     April 20th.

     * * * Louis has been in Upper Hesse the last four days shooting
     _Auerhähne_, but as yet unsuccessfully. My mother-in-law is very
     grateful for your kind message, and is better, though weak. She has
     had a narrow escape from fever.

     Frittie has again endless bruises, with lumps, as Leo used to have;
     but he is taking iron, as Sir William [Jenner] wished, and is
     strong and rosy and well otherwise. I trust he may outgrow this.

                                     June 17th.

     Many thanks for your dear letter and kind wishes for the birth of
     our baby[104]--a nice little thing, like Ella, only smaller and
     with finer features, though the nose promises to be long. * * *

     Kind Dr. Hofmeister was most attentive; and of course having him
     was far pleasanter than not, and we owe you great thanks for having
     sent him. Mrs. Clarke has been all one could wish.

     Louis wrote as soon as he could, but this last week he has only
     been home just before his dinner, and was so tired that he
     invariably fell asleep. He has gone out at six, returning at
     twelve, and has had to be out before four in the afternoon,
     returning at eight. He is away again to-day. Until the 15th of
     September his duty will be important, and he has all the office
     work besides. It is double this year to what it usually is, as all
     people and things are new since the war.

     How sad the loss of those two poor children is,[105] and the sweet
     little “bairnie” of three! The unfortunate mother to lose two in so
     dreadful a way! I am sure it touched Beatrice much to see the poor
     little one; and in a child death so often loses every thing that is
     painful.

     We think of calling our little girl “Alix” (Alice they pronounce
     too dreadfully in German) “Helena Louise Beatrice,” and, if
     Beatrice may, we would much like to have her as godmother.

                                     DARMSTADT, June 24th.

     * * * We both felt so truly for you when we heard of dear Dr.
     Macleod’s death, knowing what a kind and valued friend of yours he
     was, and how fate seems to take one friend after another, and
     before age can claim its right. He indeed deserves his rest, for he
     did so much good in his life!

     I feel rather weaker than usual this time, and sitting and walking,
     though only a few steps, tries me a good deal. I was out for half
     an hour yesterday, and I think the air will do me good.

     Louis left at half-past five this morning, and will be back by
     seven, I hope, this evening; to-morrow the same.

     I will add Vicky’s name to baby’s others, as you propose; and
     “Alix” we gave for “Alice,” as they murder my name here: “Aliicé”
     they pronounce it, so we thought “Alix” could not so easily be
     spoilt.

     Uncle Alexander is coming back shortly, and says the Empress is not
     to return to Russia this winter, and will be sent to Italy for the
     whole winter.

     The heat has been quite dreadful; there is a little air to-day,
     though.

                                     August 14th.

     * * * Baby is like Ella, only smaller features, and still darker
     eyes with very black lashes, and reddish-brown hair. She is a
     sweet, merry little person, always laughing, with a deep dimple in
     one cheek just like Ernie.

     We are going to Frankfort to-day to give Uncle George and Fritz
     Strelitz a luncheon in our Palais there. Hélène Reuter comes to us
     for a month to-morrow as lady.

     I hope your Edinburgh visit will go off well. You have never lived
     in Holyrood since 1861, have you?

     How I shall think of you at dear Balmoral, and this time capable of
     enjoying it--not like last time, when you had to suffer so much,
     and were unable to do any thing. It quite spoiled our visit to see
     you an invalid. Remember me to all old friends there--to Brown’s
     kind old mother, and any who ask after us.

     I shall think of you on dear Grandmama’s birthday. She is never
     forgotten by any of us, and lives on as a dearly-cherished memory
     of all that was good and loving, and so kind. My children have her
     picture in their room, and I often tell them of her.

                                     KRANICHSTEIN, August 20th.

     I am very grateful for your telegrams from Edinburgh, and for
     Flora’s [MacDonald] letter. It interests me so much to know what
     you did there, and I am very glad all went off so well. The people
     will have been too delighted to have had you in their midst again,
     and I am sure you enjoyed the beauty of your fine northern capital
     anew after not having seen it for so long a time. Beatrice seems
     delighted with what she saw. I recollect those many interesting and
     beautiful spots so well.[106]

     The 18th was the anniversary of the dreadful battle of Gravelotte,
     which cost so many lives, to our division especially. We drove into
     town to the military church, which was full of officers and men, at
     half-past seven in the morning, and thought much of the friends and
     acquaintances in their distant graves, and of the desolate homes,
     until that day so bright. My heart felt too full when we were
     singing _Ein’ feste Burg_, and I had my husband at my side, whom
     the Almighty had graciously spared to my children and myself.
     Gratitude seems barely enough to express the intense depth of what
     I feel when I think of that time, and how again and again I long to
     give all and all to my good dear Louis and to our children, for he
     is all that is good and true and pure.

     * * * The children were much distressed at the sad fate of my poor
     little bullfinch, who piped beautifully. Louis had caught an owl
     and put it in a wooden sort of a cage in the room where my bird
     was. In the night it broke the bars and got loose and tore the
     bullfinch’s tail out, and the poor little thing died in
     consequence.

     Of our quiet country life there is little to tell. We are a good
     deal out, always with our little people, their pets--dogs, cats,
     ponies, donkeys; it is rather like a menagerie.

                                     SCHLOSS KRANICHSTEIN, September 17th.

     * * * On Sunday the Moriers with their children were with us for
     the day. He looked so white and reduced, walks on crutches, but
     retains, as always, his spirits and his lively interest for all
     things. He is a kind, warm-hearted man, to whom we are both
     attached. Alice feels the loss of her poor sister deeply, and says
     her father has been so cut up about it.

     We took them to races close by, and feared we should be upset, the
     ground being very heavy and uneven, and I was in terror for Mr.
     Morier, who was in my carriage.

     On the 9th there is a large meeting here of the different
     associations existing throughout Germany for the bettering of
     women’s education and social position (of the middle class
     especially with regard to trade). Some English ladies are coming,
     some Swiss and Dutch. It will last four days, and be very
     fatiguing. The programme I arranged with my two committees here and
     the gentlemen at Berlin, and they wanted to force me to preside;
     but for so large an assemblage--to me nearly all strangers--I
     positively refused. I do that in my own Associations, but not where
     there are so many strangers, who all want to talk, and all to cross
     purposes. It is difficult enough to keep one’s own people in order
     when they disagree. I hope and trust I have prevented _all_
     exaggerated and unfeminine views being brought up, which to me are
     dreadful. These Associations, if not reasonably led, tend too
     easily to the ridiculous. My Associations take a great deal of my
     time and thought, and require a good amount of study. I hope and
     trust that what we are doing here is the right thing. We have
     already had some satisfactory results in the class of the
     workwomen, and in the reform of the schools; but there are many
     open questions yet, which I hope this meeting, with others who work
     in the same field, may help us to solve.

     Will you look through the programme? It would please me so much, if
     I thought, you took a little interest in my endeavors here in a
     very small way to follow in a slight degree part of dear Papa’s
     great works for the good of others.

     The meeting at Berlin seems to have gone off very well, and has
     pleased all Germans, who hope for a consolidation of peace--so
     necessary to them.

     We have an entire change of Ministry at Darmstadt, the first since
     1848, which fills all with hopes for an improvement in all the
     affairs of the Grand Duchy.

                                     KRANICHSTEIN, September 25th.

     * * * _All_ sympathize with you, and feel what a loss to you
     darling Aunt[107] must be--how great the gap in your life, how
     painful the absence of that sympathy and love which united her life
     and yours so closely.

     Darling, kind Mama, I feel so acutely for you, that my thoughts are
     incessantly with you, and my prayers for comfort and support to be
     granted you in the heavy trial are warm indeed. You have borne so
     many hard losses with courage and resignation, that for darling
     Aunt’s sake you will do so again, and knowing her at rest and peace
     will in time reconcile you to the loss--all the more as her passing
     from this world to another was so touchingly peaceful. Dear Augusta
     [Stanley] wrote to me, which was a great consolation, and we intend
     going to Baden to pay our last token of respect and love.

                                     DARMSTADT, October 13th.

     * * * A few words about our doings here may be of interest to you.
     The meeting went off well, was very large, the subjects discussed
     were to the purpose and important, and not one word of the
     emancipated political side of the question was touched upon by any
     one. Schools (those of the lower, middle, and higher classes) for
     girls was the principal theme; the employment of women for post and
     telegraph offices, etc.; the improvement necessary in the education
     of nursery-maids, and the knowledge of mothers in the treatment of
     little children; the question of nurses and nursing institutes.

     The committees of the fifteen Associations met Wednesday afternoon,
     and in the evening thirteen of the members came to us to supper.

     The public meeting on the following day lasted from nine to two
     with a small interruption; a committee meeting in the afternoon;
     and that evening all the members and guests came to us--nearly
     fifty in number. The following day the meetings lasted even longer,
     and the English ladies were kind enough to speak--only think, old
     Miss Carpenter, on all relating to women’s work in England (she is
     our guest here). Her account of the Queen’s Institute at Dublin was
     most interesting. Miss Hill (also our guest), about the
     boarding-out system for orphans. Miss C. Winkworth, about higher
     education in England. She mentioned also the new institution to
     which Louise now belongs, and is a member of it herself. The ladies
     all spoke very well; the German ones remarkably so.

     There was a good deal of work to finish afterward, and a good many
     members to see. They came from all parts of Germany--many
     kind-hearted, noble, self denying women. The presence of the
     English ladies--above all, of one such as Miss Carpenter, who has
     done such good works for the reformation of convicts--greatly
     enhanced the importance of the meeting, and her great experience
     has been of value to us all. She means still to give a lecture on
     India and the state of the native schools there, before leaving us.

     I have still so much work in hand, that I fear my letter is hurried
     and ill-written, but I hope you will kindly excuse this.

     To-morrow I am taking Miss Carpenter to all our different schools,
     that she may see how the different systems in use work. Some are
     good, but none particularly so; there is much to improve.

     Louis is gone to Mayence to-day for the inauguration of the
     Memorial which the town has erected to the memory of dear excellent
     Waldemar Holstein, for so many years its beloved Governor.

                                     DARMSTADT, October 24th.

     You must indeed miss dear Aunt much, and feel your thoughts drawn
     to her, whose precious intercourse was such a solace and comfort to
     you. It is nice for you to have Louise a little to yourself. * * *

     You ask, if my mother-in-law talks with me about the different
     woman’s work in which I am interested. Of course she does. We are
     so intimate together, that even where we differ in opinion we yet
     talk of every thing freely, and her opinion is of the greatest
     value to me. She had ever been a most kind, true, and loving
     mother, whom I respect and love more and more. She was much pleased
     and interested in the success of the meeting, but is of course as
     adverse as myself to all extreme views on such subjects.

     I have joined to my Nursing Institute an Association for watching
     over the orphans who are boarded-out by the State into families,
     where some poor children are unhappy and ill-used. The use of such
     meetings as this one was consists mainly in the interchange of
     experience made in the different branches in other places, which it
     is impossible to carry on by correspondence.

     The schools are entirely different throughout Germany--good and
     indifferent; and those here do not count among the best, as every
     thing, through the long misrule of the late Government, is not what
     it ought to be.

     Uncle Louis has a new Ministry now, which gives every one cause for
     hope.

                                     DARMSTADT, November 3d.

     * * * The weather is awful here; the wind sounds in the house as if
     one were at sea.

     This article was sent me the other day, and though I half fear
     seeming _unbescheiden_ [overbold], yet, as you spoke of your
     feelings about women’s meetings the other day, I venture to send
     it.

     Ella is writing to you herself to thank you for the lovely
     bracelet, which gave me as much pleasure as it did her. To think
     that she is already eight! She is handsomer than she was, and a
     dear child. * * * They all give me pleasure, dear children, though
     of course they have as many faults as others; but they are truthful
     and contented, and very affectionate. Having them much with me,
     watching and guiding their education--which, through our quiet and
     regular life, is possible--I am able to know and understand their
     different characters, for not one is like the other.

                                     DARMSTADT, November 12th.

     * * * We have the same weather here which you seem to have, which
     for our long journey was not pleasant. We took nearly twelve hours
     going, and as much returning from Metz. For the inauguration itself
     the weather held up. The roads were dreadful, and the wide plateau
     looked dreary and sad--dotted all over with graves, like an
     enormous churchyard.

     The memorial is a dead lion in bronze, on a plain pedestal, bearing
     an inscription on black marble in front, and at the back all the
     names. Deputations of officers and men were present, besides the
     generals, etc., from Metz. The clergyman of the division read the
     prayers, preached a short and touching sermon, and the band played
     a chorale. Louis spoke a few words, ending with the usual “Hoch”
     for the Emperor and Grand Duke. I then laid some wreaths at the
     foot of the Memorial from Louis’ parents and ourselves, and we
     drove back to Metz across the different battlefields. The villages
     are all built up again, and re-inhabited, so that few traces of the
     dreadful struggle remain.

     * * * The Empress of Russia wrote the other day that the alliance
     with Marie[108] of Mecklenburg is quite impossible, as she won’t
     change her religion. I hope all other German Princesses will follow
     her example.

                                     DARMSTADT, December 12th.

     For the 14th I write a few words. From year to year they can but
     express the same; the grief at the loss of such a father, such a
     man, grows with me, and leaves a gap and a want that nothing on
     earth can ever fill up.

     The deep, intense sympathy for what you, my poor dear Mama, went
     through then and since, in consequence of your bereavement, remains
     as vivid as ever. God heard our prayers, and sustained you, and
     through the healing hand of time softened your grief, and retained
     you for us, who were too young and too numerous to stand alone!

     That our good sweet Alix should have been spared this terrible
     grief, when this time last year it seemed so imminent, fills my
     heart with gratitude for her dear sake, as for yours, his children,
     and ours. That time is as indelibly fixed on my memory as that of
     1861, when the witnessing of your grief rent my heart so deeply.
     The 14th will now be a day of mixed recollections and feelings to
     us--a day _hallowed_ in our family, when one great spirit ended his
     work on earth--though his work can never die, and generations will
     grow up and call his name blessed--and when another was left to
     fulfil his duty and mission, God grant, for the welfare of his own
     family and of thousands.[109]

     I have not time to write to dearest Bertie and Alix to-day; and as
     I love to think of them with you on the 14th, so I would ask you to
     let them share these lines full of sympathy for them, letting a
     remembrance of _me_, who suffered with them, mingle with your
     united prayers and thanks on this solemn day!

     My little Fritz is at length better, but white and thin, in
     consequence of his illness.

                                     Christmas Day.

     Your dear presents gave me so much pleasure; I thank you again and
     again for them. The precious souvenir of dear Aunt, and my Ernie’s
     picture delight me. I assure you, nothing has given me more
     pleasure this Christmas.

     Let me also thank you, in Louis’ and the children’s names
     (meanwhile, until they do so themselves), for your kind gifts to
     them. It makes us all so happy and grateful, to be always so kindly
     remembered.

     The boys were well enough to enjoy Christmas, though rather pale
     and pulled--above all, sweet Ernie.

     We gave all our servants presents--the whole household and
     stable--under the Christmas-tree, which we made for the children;
     and when the tree is divided, the children of all our servants come
     and share it with ours. It keeps the household as a family, which
     is so important. We have fifty people to give to!

     Dear Beatrice’s wishes (cards) pleased the children very much, but
     Frittie lamented for a letter from Auntie “for Frittie.” He talks
     quite well now.

     On Saturday we shall go for the day to Vicky. I don’t like leaving
     the boys for longer yet. I am so glad Vicky gave such a flattering
     account of baby. She is quite the personification of her nickname
     “Sunny”--much like Ella, but a smaller head, and livelier, with
     Ernie’s dimple and expression.


[Illustration]



[Illustration] TRIALS.

1873-1877.

     “May the hour of trial and grief bring its blessing with it, and
     not have come in vain! The day passes so quickly, when one can do
     good and make others happy--and one leaves always so much undone.”
     (_August 2, 1873._)


1873.

This year began brightly and happily to the Prince and Princess, for
little Prince Fritz, whose health had often given rise to serious
anxiety, seemed stronger and better. In March the Princess at last was
able to carry out her long-cherished wish to visit Italy. She travelled
incognita, accompanied by Miss Hardinge and Hofrath Ruland. The journey
was made in a comparatively short time, but was thoroughly successful.
The Princess travelled from Darmstadt by Munich and the Brenner Pass to
Florence, where she spent three days, and from there went straight on to
Rome.

During her stay in the “eternal city” she employed her mornings in
visiting the many beautiful picture-galleries, the churches, and the
ruins of ancient Rome. In the afternoons she made longer excursions into
the neighborhood, visiting the more distant churches in the Campagna, as
well as the celebrated villas of Albani, Ludovisi, Borghese, etc. She
used to spend her evenings in talking over and discussing all the
objects of interest she had seen during the day. The Princess with her
wonderful power of observation was able to do a large amount of
sight-seeing in a comparatively short time. She was accompanied by
Monsignore Howard (now Cardinal Howard) over St. Peter’s; and he showed
her many interesting parts of this glorious edifice, which in general
are never shown to Protestants. At the “Farnesina,” the private palace
of Count Bermudez, she was received and conducted over it by the Count
himself. The ruins of Rome which interested the Princess the most were
those which dated from the time of the first Christians, as far back as
the early mediæval period, the catacombs of “San Callisto,” and the
curious church of “San Clemente.” Amongst the ceremonies of the “Holy
Week” the Princess was greatly struck by “The Lamentations,” whilst
others made her ask, as all Protestants do, how the pure simple
Christian religion could possibly be so misrepresented. After attending
all the grand ceremonies of the Church of Rome, the quiet service at the
German Embassy made a most happy and peaceful impression on the
Princess. She visited the Pope, Pius IX., who received her with his
usual winning kindness.[110] She also went to the Quirinal to pay her
respects to King Victor Emanuel, and to the Crown Princess of Italy,
Princess Margherita. The two Princesses drove together through Rome on
the occasion of the celebration of its “birthday,” and witnessed the
illumination of the Capitol, Forum, and Colosseum.

On the 13th of April the Princess made a brief excursion to Sorrento by
way of Naples, where her father-in-law and the Empress of Russia were
staying. On the 24th of April she left with her suite for Florence,
travelling by way of Perugia and Lake Thrasimene, through the valley of
the Arno. As she had but little time, she was only able to visit the
galleries of the Uffizi and Pitti Palaces, the tombs of the Medici in
San Lorenzo, the Convent of St. Mark, the Cathedral, the Church of Santa
Croce, and the “Museo Nazionale.”

The Princess left Italy on the 28th April, reaching Darmstadt on the 2d
of May.

Her journey had been one of thorough enjoyment, and she felt deeply
grateful that she had at last been able to see with her own eyes those
glorious works of art, which from her childhood she had only been able
to picture dimly to herself.

The joy of her reunion with her family was, alas! not to be of long
duration. Prince Louis had been obliged to leave Darmstadt early on the
morning of the 29th of May to inspect the troops in Upper Hesse, leaving
the Princess still in bed, exhausted from the great fatigue of her
Italian journey. The two little Princes came to wish her “good-morning,”
and by her wish were left in her room by the nurse. The children soon
began to play, as was their wont, running in and out of the room into
the adjacent one, and looking from one window and then from another.
Prince Ernest having run into the next room, the Princess followed him,
leaving Prince Fritz in her bedroom. During her almost momentary absence
he fell out of the window on to the stone terrace below. Whether he had
leaned too far out of it and overbalanced himself, or whether in running
fast through the room to the window to look for his brother he could not
stop himself and fell from it, no one actually knows. He was picked up
insensible, and died a few hours afterward in the arms of his distracted
mother. Effusion of blood on the brain caused by the fall ended that
young and bright little life. The loss of this unusually-gifted and
beloved child was a blow to the mother from which she never recovered.
Her married life had till then been such a happy one, that this first
sorrow came on her with redoubled force.

On the evening of Whitsunday, June 1st, the beloved little Prince was
taken to his last resting-place, at the Rosenhöhe (the Grand Ducal
Mausoleum), his parents and sisters and brother being present. It was
very long before the Princess at all recovered from the terrible shock
of the death of her child, though the sympathy shown to her by her
family and friends--indeed, by all--greatly comforted and helped her.

In the autumn the Prince and Princess went to Heiden in Appenzell for a
little change. From there they paid a visit to the Prince of
Hohenzollern at his castle of the Weinburg. At the end of November they
went to England with their three youngest children, and remained there
till the 23d of December, when they returned to Darmstadt.

                                     DARMSTADT, January 12th.

     * * * We were both much shocked to hear of the death of the Emperor
     Napoleon, and I must say grieved; personally he was so amiable, and
     she is much to be pitied. That he should die an exile in England
     and, as Louis Phillipe did, is most striking. In England the
     sympathy shown must touch the poor Empress, and, as I telegraphed,
     we should be so grateful to you, if you would kindly be the medium
     through which both of us would like to express to her how much we
     feel for her. How proud you must ever be, in feeling that your
     country is the one always able to offer a home and hospitality for
     those driven away from their own countries! England is before all
     others in that; and its warm sympathy for those who are in
     misfortune is such a generous feeling.

     Fannie Baillie’s Victoria is such a nice girl. She comes to our
     children every Saturday, and is not above playing at dolls with
     them, though she is so much older. There are two rather nice little
     English girls, daughters of the chaplin here, who come to them.

                                     February 1st.

     If any one will feel with us, I know you will do so most. Since
     three days, with an interruption of one day, poor Frittie has been
     bleeding incessantly from a slight cut on his ear, which was nearly
     healed. Since yesterday evening we cannot stop it. All the usual
     remedies were used, but as yet unavailing. Just now the place has
     been touched again with caustic and tightly bound, after we had
     with great trouble got rid of the quantity of dried blood from his
     hair, ear, neck, etc. He is horrified at the sight of so much
     blood, but shows great strength as yet in spite of so great a loss.
     He is of course very irritable, and, as he must not scream, one has
     to do whatever he wishes, which will spoil him dreadfully. I own I
     was much upset when I saw that he had this tendency to bleed, and
     the anxiety for the future, even if he gets well over this, will
     remain for years to come. All have their trials, one or another,
     and, please God, we shall bear whatever is sent without
     complaining. To see one’s own child suffer is for a mother a great
     trial. With what pleasure one would change places with the little
     one, and bear its pain!

                                     February 6th.

     * * * In the summer Fritz had a violent attack of dysentery, which
     was so prevalent at Darmstadt, and off and on for two months it
     continued, until Scotland stopped it; and this illness made him
     sensitive and delicate.

     * * * What has caused him such great suffering has been that, what
     with the use of caustic, the tight bandaging and the iron, a
     quantity of small gatherings formed on his cheek and neck, causing
     such an amount of pain that he could not remain in bed or anywhere
     quiet for the two first days and nights. Now they are drying off,
     the itching is such that he don’t know what to do with himself, and
     we have the greatest difficulty in keeping him from rubbing or
     scratching himself. The want of sleep through pain, etc., has
     excited him very much, so that he has been very difficult to
     manage. The bandages of course cannot be removed, and great care
     will be taken when they are removed, lest bleeding should
     re-commence. He has been out twice a day as usual all along, and
     his skin never quite lost its pinkness and mottled appearance; all
     of which are signs that he has good blood and to spare, else he
     would look worse and have shown weakness, which after all he did
     not. * * *

     He speaks well for his age, and is, alas! very wild, so that it
     will be impossible to keep him from having accidents. * * *

     * * * I have been playing some lovely things (very difficult) of
     Chopin lately, which I know you would admire.

                                     DARMSTADT, February 19th.

     My best thanks for your dear letter! That I forgot to thank you at
     once for dear Grandmama’s very beautiful print[111] came from my
     having the lithograph of that picture in my room always before me,
     and, though the print far surpasses it, I am so fond of the
     lithograph, that I forgot the print at the moment I was writing to
     you. Before that dear picture, the painting of which I recollect so
     well, my children often sit, and I tell them of her who was and
     ever will be so inexpressibly dear to us all. In the schoolroom, in
     my sitting-room, in the nursery, there is, with the pictures of you
     and dear Papa, always one of dear Grandmama, and, in my room and
     the schoolroom, the Duke of Kent also.

     My sitting-room has only prints and lithographs, all Winterhalters,
     of the family: you and Papa, your receiving the Sacrament at the
     Coronation, Raphael’s “Disputa” and “Bella Jardiniérre,” and the
     lovely little engraving of yourself from Winterhalter’s picture in
     Papa’s room at Windsor.[112]

     Vicky is coming here on Wednesday. The Grand Duke of Weimar has
     kindly allowed Mr. Ruland to join us as cicerone: which for
     galleries, etc., is very necessary, and we take no courier. Rome is
     our first halting-place in Italy, and for years it has been my
     dream and wish to be in that wonderful city, where the glorious
     monuments of antiquity and of the Middle Ages carry one back to
     those marvellous times.

     I am learning Italian, and studying the history and art necessary
     to enable me, in the short time we have, to see and understand the
     finest and most important monuments. I am so entirely absorbed and
     interested in these studies just now, that I have not much time for
     other things. My father-in-law, perhaps Princess Charles too, will
     be with Aunt Marie of Russia at Sorrento then. William will
     probably join us at Rome; he is quite a connoisseur in art, and a
     good historian, quite at home in Rome, about which he raves. I must
     say that I look forward immensely to this journey; it opens a whole
     new life to one. * * *

     Kanné has made all arrangements for us at Rome. We shall leave here
     about the 18th of March.

                                     ROME, HÔTEL ALLEMAGNE, March 27th.

     * * * We left the dear children well, but very sorry at parting.
     The two days at Munich were most interesting. The National Museum
     in its way surpasses any I have ever seen, and in originals is
     richer even than South Kensington. Aunt Mariechen was very kind and
     dear; the Moriers very amiable hosts, and we met some interesting
     people there. Two hours before we left, after eight in the evening,
     Ludwig and Otto[113] came to us and remained some time.

     The Brenner, over which we came, was covered with snow--most
     beautiful scenery, like St. Moritz in the Engadine. The journey was
     very fatiguing. We had a morning for Bologna, and had to wait three
     hours at Florence for the night train--time enough to drive round
     and in the town, which is most lovely. What trees, mountains,
     colors! then the fine buildings!

     The following morning at six we reached Rome. The sun was bright,
     the distance blue--the grand ruins dark and sharp against the sky,
     cypresses, stone pines, large cork oaks, making up such a beautiful
     picture. Every day I admire the scenery more and more; every little
     bit of architecture, broken or whole, with a glimpse of the
     Campagna, a picturesque dirty peasant and a dark tree close by, is
     a picture in itself which one would like to frame and hang up in
     one’s room. It is too, too beautiful! To tell you all we have seen
     and are seeing would tire you. Bertie and Arthur’s descriptions,
     too, so lately have told you the same.

     The Via Appia, the grand old road lined with ruins of splendid
     tombs, leading from Albano through the Campagna to Rome, along
     which St. Paul went, and the great kings and emperors made their
     triumphal entries, is a fit one to lead to such a city as Rome,
     which ruled the world.

     The antique monuments, those of the Middle Ages, are so
     magnificent and interesting that as yet I don’t know which to
     mention first or admire most!

     Our incognito did not last long (though even now we maintain it),
     for the Crown Princess heard of us and came to see us, as did the
     Crown Prince, and we had to go to the Quirinal, a morning visit
     without _entourage_.

                                     PALM SUNDAY, ROME, April 6th.

     * * * We saw the beginning of mass and blessing of the palms in St.
     Peter’s this morning, with a procession and beautiful singing.
     Whilst the procession, with part of the choristers, go outside the
     church, some remain within, and they respond to each other, which
     produces a very striking effect. In spite of the bad style inside
     of St. Peter’s, as a whole it produces a marvellous effect through
     its wonderful size and richness of decoration.

     I saw two convents yesterday: the Sepolte Vive, which Bertie and
     Alix saw, and where the nuns asked much after him, and said that he
     was _molto amabile_; and another equally strict one, but not
     austere, where the Superior told me that Aunt Feodore with Princess
     Hohenzollern had paid them a visit. Monsignore Howard was the only
     gentleman with me and the ladies, as they never see any men. Their
     idea is, that they spend the whole of their life in contemplation
     and prayer, so as to pray for those who cannot pray for themselves.

     The museums of the Vatican and of the Capitol, with their enormous
     collection of antiques, are very fine. The celebrated Venus, Apollo
     Belvidere, the Torso (which Michael Angelo admired so much, and was
     taken to touch when he could no more see it), the wounded
     Gladiator, etc., are there. The Sistine Chapel, with Michael
     Angelo’s frescoes, which are certainly the most marvellous pieces
     of painting and conception, is very dark, and the frescoes are
     suffering much from the smoke, dust, etc. Raphael’s Stanze are far
     better preserved, and lighter than I had expected, and of such
     beauty!

     I thought so often and so much of dear Papa, when I saw the
     originals of all the pictures he so much admired and took such
     interest in. How this alone fascinates me I cannot tell you. In
     these galleries and churches there is only too much to be seen,
     besides the antique ruins, etc. You would be terrified to see how
     full our day is from before nine. Mr. Ruland is an excellent
     cicerone for pictures and sculptures. William is with us here since
     last Sunday.

     We are going to the Villa Ludovisi this afternoon. The gardens of
     the Villa Doria Pamfili are most beautiful: the terraces there
     remind me of Osborne. I can see in many things where dear Papa got
     his ideas from for Osborne and for his decorations, which Professor
     Gruner understood so well to carry out.

     Many thanks for your having told Lady Churchill to send me an
     account of your opening of the Park.[114] I am glad that all went
     off so well, and that you were not the worse for it.

     I have quite refused going to Naples. We shall arrange probably to
     go for two days to Castellamare (one hour from Naples); from thence
     to Sorrento and Pompeii, and return here. As yet it is not hot here
     at all.

                                     ROME, April 9th.

     Let me thank you for your letter written on our dear Victoria’s
     birthday. I have never been away from her on her birthday before,
     and though we see such fine interesting things, yet I feel very
     homesick for the dear children always. In three weeks or less I
     shall see them again. I look forward all the time with perfect
     impatience, as I am so rarely separated from them, and we live so
     much together. Every other day Fräulein Kitz and Orchard write, so
     that I have news daily.

     Louis’ father wrote me to-day, as his sister asks us to her house
     at Sorrento for one or two nights for the 12th; but as I was rather
     deranged from a sick headache yesterday, I shall wait a day before
     we decide. It is wet and quite cold to-day.

     We visited San Clemente two days ago, and Father Mulooly took us
     through the three churches--one under the other. The antique one
     was full of water, and we walked about on rickety planks, each with
     a lighted taper, as it is quite dark there. It is most curious, and
     the old paintings on the walls telling the legend of St. Clement
     are wonderfully full of expression and feeling for the time they
     were done.

                                     ROME, April 19th.

     * * * Our visit to Sorrento went off well. We got there at one on
     Monday morning for luncheon. The sun had given me a dreadful
     headache, which ended in sickness, so that I could not leave my
     room. Marie sat with me, and was very dear and kind. The next day,
     she and my Aunt, who seems tired and dispirited, had bad headaches.
     We went with my father-in-law and some of the ladies and gentlemen
     on the following afternoon in the Empress’ yacht to Capri, close
     by, to see the blue grotto.

     The Bay of Naples, particularly seen from Sorrento, is most
     lovely--like a beautiful dream--the colors, the outlines are so
     perfect.

     We breakfasted together in the morning with Aunt and Marie, and on
     Tuesday we took our leave.

     We shall go to Florence the 23d, (the first station homeward);
     remain there three or four days; one night at Verona, and then
     home. It is a fatiguing journey, and we have so often had people in
     the carriage, which is very unpleasant--some very rude English,
     going to Sorrento; they did not know us.

                                     FLORENCE, April 25th.

     Your kind wishes I received early this morning. Thousand thanks for
     them, and for the presents which I shall find on getting home.

     I shall be so glad to have a large photograph of yourself. Thirty
     years! Good-bye, youth! but I feel quite as old as I am, though the
     time has flown by so fast. I would it had flown as well as it has
     fast! I look back to the past with great gratitude to the Almighty
     for innumerable blessings, and pray our life may continue so blest.
     I have a very bad headache--neuralgia; I have it continually; and
     the journey is very long and tiring. Darling Ernie wanted to buy
     something for my birthday, and he thought a china doll with a bath
     would be the best. I am glad Victoria remembered to write to
     Beatrice as I told her; they are very fond of their Auntie.

     Florence seems a beautiful town, and the situation amongst the
     hills, over which the suburbs spread, is most picturesque.

     I enclose the last telegrams from Sorrento. It is _fièvre du pays_
     which Marie had. We remained at Rome a day longer on account of
     poor Alfred. He is very patient and hopeful.

     The King, whom we saw at the races, sends you his respects, and
     was delighted with the cream-colored horse you sent him. Many
     thanks for the flowers. I enclose two from here. The account of
     your giving away the colors[115] I had already read with interest.

     We must go to the Grand Duchess Marie to-morrow; Monday to Verona,
     twelve hours; next morning to Munich, and that night to Darmstadt.
     How I look forward to seeing the dear children! It seems to me an
     age since we parted.

                                     DARMSTADT, June 9th.

     Tender thanks for your last letter, and for every word of sympathy!
     The weary days drag on, and bring much pain at times, though there
     are moments of comfort, and even consolation.

     The horror of my darling’s sudden death[116] at times torments me
     too much, particularly waking of a morning; but when I think he is
     at rest, free from the sorrow we are suffering, and from every evil
     to come, I feel quite resigned. He was such a bright child. It
     seems so quiet next door; I miss the little feet, the coming to me,
     for we lived so much together, and Ernie feels so lost, poor love.

     We were at the Mausoleum with all the children yesterday evening.
     It is a quiet spot amidst trees and flowers, with a lovely view
     toward the hills and plain. He loved flowers so much. I can’t see
     one along the roadside without wishing to pick it for him.

     There is a young sculptor from Stuttgart, who was accidently here,
     and, meeting the children, had asked permission to make medallions
     of them. The _last_ afternoon sweet Frittie had sat to him, and he
     is now making a lovely bust of him, which is getting very like.

     On Wednesday my mother-in-law, with her three sons, goes to Berlin;
     on Thursday Uncle Adalbert[117] will be buried in the Dom.

     We sha’n’t be able to go to Seeheim until Saturday.

     How _too kind_ of you to have asked us to Osborne! How a rest and
     home air would have revived me--and the pleasure of seeing you
     again; but Louis cannot leave until after his birthday. If he did
     get leave, it would so throw him out before he has to command; and,
     having been absent this spring, he feels it an impossibility, and
     this I am sure you will understand. I could not leave him or the
     children. Our circle has grown smaller, and drawn us all the more
     together with a dread of parting from each other. We thank you a
     thousand times for the kind offer.

                                     SEEHEIM, June 22d.

     * * * I do earnestly hope that too long a time may not elapse
     before we meet.

     It is very hot, and I feel very low and unhappy.

     To-morrow this house will be full, and all the Russians, etc.,
     close by. Had there only been any other quiet country place to be
     at, how gladly would I have escaped this.

     * * * It is only three weeks to-day since we took our darling to
     his last resting-place! I wish I could go there to-day, but it is
     too hot and too far.

     Fritz and Louise of Baden came two days ago to Darmstadt, to see my
     parents-in-law and us.

     Dr. Macleod’s letter is very kind.

     I enclose two photographs of dear Frittie out of groups, the
     negative of one of which unluckily does not exist any more. The
     little blouse is the one he had on on that terrible day. My darling
     sweet child--to have lost him so! To my grave shall I carry this
     sorrow with me.

     In the book you sent me there is a fine poem by Miss Procter, “Our
     grief, our friend,” called “Friend Sorrow,” which expresses so much
     what I myself feel about a deep grief.

                                     SEEHEIM, June 27th.

     * * * It was just four weeks yesterday since our darling died, and
     we went to the Mausoleum. I felt the whole weight of my sorrow, and
     the terrible shock doubly again. But the precious child does
     not--that is a comfort. He is happy and at rest, whilst we grieve
     and mourn. Ernie always prays for Frittie, and talks to me of him
     when we walk together.

     Aunt Marie arrived at two on Monday, and a few hours later came to
     see me, and was so sympathizing, motherly, and loving; it touched
     me much. At such moments she is peculiarly soft and womanly, and
     she loves her own children so tenderly. She cried much, and told me
     of the sad death of her eldest girl, who was seven, and of the
     terrible, irreparable loss her eldest son was to her. She has such
     a religious, truly resigned way of looking at great sorrows such as
     these. In the room I am now living in Aunt Marie had seen Frittie
     in his bath two years ago, and she remembered all about him. She is
     coming to “Sunshine’s” toilet this evening; it always amuses her,
     and she is very fond of the children.

                                     SEEHEIM, July 9th.

     * * * There are days which seem harder than others, and when I
     feel very heartsick, prayer and quiet and solitude do me good.

     I hear Affie comes on Thursday night. This evening the Emperor
     arrives. Poor Marie[118] is very happy, and so quiet. * * * How I
     feel for the parents, this only daughter (a character of
     _Hingebung_ [perfect devotion] to those she loves), the last child
     entirely at home, as the parents are so much away that the two
     youngest, on account of their studies, no more travel about.

                                     SEEHEIM, July 26th.

     * * * I am glad that you have a little colored picture of my
     darling. I feel lower and sadder than ever, and miss him so much,
     so continually. There is such a gap between Ernie and Sunny, and
     the two boys were such a pretty pair, and were become such
     companions. Having so many girls, I was so proud of our two boys!
     The pleasure did not last long, but he is _mine_ more than ever
     now. He seems near me always, and I carry his precious image in my
     heart everywhere. That can never fade or die!

                                     SEEHEIM, August 2d.

     Many thanks for your dear letter! I am feeling so low and weak
     to-day that kind words are doubly soothing. You feel so with me,
     when you understand how long and deep my grief must be. And does
     one not grow to love one’s grief, as having become part of the
     being one loved--as if through _this_ one could still pay a tribute
     of love to them, to make up for the terrible loss, and missing of
     not being able to do any thing for the beloved one any more?[119]
     I am so much with my children, and am so accustomed to care for
     them and their wants daily, that I miss not having Frittie, the
     object of our greatest care, far more than words can describe; and
     in the quiet of our every-day life, where we have only the children
     around us, it is doubly and trebly felt, and is a sorrow that has
     entered into the very heart of our existence.

     May the hour of trial and grief bring its blessing with it, and not
     have come in vain! The day passes so quickly, when one can do good
     and make others happy, and one leaves always so much undone. I feel
     more than ever, one should put nothing off; and children grow up so
     quickly and leave one, and I would long that mine should take
     nothing but the recollection of love and happiness from their home
     with them into the world’s fight, knowing that they have there
     _always_ a safe harbor, and open arms to comfort and encourage them
     when they are in trouble. I do hope that this may become the case,
     though the lesson for parents is so difficult, being continually
     _giving_, without always finding the return.

     Dear Fannie Baillie has been a few days here, and goes to England
     to-day. I shall miss her so much. I am so very fond of her. I hope
     you will see her; she will bring you many messages from us.

                                     SEEHEIM, August 13th.

     * * * After endless difficulties it has been settled that we can go
     to the Mainau. I am so far from strong and well that a change is
     necessary, and we shall go on the 15th, as Louise of Baden
     proposed, and I have written this to her.

     How you will enjoy the rest at Balmoral! After so much going on you
     must require it.

     Hélène Reuter is coming here for a fortnight with her boy--Ernest’s
     age. Poor boy, he longs for a playfellow.

                                     SEEHEIM, August 16th.

     * * * Louis joins with me in saying that we shall gratefully accept
     your wish that we should come to Windsor, and he trusts there will
     be no difficulties for leave then. * * *

                                     SEEHEIM, September 7th.

     * * * You ask if I can play yet? I feel as if I could not, and I
     have not yet done so. In my own house it seems to me as if I never
     could play again on that piano, where little hands were nearly
     always thrust when I wanted to play. Away from home--in
     England--much sooner. I had played so often lately that splendid,
     touching funeral march of Chopin’s, and I remember it is the last
     thing I played, and then the boys were running in the room.

     Mary Teck came to see me and remained two nights, so warm-hearted
     and sympathizing. I like to talk of him to those who love children,
     and can understand how great the gap, how intense the pain, the
     ending of a little bright existence causes.

     Soon I shall have my Louis back. I long for him very much; but the
     change of air, the active out-door life, and being quite thrown
     into men’s society and occupations, must refresh body and mind.
     Here he has only me, the governess and children as _Umgang_. But he
     is what the Germans call _ein Haushammel_--it is what he likes
     best.

     We shall do nothing for his birthday. The children will recite
     their poems and write little things, and his parents will come to
     our five o’clock tea.

                                     HEIDEN, APPENZELL, October 7th.

     How kind of you to remember our darling’s birthday; we both thank
     you for this. Sad and many are our thoughts. I think of my
     loneliness and anxiety when he was born, with Louis far away in the
     midst of danger--a sad and awful time to come into the world; but
     sweet Frittie was my comfort and occupation, a second son, a
     pleasure to us both! Now all this is wiped out, and our parents’
     hearts are sore, and asking for the dear bright face we miss so
     much from amongst our circle of children! He ended his fight very
     soon. May we all follow in a way as peaceful, with as little
     struggle and pain, and leave an image of as much love and
     brightness behind, to be a blessed remembrance for the rest of our
     lives!

     I can’t write on any other subject to-day, therefore close these
     short lines with much love from your devoted child,

                                     ALICE.



                                     DARMSTADT, November 14th.

     * * * It is very kind of you to ask about the rooms. I should
     prefer living in the tapestry rooms this time. It won’t be like the
     last time--though after our house here, so full of happy and
     heart-rending recollections, I go through continual pangs, which it
     will take many a year to soften down, as you can understand.

                                     BUCKINGHAM PALACE, December 20th.

     BELOVED MAMA:--How much I thank you for your dear precious letter,
     and for all the true love and considerate sympathy you showed me
     during our visit! It has soothed and comforted me, I assure you,
     and will be a pleasure and satisfaction for me to look back to the
     many pleasant talks we had together.

     Louis, who has always been so devoted to you, was touched to tears,
     as I was, by your expressions of love to us and to our children.

     Thank you also for all advice, which is so precious to me, and in
     following it I shall like to think that I am doing something that
     you told me.

     How much I felt in parting from you I cannot say. Neither did I
     like to speak of it, for it was too much, and the harder things in
     life are better borne in silence, as none can bear them for one,
     and they must be fought out by one’s self.

     Ernie and Irène send endless loves to you, to Uncle and Auntie.
     Sunny’s hand is better.

     Tilla came to see me yesterday, and we both drove with her to the
     Memorial.[120]

     * * * There is so much I would run on about, now the dear habit of
     intercourse together has once more become so natural to me. Writing
     is at best a poor _remplaçant_.

     Once more from both of us warm and tender thanks for so much love
     and kindness! Love to Leopold and Beatrice; kind remembrances to
     all who surround you! From your grateful and devoted child,

                                     ALICE.



                                     BUCKINGHAM PALACE, December 21st.

     * * * It is fine and warm and still. I hope it will be so early
     to-morrow when we cross over. I shall telegraph how the passage has
     been.

     Please thank Brown for his kind wishes. I am so sorry that I missed
     saying good-bye to several. To say the truth, I dreaded it. It is
     always so painful. The old Baron’s[121] way of disappearing was
     almost the best.


1874.

During the first months of this year the Princess had the comfort of
seeing many of her relations. The year was chiefly spent in retirement,
and devoted to many sad memories. On the 24th of May she gave birth to a
daughter, whose christening took place on the 11th of July at Jugenheim,
near Darmstadt, in the presence of the Empress of Russia and the Duke of
Edinburgh. The child received the names of Marie Victoria Feodora
Leopoldine.

The hottest part of the summer was spent at Blankenberghe for the use of
sea-baths. In September the great manœuvres of the Eleventh Army Corps
took place in Upper Hesse, where the Princess met the Emperor of
Germany.

The Princess’ charitable institutions were all prospering, and assuming
larger and larger proportions; amongst them the Princess’ own hospital
was by degrees slowly approaching completion. It was the institution she
had the most at heart. It was intended to be a training-school for those
who intended to become nurses, and a home for probationers whose
training was at an end. It was also to serve as a model of those reforms
in sanitary arrangements which the Princess had so much at heart.

When the provisional English hospital at Darmstadt (already mentioned
during the war in 1870) had been taken over by the Hessian authorities,
all its furniture, appointments, etc., were left to the “Alice Ladies’
Union” for the small hospital which it had started, aided by a small
body of doctors in Darmstadt. This was the origin of the “Alice
Hospital,” begun in a very small humble way in a cramped little house in
the Mauer-Strasse. The Frauen-Verein had undertaken, when the English
National Society for Aid to the Sick and Wounded had made over their
hospital to them, either to build quite a new one or thoroughly to
reorganize the existing one on the Mauer-Strasse. There were no funds to
build a new hospital; therefore the “Alice Ladies’ Union,” could only
resort to the other alternative, and this was carried out to the letter,
by additional buildings and a totally new arrangement of its interior.
As time went on, it was found advisable to give the hospital a distinct
administration, and to separate it from the “Alice Ladies’ Union,”
placing special funds at its disposal. This never would have come to
pass, nor would the hospital have proved the success it did, had it not
been for the untiring zeal, perseverance, economy, and practical
knowledge of the lady directing it. During the summer months of 1874, a
lady well acquainted with German and English hospitals--a trained nurse
herself--became Lady Superintendent of the training-school for nurses,
and of the hospital generally, which gradually, but surely, was gaining
in importance.

The Alice Union for the Employment of Women made a further step in
advance during this year, and established itself on a firm broad basis
under the name of “The Alice Society for the Education and Employment of
Women of all Classes.” Of this the Princess was the President, whilst
Fräulein Louise Büchner directed the whole. The gentlemen and ladies who
formed the committee were chosen by the Princess. All worked most
harmoniously together; and the Princess was as anxious to receive advice
from others in matters concerning the society as she was glad to give it
herself.

                                     DARMSTADT, January 12th.

     * * * _How_ low and miserable I am at times in these rooms,
     particularly when I go to bed, I cannot tell you! The impression of
     _all_ is so vivid and heart-rending. I could cry out for pain
     sometimes.

     Till the first year is round this will often return, I know, and
     must be borne as part of the sorrow!

                                     January 16th.

     * * * I know well what your grief and your bereavement were
     compared to mine; but they are such different sorrows, I don’t
     think one can well compare them. Your life was broken--upset:
     altered from the very roots, through the one you lost; my life is
     unchanged, save in the mother’s heart the blank, the pain which
     thousands of little things awaken--which by the world, even by the
     family, are scarcely felt; and this ofttimes loneliness of
     sentiment clouds one’s life over with a quiet sorrow which is felt
     in _every thing_. * * *

                                     DARMSTADT, January 23d.

     On our dear Affie’s [Prince Alfred’s] wedding-day, a few tender
     words. It must seem so strange to you not to be near him. My
     thoughts are constantly with them all, and we have only the
     _Times’_ account, for no one writes here--they are all too busy,
     and of course all news comes to you. What has Augusta [Lady Augusta
     Stanley] written, and Vicky and Bertie? Any extracts or other
     newspaper accounts but what we see would be most welcome.

     We give a dinner to-night to the family and _entourage_, and
     Russian and English legations. * * *

     Louis sends you his love and warmest wishes for yourself and the
     happiness of the dear pair, in which I most earnestly join. God
     bless and protect them, and may all turn out well!

                                     DARMSTADT, January 28th.

     * * * Dear Marie [the Duchess of Edinburgh] seems to make the same
     impression on _all_. How glad I am she is so quite what I thought
     and hoped. Such a wife must make Affie happy, and do him good, and
     be a great pleasure to yourself, which I always like to think. I
     shall read to my mother-in-law the letters, and show them to
     Bäuerlein. Both will be very grateful for being allowed to see
     them.

     We are going from Saturday to Monday to Carlsruhe. The eldest girls
     and Bäuerlein, who is going to take charge of them for a week, are
     going with us.

     * * * One day we have six degrees of heat, the next two or four of
     cold; it is very unwholesome.

                                     CARLSRUHE, February 2d.

     I have a little time before breakfast to thank you so very much for
     the enclosures, also the Dean’s [Stanley] letter through dear
     Beatrice. We are most grateful for being allowed to hear these most
     interesting reports! It brings every thing so much nearer. How
     pleasant it is to receive only satisfactory reports! I fear Aunt
     Marie is far from well. I should be very anxious, for she is like a
     fading flower.

     All the family, Hohenlohes and Holsteins, send their duty. All
     their respective children and ours were together yesterday
     afternoon. I hope not to seem vain, if it strikes me that amongst
     all the children my girls usually carry away the palm. Victoria is
     in such good looks at present; they are both natural and real
     children, and as such I hope to be able to retain them long.

     Sophie Weiss[122] came to see me yesterday. I was very glad to be
     able to give her so good an account of you, and how young you
     looked when I had that great happiness of those few short days at
     Windsor, which did me good in _every_ respect. Old Frau von Bunsen,
     now eighty-three, I went to see--such a charming old lady, fresh in
     her mind, with snow-white hair. You and Papa were the topic she
     enjoyed speaking about, and our brothers and sisters.

                                     DARMSTADT, March 2d.

     * * * My nice Miss Graves I could so well have taken when Kitty
     left, but I was so anxious for a German, though I was much inclined
     toward her; I thought a German more important than it really is.
     Not the nationality but the individuality is the first thing; and
     here I think I have succeeded in finding the right person. * * *

                                     DARMSTADT, March 11th.

     * * * I hope you were not the worst for all your exertions. The
     _Times’_ accounts are charming. Such a warm reception must have
     touched Marie, and shown how the English cling to their Sovereign
     and her house.

     We have cold, snow, and dust, after quite warm weather. I trust you
     will have sunshine to-morrow.

     This last fortnight the news from Ashantee has so absorbed our
     thoughts. It has been an arduous undertaking, and one’s heart warms
     to our dear troops, who under all difficulties sustain their old
     name for bravery and endurance. The poor 42d [Regiment] lost many
     through illness, too; and I see they entered Coomassie playing the
     bagpipes!

     Louis is just reading to me Sir Hope Grant’s book on the Indian
     Mutiny, which he kindly sent me, and which is interesting and
     pleasant to read.

     I am taking the first snowdrops to sweet Frittie’s grave. _How_ the
     first flowers he so dearly loved bring tears to my eyes, and
     recollections which wring my heart anew! I dread these two next
     months with their flowers and their birds. Good bye, darling Mama.

                                     DARMSTADT, April 7th.

     * * * Surely Marie must feel it very deeply, for to leave so
     delicate and loving a mother must seem almost wrong. How strange
     this side of human nature always seems--leaving all you love most,
     know best, owe all debts of gratitude to, for the comparatively
     unknown! The lot of parents is indeed hard, and of such
     self-sacrifice.

                                     April 11th.

     * * * The children are too much an object here; they have too
     little to compare with; they would be benefited by a change, seeing
     other things and people, else they get into a groove, which I know
     is not good. They are very unspoilt in their tastes, and simple and
     quiet children, which I think of the greatest importance.

     Louis Battenberg has passed a first-rate examination. The parents
     are so happy, and the influence the good conduct and steady work of
     the elder brother has on the younger is of the greatest use, as
     they wish to follow him, and be as well spoken of, and please their
     parents, as he does. * * *

                                     April 15th.

     My best thanks for your dear letter of the 13th. You say rightly,
     what a fault it is of parents to bring up their daughters with the
     main object of marrying them. This is said to be a too prominent
     feature in the modern English education of the higher classes. * *
     * I want to strive to bring up the girls without _seeking_ this as
     the sole object for the future--to feel they can fill up their
     lives so well otherwise. * * * A marriage for the _sake_ of
     marriage is surely the greatest mistake a woman can make. * * * I
     know what an absorbing feeling that of devotion to one’s parent is.
     When I was at home, it filled my whole soul. It does still, in a
     great degree, and _Heimweh_ [homesickness] does not cease after
     ever so long an absence. * * *

                                     DARMSTADT, April 23d.

     * * * I thought so much of your remarks about daughters, etc., and
     do think it _so_ natural and dutiful to remain with one’s parent as
     long as one is wanted. Is it not a duty when no one else can take
     one’s place? I should feel it so.

                                     April 26th.

     I thank you most tenderly for your loving wishes for my birthday,
     received on getting up yesterday morning. You can understand that
     the day was inexpressibly sad, that the fair head missing in our
     circle was painfully felt, and that all these recollections caused
     me endless tears and heartache--though not for him, sweet precious
     child.

     As you say, life at best is a struggle; happy those who can lie
     down to rest, having fought their battle well; or those who have
     been spared fighting it at all, and have remained pure and
     untouched, barely touching this earth, so mixed up with grief and
     sin!

     Let me thank you for the charming photographs, and for the present
     toward the layette--a most kind assistance.

     * * * We went to the Mausoleum. The children had made me wreaths to
     take there, and we all went together. How often and tenderly Ernie
     speaks of Frittie! It is very touching, and speaks of his deep and
     warm heart. He said the other day--for the recollection of death
     has left such a deep impression, and he cannot reconcile it with
     life, it pains him,--“When I die, you must die too, and all the
     others; why can’t all die together? I don’t like to die alone, like
     Frittie.” Poor child! the wish that _all_ have, who love their own,
     so early expressed. * * *

                                     May 4th.

     Many thanks for your last dear letter written on dear Arthur’s
     birthday, of which, though late, I wish you joy. Such a good,
     steady, excellent boy as he is! What a comfort it must be to you,
     never to have had any cause of uneasiness or annoyance in his
     conduct! He is so much respected, which for one so young is doubly
     praiseworthy. From St. Petersburg, as from Vienna, we heard the
     same account of the steady line he holds to, in spite of all
     chaffing, etc., from others; which shows character.

     My mother-in-law tells me that since Miechen has been allowed to
     retain her religion, this right will of course be conceded to all
     Princesses in future. What a good thing, for the changing I always
     thought too bad, and nowadays so intolerant and narrow. * * * To
     think of Mr. Van de Weyer also leaving this world! To you he will
     be a loss, and to all who knew him. Old friends are precious
     landmarks in the history of one’s life, and not to be replaced by
     new ones; and it is sad, how time reduces the number as one gets on
     in life. How deeply you must feel this with each fresh loss! I feel
     much for you. * * *

                                     DARMSTADT, May 18th.

     * * * Since 1867 the Emperor’s [of Russia] face shrank so, and he
     became so thin. When I first saw him, in 1864, he was much stouter
     and fresher looking. He has many cares, and one sees they weigh
     upon him, for he is so kind and so well-meaning, and has done so
     much to advance liberty and culture in his own country.

                                     DARMSTADT, June 5th.

     BELOVED MAMA:--* * * The day (Whitsunday, and dear Frittie’s
     burial-day) of baby’s birth would have been too sad, had not the
     fact of its being your birthday given a double significance; but
     when I heard those bells, and became conscious again of every
     thing, my feelings were deep and mingled beyond expression. * * *
     With repeated tender thanks, your most loving child,

                                     ALICE.



                                     June 11th.

     * * * Having no cow, or country place to keep one, in this
     tremendous heat where one can’t keep milk, and dysentery carries
     off so many babies, it would not be fair to deprive the poor little
     thing of its natural and safest nourishment till the hot months
     are over. These, darling Mama, are my reasons, and though I do it
     with such pleasure, yet it is not without sacrifices of comfort and
     convenience, etc.; but it seems to me the best course to take for
     our children, and as we are situated.

     Many thanks for being baby’s godmother! It gives us great pleasure.

     Do thank all our good people for their kind interest. * * *

     I am driving out this afternoon if cool enough. You must not tell
     one of the heavenly Scotch air, when one is breathing heated stove
     air; it makes one too envious.

                                     July 13th.

     The christening went off very well. Baby looked really pretty for
     so young an individual. It was in a large room. Marie [Duchess of
     Edinburgh], quite in pink, held her godchild; and my mother-in-law,
     with her best love, begs me to tell you, it had pleased her so much
     that you had asked her to represent you. My three older girls
     looked very nice, I thought, in lavender silk (your Christmas
     present). I had the same color, and “Sunny” in pink, was immensely
     admired. She is still improving in looks since you saw her.

     I was glad it was another place, in different circumstances from
     the last christening. As it was, it moved me much. The last time I
     heard these words, darling Frittie was with us, and now the chain
     has a gap!

     * * * We can get nothing at Scheveningen except at exorbitant
     prices, so we go to that dreadful Blankenberghe--without tree or
     bush, nothing but a beach and sand banks.

                                     BLANKENBERGHE, July 24th.

     The sea air is doing all good, the children especially, the heat
     had pulled them so.

     I have bathed once, and hope it will agree. * * * My cough and
     relaxed throat are getting better.

     The rooms are small and few, but clean, and the cooking good, and
     we are quite satisfied. There is not a soul one knows.

                                     BLANKENBERGHE, August 16th.

     This day makes me think of our dear kind Grandmama, whose image
     still dwells amongst us! None who ever knew her can forget how
     truly lovable she was; and we grandchildren will ever retain such a
     bright recollection of her. So many little attentions, small
     souvenirs, kind letters, all tokens of affection _so_ pleasing to
     the receivers.

     Yesterday Louis saved a lady from drowning. He was bathing. The
     waves were high, and he heard a cry for help, and saw a bather
     struggling. She had lost her footing. Her husband tried to help
     her, but was exhausted and let her go; equally so the
     brother-in-law, and Louis felt he was losing his strength, but she
     kept her presence of mind and floated. He let her go once till a
     wave brought her near him again, and he caught her hand and brought
     her in, feeling quite done himself. I was not in the sea at the
     time, for the waves were so tremendous that I lost my footing
     several times, and had come out, fearing an accident. The lady is a
     Mrs. T. Sligo, a Scotchwoman, and she has just written to me to
     thank Louis. He is a good swimmer, and very strong. The gentlemen
     are two grey-haired Scotchmen.

     Ella has so wonderfully improved since she has been here. She is no
     more pale and languid, and Ernie is another child also.

     Luckily it has not been warm, so the air and baths are doubly
     efficacious. They have done me a world of good. I feel quite
     different to what I have done ever since Sunny’s birth. I believe
     the sea to be the only thing for such a relaxed state, and, being
     strong and healthy by nature, I can’t bear not being well, and
     feeling so weak. Miss Graves has returned, but the girls have been
     very good--no trouble at all.

                                     KRANICHSTEIN, August 26th.

     On dear Papa’s birthday I must send you a few lines. The past is
     ever bright and vivid in my mind, though year after year
     intervenes. How must it be for you, who live surrounded by such
     precious recollections of the happy past!

     I think doubly of you to-day, and doubly tenderly, sweet Mama!

     I got home quite right, and found the house here cold. There was no
     sun, and our rooms being to the north, and the wood so near, makes
     them feel chilly.

     I am glad dear Leopold bore the journey well. The air will do him
     good in his weakened state.

     The day at Laeken was quiet and pleasant. Marie is still thinner,
     and more aged, I think. The loss of that nice boy weighs on them
     still, and they spoke much about it, and she with many tears.

     Every one has his burden to bear, and must bear it alone with trust
     and resignation--that is the thing to struggle and to pray for.

                                     KRANICHSTEIN, September 1st.

     * * * I shall get a comforter done for good Mrs. Brown, kind old
     woman. I am glad she does not forget me, and shall be pleased to do
     any little thing that can give her pleasure. Will you tell her the
     plaid she made me still goes everywhere with me? How is Mrs. Grant?

     Louis is gone, and I have a good deal to do every day. We breakfast
     at half-past eight, then I have baby, and take the children out
     till eleven. I then have business, baby, and, at one, the elder
     girls alternately for French reading. After luncheon I write my
     letters, etc., and before five go out. In the evenings I read, and
     have supper at eight with the two ladies.

     Ella is another child since she has been at the seaside--fine
     color, no longer pale and languid, learns well, and is quite
     different. Ernie the same, bright and fresh; while before they had
     been looking pulled and weak, outgrowing their strength.

     “Sunny” is the picture of robust health, and sweet little “sister
     Maly” sits up quite alone, and is very neat and rosy, with such
     quick eyes, and two deep dimples in her cheeks--a great pet, and so
     like my poor Frittie.

     The return here has been very painful, and days of great depression
     still come, when I am tormented with the dreadful remembrance of
     the day I lost him. Too cruel and agonizing are those thoughts. I
     dwell on _his_ rest and peace, and that our sufferings he cannot
     know. What might not life have brought him? Better so! but hard to
     say, “God’s will be done.”

                                     KRANICHSTEIN, September 15th.

     * * * ----’s conversion has created no smaller sensation with us
     than elsewhere, and the _Times_ criticised his step so sharply. It
     remains a retrograde movement for any Protestant, how much more so
     for a man of his stamp! Quite incomprehensible to me.

     * * * This Catholic movement is _so un-English_. I think, among
     those Ritualists there are _bonâ fide_ Catholics who help to
     convert. * * *

     I will send you sweet little Maly’s photograph next time. * * *
     Baby has a very fair skin, light-brown hair and deep-blue eyes with
     marked eyebrows, not much color in her cheeks, but pink and
     healthy-looking altogether.

                                     KRANICHSTEIN, September 24th.

     * * * People with strong feelings and of nervous temperament, for
     which one is no more responsible than for the color of one’s eyes,
     have things to fight against and to put up with, unknown to those
     of quiet, equable dispositions, who are free from violent emotions,
     and have consequently no feeling of nerves--still less, of
     irritable nerves. If I did not control mine as much as I could,
     they would be dreadful. * * * One can overcome a great deal--but
     _alter_ one’s self one cannot. * * *

                                     October 31st.

     * * * I always think, that in the end children educate the parents.
     For their sakes there is so much one must do: one must forget one’s
     self, if every thing is as it ought to be. It is doubly so, if one
     has the misfortune to lose a precious child. Rückert’s lovely lines
     are so true (after the loss of two of his children):

    Nun hat euch Gott verlieh’n, was wir auch wollten thun,
    Wir wollten euch erzieh’n, und ihr erzieht uns nun.
    O Kinder, ihr erziehet mit Schmerz die Eltern jetzt;
    Ihr zieht an uns, und ziehet uns auf zu euch zuletzt.[123]

     Yesterday Ernie was telling Orchard that I was going to plant some
     Spanish chestnuts, and she said: “Oh, I shall be dead and gone
     before they are big; what a pity we had none sooner!” and Ernie
     burst out crying and said: “No, you must not die alone--I don’t
     like people to die alone; we must die all together!” He has said
     the same to me before, poor darling. After Lenchen’s [Princess
     Christian’s] boys were gone, and he had seen Eddy and Georgy [sons
     of the Prince of Wales], his own loss came fresh upon him, and he
     cried for his little brother! It is the remaining behind the loss,
     the missing of the dear ones, that is the cruel thing to bear. Only
     time can teach one that, and resignation to a Higher Will. * * *

                                     DARMSTADT, November 9th.

     * * * The new Church laws (similar to the Prussian) go through our
     Upper Chamber to-morrow, and will meet with great opposition. Louis
     is, of course, for accepting them, as a check must be put on the
     Catholics; for the Catholic clergy are paid by the State as well as
     the Protestant, so that the State has an equal right over both; but
     this right the Catholics have for years managed to evade. The
     Bishop of Mayence is doing his utmost to create every possible
     obstacle, but it is to be hoped that one will not here have to have
     recourse to the method of fines and imprisonment as in Prussia * *
     *

                                     November 16th.

     Many thanks for your dear letter, and for the advice, which, as a
     mark of your interest in our children, is very precious, besides
     being so good! What you mention I have never lost sight of, and
     there is, as you say, nothing more injurious for children than that
     they should be made a fuss about. I want to make them unselfish,
     unspoiled, and contented; as yet this is the case. That they take a
     greater place in my life, than is often the case in _our_ families,
     comes from my not being able to have enough persons of a
     responsible sort to take charge of them always; certain things
     remain undone from that reason, if I do not do them, and _they_
     would be the losers. I certainly do not belong by nature to those
     women who are above all _wife_; but circumstances have forced me to
     be the mother in the real sense, as in a private family, and I had
     to school myself to it, I assure you, for many small self-denials
     have been necessary. Baby-worship, or having the children
     indiscriminately about one, is not at all the right thing, and a
     perpetual talk about one’s children makes some women intolerable. I
     hope I steer clear of these faults--at least I try to do so, for I
     can only agree in _every_ word you say, as does Louis, to whom I
     read it; and he added when I was reading your remarks: “Das thust
     Du aber nicht. Die Kinder und andere Menschen wissen gar nicht, was
     Du für sie thust” [“But you don’t do so. Neither the children nor
     anybody else knows what you do for them”]. He has often complained
     that I would not have the children enough in my room, but, being of
     your opinion, where it was not necessary, I thought it better not.
     * * *

                                     December 12th.

     I enclose a few lines to Mr. Martin.[124] I have only had time to
     look at the preface, and am very glad to hear that you are
     satisfied.

     With what interest shall I read it! You will receive these lines on
     the 14th. Last year I had the comfort of being near you. It did me
     real good then, and I thank you again for those short and quiet
     days, where the intercourse with you was so soothing to my aching
     heart. There is no _Umgang_ [intercourse] I know, that gives me
     more happiness than when I can be with you--above all, in quiet.
     The return to the so-called world I have barely made. Life is
     serious--a journey to another end. The flowers God sends to
     brighten our path I take with gratitude and enjoy; but much that
     was dearest, most precious, which this day _commemorates_, is in
     the grave; part of my heart is there too, though their spirits,
     adored Papa’s, live on with me, the holiest and brightest part of
     life, a star to lead us, were we but equal to following it! The
     older I grow, the more perfect, the more touching and good, dear
     Papa’s image stands before me. Such an _entire_ life for duty, so
     joyously and unpretendingly borne out, remains for all times
     something inexpressibly fine and grand! With it how tender,
     lovable, gay, he was! I can never talk of him to others who have
     not known him, without tears in my eyes--as I have them now. He
     _was_ and _is_ my ideal. I never knew a man fit to place beside
     him, or so made to be devotedly loved and admired. * * *

                                     December 14th.

     Before this day is over, I must write a few words--my thoughts are
     so much with you and with the past, the bright, happy past of my
     childhood, where beloved Papa was the centre of this rich and happy
     existence. I have spent nearly the whole day with the precious
     volume which speaks so much of you and of him.

     _What_ a man in every sense of the word; what a Prince he was--so
     entirely what the dear old Baron [Stockmar] urged him always to
     be! Life with him must have seemed to you so secure and
     well-guarded. How you must have loved him! It makes one’s heart
     ache again and again, in reading and thinking of all dear Papa was
     to you, that you should have had to part from him in the heat of
     the day, when he was so necessary. _Ihm ist wohl_ [With him it is
     well]. A life like his was a whole long lifetime, though only
     twenty-two years, and he well deserved his rest!

     The hour is nearing when we last held and pressed his hand in life,
     now thirteen years ago. How well I recollect that last sunrise, and
     then the dreadful night with you that followed on that too awful
     day! But it is not well to dwell on these things, when we have the
     bright, sunny past to look back to. Tennyson’s beautiful
     Dedication[125] expresses all one feels and would wish to say. I
     can only add, with a heavy-drawn sigh, “Oh, to be worthier of
     _such_ a Father!” How far beneath him, if not always in aims, at
     least in their fulfilment, have I always remained!

                                     December 17th.

     My best thanks for the letter of the 15th. Poor Colonel Grey’s[126]
     death is shocking, and Bertie and Alix are sure to have felt it
     deeply. Dear Bertie’s true and constant heart suffers on such
     occasions, for he can be constant in friendship, and all who serve
     him serve him with warm attachment. I hope he won’t give way to the
     idea of Sandringham being unlucky, though so much that has been
     trying and sad has happened to them there! Superstition is surely a
     thing to fight against; above all, with the feeling that all is in
     God’s hands, not in ours!

     How interesting the book is [“Life of the Prince Consort”]! I have
     finished it, and am _befriedigt_ [satisfied]. It was a difficult
     undertaking, but Mr. Martin seems to have done it very well.

     I am sure dear Osborne is charming as ever, but I can’t think of
     that large house so empty; no children any more; it must seem so
     forsaken in our old wing. I have such a _Heimweh_ [yearning] to see
     Osborne again after more than six years. * * *


1875.

Each year the Princess Alice endeavored by some public effort or
other--either a dramatic or musical performance--to collect funds for
her many charitable institutions which, as they extended their field of
usefulness, were more and more in need of pecuniary help. Artists as
well as amateurs gladly offered their services on all such occasions.

In the beginning of this year the Prince and Princess and their children
went to England for two months, spending part of the time with the
Queen, and part with the Prince and Princess of Wales. The two eldest
daughters, Victoria and Elizabeth, accompanied their grandmother to
Balmoral in May.

The whole family returned to Darmstadt at the end of June. In July the
Prince and Princess Louis were present at the “coming of age” of the
Hereditary Grand Duke of Baden. The rest of the summer was spent at
Kranichstein.

In 1874 the Hessian Government had amended their educational laws for
the schools, and had established, as a fundamental principle, that
needle-work in all its branches should be taught in all girls’ schools,
and that suitable teachers for this purpose should be engaged. To meet
this necessity, a course of lectures and instruction in the art of
needle-work was instituted by the “Alice Society,” open to women and
girls of all classes. This has proved in its results of real blessing
and benefit to the whole country.

[The next two letters arose out of the expression of an opinion on the
part of some of the Prince Consort’s friends, that the publication of
his Life under the sanction of the Queen, with unreserved fulness of
details, had been premature.]

                                     DARMSTADT, January 3d, 1875.

     * * * It is touching and fine in you to allow the world to have so
     much insight into your private life, and allow others to have what
     has been only _your_ property and our inheritance.

     People can only be the better for reading about dear Papa, such as
     he was, and such as so feelingly and delicately Mr. Theodore Martin
     places him before them. To me the volume is inexpressibly precious,
     and opens a field for thought in various senses.

     For the frivolous higher classes how valuable this book will be, if
     read with real attention, as a record of a life spent in the
     highest aims, with the noblest conception of duty as a leading
     star.

To this letter Her Majesty replied:

                                     OSBORNE, January 12, 1875.

     DEAREST ALICE:--* * * Now as regards the book. If you will reflect
     a few minutes, you will see how I owed it to beloved Papa to let
     his noble character be known and understood, as it now is, and that
     to wait longer, when those who knew him best--his own wife, and a
     few (very few there are) remaining friends--were all gone, or too
     old, and too far removed from that time, to be able to present a
     really true picture of his most ideal and remarkable character,
     would have been really wrong.

     He must be known, for his own sake, for the good of England and of
     his family, and of the world at large. Countless people write to
     say, what good it does and will do. And it is already thirteen
     years since he left us!

     Then you must also remember, that endless false and untrue things
     have been written and said about us, public and private, and that
     in these days people will write and will know: therefore the only
     way to counteract this is to let the real, full truth be known, and
     as much be told as can be told with prudence and discretion, and
     then, no harm, but good, will be done. Nothing will help me more,
     than that my people should see what I have lost! Numbers of people
     we knew have had their Lives and Memoirs published, and some
     beautiful ones: Bunsen’s by his wife; Lord Elgin’s, by his (very
     touching and interesting); Lord Palmerston’s; etc., etc.

     “The Early Years” volume was begun for private circulation only,
     and then General Grey and many of Papa’s friends and advisers
     begged me to have it published. This was done. The work was most
     popular and greatly liked. General Grey could not go on with it,
     and asked me to ask Sir A. Helps to continue it, and he said that
     he could not, but recommended Mr. Theodore Martin as one of the
     most eminent writers of the day, and hoped I could prevail on him
     to undertake this great national work. I did succeed, and he has
     taken seven years to prepare the whole, supplied by me with every
     letter and extract; and a deal of time it took, but I felt it would
     be a national sacred work. You must, I think, see I am right now;
     Papa and I too would have suffered otherwise. I think even the
     German side of his character will be understood.

     One of the things that pleases people most is the beautiful way in
     which he took all good Stockmar’s often very severe observations.
     And they also admire so much good old Stockmar’s honesty,
     fearlessness, and are pleased to be shown what a dear warm-hearted
     old man he was. Your devoted Mama,

                                     V. R.



                                     January 18th.

     * * * The service in Dr. Weber’s study before the open coffin,
     filled with flowers, was very affecting. He was truly beloved and
     respected. His sufferings must have been intense, and for many
     years borne heroically--not a word said; not a complaint; always
     ready to bear the sorrows of others with them, yet bearing his own
     unassisted! Wonderful self-command and unselfishness! He knew his
     illness was fatal; even to the latter weeks considered his days as
     but few, and put all in order, without letting his family and
     friends know what he himself only too well foresaw.

     It was a stormy afternoon with pouring rain when he was buried.
     Louis, his poor boy, and many were out. * * *

     We have April weather. I have a very heavy cold, and feel so weak
     and done up. It is too warm and unhealthy; every place smells, our
     house especially.

                                     January 27th.

     * * * My little May has such a cold, which lessens her usual
     smiles. She is a fine, strong child, more like what Victoria was,
     but marked eyebrows, with the fair hair and such speaking eyes. She
     and Aliky are a pretty contrast!

                                     February 14th.

     You say of the drains just what I have said from year to year; and
     this summer--if we can get away in the spring, when it is most
     unwholesome--what can be done is to be done, and I hope with better
     success than what has hitherto been attempted.

     My little May cannot get rid of her cough, though she looks pink
     and smiling. I shall be so glad to show her to you--she is so
     pretty and dear.

     My father-in-law has for the first time got the gout in his feet,
     and is so depressed. Uncle Louis suffers dreadfully from oppression
     at night, so that he can’t remain in bed. He is a good deal aged,
     and stoops dreadfully. * * *

                                     March 14th.

     Louis gave me a dreadful fright last week by suddenly breaking
     through the ice, and at a very deep place. He laid his arms over
     the thicker ice, and managed to keep above water till some one was
     near enough to help him out. He said the water drew immensely, and
     he feared getting under the ice. The gentleman, who is very tall,
     lay down and stretched his arms out to Louis, another man holding
     the former: and so he got out without ill effects. As it was at
     Kranichstein, he undressed and rubbed himself before the stove in
     the Verwalter’s [land-steward’s] room; and he came home in the
     Verwalter’s clothes, which looked very funny. * * *

                                     MARLBOROUGH HOUSE, May 15th.

     I did not half thank you yesterday for our pleasant visit. I could
     not trust myself to speak. I felt leaving you again so much. It has
     been a great happiness to me, so _wohlthuend_ [doing me so much
     good] to have been with you, and I can never express what I feel,
     as I would, nor how deep and tender my love and gratitude to you
     are! The older I grow, the more precious the _Verhältniss_
     [relation] to a mother becomes to me, and how doubly so to you!

     Louis feels as I do; his love to you has always been as to his own
     mother; and my tears begin to run when I recall your dear face and
     voice, which to see and hear again has seemed so natural, so--as it
     ought to be! that it is quite difficult to accustom myself to the
     thought that only in memory can I enjoy them now.

     How I do love you, sweet Mama! There is no sacrifice I would not
     make for you! and as our meetings are of late years so fleeting and
     far between, when they are over I feel the separation very much. *
     * *

                                     MARLBOROUGH HOUSE, June 15th.

     * * * God bless you, my precious Mother, watch over and guard you;
     and let your blessing and motherly interest accompany us and our
     children! Louis’ tenderest love; many, many kisses from all
     children, and William’s respectful duty!

                                     KRANICHSTEIN, June 20th.

     * * * All Victoria and Ella tell me of their stay at Balmoral--the
     many things you gave them and their people--touches me so much: let
     me thank you so many times again. I feel I did not half say enough,
     but you know _how much_ I feel it!

     Our journey did very well; no one was ill, after that dreadful
     storm--a piece of luck. You are now again at Windsor. How much I
     think of you and of dear Beatrice!

                                     July 10th.

     * * * We got home from Carlsruhe at eleven o’clock last night. We
     went there on Thursday; arrived at two; were received there by
     Fritz and Louise and the Emperor; found dear Marie Leiningen and
     Hermann and Leopoldine there. Fritz W. arrived half an hour
     afterwards from Vienna, having met with a railway accident in the
     night; but he was, thank God, unhurt--barely shaken.

     It was frightfully hot! Family dinner at five; then a drive about
     the town, which was decked with flags. At nine in the evening a
     large soirée and continual circle! and supper--_such_ a heat! At
     eight next morning in gala, church service. Fritz (son) for the
     first time in uniform with the Black Eagle; then at ten a very fine
     parade, in which Fritz marched past as second lieutenant with his
     regiment. The troops were so fine; the Emperor led his own regiment
     past, and it was a very moving sight, with a great deal of
     cheering. At two there was a large banquet, at which Fritz made a
     beautiful speech, and the Emperor a very good answer.

     All Fritz’s (son) former school-fellows, and the different schools
     and masters, came by in procession, and the day was very fatiguing.
     He is such a good boy. His former tutor, who finished his task of
     education yesterday, said to me: “Er ist ein _guter_ Mensch und die
     Wahrheit selber” [He is a good man, and truth itself]. He was very
     self-possessed, modest, and civil, talking to every one. He is full
     of promise, and has been carefully and lovingly brought up by his
     parents, who are such excellent people. I have the greatest regard
     for them.

     I told the Emperor the fright we had about the war. He was much
     distressed, that any one could believe him capable of such a thing;
     but our Fritz and Fritz of Baden agree that, with Bismarck, in
     spite of the nation not wishing it, he might bring about a war at
     any moment. Our Fritz spoke _so_ justly and reasonably--quite
     anti-war--and I told him all the opinions I had gathered and heard
     in London; and he was much grieved and worried, I could see; but it
     must and can be prevented, if _all_ are against it, I am sure. This
     enormous and splendid army, ready at any moment, is a dangerous
     possession for any country. * * *

                                     KRANICHSTEIN, October 7th.

     * * * To-day my eyes will not remain dry; the recollection of five
     years ago, which brought us joy and promise of more in our sweet
     second boy, is painful in the extreme. The sudden ending of that
     young life; the gap this has left; the recollections that are now
     but to be enjoyed in silent memory, will leave a heart-ache and a
     sore place, beside where there is much happiness and cause for
     gratitude. The six children and we, with endless flowers and tears,
     decked his little grave this morning, and some sad lines of Byron’s
     struck me as having much truth in the pain of such moments--

      But when I stood beneath the fresh green tree,
      Which living waves where thou didst cease to live,
      And saw around me the wide field revive
      With fruits and fertile promise, and the Spring
      Come forth her work of gladness to contrive,
      With all her reckless birds upon the wing,
    I turn’d from all she brought, to those she could not bring.[127]

     The weather is fine; it was much like this five years ago, but
     round Metz it rained. Louis was turning into quarters with his
     troops from a sortie, and he called the news out to the regiments
     as he rode along, and they gave a cheer for their little Prince!

     It was a dreadful time of trial and separation for both of us, and
     Frittie was such a comfort and consolation to me in all my
     loneliness.

     How sorry I am for poor Alix at this long separation![128] For her
     sake I grieve at the impossibility of her accompanying him.

     We hope to get back to our house by the 19th, though there will be
     an end of nice walks for the next eight months--the town grows so,
     and is all railroad and coal heaps where we had our walks formerly,
     and the town pavement in the streets is most unpleasant walking. *
     * *

                                     SCHLOSS KRANICHSTEIN, October 16th.

     For your dear letter and for the inclosures I am so grateful, but
     distressed beyond measure at dear Fannie’s [Lady Frances Baillie].
     I had a long letter from her some weeks back, when she was more
     hopeful about dear Augusta [Stanley]. This is too much sorrow for
     them all! Fannie I loved as a sister, and dear Augusta’s devotion
     and self-sacrifice to you, and even to us in those dreadful years,
     was something rare and beautiful. Her whole soul and heart were in
     the duty, which to her was a sacred one. The good, excellent Dean!
     My sympathy is so great with these three kind and good people so
     sorely tried. I grieve for you too! God help them!

                                     October 26th.

     How sorry I am for dear good old Mrs. Brown and for her sons.[129]
     Please say something sympathizing from me; her blindness is such a
     trial, poor soul, at that age. How gloomily life must close for
     her!


1876.

Although this new year brought no actual change to the usual routine of
the daily life in the Princess’ home, and although the Princess was able
to fulfil her social duties, traces of serious illness now began to show
themselves by repeated attacks of exhaustion and weakness. These attacks
were partially relieved by a short stay in the Black Forest in June, and
by a visit to England and Scotland, which she made without her husband.
The Prince had been detained in Germany by the great manœuvres, on the
conclusion of which he fetched her from England, in the autumn. On their
way back to Darmstadt they stopped at Brussels. They also visited
Coblenz, to pay their respects to the Empress of Germany, who had been
to see their children at Darmstadt in October.

                                     January 18th, 1876.

     No words can express how deep my sympathy and grief is for what our
     dear Augusta and the Dean have to go through. With her warm, large
     heart, which ever lived and suffered for others, how great must her
     pain be in having to leave him! I can positively think of nothing
     else lately, as you know my love for Augusta, the General [her
     brother, General Bruce], and Fanny has always been great; and when
     I think back of them in former times, and in the year 1861, my
     heart aches and my tears flow--feeling what you and we shall lose
     in dear Augusta. My pity for the dear, good, kind Dean is so deep.
     I sent him a few words again to-day, in the hope he may still say a
     few words of love and gratitude to dear Augusta from me.

                                     DARMSTADT, January 22d.

     * * * Yesterday morning Ernie came in to me and said, “Mama, I had
     a beautiful dream; shall I tell you? I dreamt that I was dead and
     was gone up to Heaven, and there I asked God to let me have Frittie
     again; and he came to me and took my hand. You were in bed, and saw
     a great light, and were so frightened, and I said, ‘It is Ernie and
     Frittie.’ You were so astonished! The next night Frittie and I went
     with a great light to sisters.” Is it not touching? He says such
     beautiful things, and has such deep poetic thought, yet with it all
     so full of fun and romping.

                                     February 9th.

     * * * I am so sorry and shocked about excellent Mr. Harrison.[130]
     _What_ a loss! He was so obliging and kind always in the many
     commissions for us children. Poor Kräuslach,[131] too--so sad! It
     is too grievous; how one well-known face--with its many
     associations--after another, is called away; and on looking back,
     how short a space of time they seemed to have filled!

                                     WOLFACH, June 7th.

     * * * The heat here is excessive; the wild flowers covering every
     field are more beautiful than I have ever seen them anywhere--such
     quantities of large forget-me-nots. The streams are very much like
     Scotch ones; the valleys are partly very narrow, and the hills
     wooded to the very top--rather like the Thüringer Wald, but more
     different greens: such lovely coloring. I admire the country so
     much.

                                     DARMSTADT, June 23d.

     * * * How sorry I am for good, kind old Mrs. Brown--to be blind
     with old age seems so hard, so cruel; but I am sure with your so
     loving heart you have brightened her latter years in many kind
     ways. It is such a pleasure to do any thing for the aged; one has
     such a feeling of respect for those who have the experience of a
     long life, and are nearing the goal.

     * * * Yesterday, again, the Emperor Alexander spoke to me, really
     rejoicing that the political complications were clearing
     peacefully: “Dites à Maman encore une fois comme cela me réjouit,
     et de savoir comme c’est elle qui tient à la paix. Nous ne pouvons,
     nous ne voulons pas nous brouiller avec l’Angleterre. Il faudrait
     être fou de penser à Constantinople ou aux Indes!” He had tears in
     his eyes, and seemed so moved, as if a dreadful weight was being
     lifted off; so happy for the sake of Marie, and Affie, too, that
     matters were mending. He showed me after dinner the buttons you
     gave him; spoke also so affectionately of Bertie. * * * I thought
     of you--thirty-nine years of rule not to be envied, save for the
     service one can render one’s country and the world in general in
     such an arduous position.

     Private individuals are, of course, far the best off--our
     privileges being more duties than advantages--and their absence
     would be no privation compared to the enormous advantage of being
     one’s own master, and of being on equality with most people, and
     able to know men and the world as they are, and not merely as they
     please to show themselves to please us. * * *

                                     DARMSTADT, July 5th.

     * * * We dined with Uncle Louis, the Emperor, etc., and Grand Duke
     of Weimar, at Seeheim yesterday. The Emperor said he had written to
     you, but Prince Gortschakoff seemed only half-happy, and said to
     me: “Franchement puis-je vous le dire, je désirerais voir
     l’Angleterre grande, forte, décidée dans la politique, comme
     l’était Canning et les grands hommes d’état que j’ai connus en
     Angleterre il y a quarante ans. La Russie est grande et forte; que
     l’Angleterre le soit aussi; nous n’avons pas besoin de faire
     attention à tous les petits.” He said we made our foreign policy
     and despatches for the Blue Book, and not an open decided policy
     before the House of Commons and the world. It may interest you to
     hear this opinion, as it shows the temper of his policy.

                                     September 5th.

     It is long since I have felt such pain as the death (to me really
     sudden and unexpected, in spite of the danger inherent in her case)
     of my good, devoted, kind Emily[132] has caused me. My tears won’t
     cease. Louis, the children, the whole household, all mourn and
     grieve with me. She was singularly beloved, and richly deserved to
     be so! Her devotion and affection to me really knew no bounds. I
     cannot think what it will be to miss her. I have _never_ been
     served as she served me, and probably never shall be so again. It
     is a wrench that only those can estimate who knew her well--like
     poor Mary Hardinge. She came first in Emily’s heart, and the loss
     for her is quite, QUITE irreparable! Had I but seen dear Emily
     again! This sudden, cruel sort of death shocks me so.

     How I should have nursed and comforted her had I been near her! She
     always wished this, and told me she had such a fear of death. There
     never breathed a more unselfish, generous, good character.

                                     September 6th.

     * * * I fear you will find me so dull, tired, and useless. I can do
     next to nothing of late, and must rest so much. Poor Emily! My
     thoughts never leave her. I cannot yet get accustomed to the
     thought of her loss.

     P. S.--Just received your dear note. The accounts of my dear
     Emily’s sad end have just reached me, and I am terribly upset. You
     can hardly estimate the gap, the blank she will leave--my only
     lady, and in many ways _homme d’affaires_. We had been so much
     together this last waiting; every thing reminds me of her, and of
     the touching love she bore me. Surely some years more she would
     have lived.

     Darling Mama, I don’t think you quite know how far from well I am,
     and how absurdly wanting in strength. I only mention it, that you
     should know that until the good air has set me up I am good for
     next to nothing; and I fear I sha’n’t be able to come to dinner the
     first evenings. I hope you won’t mind. I have never in my life been
     like this before. I live on my sofa, and in the air, and see no
     one, and yet go on losing strength! Of course this unexpected shock
     has done me harm too, and has entailed more sad things. * * *

                                         DOUGLAS’ HOTEL,
                                         EDINBURGH,
                                         Sunday, September 11th.

     * * * I hear Ernie is still so dull and melancholy at missing me;
     he always feels it most, with that tender loving heart of his. God
     preserve and guard this to me so inexpressibly precious child! I
     fancy that seldom a mother and child so understood each other, and
     loved each other, as we two do. It requires no words; he reads in
     my eyes, as I do in his, what is in his little heart.

     It is so wonderfully still here, not a soul in the streets. The
     people of the house have sent up several times to enquire when and
     to what church I was going; so I shall go, as it seems to shock
     them, one’s staying away. I shall see the Monument this afternoon,
     and go and see Holyrood again. The whole journey here brought back
     with the well-remembered scenery the recollection of my childhood,
     all the happy journeys with dear Papa and you. How the treasured
     remembrance, with the deep love, lives on, when all else belongs to
     the past!

     I seem, in returning here, so near you and him in former happy
     years, when my home was in this beloved country. No home in the
     world can quite become what the home of one’s parents and childhood
     was. There is a sacredness about it, a feeling of gratitude and
     love for the great mercies one had there. You, who never left
     country, _Geschwister_ [kindred], or home, can scarcely enter into
     this feeling.

     In the hopes of meeting you soon, kissing your dear hands, with
     thanks for all goodness, and many excuses for having caused so much
     trouble. * * *

                                     BUCKINGHAM PALACE, October 19th.

     I was so sad at parting with you yesterday. I could not half thank
     you for all your love and kindness during those weeks. But you
     know how deeply I feel it; how truly grateful I am to you; how
     happy and contented I am to be allowed to be near you as in old
     days. Darling Mama, once more, thousand thanks for all and for
     every thing!

     The journey went quite well, and I am not particularly tired.

                                     BUCKINGHAM PALACE, November 19th.

     Thousand thanks for your dear letter received this morning! I feel
     leaving dear England, as always, though the pleasure of being near
     the dear children again is very great.

     Let me thank you once more from my heart, darling Mama, for all
     your great kindness, and for having enabled me to do what was
     thought necessary and best. I return so much stronger and better
     than I came, in every way--refreshed by the pleasant stay in dear
     Balmoral with you, and then much better for the time here. I feel
     morally refreshed, too, with the entire change, the many interests
     to be met with here, which is always so beneficial, and will help
     me in every way when I get back to Darmstadt. All this I have to
     thank you for, and do so most warmly.

     Louis, who, as you know, is full of love and affection for you, is
     very grateful for your kind words, and has likewise derived profit
     and enjoyment from his stay in England.

     * * * My color and strength have so much returned, that I do not
     doubt being well again this winter.

     I went with Dean Stanley to see Mr. Carlyle, who was most
     interesting, and talked for nearly an hour. Had I had time, I would
     have written down the conversation. The Dean said he would try and
     do so.

     With Louise I visited Mr. Motley also, who in his way is equally
     interesting, and has a great charm. * * *

                                     DARMSTADT, November 26th.

     Many thanks for your last letter from Balmoral, received yesterday
     morning! I _know_ you feel leaving the dear place, but without
     going away there is no _Wiedersehen_ [meeting again]. The happiness
     of our meeting with the dear children was very great on all
     sides--they eat me up!

     They had made wreaths over the doors, and had no end of things to
     tell me. We arrived at three, and there was not a moment’s rest
     till they were all in bed, and I had heard the different prayers
     and hymns of the six, with all the little different confidences
     they had to make. My heart was full of joy and gratitude at being
     with them once more, and I prayed God to make me fit to be their
     real friend and stay as long as they require me, and to have the
     insight into their different characters to guide them aright, and
     to understand their different wants and feelings. This is so
     difficult always.

     Victoria is immensely grown, and her figure is forming. She is
     changing so much--beginning to leave the child and grow into the
     girl. I hear she has been good and desirous of doing what is right;
     and she has more to contend with than Ella, therefore double merit
     in any thing she overcomes, and any self-sacrifice she makes.

     Ernie is very well, and his birthday was a great delight. Sweet
     little May is enchanting,--“my _weet_ heart,” as she calls me.
     Aliky is very handsome and dear.

                                     DARMSTADT, December 12th.

     I see this letter will just arrive on the 14th--day never to be
     forgotten! How deeply it is graven in my heart--with letters of
     blood; for the pain of losing _him_, and of witnessing your grief,
     was as sharp as any thing any child can go through for its beloved
     parents. Yet God’s mercy is to be found through all, and one learns
     to say “Thy will be done,” hard though it is. * * *


1877.

The health of Prince Charles of Hesse (father of Prince Louis) had for
some time past given cause for great anxiety. He had always suffered
from violent headaches and a delicate throat. On the evening of the 11th
of March he was seized with erysipelas, and died peacefully on the 20th.
The Princess shared the grief of her mother-in-law and family most
truly; for Prince Charles, though outwardly shy and retiring, was a man
of great cultivation and refinement, and had made himself beloved by all
who knew him. He was buried in the Mausoleum at the Rosenhöhe on the
24th of March. The Grand Duke, who was deeply affected by his brother’s
death, and all the family were present.

A month had scarcely passed since Prince Charles’ death, when the Grand
Duke himself was attacked by serious illness at Seeheim, one of his
summer residences, near Darmstadt, and died on the 13th of June at the
age of seventy-one.

Prince Louis was the next heir, and ascended the throne as Grand Duke
Louis IV.

The total change of circumstances, the heavy duties and responsibilities
of her new position, came most unexpectedly upon the Princess, and she
scarcely felt herself equal to them. With her well-known
conscientiousness and high feeling of duty it was not surprising that
they weighed heavily upon her, more especially as her health had of late
become very delicate. Still, the hope of being able to carry out many a
plan for the welfare of her adopted country encouraged her greatly.

After the official receptions held by the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess
were over, they left Darmstadt for the quiet little watering-place of
Houlgate, in Normandy. The Grand Duke was only able to accompany the
Grand Duchess as far as Metz, but he followed her later on with the
children. The rest and quiet were good for them all; and, apparently
much improved in health, the Grand Duchess returned for the first time
as “mother of the country” [_Landesmutter_] to Darmstadt. Her reception
was of the warmest and most enthusiastic nature, which she took as a
good omen for the future.

The Emperor of Germany and the Crown Prince visited Darmstadt at the end
of September, for the purpose of assisting at the cavalry manœuvres, to
the great satisfaction of the country.

The change in Princess Alice’s position in no wise affected her
relations to her many charitable institutions, though she had, of
course, many new responsibilities thrown upon her. Her constant
endeavor was to be just and free from prejudice, to recognize what was
good, no matter where, and to promote and further it to the best of her
power.

The Grand Duke and Grand Duchess saw much of the Crown Prince and Crown
Princess of Germany during the latter part of the year, as they were
living at Wiesbaden.

Fräulein Louise Büchner, who had been for ten years so intimately
connected with the Grand Duchess, not only as working with her for the
good of others, but also by ties of the truest friendship, died on the
28th of November. Her death caused a gap which was sorely felt. A few
days before her death, when she was already confined to her bed, she
received a letter from the Grand Duchess herself, on the occasion of the
tenth anniversary of the opening of the “Alice Bazaar,” thanking her for
all she had done.

The Grand Duchess had caused many of the pamphlets written by Miss
Octavia Hill to be translated, in the hopes of encouraging in Darmstadt
the authorities, and those at the head of private undertakings, to
further exertions for improving the condition of the poor.

Whilst in England she had become acquainted with Miss Octavia Hill, “the
warm-hearted friend of the poor,” and had visited with her many of the
poorer parts of London. She felt the sincerest admiration and respect
for Miss Hill, and entirely shared her view, “that we must become the
friends of the poor to be their benefactors.” The Grand Duchess did not
wish to copy exactly in Germany what Miss Hill had done in London: but
she hoped that the knowledge of what had been done in other places would
be an incentive to work in the same direction.

At the beginning of this year the Grand Duchess had visited in strictest
incognito the worst houses (in sanitary respects) in Mayence, and
determined to make a plan for the erection of new dwellings for the
working classes there.

                                     DARMSTADT, January 1st.

     * * * How beautifully Max Müller’s letter[133] is written and
     expressed, and how touchingly and truly he puts the point of view
     on which we all should learn to stand. To become again pure as
     children, with a child’s faith and trust--there where our human
     intellect will _ever_ stand still!

     I have been reading some of Robertson’s sermons again, and I think
     his view of Christianity one of the truest, warmest, and most
     beautiful I know. * * *

                                     DARMSTADT, March 23d.

     Thank you so much for your dear and sympathizing letter. These have
     been most painful--most distressing days--so harrowing.

     The recollections of 1861, of dear Frittie’s death, when my dear
     father-in-law was so tender and kind, were painfully vivid. My
     mother-in-law’s resignation and touching goodness, doing all that
     she could during the illness and since for all arrangements, is
     very beautiful!

     The poor sons gave way to bursts of tears during those agonizing
     hours; yet they held their father alternately with me, and were
     quiet and helpful for their mother and for him, just as their
     simple, quiet natures teach them. I begged Bäuerlein to write to
     you meanwhile. I am feeling so exhausted, and there is so much to
     do, and we are always going from one house to the other.

     It was heart-rending from Monday morn till Tuesday eve to see the
     painful alteration in the dear well-known features augmenting from
     hour to hour, though I believe he did not suffer latterly. He was
     not conscious, unless spoken to, or called very directly.

     My mother-in-law never left his bedside day or night, and we were
     only a few hours absent on Monday night. Before we went home she
     called our names distinctly to him as we kissed him, and he seemed
     to notice it; then she knelt down, and distinctly, but choked with
     tears, prayed the Lord’s Prayer for him, calling him gently.

     The next day at six we were there again, and till half past six in
     the evening never left the bedside. She repeated occasionally, as
     long as she thought he might hear, a short verse--_so_ touching!
     and once said: “Bist Du traurig? es ist ja nicht auf lange, dann
     sind wir wieder zusammen!” [“Art thou sad? It is not for long, and
     then we shall be together again”] kissing and stroking his hands.
     It was very distressing.

     When all was over we four were close to her, and she threw herself
     on him, and then clasped her sons to her heart with words of such
     grief as you so well understand!

     Early the next morning we went with her to his room. He lay on his
     bed, very peaceful, in his uniform. Louis had clasped the hands
     together when he died, and I arranged flowers on the bed and in the
     room round him.

     There is a terrible deal to do and to arrange, and many people
     come, and we are much with my poor mother-in-law. Yesterday we went
     for the last time to see the remains of what had been so precious.
     She read a “Lied” [a hymn], and then kissed him so long, and took
     with us the last look. Yesterday evening the coffin was closed in
     presence of the sons.

     We are going to the Rosenhöhe [the Mausoleum] now, before going to
     Louis’ mother, to put things straight there, and see if one can get
     by dear Frittie--it is _so_ small.

     The three brothers are dreadfully upset, but able to arrange and
     see after what is necessary. Aunt Marie [the Empress of Russia]
     wanted to come, and is in terrible distress; she loved that brother
     beyond any thing. In her last letter to my mother-in-law she says:
     “Ich habe solche Sehnsucht nach dem alten Bruder” [“I have such a
     yearning after my old brother”].

     His was a singularly delicate-minded, pure, true, unselfish nature,
     so full of consideration for others, so kind. My tears flow
     incessantly, for I loved him very dearly.

     My dear mother-in-law has such a broken, ruined existence now--all
     turned round him! She knows where to find strength and comfort--it
     will not fail her. * * *

                                     DARMSTADT, June 7th.

     * * * We are going through a dreadful ordeal. The whole of Monday
     and Monday night, with a heat beyond words, dreading the worst. Now
     there has been a slight rally.[134] Whether it will continue
     to-morrow is doubtful. He is always conscious, makes his little
     jokes, but the pulse is very low and intermits. I was there early
     this morning with Louis. * * *

     The questions, long discussions between Louis and some people, as
     to complication and difficulty of every kind that will at once fall
     upon us, are really dreadful, and I so unfit just now! The
     confusion will be dreadful. * * *

     I am so dreading every thing, and above all the responsibility of
     being the first in every thing, and people are not _bienveillant_.

     I shall send you news whenever I can, but I am so worn out. I shall
     not be able to do so much myself.

     I know your thoughts and wishes are with us at so hard a time. God
     grant we may do all aright! * * *


_Telegrams._

                                     June 7th.

     Going to Seeheim, as great weakness has come on. Am much tired by
     all that lies before us, and not feeling well.

                                     SEEHEIM, 13th.

     Dear Uncle Louis is no more. We arrived too late.

                                     DARMSTADT, 6.20 o’clock, 13th.

     Such press of business and decisions. Feel very tired.

                                     15th.

     We are both so over-tired; the press of business and decisions is
     so wearing, with the new responsibility.

                                     18th.

     Last ceremony over! All went off well, and was very moving.

                                     ALICE.



                                     DARMSTADT, June 19th.

     Only two words of thanks from both of us for your kind wishes and
     letters! Christian and Colonel Gardiner bring you news of every
     thing that has been and is still going on. But we are overwhelmed,
     over-tired, and the heat is getting very bad again.

     * * * Will tell you what a very difficult position we are in. It is
     too dreadful to think that I am forced to leave Louis in a few
     weeks under present circumstances, but, if he wishes to keep me at
     all, I must leave every thing and this heat for a time. These next
     weeks here will be very anxious and difficult. God grant we may do
     the right things!

                                     June 28th.

     * * * To have to go away just now, when the refreshment of family
     life is so doubly pleasant to Louis after his work, I am too sorry
     for. If I were only better; if I only thought that I shall have the
     chance of rest, and what is necessary to regain my health! Now it
     will be more difficult than ever, and I see Louis has the fear,
     which I also have, that I shall not hold out very long.

                                     July 15th.

     * * * I leave on Tuesday, but stop on the way. The children go
     direct and join me in Paris, when we go on together on Friday or
     Saturday to Houlgate. The trains don’t fit, and one has some way to
     drive from Trouville.

                                     HOULGATE, July 25th.

     * * * This place is quite charming--real country, so green, so
     picturesque--a beautiful coast; the nicest sea-place I have been at
     yet. Our house is “wee” for so many, and the first days it was very
     noisy; and it was so dirty. The maids and nurses had to scrub and
     sweep; the one French housemaid was not up to it. All is better
     now, and quite comfortable enough. The air is doing me good, and
     the complete change. I have bathed twice, and the sea revives me.

     I follow as eagerly as any in England the advance of the Russians,
     and with cordial dislike. _They_ can never be redressers of wrongs
     or promoters of civilization and Christianity. What I fear is, even
     if they don’t take Constantinople, and make no large demands as the
     price of their victories now, the declaration of the independence
     of Bulgaria will make that country to them in future what Roumania
     has been for Russia now, and therefore in twenty years hence they
     will get all they want, unless the other Powers at this late hour
     can bring about a change. It is bad for England, for Austria, for
     Germany, if this Russian Slav element should preponderate in
     Europe; and the other countries must sooner or later act against
     this in self-preservation.

     What do the friends of the “Atrocity Meetings” say now? How
     difficult it has been made for the Government through them, and how
     blind they have been! All this must be a constant worry and anxiety
     for you!

     The children are so happy here--the sea does them such good. I am
     very glad I brought them.

                                     HOULGATE, July 28th.

     * * * Though we have rain off and on, still the weather is very
     pleasant, and we are all of us charmed with the place, and the
     beautiful, picturesque, fertile country. The life is so
     pleasant--real country--which I have never yet found at any
     bathing-place abroad yet. I have bathed every other day--swim, and
     it does me good. I feel it already. Ella is getting her color back,
     and the little ones look much better.

     I send you the last photos done of the children; Ella’s is not
     favorable, nor Irène’s, but all in all they are a pretty set. May
     has not such fat cheeks in reality; still it is very dear. The two
     little girlies are so sweet, so dear, merry, and nice. I don’t know
     which is dearest, they are both so captivating.

     I have been to an old tumble-down church at Dives--close by
     here--where William the Conqueror is said to have been before
     starting for England. His name and those of all his followers are
     inscribed there--names of so many families now existing in England.
     It was very interesting.

                                     August 22d.

     * * * How difficult it is to know one’s children well; to develop
     and train the characters according to their different peculiarities
     and requirements! * * *

                                     DARMSTADT, September 9th.

     * * * I must tell you now, how very heartily and enthusiastically
     the whole population, high and low, received us yesterday. It was
     entirely spontaneous, and, as such, of course, so very pleasing. *
     * * I was really touched, for it rained, and yet all were so
     joyous--flags out, bells ringing, people bombarding us with
     beautiful nosegays; all the schools out, even the higher ones, the
     girls all dressed in white. The Kriegerverein, Louis’ old soldiers,
     singing, etc. In the evening all the Gesangvereine joined together
     and sang under our windows.

     We are very glad to be at home again, and, please God, with earnest
     will and thought for others, we together shall in our different
     ways be able to live for the good of the people entrusted to our
     care! May God’s blessing rest on our joint endeavors to do the
     best, and may we meet with kindness and forbearance where we fall
     short of our duties.

                                     DARMSTADT, October 30th.

     * * * I had to receive sixty-five ladies--amongst them my
     nurses--and some doctors from here and other towns, all belonging
     to my Nursing Society, which has now existed ten years. Then I was
     at the opening of my Industrial Girls’ School, where girls from all
     parts of the country come, and which is a great success. I started
     it two years ago. On Sunday I took the children to hear the
     Sunday-school, which interested them very much.

     I have been doing too much lately, though, and my nerves are
     beginning to feel the strain, for sleep and appetite are no longer
     good. Too much is demanded of one; and I have to do with so many
     things. It is more than my strength can stand in the long run. * *
     *

                                     December 13th.

     For to-morrow, as ever, my tenderest sympathy! Time shows but more
     and more what we all lost in beloved Papa; and the older I grow,
     the more people I know, the more the remembrance of him shines
     bright as a star of purer lustre than any I have ever known. May
     but a small share of his light fall on some of us, who have
     remained so far beneath him, so little worthy of such a father! We
     can but admire, reverence, long to imitate, and yet not approach
     near to what he was.

     We are going with the children to-day to Wiesbaden until Saturday;
     and I mean to tell Vicky that she had better give up the hope of my
     being able to come for the wedding.[135] I could not do it. I only
     trust the why will be understood. Do write to the dear Empress
     about it when next you write. _How_ sorry I am to be absent at a
     moment when, as sister and a German Sovereign’s wife, I should be
     there; but the doctor would not hear of it, so I gave it up. * * *

                                     DARMSTADT, December 21st.

     * * * You say all that happened after the dreadful 14th is effaced
     from your memory. How well I can imagine that! I remember saying my
     utmost to Sir Charles Phipps in remonstrance to your being wished
     to leave Windsor--it was so cruel, so very wrong. Uncle Leopold
     insisted; it all came from him, and he was alarmed lest you should
     fall ill.

     _How_ you suffered was dreadful to witness; never shall I forget
     what I went through for you then; it tore my heart in pieces; and
     my own grief was so great too. Louis thought I would not hold to my
     engagement then any more--for my heart was too filled with beloved,
     adored Papa, and with your anguish, to have room or wish for other
     thoughts.

     God is very merciful in letting time temper the sharpness of one’s
     grief, and letting sorrow find its natural place in our hearts,
     without withdrawing us from life!



[Illustration] THE END.

1878.

     “Life is serious--a journey to another end.” (_December 12, 1874._)


The state of the Grand Duchess’ health prevented her from accompanying
the Grand Duke to Berlin on the occasion of the marriages of Princess
Charlotte of Prussia (eldest daughter of the Crown Prince and Princess
of Germany) to the Hereditary Prince of Saxe-Meiningen, and of Princess
Elizabeth of Prussia (sister to the Duchess of Connaught) to the
Hereditary Grand Duke of Oldenburg. Although she was unable to go out
much into society, or to take an active part in social gayeties, her
interest and sympathy were unabated, particularly in all matters
concerning art and science. She received many guests, and Prince William
of Prussia (then studying at Bonn) often visited her.

The celebrated portrait painter Heinrich von Angeli came to Darmstadt in
the spring to paint a family picture of the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess
and their children by command of the Queen of England. Princess Alice
greatly enjoyed his acquaintance, and was charmed as well by his musical
talent as by his wonderful genius in painting. Angeli’s picture of
Princess Alice was the last ever painted of her.

The repeated attempts on the life of the old Emperor of Germany affected
the Grand Duchess very nearly, as from her childhood she had ever been
greatly attached to him.

The Grand Duke and Grand Duchess with their children spent the summer
months of this year at Eastbourne. Sea-bathing and sea-air had again
been recommended as necessary.

The Grand Duke had to return to Darmstadt soon after their arrival at
Eastbourne, but toward the end of the stay there he rejoined them.

The whole family visited the Queen at Osborne.

Although the Grand Duchess had, during all her former visits to England,
shown her lively personal interest in all charitable institutions in
London, visiting many herself, she seems on the occasion of this, her
last, visit to her beloved native land, to have taken a more than
ordinary interest in these matters, and to have also gone minutely into
the subject of the exertions which were being made to relieve the
pressing wants of the poor.

The Grand Duchess had scarcely arrived at Eastbourne (an eye-witness
tells us), when she at once made enquiries as to the condition of the
poorer parts of that town, and determined to visit them herself. She
loved to wander about that part of Eastbourne which is inhabited by the
fishing population. She often entered their cottages, visiting the
sick, and showing her sympathy to all. The visits to the Sunday-school
were a great pleasure to her. The Princess often remarked, “How much
good such instruction must do!”

She attended divine service at a church some little way off, not because
the service was particularly attractive, but because the church and its
congregation needed support and help.

Amongst those good works which from year to year had specially occupied
her were the Refuges and Penitentiaries for those poor women and girls
who most need our help. Much had been done in this way in England, and
the Albion Home at Brighton, founded and managed solely by Mrs. Murray
Vicars, had proved of the greatest service and blessing. The Grand
Duchess invited Mrs. Vicars to come and see her at Eastbourne, and tell
herself about her work, and showed her, when she came, the greatest
sympathy and kindness, entering with the warmest interest into all
details of the working of the Home.

Before leaving Eastbourne the Grand Duchess went incognita to Brighton,
and paid a private visit to the Albion Home. “I only come as one woman
to visit another” were the Princess Alice’s own words, when Mrs. Vicars
begged her to be allowed to tell the poor Penitents who their visitor
was.

The Grand Duchess was greatly impressed, after her visit to the Home, by
Mrs. Vicars’ wonderful power and practical knowledge, and by her
gentle, loving way toward those poor girls; and this in a great measure
induced her, with the Grand Duke’s consent, to become Patroness of the
Albion Home. At first, when asked by Mrs. Vicars to become the
Patroness, she had refused to do so; but, having reconsidered the
subject, she wrote to her the following letter from Darmstadt:

                                     NEW PALACE, DARMSTADT.

     DEAR MRS. VICARS:--I have returned from visiting the Home so
     convinced of your excellent management of it in every respect,
     that, if you still feel my becoming Patroness of the Home (and of
     the Ladies’ Association connected with it) can further the good and
     noble work, I am most willing to comply with your request. The
     spirit of true, loving, Christian sympathy in which the work was
     begun by you, and with which it is carried out; the cheerfulness
     you impart, the motherly solicitude you offer to those struggling
     to return to a better life, cannot fail to restore in a great
     measure that feeling of self-respect so necessary to those
     voluntarily seeking once more a virtuous life, and by so doing
     regaining the respect of their fellow-creatures. “Inasmuch as ye
     have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have
     done it unto Me.” In this spirit may the Home, as well as the
     Association connected with it, continue its good work. My entire
     sympathy and good wishes will ever be with it.

                                     Ever yours truly,
ALICE.



After the Grand Duchess’ return to Darmstadt, she devoted herself with
redoubled energy to all her charitable institutions; but, alas! she felt
more and more that her bodily strength was no longer equal to her
exertions.

In the autumn she had the happiness of seeing several of her family at
Darmstadt, the last of them being her brother, Prince Leopold.

                                     Darmstadt, January 26th.

     Though I have no letter, and expect none at such a moment, still I
     must send you a few lines to tell you how constantly I think of
     you, and of my own beloved and adored country. The anxiety you must
     be going through, and the feelings you must experience, I share
     with my whole heart. * * *

     God grant it may be possible to do the right thing, for it is late,
     and the complication is dreadful!

     I have barely any thoughts for any thing else; and the Opposition
     seems to me to have been more wrong in its country’s interest, and
     to have done her a greater harm than can ever be redressed. It is a
     serious, awful moment for Sovereign, country, and Government; and
     in your position none have to go through what you have--and after
     all so alone!

     I hope your health bears up under the anxiety.

                                     April 9th.

     * * * Angeli has arrived, and will begin at once. We thought Ernie
     and Ella--Victoria is too big, though she is the eldest and ought
     to be in the picture; she would be too preponderant. Angeli is
     quite lost in admiration of Aliky and May, who are, I must say
     myself, such a lovely little pair as one does not often see. He
     will begin our heads to-morrow. * * *

                                     DARMSTADT, November 6th.

     * * * I am but very middling, and leading a very quiet life, which
     is an absolute necessity. It is so depressing to be like this. But
     our home life is always pleasant--never dull, however quiet. Only a
     feeling of weariness and incapacity is in itself a trial.

On the 8th of November Princess Victoria was suddenly attacked with
diphtheria. How and where she caught the illness remains unexplained.
The Grand Duchess, always so courageous in illness, and fearing none,
had, however, always had a great horror of diphtheria. Princess Victoria
was at once isolated from her family and the others in the house; but,
alas! to no purpose. Princess Alice superintended the nursing, aided by
the nurses and the Lady Superintendent of her hospital. The terrible
anxiety of the poor mother during that illness is best described by her
own telegrams and letters to the Queen.


_Telegrams._

                                     November 8th.

     Victoria has diphtheria since this morning. The fever is high. I am
     so anxious.

                                     November 10th.

     Victoria is out of danger.

                                     November 12th.

     This night my precious Aliky has been taken ill.

                                     DARMSTADT, November 12th.

     This is dreadful! my sweet, precious Aliky so ill! At three this
     morning Orchie called me, saying she thought the child was
     feverish; complaining of her throat. I went over to her, looked
     into her throat, and there were not only spots, but a thick
     covering on each side of her throat of that horrid white membrane.
     I got the steam inhaler, with chlorate of potash for her at once,
     but she was very unhappy, poor little thing. We sent for the
     doctor, who lives close by, and who saw at once that it was a
     severe case. We have put her upstairs near Victoria, who is quite
     convalescent, and have fumigated the nursery to try and spare May
     and the others. It is a _terrible_ anxiety; it is such an acute,
     and often fatal, illness. * * * Victoria has been graciously
     preserved; may God preserve these [the younger ones] also in His
     mercy! My heart is sore; and I am so anxious.


     _Telegram._

                                     November 13th.

     Aliky tolerable. Darling May very ill; fever so high. Irène has got
     it too. I am miserable; such fear for the sweet little one!

On the 14th of November Prince Ernest and the Grand Duke were attacked
with diphtheria, so that, up to that time, Princess Elizabeth only had
escaped the infection. She was sent to her Grandmother’s, Princess
Charles of Hesse’s palace.


     _Telegram._

                                      November 15th.

     My precious May no better; suffers so much. I am in such horrible
     fear. Irène and Ernie fever less. Ernie’s throat very swelled.
     Louis no worse; almost no spots. Aliky recovering.

                                     Evening.

     Darling May’s state unchanged; heart-rending. Louis’ fever and
     illness on the increase. The others, as one could expect; all
     severe cases. May’s most alarming.

The sympathy with the Grand Duchess in her great anxiety was universal.
In many of the churches special services were held, praying for the
recovery of that dearly beloved family. The well-known suffering state
of the Grand Duchess’ own health, so sorely tried at this moment, caused
the gravest fears to be entertained on her own account.

On the morning of the 16th of November sweet little Princess “May”--the
Princess’ sunshine, as she ever called her--was taken from her doting
parents. The Grand Duchess telegraphed as follows to her mother:

                                     November 16th.

     * * * Our sweet little one is taken. Broke it to my poor Louis this
     morning; he is better; Ernie very, very ill. In great anguish.


_Telegrams._

                                     November 16th; evening.

     The pain is beyond words, but “God’s will be done!” Our precious
     Ernie is still a source of such terrible fear. The others, though
     not safe, better.

                                     November 17th.

     Ernie decidedly better; full of gratitude.

                                     November 18th.

     My patients getting better; hope soon to have them better. Last
     painful parting at three o’clock.

The coffin had to be closed very soon. It was entirely covered with
flowers. The Grand Duchess quietly entered the room where it had been
placed. She knelt down near it, pressing a corner of the pall to her
lips; then she rose, and the funeral service began.

When it was over, she cast one long, loving look at the coffin which hid
her darling from her. She then left the room and slowly walked
up-stairs. At the top of the stairs she knelt down, and taking hold of
the golden balustrade, looked into the mirror opposite to her to watch
the little coffin being taken out of the house. She was marvellously
calm; only long-drawn sighs escaped her.

When all had left the palace, she went to the Grand Duke, who was to be
kept in ignorance of all that was going on. The Grand Duchess had
herself arranged every detail of the funeral.


     _Telegram._

                                     November 19th.

     The continued suspense almost beyond endurance. Ernie thought he
     was going to die in the night, and was in a dreadful state for some
     hours. Louis very nervous, too; but they are not worse. The six
     cases have been one worse than the other.

                                     Later, November 19th.

     Ernie had a relapse, and our fears are increased. I am in an agony
     between hope and fear.

The Grand Duchess desired her warmest thanks to be expressed to the
country for their heart-felt sympathy.

On the 25th of November the Grand Duke was able for the first time to
leave his bed for a few hours, and on the 6th of December he and Prince
Ernest drove out for the first time, in a shut carriage.

It was on this day that the Grand Duchess wrote for the last time to the
Queen.

                                     November 19th.

     BELOVED MAMA:--Tender thanks for your dear, dear letter, soothing
     and comforting!

     Our sweet May waits for us up there, and is not going through our
     agony, thank God! Her bright, happy, sunshiny existence has been a
     bright spot in our lives--but oh! how short! I don’t touch on the
     anguish that fills me, for God in His mercy helps me, and it must
     be borne; but to-day, again, the fear and anxiety for Ernie is
     still greater. This is quite agonizing to me; _how_ I pray that he
     may be spared to me!

     His voice is so thick; new membranes have appeared. He cries at
     times so bitterly, but he is gayer just now.

     To a mother’s heart, who would spare her children every pain, to
     have to witness what I have, and am still doing, knowing all these
     precious lives hanging on a thread, is an agony barely to be
     conceived, save by those who have gone through it.

     * * * Your letter says so truly all I feel. I can but say, in all
     one’s agony there is a mercy and a peace of God, which even now He
     has let me feel. * * *

     P.S.--I mean to try and drive a little this afternoon. I shall go
     out with Orchie. Of my six children, since a week none more about
     me, and not my husband. It is like a very awful dream to me.

                                     November 22d.

     BELOVED MAMA:--Many thanks for your dear letter, and for all the
     expressions of sympathy shown by so many! I am _very_ grateful for
     it.

     Dear Ernie having been preserved through the greatest danger is a
     source of such gratitude! These have been terrible days! He sent a
     book to May this morning. It made me almost sick to smile at the
     dear boy. But he must be spared yet awhile what to him will be such
     a sorrow.

     For myself, darling Mama, God has given me comfort and help in all
     this trouble, and I am sure His Spirit will remain near us in the
     trials to come! Great sympathy, such as all show, is a balm; but I
     am very tired, and the pain is often very great; but pain can be
     turned into a blessing, and I pray this may be so. * * *

     When alone, I rest; and writing even is a physical exertion. Those
     around me have spared me all they could, but one must bear the
     greater weight one’s self.

     May God spare you all future sorrow, and give you the peace which
     He alone can give!

            *       *       *       *       *

     P.S.--I finish these lines at my dear Louis’ bed. He thanks you so
     much for your dear, loving sympathy. Thank God, he is doing well.
     But the pain they have all gone through in their poor throats has
     been _awful_. The doctors and nurses--eight! for they have changed
     day and night, and had such constant attendance--have been _all_ I
     could wish.

                                     Your loving child,
ALICE.



                                     DARMSTADT, December 1st.

     * * * Every one shows great sympathy, I hear, everywhere. * * * All
     classes have shown a great attachment to us personally, and to the
     House, and amongst the common people--it goes home to them that our
     position does not separate us so very far from them, and that in
     death, danger, and sorrow the palace and the hut are visited
     alike.

     So many deep and solemn lessons one learns in these times, and I
     believe all works together for good for those who believe in God. *
     * *

                                     December 2d.

     So many pangs and pains come, and must yet for years to come. Still
     gratitude for those left is _so_ strong, and indeed resignation
     entire and complete to a higher will; and so we all feel together,
     and encourage each other. Life is _not_ endless in this world, God
     be praised! There is much joy--but oh! so much trial and pain; and,
     as the number of those one loves increases in Heaven, it makes our
     passage easier--and _home_ is there!

                                     Ever your loving child,
ALICE.



                                     December 6th.

     Louis and Ernie will go out in a shut carriage to-day, though it
     rains--but it is warm. Louis’ strength returns _so_ slowly. Of
     course he shuns the return to life, where our loss will be more
     realized; to him, shut off so long, it is more like a dream. I am
     so thankful they were all spared the dreadful realities I went
     through--and alone. My cup seemed very full, and yet I have been
     enabled to bear it. But daily I must struggle and pray for
     resignation; it is a cruel pain and one that will last years, as I
     know but too well.

                                     Ever your loving child,
A.



Amongst the last letters from the Grand Duchess is one written on the
6th of December, instructing Prince Ernest’s new tutor in his duties.
Princess Alice wished her son to become a truly good man in every sense
of the word--upright, truthful, courageous, unselfish, ready to help
others, modest and retiring. She wished his tutor to encourage in him
fear of God and submission to His will, a high sense of duty, a feeling
of honor and of truth.

It had been settled that as soon as the convalescent patients were able
to be moved, the whole Grand Ducal family should go to Heidelberg for
thorough change of air.

On the 7th of December the Grand Duchess went to the railway station to
see the Duchess of Edinburgh, who was passing through Darmstadt on her
way to England. That night she first complained of feeling ill; and on
the following morning the unmistakable symptoms of diphtheria had begun
to show themselves. It is supposed that she must have taken the
infection, when one day, in her grief and despair, she had laid her head
on her sick husband’s pillow. During the first day of her illness she
settled several things, and gave various orders in case of her death.
Still it was evident that she thought she would recover.

She bore her great sufferings with wonderful patience, and was most
obedient to every thing the doctors ordered her to do, however painful
and trying. Those were terrible days! How much so to her is apparent
from short sentences which from time to time she wrote down on slips of
paper. Every thing was done to alleviate her sufferings--every thing to
encourage her. The high fever which set in at the commencement of the
illness did not decrease on the third day as in the previous cases,
though her sufferings were perhaps not so great. At times she was very
restless and distressed. In the night of the 12th of December she gave
many directions to her mother-in-law, and to her lady-in-waiting. At
times, too, she spoke in the most touching manner about her household,
also enquiring kindly after poor and sick people in the town. Then
followed hours of great prostration.

On the morning of the 13th of December the doctors could no longer
disguise from the Grand Duke that their efforts to save that beloved
life were in vain. As the danger increased, the Grand Duchess expressed
herself as feeling better. She received her mother-in-law that afternoon
in the most affectionate manner; also saw her lady-in-waiting; and when
the Grand Duke entered her room her joy was most evident. She even read
two letters--the last one being from her mother. After some hours of
heavy sleep she woke perfectly conscious and took some nourishment. She
then composed herself to rest, saying: “Now I will go to sleep again.”
And out of this sleep she woke no more.

Shortly after 1 A.M. on the 14th of December a change took place which
left no doubt to those around that that precious life was fast ebbing
away. When, a little later on, Princess Charles went into the Grand
Duke’s room, who was then asleep, she had left the Grand Duchess
perfectly unconscious. It required no words of his mother’s to break the
news to him.

At half-past eight that morning Princess Alice died peacefully,
murmuring to herself, like a child going to sleep: “From Friday to
Saturday--four weeks--May--dear Papa----!”

It was exactly to the day four weeks since Princess May’s death, and
seventeen years since the death of the Prince Consort. On the following
Tuesday evening, the 17th of December, after a solemn service held by
the English chaplain, the remains of the beloved Princess were quietly
removed from her own palace to the chapel in the Grand Ducal Castle. The
next day, amidst the universal grief of high and low, the coffin was
placed in the Mausoleum at the Rosenhöhe. Her brothers, the Prince of
Wales and Prince Leopold, were present.

A beautiful recumbent monument by Boehm, representing the Princess
holding Princess May in her arms, is now placed in the Mausoleum over
the spot where she rests.

[Illustration]



[Illustration] CONCLUDING REMARKS.


We must leave it to those who have read the preceding pages--mere
chronicle of facts as they are, to form their own idea of the character
and personality of the Princess.

Still, the disjointed manner in which the whole subject has been treated
seems to call for a few more additional remarks.

The world has long been acquainted with the outward appearance of the
Princess--with the delicacy of her features, the sweetness of their
expression, and the dignity and gracefulness of her every movement.
Though so perfectly natural and simple in manner, she never forgot that
she was a Princess. While she knew how to encourage and draw out those
who, from timidity, kept themselves in the background, she also
understood how, in a moment, to check any thing like forwardness, and,
where necessary, to silence presumption by a glance.

Her conversation was bright and animated, passing rapidly from topic to
topic, but always directed to subjects worth talking about. There was a
certain distinction in the way she dealt even with minor matters of
daily life. She spoke German with a slightly foreign accent, but with a
power of idiomatic expression that seldom failed her, and showed how
thoroughly she had mastered the genius of the language.

Occupation was a necessity to her; she could not understand how any one
could be idle. When at home, she always had some needlework at hand
ready to take up.

The Princess was singularly free from all prejudice, and always
endeavored to judge people according to their worth.

It sometimes happened that she offended people by her independent views,
but she never knowingly hurt anybody’s feelings; innate generosity was a
striking trait in her character.

Frank and sincere herself to an unusual degree, she always encouraged
others to be the same, and was most tolerant of well-grounded
contradiction.

In times of trouble and danger, when so much was expected of her, her
powers seemed to expand. It was in such moments that she really showed
the master-spirit, which remains calm and self-possessed when all around
lose their heads.

The Princess took the deepest interest in the personal welfare of all
around her, even to the humblest of her servants. This interest was
shown by many small services, seldom rendered to their servants by
masters or mistresses.

With all her appreciation of the purely theoretical and scientific
aspect of things, she was naturally of a very practical turn of mind.
She had few equals in her love and talent for organizing, for
communicating her own ideas to those around her, and in turn being
animated by the views of others. Thus it was that she expected not a
little from those about her, and might almost have given the impression
of a very restless nature, had not this activity been counterbalanced by
an unceasing perseverance in carrying out and adhering to what she had
once undertaken.

To become acquainted with great men of every profession, whether
scholars, artists, or men of science, was a real pleasure to her. She
loved to gain an insight into their thoughts and views, and proved
herself a very German in her admiration and appreciation of serious
scientific work.

Among the arts, music and painting were those she loved the best, and
cultivated the most. In both she was far ahead of even distinguished
amateurs. Her drawing was free, firm, and bold; she had a decided talent
for composition, and was rich in inventive power. She had a wonderful
eye for color, and was especially successful in water-colors.

She was an excellent musician, and played extremely well. Few could read
and understand difficult pieces at sight as the Princess did. In music,
as in all the arts, her taste was rather severe. She had a great
predilection for the classical school. Bach, Beethoven, and Schumann,
Schubert, Mendelssohn, and Brahams were her especial favorites.

In theatrical performances she disliked empty show and splendor--the
mere decoration of pieces for the love of decoration. She believed in
the ennobling influence of the representation of sound classical works.

Her whole being mentally and morally was concentrated in her children
and their education, and in this she showed herself to be a thorough
woman. She endeavored to make them feel the worth and greatness of both
the nations to which they belonged by birth. She was apt to be more
severe in her criticisms of the German mode of education and of moral
training than of that of her own country. That this should have been so
is easily to be explained. In Germany her life and work were not easy,
and she knew that it would take time before her endeavors for the
welfare of her adopted country met with recognition, whilst in England,
the country of her birth and her affection, to which she clung with
ever-increasing reverence and devotion, she knew she was ever becoming
more beloved.

Still, being so thoroughly English as she was, we cannot but say that
much that was best and finest in her character must be considered as the
inheritance of her German father. A nature such as the Princess’ could
not help coming in contact with many deep and serious questions, in
which religion alone could help her.

The traces of perfect trust in God, and entire submission to His will,
will be found throughout her letters. We know that at one time she
wavered in her convictions. Although she never doubted the value of
practical religion, although she ever turned to her Bible for help and
comfort in hours of distress and anxiety, she had to wrestle heart and
soul with theoretical doubts. It seems to have been a struggle of many
years’ duration, at the commencement and end of which personal
influences played a great part.

We are indebted to an intimate friend and relation of Princess Alice’s
for the following communication, which is in accord with the
observations of others who knew her:

     “After her son’s death I thought I observed a change in her
     feelings. Before that time she had often expressed openly her
     doubts as to the existence of God--had allowed herself to be led
     away by the free-thinking philosophical views of others. After
     Prince Fritz died she never spoke in such a way again. She remained
     silent while a transformation was quietly going on within, of which
     I afterwards was made aware, under the influence of some hidden
     power. It seemed as if she did not then like to own the change that
     had come over her.

     “Some time afterwards she told me herself, in the most simple and
     touching manner, how this change had come about. I could not listen
     to her story without tears. The Princess told me she owed it all to
     her child’s death, and to the influence of a Scotch gentleman, a
     friend of the Grand Duke’s and the Grand Duchess’, who was residing
     with his family at Darmstadt.

     “‘I owe all to this kind friend,’ she said, ‘who exercised such a
     beneficial influence on my religious views; yet people say so much
     that is cruel and unjust of him, and of my acquaintance with him.’
     At another time she said: ‘The whole edifice of philosophical
     conclusions which I had built up for myself, I find to have no
     foundation whatever; nothing of it is left; it has crumbled away
     like dust. What should we be, what would become of us, if we had no
     faith, if we did not believe that there is a God who rules the
     world and each single one of us? I feel the necessity of prayer; I
     loved to sing hymns with my children, and we have each our favorite
     hymn.’[136]

     “I remember observing that her table in her room was covered with
     religious books of all languages. Some of them she recommended to
     me.”

The German Protestant form of worship did not satisfy her. Her own
English liturgy, with its fine simple prayers and benedictions, with its
many appointed lessons from Holy Writ--the old Testament
especially,--with its sermons confined to a limited time, pleased her
more. At the same time she always acknowledged with gratitude and
admiration that the great spiritual hero who was the first to demand as
a right absolute sincerity in the life of faith, and so brought on the
Reformation, was a German.

The Princess had a very wide knowledge of history. Her political
opinions were independent, entirely free from party prejudice, and based
on the principle she had imbibed from her father--that Princes exist for
the welfare of their people.

Future generations must ever acknowledge how the Princess Alice
throughout her life strove to fulfil the saying of her favorite hero in
history, “the great Fritz” (Frederic the Great, in his
“Anaimachiavell”): “The rulers of nations must set the example of virtue
to the world.”

[Illustration]



[Illustration] APPENDIX.


The beautiful sketch which follows appeared in the _Darmstädter
Zeitung_, dated “Christmas Eve, 1878”; and the annexed translation of
it, by Sir Theodore Martin, appeared a few days afterward in the
_Times_.

     A WATCHER BY THE DEAD.

     Long, long before daybreak on one of those gloomy December days of
     last week, an officer made his way hurriedly along the empty,
     silent streets of the capital. He was in full uniform, but its pomp
     and splendor were shrouded in a thick covering of crape, for he was
     afoot thus early to do duty by the bier of the beloved Princess.
     Desolate were the streets, as of a city of the dead; desolate as
     though tenanted only by the dead was the lordly palace to which he
     bent his steps. The sentinels at the great gate stood motionless,
     despite the severe cold, as if they feared to disturb the repose of
     death. Here, where the inhabitants of the capital used to see all
     astir with the busy, cheerful life inseparable from the residence
     of a reigning Prince; here, where in days but recently gone by
     children, blooming and beautiful, the country’s pride and the joy
     of their princely parents, gave animation to house and garden, all
     was silent and void; a deadly blast had swept over the till now so
     happy home. The country’s young, idolized mother had closed her
     beautiful eyes, closed them for evermore, after doing and enduring
     nobly, after tasting the bitterness of great earthly sorrow. Many
     long and woful days, many nights of even greater anguish, had she
     watched, trembled, and prayed by the couch of a husband sick unto
     death, and of five children beloved past telling. The sweet,
     youngest bud in the fair wreath of princely children, had been torn
     from her bleeding heart, and tears--scalding tears--for the sweet
     little May-blossom, which she had herself put to its last sleep
     under chaplets of flowers, flowed fast, as she folded her hands in
     gratitude, when the peril of death had passed over the heads of her
     husband and her other children. “Thus do we learn humility!” she
     said, with quivering lip, to a lady who stood beside her. “God has
     called for one life, and has given me back five for it; how, then,
     should I mourn?” And now, when, with fear and trembling, joy seemed
     about to enter once more into that heavily-stricken home, again the
     dark pinions of the Angel of Death were heard upon the air, and he
     bore away the truest of wives, the most loving of mothers, a
     sacrifice to duty fulfilled with the noblest forgetfulness of self.
     These were the thoughts with which the solitary wayfarer went upon
     his sorrowful way, and crossed the threshold of the chamber of
     death. With light step and whispered words the watchers by the dead
     whom he relieved withdrew.

     Overwhelmed by the majesty of death, which met him here in its most
     sombre form, the new comer bent his head and continued long in
     silent prayer. The Princess lay on a bier in the great hall on the
     ground-floor, where she had so often sat surrounded by a radiant
     circle of guests. What of her was earthly, cased in a triple
     cerement, was covered with a pall of black velvet, which, however,
     was almost hid from view beneath a mass of flowers and palms. Upon
     the head of the coffin stood a little, simple crucifix of perfect
     artistic workmanship. Six torches on pedestals, hung with black,
     stood round the bier, shedding but a feeble glimmer through the
     hall, scarcely brighter, indeed, than the scanty light of the
     dawning winter day. From the wall opposite the coffin the youthful
     image of her husband, painted in happier times, looked sadly down
     upon the loved one lost. Directly opposite hung the picture which
     the Hessian Division had had painted for their much-loved leader,
     in remembrance of the glorious day of Gravelotte--a picture of
     battle and of the wild _mêlée_ of slaughter in the silent chamber
     of death. He who now watched by the coffin had played a part in the
     conflict of the memorable day which the picture was meant to
     perpetuate, and he knew how deeply it was interwoven with the life
     of the Princess who lay there in her long last sleep. Her dear
     husband had gone to the campaign with his faithful Hessians; she
     knew his precious life to be in hourly danger; but her own sorrows
     and cares were not her first thought. Helpful, comforting,
     encouraging, she gave at all times to those who were left behind a
     brilliant example of cheerful and devoted courage; and when the
     wounded and sick came back from the battlefields in ever-increasing
     numbers, she it was who everywhere took the lead with noblest
     self-abnegation and practical good sense. By the beds of the sick
     and dying she stood like a comforting angel, and the love of the
     Hessian people twined the fairest of all diadems, the aureole of
     the heroine, round her princely brows.

     This grateful love, not only of those who bore arms, but of the
     citizen and artisan as well, for which these things laid the
     foundation, was now sincerely and unconstrainedly busy beside the
     bier of the princely sleeper. Servants came, with loads of wreaths
     and bouquets, and arranged them upon the coffin. But it was not the
     official tributes of flowers from Court and noble, from the
     deputations of regiments far and near, which were laid as a
     mournful homage at the feet of the dead mistress, that touched most
     deeply the heart of him who stood there on guard. No, the tear that
     stole down unbidden, the little trivial gift of the poor and humble
     who lived far away from Court favor, had a greater value in his
     eyes. It was still quite early morning when, with the first glimmer
     of day, came an old peasant woman from the Odenwald. Advancing
     timidly, she laid, with a murmured prayer, a little wreath of
     rosemary, with a couple of small white flowers, perhaps the only
     ornament of her poor little room at home, as a token of grateful
     affection down upon the velvet pall. Then, thinking herself
     unnoticed, she took a rosebud from one of the splendid wreaths, and
     hid it under the old woollen dress. Who could interfere to balk the
     impulse of genuine affection, that longed to carry off some slight
     memorial with it? And now the little flower is lying between the
     leaves of the old Bible, and in days to come the matron, when she
     turns the leaves of the sacred volume, will tell her daughters and
     granddaughters of the noble lady, too early snatched away from her
     people--of her, who never forgot the poorest and the humblest of
     them all.

     Anon appeared the bearer of one of the proudest names in Hesse,
     who was attached to the personal service of the Princess. The
     official, stalwart bearing of the courier was left outside, and,
     weeping hot, unhidden tears, he lingered long by the bier. To what
     a lofty soul, to what goodness of heart, was he saying here a
     bitter farewell! He was followed by two little girls, poorly but
     cleanly dressed, and they, too, brought their tribute of
     gratitude--two little bunches of violets. Shyly, almost frightened,
     and yet with childish curiosity, they drew slowly nearer. They
     thought of another winter day, some years ago. Hungry, chilled to
     the heart, they were sitting in an empty attic; their parents were
     dead, and they ate among strangers bread that was hard and
     grudgingly given, when that great lady appeared who was now
     sleeping here under the flowers. From her, whose heart was ever
     yearning to the orphan’s cry, they heard again, for the first time,
     gentle, loving words; by her provision was quickly made for their
     more kindly treatment, and gratitude was rooted firmly and forever
     in their young souls.

     A deputation from the Court Theatre laid upon the coffin a wreath
     intertwined with pale pink streamers. Art, too, had come to mourn
     for her noblest patroness, who had been ever ready with her fine,
     cultivated intelligence to advance whatever was great and good. A
     servant brought a beautiful cross, of dark foliage with white
     flowers. It was the gift of the Grand Duke’s mother, anxious to
     testify by an outward sign her love for her dead daughter. In
     ever-growing numbers came the mourners, all visibly oppressed by
     the weight of the calamity which had fallen upon the country.
     Countless were the gifts of love, of gratitude, of respect, which,
     now beautiful and costly, now slight and simple, arched ever
     higher and higher the hill of flowers above the coffin. The ladies
     of the neighboring towns sent cushions of dark violets, with
     chaplets of white flowers. Two ladies deeply veiled brought
     branches of palm, from the dark green of which gleamed a white
     scroll--a poetic farewell word of deep feeling:

    A hurricane, charged with destruction,
      O palm, swept o’er thee. The squall
    Crashed through thy leaves, and tore from thee
      The tenderest, sweetest of all.

    The clouds clear’d away in the distance,
      The tempest seem’d over and past,
    When forth from the firmament darted
      A lightning-bolt, fiery and fast.

    It struck thee, O noble one, struck thee!
      It crush’d thee, and now thou art gone!
    Farewell! To our death-day thine image
      Still, still in our hearts shall live on.

     There was a second poem, enclosed in a heart-shaped framework of
     leaves, which gave expression to the grief of a devoted soul for
     the high-hearted lady.

     But now the hour was come for another to take the post of honor by
     the bier of the Princess. Silently and sadly the two men saluted.
     He that left took away with him a deep and elevating impression of
     the general love and respect paid by the people of Hesse to their
     too-early departed Princess, and the remembrance of that silent
     watch by the dead will remain in his memory forever. And he who now
     entered on that honorable duty could chronicle proofs of genuine
     grief, of true reverence and love, not fewer nor less touching.
     Whosoever is thus bewept has secured the best and fairest memorial
     in the hearts of her own people for all time--“The remembrance of
     the just abideth in blessing.”

Nothing could show better than this touching narrative, how deep and how
widespread was the grief for the death of the Princess throughout the
country which had so recently hailed her as its Sovereign. Not less deep
and universal was the sorrow with which the sad intelligence was
received in her native land. She had long been dear to all hearts there;
for the fame of her many admirable qualities as daughter, sister, wife,
and mother had penetrated into every household. The news that her life
was in peril had awakened the deepest sympathy; and when the anniversary
of the death of the father she loved so well brought the tidings of her
own death, there were few homes on which it did not cast a shadow as for
the loss of one that was personally dear. The journals teemed with
expressions of the national grief, each vying with the other in paying
affectionate tribute to the worth of one whose name had long been
familiar and cherished on the lips of her countrymen and countrywomen,
and in assurances of sympathy to the Queen, and the loving hearts of her
kindred, on whom this great calamity had fallen.

It may not be out of place to insert here, as an example of these, what
was written out of a full heart on the day of the Princess’ death by the
hand which had not yet concluded the task of tracing the “Life of the
Prince Consort,” in which the Princess had all along taken the keenest
interest. The letters printed in this volume afford the amplest proof of
the justice of the estimate which the writer had formed of the gifted
and devoted woman whose heart is there laid bare for our study and
instruction.

                “Oh, sir, the good die first,
    And those whose hearts are dry as summer dust
    Burn to the socket.”--_Wordsworth._

                                     December 14th, 1878.

     On the 14th of December, seventeen years ago, a great sorrow fell
     upon England in the death of the Prince Consort, who, if he did not
     die too soon for his own happiness and fame, died at least, as all
     now feel, too soon for England. The memorable 14th of December has
     again come round, and again a great sorrow has fallen upon the
     country. The Princess has been taken to her rest, who watched and
     soothed the Prince Consort in the last days of his fatal illness,
     and who by her fortitude and noble devotion helped materially,
     though then but a girl of seventeen, to sustain and comfort the
     widowed Queen in her measureless affliction. For the first time a
     breach--and such a breach--has been made in that family circle to
     which all who had the priviledge to know it looked as the happiest
     in England--happiest, because mutual love and esteem bound all its
     members together by ties knit in childhood and never broken, and
     because of the noble activity for good which had been set before
     them in the example of their parents kept their hearts fresh and
     their minds ever open. She who, while yet a girl, was called to
     play a woman’s part by her father’s deathbed, has been the first to
     follow him into the Silent Land.

     No life could have opened more auspiciously than that of the
     second daughter of our Royal house.[137] From the first she gave
     great promise of beauty and of intelligence. The fine old English
     names of Alice and Maud, selected for her by her happy parents,
     seemed as names sometimes do, to be particularly fitted to the
     winning, open character of her fair and finely-formed features, and
     their sound was one pleasant in the mouths, not only of those to
     whom she was known, but of the people, as she grew up and was seen
     in public by the eager and kindly eyes to whom the sight of the
     Royal children has always been welcome.

     When the marriage of the Princess Royal took place in 1858, the
     Princess Alice was still only a girl of fifteen; but she had
     already developed qualities of mind and heart of no ordinary kind.
     She came by degrees to fill up in some measure the vacancy which
     had been created by the removal of her very gifted sister to
     Berlin. Naturally she was drawn nearer to the Prince Consort; and
     the influence of his character and the teachings of his
     affectionate wisdom sank deeply into her pure and highly
     intellectual nature. He looked forward to her future with the
     assurance that she would prove all he could wish a daughter to be.
     She, on the other hand, loved him with a devotion only tempered by
     a profound reverence for the great qualities which she could then,
     perhaps, but dimly appreciate, but the true extent and worth of
     which her own subsequent experience and reflection taught her more
     thoroughly to measure. When in later years she spoke of the Prince,
     one saw that, as Ben Jonson said of Shakespeare, “she honored his
     memory, on this side idolatry, as much as any.”

     The teaching of that beloved father was put to the proof in those
     sad days of patient watching which preceded his death. Things were
     told at the time of the devotion and the marvellous self-control of
     the young girl, called so sternly and so suddenly to face death in
     the person of a father, on whose life that of the Queen herself
     seemed to depend, and whose counsels she knew to be of inestimable
     value to the nation. A few days after the Prince’s death, she was
     spoken of by the _Times_ in these noticeable words: “Of the
     devotion and strength of mind shown by the Princess Alice all
     through these trying scenes it is impossible to speak too highly.
     Her Royal Highness has, indeed, felt that it was her place to be a
     comfort and a support to her mother in her affliction, and to her
     dutiful care we may perhaps owe it that the Queen has borne her
     loss with exemplary resignation, and a composure which, under so
     sudden and terrible a bereavement, could not have been
     anticipated.” The knowledge of this fact--and it was a fact--sank
     deeply into people’s minds. It was never forgotten, and from that
     day the name of the Princess Alice has been a cherished household
     word to all her countrymen and women.

     When, in 1862, she married the husband of her choice--a man whose
     sterling worth and manliness had satisfied even the critical
     judgment of parents jealous for the happiness of a daughter so
     justly dear--the affectionate good wishes of the Queen’s subjects
     of all grades went with her to her new home. In that home,
     brightened and ennobled as it was by her presence, her love for the
     home and country of her youth burned with a steady and
     ever-deepening glow. It is only those who know how strong is the
     mutual love by which the children of Queen Victoria are bound to
     their parent and to each other, who can appreciate the passionate
     yearning toward England of the Princesses whose homes have been
     made elsewhere. England and all its interests held a foremost place
     in the heart of the Princess Alice; and no one watched more closely
     every phase of the changeful life of the busy land, which she loved
     and reverenced as the home of liberty and the pioneer of
     civilization.

     While fulfilling with exemplary devotion every duty as a wife and
     mother, the process of self-culture was never relaxed. Every
     refined taste was kept alive by fresh study, fresh practice, fresh
     observation; neither was any effort spared to keep abreast with all
     that the best intellects of the time were adding to the stores of
     invention, of discovery, of observation, and of thought. Each
     successive year taught her better to estimate the value of the
     principles in religion, in morals, and in politics in which she had
     been trained. As her knowledge of the world and of men grew, she
     could see the wide range of fact upon which they were based, and
     their fitness as guides amid the perplexing experiences of human
     life, which, however seemingly varied in different epochs, are ever
     essentially the same. Then the significance of the Prince Consort’s
     habit of judging every thing by some governing principle, and
     working always by strict method, became clear to her; and in a
     letter written in January 1875, of which a copy is before us, the
     Princess writes with her accustomed modesty: “Living with thinking
     and cultivated Germans, much in Papa has explained itself to me,
     which formerly I could less understand, or did not appreciate so
     much as I ought to have done.”

     She inherited much of her father’s practical good sense, and, like
     him, was ever ready to take part in any well-directed effort for
     raising the condition of the toilworn and the poor. How much of
     their misery, nay, of their evil ways, was due to their wretched
     habitations, she, like him, felt most keenly; and she gave her
     sympathy and support to every effort for their improvement. With
     this view she translated into German some of Miss Octavia Hill’s
     essays “On the Homes of the London Poor,” and published them with a
     little preface of her own (to which only her initial A. was
     affixed), in the hope that the principles, which had been
     successfully applied in London by Miss Hill and her coadjutors,
     might be put into action in some of the German cities. No good work
     appealed to her in vain. The great exemplar of her father was
     always before her; and in the letter from which we have already
     quoted she speaks of his life, “spent in the highest aims, and with
     the noblest conception of duty,” as a “leading star” to her own.

     That sense of duty carried her to the bedside of the Prince of
     Wales when, at the end of 1871, he was struck down at Sandringham
     by the fell disease under which his father had sunk. There she
     fulfilled the same priceless offices which she had ten years before
     discharged at Windsor Castle. It pleased Heaven to spare her a
     renewal of the great affliction of 1861; and in the very days of
     December in which we are now living, the life of the much-loved
     brother, which had been wellnigh despaired of, came slowly back to
     requite her affection, and in answer to her prayers.

     The trials of that time came, before the exhaustion had passed away
     both of body and mind which the Princess had undergone during the
     Franco-German war. Separated--and for the second time--by war from
     the Prince of Hesse, who was away in the thickest of the perils of
     that campaign, she was not a woman to give herself up to morbid
     brooding on the pangs and apprehensions under which, devoted wife
     as she was, she yet could not fail to suffer most acutely, for her
     feelings were warm, and her imagination active beyond that of most
     women. In the hospital at Darmstadt, crowded with the soldiers,
     French as well as German, who had come from the battlefields maimed
     and racked with pain, she was foremost with her bright
     intelligence, her helpful sympathy, and her tender hand, in
     soothing pain, and inspiring that sense of manly gratitude which is
     the best of panaceas to a soldier’s sick-bed. What she was and what
     she did at that time have embalmed her image in many a heart, and
     will make the tears flow thick and fast in many manly eyes at the
     thought of the death of one so young, so good, so gifted, and so
     fair. To her it was merely duty--duty to be done at every cost; but
     how much it had cost to that finely touched spirit and to that
     delicate womanly frame might be read, by all who could look below
     the surface, in the deep earnestness of her eyes and the deeper
     earnestness of her thoughts. The pain of that terrible period would
     not let itself be forgotten even in the gratitude which she felt
     for the providence which restored her beloved husband to her side,
     and for the realization of her father’s cherished dream of an
     United Germany, which had been purchased by the valor and the
     sufferings of its sons.

     The Princess’ fortitude had already been severely tried in the war
     between Prussia and Austria in 1866. Hesse-Darmstadt was engaged
     upon the side of Austria, and her husband, Prince Louis, took the
     field with the troops of the Principality. At the very time that
     his third daughter, the Princess Irène, was born, he was with the
     army; and the Princess Alice knew he was under fire but was unable
     to get any tidings from him. The victorious Prussians marched into
     Darmstadt, while the Princess, newly made a mother, was still
     confined to her room.

     Of the sad aspects of life it had been her destiny to see much--as
     daughter, as sister, and as mother. In June, 1873, a terrible
     calamity fell upon her as a mother. A child--one especially
     beloved--climbing to an open window in a room adjoining that in
     which she was, lost its balance, and was killed almost before her
     eyes, as she rushed in terror to call him back. This, too, had to
     be borne. It was borne nobly, and with Christian resignation. But
     such shocks tell upon the vital powers, and some trace of what had
     been “undergone and overcome” seemed to be visible long afterward
     in a perceptible bodily languor, and in a more spiritual beauty
     which had passed into her expressive face.

     The thought of this sent an anxious thrill through the hearts of
     many, when it became known that the Princess was herself seized by
     the terrible malady which had prostrated her husband and five of
     her children, and taken from her the youngest of them all--the
     youngest, the brightest, the idol of her other children.[138] She
     had nursed them all through their time of danger, and now, spent
     with watching and anxiety as she was, the malady had laid its fatal
     clutch upon herself. She that had cared and thought for all was
     soon past all human care to save. Thus she died as she had lived,
     devoted, self-sacrificing, purified by great pain and great love--a
     model daughter--wife--mother.

     Of the loss of such a woman to the husband to whom she was the
     all-in-all, to the children to whose love she will respond no more,
     to the mother in whose thoughts she is interwoven with the
     sweetest, the saddest, the most sacred memories, to the brothers
     and sisters whom she loved and who loved her so truly, so tenderly,
     who dare trust himself to speak? It must be long before the grief
     can be assuaged, under which all these must now be
     suffering--before the “Idea of her life can sweetly creep,” as
     something hallowed, “into their study of imagination”; but the day
     will come when they will bless God, that theirs was a wife, a
     daughter, a sister, a mother, so good, so noble, and that, having
     fought her fight on earth valiantly, yet meekly, she has gone where
     there is no more sorrow, nor crying, and where the great mysteries
     of life alone find their solution.

                                     THEODORE MARTIN.



Of the many beautiful tributes in verse to the worth of the Princess,
which appeared in England immediately after her death, none spoke the
prevailing feeling more truly than the following:--

                             IN MEMORIAM.

              PRINCESS ALICE: _died_ December 14th, 1878.

    Death’s shadow falls across the Palace door,
      His fingers trace our dear Princess’ doom;
    “She will awake no more; ah! never more!”
      And through the murky night the big bells boom.

    But in the gray of morning hope appears,
      And treading in death’s footprints entrance seeketh
    Where lonely grief is weeping bitter tears,
      And whispers low--“She being dead yet speaketh.”

    And at the voice of hope the black clouds break,
      And through the rift there shines God’s glorious light;
    And we who mourn look up and solace take
      As those to whom comes day--dawn after night.

    “She being dead yet speaketh”--all may hear
      The message left us by her lovely life
    In deeds that live, in actions that endear,
      As Princess, sister, daughter, mother, wife!

    The fierce rude light that beats upon a throne
      For which so many royal heads are hid,
    Served but to make her worth more widely known,
      To glorify the acts of grace she did.

    A favorite sister! She the love had earn’d
      Her brothers and her sisters for her felt,
    By her devotion which had brightest burn’d
      When with disease and threatening death she dealt.

    A darling daughter! ’T is the Queen alone
      Can know the secret of that awful time,
    When at the father’s side by her were shown
      A faith and constancy alike sublime.

    A doting mother! What could she do more
      Than for her little one her life lay down?
    No heroine than this could higher soar--
      No grander deed a noble life could crown!

    A perfect wife! The heavy veil of grief
      Back from the stricken hearth we will not draw,
    Save but to say her life, alas! too brief,
      Her husband found without one spot or flaw.

    Then let not grief persuade us she is dead;
      She has but left us for a fairer shore;
    And though her spirit heav’nwards may have fled,
      Her influence remains for evermore.
                 --_Truth_

[Illustration]


FOOTNOTES:

[1] “Life of Prince Consort,” by Sir Theodore Martin, vol. i., p. 166.

[2] The memoranda in this paragraph are communicated by the Crown
Princess of Germany.

[3] In a little piece of that name by Madame Jonas.

[4] Bunsen’s “Life,” ii., 328.

[5] In 1857. See the “Life of the Prince Consort,” vol. iv.

[6] “Life of the Prince Consort,” vol. iv., p. 429.

[7] _Ibid._, p. 427.

[8] Prince Louis of Hesse was at this time serving in the Prussian
Guards at Potsdam.

[9] “Life of the Prince Consort,” vol. v., p. 253.

[10] This is not quite correct. Prince Louis had left for Germany
before the others arrived.

[11] See “Leaves from a Journal,” p. 204, _et seq._

[12] Memorandum by the Grand Duchess of Baden.

[13] Afterward Marquis of Hertford, who died on the 25th of January,
1884.

[14] St. George’s Chapel, Windsor, where the Prince Consort rested
until removed to the Mausoleum at Frogmore.

[15] The recumbent statue of the Prince Consort, now in the Mausoleum
at Frogmore.

[16] Grand Duke and Grand Duchess Michael of Russia. The Grand Duke
Michael is uncle of the present Emperor of Russia.

[17] This was in the autumn of 1860.

[18] This refers to Mr., afterward Sir, Arthur Helps’ Introduction to
the “Collected Addresses and Speeches of the Prince Consort,” which was
then about to be published (Murray, 1862).

[19] During a musical and gymnastic festival.

[20] The Princess’ lady, Baroness Christa Schenk.

[21] Prince Louis was then at Balmoral.

[22] Grand Duke and Grand Duchess of Baden.

[23] Duke of Connaught, then twelve years old.

[24] The Princess Alice’s private secretary.

[25] Princess Victoria of Hesse.

[26] Princess Frederick Charles, mother of the Duchess of Connaught.

[27] Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha.

[28] Count Lutzow was at this time the Austrian Minister and
Plenipotentiary at the Court of Darmstadt.

[29] Tutor of the Prince Consort during his boyhood and early youth.

[30] A favorite greyhound of the Prince Consort’s, which he brought to
England at the time of his marriage.

[31] Prince Henry of Hesse, brother of Prince Louis.

[32] Mrs. Hull, a former nurse of the Princess and her brothers and
sisters.

[33] Prince Gustav Wasa, first cousin to Prince Charles of Hesse.

[34] The late Duke Frederic of Augustenburg.

[35] Prince and Princess of Leiningen.

[36] Prince Leiningen’s brother.

[37] Former tutor to Prince Leiningen’s father.

[38] Prince and Princess Hermann of Hohenlohe-Langenburg.

[39] King Maximilian II. of Bavaria had died on the 10th of the
preceding month of March. The Queen is a sister of Prince Louis’ mother.

[40] Of the Princess Anna of Hesse with the Grand Duke of
Mecklenburg-Schwerin.

[41] The unveiling of a statue of the Prince Consort.

[42] Grand Duke Serge.

[43] The History of England from the Fall of Wolsey to the Death of
Elizabeth.

[44] Wife of General the Hon. Arthur Hardinge, who was on a visit to
the Princess.

[45] The Princess Elizabeth was born on the 1st of November, 1864.

[46] By Dr. Samuel Smiles.

[47] John Brown, the Queen’s personal attendant.

[48] One of the Princess’ ladies in waiting.

[49] Then the Crown Princess’ youngest child.

[50] The anniversary of the Queen’s marriage.

[51] Miss Hildyard, the Princess’ former English governess.

[52] This sport is practised in the evening twilight.

[53] Prince Louis’ sister, the Grand Duchess of Mecklenburg-Schwerin.
She died on the 16th of April, 1865.

[54] Nurse of the Prince Louis and his brothers and sister.

[55] She was the only sister of Prince Charles of Hesse.

[56] Daughter of M. Van de Weyer, the Belgian Minister Plenipotentiary
in England. She had been thrown out from her carriage, and died from
the effect of the injuries received.

[57] See “Leaves from a Journal,” Grantown, 1860.

[58] The opening of Parliament by the Queen for the first time after
the death of the Prince Consort.

[59] Princess Elizabeth of Great Britain and Ireland, Princess Alice’s
grand-aunt.

[60] Princess Hohenlohe.

[61] War between Prussia and Austria was now imminent.

[62] Widow of King Louis Philippe.

[63] Son of the Crown Prince and Princess of Prussia. See _ante_, p. 93.

[64] The Princess Charles had a sister, who died when a child, who had
borne that name.

[65] Formerly one of the Royal Band in England. Madame Nichel had been
a dresser of the Duchess of Kent’s.

[66] “The Early Years of the Prince Consort,” by the late General Grey.

[67] Son of the Crown Prince and Princess of Prussia.

[68] The uncovering of the monument to the Prince Consort.

[69] General Grey’s “Early Years of the Prince Consort.”

[70] Princess Feodore Victoria Adelaide Paulina Amelia Maria, daughter
of Queen Victoria’s sister, the Princess Hohenlohe-Langenburg, and wife
of the Hereditary Prince, now the Duke of Saxe-Meiningen. She died at
the age of thirty-three, on the 10th of February, 1872.

[71] Major Elphinstone, Prince Arthur’s Governor from 1859, now Sir
Howard Elphinstone, K.C.B.

[72] Princess Amalie of Hohenlohe-Schillingsfürst, niece of Queen
Victoria’s late brother-in-law, Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, married
to an artist, Herr Lauchert.

[73] The Princess of Wales was suffering at the time from rheumatic
fever and rheumatism.

[74] Their nurse, who is still (1884) with the youngest child, Princess
Alix.

[75] Of their child, to whom Queen Victoria stood sponsor.

[76] This Catalogue was not completed and made public till 1876.

[77] Her Majesty’s private librarian.

[78] At Buckingham Palace.

[79] The Emperor of Russia.

[80] The Princess’ servant (see _ante_, p. 56). The boy was brought
from Java by Baron Schenk-Schmittburg. His father was a negro, his
mother a Javanese.

[81] We give this extract in a translation, instead of the original
German.

[82] A kind of dwarf tree--half pine, half juniper--which grows in the
highest regions of the Alps, and supplies most of the soft wood used by
the Swiss wood-carvers.

[83] Riding-master to the Prince Consort and the Queen from 1840 to
1871.

[84] The Cesarewitch and Cesarewna.

[85] Archibald Brown, his valet, younger brother of the Queen’s
personal attendant.

[86] Prince Waldemar of Prussia, fourth son of the Crown Prince and
Princess. He died of diphtheria on the 27th of March, 1879.

[87] At the funeral of King Louis I., who had died at Nice on the 29th
of February.

[88] A footman, much valued by the Prince and Princess.

[89] Mrs. McDonald, the Queen’s first wardrobe-maid.

[90] The Royal Mausoleum at Frogmore.

[91] Who died on the 8th of November, 1825.

[92] The only son and heir of the King of the Belgians.

[93] Princess George of Saxony, Infanta of Portugal, who died in
February, 1884.

[94] This refers to the Queen’s stay at Invertrossachs, and the
excursions to the neighborhood. These are described in “More Leaves
from a Journal of a Life in the Highlands,” pp. 116-147 (London, 1884).

[95] Madame Rollande, formerly the Princess’ French governess.

[96] Miss Grosvenor, Lady Ebury’s daughter.

[97] General Grey, Her Majesty’s private secretary had recently died.

[98] Miss Bauer the German governess of the Royal family.

[99] Prince Frederick William, the “Frittie” of these letters, born the
6th of the previous month of October, and who was killed by a fall from
a window on the 29th of May, 1873.

[100] On the 10th, 11th, and 12th of January, 1871, before Le Mans.

[101] Prince Henry Charles Woldemar of Schleswig-Holstein, Governor of
the Fortress of Mayence. He died on the 20th of January, 1871.

[102] Daughter of the Duke of Abercorn.

[103] The late Mr. John Mitchell, the librarian of Old Bond Street.

[104] Princess Alix, born on the 6th of June.

[105] Two children who were carried away by a “spate” while playing at
Monaltrie Burn, near Balmoral (11th of June, 1872), and swept into the
river Dee and drowned. See “More Leaves from a Journal of a Life in the
Highlands,” p. 156 _et seq._

[106] For an account of this visit see “More Leaves from a Journal,” p.
164 _et seq._

[107] The Queen’s half-sister, Feodore, Princess of
Hohenlohe-Langenburg, who died on the 23d of September, 1872, at
Baden-Baden.

[108] Daughter of the Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. Subsequently
she did marry the Grand Duke Vladamir of Russia, as she was allowed
not to change her religion. This was the first time such a thing was
permitted in Russia.

[109] Who would have thought that only six years later the Princess
herself was to rejoin her father on the same day?

[110] He said to the Princess: “La bénédiction d’un vieillard fait
toujours du bien.”

[111] A private plate, engraved for the Queen by the late Mr. Francis
Holl, from a picture by Winterhalter.

[112] Also engraved by the late Mr. Francis Holl for the Queen from
a picture given by Her Majesty to the Prince Consort on the 26th of
August, 1843.

[113] The King of Bavaria and his brother, first cousins of Prince
Louis of Hesse.

[114] The opening of Victoria Park, in the East end of London, on the
2d of April.

[115] To the 79th Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders, at Parkhurst, on the
16th of April.

[116] The allusion is to the death of the little Prince Frederick, who
was killed on the 29th of the previous month by a fall from a window.

[117] Princess Charles’ brother, Prince Adalbert of Prussia.

[118] The Grand Duchess Marie, who was engaged on the 11th of July to
the Duke of Edinburgh.

[119] How these words recall those of Constance (_King John_, act iii.,
scene 4):

    Grief fills the room up of my absent child,
    Lies in his bed, walks up and down with me,
    Puts on his pretty looks, repeats his words,
    Remembers me of all his gracious parts,
    Stuffs out his vacant garments with his form;
    Then have I reason to be fond of grief.


[120] To the Prince Consort in Hyde Park.

[121] Baron Stockmar had such a dislike of leave-takings that he never
let it be known when he was going away from the English Court. The
first intimation of his intention was--that he was already gone.

[122] A former Dresser of the Queen’s.

[123]

    Now unto you the Lord has done what we had wished to do;
    We would have train’d you up, and now ’t is we are train’d by you.
    With grief and tears, O children, do you your parents train,
    And lure us on and up to you, to meet in heaven again.


[124] The first volume of whose “Life of the Prince Consort” had just
been published.

[125] To “The Idyls of the King.”

[126] Only child of Sir George Grey, and Equerry to the Prince of
Wales. He died at Sandringham of inflammation of the lungs.

[127] “Childe Harold,” canto iii., stanza 30.

[128] During the visit of the Prince of Wales to India.

[129] Her husband, the father of the Queen’s personal attendant, John
Brown, had just died. See “More Leaves from a Journal,” p. 319.

[130]Secretary in the office of the Privy Purse.

[131] The Prince Consort’s head groom, who had come over with him to
England.

[132] The Hon. Emily Caroline Hardinge, the Princess’ Lady-in-Waiting,
died in London on the 4th of September, 1876.

[133] Written after the death of his daughter.

[134] The Grand Duke of Hesse was alarmingly ill.

[135] Of the Princess Charlotte of Prussia with the Hereditary Prince
of Saxe-Meiningen.

[136] This memorandum does not go far enough. The Princess returned to
the faith in which she was reared, and died in it, a devout Christian.

[137] “She is a pretty and large baby, and we think will be _la Beauté_
of the family.”--_The Queen to King Leopold_, 9th May, 1843.

“Our little baby, whom I am really proud of, for she is so very
forward for her age, is to be called _Alice_, an old English name; and
the other names are to be _Maud_ (another old English name, and the
same as Matilda), and _Mary_, as she was born on Aunt Gloucester’s
birthday.”--_The same to the same_, 16th May, 1843.

“Our christening went off very brilliantly, and I wish you could have
witnessed it. Nothing could be more _anständig_, and little Alice
behaved extremely well.”--_The same to the same_, 6th June, 1843.

[138] The struggle to conceal from the other children that their
favorite was dead cost the Princess, down to the time of her own fatal
seizure, such a daily and almost hourly effort as, in her weak state,
she was ill able to bear. Her sufferings during her short illness,
which lasted less than a week, were borne with exemplary patience, and
an unselfish and even cheerful spirit which were truly admirable. The
day before she died, she expressed to Sir William Jenner her regret
that she should cause her mother so much anxiety.





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