0Thursday. 25th February [1897]—3 Savile Row
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25 February 1897 — 3 Savile Row
Thursday. 25th February [1897]. I got up late not having slept very well. I received a telegram from Css Perponcher telling me to go to see the Empress Frederick at 3.15 so I started in the carriage at 5 mins to 3. I went to the door where one writes ones name on the Queen on the left hand & was at once shown upstairs & was met by Css Perponcher. I remembered the room as we had been in it when Henry & I once dined with the Empress years ago. It had chinese enamel pagodas standing in the corners. I had not 5 minutes to wait when the servant came to say H.M. would see me in her own room. She kissed me most affectionately and we both shed tears as we spoke of all I had gone thro’ since we had met—& she said “I cannot imagine that house at Venice without dear Sir Henry!” She made me tell her about his illness & then she put her hand on my knee & her arm round my neck & we clung to each other & I sobbed aloud. A mother could not have been more tender & feeling. Then she said how she remembered that when she had been at Venice with Pss Sophy & Pss Margaret they had once said to their father “Oh Papa when your hair & beard is as white as Sir Henry’s how beautiful you will be!” It was to me a great comfort & relief to be able to speak of my sorrow with one who so thoroughly understands it. She said how hard it was to feel one was no longer first with any one after the experiences we had had—& she remembered how proud Henry was of me—& how he loved to tease me—to show his affection– She then spoke of her own children. How Pss Victoria frets at having no children– How “Mossy” has 3 little children all under 3 years old—& how anxious she was about Sophy in the present state of the “Cretan” affair & then she took out of her pocket a letter she had received from the Pss last night & read it to me– It said how anxious she was & how sad at seeing one after another of the Royal family leave for Crete. That it was impossible to stem the current of feeling in Greece & that the King was obliged to act as he did. That she hoped the Powers would give Greece Macedonia &c. The Empress spoke of our Queen & said she was well. I told her I hoped the Queen would understand that I could not go to the Drawing Room this year—& she said “Oh of course you could not!” She spoke of Ola & said she was sure she had not health eno’ to be a nurse but thought it was good she should occupy herself. She spoke of my sister Maria & asked after “the tall Ruth” & as I was leaving the room she asked after “Annie” our late cook who had also cooked for her one year when she had Mr Malcolm’s house at Venice. She said she wd remain on in London a few days after the Queen left for the Riviera & would come & see me– I stayed with her ½ hour & then went off to Queen Anne’s Mansions to see Lady Gregory & took her to have tea at the Temple with Arthur Du Cane & then got home at 5.30. My sister Maria called about 6 & sat & chatted for an hour. Nelly & I dined alone & I went early to bed.

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