0Friday. 20th [August 1897]—Schloss Friedrichshof, Kronberg
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20 August 1897 — Schloss Friedrichshof, Kronberg
Friday. 20th [August 1897]. Called at 7 & wrote before breakfast wh was at 9.45 with the Empress when she returned from her drive. Directly afterwards went for a walk with H.M. & Princess Victoria to the kitchen garden & to see the farm—dairy &c. At 12 oclock we returned to the rose garden. Princess Victoria went indoors & H.M. sat down to paint under an umbrella & I sat by her. She is making a water colour drawing of a rose tree in full flower backed by hollyhocks & sun flowers. At 1 oc’l the servant came to fetch us in. We talked much as H.M. painted. Of my future plans amongst other things & how right she thought me to continue to live at Venice in spite of all people said to the contrary—& compared the loneliness of our two lives—how we have to keep our sorrows away in our own hearts as a private possession. I asked her if she knew Christina Rossetti’s poem on Memory “I have a room where into no one enters” & repeated the line to her—which made us both shed tears. She said she does not know Christina’s Poems & I promised to get them for her. We went on to talk of the questions of the labour “eight hours” bill &c—& of the growing luxury of the age. H.M. said she wished to avoid any unnecessary luxury & felt she ought not to encourage it. I said such things in her position were not luxuries—but it was her duty to keep up a certain state. Here all is well ordered but there seems no waste. So talking we returned to the Castle & had to hasten to dress for lunch at 1.15. There was a charming man at lunch German Prussian Minister at Carlsruhe Herr Eisendecker. He has just returned from Cowes where he has been in charge of the Emperor’s Yacht during the races. Herr Eisendecker had been in the German Navy & speaks English perfectly looking much more like an Englishman than a German. There was another old gentleman who also speaks English & who is staying on. After lunch I walked up with Baron Reischach to his cottage & paid him & his wife a visit. They live in a cottage built for them in the grounds by the Empress. It is quite an English cottage & very nicely furnished. The 3 children were had down—they are not pretty but speak English very well & were well behaved. We went to see the stables which is a fine large building & beautifully kept. It contains now only 20 horses. It was 4.30 when I returned to the Castle so I had to go up to my room at once & dress for tea & a drive. In the meanwhile Princess Louise of Lorne arrived on a visit bringing with her Miss Laurence Tadema—daughter of the painter. She has a fine intelligent head & a dignified carriage. She is a clever writer. Princess Louise has still the traces of beauty—& has a good figure—but she has strange colourless eyes. We had tea out on the terrace & then drove—H.M., Princess Louise, Princess Victoria & I. We went a lovely drive in the hills & got out & walked a good bit reaching the castle again at 7 o’cl. Princess Victoria took me up to her room & gave me her last photograph & I sat & told her all about Henry’s last days till it was time to dress for dinner & I had to dress & hide away my trouble again. The only one who dined was old Herr Ompteda besides the house party & he remained the night also. Herr Eisendecker had left. Miss Florence May came to play the piano to H.M. in the evening. She is rather a good pianist. I had not heard her before tho’ I had often met her at my sister Maria’s. She teaches music to one of the girls. When H.M. retired Css Perponcher & I went to the smoking room where P. & Pss Adolf were & Princess Louise who all smoked. I sat by the latter & we talked of Venice & the Montalba family who are friends of hers. She sent for 2 little dogs she has here with her to show them to us. We did not remain very late but Css Perponcher followed me to my bedroom & we stood & talked a little while & at 11.15 I went to bed.

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