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My First Years As A Frenchwoman, 1876-1879 by Mary King Waddington

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of the country for a little while, but I don't think his exile was a
very terrible one.

I got my first lesson in diplomatic politeness from Lord Lyons, then
British ambassador in Paris. He was in Paris during the Franco-German
War, knew everybody, and had a great position. He gave very handsome
dinners, liked his guests to be punctual, was very punctual himself,
always arrived on the stroke of eight when he dined with us. We had an
Annamite mission to dine one night and had invited almost all the
ambassadors and ministers to meet them. There had been a stormy sitting
at the Chamber and W. was late. As soon as I was ready I went to his
library and waited for him; I couldn't go down and receive a foreign
mission without him. We were quite seven or eight minutes late and found
all the company assembled (except the Annamites, who were waiting with
their interpreter in another room to make their entry in proper style).
As I shook hands with Lord Lyons (who was doyen of the diplomatic corps)
he said to me: "Ah, Madame Waddington, I see the Republic is becoming
very royal; you don't receive your guests any more, merely come into the
room when all the company is assembled." He said it quite smilingly, but
I understood very well, and of course we ought to have been there when
the first guests arrived. He was very amiable all the same and told me a
great many useful things--for instance, that I must never invite a
cardinal and an ambassador together, as neither of them would yield the
precedence and I would find myself in a very awkward position.

[Illustration: Lord Lyons.]

The Annamites were something awful to see. In their country all the men
of a certain standing blacken their teeth, and I suppose the dye makes
their teeth fall out, as they hadn't any apparently, and when they
opened their mouths the black caverns one saw were terrifying. I had
been warned, but notwithstanding it made a most disagreeable impression
on me. They were very richly attired, particularly the first three, who
were tres grands seigneurs in Annam,--heavily embroidered silk robes,
feathers, and jewels, and when they didn't open their mouths they were
rather a decorative group,--were tall, powerfully built men. They knew
no French nor English--spoke through the interpreter. My intercourse
with them was very limited. They were not near me at dinner, but
afterward I tried to talk to them a little. They all stood in a group at
one end of the room, flanked by an interpreter--the three principal
chiefs well in front. I don't know what the interpreter said to them
from me, probably embellished my very banal remarks with flowers of
rhetoric, but they were very smiling, opening wide their black mouths
and made me very low bows--evidently appreciated my intention and effort
to be amiable.

They brought us presents, carpets, carved and inlaid mother-of-pearl
boxes, cabinets, and some curious saddles, also gold-embroidered
cushions and slippers. Some Arab horses were announced with great pomp
from the Sultan's stables. I was rather interested in them, thought it
would be amusing to drive a long-tailed Arab pony in a little cart in
the morning. They were brought one morning to the Quai d'Orsay, and W.
gave rendezvous to Comte de Pontecoulant and some of the sporting men of
the cabinet, in the courtyard. There were also several stablemen, all
much interested in the idea of taming the fiery steeds of the desert.
The first look was disappointing. They were thin, scraggy animals,
apparently all legs and manes. Long tails they had, and small heads, but
anything so tame and sluggish in their movements could hardly be
imagined. One could scarcely get them to canter around the courtyard. We
were all rather disgusted, as sometimes one sees pretty little Arab
horses in Paris. I don't know what became of them; I fancy they were
sent to the cavalry stables.

Our first great function that winter was the service at the Madeleine
for the King of Italy, Victor Emmanuel, who died suddenly in the
beginning of January, 1878. France sent a special mission to the
funeral--the old Marshal Canrobert, who took with him the marshal's son,
Fabrice de MacMahon. The Church of the Madeleine was filled with people
of all kinds--the diplomatic corps in uniform, a very large
representation of senators and deputies. There was a slight hesitation
among some of the Left--who were ardent sympathisers with young
Italy--but who didn't care to compromise themselves by taking part in a
religious ceremony. However, as a rule they went. Some of the ladies of
the Right were rather put out at having to go in deep mourning to the
service. I said to one of them: "But you are not correct; you have a
black dress certainly, but I don't think pearl-grey gloves are proper
for such an occasion." "Oh, they express quite sufficiently the grief I
feel on this occasion."

It was curious that the King should have gone before the old Pope, who
had been failing for some time. Every day we expected to hear of his
death. There were many speculations over the new King of Italy, the
Prince Humbert of our day. As we had lived so many years in Rome, I was
often asked what he was like, but I really had no opinion. One saw him
very little. I remember one day in the hunting-field he got a nasty
fall. His horse put his foot in a hole and fell with him. It looked a
bad accident, as if the horse were going to roll over on him. I, with
one of my friends, was near, and seeing an accident (I didn't know who
it was) naturally stopped to see if our groom could do anything, but an
officer rode hurriedly up and begged us to go on, that the Prince would
be very much annoyed if any one, particularly a woman, should notice his
fall. I saw him later in the day, looking all right on another horse,
and no one made any allusion to the accident.

About a month after Victor Emmanuel's death the old Pope died, the 8th
of February, 1878, quite suddenly at the end. He was buried of course in
Rome, and it was very difficult to arrange for his funeral in the Rome
of the King of Italy. However, he did lie in state at St. Peter's, the
noble garde in their splendid uniforms standing close around the
catafalque--long lines of Italian soldiers, the bersaglieri with their
waving plumes, on each side of the great aisle. There was a magnificent
service for him at Notre Dame. The Chambers raised their sitting as a
mark of respect to the head of the church, and again there was a great
attendance at the cathedral. There were many discussions in the monde
(society not official) "as to whether one should wear mourning for the
Saint Pere." I believe the correct thing is not to wear mourning, but
almost all the ladies of the Faubourg St. Germain went about in black
garments for some time. One of my friends put it rather graphically: "Si
on a un ruban rose dans les cheveux on a tout de suite l'air d'etre la
maitresse de Rochefort."

All Europe was engrossed with the question of the Pope's successor.
Intrigues and undercurrents were going on hard in Rome, and the issue of
the conclave was impatiently awaited. No one could predict any result.
The election of Cardinal Pecci, future Leo XIII, seemed satisfactory, at
least in the beginning.

My winter passed pleasantly enough; I began to feel more at home in my
new quarters, and saw many interesting people of all kinds. Every now
and then there would be a very lively debate in the Parliament. W. would
come home very late, saying things couldn't go on like that, and we
would surely be out of office in a few weeks. We always kept our house
in the rue Dumont d'Urville, and I went over every week, often thinking
that in a few days we should be back there again.

One of my great trials was a reception day. W. thought I ought to have
one, so every Friday I was at home from three until six, and very long
afternoons they were. I insisted upon having a tea-table, which was a
novelty in those days, but it broke the stiff semicircle of red and gold
armchairs carefully arranged at one end of the room. Very few men took
tea. It was rather amusing to see some of the deputies who didn't
exactly like to refuse a cup of tea offered to them by the minister's
wife, holding the cup and saucer most carefully in their hands, making a
pretence of sipping the tea and replacing it hastily on the table as
soon as it was possible. I had of course a great many people of
different nationalities, who generally didn't know each other. The
ambassadresses and ministers' wives sat on each side of my sofa--the
smaller people lower down. They were all announced, my huissier, Gerard,
doing it very well, opening the big doors and roaring out the names.
Sometimes, at the end of the day, some of my own friends or some of the
young men from the chancery would come in, and that would cheer me up a
little. There was no conversation, merely an exchange of formal phrases,
but I had some funny experiences.

One day I had several ladies whom I didn't know at all, wives of
deputies, or small functionaries at some of the ministries. One of my
friends, Comtesse de B., was starting for Italy and Rome for the first
time. She had come to ask me all sorts of questions about clothes,
hotels, people to see, etc. When she went away in a whirl of
preparations and addresses, I turned to one of my neighbours, saying:
"Je crois qu'on est tres bien a l'Hotel de Londres a Rome," quite an
insignificant and inoffensive remark--merely to say something. She
replied haughtily: "Je n'en sais rien, Madame; je n'ai jamais quitte
Paris et je m'en vante." I was so astonished that I had nothing to say,
but was afterward sorry that I had not continued the conversation and
asked her why she was so especially proud of never having left Paris.
Travelling is usually supposed to enlarge one's ideas. Her answer might
have been interesting. W. wouldn't believe it when I told him, but I
said I couldn't really have invented it. I used to go into his cabinet
at the end of the day always, when he was alone with Pontecoulant, and
tell them all my experiences which W. forbid me to mention anywhere
else. I had a good many surprises, but soon learned never to be
astonished and to take everything as a matter of course.

The great interest of the summer was the Exposition Universelle which
was to take place at the Trocadero, the new building which had been
built on the Champ de Mars. The opening was announced for the 1st of May
and was to be performed with great pomp by the marshal. All Europe was
represented except Germany, and almost all the great powers were sending
princes to represent their country. We went often to see how the works
were getting on, and I must say it didn't look as if it could possibly
be ready for the 1st of May. There were armies of workmen in every
direction and carts and camions loaded with cases making their way with
difficulty through the mud. Occasionally a light case or bale would fall
off, and quantities of small boys who seemed always on the spot would
precipitate themselves, tumbling over each other to pick up what fell,
and there would be protestations and explanations in every language
under the sun. It was a motley, picturesque crowd--the costumes and
uniforms making so much colour in the midst of the very ordinary dark
clothes the civilised Western world affects. I felt sorry for the
Orientals and people from milder climes--they looked so miserably cold
and wretched shivering under the very fresh April breezes that swept
over the great plain of the Champ de Mars. The machines, particularly
the American ones, attracted great attention. There was always a crowd
waiting when some of the large pieces were swung down into their places
by enormous pulleys.

The opening ceremony was very brilliant. Happily it was a beautiful warm
day, as all the guests invited by the marshal and the Government were
seated on a platform outside the Trocadero building. All the diplomatic
corps, foreign royalties, and commissioners of the different nations who
were taking part in the exposition were invited. The view was lovely as
we looked down from our seats. The great enclosure was packed with
people. All the pavilions looked very gay with bright-coloured walls and
turrets, and there were flags, palms, flowers, and fountains
everywhere--the Seine running through the middle with fanciful bridges
and boats. There was a curious collection of people in the tribunes. The
invitations had not been very easy to make. There were three Spanish
sovereigns, Queen Isabella, her husband, Don Francois d'Assizes, and the
Duc d'Aosta (King Amadee), who had reigned a few stormy months in Spain.
He had come to represent Italy at the exposition. The marshal was rather
preoccupied with his Spanish royalties. He had a reception in the
evening, to which all were invited, and thought it would be wise to take
certain precautions, so he sent one of his aides-de-camp to Queen
Isabella to say that he hoped to have the honour of seeing her in the
evening at the Elysee, but he thought it right to tell her that she
might perhaps have some disagreeable meetings. She replied: "Si c'est
mon mari de qui vous parlez, cela m'est tout a fait egal; si c'est le
Duc d'Aosta, je serai ravie de le voir."

She came to the reception, but her husband was already gone. The Due
d'Aosta was still there, and she walked straight up to him and kissed
him on both cheeks, not an easy thing to do, for the duke was not at all
the type of the gay lady's man--very much the reverse. He looked a
soldier (like all the princes of the house of Savoy) and at the same
time a monk. One could easily imagine him a crusader in plumed helmet
and breastplate, supporting any privation or fatigue without a murmur.
He was very shy (one saw it was an effort for him every time that any
one was brought up to him and he had to make polite phrases), not in the
least mondain, but simple, charming when one talked to him.

I saw him often afterward, as he represented his brother, King Humbert,
on various official occasions when I too was present--the coronation of
the Emperor Alexander of Russia, the Jubilee of Queen Victoria. He was
always a striking figure, didn't look as if he belonged to our modern
world at all. The marshal had a series of dinners and receptions which
were most brilliant. There was almost always music or theatricals, with
the best artists in Paris. The Comedie Francaise was much appreciated.
Their style is so finished and sure. They played just as well at one end
of a drawing-room, with a rampe of flowers only separating them from the
public, as in their own theatre with all the help of scenery, acoustics,
and distance. In a drawing-room naturally the audience is much nearer.

I remember one charming party at the Elysee for the Austrian crown
prince, the unfortunate Archduke Rudolph. All the stars of the Theatre
Francais were playing--Croizette, Reichemberg, Delaunay, Coquelin. The
prince seemed to enjoy himself. He was very good-looking, with a slight,
elegant figure and charming smile--didn't look like a man whose life
would end so tragically. When I saw him some years later in London, he
was changed, looked older, had lost his gaiety, was evidently bored with
the official entertaining, and used to escape from all the dinners and
receptions as soon as he could.

The late King Edward (then Prince of Wales) won golden opinions always.
There was certainly something in his personality which had an enormous
attraction for Parisians. He always seemed to enjoy life, never looked
bored, was unfailingly courteous and interested in the people he was
talking to. It was a joy to the French people to see him at some of the
small theatres, amusing himself and understanding all the sous-entendus
and argot quite as well as they did. It would almost seem as if what
some one said were true, that he reminded them of their beloved Henri
IV, who still lives in the heart of the nation.

His brother-in-law, the Prince of Denmark, was also most amiable. We met
him often walking about the streets with one or two of his gentlemen,
and looking in at the windows like an ordinary provincial. He was tall,
with a slight, youthful figure, and was always recognised. It was a
great satisfaction and pride to Parisians to have so many royalties and
distinguished people among them again.

Those two months of May and June gave back to Paris the animation and
gaiety of the last days of the Empire. There were many handsome
carriages on the Champs-Elysees, filled with pretty, well-dressed women,
and the opera and all the theatres were packed. Paris was illuminated
the night of the opening of the exposition, the whole city, not merely
the Champs-Elysees and boulevards. As we drove across the bridge on our
way home from the reception at the Elysee, it was a beautiful sight--the
streets full of people waiting to see the foreign royalties pass, and
the view up and down the Seine, with the lights from the high buildings
reflected in the water--like fairy-land.

[Illustration: His Royal Highness, Edward, Prince of Wales, in 1876.
From a photograph by Lock & Whitfield, London.]

The dinners and receptions at the Elysee and at all the ministries those
first weeks of the exposition were interesting but so fatiguing. Happily
there were not many lunches nor day entertainments. I used to get a good
drive every afternoon in the open carriage with mother and baby, and
that kept me alive. Occasionally (not often) W. had a man's dinner, and
then I could go with some of my friends and dine at the exposition,
which was very amusing--such a curious collection of people. The rue des
Nations was like a gigantic fair. We met all our friends, and heard
every language under the sun. Among other distinguished foreign guests
that year we had President and Mrs. Grant, who were received everywhere
in Europe (England giving the example) like royalties. When they dined
with us at the Quai d'Orsay W. and I went to the top of the great
staircase to meet them, exactly as we did for the Prince and Princess
of Wales.

It seems funny to me when I think of the very unceremonious manner in
which not only ex-presidents but actual presidents were treated in
America when I was a child. I remember quite well seeing a president (I
have forgotten which one now) come into the big drawing-room at the old
Cozzen's Hotel at West Point, with two or three gentlemen with him.
There was a certain number of people in the room and nobody moved, or
dreamt of getting up. However, the Grants were very simple--accepted all
the honours shown to them without a pose of any kind. The marshal gave
them a big dinner at the Elysee. We arrived a little late (we always
did) and found a large party assembled. The Grants came in just
after us.

The Marechale said to me: "The Chinese ambassador will take you to
dinner, Madame Waddington. He is an interesting, clever man, knows
England and the English well--speaks English remarkably well." Just
before dinner was announced the ambassador was brought up to me. He was
a striking-looking man, tall, broad-shouldered, dignified, very
gorgeously attired in light-blue satin, embroidered in bright-coloured
flowers and gold and silver designs, and a splendid yellow bird of
paradise in his cap. He didn't come quite up to me, made me a low bow
from a certain distance, and then fell back into a group of smaller
satellites, all very splendidly dressed. When dinner was announced the
first couples filed off--the marshal with Mrs. Grant and the Marechale
with President Grant and W. with his lady. There was a pause; I should
have gone next, but my ambassador wasn't forthcoming. I looked and
wondered. All the aides-de-camp were making frantic signals to me to go
on, and the whole cortege was stopped. I really didn't know what to
do--I felt rather foolish. Presently the ambassador appeared--didn't
offer me his arm, but again made me a low bow, which I returned and
moved a few steps forward. He advanced too and we made a stately
progress to the dining-room side by side. I heard afterward the
explanation. It seemed that in those days (things have changed _now_ I
fancy) no Chinese of rank would touch any woman who didn't belong to
him, and the ambassador would have thought himself dishonoured (as well
as me) if he had offered me his arm. The dinner was anything but banal.

When we finally got to the table I found myself on the marshal's
left--Mrs. Grant was on his right. The marshal neither spoke nor
understood English. Mrs. Grant spoke no French, so the conversation
didn't seem likely to be very animated. After a few moments Mrs. Grant
naturally wished to say something to her host and she addressed him in
English. "Mr. President, I am so happy to be in your beautiful country,"
then the marshal to me: "Madame Waddington je vous en prie, dites a
Madame Grant que je ne puis pas repondre; je ne comprends pas l'anglais;
je ne puis pas parler avec elle." "Mrs. Grant, the marshal begs me to
say to you that he regrets not being able to talk with you, but
unfortunately he does not understand English." Then there was a pause
and Mrs. Grant began again: "What a beautiful palace, Mr. President. It
must be delightful with that charming garden." Again the marshal to me:
"Mais je vous en prie Madame, dites a Madame Grant que je ne puis pas
causer avec elle. Il ne faut pas qu'elle me parle, je ne comprends pas."
"Mrs. Grant, the marshal is distressed that he cannot talk to you, but
he _really_ does not understand any English." It was very trying for
Mrs. Grant. Happily her other neighbour knew a little English and she
could talk to him, but all through dinner, at intervals, she began again
at the marshal.

After a few moments I turned my attention to my ambassador. I had been
looking at him furtively while I was interpreting for the marshal and
Mrs. Grant. I saw that he _took_ everything that was offered to
him--dishes, wines, sauces--but he never attacked anything without
waiting to see what his neighbours did, when and how they used their
knives and forks,--then did exactly as they did,--never made a mistake.
I saw he was looking at the flowers on the table, which were very well
arranged, so I said to him, speaking very slowly and distinctly, as one
does to a child or a deaf person: "Have you pretty flowers in your
country?" He replied promptly: "Yes, yes, very hot, very cold, very hot,
very cold." I was a little disconcerted, but thought I had perhaps
spoken indistinctly, and after a little while I made another attempt:
"How much the uniforms add to the brilliancy of the fete, and the
Chinese dress is particularly striking and handsome," but to that he
made such a perfectly unintelligible answer that I refrained from any
further conversation and merely smiled at him from time to time, which
he always acknowledged with a little bow.

We went back to the salons in the same way, side by side, and when the
men had gone into one of the other rooms to talk and smoke, I went to
speak to the Marechale, who said to me: "I am sure you had a delightful
dinner, Madame Waddington. The Chinese ambassador is such a clever man,
has travelled a great deal, and speaks such wonderful English."
"Wonderful indeed, Madame la Marechale," and then I repeated our
conversation, which she could hardly believe, and which amused her very
much. She spoke English as well as I did.

The Grants were very much entertained during their stay in Paris, and we
met them nearly every night. W. liked the general very much and found
him quite talkative when he was alone with him. At the big dinners he
was of course at a disadvantage, neither speaking nor understanding a
word of French. W. acted as interpreter and found that very fatiguing.
There is so much repartee and sous-entendu in all French conversation
that even foreigners who know the language well find it sometimes
difficult to follow everything, and to translate quickly enough to keep
one au courant is almost impossible. When they could they drifted into
English, and W. said he was most interesting--speaking of the war and
all the North had done, without ever putting himself forward.

We had both of us often to act as interpreters with French and
Anglo-Saxons, neither understanding the other's language, and always
found it difficult. I remember a dinner at Sandringham some years ago
when W. was at the embassy. The Prince of Wales (late King Edward) asked
me to sit next to a foreign ambassador who understood not one word of
English. The dinner was exclusively English--a great many clever
men--the master of Trinity College, Cambridge (asked especially to meet
my husband, who graduated from Trinity College), Lord Goschen, James
Knowles of the _Nineteenth Century_, Froude, the historian, Sir Henry
James, Lord Wolseley, etc. The talk was very animated, very witty. There
were peals of laughter all around the table. My ambassador was very
fidgety and nervous, appealing to me all the time, but by the time I had
laboriously condensed and translated some of the remarks, they were
talking of something quite different, and I am afraid he had very hazy
ideas as to what they were all saying.

We saw, naturally, all the distinguished strangers who passed through
Paris that year of 1878. Many of our colleagues in the diplomatic corps
had played a great role in their own country. Prince Orloff, the Russian
ambassador, was one of our great friends. He gave us very good advice on
one or two occasions. He was a distinguished-looking man--always wore a
black patch over one eye--he had been wounded in the Crimea. He spoke
English as well as I did and was a charming talker. General Cialdini was
at the Italian embassy. He was more of a soldier than a statesman--had
contributed very successfully to the formation of "United Italy" and the
suppression of the Pope's temporal power, and was naturally not exactly
persona grata to the Catholics in France. Prince and Princess Hohenlohe
had succeeded Arnim at the German embassy. Their beginnings were
difficult, as their predecessor had done nothing to make the Germans
popular in France, but their strong personality, tact, and understanding
of the very delicate position helped them enormously. They were
Catholics (the Princess born a Russian--her brother, Prince
Wittgenstein, military attache at the Russian embassy) and very big
people in their own country, so absolutely sure of themselves and their
position that it was very difficult to slight them in any way. They
would never have perceived it unless some extraordinary rudeness were
shown. The Princess was very striking-looking, tall, with a good figure,
and splendid jewels. When she was in full dress for a ball, or official
reception, she wore three necklaces, one on top of the other, and a big
handsome, high tiara, which added to her height. She was the only lady
of the diplomatic corps whom Madame Grevy ever recognised in the first
weeks of her husband's presidency. Madame Grevy was thrown suddenly not
very young into such an absolutely new milieu, that she was quite
bewildered and couldn't be expected to recognise half the women of the
diplomatic corps, but the German ambassadress impressed her and she knew
her always. The princess was not very mondaine, didn't care about
society and life in a city--preferred the country, with riding and
shooting and any sort of sport.

We had a very handsome dinner at the German embassy the winter of
1878--given to the Marshal and Madame de MacMahon. After dinner, with
coffee, a bear made its appearance in the drawing-room, a "baby bear"
they said, but I didn't think it looked very small. The princess patted
it, and talked to it just as if it were a dog, and I must say the little
animal was perfectly quiet, and kept close to her. I think the lights
and the quantity of people frightened it. It growled once or twice, and
we all had a feeling of relief when it was taken away. I asked the
Marechale afterward if she were afraid. "Oui, j'avais tres peur, mais je
ne voulais pas le montrer devant ces allemands." (Yes, I was very
frightened, but I would not show it before those Germans.) They had
eventually to send the bear away, back to Germany. It grew wilder as it
grew older, and became quite unmanageable--they couldn't keep it in
the embassy.

Hohenlohe was always pleasant and easy. I think he had a real sympathy
for France and did his best on various delicate occasions. The year of
the exposition (1878) we dined out every night and almost always with
the same people. Hohenlohe often fell to me. He took me in to dinner ten
times in succession. The eleventh time we were each of us in despair as
we filed out together, so I said to him: "Don't let us even pretend to
talk; you can talk to your other neighbour and I will to mine." However,
we _did_ talk chiffons, curiously enough. I had waited for a dress,
which only came home at the last moment, and when I put it on the
corsage was so tight I could hardly bear it. It was too late to change,
and I had nothing else ready, so most uncomfortable I started for my
dinner. I didn't dare to eat anything, hardly dared move, which
Hohenlohe remarked, after seeing three or four dishes pass me untouched,
and said to me: "I am afraid you are ill; you are eating nothing." "No,
not at all, only very uncomfortable"--and then I explained the situation
to him--that my dress was so tight I could neither move nor eat. He was
most indignant--"How could women be so foolish--why did we want to
have abnormally small waists and be slaves to our dressmakers?--men
didn't like made-up figures." "Oh, yes, they do; all men admire a
slight, graceful figure." "Yes, when it is natural, but no man
understands nor cares about a fashionably dressed woman--women dress for
each other" (which is perfectly true).

[Illustration: Prince Hohenlohe. After the painting by F.E. Laszlo.]

However, he was destined to see other ladies very careful about their
figures. The late Empress of Austria, who was a fine rider, spent some
time one spring in Paris, and rode every morning in the Bois. She was
very handsome, with a beautiful figure, had handsome horses and
attracted great attention. Prince Hohenlohe often rode with her. I was
riding with a friend one morning when we saw handsome horses waiting at
the mounting-block, just inside the gates. We divined they were the
Empress's horses and waited to see her mount. She arrived in a coupe,
her maid with her, and mounted her horse from the block. The body of her
habit was open. When she was settled in her saddle, the maid stepped up
on the block and buttoned her habit, which I must say fitted
beautifully--as if she were melted into it.

The official receptions were interesting that year, as one still saw a
few costumes. The Chinese, Japanese, Persians, Greeks, and Roumanians
wore their national dress--and much better they look in them than in
the ordinary dress coat and white tie of our men. The Greek dress was
very striking, a full white skirt with high embroidered belt, but it was
only becoming when the wearer was young, with a good figure. I remember
a pretty Roumanian woman with a white veil spangled with gold, most
effective. Now every one wears the ordinary European dress except the
Chinese, who still keep their costume. One could hardly imagine a
Chinese in a frock coat and tall hat. What would he do with his pigtail?

The entertainments went on pretty well that year until August, almost
all the embassies and ministries receiving. Queen Isabella of Spain was
then living in the big house in the Avenue Kleber, called the "Palais
d'Espagne" (now the Hotel Majestic). We used to meet her often driving
in the Bois. She was a big, stout, rather red-faced woman, didn't make
much effect in a carriage in ordinary street dress, but in her palace,
when she received or gave an audience, she was a very royal lady. I
asked for an audience soon after W. was named to the Foreign Office. We
knew one of her chamberlains very well, Duc de M., and he arranged it
for me. I arrived at the palace on the appointed day a little before
four (the audience was for four). The big gates were open, a tall porter
dressed in red and gold lace and buttons, and a staff in his hand, was
waiting--two or three men in black, and four or five footmen in red
liveries and powder, at the door and in the hall. I was shown at once to
a small room on the ground floor, where four or five ladies, all Spanish
and all fat, were waiting. In a few minutes the duke appeared. We talked
a little (he looking at me to see if I had taken off my veil and my
right-hand glove) and then a man in black appeared at the door, making a
low bow and saying something in Spanish. The duke said would I come, Her
Majesty was ready to receive me. We passed through several salons where
there were footmen and pages (no ladies) until we came to a very large
one quite at the other end of the palace. The big doors were open, and
at the far end I saw the Queen standing, a stately figure (enormous),
dressed in a long black velvet dress, a high diamond tiara on her head,
from which hung a black lace veil, a fan in her hand (I suppose no
Spanish woman of any station ever parts with her fan) and a splendid
string of pearls. I made my curtsey on the threshold, the chamberlain
named me with the usual formula: "I have the honour to present to Your
Majesty, Madame Waddington, the wife of the Minister of Foreign
Affairs," then backed himself out of the room, and I proceeded down the
long room to the Queen. She didn't move, let me make my two curtseys,
one in the middle of the room, one when I came close up to her--and then
shook hands. We remained standing a few minutes and then she sat down on
a sofa (not a very small one) which she quite filled, and motioned me to
take an armchair on one side. She was very amiable, had a charming
smile, spoke French very well but with a strong Spanish accent. She said
she was very glad to see my husband at the Foreign Office, and hoped he
would stay long enough to do some real work--said she was very fond of
France, loved driving in the streets of Paris, there was always so much
to see and the people looked gay. She was very fond of the theatres,
particularly the smaller ones, liked the real Parisian wit and gaiety
better than the measured phrase and trained diction of the Francais and
the Odeon. She spoke most warmly of Marshal MacMahon, hoped that he
would remain President of the Republic as long as the Republicans would
let him, was afraid they would make his position impossible--but that
the younger generation always wanted reforms and changes. I said I
thought that was the way of the world everywhere, in families as well
as nations--children could not be expected to see with the eyes of their
parents. Then we talked about the exposition--she said the Spanish show
was very good--told me to look at the tapestries and embroideries, which
were quite wonderful--gold and silver threads worked in with the
tapestries. The interview was pleasant and easy. When I took leave, she
let me back down the whole length of the room, not half turning away as
so many princesses do after the first few steps, so as to curtail that
very inconvenient exit. However, a day dress is never so long and
cumbersome as an evening dress with a train.

The chamberlain was waiting just outside the door, also two ladies in
waiting, just as fat as the Queen. Certainly the mise en scene was very
effective. The number of servants in red liveries, the solitary standing
figure at the end of the long enfilade of rooms, the high diamond comb
and long veil, quite transformed the very stout, red-faced lady whom I
used to meet often walking in the Bois.

We dined once or twice at the palace, always a very handsome dinner. One
for the Marshal and Madame de MacMahon was beautifully done--all the
footmen, dozens, in gala liveries, red and yellow, the maitre d'hotel in
very dark blue with gold epaulettes and aiguillettes. The table was
covered with red and yellow flowers and splendid gold plate, and a very
good orchestra of guitars and mandolins played all through dinner, the
musicians singing sometimes when they played a popular song. We were all
assembled in one of the large rooms waiting for the Queen to appear. As
soon as the Marshal and Madame de MacMahon were announced, she came in,
meeting them at the door, making a circle afterward, and shaking hands
with all the ladies.

Lord Lyons gave a beautiful ball at the embassy that season. The hotel
of the British embassy is one of the best in Paris--fine reception-rooms
opening on a very large garden, and a large courtyard and side exit--so
there was no confusion of carriages. He had need of all his room--Paris
was crowded with English. Besides all the exposition people, there were
many tourists and well-known English people, all expecting to be
entertained at the embassy. All the world was there. The Prince and
Princess of Wales, the Marshal and Madame de MacMahon, the Orleans
princes, Princesse Mathilde, the Faubourg St. Germain, the Government,
and as many foreigners as the house could hold, as he invited a great
many people, once his obligations, English and official, were
satisfied. It was only at an embassy that such a gathering could take
place, and it was amusing to see the people of all the different camps
looking at each other.

There was a supper up-stairs for all the royalties before the cotillion.
I was told that the Duc d'Aumale would take me to supper. I was very
pleased (as we knew him very well and he was always charming to us) but
much surprised, as the Orleans princes never remained for supper at any
big official function. There would have been questions of place and
precedence which would have been very difficult to settle. When the move
was made for supper, things had to be changed, as the Orleans princes
had gone home. The Crown Prince of Denmark took me. The supper-room was
prettily arranged, two round tables--Lord Lyons with the Princesses of
Wales and Denmark presiding at one--his niece, the Duchesse of Norfolk,
at the other, with the Princes of Wales and Denmark. I sat between the
Princes of Denmark and Sweden. Opposite me, next the Prince of Wales,
sat a lady I didn't know. Every one else at the table did. She was very
attractive-looking, with a charming smile and most animated manner. I
asked the Prince of Denmark in a low voice, who she was--thought it must
be one of the foreign princesses I hadn't yet met. The Prince of Wales
heard my question, and immediately, with his charming tact and ease of
manner, said to me: "You don't know the Princesse Mathilde; do let me
have the pleasure of presenting you to her," naming me at once--in my
official capacity, "wife of the Minister of Foreign Affairs." The
princess was very gracious and smiling, and we talked about all sorts of
things--some of her musical protegees, who were also mine. She asked me
if I liked living at the ministry, Quai d'Orsay; she remembered it as
such a beautiful house. When the party broke up, she shook hands, said
she had not the pleasure of knowing M. Waddington, but would I thank him
from her for what he had done for one of her friends. I tried to find W.
after supper to present him to the princess, but he had already gone,
didn't stay for the cotillion--the princess, too, went away immediately
after supper. I met her once or twice afterward. She was always
friendly, and we had little talks together. Her salon--she received once
a week--was quite a centre--all the Bonapartists of course, the
diplomatic corps, many strangers, and all the celebrities in
literature and art.

With that exception I never saw nor talked with any member of that
family until I had been some years a widow, when the Empress Eugenie
received me on her yacht at Cowes. When the news came of the awful
tragedy of the Prince Imperial's death in Zululand, W. was Foreign
Minister, and he had invited a large party, with music. W. instantly put
off the party, said there was no question of politics or a Bonapartist
prince--it was a Frenchman killed, fighting bravely in a foreign
country. I always thought the Empress knew about it and appreciated his
act, for during his embassy in London, though we never saw her, she
constantly sent him word through mutual friends of little negotiations
she knew about and thought might interest him, and always spoke very
well of him as a "clear-headed, patriotic statesman." I should have
liked to have seen her in her prime, when she must have been
extraordinarily beautiful and graceful. When I did see her she was no
longer young, but a stately, impressive figure, and had still the
beautiful brow one sees in all her pictures. One of our friends, a very
clever woman and great anti-Bonapartist, told us an amusing story of her
little son. The child was sometimes in the drawing-room when his mother
was receiving, and heard her and all her friends inveighing against the
iniquities of the Imperial Court and the frivolity of the Empress. He
saw the Empress walking one day in the Bois de Boulogne. She was
attracted by the group of children, stopped and talked to them. The boy
was delighted and said to his governess: "Elle est bien jolie,
l'Imperatrice, mais il ne faut pas le dire a Maman." (The Empress is
very pretty, but one must not say it to mother.)



Seventy-eight was a most important year for us in many ways. Besides the
interest and fatigues of the exposition and the constant receiving and
official festivities of all kinds, a great event was looming before
us--the Berlin Congress. One had felt it coming for some time. There
were all sorts of new delimitations and questions to be settled since
the war in the Balkans, and Europe was getting visibly nervous. Almost
immediately after the opening of the exposition, the project took shape,
and it was decided that France should participate in the Congress and
send three representatives. It was the first time that France had
asserted herself since the Franco-Prussian War in 1870, but it was time
for her now to emerge from her self-imposed effacement, and take her
place in the Congress of nations. There were many discussions, both
public and private, before the plenipotentiaires were named, and a great
unwillingness on the part of many very intelligent and patriotic
Frenchmen to see the country launching itself upon dangerous ground and
a possible conflict with Bismarck. However, the thing was decided, and
the three plenipotentiaries named--Mr. Waddington, Foreign Minister,
first; Comte de St. Vallier, a very clever and distinguished
diplomatist, actual ambassador at Berlin, second; and Monsieur Desprey,
Directeur de la Politique au Ministere des Affaires Etrangeres, third.
He was also a very able man, one of the pillars of the ministry, au
courant of every treaty and negotiation for the last twenty years, very
prudent and clear-headed. All W.'s colleagues were most cordial and
charming on his appointment. He made a statement in the House of the
line of policy he intended to adopt--and was absolutely approved and
encouraged. Not a disparaging word of any kind was said, not even the
usual remark of "cet anglais qui nous represente." He started the 10th
of June in the best conditions possible--not an instruction of any kind
from his chief, M. Dufaure, President du Conseil--very complimentary to
him certainly, but the ministers taking no responsibility
themselves--leaving the door open in case he made any mistakes. It was
evident that the Parliament and Government were nervous. It was rather
amusing, when all the preparations for the departure were going on. W.
took a large suite with him, secretaries, huissiers, etc., and I told
them they were as much taken up with their coats and embroideries and
cocked hats as any pretty woman with her dresses. I wanted very much to
go, but W. thought he would be freer and have more time to think things
over if I were not there. He didn't know Berlin at all, had never seen
Bismarck nor any of the leading German statesmen, and was fully
conscious how his every word and act would be criticised. However, if a
public man is not criticised, it usually means that he is of no
consequence--so attacks and criticisms are rather welcome--act as a
stimulant. I could have gone and stayed unofficially with a cousin, but
he thought that wouldn't do. St. Vallier was a bachelor; it would have
been rather an affair for him to organise at the embassy an apartment
for a lady and her maids, though he was most civil and asked me to come.

[Illustration: M. William Waddington. In the uniform he wore as Minister
of Foreign Affairs and at the Berlin Congress, 1878]

I felt rather lonely in the big ministry when they had all gone, and I
was left with baby. W. stayed away just five weeks, and I performed
various official things in his absence--among others the Review of the
14th of July. The distinguished guest on that occasion was the Shah of
Persia, who arrived with the Marechale in a handsome open carriage,
with outriders and postilions. The marshal of course was riding. The
Shah was not at all a striking figure, short, stout, with a dark skin,
and hard black eyes. He had handsome jewels, a large diamond fastening
the white aigrette of his high black cap, and his sword-hilt incrusted
with diamonds. He gave a stiff little nod in acknowledgment of the bows
and curtseys every one made when he appeared in the marshal's box. He
immediately took his seat on one side of the Marechale in front of the
box, one of the ambassadresses, Princess Hohenlohe I think, next to him.
The military display seemed to interest him. Every now and then he made
some remark to the Marechale, but he was certainly not talkative. While
the interminable line of the infantry regiments was passing, there was a
move to the back of the box, where there was a table with ices,
champagne, etc. Madame de MacMahon came up to me, saying: "Madame
Waddington, Sa Majeste demande les nouvelles de M. Waddington," upon
which His Majesty planted himself directly in front of me, so close that
he almost touched me, and asked in a quick, abrupt manner, as if he were
firing off a shot: "Ou est votre mari?" (neither Madame, nor M.
Waddington, nor any of the terms that are usually adopted in polite
society). "A Berlin, Sire." "Pourquoi a Berlin?" "Comme
plenipotentiaire Francais au Congres de Berlin." "Oui, oui, je sais, je
sais. Cela l'interesse?" "Beaucoup; il voit tant de personnes
interessantes." "Oui, je sais. Il va bien?" always coming closer to me,
so that I was edging back against the wall, with his hard, bright little
eyes fixed on mine, and always the same sharp, jerky tone. "Il va
parfaitement bien, je vous remercie." Then there was a pause and he made
one or two other remarks which I didn't quite understand--I don't think
his French went very far--but I made out something about "jolies femmes"
and pointed out one or two to him, but he still remained staring into my
face and I was delighted when his minister came up to him (timidly--all
his people were afraid of him) and said some personage wanted to be
presented to him. He shook hands with me, said something about "votre
mari revient bientot," and moved off. The Marechale asked me if I were
not touched by His Majesty's solicitude for my husband's health, and
wouldn't I like to come to the front of the box and sit next to him, but
I told her I couldn't think of engrossing His Majesty's attention, as
there were various important people who wished to be presented to him. I
watched him a little (from a distance), trying to see if anything made
any impression on him (the crowd, the pretty, well-dressed women, the
march past, the long lines of infantry,--rather fatiguing to see, as one
line regiment looks very like another,--the chasseurs with their small
chestnut horses, the dragoons more heavily mounted, and the guns), but
his face remained absolutely impassive, though I think he saw
everything. They told a funny story of him in London at one of the court
balls. When he had looked on at the dancing for some time, he said to
the Prince of Wales: "Tell those people to stop now, I have seen
enough"--evidently thought it was a ballet performing for his amusement.
Another one, at one of the European courts was funny. The monarch was
very old, his consort also. When the Shah was presented to the royal
lady, he looked hard at her without saying a word, then remarked to her
husband: "Laide, vieille, pourquoi garder?" (Ugly, old; why keep her?)

[Illustration: Nasr-ed-Din, Shah of Persia.]

I went to a big dinner and reception at the British Embassy, given for
all the directors and commissioners of the exposition. It was a lovely
warm night, the garden was lighted, everybody walking about, and an
orchestra playing. Many of the officials had their wives and daughters
with them, and some of the toilettes were wonderful. There were a good
many pretty women, Swedes and Danes, the Northern type, very fair hair
and blue eyes, attracting much attention, and a group of Chinese (all in
costume) standing proudly aloof--not the least interested apparently in
the gay scene before them. I wonder what they thought of European
manners and customs! There was no dancing, which I suppose would have
shocked their Eastern morals. Lord Lyons asked me why I wasn't in
Berlin. I said, "For the best of reasons, my husband preferred going
without me--but I hoped he would send for me perhaps at the end of the
Congress." He told me Lady Salisbury was there with her husband. He
seemed rather sceptical as to the peaceful issue of the
negotiations--thought so many unforeseen questions would come up and
complicate matters.

I went to a ball at the Hotel de Ville, also given for all the
foreigners and French people connected with the exposition. The getting
there was very long and tiring. The coupe-file did no good, as every one
had one. Comte de Pontecoulant went with me and he protested vigorously,
but one of the head men of the police, whom he knew well, came up to the
carriage to explain that nothing could be done. There was a long line of
diplomatic and official carriages, and we must take our chance with the
rest. Some of our cousins (Americans) never got there at all--sat for
hours in their carriage in the rue du Rivoli, moving an inch at a time.
Happily it was a lovely warm night; and as we got near we saw lots of
people walking who had left their carriages some little distance off,
hopelessly wedged in a crowd of vehicles--the women in light dresses,
with flowers and jewels in their hair. The rooms looked very handsome
when at last we did get in, particularly the staircase, with a Garde
Municipal on every step, and banks of palms and flowers on the landing
in the hall, wherever flowers could be put. The Ville de Paris furnishes
all the flowers and plants for the official receptions, and they always
are very well arranged. Some trophies of flags too of all nations made a
great effect. I didn't see many people I knew--it was impossible to get
through the crowd, but some one got me a chair at the open window giving
on the balcony, and I was quite happy sitting there looking at the
people pass. The whole world was represented, and it was interesting to
see the different types--Southerners, small, slight, dark, impatient,
wriggling through the crowd--the Anglo-Saxons, big, broad, calm,
squaring their shoulders when there came a sudden rush, and waiting
quite patiently a chance to get a little ahead. Some of the women too
pushed well--evidently determined to see all they could. I don't think
any royalties, even minor ones, were there.

W. wrote pretty regularly from Berlin, particularly the first days,
before the real work of the Congress began. He started rather sooner
than he had at first intended, so as to have a little time to talk
matters over with St. Vallier and make acquaintance with some of his
colleagues. St. Vallier, with all the staff of the embassy, met him at
the station when he arrived in Berlin, also Holstein (our old friend who
was at the German Embassy in Paris with Arnim) to compliment him from
Prince Bismarck, and he had hardly been fifteen minutes at the embassy
when Count Herbert von Bismarck arrived with greetings and compliments
from his father. He went to see Bismarck the next day, found him at
home, and very civil; he was quite friendly, very courteous and
"bonhomme, original, and even amusing in his conversation, but with a
hard look about the eyes which bodes no good to those who cross his
path." He had just time to get back to the embassy and get into his
uniform for his audience with the Crown Prince (late Emperor
Frederick).[1] The Vice Grand-Maitre des Ceremonies came for him in a
court carriage and they drove off to the palace--W. sitting alone on the
back seat, the grand-maitre facing him on the front. "I was ushered into
a room where the Prince was standing. He was very friendly and talked
for twenty minutes about all sorts of things, in excellent French, with
a few words of English now and then to show he knew of my English
connection. He spoke of my travels in the East, of the de Bunsens, of
the Emperor's health (the old man is much better and decidedly
recovering)--and of his great wish for peace." All the plenipotentiaries
had not yet arrived. They appeared only on the afternoon of the 12th,
the day before the Congress opened. Prince Bismarck sent out the
invitation for the first sitting:

[Footnote 1: The Crown Prince represented his father at all the
functions. Some days before the meeting of the Congress the old Emperor
had been wounded in the arm by a nihilist, Nobiling, who Fired from a
window when the Emperor was passing in an open carriage. The wound was
slight, but the old man was much shaken and unable to take any part in
the ceremonies or receive any of the plenipotentiaries.]

Le Prince de Bismarck
a l'honneur de prevenir Son Excellence, Monsieur Waddington,
que la premiere reunion du Congres aura lieu le
13 juin a deux heures, au Palais du Chancelier de l'Empire,
77, Wilhelmstrasse.
"Berlin, le 12 juin 1878."

It was a brilliant assemblage of great names and intelligences that
responded to his invitation--Gortschakoff, Schouvaloff, Andrassy,
Beaconsfield, Salisbury, Karolyi, Hohenlohe, Corti, and many others,
younger men, who acted as secretaries. French was the language spoken,
the only exception being made by Lord Beaconsfield, who always spoke in
English, although it was most evident, W. said, that he understood
French perfectly well. The first day was merely an official opening of
the Congress--every one in uniform--but only for that occasion. After
that they all went in ordinary morning dress, putting on their uniforms
again on the last day only, when they signed the treaty. W. writes:
"Bismarck presides and did his part well to-day; he speaks French fairly
but very slowly, finding his words with difficulty, but he knows what he
means to say and lets every one see that he does." No one else said much
that first day; each man was rather reserved, waiting for his neighbour
to begin. Beaconsfield made a short speech, which was trying for some of
his colleagues, particularly the Turks, who had evidently much
difficulty in understanding English. They were counting upon England's
sympathy, but a little nervous as to a supposed agreement between
England and Russia. The Russians listened most attentively. There seemed
to be a distrust of England on their part and a decided rivalry between
Gortschakoff and Beaconsfield. The Congress dined that first night with
the Crown Prince at the Schloss in the famous white hall--all in uniform
and orders. W. said the heat was awful, but the evening interesting.
There were one hundred and forty guests, no ladies except the royal
princesses, not even the ambassadresses. W. sat on Bismarck's left, who
talked a great deal, intending to make himself agreeable. He had a long
talk after dinner with the Crown Princess (Princess Royal of England)
who spoke English with him. He found her charming--intelligent and
cultivated and so easy--not at all stiff and shy like so many royalties.
He saw her very often during his stay in Berlin, and she was unfailingly
kind to him--and to me also when I knew her later in Rome and London.
She always lives in my memory as one of the most charming women I have
ever met. Her face often comes back to me with her beautiful bright
smile and the saddest eyes I have ever seen. I have known very few like
her. W. also had a talk with Prince Frederick-Charles, father of the
Duchess of Connaught, whom he found rather a rough-looking soldier with
a short, abrupt manner. He left bitter memories in France during the
Franco-German War, was called the "Red Prince," he was so hard and
cruel, always ready to shoot somebody and burn down villages on the
slightest provocation--so different from the Prince Imperial, the "unser
Fritz" of the Germans, who always had a kind word for the fallen foe.

[Illustration: Prince Bismarck. From a sketch by Anton von Werner,

W.'s days were very full, and when the important sittings began it was
sometimes hard work. The Congress room was very hot (all the colleagues
seemed to have a holy horror of open windows)--and some of the men very
long and tedious in stating their cases. Of course they were at a
disadvantage not speaking their own language (very few of them knew
French well, except the Russians), and they had to go very carefully,
and be quite sure of the exact significance of the words they used. W.
got a ride every morning, as the Congress only met in the afternoon.
They rode usually in the Thiergarten, which is not very large, but the
bridle-paths were good. It was very difficult to get out of Berlin into
the open country without going through a long stretch of suburbs and
sandy roads which were not very tempting. A great many officers rode in
the park, and one morning when he was riding with the military attache
of the embassy, two officers rode up and claimed acquaintance, having
known him in France in '70, the year of the war. They rode a short time
together, and the next day he received an invitation from the officers
of a smart Uhlan regiment to dine at their mess "in remembrance of the
kind hospitality shown to some of their officers who had been quartered
at his place in France during the war." As the hospitality was decidedly
forced, and the presence of the German officers not very agreeable to
the family, the invitation was not very happy. It was well meant, but
was one of those curious instances of German want of tact which one
notices so much if one lives much with Germans. The hours of the various
entertainments were funny. At a big dinner at Prince Bismarck's the
guests were invited at six, and at eight-thirty every one had gone. W.
sat next to Countess Marie, the daughter of the house, found her simple
and inclined to talk, speaking both French and English well. Immediately
after dinner the men all smoked everywhere, in the drawing-room, on the
terrace, some taking a turn in the park with Bismarck. W. found Princess
Bismarck not very femme du monde; she was preoccupied first with her
dinner, then with her husband, for fear he should eat too much, or take
cold going out of the warm dining-room into the evening air. There were
no ladies at the dinner except the family. (The German lady doesn't seem
to occupy the same place in society as the French and English woman
does. In Paris the wives of ambassadors and ministers are always invited
to all official banquets.)

Amusements of all kinds were provided for the plenipotentiaries. Early
in July W. writes of a "Land-parthie"--the whole Congress (wives too
this time) invited to Potsdam for the day. He was rather dreading a long
day--excursions were not much in his line. However, this one seems to
have been successful. He writes: "Our excursion went off better than
could be expected. The party consisted of the plenipotentiaries and a
certain number of court officers and generals. We started by rail,
stopped at a station called Wannsee, and embarked on board a small
steamer, the Princess Royal receiving the guests as they arrived on
board. We then started for a trip on the lakes, but before long there
came a violent squall which obliged the sailors to take down the awnings
in double-quick time, and drove every one down into the cabins. It
lasted about half an hour, after which it cleared up and every one
reappeared on deck. In course of time we landed near Babelsberg, where
carriages were waiting. I was told off to go in the first with the
Princess Royal, Countess Karolyi (wife of the Austrian ambassador, a
beautiful young woman), and Andrassy. We went over the Chateau of
Babelsberg, which is a pretty Gothic country-seat, not a palace, and
belongs to the present Emperor. After that we had a longish drive,
through different parks and villages, and finally arrived at Sans Souci,
where we dined. After dinner we strolled through the rooms and were
shown the different souvenirs of Frederick the Great, and got home at
ten-thirty." W. saw a good deal of his cousin, George de Bunsen, a
charming man, very cultivated and cosmopolitan. He had a pretty house in
the new quarter of Berlin, and was most hospitable. He had an
interesting dinner there with some of the literary men and
savants--Mommsen, Leppius, Helmholtz, Curtius, etc., most of them his
colleagues, as he was a member of the Berlin Academy. He found those
evenings a delightful change after the long hot afternoons in the
Wilhelmsstrasse, where necessarily there was so much that was long and
tedious. I think even he got tired of Greek frontiers, notwithstanding
his sympathy for the country. He did what he could for the Greeks, who
were very grateful to him and gave him, in memory of the efforts he made
on their behalf, a fine group in bronze of a female figure--"Greece"
throwing off the bonds of Turkey. Some of the speakers were very
interesting. He found Schouvaloff always a brilliant debater--he spoke
French perfectly, was always good-humoured and courteous, and defended
his cause well. One felt there was a latent animosity between the
English and the Russians. Lord Beaconsfield made one or two strong
speeches--very much to the point, and slightly arrogant, but as they
were always made in English, they were not understood by all the
Assembly. W. was always pleased to meet Prince Hohenlohe, actual German
ambassador to Paris (who had been named the third German
plenipotentiary). He was perfectly au courant of all that went on at
court and in the official world, knew everybody, and introduced W. to
various ladies who received informally, where he could spend an hour or
two quietly, without meeting all his colleagues. Blowitz, of course,
appeared on the scene--the most important person in Berlin (in his own
opinion). I am not quite convinced that he saw all the people he said he
did, or whether all the extraordinary confidences were made to him which
he related to the public, but he certainly impressed people very much,
and I suppose his letters as newspaper correspondent were quite
wonderful. He was remarkably intelligent and absolutely unscrupulous,
didn't hesitate to put into the mouths of people what he wished them to
say, so he naturally had a great pull over the ordinary simple-minded
journalist who wrote simply what he saw and heard. As he was the Paris
correspondent of _The London Times_, he was often at the French Embassy.
W. never trusted him very much, and his flair was right, as he was
anything but true to him. The last days of the Congress were very busy
ones. The negotiations were kept secret enough, but things always leak
out and the papers had to say something. I was rather emue at the tone
of the French press, but W. wrote me not to mind--they didn't really
know anything, and when the treaty was signed France would certainly
come out very honourably. All this has long passed into the domain of
history, and has been told so many times by so many different people
that I will not go into details except to say that the French
protectorate of Tunis (now one of our most flourishing colonies) was
entirely arranged by W. in a long confidential conversation with Lord
Salisbury. The cession of the Island of Cyprus by Turkey to the English
was a most unexpected and disagreeable surprise to W. However, he went
instantly to Lord Salisbury, who was a little embarrassed, as that
negotiation had been kept secret, which didn't seem quite
fair--everything else having been openly discussed around the council
table. He quite understood W.'s feelings in the matter, and was
perfectly willing to make an arrangement about Tunis. The thing was
neither understood nor approved at first by the French Government. W.
returned to Paris, "les mains vides; seulement a chercher dans sa poche
on y eut trouve les cles de la Tunisie"--as one of his friends defined
the situation some years ago. He was almost disavowed by his Government.
The ministers were timid and unwilling that France should take any
initiative--even his friend, Leon Say, then Minister of Finances, a very
clever man and brilliant politician, said: "Notre collegue Waddington,
contre son habitude, s'est emballe cette fois pour la question de la
Tunisie." (Our colleague Waddington, contrary to his nature, has quite
lost his head this time over the Tunis question.) I think the course of
events has fully justified his action, and now that it has proved such a
success, every one claims to have taken the initiative of the French
protectorate of Tunis. All honours have been paid to those who carried
out the project, and very little is said of the man who originated the
scheme in spite of great difficulties at home and abroad. Some of W.'s
friends know the truth.

[Illustration: The Berlin Congress. From a painting by Anton von Werner,

There was a great exchange of visits, photographs, and autographs the
last days of the Congress. Among other things which W. brought back from
Berlin, and which will be treasured by his grandsons as a historical
souvenir, was a fan, quite a plain wooden fan, with the signatures of
all the plenipotentiaries--some of them very characteristic. The French
signatures are curiously small and distinct, a contrast to Bismarck's
smudge. W. was quite sorry to say good-bye to some of his colleagues.
Andrassy, with his quick sympathies and instant comprehension of all
sides of a question, attracted him very much. He was a striking
personality, quite the Slav type. W. had little private intercourse with
Prince Gortschakoff--who was already an old man and the type of the
old-fashioned diplomatist--making very long and well-turned phrases
which made people rather impatient. On the whole W. was satisfied. He
writes two or three days before the signing of the treaty: "As far as I
can see at present, no one will be satisfied with the result of the
Congress; it is perhaps the best proof that it is dealing fairly and
equitably with the very exaggerated claims and pretensions of all
parties. Anyhow, France will come out of the whole affair honourably and
having done all that a strictly neutral power can do." The treaty was
signed on July 13 by all the plenipotentiaries in full uniform. W.
said there was a decided feeling of satisfaction and relief that it was
finished. Even Bismarck looked less preoccupied, as if a weight had been
lifted from his shoulders. Of course he was supposed to have had his own
way in everything. Everybody (not only the French) was afraid of him.
With his iron will, and unscrupulous brushing aside, or even
annihilating, everything that came in his way, he was a formidable
adversary. There was a gala dinner at the Schloss, to celebrate the
signing of the treaty. "It was the exact repetition of the first, at the
opening of the Congress. I sat on the left of Bismarck, and had a good
deal of conversation with him. The Crown Prince and Princess were just
opposite, and the Princess talked a great deal with me across the table,
always in English." The Crown Princess could never forget that she was
born Princess Royal of England. Her household was managed on English
principles, her children brought up by English nurses, she herself
always spoke English with them. Of course there must have been many
things in Germany which were distasteful to her,--so many of the small
refinements of life which are absolute necessaries in England were
almost unknown luxuries in Germany,--particularly when she married. Now
there has been a great advance in comfort and even elegance in German
houses and habits. Her English proclivities made her a great many
enemies, and I don't believe the "Iron Chancellor" made things easy for
her. The dinner at the Schloss was as usual at six o'clock, and at nine
W. had to go to take leave of the Empress, who was very French in her
sympathies, and had always been very kind to him. Her daughter, the
Grand Duchess of Baden, was there, and W. had a very pleasant hour with
the two ladies. The Empress asked him a great many questions about the
Congress, and particularly about Bismarck--if he was in a fairly good
temper--when he had his nerves he was simply impossible, didn't care
what people thought of him, and didn't hesitate to show when he was
bored. The Grand Duchess added smilingly: "He is perfectly intolerant,
has no patience with a fool." I suppose most people are of this opinion.
I am not personally. I have some nice, foolish, kindly, happy friends of
both sexes I am always glad to see; I think they are rather resting in
these days of high education and culture and pose. W. finished his
evening at Lady Salisbury's, who had a farewell reception for all the
plenipotentiaries. He took leave of his colleagues, all of whom had been
most friendly. The only one who was a little stiff with him and
expressed no desire to meet him again was Corti, the Italian
plenipotentiary. He suspected of course that something had been arranged
about Tunis, and was much annoyed that he hadn't been able to get
Tripoli for Italy. He was our colleague afterward in London, and there
was always a little constraint and coolness in his manner. W. left
Berlin on the 17th, having been five weeks away.



W. got home on the 17th, and was so busy the first days, with his
colleagues and political friends that I didn't see much more of him than
if he had been in Berlin. He was rather disgusted and discouraged at the
view his colleagues of the cabinet and his friends took of France's
attitude at the Congress. The only man who seemed to be able to look
ahead a little and understand what a future there might be for France in
Tunis was Gambetta. I remember quite well his telling of an interesting
conversation with him. Gambetta was very keen about foreign affairs,
very patriotic, and not at all willing that France should remain
indefinitely a weakened power, still suffering from the defeat of 1870.
There were many fetes and reunions of all kinds, all through the summer
months, as people had flocked to Paris for the exposition. We remained
in town until the first days of August, then W. went to his
Conseil-General in the Department of the Aisne, and I went down to
Deauville. He joined me there, and we had a pleasant month--bathing,
driving, and seeing a great many people. We had taken Sir Joseph
Oliffe's villa, one of the best in Deauville. Oliffe, an Englishman, was
one of Emperor Napoleon's physicians, and he and the Duc de Morny were
the founders of Deauville, which was very fashionable as long as Morny
lived and the Empire lasted, but it lost its vogue for some years after
the Franco-German War--fashion and society generally congregating at
Trouville. There were not many villas then, and one rather bad hotel,
but the sea was nearer than it is now and people all went to the beach
in the morning, and fished for shrimps in the afternoon, and led a quiet
out-of-doors life. There was no polo nor golf nor automobiles--not many
carriages, a good tennis-court, where W. played regularly, and races
every Sunday in August, which brought naturally a gay young crowd of all
the sporting world. The train des maris that left Paris every Saturday
evening, brought a great many men. It was quite different from the
Deauville of to-day, which is charming, with quantities of pretty villas
and gardens and sports of all kinds, but the sea is so far off one has
to take quite a long walk to get to it, and the mornings on the beach
and the expeditions to Trouville in the afternoon across the ferry, to
do a little shopping in the rue de Paris, are things of the past.
Curiously enough while I was looking over my notes the other day, I had
a visit from an old friend, the Duc de M., who was one of the inner
circle of the imperial household of the Emperor Napoleon III, and took
an active part in all that went on at court. He had just been hearing
from a friend of the very brilliant season at Deauville this year, and
the streams of gold that flowed into the caisse of the management of the
new hotel and casino. Every possible luxury and every inducement to
spend money, racing, gambling, pretty women of all nationalities and
facile character, beautifully dressed and covered with jewels, side by
side with the bearers of some of the proudest names in France. He said
that just fifty years ago he went to Deauville with the Duc de Morny,
Princesse Metternich, and the Comtesse de Pourteles to inaugurate the
new watering-place, then of the simplest description. The ladies were
badly lodged in a so-called hotel and he had a room in a
fisherman's hut.

Marshal MacMahon had a house near Trouville that year, and he came over
occasionally to see W., always on horseback and early in the morning. W.
used to struggle into his clothes when "M. le Marechal" was announced.
I think the marshal preferred his military title very much to his civic
honours. I suppose there never was so unwilling a president of a
republic, except many years later Casimir Perier, who certainly hated
the "prison of the Elysee," but the marshal was a soldier, and his
military discipline helped him through many difficult positions. We had
various visitors who came down for twenty-four hours--one charming visit
from the Marquis de Vogue, then French ambassador at Vienna, where he
was very much liked, a persona grata in every way. He was very tall,
distinguished-looking, quite the type of the ambassador. When I went to
inspect his room I was rather struck by the shortness of the bed--didn't
think his long legs could ever get into it. The valet assured me it was
all right, the bed was normal, but I doubt if he had a very comfortable
night. He and W. were old friends, had travelled in the East together
and discussed every possible subject during long starlight nights in the
desert. They certainly never thought then that one day they would be
closely associated as ambassador and foreign minister. Vogue didn't like
the Republic, didn't believe in the capacity or the sincerity of the
Republicans--couldn't understand how W. could. He was a personal friend
of the marshal's, remained at Vienna during the marshal's presidency,
but left with him, much to W.'s regret, who knew what good service he
had done at Vienna and what a difficult post that would be for an
improvised diplomatist. It was then, and I fancy is still, one of the
stiffest courts in Europe. One hears amusing stories from some
diplomatists of the rigid etiquette in court circles, which the
Americans were always infringing. A great friend of mine, an American,
who had lived all her life abroad, and whose husband was a member of the
diplomatic corps in Vienna, was always worrying over the misdemeanours
of the Americans who never paid any attention to rules or court
etiquette. They invaded charmed circles, walked boldly up to archdukes
and duchesses, talking to them cheerfully and easily without waiting to
be spoken to, giving them a great deal of information upon all subjects,
Austrian as well as American, and probably interested the very stiff
Austrian royalties much more than the ordinary trained diplomatist, who
would naturally be more correct in his attitude and conversation. I
think the American nationality is the most convenient in the world. The
Americans do just as they like, and no one is ever surprised. The
explanation is quite simple: "They are Americans." I have often noticed
little faults of manners or breeding, which would shock one in a
representative of an older civilisation, pass quite unnoticed, or merely
provoke a smile of amusement.

We drove about a great deal--the country at the back of Deauville, going
away from the sea, is lovely--very like England--charming narrow roads
with high banks and hedges on each side--big trees with spreading
branches meeting overhead--stretches of green fields with cows grazing
placidly and horses and colts gambolling about. It is a great grazing
and breeding country. There are many haras (breeding stables) in the
neighbourhood, and the big Norman posters are much in demand. I have
friends who never take their horses to the country. They hire for the
season a pair of strong Norman horses that go all day up and down hill
at the same regular pace and who get over a vast amount of country. We
stopped once or twice when we were a large party, two or three
carriages, and had tea at one of the numerous farmhouses that were
scattered about. Boiling water was a difficulty--milk, cider, good bread
and butter, cheese we could always find--sometimes a galette, but a
kettle and boiling water were entirely out of their habits. They used to
boil the water in a large black pot, and take it out with a big spoon.
However, it amused us, and the water really did boil.

We had an Italian friend, Count A., who went with us sometimes, and he
was very debrouillard, made himself delightful at once to the fermiere
and got whatever he wanted--chairs and tables set out on the grass, with
all the cows and colts and chickens walking about quite undisturbed by
the unusual sights and sounds. It was all very rustic and a delightful
change from the glories of the exposition and official life. It amused
me perfectly to see W. with a straw hat, sitting on a rather rickety
three-legged stool, eating bread and butter and jam. Once or twice some
of W.'s secretaries came down with despatches, and he had a good
morning's work, but on the whole the month passed lazily and pleasantly.

We went back to Paris about the 10th of September, and remained there
until the end of the exposition. Paris was again crowded with
foreigners--the month of October was beautiful, bright and warm, and the
afternoons at the exposition were delightful at the end of the day, when
the crowd had dispersed a little and the last rays of the setting sun
lingered on the Meudon Hills and the river. The buildings and costumes
lost their tawdry look, and one saw only a mass of moving colour, which
seemed to soften and lose itself in the evening shadows. There were
various closing entertainments. The marshal gave a splendid fete at
Versailles. We drove out and had some difficulty in making our way
through the crowd of carriages, soldiers, police, and spectators that
lined the road. It was a beautiful sight as we got near the palace,
which was a blaze of light. The terraces and gardens were also
illuminated, and the effect of the little lamps hidden away in the
branches of the old trees, cut into all sorts of fantastic shapes, was
quite wonderful. There were not as many people at the entrance of the
palace as we had expected to find, for the invitations had been most
generously given to all nationalities. At first the rooms, which were
brilliantly lighted, looked almost empty. The famous Galerie des Glaces
was quite enchanting, almost too light, if there can be too much light
at a fete. There were very few people in it when we arrived rather
early--so much so that when I said to M. de L., one of the marshal's
aides-de-camp, "How perfectly beautiful it is, even now, empty; what
will it be when all the uniforms and jewels are reflected in the
mirrors," his answer was: "Ah, Madame, I am afraid we shan't have people
enough, the hall is so enormous."

I thought of him afterward when an angry crowd was battering at the
doors of one of the salons where the royalties were having refreshments.
I don't think they realised, and we certainly didn't, what the noise
meant, but some of the marshal's household, who knew that only a slight
temporary partition was between us and an irate mob, struggling up the
staircase, were green with anxiety. However, the royalties all got away
without any difficulty, and we tried to hurry immediately after them,
but a dense crowd was then pouring into the room at each end, and for a
moment things looked ugly. The gentlemen, my husband and my
brother-in-law, Eugene Schuyler, Lord Lyons, British ambassador (a big
square-shouldered man), and one or two others, put us, my sister
Schuyler and me, in a recess of one of the big windows, with heavy
furniture in front of us, but that was not very pleasant--with the crowd
moving both ways closing in upon us--and the men were getting nervous,
so one of our secretaries squeezed through the crowd and found two or
three huissiers, came back with them, and we made a procession--two big
huissiers in front, with their silver chains and swords, the mark of
official status, which always impresses a French crowd, then Lord Lyons,
my sister, and I, then W. and Schuyler, and two more men behind us--and
with considerable difficulty and a good many angry expostulations, we
made our way out. Happily our carriages and servants with our wraps were
waiting in one of the inner courts, and we got away easily enough, but
the evening was disastrous to most of the company.

There must have been some misunderstanding between the marshal's
household and the officials at Versailles, as but one staircase (and
there are several) was opened to the public, which was of course
absolutely insufficient. Why others were not opened and lighted will
always be a mystery. Every one got jammed in the one narrow
stairway--people jostled and tumbled over each other--some of the women
fainted and were carried out, borne high aloft over the heads of the
struggling multitudes, and many people never saw their cloaks again. The
vestiaire was taken by storm--satin and lace cloaks lying on the ground,
trampled upon by everybody, and at the end, various men not having been
able to find their coats were disporting themselves in pink satin cloaks
lined with swan's-down--over their shoulders. Quantities of people never
got into the palace--not even on the staircase. The landing was directly
opposite the room where the princes had their buffet--and if they had
succeeded in forcing the door, it would have been a catastrophe. While
we were standing in the window, looking into the park, which looked an
enchanted garden, with the lights and flowers--we wondered if we could
jump or climb down if the crowd pressed too much upon us, but it was too
high and there were no projecting balconies to serve as stepping-stones.
It was a very unpleasant experience.

We were giving a ball at the Quai d'Orsay a few nights afterward, and
had also asked a great many people--all the ambassadors sent in very
large lists of invitations they wanted for their compatriots, but much
the largest was that sent in by the American minister. The invitations
sent to the United States Legation (as it was then) were something
fabulous. It seemed to me the whole of the United States were in Paris
and expecting to be entertained. It is a very difficult position for the
American representative on these occasions. Everybody can't be invited
to the various entertainments and distinctions are very hard to make. We
had some amusing experiences. W. had a letter from one of his English
friends, Lord H., saying he was coming to Paris for the fetes, with his
two daughters, and he would like very much to be invited to some of the
parties at the Elysee and the ministries. W. replied, saying he would
do what he could, and added that we were to have two large dinners and
receptions,--one with the Comedie Francaise afterward and one with
music--which one would they come to. Lord H. promptly replied, "to
both." It was funny, but really didn't make any difference. When you
have a hundred people to dinner you can quite easily have a hundred and
three, and in such large parties, arranged weeks beforehand, some one
always gives out at the last moment.

We had a great many discussions in W.'s cabinet with two of his
secretaries, who were especially occupied with the invitations for our
ball. The Parliament of course (le peuple souverain) was invited, but it
was a different question for the women, wives of the senators and
deputies. We finally arrived at a solution by inviting only the wives I
knew. We had an indignant response from one gentleman: "M. X., Depute,
ne valsant qu'avec sa femme, a l'honneur de renvoyer la carte
d'invitation que le Ministre des Affaires Etrangeres et Madame
Waddington lui ont adressee pour la soiree du 28...." (Mr. X., Deputy,
who waltzes only with his wife, has the honour to send back the card of
invitation which the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Madame Waddington
have sent to him for the party of the 28... ) It was unanimously
decided that the couple must be invited--a gentleman who went to balls
only to dance with his wife must be encouraged in such exemplary
behaviour. Another was funny too, in a different style: "Madame K.,
etant au ciel depuis quelques annees, ne pourrait pas se rendre a la
gracieuse invitation que le Ministre des Affaires Etrangeres et Madame
Waddington ont bien voulu lui adresser. Monsieur K. s'y rendra avec
plaisir."... (Madame K., being in heaven for some years, cannot accept
the amiable invitation of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Madame
Waddington. Mr. K. will come with pleasure.) We kept the letters in our
archives with many other curious specimens. The house was given over to
workmen the last two or three days before the ball. With the remembrance
of the staircase at Versailles in our minds, we were most anxious to
have no contretemps of any kind to interfere with our entertainment.
Both entrances were arranged and the old elevator (which had not worked
for years) was put in order. It had been suggested once or twice that I
should use it, but as I always had heard a gruesome tale of Madame
Drouyn de l'Huys, when her husband was Foreign Minister, hanging in
space for four or five hours between the two floors, I was not inclined
to repeat that experience.

My recollection of the lower entrance and staircase, which we never
used, was of rather a dark, grimy corner, and I was amazed the morning
of the ball to see the transformation. Draperies, tapestries, flags, and
green plants had done wonders--and the elevator looked quite charming
with red velvet hangings and cushions. I don't think any one used it. We
had asked our guests at nine-thirty, as the princes said they would come
at ten. I was ready about nine, and thought I would go down-stairs by
the lower entrance, so as to have a look at the staircase and all the
rooms before any one came. There was already such a crowd in the rooms
that I couldn't get through; even my faithful Gerard could not make a
passage. We were obliged to send for two huissiers, who with some
difficulty made room for me. W. and his staff were already in the salon
reserve, giving final instructions. The servants told us that since
eight o'clock there had been a crowd at the doors, which they opened a
little before nine, and a flood of people poured in. The salon reserve
had a blue ribbon stretched across the entrance from door to door, and
was guarded by huissiers, old hands who knew everybody in the diplomatic
and official world, and would not let any one in who hadn't a right to
penetrate into the charmed circle (which of course became the one room
where every one wanted to go). There were, too, one or two members of
W.'s cabinet always stationed near the doors to see that instructions
were obeyed.

I don't think the salon reserve exists any more--the blue ribbon
certainly not. The rising flood of democracy and equality wouldn't
submit to any such barrier. I remember quite well one beautiful woman
standing for some time just the wrong side of the ribbon. She was so
beautiful that every one remarked her, but she had no official rank or
claim of any kind to enter the salon reserve--no one knew her, though
every one was asking who she was. She finally made her entree into the
room on the arm of one of the members of the diplomatic corps, a young
secretary, one of her friends, who could not refuse her what she wanted
so much. She was certainly the handsomest woman in the room with the
exception of the actual Queen Alexandra, who was always the most
beautiful and distinguished wherever she was.

The royalties didn't dance much. We had the regular quadrille d'honneur
with the Princes and Princesses of Wales, Denmark, Sweden, Countess of
Flanders, and others. None of the French princes came to the ball.
There was a great crowd, but as the distinguished guests remained all
the time in the salon reserve, they were not inconvenienced by it. Just
before supper, which was served at little round tables in a room opening
out of the rotonde, the late King of Denmark, then Crown Prince, brother
of the Princess of Wales, told me he would like to go up-stairs and see
all the rooms; he had always heard that the Palais d'Orsay was a
beautiful house. We made a difficult but stately progress through the
rooms. The staircase was a pretty sight, covered with a red carpet,
tapestries on the walls, and quantities of pretty women of all
nationalities grouped on the steps. We walked through the rooms, where
there were just as many people as there were down-stairs, an orchestra,
supper-room, people dancing--just like another party going on. We halted
a few minutes in my petit salon at the end of the long suite of rooms.
It looked quite charming, with the blue brocade walls and quantities of
pink roses standing in high glass vases. I suggested taking the elevator
to go down, but the prince preferred walking (so did I). It was even
more difficult getting through the crowd down-stairs--we had the whole
length of the house to cross. Several women stood on chairs as we passed
along, in the hope of seeing one of the princesses, but they had wisely
remained in the salon reserve, and were afraid to venture into
the crowd.

Supper was a serious preoccupation for the young secretaries of the
ministry, who had much difficulty in keeping that room private. Long
before the supper hour some enterprising spirits had discovered that the
royalties were to sup in that room, and finding the secretaries quite
inaccessible to any suggestions of "people who had a right to come
in"--presidents of commissions and various other distinctions--had
recourse to the servants, and various gold pieces circulated, which,
however, did not accomplish their object. The secretaries said that they
had more trouble with the chamberlains of the various princes than with
the princes themselves; they all wanted to sup in the private room, and
were much more tenacious of having a good place, or the place they
thought was due to them, than their royal masters. The supper was very
gay--the Prince of Wales (the late King Edward) perfectly
charming--talking to every one, remembering every one with that
extraordinary gracious manner which made him friends in all classes.
Immediately after supper the princes and distinguished strangers and W.
departed. I remained about an hour longer and went to have a look at
the ballroom. It was still crowded, people dancing hard, and when
finally about two o'clock I retreated to my own quarters, I went to
sleep to the sound of waltzes and dance music played by the two
orchestras. The revelry continued pretty well all through the night.
Whenever I woke I heard strains of music. Supper went on till seven in
the morning. Our faithful Kruft told us that there was absolutely
nothing left on the tables, and they had almost to force the people out,
telling them that an invitation to a ball did not usually extend to
breakfast the next morning.

There was a grand official closing of the exposition at the end of
November, with a distribution of prizes--the city still very full and
very gay--escorts and uniforms in every direction--the Champs-Elysees
brilliant with soldiers--equipages of all descriptions, and all the
afternoon a crowd of people sitting under the trees, much interested in
all that was going on, particularly when carriages would pass with
people in foreign and striking costumes. The Chinese always wore their
costume; the big yellow birds of paradise became quite a feature of the
afternoon defile. An Indian princess too, dressed entirely in white--a
soft clinging material, with a white veil, _not_ over her face, and
held in place by a gold band going around the head--was always much
admired. Every now and then there would be a great clatter of
trotting-horses and jingling sabres, when an escort of dragoons would
pass, escorting some foreign prince to the Elysee to pay his formal
visit to the marshal. Everybody looked gay--French people so dearly love
a show--and it was amusing to see the interest every one took in the
steady stream of people, from the fashionable woman driving to the Bois
in her victoria to the workmen, who would stand in groups on the corners
of the streets--some of them occasionally with a child on their
shoulders. Frenchmen of all classes are good to children. On a Sunday or
fete day, when whole families are coming in from a day at the Bois, one
often sees a young husband wheeling a baby-carriage, or carrying a baby
in his arms to let the poor mother have a rest. It was curious at the
end of the exposition to see how quickly everything was removed (many
things had been sold); and in a few days the Champ de Mars took again
the same aspect it had at the beginning of the month of May--heavy carts
and camions everywhere, oceans of mud, lines of black holes where trees
and poles had been planted, and the same groups of small shivering
Southerners, all huddled together, wrapped in wonderful cloaks and
blankets, quite paralysed with cold. I don't know if the exposition was
a financial success--I should think probably not. A great deal of money
came into France (but the French spent enormously in their preparations)
but the moral effect was certainly good--all the world flocked to Paris.
Cabs and river steamers did a flourishing business, as did all the
restaurants and cafes in the suburbs. St. Cloud, Meudon, Versailles,
Robinson, were crowded every night with people who were thirsting for
air and food after long hot days in the dust and struggles of the
exposition. We dined there once or twice, but it was certainly neither
pleasant nor comfortable--even in the most expensive restaurants. They
were all overcrowded, very bad service, badly lighted, and generally bad
food. There were various national repasts--Russian, Italian, etc.--but I
never participated in any of those, except once at the American
restaurant, where I had a very good breakfast one morning, with
delicious waffles made by a negro cook. I was rather glad when the
exhibition was over. One had a feeling that one ought to see as much as
possible, and there were some beautiful things, but it was most
fatiguing struggling through the crowd, and we invariably lost the
carriage and found ourselves at the wrong entrance, and had to wait
hours for a cab. Tiffany had a great success with the French. Many of my
friends bought souvenirs of the exposition from him. His work was very
original, fanciful, and quite different from the rather stiff, heavy,
classic silver that one sees in this country.



There had been a respite, a sort of armed truce, in political circles as
long as the exposition lasted, but when the Chambers met again in
November, it was evident that things were not going smoothly. The
Republicans and Radicals were dissatisfied. Every day there were
speeches and insinuations against the marshal and his government, and
one felt that a crisis was impending. There were not loaves and fishes
enough for the whole Radical party. If one listened to them it would
seem as if every prefet and every general were conspiring against the
Republic. There were long consultations in W.'s cabinet, and I went
often to our house in the rue Dumont d'Urville to see if everything was
in order there, as I quite expected to be back there for Christmas. A
climax was reached when the marshal was asked to sign the deposition of
some of the generals. He absolutely refused--the ministers persisted in
their demands. There was not much discussion, the marshal's mind was
made up, and on the 30th of January, 1879, he announced in the Conseil
des Ministres his irrevocable decision, and handed his ministers his
letter of resignation.

We had a melancholy breakfast--W., Count de P., and I--the last day of
the marshal's presidency. W. was very blue, was quite sure the marshal
would resign, and foresaw all sorts of complications both at home and
abroad. The day was gloomy too, grey and cold, even the big rooms of the
ministry were dark. As soon as they had started for Versailles, I took
baby and went to mother's. As I went over the bridge I wondered how many
more times I should cross it, and whether the end of the week would see
me settled again in my own house. We drove about and had tea together,
and I got back to the Quai d'Orsay about six o'clock. Neither W. nor
Count de P. had got back from Versailles, but there were two
telegrams--the first one to say that the marshal had resigned, the
second one that Grevy was named in his place, with a large majority.

[Illustration: M. Jules Grevy, reading Marshal MacMahon's letter of
resignation to the Chamber of Deputies. From _L'Illustration_,
February 8. 1879.]

W. was rather depressed when he came home--he had always a great
sympathy and respect for the marshal, and was very sorry to see him
go,--thought his departure would complicate foreign affairs. As long as
the marshal was at the Elysee, foreign governments were not afraid of
coups d'etat or revolutions. He was also sorry that Dufaure would not
remain, but he was an old man, had had enough of political life and
party struggles--left the field to younger men. The marshal's letter was
communicated at once to the Parliament, and the houses met in the
afternoon. There was a short session to hear the marshal's letter read
(by Grevy in the Chamber of Deputies) and the two houses, Senate and
Chamber of Deputies, were convoked for a later hour of the same
afternoon. There was not much excitement, two or three names were
pronounced, but every one felt sure that Grevy would be the man. He was
nominated by a large majority, and the Republicans were
jubilant--thought the Republic was at last established on a firm and
proper basis. Grevy was perfectly calm and self-possessed--did not show
much enthusiasm. He must have felt quite sure from the first moment that
he would be named. His first visitor was the marshal, who wished him all
possible success in his new mission, and, if Grevy was pleased to be the
President of the Republic, the marshal was even more pleased not to be,
and to take up his private life again.

There were many speculations as to who would be charged by Grevy to form
his first cabinet--and almost permanent meetings in all the groups of
the Left. W.'s friends all said he would certainly remain at the Foreign
Office, but that depended naturally upon the choice of the premier. If
he were taken from the more advanced ranks of the Left, W. could not
possibly stay. We were not long in suspense. W. had one or two
interviews with Grevy, which resulted in his remaining at the Foreign
Office, but as prime minister. W. hesitated at first, felt that it would
not be an easy task to keep all those very conflicting elements
together. There were four Protestants in the ministry, W., Leon Say, de
Freycinet, and Le Royer. Jules Ferry, who took the Ministry of Public
Instruction, a very clever man, was practically a freethinker, and the
Parliament was decidedly more advanced. The last elections had given a
strong Republican majority to the Senate. He consulted with his brother,
Richard Waddington, then a deputy, afterward a senator, president of the
Chamber of Commerce of Rouen, and some of his friends, and finally
decided to accept the very honourable, but very onerous position, and
remained at the Foreign Affairs with Grevy, as prime minister.

If I had seen little of him before, I saw nothing of him now, as his
work was exactly doubled. We did breakfast together, but it was a most
irregular meal--sometimes at twelve o'clock, sometimes at one-thirty,
and very rarely alone. We always dined out or had people dining with us,
so that family life became a dream of the past. We very rarely went
together when we dined out. W. was always late--his coupe waited hours
in the court. I had my carriage and went alone. After eight or ten days
of irregular meals at impossible hours (we often dined at nine-thirty) I
said to Count de P., W.'s chef de cabinet: "Can't you arrange to have
business over a little earlier? It is awful to dine so late and to wait
so long," to which he replied: "Ah, madame, no one can be more desirous
than I to change that order of things, for when the minister dines at
nine-thirty, the chef de cabinet gets his dinner at ten-thirty." We did
manage to get rather more satisfactory hours after a little while, but
it was always difficult to extract W. from his work if it were anything
important. He became absorbed, and absolutely unconscious of time.

The new President, Grevy, installed himself at once at the Elysee with
his wife and daughter. There was much speculation about Madame Grevy--no
one had ever seen her--she was absolutely unknown. When Grevy was
president of the National Assembly, he gave very pleasant men's
dinners, where Madame Grevy never appeared. Every one (of all opinions)
was delighted to go to him, and the talk was most brilliant and
interesting. Grevy was a perfect host, very cultivated, with a
marvellous memory--quoting pages of the classics, French, and Latin.

Madame Grevy was always spoken of as a quiet, unpretending
person--occupied with domestic duties, who hated society and never went
anywhere--in fact, no one ever heard her name mentioned. A great many
people didn't know that Grevy had a wife. When her husband became
President of the Republic, there was much discussion as to Madame
Grevy's social status in the official world. I don't think Grevy wanted
her to appear nor to take any part in the new life, and she certainly
didn't want to. Nothing in her former life had prepared her for such a
change, and it was always an effort for her, but both were overruled by
their friends, who thought a woman was a necessary part of the position.
It was some little time before they were settled at the Elysee. W. asked
Grevy once or twice when Madame Waddington might call upon his wife--and
he answered that as soon as they were quite installed I should receive a
notice. One day a communication arrived from the Elysee, saying that
Madame Grevy would receive the diplomatic corps and the ministers' wives
on a fixed day at five o'clock. The message was sent on to the
diplomatic corps, and when I arrived on the appointed day (early, as I
wanted to see the people come in, and also thought I must present the
foreign ladies) there were already several carriages in the court.

[Illustration: M. Jules Grevy elected President of the Republic by the
Senate and Chamber of Deputies meeting as the National Assembly. From
_l'Illustration_, February 8. 1879.]

The Elysee looked just as it did in the marshal's time--plenty of
servants in gala liveries--two or three huissiers who knew
everybody--palms, flowers, everywhere. The traditions of the palace are
carried on from one President to another, and a permanent staff of
servants remains. We found Madame Grevy with her daughter and one or two
ladies, wives, I suppose, of the secretaries, seated in the well-known
drawing-room with the beautiful tapestries--Madame Grevy in a large gold
armchair at the end of the room--a row of gilt armchairs on each side of
hers--mademoiselle standing behind her mother. A huissier announced
every one distinctly, but the names and titles said nothing to Madame
Grevy. She was tall, middle-aged, handsomely dressed, and visibly
nervous--made a great many gestures when she talked. It was amusing to
see all the people arrive. I had nothing to do--there were no
introductions--every one was announced, and they all walked straight up
to Madame Grevy, who was very polite, got up for every one, men and
women. It was rather an imposing circle that gathered around
her--Princess Hohenlohe, German ambassadress, sat on one side of
her--Marquise Molins, Spanish ambassadress, on the other. There were not
many men--Lord Lyons, as doyen of the diplomatic corps, the nonce, and a
good many representatives of the South American Republics. Madame Grevy
was perfectly bewildered, and did try to talk to the ladies next to her,
but it was an intimidating function for any one, and she had no one to
help her, as they were all quite new to the work. It was obviously an
immense relief to her when some lady of the official world came in, whom
she had known before. The two ladies plunged at once into a very
animated conversation about their children, husbands, and various
domestic matters--a perfectly natural conversation, but not interesting
to the foreign ladies.

We didn't make a very long visit--it was merely a matter of form. Lord
Lyons came out with me, and we had quite a talk while I was waiting for
my carriage in the anteroom. He was so sensible always in his
intercourse with the official world, quite realised that the position
was difficult and trying for Madame Grevy--it would have been for any
one thrown at once without any preparation into such perfectly different
surroundings. He had a certain experience of republics and republican
manners, as he had been some years in Washington as British minister,
and had often seen wives of American statesmen and ministers, fresh from
the far West, beginning their career in Washington, quite bewildered by
the novelty of everything and utterly ignorant of all questions of
etiquette--only he said the American women were far more adaptable than
either French or English--or than any others in the world, in fact. He
also said that day, and I have heard him repeat it once or twice since,
that he had _never_ met a stupid American woman....

I have always thought it was unnecessary to insist upon Madame Grevy's
presence at the Elysee. It is very difficult for any woman, no longer
very young, to begin an entirely new life in a perfectly different
milieu, and certainly more difficult for a Frenchwoman of the
bourgeoisie than any other. They live in such a narrow circle, their
lives are so cramped and uninteresting--they know so little of society
and foreign ways and manners that they must be often uncomfortable and
make mistakes. It is very different for a man. All the small questions
of dress and manners, etc., don't exist for him. One man in a dress coat
and white cravat looks very like another, and men of all conditions are
polite to a lady. When a man is intelligent, no one notices whether his
coat and waist-coat are too wide or too short and whether his boots
are clumsy.

Madame Grevy never looked happy at the Elysee. They had a big dinner
every Thursday, with a reception afterward, and she looked so tired when
she was sitting on the sofa, in the diplomatic salon, making
conversation for the foreigners and people of all kinds who came to
their receptions, that one felt really sorry for her. Grevy was always a
striking personality. He had a fine head, a quiet, dignified manner, and
looked very well when he stood at the door receiving his guests. I don't
think he cared very much about foreign affairs--he was essentially
French--had never lived abroad or known any foreigners. He was too
intelligent not to understand that a country must have foreign
relations, and that France must take her place again as a great power,
but home politics interested him much more than anything else. He was a
charming talker--every one wanted to talk to him, or rather to listen to
him. The evenings were pleasant enough in the diplomatic salon. It was
interesting to see the attitude of the different diplomatists. All were
correct, but most of them were visibly antagonistic to the Republic and
the Republicans (which they considered much accentuee since the
nomination of Grevy--the women rather more so than the men). One felt,
if one didn't hear, the criticisms on the dress, deportment, and general
style of the Republican ladies.

[Illustration: The Elysee Palace, Paris]

I didn't quite understand their view of the situation. They were all
delighted to come to Paris, and knew perfectly well the state of things,
what an abyss existed between all the Conservative party, Royalists and
Bonapartists, and the Republican, but the absence of a court didn't make
any difference in their position. They went to all the entertainments
given in the Faubourg St. Germain, and all the societe came to theirs.
With very few exceptions they did only what was necessary in the way of
intercourse with the official world. I think they made a mistake, both
for themselves and their governments. France was passing through an
entirely new phase; everything was changing, many young intelligent men
were coming to the front, and there were interesting and able
discussions in the Chambers, and in the salons of the Republican
ministers and deputies. I dare say the new theories of liberty and
equality were not sympathetic to the trained representatives of courts,
but the world was advancing, democracy was in the air, and one would
have thought it would have interested foreigners to follow the movement
and to judge for themselves whether the young Republic had any chance of
life. One can hardly imagine a public man not wishing to hear all sides
of a question, but I think, _certainly_ in the beginning, there was such
a deep-rooted distrust and dislike to the Republic, that it was
impossible to see things fairly. I don't know that it mattered very
much. In these days of rapid travelling and telephone, an ambassador's
role is much less important than in the old days when an ambassador with
his numerous suite of secretaries and servants, travelling by post,
would be days on the road before reaching his destination, and when all
sorts of things might happen, kingdoms and dynasties be overthrown in
the interval. Now all the great measures and negotiations are discussed
and settled in the various chancelleries--the ambassador merely
transmits his instructions.

I think the women were rather more uncompromising than the men. One day
in my drawing-room there was a lively political discussion going on, and
one heard all the well-known phrases "le gouvernement infect," "no
gentleman could serve the Republic," etc. I wasn't paying much
attention--never did; I had become accustomed to that style of
conversation, and knew exactly what they were all going to say, when I
heard one of my friends, an American-born, married to a Frenchman of
very good old family, make the following statement: "Toute la canaille
est Republicaine." That was really too much, and I answered: "Vous etes
bien indulgente pour l'Empire." When one thinks of the unscrupulous (not
to use a stronger term) and needy adventurers, who made the Coup d'Etat
and played a great part in the court of the Second Empire, it was really
a little startling to be told that the Republicans enjoyed the monopoly
of the canaille. However, I suppose nothing is so useless as a political
discussion (except perhaps a religious one). No one ever converts any
one else. I have always heard it said that the best political speech
never changed a vote.

The first person who entertained Grevy was Prince Hohenlohe, the German
ambassador. They had a brilliant reception, rooms crowded, all the
official world and a fair contingent from the Faubourg St. Germain. The
President brought his daughter with him (Madame Grevy never accepted any
invitations) and they walked through the rooms arm-in-arm, mademoiselle
declining the arm of Count Wesdehlen, first secretary of the
German Embassy.

However, she was finally prevailed upon to abandon the paternal support,
and then Wesdehlen installed her in a small salon where Mollard,
Introducteur des Ambassadeurs, took charge of her and introduced a great
many men to her. No woman would ask to be introduced to an unmarried
woman, and that of course made her position difficult. The few ladies
she had already seen at the Elysee came up to speak to her, but didn't
stay near her, so she was really receiving almost alone with Mollard.
Grevy was in another room, tres entoure, as he always was. The
diplomatic corps did not spare their criticisms. Madame Grevy received
every Saturday in the afternoon, and I went often--not every time. It
was a funny collection of people, some queerly dressed women and one or
two men in dress coats and white cravats,--always a sprinkling of
diplomatists. Prince Orloff was often there, and if anybody could have
made that stiff, shy semicircle of women comfortable, he would have done
it, with his extraordinary ease of manner and great habit of the world.
Gambetta was installed in the course of the month at the Palais Bourbon,
next to us. It was brilliantly lighted every night, and my chef told me
one of his friends, an excellent cook, was engaged, and that there would
be a great many dinners. The Palais Bourbon had seen great
entertainments in former days, when the famous Duc de Morny was
President de la Chambre des Deputes. Under Napoleon III his
entertainments were famous. The whole world, fashionable, political, and
diplomatic thronged his salons, and invitations were eagerly sought for
not only by the French people, but by the many foreigners who passed
through Paris at that time. Gambetta must have been a curious contrast
to the Duc de Morny.

We went to see a first function at the Elysee some time in February, two
Cardinals were to be named and Grevy was to deliver the birettas.
Mollard asked to see me one morning, telling me that the two ablegates
with their suite had arrived, and wished to pay their respects to me.
One of them was Monsignor Cataldi, whom we had known well in Rome when
we were living there. He was a friend of my brother (General Rufus King,
the last United States minister to the Vatican under Pia Nono), and came
often to the house. He was much excited when he found out that Madame
Waddington was the Mary King he had known so well in Rome. He had with
him an English priest, whose name, curiously enough, was English. They
appeared about tea-time and were quite charming, Cataldi just as fat and
cheerful and talkative as I remembered him in the old days in Rome. We
plunged at once into all sorts of memories of old times--the good old
times when Rome was small and black and interesting--something quite
apart and different from any other place in the world. Monsignor English
was much younger and more reserved, the Anglo-Saxon type--a contrast to
the exuberant Southerners. We asked them to dine the next night and were
able to get a few interesting people to meet them, Comte et Comtesse de
Sartiges, and one or two deputies--bien-pensants. Sartiges was formerly
French ambassador in Rome to the Vatican, and a very clever diplomatist.
He was very autocratic, did exactly what he liked. I remember quite well
some of his small dances at the embassy. The invitations were from ten
to twelve, and at twelve precisely the musicians stopped playing--no
matter who was dancing, the ball was over. His wife was an American,
from Boston, Miss Thorndike, who always retained the simple, natural
manner of the well-born American. Their son, the Vicomte de Sartiges,
has followed in his father's footsteps, and is one of the most serious
and intelligent of the young diplomatists.

Cataldi made himself very agreeable, spoke French perfectly well, though
with a strong Italian accent. He confided to me after dinner that he
would have liked to see some of the more advanced political men, instead
of the very conservative Catholics we had invited to meet them. "I know
what these gentlemen think; I would like to talk to some of the others,
those who think 'le clericalism c'est l'ennemi,' and who are firmly
convinced that the soutane serves as a cloak for all sorts of underhand
and unpatriotic dealings; I can only see them abroad, never in Rome." He
would have talked to them quite easily. Italians have so much natural
tact, in discussing difficult questions, never irritate people

W. enjoyed his evening. He had never been in Rome, nor known many
Romans, and it amused him to see how skilfully Cataldi (who was a
devoted admirer of Leo XIII) avoided all cross-currents and difficult
questions, saying only what he intended to say, and appreciating all
that was said to him.

Henrietta and I were very anxious to see the ceremony at the Elysee, and
asked Mollard, Introducteur des Ambassadeurs and chef du Protocole--a
most important man on all official occasions, if he couldn't put us
somewhere in a corner, where we could see, without taking any part. W.
was of no use to us, as he went officially, in uniform. Madame Grevy was
very amiable, and sent us an invitation to breakfast. We found a small
party assembled in the tapestry salon when we arrived at the Elysee--the
President with all his household, civil and military, Madame and
Mademoiselle Grevy, three or four ladies, wives of the aides-de-camp and
secretaries, also several prominent ecclesiastics, among them Monsignor
Capel, an English priest, a very handsome and attractive man, whom we
had known well in Rome. He was supposed to have made more women converts
to Catholicism than any man of his time; I can quite understand his
influence with women. There was something very natural and earnest about
him--no pose. I had not seen him since I had married and was very
pleased when I recognised him. He told me he had never seen W.--was most
anxious to make his acquaintance.

While we were talking, W. came in, looking very warm and uncomfortable,
wearing his stiff, gold-embroidered uniform, which changed him very
much. I introduced Capel to him at once. They had quite a talk before
the Archbishops and ablegates arrived. The two future Cardinals,
Monseigneur Pie, Archbishop of Poitiers, and Monseigneur Desprey,
Archbishop of Toulouse, were well known in the Catholic world. The
Pope's choice was generally approved. They were treated with all due
ceremony, as befitted princes of the church. One of the Elysee carriages
(always very well turned out), with an escort of cavalry, went to fetch
them, and they looked very stately and imposing in their robes when they
came into the room where we were waiting. They were very different,
Monseigneur Pie tall, thin, cold, arrogant,--one felt it was a trial for
him to receive his Cardinal's hat from the hands of a Republican
President. Monseigneur Desprey had a kind good expression. I don't think
he liked it much either, but he put a better face on the matter.

Both Cardinals said exactly what one imagined they would say--that the
traditional fidelity of France to the church should be supported and
encouraged in every way in these troubled days of indifference to
religion, etc. One felt all the time the strong antagonism of the church
to the Republic. Grevy answered extremely well, speaking with much
dignity and simplicity, and assuring the Cardinals that they could
always count upon the constitutional authority of the head of the state,
in favour of the rights of the church. I was quite pleased to see again
the red coats and high boots of the gardes nobles. It is a very showy,
dashing uniform. The two young men were good-looking and wore it very
well. I asked to have them presented to me, and we had a long talk over
old days in Rome when the Pope went out every day to the different
villas, and promenades, and always with an escort of gardes nobles. I
invited them to our reception two or three nights afterward, and they
seemed to enjoy themselves. They were, of course, delighted with their
short stay in Paris, and I think a little surprised at the party at the
Foreign Office under a Republican regime. I don't know if they expected
to find the rooms filled with gentlemen in the traditional red
Garibaldian shirt--and ladies in corresponding simplicity of attire.

[Illustration: Her Majesty Queen Victoria, about 1879. From a photograph
by Chancellor, Dublin.]

We saw a great many English at the Quai d'Orsay. Queen Victoria stayed
one or two nights at the British Embassy, passing through Paris on her
way South. She sent for W., who had never seen her since his
undergraduate days at Cambridge. He found her quite charming, very easy,
interested in everything. She began the conversation in French--(he was
announced with all due ceremony as Monsieur le Ministre des Affaires
Etrangeres) and W. said she spoke it remarkably well,--then, with her
beautiful smile which lightened up her whole face: "I think I can
speak English with a Cambridge scholar." She was much interested in his
beginnings in England at Rugby and Cambridge--and was evidently
astonished, though she had too much tact to show it, that he had chosen
to make his life and career in France instead of accepting the
proposition made to him by his cousin Waddington, then Dean of Durham,
to remain in England and continue his classic and literary studies under
his guidance. When the interview was over he found the Queen's faithful
Scotch retainer, John Brown, who always accompanied her everywhere,
waiting outside the door, evidently hoping to see the minister. He spoke
a few words with him, as a countryman--W. being half Scotch--his mother
was born Chisholm. They shook hands and John Brown begged him to come to
Scotland, where he would receive a hearty welcome. W. was very pleased
with his reception by the Queen. Lord Lyons told him afterward that she
had been very anxious to see him; she told him later, in speaking of the
interview, that it was very difficult to realise that she was speaking
to a French minister--everything about him was so absolutely English,
figure, colouring, and speech.

Many old school and college experiences were evoked that year by the
various English who passed through Paris. One night at a big dinner at
the British Embassy I was sitting next to the Prince of Wales (late King
Edward). He said to me: "There is an old friend of your husband's here
to-night, who will be so glad to see him again. They haven't met since
he was his fag at Rugby." After dinner he was introduced to me--Admiral
Glynn--a charming man, said his last recollection of W. was making his
toast for him and getting a good cuff when the toast fell into the fire
and got burnt. The two men talked together for some time in the
smoking-room, recalling all sorts of schoolboy exploits. Another school
friend was Sir Francis Adams, first secretary and "counsellor" at the
British Embassy. When the ambassador took his holiday, Adams replaced
him, and had the rank and title of minister plenipotentiary. He came
every Wednesday, the diplomatic reception day, to the Quai d'Orsay to
talk business. As long as a secretary or a huissier was in the room,
they spoke to each other most correctly in French; as soon as they were
alone, relapsed into easy and colloquial English. We were very fond of
Adams--saw a great deal of him not only in Paris, but when we first
lived in London at the embassy. He died suddenly in Switzerland, and W.
missed him very much. He was very intelligent, a keen observer, had
been all over the world, and his knowledge and appreciation of foreign
countries and ways was often very useful to W.

We continued our dinners and receptions, which always interested me, we
saw so many people of all kinds. One dinner was for Prince Alexander of
Battenberg, just as he was starting to take possession of the new
principality of Bulgaria. He was one of the handsomest men I have ever
seen,--tall, young, strong. He seemed the type of the dashing young
chief who would inspire confidence in a new independent state. He didn't
speak of his future with much enthusiasm. I wonder if a presentiment was
even then overclouding what seemed a brilliant beginning! He talked a
great deal at dinner. He was just back from Rome, and full of its charm,
which at once made a bond of sympathy between us. Report said he had
left his heart there with a young Roman. He certainly spoke of the happy
days with a shade of melancholy. I suggested that he ought to marry,
that would make his "exile," as he called it, easier to bear. "Ah, yes,
if one could choose." Then after a pause, with an almost boyish
petulance: "They want me to marry Princess X., but I don't want to." "Is
she pretty, will she help you in your new country?" "I don't know; I
don't care; I have never seen her."

Poor fellow, he had a wretched experience. Some of the "exiles" were
less interesting. A lady asked to see me one day, to enlist my
sympathies for her brother and plead his cause with the minister. He had
been named to a post which he couldn't really accept. I rather demurred,
telling her messenger, one of the secretaries of the Foreign Office,
that it was quite useless, her asking me to interfere. W. was not very
likely to consult me in his choice of nominations--and in fact the small
appointments, secretaries, were generally prepared in the Chancellerie
and followed the usual routine of regular promotion. An ambassador, of
course, was different, and was sometimes taken quite outside the
carriere. The lady persisted and appeared one morning--a pretty,
well-dressed femme du monde whom I had often met without making her
acquaintance. She plunged at once into her subject--her brother's
delicate health, accustomed to all the comforts and what the books call
"higher civilisation" of Europe, able to do good service in courts and
society, as he knew everybody. It was a pity to send him to such an
out-of-the-way place, with an awful climate,--any consul's clerk would
do as well. I supposed he had been named to Caracas, South America, or
some other remote and unhealthy part of the globe, but when she stopped
for a moment, I discovered that the young man was named to Washington. I
was really surprised, didn't know what to say at once, when the
absurdity of the thing struck me and I answered that Washington was far,
perhaps across the ocean, but there were compensations--but she took up
her argument again, such an impossible place, everything so primitive, I
really think she thought the youth was going to an Indian settlement,
all squaws and wigwams and tomahawks. I declined any interference with
the minister's appointments, assuring her I had no influence whatever,
and she took leave of me very icily. I heard the sequel afterward--the
young man refused the post as quite unworthy of him. There were several
others ready and pleased to take it, and M. de X. was put en

We saw too that year for the first time the Grand Duke Alexander of
Russia (later Emperor Alexander III, whose coronation we went to at
Moscow) and the Grande Duchesse Marie. Prince Orloff arranged the
interview, as he was very anxious that the Grand Duke should have some
talk with W. They were in Paris for three or four days, staying at the
Hotel Bristol, where they received us. He was a tall, handsome man,

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