Clement Kinloch-Cooke.

A memoir of ... Princess Mary Adelaide, duchess ofTeck : based on her private diaries and letters online

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Online LibraryClement Kinloch-CookeA memoir of ... Princess Mary Adelaide, duchess ofTeck : based on her private diaries and letters → online text (page 25 of 42)
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of Teck, accompanied by Prince Alexander, and attended by
I^ady Aylesford and Mr. Sidney Greville, left England for

Letter to a Friend.

Kur Hotel, Nenenahr, Angnst, 1893.

. . . The journey out was accomplished without fatigue,
a great blessing to me, for I was utterly done up with all
I had gone through and the little rest I was able to allow
myself at night. . . . We reached Victoria station in very
good tLme, but there was an agonizing moment when, the
dressers not having yet arrived, I was told it was " high time
to start," and that the servants would have to follow in the
second part of the train ! Happily they came in view just at
that instant. At Dover, though the sea looked smooth, there
was a great deal of swell by the pier, and the Empress, such
a fine ship, rocked and roUed so heavily it was all I could
do, with Captain Morgan's kind assistance, to keep on my
legs. I hurried to the cabin and lay down on the mattress
prepared for me, for I felt very giddy, but once off the motion
subsided, and we had an exceUent passage. Thomsett met
us, his snow-white beard making him very conspicuous in the
distance ; he told me that George ^ had crossed the previous
day with his Homburg party and sv/ite. After lunching at
the buffet, we entered our extremely comfortable carriage,
much in the style of the one we had going to Cannes, only
larger, thus admitting of two arm-chairs besides the three
seats. . . .

It was a most perfect day for travelling, as the heavy

^ The Duke of Cambridge.

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i893 NEUENAHR. 249

rain had efifectually laid the dust, the air was cool and
pleasant, and the sun not overpowering. . . . The colleges
were disgorging leurs Sieves, and at one station our train was
literally besieged by a troop of young collegians in their
uniforms, carrying books and violins, accompanied by Papa
and Mama, and a whole host of parsons, not forgetting
sundry fat priests. Brussels was reached half an hour late,
and at the Gare du Nord we found dinner prepared for us
in the King's room. . . . We filled up our time till the
departure of the night train by trotting up and down the
station, then settled ourselves in the big seats (not ptdled
down to mjJce beds), and slept very fairly well. . . . We
reached Eemagen, a few stations beyond Bonn, just before
eight, and were attached to the train for the Ahr Valley ;
but, as it was a single line, there were long waits at the
small intervening stations, so that we did not get to Neuenahr
much before nine.

And now let me try and describe this place to you. It is
very pretty, and grows on one, but exceedingly quiet, and
I dare say would by many be considered remarkably dull I
whereas to me, and indeed apparently to us all, the repose
is most delightfully refreshing. I am already wonderfully
better for it, as well as for the life I lead ; getting up about
6.30, and to bed between ten and eleven ! Neuenahr, which
consists of the Kur Hotel and the spring, lies between two
large villages, separated by the Ahr, but united by a bridge,
on the opposite, or Wadenheim side of which is a very pretty
modem Gothic German Protestant Church, quite a feature in
the landscape. The railway station is at Wadenheim, much
the larger village of the two, and containing innumerable
small hotels, inns, and restaurants, besides shops and cottages ;
while Beul, situated on the side of the hill behind the Kur
Hotel and the bathing and drinking establishment and
Anlagen, is more of a village. Our Hotel is built in the
English Middle Ages style, imitation Gothic, something after
Sion House, with a long wing fitted up with baths for mineral
waters. The only English people here are the Mackenzie
Erasers, and a clergyman and his wife just arrived.

Our rooms, situated au premier in the centre of the building,
are most comfortable ; they consist of a slenderly furnished
sitting-room, opening on to a large balcony, where I am
writing, and which is over the entrance, and looks down on
the pleasure-ground in front of the hotel, with its flower-beds
and fountains, and positively green grass and tall trees. A
belt of trees at the back forms our boundary, beyond which

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flows, or rather trickles, the Ahr, for it has run nearly dry
owing to this summer's excessive drought. Opening out of the
sitting-roon; on one side is my nice-sized bedroom, and on
the other Butler's small room ; beyond, Alge has a very good
room, in which he can work. Jane Aylesford's and Sidney
Greville's rooms are opposite ours, a very convenient arrange-
ment; and Mr. Phillips, who coaches pleasantly and most
intelligently, lives on tiie floor above. The food is excellent,
and altogether we are very well cared for; we have our
meals on a verandah, opening out of one of the more
private dining-rooms. Tbere is a very nice Swiss dairy
at the back of the hotel, where we sometimes take breakfast,
the milk, cream, and coffee being quite first-rate. The drives
about the environs are most delightful. . . .

JouTTud, — Neuendhr^ Augtcst 2. — ^We arrived at the Kur
Hotel at 9.30, and I began at once to arrange the rooms
and distribute my things as fast as they were unpacked. . . .
When ready, I saw Dr. Griiber, finished arranging the photo-
graphs about the room, and walked to Dr. Schmidt's, paying
him a long visit in consultation ; he, poor man, in addition
to being paralyzed, is laid up with gout. Then I took a turn
round the springs, and bought a glass. Dined in the verandah
at seven, and retired soon after nine o'clock. Augibst 3. —
Up at 6.15, and out till 8.30. . . . Wrote a little until it was
time to start for our drive to Altenahr via Ahrweiler, a nice
little old-fashioned country town. Saw in the distance the
Calvariensburg Convent, now a girls' school, conducted by
TJrsuline nuns, and passed the Hospital, a good-sized building;
as we went on, the valley became more and more shut in by
rocks, and very picturesque; the road was being mended
by convicts under the charge of a most civil warder, who
led our horses past the steam-roller while we walked. At
Altenahr, which was reached in about an hour and a half,
there is a beautiful ruined castle above the town, but we
thought it too hot to climb ; so, after having some coffee and
visiting the church with pretty apse, which is being restored,
we returned home in time for a late dinner.

AugvM 7.^ ... At eleven I started with Jane, Sidney,
and a guide to walk to the top of the wooded basaltic
hill which rises at the back of this place ; it is 1,000 feet
above the level of the sea, and crowned with the ruined
tower of the Castle of Neuenahr. We passed the Boman
Catholic Church ; then, by a steep, sunny path across fields
and under fruit trees, to a lovely wood, through which zigzag

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paths led to the smninit, which we reached by 12.30. The
view over Drachenfels and Die Sieben Schwestem and many
viEages was very fine, but it was too hazy to see Cologne.
Betnmed by the same way, and after luncheon went with
C!olonel and Mrs. Mackenzie Fraser to have coffee at a
picturesque little Meierei kept by Swiss peasants from
Appenzell, who waited on us in their costumes ; then sat in
the gardens, listening to the band till dinner-time, as I was
too tired to write. ... To bed in good time. August 8. — In
the afternoon we drove a ciTiqiie to Bemagen, and on to the
ApoUinaris Kirche, built by Count Furstenberg-Stamheim in
memory of his wife ; the modem Grothic architecture is very
fine, and the walls are covered with frescoes by Degen and
Ittenbach, rather too bunt In the crj^t is an old sarco-
phagus said to contain the head of the saint (ApoUinaris)
with modem recumbent figure. A well-carved cracifix is to
be seen in the side chapel. The view from the verger's
garden of the Bhine with its various boats and fine hills is
lovely. At the back of the church is the vault of the
Purstenberg family. . . . Just as we were leaving the Hdtel
Furstenberg I heiurd that Victoria of Prussia ^ (Schaumburg-
lippe) was expected from Bonn to dine there, so awaited her
arrival by steamer, and met her on landing. . . .

August 9. — • . . After lunch we went for a most beautiful
drive up behind Beul and by the Maria Hill Convent and
Hospital into the woods of beech and oak that clothe the
hills. The view reminded me of a drive at Cannes I Descend-
ing by the village of Konigfeld, we passed through more
woods, pine, oak, and beech, by the Chdteau of Count Spee,
and through the town of Sinzig, with fine church and remains
of an old Boman wall, and home by the Bemagen road.
August 10. — . . . We drove to the station, and trained
to Bemagen; heat most oppressive. Walked through the
town (dusty little streets) down to the landing-place, and,
after waiting on a bench for the very late boat, embarked on
the Bhine; the boat was so crowded that we could with
difGlculty get a camp-stool. Landing at Bolandseck, a pretty
place, we walked up the shady path to the station, where on
the terrace a military band was playing. The view towards
Drachenfels and over Honnef on the opposite bank is very
fine, but the terrace was so crowded that we were only able
to secure a table by the wall. . . . Betumed by train, and
after dinner I finished my letter to May.

> Seoond daughter of the EmpreaB Frederick; she married Prinoe Adolf
of Schaambnrg-Lippe in 1890.

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AugtiBt 11. — . . . We started at ten for the Apollinaris
well and works, about a quarter of an hour's drive from
Neuenahr; we were shown over by the Kreuzbergs, to whom
the place originally belonged, but who now manage it for an
English Company. Four gentlemen received us, and a nice
little girl in a white frock and blue ribbons, the daughter of
one of the E^reuzbergs, presented me with a lovely bouquet.
We were first taken to a covered well, which we were told
emitted carbonic acid gas; this was most apparent, for it
was like a bottle of strong smelling-salts, and quite took
away one's breath, and the moment lighted paper was placed
near, the flame was extinguished. Next our guides showed
us t^e bottles being washed in a machine worked by elec-
tricity. They are then filled in a long building by men
wearing spectacles and wire masks, and bandages on their
wrists ; each man has his own trough, lamp, and knife, and
each trough is numbered. The botdes are filled with water
and an addition of carbonic add gas, and then passed on to
a second man, who, with eyes and hands guarded, puts them
into a tin firame and corks them, the frequent bursting of the
bottles requiring these precautions. After tasting the water
we were shown the sizing, counting, packing, and stamping
of the corks.

The counting by machinery is most amusing to watch,
as the bottles are checked oflf in dozens by a dial. We
also saw the stone bottles filled from the natural spring,
and found their contents far more pleasant and refreshing
than that of the others, though, we were told, less appreciated
in England : the stone bottles are headed by girls. The glass
bottles are tested by being turned backwards and forwards
to the light, and if a speck of glass or cork is detected, they
are laid in rows on their sides in a tin trough filled with
boiling water, when out pop the corks, and the bottles are
returned to the washing machine. After watching this process
for a time, we crossed the road to see the Ubelling and
packing ; tiiis work is carried on in a separate building, and
the labels are of different colours for different countries — blue
for England and yellow for America. The packing is done
in cases and hampers, the bottles being wrapped in straw,
and put in so tightly that we actually saw a man stamping
on them with his heavy boots, which one would have thought
must have broken them. They are finally wired down, and
a wooden peg bearing the number of the packer is run

Before leaving I was taken in to see the electric machine

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which works most of the machinery, but those wearing
watches did not follow me. Our visit had lasted quite an
hour, and we only returned to the Hotel just in time to
change our gowns before Victoria of Schaumburg-Iippe,
who had been met at the station by Alge, arrived, attended
by Fraulein von Blucher and Major Winsloe. We lunched
in the verandah, the band playing the while. I then had a
chat with Vicky up in my room, and at three we all had
coffee at the Swiss dairy, after which I took my guests to the
station to catch the train to Bemagen. . . .

August 12. — . . . Left by train in the afternoon for Bonn ;
Victoria and Adolf of Schaumburg-Iippe met us at the station
and drove us to their charming villa, quite at the Coblence
end of the town. After tea and coffee on the terrace, they
showed Alge and me, for the others were entertained by the
Winsloes, over their stables and grounds, which extend down
to the Bhine. The kitchen garden is famed for its good
fruit and vegetables. I then went over the house, which is
arranged in perfect taste, and sat up in Vicky's room imtil
seven, when we were fed most excellently before being driven
back to the station by our hosts. Vicl^ is a great dear and
enchantingly English. August 14. — Drove with Jane to
Sinzig, our heaux having gone off to Cologne, and explored
the church with octagonal tower and spire^ built in 1220.
The style of decoration gave it quite a Moorish appearance.
There is a curious tryptich over a side chapel representing
the Crucifixion, Ascension, and the death of the Virgin, by
an early Cologne master ; also a picture, nearly effaced, of the
Cross appearing in the sky to the Emperor Constantino. From
the church we went to the Broichers' place close by, and
were welcomed by Daisy Broicher, who had only just arrived
from England, and was preparing the house for her mother,
who was expected the next day! Such a nice, charming,
comfortable house, rather Alt Deutsch in the fitting up, with
a second house for visitors and a most delightful garden,
most tastefully laid out and kept with greatest care. Daisy
insisted on giving us tea in the garden under a balcony, and
most refreshing it was !

August 15. — . . . About five we started for Heimer-
sheim, two miles from Neuenahr, and got out at the church,
a mimatnre of the one at Sinzig, qnly less decorated, with
one or two pieces of ancient sculpture about it. . . . Passing
out through what must once have been a tower, we drove
along a rougUsh Fddweg by the Idyllen Miihle, a restaurant,
to the Johannesberg, a favourite resort, and thence walked

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back down shady paths, across the meadows, and along the
avenue by the Ahr. . . . August 16. — . . . About three
a very good military band &om Coblence, which had been
invited over in my honour by the Hotel proprietor, a graceful
attention, struck up "God Save the Queen," followed by
" Eule Britannia," too beautiful I we hurried on the balcony
and had a real musical treat of an hour, Jane and I knitting
the while. Then changed my gown, coffee' d in the dairy, and
on to the gardens to hear the same bemd, which played till
nearly seven. . , .

Letter to a Friend.

Knr Hotel, Keuenahr, Augost 16, 189a

... I have most cheery accounts from my darUng May,
who seems to have quite enjoyed their fortnight's stay at
Osborne, and to have won all hearts there! . . . Grand-
mamma's kindness to my child is beyond everything touch-
ing. Georgie and May were to leave yesterday for St. James's,
there to spend a week, and then to go to Sandiingham for
ten days. On the Ist of September they are off to Balmoral
for a fortnight, then on to Mar, and expect to be back in
London early in October. The visit to Denmark has been
given up. . . . The intense heat of last week rather tired
me, and we are all looking forward to the fresh invigorating
air of St. Moritz, for which place we hope to start to-morrow
night, arriving there on Saturday evening. . . .

Journal. — Neuenahr, Auguet 17-18. — . . . Towards six
o'clock coffee'd at Meierei with the others and Sir Charles
Oppenheimer,^ and then to Dr. Schmitz to take leave ; drove
to the springs for my last glass, and back to the hotel to finish
packing and dress for journey. Supped on the verandah to the
strains of a capital band, and at 9.30 drove to the station^
the hotel guests and people cheering us as we departed.
Cologne had sent a saloon carriage with small compartment
adjoining, in which Jane and I settled ourselves, but not very
comfortably I We started at ten, and at Bemagen were hooked
on to the express train. Alas I at Coblence we were attached
as last carriage to the Schnell-zug, and the jolting was
terrible. Beached Bale after seven, and then on by the
lake of Zurich, Wallensee, Saxgan and Bagatz to Coire, where
we arrived at 1.30, and found two carriages awaiting us at
the station. Drove to the Steinbeck Hotel, and after lunch,

> British Oonsul at Frankfort.

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or rather diimer, started for Thusis, which we reached about
seven, dead tired; the drive was beautiful, only marred
by the clouds of dust. August 19. — Up before six, break-
fasted with the others, and started at 8.15 up the Schyn
Eoad, through Sils and the ravine of the Albula river, more
beautiful than ever. . . . After watering the horses, we drove
on through the valley down to Silvaplana, and by Campfer
to belov^ Moritz Bad — Victoria Hotel, where we found our
old rooms prepared for us au troisieme.

St. Moritz, August 20. — ... I drove with Jane up to
Tognoni to call on Countess Larisch ; but she was out, so
we went on to the Kulm to inquire for Alice Lathom,^
who is at the Julier (Campfer). . . . Paid Mrs. Freeman a
visit, and was home to supper at 7.30. Just as we were
going down, Adams called us into Sidney's room to see a
fire, alarmingly near ! Two of the wooden shops just opposite
were in flames, and had there been any wind, the fire must
have spread, and possibly even reached the hotel. As it was,
the shops, one an embroideress's, in which the fire originated,
and the other kept by a seller of brass work and china, were
burnt to the ground, while a jeweller's and photographer's
were gutted and much damaged. It was quite twenty minutes
before the pipes b^gan to play on the flames, but these finally
did good execution, and before we descended the fire was
well under control. . . . August 21. — After breakfast I
walked by the scene of the fire, and up and down in front
of the shops, at the back of which the poor Martinis ^ had
put together their mattresses and the things they had saved
to dry. . . . Called on the Duchesse d'Aosta, who arrived
yesteiday, while Jane and Sidney draped my room. . . .

August 22. — Up at 7.30, dressed, and while at breakfast
received a telegram, inviting me to distribute prizes at a
flower exhibition at Maloja, and accepted. . . . Accompanied
by Jane and Sidney, I reached Maloja about half-past four,
and was received by Mrs. Marrable,^ Mr. Baynes (Bishop-
designate of Natal), and the Committee, and conducted
to the room where the exhibits for table decoration were
set out, the band playing " Grod Save the Queen." I made
a tour of inspection, and especially admired a Sedan chair,
battledore and shuttlecock, and hat aU in large daisies, also
a bank of moss, on which a little girl was seated, her frock
trimmed with flowers. Only wild flowers were used. I then

> The CoonteBS of LathoxzL

* The owners of the jeweUex^B shop.

' Preddent of the Ladies' Water-Oolour Sooiety.

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mounted a platform and gave away the prizes, and Mr.
Baynes made a very pretty speech, bringing in May as the
flower I had given to England. Most touching ! We had
tea in a sitting-room upstairs, at which Professor and Mrs.
Huxley, Mr. and Mrs. Hare, and others were present^ . .

Mrs. Huxley gives the following account of Princess
Mary's visit to Maloja : —

. . . The one thing that depressed us was the weather.
Gloomy at first, by two o'clock it changed to darkness,
pouring rain, and driving wind. Indeed, it was thought
hardly possible that the Duchess of Teck would face the
storm. The afternoon, however, was not without mirth, for
whilst we were still busy with our preparations, a gentle-
man, who had been most helpful, appeieured at the door of the
room, and in a distinct voice said, " Ladies of the committee.
Her Eoyal Highness is at the hall door. Will you please
come down and receive her?" Forthwith we stepped out
into the hall, which the storm had plunged into semi-dark-
ness, to find, however, no Princess arrived, but a carriage
containing two travellers, who had stopped at the hotel to
make inquiries as to the condition of the road. Half an
hour later the same gentleman again appeared in the door-
way and again repeated his summons to the ladies of the
committee. Once more we entered the hall in a body, and
once more a carriage stood at the door, but the occupants
were a lady and child, who insisted upon having hot coffee
served to them before facing the drive down the Br^galia
Pass in the wild weather. We joined in the laugh c^ainst
us, but decided, lest there should be any further mistake, to
receive Her Eoyal Highness in the music-room.

About half-past four, in spite of the storm, the Princess
arrived, and carefully inspected the various floral designs
and table decorations, giving kindly commendation to the
exhibitors. Her Eoyal Highness was then conducted to the
stage at the end of the room, and bestowed the prizes upon
the several winners. Looking up at the gallery I saw my
husband, returned from his walk, and clad in easy raiment
of flannels, gazing down upon the proceedings. Just then
I heard the Duchess asking Mrs. Marrable who the lady was,
sitting a little to her right, and on being informed of my
identity, the Princess wished to have Mr. Huxley pointed
out to her, as she had never seen him, and desired to do
so. ... I afterwards learned that my husband intended to

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slip away, as he felt both ill and tired from his long walk ;
bat as he wajs descending the stairs, he met Her Soyal
Highness coming up, and, seeing that she walked with
difficulty, owing, I beUeve, to a weak knee, which troubled
her, tftrat once offered his arm, and helped the Princess to
the room which had been prepared for tea. By five the
storm had abated, and, leaning on Mr. Huxley^s arm,
the Duchess passed downstairs tlu*ough the crowd assembled
in the hall to her carriage, but not before saying how much
she had enjoyed the afternoon, and making every one happy
with a few pleasant words.

I was very much struck with the pains taken by Her
Soyal Highness to do a small act of kmdness, which many
ladies would not have thought worth the trouble. While
inspecting the various exhibits, the Princess specially noticed
a tiny little girl who, as a nymph, had sat all through the
afternoon among some flowers at the edge of an artificial
pool, and later on sent for the child to come to her private
sitting-room to have some cake, and to be kissed.

Princess Mary made some reference to the Duchess of
York's wedding-presents, and, turning to Lady Aylesford, I
inquired if she knew what the ladies of Sussex, amongst
whom I counted myself, had given, as I had left Engli^d
before the matter was settled. Lady Aylesford appealed to
the Princess, who most graciously promised to find out on
her return to St. Moritz. Two days afterwards I received a
letter stating Her Soyal Highness had ascertained that the
gift of the ladies of Sussex was a magnificent diamond bracelet,
presented at Buckingham Palace. Lady Aylesford also said
that the Princess had asked her to teU me how much she
admired and enjoyed the flower-show, and how greatly
toudied she was by the Bishop's allusion to her daughter.

Journal. — St, Moritz, August 23. — . . . After calling on
Madame de Planta I hurried back to receive Countess Lansch,
who brought Mrs. Holland ^ to present her. Pranz Joseph of
Battenberg lunched with us, and early in the afternoon we
started for the Fex Thai, a party of five. We walked along the
valley, but did very little climbing, and found but few flowers ;
our gentlemen, however, ascended fairly high, and brought

Online LibraryClement Kinloch-CookeA memoir of ... Princess Mary Adelaide, duchess ofTeck : based on her private diaries and letters → online text (page 25 of 42)