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with Queen Amelie, had been a great favourite at
Court and the Queen's special confidante, so that
the whole family were objects of popular dislike,
and scarcely deemed themselves in safety after the
departure of their royal patrons, whom Madame
Carpouni herself had followed into exile. Very
scant justice has been done to the memory of Queen
Amelie, who was a remarkable woman and, as well
as her less-gifted consort, sincerely attached to
Greece, and indeed strongly imbued with those
delusive dreams of a resurrection of national great-
ness and glory which it is hard not to forgive the
Greeks, however fatal they have been to the sub-



n8 RECOLLECTIONS OF A DIPLOMATIST

stantial welfare and rational development of their
country. Much ridicule has been cast on the King
and Queen for adopting the national costume, which
was more generally worn in those days, and identify-
ing themselves with many of the national habits
and prejudices. The royal Teutonic couple, dis-
guised en Palicare et Palicaresse, were, no doubt,
a sight to raise a smile, but beneath this harmless
though ill-judged masquerading they harboured
feelings of the deepest devotion to their adopted
country, and an earnest desire to serve it to the
best of their ability. The Queen herself was an
ardent Philhellene, and during her anxious, troubled
reign no doubt found relief from much vexation
and humiliation in her passionate faith in the grande
idee which would at no distant day restore the
splendours of Hellenism and seat her consort and
herself on the throne of Byzantium.

A characteristic instance of this subject being
always uppermost in her thoughts was given me by
Boudouris, who at the time of my stay in Greece
was one of the cleverest and most active of Greek
politicians. Boudouris had been partly educated
in England, spoke English perfectly, and was con-
stantly at the Legation, to which he made himself
very useful by bringing the last news of the day.
lie has since held office on several occasions, sat
as Deputy for Poros for some years, and is a brilliant
specimen of the modern Athenian. Boudouris, like
most of his fellow-politicians, had been in opposi-



A ROYAL BALL 119

tion to the Court, and, after being greatly in favour
with Queen Amelie, had incurred her displeasure
by some cutting remark he had permitted himself.
A ball was about to be given at the Palace, and his
friends taunting him with the sorry figure he would
make at it now that the royal hostess had withdrawn
her countenance from him, Boudouris audaciously
laid a wager that he would compel her Majesty,
one of whose habitual partners he had been, to
dance with him on that occasion. The Queen was
passionately fond of dancing, and her balls, in true
German style, always ended with a cotillon, in
which she herself took part. Boudouris laid his
plans accordingly. When the well-known figure
came round which consists of two men being taken
up to one of the ladies who has to choose between
the flowers, animals, or other things whose names
they may have assumed, he contrived to be led up
to the Queen with another man. The lady who
had charge of him made a profound curtsey and
asked : " Which does your Majesty prefer Thessaly
or Macedonia?" The Queen, without hesitation,
replied, " Macedonia," and promptly found herself
twirling round the room with the peccant and exult-
ing Boudouris ! I need not explain that, when
given the choice between the two coveted provinces,
she had at once named that which lay the farthest
on the road to Constantinople. Poor Queen Amelie !
The buildings of her experimental farm near Monidi,
and the various charitable and educational establish-



120 RECOLLECTIONS OF A DIPLOMATIST

ments she founded, still remain to show how actively
she sought to benefit the country. That her efforts,
and those of her weak but well-intentioned hus-
band, are now rightly appreciated by a select few
at least, was proved to me, many years afterwards,
during my last sojourn at Athens. A Greek states-
man who was then in office, and is certainly one
of the most straightforward of men, told me that
he had spent the summer in Southern Germany.
"When there," he said, "I expressly went on a
pilgrimage to Bamberg and stood by the tomb of
King Otho. If ever a man truly loved Greece he
did, and he meant thoroughly well by her."

Thanks to our three young ladies and to the
hospitality of Captain Hillyar of the Queen, we
had a delightful cruise on glassy seas and under
the sunniest of skies, visiting first Poros and its
ancient disused arsenal, and then going across to
Nauplia, whence we made excursions to Argos and
Mycenae. Our party also included Sir Percy and
Lady Shelley, whose yacht, the Flirt, we had in
tow most of the time. The only incident to mar
the pleasure of our expedition occurred at Nauplia,
where an unfortunate seaman of the Queen was
killed in a brawl with some native boatmen. There
was nothing in the least political about this un-
toward occurrence, but, to impress the Greeks with
the value we attached to the lives of our men, we
buried the poor fellow on shore next day with great
pomp, and Hillyar, who was much incensed by the



COUNT KEYSERLING 121

murder, gave all Nauplia a thorough scare by beat-
ing to quarters in the dead of the night. Any one
who has had the doubtful pleasure of being on board
a man-of-war during this operation will realise the
effect it must have produced on the wretched Nau-
plians, who, roused out of their slumbers by our broad-
sides, no doubt thought we were bombarding them in
retaliation for the crime committed the day before.

There never can have been much society at
Athens. At this time, with the exception of
various members of the Soutzo family and their
connections, there was little beyond such as we
made up entre collegues. Of our own Legation we
had George Jenner, 1 then quite a youth, and later
on Graham Sandford, who was chiefly remarkable for
his good looks. With the latter, by the way, I tried
the doubtful experiment of sharing a house and its
expenses, but did not find it answer as, indeed,
I fancy it seldom does. The Prussian Charge
d'Affaires, fat Count Keyserling, was very amusing,
but tres mauvaise lancjue a striking instance of the
fallacy which credits very stout people with excep-
tional good-nature and benevolence. In spite of his
size he was extremely fond of dancing, which made
the caustic Russian Envoy say of him : " Lc Comte
Keyserling a la circonfercnce d'un ballon, mais il en
a aussi la legerete." As for M. Bouree, the French
Minister, no one could be more entertaining than
he. Unfortunately he was an inveterate fatten r

Afterward her Majesty's Minister at Guatemala.



122 RECOLLECTIONS OF A DIPLOMATIST

and intriguer, and was strongly marked with what
a witty Belgian diplomatic friend of mine used to
call " la tache Consulaire, la seule ineffa9able." The
Italian Minister, the arch-revolutionist Mamiani,
lived in the greatest retirement ; we saw more of
his clever and talented secretary, Count Joannini,
whom I was destined to meet again some years later
under very different circumstances. But much the
most interesting and important person of our small
set was Comtesse BloudofF, the wife of the Russian
Envoy beautiful indeed in those days and full of
charm and cleverness. Her salon in the corner
house of the Place de la Constitution a delightful
bit of the cultured Western world from which one
felt so much cut off at Athens at the time I speak
of was a real god-send to us all. How pleasant
are my memories of balmy evenings spent on her
balcony looking over the Palace square, evenings

When the sweet wind did gently kiss the trees
And they did make no noise

when the scent of orange blossoms, mingling with
the harmonies of a full choir of nightingales, was
wafted over from the royal gardens, while above
Lycabettus the moon sailed high and clear through
the translucent Attic sky ! During the brief all
too brief spring-time, while the plains round the
city were still fully clad in tenderest verdure the
horses and mules standing shoulder high in the
green barley and the olive trees, which had not
yet received their dull coating of dust, cast the



COMTESSE BLOUDOFF 123

delicate tracery of their shade across the glare of
the white country roads, the charming Comtesse
would take long drives with her lovely little girls
all round the neighbourhood, resting at times
in the Botanical Gardens, which stand where
once flourished the groves of the Academy, or
wandering by the sea-shore at Phalerum ; and
wherever she went, a knot of us, of whom I was
not the least faithful, went too. Dull indeed to
us would have been existence at Athens without
her winning presence and kindly welcome.

In August the torrid heat drove me to seek for
a while the cool breezes of the Bosphorus, and I
then for the first time became acquainted with the
wonders of Constantinople. Here I found at the
Embassy Edward Herbert, and got to know that
remarkable original, and most talented and kind-
hearted of would-be cynics, Henry Labouchere.
Here, too, I met my future colleague, the " Irish
Arab," Lionel Moore, in those days full of life and
health and spirits. Doing the Mosque and other
sights one broiling hot day 1 with Herbert, I witnessed
the fire by which the greater portion of the Old
Seraglio was burned to the ground. We had just
left Stamboul, and were riding across the (ialata
Bridge, on our way back to Missirie's, when the rush
past us of a lot of half-naked savages dragging a
wretched hand fire-engine, and wildly veiling as they

o - ' / / *

went, made us pause and turn. There, right behind

1 August 12, 1863.



i2 4 RECOLLECTIONS OF A DIPLOMATIST

us, we saw the magnificent grove of ancient cypresses,
in the grounds we had passed through barely a couple
of hours before, all alight and looking like so many
pyramids of fire. Behind this crackling screen of
writhing, tortured trunks and branches almost
human they seemed in their agony the kiosks and
detached dwelling-houses that made up the Palace
were blazing fiercely, while the volumes of smoke
rising heavily in the breathless, sweltering air hung
in lurid masses over the whole promontory of Serai
Bournou. It was both imposing and terrible to
see these walls perhaps the most deeply blood-
stained in the world wrapped in their final fiery
doom. The flames made short work of them, and
before evening a great portion fortunately the
least interesting historically of the vast, straggling
Palace was reduced to shapeless ruins.

Very shortly after this I returned to Athens,
where nothing of special note occurred up to the
King's arrival. I brought back with me from
Constantinople a Bagdad pony a very good-looking
grey which I had bought of Labouchere. Although
slightly gone in the fore-legs, like so many of that
breed, he made a very fair hack and served me well
in my long, delightful, early-morning rides.

Politically, everything remained quiet till the
royal landing on October 30 (1863), on which
occasion the Athenians, indeed all the Greeks,
went wild with joy and excitement, and gave their
new sovereign a truly enthusiastic welcome. For



KING GEORGE 125

several days the city was given up entirely to
public rejoicings, of which the most remarkable
feature a sight indeed to be remembered was
some fireworks let off immediately behind the
columns of the Temple of Jupiter, while the
heights of the Acropolis above were simultaneously
illuminated with Bengal lights. The effect was
exceedingly fine, however fairly it might be criti-
cised on strictly aesthetic grounds as unworthy
of such classic surroundings. But, although every-
thing went merrily as a marriage-bell, it was im-
possible not to feel compassion for the boy-king
whose lot was cast among so turbulent and fickle
a race as the Greeks. He was, and looked, so
young and artless that the experiment seemed to
all of us questionable and indeed highly hazardous,
and although it has answered far better than the
most sanguine had any warrant to hope, even now
the rashness of the conception appears to me scarcely
compatible with true statesmanship. I can well re-
member how strongly that impression came home
to me and others the day on which the youthful
sovereign took the oath to the Constitution in the
National Assembly. The sight of this slight,
delicate stripling, standing alone amidst a crowd
of callous, unscrupulous politicians, many of whom
had been steeped to the lips in treason, and swear-
ing to observe, as he has so faithfully done, the
most unworkable of charters, from which nearly
every safeguard, beginning with a Second Chamber,



126 RECOLLECTIONS OF A DIPLOMATIST

had been studiously eliminated without, I regret
to say, any opposition on the part of our Govern-
ment, at that time all - powerful in Greece was
indeed painful and saddening. It is true that
our Danish Telemachus had brought with him,
as mentor and political adviser, a Count Sponneck,
who had played some part in the public affairs
of his country, and had a great reputation for
prudence and sagacity. I had occasion to see a
good deal of Count Sponneck during the journey
I afterwards made with the king to the Ionian
Islands, and must confess that I was much dis-
appointed in him, and, more especially, struck by
his phenomenal want of tact.

At this time I was much engrossed by personal
worries, into the particulars of which it is needless
to enter. Nor were matters improved by my stupidly
slipping up one morning on the marble floor of the
vestibule at the Legation and coming down with
such force as to break my right arm. This occurred
at the end of November, and when I was well
enough to get about freely I applied for leave of
absence, and resolved to go to Italy for a change.
On January 2, 1864, I went on board the Messagcries
boat at the Piraeus, again having for a companion
Geofroy, who, this time, was leaving Athens for
good. The steamer had just come in from Con-
stantinople, and as I paced her deck, taking stock of
the fellow-passengers with whom I was to be thrown
as far as Messina, I soon singled out a tall, good-



MUSIC UNDER DIFFICULTIES 127

looking, middle-aged Englishman accompanied by a
young lady evidently his daughter. All I noticed
at first was that she was very fair and slight, and
extremely graceful, as well as parfaitement lien
mise. I speedily got into conversation with the
father, who, it appeared, had just been engaged on
important railway business at Constantinople. He
had found out who I was from seeing me brought
on board by a man-of-war boat of the Revenge, and
mentioned to me Lionel Moore and other Therapia
acquaintances. While we were conversing, the
sound of a piano, very skilfully played, reached
us from the deck saloon, and presently there came
some slight Italian melody one of Campana's, I
think sung with exquisite taste and feeling by a
most lovely mezzo-soprano voice of unusual compass.
On the first two days of our journey we had a
perfectly smooth sea, but soon got into so thick a
fog that we had to anchor at Poros for the night.
Music made the hours fly in the most delightful
way, and even after doubling Cape Matapan, and
getting into rougher waters, I well remember how
I held on to the piano, when joining my new and
charming friend in some duet she, meanwhile,
achieving miracles of equilibrium on the music-stool
till at last the violent lurching of the vessel drove
us to safer seats. Messina was reached all too soon,
and there for the time I had my last look at the
bright, winsome face which many years after came
to gladden my life and home for good.



CHAPTER XIX

THE CESSION OF THE IONIAN ISLANDS, 1864

I HAD never seen Naples, and, when I got there the
following day from Messina, was at once so fascinated
by its beauties and its exuberance of life and colour
that I felt in no sort of hurry to leave it again.
Even in mid-winter it seemed to me so enchanting
a place that I lingered on for six weeks, and saw
out the Carnival festivities. I was most fortunate
in finding here one of my oldest acquaintances in
the Duchesse de Sant' Arpino the Leila Locke of
my boyhood in Paris, where we were taught dancing
together at her mother's house by M. Fauchet, an
old-fashioned mattre de danse of a type long since
extinct. My little fairy partner of those days was
now the prettiest and smartest of Neapolitan great
ladies, and nothing could exceed the kindness and
hospitality I met with at her beautiful house on
the Riviera di Chiaja all through my stay. At
Naples I also found several men I had known
well in Paris and Vienna, such as the Due de
Forli, who afterwards lived in London for many
years, and Ernesto Dentice. Dentice or Prince
Frasso, as he is now called was married to
a charming Austrian lady one of the Choteks



CARNIVAL CORSO ON TOLEDO 129

and he and his wife made me most welcome.
At their house I frequently met the lovely
little Duchesse de Lavello and Princess Louise
Dolgorouky, ride Vulcano, whom I was to see again
later on at St. Petersburg.

I found Neapolitan society altogether very
pleasant. It was remarkable for the number of
unusually handsome women who adorned it, and this
year, for the first time since the fall of the Bourbon
dynasty, efforts were made to enliven the winter by
some of the old Carnival amusements. The Corso on
Toledo during the last days of the Carnival was to
me an entirely new experience of unbridled Southern
fun and frolic, and a wonderful sight of its kind.
On this occasion it was made exceptionally pic-
turesque by a number of huge masquerading cars,
decorated, with great splendour and artistic taste,
by the opposing Bourbonist and Liberal factions
which then divided the society of the dethroned
capital. Prince Humbert, who was holding court
here for his father, was in one of these cars with
tho officers of his household, while others had been
organised by Frasso, Forli, Sant' Arpino, and other
leaders of the jeunesse doree of the place. Forli 's
car was much the most amusing and original of the
lot, being manned by eight young elegants dressed
up as babies with bibs and bourrelets, or padded
caps, and Tro'isi, the popular composer of the day,
as the old nurse to look after them. 1 had been
asked to join this car, but my right arm, still very

VOL. II. 1



130 RECOLLECTIONS OF A DIPLOMATIST

stiff after my accident, would have been no good
in throwing the confetti ammunition, so I had to
content myself with watching the marvellously gay,
animated scene from a window in Toledo, in very
pleasant company. Prince Humbert, then only in
his nineteenth year, and placed more or less in
charge of my old Turin acquaintance, General de
la Marmora, gave a very pretty ball at the splendid
Palazzo Reale, at which I distinctly recollect the
effect produced by that lovely scion of the two great
Doria and Talbot houses, the young Duchesse de
Rignano, now Duchesse Massimo. Between these
diversions and the comforts of an excellent and very
exclusive club which had been recently opened in
the Strada di Chiaja, varied by excursions to Pompeii
and other places in the neighbourhood, time passed
quickly, and I was very loth to leave my rooms at
the Vittoria in the second week of Lent. I went on
to Rome, where, to my shame be it spoken, I only
passed a week. I would gladly have remained
longer, but was impatiently expected both at
Florence and at Nice, and could not afford to spend
any more time on the road. The cold at Rome was
quite exceptional for that latitude. There had been
a hard frost for some days, and the great Trevi
Fountain, hung all over with huge icicles, had a
most striking effect. I found a good many friends
passing the winter here the Rokebys, Baillie
Cochranes, Percy Anderson of the Foreign Office,
and others but had no time to attempt much in the



SIBERIAN WEATHER IN ITALY 131

way of sight-seeing. I have never been at Rome
since, and the Eternal City, with all its marvels
and treasures, unfortunately remains a sealed book
to me to this day.

On reaching Florence at the end of February, I
heard from my brother such alarming accounts of my
aunt, Mrs. Arabin, that I resolved to go on to her at
Nice at once. A terribly cold journey I had in the
diligence across the Apennines. It snowed heavily
the whole way, but we managed to get into Pracchia
in time for the evening train to Bologna, which was
due there about eleven o'clock, and was in connec-
tion with the night mail to Alexandria, Turin,
Genoa, &c. We left Pracchia shortly after six
o'clock, and went on, very slowly, for an hour or
so, when we suddenly came to a complete standstill.
We passed the best part of the night like this, the
heavy drifts entirely blocking the line, and only
towards four o'clock in the morning did we move
on again, reaching Bologna after seven. I had, for-
tunately, with me a sanchvich-box and sherry-flask,
the contents of which I shared with a young
English couple on their wedding tour, and thus
helped to keep them alive through the bitter night.
Of course we missed the mail-train, and were de-
tained the whole day at Bologna, where the snow
in the streets was piled up along the houses in
heaps some four feet high. Scarcely anywhere out
of Russia, where one is thoroughly sheltered from it,
do I remember seeing such severe weather.



132 RECOLLECTIONS OF A DIPLOMATIST

I found my aunt laid up with an alarming
attack of bronchitis, and was thankful I was there
to look after her. She had so excellent a constitu-
tion, however, that she recovered in a wonderfully
short time, and was quite herself again by the
middle of April, when I left her to return to
Florence. I had liked my six weeks' stay at Nice
very well. I found there, as usual, a number of
pleasant people, among others the Ellisons, the
young Due de Mouchy, and my old friend Geraldine
Harris. But what I most enjoyed was going for
long rides in the early spring, when the country
round Nice looks its loveliest, with Mrs. Hartmann
and her sister, Miss Steiner, the very attractive
daughters of a remarkable old Alsatian millionaire,
who, by his shrewdness and industry, had become
one of the leading manufacturers of Lancashire. If
I am not mistaken he partly owed his wealth to
some important discovery he had made in the
composition of aniline dyes. Miss Steiner not long
afterwards married my very good friend the Marquis
de Jaucourt, and 1 have had the pleasure of visiting
her since in her luxurious home in Paris. At
this time young Mouchy s'etait mis sur Ics rangs,
and 1 confess that I too found her quite charming.
Butcuibono? I had to take myself off, my leave
having nearly expired, and my brother looking
forward to my paying him the visit I had before
been obliged to curtail. Even now my stay at
Florence was to be short, for 1 received orders to



RETURN TO ATHENS 133

return at once to Athens, and take charge of the
Legation between the departure of Scarlett and the
arrival of his successor, Erskine. I sailed from
Leghorn on the 7th of May and landed at the
Piraeus on the i2th. Two days later the Scarletts
left, much to my regret, and I moved into the
Legation House, where I made myself very com-
fortable for the time with Eric Farquhar an
extremely nice fellow, who was lost all too soon
to his friends and to the service, dying of typhoid
fever a few years afterwards at Peking.

The protracted negotiations for ceding the ad-
ministration of the Ionian Islands to Greece had
now come to an end, and the arrangements for
handing them over to their new masters were all
but completed. On the first occasion I had of
seeing Count Sponneck after my return, he informed
me that the king would shortly go and take posses-
sion of the islands in person, and that his Majesty
hoped that I, as well as the French and Russian
Charges d' Affaires, as representing the three Pro-
tecting Powers (by a fortunate chance both Bourec
and BloudofF were absent on leave), would accompany
him on the occasion. 1 telegraphed home for in-
structions, and was told to accept the invitation
and take my passage in the Rcccnge, the flagship
of Admiral Yelverton, then stationed at the Pirams.
My colleagues, Vicomte Amelot de Chaillou (next to
Edmond de Polignac the most amusing Frenchman
I ever knew) and Prince Leon Gagarine, received



134 RECOLLECTIONS OF A DIPLOMATIST

instructions similar to mine, and we all prepared
with great alacrity for an expedition which, in
addition to its political interest, promised to be


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