The old cathedral of Notre Dame dedicated to the Mater Afflictorum became the Temple of the Supreme Being, Saint Eustache, the Temple of Agriculture and other lesser churches became temples of this and that. Already in the glorious abbeys of Clairefontaine and Orval had been fired. During centuries their rulers had been so by the grace of God, and however strange the decrees of God as to their overlords, they preferred them to the blasphemies and tyrannies of men. They resented profoundly being forced to labour on Holy Days, or inversely to wearing their Sunday clothes on days commemorating deeds abhorred to the Church.
Clervaux, in the sterner Oesling region was its birth- place. With these rude means of defence they tried desperately to fight against the cannon balls and bayonets of the Revolutionary Army. Their blood reddened the soil of their fatherland.
A monument at Clervaux shows bowed peasants kneel- ing before the uplifted Host, with the heroic motto Better to fall in battle than to live and witness the woes of our people and of the Church. The Treaty of Campo Formio, October 17th, , gave over Luxemburg formally to the French Re- public as well as the ci-devant Belgian provinces known as the Austrian Netherlands, Austria agreeing to the settlement.
There remained, however, a warm, underlying Hapsburg sentiment. Then the elite of the Duchy met and escorted him across their territory October 9th, When Napoleon came to take the Belgic provinces into consideration he remarked to Josephine These people are devout and under the influence of priests.
It will be a good plan to have a long seance in Church, to caress the clergy and thus gain support. The people began to take heart. From Brussels he bade her write to her father that she had danced with his Flemings. He was very gracious on his entrance into Luxemburg. There was a session on March 23rd, , which especially concerned Luxemburg. Here among other things Wellington repeated Article xxix providing that certain portions of the Duchy of Luxemburg should form one of the States of the German Confederation, and that it should be ceded to the Sovereign Prince of the United Pro- vinces to be possessed by him under the title of Duke of Luxemburg.
He added a motion that this last Me should be changed to Grand Duke of Luxemburg. Thus was realized, after a strange fashion, the old Valois dream of a Kingdom of the Netherlands. Thus, too, was born the present Grand Duchy of Luxemburg, its main features, so scarred yet so lovely, resembling those of to-day.
More than a century has passed over them without materially altering them. Yet another conflict to which Luxemburg was foreign was to beat at its doors: the Revolt of the Belgic Provinces in — ending in that divorce between two incompatibilities, Belgium and Holland, married with some pomp at the Congress of Vienna.
Language, religion, national impulse were all against this union. Relatives, friends and enemies in the shape of European powers and their covenants further embittered it. Out of all the figures and the wranglings finally emerged Leopold of Saxe-Coburg. Widowed, Protestant, an alliance was arranged for him with a daughter of Louis Philippe.
German by inheritance, linked to England by his past and his present, to France by marriage, Leopold was the predestined solvent of difficulties. Formally recognized as King on July 2ist, , he speedily became more Belgian than the Belgians and was to show himself a master 01 practical politics.
It was thus long ruled by the princes of the House of Orange who brought to it sometimes casually, fluidly, sometimes accentingly, indelibly their habits and customs. He often visited it, modernized its constitution and placed it under the profitable German ZoHverein, February 8th, The Treaty of London May nth, , was most important in the history of the Duchy. It carved out Its final shape upon the map of Europe. The rights T House of Orange-Nassau were maintained. Ihe cohorts of the Dutch King Grand Dukes of the mneteenffi century rarely showed themselves in the ucny.
Then Marie Adelaide. It was, too, prophetically the date of the battle of Waterloo, the vast reverberations of whose cannon through ninety- seven years were soon to be lost in those, still vaster, of the Great War. She was, like all the women rulers of her land, whose blood-stained key to East and West she held, born to troubled times. Brightly enfleshed in her beauty, lightly clad in her eighteen years, haloed by her innocence, she was an irresistible apparition in the land of her birth and hentage.
In her veins ran more and more warmly that beautifying blood of the Braganzas. It mingled, creating strange cross-currents and eddies, with that ponderable Nassau strain which was to give a certain reasonableness to her deep-lying Herrschersucht, urge to rule, deathless quality of the so-Iong dispossessed house from which her mother had sprung.
A fair skin of a peculiarly velvety texture set off the beauty of her large, dark-blue, long- lashed eyes which were to have a way of looking out upon the world of men and affairs with a quiet, trusting expression, yet with reticence. She had very white, regular teeth in a red, full-lipped mouth, the upper lip especially being generously modelled. Those pearly teeth gave her smile a peculiar, bright charm. Her feet were very small and from her eleventh year she never changed the size of her shoes.
Her hands, too, were small but they had been frost-bitten in childhood when at play in the snow at Hohenburg and were apt to swell and redden in cold weather; the traditionally prescribed wearing of gloves on all occasions when she came in contact with the outside world made this of slight import. Her soft hair was at that time dressed most unbecomingly, drawn up as it was over one of those hideous wire frames in vogue during the last pre-war years and which royalty with its customary conservatism was the last to adopt but also the last to abandon.
But even that could not disguise its soft, luxuriant beauty. In a gauze veil, over hair drawn back, enveloped in a brocaded mantle she would have resembled with her richly-modelled mouth, her broadly-placed eyes, her full nostrils, her long neck any of the Botticelli Madonnas. On that eighteenth day of June she was, however, dressed in a somewhat thick white lace gown from the cele- brated Vienna house of Spitzer, atavistically renunis- cent of the Hapsburg rule.
A single row of ancestral pearls encircled her neck encased by a high collar held rigidly in place by one of those dreadful wire neck-supporters, completely dis- figuring to a whole generation of young women.
But any fashion has the value of its evanescence and about her figure lay, enhancingly, the spell of youth, the power of symbol. As the young ruler started out on that long pre- desuned day from Castle Berg, Luxemburg was shimng in its peculiar early summer ambience. A delicate yet radiant beauty enveloped both ruler and land. And everywhere the scent roses, natural odour of the Duchy.
The hopes that every Luxemburger had borne in his heart from the hour of her birth had blossomed. The Luxemburgers have, as we know, the habit of linking the name of God with that of their mortal rulers. Without political pretensions nor any desire of enlargement Luxemburg only asked of her strong and restless neighbours to be allowed to work out her destiny in peace, according to the genius of her people, who by their admixture of blood present such diverse and productive qualities.
On that eighteenth day of June her relations with the contiguous states were of the best. The Duchy seemed at last secure from mishap, destined for permanent peace, tor an ever-increasing prosperity. She was both guarantor and guarantee. Their own. Entering the great hall after the protocolary greetings she firmly, lightly ascended the steps of the throne. Looking about her appealingly, her white-gloved hands tightly clasped, she bowed to the President, to the Deputies, to the diplomats accredited to the Duchy.
The hand that reached for her speech carried by her lady-in-waiting shook slightly. But when she found herself facing the assemblage, with what she considered a God-com- mitted duty immediately before her, a sudden change came over her.
It was felt by all that where there had seemed to be only a shy and beautiful maiden, there was a chief and ruler - a personality. Her hand no longer trembled. She had what the French call la voix grave and it was graver, warmer, fuller than its wont in that moment. For weeks the castle had resounded to the phrases of the speech rehearsed by her French lady-in-waitine Countess die Carcqueray.
Its modest yet earnest context had been composed by Paul Eyschen, wise enough to allow some touching and girlish modifica- tions by his new sovereign, as easily distinguishable as white from black. I swear to observe the Constitution and laws of the Grand Duchy of Luxem- burg, to maintain national independence and terri- torial dignity as well as public and private liberty and the rights of each and all of my subjects, to employ for the conservation and increase of prosperity, public and private — as is the duty of a good sovereign — all the means the law allows.
In visible emotion which communicated itself to all present she raised her right hand with the noblest of gestures. She ceased to look at the assemblage of mortals; her beautiful blue eyes were raised to heaven. I will confine myself, gentlemen, to telling you my aspirations and my hopes.
I promise to interest myself in all, to be fair, easy of access, ready to give aid. Is not the endeavour to realize within practical limits the Beautiful, the True and the Good the most magnificent jewel for any crown? On the same wall are engraved the features of our great ancestor Henry VII with his favourite device: Judicate juste Judge justly. According to their shining examples, zeal to render decisions in conformity with the rules of Justice and Equity shall inspire all my acts.
Law and public weal alone shall be my guides. Oh, to judge justly. Should not justice be for all and is it not the guardian of the weak? Economic inequality among mankind is the grave preoccupation of our age. Till now, social peace, so ardently desired has been but a fleeting ideal. But is not Justice deeply enough anchored in all hearts for a happy appeal to it?
And can we not hope for the action slow but sure of its eternal laws? And Heaven must bless my eflforts. Let us fulfil our duty. Let us act so that no suspicion can be cast on the rectitude of our intentions. I love my country. I am proud and happy to bear its name and its crown. I desire no other joy than to serve it and in co-operation with you, to assure its prosperity. To the hand of a young girl the guar- dianship of the flag is entrusted.
I will hold it high and with the aid of God I will do combat for its honour. In that moment the Luxemburgers stood united to a man about the throne on which sat the young figure of an ancient race. Gone were the amblings of that aged grandsire, the drab days of the long paternal illness, the perfunctory appearances of the regent. Towards evenfall she returned to Castle Berg.
The road was still lined with her acclaiming subjects; she was still bending her graceful head to right and left, still smiling her rosy-lipped, pearly-toothed smile, but her face had grown very pale under the ponder- ous, befeathered hat. The sun of the day of her accession to power had set. Luxemburg was without enemies; cradled against the heart of a peaceful Europe, its tranquil, modest destiny seemed at last to arouse no jealousies. The loveliest of its roses, without spot or blemish, had bloomed before all eyes.
It is said that she fell into one of those deep sadnesses of early youth that night and asked: Ts this glory? Intrigue of necessity wherever there is power to be wielded — favours to be sought. In the smiling person of his young ruler he thought to wield under a lovelier guise the powers of the past. The famous Servais, long-lived, faithful servant of Luxem- bourg, had administered it without catastrophe under four sovereigns.
Paul Eyschen can be pardoned for thinking that he saw history agreeably repeating itself in his own person and destiny. The sun that was setting upon his life was red and warm, indicating continued good weather. The other Ministers of State, the court officials were men showing their mixed blood — German, Flemish, Belgian, French, Dutch, here and there a darker, persistent Burgundian and Spanish strain.
The various social elements resembled them. The fibre of each and all was tightly woven of the colours of the banners of those nations which had besieged, occupied and possessed Luxemburg. Their unifying sentiment was love of their tiny land stamped with that many-tinted dye upon the map of Europe, and respect for the dynasty of the House of Orange- Nassau as a condition of its continued independence.
At this latter point the most diverse political shades were merged into their primary colours, the govern- mental spectrum being of a complete visibility. The lesser figures at the head of affairs were for the most part sound, not over-quickly moving beings, largely educated at Louvain — indeed the intelligentsia of the period was quite French in thought and policy.
It was fully agreed, however, in their diverse opinions and wills that a dynasty was the least expensive as well as the most stable form of government for Luxem- 91 MARIE ADELAIDE burg, given her special economic problems and her peculiar geographical position. The court routine necessarily took its hue and shape from the habits and temperament of its young ruler. During years its natural activities had been in abeyance because of the slippered old age of Adolf and the absorption of the regent in that long, dull, seem- ingly endless illness of her husband, the beginnings of which were evident and accurately diagnosed shortly after his accession to the throne.
The business of the day was dispatched either in that gloomy Renaissance palace built by Count Peter Mansfeld or in the cheerful, many-windowed, beturreted and betowered castle of Colmar-Berg. Till then she had shared a room with her sister Charlotte.
As she never sought to give the dwellings she inhabited any impress of her personality, the paternal rooms remained, with the exception of a few objects ot girlish use, just as she found them. Neither in the palaces and castles over which she became mistress did she ever make any changes or additions; as long as they contained the things strictly necessary for er requirements and living she was content. When she left them they bore no trace of her selfless occupancy. She also had a flmr for good furniture, readily placing it in its epoch.
But she made no effort to surround herself with things of beauty. In the dining room were magnificent crystal chandeliers also coming from this princess, as was the very beautiful Empire furniture of the best period, still covered with its indestructible striped silk, which furnished the billiard-room. To this apartment the grand ducal women and their ladies-in-waiting, whether they played billiards or not had the habit of repairing after the evening meal, entering it headed by the Grand Duchess Marie Anne in strict sequence of rank or seniority.
No mistakes were made in this order which functioned with the certainty of the stars of heaven. Each lady carried that inevitable fan, wore those inevitable white glace kid gloves, which latter, however, after the outbreak of the war were never put on. The Countess Anna always of sprightly and independent mode of thought, instituted a way of doubling up a single one to make it look like a pair.
When these gloves on account of the expense were, in , finally and officially abolished, an embodiment of age-old etiquette, with a great many other things, was laid in its grave. The fan survived. The town residence was without a garden, without any of those green, growing things essential to Marie Adelaide.
She did not need to play the role of Haroun al Raschid in order to become acquainted with them. Various were the acts of charity occasioned by knowledge thus obtained. The money of the Grand Duke Adolf had somewhat modernized this palace of the Spanish domination, wedged for the most part in between narrow streets, though the Grand Duke had caused the most encum- bering of the old houses to be cleared away.
From the front entrance, in what is now known as the Rue du Gouvernement, a superb stairway of the original epoch goes up to the great salons above, where are many portraits of the kings of the Netherlands, of the princes of the House of Nassau. The state dining room is hung with priceless Gobelins depicting scenes from the Odyssey. Above the doorway leading into the court are the monograms of Siegfried, that reputed founder of the city; beneath the head of Ermesinde, giver of its liberties, is the inscription, Libertate Prosperitas.
Such was the dwelling into and out of which Marie Adelaide passed, with its proud reminders of her ancestored place and power. The six beautiful Luxemburg sisters, though their dowries were modest, were conspicuous objects of matrimonial overtures from various princely lines.
Ministers of State saw in them safe, handsome, healthy consorts for the heirs of the houses they served and the political situation of the neutralized Grand Duchy put them outside national jealousies. Of marriage for Marie Adelaide herself, wrapped in a thousand veils, there was never any question. She knew that the dynasty must be assured, but there were five sisters, one or the other would give an heir to the throne, in especial — and time was to show how prophetically — she designed her sister Charlotte, eighteen months younger than herself, for this purpose.
Various extremely tentative suggestions were made to her by her Ministers but she always turned from thern with a proud, shy smile, a fluttering of heavy, white lids over blue eyes, a drawing up and away of her young person that forbade any real discussion. The picture of her ministers finding themselves under the unpleasant necessity of mention- ing to those entirely innocent ears strange sins is a curious one.
However, she did her princely duty by the criminals and prostitutes of her country and in her heart, whatever her hand signed, judged none that she herself be not judged. Later she was to refuse certain compromises that would have smoothed her path. Though she grew to be at ease with these ministers of her realm, it was always in an impersonal sense, in the discharge of objective duties.
In no way could anyone pass beyond that cordon of her woman- hood that she drew about herself. In her social relations she was still more impregnable. Men had no access to her life or thought, and only existed clothed in some office, shrouded in some function. Her ministers were in the end to complain of an excess ot discretion. Who and what was that girl who had no confidante, experienced no need of expressing thought or feeling? They had, however, to admit that they found her amenable to reason, with a certain innate sense of justice; though inclined to mercy it was not blindly nor fitfully — Judicate juste.
Politically she had a tendency to procrastina- tion, found in many women rulers and not without its uses, deliberately pigeon-holing matters about which she was not sure. From the first she listened to praise of her acts or words with caution, and was apt to show a certain scorn, even anger, when it passed to flattery. The natural mystical tendencies of her people were propitious to such thoughts and such desires.
It may be truly said of her that she remembered her Creator in the days of her youth. There were inevitably those among her deputies who scoffed at her youthful fervour, but her people at arge rejoiced in her piety, honoured her innocence, were proud of her beauty, her interior virtues being quite naturally set off and enhanced by those many outward graces.
Her humility, her shyness covered, all came to learn, an iron will. She was fair but she was strong. The situation presented certain difficulties for ministers. Marie Adelaide rose early, going to church at half- past seven on foot, winter and summer, in all weathers. Afterwards she breakfasted with her mother and sisters somewhat heartily, as is the custom of the country, coffee, toast, cakes, cold meats being served. Sometimes, however, she would go on a strict diet, alleging that she did not want to get fat, but really, all knew, to mortify her natural love of good food.
She then gave personal attention to her animals, feeding her rabbits, her birds, running about with her dogs, or watching the slow weaving of a cocoon, the bursting of a butterfly from its chrysalis. After which with the Countess Anna she went through her mail. It was a new experience for those men, many of whom had served easy-going, indifferent, or absent overlords.
The official half year of mourning for the Grand Duke William was from February 26th to August 26th; this exempted the young ruler from court functions but not from her governmental duties. It demanded at first an extraordinary effort of will on the part of Marie Adelaide, naturally lazy -even slothful -to keep pace with the ceaseless round ot work to perform the public acts of a sovereign.
Wishing to know what her ministers thought she had a way of listening attentively to what they said as she sat in her great chair, her hands wrapped around its arms or lying folded in her lap, her head bent forward to listen rather than to speak. When she was in residence at Castle Berg she motored into town three or four times a week according to the need for these ministerial audiences, returning with batches of documents, which she would read over carefully in the evening.
On the drive home she was mostly silent, endeavouring to think matters out for herself, smoking endless cigarettes as she did so. Ahead of her were living duties, about her lay noble ruins, behind her was the immemorial city — and she born out of her time. Always new things were to war with old in that girl of two races on whom Fate had cast its incalculable eye. Ihe excellent but simple repast of soup, meat vegetables and a sweet dish was ceremoniously served according to the traditional custom There was still an eighteenth-century way of helping oneself to fruit and to the Ldffelbiskuit, always, however, by the lackeys to the different rooms for later consumption.
She could sleep the clock round or go without sleep, eat much or abstain without the slightest trace upon her charming countenance. She had, too, the royal habit of stand- ing and keeping everybody else standing for hours without herself experiencing fatigue, sending ministers, court ladies, diplomats exhausted from her presence.
Long afterwards when recalling her to memory many have said that it was in the guise of a tall and lovely plant standing very straight, yet delicately on its stalk. In the afternoon when in town Marie Adelaide walked with her mother, her lady-in-waiting, with one or all of her sisters, the Tauten or Cousinen who might be visidng them, through the Bambusch Forest stretching to the Grund Clausen at the base of the city.
There in the Grund was once another great palace built by Count Ernest Mansfeld. Its splendours are recalled now but by a few crumbling walls and portals. Destined to survive its creator but a short time, the museums of Madrid, Brussels, Treves and Metz are the depositories ofits treasures.
In the Grund, too, is the very old Gothic church of Saint Gune- gunde. Its great frescoes record the life of her of the burning ploughshares over which, on her husband s return from the Polish wars, he obliged her to pass, her white feet showing never a blister. That afternoon walk generally terminated at the Cathedral. Marie Adelaide had a natural but somewhat restricted taste for books, often reading aloud to the family group in her low-pitched voice.
She loved in particular stories of conversions, persecutions, founda- tions of religious orders, all those adventures taking place on the shadowy borderland of the soul. The Autobiography of St. Gladly she visited the creche under her protection.
There the most ailing, the most unattractive child received her special attention. She would take a sore-eyed baby in her arms, lift a rickety child to her lap, would remember their names and was always eager to know if this one or that had gained weight since her last visit, if they were really getting colour in their cheeks, if they could walk better.
She always brought hampers with her and would distribute slices of white bread and little cakes to the children or hold cups of milk to their lips with her own hands. In such surroundings all her shyness vanished. She would be gay and loving as some young mother playing with her children. She made yearly visits to the various convents of the Duchy, to the Dominican schools, to the Franciscan missions, to the hospitals of the sisters of St.
Vincent de Paul, to the Carmelites, towards whom she had a very special drawing. She would mostly care- fully disentangle it from the hook and return it to its natural element, though on other occasions she was not averse to the business of cleaning what she caught and would hold a still throbbing heart on her palm looking at it curiously, pressing it against her cheek.
She was a creature of extremes. Rose-growing, that flourishing modern industry of Luxemburg, received her special patronage. She was fond of quoting the words of Saint Francis to the brother gardener whom he ordered To reserve a special corner for flowering plants or those whose odour is sweet, that their sight and their fragrance might remind the soul of the Eternal beauty.
The stables were well kept up by Baron von Bohlen, Master of the Horse and the six handsome sisters setting out for their morning ride was a gratifying spectacle to the inhabitants, who would run to doors, or put their heads out of windows when they heard a certain sound of hoofs clattering through the city in the direcuon of the Bambusch Forest, the Grand Duchess ahead distinguishable by her peculiarly easy graceful MARIE ADELAIDE Like her father, she was an excellent shot, and was often in season to be seen driving out to the Jagd-Re- vier for deer-stalking.
If they got home late they would sit down to supper in hunting costume — green loden suits, little green felt hats with their tiny feathers. Gathered about the table the unusual beauty of each of the sisters was enhanced by that of the others. This seemed a mountainous business. Fate in the shape of death of the Prince-Regent of Bavaria delayed the event till February 12th, They were previously catalogued for the Grand Duchess, and though not dressed in the colours of their countries, they were unmistakably announced, and conversation proceeded if not easily at least inevitably.
In the evening there was a large dinner with Tafelmusik. She immediately began to faire le cercle with the gentlemen, greeting them with her straight-looking, beautiful eyes, flashing her youthful smile, biting her red underlip with her white teeth, her slim body somewhat shrinkingly held, presenting a pleasing but slightly disconcerting picture of youthful shyness and royal pride.
Maquillage of any sort was unknown to the Luxemburg Court, and the colour that came and went in her cheeks, that dyed her lips, was her own. Her mother, sombrely clad, spoke to the women, though her smile was less ready, and she always preserved a certain coldness of manner. An English diplomat d cheval between Brussels and Luxemburg quoted of the Grand Duchess: Nymph of the downward smile and sidelong glance, In what diviner moments of the day Art thou most lovely?
At such dinners she sat to the right of her mother, the guest of honour on her own right — one of her min- foreign prince, or a diplomat. An inter- minable, many-coursed repast, after the ancient usage, would be served with priceless wines from those pale vineyards of the Duchy or the Rhinelands.
Marie Adelaide was mostly quite silent, thankful when the gentlemen beside her had the gift of speech. She spoke English with perfect fluency and an excellent accent, having the habit of using it as well as French in her family together with the more habitual German. It is carefully prepared with indications concerning those admitted on which to hang a tiny shred of conversa- tion, the names being clearly called out by the master of ceremonies.
When someone was skilled enough or bold enough to speak first — or rather seem to speak first, Marie Adelaide was always grateful. Many a royal personage unaccustomed to the ordinary amenities of social intercourse has been thrown into a panic when receiving the scion of some little provincial house or the representative of some exotic, distant and negligible nation. At the sound of the bell the princess stands up instantly, be it in the beginning, middle, or end of a sentence.
The lady finds her audience suddenly at an end. Bowing, she backs quickly, sometimes breathlessly, out of the room to give place to the next lady awaiting her turn in the ante-chamber with the mistress of ceremonies. In addition to state dinners there were generally two concerts to which were also bidden officers and their wives. Scions of la vieille noblesse came, too, from the lovely, ancient Treves, the nearest large town, six miles from the frontier, and whose history has been often so closely linked with that of the Duchy.
Later it was the seat of one of the largest Bishoprics of Europe, capital of a powerful spiritual Electorate, Now with its imposing ruins, its imperial traditions, its sunny immemorial vineyards, still the seat of a great Bishopric, it is the most interesting city of the Rhinelands.
Those who knew her best surmised that that deep, hot nature had been in some way deviated from its natural course. Her aloofness when matters of love were in question, resembled the flight of a bird from possible snare, always that instant instinct of escape. She even turned aside from the expressions of love of her sister Elizabeth and the Prince of Thurn and Taxis — madly enamoured of each other. With all this there was that tender, gay affection for children.
Whether there were passionate, smouldering depths in that too proud, too silent heart, whether it was the vow of chastity that she had strangely made at the marriage of the Emperor Karl, whether it was the sudden initiation into the sins of a people that for- bade all thought, all mention of love, no one can say. She was chary of physical contact of any kind even with her mother or her sisters.
It was soon seen by her ministers, in especial by Paul Eyschen, that their beautiful young ruler was of a complex, but entirely unformed character. In the spring of it was decided that she should make, incognita, the traditional tournk des princes, to mmiliarize her with other lands and prepare her or her state visits. From the first step out of her territory Marie Adelaide showed that morbid, obsessional distaste for publicity that was to give to herself and to others so many uncom- fortable hours.
She kept to the sole society of her official companions. A natural gesture of her lady-in- waiting to let her pass first through a doorway would cause an angry flush to deepen the youthful pink of her cheeks. Gothard Pass, andque road of pilgrimages, into the soft loveliness of the Italian wodd.
Others of her race had gone down into Italy for conquest or for glory; she for beauty. Sunset arrival at Venice; stepping into the gondola breathless at the sudden, unimagined loveliness, trailing her hand in the pearly waters. Rome: St. Sorrento, Amalfi briefly, Naples for a while. She loved especially the Aquarium, and after a wide glance at the volcano, at the incomparable line of that shining bay, she would enter to spend hours gazing into its light-flecked, fluid spaces, com- paring those highly-coloured, beflounced and fluted bizarreries of the southern seas — the beautiful Venus girdle, the living coral, those strange medusae, those greedy octopuses, with the soberer trout, grayling, gudgeon, pike and barbel of the rivers of her Duchy, She insisted, too, on visiting the crater of Vesuvius, going nearer than was considered safe, and there is the picture of Baron Brandis holding his too adventurous young sovereign back by her skirts.
At last Paestum, to find the late afternoon sun upon the temples, burnishing with its reddest gold those reminders of a supreme art. Then, too, the luxuriant growth of fern, acanthus and laurel harbour- ing a world of lizards, salamanders, small snakes, and whirring, singing insects ravished her attention.
But this journey was to show her only things, places, not to be productive of personal relationships. All was seen as from afar, an immense unpeopled space continuing to lie between her and the actual world of men and women. When it was known that among the souvenirs she brought back was a photograph of Fra Angelico s picture of St. Peter Martyr with his finger at his lips, and another of St.
Benedict making the same gesture, Paul Eyschen is said to have raised his heavy eyebrows, and plucked at the point of his glossy white beard. It was clearer and clearer that they were all in for new things. Shortly after her return from Italy the young sovereign made her first official visit, preparations for which occasioned some natural flutter m the halls o Castle Berg. The familiar of family ties would be continued.
Her sister Charlotte, then only seventeen, was to accompany her. The Luxemburg sisters had a pleasing way of setting off one another. On whom had her lovely child ever vainly flashed that smile? The Grand Duke in full uniform, his hand constantly at his beplumed helmet sat opposite them.
To this dinner all notabilities of the town having their entrees a la cour were bidden. Afterwards cercle. The next day luncheon at the palace of the Grand Duchess Mother, the gifted Louise of Prussia, than whom not even patriarchal Germany had known a more devoted Landesmutter. That evening gala opera in the adjacent Landes- Theatre, where in a pale chiffon gown that both enveloped and revealed the beauty of her she stood in the royal loge between the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess, bowing to the audience turned towards them from the stage.
It was her first expe- rience of publicity and would have seemed not only easy but agreeable to any ruler save one her inborn timidity and reserve. In that flower-scented month of May Marie Ade- laide revived the ancient devotion to the miraculous Virgin Mater Afflictorum. It had quite naturally fallen into disuse during the reigns of her Lutheran grandfather and father, and had been left there by the Grand Duchess Marie Anne who, though of great personal piety, had not been one to raise questions during her regency, her influence on her daughter after her accession being mostly to discourage any departure from the established order.
The Host was again carried through the streets from the Cathedral, those coped and chasubled priests under the great panoply, those censer-swinging acolytes presenting the unchanged, unchangeable picture that the long-dead Prince de Chimay had seen. Only now from the beautifully proportioned tower of the Gothic Cathedral, rings out at alternate hours the music of the modern Feierwon, the Festal Train.
The Grand Duchess followed immediately after the panoply alone, then her black-robed mother, that bevy of lovely sisters, court officials, pilgrims come not only from the cantons of the Duchy but from Belgium, Holland, Alsace, the Rhinelands. In the evening under the windows of the grand ducal palace thousands of Luxemburgers sang in their patois the national anthem 0ms Hemecht Our Native Land.
Then peasants and mer- chants, many still picturesquely clad, come from all parts of the Duchy to market their wares in the capital. On the sixteenth of June, two days after her nine- teenth birthday, the Grand Duchess made her appearance at the court of Belgium.
Stepping lightly from the Salon wagon dressed in pale grey, her Grand Cordon across her breast she found the Belgian sovereigns awaiting her in full state. Much re carpet, but she was quickly embraced by the Qpeen, her hand reassuringly kissed by the King.
In the evening the usual diner de cirimome. In the great hall awaited her, too, the Belgian Ministers of State and the members of society. Gone was the shyness that had plagued her at Garlsruhe. She afterwards said that the presence before dinner of the young Prince Leopold had put her in StiinTnung. But for whatever modestly-given reason, she beautifully carried off the honours of the occasion, and it was whispered about that never had so pure an expression, nor so winning a smile been seen on a princely countenance.
The next day, in beautiful weather, she drove with the King through the streets in an open equipage, an acclaiming public lining the route of the fair cousin and neighbour, on her way to the historic Hotel de Ville — where once an Emperor had laid down his power — to be received by the Burgomaster Max, destined to play so great a role in those hidden war- days.
In the evening traditional gala opera, the house decorated with great festoons of intertwining black, yellow and red — red, white and blue. Entrance again to the stirring sound of the two national hymns. Rustling of the uniformed, tiara-ed audience turning towards the royal loge. On Sunday morning visit to Laeken. Mass was celebrated in the chapel of the famous greenhouses, the altar raised under exotic trees and vines bearing rare, brilliant flowers and fruits — the whole presenting a solemn and beautiful sight, the women kneeling in their light summer gowns, the men standing in uniform.
Afterwards the Grand Duchess went through the palace and con- servatories hand-in-hand with the seven-year o Marie-Jose. In the Ficquelmontj letters to the Countess Thiessen- hausen,J are found intimately silhouetted at an im- portant moment the figures of the founder of modern Belgium and of his equally gifted son. King Leopold arrived day before yesterday with his son. He looks much older in spite of a very black wig. The son, tall, well-built, has the Orleans face, in this he made a mistake, that of his father would have been better, for he was very handsome.
The Countess: T am most curious as to the result of this visit. She is only sixteen, has beauty and esprit, but has been brought up like a boy. The Duke is eighteen and is said to be charming. I found him looking very well and always with those same affectionate and friendly ways.
The Duke of Brabant is most attractive, his nose is a little long that famous nose that was to lend itself during forty years to cartoonists of many countries but for the rest his physiognomy is agreeable and he looks very intelligent. Everybody is pleased with the mar- riage, our imperial family and King Leopold.
The King is rather in love with the Archduchess Elizabeth, very much cn beaute now, and if he were not so pre- occupied with the future of his son he might perhaps himself think of remarrying. Our Emperor has been perfect Franz Josef, then in his twenty-third year It is said that Louis Napoleon is very annoyed at the marriage of the Duke of Brabant with our Archduchess. I count upon the wisdom and savoir-faire of good King Leopold to form her.
With her sixteen years, her beauty and esprit, there is stuff for the making of a distinguished princess. The marriage by proxy of the Duchess of Brabant took place yesterday. We are all laughing when we think of the sight the Archduke Charles must have presented, taking the place of the Duke of Brabant. He is always so embarrassed when speaking to women.
We imagine the jokes that the other young Archdukes made at his expense seeing him by the side of that beautiful, fresh young bride. She leaves the fourteenth with her entire Austrian retinue which will give her to the care of the court and of the Belgian family at Verviers, following her, however, as far as Brussels. As Leopold II he was to bring to his kingdom the vast region of the Congo. The Archduchess Henriette bearing no sons, the crown passed, as we all know, to Albert, son of Leopold s brother, the Count of Flanders and his Hohenzollern wife.
Its lord fell in love with her. She asked but one favour — that the nuptials be delayed till she had spun her wedding garment. She was so long about it that the Count became impatient. Since then privileged ears can hear, in the old ruin, the whirr of a spinning wheel.
Es war dock schon, she said unexpectedly. In the winter of It was her last to foreign courts. She started on the eighteenth of January in the usual Salon wagon, with a temperature of twenty degrees below zero. They spent the chilly hours playing bridge, the Grand Duchess remarking with one of her sidelong looks as she lost a rubber, Tf Wilhelmina had been Wilhelm she would have been me.
She was received by Queen Wilhelmina, immensely stout, overflowing her sables, all set off by the most amiable of smiles and the most conserva- tive of hats. Both, through their fathers, were heiresses of the House of Nassau. In the Palace were, pleasantly reminiscential, portraits of the rulers of the House of Orange — many of whom hung also in Castle Berg, in the Luxemburg town residence and in Hohenburg — those uniformed ancestors wearing their familiar orders — the Black Eagle, the Elephant, the Order of St.
Hubert, of the Seraphims, etc. The history of the House of Luxemburg and that of Nassau had become linked in the fourteenth century when Otto of Nassau took to wife Adelaide, sole remaining heiress of Vianden, that great castle wards destroyed by the Duke de Boufflers. Their national hyrrms are different. One, youthful sentinel on a great highway — mistress of an Arcadian Duchy, whose rocks and soil conceal an incredible wealth of ore while they reveal that, more lovely, of forest, vineyard, field and river —was early at grips with an implacable fate.
But who escapes the mortal lot? Certainly not rulers, for to their natural and private griefs are added those more complex of their peoples. Diner de ceremonie that evening. Toasts, cercle. That slim young figure glimmeringly clad in a soft rose velvet was likened to some lovely winter flower. The next day a many-coursed luncheon in the full Dutch tradition followed by a drive in motors to Leyden to witness a skating competition on the ice- bound waters of the old Rhine, resembling scenes dear to Dutch painters.
In the evening gala opera. After the playing of the national hymns the Queen sat back and left her smiling guest to stand alone for a moment in the colour-draped loge. She was an unforgettable sight. The next day presentation to various ladies of the court of a monogrammed order on a blue and yellow ribbon that her paternal grandmother had founded. In return Dutch decorations were presented to her suite.
After her child-loving way the Grand Duchess sought every opportunity to be with the Princess Juliana, not yet six years old, getting down on her knees to play with her, running races with her down the long corridors, dressing and undressing her dolls. Protocolary adieux, smiles, and the visit of reigning Nassau to reigning Nassau was over. On her return to Luxemburg she found herself plunged again into a mass of governmental duties to which she attended with all her old meticulous patience but with an increasing ease.
Her subjects had ample reason to thank the God of their fathers who had not always done so well by them. The Netherlands and Luxemburg were again prospering with women at the head of government. In the second carriage was Queen Elizabeth to the right of the Grand Duchess mother. At the old palace were awaiting them the five young princesses and the official household.
That evening at half-past seven their Majesties received in the great Konigszimmer those diplomats Luxemburg. Afterwards a tour was made of the brilliantly illumin- ated town, from which they returned to watch from the balcony of the palace the torchlight procession throwing strange, evocative lights on the dark masses of the ancient Bock.
Luxembourg par son nom est Ville de Lumiere. At noon the next day their Majesties received the Belgian colony, naturally numerous, the men being pre- sented to the king in the Festsaal, a large hall decorated in light, modern colours with great mirrors and heavily frescoed ceiling.
Between these two great rooms is a smaller salon furnished with pink silk upholsteries and tapestries, where hangs a lovely pastel of Marie Adelaide and three of her sisters - Charlotte, Hilda and Antonia - by the Munich artist, Tini Rupprecht. Mats ce nom ne lui donne un eclat sans pareiUe hue lorsque, pour br tiler de sa clarte premise Vaincue, elle se rend a Louis, son soletl, etc. Greetings, cercle — curtsies, blushes, smiles.
There was an excursion planned to the Miillerthal with tea at Castle Griinhof belonging to Count de Villers, but the king and queen though so amiable were mortal and took instead a quiet drive with the Grand Duchess Mother. What has been and is, will be, and the consideration given those who by acts of God are no longer in positions of power is one of the pleasing and indestructible traditions of royalty. The deadest king is less dead than a departed republican chief whose passing, whether by political vicissitude or death, is the most complete of all obliterations.
Two weeks before the assassinations at Sarajevo she entered her twentieth year. The Luxemburgers were content with things in general and in particular. All seemed for the best in the best of Luxemburg worlds. Marie Adelaide was apparently in every way fitted by nature for her task and place. Time would ripen her. Lovely and God-fearing, she seemed called to a long and service- able reign over a pious, freedom-loving people engaged in the arts and crafts of peace. The Great War was to change all in the twinkling of an eye; in the turn of a hand to make of the Grand Duchy a highway for armies, a vast hospital; to involve the person of its sovereign in hatreds to which her soul was naturally a stranger.
Though these agonies and these deaths are the last things that the world thirteen years after wishes to hear about, indeed the Peloponessean wars or those of Hannibal seem more real, certainly more interesting, it is necessary in order to clarify the story of Marie Adelaide to touch passingly on them in their relation to Luxemburg. Time has shown that the most senseless of all wars produced neither conqueror nor conquered. The news found her on her knees. She arose, with a last desperate supplication in her heart, on her lips to the God of peace, and hastily went by motor to the palace in Luxemburg, to take council with her ministers.
This gave rise to the legend of her standing on the viaduct with her arms outstretched forbidding the German troops to pass, of which we will speak again. The authentic account of the second of August and the preceding and succeeding days has now been pretty well sifted from the conflicting statements. Paul Eyschen begs its members to be mindful that the veritables pouvoirs souverains are lodged with them and enjoins calm.
On Friday, July 31st, we were all occupied with the question of provisions vivres in Luxemburg. Belgium replied that she could do nothing for us, though the port of Antwerp is the one that supplies us. To Germany we made a like demand and there in the last few days obtained a slight concession. Purchases can, also, I believe, be made in the ports of Holland. T made an appeal to the German authorities in favour of those Luxemburgers who have crops still unharvested on the German banks of the Moselle and the Sure.
The reply was that these could not be taken from Germany but the President of Treves telegraphed that the Food Administration would buy all crops belonging to Luxemburg at their market value. When M. Eyschen heard that the bridges on the Moselle and the Sure were barred he decided to demand a declaration from both Germany and France that the neutrality of the Duchy be respected.
Mollard and Herr von Buch, had been asked for an assurance such as had been given in , but neither of these gentlemen had answered. They belong apparently to the 69th Treves regiment. Eyschen goes on to say how on the arrival of the first train of German troops he presented a protest for which he demanded a receipt. Another protest was also sent to Berlin, definitely asking for an explanation, M.
Eyschen assuming that an offensive act against Luxemburg could not have been decreed by Germany, when they were in full peace and when no act had passed in Luxemburg which warranted the proceedings. The Grand Duchess added her personal appeals to the official telegrams of M. Eyschen, appeals for the protection of the land and explicit denials of any of the alleged overt acts, while all the interested Powers were duly notified.
Eyschen was as follows: Our military measures in Luxemburg indicate no hostile action towards Luxemburg but simple meas- ures of protection for the railroads under our manage- ment to prevent an attack by the French. In it the Imperial Government offered to make full compensation for any injury inflicted on Luxemburg. On one side of him were devils, on the other various deep seas. Davignon, Belgian Foreign Minister is as follows: T have the honour of making Your Excellency acquainted with the following facts.
Early in the morning of Sunday, August 2nd, the German troops according to information which the grand ducal government has just received entered the territory of Luxemburg by the Wasserbillig and Remich bridges, and proceeded towards the south of the country and the city of Luxemburg, the capital of the Grand Duchy. A certain number of armoured trains, carrying troops and munitions of war, have been sent by the railway line from Wasserbillig to Luxemburg, where we expect to see them arrive at any moment.
These facts imply actions contrary to the neutrality of the Grand Duchy guaranteed by the Treaty of London of The Luxemburg Government has not neglected to lodge an emphatic protest against this invasion with the Luxemburg representative of His Majesty the German Emperor. Suspecting that troops known to be on the march would speedily arrive at the city Eyschen ordered Major Van Dyck to station himself on the bridge of the Bock, the terminus of the road from Treves, and to make a formal protest to the first German officer who should present himself.
He perceived an automobile approach from the direction of Treves, then quickJy turn and retreat. Three hours later a train with drawn curtains brought a contingent of troops to the capital. The officer in command of these was requested to appear before M. The research activities supported by the MSMP mechanical, surface, materials and processes laboratory focus on two main themes: experimental mechanics and manufacturing processes. To meet the expectations of industry, the campus has also set up a technology platform dedicated to the new machining technologies for mechanical engine parts and gearboxes.
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