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H.R.H. INFANTA EULAUA 



Courts and Countries 
After the War 

By H.R.H. 
THE INFANTA EULALIA OF SPAIN 



NEW YORK 

DODD, MEAD AND COMPANY 
1925 



T, 1025 
BY DODD, MEAD AND COMPANY, INC, 

Q. * - w 



PBINTIJ3 W tf, S, A, 



y \ THE VAH..BAU.QU fN W 



SE 25 '26 



CONTENTS 

CHAPTER PAOH 

I PARIS DURING THE WAR .... i 
II SPAIN AND HER KING 1 8 

III THE DUKE OF TOLEDO, AND THE STORY 

OF LAS URDES 40 

IV MORE ABOUT SPAIN 67 

V ENGLAND AND THE ENGLISH ... 90 

VI AMERICA 114 

VII GERMANY . . . . . . . . 136 

VIII THE ROYAL WAR CRIMINALS "Gorr 

STRAFE ENGLAND" 155 

IX BELGIUM, SWITZERLAND, AND AUSTRIA 176 

X THE THREE GRACES, AND THE PERIL 

OF THE STRICKEN BEAR . . . .192 

XI THE SUPER-MAN OP EUROPE EX- 
KING FERDINAND OF BULGARIA . 211 

XII RUMANIA GREECE THE UNSEEN 

FORCE OF EUROPE 229 

XIII ITALY 244 

XIV POST-WAR MORALITY THE MENACE 
OF DEGENERACY MY IMPRESSION 
OF PRESENT-DAY CONDITIONS . .267 



ILLUSTRATIONS 

H.R.H. Infanta Eulalia Frontispiece 

FACING 
PAGK 

Queen Christine, widow of King Alfonso XII ... 20 

HJVt. Queen Victoria of Spain 24 

The Royal Palace, Barcelona 42 

Infanta Beatrice, Infante Alfonso, Prince Alonso, Prince 

Ataulfo, Prince Alvaro 44 

The entrance to the Royal Palace, Barcelona ... 50 
The Prince of Asturias, heir to the Spanish throne . . 62 

H.M. the Queen of Spain in the National dress of Sala- 
manca 68 

The Queen's room at the Royal Palace, Barcelona . 72, 

Queen Victoria of Spain with her daughters, Infanta 

Beatrice (right) and Infanta Cristino (left) . 76 

Infanta Eulalia going to church with her sister, Infanta 

Paq, in Madrid 84 

Infanta Eulalia talking to an old schoolboy of King 

Edward's School ....., 92 

Infanta Eulalia inspecting the boys of King Edward's 

school . 100 

The Ex-Kaiser walking in Doorn with his second wife 156 

M 



ILLUSTRATIONS 

3TAOINO 

Prince Rupprecht of Bavaria with his second wife, 

Princess of Luxemburg 170 

Infanta Eulalia 1 86 

Empress Zita of Austria with her children . . . .190 

H.M. King Gustaf V. of Sweden 198 

Ex-King Ferdinand of Bulgaria . . . . , .212 

H.M. the Queen of Roumania 230 

H.M, Queen Maria of Serbia 234 

H.M. Queen Elizabeth of Greece 240 

H.M. King Victor Emmanuel of Italy 246 

Benito Mussolini, the Italian Dictator 256 



[vi] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 
AFTER THE WAR 



CHAPTER I 

PARIS DURING THE WAR 

I WAS staying in Brussels in August, 1914, with 
my friend the Princess de Ligne, when war was 
declared between France and Germany . . . 
and how well I recall that lovely summer's day, 
when we received the news of what was destined 
to prove a world-wide catastrophe. True, I had 
heard vague rumours of unrest when I was in 
Munich, but my sister, Princess Ludiviez Ferdi- 
nand of Bavaria, and my nephew had laughed at 
the mere idea of war. This was only a few 
weeks previously, so when Elizabeth de Ligne 
rushed, all excitement, into the dining-room, 
crying, "War is declared," I naturally disbe- 
lieved hen 

"Elizabeth, you don't know what you are talk- 
ing about," 1 said. 

"But, madame, tfs true/' she persisted, "Us 
arriventour troops are now mobilizing, war 
must inevitably come to Belgium . . . you had 
better make arrangements to return to Paris as 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

quickly as possible ; it's really no distance from 
the German frontier, and I am apprehensive 
for your safety." 

"The best thing is for me to wire to my Em- 
bassy/' I told her; "we shall at any rate know the 
exact truth from the Spanish Ambassador." 

The reply from the Embassy left us in no 
further doubt. War had been declared between 
France and Germany, and my Ambassador 
counselled me to make up my mind at once as 
to my movements. 

"Your Royal Highness must either remain in 
Belgium, or return to Paris without delay," he 
advised. 

I could see that my presence at Mons would 
necessarily embarrass Elizabeth de Ligne, now 
encompassed by terrible anxieties, so I told her 
that I must leave for Paris that same afternoon. 
Never shall I forget that journey. A compart- 
ment had fortunately been reserved for me, but 
the train literally crawled: hour after hour 
passed, and still we crawled ; and it was late the 
next evening before we reached Paris. Here 
everything was confusion and excitement, the 
very air was charged with electricity; for France 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

as well as for Germany the day had cornel 
And I had a fantastic idea that even the crepe- 
wreathed statues of the Lost Provinces would 
presently become animate, and join the hurry- 
ing crowds who were singing the Marseillaise, 
and vowing retribution for 1870. 

It was impossible to get any conveyance at 
the Nord Station, so I was obliged to walk part 
of the long distance to my flat, until I obtained 
a "lift" in a fiacre by telling the kindly driver 
that I was a Belgian refugee. 

Next morning the tumult was, if anything, 
worse. From my balcony I watched the sol- 
diers passing and repassing the men sat 
happily on the straw-strewn boards of the 
waggons, all of them laughing, all imbued with 
a fierce patriotism allied to a desire for revenge, 
and all sustained by the dramatic instinct which 
is inseparable from the Latin race, 

Class distinctions were swept away, and the 
French became as one united family opposing 
a common enemy to domestic life. . . . "Ill 
bring you back William's moustache," shouted 
a poilu, waving his hand to me in greeting. He 
spoke as freely as if he were addressing his 

[3] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

Maria or Susanne and yet, two days before, 
this same man would have been the first to 
realize the importance of showing deference to 
any lady! "You shall have a nice dish of Sauer- 
kraut/' called a boy full of enthusiasm. Every- 
one uttered some plaisanterie; nobody seemed 
to count the cost of .war; although at that 
moment death must have been following close 
on the heels of some of these laughing, singing 
soldiers. 

The French have always been described (es- 
pecially by the English) as a nation swayed by 
superficial emotions, but I assert with absolute 
conviction that their patriotism is remarkable 
and deep-rooted. The behaviour of the French 
during the War was wonderful, and it displayed 
much of that spirit which made those con- 
demned to die during the Revolution smile as 
they ascended the steps to the guillotine. I am 
proud to say that 1 remained in Paris through 
all the fateful days: I felt that I could not 
desert the city which had afforded so kindly a 
a sanctuary to my mother in her hour of need ; 
and I have never regretted the privations and 
discomforts which I thereby endured, For 1 

[4] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

was thus enabled to see the best and the worst 
side of humanity, the strength and weakness of 
the soul, and the fineness and corruption which 
are the inevitable results of any great war. 

I am a courageous woman, but, let me admit 
It, the raids were certainly nerve-shattering; 
these were often as many as four a night . , 
No lights were allowed after ten o'clock, our 
windows were sand-bagged, and, by Govern- 
ment orders, only ground-floor and first-floor 
tenants were allowed to remain upstairs after 
the first 'warning. It was one recurrent trek 
u to the cellars," But many marriages resulted 
from these communal hours of danger. And 
here again history repeated itself; for just as 
during the Revolution the condemned of both 
sexes found love under the shadow of the gull- 
litine, so love came Into the darkness where 
youth and age sat, wondering whether the next 
bomb might not launch them into eternity. 

But nothing quelled the heroic spirit of 
France; the Parisians after their first alarm 
laughed at Big Bertha -that miracle of exacti- 
tudefor so exact was she that we were able at 
last to time her firing, and to know where the 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

shells -would fall. After the War, I was told 
that one of my nephews had been entrusted with 
Big Bertha, and that, greatly troubled in his 
mind, he had written to his mother saying: 
"Whenever we fire, Fm terrified lest Aunt 
Eulalia should be hit" Certainly, I had one 
or two narrow escapes: once when the cannon 
was changed, and when by chance 1 took the 
left side of the rue de Ponthieu if I had gone 
to the right, I should have been killed! An- 
other time, when I was at Auteuil, a shell fell 
close by me and I was plentifully besprinkled 
with stones and earth. A gentleman sitting on 
a neighbouring seat went on reading his news- 
paper with admirable composure, but he found 
time to bestow a passing glance on me. Notic- 
ing my sorry plight, he remarked : Madame is 
not afraid?" 

"Yes, I am afraid," I said desperately; "but, 
after all, what can I do?" 

At the end of 1917 we had no milk in Paris, 
and hardly any nurses. One day, when I was 
waiting for a train on the Metropolitan, 1 no- 
ticed a soldier, evidently very ill, who was sitting 
on the same bench as myself, The poor man was 

[6] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

spitting blood, and he told me that he was then 
going to the hospital. ... As I felt that I could 
not move without hurting his feelings, I re- 
mained, knowing that in all probability I should 
soon be down with malignant influenza. My 
forebodings proved true: the next day I was 
stricken, and for weeks I lay between life and 
death. Even now I suffer from recurrent at- 
tacks of fever a legacy from the complaint 1 
One of the most interesting (to me) experi- 
ences in Paris during the War consisted in 
watching the effect which the brutalities of life 
had on the average young girl. French girls 
have always led more or less "cloistered" exis- 
tences until after their marriages when, in a 
spirit of contradiction which lacks a sense of 
proportion, they become too emancipated. It 
is not to be denied that many French girls are 
now more or less English in their ideas, and 
that they are infinitely more cosmopolitan and 
broad-minded than their mothers. But some- 
thing inseparable from their vie de famille still 
creates a barrier around French girlhood; tra- 
ditions of centuries are strong, and it is not 
considered desirable to brush the veloute from 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

the fruit or to allow the eyes of Innocence 
to be prematurely opened to the crudities of 
life. 

The stern necessities of war opened the eyes of 
innocence without any warning, and, with this 
enlightenment, a certain sex curiosity was inevit- 
ably aroused. . . . The Italians, however, were 
the first nation to recognise this, and the Gov- 
ernment rightly insisted that all nurses who at- 
tended the sick and wounded must be women 
of a responsible age. This wise provision re- 
sulted in the soldiers being more efficiently and 
more "steadily" nursed, and there was less of 
the emotional and temperamental side of nurs- 
ing than was shown in other countries. I am 
not, of course, saying that all young war nurses 
and all young V. A. D.s were victims of insati- 
able sex curiosity, but many of them suffered 
from it; and I do not think that it is advisable 
for even the most level-headed girl to be sud- 
denly confronted with the helpless "brute" in 
man when he is powerless to show any refine- 
ments towards those who tend him, and as often 
as not unable to exercise physical control, since 
control, moral and physical, is only possible 

[8] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

for the strong. The great awakening of sex 
came on many girls who (by reason of their up- 
bringing) were utterly unprepared. Those 
who were by inclination and by nature vicious 
have been enabled thereby to satisfy their sen- 
suality; and those of a colder type, disgusted at 
the meaning of sex as thus conveyed to them, 
have resorted to forbidden vices and have fore- 
sworn marriage. Others have retired to the 
peace of a conventual life; and I know of six 
girls, daughters of duchesses, who, in a spirit 
of disgusted reaction, have taken the veil, and 
who do not apparently regret their choice. 

In many cases the nurses' uniform in France 
was a mere travesty of the original model, and 
it became a kind of revue garment, which barely 
reached to the wearer's knees, and exposed limbs 
encased in filmy stockings and expensive shoes. 
Small wonder that a celebrated surgeon of my 
acquaintance declared that all nurses ought to 
be temperamentally" certified, and examined, 
before entering upon their duties, 

I shall probably be most severely criticized 
for my condemnation, but let it be clearly un- 
derstood that I am only condemning a certain 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

aspect of nursing, and showing the danger that 
lies in it as a profession for sexually unbalanced 
individuals. We must never lose sight of the 
fact that sick-nursing is the most intimate of all 
professions adopted by women: the practical, 
clean-minded nurse comes as an angel to the 
house of suffering, but the super-attractive 
woman or girl (clever nurse though she may 
be), who practises the art of allure, knowing all 
the dangers of sex adventure, is more to be 
dreaded than the plague, and, as often as not, 
she is responsible for countless sorrows and mis- 
understandings in the families of her patients. 
During the war, the absorbing passion for in- 
discriminate dancing provided another outlet 
for sex curiosity, and girls, who before 1914 
would have considered it almost a social inde- 
cency not to have been conventionally "intro- 
duced," now swayed to and fro with young men 
in the closest embrace, sleeveless, almost 
corsage-less, and practically skirtless. It was 
suddenly considered permissible for the most 
discreet Parisiennes to dance in public, and 
the history of dancing during the Revolu- 
tion repeated itself, with the differences 

[10]. 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

that the Carmagnole of '93 was the Shimmy 
Shake or the Bunny Hug of 1914. I re- 
member a tragic-comic result of this com- 
munal dancing which happened to a daughter 
of a friend of mine .whose name ranks 
high amongst the noblest in France. This 
charming girl often danced in public with an 
equally charming and well-bred man in fact, 
I think she would not have been unwilling to 
become his dancing partner for life. He, how- 
ever, never divulged his name or his position, 
and one can understand her feelings when she 
was calling with her mother for the first time 
at a certain house, and recognized in the discreet 
butler her partner of the day before; but, to do 
him justice, he did not betray the slightest knowl- 
edge of her identity. 

Corruption and sensuality are the accepted 
camp followers of war ; and the mistaken open- 
ing of the prison doors let loose a mass of the 
dregs of humanity, whose evil trail has spread 
everywhere. Surely, in the interest of the pub- 
lic, no criminal, even the most patriotic, should 
have been allowed his freedom solely on ac- 
count of his desirability as a soldier? 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

France Is Indeed a land of contradictions. 
Republican in her government, she remains in- 
tensely aristocratic at heart, and she realizes 
even more so perhaps than England the neces- 
sity of keeping the different classes apartsince 
the philosophy of the War shows that classes 
cannot mix with any good result Kach class 
possesses a different mentality, and you cannot 
expect small minds to realize the value of a 
larger outlook. In France, too, marriage is 
much more "tied" than in England : the stage 
and peerage rarely, if ever, intermarry; the 
common-sense mentality of the French, teaching 
them few such unions are successful, owing to 
the fact that any woman whose life lias been 
one false excitement of the senses rarely settles 
down to domesticities. In Spain you are 
noble or nothing; we do not recognize any 
middle class, so marriage is of necessity entirely 
of the nobility with the nobility. 

As a good Catholic, I suppose I ought to con- 
demn the very name of divorce, but, as an open- 
minded individual, and an observant "onlooker," 
I maintain that it should exist on certain 
grounds, first and foremost on those of extrava- 

[12] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

, gance on either side. Taken as a whole, the 
bedrock of life is money; too much of it, or 
too little of it, are equal destroyers of comfort; 
and I know many instances where divorce might 
have afforded protection for the children, as 
well as a protection of morals. Marriage, 
however, remains a sacrament, and we cannot 

tp dispense with it; and so strong is the feeling in 

@ Spain, that ill-assorted couples will live openly 
n with their affinities rather than attempt to up- 

<? set "dogma." 

Q Marriage is the greatest illusion of youth; 

IP other associations come later friendship, that 
amour sans ailes, being perhaps the most sat- 
isfying of all ties. One must be initiated in the 
mysteries of love in the days of one's youth, 
wen if the initiation should prove a failure. 
The average middle-class person is usually 

00 most unpoetical, hence middle-class marriage is 

00 about as dull as the catechism; but, with money 
to create a mise-en-scene, it is possible to avoid 
the fretting trivialities which make failures of so 
many marriages. The first rhapsodies generally 
-**" terminate with the honeymoon, an adventure 
-/} which nobody seems to be courageous enough 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

to begin in the new home, and which is usually 
passed in somebody else's house, under the eyes 
of strange servants, or else in the publicity of a 
large hotel. Why do people never attempt to 
begin their lives together under different con- 
ditions? And the newly-weds arc, more than 
anyone else, absolute slaves of an obsolete and 
more or less mediaeval convention. 

Man's point of view and that of a woman 
are essentially different: man's affection is more 
or less sexual; with woman it is usually heart. 
Women want men to read life to them as a poem, 
but unfortunately, they invariably render it as 
prose. The capricious woman holds the aver- 
age man longest, because she embodies the spirit 
of change which most appeals to him; and al- 
though occasionally a great friendship may rise 
like the Phoenix from the ashes of a great pas- 
sion, life, love, friendship and happiness are 
mostly questions of temperament 

When peace .was declared, Paris, always 
emotional, became more so than ever: the pop- 
ulation frankly went mad; the Lost Provinces 
were lost no longer. Germany was humbled to 
the dust, her sweeping wings were well and 

04] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

thoroughly clipped, and her rulers were notl 1 
But no victory will ever quell the spirit of 
hatred which exists between France and Ger- 
many; and between these countries there can be 
no lasting peace. Germany will never forgive 
the Ruhr, or the introduction of "coloured" 
troops into Silesia, any more than France for- 
gives the theft of Alsace-Lorraine. It is now 
a question of revenge on both sides at times 
childish on the part of the French, who, emu- 
lating the Philistines, bait the stricken Samson, 
and do not remember their fate. The majority 
of Frenchmen believe in their inmost souls 
that the only way to avoid another world war 
is to treat Germany like a dangerous wild 
animal, which, once trapped, is- consigned to 
imprisonment for life. It is almost impossible 
to convince them otherwise, or to impress upon 
them the fact that a great nation like Germany 
must have industrial freedom, if she is expected 
to meet her financial liabilities. 

During the War, France insisted upon a uni- 
versal acceptance of a period of national mourn- 
ing: France was an invaded country, the 
Germans were actually on her soil; therefore 'it 



. COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

was not permissible for any patriot to Indulge 
in the gaieties of social life ; and I remember one 
thoughtless and charming woman who was 

"cut" because she gave a dinner-party. No 
visiting, as visiting, was allowed; and when we 
met at various houses our conversation was not 
of yester-year. Where once we had talked 
of chiffons, we now discoursed learnedly on ra- 
tions; and at last I knew more about "arrang- 
ing" than 1 had ever done. Literature, the arts, 
the beauty of life, gradually disappeared, lost 
In a labyrinth of wool; we knitted as assidu- 
ously as any tricotcuseswe were all that was 
most domestic; nevertheless, 1 for one, have 
learnt a great deal from this curious phrase 
through which the French aristocracy passed 
during the Great War! 

The Idea of writing a book dealing with 
countries and Courts after the War first oc- 
curred to me during the days of domesticity in 
Paris, and I decided to note and store my Im- 
pressions until the fitting moment arrived for 
their publication, I always adapt myself to my 
environment; if it happens to be that of a Court, 
I am In the Court, but never of it I live years 

[16] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

years ahead in my mental outlook, In fact, I can. 
best describe myself as a pioneer royalty; but I 
can also lay claim to a certain clarity of vision 
and a complete detachment, which enables me 
to write as an unprejudiced observer who is en- 
tirely large-minded in her outlook. 



[17] 



CHAPTER II 

SPAIN AND HER KING 

THE position of Spain during the War was, in 
many respects, unenviable. She was blamed, for 
not joining the Allies, she was deluged with 
propaganda from both sides, and it .was openly 
asserted that commercialism alone prevented 
her from being a combatant But the truth 
was, that nobody from the highest to the lowest 
in Spain wanted to be drawn into the War; in 
this, perfect unison prevailed, and the women 
even threatened to put their bodies on the rails 
should their husbands be taken. 

It was, however, the destiny of Spain in this 
world crisis to produce a figure of chivalry in 
the person of her King, who showed In himself 
an example not easily forgotten by posterity. 
We must picture him as he was in this fateful 
August of 1914, a young man of twenty-eight, 
married to a beautiful wife, devoted to his 
children ... he had everything that makes 

['8] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

life enjoyable: an exalted position, wealth, the 
facility for getting the utmost out of existence, 
as the King of Spain is not the usually stolid 
monarch who merely represents an ornamental 
figurehead. He was then, as now, vivid, mer- 
curial, temperamental, the superfine product 
of the Houses of Spain and Austria, a represen- 
tative who embodies all their best traditions and 
none of their degeneracy. 

From his birth Alphonso XIII. had been sub- 
jected to a stern and sombre education; and 
although romance had attended his birth, she 
had been rigorously banished from his child- 
hood and early manhood, and she had only 
made her re-appearance when he wooed the 
golden-haired girl who now shares his throne. 

Thus, the King was full of the joie de vivre 
when the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse 
were freed from hell, and the thunder of their 
horses' hoofs was presently heard in Spain. 
But presently, above the fateful sound, arose 
the voice of suffering, and the pitiful sighing 
of the prisoners from their prison-camps and 
fortresses, where those condemned to death 
waited in uncertainty as to their fate. 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

Alphonso XIII. Is a very "perfect knight"; 
all his Ideas of chivalry are mediaeval, and he 
would have been a great figure in a romantic 
age, but in modern history he will be known as 
the universal healer of hearts, a title gained by 
his splendid and whole-hearted work for the 
prisoners of war. . . . 

Great events have usually small beginnings, 
and the despairing letter from the mother of a 
prisoner appealing to him, as the Ruler of a neu- 
tral country, first awakened the King's sense of 
his moral duty towards all those who were deso- 
late and oppressed. His vanity was perhaps 
flattered by this personal compliment, but this 
counted as nothing in comparison with his kind- 
ness, his generosity, and his sense of chivalry, 
He resolved henceforth never to disregard the 
humblest petition, and in making this decision 
he undertook a gigantic task, and a more stu- 
pendous 'burden than has ever fallen on the 
shoulders of any monarch past or present, 
Thus the King's "thoroughness" (one of his 
most striking characteristics), and his love of 
detail, eventually produced the organization 

[20] 




QUEEN CHRISTINE, WIDOW OF KING ALFONSO XII, 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

which had its headquarters in Madrid, and its 
branches in every capital in Europe. 

This human detective work was often heart- 
rending, and the story of many of the investiga- 
tions is stranger than fiction, the most terrible 
being the endeavours to trace the fate of 
men who had disappeared, and who are, even 
now, numbered with the unknown. . . . The 
mind can hardly bear to dwell on the possibili- 
ties of their lot, should any be living to-day 
to whom the sound of their own name conveys 
nothing, and for whom memory's gates are in- 
exorably closed. 

And in this manner the pallid spectres of 
death, suffering and sorrow passed silently into 
the gay and smiling land of Spain. . . . They 
took up their unseen stations by the young King, 
and whispered to him of foul atrocities, of 
prisons full of cruelty and disease, of men lost 
to all semblance of humanity. They also bade 
him remember the women of the war : beautiful 
mothers like his own wife, girls who had kissed 
and parted under the shadow of death, brides 
widowed before their orange blossoms had 

[21] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

faded, older women who had given their all to 
their country: the incessant and heartrend- 
ing voice of the Rachel of Europe, weeping for 
her children, and refusing to be comforted be- 
cause they were not. 

It is with great pride and pleasure that I am 
able to state publicly for the first time that all 
letters sent to the King were personally attended 
to by His Majesty. He never relinquished one 
iota of his actual responsibilities to others, 
although the practical working details of this 
ever-growing organization were placed in the 
hands of trustworthy employes. 

The trial and condemnation of Nurse Cavell 
was destined to bring Alphonso XIII. into great 
publicity in his role of mediator and healer of 
hearts. Directly after Nurse CavelPs sentence 
was promulgated, the King received a telegram 
urging him to exert his influence with Germany 
to save her life; he was informed .with perfect 
truth that the Kaiser himself wished to spare 
her, but had declared himself powerless to in- 
terfere with the military Governor of Brussels. 
This officer rigidly adhered to the strict letter 
of the law ; he reasoned that the nurse had com- 

[22] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

mitted an offence of which others had pre- 
viously been guilty, and for which they had been 
punished. He argued that no exception ought 
to be made in the case of Nurse Cavell he only 
saw the punishable crime, and not the u uni- 
form" of the criminal. This Spartan outlook 
has given rise to endless discussions as to the 
justice of administering the same judgment for 
one offence to all offenders. It has been said 
that women, now sharing the rights of men, 
and protesting their equality with them, should 
not expect different treatment under the mili- 
tary law. As little or no mercy was shown by 
the Allies to women spies, Germany doubtless 
considered herself justified in carrying out the 
sentence on Nurse Cavell, but I am of opinion 
that had Nurse Cavell not been a nurse, no great 
outcry would have been made; the fact that she 
was a member of the Red Cross aroused a storm 
of indignation (not entirely free from senti- 
mentalism) against her judges* 

Queen Victoria Eugenie was especially 
moved to pity, and she never desisted in her ap- 
peals to the King; English by birth and up- 
bringing, but, since her marriage, more of a 

[23] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

Spaniard than a Spaniard, the Queen reverted 
to her English instincts, and wept for Nurse 
Cavell as a sister. The Queen-Mother, Haps- 
burg, and Austrian Archduchess, forgot her 
reserve, her own family troubles and anxieties, 
and added her prayers to those of the Queen. 
All sorts and conditions besought mercy for 
Nurse Cavell. 

There is no doubt that the effects of this 
period of strain and horror have left indelible 
marks on Alphonso XI II. He has certainly 
become more human, and by reason of the lev- 
elling and humanizing process to which he was 
subjected, he is more tolerant and understand- 
ingwar and the necessities of war have com- 
pleted his educationand although he lias lost 
none of his capacity to live every moment of his 
day, his character is stronger, his sense of 
responsibility greater, and his outlook has 
broadened with his riper judgment lie relies 
on himself alone, and as in his work for the 
prisoners of war he was sole manager of the 
enterprise, so he is now sole manager in his 
kingdom, entirely captain of his soul and master 
of his fate. The Spanish Government, with 

[24] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

curiously protective instinct, has forbidden him 
from participating in the joys of aviation at the 
station of the Quatro Vientos, but it cannot con- 
trol the wings of his soul wings which, in his 
upward flight towards enlightenment, will 
never share the fate of those of Icarus. 

The King, my nephew, provides me with an 
inexhaustible source of interest; and although 
his modesty shuns publicity, I consider it is 
right to enlighten the world as to his multi- 
tudinous interests and his practical activities. 
During the war and after it, his life became 
full of new and innumerable interests ; he is now 
in touch with everything that concerns his coun- 
try, and no private enterprise is too small to 
command his attention. 

It is erroneous to suppose that Spain is so 
lethargic that she cannot appreciate the im- 
portance of worldly affairs ; she has still within 
her the indestructible spirit of the days of 
Ferdinand and Isabella, and the King, whose 
mind is imbued with the traditions of his House 
and the past glories of Spain, dreams of reviv- 
ing these by re-uniting the Latin races, and 
bringing Spain and South America into unison. 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

Nothing can disprove the fact that at one time 
Spain was the dominant nation of the world, and 
that she represented the glory, the wealth, and 
the intellect of Europe; and, if the King's life be 
spared, I see no reason to doubt that his hopes 
for her future will be realised. 

Alphonso XIII. regards himself as the 
father of his people, and especially as the 
father of the Spanish race in South America, 
which he singles out for signal recognition 
whenever he is brought into contact with it 
To-day, through the King's love of South 
America, the old-time subjects of Spain are 
building houses which bring into New Spain 
the architecture and colour of the "Mother Coun- 
try, and old wrought- iron work, Moorish tiles 
and even nails are being imported from Spain 
into South America for building purposes, 
Thus, Spanish eyes still look through the ancient 
"grilles," and Spanish feet still tread the pave- 
ments trodden by their ancestors. These new 
Spaniards absolutely fit in the picture, and they 
live as picturesquely as did the Hildalgos and 
great ladies of former times, 

The King is greatly in favour of inter- 

06] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

marriages between the noble families of Old and 
New Spain; for, always far-seeing, he wishes 
to encourage the admixture of the best blood 
enriched with the best traditions. The women 
of South America make excellent wives and 
mothers. They have been brought up in a 
milieu of ancient Spanish life, and they are 
often more Spanish than any Spaniard. Relig- 
ion and family life are all in all to these women ; 
they bring to their husbands absolute chastity, a 
devout religious spirit, a love of home and its 
duties and, above all, a passionate devotion to 
the Mother Country; and although modernity 
will undoubtedly come to Spain, it will be 
rightly balanced by the new generation born 
from this healthy stock. But the wise young 
Ruler, who has allowed for these changes in the 
future, never attempts to interfere with the cus- 
toms of his country, and thus Spain is in no real 
danger from any discordant foreign elements. 

South America is even now preparing a recep- 
tion for her "King," and when Alphonso XIII. 
arrives an New Spain, he will find himself In 
in his own country. The King makes no secret 
of his dearest wish; and although he will prob- 

[27] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

ably seize the moment to put it into execution, 
any seeming delay is caused solely by what 1 
can best describe as the maternal instinct of 
Spain, since the jealous mother-love of the na- 
tion cannot endure the thought of parting with 
her King, so to speak, for foreign service. This 
love is one of the highest tributes to the King's 
individuality, but national jealousy will not 
admit of any rival, even should this rival be of 
her own blood. However, the Mother Country 
must remember that courtesy is inborn in her 
King, and Alphonso XIII. will never permit 
himself to show discourtesy towards South 
America. Sooner or later he will go there. 

I am sure that the King, in his role of a 
dreamer of dreams, plans a bloodless rcconquest 
of Peru, a conquest accomplished by sheer force 
of personality; and, as a patriot, he ranks as the 
greatest that Spain has ever produced. I re- 
member that my mother, Queen Isabella, once 
told me that our national flag dates from the 
conquest of Peru, and that its colours typify a 
river of Spanish blood flowing between two 
rivers of gold, I like to think that to-day it can 
also be said with truth to represent the purified 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

blood of New and Old Spain, still flowing be- 
tween rivers of wealth beneficial to both coun- 
tries. 

The King is responsible for most of the exist- 
ing ventures which have been started of late 
years with the object of bringing money into 
Spain. His great idea is to combine modernity 
with a strong background of old traditions but 
it requires extraordinary tact to effect this dif- 
ficult combination, and not to offend a country 
steeped in ecclesiastical and historical tradi- 
tions, a country whose religion is inseparable 
from its national life. Thus, just as England 
can never become a Republic, so Spain will 
never be denied her State and Church; and it 
would be a black day if any such separation 
took place. 

I have often been asked to express my views 
on King Alphonso's adaptability to the new 
situation in Spain, and my opinions on the re- 
forms in this country of traditions. 

King Alphonso is primarily a patriot before a 
monarch, and from this fact arises his adapta- 
bility to all methods of goverment, provided he 
believes that they are for the ultimate good of his 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

country. I am not In a position to criticize the 
reforms instituted by the Directory, but one 
thing is certain, the Directory Inspired every 
true Spaniard with a sense of relief, as It was 
universally accepted that we were living on the 
edge of a slumbering volcano, which might at 
any moment have overwhelmed Spain and re- 
duced her to nothingness. 

The public must, however, clearly understand 
that the name of "The Spanish Mussolini' 7 is not 
correct, and, furthermore, It Is absolutely devoid 
of sense. Neither the man, his mentality, his 
position nor his methods have any likeness to 
Mussolini's position in Italy. 

The "arrival" of Mussolini and Primo de 
Rivera arose from totally dissimilar causes, and 
the march on Rome by the " Black Shirts," 
headed by a "civil plebeian," has no resemblance 
to the aristocrat and soldier who appeared In an 
emergency to show his loyalty to the King of 
Spain by dissociating him from the stern meas- 
ures necessary for the extinction of foreign 
undesirables who were engaged in fomenting 
revolution in Spain. 

Mussolini had solidly and carefully paved the 

[30] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

way to save Italy; General Primo de Rivera 
was not so fortunately situated, but the sound of 
the tocsin of revolution carried him first to his 
sovereign, with, as all the world recognizes, the 
happiest results for Spain. 

There is no such thing as any middle course 
for Alphonso XIII. , for him it is the best or 
nothing; and just as he excels as a sportsman, so 
he means to excel as a king, never forgetting the 
value of the commercial idea as allied to mon- 
archical traditions. His sons are being edu- 
cated for the country; the Prince of Asturias 
and his brothers have the same military teachers 
who superintended the King's education, and 
who have made him so remarkable a soldier. 
The King follows the movements of an army 
during a war as painstakingly as though the war 
were his own, an interest primarily due to the 
spirit of militarism inculcated in his mind from 
his earliest childhood by his mother, and care- 
fully fostered by the wonderful soldiers around 
him. 

I have often heard my nephew described as 
"unstable," but this conception of him arises 
from his extreme versatility; and although he in- 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

dulges in many and varied pursuits, he does all 
of them thoroughly. But to live with him is 
like living with twenty different persons at once! 
This modern Mercury is always poised for an- 
other flight, whether it be for some commercial 
speculation for the benefit of Spain, or for one 
of those gorgeous ceremonies where the Church 
walks hand in hand with the King, 

It is easy to see the entire control which the 
Church exercises on the lower classes in Spain, 
and how their mentality is influenced by her 
guidance. Spain would be like a lost sheep 
without such direction; but whilst one moment 
she bows her head in spiritual adoration, she 
raises it the next moment to gaze at the colour 
and spectacular movement in which her soul 
delights, and of which the practical and 
artistic side of the King so rightly estimates the 
value. 

Spain has never cheapened herself, or be- 
come the bon marche of Europe in her pag- 
eantry, for which she posseses immense 
climatic and natural advantages over other 
countries, England in particular. Imagine, 
for instance, a State procession where every 

[32] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

house en route is hung with draperies of velvet 
and heraldic shields, and where colour dazzles 
the onlooker in Oriental profusion (for let it 
never be forgotten that we Spaniards are dow- 
ered with the Spirit of the Orient!) where 
everything appeals to the imagination, and 
where even the climate is beautiful. 

But 1 am digressing from the subject of this 
Ruler who possesses the spontaneousness of 
youth combined with the understanding and tact 
of a diplomat It must also be remembered 
that he was never the Heir to the Throne, but 
was born a king; and I have often heard him 
say that he would like (as an experiment) to 
know what heirs-apparent really think of their 
positions. The king, the heir apparent, and his 
next brother, are those royalties who appeal 
most to the populace, the remainder of princes 
and princesses are merely the chorus ladies and 
gentlemen on the royal stage. All royal jeunes 
premiers ought to be young and progressive, 
middle-aged heirs-apparent who become mon- 
archs are apt to lose interest in their kingdoms; 
there is usually not much time between their 
coronations and their burials they are frankly 

[33] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

tired they inherit too late! My nephew does 
not know the meaning of the word fatigue; as 
often as not he works until three in the morning, 
and afterwards he is early astir. Even when he 
is forced to consult Dr. Moure at Bordeaux, he 
usually turns his visit into practical advantage, 
notably last October, when he obtained copies 
of the documents relative to the harbour works, 
in order to see if they could not be applied to 
the harbour construction at Seville, the river 
Gaudalquivir possessing certain similarities 
with the Gironde. He also had an idea that the 
wine industry in this part of Spain might be 
carried out on the lines of the wine industry at 
Bordeaux, and, mindful of the direct route from 
Bordeaux to Africa, he is desirous of instituting 
a like service from Seville. The King studies 
France like an open book, he avoids her disad- 
vantages, but applies her advantages and attrac- 
tions to benefit his own country as far as 
possible. 

The King of Spain, like that amazing mon- 
arch, King Ferdinand of Bulgaria, believes that 
the prosperity of a country lies in its possi- 
bilities of rapid communication, and in the com- 

[34] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

fort of its interior arrangements; thus he encour- 
ages the development of the railways, and the 
the modernizing and readjustment of the large 
hotels, now mostly run on American lines. . . , 
My brother Alphonso XII. was the first king 
to make Spain cosmopolitan, and he was like- 
wise the first King of Spain to be brought up in 
a foreign country. His son has followed his 
lead both in national interests and also as a 
sportsman. The King thoroughly appreciates 
the value of Spain as a country and as an a in- 
vestment," and he views its possibilities as a 
king, a sportsman, an agriculturist, a man of 
affairs, and a man of the world. But, as an in- 
dividual, the King is alone responsible for the 
growth of the sporting instinct in Spain; it is he 
who has made polo popular. Polo-grounds are 
to be seen everywhere; and the quarters of his 
racing stud, and his estate at Lorutoki near San 
Sebastian are run absolutely on the lines of 
Sandringham. The King has popularized golf, 
approved of play on the Spanish Riviera, and, 
in short, he has done everything possible to bring 
foreign money into Spain, and to suit the ever- 
increasing demands of the new generation. 

[35] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

I have heard various of the King's detractor's 
remark that, like King Edward VIL, he dis- 
plays no interest in the arts, and that he cares 
not a jot for literature. This is partly, true, but 

the King is by no means insensible to the claims 
and attraction of these pursuits;; he protects 
them, but he cannot indulge in them owing to 
his heavy duties; and it is not to be wondered 
that, as an active young man, his moments for 
relaxation are devoted mainly to outdoor pur- 
suits. 

His popularity is assured, and he is no one's 
enemy but his own, as his contempt for mali- 
ciousness and adverse propaganda occasionally 
leads him to underestimate their danger to him- 
self and his family. Some kings are saved from 
publicity by the mediocrity of their appearance, 
and the dullness of their lives; but young and 
gallant monarchs, like the King of Spain, are 
inevitably marked down as victims. Nowa- 
days, the private lives of crowned heads are 
brought down to the dead level of domesticity, 
and the Press does not scruple to attack defence- 
less persons who cannot defend themselves by 
reason of their exalted positions. Directly any 

[36] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

Royalty shows signs of possessing a definite per- 
sonality, he, or she, instantly becomes the butt 
for all kinds of untrue and sensational gossip 
gossip which causes not only pain, but which is 
also extremely harmful! My nephew's inabil- 
ity to see the mud beneath his feet has often 
made him the victim of a corrupt Press, as when 
Royalty does a kindly action it is liable to be 
looked upon as a lapse of dignity; and to-day 
many Royalties fall into constant traps owing 
to the present "flair" for monarchs to lead pri- 
vate lives out of their own countries. 

If they act in a friendly fashion, the Public 
and the Press decide that they are cheapening 
themselves; if they are ultra-dignified, it Is said 
that "there ought to be a revolution, and get 
rid of them" ; and when some wearied Royalty 
seeks privacy and repose in an "incognito," the 
charitable comment is invariably, "I wonder 
what they're up to!" The world never seems 
to realize the need that Royalty (more than any 
other class) has for privacy, but I believe it 
would be better in the long run if crowned 
heads did no visiting out of their own countries, 
for whenever, like the dove, they go forth over 

[37] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

the face of the waters to seek land (or rather 
rest) they find none, and they return In disgust 
to the dullness of the royal ark, which, at any 
rate, represents some sort of privacy and peace. 
Even the cinema has become a menace to 
Royalty! I do not, of course, allude to the films 
of royal weddings, ceremonies, and other pub- 
lic events in the daily lives of kings and queens, 
but to those concocted dramas of royal happen- 
ings, incorrect as to detail, untrue in scenario 
and substance, and in which the most ludicrous 
mistakes in etiquette and Court dress arc glar- 
ingly apparent Surely the producer should be 
advised in these matters by someone conversant 
with them, as it is not fair to the Royal dead or 
to their living descendants to allow such films 
to be shown publicly, and even as I write I can 
recall several which are deserving of supreme 
censure. But it gives me great pleasure to 
praise where praise is due, and I can remember 
one lovely film, featuring the late Crown Prin- 
cess of Sweden, the ever-lamented Margaret, 
which showed her in her garden and in the 
sweet intimacy of her homea beautiful and 
touching record of a young life untimely cut 

[38] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

off in all Its promise and happiness. But here 
again I am wandering, like any adventurer off 
the beaten track! I have touched on the dan- 
gers which threaten crowned heads by reason 
of an unscrupulous Press, and I shall be better 
able to point a moral to adorn a tale when I de- 
scribe the King In his dual personality of King 
of Spain and Duke of Toledo. 



[39] 



CHAPTER 111 

THE DUKE OF TOLEDO, AND THE STORY 
OF LAS URDES 

WHEN the King of Spain decided to adopt an 
''incognito" for sport, and one which he hoped 
would also ensure him privacy on his travels, 
he chose that of the Duke of Toledo, a romantic 
and chivalrous title, well suited to him who 
bears it 

Alphonso XIII. and the Duke of Toledo are 
two distinct persons; they even differ facially. 
One is the King, the father of his people, and 
the other is the sportsman, and, paradoxically, 
the knight of the Middle Ages, who personifies 
the Spain which occasionally lifts the curtains of 
centuries, and reveals her past glories to a won- 
dering world- 

I have already touched on the King's love of 
sport, and his admiration for horse-flesh, but I 
do not think that he ever becomes on { mtl~ 
mate" terms with his mounts; to him they are 

[40] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

merely horse-flesh of varying qualities and he 
has no real affection for the animal world, a 
curious trait in one whose sympathies are so 
widespread and so understanding. The King 
races and plays polo in his role of the Duke of 
Toledo, and to me, as to all women, he appeals 
most strongly when he appears on the ground, 
a living bronze, on a pony as light and graceful 
as himself: it is impossible not to be proud of 
him, for he presents a wonderful picture. Polo 
is the sport which he loves best The Spanish 
team is world famous, and, like a magnet, polo 
draws the King wherever it is played. Al- 
phonso XIII. visits Deauville and other resorts, 
but whenever he does so he invariably becomes 
the subject of most regrettable and entirely un- 
deserved criticism which I, for one, greatly re- 
sent In my opinion, many of these fashionable 
watering-places are merely immoral resorts, 
their "atmosphere" is bad, and too many de- 
classees are in evidence. But the King has 
hitherto not perceived the danger to which he 
exposes himself in the mistaken belief that at 
Deauville, and elsewhere, he will be ranked as 
Duke of Toledo, and not as the King of Spain. 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

Dancing at Deauville, and elsewhere, is the 
prevalent craze, and although the King does 
not care for dancing, he nevertheless dances in 
public, solely from a desire not to spoil the 
pleasure of others, and in order to put them 
entirely at their ease. But woe betide the Duke 
of Toledo if he dances with, or talks much to, 
any young individual, as should he do so, the 
news is at once cabled far and wide. The next 
morning the ultra-sensational newspapers are 
full of his "affair," and, last year, a hitherto 
unknown young girl wrote a preposterous ar- 
ticle on the "King of Spain as a dancing 
partner" thus changing a kindly attention into 
blatant self-advertisement 

It seems impossible for people to take into 
consideration the fact that the King has real 
need of relaxation, and that in Spain he is con- 
stantly forced into a milieu of older minds. 
Realizing this, it should not be deemed extra- 
ordinary that occasionally, as a young man, he 
requires to exchange thought with more joyous 
souls. The public dares not criticise kings in 
their palaces (fortunately the sanctuary of sov- 
ereigns), but directly Royalties attempt to 

[42] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

mingle with the people, they are lost! This un- 
pleasing fact proves that classes cannot mix, 
and it is far easier to blend races than classes. 
A certain antagonism between classes has always 
existed, and it will continue to exist until the 
end of time. But why treat such an accepted 
"sport" as the King in such an unsportsmanlike 
manner? 

Although my nephew has undergone a severe 
upbringing (one steeped in the strict Court 
etiquette of Spain and Austria), his soul remains 
unaltered. The divine fires of youth, and the 
artistic temperament, will glow for ever in his 
soul, and he will never become old in mind. 
In the eyes of psychologists he represents the 
most refined product of the House of Spain and 
Austria, and the race has been kept so pure 
that it repeats itself facially line by line in. 
many of its present-day descendants. Hence 
the King is almost the twin of his ancestor 
Philip IV., and the famous picture of Philip 
IV. hunting at El Pardo might well be that of 
Alphonso XIII. in fancy costume. 

I am sufficiently romantic to be appealed to 
by the King's chivalrous instincts, and by that 

[43] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

aspect of his Individuality which reverts to the 

medieval monarchs of Spain. This spirit of 
chivalry prompted him to offer a shelter to the 

ex-Empress Zita of Austria, when she was pass- 
ing the Spanish coast as a broken-hearted and 

friendless exile; but, in offering her rest and 

repose, the King was not actuated by any 
especial liking for Austria, and his family con- 
nections and his Hapsburg blood were not un- 
duly stirred. lie only saw a woman in dis- 
tress. . * The ex-Empress resided for some 
time at El Pardo, which, in many ways, resem- 
bles the old palace at Kew, and in his choice of 
her residence the King's chivalrous spirit was 
balanced by practical considerations. He did 
not wish, or intend, to cause any complications 
for the Allies, and he realized that the solitude 
and environment of El Pardo could not afford 
her any temptations to meddle in the political 
situation which had previously led to such dis- 
astrous results. 

The King also rightly estimated the value of 
pure air for the delicate children of the ex- 
Empress; his own children had thrived at El 
Pardo, and for centuries the formal gardens 

[44] 




INFANTA BFAIRICK, INFANT!- ALFONSO, PR1NCK ALONSO, PRINCE ATAULFO, 
PR1NCK AIA'ARO 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

have been known as the Playground of the In- 
fantas. ... It is a home-like place, large, as 
are all Spanish palaces, but not over-gorgeous, 
although its tapestries rank as some of the finest 
in Europe. 

An article recently appeared in an English 
newspaper which purported to give an authentic 
account of the pitiful condition of the ex- 
Empress and her children at San Sebastian 
whither she repaired after a prolonged sojourn 
at El Pardo. The writer dwelt at considerable 
length on the "meanness" of the King of Spain 
in permitting the ex-Empress to live at San 
Sebastian in penury, and he even thought it nec- 
essary to point out that a shabby old hotel omni- 
bus was the only means of conveyance offered 
to this distressed family by a king whose ideas 
of comfort have always been on the luxurious 
side. 

As one who knows, I must emphatically con- 
tradict these statements. The King's treatment 
of the imperial exile was invariably generous, 
but my own discretion, and my regard for His 
Majesty's dislike of "self -advertisement," for- 
bid me to relate the extent of this generosity. 

[45] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

Suffice it to say, that on various occasions the 
King's practical kindness relieved the ex- 
Empress from many material anxieties which 
had arisen from her own lack of financial ex- 
perience, or from thoughtlessness on the part 
of her entourage, 

The account of Alphcmso XIII/s journey to 
Las Urdcs, the Land of the Forgotten, affords 
a striking instance of old-time chivalry, and a 
stranger adventure has never befallen any mon- 
arch of modern times. The origin of Las 
Urdes goes back to the end of the seventeenth 
century, when the Jews were banished from 
Spain by order of the Church and the State* 
Some of them, however, refused to leave their 
adopted country, and escaped into the moun- 
tains, where they formed a colony which has 
existed to the present day -"the world for- 
getting by the world forgot," in a most literal 
and horrible sense. Few people arc known to 
have had any transactions with these pitiful 
refugees, as the place of their asylum was almost 
inaccessible, chiefly by reason of there being no 
roads; gradually they became forgotten, and if 

[46] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

their name was ever mentioned, it was merely 
as a legend. 

The present Bishop of Coria, who combines 
great intellectual qualities with a passion for 
humanity, has been told of Las Urdes, and his 
interest in the "legend," combined with his per- 
sonal interest in the story as possessing possible 
truth, led him to make investigations which 
proved that Las Urdes was no fiction, but a 
sombre and distressing truth, and that it con- 
stituted a plague spot on the reputation of Spain 
as a civilized country. 

The Bishop, shrewdly appraising the King's 
incurable love of adventure, lost no time in 
awakening His Majesty's sympathy and curios- 
ity in respect of these forgotten outcasts. At 
last, as a result of their many conferences, the 
King decided to visit Las Urdes in person, and 
he accomplished this dangerous and difficult 
undertaking in the spring of 1922. 

I have always pictured the two enthusiasts 
discussing the project in the light of the proph- 
ecy of Daniel, those forceful words in which 
the prophet says : "Je regardais dans les visions 

[47] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

de la nuit, et sur Ics nuces vint comme un fils 
d'hommc. Et il lul fit donne domination, 

gloirc, et regnc, et tons Ics pcuplcs, nations, ct 

langues, le servirent." I can imagine the 
Bishop describing the people who longed for 
consolation; and he may have suggested that 
they would meet the King as their "redeemer," 
the "redeemer who frees them glory to him," 
and before now, some passing shepherd might 
even have enlightened them that a redeemer and 
a king existed in the person of Alphonso XIII.! 
Thus, with his imagination afire, and his pres- 
tige and his religious sensibilities appealed to, 
the King set his face toward Las Urdes the 
Home of the Living Dead! Tt was, in many 
ways, as desperate an expedition as a journey 
In search of the Poles! Las Urdes lies far 
away In the mountains, and it is first approached 
through immense tracts of gorse and under- 
growth, . . . The initial difficulties of making 
a passage-way through the gorse were many, 
and progression became almost impossible when 
the gorse disappeared and gave place to a hor- 
rible growth of some malodorous, glutinous 
plant peculiar to this sinister locality. . * . Even 

[48] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

the tents brought by the travellers to serve as 
sleeping quarters were practically useless. The 
atmosphere was as dense and baleful as the 
vegetation, miasma rose from the steaming 
ground, the heat was intense, the fever-haunted 
nights were sleepless, and hosts of flies and mos- 
quitoes abounded. The King was urged to 
return; he was told that his presence in such 
surroundings absolutely courted danger; he was 
reminded of the value of his life to Spain, and 
of his duty to his family, but he turned a deaf 
ear to all these promptings. . . . "I am the 
father of my people, as well as the father of 
my children," he said. "I am acting now as a 
king and as a father; these dreadful conditions 
of our own life en route doubtless exist at Las 
Urdes, so it is more than ever my duty to go 
there, and find out what can be done to allevi- 
ate the horror of the lives of the people." Use- 
less to argue with such a young knight! And 
I am sure that the King actually saw him- 
self living, and thinking, as some long-dead 
chevalier. He made light of the innumerable 
discomforts, and perhaps he was secretly glad 
when automobiles proved impracticable and he 

[49] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

was obliged (In true knightly fashion) to ride 
on horseback through a track cut yard by yard 
in front of him. . . , 

At last the distant mountains grew percep- 
tibly nearer, and through the poisonous haze 
the little company were able to discern signs 
of life in these solitudes. But surely they had 
only discovered the Inferno, and those who 
therein dwell? For the creatures who ad- 
vanced to meet them were terrible and grotesque 
caricatures of humanity; visions of monstrous 
heads set on misshapen and shrunken bodies, 
others were eaten up with sores, some were crip- 
ples, some idiots, and, above all, many were 
lepers! . . , 

These dreadful beings emerged from cave- 
dwellings, mud-huts, and shelters unworthy of 
a beast; they gibbered and chattered in a sort of 
broken Spanish, but they all essayed to greet 
their King, hitherto as remote from them as 
GocI in His highest heaven* And in this wise 
Alphonso XIII. came to Las U riles! 

He came, this ultra-modern King of Spain, 
heralded by no impressive procession, no glitter- 
ing escort of soldiers, with no colour and music, 

[50] 




THE ENTRANCE TO THE ROYAL PALACE, BARCELONA 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

no smiles from beautiful women, and no wel- 
come from diplomats and statesmen. He sat on 
his tired horse, under the blazing vault of 
heaven, a lean, bronzed young figure with his 
passionate eyes aglow, heedless that the fever- 
laden wind was the breath of death, and that 
death itself might await him in this pest-ridden 
place. For him there was no protection, no 
guard of honour, no display of pomp and cir- 
cumstancesonly diseased and miserable out- 
casts crawled to greet him the living dead of 
Las Urdes. 

The King was profoundly moved and im- 
pressed by his reception; but he had entered 
upon this strange adventure as some crusade, 
in which he featured the Great Healer. He 
dismounted, and prepared to make a minute 
survey of the social and sanitary conditions of 
Las Urdes. There was not the slightest trace 
of either. The primary conditions of hygiene 
were unknown, there was little or no water, 
and the Las Urdes lapped up the stagnant pools 
like cats do milk. I have described these peo- 
ple as being akin to monstrosities ; but a few fine 
specimens of manhood existed, the last flickering 

[Si] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

efforts of this dying race, men whose Jewish 
features betrayed their origin, and who seemed 
more intelligent than their fellows. 

Suddenly a man emerged from one of the 
palmetto huts. He was a leper . . , he ad- 
vanced towards the King . . . his hand out- 
stretched. . . . 

For the first time the courageous soul of 
Alphonso X1IL failed him, and he shrank back, 
with the natural distaste that any healthy man 
experiences when he is confronted with some- 
thing unclean. . . * The man's hand remained 
outstretched, and still the King hesitated to grasp 
it. . . He realised that the risk of personal 
contact might mean that he might also become 
a lepera being cut off from all that makes life 
desirable. He thought of himself as one set 
apart from his beautiful Queen, and from his 
young children; he pictured his changeless, rest- 
less soul imprisoned in a rotting body" -it was 
impossible to contemplate such a fate. Then . . . 
the dauntless spirit of Spain asserted itself, the 
mantle of the Great Healer descended upon the 
King, and once again he heard the voice of the 
Bishop of Coria: "With spirit in your words 

[52] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

you can bring peace to their troubled hearts; 
you are the symbol of Life and Light, and you 
can bring blessings to those who have lived for 
centuries under the shadow of malediction." 

Alphonso XIII. hesitated no longer; he took 
the man's proffered hand, shook it heartily, and 
passed with him into his hut, where a woman 
shared her mate's hopeless lot. . . . But the 
storm of conflicting emotions had claimed its 
toll . . . and the King was relieved when the 
little party left Las Urdes to the sinister guard- 
ianship of its mountains and its fever-haunted 
plains. The King has told me that, for weeks 
afterwards, he could not shake off his haunting 
dread of possible leprosy, and that for many 
nights he, like Peter Ibbetson, "dreamt true" 
of Las Urdes and the living dead. 

The problem of what best to do with these 
afflicted people is now under grave considera- 
tion: the majority of them are weak in intellect, 
as intermarriages for generations have produced 
degenerates as well as wrecks ; they are, taken as 
a whole, morally and physically unclean. What 
will be the ultimate fate of Las Urdes? Many 
solutions have been advanced, the most practical 



COURTS AN-D COUNTRIES 

and brutal being that of a noted physician. 
"Tell the Bishop of Coria to inaugurate a new 
auto-da-fe, and burn everyone," said he, "for 
by fire alone shall Las Urdes be cleansed." 

Alphonso XIII. is more concerned with the 
future of the miserable babies than by that of 
their parents, as one of his strongest interests Is 
an insistence upon the child welfare of the new 
generation of Spain, and he is known as The 
Father of the Foundlings, when he visits the 
various foundling hospitals, in order to ascer- 
tain for himself if the little inmates are healthy 
or the reverse. 

In all his charitable undertakings, the King 
acts in unison with the Church, as ultra-modern 
though he may be, Alphonso XIII. fully recog- 
nizes the temporal Influence wielded by the 
spiritual power in Spain. This temporal in- 
fluence will never permit the existence of the 
power which governs modern Italy. In Spain 
the Vatican and the Quirinal could never exist 
together ; a condition entirely due to the adapt- 
ability of the Italian character, and no two 
Latin countries are more dissimilar than Italy 
and Spain. The King is, primarily, a good 

[54] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

Catholic, but although his keen mentality does 
not permit him to accept certain obsolete tradi^ 
tions, he would be the first to admit that with- 
out religion Spain would cease to exist. Each 
town in Spain possesses a variation of the orig- 
inal Blessed Virgin, every province has its 
especial apparition, although ghost stories are 
unknown, as opposed to the teachings of the 
Church. Religion both in Spain and in van- 
ished Russia was primarily arranged and stage- 
managed to appeal to the eyes of ignorance; 
religious festivities are therefore a part of 
every-day life, and the Oriental strain in the 
peoples of these two countries responds to 
teaching which glows with colour and dis- 
play. The King wishes, above all things, to 
preserve the cachet of Spain; he knows that it 
must retain its national characteristics as well as 
its religion, as its exterior representation repre- 
sents the real heart of the nation. He therefore 
takes part in the great Pageant of Religion as 
thoroughly as he enters into his other manifold 
duties ; and although the ceremony of a corona- 
tion is unknown in Spain, many of her great 
religious festivities are almost as impressive. 

[55] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

The Blessed Virgin of Atocha is as insepar- 
able from Court life as she is from religion ; to 
her are sent the wedding-gowns worn by the 
queens, the infantas, and the highest aristocracy 
of Spain. The custom of giving valuable 
jewels to the Madonna is another feature 
of our faith, and many of the best-known 
Madonnas have their attendants, self-styled 
ladies-in-waiting, whose duty it is to change the 
dresses and jewels worn by the figures of the 
Blessed Virgin. "Exactly like dressing and un- 
dressing a doll. How silly and blasphemous," 
I hear some staunch Protestant remark; but I 
can state with truth that these "toilettes" are 
undertaken in the most reverent spirit. . . . To 
regard the waxen, plaster or wooden figure of 
the Virgin as a doll never enters into the minds 
of her votaries; they only see the representation 
of the loving Mother of God, whom they thus 
delight to honour on earth. 

It may be argued that religion as practised 
in Spain during the Inquisition was essentially 
a religion of fear, and not a religion of love: 
This is true, but as most European countries 
have passed through this phase of fear, religious 

[56] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

persecution is not peculiar to Spain. It is im- 
possible to deny that outward forms, combined 
with Spanish sacred legendary lore, in its 
strange mixture of splendour and homeliness, 
have served to bring heaven and its visitants 
nearer to the Spanish peasant than would the 
sound of Church bells which ring out hymns, or 
harvest festivals which turn places of worship 
into the similitude of an overcrowded green- 
grocer's shop. ... If I may venture to say so, 
I think it is better for the lower classes to feel 
on friendly terms with the Deity, than to regard 
Him as something unapproachable and terrible, 
possessing no knowledge or understanding of 
human weakness except in the capacity of a 
severe judge. 

It is, however, interesting to notice the after- 
War changes in the lives and mentalities 
of many of the religious orders in Spain 
pre-eminently the country of the monks and 
nuns. In some cases our religieuses now only 
make their vows yearly, and do not even wear 
distinctive dress! I suppose they, like the rest 
of the world, crave for freedom and reform, 
and desire to breathe the fine air of morning 

[57] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

instead of the incense-scented odour of sanctity. 
Very few girls of the lower or middle class are 
entering convents, and the "Cathechists" (as 
the emancipated nuns are called) are com- 
mandeering them into their service, thus form- 
ing a kind of modified Salvation Army, whose 
members teach the Gospel and preach morality 
to the working classes, who receive their minis- 
trations with less suspicion than they would do 
were they to present themselves in the austere 
habits of an austere Order. 

The King gives largely to the Church from 
his private fortune, but royal personages are 
very much misjudged by the world as regards 
money, and the public is too prone to assume 
that any appearance of wealth on our part im- 
plies a drain on the State. This is not the case. 
The private fortunes of Royalty usually come 
from marriage or by inheritance, so surely the 
management of such monies is a private matter! 
In an age where all classes demand an increase 
in wages, Royalties alone are excepted ; they 
make no fresh demands, although the cost of 
living has increased as much for them as for 
others. Monarchs are obliged to cut their 

[58] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

coats according to the cloth, and as a result 
of the expensive conditions of life, kings and 
queens now travel with much more simplicity, 
and are content to leave extravagance in 
"specials" to American plutocrats and the new 
rich. 

It must not also be forgotten that the capital 
of all royal fortune lies in the hands of the na- 
tion, and that the 'Government provides for the 
king's children, according to their necessities. 
But many a prince, or princess, with small 
means, will "live," better than others who are 
more liberally dowered, since necessity is the 
mother of the best investments. The majority 
of people do not realize the many calls that are 
made on the private purses of Royalties, so 
many, in fact, that it often becomes impossible 
to meet them all, and it would be charitable if 
the public also looked upon us as beings who 
have hitherto been unable to take up lucrative 
professions. 

The future of royal boys presents a difficult 
problem in post-War conditions, for what career 
has hitherto been open to a prince save a mili- 
tary one? Alphonso XIII. fully recognizes the 

[59]: 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

importance of combating this difficulty, and 
although he has given his sons to the Army and 
Navy, he has decided to offer them the chance 
to augment their incomes, should necessity arise. 
The new idea of sending the heirs-apparent to 
European thrones on world tours does not ap- 
peal to me. It may be intensely modern, but 
until now this universal entente has not resulted 
in bettering the lives of princes, neither has it 
brought any material good to their countries. 
King Alphonso XIII. has acted wisely in 
refusing to allow the Spanish Heir- Apparent to 
make the grand tour, and no monarch and no 
heir-apparent are more beloved by their sub- 
jects, who invariably allude to them as "our 



Importing habits, rules and customs from one 
country to another requires immense care, as it 
resembles implanting vegetation in a soil which 
is not ready to receive it 

Drastic changes in living or habits are usually 
productive of discomfort and discontent where- 
ever they are introduced; and foreigners who 
settle down in foreign countries invariably as- 
sert that "we don't live like this at home," for- 

[60] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

getting that conditions of life are probably, 
totally different in the land of their birth. I 
consider that one of the greatest dangers to hu- 
manity lies in "bettering" any nation by intro- 
ducing a too sudden civilization to people who 
do not understand its meaning, much in the 
same way that the cleverest speakers are liable 
to forget the class of their hearers, and in con- 
sequence their words convey little or nothing to 
the "crowd" who are not a la hauteur to grasp 
their true meaning. Thus, to the Prince of 
Asturias, Heir- Apparent to the Spanish Throne, 
belongs the distinction of having introduced 
bacon into Spain, and, as a "gentleman farmer," 
he runs an extensive pig farm at El Pardo, to 
develop later into a sausage and bacon factory 
worked absolutely on business lines. The 
Prince of Asturias is as keen as his father on 
outdoor life, and he is thoroughly engrossed in 
his 5,000 pigs, and his ham-curing and his pig 
rearing English pigs being especially wel- 
come. It is now quite the usual thing for us to 
give the Heir-Apparent a pedigree pig as his 
birthday or Christmas present. Nothing ap- 
peals to him so much! 

[61] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

I sometimes smile at his enthusiasm, and won- 
der whether the English blood of his mother is 
responsible for his fondness for bacon, since 
domestic life in England would surely be in- 
complete if bacon and eggs were absent from 
the breakfast table. 

The Prince visits El Pardo every day to feed 
his favourites and to hear the latest pig 
news ... he knows their parentage, their 
breed, their intermarriages ... in short, he is, 
at the age of sixteen, an absolute authority on 
pigs, cooked and uncooked. 

The King encourages his son's interest in this 
eminently practical venture (so unlike anything 
hitherto associated with former gay, gloomy, 
clever or stupid heirs-apparent), but the King 
has always appreciated the value of agriculture 
in Spain and the possibilities of its future, as 
he rightly estimates the results and good profits 
to be derived from present-day farming when 
science walks hand in hand with agriculture. 
Mr. P. J. Hayes, a member of the South- 
Eastern Agricultural College at Wye, who 
visited the El Pardo Pig Farm, and drew up a 
special report on its management, told me that 

[62] 




THE PRINCE OF ASTURIAS, HEIR TO THE SPANISH THRONE 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

he was amazed at the King's practical knowl- 
edge of agriculture. "His Majesty was even 
conversant with the technical terms used in 
England . . . one could hardly believe that he 
had not gone through a complete college 
course," said the astonished Englishman. 

It will be interesting to see into which 
families the children of this amazing father 
will eventually marry. Royal marriages have 
now become especially difficult, except in the 
case of minor Royalties, who need not, so to 
speak, "marry to order." But class should still 
predominate, allied to a suitability of tempera- 
ment; unequal lives can never meet, and very 
often royal marriages are made solely to please 
someone else, and also out of anxiety to seize 
the right moment. 

England and Italy have set the example of 
democratic royal marriages, but it is impossible 
to compare the customs of England with those 
of any other country. In England the rank of 
the husband remains the same, in consequence 
of which he is subjected to various awkward 
Court predicaments, and in Victorian days the 
Prince Consort often experienced the disadvan- 

[63] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

tages of having married "above" him. Lady 
Patricia Ramsay is a member of the English 
Royal Family who has descended to her hus- 
band's social level, and thereby followed the 
sensible examples shown by certain Royalties 
in Sweden and Denmark. In these countries 
it is usual for any Royalty who marries out of 
his, or her, position to renounce their rank to 
forget it absolutely, and to start a new life under 
another name. This happy idea has helped to 
destroy what might otherwise have caused 
friction in married life, as it certainly goes to 
test the value of affection, and it provides the 
best possible advertisement for the joys of re- 
nunciation. 

The English Royal Family form part of the 
English flag, and their private lives, their 
clothes and their conversation belong to the na- 
tion. But I must confess that I do not con- 
sider it dignified to allow the English Press 
to publish the intimate details of a royal 
trousseau, when in conversation the mention of 
such garments is tabooed. But, as I have said 
before, you cannot lay down any hard and fast 
lines for English convention ; it has always been, 

[64] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

and it will continue to remain, an amazing mass 
of contradictions. For my own part, I say: 
"Please allow us to wear our private garments 
as private people, and not as advertisements for 
a lingerie shop." 

Before the War, Austria was the accepted 
marriage ground for princesses, but as Austria 
is non-existent in this capacity, and Germany 
does not present many matrimonial advantages, 
the choice is now somewhat restricted. The 
three great Roman Catholic countries in Europe 
are Spain, Belgium and Italy, all of which 
offer suitable brides and bridegrooms in em- 
bryo capable of carrying out the traditions and 
upholding the prestige of their families. One 
cannot conjecture as to a future Princess of 
Wales, since this particular Prince Charming 
shows no inclination to change his condition, 
and his brothers will probably, like the Duke 
of York, seek English brides from the English 
aristocracy. 

The Balkan States will undoubtedly produce 
the strongest race of future Royalties; already 
the blood of Elena of Montenegro has 
strengthened that of Italy, and the Queen of 

[65] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

Rumania has welded Servia and Rumania 
together in the marriage of her daughter to 
King Alexander, just as her supreme manage- 
ment arranged a union between the Crown 
Prince of Rumania and a Greek Princess. 

My own great nieces, the Infantas Beatrice 
and Cristina, are charming girls, who will soon 
be of marriageable age. I often speculate as 
to their futures. 

But, in remembering the various eligible 
princesses, it is pleasant to think of the happi- 
ness which awaits the prince whose good fortune 
it will be to win the Bulgarian princesses, who 
are domesticated, elegant, and de race to their 
finger-tips. Royal home life in Bulgaria is one 
of the most beautiful examples of domesticity, 
and the sisters and their brother, King Boris, 
live together under the happiest conditions 
yes, fortunate indeed will be the suitors whose 
lot it is to transplant these sweet Bulgarian vio- 
lets to shed their fragrance in another country. 

[One (the eldest) of the Bulgarian princesses 
has been married after this book was written.] 



[66] 



CHAPTER IV 
MORE ABOUT SPAIN 

QUEEN VICTORIA EUGENIE of Spain is one of 
the most decorative queens in Europe, and, as 
she is gifted with a charming disposition, she 
makes both an artistic and personal appeal to 
her husband's subjects. 

To me, she has always been an interesting 
personality, as I have watched her gradual de- 
velopment as a girl and a woman in the country 
of her adoption, and have thus been enabled to 
appreciate her courage in surmounting many 
difficulties. 

I shall never forget the effect produced on 
our family by this girl from the North, a radiant 
creature of eighteen, with pale golden hair, 
wild rose complexion and eyes of malachite- 
blue. My nephew was then twenty, a dark 
youth with the Hapsburg jaw and features rem- 
iniscent of his ancestors. One thought instinc- 
tively of a combination of snow and Southern 

[67] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

sun, of darkness and light. They were indeed 
a striking contrast. The Battenberg princess 
displayed no sign of nervousness in her new 
surroundings, she was entirely English in her 
outward emotions, her "poise" was admirable, 
and her self-possession something to marvel at, 
even in our austere Court, hide-bound with 
etiquette and ceremony. 

The royal wedding was the most beautiful 
wedding I have ever seen. Imagine a perfectly 
cloudless sky a dome of deep azure a sun 
pouring molten gold on the earth, flags of all 
nations and all colours, a profusion of decora- 
tion, music, enthusiasm : a living romance with 
a fairy princess as the heroine. The young 
Queen typified the embodiment of purity as she 
stood on the threshold of the unknown world 
which lay before her, a world which many of us 
Royalties have reason to remember with sad- 
ness a world where freedom and privacy are 
rarely to be found, where one encounters dis- 
illusion, regrets and deception, and where it is 
practically impossible to be true to one's self or 
to one's ideals. 

The story of the attempt on the lives of the 
[68] 




H.M. THE QUEEN OF SPAIN IN THE NATIONAL DRESS OF SALAMANCA 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

newly-wedded King and his Queen has been 
told so often that I need not repeat it. The 
horses attached to the royal carnage were killed, 
and their blood bespattered the gleaming white 
robe of the bride an ordeal which would cer- 
tainly have terrified the majority of women. 
But this English girl was apparently unmoved, 
although her lovely rose-leaf complexion per- 
ceptibly paled; but she won the love of her 
subjects as well as the devotion of her husband 
by this baptism of blood, which sealed Victoria 
Eugenie of Battenberg indissolubly to Spain. 
Not until she regained the palace did her com- 
posure give way, and then only in the privacy 
of her own apartments the poor child at last 
showed signs of the nervous strain to which she 
had been subjected. She was so very young, 
so very lonely, that one instinctively wanted to 
"mother'' her, especially when she whispered to 
me with infinite pathos: "Oh, how glad I am 
to see you here. Yours is the only familiar face 
in all this crowd of strangers." 

At the time of her marriage, the Queen's 
character was more or less unformed. She had 
had the simplest and the most home-like up- 

[69] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

bringing, and her childhood and early girlhood 
had been passed in seclusion. As a little girl 
she was the spoiled darling of two old sover- 
eigns her grandmother, Queen Victoria, and 
her godmother, the Empress Eugenie but as 
the shadow of bereavement was never really 
lifted from the hearts of either, I often wonder 
that Victoria Eugenie's sunny disposition has 
remained untouched by it. The King's choice 
was peculiarly acceptable to us as a family, and 
to Spain as a nation : the Princess brought new 
blood, health, and youth into our midst ; in her 
we had no reason to fear the curse of heredity,, 
her "background" was untemperamental, noth- 
ing better could have been wished for in short, 
the advent of Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg 
was entirely welcome. 

My nephew lost no time in moulding his 
wife's pliant disposition and fitting her for the 
great responsibilities and duties consequent on 
her position as the Queen of Spain. The young 
girl proved herself an apt pupil; she had 
already exchanged the Protestant faith for Ro- 
man Catholicism, so there were no religious 
difficulties to contend with but it must have 

[70] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

been a very strange environment in the early 
days of her married life. 

Everything was changed. The formal mag- 
nificence, and (let me confess it) the occasional 
dreariness of our palaces, were in complete con- 
trast to the comfortable royal residences to 
which she had been accustomed. Our family 
life must also have amazed her, since it is led on 
patriarchal lines, the palace not being given 
entirely over to the reigning monarch, but af- 
fording a residence for many of his relations 
a state of things unheard of in England. The 
daily conditions of existence were utterly 
foreign to the Queen ; even the food was differ- 
ent! The Court etiquette was unlike anything 
she had as yet encountered, and Victoria 
Eugenie realized that, like all Queens of Spain, 
she had to live to please three important factors 
her husband, society, and the Church. 

In the case of Queen Christina and my 
brother Alphonso XII. , matters were easier, 
as both of them possessed Austrian sympathies, 
and met on a common ground of understand- 
ing: between my nephew and his wife no such 
sympathies existed. They met as two young 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

creatures who found companionship in a deso- 
late sea of age and middle age, but who after- 
wards discovered love and happiness in the 
more serious roles of husband and wife. 

The Queen made it her first duty to become a 
Spaniard; she is now, in many respects, more 
of a Spaniard than many Spaniards, and she 
speaks Spanish like a native. With his unerr- 
ing intuition the King has completely gauged 
his wife's mentality, and he has developed it 
with the thoroughness which he displays in any 
task undertaken by him. He has, therefore, 
exploited it to the best advantage, with the re- 
sult that the Court of Spain is one of the most 
moral and smoothly run institutions of its kind 
in Europe. The'* Queen's practical domestic 
interests have made her the best of wives and 
mothers, just as her English tact makes her life 
the most amenable of politics-shunning queens. 
Victoria Eugenie never attempts to meddle in 
politics, and I am sure that she prefers to be 
known as a Queen of Beauty and a Queen of 
Hearts, rather than as a queen intrigued by 
diplomacy and questions of State. 

The beautiful girl of eighteen has now be- 

[72] ' 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

come a woman, and the Queen frankly admits 
that she likes to be considered beautiful. Her 
taste in dress is certainly not a heritage of her 
English ancestors, since none of them has 
ever displayed the Queen of Spain's taste and 
elegance. . . . Her gowns are perfection, her 
coiffure the last word in fashion and her jewels 
are gorgeous but these are her own private 
property, as, during the Peninsular War, the 
French took away all the Spanish Crown jewels, 
so now all jewels worn by the royal family 
are purely personal belongings. A tradition, 
current in the palace, relates that the Crown 
jewels are still in existence, hidden in a secret 
place in the thickness of the walls, and the dis- 
covery of a quantity of priceless clocks during 
the demolition of a room certainly favours this 
idea. I often wonder whether the famous 
parure and necklace of black diamonds for- 
merly worn by the queens of Spain on Good 
Friday will ever see the light of day, as it is 
said that these, also, are to be found in the se- 
cret cache. 

A propos of these recently-discovered time- 
pieces, I cannot imagine why the theft of clocks 

[73] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

is peculiar to all wars, past and present, as 
clocks have invariably formed part of the 
"loot" So, in justice to Germany, we must re- 
member that although she has been bitterly ac- 
cused of "clock-lifting," the Boche, after all, 
only followed the example of the French of 
Napoleon's day. 

The Queen of Spain and her first cousin, the 
Queen of Rumania, are par excellence, Queens 
of Beauty and in both cousins the marvellous 
Coburg strain manifests itself in many similar 
yet, paradoxically dissimilar ways. This Co- 
burg strain presents a most fascinating study for 
psychologists, and the House of Coburg, which 
at the dawn of the nineteenth century was not 
considered of any European importance, has 
since provided amazing intellects, and amazing 
contrasts. Its Pagans, Puritans, misers, spend- 
thrifts, poets and men of action have astonished, 
and will continue to astonish, the world, and 
there is no doubt that the chameleon-like men- 
tality of the Coburgs is primarily due to the 
Oriental blood which is also part of their heri- 
tage. 

The two cousins Queens sprung from this 

[74] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

extraordinary stock, are curiously alike in fea- 
tures, build and expression. The Queen of 
Rumania is many years older than the Queen 
of Spain, and, like her cousin she is beautiful; 
but whereas the younger woman loves her 
beauty because it represents much of the joy 
of life, the other Queen depends largely on 
a mise-en-scene, and she is often the slave of her 
artistic temperament. To the one, her palace 
embodies a home, just as she embodies the ideal 
of beautiful English womanhood. To the other 
a palace represents a temple, a stage, or "un 
coin du temps du Paganisme!" Both Queens 
love colour, jewels, beautiful clothes, and in 
this the Orientalism of the Coburgs is strikingly 
apparent, which has probably developed since 
their marriages, since the countries throb with 
life, and differ absolutely from the soft greens 
and greys of England. But, as I shall point 
out later (when I deal with Rumania), the 
Queen's Orientalism is mingled with the flair for 
splendour which is inborn in all who possess 
Russian blood, and on her mother's side the 
Queen of Rumania is purely Russian. 

It may be indignantly denied that any 

[75] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

Oriental strain exists in the House of Coburg, 
but it is nevertheless an open secret that it ac- 
counts for many things peculiar to members of 
the family. The Coburgs have rarely inter- 
married with the older royal blood of Europe ; 
they are a race set apart, a race that has tri- 
umphed, and that will continue to triumph, 
because it represents all that is artistic, com- 
mercial managing and creative, allied to the ne 
plus ultra of finesse and diplomacy. 

The Queen of Spain remains English in her 
love of sport and outdoor enjoyments. She is 
fond of tennis, and plays a good game; she 
rides well, and looks extremely handsome on 
horseback. Her two daughters, the Infantas 
Beatrice and Cristina, are charming girls who 
are being most carefully brought up under the 
care of English and French governesses. Their 
mother displays the greatest interest in the 
morale of the home life of her children; their 
educational system is perfect, most of their 
lessons taking place in the early morning; and, 
as the Queen believes in the benefit of plenty of 
fresh air, the two infantas and their governesses 
spend some part of every afternoon at the El 

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COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

Pardo. There, the young girls emulate the ex- 
ample of their long-dead prototypes, and amuse 
themselves in the old gardens known from 
time immemorial as "The Playground of the 
Infantas." Life with their beautiful mother, 
and their amazing father, is one long day of 
happiness for these royal children. Both 
parents are entirely in sympathy with them : the 
Queen, who adores pretty clothes and pretty 
surroundings, encourages her daughters to fol- 
low her example, and the infantas will never 
be dowdy princesses; the King, joyous, light- 
hearted, and "alive," is like an elder brother 
to his sons, none of whom, however, is en- 
dowed with his versatility. The Heir Appar- 
ent and his brothers are more "serious," more 
"Northern," but all the children share their 
father's "thoroughness," and although this 
Northern "seriousness" is doubtless an admirable 
asset in a country like Spain, I am too prone to 
make comparisons. And I am so intrigued by 
my nephew's brilliant mentality, that I find it 
difficult to rightly appreciate the more "set" 
individualities of his children. 

I have said that the Queen is now Spanish, 

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COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

rather than English, in her sympathies. This 
applies only to her public life, as led for Spain, 
and in her private relationships. But she re- 
mains English in her love of home comforts, 
her admiration for law and order, and in her 
flair for domesticity, chintzes and interior de- 
corations. She is also insistent upon questions 
of English hygiene in her nurseries and school- 
rooms, and in all institutions in which she is 
interested. But although the ordinary hygienic 
conditions in Spain are usually bad, the general 
health is very good, and any tendency towards 
consumption arises solely from unhealthy con- 
ditions of life, and is not due to the constitution 
of the nation. There are few lunatics in Spain, 
and only one State asylum is required for men- 
tal sufferers a striking contrast to the mental 
requirements of other countries! The average 
Spaniard usually attains extreme old age, re- 
sulting from his, or her, frugal life and con- 
tented spirit our people do not overeat them- 
selves and liver troubles are unknown indeed 
it is common knowledge that the waiting lists 
for admission into charitable institutions are 
made up of "ancients" who rival Methuselah! 

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COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

In many ways, Spain retains much of her 
ancient dignity, inasmuch as she disdains ad- 
vertisement. The stage refuses to allow its 
plays to become "pegs" for the names of milli- 
ners, dressmakers, or house furnishers. The 
best shops do not mention the patronage of 
Royalty as an inducement for others to sample 
their goods; and with us, cinema shows are 
really beautiful, and entirely free from the de- 
grading sensationalism and cheap sentiment of 
many American and English productions. The 
misuse of a novel for film purposes is also un- 
known in Spain ; the producer does not attempt 
to alter the plot conceived by the novelist, and 
he would scorn to use the title of any popular 
novel merely as a "draw." I feel very strongly 
against this misuse of power, and I consider 
that authors ought to make a firm stand against 
it; but many authors with whom I have dis- 
cussed the question declare themselves power- 
less to interfere. 

Spanish cinema producers do not pay the im- 
possible sums paid by England and America 
for the name of a star! We rely on talent, and 
we do not think it necessary to have beauty 

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COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

competitions in order to discover it The 
prerogative of the cinema is the art of adver- 
tisement; but we do not need it, and I am sure 
that we enjoy our film representations equally 
well without it. 

The keen zest in life shown by the King has 
produced a similar result throughout Spain; our 
watering-places are now more popular with 
foreigners, our hotels are entirely up to date, 
and travelling is no longer synonymous with 
discomfort. The average Englishman travel- 
ling in Spain need not fear for his comfort, 
although I have always been secretly amused to 
hear persons who refused to visit Spain because 
it was "uncomfortable" set forth uncomplain- 
ingly to darkest Africa, a proposition surely 
attended with far more discomfort than a 
journey through Spain and a sojourn in its 
hotels? 

Spanish women and girls are gradually be- 
ginning to follow the example of the Queen, 
and are now devotees of outdoor sports; but 
although the climate conditions are antagonistic 
to much violent exertion, I am all in favour of 
this "outdoor" hardening process for young 

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COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

girls, as I believe it helps them in future ma- 
ternity. 

Childbirth in Spain is usually attended with 
great family ceremonial; but "twilight sleep" 
is looked upon with disapproval by all classes, 
as it is thought that mothers are endowed with 
spiritual capacity to bear pain in what is, after 
all, a purely natural function. Spanish women 
harden themselves to physical pain in much the 
same way that certain people harden themselves 
to mental pain; but this insensibility to mental 
agony is usually peculiar to the higher classes 
menial work is impossible for them, but they 
can, and do know how to endure. 

People have -sometimes asked me why Royal- 
ties seem able to undertake so many engage- 
ments without showing any apparent fatigue. 
I can only answer that I think we are better 
inured to fatigue, and since we become public 
property from our cradles, we are obliged to 
eliminate the "tired feeling" as much as pos- 
sible. At one time I thought nothing of coming 
over from Paris to London for a dance, and re- 
turning without even going to bed, my apparent 
delicacy being, like that of the King, entirely 

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COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

deceptive. I have never resorted to artificial 
sedatives, or stimulants, and I have a great 
horror of drugs, although I am aware that their 
use must be extremely beneficial to commerce, 
as fifty years ago the tabloid and cachet were 
unknown ! 

The Spanish nation should be profoundly 
grateful that it has escaped the nervous ill- 
nesses which have affected many countries as 
a direct result of the War. These diseases are 
usually the result of over-crowding ; some come 
from the Far East, and the black troops are re- 
sponsible for many complaints hitherto un- 
known. And, because of these things, it is the 
duty of nations to realise that the after-effects 
of war are more to be dreaded than war itself. 
Thus, any war should be a double war a mili- 
tary combat, and a civil war against disease. 
The Red Cross typifies the care of the wounded, 
the sufferings of animals are protected by the 
Blue or the White Cross, but no flag of sickness 
exists no cross marks the protection of civil- 
ians. Surely, then, one cross more is required? 

America has done wonderful work in extermi- 
nating the plague of flies which constitutes 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

such a menace to humanity. In the Spanish 
Colonies yellow fever is now non-existent, con- 
sequent on the extermination of poisonous flies 
and mosquitoes. . Spain is a victim to malaria 
a complaint primarily induced by stagnant 
water. Stagnant water is unknown in America. 
There is no need to point the moral to adorn 
this tale! The terrible Spanish influenza, or 
the Peste Pulmonaire, in the course of which 
the lungs are eaten away, and the sufferer 
usually dies within three days (his or her corpse 
black and horrible after death), is caused by a 
plague microbe due to uncleanness. This and 
other epidemics are the foes which threaten the 
family life of a nation, but nowadays the ma- 
jority of workers are affected by what I can best 
describe as a war lassitude. One sees this as 
a daily object lesson on any long-distance train 
journey. One begins one's travels under quite 
possible sanitary conditions, but the usual state 
of a train at the end of long journeys is horrible 
the labour of keeping the lavatories clean en 
route seems a task beyond the capacity of the 
officials, and I especially commend the French 
idea of placing a woman attendant on long- 

[83] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

distance trains, in order that she may be of use 
to ladies in need of her services. 

As I have mentioned, Spain ought to be very 
thankful that she is not affected with the pres- 
ence of the five principal attendants on the War 
paralysis, lunacy, shock, loss of memory, and 
blindness. The dangers resulting from nervous 
diseases are better realized now than they have 
ever been, and in France lunacy and nervous 
complaints are treated absolutely in separate 
departments. The majority of people are in 
the habit of condemning everything and every- 
body who constitutes a reflection on their well- 
ordered lives; therefore, any illnesses outside 
the accepted conventional category (especially 
mental troubles) are invariably mistrusted. 
And yet lunacy, in its most pathetic and terrible 
side, has come into many "worthy" families as a 
result of the War. It is to be hoped that these 
conventional individuals will now awaken to 
the fact that mental trouble is not a crime, but 
an affliction, and recognize it accordingly, in- 
stead of treating it as a slur, and placing the 
sufferer beyond the pale of understanding. This 
curious attitude came under my own notice in 

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COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

the case of one of my friends, who had a bad 
nervous breakdown, which necessitated her tem- 
porary seclusion. When she saw her relations 
after her recovery, their first question (put 
in scandalized and reproving accents) was: 
"Why did you go mad? Nobody in our family 
has ever been mad. How odd of you! 3 

As the successful treatment of mental cases 
largely depends on the human-understanding of 
the doctor, and the special understanding of the 
nurses under him, I am inclined to advocate the 
employment of nuns as nurses in mild forms of 
insanity, where physical strength is not neces- 
sary to cope with the patient Nuns would be 
far kinder, and more tolerant, of the ailing and 
tired brain than the usual type of mental nurse, 
and the idea also possesses this advantage nuns 
regard the care of the sick as a vocation, not as 
a profession, and they return to their devotions, 
and not to the world, after their hours on duty. 
One of the greatest mistakes ever made by the 
French has consisted in banishing the nuns from 
the hospitals. Their need is still very much 
felt, and will continue to be felt in France. 

One of the most curious "illnesses" of the war 

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COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

was known as the displacement de Yair which 
came into existence owing to the currents of 
air set in motion by the heavy firing. This 
displacement de Vair was an everyday occur- 
rence in Paris, in the days of Big Bertha, and I 
remember that once, when I was driving to my 
dentist's, a shell fell near by and the current of 
air was so strong that my hat was literally 
lifted off my head, the hat-pins were carried 
away like straws in the wind, and a piece of my 
hair was actually torn from my scalp. The 
coachman fortunately escaped, but occasionally 
this curious phenomenon seized pedestrians and 
bent them, like a cornfield sways in the wind, 
with the result that some of them afterwards 
walked on all fours, like animals, and their 
necks were so badly twisted that they were 
never able to turn their heads again. This 
displacement was not known in London, btit it 
was of common occurrence at the Front, and it 
was recognized and provided for by the English 
when they undertook the defence of Calais. 

Few people rightly estimate the dangers of 
the poisons left in the air by the various chemi- 
cal gases employed during the war. These 

[86]. 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

gases produced an effect on the lungs and 
respiration, even out of their immediate danger 
zones, and the unfortunate soldiers who were 
gassed constituted a danger to those who at- 
tended on them, as the poisons left in their 
systems still emanated from them. This was 
especially noticeable at the Red Cross hospitals 
for the gassed in Switzerland, where, after a 
time, the nurses themselves showed symptoms 
of acute gassing. 

The very air during the War was as defiled 
as the earth, and those responsible for this strife 
of hatred and greed have proved conclusively 
that modern fighting has entirely done away 
with any idea of sport in connection with it 
The young human animal is always game for a 
fight, but it cannot cope with the subtleties of 
science applied to war. It is to be hoped that 
any future fighting will be undertaken by R. U. 
R.s, and that towns will be destroyed automati- 
cally by automatons. Such a proceeding would 
achieve the desired results of any war, and 
hollow treaties, and, equally hollow peaces, 
could be arrived at without the sacrifice of so 
many young and valuable lives. 

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COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

The League of Nations must primarily go 
into the horrors of war, their possibilities and 
their prevention. A siege war was never con- 
sidered as probable in this century, but the mo- 
men when the earth apparently swallowed up 
the Germans, the Allies were faced with a land 
siege, and not a siege of towns. But in the next 
great war the civilians will occupy the trenches, 
and the fighting will take place in the air. 

In dealing with post- War Spain, I fear I 
may be accused of not paying sufficient atten- 
tion to her artistic and literary aspects. It is 
indisputable that commerce and industries have 
now absorbed the artistic senses of the nation: 
the modern Spaniard is intensely practical, and 
owing to the increased cost of living, he has 
wisely decided to relinquish art in favour of 
necessities. 

What remains of art is on the lines of Velas- 
quez, and our greatest artist to-day is Sorolla 
Zuluaga, who lives in a lovely Basque house 
a veritable museum near San Sebastian. 

Literature in Spain is not at a high standard. 
Blasco Ibanez is our piece de resistance, and 
he has lately achieved fresh notoriety by reason 

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COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

of his attack on the King of Spain. His opinion 
of the rights of Spanish authors and journal- 
ists is nil, since, according to Ibanez, "to read 
a Spanish newspaper is simply to read the works 
of Primo de Rivera." He further states that 
modern Spanish "thought and thinking are in 
bondage, and at the mercy of the censor's ca- 
price, or of illiterate braggards, uniformed as 
generals, making the whole country subservient 
to their whims, and presuming even to put the 
mind of the nation in a strait-jacket" 

Senor Ibanez believes that when the Director- 
ate falls he will be able to return to Spain as a 
conqueror who has spoken the truth and nothing 
but the truth in "unmasking" Alphonso XIII. 
I have my own views on this heroic attitude, 
but political and private reasons prevent me 
from undertaking the defence of my nephew, 
the King. After all, any author who damns his 
subject on one page and then ascribes his actions 
as solely due to thoughtlessness, is not worth the 
consideration of any serious-minded person! 

However, the unexpected is always happen- 
ing in Spain, but the unexpected has saved her 
many times and in many ways. 

[89] 



CHAPTER V 

ENGLAND AND THE ENGLISH 

I FIRST came to England in 1886. In 1924 I 
can truthfully say that I know and love it from 
end to end, and there is not a county where I 
have not stayed at some time or another. This 
familiarity with England, and things English, 
is due to the fact that the branch of Orleans 
family into which I married lived in England 
for many years; but both before and after the 
War I have never departed from my original 
impression that the English are always at 
school, and that they are for ever wondering 
what other people think! 

I frankly adore the nation. I like the "com- 
fortable" feeling engendered directly one sets 
foot on English soil, by the atmosphere of clean- 
liness, reliability and hygiene, but at the same 
time I feel that few English people have any 
individual liberty, that the smallest things of 
life attain undue proportions, and that the a ac- 

[90] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

cepted Idea" is the only one permissible. 
Whenever an Englishman says that such and 
such a thing is the accepted idea, nothing in- 
duces him to change his opinion and the same 
Englishman always makes you feel that you are 
obliged to say "thank you." 

It is curious to think what a difference a 
few 'miles of sea between two countries can 
make, and how totally dissimilar are the coun- 
tries which it separates ; the French are all tem- 
perament, and almost childish in their joie de 
vivre; the English so essentially safe and solid. 
But I do not think the English ever thoroughly 
appreciate the beauty of life; perhaps their 
aloofness as "islanders" makes them so secure 
in themselves! However, notwithstanding this 
"aloofness," the English make their presence 
felt in every Court of Europe where English 
is talked freely, and where English influence, 
secret or otherwise, is never absent from the 
family life of Royal Houses. In short, if the 
private history of the Courts and aristocracy of 
Europe were written, it would surprise many 
people to know the important parts played in 
both by certain English women. 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

The "security" of England never fails to 
strike me anew whenever I return to her shores, 
and I feel it outwardly and mentally. . . . She 
welcomes you in her comfortable, dignified man- 
ner, and I find my old friends of over thirty 
years as unchanged as their country with them, 
friendship is as unmovable as its surroundings. 
They are not easily swayed by their emotions; 
they do not blow hot and cold : so after the war, 
I found them the same soothing and delightful 
people as before. 

I fear that in many ways the War has de- 
stroyed some of the comforts of English daily 
life. That piece de resistance breakfast is 
not so substantial as of yore; the increased cost 
of living and taxation is felt very keenly; but 
no increased cost of living and no taxation can 
seemingly affect the love of dress which is so 
evident in all classes of society. 

The post- War English woman is not original 
in her ideas of chiffons. With her, dress is 
prone to become a fad, and she runs her especial 
fad to death, commerce largely benefiting there- 
by as fashion usually gives birth to many mon- 
strosities. This super-importance given to dress 

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COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

is now especially noticeable in school-lif e, and 
I confess it strikes me both unpleasantly and 
forcibly, as it implies that the boarding-school 
will ultimately represent the middleman for the 
shops. The principle is bad, and, frankly, the 
education of both society and middle-class girls 
is planned on far too expensive lines. I myself 
wore a uniform, and no difference was made 
between me and my schoolfellows; but if an 
infanta of Spain were to go to one of the best 
English boarding-schools, and be unable to dress 
as well as her companions, her rank would avail 
her little, and doubtless she would be looked 
down on, since there is no snobbism so intolerant 
and so cruel as that of young girls. Convent 
schools are infinitely preferable, as rich and 
poor, high and low, dress alike ; and my English 
friends have confided to me their dread of the 
expense entailed when their girls attain years 
of discretion, and are sent away to "finish." 
They then require an absolute trousseau of din- 
ner dresses, dance frocks, tailor-mades, riding- 
habits, woollies and "gym" garments (these 
last, I admit, necessities) , with many blouses and 
one-piece frocks included. 

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COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

This premature love of luxury will have a 
devastating effect on the next generation in Eng- 
land. It is impossible to reduce the mind of 
young people to a scientific basis. The first 
education should be that of simplicity, and I am 
sure that one's start in life tells on one after- 
wards. 

In France the faubourg considers it bad form 
for its girlhood to be otherwise than modest and 
simple in outward forms; French mothers re- 
alize that no good purpose is served by giving 
young people too advanced ideas, well knowing 
that these are inseparable from later life, and 
they also feel that vanity ought not to be unduly 
developed. Many modern "finishing" schools 
are simply and solely forcing houses for vanity, 
the young human plants therefore develop too 
soon, and often astonish the "gardeners" with 
the results of their system. Surely the flower 
of youth should gradually unclose and not have 
its petals forced into bloom whereby the beauty 
and wonder of the white blossom of innocence is 
lost for ever! 

This abnormal awakening of the soul brings 
in its train many foes unthought of, and un- 

[94] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

reckoned with, and when once sex-curiosity is 
aroused, there is also the danger of vice develop- 
ing in youthful minds. Present-day Enlighten- 
ment" now reduces everything to a mechanism, 
and this "pure" corruption of the mind banishes 
much of the poetry of life from the heart of 
youth, leaving instead an ever-growing curiosity 
about sex relations. 

At a certain age, protection against moral dan- 
ger is absolutely necessary, but the time for such 
warning should v be judged with immense care 
after a comprehensive study of the boy or the 
girl for whom it is intended. No child ought 
to read the book of life at express speed. 

I am sorry to see so many blase and frankly 
artificial English girls. All debacles whether 
public or private, usually have their origin in 
luxury, and a great proportion of social life in 
England seems to consist in playing a role for 
others, and existing in a state of perpetual criti- 
cism. Certain Englishwomen never know the 
right adjustment of a craze or the right mo- 
ment to stop; they have worn the vogue for 
Spanish combs and Spanish shawls threadbare, 
oblivious to the fact that in Spain, shawls repre- 

[95] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

sent the national costume, and are only to be 
seen at bullfights, never in the stalls and boxes 
of a theatre 1 Poor Spain and equally to be 
pitied Tut-ankh-Amen wherefore have our 
countries deserved such indignities! 

The daily round of life now appears to be 
one perpetual bacchanal danced from hotel to 
hotel, from club to club, from cabaret to cabaret. 
Girls are doing too much; they will never be- 
come the mothers of a strong race too great 
a strain is being imposed on their natural func- 
tions; and even their "outdoor" lives will not 
prove strong enough to counteract the nightly 
evils of innumerable cocktails, "rushed through' 7 
dinners, "late" early mornings, endless dancing, 
and the false mental stimulants- afforded by 
emotional plays and picture shows. 

The pride of birth is the only thing to-day 
that money is powerless to purchase, and in con- 
sequence it is naturally envied and condemned. 
Thrones may vanish, and riches take wings unto 
themselves, but birth is inalienable ; if you hap- 
pen to be a thoroughbred, you cannot become 
a cart-horse! 

Dignified old age does not exist, nobody has 

[96] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

any use for it, one must not grow old; and I 
remember what a shock I received when I re- 
cently met a many times grandmother who wore 
an extremely abbreviated one-piece dress, and 
whose hat was the mode of the day after to- 
morrow! I wondered whether she ever felt her 
age. 

This attitude of old people is not all due to 
vanity, but chiefly arises from the fact that 
modern life has no use for them as old people; 
it decrees them to solitude. Few people like 
solitude, hence December often imagines her- 
self to be May, both in love and in age ; and she 
also realizes the bitter truth that the present 
generation is usually undisguisedly "bored," if 
its hostess happens to be, or to seem, older than 
her guests. 

I have never experienced this especial bitter- 
ness of heart, because I have had the wisdom to 
retire before my time; thus I have been able to 
rightly estimate the superiority of woman in the 
question of age. Women can, then, if they will, 
become infinitely better balanced, and because 
they are born to endure, they can take refuge 
in many small and varied interests unknown to 

[97]- 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

men. Men have so little resources in them- 
selves! There ought to be some especial 
manual labour for them at the critical period 
of late middle age, as occupation alone would 
save them from many and pitiful follies. The 
average business Englishman has no real interest 
in the home which is forced on him as a home; 
it is a more or less unfamiliar dwelling to which 
years of office routine have accustomed him. 
Therefore the London clubs often present the 
sickening spectacle of quantities of "workless" 
old men who refuse to stay at home because they 
"have nothing to do." 

The fate of the modern man-woman is like- 
wise open to conjecture. Will she in old age 
revert to type, and become domesticated, or will 
she, too, become an "old" clubman? All 
women ought to remember that their heritage is 
the priceless gift of freedom; women are able to 
be alone, but men feel, and fear, loneliness, being 
more easily swayed in their judgments when once 
they have lost their vitality. They are never 
recompensed by time, but time is kinder to 
women. To them he gives back something of 
their lost kingdom. 

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COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

A favourite English aphorism is the well- 
known saying that "An Englishman's home is 
his castle." That may be so in theory, but in 
practice it is a glass castle especially constructed 
to enable the world to look inside, and to throw 
stones accurately. If any foreigner wishes to be 
really happy in England, he must, like the 
leopard, change his spots and relinquish his 
personal freedom of thought and action to the 
hands of others. Life in England is one con- 
stant public and private criticism. It is dif- 
ferent in France, where personal details about 
strangers do not interest the public, "les affaires 
privees n'interressent personne" ; each individual 
leads his own life, there are no "paragraphs." 
In France, life alone matters; with personal 
morals the French have no concern, the pre- 
valent idea being that your doings under your 
own roof ought never to be criticized. 

Therefore, there is no large foreign element in 
England, and this condition arises, I am sure, 
through a subconscious dislike of criticism. 
There is a Spanish colony of 80,000 people in 
Bordeaux; and when one thinks that this town 
is not the capital of France, it says much for the 

[99] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

way in which France treats strangers within her 
gates! 

I always feel drawn towards England as a 
possible home; the climate suits me, and I have 
endless happy associations with it. But, let me 
confess it, I shrink from the publicity such a 
course would entail. . If I were to choose any 
one of those gossip centres a country village 
I should probably experience the disastrous hap- 
penings which befell Princess Priscilla in her 
"Fortnight," and suffer accordingly. At my 
villa near Arcachon my desire for privacy is 
respected, and I lead my simple life apart. Far 
be it from me to disparage England and her 
ways ; I admire her morale, her people, and her 
Constitution, and I am fair-minded enough to 
understand that this spirit of criticism is inborn 
in her, and inseparable from her it is only my 
dominant quality of independence that causes 
me to resent it. There is no greater loneliness 
than to be constantly surrounded by people, so, 
more often than not, I choose to be alone I 

England, fortunately for herself, realizes the 
importance of class separation, and although a 
strong democratic element exists, England never- 

[100] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

theless preserves her "class," and the very saying 
"He (or she) is no class," goes to prove that the 
mind of the lower orders relegates people into 
class-sections. I also think tliat special juries of 
class should be recognized in legal matters, since 
the judgment of one class applied to another 
class is usually unfair, as it is unable to see eye 
to eye. If class met on a common ground of 
understanding, it would be far better, and it is 
certain that the lower orders always see any 
other class than their own in a distorted mirror 
and judge it accordingly. 

Since the War many other things have be- 
come distorted. Sculpture, in some instances, 
is merely a caricature of beauty and physique; 
painting is likewise often a name for coats of 
many colours ; and my general impression is that 
much of life is clean outwardly, but inwardly 
impure, and that this growing impurity of the 
senses will inevitably result in the unspeakable 
evils of mental orgies. The English facon de 
vivre is a strange combination of decadence and 
strength, and until its mentality and morals are 
rightly adjusted, it will continue to remain open 
to criticism. 

[101] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

attendants, and ask yourselves whether it is un- 
reasonable to suppose that certain of the servant 
class now refuse to return to what they term 
slavery? False excitement and false sentiment 
have been responsible for revolutions, so why 
should they not equally cause a revolution in 
domestic service? The girl who earned 4 or 
<_$ a week by making shells was looked upon 
(and regarded herself) as a heroine. And as 
this heroism enabled her to walk in silk attire, 
and envelope herself in furs, she naturally pre- 
fers to rest on her laurels (and the dole) rather 
than sweep rooms, or make beds in a house 
where, even if caps are unknown and outings 
plentiful, she still remains a servant. 

A great deal was said at the enquiry as to the 
desirability of baths and rest-rooms for servants, 
but these would-be champions of the down- 
trodden did not appear to take into consideration 
the paramount difficulties of the housing prob- 
lem. It is always possible to allow a servant 
to use a bathroom, and she should be encouraged 
to look on a daily bath as a necessity, but space 
conditions do not usually permit sitting-rooms 
for servants. I am not, of course, dealing with 

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COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

great establishments, where the world below 8 
stairs is often more exigeant and dazzling than 
the milieu of the employer, but rather with flat 
life in London, where rents are excessive, and 
space is exceedingly limited. In flat life the 
comfort of the kitchen does not lie so much with 
the mistress as it does with the cook ; an untidy 
cook creates an untidy environment, and in this 
case a girl has no other refuge save her bedroom. 
The comfortable solidity of English life 
formerly led by servants in large houses has be- 
come a thing of the past. People are now mi- 
grating into small houses and flats as the result 
of reduced incomes, excessive taxation, and the 
increased cost of living and wages. But the 
mentality of the average servant does not allow 
her to rightly estimate these conditions, which 
are far more difficult for her mistress than for 
herself. She therefore nurses her especial 
grievances in the shape of higher fares when she 
goes home, higher prices of shoes, stockings and 
aprons (all liable to wear out quickly), and, 
most of all, her comparative loss of freedom. 
The present-day maid is not a creature of mono- 
syllables, and submission; she has learned in- 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

dependence of thought and action, and she con- 
siders she has a perfect right to state her opinion, 
whether asked or unasked. 

The usual run of mistresses will not admit the 
existence of the odd workings which ferment in 
the minds of servants ; but these should be both 
recognized and dealt with. It is quite impos- 
sible to get at the bed-rock feelings of any girl 
if she is not approached in the right manner, or 
if a mistress does not try to understand her point 
of view. It may not coincide with her own, but 
at any rate she will not be working in the dark. 

It is most difficult, however, to preserve a 
nicely adjusted balance of power; too much 
familiarity breeds contempt, and since "no man 
is a hero to his valet,' 5 still less does a mistress 
remain a heroine to her maid. But to treat any 
human being as a machine is equally fatal ; and I 
think that the real secret of success with servants 
is for a mistress to attract, and not to repel, those 
who work in her house. It also seems a pity 
that the majority of English servants never ap- 
pear to save. In France and Italy the has de 
lame are full of war savings and industrial se- 
curities, but foreign servants do not attach the 

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COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

importance to dress which is so predominant 
with English servants. Personally, I never 
allow any of my servants to consider themselves 
indispensable, having endured much from the 
polite tyranny of devoted retainers in Spain, and 
I believe that change is occasionally desirable on 
both sides. Habit is the easiest thing of which 
to take advantage, and the domineering instinct 
is inherent in most women. Family servants 
inevitably know too much of family life the 
skeleton in the cupboard is their familiar 
friend and as few homes are immune from dis- 
sensions, old servants are occasionally prone to 
use their knowledge wrongly. 

The enquiry, however, lost sight of a supply 
of higher domestic service which would meet 
an undoubted demand, and which would not 
come under the category of the detested name of 
"living in." This new employment (which 
exists already in France) could be confined 
almost exclusively to hotels, as the heavy ex- 
penses connected with travelling and hotel life 
have affected ladies hitherto accustomed to 
travel with a maid, on whom they rely as a 
packer and a dresser, but the cost of whose keep 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

has risen in proportion with her employer's 
hotel bills a serious problem which often now- 
adays curtails a visitor's stay. 

Some of the Parisian hotels have wisely recog- 
nized the loss likely to arise from this state of 
things, and they now provide "packers" for their 
guests. The emballeuses who come to the 
hotels, and pack and unpack for visitors in a 
very efficient manner, make a duplicate list of 
the garments handled by them, one list of which 
is given to the visitor, and they retain one for 
themselves. In this manner, pretty and delicate 
clothes receive careful treatment, and the visitor 
is not confronted with that bane to the traveller 
the satisfactory disposal of one's wardrobe in 
a limited space. This idea is worth following 
up, and I might suggest an hotel staff of emer- 
gency "maids-in-waiting," whose duties would 
consist of "maiding" ladies who do not require 
the monopoly of their services, but who would 
be at hand to fasten up gowns, help in the ad- 
justment of a dinner dress, and "tidy up" chiffons 
and frivolities after a strenuous day. Women 
need never complain of any lack of minor em- 
ployment, and this new suggestion will appeal 

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COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

to many girls who possess a certain refinement, 
and who do not care to be forced into monotony 
of indoor service, and few people can say that 
life ever becomes monotonous at the best hotels. 

In all classes of English society I notice a 
certain lack of modesty, due perhaps to the pre- 
valent style of dress that even Queen Mary's 
salutary influence seems powerless to affect. 
No one can accuse the English Queen of being 
"dowdy" her gowns are in perfect taste; she 
appreciates beautiful materials, beautiful lines, 
and the art of dressing to suit her personality. 
But I wonder when the bare-backed brigade will 
realize that the art of attraction consists in partly 
concealing and not unduly revealing! Few 
men like to know that their future wives' backs 
are familiar by sight to all and sundry, and the 
unpleasant moral aspect of baby bodices and 
short skirts lies in their appeal to the sensuality 
of the disgusting type of old men who constantly 
babble about their preference for youth and 
"little girls." 

The same lack of modesty which followed 
the French Revolution was noticeable under the 
Directoire and the First Empire, and this li- 

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COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

cence invariably results from any great war. 
Excess is usual both before and after the up- 
heaval of a nation, but, thank God, the worst 
moment of European excess is over, and the 
pendulum will doubtless swing once more in the 
proper direction. 

I have left my impressions of the Royal 
Family until the conclusion of this chapter. 
Time deals very kindly with them and their 
home life. Queen Mary remains the best em- 
bodiment of a queen, a mother, and a woman, 
and the King is still the same charming and un- 
affected individual I have known for so many 
years. Always serious-minded, I find that, if 
possible, they have become more stabilized, more 
one with the nation, than ever. To-day the 
Crown lives for, and thinks with, the people. 
The super-smartness of Edwardian days is per- 
haps a thing of the past; there is less Court dis- 
play, but there is infinitely more heart, and a 
feeling of order, and common-sense is apparent 
everywhere. The King and Queen have mas- 
tered the art of allying democratic sympathies 
with their metier of monarchs. With them any 
period of private mourning now becomes sub- 

[no] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

servient to public considerations, and with few 
exceptions no claims of grief or death are 
allowed to interfere with their public duties. 
What an amazing contrast this attitude presents 
to the late Queen Victoria's abject slavery to 
bereavement, a slavery which not only made her 
virtually a prisoner behind drawn blinds, but 
which also affected the Court, and made exist- 
ence there akin to a perpetual sojourn in a ceme- 
tery. 

The secret of Queen Mary's popularity lies in 
her complete understanding and her boundless 
sympathies. She plays her varied roles in a 
manner which disarms criticism, and one in- 
stinctively feels that her interest is always real 
and never simulated. She enters into her life 
and her duties with whole-hearted zest, and I 
am sure she possesses an equal capacity for work 
and for enjoyment 

As a mother she stands unequalled ; well may 
her children arise and call her blessed! Her 
heart has been their home since their birth; to 
them she has always been the mother and friend, 
the "queen" has come last, and no shadow of the 
throne has ever darkened the happy youth of 

[III]: 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

her charming sons and her idolized daughter. 

This wise upbringing has been completely suc- 
cessful. The princes have become self-reliant, 
human, tactful, and resourceful. Their popu- 
larity, like those of their parents, is assured. 

I was the first person to see the Prince of 
Wales after he was born ! I was then living at 
Sheen, and I was asked to "come at once to see 
'the baby' at the White Lodge. 55 It seems im- 
possible to realize the flight of time when I look 
at him to-day! 

Queen Mary has been my personal friend for 
thirty-six years, and during this period she has 
never changed. I have always found her the 
best of friends, mothers, women and wives. I 
cannot pay her a higher tribute, and it is one 
which comes from my heart! 

Revolutions and upheavals cannot affect Eng- 
land; she- will continue her course undisturbed 
by time or temperament. But I never actually 
realized her conservative instincts until I 
chanced to be staying at Cornwall, and stopped 
at a wayside cottage to ask for a cup of tea. 
Just as I was about to take my leave, my hostess 
went to a cupboard, and with immense solem- 

[112] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

nity produced a china cup, in the bottom of 
which was deposited a little brown sediment 

"Do you see this cup, ma'am?" she asked in 
an awed whisper. 

"Yes," said I, "you seem to prize it greatly. 
What is its history?" 

"Well, ma'am" (in impressive tones), "Queen 
Victoria herself drank tea from this very cup 
when she passed this way in grandmother's time. 
So, naturally, we think a powerful deal of it; 
'twas never rinsed out, and it never will be. JJ 

No the land where the dregs of a queen's 
teacup are treasured as an heirloom will never 
become a Republic. 



[us] 



CHAPTER VI 
AMERICA 

MY first duty towards America is to protest 
against the prevalent idea that she came into the 
War solely for commercial purposes. I under- 
stand the American mind, the mind that makes 
America a nation of idealists, and I am con- 
vinced that it was in order to undertake an 
"ideal" mission that she sent her men to fight for 
the liberty of nations. 

America remembers what so 'many people and 
so many nations too often forget the name of 
Gratitude; she has never forgotten the assistance 
given her by France in the days of Lafayette, and 
right nobly has she repaid it If France had not 
been invaded, America might perhaps have hesi- 
tated to interfere, but the words "oppression" 
and "invasion" make a direct appeal to Ameri- 
can idealism, and anything that appeals to the 
sentiment of the nation meets with a prompt 
response. To be helpless means that help is 

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COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

instantly forthcoming, and the figures of Justice 
and Liberty signify the real spirit of America. 

I have always been proud of the fact that 
although Christopher Columbus discovered 
America, I have been the first and only Infanta 
of Spain to rediscover it, and to appreciate its 
beauties and its worth. There is a link between 
us which will never be broken: my independ- 
ence of soul responds to that of America, my 
progressive ideas walk hand in hand with those 
of America, and I render her my heart's homage 
as the head of civilization and the leader of the 
world. 

Immense wealth, and the super-refined taste 
of connoisseurs, have made America the 
treasure-house of the past The old world has 
yielded to her the most priceless jewels, pictures, 
manuscripts, books and furniture and Amer- 
ica accepts these as insignia of Royalty and bears 
her honours right regally. Europe has been 
depleted of her possessions by reason of prog- 
ress, order, and the magnificent power of unity, 
but America, idealist, and yet paradoxically, 
lover of sensational advertisement, never loses 
her sense of justice. Her Press may display its 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

wares blatantly and boldly, but it never attacks 
anyone in an underhand manner. This I can 
bear witness to in my own person, as when I was 
faced with many private troubles, and thereby 
realized the influence and publicity of the Press, 
I was able to compare American methods with 
those of other countries to the entire advantage 
of America. So I am eternally grateful to the 
American Press, which in a time of stress re- 
spected my position and protected me as a 
woman once more proving the existence of the 
national spirit in its defence of the helpless. 

This idea of protection applies to all things 
American, notably in the case of women. Men 
work for women in America, and the man's first 
aim in life is to beautify his woman, thus en- 
abling her to carry the flag of beauty and wom- 
anhood into other countries. Europeans will 
never understand why so many pretty young 
women are allowed to wander about alone, 
spending money and frankly amusing them- 
selves, and they argue that such domestic free- 
dom implies a lack of personal interest. But 
"this freedom" springs from a condition of per- 
fect trust and when incompatibility of trust 

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COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

arises, parting at once ensues. No time is 
wasted in domestic speculation if it is a bad 
investment, the American husband cuts his losses 
at once. 

"Why do you allow your wife to flirt so 
openly? Aren't you ever worried? 7 ' I once 
asked an intimate acquaintance of the U.S.A. 

"Why, your Royal Highness," drawled the 

big unemotional man, "I guess Mrs. B 

knows when to stop, and when she don't, Til 
stop her" 

American women are probably the best- 
dressed women in the world ; and as they never 
indulge in a rainbow of fashion, their concep- 
tion of the art of dress is refined, dignified and 
unostentatious. Feminine taste in Southern and 
Central America is more exotic, as here is to be 
found the emotionalism and colour of the Latin 
race, which blends so well with life in France 
and Spain, and makes intermarriages with these 
countries so successful, just as the super- 
refinement and slight coldness of American girls 
ensure matrimonial success when they wed mem- 
bers of the Old Country. 

The independence of the American woman 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

arises primarily from the respect paid by men 
to her sex, and without respect the real value of 
woman's independence as a factor for good be- 
comes impossible. Hence it is the accepted 
thing for American women to manage their own 
fortunes and to take a prominent part in social 
and political life. They are essentially thor- 
ough, and I shall not easily forget the astonish- 
ment in France when American war workers 
arrived wearing military uniforms ! There was 
no half-heartedness about these Amazons the 
hothouse orchids had suddenly transformed 
themselves into hardy oak saplings ! 

I am sure that the success of America as a na- 
tion is primarily due to her proper estimate of 
the value of money. Money is made so rapidly 
in the States that it does not attain the value 
placed on it by European countries. Americans 
spend money both lavishly and wisely in the 
majority of cases, although I remember various 
freak dinners and sensational balls indulged in 
by a certain class of millionaire. These people, 
however, do not represent the real America, 
therefore they need not be considered in her so- 
cial history, and the superior class acquire the 

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COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

rare and the beautiful solely from the joy of pos- 
session, and not as an investment or an advertise- 
ment 

It is as impossible to compare America with 
England as it is to bring these two countries to- 
gether, since the Atlantic Ocean represents the 
same difference that the Channel constitutes be- 
tween France and England. Their mentalities 
are different, and their tastes are opposed, 
thereby proving that uniformity in taste is not 
consequent upon two countries speaking the same 
language. They differ on points of plays, 
books, and, last but not least, they differ on mor- 
als. America is just now, par excellence, a land 
of promise and fulfilment, so far as morals are 
concerned. She is setting her house in order 
with a vengeance; and just as she knows no mid- 
dle course in her total abstinence from intoxi- 
cants, she has decided to ignore any middle 
course for morality in literature and "screen 
work." Her own private morals may even be 
subjected in course of time to this ordeal by fire, 
but at present they remain in a condition where 
sensuality is held in bondage by reason of hard 
work and iron mentality. 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

If divorce is too usual in America, it may be 
urged in its defence that it often provides broken 
home-life with another fair chance. I am the 
last person to advocate quick changes in mar- 
riage, but I believe in fair play, and the whole 
trend of American ideas is based entirely on the 
lines of "if at first you don't succeed, try, try 
again." 

If America as the modern Achilles possesses a 
vulnerable spot, it exists in her dislike of the 
name of America being given to anything but 
the United States, and whenever this is done, her 
temper and her dignity suffer accordingly. She 
bids the world remember that Chile, Argentina, 
Bolivia or Mexico have their own Ministers, but 
that the United States has only one Ambassador. 
She likewise resents the name of Republican be- 
ing mis-applied to Communists, as in America 
the name of Republican embraces the oldest 
class of Conservatism just as the names of 
Democrats, and Liberals, represent the people. 

The majority of Europeans are too prone to 
imagine that money levels all classes in America. 
This has never been, and will never be, the case, 
and such a wrongful impression would often 

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COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

cause pain and annoyance If Americans were not 
superior to such petty considerations. There is 
a vast difference between the status of families, 
but although there are no titles, a tremendous 
aristocracy of birth exists, of which the May- 
flower stands as the representative symbol. 
People should never speak of Americans as "vul- 
gar Americans," when many of the old colonial 
families can trace their ancestry back to the best 
English stock; some of the bluest blood of 
France flows in many Southern veins, and the 
best traditions of Holland are embodied in the 
important Dutch families of the United States. 

In writing my impression of post-War Amer- 
ica, I want my dear friends across the ocean to 
feel that my memories of my first visit to them 
remain as vivid as ever. My souvenirs are in- 
effaceable, the flowers in my garden of friend- 
ship are immortelles! And perhaps it will not 
be out of place if I recapitulate the story of my 
discovery of America. 

My visit to the United States took place at the 
time of the first Chicago Exhibition, when 
Queen Christina was Regent of Spain. I had 
always (like the King) longed to visit America ; 

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COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

to my spirit, even then, struggling for emancipa- 
tion, it typified freedom, especially as ever since 
my childhood I had been assured by all and sun- 
dry that I was "only fit for America!" 

We sailed from Santander, and, after staying 
at Coruna for a few hours in order to hold the 
inevitable reception, we went on to the Canary 
Isles. 

My first impression of Las Palmas was that it 
was entirely English the presence of England 
there, as in all foreign countries, made itself 
felt; it was a little difficult to realize that Las 
Palmas belonged to Spain, and also a little sad 
to reflect that the Canary and the Balearic Isles 
were the only island possessions of Spain! But 
I always think of the Canary Isles as an English 
rolony, recalling the "hurrahs" which greeted 
me instead of the "vivas"; and I wonder whether 
the English rightly appreciate how much they 
are beloved in these fortunate isles, as no other 
foreigners would be tolerated as they have al- 
ways been, especially after their charming but 
drastic readjustment of Spanish life. 

I am not losing sight of the fact that English 
interests in our islands are responsible for the 

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COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

employment and well-being of hundreds, nota- 
bly in the case of the amazing enterprise of Yeo- 
wards of Liverpool, who own immense fruit and 
vegetable farms and banana plantations at Las 
Palmas and at Tenerife. This firm has done 
much during late years to increase the popular- 
ity, and to facilitate travel to the islands for 
health and pleasure at prices well within the 
reach of most people. Nothing is more restful 
or enjoyable than a "round" voyage, without the 
discomfort of breaking the journey, and the Yeo- 
ward Line gives invalid travellers in search of 
pleasure three weeks' absolute enjoyment and 
rest, with the minimum of fatigue. 

Through a friend who went out to the islands 
in 1919 on one of Messrs. Yeoward's boats I was 
enable to hear a little about post- War Portugal, 
and I must confess that what I heard filled me 
with apprehension. I therefore feel at liberty 
to treat Portugal in this chapter as a sort of half- 
way house to America, but it may be more fit- 
tingly described as the present augean stables of 
Europe. 

Portugal presents wonderful possibilities for 
the right speculator she would represent mil- 

OsJ 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

lions to any financier who took her in hand, and 
who realized her enormous possibilities as 
what is best described as a "going concern." At 
present she is rapidly rushing to ruin ; her sen- 
suality and corruption are indescribable, and her 
gravest indictment lies in the fact that she is pri- 
marily responsible for the deplorable race mix- 
ture which has spread over Europe. 

The Black Peril originally began in Portugal, 
and it still continues to contaminate her, as the 
negroid element introduced into Portuguese 
blood is invariably attended with disastrous re- 
sults, since the black strain dominates the feebler 
stock, and reproduces and intensifies the vices of 
the negro, allied to the more refined decadence 
of the Portuguese. Lisbon of to-day rivals old- 
time Hayti in its nameless sins and its savagery. 
Many Portuguese and English girls now give 
themselves soul and body to black men, and par- 
ents who contemplate sending their girls to 
Portugal as companions or governesses are tak- 
ing a tremendous responsibility upon themselves. 
Immorality of all kinds is rife, and men who 
call themselves gentlemen do not consider it be- 
neath contempt (as they might once have done) 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

to live and prey on women, Lisbon, as I re- 
member it years ago, was a smiling city with 
clean streets and gay shops. To-day it is desti- 
tute of charm, life and beauty. The hotels ask 
exorbitant prices, and when on$ complains of 
the accommodation and the inferior food, one is 
told with a shrug: "Ah! we have a Republic; 
we are taxed beyond our strength we cannot 
help ourselves." 

The roads have gone from bad to worse, es- 
pecially that leading to Cintra, which, in parts, 
is little better than a ploughed field. Here 
again one is told that the Government will do 
nothing, and that money destined for public en- 
terprise finds its way into private pockets. 

I believe that Portugal is monarchist at heart 
the royal exiles are invariably referred to in 
terms of affection and respect. But the loyal 
Lisbonites are the first to acknowledge that the 
climate of Portugal is not conducive to the 
health of the House of Braganz, and that 
the "poor little King" is happier away from his 
native land. 

Nevertheless if man is vile, Nature has en- 
dowed Portugal with a beautiful climate and 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

wonderful scenery. The Bay of Lagos rivals 
that of VigOj and the wonder and loveliness of 
Algarves deserves to be better known. Why 
does not the unseen force of Europe act in co- 
operation with England and take Portugal in 
hand? A protectorate of these two Powers 
would be ideal, and Portugal, cleansed from her 
iniquities, and with her house in order, could 
resume her ancient and ; honourable place in 
Europe. But her glory is departed ! Her nav- 
igators, writers, poets, soldiers and kings have 
vanished with the snows of yester-year, and their 
places are filled with a dreadful mixture of half- 
breeds! Her aristocracy exists, and fortunately 
remains more or less uncontaminated, and pure 
blood still flows in the veins of the fisher girls of 
Lisbon a clan unto themselves. 

The only redeeming feature in this sinister 
home of the Black Peril is shown by the care 
which the Government has hitherto taken of the 
ancient and historical monuments. The royal 
palaces are untouched, the churches remain 
churches there was no desecration of souvenirs 
until the present Government decided to abolish 
the famous Rolling Stone Square and to allow 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

the tram-cars to circulate over part of it. To 
this end the square was re-paved, and the curi- 
ous black and white inlay from which it derived 
its name was destroyed. In vain a deputation of 
architects from various countries besought the 
Government to spare the unique feature which 
commemorated the great earthquake of 1755, 
and which constituted a Mecca for tourists by 
land and sea who chanced to find themselves in 
Lisbon. This act of vandalism is utterly in- 
excusable, and it represents one of the senseless 
and wanton misuses of power which remind us 
of the truth of the words, that many crimes are 
committed in the name of Liberty. But this 
safeguarding does not spring from a desire to 
protect history, but is solely a commercial 
proposition to attract foreigners. At any rate, 
let us be thankful that it exists, and that one is 
thereby still able to see some of the jewels which 
once sparkled in the crown of fame so proudly 
won by Portugal in the days of Henry the Navi- 
gator. 

But I have absolutely gone off the map in 
my denunciation of Portugal. I ought now to 
be six days away from Santa Cruz, watching the 

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COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

flying fish, and admiring the lovely Sargasso 
which floats on the bosom of the sea and reflects 
its delicate colours on the water. The stars 
here are unlike any other stars. They blaze 
like great lamps in the temple of night; and the 
moon is as gorgeous as the sun. I shall never 
forget my impressions of the Cruz del Sud, 
that marvellous constellation, or the dense black- 
blue of the sapphire night sky. Fire was in the 
air and mine was a journey on an enchanted 
sea towards the enchanted Island of San Juan 
de Puerto Rico! 

This delightful island was discovered by 
Christopher Columbus in 1493, and when I first 
saw it in all its tropical loveliness I completely 
forgot my dignity as an infanta in my excitement 
and enthusiasm. Imagine a road by the sea, 
bordered on one side by a forest of banana trees, 
and here and there charming villas set in a blaze 
of many hued flowers. The air was heavy with 
the scent of magnolias and gardenias; the eye 
rested on the luxuriance of sugar-canes, palms, 
immense laurels, and the lovely "framboyanos" 
which, tall as poplars, shelter the coffee plants 
from the all-devouring sun. And these tender 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

and vivid greens, these scarlet pinks, creams and 
orange were spread under a sky of purest 
azure the whole effect was indescribable! It 
thrilled me then, and the recollection of it thrills 
me now. 

The military band was playing, people were 
dancing, and the feathery palm-trees seemed (to 
my excited imagination) bending the heads in 
greeting. 

I knew that at last I was in the new world : 
I felt my "race" calling me: I heard the voice 
of long-dead Isabel, telling me that, as her only 
descendant in the direct line, I must represent 
her, and that after four centuries I must bring 
the "salute" from the old Spain to her far-away 
daughter. Yes, I felt the blood of the great 
queen coursing through my veins I was indeed 
one with her. 

In this exalted state of mind I wrote several 
letters to my mother, Queen Isabella, two of 
which I venture to think may prove of interest 
to the reader, as typical of my feelings at this 
period. 

Mine was indeed a triumphal progress. I 
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COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

remember the intense heat, a review at 4 a. m. 
(when nearly all the staff fainted), the linen- 
clad soldiers, and myself in a thick Busvine 
habit on a horse which was warranted never to 
have carried a lady! Flowers everywhere, and 
unbidden tears rose in my eyes when I suddenly 
remembered other flowers which had been 
strewn at my beloved brother's feet on his first 
entry into Spain as her king. 

Although the excitement aroused by my visit 
did not diminish, I felt a presentiment of mis- 
fortune in my soiiL The presentiment increased 
hourly, and at last I wrote to my mother that I 
was sure that much of the devotion and chivalry 
by which I was surrounded emanated primarily 
from a desire to render personal homage to the 
representative of the widowed Queen Regent, 
and, secondly, out of a feeling of admiration 
for a woman as young as myself. "The 
'Colonies are lost to Spain" I concluded. "That 
is my paramount impression; on every side I 
sense the heart's bitterness of our compatriots." 

Prophetic words! But to this day I believe 
that if a royal representative of Spain had re- 
mained in our colonies, they would not have 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

been lost so irretrievably I They are now lost to 
us for ever, but their memory remains eternally 
within my soul, and when I bade farewell to 
Havana I left something of myself on those 
green and fragrant shores once more Spain 
flared comet- wise across the new world; once 
more Spanish voices saluted a Spanish princess. 
It was, indeed, worth while to have lived I 
And just as Mary Stuart once bade an eternal 
farewell to France, so I bade farewell to 
Havana. "Adieu, te quitter c'est mourir." 

" Adieu oh, Havana, the well-beloved . . . 
this is perhaps an eternal farewell. ... I feel 
my heart is breaking at thought of leaving 
you. ... I must try and sleep in order to gain 
a moment's forgetfulness." 

* * * * 

From romance to reality is but a step ! And I 
was soon destined* to exchange the perfumed and 
slumbrous beauty of Havana for the sheer 
materialism of New York. Perhaps it was the 
best physical and mental tonic for me, as I had 
been too greatly carried away by my emotions, 
too prone to sojourn in the past 

In a more or less strenuous life, kaleidoscopic 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

impressions of places and people are apt to get 
blurred, but I remember, as if it were yesterday, 
the excitement which pervaded everyone when 
we found ourselves actually near New York on 
the President's yacht Dolphin. Then followed 
a hurried journey to the waiting "special" at 
Jersey City, and then on by the Pennsylvania 
railroad to Washington. 

"What a contrast," I thought, "to our Spanish 
railways. Why, the American trains cover the 
same distance in five hours that it takes one 
twenty-four hours to accomplish in Spain." 
(The journey to Madrid has now fortunately 
been curtailed!) 

Washington and our hotel, "The Arlington," 
remain in my memory chiefly as a mass of 
flowers. There were roses all the way, and I 
literally walked on them! 

A hundred in sequence of small happenings, 
and then I recall the charm and distinction of 
President Cleveland, the beauty of his wife, and 
the courtesy of Mr. Gresham, the President's 
Secretary of State. 

We reached Chicago on June 6th, where I 
enjoyed the hospitality of Mrs. Potter Palmer, 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

and a friendship sprang up between us which 
lasted until her death. She had a charming 
flat in Paris, where she received a crowd of 
interesting people, and she and I often discussed 
the delightful days in Chicago when we first 
met. 

Lake Michigan almost bewildered me at first 
by its immensity, and the weather helped to 
make the surroundings more beautiful; but, 
let me confess it, Chicago and its sky-scrapers 
spoiled the view! Everyone in Chicago was 
all excitement concerning me, and I was equally 
on the qui vive! I was young not yet thirty 
very gay, very much alive, and interested in 
everything and everybody around me. I even 
adventured into the streets with my lady-in- 
waiting, and nobody recognized me; I listened 
to the newsboys shouting, "Latest about the 
Spanish Infanta," and I nearly laughed when 
someone asked me if I had come out in the hopes 
of seeing her! 

We spent a week in Chicago, and then I trav- 
elled to Niagara Falls in Mr. Pullman's pri- 
vate car. I remember being especially struck 
with the ferry-boat on Lake Erie, and also by 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

Lake St. Clair. There one is on Canadian soil, 
the English flag flies over the pretty country, 
but on arriving at the suspension bridge you are 
again in the U. S* A.I 

I returned to New York after one long suc- 
cession of fetes, presentations, entertainments, 
and State functions. As the representative of 
Spain, I achieved great popularity; but, as in 
our Colonies, my popularity was more or less 
personal, I think the American nation loved me 
because I loved America. I still love her, and 
I am proud of her affection. 

We stayed at the Savoy Hotel, New York 
another flower garden! And on Decoration 
Day I laid a wreath on General Grant's tomb. 
I had known this brave and good man per- 
sonally, when he came to Spain to visit my 
brother, King Alphonso XII., and it afforded 
me a certain melancholy pleasure to make my- 
self acquainted with his last resting-place. This 
simple private tribute to the memory of a great 
man called forth a frantic ovation, and re- 
doubled my popularity. 

My visit to the United States has been pro- 
ductive of two very interesting features in 

[1-34] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

American social life. I refer to the foundation 
D the bodies known as "The Colonial Dames" 
and "The Daughters of Isabella." The first 
formation is more or less social, but the latter 
society was instituted on the lines of "The 
Knights of Columbus," with the idea of doing 
for Catholic women what the knights were doing 
for Catholic men. The order progressed, and 
made wonderful strides during the War, but 
when peace was declared the name was changed 
to "The Catholic Daughters of America." I 
have always been interested in it, and I take 
this occasion to wish it well in all its under- 
takings. 

We sailed from New York on the French 
liner La Touraine my official rediscovery of 
America was over! Shall I ever revisit the 
United States? I confess I am anxious to do so. 
I should like to see post-War America, to see 
for myself how "dryness" affects the Land of 
Freedom, and to find out how the average 
American really feels about laws which censor 
his "domesticities." 



[135] 



CHAPTER VII 

GERMANY 

I AM rather at a loss to know what title best 
befits the Germany of to-day. I have heard her 
described as a Patient Griselda among the na- 
tions; she has had her sex changed and is 
alluded to as Samson in the midst of the Philis- 
tines, she is depicted as everything that is con- 
temptible, mendacious and secretive a stubborn 
slave who must be subjected to torture before 
she will work, and her greatest offence consists 
in daring to plead poverty over the vexed 
questions of reparations. 

My task must be to write of Germany, solely 
as an onlooker, and from a point of view permis- 
sible to any person who possesses a faculty for 
seeing the rights and wrongs of both sides of a 
question. 

The late President Ebert represented the head 
of the vast Republic which took the place of 
Imperial Germany. He rose into prominence 

[136] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

from the more or less humble position of 
Stahlmeister to Prince Max of Baden, a posi- 
tion best described in English as that of a trusted 
official in the Imperial Stables. Ebert was 
always transcendently honest, and so honest was 
he that, after the Kaiser's abdication, Prince 
Max sent for him, and then and there handed 
him over full control of the vacant "Empire." 
. . . The President possessed a curious person- 
ality. . . . "When I was a Stahlmeister," he 
once said to a friend, "I occasionally drank too 
much beer in consequence I went to sleep, and 
my wife always teased me about it. Now, I'm 
President, I drink champagne but it doesn't 
have the same effect; instead, I become quite 
wide-awake and amusing." 

Ebert lived a retired life, and always main- 
tained his respectful attitude towards his former 
"employers" ; but although he refused to reside 
in their palaces, he insisted these should be kept 
up in their former condition, as he appreciated 
the fact that nothing can destroy the orderliness 
of the German mentality so essential to the 
country. As a matter of fact, the palaces in 
Germany which once belonged to the vanished 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

Houses, are treated with consideration, and one 
of my cousins, who lately visited her old home, 
found it full of flowers which had been placed 
there as a token of silent homage to her former 
important position, but at the same time she 
was clearly made to understand that Germany 
had no further use for her or for her family! 
The pension allowed to President Ebert's 
widow, Frau Luise Ebert, throws light upon the 
salaries on which Civil Servants live under a 
Government which is compelled to keep down 
State expenses to the lowest figure. Frau Ebert 
will live in future upon an income of 622 reichs- 
mark and 16 pfennig a month, which represents 
her legal pension as the widow of the highest- 
paid official in Germany. The Constitution of 
Weimar laid down that should a president die 
in office, the pension of his widow should be 
regulated according to a statute of 1907, which 
fixed salaries and pensions of all civil servants. 
This sum, it was provided, "must not be less 
than a third of the lowest income of the men in 
Class Ai, nor more than half of that of those 
in Class 62." As the salary of the man in 
Class 62 includes a bonus for high rent in large 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

towns, it is now the approximate value of 14,000 
marks, or 700 sterling, per annum. Frau 
Ebert will receive half this sum, which works 
out at 3 1 a month, rising automatically when 
the salaries of the men in Class 62 rise, but 
this sum halved .will not make any appreciable 
difference. 

The interesting aspect of this grant consists 
in the problem of how to live in Germany on 
8 a week, for unless Frau Ebert is granted 
free rooms, at least 5 a month of her pension 
must go in rent A competent maid is not to 
be had under 2 a month, and although rent 
and wages are cheaper in Germany than in 
other countries, a percentage is tacked on to 
compulsory insurance to provide the "dole"; 
weekly stamps are obligatory against old age, 
and these items, in conjunction with 10 per cent, 
taxation, count on a small income. Thus cer- 
tain radical members, who often accuse Presi- 
dent Ebert of loving smug bourgeois comfort, 
will certainly have no cause to complain that 
his widow indulges in riotous living at the 
country's expense. 

Germany is invariably deferential defer- 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

ence to rank is inseparable from her and, in 
connection with this "Republican" country, I 
remember an amusing incident that occurred at 
Tegernsee after the War, when I arrived at my 
hotel late one afternoon, and omitted to report 
myself to the police. 

The next morning I was awakened at 6 a. m. 
by a loud and insistent knocking. 

"Who is there?" I demanded. 

"The police/ 5 

"What do you want?" 

"We must see you at once." 

"It's impossible at this hour." 

"This is the right hour for us" was the reply. 

There was nothing for it but to dress and re- 
ceive my visitors! In a short time I was ready, 
and an official, note-book in hand, entered my 
room. 

"You arrived here yesterday afternoon?" he 
queried. "I want details of your journey " 

"I am here to visit my family," I answered. 

He looked at me. I produced my passport. 

"I am the Infanta Eulalia of Spain, visiting 
my sister, Princess Louis Ferdinand of Bavaria." 

On hearing this, the old spirit of respect 
[140] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

shown to Royalty reasserted its supremacy in 
the mind of this new "Republican." 

"Oh, your Royal Highness, forgive me 
forgive me for intruding on your privacy," he 
stammered. 

"Why did you come?" I said. % 

"Well, your Royal Highness, if s like this (but 
it ought never to have affected you). The 
Austrian Spartacks are causing a lot of trouble ; 
they're mostly women who come into Germany 
through the Tyrol, and they give us the slip 
before we can interview them. That's the 
reason for our early visits!" 

He withdrew, still murmuring apologies, 
thereby proving that the German Revolution, 
unlike those of other countries, has not destroyed 
class respect, and it also proves that Radical 
Socialism in Germany merely represents what 
is known as Conservatism in other countries. 
The German nation gives willingly, and, in 
a philosophic spirit which remembers that after 
all, the Kaiser admittedly did good work for 
Germany in the past! 

And how ungrudgingly the nation works : the 
eight-hour day is, in reality, one of ten hours, 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

out of which two hours are given free to the 
Government! War and its results have been 
powerless to affect the heart of the nation, and 
the cleverness of England has enabled her to 
recognize the existence of this impregnable 
fortress. She therefore made no attempt to 
conquer the Mind, but marshalled her forces 
against Matter; she touched the German 
stomach! Only hunger made Germany lose her 
head; and the Allies have been a little mistaken 
in their estimate of Germany, as her people are 
imbued with a philosophy which gives them 
the power to rise superior to misfortune. It is 
impossible to treat Germany like a naughty 
child. She is different to all others. . . . 
Europe will be obliged to parley with her; 
Europe will never be able to do without her! 
And as Germany is sensible enough to realize 
that " 1'union fait la force," she knows that her 
great strength lies in her solidity of interests. 

Thus she refuses to acknowledge any attempt 
to separate her, and, par parenthese, it is like- 
wise impossible to disunite 70 millions of people. 
Germany is certainly undergoing a very drastic 
cure, but she will arise from it stronger than 

[142] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

ever. The increase of the population is greatly 
encouraged by the Government, and six children 
are now considered quite a small family! In 
France, three children are looked upon as the 
height of luxury! But Germany begets chil- 
dren in order to teach them how to work, and 
how to estimate the value of work: the French 
beget children, and then begrudge their per- 
sonal cost even the housing question in France 
adopts this outlook and in many instances the 
new race there runs grave risks of suffocation! 

This state of things is unknown in Germany, 
where the Government expects the owners of 
large flats to share them with other families. 
The authorities also make it their first duty to 
inspect all houses, and they insist upon their 
right to commandeer unused space in order to 
meet an abnormal demand. In these cases the 
owners are compensated by the Government, 
and it ds quite understood that this compulsion 
is only for the time being! 

The Law of Compensation is one which every 
German has studied and will always continue 
to study. Her chemists, inventors, doctors, and 
her whole mental resources are subservient to 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

it The Allies do not choose to recognize this 
fact, but it will be forced on them when another 
European war becomes an actuality. 

The newest Piqures come from Germany; 
she has already mastered the art of sterilizing the 
human lungs, and she now begins to sterilize the 
whole body: everything created, must be re- 
created and used again by her. Germany never 
ceases thinking; and as she is ingenious and 
practical, she harnesses the forces of Nature and 
invention, and commands them to do her bid- 
ding. 

Before the War, consumption was practically 
unknown, and most ordinary illnesses were ob- 
solete: even mad-houses were placed in close 
proximity to the public pleasure-grounds, in 
order that patients in need of distraction might 
feel themselves in touch with the rest of hu- 
manity! The worker invariably comes first in 
Germany, and is invariably considered first, 
notably in the case of the removal of the Kaiser, 
which only affected the higher classes the poor 
felt nothing and suffered less I 

The great upheaval taught German chemists 
and doctors more than the Allies ever dreamed 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

of. German scientists are determined that in 
the next struggle every necessity of life shall 
have its artificial substitute, the nation shall no 
longer be starved into subjection, and they are 
already studying how to render the next blockade 
useless. When the danger arises, Germany will 
be ready to meet it 

During the War, special chemists were re- 
tained to compensate by invention the sudden 
deficiencies in food and materials. They did 
wonders then, but their work to-day is still more 
wonderful. 

The imitation cotton wool and surgical dress- 
ings now surpass the real thing; soap made from 
earth is identical with the best makes; and cac- 
tus threads triumph in their masquerade as silk 
linen briefly, the name of "Ersatz" will inevit- 
ably become synonymous with victory. 

Food, which in 1915 came under the heading 
of "Ersatz," was carefully tested by specified 
chemists in every town, and the inhabitants were 
ordered to report to the authorities whenever 
their especial "Ersatz" disagreed with them. 
The "case" was given the most careful consider- 
ation, and the offending "Ersatz" was eliminated 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

from the patient's dietary, and replaced by 
another ! 

With that sentimental conscientiousness insep- 
arable from Germany, the feelings of the ani- 
mals were even studied, and "Ersatz" was 
applied to fodder; corn, barley, and hay being 
so carefully imitated that it was almost impos- 
sible to differentiate between the real and the 
artificial grain. 

Perhaps the most wonderful medical triumph 
of "Ersatz," is its maiden substitute for the un- 
wedded, or the wedded, foster-mother, with 
which I came into direct contact when I was 
staying near Coburg, where the clinique and the 
foster-mother farm exists. 

This farm clinique purports to be able to 
supply wet-nurses who have never been mothers, 
but whose maternal capacity of suckling has 
been arrived at by diverting another natural 
function from its accepted duties. However, 
I am not sufficiently clever to describe the med- 
ical details 1 , which are entirely beyond me, and 
which might perhaps be considered out of place 
in these pages. 

I do not propose to touch on politics or to 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

discuss the serious question of the advisability 
or the non-advisability of the Ruhr Occupation. 
One thing was always certain, only Germans 
could work the Ruhr, as they can never be re- 
placed in certain of their own industries, of 
which mining is one. 

The revanche of Alsace-Lorraine is nothing 
compared to the revanche which at some future 
date will be exacted for the gift of Silesia to 
Poland, and the indignity imposed upon Ger- 
many when the French sent coloured regiments 
to occupy part of the Fatherland. Few people 
realize the bitterness which exists; and the Ruhr 
fades into insignificance in comparison with the 
scandals created by the votes in the Silesian 
question. Personally, I fear that the seeds of 
another war were sown again at that disastrous 
period. 

Germany is, par excellence, the opportunist of 
commerce her toy industry, and the secrets of 
many of her dyes, have never been captured 
and realizing that after the War there would be 
an instant demand for cheaper toys, she met that 
special demand, as she is ready and willing to 
meet any others. 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

During the last year many important changes 
have taken place in Germany. The stabiliza- 
tion of the mark has given the country a new 
impetus, and her disarmament has stimulated 
her commercial and industrial strength, as all 
the young men who were, or might be, "called 
up" as the soldiers, are now employed in the 
various industries, or act as extremely efficient 
commercial travellers. 

This stimulation of commerce will, I think, 
prevent any monarchial coup d'etat, as Germany 
is ascending the commercial ladder too quickly 
to wish to disturb her new-born prosperity. 

A "partie monarchique" is inseparable from 
any fallen throne, but it often dies for lack of 
nourishment, killed by new generations born 
under a republican regime. 

Germany was undoubtedly prosperous under 
the Empire, and her prosperity received a stun- 
ning blow immediately after the War, sufficient 
to destroy a lesser nation. But Germany will 
never be destroyed; to-day she lifts her head 
stronger than before, her children are fighting 
for dear life, and they all work in unison for the 
good of their Fatherland* never was the truth 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

of the words "L'Union fait la force" more ex- 
emplified than in present-day Germany. 

The maimed limb of "interior debt" exists no 
longer. Germany has gone in for self-amputa- 
tion, seeing the urgent necessity of saving her 
finances. "The end justifies the means," and it 
is not for me to criticize her methods, but to 
judge the results. 

I have always regarded Germany as a tacit 
Republic with an ornamental Emperor at its 
head. Everything in Germany has been "Volk 
und Verein" since time immemorial, as the 
"Volklieder," the "Volks Theater," and Volks 
innumerable testify; the Emperor himself was 
simply retained as an Emperor, because he was 
clever enough to identify himself with the 
people. Socialism and reform in Germany 
walk hand in hand, and the nation was already 
a secret Republic long before the European 
debacle. Everything was arranged, no re- 
adjustment was necessary; and, in consequence 
of this solidity of thought and interests, the Allies 
will never be able to split up United Germany 
or disassociate her from the concrete spirit of 
the Fatherland. "Work and method" should be 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

the slogan for every country which aspires to 
prosperity and greatness. Germany knows the 
value of both: Europe may waste her energies 
in dealing Germany a succession of industrial 
blows, but after every blow Germany will only 
become a more formidable opponent with whom 
to reckon one day. Germany can never be 
driven, and only friendship will lead her to any 
desired end. Millions of Germans perished in 
the World War, but millions will still rise up 
who are as keen to fight a bloodless battle for 
supremacy in commerce and industry, as their 
predecessors were ready to battle for (what they 
at least had been taught to believe) was a right- 
eous cause. 

I do not wish to attempt to portray this 
"United Germany" entirely en couleur de rose, 
as her domesticity has been shaken to its founda- 
tions as a result of the War. The type of the 
former well-disciplined German servant has 
almost entirely disappeared, the craze for out- 
door amusement has bitten him, or her, and their 
demands for hours of relaxation are excessive 
and disproportionate. 

Before the stabilization of the mark, I re- 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

ceived letters from Germany telling me that the 
smallest room in an hotel cost 5,000 marks a 
day, and "living" expenses represented 3,200 
marks daily! Butter was 600 marks per pound, 
and white bread was sold at 20 marks the loaf. 
Carriage hire for a short drive cost 1,000 marks, 
lined gloves were priced at 27,000 marks, a 
simple gown was not obtainable under 25,000 
marks ; and this financial condition was certainly 
much worse and more lasting and demoralizing 
in its effects than the Great War with all its 
useless sacrifice of life. x 

To-day the German Republic remains as ab- 
solutely thorough as the Empire was in August, 
1914, when a descent on Paris had already been 
mapped out Each officer entering the Army, 
before the War, was given a sealed packet, which 
he swore not to open until ordered to do so. 
These packets contained details of the bearer's 
life during the War, even comprising notifica- 
tions of ambulance stations in different localities ! 
Nothing was forgotten by the marvellous men- 
tality which devised the plan of campaign! 

The German system of espionage has been 

1 These prices are naturally non-existent to-day. 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

dealt with so many times, and by so many abler 
writers than myself, that I shall not attempt to 
discuss it. German agents .were everywhere in 
Europe, and with complete understanding of 
human nature, the " Powers" often placed well- 
born "spies 1 ' in quite menial positions, well 
knowing that this class cannot be bought as 
easily as the lower orders. 

A friend of mine in Paris was the fortunate 
employer of a priceless manservant a factotum 
who managed her affairs and her household in 
a wonderfully effective way. This man was, to 
all appearances, the unassuming, well-bred ser- 
vant accustomed to good service, but one evening 
my friend returned unexpectedly, and entered 
her flat unannounced. Imagine her surprise 
when she heard Wagner interpreted as only a 
master could do justice to the master, and, on 
going into the room whence the sounds pro- 
ceeded, she found her butler playing as one en- 
tranced. He did not realize Her presence, and, 
in spite of her amazement, my friend was music- 
lover enough to appreciate his exquisite art 
When at last she spoke, the musician, covered 
with confusion, apologized profoundly, and ex- 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

cused himself on account of a secret and pas- 
sionate devotion to music* . . . But he left 
his situation the day before war was declared. 

Comment is needless! 

Even as I write, time has brought many of its 
traditional "revenges" into our midst, and the 
spring of 1925 is noticeable as witnessing the 
election of Marshal Hlndenburg as President 
of Germany, the leader in command of the Ger- 
man army in the Great War, now an idolized 
old man, whose election may perhaps be a prel- 
ude to the restoration of a purified monarchy. 

According to Sir John Foster Fraser, Hinden- 
burg will concentrate his energies upon destroy- 
ing the monster of Bolshevism primarily created 
by Germany. Sir John does not hesitate to 
assert that "Germany was the parent of Bolshe- 
vism as we know it to-day " and that Herr Luther 
may also fear "the spectre of Bolshevism" is 
gathered from his declaration that a "weakened 
Germany has a right to expect that security will 
be provided to protect it from aggression on the 
part of any neighbours." 

At the first meeting at Hanover between 
Hindenburg and Dr. Luther, the President de- 

[153] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

clared his opinion that the questions of the 
Dawes Agreement, the Security Pact, and the 
League of Nations, must be left entirely to the 
discretion of the Chancellor. His personal view 
is that none of these measures will be of any 
value, neither will the peace of Europe be as- 
sured, unless Germany is given the conditions of 
existence which are imperative for her legiti- 
mate development 

The old warrior also rightly realizes that 
class war and party strife are the most deadly 
foes to any intelligent nation, and in view of this 
"bloodless" war against internal dissension, he 
has granted an amnesty to all political prisoners. 
As these were comprised mainly of Communists, 
this unexpected attitude has, metaphorically, 
drawn the teeth of Communism in Germany, 
and in consequence the most advanced Com- 
munists have agreed to bury the hatchet and 
to refrain fom their usual methods of violence. 



CHAPTER VIII 

THE ROYAL WAR CRIMINALS 
"GOTT STRAFE ENGLAND" 

THE number of ^Illustration for November 
nth, 1922, contained an Interesting portrait of 
an individual who appeared at a first glance to 
be none other than the late King Edward VII.! 
But a closer inspection revealed the- fact that 
the wearer of the military overcoat was not one 
of Queen Victoria's sons risen from the dead, 
but her most troublesome grandson, the ex- 
Kaiser Wilhelm ! 

Yes, by some subtle irony of fate, the seal 
of the Victorian Royal Family is set on the one- 
time All Highest and he cannot escape from 
his English ancestry. The soldier has vanished, 
and the ex-Kaiser, with his peaked white beard 
and heavy build, has reverted to type, and now 
closely resembles the monarch to whose policy 
and to whose personality he was always so 
diametrically opposed! 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

It is not necessary to waste any pity on the 
fallen Emperor. The conditions of his life are 
perfectly satisfactory, and a great deal of his 
creature comforts are due to his popularity with 
the nation which so cheerfully maintains him. 
Compared with the fate of Napoleon at St. 
Helena, the fate of the ex- Kaiser at Doom is 
paradise. He is anchored; his harbourage is 
safe. At the time of his abdication, the end of 
his reign was approaching, and he has been prov- 
identially spared from perpetuating the usual 
fatal mistakes inseparable from the generality 
of aged monarchs. Behold him then, freed 
from all cares of State, residing in a charming 
home, favoured by climatic conditions in a 
country where even the language resembles 
German! The vexed problems of life are past; 
the end of his life will be peaceful, and crown- 
ing blessing he has married a lady of means, 
mentality, and charm. 

His discipline-impregnated mind never per- 
mits him to misuse his position ; he never exceeds 
his limitations. He is dignified, devout, de- 
corous and domesticated. No one, seeing this 
truly patriarchal "English" figure, could pos- 




THE EX-KAISER WALKING IN DOORN WITH HIS SECOND WIFE 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

sibly even whisper the ancient slogan of a Hang 
the Kaiser"; it would almost be commensur- 
ate with a wish to exterminate one of the English 
Royal Family! 

The ex-Kaiser has completely shed his respon- 
sibilities ! He is in good health ; he chops wood, 
plants Dutch bulbs, works in his garden, pos- 
sesses no ministers, and intrigues in no politics. 
Knowing him intimately, I occasionally spec- 
ulate as to whether he is the stoic he appears to 
be, and whether life's tempest is effectually 
stilled. Is he able to dispense entirely with his 
former vassals? I ask this question, remem- 
bering his one-time retinue of kings, when he 
advanced as an emperor followed-monarchs, 
guarded by the ancient royal families, who 
figured as his "troops." Small wonder that he 
suffered from folie de grandeur, for although 
devoid of the real artistry of Ferdinand of Bul- 
garia, the Emperor William possessed a certain 
flair for spectacular effect, and delighted in the 
glamour of pomp and circumstance. But the 
Imperial exile pursues his quiet life, seemingly 
untroubled by remorse, regrets, or heart- 
burnings. He considers that he has nothing 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

with which he can reproach himself : he has done 
his best for Germany, and if he has failed it has 
not, after all, been his fault 

The only so-called war criminal who ex- 
perienced any actual punishment was the ex- 
Crown Prince of Germany, who alone repre- 
sented the one prisoner bound to the chariot 
wheels of the victorious Allies. 

The Crown Prince was a little over thirty 
years of age when he was sentenced to solitary 
confinement at Wieringen. He was still young, 
and he must certainly have been able to rough 
it, since his existence on the Island of Desolation 
was completely devoid of all luxuries and most 
of the comforts of life. The Crown Prince 
lived like a poor man when his father lived like 
a well-to-do retired tradesman, as the turrets and 
solid masonry of Doom represent a mansion 
vastly different to the Crown Prince's jerry- 
built house, with its cramped space and non- 
descript garden, where Roland, the Alsatian 
sheep dog, imitated Diogenes and lived, tout 
simplementj in a tub. 

It is the duty of some unprejudiced person to 
break a belated lance in defence of the Crown 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

Prince : he has a right to a hearing. For years 
he has been reviled, laughed at, lied about, cari- 
catured, and grossly and deliberately insulted. 
To say a word in his favour was, and is even 
now, anathema, and it is seemingly his due to 
be handed down to contemporary history as a 
profligate, a drunkard, a thief, and a contemp- 
tible soldier. 

He is none of these: if the seeds of evil and 
degeneracy had been so deeply rooted in his 
being, William of Hohenzollern could not have 
sustained his life in these impossible conditions 
for a single day. I do not deny his affairs with 
women. Few princes are votaries of an Eve- 
less Eden: their lives expose them to all kinds 
of temptations; they are rich, flattered, and, 
above all, they are men. Few women exist who 
are not subtly flattered by the notice of any 
crowned head, or the admiring glance of a 
Crown Prince . . . and it is easy to rank one's 
self among the Puritans when one has no inclina- 
tion to become a Pagan. As the ex-Crown 
Prince himself once remarked, a propos of the 
scandals attributed to him during his visit to 
India: "I'm not the only man whose car has 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

broken down ten miles from anywhere. 55 He 
was right; most men have experienced a break- 
down of some kind and many others have been 
known to miss a train, which was not on the time- 
table. But these accidents are not circulated in 
the evening papers. Princes wear their rue 
with a difference. Even as I write, a book is 
on the eve of publication which purports to deal 
with certain lurid love adventures attributed to 
the ex-Crown Prince, or, as the newspaper 
politely bills it, with "Little Willie's Love 
Affairs.' 5 It is hinted that great influence was 
exerted in order to suppress the publication of 
these stories, but that the high-souled author was 
above sordid consideration in his desire to add 
one more indictment to the sum total of the ex- 
Crown Prince's varied wickedness. Hence the 
public is to be regaled with an intrigue with an 
opera singer, the all-consuming passion of a 
"spy 55 ; and other chronicles. It is to be hoped 
that the ex-Crown Prince will take some steps 
to refute these statements : his sons are no longer 
children, and this sort of scandal is indescrib- 
ably hurtful to family life. 
Even supposing the ex-Crown Prince to have 
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COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

been a great lover, and also an unwise one, no 
good purpose can possibly be served in a 
rechauffe of scandals which are not wholly true. 

The Crown Prince hoped to obtain a fair hear- 
ing when he published his "Recollections." 
But even this was denied him his work, like 
himself, was taboo; probably many of the critics 
were disappointed that he expressed himself like 
a gentleman, and did not pander to the popular 
demand for the scandals and "initialled" innuen- 
does, without which few intimate souvenirs are 
acceptable to the public. 

This campaign of vituperation in England 
extended to any luckless person who had the 
courage to defend the ex-Crown Prince, or to 
give the lie to his calumniators. A woman 
writer who interviewed him at Wieringen, 
through the courtesy of the Dutch Government, 
had her article rejected by every English news- 
paper, although a leading American newspaper 
published it in full. 

Kings and princes have had their favourites 
from the earliest dawn of history, but fortunately 
for their peace of mind the art of bookmaking 
was not then so easy, and the sensational Press, 

[161] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

with Its "live wire" copy and horrible snapshots, 
was non-existent True, lampoons and pam- 
phlets were circulated whenever another fair 
face became especially noticeable at any Eu- 
ropean Court, but gossip in the past was more 
talked than written. Monarchs like Louis XIV. 
and Louis XV. knew the uses of the Bastille, 
and in those days it would have been very un- 
wise if any newspaper proprietor had headed 
his columns with "Louis' Love Affairs," or sup- 
plemented it with a representation of the Sun 
King kissing La Valliere in a secluded corner 
of Versailles ! 

In view of my previous statements, I shall 
endeavour to convey some idea of the Crown 
Prince's environment to those who said "Serve 
him right," whenever his name was mentioned. 
The Island of Wieringen is a low, torpedo- 
shaped island, wind-swept from end to end, 
almost destitute of trees or vegetation, criss- 
crossed by innumerable dykes, and intersected by 
long white ribbons of roadway. There are no 
houses of any importance, no shops worthy of 
the name, and no society of any kind. In sum- 
mer a blazing sun devours the earth; there is 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

no shade, no oasis in this desert: in winter the 
island is the meeting-place of the four winds ; it 
is encircled with sea-fogs, and damp mists rise 
from its sullen dykes. The skies are grey, the 
land is hard and cruel, and the sea beats cease- 
lessly on the dunes, where withered reeds sway 
in a dance of death to the accompaniment of the 
music of tempest 

The Crown Prince could not have been ade- 
quately warm during the winter. His former 
dwelling stands in an exposed situation, at best 
only suited for a short summer sojourn, as it is 
an utterly insignificant, double-fronted villa bor- 
dered by a ragged hedge enclosing a derelict 
garden. His loyal and efficient aide-de-camp, 
Major Miildner von Miilnheim, occupied a zinc 
"hut" in which he slept and used as an office, 
where he dealt with the Crown Prince's exten- 
sive private and business correspondence. The 
Crown Prince is a great reader, so his book- 
shelves were full of standard English books, the 
latest novels, the most talked-of memoirs. A 
water-colour painting of Doom afforded a strik- 
ing study in contrasts, and some of his own 
sketches of his sons decorated the walls nothing 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

else remained to him. Therefore, oh, most just 
judges! Put yourselves in his place, and ask 
yourselves how would you have borne such an 
undignified exile? This "criminal" had the 
world at his feet ; he knew luxury of which you 
have only the faintest conception; his life was 
led under beautiful and artistic conditions. 
Those of you who have toured Germany, and 
who have been shepherded through her "Show 
Palaces," can now pause because you reiterate 
your parrot cry of "Serve him right," when you 
contrast his exile with his former glories. 

In his five years' solitary confinement, the 
Crown Prince became master of his fate, and 
captain of his soul, and because of these things 
he has shown himself greater than many of his 
ancestors whose names are written in golden 
letters on the Roll of Fame. 

The Crown Prince was a very lonely man: 
the Crown Princess and his sons only visited 
him twice a year, and then only for a short time. 
Journalists were not encouraged at Wieringen ; 
the Crown Prince has usually suffered at their 
hands, as certain "reporters" showed a Judas- 
like disregard of the laws of hospitality and 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

grossly mis-stated facts relative to the Crown 
Prince's conditions of life. He was accused of 
participating in drunken entertainments shared 
by fair and frail ladies from the Mainland, and 
of possessing a double who remained at Wierin- 
gen whilst he enjoyed life in Amsterdam and 
Berlin! There is not a single word of truth in 
this. The Dutch Government was an Argus- 
eyed guardian, and Mynheer Kan, who was 
cognizant from A to Z of the daily life of the 
exile, greatly deplored the senseless lies which 
were broadcast about his illustrious "charge." 

William of Hohenzollern represents a force 
to be reckoned with: he has developed in aa 
amazing degree, his intellect is sharpened, he 
has had time in which to think , time in which to 
reflect as to the future, and time in which to re- 
view his own part in the World War, miracle of 
miracles he has conquered himself! 

The Crown Prince is one of those individuals 
whose weak points are accentuated by the camera 
in an unmerciful degree, and I remember how 
I once used to call him "Squirrel," by reason 
of his resemblance to the nimble and malicious 
little woodland creature. 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

No one could call him "Squirrel" to-day. 
His ice-blue eyes have the glint of tempered 
steel, his mouth is firm, his expression, dignified, 
and his physique is as fit as that of the ideal 
boxer. He is "Little" no longer, and the adjec- 
tive best befits those whose aim is to forget the 
primary laws of justice on every possible oc- 
casion. 

His literary productions proved that he is now 
above the mud of the streets : it laid in his power 
to write a chronique scandaleuse of pre-War 
German society, which would have amazed 
Europe, and put thousands in his pocket; in- 
stead, he wrote his recollections with restraint 
and common sense, and, moreover, refrained 
from criticism or comment on the judgment 
which decreed that his place of exile should be 
Wieringen! 

Germany to-day is full of imperial and royal 
ex-princes. Like them, the German aristocracy 
has accepted the unusual conditions of post-War 
existence with the greatest philosophy, and the 
system of discipline inseparable from Germany 
has justified itself by the adaptability with 
which they have readjusted their lives. 

[166] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

The Kaiser's sons are living quietly, and some 
of them have become business men. The 
Crown Princess and her sons have made their 
home at the Castle of Oels, and the boys attend 
public schools like good Republicans! As I 
have previously stated, a Monarchial Party 
exists, but the majority of shipwrecked Royalties 
have entirely effaced themselves. 

The whole art of living consists in looking 
ahead, and in trying to realize what might hap- 
pen! No one need wilfully bandage his or her 
eyes, and it should always be taken for granted 
that although one may be attached, one must 
never be bound to anything or anybody. A tie 
that can be untied or broken is not so difficult 
to shed as a chain, and one suffers less from the 
severance of a tie than from the breaking of a 
chain. If people would only have solutions at 
hand for the expected and unexpected, they 
would suffer less ; and they must likewise remem- 
ber that any kind of punishment, mental or 
bodily, affects youth and middle age far more 
than when one is old. The old are atrophied. 

Another saving grace with the fallen princes 
of Germany lies in their love of country life. 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

The majority of their private fortunes are un- 
touched, so they have not been financially ruined 
by the War. 

All that they really miss is the public life 
and most of them have had quite enough of it! 
They now live happily as one large family, and 
they certainly are not to be commiserated with. 

Prince Max of Baden, one of the most in- 
teresting "War Criminals," has been the scape- 
goat for many people and many things. The 
prince, in whose veins flows Russian and French 
blood, is a handsome idealist, a deep thinker, 
a man who walks with God, and who represents 
the true embodiment of Christianity. When 
war broke out, he wished to be given a position 
in the Red Cross, and he was responsible for 
much good work in connection with the prison- 
ers of war. Prince Max is totally different 
from the usual pattern of princes. "Thyra" was 
too much of an idealist to countenance war : he 
opposed it on every point, and crowning au- 
dacity he it was who dared tell the Kaiser that 
it was his duty to abdicate for the good of his 
country! 

Prince Max, like most idealists, has suffered 
[168] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

for his convictions. However he still refuses to 
admit that the word "enemy" exists, he lives 
solely to obey the dictates of his conscience, and 
he remains a figure of peace untouched by the 
ravages of war. He leads a very secluded life at 
Maienau, on Lake Constance, probably consid- 
ering many things, happy in the society of a few 
tried friends, and lost in the contemplation of the 
ideal. 

Rupprecht of Bavaria (another criminal) 
will always be associated in English minds with 
the excessively unpleasant u Hymn of Hate" 
which aroused such widespread condemnation. 
To-day, many eyes are fixed on him as an ac- 
credited agent of the Invisible Hand which 
holds the destinies of Europe in a grip of steel; 
and Rupprecht of Bavaria may yet go down to 
posterity as the reconstructing force which will 
affect many destinies. 

The casual observer might deem this Prince 
of Hatred to be an entirely uninteresting and un- 
emancipated individual, but the clever side of 
him develops in the course of conversation. He 
has few sympathies, and you instinctively feel 
that it would be quite possible for him to be 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

cruel, indeed he looks somewhat cruel, and had 
not his mother (half sister to Queen Cristina of 
Spain) married a Modena, his sinister expres- 
sion would be more apparent As it is, the 
softer Italian colouring gives him the appear- 
ance of a stern Sicilian! or an aristocratic bandit! 

I cannot dispute the fact that iPrince Rup- 
precht's attitude was one of extreme bitterness 
during the War, but with him, as with most 
Germans, war represented a paramount duty. 

Prince Rupprecht's first wife was a sister of, 
the Queen of the Belgians; and there 1 ' is thirty 
years' disparity of age between him and his sec- 
ond wife, a Princess of Luxembourg. His 
children by his first wife are all dead with the 
exception of one boy, who resembles his cousin, 
the Duke of Brabant, in his flower-like delicacy 
of appearance, and who has been brought up in 
the country as aj Bavarian peasant a beautiful 
peasant certainly, but one who at present knows 
nothing of society, and who never penetrates 
into the life of towns. 

I think that Rupprecht of Bavaria is undoubt- 
edly a figure to be reckoned with, and to be 
feared. He is spoken of on quite a different 

[170] 




PRINCE RUPPRECHT OF BAVARIA WITH HIS SECOND WIFE, PRINCESS 
OF LUXEMBURG 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

plane from anyone else; he can do practically 
what he likes in the Army, and it is the prevalent 
opinion that he is tacitly supported by Europe. 
One especially realizes this in Munich, where 
he reigns supreme, and where the bloodless Ger- 
man Republic had its counterpart in the blood- 
less revolution in Bavaria. Revolution in Mu- 
nich was arranged on the most courteous and 
considerate lines. There was no screaming, no 
incendiary trouble, no excess the displacement 
of the Reigning House was as gentle as an in- 
f anf s slumber ! The good people were told that 
there was to be a revolution, and the habitual 
question used to be: "Is there to be a revolu- 
tion to-day?" 

In one instance, when barbed wire and guns 
were to be seen in the streets, the people were in- 
formed in the kindest manner that there would 
probably be a revolution in this particular part 
of Munich at such and such an hour, and they 
were therefore advised to keep to the non- 
revolutionary side of the town. 1 

Many Bavarians have told me about the amus- 

1 1 am not, of course, dealing with the three days* ( Red" Terror 
in April, 1919. 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

ing aspect of the first Bavarian Revolution. 
When the Bavarians at last realized that the 
Royal Family were to be dismissed, they had no 
choice but to obey orders, and convey this ulti- 
matum to their hitherto satisfactory rulers, who 
were carefully apprised of this arrangement by 
their subjects who did not wish them to be taken, 
so to speak, unawares. They therefore awaited 
the procession at the palace; all blinds were 
lowered and perfect order was maintained, but 
human curiosity overcame discretion, and cer- 
tain members of the royal family were not above 
imitating the role of Peeping Tom. 

At last the song of revolt and the tramp of 
many feet were heard. . . . The revolution had 
arrived! and it presently halted in front of the 
Palace, and the Munichers proceeded to obey 
orders. There was a goodly display of banners 
of freedom, bearing various uncomplimentary 
references to kings in general, but did the faces 
of the standard bearers reflect the sentiments em- 
bodied on thein banners? Most certainly not,, 
and so far from expressing any hate, they 
beamed on the silent Palace with undiminished 
respect At intervals, one of the leaders would 

[172] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

sing a revolutionary solo, and the chorus sang 
"N eider" loudly and lustily, but everyone kept 
smiling. . . . The general unspoken feeling was 
one of affection for the House of Wittelsbach ; in 
short, it might have implied: "We are carry- 
ing these banners just to show you what we mean 
to do, but we have no intention whatever of an- 
noying you. Please go on living as you did be- 
fore." 

Even the historic "Gott Strafe England" was 
not always said in all its bitter meaning. The 
Bavarians were told to repeat it, and, obedient to 
discipline, they did as they were told. The 
children also learnt it, but without any evil 
promptings from their elders, and the slogan 
was as popular in Munich as the one time 
"Beaver" in London. I remember how I 
laughed when one of my small friends said, 
"Well . . . good-bye-and-Gott-strafe-England" 
running all the words into one with intense en- 
joyment! On another occasion I listened to 
some babies saying their prayers: "Bless our 
father, and our mother," lisped these innocents, 
"make us all good" and then at express speed 
"Gott strafe England good-night" 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

In January of this year I was staying at Egetn- 
Rottach, near Ober-Ammergau, surrounded by 
an aristocracy who had been deprived of their 
rank and nearly all their fortunes, but who com- 
manded respect by reason of their adaptability 
to the altered conditions of their lives. In these 
mountain solitudes I visited great ladies living 
in houses which would have been dubbed "hov- 
els" by the new rich, and nothing was more 
charming than the sight of the white-haired 
princesses and duchesses standing in the door- 
ways of their modest dwellings where they wel- 
comed my visits, untouched by environment 

Many of them could only afford one servant, 
and their hospitality could not, by reason of cir- 
cumstances, be described as lavish. But the at- 
titude of these people brought home to me the 
truth of the saying that "Bon Sang ne peut 
mentir"; and when in the self-same month I 
stood by the coffin of the Queen of Naples, I re- 
membered these words anew, for surely no queen 
exemplified them more than this member of the 
Fair Sisters did, whose varied fortunes have pro- 
vided food for thought and important material 
for contemporary history, Sophia, Queen of 

[174] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

Naples, was the last representative of those who 
contributed to the re-birth of Italian unity, and 
whose dauntless courage obtained for her the 
sobriquet of "The Heroine of Gaeta." She it 
was who encouraged the soldiers during the his- 
toric siege, and when ceilings fell by reason of 
gunfire, she shook her lime-whitened hair, and 
demanded admiration for being so effectively 
poudree. This restless brave woman sleeps 
peacefully at Tegernsee, and one only now sur- 
vives of those lovely Bavarian sister-princesses 
the late Empress Elizabeth of Austria, the 
tragic Duchesse d'Alencon, Sophia Queen of 
Naples, and Princess Trani. 



CHAPTER IX 
BELGIUM, SWITZERLAND, AND AUSTRIA 

A POPULAR delusion in France, and one which 
the passage of ten years had not been able to 
destroy, is that the Germans habitually ate chil- 
dren during the War. The similar conception 
of German atrocities in Belgium has not les- 
sened with the flight of time, but whereas in 
France everything is done to fan the flame of 
eternal hatred, Belgium has lost no time in 
beginning her work of reconstruction and re- 
adjustment, and now few outward traces remain 
to testify to the horrors of enemy invasion. 

The French must decidedly prefer discom- 
fort to comfort in their ideas of revanche. 
Many of their War dilapidations are merely 
object lessons for tourists, as shelled houses and 
rusty entanglements appear to be the best uses 
of advertisements for the patriots whose one cry 
is "Reparation." 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

But, just as bees slowly and surely repair their 
damaged hive, so slowly and surely has Belgium 
repaired her damaged hive of industry, thereby 
adding to the comfort of the community, in pro- 
viding work for thousands who might otherwise 
have come under the category of the unem- 
ployed. When I visited Louvain in the spring 
of 1922, it was difficult to imagine the forces 
that had once centred upon it: the town was 
entirely reconstructed, the only change being at 
the Abbaye du Pare, which was then destitute of 
nuns, and only occupied by monks. And just 
as Louvain has been reconstructed, so has all 
Belgium been subjected to the same healing 
process, and this law of order and readjustment 
comes direct from the Throne. Both the King 
and Queen of Belgium are model workers, the 
embodiments of punctuality, morality, and a 
healthy mode of life, and their example spreads 
from the Palace to the nation, with the result 
that to-day the prosperity of Belgium is un- 
touched ! 

The Great War represents a past catastrophe 
in the mind of the average Belgian, and it is 
relegated to the past. The market is steady 

[177] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

again ; it is the bounden duty of Belgium to look 
forward, and to arrange her future. 

This outlook has strengthened the character of 
an already strong people, who believe that dis- 
order is the curse of individual and national 
life. The Belgians possess a curious psychology. 
As refugees, they considered that nothing was 
too good for them, and they cheerfully allowed 
others to work and provide for them. Once 
restored to their country, they were instantly 
metamorphosed and the pampered, selfish 
refugee became the plodding, industrious, frugal 
and whole-hearted worker of past years. 

Belgium is a very happy country; everything 
centres round the .working classes, which are 
thoroughly protected by Socialism, and the 
people see very little actually of their sovereigns, 
although they are devoutly loved, and greatly 
respected. 

The Queen is at the head of all the charities ; 
the King is a strong and silent man of few words. 
But both husband and wife are great individuals, 
and they played their parts during the War, 
in a spirit of selfless heroism hitherto unknown 
in the history of any nation. They were active 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

participants in the horrors and upheavals of 
their country; they shirked nothing, where they 
considered their duty was in question, and they 
shared the common dangers and discomforts 
with their subjects in short, the King and 
Queen became the subjects of their subjects. 

Elizabeth of Belgium is one of the most in- 
teresting of European Royalties. A daughter of 
the Duke Karl Theodor of Bavaria, the famous 
philanthropist, and eye-doctor, she gave herself 
to Belgium at the time of her marriage, and, 
notwithstanding her nationality, she is known to 
possess absolutely no sympathy for Germany, or 
for things German. Belgium has never boasted 
a greater patriot than this Queen, but her 
Wittelsbach blood is perhaps responsible for her 
idealistic ideas of justice, in her attitude towards 
life. 

She comes from the same stock as Elizabeth 
the Dreamer, who sacrificed the vanities of life 
in pursuit of an ideal, and who was, in her turn, 
sacrificed. Elizabeth of Belgium possesses the 
same fine quality of spirit, the aloofness, the 
disdain of hypocrisy, and the banalities of life 
which characterized her aunt ; but whereas the 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

dead Elizabeth was at times a morbid and fan- 
tastic dreamer of dreams, the living Elizabeth 
is a very vital personality enormously interested 
in all the possibilities of life. She is the only 
"flying" Queen, and she thinks as little of flight 
as most people do of a ride in an omnibus. 
Any waste of time is repugnant to her: she con- 
trives to do two days' work in one, and she has 
brought up her children with almost Spartan 
"hardness." The Heir-Apparent resembles his 
distant Bavarian cousin in his romantic and 
flower-like delicacy of appearance, and the 
Princess Maria Josepha is completing her edu- 
cation at the Sacre Cceur, where she is treated 
exactly like any other pupil, as the Queen allows 
no difference of rank to be observed. The 
Royal Family leads the simplest and happiest 
lives. The Queen, like all the Wittelsbachs, is 
many-sided in her accomplishments: she is a 
clever violinist, a great reader, an admirable 
horsewoman, a good shot, and a thorough sports- 
woman, whilst her attention to, and her love of, 
the domesticities is on a level with that of Queen 
Mary of England. 

Unlike the Queen of Spain, the Queen of 
[180] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

Belgium does not attach any especial signifi- 
cance to dress. She wears simple frocks cut 
on simple lines, but her millinery inclines to- 
wards the artistic: slight, chic, nervous, and 
'forceful, Elizabeth of Belgium once seen is 
never forgotten. She is a curious mixture of 
democracy and Royalty; and her democracy, 
allied to her sense of humour, enabled her to 
laugh at the bluntness of the American officer 
to whom she was describing certain happenings 
of the War. "Say, Queen, weVe heard all that 
long ago- let's talk!' Truly America has no 
use for Royalties. 

The two most outstanding figures in Belgium 
during the War were those of Burgomeister 
Max and Dr. Lepage. I had the pleasure of 
meeting the former when I was in Brussels, and 
I was greatly struck by this heroic man with the 
kind, good face, who looked like a living por- 
trait by Vandyck. He speaks of Germany 
without the slightest trace 3 of bitterness, his 
attitude is that of one who offered himself as a 
sacrifice and who has no regrets. He impressed 
me greatly, and I cannot sufficiently admire his 
generous and beautiful attitude towards life. 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

He spoke of the sufferings endured by civilians, 
and reminded me how little known and ap- 
preciated these unsung heroes have been. No 
class suffers more in any War than civilians, and 
no class is so easily overlooked for recognition, 
since it appears to be the privilege of a uniform 
to excite instant and practical sympathy with 
the generality of individuals. 

Burgomeister Max was kept for two years in 
solitary confinement in a dark cell, as a hostage 
by the Germans. He was given dry bread to 
eat and water to drink; he was subjected to 
countless indignities, and he was told the horrors 
of the fate meted out to age and youth by the 
relentless conquerors. He lived in the very 
shadow of death, never knowing what might be 
his own fate. But he invariably refused to dis- 
cuss the horrors of this unspeakable captivity; 
he merely smiles cryptically, and dismisses it as 
a nightmare. 

No ".war" rewards were ever awarded in 
Belgium, the attitude of the nation was one of 
single-mindedness. Nobody wished to be re- 
warded for services rendered to the country : the 
outlook of the nation was entirely sober, and few 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

realize the strength of the mentality of this little 
kingdom. No traces remain to-day of the Ger- 
man occupation, and the sole thought of the 
Belgians is how best to develop the prosperity 
of Belgium by reason of the War. 

Dr. Lepage, who was closely allied to the 
Queen in her work for the Red Cross, has done 
wonders for the maimed by his development of 
artificial limbs, and his "institution" for the 
supply of these, is still in existence. Dr. Lepage 
was the first doctor in Belgium to raise the 
manufacture of artificial limbs to the level of a 
high art and, thanks to him, hundreds of the 
victims of the War have been enabled to carry 
on the ordinary occupations of life. But in 
this, as in many other instances, the extent of his 
labours will never be known, as Dr. Lepage is 
not desirous of any reclame. He gave his best 
that suffices him. 

As the Belgian Government is conducted on 
Socialistic lines, its efforts are concentrated on 
the establishment and continuance of law and 
order. M. Jasper is a really great minister, and 
he and his wife are the simplest and most charm- 
ing people. Life in general in Belgium is 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

planned on simple lines, the Court provides an 
example in the simplicity of its balls, dinners, 
and various functions, and the King and Queen 
efface themselves so thoroughly that you scarcely 
realize they exist, until you see the flag flying 
over the Royal Palace. 

Notwithstanding this apparent "effacement," 
the King and Queen are absolutely in touch with 
the nation, and with the rest of Europe, but this 
freedom and absence of restraint alone con- 
stitutes happiness for them, as thereby they are 
permitted to lead a life of refinement and 
quietude, and, as Belgium respects the sanctity 
of individuals, vulgar curiosity is non-existent. 

This singular lack of ostentation is also ap- 
parent in the charming aristocracy; one instinc- 
tively senses the "race" of this especial class, but 
no untoward importance is paid to rank, and 
class jealousy is unknown. Belgium, strangely 
enough conservative and sober-minded, is per- 
haps the only country in Europe which is not 
unduly affected with the craze for dancing, per- 
haps due to the Flemish phlegm, which tempers 
life admirably for these industrious people who 
study their digestions, and who regard dancing 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

between the "courses" as an insult to the u chef.' 5 
In short, the Belgian outlook Is mainly one of 
attentive interest, even during the War they re- 
garded the "enemy 77 as a "science," and weje 
often curious about him and his output, solely 
from a scientific point of view! 

The little Duchy of Luxembourg In close 
proximity to Belgium possesses a purely clerical 
and feminine Court; where the unmarried grand 
duchesses and their priest-swayed mother find 
their chief Interests In official functions. The 
advent of the hosts of the War Lord rudely dis- 
turbed the pomp and circumstance of this slum- 
brous routine-ridden Duchy, and it was here 
that the Kaiser experienced his first rebuff In 
the defiance of the reigning Duchess to acknow- 
ledge his supreme authority. 

Since the War one of the young duchesses has 
married a prince of Bourbon; Parma, another 
sister, has taken the veil; and, In opposition to 
traditions, a third has become the second wife of 
anti-clerical Prince Rupprecht of Bavaria, 
* . 

From Luxembourg I shall wander into the 
grandeur and beauty of Switzerland, that clear- 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

ing-house for peace, whose bounden duty is to 
build a palace of lasting peace on sure founda- 
tions. 

The simplicity of this happy country results 
primarily from her pastoral characteristics, and 
from the solidity of her ancient stock, although 
I have heard many educated people express sur- 
prise when told that Switzerland possessed an 
ancient noblesse which, in many instances, traced 
an unbroken descent into the dawn of history. 
This spirit of national pride leads the Swiss to 
preserve all the historical records and monu- 
ments of their country; they live in the past, and 
a gradual and "intimate" sojourn in Switzerland 
almost forces a stranger to do the same. Until 
then he will never be able to realize the "inner" 
life of a nation where titles are dropped, but 
where the glorious mediaeval castles remain as 
silent witnesses of the power of the past When- 
ever I go to Switzerland, I sigh for the vanished 
life of Old Germany, because life in Switzerland 
so closely resembles it! 

The Swiss are the proud possessors of the 
original Red Cross which is to be seen on their 

[186] 




INFANTA EULALIA 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

national flag, and modern Switzerland can be 
most fitly described as an unique moral and 
physical convalescent home. Her conditions of 
hygiene are perf ect, and after the War her hotels 
(regardless of pecuniary loss) turned themselves 
into convalescent homes whither sufferers re- 
paired from all parts of Europe. 

There is no post- War vulgarity in Switzer- 
land ; the Swiss retain their old simplicity, their 
singleness of purpose, and their sane outlook. 
With them any kind of dishonesty is looked up- 
on as a crime ; there are no extenuating circum- 
stances; and I remember once when I left my 
purse in a shop, and almost immediately re- 
claimed it, the proprietor insisted that I should 
count the money, a so as to be quite sure it is 
there." This cleanliness of mind springs from 
a healthy education ; and the values of right and 
wrong are instilled into the minds of every 
Swiss almost from the cradle. 

Switzerland to-day is the sanctuary of royal 
exiles: they are treated here with the greatest 
respect, and they are happier in Switzerland 
than anywhere else. No untoward curiosity is 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

displayed as to their movements; there Is no 
interference with their lives, and in consequence 
the illustrious refugees enjoy more privacy than 
many private people. 

This little simple country will go down in 
history as the Home of Freedom, the Strong- 
hold of the League of Nations, and the Palace 
of Peace. The Union Mondiane des Femmes 
also has its headquarters in Switzerland ; and this 
great feminist movement aims at disseminating 
peace throughout the world mainly by the in- 
fluence of woman. 

Switzerland remained neutral in the Eu- 
ropean struggle, and her conditions of neutrality 
were strictly and honourably observed; but 
although she .was badly singe4 by the flames of 
war, she pursued the even tenor of her way un- 
disturbed. Her religious convictions, notably 
in the Catholic Cantons, are very firm, and her 
domestic life has lost none of its morale as a 
result of the great upheaval. 

One thing which strikes me a little un- 
pleasantly, is the extravagance in dress during 
the winter season which is noticeable in even the 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

smallest Swiss hotels. This regrettable con- 
dition is entirely doe to the English and Ameri- 
cans. Formerly, one could wear a semi- 
evening dress for dinner and be considered quite 
smart, now a succession of grandes toilettes is 
considered imperative, and the appearance of 
guests at the best hotels is on a level with smart 
society on the Riviera. Even the comfortable 
sports-suits have lost much of their pristine 
simplicity, and are to be seen in inartistic and 
glaring contrast to the glorious natural back- 
ground. Colour is always lovely, but why mix 
too much colour on any palette? 

I am the last person to decry any forms of 
rational enjoyment, but it seems a pity to make 
sport a pretext for- social extravagance. The 
winter season in Switzerland is now almost pro- 
hibitive, except for the idle rich or the un- 
crowned kings of American finance, and St. 
Moritz especially typifies this new aspect of 
modern life in its feverish gaiety, its mania for 
display, its neurotic restlessness, and its craving 
for sexual emotions. To enjoy oneself sanely 
and happily one must go further afield, in the 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

untrodden ways, where old ".woollies" are not 
taboo, and where one can live in close touch with 
Nature, unspoilt by French perfumes, fancy 
dresses, bare-backed toilettes, and perpetual 

cocktails. 

*. * 

It may not be out of place in this resume to 
include a few comments on Austria and Hun- 
gary, especially as so many of the Swiss aristoc- 
racy were originally Austrian, and as many 
Austrians have found a place of refuge in 
Switzerland. 

The only Monarchial Party that remains is 
in Hungary (still written and called "La 
Royaume d'Hongroie"), where General 
Horthy acts as Regent of a kingdom which will 
not acknowledge a Republic. For whom is he 
Regent? the Throne remains empty! But the 
Hungarians are patient, and they adopt an at- 
titude of expectancy similar to that of Spain, 
when Queen Cristina was the Regent and the 
prospective mother of a sovereign. 

Hungary has now waited much longer than 
nine months for her new sovereign, and she still 

[190] 




EMPRESS ZITA OF AUSTRIA WITH HER CHILDREN 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

endeavours to lead her life on Court lines ; still 
she asks, "Where is the infant?" She will not 
consider the possibility that, after an unduly 
prolonged period of gestation, her hopes will 
probably be still-born! 



[191] 



CHAPTER X 

THE THREE GRACES, AND THE PERIL 
OF THE STRICKEN BEAR 

THE Danish sculptor, Canova, is responsible for 
a charming marble group which has achieved 
world-wide reputation as "The Three Graces." 
Its slightly artificial and sentimental attraction 
is peculiar to the period which produced It, and 
to-day it would certainly not make its original 
appeal. But I frankly admire it, and when- 
ever I see the reproduction of the trinity of en- 
twined loveliness, I always connect it with Nor- 
way, Sweden, and Denmark the Three Graces 
of Europe. 

These aloof and beautiful countries are the 
only nations whose wings have not been singed 
by the flame of war, or smirched by the universal 
pollution of men's minds. They have pre- 
served their independence of thought, and their 
refined simplicity, in the midst of an orgy of 

[192] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

bad taste; and their Courts, like their peoples, 
are untouched by the breath of scandal. 

Sweden undoubtedly possesses the best sys- 
tem of European education; it is based entirely 
on simplicity, and there are few countries which 
possess the material advantages it offers to 
students of both sexes. The State entirely de- 
frays the expenses of a boy's education from the 
grammar school to the university, and most of 
elementary education devolves upon each parish 
subordinate to one school board, under state 
supervision. The "Folkskola" curriculum com- 
prises reading, writing, arithmetic, geometry, 
history, natural science, "Christianity," singing, 
drawing and gymnastics, and in most Swedish 
schools, carpentering, gardening, cooking and 
needlework are included as well. 

As there are few Roman Catholics in Sweden, 
and an equal scarcity of Jews, education does 
not present the religious difficulties that it does 
in many other countries, where religion is so 
often used as a lever for political dogma. 

The physical culture of youth is estimated of 
great importance with the Swedes, and it runs 
concurrently with the intellectual development 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

of children, who are taught lessons from life, 
thereby combining amusement and relaxation 
with mental instruction. The study of botany 
and geology, therefore, often provides a free 
day in the woods; swimming is taught on prac- 
tical lines in the many small lakes, and bathing 
is deemed so necessary that bathrooms are pro- 
vided in every school. In winter the children 
usually seat themselves in tubs, full of hot water, 
arranged in a circle, and they scrub and soap 
each other's backs as a kind of object lesson in 
physical cleanliness. 

At the age of fifteen (after seven years spent 
at the "Folkskola") the boys and girls have, so 
far, finished their elementary education, and 
they are free to begin work at home or on the 
farms. They can, however, elect to continue 
their studies, and, after being confirmed, they 
may possibly decide to enter one of the numerous 
colleges. Mixed schools form one of the chief 
educational features of Sweden. These are 
known as "Samskola," and they exist not only 
as elementary but also as secondary schools, 
where the two sexes remain together until they 
arrive at the examination for "Maturity." 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

No untoward happenings or difficulties arise 
from this mingling of the sexes boys and girls 
sit side by side on the same benches and so far 
from any jealousy or ill-feeling being shown, 
this camaraderie creates a condition of salutary 
emulation and a disposition for mutual assis- 
tance* From the age of fourteen to that of 
nineteen or twenty, Swedish boys and girls live 
in a Utopia of chivalry, kindness, and a friend- 
ship, unsullied by evil thoughts or sex troubles, 
thus providing an example which I fear would 
be impossible for many other countries to imitate 
with any degree of success ! 

JLife in Sweden is both restful and bracing; 
the eyes of the Swedes are as clear and healthy 
as their souls. Even Swedish art bears no re- 
semblance to any other, and the grey-green 
seascapes and pastorales of Bruno Liljefors are 
as beautiful and serene as their natural counter- 
parts art which, like the Swedish race, has been 
kept absolutely pure. Even the national cos- 
tume is not regarded as a theatrical fancy of the 
past, but embodies the glorification of the nation, 
and it is worn at every national festival "Lest 
we forget" 

[195] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

The late Crown Princess of Sweden often told 
me how perfectly happy she was in her adopted 
country, and how much she loved it. She did 
not (in her inborn modesty) say how greatly 
.Sweden loved her, but few Crown Princesses 
have ever been so dearly loved and so deeply 
mourned by all classes as Princess Margaret 
("Daisy," we were wont to call her), and ap- 
preciating her purity and her sweetness, one 
might have said with perfect truth "Du bist wi 
eine Blume." 

The inscrutable ways of Providence decreed 
that this fair flower should be untimely cut off 
in all the loveliness of its blooming. Margaret 
of Sweden died a dreadful death; she endured 
much bodily agony, and I dare not conjecture 
how her gentle spirit suffered at the thought 
of leaving her adored husband and children. 
"Daisy" did not know the meaning of the word 
uncharitableness : she adapted herself admir- 
ably to the conditions of her life in a foreign 
country, and she and her husband led a peace- 
ful and happy existence, wrapt up in each other, 
and devoted to their rapidly-increasing family, 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

Indeed, two lives were lost when the Crown 
Princess died. 

"Daisy" loved gardens; a passion for garden- 
ing was one of her chief characteristics, and 
many beautiful examples of her taste and skill 
are to be seen in the grounds of the royal resi- 
dences. She gave delightful luncheon parties 
to her intimate friends, and in all her sayings 
and doings she contrived to retain the whole- 
hearted respect of those with whom she was 
associated. The Crown Prince was inconsolable 
at her death, but family reasons as well as those 
of State rendered it imperative for him to marry 
again. His choice fell on a charming and sym- 
pathetic woman, Lady Louise Mountbatten, a 
second cousin of his first wife, who possesses a 
strong vein of sentiment allied to admirable 
common-sense. She has been brought up on 
the best Victorian traditions by her mother, 
a granddaughter of Queen Victoria and sister 
of the late Czarina, and she has already shown 
herself an admirable helpmeet for the Crown 
Prince and the best of stepmothers for his 
motherless children. 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

The King of Sweden is a devotee of tennis : the 
Queen, a Princess of Baden, leads a more or 
less retired life, and spends weeks away from 
Sweden in her pursuit of the simple life. In 
Sweden, there is no "letting down" by the Press, 
either of its rulers or of its aristocracy; here 
everything connected with the upper classes is 
looked upon as private, and royal indiscretions 
are never known outside Sweden. Even the 
sins and frailties of the aristocracy do not be- 
come public property as they do in England and 
elsewhere, and I am confident that this admir- 
able discretion and reticence arise from the 
wonderful education which teaches and en- 
courages a widespread system of class-respect 

The lines of life in Sweden are laid down 
more simply than those of other countries, and 
this simplicity of manners will never desert 
Sweden it is in her blood. A tiny strip of red 
carpet at a railway-station is often the sole in- 
timation that the King of Sweden is about to go 
on a journey, and yet post- War Sweden is es- 
sentially a great nation. Even the separation of 
Norway and Sweden was arranged in the sim- 
plest manner by the respective Consulates, some- 




M M. Kortung Gustaf V. 



H.M. KING GUSTAF V. OF SWEDEN 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

what in the spirit shown by the King of Den- 
mark when he sold Aland, and wrote a letter 
to his former subjects thanking them for all 
their kindness towards himself and his family. 
The people of Aland bade the King farewell in 
a like spirit, having had the wisdom to realize 
that by not revolting against a decree for their 
good they would doubtless obtain threefold 
benefits from life. 

During the War, the Three Graces united for 
the good of commerce, but Norway, republican 
at heart, simply retains her monarchy for the 
sake of appearance, and in deference to the 
universal wish of the nation. The King is a cul- 
tured, unaffected man, and his wife, as Princess 
Maud of Wales, was one of my earliest English 
friends. The King and Queen mix freely with 
the people, but one cannot help being amused at 
the firm attitude adopted by the Legislature to- 
wards any measure submitted to the King which 
does not happen to meet with his approval. The 
King's refusal is respected for two presentations 
of the offending Bill, but should he return it 
"unapproved" a third time, no notice is taken, 
and the Bill becomes law! 

[199] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

Norway, as a country. Is as picturesque as it 
is healthy; and crime is non-existent as befits a 
land whose people are untouched by passion or 
avarice: the race remains pure, and there are 
few inter-marriages with foreigners. It is true 
that the Norwegians suffered during the War by 
reason of food shortage and a lack of imports 
and exports, but the country at present is entirely 
well-balanced and prosperous. 

Denmark represents the particular "Grace" 
which has provided Europe with the most won- 
derful discoveries in medicine; the Finsen 
school boasts that it can cure any existing disease, 
and the marvels of the X-rays are too well- 
known to need any further description. It has 
often occurred to me that the colder countries of 
Europe are productive of the greatest scientific 
research, and that this must be due to their cli- 
matic conditions. These oblige the nation to 
pass a great deal of its time at home, and this en- 
forced seclusion makes for thought, and pro- 
vides an outlet for mentality during the long 
periods of cold and darkness peculiar to the 
North. 

The countries dominated by the Three Graces 
[200] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

constitute a world unto themselves, and it is 
more of a thorough change to visit them than 
it is to adventure to America ! A propos of the 
discretion exercized by the lovely trio, I remem- 
ber a certain lady once remarking to a Danish 
diplomat, "You don't say much. ... Do people 
never talk in Denmark?" "Madame," an- 
swered the gentleman, "I regret that I am un- 
able to amuse you, but in my country we only 
talk when we have something to say." 

Few foreigners pay Court to the Three Graces. 
Certain tourists visit the Land of the Midnight 
Sun, but it is rare for any Spaniard to do so ; 
and it is perhaps as well, since they would prob- 
ably be regarded as mad, the "Graces" having 
no understanding of pantomimic movements 
and flamboyant expression. 

What a peaceful contrast these fortunate 
countries present in comparison to the agitation 
prevalent all over Europe! Sweden, which has 
worked out her internal political problems with- 
out violence, thereby condemns the methods 
adopted by other nations th,at have not hesitated 
to call in bloodshed as their Ally; and although 
the Swedish "House of Nobles" has ceased to 

[201] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

exist as a political body, it is still regarded as the 
rallying centre of a class. 

I sometimes find myself wishing in a rather 
feminine way that my "Three Graces" would 
adopt Canova's conception as their national post- 
age stamps ! The War has brought about many 
new emblems, so why not this special one? The 
Fachistes have adopted the symbol of the an- 
cient Lictors ; Germany has displaced her War 
Lord, and substituted a team of horses plough- 
ing the soil of her Republic ; and France insists 
on retaining a helmet, although she protests 
loudly against militarism ! 

But I must leave my "Three Graces" to con- 
sider the problem of a stricken bear (always a 
formidable animal, and now doubly so, since his 
injuries render him ferocious). He defies the 
hunter, he defies the world, and he will presently 
arise and mete out retributions for his wrongs. 
This is the Russian Bear, who is now planning 
how to exact a certain and a terrible revenge 
upon the rest of Europe. 

The general European impression of Russia 
appears to be that since she has reverted to bar- 
barism, it is hopeless to consider her seriously, 

[202] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

as she has placed herself beyond the pale of 
civilization by reason of her crimes. She is now 
only to be regarded as a regicide, a murderess, 
and a brutish savage, who has shown her "cham- 
ber of horrors" to a shuddering world, and who 
pursues her orgy of bloodshed and Bolshevism, 
unchecked. 

Most people imagine that so long as her evil- 
ness is confined to her own territory, the rest of 
Europe is safe, but this idea is entirely erroneous. 
The Russian peril at present constitutes the 
greatest menace to civilization that the world 
has ever known : Europe had the opportunity 
to minister to a super-diseased mind, and to heal 
the plague spots of old Russia, but instead, she 
has relegated her to outer darkness, with the 
worst possible results. 

Every reasoning mind must realize that if the 
Russian invasion of Germany had not taken 
place during the War, the Germans would in- 
evitably have been victorious in France. The 
dominant idea of Germany has always been to 
prevent any invasion of her territory, and in 
order to prevent this, her troops were diverted 
from France and rushed into Prussia. Un- 

[203] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

speakable horrors were perpetrated in the in- 
vaded territory by the. Russians, and Germany 
thereby formed some conception of what might 
happen if Russia were to obtain a lasting foot- 
hold. I shall always maintain that the success 
of the Allies on the Marne was consequent on 
the Russian invasion and the forced depletion 
of the German lines, and in forgetting this in- 
disputable fact, the Allies have made their 
greatest possible error, since by reason of it they 
have thrown Russia deliberately into the arms 
of Germany. It is a grave mistake to ignore the 
mentality of the present Russian leaders, or to 
regard them as common cut-throats. These 
men have "arrived" solely by reason of their 
mentalities, and the New Russia now in gradual 
course of formation is not the slightest degree 
what one imagines it to be. The cleverness of 
the Bolshevists lay in the fact that they pressed 
every likely agent into their service, during their 
campaign against Czardom . . . more pro- 
paganda was employed in Russia than in any 
other country, until at last the nation awoke to a 
proper conception of what it had suffered for 
centuries at the hands of the oppressors. 

[204] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

The superstitious side of Russia was especially 
played on by the Bolshevist agents; the Court 
was one of Orientalism, splendour, and modern- 
ity, but the rulers were represented by an em- 
peror who possessed no moral courage, and by 
an empress who was too domesticated and too 
religious for her position. This unfortunate 
woman, whom I knew well, and for whom I 
retain a very sincere affection, was destined by 
fate to become the scapegoat for the corruption 
of dynasty. The weakness of will and mentality 
shared alike by the Czar and his Consort were 
valuable assets to the Bolshevists, and the 
Czarina was powerless to estimate the danger 
of showing the imaginative side of her religious 
exaltation to an ignorant people. The fatal 
words "Je veux reposer mon ame oupres de 
vous" constituted the death warrant of the 
Romanoffs, and Rasputin was, to all intents and 
purpose, their executioner. 

Most spiritual words are capable of a sensual 
meaning; take, for instance, the Song of 
Solomon, which may be read as easily in a por- 
nographic sense, as in the spirit of religion, and 
few parts of Holy Writ taken literally are meat 

[205] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

for babes ! The weak spot of the Russian nation 
was superstition, and the Bolshevists acted ac- 
cordingly. 

The Jews have also entered into this scheme of 
ever growing hatred. For centuries the Jews 
in Russia and Austria were treated as outcasts, 
and the Romanoffs and the Hapsburgs repre- 
sented the ne plus ultra of the narrowness and 
tyranny of autocratic power towards the chosen 
people. The Jews hated both dynasties well 
and thoroughly, but as the Kaiser had gradually 
begun to open his palace doors to the Jews, and 
to respect them as powers in commerce, their 
dynastic hatred did not include the House of 
Hohenzollern! 

In consequence of this forbearance, the Ger- 
man Jew and the Russian Jew have begun to 
fraternize, and the danger of a "Plat Deutsch" 
language will have to be faced. This amalga- 
mation will also lead to the future expansion 
of Germany, and it will inevitably weld millions 
of Jews into one large and formidable family. 

Present-day politics rightly amaze one! A 
child of two could do better than many a politi- 
cian, but I suppose that politics, after all, is 

[206] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

more or less of a personal matter. However, 
the incredible stupidity and blindness of politi- 
cians makes them oblivious to the fact that two 
of the largest empires in the world were levelled 
at the same time, and that both are now treated 
as outcasts by the Allies ! 

Union is strength and none know and appre- 
ciate the value of union so greatly as Russia and 
Germany. The Allies are divided by countries, 
religions, governments in fact, by everything! 
For them no lasting union is possible, they are 
Allies in name only, and in the future they will 
become the agents of their own destruction. 

Any European war resolves itself into a ques- 
tion of railways, and one of the most vital ques- 
tions centred round the Chemin de Fer de Bag- 
dad. All railways will soon lead to Bagdad, 
for Germany, stripped of her colonies, must 
have some outlet for her indestructible, com- 
mercialism, and she will discover this outlet in 
AN ALLIANCE WITH RUSSIA ! 

Both the German and Russian peoples are 
gifted with extreme quickness of perception, and 
when this gift is allied to facilities for territorial 
communication, Germany and Russia will prob- 

[207] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

ably follow the lead of America, and) consoli- 
date on new railroads. Between the years 1870 
and 1875 over a hundred railway companies in 
America were insolvent, and no less than 100,- 
000,000 of bonds were in default with their in- 
terest. The position is now entirely altered, the 
railroad has triumphed, and, in the future, this 
will be the case in Germany and Russia if they 
can raise themselves above the level of the rest 
of disunited Europe. 

Climatic conditions alone constitute a strong 
argument in favour of their union. The Ger- 
man can stand the Russian climate; he is imper- 
vious to its contrasts in heat and cold. The 
French cannot, the English find it impossible; 
therefore, both the Sister Republics are excep- 
tionally favoured in this respect, and they are 
likewise helped immeasurably by their geo- 
graphical conditions. There are no impreg- 
nable ranges of mountains to hinder communi- 
cation, no rivers impossible for navigation, no 
hostile tribes all is one gigantic flat surface 1 - 
therefore there is no just cause or impediment 
which can possibly prevent the marriage of these 
two one-time empires. 

[208] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

Both Russia and Germany are smarting under 
a sense of their grievances, and what is more 
natural for any two nations with grievances to 
nurse them, and to discuss them, with an Idea 
of ultimate revenge on the aggressor? Thus, 
the danger of another and more terrible "Day" 
becomes more and more apparent, and what 
will happen if a united Russia and Germany 
throw off their bondage and overrun Europe? 
The mind recoils from the horrors of such a 
possibility, but I regard it as a probability, and 
one to be reckoned with in our own time. And 
we should realize that when these particular 
dogs of war are unloosed, they will be entirely 
savage and relentless. A Russo-German world 
war will be no question of disputed territories, 
or a revanche for lost provinces. It will repre- 
sent a war of hatred pure and simple, a war of 
retaliation for humiliations, oppression, and in- 
sults, rightly or wrongly merited, and a war in 
which no pity or chivalry will be shown. Why 
is Europe then so blind to the ever-growing 
danger, and why does she persist ia her sense- 
less and suicidal strangulation of Germany and 
Russia? Why will she not remember these 

[209] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

often quoted lines, and apply them to herself, 
since she must inevitably face the consequences 
of her folly: "But though circuitous and slow, 

the feet of Nemesis how sure " 

Many men and many nations have laughed 
at Nemesis until they heard her footsteps and 
beheld her face. Then they laughed no 
more 



[210] 



CHAPTER XI 

THE SUPER-MAN OF EUROPE EX-KING 
FERDINAND OF BULGARIA 

PRINCE BISMARCK'S last word in connection with 
the Balkan States was as heartless as the Spanish 
specialist's ultimatum concerning Las Urdes. 
Neither wasted any pity on the vexed question 
of a turbulent or a diseased region. "Let fire 
consume Las Urdes,' 7 decreed the Spaniard. 
"Put a wall round the Balkans and let them 
devour each other," cried Bismarck, but Bis- 
marck never reckoned with the Coburgs, or the 
power of the Coburg Strain in New Bulgaria. 

I am convinced that the hour has struck when 
it behoves someone to present the world with a 
true picture of Ferdinand of Bulgaria, Europe's 
super-man, one of the most progressive kings 
that has ever held the reins of power. 

The average Englishman usually speaks of my 
cousin as "Foxy Ferdinand," much in the same 
way that he describes the ex-Crown Prince as 

[211] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

"Little Willie." He knows no better, but it is 
apparent from this senseless vulgarity that he 
ought to be enlightened, as to- the ex- King's 
character, as, at the present time, Ferdinand of 
Bulgaria remains the most dignified figure in 
the European debacle. He shuns publicity of 
any kind, he sees only the beautiful side of life, 
his reverses have not embittered him, he has 
retired at the right moment, and after his ab- 
dication a great silence fell on this extraordinary 
man ; he then withdrew into the secret chamber 
of his soul, and he has become the dreamer, 
the philosopher, the poet, and the embodiment 
of all that is most gracious and refined. 

Some of my happiest hours are those when I 
lunch or drive with my cousin at Munich, where 
he now spends part of the year, and I look for- 
ward to these meetings in the same way that a 
traveller in the desert welcomes the oasis, which 
typifies rest. For, by reason of the great in- 
tellect, the personal charm, and the psychic gifts 
of Ferdinand of Bulgaria, he takes me with him 
on a higher plane in which vulgarity, discom- 
fort, and the ugliness of life have no part. And 
I often look at him and find myself wondering 

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EX-KING FERDINAND OF BULGARIA 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

many things sometimes I cannot believe that 
he belongs to this earth, so rarely fine is his spirit, 
so detached is his outlook. 

Let us and I address myself chiefly to the 
ex- King's most hostile critics imagine ourselves 
in Munich. 

The old city does not seem different from what 
it was in p re- War days, but stay there are now 
notices on many of the shops which intimate 
that the French will not be served in them. The 
spirit of the Ruhr has entered Munich and whis- 
pered her heart's bitterness to Bavaria! 

I walk down a long, airy corridor in the hotel 
where my cousin has his suite of rooms, and now 
I will show you the mise en scene of a King in 
exile. 

The large salon is decorated very simply in 
white and mauve; there are no v pictures, no 
luxurious hangings, no embarrass of bibelots. 
A few ancient volumes in mellow vellum and 
gilded leather are in evidence ; there are one or 
two easy chairs, a comfortable settee, and a large 
writing-table which stands in the embrasure of 
the sunny window. 

"Show me your books," says the proverb, 
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COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

"and I will tell you about your friends." I 
shall construe this as "show me a writing-table, 
and I will tell you the manner of man who uses 
it," for this especial bureau represents a glimpse 
into the soul of the King, and as some subtle 
essence of his personality his thoughts, his 
pride, his love of the undying past hover 
round it. 

The King's writing-table stands in pools of 
reflected light on the pale parquet floor, also in 
keeping with this pensive salon with its curiously 
scented and tinted air. It is apparently quite an 
ordinary room, but it is charged with omnipo- 
tent magnetism it is a room apart from exis- 
tence, knowing neither the changing seasons nor 
the stress or suffering of humanity. Like the 
King who sits and thinks there, it is undeviat- 
ingly silent. 

But ever watchful eyes dominate this place of 
cool and brooding silence the eyes of pictured 
long dead Coburgs, Koharys and Bourbons 
follow you, from their miniatures on the writing 
table a silent crowd of the great and the be- 
loved dead overshadowed by a curiously 
jewelled crucifix from Mount Athos. 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

Masses of f reesias and carnations are arranged 
near the people of the miniatures and send forth 
tremulous sighs of sweetness in tribute to their 
memory, and a shallow bowl of golden butter- 
cups, and pink and white daisies, is placed as 
an offering to one who in his lifetime probably 
never deigned to realize the existence of either 
"The Sun King," Louis XIV., direct ances- 
tor of Ferdinand of Bulgaria. Yes . . . the 
haughty face of Louis of France is surrounded 
by simple field flowers, and the oddly sensual 
features of Louis XV. are given an aureole of 
daisies. Purity and modesty were certainly not 
his attributes; can it be possible that my cousin 
arranges these buttercups and daisies somewhat 
in a spirit of irony? 

The sigh of the freesias reminds me how in 
his days of sovereignty Ferdinand planted a 
garden of freesias, solely for the delight of in- 
haling their morning and evening incense. 
Imagine these creamy clouds of swaying blos- 
soms, and the perfume laden air drifting towards 
the palace of the great flower lover. To-day 
only a few freesias exiles like himself remain 
to bear him company. 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

The miniature of Princess Clementine of 
Orleans, the King's mother, occupies the place 
of honour on his writing-table. He will never 
forget her as his mother, or as the mentor and 
Egeria who raised him to power. He was the 
son of her middle life, the adored child of 
promise, one possessing strange characteristics, 
a little boy who played with jewels as other 
children play with soldiers; but even then the 
French Princess realized the power of the brain 
under the jewel bedecked head, the daring mind 
which would triumph over insurmountable ob- 
stacles, and the philosophy which would enable 
her son to discard the kingly crown with dignity 
and without regrets. 

"I could not be a successful monarch, je voyais 
frop grand" Ferdinand tells me, with a whimsi- 
cal smile. "I knew that my son would make a 
better king enfin, I abdicated." 

Then he proceeds to relate the inner history 
of his abdication. "My son was taught to be a 
ruler. He had no childhood. I used to tell 
him: c Listen, I may be killed, or I may be 
forced at any moment to abdicate. You must 
be ready to take my place as if nothing had 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

happened' " Then I heard how one fateful day 
the Bulgarian Prime Minister was summoned to 
the palace. " 'It is my pleasing duty/ I told 
him," continues Ferdinand, " * to present your 
new king. Let us be the first of his sub- 
jects to pay our respects to him.' " His voice 
is low, cultured, and cynical; you feel in- 
stinctively that the King's soul is smiling. 
"His face, ma chere cousine, was a study in 
expressions. He could not believe that I was 
in earnest It took time to convince him; 
then he went out of the library, his arms 
raised in supplication, repeating, 'Ah Ces Co- 
bourg, Ces Cobourgs, Oh, mon Dieu, what 
strength of mind!' 

"That night I gave a State dinner. The new 
King of Bulgaria and the Crown Prince sat at 
the head of the table. The 'old man' was the 
guest of honour. Yes, I saw another King of 
Bulgaria" (his accents suddenly assume some 
hidden meaning) "but yet the same the same 
as I had been a spoke in the great wheel of 
Bulgarian monarchy a worker, a citizen, a 
king. I have passed, but he, my son, remains 
flesh of my flesh, bone of my bone, a male 

[217] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

Minerva sprung from the head of Jupiter a 
monarch in my own image. Therefore I have 
remained calm ; I have seen the crowned heads 
of Europe falling like ripe apples in a gale! 
but I am, untouched by intrigues or conflicts." 

The King sits facing me, his gloved hands 
resting on the carved ivory handle of his stick. 
He is tall and finely built, the Bourbon face 
forcibly recalling the waxen death mask and 
many of the portraits of Louis XIV. There is 
the same long, arrogant nose, the same superb 
carnage, and the same slender, thoroughbred 
feet. Ferdinand is proud of his ancestry. 
When he speaks of the great kings of France, 
his strange eyes of a seer narrow, and their ex- 
pression of clear sight and penetration becomes 
more evident "I never forget that nine hun- 
dred years of the blood of power flows in my 
veins. I am Bourbon, a ruler, and I crystallize 
the past Bourbons in myself" 

We talk of Versailles. "Ah, how I loved 
Versailles," says my cousin. "When I was 
allowed to visit France I often went there with 
M. de Nolhac. I knew by intuition the un- 
recorded life of the days of the Louis; I could 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

even point out the locality of certain hidden 
rooms in the palace. My 'dream self has wan- 
dered through the home of my race. I have 
seen what few mortal eyes have ever seen. And, 
because I admired the classic and artificial grace 
of the Trianons, I reconstructed them in Bul- 
garia men entendu, always as an interior. 
The exterior of a palace must be in keeping 
with the country to which it belongs! But the 
France of my ancestors calls me a traitor. She 
insists that, as a grandson of Louis Philippe, I 
ought not to have fought against her. This I 
find somewhat amusing, since France herself 
gave Louis Philippe his conge, and would have 
none of him or his family." 

We discuss war. The King sees himself as 
the world sees him, but he insists on the impos- 
sibility of Bulgaria remaining neutral. "Bul- 
garia could not forget the division of Bulgaria in 
the last Balkan War; if I had sided with the 
Allies the nation would not have endured it. It 
was equally impossible to remain neutral after a 
certain time." 

I know that Ferdinand of Bulgaria told the 
Kaiser at the most critical period of the War 

[219] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

that it was useless to exact any further sacrifice, 
and I also know that his soul revolted at the bare 
idea of the sale of his country to the Allies. 

He is a many-sided individual. His intellect 
is amazing, and his powers of organization can 
only be dimly conceived by those who do not 
realize his immense work in Bulgaria. This 
mental Sybarite, who hates dirt, discomfort, 
vulgarity, is paradoxically the most business- 
like of men. The commercial element, the flair 
for colonization, which is such a marked trait in 
some of the Coburgs, is apparent in the ex-King, 
who possesses the keen head for business peculiar 
to Leopold II. of Belgium. Both monarchs 
worked solely for the good of their countries, 
but neither, notably King Ferdinand, has met 
with adequate recognition. 

King Ferdinand of Bulgaria was the first 
director of the Bulgarian railways. When he 
became King there were practically no railways 
in Bulgaria, and his unerring instinct told him 
that any country without facilities of rapid com- 
munication is doomed. So the private wealth of 
the Coburgs was poured out on Bulgaria, the 
outposts of civilization were joined up, and his 

[220] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

active brain at last conceived the idea of link- 
ing up the marvellous Orient Express with 
Constantinople, "which railway should have re- 
mained untouched by the War," the King tells 
me, "since it was protected by special treaty at 
the time of its institution." 

The Bulgarian railways and the way to Con- 
stantinople were the result of much thought on 
the part of the King and his constructing en- 
gineer. Experts were sent to the United States 
to study how best to arrive at the maximum of 
speed allied to the maximum of comfort and 
the result was an unalloyed triumph. 

Yes, this monarch of many interests found 
Bulgaria a veritable desert which he made blos- 
som as the rose! After the introduction of rail- 
ways, national, education followed, schools 
* sprung up everywhere, and, as another result of 
progression, the industries and manufactures of 
the country were rapidly developed. 

"However, at the beginning, I was always 
more feared than loved," and smiling, his charm- 
ing half-malicious smile, the King adds, "You 
can't expect any nation to like a foreigner for 
their King; a foreigner is always feared and 

[221] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

mistrusted, so my bouquet de presentation from 
my new subjects was a bomb! But I believe 
that the Bulgarians had really begun to under- 
stand me in 1914," he adds, as an afterthought. 
Personally I can quite estimate the almost super- 
stitious fear which Ferdinand of Coburg in- 
spired when he first came to Bulgaria, but this 
super-civilized Prince eventually conquered a 
country whose conquest represents the triumph 
of mind over matter an achievement only pos- 
sible for a man of his temperament. 

I do not care to discuss the King's private 
life, but it is not true that his first wife was the 
unhappy woman that Louise of Coburg repre- 
sents her in "My Own Affairs." Doubtless the 
Queen felt the change of religion for her eldest 
son very deeply, but only the "clerical" side of 
her was affected, and the supreme cleverness of 
the King in his dealings with orthodoxy has re- 
sulted in the Vatican remaining on friendly 
terms with him to-day. He has been blamed 
for giving his son to the orthodox religion, but 
the same thing has happened in Rumania, and 
no stones have been cast at the reigning sover- 
eigns. In Rumania the King is a Roman Catho- 

[222] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

lie, the Queen a Protestant, and the Heir 
Apparent belongs to the Greek Church! Why 
are they not condemned as Ferdinand has 
been? 

Ferdinand of Bulgaria placed an orthodoxy 
within the pale of the Catholic Church; he 
was always a devout Catholic, but he admitted 
no religious scruples when he considered the 
welfare of his country was in question. 

At the outbreak of the War, the territories 
of the Allies were full of discontented Bul- 
garians whom Ferdinand had rightly banishedr 
from their country. These malcontents found 
an opportune moment to vent their hatred and 
their rage upon their Ruler, hence most of the 
anti-Ferdinand propaganda is tainted and un- 
reliable. I dismiss with the greatest contempt, 
the unfair advantages taken by various carica- 
turists who have identified the King's noble and 
dignified personality with that of a fox, and 
who have, moreover, applied this resemblance 
to his soul. He remains immune from such 
petty considerations; condemnations and insult 
have not embittered him, and his keen sense of 
humour has enabled him to laugh at the con- 

[223] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

ception of himself as imagined by those who 
cannot claim to possess the slightest knowledge 
of him! He declares that his son Boris was 
ripe for the throne at the time of his abdica- 
tion. "It came just at the right time," the King 
tells me. 

King Ferdinand never sees his children; he 
considers it his duty to give them a free hand 
in arranging their lives, and he intends them to 
be free from any suggestion of undue influence. 
King Boris and his sisters lived together until 
the eldest married a prince of Wiirttemberg, and 
their home life founded on the King's amaz- 
ing system of education continues undisturbed. 
The princesses were taught by their father to 
manage the palace exactly in the manner of a 
house, and all the accounts and inner workings 
connected with it pass through their hands. 
They are entirely domesticated, but, at the same 
time they are de raee to their finger tips, the 
cultured, charming daughters of a cultured and 
charming father. 

The King possesses all the "orderliness" of 
the Coburgs, and the "neatness" so noticeable in 
the late Prince Consort. When we were once 

[224] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

discussing the strength of the House of Coburg, 
the King remarked with a smile: "Yes, Albert 
of Saxe-Coburg was far more clever than people 
think. He managed his wife admirably. He 
was handsome. Queen Victoria always had a 
weakness for handsome men (you remember her 
partiality for the Battenburgs, who were really 
beaux gargons], but Albert was tactful as well 
as handsome. He seemingly effaced himself, 
but he contrived to make the Queen see things 
through his eyes exactly as he wished her to see 
them!" Of the late King Edward VII. Fer- 
dinand says: "A clever man my private 
friend, my political opponent." 

We touch on many topics ; I hear that when 
he first entered Bulgaria, the Legations left the 
capital as a protest against his assumption of 
of authority. "But," I said, "let them go." 
The King tells me, "a country is much better off 
with as few Legations as possible, so I ruled for 
twelve years without them" He waxes en- 
thusiastic at the recollection of Sir William 
White. "He was my best friend, truly the re- 
incarnation of an old Roman sage. I am proud 
to acknowledge myself as his disciple!" 

[225] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

A great deal has been written concerning the 
occultism and the various strange beliefs attrib- 
uted to the King. I shall not attempt to deny 
that he is occult in the highest degree : he is in 
many respects the super-man described by 
Nietzsche; no one could call him entirely hu- 
'rnan ; the workings of his colossal brain in his 
quiet body are not those of an ordinary mental- 
ity, and his intellect dominates and illuminates 
everything and everybody with whom he comes 
in contact. 

The King's interest in the occult is essentially 
a personal matter, and it would be unpardon- 
able if I were to enter into his beliefs or describe 
his pleasures of imagination. His sister-in-law, 
Louise of Coburg, embittered by many troubles, 
has not scrupled to present Ferdinand of Bul- 
garia to the world as a member of some Satanic 
brotherhood, or 3 as she writes, "a modern necro- 
mancer, a fin de siecle magician. Surely the 
King's life is his own to lead as he sees fit, and 
who shall then presume to rend the veil of pri- 
vacy with which he envelops himself? But 1 
shall not be likely to offend if I state that h( 

[226] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

believes firmly in the Jettatura, and that he lays 
great stress upon the value of his intuition: 
"I know instinctively, even in a crowded street, 
those people who wish me well, and those who 
are dangerous to me." 

I sincerely hope that my memories of this 
great King-in-exile will help to destroy the 
prevalent unpleasant impression concerning 
him. He is not faultless only human vege- 
tables are immune from faults but the faults 
of a great man are never those of a little or a 
mean soul. 

Whenever my mind seeks rest or contrasts 
from the banalities of every-day existence I pic- 
ture the salon of tempered lights and cool spaces 
where Ferdinand of Bulgaria communes with 
the Unseen, or perhaps visualizes his lotus gar- 
dens at Sofia, and once more descends the flower- 
terraces of Eudoxia to the shore where his wait- 
ing boats sway on a sea whose waters resemble 
a black sapphire. 

Thrice-fortunate monarch, happy mortal, and 
supreme philosopher, I salute you, and I leave 
you to the joys of meditation, silence, music, 

[227] 



COURTS AN-D COUNTRIES 

perfume and flowers. May the gods attend 
your footsteps, and remember always that 
"beauty, like wisdom, loves the lonely wor- 
shipper." 



[228] 



CHAPTER XII 

RUMANIA GREECE THE UNSEEN FORCE 
OF EUROPE 

RUMANIA, one of the smaller countries of 
Europe, acquitted herself with distinction in the 
Great War. She was brave, honourable and 
discreet, but she could not divest herself of her 
inordinate passion for spectacular display; in 
consequence she provided a continuous theatri- 
cal pageant for the rest of the world, and she 
has also indulged in many post-War gala per- 
formances. 

Queen Marie is the most striking figure in 
the Rumania of to-day 1 had almost said the 
most important as only those cognizant of the 
inner workings of Rumanian history can rightly 
estimate the influence and autocratic power 
vested in this extraordinary woman. 

Her predecessor, "Carmen Sylva," was an 
artist and a dreamer; the present Queen com- 
bines the artist, the dreamer and the woman of 

[229] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

business with the brains of a man; she is more 
clever than many clever politicians, more subtle 
than the subtlest diplomat, but she is essentially 
womanly, and by reason of her exaggerated 
artistic temperament she might easily have been 
another Bernhardt, had not destiny decreed her 
to be a Queen. 

Marie of Rumania is beautiful; in her the Co- 
burg strain has been "helped" by Russian blood 
which gives her the tinge of Orientalism which 
enables her to appeal so strongly to the coun- 
try of which her husband is King. 

"Missie," as she is called by her family and 
intimate friends, spent an entirely uneventful 
childhood with her three sisters, the daughters 
of the late Duke of Edinburgh. Three of them 
married far too early for Victorian traditions. 
They settled their futures almost before they had 
blossomed into girlhood. The eldest princess, 
who married the Grand Duke of Hesse Darm- 
stadt, was, as all the world knows, unfortunate 
in her first matrimonial venture, but she has now 
found happiness in her union with the Grand 
Duke Cyril of Russia. Marie married the then 
Crown Prince Carol of Rumania, Beatrice be- 

[230] 




H.M. THE QUEEN OF ROUMANIA 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

came the wife of my son, the Infanta Alfonse, 
and her other sister married the Prince of 
Hohenlohe Langenburg. 

I have endeavoured to show how the extra- 
ordinary power of the Coburgs has developed 
in Europe within the last hundred years. To- 
day the House of Coburg is represented in 
nearly all the European Kingdoms, and, thanks 
to the Queen of Rumania's matrimonial strat- 
egy, its ramifications now extend to the near 
East 

Ferdinand of Bulgaria made Bulgaria a coun- 
try worthy of the name; Marie of Rumania has 
treated Rumania in the same fashion and her 
husband is so deeply in love with her and be- 
lieves- so implicitly in her intellect and in her 
"nagging" powers, that he allows her a free 
hand in nearly everything which concerns the 
commercial development of Rumania. I have 
seen American financial magnates defer to the 
Queen's judgment, I have heard her talk "oil" 
until one wondered at her knowledge, and the 
next moment she would be equally absorbed in 
the latest Poiret creations and the modes of the 
day after to-morrow. 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

Many people (and probably herself in- 
cluded) believe the Queen of Rumania to be a 
re-incarnation of Theodora, Empress of Byzan- 
tium. She possesses that bizarre and devastat- 
ing charm with which the old-time Empress 
has been credited; her beauty, like Theodora's, 
requires a splendid setting, and her mise en 
scene must be one of colour, mystery and pomp. 
She is gorgeous in everything she does, she is 
a figure of romance whenever she appears, but 
she never loses her extremely English common- 
sense which she carries with her to that ancient 
plane where she lives in dreams as a Goddess- 
Empress de temps de Paganlsme. 

"Missie" loves jewels much in the same way 
as did the heroine in Robert Hichens' jewel 
novel, and she, like Ferdinand of Bulgaria, ap- 
preciates the frozen beauty of colour and mys- 
tery inseparable from gems. She always wears 
a magnificent Cross of St. Andrew in diamonds, 
and I think I am right in saying that she de- 
signed her crown for her belated Coronation, 
a ceremony which stamped her as one of the 
ablest modern "producers." The Rumanian 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

coronation was a triumph of stage-management; 
a special cathedral was built for it, one particu- 
lar colour scheme was imposed on the guests, 
and the Queen out-rivalled the glory of Theo- 
dora in her imperial state. 

I remember once going to see "Missie" when 
she and I happened to be in Paris at the same 
time. Her hotel suite had undergone a mar- 
vellous transformation, and she might well have 
been in ancient Alexandria instead of in modern 
France. It was a confusion of barbaric col- 
ours, flowers, perfumes and subdued lights, and 
"Missie" received me sitting in State on a 
throne-like seat, reminiscent of Theodora; 
there were quantities of water lilies in great 
marble bowls at her feet, her background con- 
sisted of flowers and palms, her cf robe" (for 
robes is the only word which best describes 
"Missie's" attire) were marvels of embroidery, 
and I might add, in explanation, that "Missie" 
usually drapes and never "dresses" herself. 

She looked exceedingly beautiful, but she be- 
longed to a life beyond my ken, and it seemed 
almost impossible to believe that, not so many 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

years ago, Marie of Rumania had been brought 
up on English lines in the correct atmosphere of 
Clarence House. 

For such a young woman she has proved her- 
self to be an amazing match-maker, since she 
has domesticated the Balkans and infused them 
with Coburg blood. Her son, who had mar- 
ried a Rumanian girl, had his union dissolved 
through the Queen's influence, and he is now the 
satisfactory husband of a satisfactory Greek 
princess; her daughter Marie is married to 
King Alexander of Servia, another of her girls is 
Queen of Greece, and the youngest is probably 
destined for the bride of King Boris of Bul- 
garia ! 

A propos of Queen Marie's flair for the spec- 
tacular effect, an amusing incident once oc- 
curred at Bucharest when a certain ambassador 
had an audience. He was received with all 
customary ceremonial, and found the Queen as 
usual in h,er favourite Byzantine milieu; but the 
puzzled diplomat was suddenly confronted with 
what seemed to be a diminutive lake which pre- 
vented him from reaching the Royal Presence, as 
the gorgeous gold-robed figure of Queen Marie 

[234] 




H.M. QUEEN MARIE OF SERBIA 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

was apparently entirely surrounded by water. 
Never, surely, had any ambassador found him- 
self in such an embarrassing situation, but to 
his infinite relief he discovered that the lake 
"was not," and that its counterfeit was a wonder- 
ful arrangement of tiles, whose colour and make 
were almost indistinguishable from real water. 

Rumania has at last arranged her affairs in a 
manner more or less satisfactory to herself, and 
one which in no wise interferes with the rest of 
Europe. American interests are now largely to 
the fore, and her manufactures are in safe hands ; 
the only question which actively concerns her 
touches the division of land, and if she is able 
to steer a course free from internal dissensions 
she will achieve a solid and lasting prosperity 
by reason of her valuable assets, and the enor- 
mous possibilities of her various oil-fields. 

From, Rumania I shall pass to Greece, a name 
synonymous with that of Venizelos whom I 
place on an equality with JSii^J^ 
and other prominent figures associated with the 
occult force which now directs Europe. There- 
fore, no matter how often banished, Venizelos 
will always return to Greece; for him Vest 

[235] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

reculer pour mieux sauter," since he is protected 
by those who do not recognize the existence of 
any will save their own. 

The late King Constantine was marked for 
extinction. Some sovereigns are predestined 
for destruction ; he was one of the doomed. As 
a man, and one of my old and valued friends, he 
was almost stubbornly honest, he was the soul 
of loyalty, and the accepted type of a solid, well- 
meaning Colonel of any regiment, but he was no 
politician. However, the King proved a very 
useful scapegoat, and when it was necessary to 
discover one, Constantine supplied the want. 

Even Queen Sophie had her uses, one of 
which was to make her appear to the world as 
Mephistopheles in the damnation of Constan- 
tine. Opportunity certainly favours slanderers, 
and as the Queen was own sister to the Kaiser, 
it was considered impossible and unjust to credit 
her with possessing a single good quality. 

Poor misjudged Queen Sophie is one of the 
best of women; her patience in adversity was 
wonderful, and her stoical philosophy enabled 
her to regard her life entirely as a state of omnla 
sj in which nothing was lasting. I know 

[236] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

that she did not approve of many of the Kaiser's 
actions, but I also know that family affection 
and pride forbade her from criticizing them. 
She was essentially too loyal hearted for her 
position, and she had the supreme bad luck to 
be credited with making everything happen un- 
towardly. The Greeks have forgotten that 
many of the improvements in Greece were in- 
stituted by the Queen, who planted trees in a 
land where no trees save olives and cypresses 
grew, and if she approved of the American in- 
vasion in the Royal Family, it was partly in the 
hope tiiatJVIr^^ 

benefit and develop Gb:eiK^as..nateral-^condi- 
tions would have made it so easy to compete 
favourably with the Riviera! But King Con- 
stantine and Queen Sophie were totally unfitted 
to cope with the difficult nation over which they 
exercised sovereignty; the Greeks are not lav- 
ishly dowered with moral blessings, they have 
cunning, unscrupulous and cowardly qualities 
which do not make for the happiness of a nation. 
Their principal amusement is that of secret 
poisoning, at which they are experts, and they 
are clever enough to remove the unwanted with- 

[237] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

out leaving any finger-print clues, and the un- 
natural death of the unfortunate King Alexan- 
der is looked upon as evidence that regicide in 
Greece is not regarded as a crime. There are 
likewise many terrible truths about which it is 
impossible for me to write, but it is whispered 
that the late Princess Christopher of Greece was 
one of the many victims of national prejudice. 

The last time I was destined to see "Tino" 
alive I found the "exiles" living at Lucerne in 
the greatest privacy, which was uniformly re- 
spected by the courteous people in whose coun- 
try they had sought sanctuary. I was painfully 
struck by the King's altered appearance: his 
face was drawn and ashen, his clothes literally 
hung on him, only the brilliant blue eyes his 
Danish heritage were unchanged. 

"Yes, I have been very ill," he explained in 
answer to my anxious questioning, "a sort of 
pneumonia." Queen Sophie interposed, "You 
would hardly credit it, but, Tino, has actually 
lost some of his ribs." 

The King smiled mirthlessly. "It's quite true 
see for yourself." He slipped off his coat, 
and I placed my hand on the locality designed 

[238] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

by Nature for the housing of the human rib. I 
drew back shuddering; there was a dreadful 
hollow on one side. "Tino" explained. "Some 
of my ribs had to be cut away," he said simply. 
But his simple words spoke volumes. 

"Tino," the much-maligned, has at last found 
that rest which life denied him. His body lies 
in the dusty vault of a small Neapolitan, church 
in the Quanta Vecchi, since Greece, ignoring 
the respect due to the dead, does not apparently 
wish to give him a more fitting sepulchre in 
Athens. Well might Constantine have sung the 
song of Atta, well might he have voiced the 
prayer to the sea-mother: 

"At the even I came 
To a land of terrors, 
Where I strove with thousands, 
Wild-eyed, and lost. 

But sudden before me 
I saw the flash 
Of the sweet, wide waters 
That wash my homeland. 

Soon will the sweet light come, 
And the salt winds and the tides 
Will bear me home." 

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COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

A propos of King Constantine and his much- 
maligned Consort, it is an interesting fact that 
three queens of Greece are at the present time 
wanderers on the face of Europe: Queen Olga 
of Greece lives at an hotel in Rome, Queen 
Sophia has rented a house in Florence, and 
Queen Marie, the daughter of the Queen of 
Rumania, has taken shelter with her mother at 
Bucharest Surely it is a unique record for any 
country to boast of driving forth three queens 
who came to it as the land of their adoption, and 
who endeavoured to live up to the meaning of 
the immortal words, "Thy people shall be my 
people" and "thy country shall be my country." 

I have alluded to Venizelos and Sir Basil 
Zaharoff as the accredited agents of the unseen 
force which dominates modern Europe. I will 
go still further and state unhesitatingly that this 
force otherwise Freemasonry is the most 
powerful in the world, and, with the exceptions 
of the Kings of Belgium and Spain, no royal 
ruler who is not a Mason has been permitted to 
retain his throne. Freemasonry is naturally in 

[240] 




H.M. QUEEN ELIZABETH OF GREECE 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

direct opposition to the teachings of the Church 
of Rome, but it is more powerful than any 
Church, and its "serious" members absolutely 
differ in appearances from the majority of men; 
they possess a certain "inner" look, indescrib- 
able, but there! 

Freemasonry in England is more or less of a 
brotherhood ; in Europe it is a forceful activity, 
and it has become much more active since the 
War. Its agents are everywhere; it can make 
or unmake nations, immense funds are at its dis- 
posal, and it controls countless agents; its single- 
heartedness aims at the abolition of corruption, 
the purity of its teachings makes it the sworn foe 
to degeneracy, in short, it is as the fire which 
purifies and destroys. i 

If the Church of Rome would act in unison 
with the Freemasons, such a union would be 
productive of ideal results, but, alas, the liberty 
of conscience advocated by the ethics of Free- 
masonry is not permitted by the mediaeval in- 
stitution of Catholicism! 

They say Freemasonry in Europe has its 
feminine counterpart in the Union Mondiane 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

des femmes, whose aims correspond to those of 
the masonic movement; indeed it is now called 
the " Feminist Freemasonry." 

What a pity that women are not allowed to 
become real Masons! Why should men alone 
be admitted into the "mysteries"? I suppose 
the reason is obvious. No secret vows would 
ever be kept by women; such a task is beyond 
the range of their capabilities, and it would re- 
quire a tongue-tied Eve to penetrate this Eve- 
less Eden. However, women are adaptable 
creatures, and they might soon learn the deaf 
and dumb language, and the jealously guarded 
mysteries would rapidly become les secrets de 
Polichinelle. 

In most European countries women are tak- 
ing an active part in the interests of nations, 
and "Feminist" Masons might easily include a 
league of morals in their programme, which 
would act as a powerful counterblast against the 
Agreed" of many prominent men. Woman's 
mission to-day is to clear the moral atmosphere 
of the hate which enshrouds Europe, and the 
Union Mondial e could amalgamate most ad- 
vantageously with the various woman's move- 

[242] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

ments in the United States, and form one great 
cosmopolitan league of humanitarianism. 

Women have always possessed the monopoly 
of moral courage ; it rarely fails them, and their 
tenacity of purpose carries them to their ob- 
jective, no matter how rough the road. Woman 
invariably takes the lead where man fears to 
tread. I can pay no higher tribute to fem- 
ininity. 



CHAPTER XIII 
ITALY 

MODERN Italy, a country primarily designed by 
Nature for beauty, love and laughter, possesses 
paradoxically, the most austere Court in Eu- 
rope. Her King embodies in himself the spirit 
of the strictest military discipline, and her 
Queen has brought the strength and sternness of 
her mountain race into this smiling and lan- 
guorous land. Honesty, courage, singleness of 
purpose, and clean morals are forces which 
count, and as the example shown by the Royal 
Family embodies them, the majority of the na- 
tion endeavours to practise them. 

Queen Elena, a daughter of the late patri- 
archal King of Montenegro, is a charming wo- 
man, extremely simple in her mode of life, 
darkly handsome, regal of carriage, with the 
most beautiful eyes of any European sovereign. 
She met and married the King when he was 
Prince of Naples their courtship was entirely 

[ 2 44] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

an affaire du cceur, and their marriage has 
proved a very happy one. Most people are 
familiar with the photographs of the King a 
sturdy, short, active figure but not many people 
realize his forceful character. He is a man of 
few words, who rarely talks unless he happens to 
be interested in the subject under discussion. 
He cares little for social life, and his essentially 
Italian hobby of collecting rare coins and medals 
has also been indulged in by past famous mem- 
bers of the Houses of Borgia and Medici. The 
King's collection of coins and medals is one of 
the finest in the world, and he has just brought 
out the sixth volume of his "Corpus Num- 
morum Italicorum," an admirably printed and 
illustrated series, which gives a complete cata- 
logue of Italian coins from the Middle Ages to 
the present day, whether struck in Italy, or by 
Italians elsewhere. 

The first volume is dedicated to the coinage 
of the House of Savoy, which, though possess- 
ing an historical interest, is inferior in art to 
the others. The second volume deals with the 
coinage of Piedmont and Sardinia ; then follow 
Liguria, Corsica, Lombardy, and the Canton of 

[245] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

Ticino. The sixth volume treats of the merits 
of the Venetian provinces and Dalmatia, and 
the seventh and eighth volum.es will deal ex- 
clusively with the coins issued by the Venetian 
Republic. 

The King and Queen of Italy prefer to reside 
outside Rome, where they lead a life which is 
more or less English in its daily round, a fact 
which goes to demonstrate that the Italian 
Court, like many others, is dominated by Eng- 
lish domesticity. 

The royal children are all charmingly un- 
affected: Princess Yolande has been allowed 
to follow the dictates of her heart in her recent 
marriage; and the attitude of the sisters and 
their brothers towards their parents presents 
a beautiful example of broad-minded family 
life. The Crown Prince and the princesses are 
thorough Italians, and the weaker Italian strain 
has been strengthened by their mother's perfect 
constitution God's best gift to any mother of 
kings ! 

Queen Elena possesses none of the passion for 
dress or jewels which was so apparent in her 
predecessor, Queen Margherita, the beautiful 




H.M, KING VICTOR EMMANUEL OF ITALY 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

pearl of Savoy. In her taste for useful and ele- 
gant simplicity, the Queen resembles Queen 
Mary of England, just as Queen Margherita 
has her counterpart in the essentially decorative 
and lovely Queen-Mother of England. Both 
older Queens, it seems to me, belong to an age 
which did not traffic with the realism of life, 
although, as reigning Queens, they were 
womanly, tactful, and clever. But both always 
attached great importance to decorative effect: 
they knew to a nicety the values of costly tissues, 
priceless lace, the softness of velvet, the sheen of 
silk, and the wonders of jewels they were 
queens of romance and of hearts, and as such 
their sovereignty is indestructible. 

The Courts of the Queen Dowager and 
the reigning Queen of Italy afford an inter- 
esting study in contrasts. Queen Margherita 
is rarely seen unaccompanied by her ladies-and 
gentlemen-in-waiting, whereas Queen Elena 
(except on official occasions) dispenses with any 
forms of State, and is usually accompanied by 
her husband or her children. It is a living page 
of pageantry to watch Queen Margherita bow- 
ing to the crowd, or advancing slowly to receive 

[247] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

visitors, who are escorted by two gentlemen-in- 
waiting to the royal presence, and this gracious 
lady has remained "Nostia cara Regina" to 
those subjects who remember her as the young 
and beautiful woman who shared the Throne of 
Italy with her popular husband, King Umberto, 

Queen Elena's greatest charm is her sim- 
plicity: born in it, she has been clever enough 
to retain it, and to be, and to appear, genuine 
is a great asset to those who have "risen" to any 
unexpected rank in life. This dark-eyed, 
healthy daughter of the mountains, brought with 
her the ideal family life hitherto unknown to 
monarchs whose ancestors for generations had 
lived like the Roi Soleil amidst a crowd of flat- 
tering and time-serving Courtiers. The "un- 
canny" atmosphere peculiar to palaces does not 
exist in the Villa Savoia, where Queen Elena 
reigns as a model wife, a loving mother, and a 
democratic queen the best ideal of the happy 
marriage which this War seems to have wiped 
completely away. 

A few weeks ago, Queen Elena and her 
daughter Maria travelled to Bordighera in the 
same train as myself. No one disturbed their 

[248] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

privacy, no officials awaited them en route; and 
at Bordighera they stayed in Queen Mar- 
gherita's villa more incognita than any of our 
family could have hoped to remain in a foreign 
country. There is no "outside" sign of an "in- 
visible" Royalty in Italy: the King and Queen 
dispense with a guard, and yet no Throne is 
more secure than that occupied by King Vit- 
torio Emmanuele of Italy. 

I think I can claim to be the first Royalty 
to inagurate the habit of going about without 
a lady-in-waiting, and a good many heads in 
Spain and elsewhere shook with disapproval 
and horror at my departure from custom. 
Now, not only princesses like myself, but queens 
dispense with an entourage! But I have always 
been in advance of my time, and I am still pre- 
paring for the day when servants are non- 
existent, for I have always declared that we shall 
only attain real freedom when we can live with- 
out the paid spies whose "diaries" are especially 
written to benefit one's enemies, or to rejoice the 
hearts of one's friends, since, in many cases, the 
names are synonymous! 

Queen Elena, like Queen Mary, does not en- 
[249] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

courage eccentricities in fashion, and I have 
been told that the ladies-in-waiting only require 
two Court dresses during the whole time of 
their attendance on the Queen. 

It must not be supposed, however, that the two 
Italian Queens are at variance otherwise than in 
their appreciation of chiffons. Queen Elena 
and her mother-in-law agree perfectly, and the 
tact and wisdom of Queen Margherita were in- 
valuable aids to the younger woman when she 
first arrived (somewhat as a country ingenue] at 
Rome. 

The Court is extremely moral, and the King 
and Queen are immensely popular with the 
masses; indeed, the longer the King lives, the 
more beloved he becomes. His behaviour dur- 
ing the War was wonderful. He was always 
with his troops: he shared their dangers and 
their privations; he made himself one with 
them. The Red Cross also owes an inestimable 
debt of gratitude to the Queen of Italy, and her 
devoted helpers, and the great work of the 
Italian Red Cross in the War presents a re- 
markable study in seriousness and, (if I may so 
term it) respectability. The Queen and the 

[250] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

Duchesse d'Aosta recognized how imperative it 
was to preserve modesty in every branch of its 
endeavours, and, as a result of their foresight, 
one never heard the nauseous gossip about nurses 
and V.A.D.s which were prevalent in other 
countries. The Italian Red Cross sought no 
advertisement, and no scandals smirched the 
crimson emblem which typified the heart's blood 
of the women of Italy! The Queen and the 
Duchesse were not (as were so many others) 
wilfully blind to the dangers of rudely awak- 
ened sex-curiosity and sexuality in young girls 
and young women; they rightly estimated the 
probable dangers arising from this after the 
War, and, with infinite wisdom, they insisted 
that only women of a certain age should be en- 
trusted with the intimate duties connected with 
the wounded. 

Yes, this daughter of the mountains, this 
Spartan child of the Balkans, has made her pres- 
ence felt in the land of her adoption, and she will 
continue to be a power for good to the last day of 
her life. Comparisons between kingdoms, mon- 
archs and people are usually odious and tactless, 
but I see the ironic and inexplicable ways of fate. 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

Elena of Montenegro and Marie of Rumania 
were both transplanted from lands where dis- 
play is ever subservient to solidity and comfort 
Queen Marie at once assimilated the decorative 
spirit of her new country, and has never 
lost it Elena, called on to become queen 
of a country where luxury and decorative dress 
are traditions, has remained untouched by the 
fascination of either; she has never really 
emerged from the shadow of her mountains 
the Italian sunlight, and the glories that once 
were Caesar's, have never stirred her soul! 

The Court of Italy represents the best model 
of the present more or less democratic Courts of 
Europe. The majority of monarchs have 
hitherto existed as decorative figure-heads who 
imagine that to dress up, to appear in public 
daily, to attend divine service, to patronize the 
theatres, and to wander around hospitals con- 
stitutes the only way to keep monarchy alive. 

King Vittorio Emmanuele and Queen Elena 
have proved by their own actions that the secret 
of success as monarchs lies in the secret of not 
making themselves (as so many do) too cheap. 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

You do not find any Court circular in the Italian 
newspapers to chronicle what their Majesties 
were doing on the preceding day, in fact the 
three figures which form the triangle of great- 
ness in Italy Mussolini, the Pope, and the 
King lead a life of privacy, seclusion, and per- 
fect liberty of action. 

This freedom of life exists in the Court of 
Belgium, but the race is more or less "Northern" 
and untemperamental, and one would never have 
believed that Italy would imitate and surpass 
Belgium as a democratic Court. 

But democracy does not mean familiarity, 
and people often err in mistaking democracy 
with equality, much in the same way that the 
word "liberty" has been distorted into that of 
"anarchy." 

It has always been thought that democracy 
represents a death blow to monarchy. Italy has 
disproved this theory, as democracy has strength- 
ened monarchy, and now the Crown and all 
classes walk hand in hand and work for the 
prosperity of the nation, whose King and Queen 
live the simple life of a wealthy, middle-class 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

citizen, rarely appearing at the Quirinal, unless 
a reception, or an affair of State ceremonial, de- 
mands their presence. 

To-day, modern Italy can boast of a second 
renaissance, but not the renaissance of the pas- 
sions, the art of the skilled craftsman, the sweet 
songs of poets, or the artist's expression of col- 
our. This twentieth century renaissance is the 
triumph of youth and the necessities of life. 
The strong arm of youth has been extended to 
the failing spirit of Italy worn with the fatigues 
of war, and harassed by the broken machinery of 
Europe. Italy has accepted the strength of 
youth, and by reason of this timely aid she has 
retained her rightful place among European 
nations. 

The occupation of the northern factories of 
Italy by Italian Bolshevists in 1920 may be said 
to have first given the alarm to the devoted pa- 
triots who refused to allow their country to be 
outraged by a revolution akin to that of Russia. 
The society of the "Fascio" (a name derived 
from that formerly given to the "bundle" carried 
by the Lictors) sprang into existence, and its 
membership was open to all classes of society. 

[254] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

Hence peasants, workmen, soldiers, bourgeois 
and aristocrats, united for the common weal, and 
the youth of Italy in her ancient universities was 
especially captivated by this revolution in the 
cause of order. 

Benito Mussolini, the originator and leader of 
the Fascists, knew that the future of Italy lay in 
the hands of youth, and he decided to employ 
this force like water is used to generate elec- 
tricity. Briefly, he harnessed youth in the serv- 
ice of its country, with almost inconceivable re- 
sults. The Fascists' code is essentially based on 
the old Mosaic law of an eye for an eye. They 
are just, merciless, and pre-eminently methodi- 
cal in their methods. 

Moussolini, now hardly more than thirty- 
eigh,t years of age, is the all-powerful leader of 
the movements, and ist November, 1922, wit- 
nessed one of the greatest events of modern his- 
tory, when he literally threw open the gates of 
Rome and appeared, covered with mud and 
blood, to be welcomed and approved of by his 
King, who had refused to sign the etat de 
Siege against the Fascists, demanded by the 
Government 

[255] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

The first benefit of Benito Mussolini's direc- 
tion in Italy begins to be felt when one crosses 
the Italian Frontier and hears "II treno arriva 
all orario." This impression of punctuality in 
a country where some few years ago punctuality 
was unknown, is most comforting to those who 
adventure into Italy on business or pleasure bent, 
as it presages other necessary reforms and a 
thorough cleansing of the Augean stables. 

No country possesses such a triple force as 
that which now dominates Italy, or can display 
three such leading figures as the Pope, the King, 
and Benito Mussolini three figures which 
represent three different castes, and, if I may 
use the expression, the three "knots" of the 
"Fascio," which hold together the unity of Italy. 

Italy is at all times profoundly monarchical, 
profoundly national, and (even to those who 
boast of irreverence) profoundly Roman Cath- 
olic. You would not find a true Italian disloyal 
to the House of Savoy, and likewise profoundly 
interested in Benito Mussolini's health and do- 
ings, or a single Italian who would not wish the 
Pope to remain an Italian citizen and live on 
Italian soil. 

[256] 




BENITO MUSSOLINI, THE ITALIAN DICTATOR 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

Foreigners rarely penetrate the mysteries of 
the national mentality of Italy, but I think I 
can claim to understand this clever race by rea- 
son of my Italian blood transmitted to me by 
my grandmothers on both sides, who came from 
Italy to marry my ancestors for more than three 
generations. Thus I realize how foolish it is 
to treat the Italian mentality lightly, to allude 
to them as macaroni-eaters, or to laugh at the 
flowing feathers worn by the gallant Bersaglieri, 
the finest Alpine soldiers, and, as I am familiar 
with the Trentino country, I realize the debt of. 
thankfulness which we owe to these wearers of 
fine feathers! 

The Fascists constitute a trinity which com- 
prises protection, a military-civilian entente, 
and a definite political party, and a sort of new 
conception of the feudal system over-lorded by 
the movement Such a state of things would be 
frankly impossible in England, and the English 
people cannot rightly estimate its importance. 
In England the masses are powerless against 
the Government, and Fascism would be help- 
less : but the English are not imbued with the 
deep personal feelings peculiar to Italians and 

[257] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

their "movements," and the English climate, al- 
ways deadening to the emotions, would not be 
favourable to wearing a black shirt without a 
coat in November. 

In Italy all things appertaining to Fascism are 
deeply rooted; it embraces every national in- 
terest in its desire to stamp out Communism. 
But the problems of Fascism are easy compared 
to the difficulty of bridging the gulf between the 
Latin and the Anglo-Saxon races. 

The plight of Italy after the War was terri- 
ble. For her the world-conflict had signified a 
mountain war, which is always fraught with im- 
mense difficulties. In the eyes of Italy the War 
was practically a war with Austria, and I am 
confident that if Austria had not been involved, 
the Italians would never have entered into the 
struggle. The story of the lost provinces was 
repeated, as the actual hatred between Italy and 
Austria was, like the issue of Alsace-Lorraine, 
entirely a frontier question. 

We Spaniards are more fortunate over our 
frontiers. The frontiers of Spain and France 
are Basque on the one side, and on the other 
Catalonian, both belonging to the same race, but 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

the Italians and Austrians are as the poles apart! 
Talking of war and its effects on Italy en- 
ables me to assert with positive conviction that 
peace only exists in Italy. I have seen with my 
own eyes the gratitude of the Italian "enemies," 
and the spirit of Christian charity and brother- 
hood with which the Italians have helped 
"alien" children and their unhappy families. 

In Italy of to-day, those who narrate the past 
horrors of war do not use the embittered word 
"hate" which is so prevalent in other countries. 
I wonder whether this tolerance is due to the 
gentle influence of the Holy See which brings 
into Italian hearts the refining spirit of gener- 
osity and forgiveness, since the Pope's prayers 
are always devoted to the peace of the world, 
truly a peace which passeth all human under- 
standing. Certainly the Church of St. Peter 
and the imposing castle of St. Angelo are monu- 
ments destined to remind humanity of the power, 
sweetness, and strength of the Christianity which 
has endured for ages in the one-time city of the 
Caesars! 

One of Mussolini's most dramatic and tactful 
public moves was his attendance at Mass at the 

[259] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

Church of St. Mary of the Angels, when Mon- 
signor Giovanelli blessed the Italian nation. 
The King and Queen of Italy were present, and 
it is an open secret that the rapprochement be- 
tween the Quirinal and the Vatican is due en- 
tirely to Mussolini and to the triumph of the 
new renaissance. Hitherto the Pope has had to 
choose between any distinguished foreign per- 
sonage visiting him or the King. Now all is 
changed, and both visits are permissible ! 

The Fascist program is one conducive to 
national morality or rather to the moral health 
of the community. It refutes all useless institu- 
tions and it seeks to abolish obsolete and compli- 
cated State administrations. It suppresses all 
scandalous abuses, and it wars against interna- 
tional corruption in the same way that it nega- 
tives class presumption and the selfishness of 
the lower orders. 

The laws of the society are based on a system 
of inexorable discipline exacted from the high- 
est to the lowest: they insist that the muscles of 
the nation must never relax from a constant and 
well-ordered effort. No smallest particle of 

[260] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

strength must be wasted or misused every atom 
must play its part for the good of Italy. 

The executive power will henceforward gov- 
ern in the strength of its independence; Parlia- 
ment will only be given a limited control, and it 
will virtually become a prisoner of the Govern- 
ment. Such is the program laid down for 
the happiness of modern Italy, and it will be 
interesting to watch future developments. I 
am convinced that the secret of its ultimate suc- 
cess lies in never allowing any element of dis- 
cord to present itself, and so long as the Fascists 
remain united they will be strong; but Mussolini 
has an effective way with troublesome people, 
and he is not likely to allow any hostile ele- 
ments to assert themselves (or even to exist) 
longer than a day! 

As I have already hinted, English people are 
a little inclined to regard Fascism as "theat- 
rical," and they must relieve themselves of this 
wrongful impression as quickly as possible. 
Fascism is absolutely national; it responds to a 
national want, and until the English mind at- 
tempts to cope with differences of temperament, 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

it will never be able to rightly realize any na- 
tional and colourful movement. There is not a 
very great conception of personality in England : 
In Spain I have seen two absolute strangers 
make an entirely personal quarrel over the mer- 
its of two bull-fighters. In Italy a personal 
matter is often responsible afterwards for the 
existence of a party; does this not speak volumes 
for the Latin temperament? 

In striking contrast to the sound and healthy 
propaganda of Fascism, we are faced with the 
anti-European propaganda which is now being 
distributed by the negroes of America to their 
African brothers. This movement is headed by 
Marcus Garvey, President of the Universal 
Negro Improvement Association, who is like- 
wise the author of the inflammatory propaganda 
which translated into French, English, and 
Italian, has been sown broadcast in the Eu- 
ropean Colonies. In it Mr. Garvey adjures the 
400 millions of blacks who desire an Independ- 
ent Africa to rise, and throw off the yoke of 
their oppressors. 

"We will not commit the folly," says the 
manifesto, "of entering into a religious war. 

[262] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

We will not fight for religion, but for the liberty 
of the African race." 

Marcus Garvey counted on fresh hostilities in 
the Near East to assist him in his "rising" 
against the white race, but the check in the polit- 
ical career of Mr. Lloyd George has somewhat 
thrown him out in his reckoning. However, 
even if war had been declared between Great 
Britain and Turkey, I do not think he would 
have obtained any practical support 

I have introduced this seemingly irrelevant 
matter with the idea of proving the irony of 
Mme. Roland's immortal address to liberty. 
Never has any word been so misapplied. We 
have liberty of thought, which is too often a 
travesty, liberty of action, which is always re- 
stricted; the freedom of the Press makes pris- 
oners of those who are too proud or who dare 
not retaliate when attacked. Free love is the 
most discussed and the most censured of all the 
emotions; there is no meaning to the word. 
Liberty like gratitude is non-existent. 

The nearest approach to true liberty is un- 
doubtedly Fascism, and Mussolini has liberated 
Italy from the last of her old-time fetters of 

[263] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

ignorance and convention; he has infused the 
breath of life into her soul, and he has replaced 
her dreamers with men of action. He will 
never prevent her from remaining romantic in 
thought, or from forgetting the golden glories 
of her first renaissance, when love held universal 
Court, and great princes and pontiffs encouraged 
all that was most beautiful in life and art. The 
very dust of Italy is the pulsating dust of pas- 
sion, and her flowers spring from the earth 
which holds the ashes of great men and lovely 
women of bygone ages. Who shall separate 
them? 

Mussolini has no use for the things of the 
past, but he is wise enough not to seek to banish 
them entirely: his work is to purify and 
strengthen the present, and to sow seeds which 
will bring in a glorious harvest in the future. 
Two generations men between twenty and 
forty were killed during the War, but the 
young generation does not remember or feel any- 
thing acutely concerning the world-conflict, 
which never touched it actively. War to the 
present generation means little or nothing. 
Happy are those who have no past! 

[264] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

The most direct result of the War is that 
youth now considers itself infinitely superior to 
those who have gone before, and these fledgling 
eagles who rise in continual flight towards the 
sun of progression are the best conception of 
the old Roman eagles which at one time led the 
hosts of Caesar to victory. 

Benito Mussolini was ill when I was in Italy 
(1925), so I have neither seen nor spoken to 
him. But a great public figure does not need 
to appear in the flesh in order to create an im- 
pression. You can follow his politics, and you 
can look at his photograph, admire the interest- 
ing phrenology of the head, and marvel at the 
alert, sentinel-like eyes. You realize that this 
is the self-made man, the man who, having been 
a leader of the Socialist Party, knew the im-. 
portance of using the iron-hand under a velvet- 
glove when circumstances made him leader of 
the opposite faction, and the dictator of the 
country, into whose soil he had once, paradox- 
ically, sown the seeds of Socialism a socialism 
which, in the north of Italy, took the form of 
Communism. 

The Fascimo is becoming more and more a 

[265] 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

strong political party, and, as Mussolini's influ- 
ence is ever increasing, this regime provisore is 
now settling down as the only form of govern- 
ment. Mussolini has few enemies, and those 
who exist do not trouble him. 

Centuries have passed since any man of Mus- 
solini's obscure origin has wielded such absolute 
power in Italy, and the three points of the great 
triangle are in perfect unison, just as the three 




The King / \ Mussolini 



strong knots of the Fascio have been adjusted in 
absolute security by the same harmonious hands.. 



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CHAPTER XIV 

POST-WAR MORALITY THE MENACE OF 

DEGENERACY MY IMPRESSION OF 

PRESENT-DAY CONDITIONS 

THE Great War has been responsible for many 
unexpected developments in European Courts. 
For these the world-struggle has been some- 
what in the nature of a moral and social earth- 
quake which has made old traditions totter and 
fall, never to rise again, and it has removed the 
scales of narrow-mindedness and ignorance from 
the eyes of monarchs and men. 

War and death are the greatest class levellers. 
Any common danger usually brings under- 
standing, and any common loss makes hearts beat 
in unison. Thus the peasant weeping for her 
son, and refusing to be comforted, is enabled to 
realize the feelings of a duchess bereft of her 
first-born. Curiously enough, immense sym- 
pathy and immense hardness have alike resulted 
from the years of agony; women are more sym- 

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pathetic, but the majority of men have become 
far more callous, selfish, and cruel since the fate- 
ful August of 1914. 

The reason for the sympathetic outlook of 
women is not difficult to explain. The maternal 
and protective instinct which exists in the breast 
of every woman was allowed free expression 
during the War, when women, who so often 
delight in giving pain, are most perversely the 
first to resent suffering in others, as they dislike 
to know that anything living, from a caterpillar 
to a child, has been "hurt." This condition 
awakens their protective sense and, designed by 
Nature as a shrine of the emotions, woman in 
the war played the role of the universal mother 
with complete success. 

The noblest side of history is that which is 
unknown, and the Roll of Fame will never 
record the countless instances of self-denial, en- 
durance, and courage displayed by nameless 
heroines, many of whom suffered death, and en- 
dured humiliations unspeakable for the sake of 
right The violated virgins, wives, and mothers 
of Europe constitute in themselves a noble army 
of martyrs, worthy to sit at the right-hand of 

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God, and there to taste the joys and repose of a 
perfect communion of saints. 

But the War was likewise productive of an 
army of degenerates, male and female perverts, 
who indulged in nameless evils under the cloak 
of patriotism, and who to-day constitute a 
greater social danger than any European war 
of the future. 

Abnormal vice has existed since the earliest 
ages: it flourished in Greece and Rome; it has 
alternately languished and revived according to 
the spirit of the time. But never has the cult 
of degeneracy assumed such terrific proportions 
as it did during the War, and never has its 
hydra-head been so unashamedly raised as at the 
present time. 

I make this statement with absolute convic- 
tion of its truth: cocaine, morphia, and lesser 
drugs are fatal enemies to the health and sanity 
of any race, just as much as the vices of Lesbos 
and Sodom are the worst foes of morality; and 
when these forces become, as they often do, 
allies, the results are unspeakable, and indeed 
unthinkable. 

The Great War flung open the gates of licence 

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to the civilized world: it dispelled, almost 
brutally, the mystery of sex; it aroused latent 
sensualities; it rent the veil of modesty asunder; 
it opened the eyes of youth far too speedily to 
forbidden joys and the knowledge of good and 
evil. Many girls who had hitherto led "small, 
smothered lives" gave themselves unrestrainedly 
to almost unfamiliar lovers under the stress of 
emotions aroused by a desperate defiance of the 
ever-brooding shadow of death. The man, 
nearly always young, full of life, keen with de- 
sire, accepted the sacrifice of virginity as his 
due: he was no longer the seducer, the ignoble 
betrayer, but he represented the primitive male, 
who reverted to prehistoric days and seized his 
woman and enjoyed his strength, and her weak- 
ness, before he went forth to fight. 

Life and pulsating nature called to these indi- 
viduals and they obeyed their dictates. I do 
not condemn them, and in many cases these fierce 
and bitter delights have been productive of in- 
tensely vital legitimate and illegitimate off- 
spring. Neither do I condemn the more senti- 
mental and poetical war passions, dreamers 
awakened suddenly to a sense of impending loss, 

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COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

who clung to each other, white-lipped and wild- 
eyed, and with tears and sorrowful embraces 
consummated their love under the influence of 
stars and flower-perfume in the sanctuary of 
night Creatures of romance, who watched for 
the cruel dawn, ghostly as the evening moths, 
and as unreal and pagan as old-time woodland 
nymphs and fauns. 

Every day of the struggle was a phantasy of 
the real and the unreal : those whose convention 
is usually never shaken, married hurriedly, and 
legitimized passion which, in many cases, only 
endured for a night or two at some crowded 
hotel, and which as often as not was quickly 
wiped out by the obliterating hand of death. 
These young women were constantly re-given in 
marriage, in some cases their "lines" were re- 
peated three or four times surely a complete 
triumph of virtue! But presently, into this 
danse macabre of love, came certain sinister in- 
truders men old in decadence and perversion, 
now thrust into the stern realities of war, and 
boys, at first clean-eyed, god-like in their youth, 
presently laughed the laughter of Antinous, and 
their eyes became the keepers of shameful 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

secrets. These were the forerunners of the pres- 
ent degenerates, just as strange; bi-sexual women 
and girls donned uniforms and behaved as men, 
and rejoiced that fate had given them the op- 
portunity for tasting the perversions which are 
whispered in continental boarding-schools, but 
which are inborn in many of those who practise 
them. 

To-day, sex-perversion is rampant. In Ber- 
lin, visitors are aware of a contingent of painted, 
posturing youths dressed as girls, who lie in 
wait, seeking those whom they may devour ; and 
in London and Paris it is not unusual to en- 
counter a couple of women, the one entirely 
masculine in her dress and deportment, the 
other intensely feminine. Such sights are a 
scandal, and such things constitute a moral 
canker in any nation. A commission of morals 
has now become absolutely necessary, and meas- 
ures of purification should be rigorously en- 
forced to ensure the extinction of degenerates: 
degeneracy must be recognized as an illness, and 
treated accordingly. 

The majority of medical men save the lives of 
their patients solely from self-interest, and from 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

respect to the teachings of religion which insist 
that man shall do no murder. 

Degenerates are the plague spots of family 
and moral life ; they change the very atmosphere 
of their homes, and they always bring direct or 
indirect harm on those who are unfortunate 
enough to be related to them by ties of con- 
sanguinity. They should be set apart, just as 
physical lepers are isolated in special islands. 
Vice must never exist as a religion, when all de- 
generates are its apostles. They are invariably 
crafty and malicious, and they usually act in a 
spirit of spite against humanity. Fearing de- 
cency, they try to destroy it; they know neither 
affection nor pity; they are always comedians, 
acting from morning till night; and they trade 
shamelessly on the fact that few people dare 
proclaim their vices from the house-tops. 
These creatures are the secret assassins of moral- 
ity. And whilst recognizing the right to save 
any body or soul, I contend that it is useless to 
try to save a soul or body doomed to perdition, 
and only a false humanity attempts such a sal- 
vation. 

A degenerate is never a "sport." He invari- 

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COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

ably seeks to throw the blame of his "fall" on 
others, and he becomes a bitter and relentless 
enemy. 

If certain types of degeneracy are recognized 
as incurable, it must surely follow that this spe- 
cial generation should become extinct. Many 
degenerates marry in order to save their faces, 
appease society, and to enjoy the pleasures of 
secret and abnormal mates ; and these marriages 
alone constitute a fresh terror to morality. I 
have known cases of perverted girls, young, fas- 
cinating, and beautiful, who have become en- 
gaged to clean-living men, whose chivalry and 
infatuation blinds them to the real nature of 
their fiancees, and who never dream that they 
are being used as a means to stifle gossip which 
was becoming too uncomfortable and too per- 
sonal. And these base uses of marriage are 
not peculiar to women: men likewise resort to 
them, and for the same reasons. 

I am not ignorant of the fact that many de- 
generates have a measure of worldly success; 
they are often amusing, witty, almost uncannily 
clever; they love colour, beauty and music; they 
are occasionally kind-hearted but, notwith- 

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COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

standing these qualities, I would unhesitatingly 
blot out my nearest and dearest, were I once to 
discover that he or she had outraged the laws 
of honour and decency. For me, such a person 
would cease to live. 

It is an undisputed fact that a powerful 
brotherhood of degenerates exists in Europe, 
and that its principal members occupy positions 
which render them immune from attack. Their 
motto is that of Danton; no one dares denounce 
them, and their mission is to place their disciples 
in lands already imbued with primitive passions 
and abnormal vices, where only the healthy- 
minded would be exempt from contamination. 
This is now especially evident in certain of the 
French Colonies, where vice in its worst forms 
reigns unchallenged ; and Morocco, Tunis, and 
Algeria are now the recognized homes of the 
proteges of powerful French degenerates les 
"arrivistes/' as they are called, but, more prop- 
erly, "opportunists in vice." 

Blackmail is the offspring of degeneracy, and 
a vast army of blackmailers has arisen since the 
War: its ranks comprise men who act as detec- 
tives in sin, who possess private dossiers of all 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

"likely" subjects, and who employ a number of 
women to aid them in their sinister pursuit of 
extracting money from those who are too mor- 
ally weak to resist their demands. It is in- 
credible, but nevertheless true, that many black- 
mailers are protected by their Governments, 
and these persons are the most to be feared, 
since they sap the life of a country, like a vam- 
pire drains its victim of its heart blood. I feel 
compelled to say that I think that the increased 
cost of living, which tends to lower the birth- 
rate, renders this corporation of vice more than 
ever powerful, and in consequence life in large 
towns is as vicious as that of old-time Babylon! 
From whence arises this appalling degener- 
acy which constitutes the greatest of post- War 
dangers? At one time, not so far distant, it was 
equally impossible to trace it, or to discuss it, 
but to-day we are fortunately not unduly 
troubled with false modesty. I opine that, just 
as eagles await the birth of the young lambs, so 
a certain class of vicious individuals await the 
coming of youth and innocence destined as their 
prey; therefore impulsive friendships with un- 
tried people should always be discouraged. 

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COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

School-life is also responsible for much that is 
regrettable, and the parable of the "little leaven" 
is often applicable to the contamination of girl- 
hood. Women are born with the bump of curi- 
osity largely developed: to-day girls and chil- 
dren are allowed a freer range of literature ; they 
live broader lives, they talk more, listen more, 
but woe betide them if their limitless curiosity 
is enlightened by the lips of perversion! A 
mother can usually eradicate faults in her chil- 
dren, but she is powerless to eradicate a vice, 
especially a vice as old as time, and one which 
is worse in its effects than death itself. I ap- 
peal, therefore, to every mother to see that the 
new race remains untainted, and to insist on a 
moral committee for schools which would repre- 
sent an equal system of moral sanitation. 

Friendship that much abused word is also 
responsible for sexual degeneracy. Men and 
women friendships are totally dissimilar, and 
when once friendship becomes unnatural, it is 
fraught with grave dangers. Any excessive and 
emotional attachment between members of the 
same sex must therefore be regarded with sus- 
picion, and a true and clean friendship ought 

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COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

always to stand the test of parting. Parting be- 
tween two women should therefore be in the 
nature of a scratch, and nothing more between 
a man and a woman it is bound to represent a 
wound. 

Life for a woman presents a more or less in- 
teresting series of conundrums and speculations. 
For myself, I think that the answer to most 
vexed questions consists in knowing the right 
moment to stop! Women ought to regulate 
their lives on principles of health, as bodily 
health is invariably productive of a healthy out- 
look. Golf has now happily usurped tennis for 
middle-aged women, and it is less rapid and 
more decorative to walk over the links in a well- 
cut tailleur than to rush about a la Lenglen, 
when one is no longer twenty-six. Much of the 
poetical side of existence has vanished, but the 
art of growing old effectually is surely to retain, 
and not to use one's strength unwisely? It is best 
to treat life in the dual role of a friend and a 
good investment: to acknowledge no dark cor- 
ners or even a skeleton in the cupboard, and to 
inoculate one's self against the most dangerous 
weaknesses of women. 

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COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

Total emancipation for women is dangerous. 
If a chain is not felt, the wearer does not know 
it exists ; but it is wiser to learn the uses of free- 
dom before practising it. Is it necessary to 
disturb people who are satisfied with their con- 
ditions of life on the excuse of bettering them, 
or "freeing" them? One must remember that, 
unless you can raise an ignorant mind to your 
own level of thought, you only disturb, and 
never benefit it. 

The cost of living has swept away many 
features of social life. The salon no longer 
exists the best traditions are over : the capitals 
of Europe are one continuous advertisement 
competition, but the advertisers wilfully ignore 
the fact that too much competition is bound to 
destroy itself. Everything is commercial, even 
the Passion Play has been filmed nothing is 
respected; life is one long revue, and! nobody 
seems proud of being European. 

I am sure that women could do much to 
remedy the ever-growing spirit of post-War dis- 
content and unrest Personally I find the art 
of living is to suit myself to my environment 
If I am at Court, I am in it, but never of it 

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COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

When I belong to Nature, I pay allegiance to 
her, just in the same manner that I respect the 
milieu of the Escorial, or the Royal Palace at 
Madrid. This adaptability of mine arises from 
the fact that most Royalties lead artificial lives, 
and thereby acquire the faculty of changing 
their surroundings and mode of life with com- 
parative ease. We never feel the loneliness of 
those who acquire social position by reason of 
money or intrigue. We are born in it. 

Not being a queen, and, let me confess it, 
never having had the slightest wish to become 
one, I cannot lay claim to the feelings of a queen, 
but I lived for many years with an exiled one 
my mother, the late Queen Isabella of Spain, 
and I learnt from her that the loss of a throne 
often opens a new path of life hitherto un- 
dreamt of, which shows vistas of freedom and 
independence which compensate for the pomp 
and circumstance of other days. And how 
many royal positions are non-existent in this 
changing world! The War Lord fells trees 
and chops wood at Doorn; Zita, the ambitious 
young Empress of Austria, finds solace in her 
children far from the country which rejected 

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COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

the Hapsburgs. The King and Queen of Portu- 
gal find Richmond far more healthy than Lis- 
bon; the King of Saxony has become a "landed 
proprietor" near Breslau; King Ferdinand of 
Bulgaria is happy in his beloved mother's home 
at Cobourg; the King and Queen of Wurttem- 
burg have settled down in their castle on Lake 
Constance. Their palaces are closed, and they 
are merely "names" to the new generation; but 
they are free from the discontent and unrest 
which I condemn so strongly. 

Every woman has the right to live, and she 
must not be regarded primarily by man as an 
instrument of sex, and afterwards as his slave. 
The world claims women, equally as much as 
does the fireside. 

We are conservative by instinct, and this gift 
often preserves our mental balance, as sometimes 
when a cause is good, its agents are bad. Clever 
women usually live years ahead of the present in 
their mental outlook, an attitude with which I 
am familiar, and one which has made me many 
enemies. However, every woman who is an 
individual is bound to have enemies, as anything 
strikingly original in one's outlook represents a 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

criticism on the well-ordered lives of one's re- 
lations and friends. 

From 1914 to 1925, countries, governments, 
and races have completely changed. The 
pendulum which in 1914 swung, perhaps, too 
much one way has now swung too much in the 
opposite direction, and the right balance is not 
yet established. Class upheaval has not proved 
beneficial, and those who have attained the most 
are the disillusioned, who will discover in the 
progress of time that what they imagined to be 
light was, in reality, only a mirror, used by 
others to attract them as a night-lure attracts 
birds who beat and bruise their wings against 
the unyielding glass. 

Although the guns are silent, peace has not 
come to Europe. Hatred dominates the world 
and the victorious nations are as dissatisfied as 
those who lost the struggle for supremacy. The 
enlargement of Poland by adding to her terri- 
tory two Russian provinces will probably be one 
of the causes of a future war ! Every day Rus- 
sian soldiers cross the frontier, and bring back 
any number of discontented Poles with them. 

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COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

The Soviet Government is clever enough not 
to declare war on Poland, but it lives in hope 
that Poland will throw down the gauntlet If 
Russia were to be^the aggressor, Rumania would 
be obliged to defend Poland; but if the position 
were reversed, I do not believe that Rumania 
.would consider herself as an "Ally." 

How powerful the Slav race will become in 
the future; and if ever the Jugo-Slavs unite with 
Russia, Europe would find herself under 
Slavonic domination. 

The question of race and religion constitutes 
the great cause of division in Europe to-day, a 
question which occupies the minds of politicians 
and that "secret force" which destroys thrones 
and countries at will. Each country is passing 
through its dark hour, and I look back with 
envy at those untouched Scandinavian nations 
whose white aloofness is in such contrast to the 
rest of Europe. 

What is the future in store for suffering hu- 
manity? The "unseen hand" governs destinies, 
and to-day it is working with greatest force and 
secrecy. The powers that direct its energies are 

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COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

masters in organization, and none know better 
how to prepare the rise and fall of their friends 
and enemies. 

The most interesting feature of any Euro- 
pean event of importance is that which remains 
undiscovered, but which is well known to be 
connected with the "Brotherhood." It is easy 
to name a person considered responsible for 
the faults of the past, but of what avails this? 
The only remedy is to kill the beast that walks 
in darkness, and not to wait until he has effected 
his purpose. But no one appears to be suffi- 
ciently brave to point out the danger, or to de- 
nounce its leaders. 

Yes, every day brings about some fresh crisis, 
some fresh "note," some fresh discussion, but 
no settlement. A United Europe would remedy 
so much of the evils of modern life, but the 
probability of a United Europe is as remote as 
heaven! A universally-accepted European lan- 
guage would also help matters considerably, as 
the universal knowledge of Spanish in South and 
Central America has proved of immense ad- 
vantage to the population. The League of 
Nations should, therefore, impose one language 

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COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

as a compulsory-adjunct in all European schools, 
a proceeding which would render the condi- 
tions of travel far less irksome. In Switzer- 
land every Swiss child is taught to speak fluent 
English, French, German, and Italian. Have 
we not, then, much to learn from the Swiss? 

A propos of ignorance in language, I remem- 
ber a very curious incident which occurred at 
Arcachon, when the first American troops ar- 
rived there. A question of blackmail arose 
which the so-styled interpreter translated liter- 
ally as "lettres noires," "Black letters 7 ' 
widely different to the real meaning of the 
word. 

It is most important to have a universal lan- 
guage, and in this deficiency we are lamentably 
behind the ethics of civilization. Some of the 
greatest political questions are discussed at 
present-day conferences by people who are 
totally unable to express the requisite nuances, 
which often represent the most important items, 
and, in consequence of this incompatibility of 
expression, many lamentable misunderstandings 
often arise. 

I find, in reviewing post-War conditions, that 

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COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

life seems somewhat in the nature of a bacchanal, 
but there is bound to be a reaction in favour of 
simplicity. We are taxed heavily in order to 
provide luxuries, and not necessities, for the 
working class, and although all of us ought to 
be ready to help, we cannot, I fear, divest our- 
selves of some natural bitterness, when our al- 
ready small incomes are taxed still further to 
keep the lower order in "clover." Happiness 
and comfort are twin-sisters, and money helps 
to ensure their presence in the home: a lack of 
comfort disunites any family. Perpetual money 
discussions are fatal to happiness. I shall al- 
ways contend that material happiness lies in the 
possession of money rightly used as independ- 
ence of action is one of the greatest benefits 
which arises from it 

The Socialists, who imagine that all classes 
ought to live on the same level, with an equal 
division of wealth, have no understanding of hu- 
manity. To abolish social competition would 
deprive life of its savour, and render it dis- 
tinctly unpalatable. We need a long educa- 
tion to fit us for Utopia and I doubt whether 
we should enjoy living there. 



COURTS AND COUNTRIES 

I have endeavoured to discuss Courts and 
countries after the War in a more or less 
womanly way. I have not entered into politics, 
which are chameleon-like. Neither have I in- 
dulged in scandals which might cause needless 
pain to those involved: I have never ranged 
myself on the side of those tragic Royalties who 
have provided the world with various sensa- 
tional revelations. Although I do not condemn 
those people I once knew for defending them- 
selves, it is impossible to estimate the bitterness 
of their hearts, and in many instances they have 
been attacked and judged most unfairly. But I 
confess I do not understand this kind of re- 
vanche. I am invariably actuated by proper 
pride, and any idea of lowering myself physi- 
cally, or mentally. Is intensely repugnant to me. 

So, let me claim the indulgence of the reading 
public which has already given a kindly re- 
ception to other royal essayists in literature, and 
with such approval I shall be content. 

THE END 



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