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iAR 08 M 












From a recent portrait. 











DURING a long illness I have amused 
myself and helped to pass the days 
by putting down a few of my early 
recollections and some of the shifting 
scenes of my life, thinking they might 
perchance amuse my children and grand- 
children hereafter. I had no intention of 
making these reminiscences public, and 
it is only at the request of my family 
that I have done so. My little effort has 
no pretensions whatever, nor can it lay 
claim to any literary merit, but if the 
memories I have written down should 
help any one else to while away an hour, 


Diplomatic Life 

their existence in book form will perhaps 
be justified. 

In conclusion, I wish to express my 
sincere thanks to Mrs. Morris Hands for 
the kind encouragement and help she 

has given me. 

A. M. 






HUGH MACDONELL (1862-1869) . . 38 

MY MARRIAGE (1870) 58 

MADRID (1872-1875) 80 

HOME (1875) II0 

BERLIN (1875-1878) 120 

ROME (1878-1882) 140 

MUNICH (1882-1885) 153 

Rio DE JANEIRO (1885-1888) . . . .170 

COPENHAGEN (1888-1892) 19$ 

LISBON (1893-1902) 223 



1. Lady Macdonell Frontispiece 

2. Mr. Edward Lumb } " CING PAt * 

3. Mrs. Edward Lumb J * 7 

4. An Argentine Caravan crossing the Parnpa . 32 

5. Hugh Macdonell of Aberchalderl 

6. Sir Hugh Guion Macdonell J ' ' * ^ 

7. A Typical Gaucho cutting a Lasso . . 64 

8. The Marquise de las Marismas . . . 81 

9. Marshal Serrano ] 

10. Amadeo II., King of Spain/ " ' ' 9<5 

11. The Marquis de Several . . . .117 

12. The Crown Princess of Germany and Prussia . 124 

13. The Kaiser when Prince William of Prussia . 132 

14. Lady Macdonell I4 c 

15. King Ludwig II. of Bavaria . . . .160 

16. Pedro II, Emperor of Brazil ... 193 

17. Royal Dinner-party at Fredensborg Castle . 208 

1 8. The British Legation at Lisbon .. . . 225 

19. Sir Hugh Guion Macdonell, P.C., G.C.M.G, 

C.B. ....... 240 




MY father, whose name was Edward 
Lumb, was born near Leeds in 1804. 
His father was deputy-lieutenant for the 
West Riding of Yorkshire, and died 
leaving my grandmother, Mary Poynton, 
with three sons and two daughters. 
Edward, my father, who was the 
youngest, w r as educated at Attercliffe, 
and at sixteen was articled to a well- 
known firm of solicitors. His second 
brother, Thomas, was going with his 
uncle, Charles Poynton, to Buenos 

Ayres. All his kit was ready and his 

i 1 

Reminiscences of 

passage taken, but Thomas simply 
refused to go, and became quite ill at 
the idea. My grandmother then said, 
" Ned, will you go instead ? " As he was 
always energetic and fond of adventure, 
he was delighted, and sailed with his 
uncle in the brigantine Ebenezer for the 
River Plate. 

After the usual story of the sea, gales 
and calms, they arrived at Buenos Ayres, 
over a hundred days' sail. 

Mr. Poynton, who was a partner in 
a firm of merchants of London and 
Sheffield, had great interests in Buenos 
Ayres, and hoping in this "El Dorado" 
to make a fortune for his protdgd, he 
started by placing my father in a Spanish 
family, so as to enable him to learn the 
language. Accordingly he went to live 
in a most distinguished old Spaniard's 
family. How quaint the manners and 

Diplomatic Life 

customs must have seemed to the 
lad. His first meal was supper. The 
whole family, father, mother, sons and 
daughters, sat on the floor; a servant 
brought in a large silver tureen, and on 
a tray some fine mother-of-pearl shells. 
The lady begged the stranger to be seated, 
and then proceeded to dip into the tureen 
with a shell and pass it to the guest A 
table-napkin and a piece of bread were 
passed next. The soup was sipped, and 
then the chicken or meat was taken with 
the fingers and eaten. 

This course finished, sweets appeared, 
and with them a kind of stale sponge- 
cake was served in lieu of bread. When 
this was consumed, the ladies tidied 
themselves up, added a rose or carnation 
to their elaborate hair- dressing, and 
started working on a small shoemaker's 
last ; a sole and satin were produced, and 

Reminiscences of 

they all set to work making their shoes 
to be worn on Sunday. Others of the 
family party were knitting their skirts 
with many pins and large balls of black 
silk. These skirts were only a yard and 
a half wide, and my father used to say 
that the girls could only take small 
steps, as if they were hobbled, on 
account of the width of their skirts. He 
could have said the same to-day! A 
large tortoise-shell comb, twelve inches 
across, placed either at the side of the 
head or at the back,, and a beautiful real 
Spanish lace mantilla finished their toilet. 
It was the custom for the very rich 
to have an Oriental carpet, which was 
carried by a black boy, who walked 
behind the ladies to the church, where 
he spread the carpet, and the members 
of his master's family knelt on it while 

at their devotions. 


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Mr. Charles Poynton joined a French 
gentleman, Monsieur Henard, who saw 
in those vast herds of cattle a future, and 
set up a plant, buying the cattle, boiling 
them down for their fat, and shipping the 
tallow to Europe; but it was too near 
the town, and law- suits ensued. The 
inhabitants complained of the disagree- 
able odour, the burning of the bones, and 
other unpleasant processes, and getting 
homesick Mr. Poynton bade farewell to 
Argentina, leaving my father as his repre- 
sentative. Things seemed at a standstill, 
when a Mr. Viola wanted an intelligent 
young Englishman to go on an expedition 
to Valparaiso. As the commodities of life 
were at famine prices, the Russian brig 
Olga, Captain Wolff commanding, was 
chartered and filled up with every imagin- 
able article. Mr. Viola gave a free 
passage to six Franciscan friars, and with 

Reminiscences of 

my father as his representative, they 
started on the voyage. Meeting very 
foul weather they were unable to round 
Cape Horn, and for six weeks the ship 
was swept from stem to stern, while the 
crew became mutinous. To add to the 
general misery, the water ran out and all 
the ship's provisions were full of weevils. 
The boatswain had hung a pair of woollen 
stockings on the mizen to dry; the captain, 
walking up, was flapped in the face by 
them and cut the stockings down. This 
small incident precipitated matters. At 
twelve o'clock all the crew mutinied, and 
went down to the cabin calling upon 
the captain to turn back, or they would 
take charge of the vessel. The captain 
had no alternative but to do as his men 
insisted, and run into the Falkland 
Islands, where fresh water and provisions 
were obtained, repairs were effected, and 

Diplomatic Life 

the vessel set sail for Buenos Ayres. 
A tremendous downpour of rain enabled 
them to strip and have a bath "al 
fresco." The poor friars were very 
thankful, inasmuch as many parasites 
had invaded them. The cargo was sold 
at Buenos Ayres and realised a splendid 
profit far greater than if they had 
reached their destination, Valparaiso. 
My father was given a handsome share, 
and from that day his fortune grew by 
leaps and bounds. 

He was the Concessionnaire of the 
Great Southern Railway, and I well 
remember when a syndicate was formed, 
including Mr. George Drabble, and he 
released his capital, how he came and 
said to my mother, "Well, Bessie, I 
am so thankful. I always felt it was 
not my line of business I am not a 
speculator or financier." 

Reminiscences of 

To-day a station far from the central 
point bears his name : Estacion Eduardo 

My mother, Elizabeth Yates, was 
born in 1809. Her father owned a 
great deal of land, which he farmed, on 
the borders of Hereford and Shropshire. 
He died in 1811 from what, I am sure, 
would be recognised as hydrophobia 
to-day; for it appears that my grand- 
father was bitten by a tiny pet dog that 
was supposed to have had a fit. Not 
much notice was taken of the bite. 
About six weeks after, he complained 
of pains in his head, and as an epidemic 
of typhus was raging in the neighbour- 
hood, he was thought to be sickening 
for the fever, but he had convulsions 
and what they called lock-jaw, and after 
thirty-six hours of acute suffering he 



Diplomatic Life 

I nursed a great dislike for my grand- 
mother, who died in 1842, eight years 
before I was born. I hope I am not 
misjudging her, but I have often gone 
to bed and sobbed myself to sleep think- 
ing of what a horrid old cat she must 
have been, and how unkind she was to 
my mother, and how glad I was I never 
knew her. 

When my grandfather died, my grand- 
mother gave up the land ; and her two 
sons, William and John, having heard 
of a great opening in the Argentine as 
rearers of fine sheep, got into communica- 
tion with a Mr. Peter Kendall, who was 
taking out the first fine merino sheep 
to those vast plains. They were both 
married men, and my grandmother de- 
cided to send her youngest child, then 
eight years and nine months old, with 

them, saying that if anything happened 


Reminiscences of 

to her the child would have to go to 
distant relatives, and she preferred her 
going with her brothers. 

Thus one day in 1817 poor little 
" Bessie," as she was called, was dressed 
in many petticoats, a long coat with 
many capes, a poke-bonnet and a wallet, 
and went from Hereford to Greenwich 
by coach, l^er brothers were also taking 
out to the Argentine two brindle bull- 
dogs, named " Keeper" and " Careless." 
After several days' travelling they reached 
Greenwich. The barque Elisabeth, com- 
manded by Captain Essen, probably a 
Scandinavian, was to sail the next day. 
In the excitement of arriving at the 
port of departure and all the fuss of 
trunks and luggage, my mother was set 
down and given the coupled dogs to take 
charge of. When everything had been 
more or less put in order, the cry came, 


Diplomatic Life 

"Where was Bessie?" The dear mite, 
feeling out of it and very tired, had taken 
the dogs and sallied forth, hoping to get 
back to Hereford. In the meantime the 
town-crier had set out in pursuit, and at 
last discovered the child not far from the 
inn, asleep, with the two dogs. And she 
used to say that she remembered the old 
man with a long coat and a cocked hat 
ringing a bell when he found her. 

She remembered very little about the 
sea journey, which took a hundred days 
to accomplish (6000 miles). In look- 
ing back, how strange it seems that 
Providence should have in store such 
good-fortune for this little soul, whose 
start in life was so pathetic. 

Bessie was put to school as soon as 
she landed, with an aged dame, by name 
Mrs. Hines, who kept a little day-school 
and took in a boarder; and except that 


Reminiscences of 

she was terrified at the appearance of 
the old servant, who was dark-coloured 
and did not understand a word she said, 
the child was not unhappy. Nevertheless, 
during one of the fearful thunderstorms 
that visit those regions, she woke up 
and ran to the old body's room, jumped 
into her bed and clasped her round the 
neck. This little incident provided old 
Neves with a pension for life. 

When my mother was fifteen it was 
arranged that she should go out to live 
with my uncle, John Yates, at Quilmes, 
where he was a flourishing breeder of 
merino sheep in partnership with the 
Mr. Kendall already mentioned. Mrs. 
John Yates was driving with her when 
the carriage, drawn by mules, in passing 
along an unpaved street became badly 
stuck in a mud -hole, locally known as 
a " pantano." They were in dire distress, 


Diplomatic Life 

for neither of the ladies fancied jumping 
out into the mud, when presently a 
handsome young Englishman came up, 
riding a fine steed, and equipped with 
a lasso. Seeing their predicament, he 
offered to give them a tow, and soon 
after succeeded in landing the carriage 
on terra firma. The ladies jumped out 
and thanked the gallant cavalier, who 
noticed that the young girl was remark- 
ably pretty, had small feet, and was 
wearing untanned laced boots. My 
mother was overjoyed on hearing him 
speak English, and more so when her 
sister-in-law invited the stranger to come 
and see them. 

About a week after this incident niy 
mother and Mrs. Yates returned to 
Buenos Ayres, and one day my mother 
was trying to cut out a gown in a sort 
of green brocade with large flowers, when 

Diplomatic Life 

the door opened and the rescuer appeared. 
My mother rolled the silk up and stuffed 
it into a drawer, saying, " Hang it ! " 
The visitor smiled and thought, " I pity 
the man who marries that girl ! " Within 
the year he proposed to her and was 
accepted ! As there were no Protestant 
churches, they were married at San 
Ignacio, the Jesuit church, by a Roman 
Catholic priest, and the certificate signed 
by four witnesses was eventually lodged 
at the British Consulate. 

My father's present was a brooch and 
earrings of pink topaz, and a fine camel's 
hair shawl beautifully embroidered with 
coloured flowers, which had been brought 
from China by one of his captain friends, 
and which I am proud to say I possess 


I WAS born at Buenos Ayres in 1850, 
the youngest but one of sixteen children, 
and there is something tragic in the fact 
that my brother, Charles Poynton, and 
I are the only survivors fourteen have 
"gone before." 

Charles was born in 1828, also at 
Buenos Ayres, and is hale and well to 
this day ; has a marvellous memory, can 
quote the classics, and knows his 
Shakespeare as though he had learnt it 

He was sent home to be educated 
when he was nine years old, accompanied 

by a black servant, who, when he arrived 


Reminiscences of 

at Liverpool, was christened Jacob Lumb. 
Charles was sent to school at Tadcaster, 
where Lord Howden resided, and as 
Lord Howden had been a great deal in 
Spain, having been aide-de-camp to the 
Duke of Wellington during the Peninsular 
War, he was delighted to hear that there 
was a little boy-boarder at the school 
who could speak Spanish, and obtained 
permission for Charles to spend his half- 
holidays with him. Many years after- 
wards, Lord Howden went out to Buenos 
Ayres on a special mission and was 
pleased to meet Charles again. My 
brother became practically his private 
secretary, and can recall many interesting 
anecdotes of the Dictator-General Rosas 
and of those momentous times. 

It is always a marvel to me how we 
ever leaf nt anything. Governesses were 
engaged and sent out to us, but before 


Q 1 

ti a 

Q . 

a .= 

Diplomatic Life 

they arrived they had met their fate on 
board, and were married as soon as they 

I do not think I possessed much in- 
dividuality. There used to be frequent 
friction with governesses, nurses, and 
maids, for during the summer all the 
daughters, sons-in-law and daughters-in- 
law and their children spent the hot 
season with my parents, and, including 
about twenty-five servants, there were 
often forty-five and fifty to cater for ; so 
with all the difficulties there were in 
providing for so large a number, it is 
not to be wondered at that there were 
occasional jars ! 

One day, which I remember vividly, 
when we were at the "quinta" and I 
considered myself unfairly scolded, I 
determined to run away. I put my sun- 
bonnet on, and wearing a white frock 

17 2 

Reminiscences of 

with short sleeves and a pinafore, I 
started off and walked until I came to 
the lucerne fields " alfalfares." They were 
in full bloom, and swaying as the breezes 
passed over them they looked [like a 
vast sea covered with thousands of 
bumble-bees. I walked on telling myself 
stories, and at last sat down. I had 
begun to feel tired, hungry, and sleepy, so 
lay down and was awakened by hearing 
my youngest sister, Harriet, calling me 
and crying piteously. I jumped up and 
came out of my retreat, much to the joy 
of the party who were seeking for me. 
The only results of my adventure were 
sun-scorched arms and a good deal of 

The "quinta" was a house of threads 
and patches, and of no style at all. I re- 
member the very spacious verandah in 

the centre, the old earthen tiled roof, 


Diplomatic Life 

lovely gardens, splendid vines, a peach 
orchard, fine nectarines, apricots, figs, 
and all European fruits in profusion. 

It was a happy home for young people. 
We generally went to the "quinta" in 
October and returned to Buenos Ayres in 
May. When the rains began in April 
the roads, which were not paved, became 
impassable, and the huge carts bringing 
the wool and produce from the far-off 
"estancias" or farms caused us children 
much amusement. These carts, with a 
capacity for carrying many tons, were on 
two wheels, made solid without spokes ; 
the sides of the cart were wood, thatched 
over the top ; a long pole stuck out in 
front with all sorts of " fetishes " hanging 
from it, such as beads or a cow's tail, 
while under the body of the cart the 
kettles, pots, and pans were hung. The 

team generally consisted of four, six or 


Reminiscences of 

eight span of bullocks. The yoke was 
put on the bullocks' heads and strapped 
over the horns with a hide thong many 
yards long. Various lean dogs ac- 
companied these caravans of the Pampa ; 
wives and children also were of the party, 
and when this huge cart stuck in a 
" pantano " or mud-hole, all the available 
bullocks from the other carts were 
requisitioned to help to pull it out. The 
drivers were most dexterous, for they 
guided the bullocks with only a goad 
and many exclamations. They had often 
been four or five months on a journey. 

With the tremendous energy expended 
in railway building in recent years this 
style of transport no longer exists, and 
goods trains bring in all the produce to 
the central markets at Buenos Ayres. 

The " gauchos " were most picturesque, 
being born horsemen and full of super- 


Diplomatic Life 

stition. They would suddenly stop, throw 
themselves from their horses and cross 
themselves, for various causes, but especi- 
ally when a peculiarly cold wind began 
to blow, which was, they used to say, a 
soul or a ghost passing. 

One of the terrors of my life has been 
the passing of a great herd of cattle, for 
in the autumn a thousand head at a 
time were driven to the markets, past 
our "quinta." Two men on horseback a 
short distance ahead, carrying a red flag, 
warned the travellers that a troop was 
approaching. The Argentine cattle seldom 
attack a vehicle or a horse, but a 
pedestrian is sure to be made for. 
Imagine our fright when out for a walk 
in the lonely lanes one suddenly saw 
these riders approaching. It was neces- 
sary for safety to jump down into the 
ditch, which always runs parallel with the 


Reminiscences of 

road on each side and is again bordered 
by a "tuna" or aloe hedge, and lie there 
perfectly still for perhaps ten minutes, 
which would seem to us like hours, whilst 
some four thousand hoofs rushed past! 
Occasionally one of these wild animals 
would break from the herd and knock 
down wire fences, and having evaded 
the drover and his lasso would have to 
be shot after trampling down plantations 
and gardens. 

My mother's sister, Mary, married 
George Keen, one of the pioneer agri- 
culturists and sheep farmers, who bought 
a vast estate called Pedernales, several 
miles from Buenos Ayres. The Indians 
frequently raided the cattle all round and 
would carry off the women. Some of 
the old people on the estate remembered 
one raid when, finding the women delicate 
and unable to stand the dreadful life, the 


Diplomatic Life 

captors sliced off the soles of their feet and 
left them to die on the roadside. One 
of the victims crawled back on her hands 
and knees and eventually recovered. I 
remember seeing a woman who had been 
treated in this barbarous fashion by the 
Indians. She was only able to hobble 
a short distance at a time. At last my 
uncle built a small tower and placed an 
old cannon on it, and whenever there 
were rumours of an invasion he used to 
fire a few shots, which acted like magic 
in keeping the Indians off. 

The house in Buenos Ayres, where 
we lived for many years, was in the Calle 
Florida I loved it before it was rebuilt 
in 1862. It was quite on the Spanish 
lines, with three courtyards. Round the 
first were the reception rooms and my 
father's private office. Lovely trees of 

lilac, laburnum, acacia, roses, and the 


Reminiscences of 

sweet lemon verbena in huge tubs bound 
with iron, and standing on iron stands, 
were in the courtyard or " pateo." The 
" aljibe " or water-cistern was quite Moor- 
ish. The water was collected from the 
flat roofs of the houses, called " azoteas " ; 
and these cisterns often had fine well- 
heads in wrought-iron with lids to cover 
the well. The water was brought up by 
a bucket and chain, and my father used 
to allow all the shopkeepers to come and 
fill their pitchers from the " aljibe." The 
water was considered very good and pure, 
as the cistern was cleaned out and re- 
cemented once a year; but I remember 
an occasion when this was being done 
when two dead cats were brought up. 

Round the second courtyard all the 
bedrooms were situated, and in the third 
the men-servants' quarters, kitchens, 

pantries, and storerooms. There were 


Diplomatic Life 

green " persianas " or blinds to each 
inside window, and on the outside 
windows huge iron cages were fixed, like 
prison bars, generally decorated by a large 
pot of carnations. An awning was spread 
over the courtyards to keep them cool. 

My mother used to fuss a great deal 
about the house. When Mr. Sothern, 
H.B.M. Minister, left, my parents took 
over that gentleman's chef, a veritable 
" cordon bleu/' Monsieur Theodore was, 
however, not very clean, and my mother 
would therefore occasionally press a 
holiday on him. As soon as she was 
sure he had accepted, she had a band 
of charwomen ready to scrub and clean 
kitchen, larders, cupboards, and passages, 
and when M. Theodore returned, he 
would request an interview with my 
mother, and bowing very politely would 

say, "Je vous remercie, Madame, la 


Reminiscences of 

cuisine est admirablement propre," and 
the incident ended there. 

Every Saturday from nine to ten in 
the morning we children used to stand 
inside the open front door, with a plate 
containing about one pound's worth of 
pennies; one of these we had to give 
to every beggar that came up, and 
receive the thanks and blessing of the 
poor recipients. 

I almost always accompanied my 
father on his walk before breakfast. We 
used to go to the news-rooms, where the 
names of all the ships that were sighted 
in the roads were written on a slate ; and 
I often tried to look through the telescope. 

When the China cargoes arrived con- 
signed to my father, it was joy indeed : 
there were the hundreds of boxes of tea, 
the Canton crpe shawls with their lovely 

embroideries and massive fringes; the 


Diplomatic Life 

tortoise-shell, ivory, and sandal -wood 
fans, and the ivory toys and chessmen. 
The books on rice-paper, principally re- 
presenting tortures, were thrilling, and so 
were the quantities of pearl beads and the 
dozens of preserved ginger and kumquats 
in the loveliest of pale blue jars, with 
boats and figures, and some with flowers 
on them. Besides all these, there were 
paper flowers, stacks of palm fans, lacquer 
boxes, and rolls of matting. The days 
when we went to the warehouse were 
indeed red-letter days, as we always 
received a present, which we were allowed 
to choose ourselves. 

My father entertained the great natur- 
alist Darwin, when he came to Buenos 
Ayres in 1837 in H.M.S. Beagle. He 
stayed with my parents, as there were few 
hotels and those were poor and uncomfort- 
able. A story is told of how, on his return 


Reminiscences of 

from one of his expeditions, he brought a 
little species of mole that belonged to that 
part of South America and was almost 
extinct It is called the touca-touca from 
the noise it makes. Darwin rolled it up 
in one of his fine cambric handkerchiefs, 
wanting very much to boil it down to 
preserve its skeleton, and for this purpose 
put it carefully in his chest of drawers. 
He went away again for a three weeks' 
excursion, as he had heard of the mam- 
moth shell at Quilmes, near to Uncle 
John Yates' place. During his absence 
the housemaid complained that in the 
Seiior Professor's room there was such 
a bad smell that she could not go into 
it. My mother went, and soon finding 
the cause of the trouble, promptly threw 
the handkerchief and touca-touca into 
the fire. 

On Mr. Darwin's return he inquired 

Diplomatic Life 

for the specimen, and was much upset at 
not finding it. My mother did not dare 
acknowledge her fault, and so begged 
my father to tell Darwin what she had 
done, whereupon he said, " I will forgive 
Mrs. Lumb, for she is nearly as beautiful 
as the touca-touca." I wonder whether 
my beautiful mother appreciated the 
compliment ? 

How vivid is my recollection of the 
Indian medicine -men of the Coya tribe 
who passed through from the wilds of 
Bolivia and Peru with their various 
nostrums for sale ! They were such un- 
canny objects, like nothing on earth so 
much as those mannequins one sees in 
the tea warehouses, being copper-coloured 
with sparse mustachios, and having long 
hair, as coarse as horse-hair, in a plait. 
They carried a "poncho," or square of 

cloth made of Vicuna wool, with a slit 


Reminiscences of 

through which they passed their heads, 
and wore a huge hat like a sugar-loaf, 
where they put their stock-in-trade, con- 
sisting of poisons and antidotes, charms 
and love-philtres. But besides all these 
quackeries they carried cinchona bark, 
ipecacuanha, vanilla pods and, above all, 
coca leaves. They used to travel for 
months, but never seemed to trouble 
about food. When asked how they 
managed, they smiled and showed you 
a small sack full of the precious leaves, 
which, when they felt hungry, they 
chewed. Often, as children, we stood in 
front of them with almost superstitious 
fear, and they would take out a few 
of the leaves and offer them to us; 
but though they filled their mouths and 
said, "Bueno, bueno" (Good, good), 
nothing would persuade us to follow 

their example. 


Diplomatic Life 

It was due to a French explorer and 
botanist that in 1860 cocaine, which has 
proved of such immense value in modern 
medicine, was produced from these leaves. 

There are few trees indigenous to the 
Argentine. Among them are the "tala," 
a sort of thorn, and the "ombu," which 
grows to an enormous size. The latter 
has a waxy leaf, and a tiny cluster of 
blossom and seeds like immature green 
tomatoes. It has no commercial value ; 
the wood is like pith, and it does not 
even burn ; but they are found on all 
"quintas" and "estancias," and they are 
a godsend for their shade ; for in the 
hot hours you will see horses and cattle 
coming to take shelter from the burning 
rays of the sun under their ample shade. 

On arrival at a " gaucho " homestead 
it was customary to be welcomed by a 

pack of lean mongrels, unrecognised off- 


Reminiscences of 

spring of greyhounds, bloodhounds, 
terriers, bull-dogs, and all sorts of canine 
derelicts. Their lot had been cast in 
ideal surroundings, with quantities of 
meat to eat, quantities of game to be 
poached, and boundless plains to roam 
over. When the gate, which consisted 
of a pole set in two forked branches 
set upright, was taken down, custom 
demanded that you should dismount 
from your horse or alight from your 
conveyance, as it was not etiquette to 
ride or drive up to the door. The dogs 
heralded your approach, and you followed 
a much-trodden track which brought 
you to a vine-covered pergola, shading 
a well round which were disposed some 
horses' skulls, bleached and polished by 
constant use for they generally served 
as seats. Halting, you clapped your 

hands and cried, "Dios gracia! Ave 


Diplomatic Life 

Maria purissima ! " and, like an echo, 
came the answer, "Concebida y sin 
pecado!" From behind the well the 
woman of the house appeared. In all 
probability she had been doing the family 
washing in a deep wooden trough called 
a " batea." 

Women age so quickly in Southern 
countries that it was difficult to tell her 
age : she might be twenty-five and looked 
forty. Fine eyes and teeth, thick hair (in 
two long plaits), small hands and feet 
were the typical characteristics of the 
" gaucha." Her dress consisted of a print 
skirt and a white garment, half-shirt, half- 
blouse, but she would invariably apologise 
for thus receiving you "en ddshabilld" 
Half-a-dozen children, ranging from ten 
pears to ten weeks old, would appear as 
though by magic, while the woman opened 

the door of her "rancho" or hut and 

33 3 

Reminiscences of 

invited you to enter. The "rancho," 
generally built of sun-dried bricks, called 
"adobe/' with a clean -swept floor of 
beaten earth, contained a large wooden 
bedstead with snow-white bedclothes and 
a patchwork or cotton crochet quilt, a 
chest of drawers, and a few rush-bottomed 
chairs. Upon the walls would be some 
pious lithographs, an image of Our Lady, 
and one of the patron saint or St. 
Raymond, the protector of women about 
to become mothers. A number of wax 
candles were kept as votive offerings, 
to be lit before their shrine on special 
occasions, particularly when a thunder- 
storm darkened the sky and the light- 
ning illuminated in fantastic panorama 
those treeless plains. Should this have 
happened when the husband was away 
perhaps driving a troop of cattle 

the mother would collect the children 


Diplomatic Life 

round her and proceed to recite litanies 
and prayers; the children, including the 
tiniest mite, making the responses with 
all the dignity and fervour of an 

The room was, as a rule, divided 
by a curtain, behind which were the 
children's beds, but there was nothing 
in the shape of a washing-stand the 
morning toilette being, as a rule, per- 
formed at the well-head; a lean-to 
contained a few kettles, pots, and a 
frying-pan, constituting the " batterie 
de cuisine," while four stones or bricks 
represented the range. Before your 
departure the woman offered you a 
"mat," that is to say, an infusion of 
a Paraguayan leaf called "yerba" 
serving it in a small gourd, from which 
you sucked it through a small silver or 

white-metal tube. 


Reminiscences of 

The "yerba" (Ilex paraguayensis) 
was prepared and sent down from the 
interior in undressed hide bales; and 
"mate"' is to the "gaucho" what tea is 
to the Australian bushman. 

The chief impression left with one 
after a visit to a "rancho" was the 
perfect self-possession and the refined 
manners of these people of the plain. 
It is curious to note that all these 
nomad people like the " gauchos " have an 
identical national dish. The Argentine 
"gaucho" has his "puchero," which con- 
sists of boiled mutton or ribs of beef cut 
short, or even chicken, thickened with 
rice ; but it is owing to the scarcity of 
vegetables in the pampas that only an 
onion is put in for flavouring. For 
grand occasions the "carne con cuero" 
is served ; it is meat cooked in the hide 

the " asado." The staple food is lamb or 


Diplomatic Life 

sheep put on an iron stake and cooked in 
the embers of a fire built up of " cardos," 
or thistle stalks and animal refuse. The 
ceremony of cooking is quite picturesque, 
as the men sit round sprinkling the 
meat with salt and water out of a 
bottle; they eat it with a clasp-knife, 
and accompany it with a sort of sea- 
biscuit to which fare it is said the 
" gauchos " owe their perfect teeth plain 
pure meat, and hard biscuits. Water 
is their chief drink, but they add often 
the spirit called "cana," distilled from 
the sugar-cane, and highly intoxicating. 




IN August 1862 my sister Lucy married 
Edwin Goad, and my father promised he 
would take some of us over to England 
the following year. Accordingly my 
mother, father, my sister Harriet, and I 
embarked on board the R.M.S. Mersey, 
a small steamer, en route for Rio Janeiro, 
where we transhipped to the big Royal 
Mail. The Mersey was a small iron 
ship about 1600 tons. The farewells, the 
packing, and other excitements nearly 
killed us. We arrived at Monte Video 

after twelve hours, and were delighted 


Diplomatic Life 

with the "Cerro," which is a small 
mountain in the harbour. We had 
never seen anything like it before, having 
lived on a plain. 

We thought the town small, and 
there was not the smartness or luxury 
of Buenos Ayres. Five days after we 
arrived in Rio. The Bay itself is 
nine miles across, and baffles descrip- 
tion, with its lovely verdure-clad hills ; 
with the water as clear as crystal, and 
of a turquoise blue colour in the 
shallows ; the sand like glistening 

The Organ Mountains, exactly repre- 
senting the front of an organ, are of 
the strangest shape, and so are the 
Corcovado, and the peak of Tijuca, 
which in my day you ascended in a 
tram drawn by twelve mules. 

The town of Rio is full of fine 


Reminiscences of 

buildings, and the Botanic Garden has 
an avenue bordered by 100 lofty palms, 
having crowns of leaves that look exactly 
like feather brushes. The principal street, 
the Rua Ouvidor, had a wealth of 
shops, and especially remarkable were 
the jewellers', where really magnificent 
stones could be bought, chiefly diamonds 
and emeralds, cut and uncut. I picture 
also the coloured sun-blinds, the narrow- 
ness of the street, that seething crowd of 
men and women, lightly clad, passing 
and repassing, every one carrying a 
coloured umbrella. 

We were glad to get on board what 
then seemed the large ship of, I sup- 
pose, about 4000 tons. Bahia was our 
next port. In the market-place we were 
delighted with the remarkably fine bare- 
footed negresses, like huge ebony figures, 

dressed in low-cut white muslin dresses, 


Diplomatic Life 

with coloured turbans on their heads, 
and beautiful China silk shawls round 
their waists, amber and coral beads in 
profusion, and bracelets. The lift to 
Victoria, the quarter where all the mer- 
chants resided, was greased with castor 
oil, and emitted a disagreeable odour. 

We did not land at Pernambuco, for, 
owing to a coral reef, there is a great deal 
of surf, and landing was tiresome. The 
fishermen's small rafts, called "catama- 
rans," one meets 20 or 30 miles out at sea, 
are quite marvellous, the water constantly 
washing over them, and the man steering 
with a paddle. 

Then we left Brazil, and our next 
stopping-place was Cape St. Vincent, off 
the coast of Africa, a desolate, treeless 
sand-heap, where the Cable Station 
stands high up on the hill The only 

amusement we had there was to watch 


Reminiscences of 

the divers. Quite young boys dive down 
for shillings and sixpences, but when 
the ship is about to start they dive for 
pennies. Poor creatures, I believe they 
are farmed out, and they keep very little 
of their earnings, looking miserable little 
objects shivering in the sun. 

A week's steaming brought us to 
Lisbon. How little did I anticipate that 
thirty years after it was to play so great 
a part in my life. Four days later we 
were at Southampton, where we were 
met by my dear sister and her husband, 
and taken to her English home. Her 
husband's grandfather was living; a 
dear old gentleman, who resided with 
them. He wore a white stock, and in the 
evening a dress coat with big side-pockets, 
silk stockings, and pumps. He was a 
great Tory and sportsman, and hunted, 

though he was then eighty-four years old. 


Diplomatic Life 

Many happy days we spent at Hackbridge 

On our excursions to Box Hill the 
gipsies especially interested us; and we 
thoroughly enjoyed the afternoons at the 
Crystal Palace, which was then quite 
a novelty. The fountains were still in 
working order, and the lovely water- 
lilies a wondrous sight. We went with 
our parents to Yorkshire, Liverpool, 
Manchester, and Birmingham to stay 
with friends of my father. 

In the autumn of 1863 we returned to 
Buenos Ayres, and in 1866 my father 
decided to leave the Argentine and settle 
in England for good. So we came home 
again, but he could find no country place 
just to suit my mother, and at last the 
difficulty was solved by his taking on a 
short lease The Culvers, close to my 
sister Lucy at Hackbridge. All sorts 


Reminiscences of 

of mishaps occurred ; the two South 
American servants did not quite agree 
with their English fellows ; and, finally, 
the house caught fire. This terrified my 
mother, so she persuaded my father to 
forfeit the lease and return to Buenos 

I am afraid I was not pleased, for 
I had fallen in love. The young man 
was not twenty-one, an undergraduate of 
Trinity College, Cambridge, and I sixteen. 
My first love-letter, a " valentine" from 
him, I treasured for some time, and a halo 
of romance still hangs round a little 
volume of Tennyson's poems, his first 
gift to me. We parted on the gth of 
October 1867, and I have never set eyes 
on him since. I often wonder whether 
his memory carries him back to those 
sunny days when our hearts were young. 

In 1869 I met Hugh Guion Macdonell. 

Diplomatic Life 

He came out to the British Legation as 
First Secretary. Shortly after his chief, 
the Hon. William Stuart, was obliged to 
leave on account of his wife's health, so 
Hugh remained in charge for nearly three 
years. He danced beautifully, was a 
splendid shot and a first-rate horseman. 
He was the grandson of Hugh Macdonell 
of Aberchalder, who played such an im- 
portant part as one of the four High- 
lander brothers who formed regiments 
and fought for the independence of 
Canada. Hugh's father afterwards be- 
came British Resident and Consul at 

When the Dey insulted all the foreign 
representatives and took them prisoners, 
Macdonell was placed in a cage next to 
a lion. Every day fresh tortures were 
practised on these unfortunate captives. 

Macdonell's beard was torn out, he saw 


Reminiscences of 

his friend and colleague the Danish re- 
presentative tortured before his eyes, and 
even witnessed an added horror when the 
barbarians placed the cloak of a man who 
had died of the plague in the cage where 
his unfortunate colleague lay more dead 
than alive. The Dane succumbed to the 

In the meantime, Hugh's mother, Ida 
Louise Ulrich, daughter of the Danish 
Admiral stationed at Algiers, escaped 
dressed as a British midshipman, 
followed by a bluejacket carrying her 
first baby, Emily, afterwards Marquise 
de las Marismas. The baby had been 
given laudanum and put in a big basket 
covered with cabbage leaves. As they 
came through the gate, the baby cried, and 
then the game was up. Hugh's mother, 
seeing what had happened, stripped her 

jacket off and jumped into the water, 


Diplomatic Life 

and swam until she was picked up by the 
man-of-war's boat which was quite close 
by. The baby, being a girl, was sent on 
board a few hours after. 

These incidents caused the bombard- 
ment of Algiers in 1816. H.M.S. 
Excellent under Lord Exmouth reduced 
the town to ashes, and soon afterwards 
released the British representative. His 
health, however, was completely broken. 
He retired from the service and settled 
at Florence. A very accurate description 
of this episode is given in Colonel Play- 
fair's interesting book, The Scourge of 

There was a little opposition to my 
marriage on the score of Hugh's pro- 
fession, it being feared that I should be 
obliged to become a nomad ; but this was 
happily overruled. 

Poor Hugh, I am afraid he had a sad 


Reminiscences of 

childhood. I hope and pray that he was 
happier as a married man than he ever 
was before. 

At nine years old his father took him 
from Florence to Paris by diligence, and 
he remembered staying the night at Avig- 
non, and arriving at his sister Emily's, 
the Marquise de las Marismas, in Paris. 
After a week he was placed at a school in 
the Rue Pepintere. The food was abom- 
inable : a huge cup of black coffee and a 
large slice of dry bread was his breakfast ; 
" bouilli " or boiled beef at midday, and a 
bowl of soup with bread at seven o'clock 
finishing the day. There were no games, 
no recreation of any sort, and a cruel 
punishment called " La sellette." When 
a task was badly or untidily written, it 
was corrected and the poor boy was put 
into a sort of sentry-box, sitting on a 

stool with a table in the shape of a half 

4 8 

Diplomatic Life 

moon, which closed with a spring, in 
front of him. He could not move or get 
out until released by the monitor. He 
used to say so pathetically that he prayed 
day and night that his father might come 
and remove him. This only happened 
when the year had expired, and Hugh 
was then sent to the Reverend Mr. Hare, 
the British Chaplain at Geneva, who was 
afterwards appointed Chaplain to the 
Forces, through the recommendation of 
Sir George Brown, Chief of the Staff at 
that time, and Hugh's brother-in-law. 

At twelve years old Hugh went to the 
Royal Military College at Sandhurst, 
obtained his commission at sixteen, and 
was sent out from Bristol to the Cape 
in charge of 100 men. They were three 
months getting there, after having only 
landed at St. Helena. His brother 

Alexander was captain of the first bat- 

49 4 

Reminiscences of 

talion of the Rifle Brigade, and Hugh 
was subaltern in the second battalion. 
Alexander was supposed to be the 
handsomest and most popular man in 
the army. A tale is told that when the 
Rifle Brigade was returning home after 
three-and-a-half-years' service in South 
Africa, Sir Harry Smith, Governor of 
Kaffraria, was giving a ball in honour 
of the retiring regiment. The officers' 
uniforms were much the worse for wear, 
and had to be constantly patched with 
antelope skins. When Captain Alex- 
ander Macdonell was making his speech 
and thanking Sir Harry and Lady Smith 
for all their kindness to them, he made 
a very low bow, and to his horror his 
trousers gave way, and he was obliged 
to beat a hasty retreat backwards, much 
to the merriment of his brother officers. 

The town of Ladysmith, as every one 


Diplomatic Life 

knows, was named after the Governor's 

Hugh was very proud of one of his 
brother officers, Curzon Howe by name, 
and he often recalled an incident of great 
courage and presence of mind which he 
witnessed. After a long and hot march 
they both lay down on the veldt and 
fell asleep. On waking, Curzon Howe 
stretched out his hand, and putting it 
on something cold, looked cautiously 
down and saw that he had put it on a 
puff-adder. He managed to draw his 
knife out of his belt and cut the creature's 
head off without releasing his grip on its 

Looking back on Hugh's career it 
seems marvellous how an untoward event 
shaped his destiny. If he had not been 
badly wounded in the first Kaffir War he 
would never have been a diplomatist, and 

Reminiscences of 

we should never have met ! He was so 
admirably adapted for that profession, 
being a great linguist, possessed of ex- 
ceptional charm of manner and tenacity 
of purpose; and it all came about 

When returning by night from con- 
ducting the time-expired soldiers, who 
had chosen to accept grants of land on 
the Buffalo River, he was suddenly 
surrounded by Kaffirs, an assegai going 
right through his boot and sticking fast 
in the calf of his leg. His escort, a 
few in number, came up, and the old 
sergeant tried to pull the assegai out 
instead of passing it through as one does 
with a barbed fish-hook. He conse- 
quently ripped the leg up. Hugh 
suffered torture ; fortunately, however, 
he was within twenty - four hours of 

Ladysmith. As soon as he was con- 


Diplomatic Life 

valescent he returned with his battalion 
to Dover, where they were quartered, 
and he quickly recovered. While there 
he very nearly got into trouble. Being 
anxious to spend Sunday in Paris, he 
told his Irish servant to say he was ill, 
should any one call. Paddy went to 
the senior officer and said, " Lieu tenant 
Macdonell told me to say he was ill ; but 
he has gone to Paris and returns to- 
night/' Consequently there were diffi- 
culties on his return ! 

Hugh had the honour of being on 
guard during the lying in state of the 
Iron Duke at Walmer Castle, where he 
died in 1852. The senior officer cut off 
a small quantity of the Duke of Well- 
ington's hair and gave it as a memento 
to the officers on duty. Hugh religiously 
kept his share, and I have the few silver 

threads still in my possession. 


Reminiscences of 

Shortly after this the Crimean War 
was declared, but Hugh was not passed 
by the Medical Board; and Queen 
Victoria of, as the Portuguese say, 
" saudadosa memoria," offered him an 
attachdship in the diplomatic service. 
He passed his examination, and was 
appointed to Florence under the orders 
of the Marquis of Normanby. 

His next post was Constantinople, 
and I suppose one of Hugh's most 
distinguished chiefs was Sir Henry 
Bulwer, who was Ambassador there at 
the time. He was a very little man, 
with extraordinarily small feet and hands, 
and very eccentric. Hugh used to tell a 
tale of how one day he had to take a 
dispatch in to him for signature, but 
could not see him anywhere. Presently 
a very weak voice came from a sort of 

nest arranged on a shelf high up in one 


Diplomatic Life 

corner of the room, to which he ascended 
by a rope-ladder. He explained that the 
room was so uncomfortable, and it was 
the only place where he could avoid the 

Years before his death Hugh destroyed 
quantities of letters and papers which 
would have been full of interest, inas- 
much as he had been selected as Sir 
Henry's private secretary in addition to 
his duties as Secretary at the Embassy. 
He was there during the great visitation 
of cholera in 1865 ; and as the Turkish 
cemetery was just under the garden of 
the Embassy, the weird lamentations of 
the mourners at the graves of their 
relatives, singing dirges in the minor 
key, was most melancholy, and it con- 
tinued for days and nights unceas- 

The Embassy itself was most insani- 


Reminiscences of 

tary. Poor Wodehouse, Lord Kim- 
barley's son, who was Second Secretary 
with Hugh, fell a victim to typhoid, 
leaving his charming young wife, Minnie 
King, afterwards Lady Anglesey. Mait- 
land Sartoris, another secretary, son 
of the celebrated Fanny Kemble, 
tragedienne and authoress, also fell a 
victim to this scourge. 

How many distinguished men's 
careers have started from Con- 
stantinople : Lord Stratford de Redcliffe, 
Sir Henry Layard, Lord Dufferin, all 
had special missions connected with 

. Once, when sent by Sir Henry Bulwer 
on a special mission to Monastir, Hugh 
and his servant, Iitienne Hodoul, had to 
sail from Corfu up the Narenta in a 
fishing-boat laden with salt. The vermin 

and smell were so intolerable that Hugh 


Diplomatic Life 

stripped and jumped overboard ; but his 
sufferings were much increased, as the 
very hot sun blistered his skin dread- 
fully, and he arrived in a piteous con- 



A FEW days before my wedding-day my 
godmother sent me a beautiful opal and 
diamond ring. I was dreadfully super- 
stitious about the opal, and did not 
want to commence my new life under its 
auspices, so I consulted my old nurse, 
who, being a very staunch Roman 
Catholic, soon devised a plan. " Suppos- 
ing you come with me to early Mass and 
present the ring as a votive offering to 
Our Lady of the Rosary." 

Accordingly I was up betimes and off 
we started I carrying the little velvet 
box containing the ring. It was winter, 

and the air was cold with a feeling of 


Diplomatic Life 

frost ; everywhere we met devout women, 
all muffled up, going to their six o'clock 
Mass. We entered the huge edifice 
smelling of stale incense, and before Mass 
began I walked up to the altar and placed 
my little box on the heavy salver, which 
already contained pieces of beautiful lace, 
beads, brooches, rings and flowers, 
all offered to the Virgin of the Rosary. 
Who can tell what privations some of 
these gifts entailed ? One wonders 
whether the objects for which the sacrifice 
was made were always worthy of it! 
The image of Our Lady was that of a 
full-sized woman with huge dark eyes 
and perfect, doll-like features, beautifully 
dressed, with her hair in long dark curls. 
The making of these images is a distinct 
Spanish art: the dress was of richest 
white satin, heavily embroidered with 

gold, and the mantle of blue velvet, 


Reminiscences of 

gorgeously embroidered with seed-pearls 
and gold. This work is done in the 
convents, and takes years to do. The 
hands of the image were raised together 
as in prayer, and held a priceless rosary 
and crucifix in gold and precious stones ; 
the crown on her head was adorned 
with large uncut stones, and she wore 
a stomacher of rubies, emeralds, and 

We were married in 1870 at St. John's 
Church, Buenos Ayres. The wedding 
was a grand affair : all the " corps diplo- 
matique/' all the high officials, governors, 
military men, the Church and Law were 
represented. Speeches were made that 
seemed unending. I do not think I 
enjoyed the position, for I was extremely 

A month after we were married an 

Austrian corvette with the delegates of 


Diplomatic Life 

the Postal Convention arrived, and many 
of Hugh's friends were comprised in 
the mission, among them Baron Herbert 
of Rathkeel and Baron Trautenberg. 
These, together with several other young 
Hungarian nobles who were in the suite, 
we entertained. All the health-drinking 
and the speeches terrified me ; but it was 
only the beginning of my training, for I 
afterwards had thirty-four years of it. 

In this year we were visited by a 
terrible epidemic of yellow fever. The 
scourge swept away 12,000 of the inhabi- 
tants in three months. Whole families 
were exterminated, and no precautions 
seemed to diminish the risk run by those 
who were obliged to remain in the town. 
We lost three doctors, our chaplain, the 
consular clerk, and many of our friends. 

Last but not least Alexandre, the 
Chancery servant, was taken ill in the 


Reminiscences of 

Legation. This was a serious misfortune 
to us, as all the other servants had taken 
to flight at an early stage of the epidemic, 
so that the poor fellow and his wife 
represented the whole of our household 
staff. When his wife first came and 
informed me that Alexandre was ill, I 
did not realise the cause, and went forth- 
with to see what I could do for him. 
Finding him already in a critical condition, 
I sent for the doctor, who at once declared 
it to be yellow fever and urged his 
immediate removal But the question 
then arose " Where to ? " The hospitals 
were full to overflowing, and in those 
days, even under ordinary circumstances, 
private nursing did not exist. Finally, 
those admirable women the Sisters of 
St. Vincent de Paul took pity on their 
compatriot and offered to take him in. 

He was transported to their hospice, and 


Diplomatic Life 

though twice reported dead he recovered. 
I was at this time expecting the birth of 
my eldest son, or I would never have 
consented to leave the Legation, and only 
did so when Alexandra's illness and the 
death of five of our opposite neighbours 
brought the evidence of the risk I was 
running literally to our doors. 

All through this terrible plague-time 
Hugh behaved like a hero : from the 
very beginning, taking no thought for 
his own safety, he went from house 
to house, seeking out British subjects. 
One day he returned to the Legation 
with a baby about five months old in his 
arms. He had found it in bed, playing 
beside its dead mother, while the father 
lay lifeless on the floor. I bathed and 
dressed the poor mite, and we thought 
seriously of adopting it if no one should 

claim it. After a few weeks, however, 


Reminiscences of 

an Englishman, who had a prosperous 
business as a blacksmith, begged us to 
allow him to adopt the child. He was 
married and, much to his regret, had no 
children. We ascertained that the child 
would have a happy home and an assured 
future, so Hugh consented, and we gave 
the little one over to him. Until quite 
recently we heard regularly every year 
from the adopted parents. The boy did 
remarkably well, and is now married 
and prospering at La Plata. 

Nothing can give an idea of the horrors 
of that time. Not only was there no 
room for the sick, but even death was 
shorn of its customary trappings, and 
rich or poor alike found a resting-place 
in the " fosse commune." Owing to the 
shortage of material and workmen, any 
sort of box or crate was requisitioned as 

a coffin, and the tin-lined cases in which 



He is wearing the " chiripa " or blanket, and in his belt is the knife which is some- 
times used with deadly effect. His ' ' rebenque " or whip hangs from his belt beneath 
the knife. (See p. 20.) 

Diplomatic Life 

my trousseau had been sent from Europe 
were eagerly taken by the authorities for 
this gruesome purpose. 

Another source of terror to many 
people was the possibility of being buried 
alive a risk which has been proved to 
be serious in epidemics of cholera or 
yellow fever. Although many cases were 
reported, I never knew of one that was 
proven, though in the epidemic of 1857 
I can remember the sensation caused by 
the case of Madame Benavides, daughter- 
in-law of President Rosas' A.D.C. and a 
friend of my mother. She was taken ill 
with yellow fever and removed to the 
hospital. Early next morning she was 
reported as having succumbed, and 
having been placed in a coffin she was 
removed to the mortuary. When the 
Sisters came to perform the last duties 

they found her on the floor; she was 

65 5 

Reminiscences of 

taken back to the hospital and finally 

This case is perhaps only equalled by 
that of an old man in Lisbon, who in 
the cholera epidemic of the same year 
dropped down in the street and was 
immediately hurried off to the mortuary. 
The next morning, in company with nine 
other corpses, he was thrown into the 
"fosse commune. " While the burying 
party went to seek another batch before 
covering them with quicklime and 
filling in the trench, he recovered con- 
sciousness and scrambled out. The 
sextons, who were awaiting the next 
convoy, were so terrified at this appari- 
tion appearing over the edge of the 
trench that they nearly killed him with 
their spades. 

When we were in Lisbon in 1898 this 

man was still alive a well-known figure 


Diplomatic Life 

and was only too delighted to recount 
his ghastly experience. 

In the meantime my father, mother, 
and brother Alfred (the dearest of all men) 
came home to England. My poor father 
died just after he had bought a property 
In Surrey; and I was very glad when 
we were appointed to Madrid, and had a 
few months' leave before taking up our 
new appointment 

At last I said farewell to the sunny 
land of my birth, and as from the deck of 
the steamer I watched the spires fade from 
view, I wondered whether I should ever 
see my " plain " again. 

Arrived in England we went to stay 
with my mother; my second son came 
into the world a week later, and after two 
months' rest I was presented to Queen 
Victoria by Lady Granville ; and Hugh's 

old friends, Mr. and Mrs, Henry Oppen- 


Reminiscences of 

heim, were kindness itself to me. Mrs. 
Oppenheim took infinite trouble about 
my gown and train, which were made by 
Worth in Paris ! How well I remember 
it! It was the palest grey satin petti- 
coat, with my fine "point d'AIe^on" 
lace, and a train of silver grey " peau de 
soie," with a border of white roses veiled 
in tulle. Mrs. Oppenheim wore a lovely 
mauve skirt and violet train with shaded 
violets. I went with her, and Hugh 
with Henry. We used in those days to 
be put in rooms with barriers at the 
doors, and as our turn came to pass 
before Her Majesty, an official let a 
certain number of ladies through. I 
was horrified to see ladies of all ages 
scrambling over the seats to try and push 
through the door! I was dreadfully 
nervous when I came into the Presence, 

Queen Victoria was quite a small lady, 


Diplomatic Life 

but had such a sweet smile an inheri- 
tance she has bequeathed to all her 
sons and daughters. Who can ever for- 
get our beloved King Edward's smile ? 

Almost immediately after my presenta- 
tion I was taken abroad to make the 
acquaintance of all Hugh's relations. 

The first visit was to Paris, where 
Hugh's eldest sister, Emily, resided. 
She had married the Marquis de las 
Marisinas, an enormously wealthy man, 
son of the Spanish banker Aguado, who 
had added to his fortune during the Pen- 
insular War and was ennobled by King 
Ferdinand of Spain. Emily had three 
sons, and a daughter, Carmen, who mar- 
ried the Due de Montmorency. All that 
money could purchase was to be found in 
that house in the Rue de FElysde over- 
looking the Palace gardens. In the pic- 
ture gallery were paintings by Velasquez, 


Reminiscences of 

Diaz, Corot, Fortuny, and Greuze ; and 
elsewhere there was a profusion of lovely 
tapestries, bronzes, sculpture, ivories, 
china, silver, and wonderful specimens 
of lace. 

Emily was a great beauty, and was 
painted twice by Winterhalter once in 
that famous picture, "The Empress 
Eugenie and her Ladies at St, Cloud." 

The country seat, the CMteau de Sivry, 
near Fontainebleau, was too luxurious for 
words : it possessed a conservatory in 
the form of a miniature Crystal Palace, 
with fountains in the centre ; the basins 
filled with priceless water-lilies. Exotic 
plants flourished, numbers of tropical 
birds flew about, and paroquets nested in 
the tall trees. The shooting at Sivry was 
supposed to be the best in France while 
Emily's brother-in-law, Onesime, Vicomte 

Aguado, known to his friends as "Zizi," 


Diplomatic Life 

rented the Forest of Fontainebleau. He 
had a pack of staghounds and of boar- 
hounds, was a great sportsman and most 

After three weeks' visit we went on to 
Florence to see Hugh's mother, who was 
the daughter of the Danish Admiral, 
Ulrich, who had been at Algiers during 
those troublesome times preceding the 
bombardment in 1816. Many years after 
Hugh's father's death she married the old 
Due Edmond de Talleyrand Pdrigord, 
nephew of the celebrated Prince de 
Talleyrand. The Duke's first wife was 
Dorothde, Princesse de Courland. His 
uncle, the great diplomatist, seeking to 
connect his family with some princely 
house, took advantage of the negotiations 
between France and Russia in 1808 to 
arrange the union of his nephew and heir, 

the Due Edmond de Talleyrand Pdrigord, 


Reminiscences of 

with the fifteen-year-old daughter of 
Prince Pierre, Due de Courland et Sagan. 
This union was not a happy one, and, as 
all the world knows, she separated from 
her husband and became the adopted 
daughter of the old Prince Talleyrand. 
She accompanied him to the Congress of 
Vienna in 1814, and afterwards did the 
honours of the French Embassy in 
London, where she played a great part 
in opposition to the Princess de Lieven, 
the Russian Ambassadress. The youth- 
ful Duchesse, naturally a clever woman, 
nourished and fostered in the atmosphere 
of intrigue which surrounded the modern 
Machiavelli, became a political as well 
as a social power, and her Memoirs 
have been edited by her granddaughter, 
Comtesse Jeanne de Castellan. Never- 
theless, one wonders whether it is the 

real woman who speaks, or whether it is 


Diplomatic Life 

a pose, when she writes to a friend in 
England : " If my friends will only love 
me, and I have a garden in summer and 
an armchair in winter, I am perfectly 
happy to live the life of an oyster." 

I never saw the old Duke, for he 
died in 1872, being well over eighty. 
Every one said he was a typical French 
gentleman, with perfect manners, and a 
great dandy. A story is told, that as 
a young man he was very extravagant, 
and his sister took him to task, say- 
ing, " Fancy, you owe Bataille in the 
Rue Royale for three hundred walking- 
sticks ! " He smiled serenely and said, 
" Certainly, and that does not include the 
umbrellas ! " 

I loved my mother-in-law. She was 
very fair and very stout, and was kind- 
ness itself to me. Her house had once 

belonged to the Medici family and had 


Reminiscences of 

been the home of the celebrated Giovanni 
delle Bande Neri. On his death his 
mother had it given to the Church and 
founded the convent of Annalena. When 
the convents were expropriated, Hugh's 
father bought the old house, and settled 
there after he retired from the Service. 
The garden was beautiful, with forest 
trees, camellias, and huge clumps of 
datura that perfumed the air at sunset 
It was bounded on one side by an 
orangery and on the other by a wall 
three metres wide. 

The house was enormous, with numer- 
ous secret passages and staircases and 
a ghost This apparition was that of a 
young lady dressed in a nun's white 
habit ; and the story is told of Hugh's 
father, that one evening whilst sitting at 
his whist table with his old habitues, Mr. 
Sanford (whose daughter became Lady 


Diplomatic Life 

Methuen), Ferdinand St. John, a brother 
of Lord Bolingbroke, who resided in 
Florence, and a Mr. Sloane, he started 
up and called out to his wife, " Ida, Ida, 
what does that nun want here at this 
time of night ? " Every one got up, and 
a search ensued, but no nun could be 
found. Years afterwards the wall into 
which the ghost had disappeared was 
taken down, and a secret staircase leading 
to a subterranean passage was discovered. 
All Hugh's brothers and sisters were 
brought up in this house. After my 
father-in-law's death my mother-in-law 
had all sorts of schemes for breaking up 
Annalena into small apartments, and 
determined in consequence to remove the 
frescoes from the walls of the refectory ; 
they were the work of Giovanni de San 
Giovanni, a Tuscan painter of the six- 
teenth century, and represented scenes 
, 75 

Reminiscences of 

from the life of Christ and the death of 
the Virgin. My mother-in-law heard of 
a man who was willing to remove them 
for about 100. His conditions were 
that no one should be allowed to go into 
the refectory until his work was done, 
except his assistant, a boy. In about a 
month each fresco had been removed and 
stretched on canvas. No one could tell 
how it was done. They were ultimately 
acquired by the Duke of Norfolk and 
brought to England. 

During the stirring times of the 
liberation of Italy my mother-in-law's 
salon had been the rendezvous of the 
reactionary party and was known among 
the Florentines as "La casa Austriaca," 
During the Austrian occupation of 
Tuscany, Prince Windischgratz, the com- 
mander of the Imperial Forces, was 

quartered in the upper part of the Palazzo 


Diplomatic Life 

Annalena, and thereby also hangs a 
romance. The beautiful Princess fell 
desperately in love with one of the 
members of the Macdonell family. As he 
does not seem to have responded, his affec- 
tions being engaged elsewhere, in despair 
she fled to Venice, and her body was re- 
covered from a canal with her priceless 
pearl necklace knotted round her neck 
and a trifling souvenir he had given her 
clasped in her hand Poveretta ! 

Hugh's second sister, Ida, married a 
Spanish gentleman, Don Agusto Conte, 
a very well-read and charming man. He 
was Ambassador at Vienna, and arranged 
the marriage of the present Queen- 
Dowager, Christina of Spain, who had 
retired to a convent, but, of course, had 
not taken any vows. She was an admir- 
able lady, and did her duty as few women 
could have done ; and under the most 


Reminiscences of 

trying circumstances no one could say a 
word against her, either as regards her de- 
votion and the education of her children, 
or the line she took politically. Know- 
ing the nation as I do, I always class Her 
Majesty amongst my heroines. 

Amongst the interesting people we 
met was the Marquis Oldouini who was 
the father of the world-famed beauty, the 
Countess de Castiglioni whom Cavour 
sent to the Emperor Napoleon the Third 
as his Ambassador. Hugh had been at 
her " fian Dailies " at Florence, as she was 
a great friend of the Macdonell girls. 
She never cared for Count Castiglioni. 
The morbid horror of old age she nursed 
led her, as she grew older, to withdraw 
entirely from society and refuse to see 
even her oldest friends, lest they should 
notice the ravages of time and the gradual 

fading of her beauty. Nevertheless, 


Diplomatic Life 

when we were on our way through Paris 
from Denmark, Hugh went to see her, 
and she was delighted to receive him, 
though she did so in semi-darkness, the 
blinds being drawn and the room lighted 
with only a small lamp. It was mid- 
summer, but she was wrapped in a large 
sable cloak, and, alas for her misgiv- 
ings! Hugh told me afterwards that he 
would never have recognised in her the 
transcendent beauty who had swayed an 
empire. Her son, who was an attach^ 
to the Italian Legation in Madrid, died 
from smallpox while we were there. 




WHEN the time came for Hugh to 
proceed to Madrid, we went down to 
Southampton the night before the steamer 
sailed, and stayed at Radley's Hotel, 
going on board the Royal Mail steamer 
for Lisbon the next morning. Adverse 
winds and fog accompanied us, and the 
servants were prostrate with sea-sickness. 
But what mattered ? I was an old salt, 
having been across the Atlantic often 
before, and at twenty-three it was some- 
thing to be very proud of. I was able to 
be of some use, going to help the poor 
mothers preparing food for the babies, and 

cheering them up in general by saying 



From a painting by Mignes. 

(Seep. 70.) 

Diplomatic Life 

the gale was abating, and we would soon 
be through the Bay of Biscay. We were 
sixty hours getting to Vigo, but once 
anchored all our miseries were forgotten. 
And twenty-four hours afterwards we 
steamed into Lisbon, past the magnificent 
Bay of Cascaes and up the River Tagus ; 
but a freshet was running, so that we 
could not land for some time. At last 
things settled down, and we went ashore 
to the Braganza Hotel where we had 
taken rooms. 

Our Minister and his charming wife, 
Lady Edith Murray, came to see us 
almost at once, and Constantine Phipps 
with his pretty wife, who had been our col- 
leagues at Buenos Ayres ; also another of 
Hugh's colleagues, Monsieur Jadowsky, 
the Russian Secretary, who had been 
with him at Constantinople. It must 

have been quite a new sensation for him 

8r 6 

Reminiscences of 

to present his wife, for he had been con- 
sidered a confirmed old bachelor in the 

Our new Chief, Sir Henry Layard, 
was clamouring for his Secretary of 
Legation, and so we decided that after 
four days in Lisbon we must push on 
to our destination, Madrid. The next 
evening we dined at the Legation. The 
house had been purchased by the Govern- 
ment during Lord Lytton's tenure of 
office. The Hurrays had wonderful 
china, purchased in 1870 at the moment 
when every one who had valuables was 
anxious to realise and have " du pain sur 
la planche." The garden of the Lega- 
tion was quite lovely, with a pergola of 
huge stone pillars, with masses of roses 
and creepers from all parts of the world 
twining round them. There I saw dear 

Cecil Murray, then a tiny boy worshipped 


Diplomatic Life 

by his parents. Alas, all three have 

The next day we spent seeing some 
of the sights of the town, and after dining 
with the Phipps we went to the opera, 
where we met Monsieur de Soveral, father 
of the present Marquis, who, hearing 
that we were bound for Madrid, rather 
deprecated our starting, especially as the 
news from the frontier that the Carlists 
had come close to Badajoz and were burn- 
ing stations and firing on trains was 
most alarming. However, having been 
born and bred in a Southern country, 
civil war and revolution did not appal 
me; and Monsieur Soveral said that as 
he was Chairman and Director of the 
Railway he would make every arrange- 
ment for us. We had reserved a first- 
class compartment, and I wanted a large 

basket of provisions in case we were 


Reminiscences of 

delayed boiled milk and a huge earthen 
jar of water, called a "bilha." These 
last I insisted on seeing sent off myself; 
as for the rest, Monsieur de Soveral 
came in after dinner and said I was not 
to trouble ; that he had ordered our pro- 
visions. At 7 A.M. we started off through 
the ill-paved town to the station at Santa 
Apollonia. To our surprise there was a 
" salon de luxe " with a large ticket pasted 
on, " Reservado para el Seftor Ministro 
de Inglaterra " ! rather premature ! 

By ii A.M. we all felt inclined for a 
sandwich, and Hugh told the Italian 
man-servant to unpack the basket. He 
seemed to take a long time, and when he 
returned said, " Ma non, c' 6 niente ! ' 
" What nonsense/' I remarked ; " he must 
have got the wrong basket " ; so I 
proceeded to unpack myself, and found 

one small partridge covered with tomato 


Diplomatic Life 

sauce, a piece of evil-smelling cheese and 
a garlic-seasoned sausage, two bottles of 
Collates (the " vin ordinaire " of Portugal) 
and six small rolls " pour tout potage." 
The children ate the bread and milk. 
The servants would not be persuaded to 
touch a bit of the contents of the basket, 
and bread and water formed their repast. 
At last we arrived at Elvas, where as 
we passed we saw large nets spread out 
on poles and great quantities of plums 
drying in the sun. We inquired if it 
was possible to get something to eat 
there, but were told the restaurant was 
at Badajoz. Night was coming on, and 
at last we stopped: the engine-driver 
came and chatted, lit a cigarette, and said 
he would run no risk, but as soon as the 
line was clear we were going into the 
station to remain there all night. In 

about an hour's time we steamed slowly in. 


Reminiscences of 

All the employes had left, but we man- 
aged to find a room on the platform, con- 
taining a table covered with a wine- 
stained cloth, obviously intended for the 
refreshment room; the floor was filthy, 
and there were millions of flies. Hugh 
at once suggested ordering some food. 

I found a man and explained our 
dilemma, and I asked him what he could 
provide. With the nation's usual polite- 
ness he replied, " Anything I wished to 
order." So I begged him to tell me what 
he could provide for two small children 
and English maids. "Well," said he, 
u a fine pork chop or a beefsteak 'a 
FAnglaise/ " I decided that we would all 
be glad to have the beefsteak. An hour 
passed and no sign of our purveyor. At 
last he returned to say the "mozo" was 
coming to lay the cloth; he became 
very familiar and passed many com- 


Diplomatic Life 

pliments, and I saw Hugh getting rather 
serious, so I ventured to remark that 
English gentlemen did not understand 
compliments, and then he insisted upon 
calling me " La Americanita." I saw the 
moment coming when there would be an 
explosion, so I was thankful when the 
" bifes " were announced. Another dirty 
cloth had replaced the first; knives that 
would not cut and a dirty fork were pro- 
duced. I carried some of this food to the 
saloon, where, of course, even the nurses' 
long fast would not induce them to 
partake of the horrible meal. 

The "chef de gare" said that as there 
was no hotel near we might sleep in the 
saloon carriage; and at daybreak the 
fires were relit and we started, hoping to 
get to Madrid some time. Every few 
hours there were fresh alarms: "The 

Carlists were in sight"; "we must put 


Reminiscences of 

the cushions up against the windows " ; 
"the women and children must lie in 
the bottom of the carriage." Those long, 
weary hours seemed to go slower and 
slower as the train crossed the desolate 
plain of La Mancha, where a few red pigs 
were grubbing round the olive trees, and 
some yards farther on a flock of phantom 
sheep with a weird - looking, tall spare 
man, wearing a huge hat and a tattered 
brown cloak, with a long cane in his hand, 
stood staring at the train as it crept 
by. It has been said that the journey 
through Spain from Portugal to Madrid 
is rather like the approach to Pekin : 
nothing but a desolation of yellow sand 
and huge boulders. 

At last we arrived and were hailed by 
the Chancery servant, Espinosa, who was 
quite a character, and we drove off to the 
then best hotel, " Los Embajadores" in 


Diplomatic Life 

Carrera San Geronimo, Puerta del SoL 
Heaven help the Embajadores ! The 
street was narrow and contained a great 
deal of "couleur locale/' We were im- 
mensely struck with the women, who all 
possessed fine eyes, masses of lovely 
black hair, and small hands and feet 
They took their airing swathed In multi- 
coloured shawls, trimmed with deep silk 
fringes, carried the inevitable fan, and 
wore quantities of jewellery. 

We were shown our rooms, and my 
one idea was how soon I could get out 
of the place. Sanitation there was none, 
and the hotel possessed all the slip- 
shod untidyness of Southern households. 
Weary and tired we at last procured 
some food and some warm water, and 
retired to rest. What a night that was ! 
At one o'clock I woke, finding myself 

devoured, and lit a tallow dip by my 


Reminiscences of 

bedside, I sat up and thought I heard 
the children crying. I groped my way 
to their room, and there I found the two 
poor boys trying to sleep on a sheet 
with the pillows on the floor, and the 
nurses pursuing the vermin ! In the 
morning the children and nurses were 
covered with bites and looked like 

Our " Chefesse " kindly excused my 
calling and invited us to dinner. I was 
very much struck by my first visit to the 
Legation. It was in March and the wind 
was cold. As we entered the long drawing- 
room there was a big wood fire crackling, 
and Lady Layard was sitting before it 
in a very fine high-backed carved leather 
chair, dressed in a beautiful green velvet 
dress, her lovely white hair brushed off 
her forehead, and on her lap a huge white 

Persian cat called Pepito. She looked 


Diplomatic Life 

like a picture. Sir Henry came in shortly, 
and we had a pleasant dinner, meeting 
Mr. and Mrs. Riano both clever people 
and others. Of course I was quite 
happy speaking Spanish. Madame Riano 
knew of a house likely to suit us, and 
Lady Layard kindly offered to call for me 
in her carriage and take me to see it next 
day. It was a beautifully finished modern 
house in the Calle Campomanes. The 
proprietress lived on the ground floor, 
and we rented the first floor. That very 
day we bought beds and bedding, and 
four days after our arrival we were pic- 
nicking in our new home. 

Espinosa found us a cook and a house- 
maid, and we were soon installed ; but 
even the simplest detail presented in- 
surmountable difficulties ! There was 
no water in the house, and so the " agua- 

tero" or water-man had to come daily 


Reminiscences of 

and fill two huge earthenware receptacles, 
like the proverbial oil jars in AH Baba's 
story one for drinking purposes, the 
other for cleaning. The cook did not 
sleep in the house, but came in the 
morning with the marketing, fowls and 
vegetables, and queer joints of veal and 
lamb or kid that looked like cat. She also 
carried the milk in a jug and the bread 
under her arm. At eleven o'clock her 
"peinadora" (or hairdresser) came to do 
her hair, and it was not all one's fancy 
painted to see the cook's hair being done, 
as she sat before the open window of the 
kitchen. She also took that opportunity 
to have a real flirtation with the con- 
cierge's husband, who was a fine "Guardia 
Civil"; and I am afraid poor Maria, 
his wife, often wished she could have 
torn some of that lovely hair out by the 

roots ! 


Diplomatic Life 

We settled down and soon found our- 
selves quite at home : getting accustomed 
to the very late hours, the "orchata de 
chufas," a sweet refreshing drink made out 
of a sort of bean a staple refreshment at 
all the evening receptions, and the drives 
up and down the Alcala and the lovely 
garden of El Retiro. The hospitality 
shown to us was really amazing, for, as 
a rule, in Madrid they never cared for 

On Sunday afternoons we drove to 
Carabanchal, the summer residence of the 
Countess del Montijo. She was very 
slender, with grey hair, good features, and 
usually dressed in a heavy black silk 
dress. Unfortunately her sight was fail- 
ing her, but she was delighted to talk to 
Hugh about her daughter, the Empress 
Eugenie, and all the lost glamour of 
that Court. As my sister-in-law, the 


Reminiscences of 

Marquise de las Marismas, was a great 
and personal friend as well as a lady-in- 
waiting of the Empress, they had much 
to discuss, and often chatted over things 
past and present. 

There, too, I met the Duchess de 
Alcanises, ne Princesse Troubetskoy, 
and widow of the Due de Morny a 
lovely fair woman who, when she lost her 
first husband, the Due de Morny, cut off 
her wonderful hair and placed it in her 
husband's coffin, and was with difficulty 
prevented from going into a convent but 
she did not despair for long. 

We had arrived in Madrid about a 
year after the flight of King Amadeo the 
Italian prince who had been hoisted on to 
the throne by a sort of agreement among 
the Great Powers, in spite of the fact that 
the nomination of a previous candidate 
Hohenzollern had set France and 


Diplomatic Life 

Prussia by the ears and brought about 
the downfall of the French Empire. 

A Republican Government had taken 
office under the presidency of Marshal 
Serrano, Duque de la Torre, and already 
negotiations were in progress which 
were to lead to the restoration of the 
Bourbons in the person of Prince Alfonso, 
the son of Queen Isabella II. who had 
been deposed in 1868. At the same time 
the Northern provinces were in a state of 
insurrection, being held by the Carlists. 

Poor puppet king Macaroni I. as 
his subjects slightingly called him ! 
Despite his personal qualities, his call 
to the throne was an absurd experiment ; 
and whatever the opinion of European 
politicians may have been, he displayed 
great common sense in retiring into 
private life as he did. Certainly his 

rule did Spain no harm ; but he was a 


Reminiscences of 

stranger, and that was more than sufficient 
to make him absolutely hateful to the 

The best proof of how little his reign 
or abdication had affected public senti- 
ment may be found in the fact that a few 
months after his departure his very name 
seemed to have been forgotten ; and even 
on the Puerta del Sol, where " every- 
body talks of everything at the same time 
and does nothing but talk/' none had 
either a word of praise or of blame for 
poor Macaroni! 

Popular feeling on the other hand was 
still very bitter against Queen Isabella. 
Her " lgeret " morally, I mean, . for 
her form was far from sylphlike had 
estranged the affections of the mass of her 
subjects ; and though five years had passed 
since her deposition, the rabble still in 

moments of excitement would throw mud 


Diplomatic Life 

at her portrait, and the effigy of her 
confessor, Padre Marfori, was still burnt 
on the squares. 

Court circle there was, as is evident, 
none, and such society as remained in 
Madrid was certainly rather cosmopolitan 
and somewhat mixed. Business families 
or Government employes there were in 
plenty, but the old noblesse as a rule had 
either retired to Paris or London, or taken 
arms against democracy with Don Carlos. 
This was particularly noticeable in the 
receptions at the Presidencia. Marshal 
Serrano was inclined to emphasise the 
republican nature of his office and receive 
4 ' sans cdrdmonie officielle." Nevertheless 
rumour would have it that these family 
parties were often used for the transaction 
of business, and that many concessions 
were obtained and favours granted by the 

discreet offering to La Presidenta of a 

97 7 

Reminiscences of 

jewel or a string of pearls ; and I often 
involuntarily overheard the discussion of 
many plans and schemes, the speakers 
never for an instant realising that "la 
Senora del Secretario Ingles" spoke 
Spanish as well as she did English. 

The Mar^chale was a small slight 
woman with a wealth of dark hair framing 
a beautiful face. Like all her country- 
women her conversation was easy without 
any particular depth. As some French 
writer has said, "Dieu a donnd a 1'Espa- 
gnole a choisir entre le charme et Tesprit 
elle a choisi le premier." 

Whatever may have been the political 
career of Marshal Serrano, his charm of 
manner was such as to captivate even his 
personal enemies. This and his hand- 
some person were no doubt largely 
instrumental in setting him on the high- 
road to fortune. He was then sixty- 


Diplomatic Life 

five years old but strikingly youthful, 
excessively elegant, and with perfect 
but unaffected manners. He entered 
the army when he was only twelve, 
and obtained his colonelcy when he was 
twenty-five. He then returned to Madrid, 
where he became head of a political party 
and the favourite of Queen Isabella 
receiving at her hands all that wealth 
and power could give. Ambition was, 
however, stronger than gratitude, and 
when the time came that Isabella's 
misgovernment alienated public sym- 
pathy, Serrano, now Marshal and Duque 
de la Torre, did not hesitate to break off 
sentimental relations and beat his former 
liege-lady's troops, causing her to fly pre- 
cipitately to France. The year before 
our arrival he himself had had to flee 
from Madrid, and it would have gone ill 

with him, had he not sought the asylum 


Reminiscences of 

of the British Legation, where his old 
friends, Sir Henry and Lady Layard, 
after disguising him, took him to the 
station in their carriage, and conveyed 
him over the frontier in a compart- 
ment marked "Reserved for the British 
Minister." A few months later, and he 
was in power again almost a dictator. 
" Cosas de Espana ! " 

I also met Emilio de Castelar, the 
most eloquent of Republicans. He was 
a man of middle height, but extremely 
remarkable for his immense shoulders 
and deep chest, a perfectly bald head, and 
a long sweeping dark moustache. He 
evidently knew his powers as an orator, 
and even his attitudes seemed, like his 
speaking, to have been carefully re- 

His name, I think, will always be 
associated with Spanish Republicanism, 


Diplomatic Life 

of which he was so long the central 
figure. His untarnished reputation and 
sincerity as well as his moderation made 
him popular, not only with his own 
party or nation, but with his political 
adversaries throughout Europe. Still, I 
have been told that, like so many other 
great thinkers, he was far from practical, 
and when he came to power he was 
obliged to renounce the theories he had 
always advocated. 

The bull-fights filled me with terror, 
though some of the young secretaries 
and attaches were very keen on them. 

I was very happy in the house. The 
large rooms were covered with a peculiar 
matting and had pretty cretonne covers 
that Maria and I made, and we often 
went bric-a-brac hunting in the afternoon. 
We bought a lovely old " bargueno " or 
gilt cabinet through the medium of 


Reminiscences of 

Merlini, Sir Henry Layard's major-domo 
(the same man mentioned in Lady 
Charlotte Schreiber's Memoirs). I still 
think the room the prettiest I ever had, 
with the old Talavera ware jars filled 
with masses of wild honeysuckle, and the 
little tortoise-shell tables inlaid with ivory, 
covered with many little treasures, that 
still surround my sad widowed days, and 
bring back sweet memories of times and 
loved ones that are no more ! 

Unhappily, a time of anxiety was upon 
us ! The baby got dysentery and nearly 
died. My eldest boy was attacked by 
scarlet fever. There was no doctor 
worthy of the name, and what chemists 1 
Imagine, when a doctor ordered a 
poultice, the chemist sent it round on 
a plate; and the poor baby was given 
tea made of the skins of pomegranates, 
and nothing to eat. 


Diplomatic Life 

Opposite the house was a sort of cafe, 
and the proprietress seemed to have 
quantities of children, who were always 
playing on the doorstep. One afternoon 
I was on the balcony, and I saw the 
woman sitting outside dressed in black. 
She looked up and asked me how my 
children were. I thanked her, and said 
they were very ill. She smiled sadly 
and said, "I am more lucky than you, 
for my three are ' angelitos.' Dios se ha 
servido de ellos" (God has taken them 
to Himself). 

Next day three small coffins left the 
cafe, and on sending to inquire what had 
caused the death of the children, I was 
told that they had died of diphtheria. 
Many a mother will realise my feelings. 

Weary days and nights followed, and 
at last the weather became oppressive. 

It had not rained for nine weeks, and 


Reminiscences of 

everything was stale and insalubrious. 
We decided to get out of Madrid and go 
to the sea, and the Consul at Santander, 
Mr. March, promised to look after me 
if I went there, 

I started with the poor children and 
their nurses, and as Santander was a sort 
of seaside " pest - house," we went to 
Sardinero, a small fishing - village on 
the Bay of Biscay. Shall I ever forget 
my journey with the two sick children 
and our arrival at that roughest of sea- 
side inns ! Barbotan, the proprietor, half 
French, half Basque, was kindness it- 
self, and did the best he could for us. 
Madame Barbotan had had a baby three 
days before, but came down to see us, 
full of pity and sympathy for my poor 
child, who, though he slept continuously, 
was becoming transparent. I had visions 

in those long nights, when sleep overtook 


Diplomatic Life 

me in spite of myself, of leaving my 
precious one in a foreign soil. 

One night, unable to sleep, I got up 
and went down the creaking wooden 
stairs and left a note for M. Barbotan, 
asking him to bring me a little piece of 
the best beef he could find in the market, 
as I thought if I could make a little 
beef-tea for the poor baby, he might do 
better than on the innkeeper's concoction. 
At seven o'clock a piece of beef was 
brought to my room. I at once washed 
it and cut it up in small pieces, putting 
it into a wide-mouthed pickle-jar, and 
then standing it in a "calentador" or 
spirit-kettle, to boil for a couple of hours. 
I was doing all this on a wooden 
verandah outside the bedroom, with 
scalded hands and a feeling that things 
could not be worse, when I looked over 

into the street dirty enough to give one 


Reminiscences of 

an infection, and noticed a man looking 
up and down the road. I saw a resem- 
blance to Etienne, a valet Hugh had had 
for sixteen years, and who had left us to 
go to my father. I rushed down and 
greeted him, and I do not know which of 
us was most delighted. He explained 
that my mother was most anxious, and 
that, as exit from Spain was becoming 
daily more difficult, she had sent him to 
bring us home. On arriving at Bayonne 
he had telegraphed to Madrid, and heard 
that I was at Sardinero, and so he had 
come there direct. 

On seeing the plight of the children 
he was moved to tears ; but with a man 
to help me all difficulties melted away. 
The next great thing was to get to 
Bordeaux, where Hugh's brother-in-law, 
Vicomte Aguado, who owned Chlteau 
Margaux, had sent orders to prepare for 

1 06 

Diplomatic Life 

our arrival and get the best doctor to see 
us and help us. Then the question arose 
how were we to get there. Dear old 
Etienne made daily pilgrimages into 
Santander but always returned with the 
same answer: no steamer sailing for 

At last one morning he came back in 
great excitement, saying that at sunset a 
cattle-boat was leaving for Bayonne. I 
decided to take it, and, more dead than 
alive, I walked that stone pier at 
Santander until I felt I must jump into 
the water. In the meantime I had en- 
gaged a cab, and placed the children and 
the two nurses in it, sheltered from the 
sun and wind. 

When all was ready we embarked. No 
words can give an adequate idea of what 
it was like. There were only two cabins ; 

fitienne took the sick baby and I the 


Reminiscences of 

boy convalescent from scarlet fever. Men 
drank wine and played cards all night out- 
side the doors. Weary and tired I took 
off my fine black straw hat with ostrich 
feathers and oxidised buckle (for we had 
not costumes for every emergency then), 
and lay down in the cabin-boy's bunk. 
The porthole was open ; a wave washed 
in and soaked me to the skin ! At six 
o'clock Etienne came and said the baby 
was still living and Bayonne in sight. I 
wrung out my skirt and asked the cabin- 
boy for my hat. " Oh, lady mine, the tame 
pig called * Don Carlos ' has eaten your 
straw hat, and here is all that remains," 
cried the youth, presenting me with 
a few shreds of straw and the buckle! 
" Never mind," I said, "we are in sight 
of shops." I landed at Bayonne with my 
head tied up in one of fitienne's bandana 
handkerchiefs, and as soon as we got to 


Diplomatic Life 

the hotel, he went and bought me a 
hat trimmed with blue ribbons and 
many extravagances. No words can tell 
how thankful I was to have reached 
Bayonne, and having had baths and food, 
we set out for Bordeaux. 

When we arrived there, the great 
Doctor Dupuytren called, sent by the 
Aguados, but he gave little hope of 
saving the baby. However, in the land 
of plenty and every resource the child 
gradually recovered, and after fifteen days 
at the lovely Chateau Margaux we started 
for home. 




AFTER our experience in Madrid we 
decided to make a home for the children 
in England, as we had now three little 
boys, and it seemed almost cruel to drag 
them all over the world after us. 

At Hackbridge in Surrey we found a 
pretty modern cottage, designed by an 
artist, the Hon. Henry Graves ; it was a 
charming spot, and we lived there on 
and off for seven years. It had a trout- 
stream running through the garden, and 
overlooked a lovely park, owned origin- 
ally by Mr. Samuel Gurney, M.P. for 
Falmouth, and bought, after his memor- 
able failure, by Mr. John Peter Gassiot. 


Diplomatic Life 

The latter entertained a great deal and 
brought most of his guests over to see me. 
Among others I had the great pleasure 
of meeting Mr. Ruskin, with his heavy 
brow and piercing eyes. His niece, Mrs. 
Arthur Severn, was devoted to him, and 
full of consideration for his fads com- 
mencing with an apple and tea at 4 A.M. 
every day. Her husband was becoming 
well-known as a painter in water-colours. 
There, too, we often met the hand- 
some Spanish Ambassador, Don Manuel 
Ranees, Marquez de Casa la Iglesia, I 
suppose he was one of the handsomest 
men of his time. A story has been told 
of him, that when leaving Vienna, he took 
leave of the Emperor, the latter remarked, 
11 Well, we are sorry to lose you ; but, at 
least, there will be peace among the 

The Marquez told us about "La 


Reminiscences of 

Nena," the Spanish dancer, whose ward- 
robe was held up at the Custom-House 
in Vienna, and as she had to dance that 
night, she came to see her Ambassador 
before he was up, requesting him to get 
her things passed. He told his servant 
to ask the name of the lady, as she had 
not given it, and he was much amused 
when she sent to say that " Frau Pepita 
von Oliva" must speak to him at once. 
He dressed hurriedly and interviewed the 
lady, who in the roughest of Spanish said, 
"In this country if you are not 'wohl- 
geboren' and 'von/ you are nowhere, 
and the servant will not announce you." 

Don Pasqual Gyangos was one of the 
regular habituds at Mr. Gassiot's and was 
an exceedingly clever man. He was very 
aged, and with his sallow complexion 
and sparse pointed beard, always made 
me think of a mandarin. He came to 


Diplomatic Life 

England in about the year 1830 and mar- 
ried an English lady. He told us that, 
when he first arrived and went to stay at 
one of the large country houses, dinner 
was announced at about three o'clock in 
the afternoon. The ladies sipped a little 
sherry, the gentlemen commenced by 
drinking tankards of small beer. At 
seven the ladies retired to the drawing- 
room; at 10 P.M., when the gentlemen 
having drunk port for three hours and 
were generally beyond looking after 
themselves, men-servants brought in 
pillows, collars were unfastened, a pillow 
placed under each head, and there they 
remained until the morning. 

Don Pasqual had a special mission to 
this country from the Spanish Govern- 
ment, to get all the data about Catherine 
of Aragon's divorce from Henry VIII. 

He lived in a modest lodging close to the 

113 8 

Reminiscences of 

British Museum, and leaving his work 
one foggy evening he was knocked down 
by an omnibus, and was so severely in- 
jured that he died. He was the father of 
Madame Riano, who had been so kind 
to us in Madrid. His grandson is now 
Spanish Minister at Washington. 

I received much kindness and attention 
from Lord and Lady Granville. When 
Lord Granville was Under-Secretary of 
State for Foreign Affairs, I was invited 
to one of the great dinner-parties at 
their lovely residence in Carlton House 
Terrace, where I was much impressed by 
the beautiful tapestry on the staircase and 
the white paint everywhere; this being the 
first house to be so decorated at the time. 
The hostess, a typical British beauty, had 
a remarkable charm of manner, and looked 
like a rose-bud as, clad in a beautiful pink 

gown and a most becoming tiara of fern 


Diplomatic Life 

leaves in diamonds upon her head, she 
received her guests at the head of the 
marble staircase profusely decorated with 
beautiful flowers. 

Lord Granville belonged to a school 
of gentlemen which, alas ! has died out 
completely : his tact and charm were 

On this memorable occasion the Duke 
and Duchess of Edinburgh, the Grand 
Dukes Paul and Alexis were present, also 
Mr. and Mrs. Gladstone. Dinner was 
served at small tables, and the decorations 
were yellow azaleas, which was quite a 
new fashion then. I was delighted to be 
taken in to dinner by Mr. Gladstone. I, 
like so many people, fell completely under 
his charm, and could have listened for 
hours to his interesting conversation. 
Hugh had then been appointed to Rome, 
and Mr. Gladstone asked me what my 


Reminiscences of 

impressions had been on visiting the 
Vatican. I replied that we were at the 
Embassy to the Quirinal, and that our 
chief, Sir Augustus Paget, objected 
somewhat to secretaries or their wives 
asking for audiences of His Holiness, at 
which he smiled. He inquired after my 
mother-in-law at Florence and especially 
for Henrietta Macdonell, my sister-in- 
law, who became a nun and died in 1910. 
He had often visited them at Annalena and 
was most interested in them an interest 
reciprocated ; for being ardent Roman 
Catholics they hoped to make a pervert 
of the famous statesman. There was a 
reception afterwards, and the Duke and 
Duchess and the Grand Dukes held a sort 
of " cercle." Suddenly a pause occurred; 
Lord Granville led the Duchess out, and 
the rest of the Royal party left hastily. 
We all thought that she was going to 


(Secretary of the Portuguese Legation at Berlin in 1876) 

as a troubadour at a fancy dress ball given to celebrate the silver wedding of the Crown 
Prince and Princess of Germany. (See p. 135.) 

Diplomatic Life 

faint or had been taken seriously ill. 
Next morning the newspapers stated 
that a cypher had reached the Foreign 
Office announcing the assassination of 
the Czar, Alexander II., at St. Petersburg, 
and that as soon as the Grand Dukes 
had left Carl ton House Terrace, a special 
train and steamer were ordered, and the 
Royal party set out direct for Russia. 

We were both very fond of Philip 
Currie, Lord Granville's private secretary, 
afterwards Lord Currie. He was one of 
the four diplomats at that time considered 
to speak French like academicians. Sir 
Horace Rumbold was one of them ; 
Henry Bering another ; and Hugh, who 
made up the quartette, was of course 
a first-rate French and Italian scholar, 
which was hardly to be wondered at, 
on consideration of his early life. Poor 

Philip was at Harrogate when I was 


Reminiscences of 

there seven years ago a complete invalid, 
and Lady Currie died there shortly after 
I left. 

It was at this date the Jersey Lily was 
the admired of all beholders. I saw her 
first at a reception at the Foreign Office. 
Being much impressed by seeing a very 
beautiful lady, to whom everybody was 
paying great attention, I inquired her 
name and was told Mrs. Langtry, She 
looked quite lovely, and I remember she 
was dressed in white lace with a wreath 
of gardenias on her head. It was a very 
fine head, though I thought it was a 
little too massive for her size. 

What a power beauty has ! One 
almost realises Madame de Stael's feel- 
ings when she said that she would give 
all her intelligence to possess Madame 
de Rdcamier's face for a day. 

Hackbridge is in these days of motor- 


Diplomatic Life 

cars a very easy distance from town ; but 
when we drove up, as we always did, it 
necessitated putting the horses up for 
two hours, thus making it a four hours' 
drive to and from parties and receptions. 
It now seems rather an undertaking, yet 
it makes me smile when recollecting that 
a party in Buenos Ayres meant not four 
hours but forty-eight baggage, children, 
and servants a serious expedition, from 
which one did not return for one or two 
days at least. 



WE were appointed to Berlin in 1875, 
and thither we proceeded. The new 
" Kaiserhof" Hotel was just opened, and 
we decided to take an apartment there. 
The food then consisted chiefly of eels, 
veal, sausages and sauerkraut, to none 
of which I was at all partial. The palm 
court, which was then quite a novelty, 
and very attractive, made up slightly for 
the gastronomic drawbacks of the hotel. 
Lord Odo Russell and Lady Emily were 
ideal Chiefs. My presentations were 
made as soon as possible, as there was to 
be a garden-party at the Neue Palais at 
Potsdam, which I wished to attend. 

1 20 

Diplomatic Life 

The day before it took place, Lady 
Emily presented me to the Crown Prin- 
cess, then our own dear Princess Royal 
I was asked to remain to tea, and I had 
to answer many questions about Buenos 
Ayres and South America ; for the Princess 
was having Spanish lessons from a very 
old priest, and was at that time much 
interested in everything Spanish. On 
my return to the hotel I found a lovely 
bouquet of roses, which proved to be a 
kind thought of Her Imperial Highness's. 
Next day the great fte at Potsdam took 

The Emperor and Empress were most 
gracious, and every one seemed so gay 
and happy. The band played Strauss 
waltzes as only Germans can play them ; 
but a lawn is not a parquet floor, as I 
found to my embarrassment when Prince 
William, now the Kaiser, asked me to 


Reminiscences of 

dance. The German dancing is vigorous, 
and I was in some danger of being carried 
off my feet by the Prince. 

Suddenly I saw an object approaching, 
not unlike Cinderella's glass coach, drawn 
by four white horses which pulled up in 
fine style at the edge of the lawn. The 
band played the National Anthem, and 
on inquiring I was told that the Princess 
Charles was arriving. She was a 
Princess of Saxe- Weimar, Eisenach, 
sister of the Empress Augusta and also 
sister of the then Empress of Russia. In 
due course I was taken to the august 
lady to be presented. Her French was 
not very fluent, she spoke no English, 
and my German was limited. I was far 
too timid to attempt even a remark, 
so conversation did not proceed very 
smoothly. She started by saying some- 
thing like this, " Sie kommen von 


Diplomatic Life 

Brasilien. Ach, die schonen Blumen und 
Vogel und die Affen ! " She then took 
me by the hand and presented me to the 
fine, soldierly old man her husband, the 
Emperor's brother, who eyed me through 
and through. I felt extremely shy, and 
more so when he offered me his arm and 
took me into the Palace to the buffet. 

I think I made the acquaintance of 
all the Berlin society on that occasion. 
The Emperor afterwards led me into the 
garden and showed me the three figures 
that stand holding a crown at the very 
top of a sort of dome in the centre of the 
Palace. " These," he said, " are the three 
women Frederick the Great hated most." 
One was Catherine of Russia, the other 
Madame Pompadour, the third was, I 
think, Maria Theresa. 

After this my first visit I spent many 

happy hours in the Palace and its lovely 


Reminiscences of 

gardens. Sometimes there were excur- 
sions to the model farm and parties on 
the Havel, where the Embassy had two 
boats, and the Crown Princess and 
children often invited themselves. After 
a row we would land and make tea ; 
sometimes we went to the Peacock 
Island, with its wonderful velvety lawns 
that were kept in order by old women, and 
where each tree was chained to its neigh- 
bour by a garland of vine. It was quite 
like fairyland. The handsome Crown 
Prince loved the spot ; he was so manly 
and charming, and remembering him as 
I knew him then, it seems essentially 
characteristic of him that in his later 
days, when tortured with pain, his motto 
became, "Learn to suffer without com- 

I was so often invited to the Neue 

Palais that I became familiar with its 



(afterwards the Empress Frederick) 
as a Dogaressa at a fancy dress ball given to celebrate her silver wedding. 

Diplomatic Life 

many passages and staircases, never 
imagining what an infinitely pathetic 
tragedy lay behind one of the doors. 
Moved by some impulse, the Crown 
Princess took me on one of her visits to 
the room. The Princess passed into a 
small apartment and then unlocked a door 
of an inner room, where I saw a cradle, 
and in it a baby boy, beautiful to look 
upon, but it was only the waxen image 
of the former occupant, the little Prince 
Wenceslau, who had died when the Crown 
Prince went to the war of 1866. How 
pathetic it was to note the silver rattle and 
ball lying as though flung aside by the 
little hand, the toys which amused his 
baby mind arranged all about the cradle, 
his little shoes waiting, always waiting, 
at the side. 

The Princess's love of her native 

country was sometimes held as a re- 


Reminiscences of 

proach against her she was quixotic 
almost in her devotion to it. I remember 
one September receiving a hamper of 
grouse, snugly arranged in a nest of 
heather, from Lord Napier. I happened 
to mention this to Her Imperial High- 
ness, and she exclaimed, " What would 
I not give to see the grouse and the 
Scotch heather again ! " We begged her 
acceptance of the birds, and the hamper 
was duly despatched to the Royal Palace 
and the contents served for dinner that 
evening. In Germany game is never 
eaten high. The olfactory nerves of the 
guests that night were so severely 
offended that they could not restrain all 
visible evidence of it, and the result was 
decidedly amusing to us, at all events. 

Often musical evenings were given 
at the Palace, and well I remember 

Le Marchant Gosselin, who was a 


Diplomatic Life 

junior secretary, playing divinely Scar- 
lati's music, and Count Benckendorff 
singing to his accompaniment What 
terrible gossip was circulated when 
Count Benckendorff married an im- 
mensely rich Russian lady, named 
Ayoukoff, who used to give big recep- 
tions, and received her guests reclining 
on a divan adorned with a jewelled 
crown and priceless necklaces of uncut 
stones and pearls; and the horror and 
consternation when the " ddbicle " came, 
and she ran away with a racing captain. 
The poor little misguided woman ended 
her life in a hotel in some seaport town. 

The dinners at the Emperor's Palace 
were heavily gorgeous. Babelsberg was 
all turrets like a castle in a fairy tale, 
and contained a magnificent hall filled 
with quantities of wood-carving, arms 

and armour. The Emperor, who was a 


Reminiscences of 

follower of a type of old-fashioned 
courtesy, insisted on taking all the ladies 
down to their carriages himself. 

My sister had married (as his first 
wife) Willie Napier, then the Master of 
Napier and to-day Lord Napier and 
Ettrick. He was also in diplomacy, 
and we were together in Berlin. My 
sister was a beautiful woman,, who 
dressed remarkably well and was always 
full of fun. The Emperor William, 
the present Kaiser's grandfather, who 
always admired pretty women, said to 
her one evening, " How many children 
have you?" "Two, sire/' "And what 
are their names?" "Alpha and Omega, 
sire," she replied, which caused him 
considerable amusement 

Poor Enriqueta, she died, almost 
suddenly, far from us all at Edinburgh, 

and Lord Napier, her father-in-law, 


Diplomatic Life 

wrote her epitaph, quoting Matthew 
Arnold's lines : 

Allured to brighter worlds and led the way. 

There was one charming lady who was 
always kindness itself to us, the Empress's 
lady - in - waiting, Countess Oriola, of 
Portuguese origin. I believe her grand- 
father had been the Portuguese repre- 
sentative, and her father settled in 
Germany. She was typically Southern, 
quite diminutive, with the smallest hands 
and feet I have ever seen, and masses 
of black hair and immense eyes. 

Another charming and lovely person 
was the Princess Frederick Charles. 
Her husband was called the Red Prince, 
because he commanded the Red Hussars. 
She, however, had almost retired from 
society, being afflicted with deafness. 
She was a Princess of Anhalt and 

mother of three sweet Princesses, one 

129 9 

Reminiscences of 

of whom is to-day the Duchess of 

The Reviews were amazing; particu- 
larly that of the Guards, who with their 
solid brass helmets like a bishop's mitre, 
dating from the time of Frederick the 
Great, were a sight never to be forgotten. 

We had taken the Count Perponchef s 
house for the summer. All the principal 
rooms were situated on one floor, as is 
usually the case with the villas at 
Potsdam. My bedroom opened out of 
the salon, and on one occasion this led 
to a somewhat amusing contretemps. 

The Royalties had a habit of calling 
"sans cdrdmonie," the Crown Princess 
being especially addicted to early visits. 
Not, however, anticipating any visitors 
one day, I was having my hair sham- 
pooed, when suddenly the communicating 

door between salon and bedroom was 


Diplomatic Life 

thrown open by the Italian servant, who 
without further waiting announced, "Ci 
sta la Principessa et il Principe Real"! 
It might have been worse, the soap 
might have been all over my face, but 
the fates were kind and the hair was 
nearly dry, so I was able to present 
a less ridiculous appearance; there was 
no retreat and no alternative but to 
see the amusing side, which struck the 
Princess as much as it did myself. 

The Crown Prince, now the Kaiser, 
was another frequent visitor ; he was then 
a fine young man with a strong sense 
of fun and fond of teasing. 

He liked our English teas, and after- 
wards used to claim me for a game of 
draughts. In the salon there was a big 
window with a deep seat that he especially 
favoured, to this a small table was drawn 
up and fine battles ensued over the board. 

Reminiscences of 

I shall never forget one occasion 
when he accused me of cheating. He 
was so apparently serious that I became 
infuriated, and, unmindful of his high 
estate or my duty as hostess, I impul- 
sively leant across the table and boxed 
his ears! His sense of humour and 
the satisfaction of having been so 
successful in working upon my feelings 
saved the situation. I received full 
punishment later, for ever afterwards 
when he met me he used to cry, " I 
know a lady who cheats at draughts/' 

There were ftes in the lovely gardens 
at Glienicke, which belonged to the 
Princess Charles. Truly, no one under- 
stands a summer garden like the 
Germans ; and the illuminations were 
quite lovely. Almost all the great wealth 
of flowers were grown in pots : there- 
were hundreds of hydrangeas, camellias, 


Emil Rothe, Cassel. 


Diplomatic Life 

tree-ferns, palms, roses en masse, crotons 
and gloxinias, begonias, with quantities 
of giant mignonette in the borders, and 
lime trees perfuming the air. 

The Palace of Sans Souci was the 
favourite residence of Frederick the 
Great, and one can almost see the cynic 
Voltaire, who was a frequent guest there, 
still wandering around those lovely 

When people returned to Berlin the 
skating-rink became the great rendez- 
vous, and the dinners at the different 
Embassies loomed large in the en- 
gagements of each week. The Austro- 
Hungarian was graced by the lovely 
Countess Karoly, one of the most 
beautiful Hungarian noble ladies, ne 
Countess Erdody. The Count, a great 
sportsman, did the honours of his house 

in quite Royal fashion. 


Reminiscences of 

We had many charming colleagues: 
among them Count Mafd and Louis 
Soveral, to-day Marquis de Soveral. He 
was educated at Louvain, and was to have 
been a sailor, but changed his mind and 
became a diplomatist. We have often 
laughed since, talking of the time when 
we used to give him English lessons ; for 
at that period he could not speak a word 
of the language that was to become so 
familiar to him in later years. He was as 
popular then as he has always been since. 

M. de Several's great characteristic was 
tact, which naturally is a great asset to 
a diplomatist. A good example of this 
occurred when he was called by King 
Carlos to take the portfolio of Minister of 
Foreign Affairs on the death of Count 
Lobo D'Avila. Before even presenting 
himself to the King, the Marquis hurried 
to the bereaved parents of the deceased 


Diplomatic Life 

Minister, the Count and Countess Val- 
born, to offer his condolences. I have a 
photograph of him at the fancy dress ball 
given at the Crown Prince's Palace on the 
anniversary of Their Imperial Highnesses' 
silver wedding; he is dressed in the 
costume of a Troubadour. Louis Soveral 
was always the life and soul of the diplo- 
matic parties. 

Mr. Bering, afterwards Sir Henry 
Bering, was Second Secretary with us. 
He and his charming wife had a delightful 
apartment near the Thiergarten, and we 
nearly always called in on our way from 
the skating-rink. They received every 
evening, and it was a delightful " milieu/* 
where, moreover, one was always sure of 
a warm welcome. 

Lord Odo Russell, our chief, was a 
great raconteur. One of his favourite anec- 
dotes related to the time when the Emperor 


Reminiscences of 

and Empress of the French were 
coming over to the opening of the great 
Exhibition in London, and the Lord 
Mayor was to present an address. A 
deputation came to ask Lord Clarendon 
how it was to be worded, as the 
Empress was expecting, the birth of 
the Prince Imperial, and they wished 
to know whether any allusion was to 
be made to the all - important event. 
The Lord Mayor ended by saying, -" You 
see, my Lord, there's the 'itch." "Then 
scratch it," replied Lord Clarendon. 

On another occasion he told us that 
he had been devoted to snakes and used 
to keep them in his rooms. When in 
Rome on a special mission he had 
acquired a large boa-constrictor, 12 feet 
long. One day it disappeared out of its 
case and could not be found anywhere. 

At last a space was discovered under the 


Diplomatic Life 

flooring, behind a piece of furniture, and 
there the creature was hidden. No one 
could be found who would help him to 
take the plank up and get the reptile out, 
so he had to do it himself. Finally the 
poor thing died. Next door there was a 
large sausage and salt-meat shop, called 
locally a " Salamaio." The proprietor 
came and begged for the dead boa, and the 
following day it was festooning the front 
of the shop, decorated with paper roses. 
Taking off his glasses, Lord Russell 
would smile and say, " History does not 
relate whether the boa was cut up in 
pieces and sold as sausage. " 

Winter approached ; the days began to 
shorten ; we had our last picnic and rowed 
down the lake by moonlight. Princess 
Charlotte, a bright, careless, lovable 
child, had been often of the party, and 

also Prince Waldemar, who subsequently 


Reminiscences of 

died of diphtheria. We were present at 
Princess Charlotte's "fian$ailles" to Prince 
Bernard of Saxe-Meiningen. He was a 
clever man, and among other things 
wrote Greek plays, but, unfortunately, he 
seemed to have poor health. 

On the occasion of our last picnic 
Henry Bering and Maude, another secre- 
tary, were in our boat, and Mademoiselle 
de Perpignan, a lady-in-waiting to the 
Princess, sang an old Bretonne song, 
while the others joined in the chorus, the 
other boats answering. The words, as 
far as I can recall them, were : 

Ceinture dore, 
Chapelet d'argent, 
II est a Paris 
Ou dans la Vendee. 

When we took leave of the Empress, 
she gave us a photograph of herself, 

saying, " I give you this one, because no 


Diplomatic Life 

one wants an old woman's portrait," It 
was a photograph of one of the lovely 
portraits painted when she was young. 

Eventually we were appointed to 
Rome. I bade farewell to my many 
friends and returned to our cottage to 
recount all my doings and what my 
family called the " fairy tales/' 




WHEN I arrived in Rome in October 
1878, we took a villa in the Macao, 
close to the Porta Pia, to be near the 

As my mother-in-law knew every- 
body, I had many letters of introduction, 
especially to the "black society (the 
Vatican party). The white section was 
the Court party and, as is well known, 
the rivalry was intense. The Princess 
Bonaparte was most kind, and during 
the season the receptions at the Princess 
Palavicini's were wonderfully well done. 
The Ambassadresses were all people who 

made history for themselves in one way 


Diplomatic Life 

or another. The French Ambassadress, 
the Marquise de Noaille, nde Tohai- 
kowska, had been one of the celebrated 
beauties of the Empire. She and the 
Marquis inhabited the Palazzo Farnese, 
famous for its wonderful frescoes. They 
had one son, who went by the name 
of Dudu. I remember him especially, 
because I engaged an English nursery- 
governess for him, and after a short time 
the poor girl was beside herself: she 
could do nothing with this spoilt child, 
and finally fled from the house rather 
than let him cut up a pink cockatoo alive, 
which, however, he eventually did ! 

The Russian Ambassadress, Comtesse 
Ux-Kul, had the smallest waist and the 
longest hair I have ever seen. She was 
the wife of a Russian Consul and had 
eloped with the Ambassador, but when 

her first husband was taken dangerously 


Reminiscences of 

ill, and eventually died, she went to nurse 
him. Strange to say, the Secretary of 
Embassy at the same time, M. S,, had 
eloped with his Minister's wife at a 
former post. The Ambassador's wife 
was the spoilt child of society, whereas 
the Secretary's wife was never received, 
and went about closely veiled, as people 
passed such cruel remarks when they met 
her in the street a typical example of the 
unfairness of public opinion in some 

In Rome the presentations were made 
at a Court ball, given by their Majesties 
Queen Margarita and King Umberto. 
The Queen had lovely auburn hair, a 
beautiful complexion and rather a long 
nose. I suppose her fair hair came from 
her Saxon ancestress. To my great 
discomfiture I was told that I was to 

dance in the " quadrille d'honneur." The 


Diplomatic Life 

"Chefesse" danced with the King, the 
Queen with the present King of Sweden, 
and I with our delightful chief, Sir 
Augustus Paget. I was quite lost in 
admiration when I saw Lady Paget: I 
thought she was the most beautiful person 
I had ever seen. She wore a white velvet 
embossed train and a lace and pearl skirt ; 
her hair was done a la Grecque, and she 
wore a diadem of pearls and a pearl 
necklace. She moved so gracefully that 
I could not help exclaiming to Sir 
Augustus, " I have never seen anything 
so beautiful ! " He smiled and said, 
" After the quadrille go and tell her so ! " 
This I would never in my wildest dreams 
have had the courage to do. 

It was said that Mme X., the wife of 
one of our colleagues, was protected by 
a member of the old Roman aristocracy, 

and this caused many scandals and much 


Reminiscences of 

gossip. At this particular ball one of the 
ladies of the Court made some remark 
about her train being too long, whereupon 
Mme X. went to the buffet, and asking for 
a carving-knife, cut half the train off, and 
presented it to the lady-in-waiting an 
episode that did not tend to stop 
scandalous tongues. 

The afternoon drives in the Pincio 
were very amusing the acrobatic feats 
performed when the Royal carriage passed 
causing some merriment; for everybody 
stood up in their carriages, and balance 
was not always easy to maintain at a 
moment's notice. There were many 
dinners at the Embassy. Among other 
people we met Lord George Paget, uncle 
to Sir Augustus, a fine old man; and 
Mr. Spencer Cowper. The latter was 
Lady Palmerston's son, and Sandringham 

belonged to him before it was purchased 


From a miniature painted in 1873. 

Diplomatic Life 

for the Prince of Wales. Mrs. Spencer 
Cowper was an American, possessed of 
a very fine voice. On one occasion, when 
I was at one of her big receptions, I was 
told that Mr. Spencer Cowper had been 
to Naples for change of air, and had 
returned with a feverish attack. He did 
not appear, as he had gone to Albano. I 
was looking for a place out of Rome to 
go to when the heat commenced and Mrs. 
Spencer Cowper made me promise to go 
to luncheon with her husband next day 
and take my young people. 

We left the reception soon after mid- 
night, and at 9 A.M. next day I started 
off with the boys and their governess, 
taking on the box a man who knew the 
best villas that were to be had. We had 
not gone half-an-hour on our way when 
we pulled up at a house by the roadside, 

where a large green branch indicated 

145 10 

Reminiscences of 

that new wine was sold. Out came the 
publican with a tray, large glasses and a 
fiasco of new wine. We tasted it and 
did not think much of it, but our guide 
and the coachman drank it down, and 
after tendering a few soldi we continued 
our journey. This proceeding was re- 
peated five times on the part of the two 
men, and eventually the poor horses were 
whipped up a steep street, and were drawn 
up at a gloomy stone house, which was 
the best hotel. We descended and I sent 
the children with their governess to see 
the celebrated bridge, while I asked for 
Mr. Spencer Cowper. A porter led me 
across the bare flagged hall, upstairs, and 
opened a door into a sitting-room, a man- 
servant entered and asked me to come 
into the next room. My horror is better 
imagined than described when I saw my 

would-be host dressed in his evening 


Diplomatic Life 

clothes, boots, gloves, white tie dead! 
I did not realise at first what had really 
taken place, and asking how it had all 
happened, I was told that he had 
arrived the night before from Rome, 
apparently rather tired with the journey, 
and after a light dinner had retired to his 
room. When his servant called him in the 
morning he was found dead. A doctor 
was sent for, who said he had died from 
heart failure after fever! I hurriedly 
asked if Mrs. Spencer Cowper had been 
informed, and they told me they were 
expecting her momentarily. Meeting my 
children outside, we went to an inn, 
where I gave them some refreshments, 
and hurried with them back to Rome. 
How we ever got there still remains a 
mystery to me. The guide and the 
coachman had both drunk not wisely 

but too well First the carriage swayed 


Reminiscences of 

to one side and then to the other, 
corners were shaved, and pedestrians ran 
at our approach. At last we arrived at 
the gate of the city, and there to my 
horror I saw the body of poor Spencer 
Cowper in a landau, propped up with 
pillows, and the valet explaining that he 
was returning from Albano and had died 
on the road. This was a ruse to get the 
body into the city always a great diffi- 
culty in Southern countries. 

One of the finest figures in Rome was 
the handsome Cardinal Howard, who in 
his scarlet robes looked a real Prince of the 
Church. He was such a typical guards- 
man, and no one there seemed to know 
why he became a priest. The Hon. 
Mrs. Bruce, once a member of Queen 
Victoria's household, entertained a great 
deal, and at her dinners the homage paid 

to the Cardinal was quite remarkable. 


Diplomatic Life 

All present, both Catholic and Protestant, 
kissed the ring. 

Our American colleague, George 
Wirtz, was quite an institution, his 
dinners being a feature of the Roman 
season. He was an ardent collector and 
possessed lovely pictures, china, and old 
glass, as well as some wonderful plate, 
in which he took a great interest. He 
and his second wife came to Lisbon when 
we were there. It was delightful to meet 
again and talk over old times. 

I often went to see Mrs. Hugh Eraser, 
who had arrived from Pekin in bad health 
with two tiny boys, and attended by a 
Chinese nurse. The latter, dressed in a 
sort of hobble-skirt smelling strongly of 
indigo dye, and her head-dress a thing of 
wonder, with quantities of huge gaudy 
pins stuck round a variation of the 

chignon, created quite a sensation in 


Reminiscences of 

Rome. We also met Mrs. Eraser's 
brother, Marion Crawford, the celebrated 
author of so many delightful books. He 
had a fine voice, and his singing at the 
American Church attracted quite a large 
percentage of the congregation. 

The Rev. Dr. Nevin was the shepherd 
of that big winter flock; no party was 
complete without him. Amongst the 
English-speaking community General 
Henry Hamilton Maxwell and his dear 
wife Laura, whom he always addressed 
as " Dame," were the most popular. He 
was a hero of the Indian Mutiny, having 
been badly wounded at the relief of Luck- 
now, and was taken to the house of his 
future ''Dame's" parents to be nursed. 
Propinquity had the usual results: he 
ended by marrying their daughter. He 
loved to say that his wound pension 

dressed them both. General Maxwell 


Diplomatic Life 

was an Irishman and son of a clergyman. 
One day when he was telling an old 
Roman priest that his father was a clergy- 
man, the priest smiled and said, " Queste 
cose se fanno, ma non se dicono " (These 
things are done, but not talked about). 

We once made a long excursion to see 
a silkworm industry, and I took great 
interest in it all, for I love silk. I was 
told how the silkworms' eggs were carried 
from China to Persia first, hidden in the 
folds of a Chinese princess's head-dress. 
There they were cultivated and eventually 
came to Europe, brought in a cane by some 
Greek missionaries. Accompanied by the 
Maxwells, we also made an excursion to 
Sienna, with its market-place and its church 
dedicated to Sta Catherina ; its old-world 
beauty impressed me immensely. I always 
felt very ignorant in Italy, and realised 
my instruction in history had been sadly 

Diplomatic Life 

neglected. I intended to study seriously, 
but have done nothing so far. 

Here we again met Telfner, the success- 
ful civil engineer from Buenos Ayres. He 
had in the meanwhile been ennobled by 
King Victor Emanuel. We were present at 
his marriage with Miss Hungerford, sister 
of Mrs. Mackay, the Bonanza King's wife. 

We were always lucky with our col- 
leagues, who were charming. Of those 
in Rome, Beauclerk and Portal are 
dead, Buchanan is an Ambassador, and 
Greville has retired. We spent much of 
our time together and were all "bons 
camarades " and good friends ; yet in 
spite of its many advantages, we were 
anxious to get to a post where we could 
remain all the year round. Summer was 
upon us, and hearing that General Stanton 
was leaving Munich, we therefore pressed 

for the vacancy and obtained it. 




MUNICH marks two great events in my 
life. While there I first met the lady 
to whom Hugh had been engaged in 
his youth. In her recently published 
memoirs she said such flattering things 
of me that I feel no shyness in giving 
my impressions of her. It is, I suppose, 
natural for every woman to feel a 
certain curiosity as regards those who 
have influenced her husband's life and 
destiny. I had often asked Hugh what 
she was like. With a certain shyness he 
would say, " Oh, it is so long ago ! " and 
then, "Well, she was very fair, not tall. 

She had a lovely complexion, and above 


Reminiscences of 

all a very great charm of manner and a 
very sweet smile." 

Eight years ago, on sorting Hugh's 
letters, I carne across a small packet put 
aside from the rest, which proved to be 
from her. I read some of them, and was 
filled with admiration at their simple 
straightforwardness and the good advice 
they contained, not to steeplechase or 
fight any more duels, if he wanted to win 
her at last In one of the letters she 
mentions a King Charles dog he pos- 
sessed, on whose collar was inscribed, 
" Je m'appelle Cafd et j'appartiens a Mr. 
Macdonell, Legation d'Angleterre " ; and 
the letter continued, " I wonder whether 
I shall ever be like Cafe ? " They parted, 
however, and never met until both were 
married. Sixteen or seventeen years 
after, on Hugh's death, I received a very 

kind note from her saying, " With Hugh 


Diplomatic Life 

goes a link in the chain of my golden 

The second incident was the birth 
of my dear girl ; and what would my 
life be to-day without her? But these 
domestic things do not interest anybody. 

There was a great commotion about 
our presentation. The ill-fated King 
Ludwig never received ladies, and weeks 
and weeks passed before he could make 
up his mind to receive the new British 
representative. Letters came saying that 
His Majesty would graciously deign to 
receive Mr. Macdonell at one o'clock ; but 
when everything was ready and uniform 
donned, a messenger on horseback came 
hurrying from the Palace to say that the 
King could not receive the new repre- 
sentative that day. During all these 
delays I could not accept an invitation 
for fear of meeting either a Prince or 

Reminiscences of 

Princess whilst my husband had not 
been received by the King. At last a 
summons came, and Hugh arrived at the 
Palace to find everything in gala array. 
He was shown into an ante-room, the 
door was thrown open, and under a 
canopy stood this remarkable monarch 
in a gorgeous uniform, wearing a blue 
velvet mantle embroidered with gold and 
lined with white satin, and a heavily 
jewelled sword at his side. When Hugh 
had made his speech in French, the King 
thanked him and hoped he would pass 
" un sdjour agr^able dans mon royaume." 
The King was at least 6 feet 3 inches in 
height, with a fine head, long curly hair, 
very pale complexion, and somewhat 
defective teeth. 

The preliminary courtesies over, he 
motioned Hugh to sit down, and seating 

himself he began to discuss the political 


Diplomatic Life 

outlook and position of affairs generally ; 
and while doing so made an observation 
that rather astonished Hugh, "Vous 
savez que les grands malheurs qui pour- 
suivent les pays viennent toujours d'en 
haut ; ce ne sont pas les peuples qui sont 
responsables. Les exemples d'extrava- 
gance, cette rage effrdnde pour le luxe, 
voila la cause, et nous sommes sur le 
bord d'un abtme." 

We naturally heard much of this almost 
mythical King. First, as every one knows, 
he was devoted to Wagner, and built him 
a house exactly like a ship. He would 
have performances of the Wagner operas 
given with himself as sole audience, and 
had the house kept in total darkness 
during the performance. He also had a 
private entrance into the theatre. On the 
top of the Palace he had a lake with 
black swans on it and a small boat, in 

Reminiscences of 

which he would imagine himself one of 
the heroes of the Wagnerian operas, pre- 
ferably Lohengrin. He became rapidly 
more eccentric, and I am glad now, that 
I waited two hours in the deep snow at 
the back entrance of the Palace to see 
him, wrapped in sables, start out on one 
of his weird excursions in a covered 
sleigh. Once out of the Palace the two 
black horses were made to gallop at full 
speed. He had an electric apparatus for 
lighting the inside of his sleigh, and when 
he went through the mountain villages 
the peasants opened their doors, as soon 
as they heard the silver bells of the 
Royal sleigh, and knelt in reverent 
prayer whilst he passed, believing him 
to be a supernatural being. 

He built himself a marvellous palace 
at Chiemsee, in the heights of the Bavarian 

Tyrol, and tried to reproduce a second 


Diplomatic Life 

edition of Versailles with its " galerie des 
glaces." To this palace he often retired. 
Every detail of the Louis XIV. era was 
carried out, even the brocade coats, silk 
stockings, knee-breeches and powdered 
wigs of the servants. A banquet was 
laid every day for thirty people. The 
King arrived, bowing to the imaginary 
guests, and the attendants were obliged 
to wear a black satin mask, as he hated 
human faces. Of course his insanity 
was inherited, for there is the taint in 
the Wittelsbach blood ; and his brother, 
King Otto, still lives, a pitiable object of 
mental degeneracy. In his youth Ludwig 
was engaged to be married to the sister 
of the ill-fated Empress Elisabeth of 
Austria-Hungary. She, however, married 
the Duke d'Alengon, and eventually lost 
her life in the terrible fire of the Bazar de 

la Charitd in Paris. When the King's 


Reminiscences of 

marriage was broken off by the Duchess, 
he seemed unable to recover from the 
shock ; perhaps his mental condition was 
so precarious that the least strain upset 
the balance, and the last scenes of his life 
proved that the equilibrium had gone. 
He corresponded with foreign nations to 
the detriment of the Empire, and was 
finally put under restraint with a resident 
doctor. One day, with the cunning of 
the insane, he appeared calm and reason- 
able, and told his doctor, the famous 
mental specialist, Professor Hutten, that 
he wished to walk by the lake, but did 
not want either aide-de-camp or escort. 
Once in front of the deepest part of the 
lake, he clasped the doctor round the waist 
and sprang with him into the lake. The 
doctor struggled in vain ; they both sank, 
and the bodies were recovered four hours 



Born 1845. Died 1886. 

Diplomatic Life 

Baron Varicourt, one of King Ludwig's 
best friends and his aide-de-camp, was 
a great friend of ours. From him we 
often heard much of the King's eccen- 
tricities. His great-grandfather was the 
Baron Varicourt of the Garde Suisse who 
defended Marie Antoinette against the 
rabble. His great-aunt was the lady to 
whom Voltaire was so devoted, and whom 
he called " belle et bonne/' and with 
whom he made his home off and on for 
many years. Varicourt was a most in- 
teresting man : his devotion to his King 
was very great, and it is a strange coin- 
cidence that the unfortunate man, who had 
once been under restraint, became sud- 
denly insane, and shortly after his master's 
tragic end shot himself at an hotel at 
Wartzburg on his way to see his sister. 
He had inherited some lovely things, 

amongst others a picture of Voltaire by 

161 11 

Reminiscences of 

Largilli&re, which at Varicourt's death was 
purchased by the French Government and 
now hangs in the Louvre. 

Visitors to Munich are often impressed 
by one rather gruesome municipal regu- 
lation. Twelve hours after a death has 
been notified, the body is removed to 
a magnificent building adjoining the 
cemetery, rather like a large conservatory, 
decorated inside with palms and ferns. 
Down the centre of the hall runs a sort of 
platform with inclined sides, on which 
the bodies fully dressed are laid reposing 
on wire mattresses. Each body is con- 
nected with an electric bell, which com- 
municates with a lodge at either end 
of the building, inhabited by the guards. 
Only after thirty-six hours is a certificate 
of burial issued. The whole thing is 
very well described by the well~know r n 

authoress, Baroness Tautphceus, in her 


Diplomatic Life 

novel, The Initials. She, by the way, was 
a charming woman nde Montgomery 
whose acquaintance I made towards 
the end of her life, when she was living 
in great retirement in Munich. 

The Princess Ludwig, wife of Prince 
Ludwig, who has recently succeeded his 
father as Regent, was a beautiful lady 
and, had the Stuart line existed, would 
have been Queen of England. Her 
mother was a Princess d'Este and married 
the Archduke Charles ; she was therefore 
half-sister to Queen Christina, consort 
of King Alfonso XII. of Spain. I was 
often sent for to the Palace on the Odeon 
Platz, to sit and talk over domestic 
matters with Princess Marie Therese 
she is now, like myself, a grandmother. 

Another Royal lady, who lived next 
door to the Legation at Schwabing, was 

the Archduchess Gisela, married to the 


Reminiscences of 

late Regent's second son. She was a 
daughter of the Emperor Francis Joseph 
of Austria. She had a mania for 
becoming thin, with this object often 
walking 10 or 15 miles a day. We were 
sometimes invited in to a game of bowls 
and tea. To my astonishment, at my 
first game I won five marks, which were 
handed over to me by the Prince; but 
the next week at the same game I lost 
ten, which therefore gave him his 
revenge. The Kegel, as the bowling- 
green is called, is a feature in all good 
Bavarian gardens. 

It was at Munich we received our 
beloved Crown Princess, the Empress 
Frederick. She came for relaxation and 
in search of health even then. Princess 
Victoria accompanied her, and our 
valued friend, Count George Secken- 

dorff, who was a Bavarian. I spent 


Diplomatic Life 

many happy hours shopping and visiting 
artists' studios with them, last but not 
least that of the great Lembach, who 
painted the last portrait of that great 
woman. Her intelligence was quite 
abnormal, everything interested her, but 
I fear she was often misunderstood. 

Later on we had the honour of 
receiving on a three days' visit Princess 
Louise, Duchess of Argyll, which caused 
tremendous excitement among the col- 
leagues. There was no end to their 
questions : Where was she going to be 
received ; could they see the rooms she 
was to occupy? Finally, a crowd of 
American tourists waylaid her, and 
begged her to inscribe her name in their 
autograph books; their indiscretion was 
amazing,| but she was very gracious, and 
signed as many as she could. 

We had many friends at Munich. 

Reminiscences of 

Sir Henry Howard, who had been in 
the diplomatic service, retired and lived 
there. His second wife, who was a 
German lady, Countess Schulenberg, 
was like a second mother to me, and 
was my constant companion. I was 
continually in her apartment in Ludwig 

One of the finest estates belonged 
to Count Arco-Vally, whose younger 
daughter married the late Lord Acton. 
The property was situated quite near 
Munich, and the shooting was some of 
the best in Bavaria a fact we greatly 
appreciated, as we often received a whole 
stag for our larder. Dr. Dollinger, the 
great scholar and theologian, was another 
well-known figure, and he often came to 
pay us a morning call. He was excom- 
municated by the Pope for his controversy 
on the infallibility, and became the head of 


Diplomatic Life 

the Old Catholic movement ; still, he sued 
for pardon and absolution from Rome 
before dying, and received it. He was 
a tiny little wizened-up old gentleman, 
speaking English perfectly. 

Our Russian colleague's wife (Comt- 
esse Osten Sacken) was a charming lady, 
nde a Princess DolgouroukL She was 
first married to the old Prince Galitzine. 
When he was dying he made his Secretary, 
Count Osten Sacken, promise to marry 
his widow, which the Secretary did, 
despite the fact that he was many years 
her junior. They had a " chef de cuisine/' 
who received 5 a year and drove about 
in his brougham, but he was an artist in 
his way ! Countess Osten Sacken pos- 
sessed the celebrated and magnificent 
pearls known as the Galitzine pearls 
at that time supposed to be unique among 

jewels, once the property of Catherine 


Reminiscences of 

the Great of Russia. Both Count and 
Countess are now dead. 

The excursions round Munich are 
lovely. Tagern See, Nuremberg, Inns- 
bruck are quite charming ; while Munich 
itself is a treasure-store of pictures and 
revivals of every kind of art, not to 
mention all the lovely ironwork, glass, 
porcelain, and all kinds of wood-carving 
and textile articles. 

One of the extremely pretty religious 
ceremonies that take place there is the 
procession to bless the seeds that are to 
be sown. When the fields are prepared, 
the priest, with acolytes carrying the 
cross, walks first, followed by men with 
huge pockets slung in front of them. 
Arrived in the field these men approach 
the priest, who blesses the seed and 
throws the first handful into a furrow. 
When this is done, the procession 


Diplomatic Life 

returns to the church, singing a special 

The peasants' dress is very picturesque : 
a skirt of fine brocade with hundreds of 
pleats round the waist, large leg-of- 
mutton sleeves, and a corselet of velvet 
or the same brocade. These gowns 
form heirlooms and go from mother to 
daughter, together with various pretty 
chains made with garnets and turquoises, 
and large brooches and ornaments. On 
their heads they wear a square of rich soft 
black silk tied over the forehead, the long 
ends hanging down at the back. 




SIR S. LOWCOCK'S death gave my 
husband his promotion as Minister 
Plenipotentiary to Rio de Janeiro ; and as 
there were several very important ques- 
tions pending and much British capital 
involved, we were obliged to hurry out 
there as soon as possible. After busy 
days of packing and choosing furniture 
we sailed, by our old friend the Royal 
Mail, for Rio. A curious incident 
occurred thirty-six hours after leaving 
Southampton. A large bird perched 
itself on the summit of the main mast, 

a sailor went up and caught it and 


Diplomatic Life 

brought it down, and it proved to 
be a brown owl! I am superstitious 
about owls, and was very depressed, 
especially as I had left my favourite 
sister seriously ill. The sailors tied a 
string round the poor dazed creature's 
leg and were rather ill-treating it, so I 
offered them two shillings for the bird, 
which they accepted, and I then let it 
out of my porthole. The captain told 
me that they often caught even smaller 
birds on the mast, especially when the 
wind was blowing off the land. On 
arriving at Lisbon we received a tele- 
gram to say that thirty-six hours after 
my departure my sister had passed away, 
and also Lady Macdonell, the wife of 
General Sir A. Macdonell, my brother- 
in-law it was a strange coincidence ! 
The journey presented no novelty to 

us, and in twenty-one days we arrived 


Reminiscences of 

at the magnificent harbour of Rio, which 
I have already described. To our horror 
many of the ships in harbour were flying 
yellow flags half-mast, and our Consul, 
Major Ricketts, informed us that there 
had been 800 deaths the day before from 
yellow fever. He advised us to go on 
to the Argentine, as all the hotels at 
Petropolis were full to overflowing. 
We were in this dilemma, not knowing 
what to do, when we were approached 
by a Mr. Wilson, a very well-known 
civil engineer, who said he had a large 
apartment in one of the hotels at 
Petropolis and would willingly give it 
up to us. He advised us to allow him 
to take us straight from the ship across 
the Bay in a steam-launch to Maua, 
the landing-place on the other side, 
which was connected jwith Petropolis by 
the funicular railway, and thus avoid 


Diplomatic Life 

landing at Rio at all He was indeed a 

Nothing can give any one who has not 
seen it an idea of the ascent of the 
mountains, through jungle and forests, 
across mountain gorges, over precipices 
spanned by extremely unsafe - looking 
bridges. At last we arrived at our 
destination. Mr. Haggard (now Sir 
William) was the Chargd d' Affaires and 
was on the platform with his sister to 
greet us. She married the Belgian 
Charge d'Affaires, and as Baroness 
d'Anethan went to Japan, where her 
husband was Minister. She has written 
several clever books, and one of them 
is on that country. Haggard was 
somewhat worried at our arrival and 
said, "The mortality has been terrible 
in Rio, so I asked the Consul to 

dissuade you from coming up, for the 


Reminiscences of 

risk you run seems very great. But 
since you are here, what are you going 
to do ? " " Well," I replied, " Mr. Wilson 
has kindly offered to give up part of 
his apartment at the hotel, and before 
leaving London we were offered the villa 
belonging to Baron Penedo's daughter 
just outside Petropolis." "Well," said 
Haggard, putting his eye-glass in his 
eye, "you are lucky!" And indeed we 

We started off in a procession of what 
can only be described as " shandarydans," 
drawn by mules. We were a big party, 
as we had brought out the two younger 
children and nurses, the French cook 
and all our personnel. The apartment 
at the hotel, although considered one 
of the best, was dreadfully uncomfortable. 
The bedrooms contained a small iron 

bedstead and the barest necessities. 


Diplomatic Life 

Fortunately, Hugh never went to bed 
early, and I have always been an early 
riser. As soon as it was dawn I dressed 
and went to see how the rest of the party 
and the children had fared, for they were 
put in an annexe. They had slept, and 
were longing to get out into the garden. 

We had our meals at the table d'hdte, 
and everything is eatable after ship's 
fare. I entered into conversation with a 
charming Brazilian lady, who gave me 
many details of the villa at Quitandinha ; 
and that afternoon, with our good friend 
Mr. Wilson, we drove out to inspect 
the place. Truly it was an oasis in 
the desert ! A delightful house with a 
verandah in front and opening out into a 
" pateo " or courtyard at the back. It was 
beautifully furnished with modern French 
furniture and everything one could 
possibly want. In the grounds was 

Reminiscences of 

a farm with Breton cows. The poor 
animals spent most of their lives in 
the byre because of the snakes, and of 
the rank grass, which did not agree with 

Next day our luggage and other 
belongings were put into carts, and the 
servants went out and lit fires all through 
the house, for the damp was appalling ; 
but before many days were over we 
were comfortably settled at Quitandinha, 
five miles out of Petropolis. We had 
to send a mule-cart in every day for 
all our food - supplies, bread, meat, and 
vegetables. Poultry, eggs and milk we 
obtained from the farm at famine prices. 

Of course it was a charming resi- 
dence during the height of summer, but 
as the days grew shorter we were much 
perplexed : no house seemed likely to 

be vacant at Petropolis, even at the 


Diplomatic Life 

exorbitant rent demanded from the 
British Minister. The rains began and 
our transport grew more difficult; 
mountain torrents washed away the 
roads, and one day we had absolutely 
no food, except rice and macaroni : meat 
and bread there was none, as we could 
not get our supplies out. However, our 
chef, who was a capital fellow, said, 
" Madame must not worry, I will find 
something before night." 

When dinner was served, there ap- 
peared a rather gelatinous soup, a few 
small fishes from the lake, fried, and 
about six tiny birds, whose flesh was 
quite black. I was rather sceptical, as they 
seemed strangely trussed, and I decided 
that I would only eat some macaroni. 

Next morning the chef smiled and 
asked if we had enjoyed our dinner. 

I said I had not eaten any. Much 

177 12 

Reminiscences of 

aggrieved he said that the soup was 
quite like mock-turtle, and was made of 
monkey, and the birds were small blue 
parrots; but he had cut their heads off, 
feeling sure I would not have eaten them 
if I had known it ! 

Weird days we spent there: walking 
through those virgin forests, where the 
moss and dead leaves lay piled up, so 
that we walked ankle-deep through them. 
Sometimes our path was blocked by a 
huge mahogany tree blown down and 
left to rot ; there were trees that give 
the campeachy dye, tinting the streams 
bright crimson; creepers hanging down 
like curtains between the trees; ex- 
quisitely beautiful blossoms, with no 
perfume ; and birds of every gaudy hue, 
but songless. There was silence, silence 
everywhere a silence that filled one 

with a nameless terror. Sometimes we 


Diplomatic Life 

would come on a clearing in the forest 
and find a whole family of charcoal- 
burners, some like skeletons wracked 
with ague, their thin horses loaded on 
each side with charcoal ready to be 
taken into the village or to Petropolis 
for sale perhaps five poor rnules and 
one horse all tied by the tails, following 
each other down the forest path. 

When the sun was at its height, the 
huge water-snakes came down the side of 
the mountain, horrible to look at, but, 
I believe, quite harmless. A sight that 
impressed itself upon my memory was 
one stormy evening when the sullen lake 
looked almost black, while dozens of 
black storks stood all along the edge of 
the water, and not a human being was 
in sight ; but vivid flashes of lightning 
illuminated this strange scene. 

In that part of the country there was 


Reminiscences of 

an interesting Frenchman, who had left 
France in 1870 for political reasons. He 
built himself a chalet and bought a big 
piece of land, and there he set up a very 
paying industry. He encouraged the 
German colonists, who had been brought 
out by the Emperor Dom Pedro, to keep 
cows and to sell him the milk, from 
which he manufactured the most delicious 
cream-cheeses ; these he sent to Rio and 
Petropolis, doing quite a big business. 

This man, whose name was Buisson, 
told us the following story. The charcoal- 
burners one day found a tiny monkey 
that had been shot, and brought it to 
him. He bound up its leg and nursed 
it tenderly, and the animal soon became 
his sole companion, following him about 
like a child, and sleeping in a basket 
at the foot of his bed. After a while, 

finding that his business was increasing, 

1 80 

Diplomatic Life 

he arranged that one of the foremen and 
his wife should live in the house with 
him, so that the woman might keep house 
and clean his rooms work that had till 
then been very badly done by two black 
slaves. The monkey resented this in- 
trusion, and though Carlota, the woman, 
was very kind to him, he would never be 
caressed by her or eat the food she gave 
him. One day Monsieur Buisson had to 
go into Rio, and on his return he found 
the chalet in darkness and everything 
in confusion. On entering the kitchen 
he became greatly alarmed and feared 
some foul play, for he found pieces of 
Carlota's clothes, handfuls of hair, and 
quantities of blood. He hurriedly lit a 
lamp and went upstairs, where he found 
Carlota shut up in her room, in abject 
terror and hardly able to speak. She 
explained that after Monsieur's departure 


Reminiscences of 

the monkey seemed very morose. She 
prepared his food but he refused to eat it, 
and as she turned to leave, the monkey 
sprang upon her, seized her by the hair, 
bit her and tore at her face, chattering 
violently the whole time. She said his 
grip was like iron, and only after a violent 
struggle was she able to get to her room 
and shut herself in. Buisson waited, 
hoping that the monkey would come in 
at supper-time, for he always sat beside 
his master at meals, but no monkey came. 
A week elapsed, and Monsieur had almost 
forgotten the incident, when one night 
about 2 A.M. he felt something spring 
upon his bed. He drew his revolver from 
under his pillow, lit his candle, and dis- 
covered the monkey. It seemed furious, 
and coming near him bit him in the arm. 
There was something almost tragic about 

the little Frenchman when he explained 


Diplomatic Life 

how he spoke to the monkey, saying, 
" For three long years you have been 
like a child to me in this land of despair, 
but now I must kill you ! " and taking 
aim he shot the animal dead. 

Showing us the monkey's skull, which 
he kept as a souvenir, he would say, 
" Behold another victim of jealousy ! 
Yet I have never felt anything so much 
in my life as having to kill my play- 
fellow and companion." 

There was a house we greatly coveted 
at Petropolis. It was rented by a Belgian 
engineer, and had a lovely garden, where 
bushes of gardenias, hibiscus, roses, and 
trees of heliotrope grew in profusion. 
There were also beds of tuberoses, 
jessamine, and frangipanni, with borders 
of a curious little plant that had velvet 
leaves like a geranium, and that smelt 

like patchouli. 


Reminiscences of 

One day Mr. Durieux, the owner of 
this terrestrial paradise, wrote and said 
that he had been suddenly called back to 
Europe and was anxious to offer us the 
villa "Des Onze Palmiers." Feeling 
that we were again in luck's way, we 
closed at once, and in our eagerness made 
no conditions, but took over everything 
Mr. Durieux wanted to get rid of. Our 
furniture had been warehoused, and as 
soon as he accepted our offer, we set to 
work to get it up from Rio to Petropolis, 
which, by the way, cost us more than the 
freight from London to Rio. 

The Emperor Pedro II. often came to 
see us. He was the son of the ex-King 
of Portugal who fled from that country 
and became Emperor of Brazil in 1840, 

Dom Pedro was a man of great charm, 
very learned, and a great traveller. His 

wife, the Empress Thdrse, a daughter of 


Diplomatic Life 

the King of the Two Sicilies, was a 
tiny little lady, slightly lame. They had 
two daughters. The eldest was Princess 
Isabel, who married the Prince de Join- 
ville's son, the Comte d'Eu. He was 
never popular, and was supposed to be 
much interested in speculations of various 
kinds. Many curious stories are told 
of Princess Isabel: one that having no 
heir to the throne, she consulted many 
wise men and women, and at last her 
"confessor" ordered her to do a penance. 
First, she was to wash the marble steps of 
the altar daily for nine days; secondly, 
she was to go round the church on her 
knees ; and thirdly, attend high mass bare- 
footed. It was a case of " Thy faith hath 
made thee whole/' for in the course of 
the year a prince was born, and several 
others followed. 

The second daughter married a Prince 

Reminiscences of 

of Saxe-Coburg, and had two sons. The 
eldest, Dom Pedro, was for a long time 
heir- presumptive, and was educated in 
Brazil under the auspices of his grand- 
father, the then reigning Emperor Dom 
Pedro. The Princess died of typhoid 
fever in Dresden. 

The Emperor invariably walked about 
in dress clothes, wearing his various 
decorations and ribbons, and a tall silk 
hat, followed by his aide-de-camp, who 
walked behind him holding his white 

The receptions at the Palace were 
"sans fa^on." On being summoned to 
pay our respects to His Majesty, we 
arrived at the Palace and found no one 
to usher us in. We stood and clapped 
our hands, and a black man in gorgeous 
green livery embroidered in gold, but 

with bare feet (looking not unlike a 


Diplomatic Life 

lizard), came forward, grinned broadly, 
and said in broken English, "You come 
see Emperor? Please this way/ 1 We 
were ushered into a room on the ground 
floor, a very large and bare apartment 
with white curtains at the many windows, 
and containing a cane sofa, four arm- 
chairs, and about fifty small cane chairs 
arranged round the walls. The floor 
was carpetless, but a marble - topped 
mahogany table stood in the centre. 

Presently the door opened and the 
Empress came in, dressed in a black silk 
dress trimmed with many rows of velvet, 
bell sleeves, and a fine lace collar, fastened 
with a large diamond brooch. She was 
very talkative, and told me how, when 
she came out to marry the Emperor, which 
she first did by proxy, the war-vessel 
that brought her out had a "chapelle 

ardente" fitted up, also a coffin and an 


Reminiscences of 

embalmer in case of accidents en route. 
Poor thing, she lived to die in exile far 
from Brazil, the country of her adoption 
and of which she was very fond. 

The Emperor never spoke English, 
and both Hugh and I were much 
perturbed when in a room full of col- 
leagues he addressed Hugh in a loud 
tone of voice, saying: " Pourquoi est-ce 
que la Princesse Beatrice (who had only 
recently been married) n'a pas d'enfants ? " 
Hugh replied, "Votre Majeste, la prin- 
cesse est tr&s jeune encore, elle a tout le 
temps." " Non, non, fille de sa Majeste 
la Reine Victoria elle doit commencer par 
avoir des enfants tout de suite ! " 

At the opening of the " Cortes " or 
Parliament, the Emperor wore a mantle 
of gorgeous toucan feathers. He was 
well over six feet, very strongly built, 
had a fine, genial face, and a white beard. 


Diplomatic Life 

A more kind-hearted and scholarly man 
never lived. It is a blot on the his- 
tory of Brazil that he was ignominiously 
dethroned and sent to die away from his 
beloved country, which he had done so 
much to improve, and where he had been 
instrumental in giving the slaves their 
freedom a great feat, though perhaps at 
the time a little premature ; for the poor 
creatures, having been treated more or 
less like animals for generations, were 
unable to think or provide for themselves 
when suddenly called upon to do so. 
England has many glories, but none so 
humane and so memorable as the great 
part she took in the suppression of the 
slave-trade. Undying honour to those 
pioneers who initiated this reform ! 

Brazil has produced some interesting 
men, foremost among them Dom Joachim 

de Nabuco, writer, politician, and one of 


Reminiscences of 

the principal workers in the great task 
of abolishing slavery in Brazil He 
graced the diplomatic service, and was 
representative of Brazil in this country, 
being afterwards sent as Ambassador to 
the United States, one of the most 
important posts for Brazil, where he died 
beloved and respected by all who knew 

We came across one curious character, 
a man called Captain Britto. He had 
been the owner of a slave-ship, but 
eventually turned Queen's evidence, and 
ended in the enjoyment of pensions from 
the British Government and from the 
Society for the Abolition of Slavery. The 
Captain would tell us how, when he plied 
his trade, the poor creatures sat chained 
together on the deck, wearing only a loin- 
cloth, exposed to the burning rays of 

the sun during the day and to the cold 


Diplomatic Life 

chills and dew of a tropical region at 
night. When one faltered or seemed 
weak, he was unfastened from his or 
her companion and thrown into the sea 
alive, a ready prey to the swarms of 
sharks that followed in the wake of the 
ship with its human cargo. Once when 
he had loaded up with his captives on 
the west coast of Africa, a baby about 
eight months old was separated from its 
mother. The chief who was selling the 
unfortunate and unhappy creatures asked 
Captain Britto if he would accept the 
baby as a present. He replied that he 
could not look after it and had no one to 
entrust it to, whereupon the chief took 
up the infant by its leg and dashed its 
brains out with his club. 

Our great friends at Rio were Count 
and Countess Amelot-Chaillon, who had 

also been our colleagues at Buenos Ayres. 


Reminiscences of 

She was a charming lady, a daughter of 
the Marquis De Allee. During their stay 
in Buenos Ayres, a military expedition 
was sent out to punish the Toba tribe 
of Patagonian Indians, and several of 
these fine men with their wives and 
children were brought to the capital 
as hostages. We all visited them in 
their encampment near the Onze de 
Septi&nbre. One of these "caciques" or 
chiefs had a little girl about four years 
old whom he offered to the Countess. 
Having no children of her own, she 
was delighted to accept, and brought up 
this child with tender love and every care, 
and had her brilliantly educated ; but for 
a year the little girl never spoke. She 
was very ugly, of a Mongolian type, with 
high cheek-bones, rather a flat nose, and 
almond-shaped eyes; she had pointed 

teeth like those of a cat and long straight 


(See p. 1 86.) 

Diplomatic Life 

black hair. She kept her Indian name, 
Loco Mar, and was baptized and con- 
firmed as Loco Mar, Comtesse Amelot- 
Chaillon. The dear Amelots were typi- 
cally French in many ways. On one 
occasion we went out for a picnic in the 
wood at Alto-do Imperador, near Petro- 
polis, and on returning lost our way. 
The Amelots and Loco Mar were of the 
party. The Count spoke to Loco Mar, 
who immediately ran on in front, and 
taking up some earth, smelt it and said, 
" Non, non, Parrain," as she called 
Amelot, "nous ne sommes pas sur la 
route." He, dear man, very excited, 
said, "Cest Finstinct indien ; elle a le 
flaire comme un chien de chasse." Poor 
Loco Mar, she was given a handsome 
" dot " and married a French naval 
officer, and died when her seventh child 

was born. 

193 13 

Diplomatic Life 

I was designated to give the prizes 
away at the fte in honour of our Queen's 
Jubilee, and accordingly went down from 
Petropolis to attend the service in the 
church and subsequent cricket match and 
athletic sports. Unfortunately I caught a 
chill and developed malaria. After many 
weeks of suffering I had to be carried on 
board the Royal Mail steamer and sent 
to England. 

I was obliged to leave Hugh alone in 
Brazil for six months. Fortunately he 
was successful in arranging many British 
claims, especially that of Warings, the 
railway contractors; and shortly after- 
wards the Foreign Office offered him 




AFTER reaching England I was very ill 
with malarial fever for some time. As 
soon as I was able to see visitors, Sir 
Edmund Monson called and informed 
me that the rigorous climate of Denmark 
was impossible for Lady Monson, that 
he had obtained the promise of Athens, 
and that the Foreign Office had cabled 
to my husband, offering him Copenhagen. 
I felt sure Hugh would accept, for 
though the climate was trying, he had 
many "bons souvenirs" from the time 
when he was there as Second Secretary, 
.so I was delighted when a cable came 
saying, " Have accepted." 

Reminiscences of 

The idea of having no more long sea- 
journeys, of being in the midst of civilisa- 
tion, and above all that we could now 
make a home for our children with us, 
helped greatly to restore me; and after 
three months' leave we started for Copen- 
hagen, sending our elder boys, the tutor, 
and household by direct steamer from 
Millwall Docks. 

Arriving at Copenhagen I was greatly 
struck by the animation of a northern 
capital. Close to the railway station 
were the great Tivoli Gardens, brilliantly 
illuminated, where hundreds of people of 
all classes gathered: some to hear the 
excellent orchestral music given under a 
dome shaped like a shell ; others to enjoy 
the pleasures of theatrical performances, 
dancers, acrobats, and the so-called panto- 
mimes, introduced many years ago by the 

Italian family of Casorti, and still one of 


Diplomatic Life 

the delights of every Danish child, rich 
or poor, Pierrot being of course prime 
favourite. There were minor amuse- 
ments, such as a ship, called the St. 
George, on the lake, where refreshments 
were served, and many other side-shows 
switchbacks and such things, all very 
new and delightful in those days. 

I remember going there one even- 
ing with Madame de Falbe, who had 
been married twice before M. de Falbe 
married her as his second wife. He was 
called the " Dannebrog boy," because 
at eighteen he was wounded and lost 
his leg in the Danish War, and received 
that much-coveted decoration for valour, 
the youngest recipient on record, I 
believe. Madame de Falbe insisted upon 
going with a large party of young people 
on the switchback, and whether the air 

was too cold or something happened I 


Reminiscences of 

do not know, but she fainted and had to 
be carried out; every one imagined she 
was dead. A doctor was soon in attend- 
ance, and after restoratives had been 
given she was able to be taken back on 
board her yacht ; but we were all a good 
deal frightened. 

We stayed at the H6tel d'Angleterre 
until we had put the Legation in order. 
It was a fine old house at the corner of 
the St. Anna Plads and Bredgade, and 
has since been purchased by the Govern- 
ment Our presentations were soon 
made. I was received by the gracious 
Queen Louise in a charming drawing- 
room, containing quantities of plants, 
and with a bird singing in the window. 
Her Majesty told me this bird was of a 
special breed an improvement on the 
Harz Mountain canary, with notes like 

a nightingale. 


Diplomatic Life 

The Queen had a marked personality, 
a small figure with grey hair ; very clever 
and always evincing a warm interest in 
people and events. The King (Christian 
IX.), too, won every one's heart. Well I 
remember his waltzing like a young man, 
though he was over seventy. He was 
tall, a fine upright figure, rather spare, a 
good rider, with a fine open countenance, 
an ideal gentleman. 

We were often invited to dinner, especi- 
ally during the summer, when all the 
Royal visitors came ; for they were a most 
united family. The late King Edward 
and Queen Alexandra (then Prince and 
Princess of Wales), the late Emperor 
Alexander III. and Empress Marie of 
Russia, the King and Queen of Greece, 
and on one occasion the Duke and 
Duchess of Cumberland paid visits. All 

the Royal grandchildren accompanied 


Reminiscences of 

their parents, making up a merry party. 
On receiving the invitation we pro- 
ceeded to Fredensborg Castle by train, in 
company with those of our colleagues who 
had also been honoured, and were met 
by the Royal carriages, which drove us 
to the Castle. On arriving we ladies were 
shown into a small apartment, consist- 
ing of two bedrooms and a sitting-room. 
We had brought our maids, and dressed 
there; we then went into the drawing- 
room and stood according to seniority, 
the ladies on one side, the gentlemen on 
the other. When the King and Queen 
appeared, we all made a deep curtsey. 
The King said a few kind words to each 
of us and afterwards went over to the 
gentlemen, while the Queen came round 
to the ladies, having already spoken to 
the gentlemen. 

If you had not been presented to 


Diplomatic Life 

the other Royalties who were there, 
a chamberlain-m-waiting was presented 
to you, who in turn presented you to 
his Sovereign. The Crown Princess of 
Denmark, now Queen Dowager, was 
enormously tall with a very small waist ; 
she dressed heavily in brocades and 
velvet. She was the only child of King 
Charles XV. of Sweden and a Dutch 
Princess, from whom she inherited great 
wealth and splendid jewels, principally 

The Crown Prince (the late King) was 
charming and very amiable, but had not 
the individuality of the dear old King, 
who was quite unique. Prince Christian, 
the present King, was in those days quite 
a boy, nice-looking, enormously tall, and 
full of fun. 

The banquets at Fredensborg were 
served by footmen dressed in breeches 


Reminiscences of 

and heavily laced red coats, wearing on 
their heads a gilt band decorated on top 
with a bunch of flowers. At first sight 
they looked as if they had floral hats on 
I believe it was an old mediaeval 
custom ; these liveries, with the so-called 
" flower baskets/' being also worn by the 
runners, who used in olden times to pre- 
cede the King's carriage on the road. 

I remember at one of these gatherings 
the United States' representative had 
missed the train down ; King Christian, 
kind as he always was, ordered dinner to 
be postponed until his arrival. About 
three-quarters of an hour later the door 
opened, and the Minister entered arm-in- 
arm with his wife ; the lady was dressed 
in a little green gown, cut in a small V 
in front, though we, of course, were all 
in full evening dress. They made a bee- 
line to their Majesties, and while the lady 


Diplomatic Life 

was making profuse apologies for their 
delay, the Minister rushed to our beloved 
Prince (King Edward VI I.), and shaking 
him warmly by the hand, begged the 
Prince to present him to the other 
Royalties present. The Prince, with all 
his " bonhomie," laughed and took it 
as a great joke. 

Sometimes after dinner there were 
thought-reading seances by a Mr. 
Cumberland, and some remarkable tricks 
were done. The Emperor of Russia 
was a very powerful man : he could lift 
immense weights and hold them out at 
arm's length with one hand. He could 
also break a half-crown with his fingers. 

We were once included in the big 
luncheon - party on board the Imperial 
Russian yacht, the Polar Star. Every- 
thing was done on a magnificent scale; 

the plate and table decorations were 


Reminiscences of 

wonderful After luncheon, while we 
were all sitting at the table, we began 
playing games. All the table-napkins 
were tied up, every person rolling some- 
thing up in their own, and passing them 
round as quickly as possible, to give every 
one else a chance of feeling what was 
inside the napkins. All of a sudden you 
were told to guess what they contained : 
spoons, forks, salt-cellars, stoppers, nap- 
kin rings, etc. This somewhat childish 
amusement was pursued with great zest, 
and became quite boisterous. 

Of course we also went on board the 
Victoria and Albert. It was a very old 
Royal yacht, and of Spartan simplicity 
compared to the Polar Star with its 
Russian luxury. The Admiral, Sir Harry 
Keppel, was always of the party. He 
was popularly known as the " pocket 

Admiral," and was the life and soul of 


Diplomatic Life 

everything that went on enjoying all 
the ftes thoroughly. 

The King's two brothers, Prince 
William and Prince John of Gliicks- 
burg, were older than King Christian IX., 
as he had inherited the throne through 
the Queen Louise, she being a Princess 
of Hesse and next in succession to 
Frederick VI L They were delightful 
and cultured men of the old school. 

About this time I had the pleasure of 
meeting Sir John Drummond Hay, who 
had married a Danish lady, a cousin of 
Hugh's. He had been first Consul, then 
Consul - General, and, finally, Minister 
Plenipotentiary to Morocco. He had 
the reputation for getting everything he 
wished out of the Foreign Office, and 
he managed the Moors in a way that no 
other envoy had been able to do. 

Though short, he was a decidedly 

Reminiscences of 

remarkable-looking man, with black eyes 
that seemed to look you through and 
through, dark hair, and, when I first saw 
him, a beard that was turning grey. He 
was a very keen sportsman and a great 
authority on pig-sticking indeed it was 
he who introduced that form of sport 
into Morocco, by the forming of the 
Pig-sticking Club at Tangier, thus giving 
many a pleasant day's outing to officers 
in garrison at Gibraltar and visitors to 
the place. 

He told me that during his official 
career there, he loved to combine pleasure 
with business ; so when he had to go out 
to meet a notable sheik, he always took 
with him a retinue of servants, comfort- 
able tents, and a whole arsenal of sporting 
guns. He was greatly interested in his 
stable, and invariably appeared at the 

meeting mounted on a magnificent animal, 


Diplomatic Life 

with an elaborate saddle, box-stirrups, and 
trappings of silver. But the most im- 
portant item of his accoutrement was a 
large cloak, generally of blue cloth, em- 
broidered on the collar and down the 
front with heavy gold lace, as he said, 
" This never failed to impress the Sheik 
that I was the representative of a power- 
ful Sovereign. I never forgot the Spanish 
proverb, ' Linda capa todo tapa ' 1 " (A 
handsome cloak covers much.) 

We had as colleagues Count and 
Countess D'Aunay. She had been Miss 
Berdan, an American. Her sister married 
Marion Crawford. I was sorry for the 
D'Aunays, who were put for a time " en 
disponibilitd," owing, I believe, to the 
jealousy of M. Pasteur, the Secretary, 
who resented Princess Marie's great 
friendship for the Count and Countess. 

We were present at all the ftes for 

Reminiscences of 

the golden wedding of King Christian 
and Queen Louise. The day was a long 
one, and commenced with a ceremony in 
the chapel of the Christiansborg Palace. 
This palace, with the exception of the 
chapel, was burnt down in 1884, and 
had not been rebuilt when we left. 
There were continuous processions ; the 
illuminations in the evening were lovely 
and most effective, even in the smaller 
thoroughfares of the city where they were 
quite simple, consisting of long candles 
in frames the shape of pyramids, placed 
inside all the windows, to prevent them 
from flickering or going out. From top 
to bottom of the high houses there was 
one stream of light. The fetes ended 
with a gala performance at the opera, and 
the next day there was a ball at the 
Palace. The ballroom was decorated in 

white and gold, the hangings were of red 


Diplomatic Life 

and gold silk. On the dais sat the King 
and Queen and the members of the Royal 
family, little tabourets were arranged 
each side of the throne, which were 
allotted to the Ministers' wives in accord- 
ance to their rule of precedence the 
Russian Ambassadress being first. 

At the door of the ballroom the King's 
brother received the guests on their 
arrival, and personally conducted each 
one of us to the dais, where we curt- 
seyed and passed to our special tabourets. 
I was dreadfully perturbed on entering 
the ballroom when the Countess Toll, wife 
of the Russian Minister and doyenne 
of the Corps Diplomatique, called out, 
" La voila, toute en blanc, comme une 
colombe bien nourrie!" The following 
night the Municipality gave a ball at the 
beautiful Concert Palais, originally the 
town residence of the Schimmelmann 

209 14 

Reminiscences of 

family, and since converted into a place 
of entertainment This ball was likewise 
honoured by all the Royal family. 

One of the architectural gems of Copen- 
hagen is the Rosenborg Palace ; it is quite 
unique, and was built by Christian IV. 
after a design of Inigo Jones. It is now 
a museum full of priceless treasures. 

The environs of Copenhagen are 
lovely : a long drive beside the seashore 
brings one to Charlottenlund, the summer 
residence of the late King Frederick 
VII L, a delightful home, not too big, 
surrounded by a beech forest. Farther 
on is Skovshoved, a picturesque fishing- 
village ; and still a little farther north, on 
a hill with a most glorious view over the 
Sound and the distant Swedish coast, is 
the little white fairy palace "Hvidore," 
now the Danish summer " pied-a-terre " 
of Queen Alexandra and the Dowager- 


Diplomatic Life 

Empress Marie. Close to this lovely 
spot begins the extensive Deer Park, a 
stately forest of magnificent beeches, 
also containing a Royal shooting-box 
and a race-course. 

The Danes are great lovers of nature, 
and one of their chief amusements 
consists in spending a day in the woods. 
Grandmothers and grandfathers, wives 
and husbands, children big and little, all 
go out for the day, and return bringing a 
branch of beech to decorate their modest 
homes until another holiday can be 
planned and afforded ; for the Danes are 
examples to the world in thrift. 

A very interesting woman was Miss 
Mathilde Knudsen, the daughter of a 
wealthy Danish sugar-planter from the 
West Indies. Her father was ruined 
when beetroot sugar was produced in 
Europe in such immense quantities, and 


Reminiscences of 

at his death she came and settled at 
Copenhagen. Being extremely clever and 
speaking English as well as she did her 
own language, she was appointed English 
governess to the Royal children. She 
never tired of talking of her charges, and 
was delighted to show a lock of Queen 
Alexandra's hair, cut off the day before 
she left Denmark. Miss Knudsen's room 
was full of pretty souvenirs given by her 
Royal pupils, and every anniversary was 
marked by some fresh token of affection. 
She was specially invited to be present 
at Her Majesty's Coronation, and never 
ceased talking of all the kindness she 
received. She died only a few months ago. 
The flowers in Copenhagen were lovely, 
and people said that this was mainly 
owing to Princess Marie d'Orleans, wife 
of Prince Valdemar, the youngest son of 
King Christian IX. She loved flowers 


Diplomatic Life 

and encouraged the people to take an 
interest in them ; she was also devoted to 
animals, especially horses and bull-dogs. 
She was very energetic and somewhat 
unconventional, making herself the special 
protectress of the Fire Brigade, and 
having her portrait painted in a dress 
that resembled as closely as possible the 
uniform of a fireman, even wearing a 
helmet-like hat adorned with a large 
yellow plume. Princess Marie was 
idolised by the poor, for her charity and 
kindly interest were never failing. She 
died in 1910 from complications follow- 
ing an attack of influenza, whilst the 
Prince, her husband, who is in the navy, 
was abroad with his ship, her death cast- 
ing a real gloom over all Copenhagen, 
rich and poor regretting her. 

It is marvellous what industry and 

thrift can do for a poor country. 


Reminiscences of 

The Danish public debt is comparatively 
small, and their exports, principally dairy 
produce, are immense. Butter is sent all 
over the world ; their eggs, cheese, and 
bacon come principally to England, and 
represent a yearly income of several 

One of the prettiest though least- 
frequented drives was to the island 
of Amager, which was most interesting. 
The soil is very rich, and there the vege- 
tables and fruit which supply Copen- 
hagen are grown. 

The inhabitants of this little island 
differ even now in appearance, dress, and 
traditions from those of the adjoining 
island of Zealand, owing to the fact that 
they are the direct descendants of a 
colony of Dutch peasants established 
there in the beginning of the sixteenth 

century by King Christian II. 


Diplomatic Life 

While this king was Crown Prince 
and Governor of Norway, he made the 
acquaintance of a Dutch woman, named 
Sigbrit She was of good family, but 
had had to flee from Holland as a political 
refugee, and was forced to keep a small 
shop in Bergen to enable her to earn a 
livelihood. She had a beautiful daughter 
who bore the poetical name of Dyveke, 
meaning " little dove/' Prince Christian 
fell desperately in love with her, and as 
soon as he was king called Sigbrit and 
her daughter to Denmark, and at first 
established them at Hvidore, where to- 
day Queen Alexandra and the Dowager- 
Empress Marie of Russia have their 
summer residence. Sigbrit, being an 
intelligent and enterprising woman, soon 
became the King's chief counsellor, and 
among other things induced him to grant 

facilities to a number of Dutch peasants 


Reminiscences of 

for the cultivation of fruit and vegetables, 
according to tradition urging the King to 
do so on the plea that Dyveke suffered 
from the dearth of such luxuries. The 
King willingly acceded to her request. 

But poor gentle Dyveke fell a victim 
to foul play, for she died after eating some 
poisoned cherries. The King accused 
Torben Oxe, the Governor of Christian- 
borg Castle, of whose attentions to 
Dyveke he was very jealous, of this 
crime; others laid it at the door of the 
clericals or of Sigbrit's many enemies. 
King Christian forthwith proceeded in a 
most unconstitutional manner ; for as his 
peers refused to condemn Torben Oxe, the 
King swore that even if he had a neck as 
thick as that of a bull, he should lose his 
head ; and appointed a jury of peasants, 
who found the Governor guilty, and con- 
demned him to be beheaded ! 


Diplomatic Life 

Shortly afterwards (i.e. in 1523) King 
Christian himself was dethroned and 
obliged to flee the country. 

We were often invited into the queer 
old-fashioned cottages on the island of 
Amager, and were much fascinated by a 
sort of triangular shelf, the front beauti- 
fully carved. The shelves, projecting on 
the outside, were used for bowls, jars, cups 
and saucers ; these articles being almost 
always in blue and white Delft china. 
We were kindly allowed to have one of 
these shelves photographed, and the copy 
constructed from it we now use as a 
bookshelf and for odd bits of china; its 
curious form has made it the subject of 
much comment 

We entertained a great deal during 
our sojourn in Copenhagen ; all the 
Royal family came frequently to the 

Legation. One of the curious old 


Reminiscences of 

customs still observed there is that of 
receiving Royalty at the front door 
with two tall footmen each carrying a 
candelabra with lighted candles, and they 
precede the Royalties to the ante-room. 
This procedure is gone through on the 
arrival of the Royal guests and is repeated 
on their departure. 

The King sometimes paid very un- 
ceremonious visits, which on one occasion 
led to an amusing incident. He arrived 
one morning accompanied only by a 
collie dog, the gift of Queen Victoria. 
A new footman answered the door, and 
leaving the King in the hall came up 
to my room in some agitation, saying, 
" There's a man downstairs with a dog, 
who wants to see your ladyship, and he 
says he is the King of Denmark." My 
dismay was only equalled by my amuse- 
ment. I descended hastily. Sure enough 


Diplomatic Life 

it was His Majesty, and his laugh was 
as hearty as mine over the incident. 

As the Government did not furnish 
any rooms for the Minister, we had to 
spend a great deal in ballroom furniture, 
which we had to have made. The chairs 
and sofas had beautifully carved frames, 
which were white, with the ornaments 
finely gilded, and covered in rich crimson 

The Legation was extremely insani- 
tary. We had scarlet fever and diphtheria 
during the first year, so that we were 
obliged to leave for three months 
while the house was disinfected and re- 
decorated. During that period we rented 
Mr. Brooke Taylor's house at Elsinore, 
about 28 miles from Copenhagen. He 
had been British Consul at Elsinore, 
and was pensioned when the special post 

was done away with. A man with a 


Reminiscences of 

fund of anecdote, and a collector of snuff- 
boxes and other bric-a-brac, he was always 
interesting and amusing. The house was 
pretty and old-fashioned, and overlooked 
the sea, close to the Castle of Kronborg, 
famous for its legend of Holger Danske, 
the champion of Denmark, who in the 
hour of her uttermost need will waken and 
defend her from all enemies, but who till 
then sleeps in Kronborg's cellar, his long 
beard grown into the stone table on 
which he rests his arms. The Castle is 
immortalised also by Shakespeare, for 
Hamlet is supposed to have lived there, 
and close by is the tomb of Hamlet and 
" Ophelia's well." It is a splendid pile, 
facing the Kattegat at the entrance to 
the Sound, swept by wind and water, 
a perfect specimen of sixteenth century 

During our residence of nearly five 

Diplomatic Life 

years in Copenhagen, Hugh had several 
severe illnesses, and when the autumn 
came we felt that we were risking a great 
deal in remaining through another winter. 
We therefore decided to take long leave 
and go South for some months. In the 
meantime, Sir George Petre retired, and 
we were appointed to Portugal. 

Their Majesties quite overwhelmed us 
when we bade them good-bye; indeed 
everybody was more than kind to us, and 
we left with real regret. On our way back 
to England we were asked to pay a visit 
to the Emperor William. We therefore 
broke our journey in Berlin and went 
to the Neue Palais, Potsdam. The 
Emperor presented his four sons to me, 
and bade me not forget that I had known 
four generations of the family the great- 
grandfather, grandfather, Emperor, and 
Crown Prince. We spent a delightful 


Diplomatic Life 

time : the Emperor, reminding me of the 
days of his youth and the dances, when 
he used to dance so energetically that he 
lifted me off my feet, adding slyly and 
not without intention, " I am afraid I 
could not do that now." 




THE prospect of the sunshine delighted 
us both, and after sending all our 
furniture by sea direct from Copen- 
hagen to Lisbon, we came home for a 
few weeks. We had the great pleasure 
of renewing our acquaintance with Louis 
Soveral (now the Marquis). Of course, it 
was of immense importance that Hugh 
should have long conferences with him, 
as our relations with Portugal had been 
somewhat strained, and our respective 
countries were not the best of friends, 
due mainly to an incident similar to that 

of the French and Fashoda. 


Reminiscences of 

We again sailed by the Royal Mail at 
the end of January 1893, arriving after 
sixty uneventful hours at sea. Our dear 
friends, Edward Goschen (now Sir 
Edward, and Ambassador in Berlin) and 
his wife, received us. They had been 
with us at Copenhagen and he, to our 
great delight, was Secretary of Legation 
at Lisbon when we were appointed there. 
We found that they had kindly made 
every arrangement for us at the Braganza 
Hotel, which had been redecorated and, 
I hoped, cleared of rats, the secretary 
of the hotel having once told me that 
when Lady Charlotte Schreiber returned 
from Madeira to Lisbon, where Mr. 
Schreiber died, she and her servants had 
to beat the rats off the body they 
swarmed ! And I had always heard that 
the rats became so numerous in the town 

that every householder was obliged to 



Diplomatic Life 

keep a cat; hence the number of cats 
to be found in every street. 

The view over the river from the 
windows is quite glorious, and full of 
life and movement every 'kind of craft, 
ranging from curious boats with dark, red 
lateen sails to huge liners riding at 
anchor. On the other side of the hotel 
one overlooked the Monastery of the 
English Dominican Fathers, and saw 
them in their white habits, during their 
recreation hours, walking up and down 
on the flat roof of the monastery. This 
historic Order left England at the time 
of the suppression of the monasteries, 
and settled in Portugal in 1666 in the 
reign of King John IV., under Father 
O'Daly, who was known as Frei Domingo 
do Cora9ao. Father O'Daly was a 
descendant of the famous family of 

Desmond, who suffered great persecution 

225 15 

Reminiscences of 

at the time of Queen Elizabeth, all their 
properties being confiscated and given 
to Sir Walter Raleigh. Fleeing from 
Ireland he went to the Low Countries, 
and from thence to Spain, where Philip 
II. (1665) took a great fancy to him and 
sent him on a mission to the Duchess of 
Mantua, offering to make an Alliance 
offensive and defensive with Portugal 
Spain's conditions were not accepted, and 
Portugal finding herself likely to be 
completely crushed by Spain and Philip, 
sent Father O'Daly (who had taken up his 
residence in Lisbon on the failure of his 
Spanish negotiations) on another mission 
to the French, where he was more suc- 
cessful, the French King providing the 
Portuguese with 1000 infantry and 1000 
cavalry under the command of General 
Comte de Berg, who afterwards fell at 

the Battle of the Boyne. Father O'Daly 


Diplomatic Life 

was also sent to try to arrange a mar- 
riage between Louis XIV. of France 
and Catherine, daughter of John IV. and 
Queen Louise. Catherine's dowry was 
-extremely tempting, and matters were on 
the point of being settled, when at the 
iast moment Louis refused. However, 
O'Daly eventually arranged the marriage 
of Catherine of Braganza and Charles 
II., Charles receiving Bombay, Tangier, 
Ceuta and the island of Sta Catherina 
as her dowry. Poor Catherine, her ex- 
perience as Queen of England was sad 
enough ; her remains, which are in a 
leaden coffin encased in an oak casket, 
were periodically inundated by the rising 
of the Tagus into the crypt of the church 
at Belem, until at the request of Queen 
Victoria the coffin was removed from 
its perilous position and taken to the 

beautiful Rococo church of the Estrella. 


Reminiscences of 

We took an early opportunity of 
paying a visit of inspection to the Lega- 
tion, which had just been vacated by 
Sir George Glyn Petre and the famous 
Lady Petre, who as Miss Catherine 
Sneyd was a great beauty of the Reubens 
type, with fine colouring, fair hair, and 
a beautiful complexion. It is an open 
secret that Louis Napoleon admired her 
immensely and that she might have 
been Empress of the French. 

We found the house very old- 
fashioned and inconvenient. It had 
originally been a convent, and had been 
patched up and added on to until it 
was more like a barracks than a Govern- 
ment House. The garden was quite 
lovely, with an ideal view overlooking 
the Tagus as far as the Bar. A tablet 
at the entrance of a small cave in the 

garden records the request of Lord 


Diplomatic Life 

Lytton to his successors to do their 
best for the garden. I think we fulfilled 
his request to the utmost, for the garden, 
which was on a limestone rock and in 
many parts had only 2 feet of soil, 
required tons of fresh earth every year, 
and we gave it all it needed. We also 
sent for a gardener from England. He 
had been at Kew, but he was not a great 
success, as he pruned the trees and cut 
back creepers at the wrong seasons and 
insisted on dividing the old palms; 
nevertheless, we made a lovely rose- 
garden. As we were unable to get 
anything of the kind out there, we sent 
for hundreds of standard, dwarf, and 
rambler roses from Cant's and Paul's, 
and in the month of May it was like a 
rose show. The gardens in Portugal are 
left very much to grow as they please ; 

so our roses became quite famous, and 


Reminiscences of 

people would ask for permission to see 
them. A year after our arrival Count 
Burnay, the great financier and entre- 
preneur, arranged a Flower Show and 
asked us to exhibit, which we did, 
sending lovely specimens of Lady Folke- 
stone, the Iddale, Niphetus, Rve d'or, 
and some enormous Paul N&rons. We 
were awarded the gold medal only on 
paper, however, for we never received it. 

Hugh was devoted to the garden and 
spent every *spare moment in it. He used 
to purloin all my parasols, sunshades, 
and white umbrellas to tie on canes to 
protect the roses, for the " arch chemic," 
as Milton styles the sun, takes all the 
colour out of the blooms, and after two 
years the briar exhausts the graft, and 
one's garden becomes a mass of briars. 

I remember Prince Henry of Batten- 
berg coming to Lisbon from Gibraltar 


Diplomatic Life 

in his yacht the Sheila, and when 
he was taken round the garden he 
was enthusiastic about the roses and 
much amused at the sunshades. I was 
delighted to find that a lovely rose 
named Princess Beatrice was in full 
bloom. He asked if he might cut it, 
and doing so he placed it in his pocket- 

This brings to my mind a curious 
incident that occurred about this time. 
We had seen a great deal of the Prince, 
and he left sooner than he expected. He 
came to bid us good-bye, saying, "I 
am going to be towed out to sea; we 
leave at 5 A;M. as we must take advant- 
age of the tide ; and I am afraid I shall 
not see you again." To which we replied, 
" At any rate we shall all be on the terrace 
to watch you go, and we will dip our flag 
to you as you go down the river." 


Reminiscences of 

Before five next morning we were on 
the terrace, and as soon as the yacht came 
under the Legation, we dipped our flag. 
The yacht at once returned the salute, 
and we tried to dip again ; but imagine 
my distress when I saw our flag half- 
mast high. No pulling or hauling would 
move it as the yacht passed out of sight. 
Finally, we were obliged to telephone to 
the naval fire-station, and to request one of 
the marines to swarm up the exceedingly 
high flag-staff and bring the flag down. 

A few days later Hugh received a 
letter from the Prince, thanking us for 
our hospitality, and saying at the end, 
" Please tell Lady Macdonell that I 
noticed the flag, but fortunately I am not 

Alas! shortly afterwards he went out 
with a military expedition to Africa and 

died of fever almost at once. His body 


Diplomatic Life 

was brought to Madeira to be tran- 
shipped to H.M.S. Blonde, and we tele- 
graphed to our Consul asking him to 
lay some flowers on the bier. Princess 
Beatrice wrote and thanked us, sending 
at the same time a large photograph of 
the handsome and ill-fated Prince. 

Again there was some little delay 
about my presentation. First I had to be 
presented by the Doyenne of the Corps 
Diplomatique to the Duchess Palmella, 
Grande Maftresse de la Cour. She lived 
in a beautiful house with many art 
treasures. She herself was a great sculp- 
tress and very literary. 

The Duchess, who was the richest 
lady in Portugal, was daughter of the 
celebrated Duke of Palmella, who figured 
at Queen Victorias Coronation, being 
subsequently immortalised in " Barney 
Maguire's Account of the Coronation," in 


Reminiscences of 

the Ingoldsby Legends, in the following 
manner : 

. . . Lord Melbourne, lading 
The Queen, the darling, to her royal chair, 
And that fine ould fellow, the Duke of Pell-Mello, 
The Queen of Portugal's Chargy-de-fair. 

The Duchess, besides being a remark- 
ably clever woman, was most charitable ; 
she founded hospitals and creches, and 
organised model soup-kitchens, which 
were built and maintained by her. The 
Duke was a " simple particulier," by 
name Senhor Antonio Sampaio, and had 
been attached to the English Navy, but 
on his marriage assumed the title, the 
Duchess having inherited it from her 
father, as there was no male heir. 

After my visit to the Duchess, there 
came a large envelope adorned with a big 
coat-of-arms in gold, announcing the day 

when Her Majesty would receive me 


Diplomatic Life 

In visiting dress at the Palace of the 
Necessidades at two o'clock. On arriving 
the sentries presented arms, and I drove 
through the archway into a large court- 
yard and stopped at one of the principal 
entrances. There was a fine marble 
staircase lined by a body of men called 
Hallabardieros, who, I suppose, take the 
place of our Beef-eaters. I was then 
ushered into a large room with lots of 
gilt furniture upholstered in dark blue 
and yellow brocade, with fine consoles 
and mirrors ranged against the walls, 
and some beautiful Oriental china decor- 
ating the consoles. 

There I found the Duchess Palmella. 
She was generally dressed in grey, and 
wore her magnificent single row of 
pearls, each as large as a blackbird's 
egg, perfect in orient and shape. They 

had originally belonged to the niece of 


Reminiscences of 

Cardinal Mazarin, the lady who played 
such a great part in the French intrigues 
at the English Court at the time of 
Charles II. 

I was at once presented to the lady- 
in-waiting, a beautiful Spanish lady, 
Pepita Countess Figueiro, whom I had 
met the night before at dinner with 
the Goschens. After a few minutes' 
conversation the Duchess led the way 
through the large drawing-rooms. The 
chamberlain threw open the door, and 
the Duchess entering announced me as 
" Lady Macdonell, femme du Ministre de 
la Grande Bretagne." I curtsied, and 
the lovely Queen Amdlie came forward 
and shaking hands bade me come and 
sit beside her, saying, "We will speak 
English. I always have to think of 
what nationality I am, for I was born at 

Twickenham and brought up in England/' 


Diplomatic Life 

She is a beautiful woman, over 6 feet 
high, with very charming simple manners, 
fine black eyes and hair, very pale com- 
plexion, a straight nose, fine teeth, and a 
glorious, though sad, smile. She rode 
extremely well, drove a four-in-hand, 
played tennis, was a healthy, well-brought- 
up girl, kind-hearted to a degree, and 
extremely charitable! She has been 
accused of being very ultramontane. No 
greater mistake was ever made, for though 
a fervent Catholic, she is very broad- 
minded. She inaugurated a great crusade 
against the dreadful ravages of tubercu- 
losis, building sanatoria and organising 
dispensaries equipped with every modern 
appliance, and anti-tuberculosis labora- 
tories "to try and save the children,'* as 
she said with much earnestness and 

It seems strange that there should be 

Reminiscences of 

so much consumption in so equable and 
temperate a climate, but I think it is easily 
explained by the continual intermarriage, 
the insufficient food, and the dreadful 
housing of the poorer classes, who live 
in real hovels with no light or sanitation. 
Often one small room without a window 
is occupied by six or seven people, of 
whom one or more is tainted with con- 
sumption. They sleep and eat in this 
atmosphere and pass their lives herded 
together, merely smiling when you tell 
them it is an infectious disease. On 
the other hand, many of the best families 
are also tainted by this appalling scourge, 
and flock to Davos and other places to 
be cured ! 

Happily we were not long at our post 
before a better feeling began to manifest 
itself towards the British. 

The fifth centenary of St. Anthony, 

Diplomatic Life 

who was born at Lisbon, and afterwards 
became St. Anthony of Padua, gave the 
British Government an opportunity of 
sending one of H.M. ships, and the 
Australia was the ship designated. The 
Portuguese were flattered at the return of 
the British sailors, and proud to see those 
fine fellows parading the streets, at the 
bull-fight, and other places of amuse- 
ment; but they were amazed at the 
improvement in Jack's behaviour, re- 
peatedly exclaiming, "What a change! 
how sober they are ! " There were no 
more riots outside the wine-shops, and 
no jokes as on the occasion when a 
couple of "salts," ready for a spree, saw 
standing outside a church the priest's 
carriage waiting for him to finish his 
mass, the postilions having gone to the 
nearest wine-shop to have a "pinga de 

vinho" (a drop of wine). The sailors 


Reminiscences of 

took possession of the carriage (a sort 
of hansom on cee-springs with vernis 
Martin panels) ; one mounting one of the 
mules, and the other sitting inside, they 
drove round the town, bowing to the 
astonished crowd, and wholly delighted 
with their prank, just like mischievous 
children ! 

The St. Anthony f&es took the form 
of religious pageantry, and as the Abb6 
Pascal, an extremely learned prelate, 
who was one of the French delegates, 
remarked, " Voici du paganisme avec un 
vernis de Christianisme." 

A few years later we had the great 
ftes celebrating the fourth centenary of 
Vasco da Gama's discovery of the ocean 
route to India in 1496, which entirely 
eclipsed those of St. Anthony. They 
were magnificent, and we had many of 

our finest ships in the Tagus. Indeed, 


From a photograph taken in 1900. 

Diplomatic Life 

there were ships of all nations present, 
and the illuminations were a sight never 
to be forgotten. The ceremonies began 
by a service in the historic Church of the 
Geronimos, and the sermon preached by 
the Bishop of Evora was so eloquent and 
so striking that I wrote it down during 
the service, and here transcribe it 

The Bishop began by saying that he 
had been asked to give an address in 
commemoration of one of Portugal's 
greatest men. At first he hesitated to 
accept that great honour ; feeling he 
was not worthy, and then he remembered 
that he had a duty to perform in doing 
so as a native of the province of Alemtejo, 
for was it not from Aveiro that Vasco 
decided to undertake this great venture ? 
It was at Aveiro that he spent twelve 
years of his early life, and at Aveiro he 


241 16 

Reminiscences of 

" It was on the very spot where this 
sacred pulpit stands, that on a Friday 
evening in June four centuries ago this 
self-same Vasco da Gama, whom we have 
come together to honour, prayed that 
God might bless his great undertaking, 
and, to prove how he realised the un- 
certainty of success, confessed, communed, 
and prepared his soul for death. Few 
men have started on such a mission so 
fully conscious of the grave dangers and 
doubtful issue of their undertaking ; and 
when Vasco was called to it by his 
Royal master, the great seafarer's modest 
reply fills one with admiration. 'Sire/ 
he said, ' if I am worthy I will do 
my best ' ; and kissing the King's hand 
he left the Royal presence, and sailed 
at dawn on a Saturday morning on 
this stupendous voyage. Four small 

* caravels' composed his fleet, and on 


Diplomatic Life 

their sails was emblazoned in red the 
cross of Christ. 

"They were no leviathans of naval 
construction like the ships that to-day 
honour our river. Their instruments 
were rough, their provisions scanty and 
poor, even water was only collected in 
the sails when it rained, and was ill- 

"Still, with all these disadvantages 
Vasco da Gama sailed to find what many 

considered a mythical land, shrouded in 

* .' 

legends on the strength of tales brought 
by romancing travellers, tales of spices 
and gold, of apes and ivory, of seas with 
fathomless caverns, of coral and pearls, 
of a land inhabited by fiends and 
monsters and fairies; and when, after 
many weeks had elapsed, discouraged by 
adverse winds and dense fogs and mists, 
discontent took possession of these heroes, 


Reminiscences of 

Vasco saw himself surrounded by almost 
unsurmountable difficulties, and his brave 
followers perishing from scurvy. But 
God, who always helps those who trust 
implicitly in Him, spared him to see in 
the dawn of a despairing day the Cape 
of ' Good Hope ' ; and it was justly so 
named ! 

"This great event encouraged and 
restored hope once more to the heroic 
mariners, and not long after they reached 
Calicut, that Utopia of legendary lore, 
where men were supposed to live on the 
perfume of flowers. 

" Up to this time Marco Polo was the 
only really great traveller, and Venice, 
the Queen of the Adriatic, as the great 
Emporium, held all the riches of the East. 

"What a revolution in men's minds 
this great Portuguese navigator caused ! 

Suffice it to say that in this holy edifice 


Diplomatic Life 

to-day may be seen representatives of 
every civilised nation, and His Holiness 
the Pope has sent a special benediction. 

" And, alas, if we look retrospectively, 
sorrow must fill our hearts ! Has the 
divine flame that incensed our heroes 
been extinguished? Is our courage ex- 
hausted ? Are we no longer pioneers ? 

"It was not permitted to King John II. 
to live and see his golden dream realised, 
but to his successor, Dom Manoel (the 
Fortunate), who raised this monument in 
honour of Portugal's glory ; and the first 
gold that was brought from India adorns 
our altar in the shape of that sacred and 
priceless ' custodium.' 

" Are we, then, to be considered one of 
the moribund Latin races? No! emphatic- 
ally no/ We were great missionaries; 
we were civilisers ; we were navigators 

pioneers, and discoverers. 


Reminiscences of 

" Then sursum cor da. We were, and 
with God's help we shall be again." 

Poor Portugal, would that she could 
now produce men to live up to that 
standard ! 

The same evening their Majesties gave 
a banquet to 300 guests at the Palace of 
the Ajuda. The plate was extraordinarily 
fine, especially the candelabra and silver- 
gilt fruit-baskets, which were quite beauti- 
ful. The salt-cellars were real works of 
art, representing two large poppy heads 
on a stem held up by two beautifully 
modelled Cupids. These were the work 
of the celebrated Germaine, silversmith 
to Louis XV. of France. There were 
also twelve figures about 14 inches 
high, modelled as delicately as Dresden 
china flower-girls and shepherds ; they 
represented the costumes of the Low 

Countries, and were part of the dowry 


Diplomatic Life 

of the Archduchess Marlanna of Austria, 
consort of King John V. 

We also gave a very successful fte, 
Issuing 500 invitations. The beautiful 
Queen Amdlie, King Carlos, the Queen- 
Mother, Donna Maria Pia, and her son, 
the Infante Alfonso, did us the honour of 
attending. The garden was illuminated 
with hundreds of coloured lamps, and at 
the far end a band of mandolines played 
the soft national music called " fados " or 
folk-songs ; almost Oriental in rhythm, 
and generally in a minor key, they are 
quite unlike any other airs I have ever 
heard. Dancing was kept up until all the 
wax candles were burnt out and at last 
dawn lighted the indefatigable dancers 

We had a profusion of flowers, mainly 
supplied from the historic gardens of 

Abelheira (the "bee -hive"), at that 


Reminiscences of 

time the property of Colonel Astley 
Campbell His father, who was said to 
be a natural son of our William IV., 
married as his second wife the natural 
daughter of King John VI. of Portugal. 
This lady founded a paper manufactory 
to give employment to the many 
villagers. It proved at one time a 
lucrative business, inasmuch as they had 
a monopoly in Portugal and in the 
Portuguese possessions in Africa and 

A curious incident relating to this 
lady is perhaps worth recording. Her 
mother was lady-in-waiting to Queen 
Carlota (the wicked queen), and when 
her condition was discovered, she was 
taken charge of by the Court physician, 
Dr. A. d'Oliveira, who placed her in a 
convent at Porte Alegre, where she died 

soon after the birth of the baby; the 


Diplomatic Life 

Infanta, as the child was called, being 
brought up by the d'Oliveiras, who took 
charge of her. One day when Queen 
Carlota met the doctor, she took off two 
of her beautiful rings set with precious 
stones, and throwing them to the doctor 
cried, "Take these as a reward for saving 
the life of a king's daughter." 

Dr. d'Oliveira shortly afterwards re- 
tired to Madeira, where he became an 
intimate friend of Mr. and Mrs. Davies, 
who had large interests in the vineyards 
there. At his death the doctor left the 
two rings to Mrs. Davies, whose daughter 
inherited them. 

The market-place in Lisbon is full of 
interest, all the unhappy poultry being 
stocked alive in cane baskets. The 
turkeys stand in flocks, waiting to be 
taken through the streets for sale ; a boy 

mounts guard over them with a cane, on 


Reminiscences of 

which is tied a bit of black rag, and keeps 
them in order. The vegetables lie in 
sacks or are strewn on the floor, and the 
vendors simply weigh out what you re- 
quire without troubling to pick them over 
in any way. There is a profusion of peas, 
beans, potatoes, lettuces, every known 
cabbage, strings of onions and quantities 
of garlic, and, lastly, huge jars of olives 
in brine or dry. In the early morning 
the small street-vendors may be seen fill- 
ing up the boxes on each side of their 
tiny donkeys, preparatory to retailing 
their wares through the street. 

The fish-market is close to the river. 
The fishermen bring their boats along- 
side, and carry the fish up and lay them 
on slabs in the market, sorting and put- 
ting them into baskets for the women, 
who, balancing the baskets on their heads, 

go through the town selling the soles and 


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turbots, sword-fish and octopus, lobsters, 
crabs and innumerable shell-fish. These 
women, called "Ovarinas," are always 
barefooted, and wear a skirt containing 
10 yards of stuff, which is smocked 12 
inches down from the waist, and is 
tailored by men. Round their hips is 
wound a red or green scarf. They walk 
vfrith a certain swing, and the skirt makes 
an undulating wave round them as they 
move, A bright-coloured handkerchief, 
tied on their heads, is surmounted by a 
small round black felt hat ; they wear a 
coarse, snow-white linen shirt, and quan- 
tities of fine gold chains, with hearts and 
crosses suspended, round their necks, 
and in their ears large gold ear-rings. 
Having sold all their fish, they often 
place their babies in the quaint baskets 
upon their heads, and walk on quite un- 
concernedly. They are a very handsome 


Reminiscences of 

race of women, with a splendid carriage, 
and are said to trace direct descent from 
the Phoenicians. 

I do not think there can be a prettier 
sight than to see at sunset all the women 
of the lower class going down to fill 
their large earthenware jars at the public 
fountain. These people are so humble, 
so good, so hardworking, and almost 
serf-like towards their employers. Could 
one only foresee that lovely land pros- 
perous and well governed ! It seems an 
irony of fate that a country with its 
equable climate, fine water-ways and 
wonderful harbours, and endowed with 
natural resources that might enable it 
to become the Emporium of Europe, 
should be a prey, from its earliest annals, 
to misgovernment and everlasting trouble 
and disorder- 

The beautiful Cathedral, dedicated to 

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Saint Vincent, is now used as a mauso- 
leum for the Royal dead, where each 
defunct monarch remains with a glass lid 
to his coffin until the next one dies, when 
his predecessor's coffin is sealed up. It 
is a gruesome idea, especially in cases 
such as Don Fernando, who died of 
cancer in the face and who has a wax 
mask on. The legend regarding this 
building is rather curious : 

Vincent, a holy prelate, left with an 
expedition against the Moors and never 
returned. However, one calm winter 
morning (the 22nd of January) a raft 
appeared in the Tagus, on which lay the 
body of a man dressed in full vestments, 
accompanied by four ravens, perched at 
the four corners of the raft. It stopped, 
and the ravens hovered near ; and there, 
on the bank where the raft rested, the 
Cathedral was built and dedicated to St. 


Reminiscences of 

Vincent, who became Lisbon's patron 
saint. The ravens were left many legacies 
to provide them with raw meat and other 
food, as they settled in the beautiful 
belfry towers and were never destroyed. 
Their numerous descendants, quite a large 
flock, come down cawing for food when- 
ever they see any one carrying a parcel, and 
are quite a recognised feature of the place, 
like the pigeons at St. Mark's, Venice. 

Rather an amusing story is told of 
. Joao de Deus, the Pestalozzi of Portugal 
He was not only a great man on educa- 
tion, but possessed great talent as an 
artist. At the University of Coimbra it 
is customary for the more distinguished 
students to bequeath some specimen of 
their work to the Chapter of the Alma 
Mater on leaving. Joao de Deus was 
asked to paint a picture, and promised to 

do so. 


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A few days later the President of the 
Society called, and asked if he might see 
what the artist proposed doing, and was 
shown a panel with a remarkable sketch 
of " Christ crucified." He wished to take 
the panel away with him at once, but 
Joao implored him not to do so, as he was 
not satisfied with the expression in the 
Redeemer's face, and begged the President 
to come back for it in three days. On 
returning, the President was shown 
the panel with nothing on it ! When 
asked for an explanation, Joao de Deus 
looked very serious and said reverently, 
" He has risen/' Feeling he could not 
portray the expression he wanted on 
the face of the Divinity, he had rubbed 
It out. 

St. John's Eve, the 23rd of June, is a 
national fte, and the burning of magne- 
sium light fireworks and crackers goes on 


Reminiscences of 

during the day. At night all the squares 
are crowded with peasants dancing and 
singing to the music of mandolines and 
guitars ; they dance chiefly a stately dance 
with their hands on each other's shoulders. 
Everybody buys a pot of " basil," 
which is placed upon the window- 
sill and taken the greatest care of. The 
children receive a little cage made of 
wood and fine wire with a cricket im- 
prisoned in it They are most assiduous 
in their care of the poor insect, feeding 
it on fresh lettuce leaves, and at sunset 
the noise of the "grillo" is deafening. 

Conway Thornton, who was with us as 
First Secretary both at Copenhagen and 
Lisbon, said with some truth that all the 
Portuguese had one pair of eyes. They 
certainly have beautiful eyes, but they 
are all exactly the same, and they have 

no other noticeable feature ; for they are 


Diplomatic Life 

not good-looking as a race, and are very 
dark and of a distinctly Jewish type. An 
anecdote is told of King Joseph I and 
his celebrated Minister, Marquis Pombal. 
The King consulted Pombal how they 
could distinguish the Jews from the 
Christians. "Ah," said the King, "I 
know. We will make it obligatory for 
all Jews to wear a white hat/' The next 
day Pombal appeared carrying two white 
hats. When the King inquired the 
reason, Pombal replied, "Your Majesty 
and your humble servant must wear 
them first" 

Of course the Portuguese Israelites 
are considered the aristocracy of that 
marvellous and intelligent race. 

Cintra is indeed a terrestrial para- 
dise, the air is so cool yet bracing, and 
flowers of every description bloorn in 

profusion. Firs and pines, willows and 

257 17 

Reminiscences of 

larches, grow side by side, and cork 
trees are abundant. The latter have a 
curious appearance after they have been 
stripped of their bark, rather as though 
they were bleeding. The cork oak is 
capricious in its growth. Cintra cork 
is a speciality and finds a ready 
market, being almost exclusively used 
for medicine bottles and champagne 

The Castle of Pena, perched on one of 
the peaks of the lovely rugged mountains, 
was restored by King Ferdinand, consort 
of Queen Maria da Gloria; the chapel 
contains an altarpiece wonderfully carved 
in alabaster. The gardens are like nothing 
I have ever seen : camellia trees, orange 
and lemon trees run riot; banks of 
hydrangeas blue, pink, and white, the 
emblem of Portugal stand several feet 

high under the shadow of the tree-ferns ; 


Diplomatic Life 

while cool crystal streams trickle down 
the mountain-side, amid a wealth of moss 
and fern and every variety of exotic wild- 

On St. Peter's Day, the 29th of June, 
the season at Cintra opens with a great 
fair. Cattle and pigs are bought and 
sold by the hundred, goats and kids, a 
few horses, mules, and many donkeys 
some very old ones, and others running 
by the side of their dams looking like 
toys. Booths with rough pottery, earthen- 
ware cookery utensils and " bilhas " for 
carrying water, harness, and chair- like 
saddles, interspersed with the usual gim- 
crack articles seen at every fair. Every 
one who can afford it eats a very young 
sucking-pig and an excellent species 
of cheese-cake. The sucking-pigs are 
split open and grilled on wood ashes. At 

night, dancing to the music of mandolines 


Reminiscences of 

and quantities of fireworks end the 

Byron's description of Cintra is still 
unique : 

Lo ! Cintra's glorious Eden intervenes 
In variegated maze of mount and glen. 
Ah, me ! what hand can pencil guide, or pen, 
To follow half on which the eye dilates ? 

At the small inn kept by a most worthy 
Englishwoman, named Mrs. Oram, whose 
parents kept the inn before her, Byron 
wrote the foregoing lines of Childe Harold 
on one of the window-panes. The room 
was taken by an American tourist-party, 
and when they departed, the pane of glass 
had also disappeared ! 

Every year during the season at 
Cintra their Majesties gave a ball, and 
the gardens "en fte" were more like 
a scene from the Arabian Nights than 

ever. On one of these occasions we all 


Diplomatic Life 

received as a souvenir a fan, with a little 
picture upon it painted by King Carlos. 
He had a very great talent as an artist, 
and drew and painted beautifully, many 
of his pictures having been exhibited at 
the Salon in Paris. His seascapes and 
scenes connected with the life of the 
fishermen are extremely fine. 

I often wonder, if King Carlos had 
been spared, what Portugal would have 
developed into. People have accused 
him of being more engrossed by his 
pigeon-shooting, lawn -tennis, and other 
pursuits than by affairs of State and the 
business of the nation. It is even said 
that on one occasion he remarked, " I 
hate politics and journalists," (which 
incidentally was not remarkable. What- 
ever truth there may have been in these 
statements during his youth and in the 

early days of his reign, the King's whole- 


Reminiscences of 

hearted support of Joao Franco, when 
that so-called dictator undertook the 
herculean task of cleaning out Portugal's 
Augean stable, and His Majesty's un- 
swerving devotion to the policy of reform 
which eventually cost him his life, proves 
conclusively that the welfare of his 
subjects, and the improvement of his 
country's condition, occupied his mind to 
the entire exclusion of all other con- 
siderations or of personal fear. 

King Carlos died a martyr to a cause, 
whether lost or not remains for future 
generations to witness. With his large 
blue eyes and curly flaxen hair he looked 
a typical Saxon. I can see him now, 
riding about Cintra on a fine Spanish 
horse, dressed in the Portuguese peasants' 
dress a short jacket, very tight trousers, 
a red " faja " or scarf wound round his 

waist, long spurs and box- stirrups, and 


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the large felt hat of the people as we 
so often met him in the early summer 
mornings. He was full of talent ; a good 
musician, possessing a fine baritone voice ; 
a remarkable linguist, speaking English, 
French, German, Italian and Spanish 
equally well, and, as I have said before, 
he was an artist of no mean order; 
while his reputation as a "shot" was 
almost unequalled. 

A favourite place for picnics was 
the Cork convent, which, when the re- 
ligious Orders still existed, had been 
used as a Sanatorium by the monks. You 
are shown the refectory, council - room, 
chapel and cells. Close by is the cave 
where the monk Honorius lived as a 
hermit for many years. 

When King Ferdinand restored the 
Moorish castle, quantities of human 

bones were discovered, and a tomb was 


Reminiscences of 

erected with Hie jacet, a cross, crescent, 
and cross-bones, marking the resting- 
place of Christians and infidels alike. 

The old Palace in the village is 
most interesting, and with its two huge 
chimneys shaped like champagne bottles, 
forms an unmistakable landmark. This 
palace is in excellent preservation, and 
contains a fine courtyard, where the band 
plays every evening, while the villagers 
stroll about or sit on benches to listen 
to the music. This entertainment is 
called "Peixe frito" (fried fish), for what 
reason no one knows, except that the 
band plays every evening and that the 
Portuguese eat fried fish every day. 

The Palace was inhabited by the Queen- 
Mother, Donna Maria Pia, daughter of 
King Victor Emanuei She had been 
married to King Louis before she was 

sixteen years old, and she once told me 


Diplomatic Life 

that when she first came to Lisbon she 
was so bored that she scribbled on the 
wall of her apartment, " Dieu, comme 
je m'ennuie ! " 

She had a striking personality: of 
medium height, with a very pale com- 
plexion, masses of auburn hair, a very 
thin aquiline nose and thin lips, she 
reminded one forcibly of the portraits 
of Queen Elizabeth. She generally wore 
purple, and never went out except in 
semi -state, in a large barouche with 
outriders and postilions. Her youngest 
son, the Infante Alfonso, was a daring, 
reckless driver, often to be met with 
driving his four Spanish mules at break- 
neck speed up and down the hills. 

In this same Palace is shown the 
room where Alfonso VI. was imprisoned 
by his brother on the plea of insanity. 

This brother, afterwards Pedro II., was 


Reminiscences of 

in love with Queen Marie Franchise, 
Alfonso VI/s wife, and grand-daughter 
of King Henry IV. of France, She 
succeeded in divorcing Alfonso, and 
married Pedro, but died the same year. 
The flagstones round the table that 
stands in the centre are quite worn down 
where the unfortunate Alfonso paced 
round and round during the many years 
of his solitary confinement 

One room contains a lovely ceiling in 
panels, on each of which is painted a 
magpie bearing a scroll with the words, 
" For bem " (For good), a rendering of 
" Honi soit qui mal y pense." It owes 
its existence to a romantic intrigue one 
of the kings enjoyed with a lady of the 
Court. One day as he kissed her, the 
Queen suddenly appeared, and the story 
became the gossip of the Court ; to give 

the scandalmongers the lie, the King had 


Diplomatic Life 

the room painted with this decoration 
of the magpie a hint to chatterers. 

Indeed Cintra is full of historic 
interest, for close to the little town is 
Seteais, where the memorable Convention 
was signed after the Battle of Vimiera. 

One of the pleasant drives about two 
miles through Lisbon is the Park of the 
" Tapada," where the Observatory was, 
also the Royal Pigeon-shooting Club. 

At one point Hugh used to say the 
view reminded him vividly of the Bos- 
porus and Constantinople, for across the 
valley, caused by the great earthquake 
in 1753, one could see on the oppo- 
site hill the cemetery, called by the 
extraordinary name of Os Prazeres 
(Pleasures). The whiteness of its various 
tombs, all adorned with turrets and 
cupolas, and its avenues of cypresses give 

the impression of some Eastern city. 


Reminiscences of 

Nothing can convey any idea of the 
beauty of the Tapada in spring when 
all the Judas trees (Acacia rubra] were 
in flower, the falling blossoms making 
a perfect pink carpet indeed Lisbon 
seen at that season is "couleur de rose/' 
There are acres of wild jonquils and 
cistus, and the strange African trees, the 
Casowaras, with their leaves hanging 
down like veils. 

Our own cemetery too is a particularly 
lovely spot, given by the reigning King, 
after the Peninsular War, as a burial- 
ground for those British soldiers who 
died of their wounds after the memorable 
battles of Buzaco and Torres Vedras. 
There are two monuments of interest 
in this garden of peace. One, much 
neglected, marks the resting-place 
of the legion that fought during the 

Peninsular War under the command of 


Diplomatic Life 

the Prince of Waldeck-Pyrmont, and 
the other is the tomb of Fielding, 
of whom Gibbon says, "Our immortal 
Fielding, whose work will outlive the 
Palace of the Escurial and the Imperial 
eagle of Austria." Fielding came to 
Lisbon in search of health, and died 
there on the 8th of October 1 754. 

The original English Church was 
burnt down about ten years before our 
arrival in Lisbon, and such was the 
popularity and personal influence of the 
chaplain, the Rev. Godfrey Pope, Canon 
of Gibraltar, that before the fire was 
extinguished, subscriptions were handed 
in enabling the Committee to start build- 
ing the present fine edifice at once. 

What happy afternoons we spent 
when we took large parties across to 
Cacilhas, a town on the opposite side 

of the Tagus 1 The steam ferry-boat was 


Reminiscences of 

not very comfortable, especially on 
market-days, when fat pigs, tied by the 
legs with a sort of plaited straw, were 
amongst the passengers. 

On landing, the cabmen besieged us, 
offering to drive us to Alfeite for a trifle. 
The only way of preventing bloodshed 
among them was to give the matter over 
to one of the drivers, saying we wanted 
four or five carriages, and then fix the 

Alfeite is delightful. It was a Royal 
residence, where apartments were given 
to the ladies of the Court when they 
retired. The garden, with terraces over- 
looking the river, and bowers of wistaria, 
is surrounded by an orange-grove, 
where on giving a few shillings to the 
gardener we received permission to pick 
as many oranges as we could carry. 

Often the ripe oranges as well as the 


Diplomatic Life 

green ones, with the blossom, appear on 
one tree. The crop is sold on the trees, 
but sometimes a wind-storm scatters the 
fruit over the ground and spoils the 
harvest; for most of these oranges are 
exported and must not be bruised. 

Near by was a sand-pit, which brought 
many hundreds a year to the Crown, 
the sand being used for the manufacture 
of glass, of which there are several 
large works close at hand the most 
important at Amora, under the direction 
of British foremen. 

As one came back, one saw on the 
hill opposite Lisbon the ruins of the 
castle and fortress of Palmella, the last 
stronghold of the Knights Templars 
in 1312. 

Monserrat, the residence of Sir 
Frederick Cook, is famous for its garden, 

where tree-ferns grow in clumps, and 


Reminiscences of 

fountains and basins with lotus and 
lilies are dotted about. It belonged 
originally to Beckford. During Sir 
Francis Cook's life his second wife, 
ne Miss Tennessee Claflin, obliged 
visitors to buy one of her pamphlets on 
entering the gates. She was a remark- 
ably clever woman ; but her theories on 
human reform were somewhat Utopian 
and not quite the literature for my 
juvenile parties, so I fear the reservoir 
just beyond the entrance must often have 
been obstructed. 

On the way to Collares, where the 
wine of that name is grown, stands the 
summer residence of Canning, who was 
British representative from 1814 to 

For miles before reaching Collares 
itself the most discordant sounds and 

groans are heard. This lugubrious 


Diplomatic Life 

music proceeds from the wheels of 
the bullock-carts, on which the large 
wine-casks are transported. The wheels 
of these carts are made of a solid round 
piece of wood without spokes, and the 
creaking is said to charm the bullocks, 
who to this accompaniment will un- 
complainingly pursue their slow, steady, 
untiring way for many miles at a time. 

One of the most interesting Exhibi- 
tions held during our stay in Lisbon 
was devoted to Sacred Art The missals 
were beautifully illuminated, and the 
altar-cloths, chalices, veils, and sacred 
vessels were quite an education. One 
of the most beautiful specimens shown 
was a monstrance and chalice which 
Catherine of Braganza caused to be 
made, using on this work of art all her 
private jewels, which included emeralds 

and rubies, diamonds and pearls of great 

273 18 

Reminiscences of 

value. Another interesting exhibit was 
the triptych that Vasco da Gama took 
with him on his long and perilous 
voyages. It is almost Byzantine in 
style, and is composed of fine enamel 
and set with precious stones. 

In the days of Portugal's commercial 
greatness the trade of the Red Sea and 
the Persian Gulf was centred in Lisbon. 
Carpets of priceless value were pre- 
sented by various kings to the churches 
as votive offerings. Mr. Hamburger of 
Paris, an expert in all kinds of bric- 
a-brac, declared that all the finest 
fifteenth and sixteenth century carpets 
he had ever seen in his long career had 
come through Portugal 

The finest things are not to be found 
in the shops; but there is an extra- 
ordinary class of old hags, called 

" Revendedoras," who are entrusted by 


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the owners of these treasures, generally 
members of the proud and ruined aris- 
tocracy, to dispose of them. On one 
occasion we were brought a little 
shagreen case, containing three small 
figures about 8 inches high, in silver- 
gilt, grouped round a crystal column, 
representing the flagellation of Christ 
Hugh was much struck with it, especially 
as all the well-authenticated documents 
proved it beyond doubt to be the work 
of Benvenuto Cellini. Not being able 
to acquire it ourselves, we gave the good 
dame who had brought it, a letter to 
our friend and colleague the Russian 
Minister, M. de Schevitch, who was 
delighted with it, and willingly paid 
400 for it. M. de Schevitch was an 
ardent collector and subsequently, when 
Ambassador at Madrid, acquired that 

wonderful bust of Christ with sapphire 

275 18 a 

Reminiscences of 

eyes, which caused so much discussion 
in antiquarian circles. 

Fine articles in repoussd silver are 
still to be found in the form of trays and 
shallow cups. The trays have usually a 
rich border of tulips and pomegranates 
and poppies a distinct feature. On 
most of the trays is a little scene, 
representing some religious or family 
legend. The small store that the pro- 
vincial Portuguese nobility set on articles 
of " vertu " may be here exemplified. 

Willie Pinto Basto, a well-known 
figure in Lisbon, the son of Mr. Eduardo 
Ferreira Pinto Basto, President of the 
Chamber of Commerce, and a great 
personal friend of ours, brought us one 
day a fine sixteenth century Flanders 
tapestry. It afterwards transpired that 
this beautiful piece of work had been 

used as a tilt for an ox-cart, and the 


Diplomatic Life 

corners had been much destroyed by rats. 
Strangely enough this tapestry belonged 
originally to an ancestor of Hugh's, 
Anthony Macdonell, who was General- 
issimo of the Forces after Beresford, and 
married a Countess of Borba. The old 
peasants still remember Macdonell and 
his red whiskers. He was killed in a 
duel at the age of seventy, and passers-by 
may still see the stone that marks his 
resting-place outside Caldas da Rainha. 

One of our constant visitors was 
Colonel Mousinho d'Albuquerque on his 
return from the Zambesi, where he had 
quelled the Zulu insurrection and was 
a successful Governor of Mozambique. 
He was a well-built, tall man, with pierc- 
ing black eyes, and a deep sabre cut the 
length of his face. I suppose he was 
one of the most able military governors 

Portugal ever sent to her African colonies. 


Reminiscences of 

On his return he was appointed " Gouver- 
neur" to the Crown Prince; but his 
straight, unbending character was un- 
fitted to compete with the Court 
" camarilla," and in a moment of despair 
he committed suicide. 

Shooting parties were sometimes given 
at their Majesties' residence at Villa 
Viciosa. This property belonged to the 
King of Portugal. It is about four hours 
distant from Lisbon on the other side of 
the Tagus, and their Majesties insisted on 
Hugh going to spend five days with them 
in 1897. Nothing can give an idea of 
Queen Amelie's kindness. Knowing I 
was fearfully anxious about Hugh's 
health, she sent me a telegram every day, 
and made a point of going herself into 
Hugh's apartment to see that the fires 
were kept up and the temperature not 

allowed to go down. As a matter of 


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fact, Hugh thoroughly enjoyed himself. 
Count Tattenbach, the German Minister, 
Count Sonnaz, and the American repre- 
sentative were of the party. 

The ladies generally joined the gentle- 
men for luncheon miles away from the 
Palace, but when it was wet they played 
bridge all day. A curious custom still 
existed there: beyond the dining-room 
was a spacious hall filled with tables 
and benches, where the villagers came in 
and seating themselves partook of all the 
dishes from the Royal table once their 
Majesties and their guests had been 

There was excellent sport at Villa 
Viciosa, consisting chiefly of red-legged 
partridges much appreciated in Portugal 
hares, snipe and deer; but pheasants 
did not thrive at all. 

The day before the party broke up, 

Reminiscences of 

King Carlos insisted on Hugh's taking the 
post of honour at the deer-drive. Hugh 
excused himself, but the King insisted, 
and gave him his gun, with which Hugh 
was lucky enough to kill a Royal. The 
King sent me the stag, and I have its 
head to-day. It was on their Majesties' 
return from one of these visits, on the 
ist of February 1908, that King Carlos 
and his eldest son, Prince Louis Philippe, 
fell victims to the dastardly attempt on 
their lives at the hands of a band of 
assassins, who, had it not been for the 
brave and beautiful Queen Ame'lie defend- 
ing herself and her son, afterwards King 
Manoel, would doubtless have succeeded 
in their efforts to kill the whole family. 

One of the experiences I never want 
repeated occurred on the i$th of August 
1899. We had taken the Villa Airey at 

Cintra for the summer months. The day 


Diplomatic Life 

was excessively oppressive, and so still 
that not a leaf moved, while at sunset 
the sky was like lead. Hugh and I 
were sitting at dinner in a beautiful 
room with a large window facing the 
south. I had been very ill, and was 
just convalescent. Quite suddenly we 
heard a low rumbling noise as though 
a heavy cart were passing round the villa, 
and immediately afterwards I saw the 
table sway to such an angle that all the 
glasses and silver rolled on to the floor, 
which seemed to be moving away as I 
tried to get on to my feet. 

The effect was so strange that in my 
weak state of health I was very agitated 
and almost fainted. Hugh simply said, 
" My dear girl, it is all over. We have 
had an earthquake." 

The servants rushed in, and as the 

villa was very massively built, Hugh 


Reminiscences of 

suggested that we should all go to an 
outhouse. As we went across to the shed 
the whole place was lighted up by vivid 
flashes of lightning, followed by terrific 
thunder and then a deluge of rain. At 
midnight we went back to the villa, but 
sleep was out of the question. In the 
light of morning it was discovered that 
a huge cornice had fallen and the walls 
of the house were riven with wide cracks, 
considerable damage having been done 
all over the little town. 

Soon after my arrival I was very much 
taken with the decoration of Mr. Bryan 
Clarke Thornton's dining-room. He was 
at that time Secretary of Legation and 
an ardent collector of various "objets 
d'art," amongst others embroideries. He 
had literally bought up all the best 
"colchas" or bed-spreads to be found 

in Portugal This work is quite unlike 


Diplomatic Life 

anything of the kind in other countries. 
The embroidery is done on linen in floss 
silk couched, and there is an Oriental 
motif running through the pattern, princi- 
pally lotus, pomegranates, curious birds, 
and acanthus leaves, and there are never 
more than five colours, reds, yellows, 
greens, blues and browns, but no aniline 
dyes. I soon learnt that they had 
originally come from Portuguese India 
given by the convents to the retiring 
Governors, and copied by the nuns in 

I procured some linen and traced one 
of Mr. Thornhill's "colchas" with great 
success, and speedily bought up all the 
available silks, as with the suppression 
of the convents the shop-keepers did not 
replenish their stocks. However, my 
enthusiasm brought me pupils, and I 

taught more than fifty people during my 


Reminiscences of 

stay. I also exhibited, and at one of 
the Exhibitions in Portugal was classed 
as "hors concours," the late King 
Carlos remarking, " Amongst the many 
things you have done, you have revived the 
art of 'colcha' embroidery in Portugal, 
which was practically lost." 

I had the great joy of being able to 
copy the " colcha " belonging to the guest- 
chamber at the Convent of Odivellas, 
where the gay monarch, John VI. , often 
visited the lovely abbess, for whom he 
once showed a great admiration but I 
must stop. 

In 1902 Hugh retired and we left 
Portugal, taking many happy memories 
with us and leaving many dear friends 

After nearly ten years' residence among 
these interesting people I do not want to 

realise what has been said of them : 


Diplomatic Life 

"What can be expected of a populace 
of whom half are basking in the sun, 
waiting for the Messiah, and the other 
half are expecting the return of their 
king, Dom Sebastian, who went to fight 
the Moors in 1576 and never returned ?" 



Acton, Lord, 166 

Aguado, Onesime, Vicomte, 70 

Aguado, Vicomte, 106 

Ajuda, Palace of the, at Lisbon, 


Alcanises, Duchess de, 94 
Alexander II. of Russia, 117 
Alexander III. of Russia, Emperor, 

199, 203 
Alexandra, Queen, 199, 210, 


Alexis, Grand Duke, 115 

Alfeite, 270, 271 

Alfonso VI., King of Portugal, 


Alfonso XII, King of Spain, 163 
Alfonso, Prince, son of Queen 

Isabella II. of Spain, 95 
Algiers, 46, 47, 71 
Algiers, Dey of, 45-4? 
Amadeo II., King of Spain, 94, 

95> 96 

Amager, island of, 214, 217 
Amelie of Portugal, Queen, 236, 

237, 247, 280 
Amelot-Chaillon, Comtesse Loco 

Mar, 193 
Amelot - Chaillon, Comte and 

Comtesse, 191 
Anglesey, Lady, 56 
Annalena, Convent of, 74-77? ri ^ 
Annalena, Convent of, Story of 

Apparition at, 74"75 
Antoinette, Marie, 161 
Aragon, Catharine of, 113 
Arco-Vally, Countess, 166 

Argentine cattle, 5 
Argentine trees, 31 
Argyll, Princess Louise, Duchess 

of, 165 
Australia, H.M.S., 238 

Badajoz, 83, 85 

Basto, Willie Pinto, 276 

Battenberg, Prince Henry of, 230- 

Bavarian custom of blessing the 

seeds, 168 

Bavarian peasant dress, 169 
Bayonne, 106, 108, 109 
Beagle, H.M.S., 27 
Beatrice, Princess, 233 
Belem, 227 

Benavides, Madame, 65 
Benckendorff, Count, 127 
Berg, General Comte de, 226 
Berlin, 120-139 
Blonde, H.M.S., 233 
Bonaparte, Princess, 140 
British Consul at Santander, 104 
Britto, Captain, 191 
Brown, Sir George, 49 
Bruce, Hon. Mrs., 148 
Buenos Ayres, i, 2, 6, 7, 12, 15, 
16, 27, 39, 43, 44 5 60, 67, 

Church of San Ignacio at, 14 

Life in, 25, 26 

'" Spanish type of house at, 23- 
24, 25 

Yellow fever at, 61-64 
Buffalo River, South Africa, 52 



Bull-fights at Madrid, 101 
Bulwer, Sir Henry, 54, 56 
Burnay, Count, 230 
Byron, Lord, 260 

Cacilhas, 269 

Campbell, Colonel Astley, 248 

Carananchal near Madrid, 93 

Caravans of the Pampa, 19-20 

Carlists, 83, 87 

Carlos, Don, 97 

Carlos I., King of Portugal, 247, 

261-263, 280 
Carlota, Queen, 248, 249 
Castellan, Comtesse Jeanne de, 


Castiglioni, Countess de, 78, 79 
Catherine of Braganza, 227, 273 
Catherine of Portugal, 227 
Cattle in the Argentine, 21 
Cellini, Benvenuto, 275 
Charles II., 227 
Charles XV. of Sweden, 201 
Charles, Princess of Saxe-Weimar, 

Eisenach, 122 
Charlotte of Prussia, Princess, 

*37 138 

Charlottenlund, 210 
Chiemsee, Palace at, 158 
Cholera at Buenos Ayres, 65 
Christian II., King of Denmark, 

214, 215-217 
Christian IV., King of Denmark, 

Christian IX., King of Denmark, 

199, 202, 205, 208, 218, 


Christiansborg Palace, 208, 216 
Christina of Spain, Queen 

Dowager, 77 
Cintra, 257, 258-261, 267 

Earthquake at, 280 
Clarendon, Lord, 136 
Coimbra, University of, 254 
Constantinople, British Embassy 

at, 54, 55> 5<5 
Cook, Sir Frederick, 271 
Copenhagen, 195-223, 224 

Courland et Sagan, Prince Pierre 

de, 72 
Courland, Dorothee, Princesse 

de, 71 
Cowper, The Hon. C. Spencer, 

144, 145, 146, 148 
Cowper, Mrs. Spencer, 145, 147 
Crawford, Marion, 150, 207 
Crimean War, 54 
Culvers, The, Hackbridge, 43 
Cumberland, Duke and Duchess, 


Currie, Lady, 118 4 

Currie, Philip, afterwards Lord 

Currie, 117 

Curzon Howe, Mr., 51 
Czar Alexander II., assassination 

of, 117 

d' Albuquerque, Colonel Mousinho, 


Du Alice, Marquis, 192 
d'Anethan, Baroness, 173 
Darwin, Charles, 27-29 
D'Aunay, Countess, 207 
Denmark, Crown Princess of, 201 
Dering, Sir Henry, 117, 135, 138 
d'Este, Princess, 163 
d'Eu, Comtesse, 185 
Deus, Joao de, 254, 255 
d'Oliveira, Dr. A., 248, 249 
Dollinger, Dr., 166 
Dover, 53 

Drabble, Mr. George, 7 
Dufferin, Lord, 56 
Dupuytren, Dr., 109 
Dyveke, story of, 215, 216 

Edinburgh, Duke and Duchess of, 


Edward VII., King, 69, 199, 203 
Elizabeth^ the barque, 10 
Elsinore, 219 
Elvas, Portugal, 85 
Empress Eugenie, 93 
English social life in 1830, 113 
Essen, Captain, 10 
Estrella, Church of, 227 



Evora, sermon by Bishop of, 241 
Exmouth, Lord, 47 

Falbe, Madame de, 197 
Falkland Islands, 6 
Ferdinand of Portugal, King, 263 
Fielding, tomb of, 269 
Florence, 71 

Fontainebleau, Forest of, 71 
Forests of Brazil, 178, 179 
Franco, Joao, 262 
Fraser, Mrs. Hugh, 149 
Fredensborg Castle, 200, 201 
Frederick, Emperor, 124 
Frederick, Empress, 121, 125, 

130, 164 

Frederick VIII. of Denmark, 210 
Frederick Charles of Anhalt, 

Princess, 129 

Galitzine, Prince, 167 

Gama, Vasco da, 240, 241-245, 


Gassiot, John Peter, no 
Gauchos, 20, 21, 31-37 
Gauchos during thunderstorms, 


Geneva, Mr. Hare, British Chap- 
lain at, 49 

Germaine, silversmith to Louis 
XV., 246 

German Emperor, William II., 

131, 132, 221, 222 

Giovanni deile Bande Neri, 74 
Gisela, Archduchess, 163 
Gladstone, W. E., 115, 116 
Glienicke, Gardens at, 132 
Glucksburg, Prince William of, 


Glucksburg, Prince John of, 205 
Goad, Edwin, 38 
Goschen, Sir Edward, 224 
Gosselin, Le Marchant, 126 
Granville, Lady, 67, 114 
Granville, Lord, 114, 115, 116 
Graves, Hon. Henry, no 
Great Southern Railway (Argen- 
tine), 7-8 

Greece, King and Queen of, 1 99 

Greenwich, 10 

Gyangos, Don Pasqual, 112, 113 

Hackbridge, 43, no, 118 
Haggard, Sir William, 173 
Hay, Sir John Drummond, 205 
Henard, Monsieur, 5 
Hereford, 10 

Holger Danske, legend of, 220 
Horn, Cape, 6 
Howard, Cardinal, 148 
Howard, Sir Henry, 166 
Howden, Lord, 1 6 
Hvidore, Denmark, 210, 215 

Imperial, Prince, 136 

Indian medicine men in the 

Argentine, 29-30 
Indian raids in the Argentine, 


Isabella, Queen of Spain, 96 
Italy, Liberation of, 76 

Jadowsky, M., 81 

John II. of Portugal, 245 

John VI. of Portugal, King, 248, 


Jones, Inigo, 210 
Joseph I. of Portugal, King, 257 

Kaffir War, the first, 51 

Karoly, Countess, 133 

Keen, George, 22 

Kemble, Fanny, 56 

Kendall, Peter, 9 

Keppel, Admiral Sir Harry, 204 

Knudsen, Miss Mathilde, 211-212 

Kronborg, Castle of, 220 

Ladysmith, 50, 52 

Langtry, Mrs., n8 

La Plata, 64 

Layard, Sir Henry, 56, 82, 91, 


Layard, Lady, 91 
Lieven, Princesse de, 7 2 
Lisbon, 42, 66, 81, 82, 223-285 



Lisbon, Cathedral of, 252 
Louis Philippe, Prince, 280 
Louise of Denmark, Queen, 198, 

199, 208 

Lowcock, Sir S., 170 
Ludwig of Bavaria, King, 155- 

160, 161 

Ludwig, Princess, 163 
Lumb, Alfred, 67 
Lumb, Charles Poynton, 15 
Lumb, Edward, I 
Lumb, Harriet. See Lady Napier 

and Ettrick 
Lumb, Jacob, 16 
Lumb, Thomas, I 

Macdonell, General Sir Alex- 
ander, 49, 50, 171 
Macdonell, Anthony, 277 
Macdonell, Henrietta, 116 
Macdonell, Sir Hugh Guion, 45- 
57, 63, 64, 80, I53-IS7, 

220, 223, 230, 278-280 

Macdonell of Aberchalder, Hugh, 


Macdonell, Ida, 77 
Madrid, 67 

Hotel " Los Embajadores," 


Journey to, 83-88 
Women of, 89 
Manoel, King, 245, 280 
Margarita of Italy, Queen, 142 
Margaux, Chateau, 106, 109 
Maria Pia, Queen-Mother Donna, 

Marie, Empress of Russia, 199, 


Marie d'Orleans, Princess, 212 
Marie-Frangoise, wife of Alfonso 

VI., 267 

Marie Therese Princess, 163 
Marismas, Marquis de las, 69 
Marismas, Ernily, Marquise de 

las, 46 

Mat, the Argentine tea, 35, 36 
Maxwell, General and Mrs. Henry 

Hamilton, 150 

Monastir, 56 

Monkey, story of a pet, 180-183 

Monson, Sir Edmund, 195 

Monte Video, 38 

Montijo, Countess del, 93 

Montmorency, Due de, 69 

Moray, Ducde, 94 

Munich, 153-169 

Murray, Cecil, 82 

Murray, Lady Edith, 8 1 

Nabuco, Dom Joachim de, 189 
Napier and Ettrick, Lady, 38, 

Napier and Ettrick, Lord, 126, 


Narenta, 56 
Necessidades, Palace of, at Lisbon, 


Nena, La, 112 
Nevin, Rev. Dr., 156 
Noaille, Marquise de, 141 
Normanby, Marquis of, 54 

O'Daly, Father, 225, 226 
Oldouini, Marquis, 78 
Qlga, Russian brig, 5 
Oppenheim, Mr. and Mrs., 67 
Oriola, Countess, 129 
Osten Sacken, Comtesse, 167 
Otto of Bavaria, King, 1 59 

Paget, Sir Augustus, 116, 143 
Paget, Lady, 143 
Paget, Lord George, 144 
Palmella, Castle of, 271 
Palmella, Duke of, 233 
Palmella, Duchess, Grande Mai- 

tresse de la Cour, 233, 235 
Paris, Sir H. Macdonell at school 

in, 48 

Paul, Grand Duke, 115 
Pedernales estate, Buenos Ayres, 

Pedro II. of Brazil, Emperor 

Dom, 1 80, 184-186, 1 88- 

Pedro II. of Portugal, King, 265 



Pena, Castle of, 258 
Peninsular War, 69 
Pernambuco, 41 
Petre, Sir George, 221, 228 
Petropolis, 172, 174, 176, I79 

183, 194 

Philip II. of Spain, 226 
Phipps, Constantine, 81 
Pig-sticking in Morocco, 206 
Plate, River, 2 ' - 
Polar Star, Imperial Russian 

yacht, 203, 204 
Pombal, Marquis, 257 
Pope, Rev. Godfrey, 269 
Portugal, curio collecting in, 274- 

Portuguese embroidery, 282-283, 


Portuguese fishermen, 250 
Portuguese women, 250 
Potsdam, 130, 221 

Neue Palais at, 120, 121, 124, 


Poynton, Charles, i, 2, 4 
Poynton, Mary, I 
Princess Royal. See Empress 


Quilmes, n 

Mammoth shell at, 28 
Quinta in Buenos Ayres, 18, 19 
Quirinal, 116 
Quitandinha, 17 5, i?G 

Ranees, Don Manuel, Marquez 

de Casa la Iglesia, 1 1 1 
Rathkeel, Baron Herbert of, 61 
Redcliffe, Lord Strafford de, 56 
Riano, Madame, 91, 114 
Rio de Janeiro, 38-41, !7<>-i94 
Roads in the Argentine, 19-20 
Rosas, Dictator-General, 16, 65 
Rosenberg Palace, 210 
Rumbold, Sir Horace, 117 
Ruskin, John, in 
Russell, Lady Emily, 120, 121 
Russell, Lord Odo, 120, 135 

St. Anthony fetes at Lisbon, 


San Giovanni, Giovanni de, 75 
St. John, Ferdinand, 75 
St. Vincent, Cape, 41 
St. Vincent de Paul, Sisters of, 


Sandhurst, 49 
Sanford, Mr., 74 
Sans Souci, Palace of, 133 
Sardinero, 106 
Saxe-Meiningen, Prince Bernaid 

of, 138 

Schevitch, M. de, 275 
Schreiber, Lady Charlotte, 224 
Schulenberg, Countess, 166 
Schwabing, 163 

Seckendorff, Count George, 164 
Serrano, Duque de la Torre, 

Marshal, 95, 97, 9 8 > 99 
Severn, Mrs. Arthur, ill 
Sheep, merino, 9 
Sivry, Chateau de, 70 
Slavery in Brazil, abolition of, 


Smith, Sir Harry, 50 
Sothern, Mr., H.M.B. Minister 

at Buenos Ayres, 23 
Several, Marquis de, 83, 84, 134, 

i35> 223 
Spanish customs in Buenos Ayres, 

2, 3> 4 
Stuart, Hon. William, 45 

Tagus, River, 227, 240, 253, 269 
Talleyrand, Prince, 72 
Talleyrand Perigord, Due Edmond 

de, 71, 78 
Tangier, 206 

Tantphceus, Baroness, 162 
Taylor, Mr. Brooke, 219 
Therese, Empress of Biazil, 184, 


Thornhill, Mr. Bryan Clarke, 282 
Thornton, Conway, 256 
Toba tribe of Patagonian Indians, 

Toll, Countess, 209 



Touca-touca, Darwin and the, 28 
Trautenberg, Baron, 61 

Ulrich, Admiral, 46, 71 
Ulrich, Ida Louise, 46 
Umberto of Italy, King,- 142 
,Ux-Kul, Comtesse, 141 

Valbom, Count and Countess of, 


Valdemar, Prince, 212, 213 
Valparaiso, 5, 7 
Varicourt of the Garde Suisse, 

Baron, 161 

Vatican party in Rome, 140 
Viciosa, Villa, Portugal, 278, 279 
Victoria, Queen, 67, 227 
Victoria, Queen, presentation to, 68 
Victoria and Albert^ the Royal 

yacht, 204 

Vimiera, battle of, 267 
Voltaire, 133, 161 

Waldemar of Prussia, Prince, 137 
Wellington, Duke of, 16 
Wellington, Duke of, lying in state 

of> 53 

Wenceslau, Prince, 125 
William L, Emperor of Germany, 

123, 128 
William of Prussia, Prince. See 

German Emperor 
Windischgratz, Prince^, 76 
Winterhalter, 70 
Wodehouse, son of Loid Kimber- 

ley, 56 
Wurtz, George, 149 

Yates, Elizabeth, 8 
Yates, John, 9, 12. 
Yates, Mary, 22 
Yates, Mrs., 11, 12 
Yates, Wjlliam, 9 
Yellow fever at Rio de Janeiro, 
< 172* 


Ptintedfy R. & R, CLARK, LIMITED, 

. c