A Home for Nobodys Princess (Mills & Boon Cherish) (Royal Babies, Book 2) (Royal Babies Series)
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For me this spot was Het Loo. What a strong individuality it has and what a deep attachment it inspires: the house, the trees, the lawn. In order to avoid monotony, I shall limit myself to saying a few more things about Het Loo, leaving out my childhood impressions of the palaces in Amsterdam and The Hague, of Soestdijk, Luxemburg and Oranje-Nassau's Oord. The old castle of Het Loo was one of the possessions of William III, the Stadtholder and King, who used it as a hunting- lodge and also retired there to prepare his great projects in peace. Soon it became too small for his requirements and he C 33 Lonely Mi Not Alone decided to build the present palace.
His study has been pre- served unchanged, as well as the chapel he built and the large drawing-room. It was here that he elaborated his plans for crossing the Channel, in order to prevent the conse- quences that the alliance between James I and Louis XIV would have had for Europe. To an adult observer the mark of their founder is still clearly recognizable in the palace and the park.
As a child I was not sensitive to it, although I was aware of the relics of a more recent history, of the time of my father's youth or perhaps a little earlier. There were for instance the stables for the race-horses of my elder brother and my Uncle Alexander my father's brother. Further along there were the race- course and the gallops. In the old castle were the so-called clubroom of my father's falconry and several unusual guest- rooms dating back to his younger days. And in our palace I found a great many round games, which recalled times when guests were always coming and going, when parties were held after a tiring day's shooting.
It was fun to play those old games again. Immediately behind the front door in the entrance-hall stood a table of gigantic dimensions with a steeplechase game painted on it. When one had thrown the dice one's advance was marked by little leaden race-horses. A contemporary visitor would be shocked by the tasteless way in which the palace was furnished; how ugly much of the furniture was, and how ill assembled: souvenirs and trophies of my father's next to horrors from the days of Louis-Philippe, and so on.
Wallpapers and curtains with enormous flower designs, and paper curtains in the old palace, even round the beds. These beds were four-posters, entirely enclosed, in which guests had to sleep. Of course a more modern spirit manifested itself in my mother's rooms, furnished in , just before her wedding, and in my nursery and bedroom. At least they came up to reasonable standards as far as air and light were concerned, and were marked only by the bad taste of the time, without having to carry the burden of preceding generations' mis- deeds in this respect.
FromArolsen, Mother had brought with her ideas on health 34 My Youth and education which were very modern for her day; I shall discuss them later on. After Father's death she made many improvements in the house.
I do not remember my first nurses, nor do I have any recollection of the arrival of Freule van Heemstra whom I used to call Brown-eyes and of that of my French play- mate, who was only just grown up herself, and who gave me French lessons. My first meeting with Freule de Kock, who was always willing to step in when Brown-eyes went on holiday, has also faded from my memory.
I remember a train journey with her, when she kept me amused by telling me about her travels. I always enjoyed playing with these companions, and never felt the absence of other children to play with on the con- trary, I was happy to be an only child and to have my parents all to myself. I was very fond of dolls, and never tired of playing with them. Wherever we lived there was always a dolls' room for me, arranged by Mother, or a dolls' corner, surrounded by screens so as to seem like a house.
In later years, when I spent much of my time with the four Shetland ponies Father had given me, I could not live without a corner containing a stable with wooden horses and a rocking-horse. Mademoiselle Liotard left when I was about five and a half. Her successor was Miss Winter, who came to teach me Eng- lish, but mainly as a governess. Soon after her arrival Freule van Heemstra also left. Luckily for me she was a cheerful person, very good at playing with me and at invent- ing new games. When I had my first lessons she was always present and kept a close watch on my conduct.
I should not forget to pay tribute to my first tutor Mr Gediking, a headmaster from The Hague, whose greatest merit was that he taught the pupil to concentrate. As soon as my thoughts began to wander he noticed it and called them back. Arithmetic was his favour- ite subject, which suited me because I loved puzzling out all sorts of sums. In my spare time and sometimes during holi- days I pored over the sums Mr Gediking had given me, and when he came back I would surprise him with the answers. At first I did not like my lessons and never made an effort.
Not until I was about eight did I decide that it was really necessary for me to start becoming 'clever', and I remember clearly that I resolved to do better from then on. I had just received a beautiful new copybook with a leather cover, and I felt that only a 'big girl' could be allowed to write in it. The importance such things can have at that age! I loved my first lessons in Dutch history, with all those wonderful stories of the Counts of Holland. Count Floris V impressed me particularly: the abolition of serfdom, the granting of privileges to towns and corporations which created the third estate, all the things he did for poor and simple people, his life that earned him the honorary title of 'the mob's idol'.
It upset me that he should have had to pay with his life for all his good works! I was not told of any other aspects of his personality, and it was as a hero that he continued to live in my imagination. I do not think anyone could say exactly when his religious life began.
At first we are unaware of the growth of the spiritual element, then all of a sudden it enters our conscious- ness and becomes a living reality. In a child's spontaneous nature it may live one moment and be entirely forgotten the next. In their case one can certainly not see it as a thread running through their lives. Bible lessons give a child a notion of God; but it seems doubtful whether this has any direct influence on its religious life, or rather on the unconscious roots of what may later become a conscious religious life.
The same thing goes for the prayers that a child is taught by its mother. All of a sudden but when? From this you will understand that I could not possibly indicate the starting-point of my 36 My Youth religious life. It must have originated during Father's illness, for I remember the inner reaction of that 'something 5 from the time after his death when I learned: 'Jesus lives and we with Him. Death, where are thy terrors now? At the age of seven I was taken to church for the first time, but the service was beyond my comprehension.
During our prolonged stays at Het Loo, Mother organized regular sermons in the castle chapel, for which she invited ministers from different parishes. I remember that I occasionally understood a little more of the sermons, and that I thought about them. I refused categorically to pray with Miss Winter when Mother was prevented by her work. If she persisted I declared the prayer null and void, and said I would repeat it when she had left me; and I was as good as my word. This shows how strongly a child feels its religious life to be a private inner sanctum, and how iaaccessible and reticent it is.
Afterwards I felt the same way about confirmation lessons, which I regarded as interference with my religious life. I submitted to them, but I shut myself off from their influence. When a member of our entourage said that I should learn' how to believe, this only served to confirm me in my ideas. Miss Winter was a strong personality, sincere and open. One of the expressions of such a woman should be a 'bold' handwriting. She herself was certainly afraid of nobody.
She was a 'bold woman'. She had all the virtues that characterize the English nation and that it fosters in its children. These virtues form the backbone of the British nation, a fact often emphasized by Miss Winter. Mother, and Father too, wanted their child to receive a solid education, as much like that of any other child as pos- sible, and they rightly thought that Miss Winter was equal to her task. They felt that a foreigner could more easily maintain a firm regime than a Dutchwoman. My education was in- fluenced by the desire to prevent at all cost that certain events in the history of the family should repeat themselves 37 Lonely But Not Alone there had been a case when the whims and weaknesses of a child had been humoured too much, and the consequence had been that it did not develop sufficient resistance to the temptations of selfishness and love of comfort.
I was always aware of this. Any sign of self-indulgence was firmly corrected, sometimes with a reference to the case in question. Miss Winter read to me often, in a dramatic style which I enjoyed very much. As a true Englishwoman she was a great animal-lover. This love was always enthusiastically expressed and the example had a considerable influence on me, although I never made such a fuss.
Afterwards, at the age when one is always afraid of being ridiculous, I was most careful not to show warm friendship to animals. The fear that people would laugh at me if I showed too much feeling for them has never quite left me and it gave me a certain reserve, much as I liked them. My daughter, whose feelings could develop in freedom, came to love her domestic animals much more naturally, and has enjoyed her relations with them more than I have. I was fond of horses and often played at horses on my walks, which were frequent as Mother and Miss Winter insisted that I should have as much fresh air and exercise as a normal country child.
During the cold winters of Father's last years I learned to skate. It was not as simple as it sounds. Father belonged to a time when it was considered indecent for young girls to practise this sport; he was firmly opposed to it, and if he had known that I ignored his wish he would have been so annoyed that his condition might have suffered. But Mother found a way! I received my coaching in secret, and nobody told Father. How well I remember the first time, when I held on helplessly to the hands of one of Father's A.
Soon I began to love my skating. Of course I did not master the art right away, and I know from direct experience that ice is hard as well as slippery. From I skated every winter on the moat of the Huis ten Bosch. When I was older we went on skating tours, and I 38 My Youth also organized races for the garrison. Times of frost always brought us much fun and pleasure. Later Juliana performed her first feats of skating on the same moat. She also loved the sport and was always delighted to join in a tour. Once we even went as far as Friesland for the skating.
I remember that afterwards we saw Scottish reels danced on a wooden platform laid on the ice a fine old Friesian custom. After Father's death Mother went abroad with me for a month or so every year, in order to take a rest in the mountain air. My tutor accompanied us; the lessons could not be interrupted. Mother wanted me to spend my holidays in the Netherlands: I should have pleasant memories of holidays at home. But there was always time available for short tours or drives with Mother.
Her party and I often walked quite far, although I was considered too young for real walking tours they were thought too strenuous for children, and Mother said there could be no question of them until I was grown up. But I was allowed to do anything I liked as long as it did not require undue exertion.
On her journeys Mother was always accompanied by General Dumonceau, an old friend of Father's and a keen lover of nature. He was a tireless walker, roaming all over the country, invariably kind and cheerful. When he went with me I was allowed to climb over boulders and rocks to pick alpine flowers, which he loved as much as I did.
I can still see the tiger-lilies and wild cyclamens. They always grew in inaccessible places, and while I clambered from rock to rock he held me firmly with the crook of Father's old walking- stick, so as to prevent my slipping. All this climbing made the walks very enjoyable and although I did not care much for travelling I passed many a pleasant hour. General Dumonceau always went on a reconnaissance tour before we set out on our journeys, and came back with reports on a few peaceful and attractive villages which were suitable for a holiday; these were submitted to Mother, who then decided where we should go this time.
Travel in Switzerland in those days was done by mail-coach. Fortunately there were no motor-cars yet. My first encounter with that vehicle took place in Mecklenburg when we went there on our first visit, which I shall relate in due course. On our journeys Mother was always accompanied by one of her ladies, an A. When I was a little older I had a pony which I used to ride in the woods, in larger parties.
In winter I rode on the beach near The Hague, weather permitting; in bad weather I went to the riding-school. I continued to ride until I was about fifty; the pony was replaced by a little Arab who was followed by a big horse, and for army inspections I had a very tall one, far from comfortable to ride side-saddle. When I reached the right age Miss Winter gave me tennis lessons. Long before that I absolutely had to have piano lessons, but fortunately they were stopped when it was found that I had no ear for music.
I had equally little taste for my lessons in dancing and drawing. Drawing lessons are always dull, in the first stages; it is difficult to do anything about that. My lessons came at a time when few had any sense of drawing; I learned very little. Anyway I did not like all the theories about how exactly I should do it. I preferred to look for a method of my own, which of course was no good at all; but I was and always remained a difficult pupil.
When I grew up I did a lot of drawing as a hobby, I took my sketch-books out of doors and in winter I drew dogs and horses. As I had no technical schooling, the result was far from impressive. I continued in this dilettantish manner until after the First World War. After the unkind things I have said about my lessons, I should point out that I did learn the technique of water-colours, whereas I had only vague notions of how to work with oils and crayon. These two I taught myself, and then after the war I had drawing lessons again. Many years later I was happy to be told by my teachers that the important thing is to find one's own way and that many things depend on feeling rather 40 My Youth than technique.
That was what I liked to hear. I never used my water-colour technique much, because it took too much of my time. Father could still appoint, together with Mother, my French teacher, Dr Salverda de Grave, who afterwards took over all but one of Mr Gediking's lessons. Mr Gediking con- tinued as my mathematics teacher only for many years, latterly at my own request. He also taught me the first principles of physics. Another appointment in which Father still had a hand was that of Freule van de Poll, who was to represent the Dutch influence in my education.
Dr Salverda de Grave was responsible for my entire second- ary education, which I received in an abridged form, because I had to start early on my academic training, in order to complete the programme Mother had drawn up with her counsellors before my eighteenth birthday. Miss Winter taught me English, both grammar and liter- ature. A special educational problem was created by my appearances in public. It was sometimes difficult to combine these with my lessons, the more so as the possibilities of correction were limited by the thought of the effect on my fitness for official occasions.
I soon discovered, although of course everybody tried to hide the fact from me, that when I had been naughty the prospect of an appearance in public made all the difference to my punishment. This subject has carried me beyond my eleventh year, and I shall now return to that time in order to explain how my life changed after Father's death. The most important differ- ence was the transition from the country to the town; this imposed more restrictions on my freedom than it would do nowadays.
Although Mother was the centre of life at the court, this did not mean that I was completely free from its influence. Stories of earlier times have given me the im- pression that under Father there was a period when a clear distinction was made between official and private life; when one was at liberty to arrange one's private life as one liked. Court etiquette required us to lead a life that was permanently semi-official ; that is to say, we had to be prepared at any time to step into rigid formality.
The palaces themselves bore the mark of formality, one had to look hard for a corner that was com- fortable and simply human. When I had been cooking, or when I came back from the stables or from digging up potatoes in my garden, it was not only a wash that awaited me, but also the effort to resume the formal behaviour that our entourage demanded. Needless to say, we were denied many innocent pleasures for the sake of convention. I shall from now on refer to these conditions as 'the cage 3. The name speaks for itself: one felt hedged in and longed for freedom.
As soon as mourning allowed, Mother set to work. After Father's long illness it was urgently necessary to establish contacts and to appear in public to show people we were still there! Guests were invited to dinner-parties, which were held in the formal style described above. Mother sat in the centre on one side of the table, with me opposite her, and we had the highest guests next to us. After dinner, we talked to the guests. The first few times Freule van de Poll accom- panied me and engaged me in conversation with some of them; afterwards I talked to all.
These dinners were my school of conversation. Soon we began to pay official visits to towns and provinces, always arranged so as not to interfere with my lessons. At first these duties frightened me, not at the moment itself but before. I became highly wrought-up about them, with the result that in spite of my perfect health I looked pale and tired during the visits, and gave the public the impression of being a weak child, which made Mother unhappy.
I soon got used to the public appearances themselves; Mother made things easy for me. In , after our first visit to Amsterdam, the Kaiser came on an official visit with the Empress. On this occasion I had to act as hostess to the Empress, at home as well as in public. She was very kind and motherly. We followed Mother and 42 My Youth the Kaiser in a red carriage.
I also had to attend the official banquet. The days of the visit were rich in new experiences for me. In , after our period of rest in the mountains, I accom- panied Mother on the return visit. Parades were held in Berlin and Potsdam, and I was taken to see the latter. I looked forward to the moment when the little princes would come by, trying to keep in step with the guards. It was a sight to see: they could manage it for two or three steps, and then had to run to catch up with the ranks.
I played with the Kaiser's sons; between the eldest of them and myself there was only two years' difference in age. They were very nice to me and gave me some of their boyish treasures. I shall refrain from discussing our official tours and visits, which have all been described elsewhere.
Normal companionship with children was unthinkable in the cage; I never knew it and had little or no opportunity to make friends. I have hardly any friends from my childhood, only acquaintances. Mother did invite children to play with me, and after Father's death they came regularly, usually in large numbers. We played and romped in one of the drawing-rooms, which had none of the qualities of a home. At one time I forget whether this was before Father's illness or after his death an attempt was made to let other children come and play with my toys in my room. As an only child I was far from accommodating, and in fact I disliked these visits heartily.
Unfortunately I had my way. As I see it now, it would have been better for my character if I had been made to accept these intrusions. At the time, I was very pleased when they were stopped. The invitations had to be sent to all children of a certain class of families, a fixed number of times for each of them every winter.
This made everything completely rigid, but the principle of course was sound, the only way to prevent envy and bitterness. The parties were given for children of my own age and 43 Lonely But Not Alone younger ones at the same time. Needless to say I felt very big and important among the smaller fry. I think I enjoyed their company best; I was supposed to look after 3 them, and I loved that.
When my grandparents were still alive and we had the annual family reunions at Arolsen it was always a wonderful experience for me to play as an equal among my cousins. There we fought over our toys, as children will do. Only very rarely did I have a chance to practise my fighting at home, when the cousins came to stay with us. In the autumn of Aunt Sophie, my father's sister, and Uncle Karl von Sachsen-Weimar celebrated their golden wedding.
This was the occasion for a particularly well- attended reunion; Mother and I went too. Aunt Sophie came to stay with us every year and always loved being back in her old country. She was my last link with Father, which created a special bond between us, and she would be my successor if something should happen to me. Even at that age I attached great importance to the fact that she was the person to whom I would leave our country. A warm friendship and a strong mutual appreciation existed between Aunt Sophie and Mother.
My aunt, who was so well informed about life in this country, was the ideal companion for Mother, who could discuss everything with her. My aunt was exceptionally gifted and had a pene- trating mind. She and I were also great friends, and I have a vivid recollection of our talks in her room, which were very helpful to me.
A Home for Nobody's Princess
She was very intelligent, and Weimar owed her a great deal. Princess in the noblest sense of the word! I was also very fond of my uncle. In Weimar I attended all the festivities except the very late ones and, the hours of play with my aunt's grandchildren apart, I really acted the part of a grown-up! As next of kin of the bride Mother and I were seated among the highest guests; of course there were times when I felt rather lost among them.
It was, incidentally, in the course of this visit that Aunt Sophie's son-in-law, Duke Johann Albrecht zu Mecklenburg, who had married her youngest 44 My Youth daughter Elsi, presented his two younger brothers to me: Adolf, the elder, and Hendrik, then sixteen years old, who would one day be my husband. So that was our first meeting. Needless to say I was strongly impressed with all I saw: people and parties, the pomp and circumstance, the kindness of my aunt and uncle. Our fatherland sent a considerable sum of money which my aunt was to spend as she wished.
Subsequently she stipulated that after her death I should dispose of the proceeds in a way that would benefit the people of the Netherlands. I shall now return to daily life. Freule van de Poll has had a stronger influence on my character than one would expect of a person who was so very modest and retiring.
She always emphasized, to me and to everyone else, that she had a very high opinion of Miss Winter as an educator, and she gave her all the credit for what had been achieved. This self-effacement made a profound impression on me, and served as a formative influence in itself. Like all children I went through a period when I followed the opinion of my governess in everything. It was Freule van de Poll's quiet and tactful way of offering her own opinions whenever they differed from Miss Winter's which started me thinking for myself. Gradually I began to doubt the infalli- bility of Miss Winter's judgment.
More frequent contacts with Mother contributed to this change of heart. I began to realize that I had a personality of my own, or at least was on my way towards finding one. It was at that time that I turned away from my governess to Mother, whose authority I accepted of my own accord. From then on I became an independent person, in spite of my young age. It was a turning-point in my existence. The moral authority of my governess was a thing of the past.
I emphasize the word governess, for I continued to love Miss Winter, and a firm friendship came into being in later years, when she was no longer my governess. At the time I drew the logical conclusion and tried to free myself from her factual authority as well, but! I often came close to causing a definite rupture, but my resolve that this had to be avoided stood firm, Even so I was not quite convinced that I acted wisely. Mother made it clear to me that she could not take charge of my everyday education and told me to continue to accept Miss Winter's authority; and, while refusing to do so, I some- times wondered if I had not thrown away a thing which might have been of value to me in later life.
Looking back now, I think I can say that a recognized and uninterrupted authority in my education might have given me a better notion of self-discipline. However that may be, from my twelfth year I did without such an authority. In subsequent conflicts I had to exercise great self-control to spare Mother the trouble of having to look for a new governess. My love for her won in the end, and Miss Winter stayed on until my confirmation in October , when both she and Freule van de Poll left me.
At the age of thirteen I had an experience of great moment for my spiritual development. It happened at the time of my first lessons in cosmography. I had gained an idea of the rotation of the earth from an astronomical globe. In one of the following lessons Plateau's experiment was discussed; I do not remember if I saw it performed. A tank with a spindle in the middle was filled with water, and oil was poured on top.
As the spindle was made to rotate, a sphere formed round it the sun which in its turn sent forth other spheres, the planets and the earth; finally the moons round the planets were formed in the same way. This experiment disturbed me deeply, for it destroyed in one blow the story of the creation as I knew it. I was so upset that I did not dare to ask Mother about it, as it was she who had told me about the creation; but it continued to occupy me and in the end I mentioned it to another grown-up.
I explained that the experiment was not in accordance with the Bible and that I did not know what to think, but received a scornful reply: 'Surely you did not really believe that the earth was created in a week', which could only increase my doubt. Nobody ever suspected how 46 My Youth dark it was in my soul in those days. The God of the creation, the trusted God on whom I had relied so completely, perhaps did not exist at all, so I could not even pray any more. I was all alone with this problem; nobody could have helped me.
It seemed a long time until the dark shadows disappeared, until I had fought my way through to a renewed feeling of God's nearness and had overcome the shock. My experience had shown me how utterly useless and barren are hesitations and doubts and reflections without a choice. This 'never again' has been my life-belt through trial and affliction and many difficult circumstances. The experience also had another consequence, which was that at this early age I declared war on science, on a philosophy which had caused me such misery.
I turned away in horror from those who revered science as the highest good, and resolved to confide the guidance over my life to my dear and sacred faith, to accord precedence to the heart and the soul and only a second place to my intelligence, as their obedient servant; to admit into my heart the Divine peace, which passes understanding but also enlightens it. Just as the eye and the ear fulfil tasks of high importance but are governed by the will, so also the intelligence should be subservient to God's will and not pretend to be qualified for a dominating position.
These last conclusions are the fruit of my reflections at a riper age, when I had also learned that we are abandoned by God only in appearance, for He never leaves us. Afterwards I understood that it was deep wisdom on His part that had made me know doubt as a child, in order to fortify my faith so that I could derive more strength from it when the time had come to assume my duties. The years I am now about to discuss, starting when I was thirteen, show a marked growth in my faith and its mani- festations. My religious life was budding.
In a child all this is 47 Lonely But Not Alone so different from adult experience that it is very difficult if not impossible to describe it adequately. Everything is growing, the soul as well as the body, and there is a strong fear of outside interference which explains a child's hermetic impenetrability and the impossibility to discuss the things it holds most sacred. Along with my per- sonality a consciousness developed inside me of God's uni- versal domination, of an almighty God who should not be touched by anybody. If anyone should have offended Him, I would have resisted with all my might.
These feelings lived in my unconscious, they did not come to the surface. One could describe them as a deep undercurrent in my existence. To return to my education. I should like the reader to remember that it was the end of the era of intellectual liberal- ism. The men who thought that everything could be attained by scientific means rejected all other opinions as negligible and gave them no chaft. Able men who thought differently were certainly not lacking, but they hardly re- ceived a hearing.
Reason had the last word and in the final instance the attitude towards God and religious faith was one of negation. What could not be confirmed by scalpel, microscope and telescope was denied and ignored. This spirit permeated the thoughts of many people without always manifesting itself directly. One felt it everywhere in the society of the time. Consciously and unconsciously I en- countered it in my studies. Some teachers represented it fully, others only incidentally; fortunately there were also some who were free from it.
Whenever God's Guidance as in history or God's omni- potence appeared to be ignored, I was hurt aiid put up an inner resistance. This greatly influenced my development. When I did not agree with my teachers I still had to go through with the lessons, but I simply brushed aside the ideas that were incompatible with my fundamental convictions, and refused to consider them further. Of course with several subjects the problem never occurred. Most of my lessons were strictly matter-of-fact.
The majority of the subjects had my interest, and demanded little effort. Deutmarm, The Hague Princess Juliana with her horse The Queen -Mother My Youth an easy life; I sat on my straight high-backed chair with its cane seat, behind the table with my desk on it, in which I kept my copybooks and writing materials; and then it was just a matter of learning what I was taught. Most of the lessons were interesting and there were breaks at the right moment, just when I began to feel tired.
My secondary and academic education were combined. I never went beyond the secondary level in science and foreign languages French, German and English. My favourite subjects were Dutch and history.
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I had Dutch history on all three levels, the academic course being given by Professor Blok; world history on the two higher levels, the first being Dr Salverda de Grave's responsibility, the second, which began when I was thirteen, Professor Kramer's. I should add here that during the hour I spent with Mother, whenever she was free in the evening, we often discussed the great men of the past.
Her view of the elements of true greatness was very instructive and has retained its hold on me. These discussions took place at the time of my second course in Dutch history and the first in world history. Professor Blok, the author of a History of the Dutch People, had a view of our history and of the Eighty Years' War in particular that I could not accept.
I think I am right in saying that Blok and Kramer were followers of Ranke and adopted his method of original research, which leads to fragmentation and neg- lects or at least does not bring to light the higher unity of historical events in God's Guidance. In order to sharpen my perception Kramer often gave me a few historical facts and situations from which I had to draw my own conclusions. His course covered the whole of history from the earliest days to the time of my lessons.
Roughly at the same time as Professor Kramer, Professor Kan began my advanced course in geography, an absorbing series of lectures. Professor De Louter was my teacher for the Governmental Statute of the Indies, and continued with a course in Dutch constitution and constitutional law. He also taught me economics, a course that lasted until a fortnight before my marriage, whereas his other courses ended before I came of age. I must not forget Dr Hofstede de Groot, my teacher of history of art, a subject which allowed me to relax while I looked at reproductions of great works of art.
Mother attended my confirmation class and the courses which had an immediate bearing on my future task. She made notes for me; during the last year before my majority she spent about four hours every day listening and writing, in addition to all her other work! As a child already I began to dream of great deeds. I remem- ber the inspiring effect on me of a meeting in The Hague in commemoration of those who had died in the military expedition to the Isle of Lombok. The climax of the evening came with the rendering of a poem written by Lieutenant Alting van Geusau shortly before his death in action and set to music for this occasion.
It was heard by the audience standing, and not only impressed me deeply but also aroused my desire to 'do something', whatever it might be. Already I felt unconsciously dissatisfied with my life in the cage, which prevented any kind of initiative; and in a way the evening could be said to have but reinforced the dissatisfaction evoked in me by the feeble spirit of the times. I was shown reports of military actions in Lombok and in Atjeh and other parts of the archipelago, which added further to my desire for action.
When I became reigning Queen I was also stimulated by the descriptions of cases of outstanding courage on the battle-field, in the recommend- ations for decorations which I received. I must revert for a moment to Professor De Groot's lec- tures, because they prepared the ground for my interest in missionary work. This happened in spite of the Professor's teaching, for he represented the rationalistic school with which I disagreed; but I was deeply moved by the picture 50 My Youth he gave me of the adat law and the religions of the Indies, and pitied all those people who lived in a psychosis of fear owing to their notion of God and their belief in evil spirits.
I was stirred to pity by the accounts of human sacrifices made in order to appease the evil spirits, and from then on I took a warm interest in the efforts to spread the Gospel among these poor people. In Mother took me to England, for ten days or perhaps a little longer. It was not just a pleasure trip; Professor Kramer accompanied us in order to guide me round the British Museum, where I had to see the Assyrian, Egyptian and Greek antiquities.
The museum aroused little interest in me, all the other things I found very exciting. What an experience: to see London in the spring, and to have so many unexpected things happening. I suppose Mother also wanted me to meet Queen Victoria's large family, for I went on several visits with her and also accompanied her to several luncheons. The visit took on momentarily an official character when we went to pay our respects to the old Queen at Windsor, but otherwise we were free in our movements.
We saw my mother's sister, Aunt Helena, at Claremont, where I played with my cousins. She also finds out that she has six royal half siblings and She is all alone now that her mother is dead from cancer. Coco knows she is adopted and when she tried to find out more her Leanne Banks is a New York Times bestselling author with over sixty books to her credit. A book lover and romance fan from even before she learned to read, Leanne has always treasured the way that books allow us to go to new places and experience the lives of wonderful characters.
She did not inherit the more attractive qualities of the Stuarts, and seems indeed to have taken her attributes from some clodhopping squire, or good but stupid housewife, among her mother's for- bears. Mary, on the other hand, possessed in a large degree the Stuart charm, but united with a strict- ness of principle which was certainly very alien to the spirit of the race. In James made a second unpopular mar- riage. After trying in vain to induce an English lady to become a Roman Catholic in order to marry him, he sent the Earl of Peterborough to choose him a wife among four princesses, all of whom seemed more or less suitable.
Lord Peter- borough selected the Princess of Modena. She had not yet completed her fifteenth year, and wept bitterly and protested her intention to be- come a nun when told she was to marry a man so much her senior, and to spend her life in a country of which she had never before heard. James, however, was in high spirits, and on receiving the news that his marriage by proxy to the Princess had been accomplished, he sent for the Lady Mary to tell her that he had " provided a playfellow for her.
An anecdote of Mary's girlhood which remains to us, illustrates Anne's character more vividly than that of her sister. The two Princesses were walking in Richmond Park, and saw an object in the distance, which according to the elder Princess was a man, according to the younger a tree. Tliey are written, some before and some after the Princess's marriage, and her correspondent is Miss Apsley, the daughter of Sir Allen Apsley, a personal friend of the Duke of York.
Mary's orthography is far from perfect, and in this respect she compares very un- favourably with her mother, whose girlish effusions are at least well spelt. It was the fashion in those days to have very sentimental friendships, and the Princess cherished for Frances Apsley the romantic attachment often felt by a girl for a friend some years older than herself. Apparently, Frances Apsley at one time lived at St.
James's Palace, and learnt with the Princess. Later, she returned home for her education, as the Princess, writing to her from Holland, says : " But your leaving St. Jamese hous began this parting. Mary addresses her friend in these letters as her " husban," and signs herself " Clorinne. One of the series runs thus, and the breathless reader longs in vain for an occasional stop : " tow leters you have had today dear Aurelia from me I hope you will read the third tho you I supose are tired with them now I hope my pardon is sealed by you dear dear dear dear dear dear Aurelia I may if I can tel you how much I love you but I hope that is not douted I have given you proves anuf if not I will die to satisfie you dear dear husban if al my hares were lives I woud lose them al twenty times over to sarve or satisfie you in any doute of my love think but if you were married to Mr.
Betterton, wlio must, one would think, have found her task difTicult. Mary affected to be extremely jealous of her dearest " husban's " affection for her sister, as will be seen from the continuation of her letter : " after my prayers to almighty god I come dear husband to make peace with you for it is a Strang thing for man and wife to quarel but I find to my great sorrow that this has bin long contriving in you head for you have bin always with my sister, grudge one minut stay with me but now at last you have found a hapy acation thoug a very unhapy one for me to quarel with me but I am sure I take it very il of you for so slit an acation I told you al along that if I shoud dy I could not have told it and you may be sure that if I wold have told it to any body it hade bin to you my dear crual unkind Aurelia.
J that they wold tel nobody of it but espetialy Mrs Jcnings" [so early does the future Duchess of Marlborough take her place in the annals of Court gossip] " so thay all promising her tliay wold not tel but Mrs Trevors maid sad the divil take her if she did not tel Mrs Jenings the first time she see her for Mrs Jenings her self did lay with my lady Hambelton in the town but her servants lay at Eton, thay all ware as good as there word a whole fortnight and then Mrs Worsley told the Duches so Mrs Jenings cam hom and Mrs Trevors maid was as good as her word then the duches liering of it was mighty angry at it and now mrs Need am is gone away and says nobody shal never here of her more this is all that I can tel of this news but the Duches of Monmouth they say do take it mightily to harte, and since it has been known has never bin abrode nor never has sen the Duke of Monmouth since, for that very day it was known Lord Craven sent for him to London before it was known.
There is no more to say than that I al your obedient wife "Mary Clorinne. Anne also makes her appearance, but mostly, as we might expect, in a passive relation. Mary and Anne play cards or take their dancing-lesson together. Sometimes, however, as we have already seen, the younger sister tries to appropriate one of Mary's friends, and there is a little real, and a great deal of simu- lated, romantic jealousy in consequence. In these early letters the Duke of York is not once mentioned, nor is the King ; those important luminaries evi- dently revolving in larger orbits than the one traversed by the young Princess.
A letter, dated " Sunday too a cloke," is par- ticularly interesting, as in it Mary condescends to step down a little from the heights of sentiment, and to tell us about the commonplace details of her daily life. We learn from this source that the Lady Mary was permitted to see her " dearest Aurelia " on Sundays and holy-days, so that the friendship was, so to speak, authorised. A Miss, or, in the phraseology of the time, Mrs. Therefore it was necessary for Mary, and also for Anne, who was evidently her sister's faithful plagiarist in everything, to carry on a clandestine correspondence with her.
So, while Mary had her dancing-lesson with Mr. Gorey, Anne retired to her closet to indite her precious letter, but on this occasion she had not time to seal it before being summoned to dance, so she left it in her sister's charge.
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Mary put it into her pocket, and began to write her own, intending to seal them both at the same time. Mary jumped up, " as red as fire," and, to distract her governess's attention from what she was doing, asked how she liked the new " manto " she was wearing. This query she managed to make with her back turned to the intruder, which sounds an awkward proceeding, and Lady Frances, evidently suspecting that something forbidden was in progress, inquired what the Princess was doing in the closet.
Mary, with much presence of mind, but con- tempt of veracity, said that she had called Mrs. Jennings into her closet to show her the new portrait of the Duchess of York, and that Mrs. Jennings had then taught her a new way of sealing the letter she had just written to Mrs. Fortunately, the governess, after remarking dryly that Mrs. Jennings was very ingenious, withdrew without making further awkward inquiries, and the letters were carried away in safety by the enterprising Sarah.
Mary was evidently afraid that her correspon- dent would find this narrative rather commonplace, for she finishes with a postscript written in the orthodox style : " Oh stay, dear Aurelia, I'l sware I had forgot ye chife part of my letter that is to tel you I love you better then I can exprese dear dear dearest husban if you woud you shal know it agin yt I am your most dutyfull loveing wif.
Gipson Gibson , the Princess's drawing- master, who seems to have been a most obliging postman. He was a dwarf who had belonged to Henrietta INIaria, and he married a dwarf and had nine full-sized children. He accompanied the Prin- cess Mary to Holland, and is often mentioned in these early letters. On one occasion the Princess fears her " dear Aurelia " intends " to breck quite with her," as she has not " wright " to her by Mr. It begins with a promise to be full of " sccerits," and commences auspiciously with, " I was one day in a very weare humore and so was Mrs V.
They were all covered witli jewels. The stage was carefully swept, but it could not be found. However, the Duke of York paid for the lost trinket. The young per- formers were trained for their parts by Mrs. Better- ton. Henrietta Went worth, who became later the Duke of Monmouth's mistress, took part in the performance, as did the ubiquitous Sarah Jennings.
The masque was written by John Crone, to whom the task was entrusted through the influence of the Earl of Rochester, while Dryden, to whom belonged by right the privilege of composing any plays in which royalty was to act, only WTote an epilogue for it, and this was not made use of. The story of Calisto was taken from the second book of Ovid's "Metamorphoses," and in our day would not have been considered quite suitable for per- 26 MARY II formance by girls of fifteen and thirteen — the ages of the two Princesses.
Miss Blagge, who is praised by her contemporaries as a miracle of virtue in a dissolute age, objected to being obliged to act in it, but, having only lately given up her position as maid of honour to Catherine of Braganza, was unable to refuse.
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She writes to Evelyn : " I am extreamly heavy for I would be free from that place" [the Court] " and have nothing to do in itt att all : but it will not be for the play goes on mightyly, which I hoped would never have pro- ceeded farther. Would you believe itt, there are some that envy me the honour as they esteeme it of acting in this play, and turn malitious jests upon me. Kynas- ton, one of the actors, made up as such a handsome girl that, as theatrical performances then took place at four o'clock, fashionable ladies were proud of taking him in their coaches in his make-up for a drive round Hyde Park after the play.
Charles II. There were to be seven ladies in the play, and only two of these might be in " men's habits. However, eventually everything was arranged in a manner satisfactory to those concerned. The Duke of Monmouth and several other gentlemen danced in the prologue, in which appeared also two of the King's mistresses. The Duke replied that his conscience did not allow him to participate in the ceremonies of the Anglican Church, or to allow his daughters to do so, and that he only consented to their being educated in the faith of the English Church because he knew that otherwise they would be taken from him.
The next day James met the Bishop — who must have been in an awkward position — and asked him whether he had spoken to the King on the subject ; to which the Bishop replied that he had been about to ask his Royal Highness's permission to do so. Of course the King ordered the preparation for the Princess's confirmation to continue, and James's conscience was satisfied. He had not proceeded to extremities, yet had testified that his daughter's religious training was being conducted against his will ; and he says himself that he wished that " the thing should happen in this way.
He himself called her " a child of the State," and she was taught to look on her father's religion as false and superstitious, and to owe obedience to the King, and not to him. Meanwhile political events were shaping Mary's destiny. The fact, however, was sometimes obscured, and the issue complicated by alliances between France and states naturally her enemies, wdio, with the guile engendered by weakness hoped to avoid destruction by conciliating the tyrant.
England was of little support to any other Power, for its attitude during Charles II. To one thing at least Charles was constant — he detested the Dutch and was, like his brother James, strongly French in his predilections and sympathies. On the other hand, in England the passion for political freedom was strong, and with it was allied an intense dread and hatred of France with its abso- lute government, and the Popish religion which, to English minds, was inseparably connected with it.
Charles was astute enough to realise this fact in all its bearings ; and on one point, among much that was variable, he was determined — at any cost he would die King of England. He foresaw plainly the calamitous result of his brother's policy, and told the Prince of Orange that " when the Duke should come to reign, he would be so restless and violent, that he would not be able to hold the kingdom four years to an end. Charles did not wish, he told the Earl of Essex, " to be like a grand signior, with some mutes about him and bags of bowstrings to strangle men as he had a mind to it ; but- he did not think he was a king as long as a company of fellows were 1 " Memoirs of Sir W.
Temple," vol. Even if he had submitted to its domination, it is doubtful whether sufficient money would have been doled out to defray the necessary expenses of govern- ment; and Charles would certainly not have re- ceived enough from his " faithful Commons " to satisfy the costly caprices of the frail ladies with whom he surrounded himself.
Therefore recourse to France was indispensable ; and treaties were drawn up so secret and so abso- lutely contrary in effect to the policy ostensibly prevailing, that they could not be divulged to the most confidential Ministers, and it was, on one occasion at any rate, necessary for Charles to write out the whole of the agreement himself.
In spite of the utmost care, however, inconvenient facts showing England's absolute dependence on France would sometimes leak out, and the uncom- promising attitude of the Duke of York on religious questions was of the utmost embarrassment to the King. If Charles wished to satisfy the nation, and so to prevent any possibility of having to " start on his travels again," as he phrased it, it was abso- lutely necessary that the turbulent English should be sure that the Duke of York's descendants would always belong to the Church of England.
No better way of accomplishing this could be desired than by marrying James's eldest daughter to her cousin, William Prince of Orange, who was the principal representative of Protestantism in Europe. William of Orange was the posthumous child of William II. His education was entrusted to an Englishwoman, Catherine Lady Stanhope, who had been governess to his mother ; and he Avas brought up in the Palace in the Wood, just outside The Hague, and doubtless often played with his mother's lively maid of honour Anne Hyde.
When he was nine years old, the Princess of Orange died in England, and he was left in the charge of his grandmother Amelia, the widow of Henry Frederick of Orange. This beautiful and clever lady had not at all agreed with the policy of her son William II. Her disapproval seems to have been well founded ; for by his imprudent attempts at high-handedness William II. Therefore during William's youth an edict was enacted by which members of the family were perpetually debarred from holding the Stadtholdership, or position of Chief Magistrate. Jointures to William's mother and grandmother and a large sum lent to help Charles I.
Many anecdotes are told of his infancy and childhood. We hear of his being born in a room hung with black, of three circles of light being seen over his head, these symbolising the three crowns he was afterwards to wear, of his discreet behaviour at two years old at a Dutch supper-party, and, a little later, of his noisy games with his cousin, Elizabeth Charlotte, who after- wards became second wife of Philippe Duke of Orleans.
From a portrait by Sir Peter Lely. He was essentially a child of the State. While one party considered that it was necessary to the glories of Holland that the House of Orange should recover its ancient prestige, and should, by the pomp and magnificence of its trap- pings, bear testimony to the wealth and importance of the United Provinces, the faction in ascendancy, with de Witt at its head, was most anxious to limit the power of the young Prince and to prevent him from following in his father's footsteps, and en- croaching in the smallest degree on the liberties of the people.
De Witt, however, not realising the small part family ties played in the policy of Charles II. William, however, was extremely cautious and reserved, and, living from his early youth in an atmosphere of State aflairs, no doubt realised the imprudence of showing his mind to one whose interests were necessarily opposed to his own, so that his guardian doubtless did not realise the force of the feelings enlisted against him.
William has been called cold ; but no one who reads his private letters to Bentinck can endorse that accusation. Reserved he cer- tainly was, cautious, suspicious, and dry in manner ; but where he loved, he loved deeply, faithfully, and with passionate devotion. After the death of his mother, the only relation with whom William had to do was his paternal grandmother, who, accord- ing to Sir William Temple, was " a woman of the most wit and good sense, in general, that I have known!
When the Duke of Buckingham, whose marital infidelities were notorious, assured her of the fondness the English felt for the Dutch, and said that "they did not use Holland like a mistress, but loved her like a wife," she retorted, " Truly, I believe you love us as you love your own wife.
Certainly, Charles in those early days gave his nephew good cause for distrust. It was difficult for some time to persuade Charles to assent to the conditions of the Treaty of Dover ; and much delay was caused by a discussion as to whether the public announcement of the King's change of religion should precede or follow the declaration of war with Holland. The treaty was signed in May, , and one with slightly altered conditions in June, , but though the terms of the treaty were kept absolutely secret the change its policy engendered was apparent almost as soon as the Triple Alliance was concluded.
Charles's intense dislike of the Dutch is ex- pressed very strongly in some of his letters to the Duchess of Orleans. In one he remarks that the Dutch have treated him and the French King " scurvily," that he will " never be satisfied till he has had his revenge, and is very willing to enter into an agreement upon that matter whenever Louis wishes for it.
Charles, with that knowledge of character which was one of his principal talents, was not afraid to entrust his nephew with the great secret of his change of religion. He told him that the Protestants were a factious body, divided among themselves since they had separated from the main body, and that he wished he " would take more pains and look into these things better, and not be led by his Dutch blockheads.
Charles was evidently piqued by the seriousness of the young Prince's demeanour, and at a supper- party at the Duke of Buckingham's he managed to make him tipsy ; when, among other manifesta- tions of his condition, he delighted the frivolous company on his return to Whitehall by breaking the windows of the rooms occupied by the maids of honour, who had to be rescued in a hurry.
It is rumoured that he also intended to moot the project of a possible marriage with his cousin the Lady Mary, then a child of eight years of age ; a proposition to which Charles was at the time inimical, and of which the Duke of York must have heard with the utmost horror. William seems to have won favourable opinions in England. Rompf, Record Office. Charles had hoped to induce the Prince to join in the downthrow of Holland in considera- tion of being made head of a principality under the protection of France ; but Colbert writes to Louis XIV. Outwardly there was friendship between the Prince of Orange and his uncles, but in the whole aspect of affairs was changed, and William's fierce indignation roused, by the united English and French declaration of war against Holland.
The French promise of subsidies to Charles had been extensive, and included twenty-five millions of livres, in exchange for the hand of the Princess Mary. In William they found a leader who would fight to the death. Later, in gratitude for William's determined stand against the French, the Stadtholdership of Holland, and of West Friesland, was settled on him for life, and on his heirs male after him. Charles began to look upon his nephew with more respect than formerly, and made many attempts to separate him from his Spanish allies ; but the war was to rage for some years longer.
In February, , peace was declared between Holland and England, but the States and their Spanish allies now started an offensive war against France. Charles was anxious at any cost to secure a general amnesty. William, however, was obdurate, he refused to desert the Spaniards, though he admitted to Sir William Temple, the English Envoy, that he found them most troublesome and undependable as allies. William was furious with Arlington, who treated him, he said, like a child.
Certainly Arlington does not appear to have been a very tactful envoy, as he wrote to William reminding him that " there are wounds among you, which will bleed afresh if they be but touched. To Lord Ossory was confided the delicate matter of offering William the Princess's hand. Charles was now most anxious for the marriage, as he con- sidered that it would not only make William man- ageable on the question of peace, but would also be most advantageous to the Duke of York, who, as a Roman Catholic, was hated by the English. In fact, in a letter to his father, the Duke of Ormond, Lord Ossory says : " The King told me his nephew and his niece's marriage was the only thing capable of helping the Duke, and that for that, as well as other reasons, he had spoken to the Duke of it, who consented that, upon the Prince of Orange's desiring it, I should undertake the proposition would be accepted.
He said that he " had liked not the thing from the first," and blamed Lord Ossoiy, who had, he declared, been too hasty. Lord Ossory defended himself rather feebly, declaring that James was quite mistaken in thinking that the Prince had intended to refuse his cousin's hand.
It seems, however, extraordinary that he who considered his eternal salvation would be imperilled if he were to become a member of the English Church, and who was willing to sacrifice even his kingdom for his principles, should for any consideration have eventually allowed, not only Mary, but Anne, to marry Protestants.
Shortly after the unconscious Mary had been refused by her future husband, an event happened which was destined to have considerable influence on the happiness of her married life. Amid universal consternation William fell ill of smallpox. The demeanour of the nation showed plainly that he had become its mainspring ; nothing could be attempted, everything was in suspense, till it was seen whether the Prince would fall a victim to a malady which had often proved fatal in his family.
During his illness his faithful servant Bentinck nursed him with a devotion which was truly ad- mirable. For sixteen days, when the illness was at its worst, William never asked for anything by night or by day, but Bentinck answered him as though he never slept. Everything William ate he took from Bentinck's hand, and it was only when he was convalescent that Bentinck begged leave to go home as he could bear up no longer.
It was well he did so, for he was already ill with smallpox and very nearly died of it. William and Bentinck had been friends from early youth, but it is certain that gratitude for Bentinck's heroic devotion laid the foundation of that passionate affection which WILLIAM AND BENTINCK 41 breathes throupfh all William's letters to him, and there can be little doubt to any one who has read these letters, with their constant reiteration of love for Bentinck, desire for his company, and intense interest in his wife, family, and whatever concerns him, that Mary's married life would have been happier without the existence of so powerful a rival in William's affections.
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On William's recovery he still held firm to his compact with his allies, and Charles, who was most anxious to act as mediator between France and Holland, a post which would, he hoped, allow him to intrigue secretly with both, found him quite impracticable. However, difficulties beset the Prince, for a strong party in Holland were now most anxious for peace, and a Congress to treat for this began to sit at NimegTien ; but it lasted for two years, while the war continued without intermission, and William still refused to make a separate truce with France. Even his trusted friend, the Pensioner Fagel, was now anxious for peace, and said that he did not know of a single man in Holland who was not of his mind.
Only his will prevented the signing of a separate peace between Holland and France, and as a consequence the reduction of Holland to the position of a province under French protection. Even the Spaniards, in whose interest he was struggling, failed to support him, for they considered the preservation of Flanders so important both to England and to Holland that they might safely leave the care of it to them. Charles, on the other hand, was again secretly intriguing with France, and sent William propositions which were, the latter declared, dic- tated by Louis XIV.
Sir W. Temple read the despatches from England to him, and saw his face change as he listened to some of the provisions, though he only said the matter had better be discussed after dinner. On receiving further communi- cations from Charles couched in the same style, he said wearily that, being in, he must go on, 1 "Memoirs of Sir W. Nevertheless, his acute and cautious mind was still working at expedients, and he had seen for a long time the advantages that would accrue to him from marrying his cousin Princess Mary, if only the moment for this event were chosen judiciously.
If an English Princess were the wife of the Dutch Stadtholder, it seemed to him that Charles would not be able to leave Holland to her fate ; and so the alliance might save his country from ruin. Other considerations were no doubt present with him, considerations which we cannot in fairness refer wholly to ambition. William was consti- tutionally cautious and cunning ; the Jesuitical maxim that the end justifies the means was certainly one of his principles, and he felt no scruples about lulling his victim with fair words till the moment came to strike.
Diplomacy often seems outside ordinary laws of morality. William with his few pawns found a board covered with powerful pieces arrayed against him, and doubtless his conscience did not reproach him when he resorted to spoken or acted diplomatic falsehoods. They did not stand in the way of his being a sincere and religious Calvinist, who believed thoroughly in the doctrine of predestination, and considered himself chosen to be the champion of the Protestant cause, then greatly outnumbered and oppressed by the mighty of the earth. At any rate Mary was at present presumptive heiress to the crown of Eng- land, and England was struggling for the conserva- tion of her liberties and religion under a King who was secretly a Roman Catholic, and with all his tact and cleverness could not hide the fact that he longed to be despotic ; while the next heir had not his brother's charm or talents, and was hated for his leanings to absolutism and his bigoted Papistry.
A fair vista may well have opened to William of the knitting together of the two Protestant countries of Europe as a bulwark against the Antichrist of Papacy ; the only shade in this beauteous vision being cast by the fact that his wife, not he, would occupy the throne of England. At all events, while the preliminaries for the Congress of Nimeguen were still in progress, Sir William Temple, the English Envoy and William's trusted friend, who was despatched to Holland whenever a treaty was to be made between that country and England, and was disliked by Charles as being in the Dutch interest, was sent for suddenly by William.
When Temple arrived at the Palace of Hounslaer- dyck, William suggested that they should walk in tlie garden. There he told the Envoy that he had often been pressed to marry by his friends, that the deputies of the States every day urged him to do it, and that, though he did not wish to follow their advice till the end of the war, he had promised to think seriously of the matter, and so he had ; and had determined to marry.
He did not care, however, for the proposals made to him from Germany and from France. Indeed though he did not tell Temple this , the proposal from France, which was to the effect that he should marry Louis XIV. Continuing, the Prince said that the most satis- factory proposal came from England, but that he refused to consult Temple about this, unless he would promise to answer, not as the English Ambassador, but as a friend, or at any rate a private person. Friends of his in England, he said, who wished him and the States to head the discontents there about the French war, which were very strong and might lead the King to lose his crown, advised him not to make the marriage, as it would identify him with the Court, and thus do away with his influence with the English people.
If the Court policy were not very radically altered, William remarked significantly, there would soon be a great disturbance in England. Another matter occupied his attention, a matter it would seem extraordinary to the world that he should show concern for. He was determined that he would not marry unless he liked the qualities of his future wife, particularly her humour and disposition.
As to the Princess's disposition lie could himself say nothing about it, but he had heard both his wife and sister, who were friends of Mary's governess, speak of it as all that could be desired. The Prince and Temple discussed the subject for about two hours, and it was in the end decided that William should write to both Charles II.
Charles's double dealing did not alter William's resolution ; and after Bentinck had been despatched on a confidential mission to England, and had arranged matters with Lord Danby, William sud- denly abandoned an attempt to besiege Charleroi, and shortly afterwards started for England. This raising of the siege of Charleroi gave opportunity for a bitter jest from Lord Mulgrave when William was in England and did not leave his seat when the Englishman paid his respects to him. To understand why Charles, who hated the Dutch, and was even at this time engaged in arranging a secret treaty with France, seriously contemplated a marriage between William of Orange and his niece, we must realise the state of the English nation at the time.
Speaking of the King and his brother, Courtin, the French Envoy to England, remarked in one of his despatches to Louis XIV : " I can answer for it to your Majesty, that there are none of your own subjects who wish you better success in all your undertakings than these two Princes do. But it is also true, that you cannot count upon any except these two friends in all England.
He did indeed dismiss the " Parlia- ment men," as he called them, but he recognised that the temper of the English nation was dangerous, and to show his Protestant sympathies he sum- moned his nephew to England. The Court was at Newmarket, where Charles led a life of amusement thoroughly congenial to him, when the Prince, according to Sir William Temple, " like a hasty lover, came post from Harwich to Newmarket. Not that Charles II. While William struggled against almost overwhelmmg odds for the political existence of his country, Charles was no patriot, and could console himself in the possession of a dexterity which would enable him to die King of England, whatever might happen after his decease.
Meanwhile Lord Danby strained eveiy nerve. His fate was quivering in the balance, and no time was to be lost. Surrounded by a dense crowd, the Prince had only opportunity to whisper that he hoped often to meet Lord Danby in the future, and to have much business and conversation with him. Lord Arlington, who 1 " Memoirs of Sir W. Keproduced by tlie kind permission of Dr. Kramer, Keeper of the Arcliives at The Hague. He therefore determined to be an accepted suitor before the political questions were discussed, that he might not be hampered afterwards in making the best terms he could for Holland and for his allies.
With this object in view he evaded the attempts made by his uncles to draw him into political dis- 1 " Memoirs of Sir W. The King, affecting blindness to the diplomatic bearing of the move, laughed at the Prince's wish as an instance of a lover's impatience. He consented, however, to leave Newmarket a few days earlier than he had intended, that William might the sooner make the acquaintance of the Lady Mary, who was in London. History is silent as to the occasion on which William saw his bride for the first time, but it is certain that no hint of the character of suitor in which he presented himself was whispered to her, and she evidently received him with her natural vivacity, and with a gaiety which he would not see again for some time.
Mary was then fifteen years old, and was a woman who matured very slowly ; so that she was unusually young for her age. She was essentially a Stuart in physique, having the oval face charac- teristic of her race, almond-shaped eyes with rather drooping eyelids, a characteristic which she shared with her husband, a well-shaped nose, a prettily rounded chin, and a delicate complexion. Later, she wore her hair raised on a cushion, a style which does not suit her face so well as do the curls on each side of the face and on her forehead, with which she is represented in her early por- traits.
She was extremely graceful and was a beautiful dancer. Under the discipline of William's often expressed displeasure, she developed much prudence and discretion, but, in striking contrast to her husband, she was always a great talker, and we can gather, from hints given by different chroniclers, that she was at this time a rather naive person, who said what occurred to her, and made no effort to conceal her feelings.
However, even in this interview the acute ob- server could discern in her that sweetness of dis- position which he considered the chief requisite in a wife, and we are told that he was " so pleased with her person, and all those signs of such a humour as had been described to him upon former inquiries, that he immediately made his suit to the King and the Duke! William was equally determined in declaring that the marriage question must be settled first, and independently of the other, for if he were to submit to his uncles, the Allies, who wculd at the best have to be con- tented with a bad bargain, would consider that he had made this match at their cost.
He " would never," he said, " sell his honour for a wife. Lord Danby felt in despair about bringing the negotiations to a happy termination ; and it was in vain that the Prince paid a special visit to the Duke of York to speak of his desire of marrying his daughter, for the Duke kept firmly to his position, and said the peace must be arranged before the marriage!
The negotiations seemed at an end, for both parties were obstinate ; but the same day an un- expected ultimatum on William's part made a sudden change in the situation. He wished, he said, that he had never come to England, and would like to remind Charles that he had in the past received appeals from many of his discontented subjects, and to warn him that if he were allowed to go unsatisfied now, he would become the King's bitterest enemy. This menace, which seemed a counterblast to the words which had roused William's bitter anger when used by Arlington to him, he requested Temple to convey at once to Charles.
In the meantime Danby had been busily at work, and had collected — or pretended to collect, as he knew well the King would never trouble to read them — a number of letters written, he said, by the King's best friends in England counselling the marriage. He reinforced the production of a large bundle of them by all the arguments for the marriage he could muster. When there- fore he received the Prince's message, possibly softened in its passage by the diplomatic Temple, instead of expressing indignation at its insolence, he remarked blandly that he had never yet been deceived in judging a man's honesty by his look, and that if he were not deceived in the Prince's face, he was "the honestest man in the world.
James's Palace and took the Princess into her private room. Nothing is kno'svn of what passed at the interview, so it is impossible to tell whether the Duke had enough self-control and affection for his daughter to put the best face on the matter and to paint her future in glowing terms, or whether he gave vent to the disgust and indignation which filled his heart. At any rate, she was in the depths of despair at the announcement, and wept all that afternoon and the following day. She was only a child, and she had evidently not taken a fancy to her cousin; indeed, the serious, sickly looking young man was hardly likely to be attractive to a gay, lively girl of fifteen.
Then, too, he belonged to the hated Dutch nation with whom the English were gener- ally at war, and on whom the King had doubtless often expended his wit, and her father poured the diatribes of his wTath in her hearing — that dull, snivelling nation of psalm-singers, the very anti- podes of all that was gay, amusing, and to her taste. The poor child wept too at having to leave England and all her friends, among them the " dear husban " and the darling sister from whom she had hardly ever been separated.
Colonel Bathurst considers that the followmg letter was most probably written at this time, but as, like all the other effusions to the " dear husban " it is undated, this cannot be proved. If you can before you go to dinner when you come from Mr. If you can you will mightyly oblige your faithful wife, " Mary Clorin. Barillon, the French Ambassador, was horrified and amazed at the news, and claimed the help of the Duchess of Portsmouth, whoas Mlle. Danby, however, at once called together the Council at which the news of the marriage was to be announced, and at this the Duke of York declared that he hoped he had now given sufficient proof of the honesty of his intentions for the public good, and " that people would no longer say that he wished to change the government of the Church or State!
After the sitting of the Council the Prince was presented as her husband to the Lady Mary — who must still have had red eyes, from her day spent in tears. Therefore, though Louis XIV. Lake's Diary.