future. Should he choose another place, I beg to be taken there. I was happy to have lived by his side, but if death is going to part us, I wish my body at least to be near him." *

On the last day of August, Luise's lady-in-waiting leaned over her.

"Does Your Highness recognise me? Your Highness knows who I am?"
she asked.

Luise, then thirty years old, moved her head, smiled and died.


{7}

1825-1827

AT KENSINGTON the " bright pretty little girl of seven" was growing up, self-willed but enchanting.

"I was naturally very passionate, but always most contrite afterwards,"
she recollected when she was older.1 Princess Victoria's character was already clear cut, as in later years when she was Queen. The trends of her sympathies were defined and the old, obdurate monarch, at the end of the century, is recognisable in the child of the 1820's.

The Princess treated servants and poor people with uncritical generosity, but she could be ruthless with anyone in authority, who thwarted her. When she saw an old man sheltering from the rain she said to a footman,

"Run to that poor man with an umbrella, he is very old and will catch cold."
But when her music master used the word "must" she closed the lid of the pianoforte, assured the teacher there

____________________
*
When this story was first published in Albert the Good the following letter was printed in John O'London's Weekly, Apr.30, 1932, from Countess Francesca von Polzig :

" ... I am the grand-daughter of Baron Alexander von Haustein who married Princess Louise of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha after her divorce from the Duke. ... It was an ideally happy union, but very short, as she died very young. They lived together in Castle Pölzig, in Thüringen, for a time, which was a gift from her to the Count on condition that he should never part from her body. For years he carried her embalmed remains about in a coffin made to resemble a piano, till at length Queen Victoria employed masked emissaries to seize the coffin and have it buried in Coburg. ... After her death, he married Baroness von Carlowitz, who had two young children, a son and daughter. The son died young from a fall, from his horse, but his sister (my mother) Countess Clara von Pölzig, ... married George Acland Ames, of Gate House, Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol (my father), and had five children. I am the second daughter, and have the right to the title of Countess von Pölzig. We have in our family the christening cup of Prince Albert, and many other things. The castle is now in possession of my nephew, Walter Ames."

-17-

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