Page:T.M. Royal Highness.djvu/19

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.



had been completed and renewed in a style at once baronial and comfortable; the escutcheons in the "Hall of Justice" had been carefully restored to their original pattern. The gilding of the intricate patterns on the vaulted ceilings looked fresh and cheerful, all the rooms had been fitted with parquet, and both the larger and the smaller banqueting-halls had been adorned with huge wall-paintings from the brush of Professor von Lindemann, a distinguished Academician, representing scenes from the history of the reigning House executed in a clear and smooth style which was far removed from and quite unaffected by the rest less tendencies of modern schools. Nothing was wanting. As the old chimneys of the castle and its many-coloured stoves, reaching tier upon tier right up to the ceiling, were no longer fit to use, anthracite stoves had been installed in view of the possibility of the place being used as a residence during the winter.

But the day of the seventy-two salvos fell in the best time of the year, late spring, early summer, the beginning of June, soon after Whitsuntide. Johann Albrecht, who had been early informed by telegram that the labour had begun just before dawn, reached Grimmburg Station by the bankrupt local railway at eight o'clock, where he was greeted with congratulations by three or four dignitaries, the mayor, the judge, the rector, and the town physician. He at once drove to the castle. The Grand Duke was accompanied by Minister of State, Dr. Baron Knobelsdorff, and Adjutant-General of Infantry, Count Schmettern. Shortly afterwards two or three more ministers arrived at the royal residence, the Court Chaplain Dom Wislezenus, President of the High Consistory, one or two Court officials, and a still younger Adjutant, Captain von Lichterloh. Although the Grand Duke's Physician-in-Ordinary, Surgeon-General Dr. Eschrich, was attending the mother, Johann Albrecht had been seized with the whim of requiring