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THE COUNTRY

33

fountains, on splendid operas and all kinds of glittering shows. Figures were figures, and, much against the inclination of the Grand Duke, in fact without his consent, the Court was gradually cut down.

The Princess Catherine, the sister of the Grand Duke, was never spoken of in the capital without a touch of sympathy. She had been married to a member of a neighbouring ruling House, had been left a widow, and had come back to her brother's capital, where she lived with her red-headed children in what used to be the Heir Apparent's palace on the Albrechtstrasse, before whose gates a gigantic doorkeeper stood all day long in a pompous attitude with staff and shoulder-belt complete, while life went on with peculiar moderation inside.

Prince Lambert, the Grand Duke's brother, did not come in for much attention. There was a coolness between him and his relations, who could not forgive him his mesalliance, and he hardly ever came to Court. He lived in his villa overlooking the public gardens with his wife, an ex-dancer from the Court Theatre who bore the title of Baroness von Rohrdorf, after one of the Prince's properties; and there he divided his time between sport and theatre-going, and struggling with his debts. He had dropped his dignities and lived just like a private citizen; and if he was generally supposed to have a struggle to make two ends meet, nobody gave him much sympathy for it.

But alterations had been made in the old castle itself—reductions of expenses, which were discussed in the city and the country, and discussed usually in an apprehensive and regretful sense, because the people at bottom wished to see themselves represented with due pride and magnificence. Several high posts at the Court had been amalgamated for economy's sake, and for years past Herr von Bühl zu Bühl had been Lord Marshal, Chief Master of the Ceremonies, and Marshal of the Household at once. There