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ROYAL HIGHNESS

peries. In addition to the representatives of the nobility, of the Court and country, and of the higher and lower Civil Service, tradesmen, country folk, and common artisans, in high good humour, filled the seats. But in a half-circle of red-velvet arm-chairs in front of the altar sat the relations of the infant, foreign princes as sponsors and the trusty representatives of such as had not come in person. The assemblage at the christening of the Heir Apparent six years before had not been more distinguished. For in view of Albrecht's delicacy, the advanced age of the Grand Duke, and the dearth of Grimmburg relations, the person of the second-born prince was at once recognized as an important guarantee for the future of the dynasty. Little Albrecht took no part in the ceremony; he was kept to his bed with an indisposition which Surgeon-General Eschrich declared to be of a nervous character.

Dom Wislezenus preached from a text of the Grand Duke's own choosing. The Courier, a gossiping city newspaper, had given a full account of how the Grand Duke had one day fetched with his very own hands the large metal-clasped family Bible out of the rarely visited library, had shut himself up with it in his study, searched in it for a whole hour, at last copied the text he had chosen on to a piece of paper with his pocket-pencil, signed it "Johann Albrecht," and sent it to the Court preacher. Dom Wislezenus treated it in a musical style, so to speak, like a leit motif. He turned it inside and out, dressed it in different shapes and squeezed it dry; he announced it in a whisper, then with the whole power of his lungs; and whereas, delivered lightly and reflectively at the beginning of his discourse, it seemed a thin, almost unsubstantial subject; at the close, when he for the last time thundered it at the congregation, it appeared richly orchestrated, heavily scored, and pregnant with emotion. Then he passed on to the actual baptism, and carried it out at