Page:T.M. Royal Highness.djvu/69

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



But at the concerts which took place in the Marble Hall every other Thursday under the name of "The Grand Duchess's Thursdays," and were so arranged that the Court sat at little gilt-legged velvet-covered tables, while the leading tenor Schramm from the Court Theatre, accompanied by an orchestra, sang so lustily that the veins swelled on his bald temples—at the concerts Klaus Heinrich and Ditlinde, in their best clothes, were sometimes allowed in the Hall for one song and the succeeding pause, when mamma showed how fond she was of them, showed it to them and to everybody else in so heartfelt and expressive a way that nobody could have any doubt about it. She summoned them to the table at which she sat, and told them with a happy smile to sit beside her, laid their cheeks on her shoulders or bosom, looked at them with a soft, soulful look in her eyes and kissed them both on forehead and mouth. Then the ladies bent their heads and their eyelids quivered, while the men slowly nodded and bit their lips in order, in manly wise, to restrain their emotion.… Yes, it was beautiful, and the children felt they had their share in the effect, which was greater than anything Schramm the singer could procure with his most inspired notes, and nestled close to mamma. For Klaus Heinrich at least realized that it was in the nature of things, no business of ours, to have a simple feeling and to be made happy by it, but that it was our duty to make our tenderness visible to the Hall and to exhibit it, that the hearts of our guests might swell.

Occasionally the people outside in the town and park also were allowed to see that mamma loved us. For while Albrecht drove or rode—bad rider though he was—with the Grand Duke early in the morning, Klaus Heinrich and Ditlande had from time to time to take turns at accompanying mamma on her drives, which took place in the spring and autumn at the time of the afternoon