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Ostend (Belgium) (search for this): chapter 33
Chapter 33: Palace and President. the first country that General Grant visited after leaving England was Belgium. Here he was received as an equal by the sovereign. At Ostend messages met him from the King inquiring when he would arrive at Brussels, and the royal railway carriage was placed at his disposal to convey him to the capital. In that city the members of the Government immediately paid their respects, and the royal equerries brought invitations for the General and his entire party to a dinner at the palace. The King's carriages were offered to the ex-President, and an aide-de-camp was ordered to report to him during his stay. General Grant, however, availed himself of this courtesy only when he paid official visits. In calling on the members of the Government and the foreign ministers, he went in the royal carriages, attended by the King's officer, and also in his visit to the palace, but at no other time. The invitations to the dinner were in French, and, tra
Switzerland (Switzerland) (search for this): chapter 33
he President preferred to receive the first visit, and I therefore promptly ascertained when the republican magistrate would be at home to his democratic compeer. The visit was no more formal than many that had been paid to General Grant in Washington, and, indeed, hardly differed from the ordinary reception of one private gentleman by another. The President referred to the sittings of the Council of Arbitration at Geneva, of which a Swiss statesman had been a member. He declared that Switzerland was honored by the selection of Mr. Staempfli, and he complimented General Grant upon the adoption of the principle of arbitration during his Presidency. Then the representatives of the smallest and the greatest of republics exchanged salutations, and General Grant withdrew. The visit was returned within half an hour. The same night the President gave a dinner to a few gentlemen in General Grant's honor. As he was unmarried, the invitation was not extended to Mrs. Grant. The compan
ous eye than if I had been an ordinary stranger, and thought of the different part I might have borne on this occasion. But I had preferred a lesser rank at a more important place, and remained as Consul-General at London rather than take the post of Minister to Brussels. I went in to dinner lower down in the line, but I lived at the core of the world instead of on the outside; for Brussels and Belgium exist only by permission of the greater Powers. This sufferance, however, according to European theory, detracts in no degree from the ceremonial importance of the sovereign. In fact, at many of the smaller courts the etiquette is more exact than that which surrounds imperial potentates. At Brussels there seemed a happy mingling of that regard for forms which in the Old World is still considered essential, with a courtesy which it cannot be said that every palace breeds. There was music during dinner, far enough off not to interrupt conversation, and as the twilight faded, the gr
Bern (Switzerland) (search for this): chapter 33
ting an ex-President of the United States with the same courtesy he would have offered to Isabella of Spain or Bomba of Naples. The next Head of a State by whom General Grant was entertained was the President of the Swiss Republic, and, although the courtesy could be no more marked than that displayed by the King of the Belgians, I was struck not unfavorably with the democratic simplicity coming so soon after regal parade. A fortnight after the dinner in Brussels General Grant arrived in Berne. It was understood that the President preferred to receive the first visit, and I therefore promptly ascertained when the republican magistrate would be at home to his democratic compeer. The visit was no more formal than many that had been paid to General Grant in Washington, and, indeed, hardly differed from the ordinary reception of one private gentleman by another. The President referred to the sittings of the Council of Arbitration at Geneva, of which a Swiss statesman had been a me
Geneva (Switzerland) (search for this): chapter 33
inner in Brussels General Grant arrived in Berne. It was understood that the President preferred to receive the first visit, and I therefore promptly ascertained when the republican magistrate would be at home to his democratic compeer. The visit was no more formal than many that had been paid to General Grant in Washington, and, indeed, hardly differed from the ordinary reception of one private gentleman by another. The President referred to the sittings of the Council of Arbitration at Geneva, of which a Swiss statesman had been a member. He declared that Switzerland was honored by the selection of Mr. Staempfli, and he complimented General Grant upon the adoption of the principle of arbitration during his Presidency. Then the representatives of the smallest and the greatest of republics exchanged salutations, and General Grant withdrew. The visit was returned within half an hour. The same night the President gave a dinner to a few gentlemen in General Grant's honor. As he
Madrid (Spain) (search for this): chapter 33
nted to General Grant they made him the same obeisance which they were accustomed to offer to their sovereign. The visit was short, as such ceremonies usually are among persons of exalted rank. Mrs. Grant was present and the King conversed with her as well as with the General. His Majesty speaks very good English, so that there was no difficulty about the language. Perhaps just here I may repeat a story that James Russell Lowell once told me about Mrs. Grant. When General Grant was at Madrid Mr. Lowell was Minister to Spain and made a dinner for the ex-President. Mrs. Grant was placed between two personages who like herself spoke only their own language, but Lowell described her ease and self-possession as quite inimitable. She appeared to converse continually, was bowing and smiling all the evening, and was apparently as much interested in her companions as any one at table—a bit of fine breeding worthy of a Queen,—or of the wife of an ex-President. But to return to Belgium
United States (United States) (search for this): chapter 33
l carriage. The careful courtesy that marked every circumstance of the evening was in striking contrast with the offensive etiquette of Marlborough House, or even with the strained ceremonial of Windsor. The King of the Belgians is a Bourbon, just as blue in blood as a Guelph, and, according to all the rules of precedence, just as much of a sovereign as any named in the Almanach de Gotha; but he did not fear to lessen his dignity or disturb his throne by treating an ex-President of the United States with the same courtesy he would have offered to Isabella of Spain or Bomba of Naples. The next Head of a State by whom General Grant was entertained was the President of the Swiss Republic, and, although the courtesy could be no more marked than that displayed by the King of the Belgians, I was struck not unfavorably with the democratic simplicity coming so soon after regal parade. A fortnight after the dinner in Brussels General Grant arrived in Berne. It was understood that the Pr
Belgium (Belgium) (search for this): chapter 33
Chapter 33: Palace and President. the first country that General Grant visited after leaving England was Belgium. Here he was received as an equal by the sovereign. At Ostend messages met him from the King inquiring when he would arrive at Brussels, and the royal railway carriage was placed at his disposal to convey him tparently as much interested in her companions as any one at table—a bit of fine breeding worthy of a Queen,—or of the wife of an ex-President. But to return to Belgium. The King's visit was made on the day of the dinner, and as such civilities are to be returned immediately General Grant inquired when he and Mrs. Grant could pke the post of Minister to Brussels. I went in to dinner lower down in the line, but I lived at the core of the world instead of on the outside; for Brussels and Belgium exist only by permission of the greater Powers. This sufferance, however, according to European theory, detracts in no degree from the ceremonial importance of t
Brussels (Belgium) (search for this): chapter 33
im from the King inquiring when he would arrive at Brussels, and the royal railway carriage was placed at his General and Mrs. Grant, to dinner at the palace of Brussels, Sunday, 8th July, 1877, at 6 1/2 o'clock. Frocand his wife, and to all the American officials in Brussels, down to the vice-consul, who was an Englishman, a His Majesty knew that General Grant was to leave Brussels the next day, and accordingly proposed that the ex Minister to this very Court, and had even visited Brussels with my credentials, prepared, if I chose, to presat London rather than take the post of Minister to Brussels. I went in to dinner lower down in the line, but e core of the world instead of on the outside; for Brussels and Belgium exist only by permission of the greatethan that which surrounds imperial potentates. At Brussels there seemed a happy mingling of that regard for fter regal parade. A fortnight after the dinner in Brussels General Grant arrived in Berne. It was understood
Windsor, Conn. (Connecticut, United States) (search for this): chapter 33
and Mrs. Grant. About half an hour after dinner the King and the Queen retired, taking especial leave of the ex-President and his party, whom they were not to meet again. General Grant left immediately afterward. He was accompanied to his hotel by a royal equerry, and went, as before, in a royal carriage. The careful courtesy that marked every circumstance of the evening was in striking contrast with the offensive etiquette of Marlborough House, or even with the strained ceremonial of Windsor. The King of the Belgians is a Bourbon, just as blue in blood as a Guelph, and, according to all the rules of precedence, just as much of a sovereign as any named in the Almanach de Gotha; but he did not fear to lessen his dignity or disturb his throne by treating an ex-President of the United States with the same courtesy he would have offered to Isabella of Spain or Bomba of Naples. The next Head of a State by whom General Grant was entertained was the President of the Swiss Republic,
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