previous next


We now passed through a suite of three or four grand rooms, one of which was filled with old porcelain, to the presence-chamber, where we found about three hundred persons in every variety of showy dress and brilliant uniform, which was all well set off by the room itself, well lighted, and hung with crimson velvet. In a few moments the King and Court followed. Two officers of the guard preceded them and placed themselves under the dais, with their caps on. Then came the court-marshal and the master of ceremonies, one of whom knocked slightly on the floor,. . . . upon which the company separated, the ladies on the right and the gentlemen on the left,. . . . the King and Court passed to the place of the throne, where a red cloth was spread, and where, having stopped a few moments, they again came down the room, and mixed with the crowd, and spoke to a good many persons. The main ceremony of the evening now ensued, which was a game of cards called Hof-Spiel,—Court-Play, because only the Court play, and everybody else looks on. For this purpose seven tables were arranged, at which the chamberlains waited in great state. . . . . It was easy to move about, and as you passed the tables of the princesses, it was expected you should bow to them, and they always returned the salutation in a very marked manner. Refreshments, tea, sherbets, and cakes were served round, and, except that seats were scarce, it was now merely an elegant and rather agreeable party, where such men as Baron Lindenau, Count Stroganoff, M. de Bussierre,1 etc., were to be found to talk to.

This lasted till eight o'clock, when the playing gradually broke up at all the tables, the royal party again mixed with the company a short time, and then, bowing all round, went away, and we all came home as early as they did in Queen Elizabeth's time.

I did not talk much with any of the royal family, except Prince John, the translator and commentator of Dante's ‘Inferno,’ whom I found very agreeable, and much disposed for literary conversation.

January 5.—I dined with the King at a regular court dinner in full dress.2 The ceremonious part of it was like all other court ceremonies; the rest was very well arranged, and agreeable. The invitation. . . was for ‘three quarters past twelve o'clock.’ I went, of course, punctually enough to be among the first, though I found there

1 The French Minister.

2 Note by Mr. Ticknor: ‘This was the only dinner the King gave during Carnival this year. Formerly he used to give a good many, but now he is so old that he feels himself excused from it.’

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
George Ticknor (1)
Stroganoff (1)
Von Lindenau (1)
Di Dante (1)
M. Bussierre (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
January 5th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: