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 Palais Edinburg, Coburg

Dear Missy!

After a short breathing time we are again beginning a life of anxiety, as Ali starts today for Morocco. It suddenly has begun again there, though a soit disant peace was made and Ali was going to stay a fortnight longer. 1-5-alfonso-ali-infantele-spanieiNow he has to hurry back, as all officers were recalled and nothing has been done for him by Alfonso, on the contrary, we have discovered from very sure sources new infamies that he spreads about his cousin, so as not to call him back to Spain as Infante. He pretends that Ali tried to get out of the first big fight by pretending to be ill at Melilla! Now we are going to get material against Alfonso through diplomatical sources and I have already written to the Russian Ambassador at Madrid. It cannot last longer as those infamies will never end, until they succeed to get Ali killed, I think it would be an immense relief to Alfonso. He is absolutely a vile character, holds no promises, never sticks to his word and is very jealous besides. It seems that now, he cannot stand Ali being popular in the army and therefore he tries to blacken his character in every way. Of course his entourage keeps him up in those ideas, as no doubt they don’t want to have the Ali’s back: he is energetic and clever in a way and sister dear is feared on account of her sharp tongue, so goodness only knows what it is all going to end. But if we get high and mighty relations to bear down upon Alfonso, he might get a great fright, because he is full of vain glory and would smart under Imperial and Royal disapprovals of his conduct. I am going to stop at nothing now though I have no personal relations with Alfonso or his mother since Baby’s marriage. But I know that they are afraid of me and always apprehend some new outburst. Their consciences are uneasy. But even Aunt Beatrice wrote now, that there were intrigues against Ali, which meant an enormous effort on her part as she adores Alfonso and would never admit a word said against him. She even behaved nastily, considering her soit disant love for Baby. I gathered a good bit of information through Ali’s hideous little brother, who also goes today. He is the only one who tackles Alfonso, as he is not serving and has not much to lose. He says, that he considers Alfonso absolutely stupid and inconsequent in all his doings, he won’t admit that he is in the least intelligent and proud and absurd to a degree. He has just seen him and talked very openly to him. He says that he is quite hopeless, for he never sticks to his word and has no idea of honour or gentlemanly conduct. Luis is widerlich [1] as person, but not stupid and certainly can be very amusing in comparison with the Battenberg boys, who are so absolutely pas cultivé, that one might as well talk to babies. Thank God that Carol is intelligent and so full of interests, as it makes life so much easier and for a man and prince it is invaluable. Luckily Poldi at least is fond of music and through Fichtner we arranged for him every day a small orchestra, where he played the flute and Maurice the big drum! Yesterday they performed before the Red Cross sisters, to whom Baby gives annually a big tea under the Christmas tree, which we keep in the dining room table till my Christmas. We were quite jolly until this unexpected war news came again, it feel like a black cloud upon our small company. . .

Ali has just left, too sad for words. He is really a very tüchtig [2] man, a good soldier and will make his way, but certainly he is extremely badly treated at this moment. Baby is rage and her intense rage against Alfonso keeps her going and also brewing a slow revenge. In this case I fully understand it and share it. Please talk about all this affair to Uncle and see if he cannot find out anything through diplomatic ways. Gasellee is rather a bore, he only thinks of classical times and Greek-Roman studies, this is his only interest in life, except pondering over good food which he enjoys immensely and studies with the same classical interest as dead languages. He has aged, looks hideous and loses his front teeth! No, he would never suit for Carol, as he absolutely despises people who don’t know Greek or Latin. Imagine that the small meubles from England have only just arrived and have not seen yet.  Ducky and Baby both gave me very pretty chains … But our Bescherung was nice and cheerful and the boys perfectly enchanted with the whole gemütlich performance and their riches cadeaux. A courier came from Denmark from Aunt Minny with the usual fine Danish vase. . . My presents will go off all addressed to Nando, as I know you open them before time, an irresistible temptation to nearly all, I find. Love and kisses to all..

Marie

[1] repulsive
[2] efficient

©Diana Mandache

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