Roumania Past and Present eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 315 pages of information about Roumania Past and Present.

When the court is at Bucarest a great portion of the king’s time is devoted to giving audiences, not only to officials, but to all who desire to know their sovereign, and even to seek his counsel or that of his amiable consort.  Two books are kept at the palace, one for callers only, and the other for persons who desire to see and speak with the king or queen, for they give audiences apart.  Those who enter their names in the second book must give notice to the ‘Hofmarschall,’ and they are then sent for in turn, and punctuality above all things is insisted upon.  The king gives audiences from 1 to 3 or 4 p.m.; the queen for a longer time, and young as she is, for she has not yet attained her fortieth year, she is regarded as the mother of her people, and many there are who come to her for advice or consolation.  But we are digressing.  If the king interests himself in the civil affairs of Roumania, he is a soldier before everything else.  The virtual as well as the nominal head of the army, he always wears uniform, and nothing is too unimportant for his consideration in the organisation of his army.  Those who have been in the field with him and much about his person extol his coolness, bravery, and endurance.  He has often risked his life in battle, was always to the fore visiting outposts and bivouacs in the most inclement weather, and there can be no doubt that it is to his bravery as a general, and to his tact and patience as a statesman, that Roumania is largely indebted for her independence and her promise in the future.

II.

The Queen of Roumania is almost too well known in Europe, through her literary attainments, to need any description here; still a few particulars concerning her may be of interest to our readers.  She is of the middle height, has an amiable face and still more affable manner.  She, too, might pass for a lady of any western country, having very little to indicate her German nationality.  Her voice is soft and melodious, and although she can speak well on literary and scientific subjects, there is not the slightest pedantry or affectation of learning in her discourse.  She is said to speak six languages, and she certainly speaks Roumanian, French, German, and English.  We do not know what the other two may be, but if she speaks the four languages here named as fluently and with as little foreign accent as she does our own, she may fairly claim to be an accomplished linguist.  All educated Roumanians speak French, and most of them German, besides their own tongue; indeed French is almost the universal language of the middle classes, whilst those who have been educated here, especially the younger men, naturally speak English well, and therefore the Queen is in this respect only somewhat ahead of her more accomplished subjects.  But, as we have already stated, she is a poetess, and her verses are often marked by great depth of feeling.  She possesses, too, considerable scientific

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Roumania Past and Present from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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