Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Princess of Wales


How She Was Entertained by a Quaint Old Scotchwoman.

One autumn day an old woman, while busily engaged in picking up firewood in the woods adjoining Mar Lodge, became aware of a lady quite young, as she thought, beckoning her to approach. With true Scottish indifference she, however, hesitated to do so, for "I jist tocht it wad be the Duchess o' Fife," the old lady explained, "and I was thinking she micht as well come to me as I to her." This indeed the young lady — who, as it happened, was not the duchess, but the Princess of Wales herself — soon did. Her royal highness was the first to commence the conversation by the somewhat characteristic inquiry:

"Do you think I look like a grandmother?" " 'Deed no. I thocht ye was her," was the old woman's reply, pointing to the Duchess of Fife, who at that moment joined her mother. The princess, smiling at this artless tribute to her still wonderfully youthful appearance, after a little further conversation took out her purse and offered a piece of silver to the old woman. This was gladly accepted, for Mrs. McB., although widely known in Braemar as a decent old body, is not abundantly blessed with this world's goods. But, alas, when she essayed to put away the coin the pocket, which proved refractory, as pockets will, had twisted round somehow, and, in fact, could not be found.

With charming courtesy the princess assisted her humble acquaintance to find it, and then lifted the bundle of sticks which had been placed for the moment on the ground on to the old woman's shoulders, and with a cheery "Goodby," accompanied by a bright nod and a smile, left her. Perhaps the best part of this well authenticated story was the remark of the old lady, who, by the way, was not in the least overcome by the condescension of royalty, "The princess was real helpful and bonnylike." — Liverpool Mercury.

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