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Letter from Gertrude Bell to her stepmother, Florence Bell

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Gertrude Bell
Lady Florence Bell
Creation Date
Extent and medium
1 letter, paper

Weimar Monday 9. [Incorrect day with date - Monday was the 8th] Dearest Mother. I have assisted at at [sic] Kaffee Klatsch! Nein, das war aber kîstlich! It took place here yesterday afternoon. Frl Batsch came in force[?] to ask me if I would be at home as they wished to invite one or two ladies to drink coffee; of course I said I would, - more especially as out of doors the ground was white with snow. They came at 4, the ladies and at 6.30 when Maurice and I went away to dine before going to the opera they were still there. They appeared in the drawing room without their hats and with needle work in their elegantly gloved hands - a married sister of the Batschen, older than Frl Batsch, a friendly old soul; a Frau von der Felten, pretty and awfully awfully dull, a FrÑulein BÑdeker and the Frau Admiral - but she came late. We all sat round a table spread with a white cloth on which was set a dish of cakes and drank coffee very very deliberately so as {not} to fill up the time and handed round the biscuits to one another. Meantime we discussed the ways of omnibuses and how Weimar had got its omnibuses since it had become an important town (I wonder when that was!) and how they were never there when you wanted them or were always going the other way. We then remarked that the Erbgrossherzog really looked as old as his father - a fact says Maurice, that has not been noticed more than 50 times in his hearing. After this the conversation languished till Frl BÑdeker came to the rescue with a troop of sick relations and endless anecdotes of the ways of hospital nurses to which we listened with breathless interest. From time to time some odd dish of sweets or biscuits was brought in - this was always heralded by the disappearance of Frl Batsch who came in again, so to speak, transformed into cakes or creams or what not borne on a tray! The most indigestible ......ment, I should think for we eat sweet things at intervals for 2 hours and I was not surprised to hear from Frl Sophie this morning that she had lain awake half the night in consequence.
Maurice and I went to the FreischÃ…tz in the evening and had a delightful selection of devils in the second act. It is a pretty opera isn't it. The great Stavanhagen sang, Papa will be interested to hear. I was amused to hear he had met Captain Maxse and very glad to get his letters which will be most useful to me on my return journey.

What a bore about Bentley! Would you mind sending that story to the Cornhill - but if it is too much trouble let it wait till I come home. If you send it I must be nameless please - or let me be called George Lowthian, I don't mind which. It is borne in upon me that you two are the only people who will ever read my works! and I wonder if that isn't better than they deserve. I should like this better if it were not so very cold. Today there is no snow but it's grey and windy and unpleasant. FrÑulein Sophie and I have just been out walking together and now Maurice and I are going to call on the Frau Admiral.

It's very amusing here - but blow Bentley! Ever your very affectionate daughter Gertrude.

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