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The Lady In White

The Lady In White image
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In one of the last issues of The Russian Archives, a well known magazine of the czar's country, appears the translation of a document which was added to the family archives of the Hohenzollerns by Emperór Frederick in 1870. 1$ was sent to the emperor, at that time crown prince, at his request, by Count Nostitz, son of Count George Nostitz, a Prussian by birth, who entered the service of the czar and died a major general in 1838. The document relates to the "White Lady," the famous ghost of che Hohenzollerns, who is supposed to make her appearance just before the death of a member of the family. Count Nostitz, Jr., was sent to Berlin in 1869, at the time of the centennial celebration of the order of St. Qeorge, to present King William, later Emperor William, the grand cross of the order. While the count was in the Germán capital Crown Prince Frederick learned of the possession of documenta in the Nostitz family relating to the "White Lady." As everything in reference to the woman who has played an important part in the history of the Hohenzollerns deeply interested the subsequent emperor he begged the count to send him a transcript of the document. It read, according to The Russian Archives, as follows: "In the year 1806 Count Nostitz, Sr., was adjutant of Prince Louis of Prussia. On the day before the battle of Saalfeld, the prince, with his officers, was at the castle of the Prince of SchwarzburgRudolstadt. In the evening the guests were gathered in a large room of the palace. The prince was charmed at the idea of a coming contest with the troops of Napoleon. As the clock struck 12, the prince turned to Count Nostitz and said: 'How happy I feel today! Our ship is at last on the high seas. The wind is favorable.' "He had hardly spoken when the count, to his great astonishment, sawthe prince grow pale, spring up suddenly, draw his hands across his eyes, catch hold of the chandelier and a moment later rush into the hallway leading into the guardroom. Count Nostitz went after him and saw that the prince was f ollowing a white apparition, which suddenly disappearedthroughthe wall. The prince esamined the wall - there was no opening. As the prince heard steps behind him in the hallway, he turned and said to the count: " 'Did you see it, Nostitz?' " 'Yes, your highness, I saw it,' was the answer. " 'Then,' continued the prince, 'it was neither a dream nor a ghost of the brain.' "There was a third witness present - the guard - who declared that a figure wrapped in white had passed him. He had allowed it to do so because he had believed it to be a Saxoñ cavalry offlcer. The hallway had only two outlets - into the guardroom and the salon where the prince and his offlcers were gathered. "The apparition made a deep impression on the prince. He said that he looked upon it as a bad omen, for the 'White Lady' only appeared to announce the violent death of a Hohenzollern. "On the following day the battle of Saalfeld was fought. When the Prussian troops had been put to flight, Prince Ferdinand and Count Nostitz again saw the 'White Lady,' who stood on a hill and wrung her hands as if in despair. Count Nostitz put spurs to his horse #nd rushed up the hill, but the apparition suddenly disappeared. A few minutes later Prince Ferdinand received a mortal wound in an attack of the French, cavalry. Count Nostitz tried to carry the prince to a place of safety, but was also wounded and sank senseless to the ground. "Count Nostitz never spoke in all his lifetime of this occurrence save to his son, and to him he commanded secrecy. Count Nostitz was not superstitious." Emperor Frederick sent a hearty letter of thanks to Count Nostitz, Jr., for the copy of the document, declaring that the family would always preserve it as a


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