Royall Tyler to Mildred Barnes, January 11, 1906
Burlington Hotel.Burlington Hotel, 30 Old Burlington Street in Westminster, London. W.
Jan. 11th 1906
Tomorrow shall the tome be written. Tomorrow shall the photograph be taken. I have just received your letter, and if I had not such a splitting headache (having spent last night at Vine Street Police StationA pub (now closed) on Vine Street in Westminster, London.) I would write the tome now. By all means sermonize—if only to let me see your blessed hand writing.
Now I must tell you a tale which was told to me by a German Guardsman by the name of v. Kayser,Probably Hugo von Kayser (1873–1949), who became General of the Cavalry in 1925–1926. who went to Washington last year to represent the Emperor at the unveiling of the Statue to Frederic the GreatIn 1904, the German emperor Wilhelm II gave the United States a bronze replica of Joseph Uphues’s 1899 statue of Frederick the Great (1740–1786). The statue was unveiled at the Army War College in Washington, D.C., on November 19, 1904.—perhaps you met him. In one of the Royal Palaces at Berlin there walks a White Lady, presaging some disaster when she appears. One night the officers of the Guard on duty before the Kaisers [sic] apartments saw her, and followed her through several doors. She finally entered the Kaiser’s study and they, not knowing him to be there, burst in after her. They found the Emperor writing a comedy—“von Geist, aber keine Spur.”“About the ghost, without a trace.” The legend of “die Weisse Frau” (White Lady), whose appearance in various castles and palaces presaged death in the house of the royal family of Prussia, is found in Henry Vizetelly, Berlin Under the New Empire: Its Institutions, Inhabitants, Industry, Monuments, Museums, Social Life, Manners, and Amusements (London: Tinsley, 1879), 128–29.
Until tomorrow then. If you sermonize, the confession upon page 1 would do for a text.