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Souvenir of Loretto Centenary


lightly in this brief sketch of her son, who, when he was seventeen years of age, was confirmed in the Catholic Church, and took the name of Augustine to please his mother, who was an intense admirer of the great Bishop of Hippona, and whose own devotion and maternal love were strikingly similar to those of Monica.
    The young Prince had been well prepared for the part he was to play in the great world, from which, as the heir to a princely name and fortune and the nephew of a great general, he had much to expect. His education, as far as book learning was concerned, was unusually broad for the times, and in all manly sports, especially in that of horsemanship, he easily excelled. He was rather tall and slight, his air was high-bred and reticent, his figure lithe, his eyes dark and brilliant. His mother's training had developed in him a shyness and restraint, and, in spite of her absorbing devotion, he was not at ease or even frank in her presence. Possibly this may be explained by a certain dreamy and sensitive note in his nature which she failed to understand, and by a timid reserve which grew out of the childish awe which her imperious and forceful character had early inspired.
    The time arrived when the future of the young Prince Demetrius should be determined; but the unsettled state of Europe made all plans uncertain and any decisions difficult to form. It had long been his father's intention to place him in the way of a military career, and in his twenty-first year the appointment of aide-de-camp to the Austrian General von Lillien was secured for him. He was about to take his command when the order was issued that no foreigners should hold commissions in either the Austrian or Prussian army, and there seemed to be no other military career opened to him save in Russia. While considering the advisability of sending the young Prince to that country, General von Schmettau suggested that it be of great advantage to remove him from Europe for a period, for the terrible uncertainty and the threatened collapse of old existing institutions made a successful career most doubtful; and moreover might exert a deteriorating influence on a character

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Last Updated: 30 Mar 2008
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