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Autobiography of Alice A. Bailey - Chapter V
Twice a year she would go to a store and buy me eight or nine dresses, knowing exactly the kind of thing I liked and the colors that suited me and twice a year on receipt of these boxes of beautiful clothes I would go to my cupboard and take out an equivalent number of the dresses of the year before and send them to personal friends who I knew were hard up. I'm no believer in hoarding things for oneself and I have known what it is to need a certain type of dress or coat and not be able to afford it. The poverty among the better class of people who have to keep up certain appearances is a far more bitter experience than many other types of poverty. They do not like to accept charity and they cannot go around and beg but they can be induced to accept what they need from anyone, for instance, who could write and say as I could write and say, 'I've just had a present of a lot of new dresses and I simply can't wear all I have. I would feel greedy if I held on to all of them, so I am sending you a couple of them and you can help me out by accepting them." All this happiness, therefore, which nice and correct clothes can bring could every year be traced to this friend and not to me.

I find it difficult to talk as I would like to talk about the people who matter the most to me. I feel this particularly in this case and, above all, in the case of Foster Bailey, my husband. He and I have talked this over and decided it would not be possible to put into an autobiography what I would like to say.

Another interesting friendship also came our way and had in it some very significant implications - implications that are more liable to work out in the next life than this. There is a club in the City of New York that is called the [209] Nobility Club. One day a member of the club asked me to go down and hear the Grand Duke Alexander speak. He was a son of one of the Czars of Russia and brother-in-law of the late Czar Nicholas. I went down more from curiosity than from anything else and found a packed room filled with all the elite of the nobility and royalties gathered in New York at that time. Presently we all got to our feet when the Grand Duke came in and sat down in an armchair on the platform. When we were all again seated he looked us all over very seriously and then said, "I wonder if it is possible that for one minute you would forget that I am a Grand Duke, because I want to talk to you about your souls." I sat up startled and pleased and at the dose of his talk I turned to my friend, Baroness..., and said, "How I would like to put the Grand Duke in touch with people in this country who won't care whether he is a Grand Duke or not but will love him for himself and his message." That was all and I thought no more about it.

The next morning, when in my office, the telephone rang and a voice said, "His Imperial Highness will be glad if Mrs. Bailey will be at the Ritz at 11 o'clock." So Mrs. Bailey was over at the Ritz at 11. I was met in the foyer by the Grand Duke's secretary. He sat me down and looked solemnly at me and said, "What do you want with the Grand Duke, Mrs. Bailey?" Amazed, I looked at him and said, "Nothing. I can't imagine why I am here." "But," said Mr. Roumanoff, "the Grand Duke said you wanted to see him." I then told him I had taken no steps to see the Grand Duke and that I could not imagine what he wanted me for. I told him I had been to the Grand Duke's talk the afternoon before and had expressed to a friend of mine the wish that he could meet certain people. Mr. Roumanoff then took me upstairs to the Grand Duke's suite and after I had made my curtsey and been seated he asked me what [210] he could do for me. I said, "Nothing." I then went on to tell him that there were people in America, like Mrs. du Pont Ortiz, who thought as he did, who had beautiful homes, who seldom attended lectures and that I hoped that he might perhaps be willing to meet them. Whereupon he assured me that he would do anything I asked him and then said, "Let us now talk about the things that matter." We spent about an hour talking about things spiritual and the need for love in the world. He had just published a book called "The Religion of Love" and was anxious to have it more widely read.

When I got back to the office I called up Alice Ortiz and told her to come up to New York and put on a luncheon for the Grand Duke at the Hotel Ambassador. She promptly refused. I, as promptly, coaxed her into consenting. She came up and gave a luncheon party. In the middle of the lunch Mr. Roumanoff turned to me and said, "Who are you, Mrs. Bailey? We cannot find out anything about you." I assured him I was not surprised, because I was nobody - just an American citizen with a British background. He shook his head and seemed quite bewildered, telling me that the Grand Duke had said that he would like to do what I wanted him to do.

This was the beginning of a very real friendship which lasted until the Grand Duke died and after. He constantly went down with Foster and me to stop at Valmy for a few days. All of us had long, interesting talks. One of the things I feel we both deeply realized in that friendship was that under the skin we are all alike, and that whether you are of royal blood or the lowest type of human being socially, we have the same likes and dislikes, the same pains and sorrows, the same sources of happiness and the same urge to go forward spiritually. The Grand Duke was a convinced spiritualist and we used to have quite entertaining [211] times holding little seances in Alice's huge  living-room.

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