to Mr. Bayard.
Vienna, January 6, 1888. (Received January 31.)
Sir: In view of the anti-Semitic imbroglio which somewhat excited the Governments of Austria-Hungary and the United States, not long since, it is interesting to note that during the recent “holidays” the Baron and Baroness Albert Rothschild were declared by imperial decree hoffähig, that is to say, they will for the future be admitted to court balls. This is the first time that such a privilege has ever been conceded to persons of Jewish origin or faith, and it is causing a great sensation in the highest society of Vienna. Very many quarterings of nobility (sixteen, I believe) are the usual requisites of Hoffähigkeit; and it was not until last year that the wives of cabinet ministers, not being members of noble families, were admitted to court by reason of their husbands’ offices.
This exclusion from court circles has long been sorely felt by the Rothschild family, and it has been rumored during the past year that Baron Albert intended to dispose of his palace residence and other property in Vienna, and retire altogether from Austria with his colossal fortune.
I have, etc.,