Princess Christian i.e. Helena of Schleswig-Holstein about Alice`s activities:
But in spite of the many social duties and distractions in which the Princess took an active part, she never lost sight of more serious duties and pursuits. She became the " Pro-
tectress " of the " Heidenreich Institution for Lying- in Women," which was the beginning of the active interest afterward taken by her in all sanitary im-provements. This interest was heightened by the birth of her second daughter, who was born on the 1st of November, 1864, and christened on the 28th of that month, receiving the names of Elizabeth
Alexandra Louise Alice. The Princess was very proud of being able to nurse her child herself, and from this time she took up with the keenest interest
all questions relating to the physical, mental, and moral training of children. She found an able sup- porter and independent adviser in Dr. Weber, a very eminent medical man, resident at Darmstadt.
Princess Alice to QV, 05.03.1864 (
I will tell you of something I did the other day ; but please tell no one, because not a soul but Louis and my ladies know of it here. I am the patroness of the " Heidcnreich Stiftung," to which you also gave a handsome present in the beginning. The ladies who belong to it go to bring linen to poor respectable women in child-bed, who claim
their assistance. They bring them food, and, in short, help them. All cases are reported to me. The other day I went to one incognito, with Christa, in the old part of the town — and the trouble we had to find the house ! At length, through a dirty court- yard, up a dark ladder into one little room, where lay in one bed the poor woman and her baby ; in the room four other children, the husband, two other beds, and a stove. But it did not smell bad. nor was it dirty. I sent Christa down with the children, then with the husband cooked something" for the woman ; arranged her bed a little, took her baby for her, bathed its eyes — for they were so bad, poor little thing ! — and did odds and ends for her. I went twice. The people did not know me, and were so nice, so good and touchingly attached to each other ; it did one's heart good to see such good feelings in poverty. The husband was out of work, the chil-
dren too young to go to school, and they had only four kreuzers in the house when she was confined. Think of that misery and discomfort !
If one never sees any poverty, arid always lives in that cold circle of Court people, one's good feel- ings dry up, and I felt the want of going about and doing the little good that is in my power. I am sure you will understand this.
Alice to QV 06.03.1865
I have read and studied a great deal about the human body ; about children — their treatment, etc. It interests me immensely. Besides, it is always useful to know such things, so that one is not perfectly ignorant of the reasons why doctors wish one to do certain things, and why not. In any moment of illness, before there is time for a doctor to come, one can be able to help one's self a little. I know you don't like these things, and where one is surrounded
by such as dear Sir James [Clark] and Dr. Jenner, it is perfectly unnecessary and pleasanter not to know a good deal. Instead of findino- it disirustinor. it only fills me with admiration to see how wonderlully we are made.