Tuesday, November 24

From the diary of Lady Grace Altamount

I have just taken a peek at Cousin Francesca's diary. (If she will leave it lying around it only serves as an invitation to read her most intimate thoughts!) I was very pleased to learn that she truly had enjoyed Lord Fawcett's party, as indeed had I.

Although we were nervous on our arrival, the charming company and luxurious surroundings put us both immediately at ease. We were grateful that both our fathers had been generous in our clothing allowance and we were dressed as finely as the other young ladies. Although it was noted that Miss Dorothea Latimer, a delightful and handsome young lady, wore dresses of the finest silks and most modern styles. It appeared that the rumours of her vast wealth were indeed true.

Mrs Derby, as our chaperone was very particular to oversee our preparations and seemed very pleased with our appearance. With a parting reminder on posture and manners she dismissed us to go down and meet the other guests.

However, I was very quickly to learn some news that did not sit well with me at all. Dearest Papa in some fit of lunacy had engaged Sir Abel Cadogan, newly appointed Chief Punishment Officer of England, to act as my disciplinarian. To my absolute horror Sir Abel felt the need to demonstrate his discipline techniques both first thing in the morning and last thing at night and nothing less than a painful dose of the cane would do. Although I must confess it the only cloud on an otherwise wonderful weekend.

As we mingled with the other guests before dinner on the first evening, I was to learn more fortunate news. Mrs Derby had found me a suitor that she felt would both please me and make me a most fortuitous match. Although the young man himself was not in attendance, I had the pleasure of meeting his father, Mr Conningsby. To my astonishment I discovered he was an American.

It was so very exciting hear his tales form the New World and he seemed quite taken with me. He felt my spirit would serve me well in the New World and I eagerly told him of my pirate connections which amused him more than it had Lord Fawcett.

With this lovely prospect of escaping the clutches of Sir Abel, I happily was escorted into dinner by the charming Lord Plymouth. A quite accomplished man he was recently engaged to Lady Charlotte Carlise and they were due to be married that very week. If we were surprised at their haste it was not talked of, much.

At dinner I had the honour of seating to the left of Lord Fawcett and felt the compliment exceedingly. The delightful Lady Cecily De Burgh was seated across from me and dinner passed most pleasantly. Of course all of society was aware of her recent incarceration in the Lowewood Reformatory. However, apart form some slight remarks, not much was talked of this.. Lady Cecily being so pretty and rich was enough to overcome such a scandal.

Dinner was a truly sumptuous affair and I tasted the delights of finely prepared fish, hare soup and exquisite quail. After dinner the Ladies retired to the drawing room and enjoyed a small glass of port as we awaited the gentlemen. I was delighted to make the further acquaintance of Lady Emma Cavendish, a lady of such beauty she is renowned in three countries.

And such was the order of the weekend, fine company, delightful amusements and exquisite food. When not in the company of the gentlemen we ladies spent our time in the quiet pursuits of needlework, letter writing and reading. I had been fortunate to receive a folio of an unknown writer by the name of Jane Austen, simply titled Persuasion. I was enthralleed by the utter romance of the novel and dearly hoped she would publish some day.

To our interest we learned that each lady present was assigned one of the gentlemen to act as her champion and defend her honour. My heartfelt sympathies went out to Francesca as Sir Abel was named as hers and my fears were confirmed as he spanked her at dinner on the second night! Although in a strange reversal of behaviour it was I who confiscated her wine and urged her to behave herself. Perhaps Sir Abel was having an effect afterall.

I myself was under the protection of Lord Dorchester, a wonderful, charming young man with an eye for Miss Latimer. However, I was startled to learn he played fast and loose with my honour and at the card tables had indebted himself to the sum of 87 guineas to Mr Conninsgby. For which I was fofeited to make the repayment.

It was with great fortune that Mr Conningsby had by now made up his mind that I was suitable marriage material for his son Fenwick Conninsby II, and was therefore as interested in my honour as I was myself. He did however subject me to a thorough inspection to ascertain my breeding qualities. And also gave a firm display of the discipline that he and his son were in agreement upon.

The festivities finally concluded with a ball, my absolute favorite pastime in the world. I happily was engaged for several dances with the dashing Viscount Fitzwarren. It was quite a thrill to learn a new dance from the Americas called a waltz. To our shock the gentlemen put their hands on out person as we danced, how racy indeed.

The Viscount proved an accomplished dancer and at first a seemingly mellow man . But when I was put over his knee and firmly spanked for trying to lead him in the waltz, I had to hastily revise my early judgement of him.

So it was with very heavy hearts we departed in our carriage, our weekend of fun and frolics at an end. What a wrench to depart from such charming and wonderful company. I was even sorry to bade farewell to Sir Abel, even if we did give me 18 hard cane strokes to remind me of him. Still despite the sorrow we were overflowing with joy at been invited and Cousin Francesca and I both felt very lucky indeed and forever indebted to Lord Fawcett and Mrs Derby.

4 comments:

Eliane said...

My dear cousin Grace, delightful though it was to read your charming thoughts on our weekend, if I ever find again that you have read my private diary, it will not go well with you.
Fondest,
Your cousin Francesca
x

Master Retep said...

O deary me. You wrote "we" where I do believe you intended "he". If this were Winterbrook, I seem to recall that your Governess would tear your writing all to pieces, chastise you soundly and require you to write your thoughts anew.

Paul said...

Lady Grace, thank you for sharing the contents of your diary.
It seems that you and your cousin had a wonderful time, even the presence of so many spanker's didn't dampen your spirits.
Warm hugs,
Paul.

Abel1234 said...

My dear Lady Grace,

What a charming account of the weekend. It did pain me to have to chastise you on various occasions, but you did take your discipline bravely and appeared to benefit from it.

Sir Abel

;-)