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[personal profile] the_comfortable_courtesan

Indeed 'tis turning out a most enjoyable occasion. Lord A- comes dance with me and tells me how very well they find B- House to answer: 'tis all very well living at one’s club, but cannot compare to domestick life such as he now enjoys.

He looks over to where Lady A- dances with Milord and says, 'twas a lucky day for me when I heard her sing. And what an excellent fellow is her father, has a deal of sound practickal experience of a deal of matters, and comes about to play goff quite remarkable. Cannot touch MacD-, of course, one apprehends that the Scots take to it quite from infancy. Sure I am glad to see him return’d to Town, is giving me the most valuable assistance in finding a secretary.

I am next solicit’d by Danvers D-, that says 'tis somewhat of a bore, had rather be at the theatre or at home, but A- is such an antient friend, shows civil to come.

I ask how matters go with him and he most immediate tells me what a fine precocious infant is Orlando, how very well Miss R- shows in the latest plays, and hears there is a new comedy coming that will be most amuzing. He also minds to tell me that his mother is exceeding well, an entire doating grandmother, and the pugs are in health.

And what an entertaining fellow is her uncle. They will sometimes be in quite an agony of mirth at him. Sure those are lucky fellows at that club of his.

(I daresay Danvers D- has not the least apprehension of the nature of the club.)

After I have resign’d Danvers D- to his next partner, I have the great pleasure of a waltz with Sir H- Z-, that is sure almost as accomplisht in that art as Sir Vernon H- (that is now install’d at St Petersburg about his diplomatick business). I remark that I hear that Mr de C- goes paint a family group, and he says, indeed, he felt 'twas a politick thing.

I smile and say, why, 'tis a very pretty display of conjugal harmony, is’t not?

He smiles down at me and says, indeed 'tis. And lately his boys have been reading a very fine tale concerning wreckers and sure the author must be one that he has acquaintance of, for there are their family tales concerning that dreadfull business.

La, says I smiling, perchance one of your neighbours in Cornwall finds time hang heavy upon their hands and goes essay authorship. And then I turn the subject to tin-mining.

And then Milord comes claim me for the supper-dance, at which I am exceeding glad, for the antient sheep Sir V- P- still wambles somewhat in my direction.

He smiles at me and says sure I am looking exceeding well. And you, says I. We both glance to where Sandy leads out Eliza.

Why, he says, you may imagine the exceeding great relief I feel.

But then we give ourselves entirely to the dance, for we have ever danc’d together exceeding well, and I see heads turn to look upon us, and I daresay there are whispers that sure we remain entire, tho’ very discreet, devot’d to one another.

('Tis entirely to the good, for there are those have observ’d what an exceeding fine woman Mrs F- is, and such an excellent mistress of the household at R- House, and go make vulgar speculations upon the matter.)

And then he takes me into supper, and smiles and says, hopes I will join the party in his box for the opening night of this fine new comedy The Ladies' Rivalry -

Alas, says I, I suppose 'twould look particular was I not there, and 'twould be suppos’d there was something behind tho’ I doubt would come at the truth of the matter.

He squeezes my hand, and changes the subject to how matters go in the anti-slavery set.

After supper comes up to me Biffle desiring a dance, that I grant with great pleasure. He looks a little preoccupy’d, with constant glances to where Viola sits, and I beg him disclose what’s ado.

Why, he says, I confide 'twould be best did Viola go home now, she droops a little tho’ I daresay those that know her not so well as I would not notice, but Sebastian comes stay with us for a few days afore he departs for the Baltic, and she would not oblige him to leave the ball so early, for one must perceive that he greatly enjoys the occasion.

I look over to where Sebastian K- dances with Rebecca G-, and am like to think 'tis entirely so.

One might, goes on Biffle, send the carriage back for him –

O, poo, says I, as I must stay 'til some very late hour to demonstrate how very much Lady B- is in health, can convey him in my carriage. 'Tis no great matter to come by way of M- House or to send Ajax on after he has left me at home.

'Twould be most exceeding kind, says Biffle smiling down at me, and I am in some suspicion that Sebastian would be grateful of an opportunity to hold converse with you concerning his visit to St Petersburg -

(I sigh inwardly, for my tale concerning Miss G-'s fine marriage to a Russian nobleman of exalted rank and liberal opinions that pose exceeding great risque in those parts, has quite took on a life of its own.)

La, says I, I am like to think that Sir Vernon goes undertake any matters I might be concern’d with in those parts very discreet thro’ his diplomatick connexions.

Biffle smiles again and says, tho’ he is entire sure Lady B- would make quite the epitome of a diplomatick wife, her friends must be exceeding glad that she is not gone to those chilly parts.

I say that Sir Vernon is an excellent fellow that I will ever hold friend, but I am entire content’d in my widowhood.

So comes round the hour when all begin summon their carriages, and not only have I not swoon’d, the mirrors inform me I am in quite excellent looks, and indeed, I do not even feel in particular tir’d, that I attribute partly to Docket’s prudent habit of making me go rest beforehand with a cool cloth over my eyes, and partly to the vivifying effects of a fine ball.

I go up to Sebastian K- that lingers about the hall and say, I hope he is ready to depart, for Ajax is just bringing around my carriage, and he says, 'tis most exceeding kind of me, for he did not want to keep Vi up this late in her present condition, tho’ she would not complain.

And when we are ensconc’d in my carriage, he says to me that there are one or two little matters upon which he would greatly desire my sage counsel afore he sails for Bergen, but he confides that I have a deal of matters upon hand at present –

Poo, says I, but 'tis true, there is a deal of business I have to be about at present. Why do you not come take a glass of brandy with me afore you go on to M- House?

Has become a young fellow of considerable address, but stutters a little when conceding to this proposal.

When we arrive at my pretty house, I desire him to go on into the parlour and stir up the fire, for at this time of night is a little chill, whilst I give my instructions to Hector.

Sebastian K- is still standing before the fire when I go in: I wave him into a chair and sit down vis-à-vis.

Sure, says I, 'tis an entire age since I have seen you to say more than hello or goodbye.

He swallows, and says, before he says anything about himself, he would desire to offer to enquire, should I like, about the former Miss G- at St Petersburg.

Hector comes in with brandy and madeira and a plate of little savoury biscuits.

After he departs I shake my head and say, pray, Mr K-, do not do any such thing. I fear 'twould be entire prejudicial to your own enterprizes. Sir Vernon goes about most exceeding discreet to discover have she and her husband been exil’d to Siberia, and if so, how one might communicate and perchance send somewhat to ease their condition.

He gives a little laugh and says, sure, he should have known Lady B- had that matter entirely under hand. But the other matter is – he clears his throat – Herr P- shows a considerable disposition towards business, that one had not anticipat’d from hearing about his design to go live like a wild Indian in the American forests.

Why, says I, I do not doubt that he is a fellow of considerable intelligence wheresoever he goes apply it (save, thinks I, to certain matters of proper social conduct).

'Tis so, says Sebastian K-. But – he frowns – shows some inclination to be rather too sharp in the recommendations he puts forward. I am not sure one would care to give him too much influence –

I confide, says I, that you are right. Was I you, I should go about to ensure that your father does not come to lean upon him while you are away.

He nods his head and says, he will go warn certain of the senior clerks – for he is like to think that does he express his concern directly to his father he will pooh-pooh it – and mention the matter to Jacob S-.

'Tis well, says I, you come to be a prudent man of business.

He blushes.

I pour him some more brandy, and ask how their business does. He tells me most particular about how well Phoebe’s polishes do, and Seraphine and Euphemia’s pickles and preserves.

Sure can I not tell that a young fellow has a considerable admiration for me, I shall have lost all my wont’d skills.

And in due course I come about to saying how very prepossesst I am with the way he has took up their interest, and he begins stammer again, and I stand and go over to him and take his hands and draw him to his feet and kiss him and say, would wish to show gratitude.

Am like to apprehend that he has acquir’d some experience with women upon his travels, but he shows most extreme gratify’d, adding that sure he would never presume upon this mark of favour.

I wish him well upon his travels.

The Americans 5.08

Apr. 27th, 2017 09:22 pm
selenak: (Claudia and Elizabeth by Tinny)
[personal profile] selenak
I'm currently at a conference, thus can only be online very rarely. Sorry for delayed replies etc. Anyway, onto the 80s and their spies.

Read more... )

(no subject)

Apr. 27th, 2017 08:49 am
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] gumbie_cat!
oursin: Cartoon hedgehog going aaargh (Hedgehog goes aaargh)
[personal profile] oursin

Yesterday, bound for a conference. Got the train okay.

About a third of the way into the journey, train stops.

Someone had collided with a train further up the line.

In due course we are informed that train will be terminating at a station not previously on the schedule, where we can change to a train going, presumably by some more circuitous route, to the next scheduled stop, but not, however, onwards to my destination.

When we arrive at designated point, it is chucking down rain. Fortunately the next train is in and we only need to cross the platform. It is, however, rather full, though I did manage to get a seat.

Another, local, and very crowded train at the next change.

My dearios may imagine that all this was by no means conducive to reading a serious academic study for review purposes.

Once at my destination, some 2 hours later than anticipated, there was supposed to be a taxi booked for me - I had been in touch with the conference admin person anent delays - what I had not been told was that it would be round the back rather than the main exit.

Not that it was there when I found the spot, and cameth not as I waited in an increasing state of fume - it would always have been tiresome but after the preceding misadventures this was particularly infuriating - and a chilly wind. Fortunately, what did turn up was the taxi for one of the other participants, so I went with her.

I do not mention the faff over my ticket - got details and booking ref latish previous afternoon.

Inadequate curtainage in hotel room meant undesirably early waking....

And now I have to present a paper, sigh.

the_comfortable_courtesan: image of a fan c. 1810 (Default)
[personal profile] the_comfortable_courtesan

'Tis with some chagrin that I open a letter from dearest Belinda, that writes that she hears that I am return'd to Town, and I mind that I have not writ to her this age. I hope she does not take offense in the matter or suppose I go scorn her.

But she writes in all good humour to mention that they have had dealings with Captain C-, and that she is in correspondence with Chancery over the matter of T-, but she doubts that there will be any immediate action; and she hopes that I may join 'em for the Derby again this year. She also wonders a little whether my jaunt abroad had somewhat to do with that matter I open'd to 'em last summer. But as I am happyly return'd she confides that all's well.

So I address myself at once to inditing a letter to her with as much of my news as 'tis prudent to convey, and declaring that 'twould be an entire pleasure to join their party for the Derby.

'Tis most particular shocking to me to have neglect'd to write to her, when I contemplate that this very e'en I am bound to Lord A-'s ball at B- House, that will sure be a matter of interest to her.

But indeed, I have been entire besieg'd with invitations and callers and the wranglings among the philanthropick set, and trying put my writings in fit condition to be publisht or stag'd, and going furbish up my wardrobe so that Docket will not scold me. Yet 'tis most thoughtless in me.

But I cannot regret the hours spent about my wardrobe when I go have Docket and Sophy array me for the B- House ball: sure I am a vain creature, but it pleases me to look so exceeding well in a fine new satin gown of Maurice's devizing, with my fine Hindoo rubies blazing about my neck and my pearls gleaming in my hair. They stand back and look very approving.

Docket nods and says sure Maurice does excellent fine work.

I arrive at B- House late enough not to be unfashionable early, but not so late as to look haughty. I greet Lord and Lady A- very warm: I confide that she is at that stage of increase where she begins show a little but is like to feel exceeding well. Certainly she looks so, and I remark upon how very much she is in looks. Lord A- looks at her very proud and says, but she should not overdo: I daresay Mrs O- B- has been dispensing cautions.

I say that I hope we may have the pleasure of hearing her sing, if only a little, before I proceed up the stair to see the rest of the company.

Sure one would not know B- House for that desolate wreck that us'd to be, 'tis now a fine fashionable residence entire throng'd with quite the best society, and I can hardly even believe it that same place where I was menac'd by that creeping madman. The chamber in which I was so terroriz'd by that horrid apparition is now a fine musick room in which Mrs O- B- goes delight an audience with her song.

I go in very quiet and sit down to listen for a little while, and find myself next to Sebastian K-. We nod very civil to one another in silence so as not to distract the other listeners.

After Mrs O- B- goes sit down to considerable applause, I stand and leave the room, for tho' tis most agreeable to listen to good singing, I must go improve the shining hour, whilst I also demonstrate that I may still dance a very great deal without I go swoon.

I should perchance have preferr'd not to dance with Mr O- B- so early in the proceedings, for tho' a most amiable fellow is a quite wretch'd dancer that treads upon my feet, but I must show civil. Is most effusive as to what a fine residence this is, how very pleasant Lord A- shows - has took him a time or two to play goff at Blackheath ('tis indeed a great mark of favour); entirely doats upon Charley, and comes about to an apprehension of the duties of his rank.

Why, says I, that is entire pleasing. Was ever an agreeable young fellow but somewhat of a careless fribble.

Goes very meritorious to take up the business of his estates, goes on Mr B-. And is a fellow will listen to advice.

The dance ends and I endeavour not to hobble as I quit the floor. I stand wriggling my toes to ascertain they are not broken.

Comes over Lord O-, that has been dancing with Cousin Lalage – 'tis in exceeding good ton of him – and asks me to dance. I concede with pleasure.

He says, he is entire glad that Lady B- is return’d to Town, along with Mr MacD- - he gives a certain smile by which I confide he supposes that we have been about matters for The Cause; 'tis indeed not entirely mistook – for he comes about to have the manuscript for the book of his travels complet’d, and would scarce dare venture it upon the world without he took it before our judgements.

O, poo, says I, I am like to suppose 'tis quite entire its own recommendation: Mr L- was most entire prepossesst by the preliminary essays he publisht – declar’d they had a fine virile style -

The Marquess’s lips twitch and he says, sure he cannot have suppos’d how much assistance I had from a certain lady of the pen -

Tush, says I, 'tis entire like unto advizing concerning furbishing up a residence: a gentleman’s study and a lady’s boudoir will require a different approach. But, I go on, I see that you have quite another kind of production in progress –

He looks somewhat more sober and says, sure the prospect is exceeding delightfull, but one cannot entire be unfearfull, 'tis a perilous matter for women.

'Tis indeed so, says I, I hope you have her in good hands?

He says that he understands Mr H- to be very well-thought-of in the man-midwife line.

Entirely, says I, tho’ did you prefer a midwife of the more usual sex there is one whose interest I might advance to you.

He looks thoughtfull and says, he will ask his dear Hippolyta what she might prefer.

At the end of the measure I observe Lieutenant H- approaching. He makes me a leg and offers that I might care to dance? As he leads me onto the floor I remark that I had not expect’d to see him still in Town rather than return’d to his ship. He sighs somewhat and says, is at present second’d to duty at the Admiralty, sure had rather be at sea, hears I was lately at Naples, was the fleet there?

O, says I, arriv’d just about as I was about returning to Town, heard the Admiral’s excellent news.

He says somewhat of what a fine fellow is the Admiral, what a privilege 'tis to serve with him, and then his gaze strays to where Em is dancing with some fellow that I do not immediate recognize, and I confide that there are certain attractions ashore, even does he yearn for salt water.

At the end of the dance he goes with great expedition solicit Em, and I look about me and see where Viola is sitting. I go greet her and she says, she confides I have not yet been introduc’d to Rebecca G-, that is dear Jacob’s niece, and Julia P-, from Bombay.

They are indeed very fine-looking young women, of a most out of the common exotick style of beauty, that make exceeding civil. Miss P- in particular has a fine ivory-tint’d complexion and smooth raven hair and finely-cut features; perchance there is a little look of the Orient, that may be attribut’d to her upbringing in Bombay. I am like to think that Sir Z- R- would be quite wild to paint her, and remark on this.

Why, says Viola, perchance we might go to his studio one day, there can be entirely no objection to the matter.

Then come up the gentlemen to whom the young ladies have promis’d the next dance. I sit down beside Viola, ignoring that Sir V- P- endeavours catch my eye to come solicit me.

I mind, says I, that Martha found the scent of paints &C somewhat unsettling when she first went increase with Deborah.

Viola sighs and says, indeed she at present finds there are certain scents do cause a certain qualmishness, 'tis somewhat tiresome. Might you, dear C-, be kind enough to take 'em there? Are they not quite among the belles of the Season?

Entirely, says I, do they yet have any eligible offers?

O, there are several go pay 'em most particular attention, but do not yet come to that point. But 'twixt their looks, their portions, and their very excellent address, I cannot think they will linger upon hand very long. And, she goes on, Miss C- I think has already took, Lord V- shows exceeding smitten.

So 'tis give out, says I. What about Lady Rosamund?

Viola sighs and says, she was anticipating a young woman that would display theologickal objections like unto her brother; and sure she is mind’d to suppose that that would be a deal less exasperating than the ways she shows. But, she goes on, you should not be sitting out with me, dearest C-, I am sure that there are a deal of fellows quite panting to dance with the exquisite Lady B-.

'Tis possible, I concede, so be I may evade the antient ram. Aha, I continue, I observe Mr Geoffrey M- -

Viola laughs somewhat immoderate and says, do you go have a youthfull cicisbeo like unto Lady Z-? 'Twill be said that you have got quite into Italian habits.

O, poo, says I, he is an agreeable and respectfull young fellow.

Indeed, he comes over and makes an elegant leg – one may most certain see the effect of his association with Milord – and offers that I may care to dance?

I rise and curtesy and we go tread a measure, during which he conveys to me some very shocking matters he has lately discover’d in his studies concerning the laws of the nation.

Crossposted from LJ

Apr. 26th, 2017 05:22 pm
gillo: (Me now)
[personal profile] gillo
I posted this to LJ a day or two ago, but it still holds good on the whole. Still feeling sorry for myself, very slowly improving. Dunno if the cut and pics with crosspost too - I'm just pasting the code in. We'll see what happens.

Wednesday will mark a month since I went into hospital, and I still feel pretty shit most of the time. I have codeine and naproxen and omeprazole to control the pain, but not much deals with the sense of being bloated and sick and totally lacking in energy all the time. I'm spending a ridiculous amount of time just curling up feeling grotty or reading lightweight fiction, while I know I have a major essay I should be working on. I've applied for an extension; if I don't get it I will probably have to drop out of the MA course.

I went to see a GP the Thursday before Easter, and she gave me extra painkillers and kindly said it would probably get better when I've had the cholecystectomy (gall bladder removal) and until then, keep taking the pills. I'm OK, just about, to sit in the car as a passenger for an hour and a half, but driving is beyond me, and so is most activity. Today we went to a garden centre, some fifteen minutes away, and after ten minutes of strolling around the plants I had to retreat to sit down. Fortunately it has a café, but I felt pretty feeble and ashamed of myself.

As a passenger I have been to visit F and her little one. Picspam below the cut. )

In other news, we have a bloody election in six and a half weeks, a nasty bit of Tory opportunism and perhaps another step into the abyss. I have actually joined ( = given real, hard cash) to an opposition political party, but my hopes are not high. Corbyn is such a wanker, and as much a liar about Brexit as Theresa. The most dramatic step the country has taken in half a lifetime, and Scylla and Charybdis seem like an easy choice by comparison.

Bates Motel: Season and show finale

Apr. 26th, 2017 04:45 pm
selenak: (Norma Bates by Ciaimpala)
[personal profile] selenak
"I lingered round them, under that benign sky; watched the moths fluttering among the heath, and hare-bells; listened to the soft wind breathing through the grass; and wondered how any one could ever imagine unquiet slumbers for the sleepers in that quiet earth."

Read more... )
oursin: Photograph of small impressionistic metal figurine seated reading a book (Reader)
[personal profile] oursin

What I read

Down the JA Jance Ali Reynolds rabbit hole: Fatal Error (2011), Left for Dead (2012), Deadly Stakes (2013). I did start the novella A Last Goodbye, but am now holding off until I get to the right place in series internal chronology.

Alexis Hall, How to Bang a Billionaire (2017). This is a book that one would think had a lot of my NQOSD things all over it - at first glance it was the m/m version of 50 Shades, but I looked at the preview just to see, and okay, it still has a lot of things that are not my usual things, like it is All About The Relationship, at least so far there are no other stakes in place (but there is a sequel forthcoming), and the billionaire thing means a lot of plain practical difficulties do not operate. The title is a bit misleading, on account of the billionaire character is what in a woman would be considered pretty much stone butch - does but will not be touched or done to - it's more 'banged by the billionaire'. The narrator is a somewhat hapless and gauche, though at least not completely naive, gay guy just on the cusp of graduating from Oxford. The billionaire is pretty much on the Violet Winspear romantic hero template:

I get my heroes so that they're lean and hard muscled and mocking and sardonic and tough and tigerish and single, of course. Oh and they've got to be rich and then I make it that they're only cynical and smooth on the surface. But underneath they're well, you know, sort of lost and lonely. In need of love but, when roused, capable of breathtaking passion and potency. Most of my heroes, well all of them really, are like that. They frighten but fascinate.
But, dr rdrz, I could hardly put it down.

On the go

The end is almost in view with the Inchbald biography!

I am on the edge of my seat in re The Course of Honour

Up next

Well, the thing for review I intend to read on the train.

And new Sara Paretsky VI Warshawski!!!

(no subject)

Apr. 26th, 2017 09:12 am
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] ookpik!
the_comfortable_courtesan: image of a fan c. 1810 (Default)
[personal profile] the_comfortable_courtesan

Comes Sandy one morn to say that The Fearsome Strand, that is my novel of wreckers and sea-monsters, does extreme well, and the publishers are exceeding anxious for anything else I might give 'em.

I sigh and say, 'tis gratifying, but has he had a chance to look over the plays I gave him?

Indeed, says he, as Celeste comes with coffee and shortbreads, and has already been see Mr J- with 'em. Likes 'em exceedingly – in particular the comedy, for hints most alluring at certain late scandals, without it could be suppos’d to refer to specifick persons. Also, there is Miss T-, that undertook Miss R-'s parts while she was unable to be about the business, comes on very promising, and with three fine parts for actresses, there will be no brangling amongst 'em.

I am pleas’d to hear it, says I, but I doubt not that Mr J- has suggestions for telling business that might be includ’d.

Why, says Sandy, taking a shortbread, I have a few notes to the purpose. But I think he may be dissuad’d from including a volcanick eruption in The Antiquarian’s Daughter.

La, says I, I may suppose he has late took on some fellow that manufactures spectacles -

Sandy remarks that he fears 'tis so, for Mr J- put out some feelers as to whether the esteem’d dramatist thought of turning The Fearsome Strand into a play?

I shudder and say, why, had consider’d upon it, but should shrink from matters of vulgar spectacle.

Sandy laughs and says, sure you are in accord with Mr P- for once, for he deplores that practice, as too oft employ’d to distract from the poorness of the play itself. And I myself am in some doubts as to whether brings about anything of enduring value to the drama.

We look at one another very amicable.

But, says Sandy, dear sibyl, you look a little troubl’d.

O, says I, 'tis entire foolish qualmishness about this dinner-party I go give, Lord and Lady T- and their gloomy son, and Sir B- and Susannah, with their house-guests.

Sandy winces and says, including Mrs D- K-, I apprehend. Sure will not be the jollyest of gatherings, but I daresay you have some strategy upon hand?

Why, says I, I am not sure I entirely have a strategy upon hand, but there are matters I hope observe; and sigh. Sure, says I, I can think of more congenial gatherings.

Come, dear C-, consider your soirées, that have brought together in harmony a deal of assort’d society.

La, says I, I would not answer for what might happen did Mr P- ever discover that Deacon Brodie was of the company.

Sandy laughs quite immoderate and says, naming of seconds, for a dawn meeting for the exchange of critickal opinions, at ten paces.

I am brought to laughter myself. My dear, says I, I am delight’d to see you in such restor’d spirits.

Why should not my spirits be lighten’d at receiving such kindness as I do not deserve? Has he not quite the noblest of hearts?

I look at him very fondly and say, harmony entire restor’d, then?

Sandy looks thoughtfull and says, somehow seems that the painfull breach has come to bring about a better understanding.

Long may it endure, says I.

But, dearest C-, I must be about my business: you may laugh when I tell you, Lord A- is mind’d to employ a secretary that may advize him upon such politickal matters as he is call’d upon to deal with in the Lords –

What? I cry.

- 'tis the influence of Mr O- B-, that he finds himself on excellent terms with, has contriv’d to bring him about to think upon his responsibilities and the condition of the nation &C.

I laugh a little, 'tis such a very unexpect’d conjunction of the fribble and the cotton manufacturer: but indeed I am pleas’d to hear it.

- so I go about certain of my acquaintance that might suit.

Why, I would not hinder you in such a task. Kindly leave Mr J-'s notes with me and I will address myself to the matter, ‘twill distract my mind from fretting.

But, alas, when I have done that, and set certain suggestions aside so I may think 'em over further, I am return’d to the frets, so I determine go take a little ride on Jezebel.

When I come to the stableyard I find Nick, Nell, and Sal, that is her sister that tends the mews cottage, that huddle together and I daresay are in concern over the matter of the sale of the livery-stable. They jump apart and Nell and Sal scurry off about their proper business. Nick goes fetch out Jezebel, that Ajax has been saddling &C.

'Tis another matter for me to go fret over as I ride.

But comes at last the time when my guests arrive, and sure 'tis ever pleasing to see Sir B- W- and dear Susannah, and Captain C- looks as tho’ having made his decision to sell out takes a deal of weight from his mind, and Mrs D- K- is looking in good taste. And Lord T- is ever amiable, and Lady T- makes exceeding civil to me, even if Lord K- is the same sad dull fellow, his eyes ever straying towards Mrs D- K-.

Timothy comes with some excellent fine wine - has acquir’d a deal of polish in the matter, I confide he took some lessoning at R- House in such duties – that most fortunate I had already in my cellar, for have been so busy since my return have had no opportunity to convoke with Mr H- concerning his friends of the Trade.

We exchange a little civil conversation – Lady T- wishes to know is there any lace made about Naples, for 'twas once most exceeding not’d for that art. Alas, says I, has declin’d from those days, there is indeed lace hawkt about but 'tis somewhat coarse. However, I go on, the Contessa di S- has some very fine antique lace that has been in her family this long while.

Susannah says, she is ever in the greatest admiration for Lady T-'s skill with the bobbins and the fine lace she makes. Alas, she goes on with a flourish of her lorgnette, I fancy I am too near-sight’d to be able to undertake anything of the like, even did my fingers have the skill.

Lady T- smiles a little and I see this prepossesses her with dear Susannah, that she has been like to suppose a sad bluestocking that rules her husband.

In due course comes Hector to inform us that dinner is serv’d, and we go into the new part of my house and my fine dining-room, and I look about it very pleas’d, for the furniture is all well-polisht and the table laid with my good china and my very fine wine-glasses, and there are candelabra with fine candles burning, and two epergnes that hold pickles and relishes and are deckt with flowers that were especial sent over from R- House.

'Twas no difficult matter to think who should take who in to dinner: Sir B- W- takes Lady T-, Lord K- takes Susannah, Captain C- arms in Mrs D- K-, and I, of course, am took in by Lord T-.

And Hector and Timothy come around laying the dishes that have come fresh and hot by means of that very excellent device from the kitchen beneath, and go round with wine, and I observe Lady T- look most approving at my dinner service. Euphemia has done most exceeding well and all except Lord K-, that looks sorrowfull at Mrs D- K-, look upon the first course with great pleasure.

I hear Sir B- W- offer to carve Lady T- some of this excellent beef, or perchance she would prefer duck, and here are some little new peas, and I see that she becomes amiable towards him. Susannah goes endeavour make conversation with Lord K-, that picks at his food as if fears might be poison’d.

Lord T- says 'tis pleasing to see me return’d to Town in such health, and hopes that the matters of my property at Naples are entire settl’d? – indeed, says I – and hopes they may see me at C- Castle this summer. We discourse a little of mutual acquaintance, and he remarks that Mr C- answers most excellent as secretary.

There is a pleasing little buzz of conversation tho’ one must observe that Lord K- does not say much.

At the remove and the bringing of the second course – Euphemia has contriv’d to obtain a very fine fresh salmon upon which all exclaim, and there is also the excellent early sparrowgrass – Lord K- is at last at liberty to speak to Mrs D- K-, that he does in somewhat of an undertone, waving away the while the offer of the very fine rice pillow with almonds and raisins. (Sir B- W- looks at me, and says, all the more for the rest of us.)

Lady T- goes converse with Captain C-, and very soon they determine upon some family connexion by way of Mrs Robert G-, and she displays a markt increase in civility towards him, and shortly he is telling her about his adventures at the Cape with his regiment, and later in Nova Scotia, and I see her eyes go to Lord K-, that leads such a dull life going about quacking himself for imaginary ailments, and I daresay she makes odorous caparisons.

The ice-pudding is most well-receiv’d, except by Lord K-, that says somewhat about the unwholesomeness of such things. He also eschews the very good cheese, that has been sent by Martha from the dairy on the Admiral’s estate.

At the proper moment I rise to withdraw the ladies to my parlour, so that Hector may bring out the port and brandy and cigars for the gentlemen.

There is tea and ratafia ready for us, along with some little macaroons, and we talk of various matters – what a shame 'twas I misst the M- House ball, 'twas an excellent occasion, but doubtless I saw a deal of society at Naples – until the gentlemen come in, that is not a long while at all.

Lord T-, Sir B- W- and Captain C- are conversing very amiable about Nova Scotia, but Lord K- has somewhat of a sulky look and goes with somewhat uncivil expedition to Mrs D- K-'s side.

I do not think he would drag her from her bed to kick her, but sure I am in some concern about how he would show as a husband.

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