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Caroline Despanay

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    Baroness

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  1. "My parents were Catholics. Though my father was never a church going sort," Caroline readily admitted, "As for myself, I attended Easter services - a few of them at George's side. And when we are married, I shall gladly accompany him to church." "Because I am of French descent, though I have never lived in France I would point out, there are some in this country who might be hostile to my very presence. Tis not fair but such is the way of things. When I first arrived in London, there had been some violence done to Catholics so I hired a bodyguard as a prudent measure to hopefully deter anyone attacking me. But honestly I have not experienced any real hostility in court."
  2. The other woman said she thought she understood at least but her following words did not necessarily indicate it. It was an attempt to convince Caroline that this was quite possibly a mistake, a misguided hope for happiness. Of course, Caroline heard her out, she was going out of her way to be tolerant even friendly because George would want it so. Besides she had no desire to find herself on the outs with George's family and friends. Though it well might turn out that way at least with some of them. So be it, Caroline was not afraid of enemies. "I hear you and on the surface it does sound logical," Caroline started, "but things like love, marriage, many kinds of relationships are often not based on logic. Though, I would also argue I already did give you some very sound common sense reasons why we have decided to get married." She finished her tea then, "I was asked, I accepted, I will not go back on my word to George, in fact I am truly looking forward to this marriage now that I have had some time to think on it. I hope you will - even if you do not agree with it - accept our decision and not try to undermine it. I want us to be friends. You ask around and you will hear that I am a loyal and devoted friend. I freely admit I have my faults but loyalty is one of my strengths."
  3. Caroline Despanay

    A Common Language - Mid-Afternoon 13 April 1678

    (ooc: Impressive opener!) Just then a carriage pulled up on the street by the pillar, it's coachman clambering down to open the side door. The fellow hardly resembled the usual sort of coachmen for he was very plainly garbed with shoes that could use replacing or at least some polish. He also had a sword resting on one hip. Underneath a dull grey floppy hat was unkempt salt and pepper hair, the leathery face indicating he was of middle age. Emerging then from the vehicle, Caroline was dressed much more elegantly, granted the bar was low when compared to her Irish bodyguard/driver, with a light blue gown of Paris fashion. Her light brown hair was pinned up and she was sans headware of any sort. The young lady paused only to open the parasol in her hand then approached the the pillar with a a quick confident step, her pale face now shaded from the sun. Caroline was well aware of the purpose of the pillar, it advertised all sorts of musical performances and events. When she had been more active or at least more interested in inserting herself into the London music scene she had stopped by to peruse the contents on a fairly regular basis. Sadly she was no longer so much engaged in that lifestyle though she still dearly loved playing her cello. Mostly it was now just practice. It suddenly reminded her that she should really get in touch with Sophia to see if her friend had any upcoming plans that might require a cello accompaniment. They worked well together. However her path was now blocked by a taller gentleman (it wouldn't take much, she was short) who appeared to be scanning the bills himself. Well, she was not shy, one thing Caroline had never been was shy. "Excuse me, good sir, but I am going to step aside of you so that I too my take a look at the announcements, thank you," she announced in a clear voice even as she did exactly what she had just stated so was now to his immediate right. Taking a quick glance at the fellow to see if she might recognize the face, no he was a stranger to her but then London was a huge place. The clothing indicated he was no commoner though, she figured. But then even the court was of a size one could never know everyone. Behind her by a few feet was her Irish bodyguard, dour and alert, hand on sword hilt at all times. He took his job seriously, afterall it paid well and he actually liked the young lady who always treated him kindly. After all those years of hefting a pike on the continent as a mercenary, pay oft in arrears and commanded by sometimes harsh and cruel officers, this sort of life was heaven sent.
  4. "Well, I had not been against marriage per se but it had been my father who so very hastily arranged it. Like the dutiful daughter I consented. But from the very start it was a total debacle. He had no interest in me at all, it was plain that he had only consented to it due to pressure from his father. He completely ignored me, I was alone at his country home and I was miserable," the words tumbled out and with a mix of emotion and venom. It was plain that Caroline utterly despised her now gone and buried former husband. She stopped suddenly, unwilling to reveal further details to this woman who she had just met and reasoned bore her little good will. But George was fond of her and Caroline honestly wanted to make George happy and be the good wife, that meant getting along with the other people in his life. Conveniently the tea arrived so conversation paused for a moment until it was served and the maid departed. "You are correct, Lady Habersham, I did truly feel free once he was buried and it was all over. I vowed my father would never make decisions like that for me again. And yes, I will readily admit that I traveled to London and court to enjoy my freedom. And I have met many wonderful people and made good friends. And yes, I have enjoyed life here," she then sipped her tea, wishing it was port or Francis' blood orange liquor instead. "But life is strange and oft unplanned, I would wager it has probably been the same for you at times, not? " it was obviously a rhetorical question because the girl did not even wait for an answer but continued. "George came to me then, purely on a visit to ask my advice on something. We had a sometimes blunt and, I believe, always truthful conversation and then...........well, he asked me to marry him. It was not my initiative on it, lest you think I was being aggressive or manipulative......no he asked me. And there it was - right in front of me and this time it was me and only me who would decide the answer. And I decided I wanted to try again. There is no comparing George with my first husband, George is a fine man and I truly believe he will treat me well, like a husband should treat his wife. In return, I will be a loyal wife and hopefully provide him with children to continue his bloodline - is that not a major reason for marriages? " She paused then, having said her piece. Whether the other woman accepted or even believed it, she could not control.
  5. Caroline Despanay

    Away & Here Notices

    Hitchhiking is not a good thing, too much can go wrong. Hope you are a fast healer! Good luck! Oh, and I am back, will catch up on my replies soon after I am done running around doing all the RL stuff that didn't get done whilst I was gone.
  6. Caroline Despanay

    Away & Here Notices

    Just to let it be known: I'm going on a short trip from Thursday thru Sunday and will be away from my computer (gasp, I might have withdrawal symptoms). Anyhow no replies from me til next week then.
  7. "Her Majesty....no, but then that was only one party. I have been at court events where she was in attendance but we have never actually spoken," Caroline tried hard to recall and was fairly certain her memory was accurate on that point, less drinking at court events than parties of course. Now as to her playing privately for George, that was - in Caroline's opinion - a rather prying question. Some might call it rude even. But Caroline was often bold in the things she said too so she decided to allow it then for the older woman. Time for some frankness though... "No I have not. You see we have - in all honesty - not spent a lot of time in privacy. As you well know, George and I agreed upon this marriage quite recently. I am sure there will be those who will be critical and say we entered into it too fast. But really....such a thing as this should be left to the couple in such matters. We are both adults, we both know what we want, and we both are quite confident we can make this work. " "Lady Habersham, I will be forthright with you. I have little doubt that you have heard that I am one of those....libertines and I will not insult your intelligence to deny such a thing. But that said, my first marriage was arranged by the parents, in my case, my father and it was a complete disaster. This time both George and I are in charge of our own fates, going into this with eyes open. And I can promise you that I am absolutely determined to be a good and loyal wife to George," she now solemnly declared.
  8. The woman did not ask for further details about her once marriage and it's (very) final end, so Caroline was not about to go into more about it. She then decided to perhaps impress her with her affinity and, yes a little more bragging, talent with the cello. Lady Habersham acknowledged that a performance for the queen was indeed quite something but then added a desire to hear her actually play - and at Caroline's next party! Oh dear. Caroline was quite certain George would not even be comfortable at one of those libertine affairs let alone this older traditional woman. "Well, while I would be honored to play for you at first opportunity, I must admit I do not really play my cello at my parties," she smiled. "Perhaps, George might host a dinner very soon at his residence and I could then make it a point to bring my instrument along and play some for you?" she quickly tried to get past the subject of the sort of parties the King preferred, well her too.
  9. Caroline had all she could do to keep a straight face when the woman surmised her husband had died trying to save a valued horse. "Hardly. I will be frank and say it was not a happy marriage," and then she decided to leave it at that. As for the inquiry about the kind of party His Royal Majesty had attended, she decided to answer without divulging much in the way of detail, safer that way. "What sort? The sort His Majesty enjoys. He is a lively man who enjoys a good time as do I. In fact he insisted that my next party he be invited again, which I will be most delighted to obey," she smiled. Mentioning the fine arts, Lady Habersham gave her a golden opportunity with her next question. "Ah yes, I do. As a young girl, my mother introduced me to the cello and ever since I have continued to play it. Needless to say, all that time and effort have paid off. I have played for the Queen, played at a debut opera with the symphony at the personal invitation of the composer, and accompanied the well known singer, Sophia de Cerda, Lady Toledo, and wife of the Spanish ambassador on a few of her public performances. For all I know you may have been present at any of those occasions?"
  10. "Ah St. George's Square, I shall have to pass by there some time and see. I am sure if it is most elegant. I inherited this place from my late husband, Henry Baron Kendishall. I also lived for a time in his country estate, Glandon. Soon after his unfortunate death in a barn fire, I decided to come to London and sample court life. I have met so many wonderful people at court including George. I do not normally care to boast but I hope you will indulge me this one time. I have had the good fortune to have actually had His Royal Majesty attend one of my private parties and we got along splendidly." Perhaps that might impress her, well unless she was not all that pleased with the King, though doubtful she would ever admit such. Trying to think of something else which might put her in a more favorable light she suddenly thought of her cello playing! "Oh, by the way, Lady Halbersham, would you happen to be someone who has an appreciation of the fine arts especially music?"
  11. ooc: Actually I described the Irishman once, he had long been a simple soldier on the continent, a foot soldier who spent his career marching to and fro the roads of Europe on sundry campaigns and he definitely does not have 'a large girth' 😊. He was hired as a bodyguard not actually a servant for his willingness to get involved in a scrap should it warrant it. IC: The lady was willing to have some tea. Caroline nodded and picked up a small bell on the nearby table, ringing it. "Very well then, I'll have the maid make some. But yes, I would certainly agree with you, George is indeed a thoughtful individual. One of his fine qualities to be sure." As soon as the maid appeared, a smallish middle aged woman Caroline immediately gave her her marching orders, to provide tea for her company. The maid nodded compliance and headed straight away for the kitchen. Though Caroline had a pretty good idea as to why the woman had come to visit, she would not be so blunt as to inquire what brought her here. But she felt the need to say something to move the conversation along. "Do you have a full time residence in London then, Lady Habersham?" Surely that was a safe topic.
  12. "Oh please, no apologies necessary. I have always tended to be a late sleeper as was my mother so perhaps it is in the blood," Caroline gave a little shrug as she escorted the older woman to her sitting room. Interesting, so George sent her here? The interior was well kept, clean, and the furniture of appropriate station. There were some paintings on the walls, mostly landscapes and one glorious battle scene in a nod to her soldier father. She could only hope her home was passing the unstated but obvious inspection. "Ah a splendid idea. George is so caring like that," Caroline nodded. Upon arriving in the sitting room, she gestured for the other woman to have a seat, "Make yourself comfortable, Lady Halbersham. May I offer you some refreshments? I have wine though I would understand if you feel it is still rather early in the day for such. Perhaps some tea instead?" "And of course he has mentioned you. You are very dear to him, I assure you. In fact he talked about his desire to invite you over for some of the holidays when they occur. I immediately agreed, you would certainly be most welcome, " Caroline smiled, remaining standing until the other woman sat.
  13. Caroline's Irishman would not have allowed this woman to barge in like that so it was fortunate she had not tried it. He was not the best of servants or doormen, not all that good at driving a coach but if there was one thing he was dedicated to it was being a bodyguard for his 'French lady'. Not that this woman looked to be a dangerous sort at all. He nodded and opened the door wide enough for her to enter. "Come in, milady," he tried to sound all proper but probably didn't. "I shall go see if she's up. She can be a late sleeper, Lady Kendishall," he explained. He almost slipped and said 'Caroline' for in the privacy of the residence they did address each other by Christian names. Scandalous of course but who knew. *** Caroline must have heard the bell herself and had headed down from her second floor bedroom to see just who it was who had arrived. A glance out her upper storey window had revealed a coach she did not recognize. So no, it was not George. He had not been around in a while and she worried. At least she had taken the time to put her feet into slippers and wrap a robe about herself but of course her hair was down not up, there had been no time for her maid to help her with that. "I am up as you now see for yourself, you may go," she waved her Irishman off then smiled and gave a bow to this older woman. She had heard her announce herself so at least she had a name she could use. "Ah, Lady Habersham is it, good morning to you. Welcome to my humble abode. I am afraid I have just awakened so excuse my lack of proper decorum. Please, come in anyway." There was just a hint of French accent if one was familiar with such things. She really wanted to ask why the woman was here but that was far too forward. No doubt she would find out soon enough.
  14. Caroline Despanay

    Away & Here Notices

    Oh geez, I don't like any of those songs! When I have had an MRI though no one ever even asked me if I wanted music. They just shove me in there but then it never bothered me. I do have a fear of heights but luckily not claustrophobia.
  15. Caroline Despanay

    What a View! (Wednesday, April 13th, midday) Caroline OPEN

    With Victorine The woman seemed quite interested even grateful for Caroline's invitation to her next party, exactly the reaction she had hoped for. Although, to use the English saying 'proof is in the pudding', this Lady Ballater would only truly find out if such wild occasions were really to her taste once she experienced one. Caroline felt it her libertine duty to give her that opportunity. "Very well, I cannot promise when the next one will be but I will definitely keep you in mind for my guest list. Oh and if I hear of any others throwing such parties, I will of course let you know too," she added. Margaret, Approaching Their discussion then of where to go to quaff a drink was suddenly put on hold with the approach of another well-dressed (and unrecognizable to Caroline) woman with a trailing servant. Oooh, she liked the woman's dress. Then she saw her companion's parasol in the other woman's possession. And since they were coming right toward them, Caroline figured the newcomer had noticed that of the pair of them, only Caroline had her parasol. Given the sun of the day, ladies needed their parasols so she must have put two and two together. Since Lady Ballater did a quick introduction, Caroline merely smiled politely and nodded acknowledgment of the newcomer, "That is a fine dress, I must compliment you on it." "Aha, there it 'tis. Your naughty parasol, it flew away," Caroline declared to them all, "and right when we were all the way on top of the memorial. How fortunate it has been found." Victorine then invited the woman along for their planned drink, which was fine with Caroline. The day had started out with a solo outing but now was becoming quite social. She thought that a good thing. Oh wait! She turned toward her Irishman standing off to the side, no doubt unnoticed amongst the rest of the commoners milling about the site. "We are leaving now, bring the carriage!" she commanded then turned back to the ladies, "I can provide us our ride unless someone objects?"
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