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James O`Neill

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    St. Marks' Hall

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  1. James O`Neill

    EASTER 1678 | Saturday Services *closing*

    Kingston and James “Is this the official family line, or mere experience speaking?” James smirked at the notion that he might be cautious as regards a Villiers woman, not unwise advice, and laughed further as he sallied forth to respond to the jest about the departed Viscountess Kingston. “No, I concede the point. I may laud the lioness with courage in her heart when it comes to verse,” once more, he paused, teeth nibbling at a stray bit of flesh on the inside of his cheek. “But in the flesh, she is more fearsome, and when it comes to her den...” He shrugged, having infringed upon Kingston and his mother already. “Well, you could speak to that better than I.” “Alas that it would be un-Christian for His Majesty to follow the lead of the East,” he replied, grinning at the idea of a royal harem. “I am not ungrateful for my lines, such as they were, but a play is easier to perform when it's already written. Improvisation is...” The poet gestured vaguely with his left hand, waving his fingers. “Well, difficult would be inaccurate. Tedious...no, inelegant.” By now, he was hardly looking at Francis, lost in thought, in ambition and grandiosity. “Ah, the burdens of being a bearer of catharsis. Aristotle might be proud were I not so possessed of his favorite flaw, hubris, hm?” Returning at least partially to his senses as court's lion cub of the moment spoke of festivity, James' head snapped back to front and center, mulling over a wager. “A shame that the most enlivening of bets would be inappropriate on this day.” The Almighty's forbearance was already tested enough by the doings of the libertine set, to say nothing of James himself. “Mm.” A frown wrinkled at the corners of his mouth and brought a dimple to bear, clearly not having thought this through. “It's a bit boring, but...first to find three courtiers having dozed during the sermon wins?” “And for the stakes, something more lively...” Further chuckles, uncontrolled and unbidden. His green eyes flashed with delight as he looked towards Kingston, suddenly self-conscious in the face of a more experienced mischief-maker. “A dare?”
  2. James O`Neill

    EASTER 1678 | Saturday Services *closing*

    Francis and James, while Mumsy departs James was not such a bad friend as to mean it like that; the poet was (just barely) image-conscious enough to refrain from making jokes about the Italian vice around another man's mother. Which was a shame, really, the implication that Francis perceived would have been much more amusing. And amusement had been in precious short supply these past few months. Dreary, bleary Ireland had its merits, but few of them were diverting enough when one's father kept them practically under lock and key. Francis' mother soon took her leave, graciously. “A much better sport than my own mother, she is,” James observed, green eyes following the lady for a moment before snapping back to Kingston. Once again falling on the edge of conscientious, he added quickly, with an apologetic look downward, “I do hope I didn't scare her off.” Moods like these brought on a confidence that leaned toward the side of bravado, but acceptance and recognition were among James' most powerful cravings. “I felt rather like a court musician among an imperial harem that day,” he recalled, voice dropping quietly as he made a look over his shoulder to the front of the church. Would the Lord strike him down for such remarks? It was passingly close to blasphemy to speak of such, but the vengeful God the priests spoke of had as of yet done little to him. Or a lot, depending on perspective, a quiet voice on the back of his mind suggested. There was a cheery thought – one that led James to rush onwards to further distraction. “But yes, you're right, of course. Hardly the appropriate venue, or day.” He bit his lip, brow furrowing somewhat. A free hand ran through his hair idly, the old nervous tic resurfacing. “A pity, truly. I'd hoped London would be more...festive, despite the timing. Hm.” He glanced back at Francis, suddenly smirking, though his voice remained low. “Fancy a wager, my lord?”
  3. James O`Neill

    EASTER 1678 | Saturday Services *closing*

    Kingstons and James There was a somewhat reassuring element to Lady Kingston's seeming approval, and in James' mind -at least, when the temperament shifted as if the moon waxed in his favor- “somewhat” was as good enough of a response as he needed. There was gratification to his efforts, and with Tacitus brushed off for the moment, he breezed right along, glancing at the Villiers cub briefly but paying no heed to his silence. After all, James O'Neill was a young man almost entirely concerned with gratification, until the humors had their way with him – as they could so reliably be counted on doing. “The idea might merit thieving, my lord,” James conceded with a smirk of his own. “Although with my apparent luck, I'd end up thieving my way into bringing a primer on manners, or the Book of Common Prayer.” He was not yet at the level of the Merry Gang, who were known for a number of sacrilegious acts, some of which seemed shocking even to the young Irish heir when he'd first heard the rumors. But it hardly seemed appropriate (once again, even to him) to bring up such references around Francis' lady mother. Even if, he supposed, there was a fifty/fifty chance that she shared blood with Buckingham himself. Had Francis once told him which side his famed cousin was on? The poet had no mind for the personal details of others; a rich internal life full of drama, fantasy, and dreams of fame to rival court's poet laureates was preoccupying enough on its own. An exhale through his nose belied James' amusement at Kingston's response – truly, the events in question were beyond description! “What's the saying, my lady?” He queried of the man's mother with a mischievous glint in the green of his eyes. “A gentleman never tells?” Glancing at Francis again, his smile grew momentarily apologetic, but the breeze blew on even as he added hurriedly, “Not like that, I should say. If I might proffer another flattering bribe...” The poet struggled not to grin and laugh at the ridiculousness of the story. “Your son assisted me greatly in providing His Majesty some amusement, and demonstrating my craft for those around him, including the Duke of Buckingham.” An important person to know, for an aspiring artist. Left unsaid was that Kingston's assistance largely consisted of promoting a bizarre game that ended in an altercation with that boor, Langdon, and picking up the droppings of HRM's beloved spaniels, and that James' own demonstrations were impromptu, hasty, and intellectually demanding. “I endeavor to make good on such demonstration.” He hefted the Agricola once more, as if that explained everything, and asked of Lady Kingston with some sincerity, “Might you be at court permanently, then?” A performer had to know their audience. Even more than a seeker of gratification on nearly every level, James considered himself a performer par excellence.
  4. James O`Neill

    EASTER 1678 | Saturday Services *closing*

    Kingstons and James “My...studiousness? Is showing?” Evergreen eyes darted like a cat after a particularly fitful mouse, from Francis to his mother to the floor, and finally, in a moment of belated clarity, to his book. “Tacitus,” he muttered, half-growling at the dawning realization. “Oh dear.” Of all the places where he would reconnect with Francis! And, even more crucially, with all the people whom he possibly could be accompanied by! And here he was, already making a proper ass out of himself. He really, truly needed to get more sleep. But ancient Celts warred with legionaries when his eyelids closed, his thoughts curled and confined into meter and verse... “I...” James sighed, steadying himself. “I believe I actually forgot my prayer book,” he confessed, shooting the Viscountess a contrived look of suitable ruefulness. Francis may have been a libertine, and a relation of the most famous one of all England at that, but any half-clever man was once a boy who learned to win over their playmates' mothers. “Unless...hm.” He casually flicked through the pages of the Agricola, shooting the pair of them a smirk. “No, I don't suppose that I attempted your ruse, Lord Kingston. A pity, truly.” He snapped the book shut with a flourish and tucked it under its arm to bow and take Lady Kingston's hand if offered. “Charmed, my lady. Your son's heroism might make a poorer rhyme than that of my Boudica, but he's nonetheless been crucial in my introduction to court.” Thus laying on the charm, he glanced around the chapel once more, not aspiring to be a bother as he added, “A sleepy Irishman is truly an irritating intrusion on a holy day, it is, and for that I apologize.” Of course, if the fire in his eyes was to be believed, 'insomniac' may have been a better label – he felt too charged for sleepiness.
  5. James O`Neill

    EASTER 1678 | Saturday Services *closing*

    James Meets the Kirkes, Accidentally James O'Neill was back in London, and at a court event where he could follow his lord father's wishes, no less. His mind had been buzzing like a bee-hive with a half-hundred different thoughts, his green eyes rimmed with dark circles, but his heart beat steady in knowing that everything was in its right place once more. Except for his Bible, and by that token, the book that he carried in his left hand instead. It wasn't out of any lack of piety, truly: despite Iveagh's insistence that he carry Catholicism in his heart and the Church of Ireland on his lips, James found comfort (and more than a little literary approval) in the redemption of all men by the Son of God, and surely a world full of wonder, of beauty, of inspiration required the hand of a higher power. Even the fire-and-brimstone of the Old Testament made a certain sort of sense, none but an artist of his peculiar temperament, the Irish poet felt, could truly understand how the maker of such marvels could strike his creations down with such wrath. No, his skepticism in the words of the clergy aside, James would have never intended to show disrespect in a holy place – not without significant reason and intoxication, of course. The truth was more benign; in his hurry to secure lodgings at St. Mark's, find an outfit appropriate enough to impress upon his Irish masters his ostensible eagerness to serve, and stash away a few copies of a manuscript away from the prying eyes of his father's footman, he had taken the book currently being used to provide historical weight to what would be his first opus in the place of King James' Bible. “Nemeta, nemeta...” the poet could be heard muttering in Ulster brogue, mulling over synonyms for the ancient groves of the druids. A keen observer would note that, though his outfit -a navy justacorps, accented with Butler yellow to match the lighter blue of his waist coat- was fine enough, his cravat was tied rather slapdash, and he tugged at it idly as he weaved through the crowd. Many of the faces seemed familiar - Mademoiselle Vaquelin, whom he had once dubbed a nymph during a bizarre stroll with His Majesty's, was with Brooke's son, and elsewhere he could spy Lady Kendishall, from a party of Melville's long ago. “Mona...now that is a reference more obtuse than the Wel-” James made a stutter step as his private reverie of mumblings were cut short, realizing he was approximately two paces from quite-literally running into another familiar face, Kingston, reeling back slightly and brandishing his book, startled. It was Tacitus' De vita et moribus Iulii Agricolae, far from a holy book. “-a thousand pardons my lord, and ah,” he shot a glance to the older woman, who seemed to have some of Francis' look about her. The words came pouring out of him, unbidden and unconsidered. “My lady. Truly. I'd been deep in thought, you see, about Anglesey, and, ah...I just-” Sheepishly, James smiled, revealing a solitary dimple, and bowed deeply, suddenly remembering his manners and where he was. “-I beg the pardon of you both, most deeply."
  6. James O`Neill

    PC Recesses Jan-March 1678

    Master James O'Neill, heir to the Baron Iveagh Christmas 1677-March 1678 The Rising of the Britons was nearly completed, and with it, James' own rise in the artistic world seemed assured – the cold winter of 1677 could do little against the flames of his vibrancy, the passion which he had poured into a literal epic. But he was Icarus yet, and soon the wax would melt. Put more simply: James' affair with the woman-behind-the-man of the Mercer Publishing House, a widow by the name of Constance, had secured the publication of his epic, a metaphor-laden homage to the warrior-woman Boudica, who rose against the virtue-obsessed Romans. It was not entirely unknown for deals such as these to be sealed with intimate affairs, and certainly James paid little mind to the scandalous nature of it – this breeziness, the cavalier energy which propelled him through the mania of his mind would prove a mistake. A future peer caught in flagrante delicto with an older woman of common origin, on its own, was hardly worth James' recall to the County Down...but it was another matter to be caught by a footman who served as the young man's surrogate father figure. Particularly when said footman wrote to James' actual father with great regularity. Iveagh wrote to Ormonde upon first hearing of his son's doings, not concerned utterly with his “hobbies” but of his reputation and recklessness. He claimed an illness in the family, and this is not entirely untrue – perhaps in some far-off future, the O'Neill heir's malady would be understood better, but in this day and age, the Baron knew it only to be a sickness of the soul. The Christmas season ended early for James; the long recess to come seeming to extend well past the few months that they were. The Baron was never a man to spare the rod and spoil the child, although never once did he act out of malice. When that failed, he tried prayer, he tried leeching, taking James out for rides in the countryside, anything to engage his son and bring his mind back to the duties of his family, so that he might return to the Duke of Ormonde with a shred of sensibility. James, for his part, floundered in the isolation, screamed into the placid blues of Loch Cuan* 'til his throat rubbed raw, stared in silence up at the O'Neill coat of arms as his strange moods shifted into depression. In short, he positively flounced, until his youngest sister, darling Sibyl, pleaded with him to act. She could not stand to see the light of her brother dimmed so quickly. So James resolved to act with contrition, begging his Papa for forgiveness and Ormonde for His Grace's forbearance. It was not entirely a lie – to wit, he supports the cause of the Irish moderate, in his disinterested manner – but another scheme was afoot. Not trusting his family's servants and with his allowance withheld until he could return to court, James filched an antique brooch of his mother's, and traded it with a fisherman from the village nearest Greyabbey in exchange for a letter to London. He begged once more, asking Mistress Constance to withhold the distribution of his manuscript: The Rising, James explained in furtive shorthand, would be best introduced at a court function. The young poet had caught the King's attention once before, after all, and even after being spurned by Lucas Cole, he still had friends in London. Presented in the right format, James figures, with the appropriate timing...Iveagh could be hard-pressed to begrudge his son's potential success if the eye of court is on the aspiring libertine. But then, that could simply be the madness of a choleric temperament talking. *Period name for Strangford Lough
  7. James O`Neill

    Irish Nationals

    Full Name: James Cillian O'Neill Title: Untitled gentry (Currently serving as Messenger of the Royal Steward) Estate Name: Greyabbey Age: 22 (b. 3 August 1655) Gender: Male Height: 5'9" Eye Color: Green Hair Color: Dark brown Marital Status: Unmarried First Impression and Physical Characteristics: With well-groomed dark hair, a lean build, and an easy smile, James is at first glance handsome. He stands at an even 5'9", unremarkable for his age, but the debonair courtier makes up for it with his mutable, constantly-shifting green eyes (albeit underscored by a slightly tired look that he never seems to acknowledge), perfect smiles, and large, slightly offset aquiline nose that seems to center his whole boyish face. While perhaps not utterly attentive to fashion trends -who has the time, really- he seems to have an eye for color, and chooses those that match his temperament, preferring dark and bold hues. Something of an Anglophile, O'Neill speaks in a clear Ulster accent nonetheless. At second glance, most mistake his energy for youthful enthusiasm. Considering that the young heir is quick to smile and laugh, sometimes beyond what is truly appropriate (though that is something he has been reminded time and again to work on) or jest and quote a familiar classic, it's not unusual that most who meet the aspiring poet think such thoughts. Whether in literature or at court, most come off believing him to be an utter bon vivant. That's the way he likes it, after all. But behind the intelligence and charm, there's a restless current underneath his words (which, at times, seem to come out an alarmingly rapid rate), and an impulsiveness that always seems to bubble near the surface...coupled with a tendency to talk fondly and excitedly of even the most risky wagers, one wonders how much his actions are truly considered... Background: The family of the Baron O'Neill of Iveagh is a family caught between two different tendencies. While the O'Neill family in particular, especially of recent memory, is well-known amongst their Irish brethren as a stalwart defender of the Catholic Gaelic tradition, Lord Iveagh's place is something of an anomaly amongst the clan and the peerage of Ireland alike. Born in the midst of a total paradigm shift -considering the departure of many of his family to Spain or France during the Flight of the Earls especially- in Ireland, Cillian O'Neill was nothing special, merely a cousin to the more famous Owen Roe and a great-nephew of 'the Great' O'Neill, the last Earl of Tyrone. What differentiated him was the ambition the young scion of the landed Irish gentry had- despite Cromwell's exile of Cillian and many other Irish landowners to Connaught, when the Restoration came, the baron, his two daughters, and the young James Cillian O'Neill returned to Iveagh restored slightly (if not entirely) to their former prominence, with Spanish connections to boot. Given all the essentials and education that the family could afford, James was raised on this duality, and seemingly thrived in it. He was flexible, clever, and quite capable of applying himself when the need arose: only as he became a young man, that focus seemed entirely on the poetry both of the Irish bards and the modern English court. The O'Neills of Iveagh, it seemed, were victims of a temperament out of their control (although one could point to their parenting technique as...unhelpful) and promptly set about correcting their own mistakes in raising a reckless, moody heir. Sent off to Spain, Portugal, and later Italy, to learn from relatives who had left during the earlier persecution of Irish landowners, this hope was quickly dashed as James returned from Italy under hurried circumstances, with a head full of ideas about art and courtly life Now, it seems, the ambitious Iveagh and his heir have reached a compromise. James will get his taste for urban life...in the service of the Duke of the Ormonde, in a seemingly inconsequential position, all the while knowing that the family's future will eventually fall to him. Family: Cillian O'Neill, Baron Iveagh: Father, b. 1627. A stern, ambitious man, seemingly less than pious but nonetheless tied to tradition and the family legacy. Relationship with James is strained. Grace O'Neill (nee Cassidy), Baroness Iveagh: Mother, b. 1635. Beautiful but demure, Grace has taken little role in the upbringing of James, despite her sympathy. All but Cecily favor her appearance. Dame Abigail Siobhan O'Byrne (nee O'Neill): Sister, b. 1652. The wife of a landed Irish knight, having inherited the looks of her mother and ambition of her father. Has two children. Cecily Bridget O'Neill, sister, b. 1660: Intelligent but sharp-tongued to the point of being caustic, Cecily is neither timid nor exceptionally attractive, and as such her prospects look dismal. Sybil Rachel O'Neill, sister, b. 1663: Precocious, daring, and charming, the young girl is the darling of Greyabbey, though as of late has become rebellious (a tendency which may be encouraged by her brother). Owen Patrick Cassidy, cousin, b. 1647: James' level-headed cousin, Owen is shrewd but practical, and remains James' sole friend inside the family beyond Greyabbey. Currently residing in Spain due to the large Irish presence in the Spanish military, he was the poet's chief guide to Italy.