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Anne-Elisabeth Devereux

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  1. Anne-Elisabeth Devereux

    Desperatis hic in Vinarium | Saturday after 10pm

    Muffled voices could be heard behind the thick door of the wine cellar. Anne-Elisabeth had discovered its location earlier so that she would be able to find it without asking a servant for directions. At least I’m not the first one here. She wondered how many people Nicci had invited. The more the merrier, she supposed. The young Countess had changed into a purple silk gown sprinkled with multicolored beads and bordered with them around the neckline and hem. Her stomacher was beaded so heavily that the fabric it was made of was completely covered. She wore a necklace and earrings of diamond and amethysts. Because this party was taking place late at night, she had daringly left her raven hair loose. It tumbled to her waist and even covered by a burgundy cloak, it bounced as she walked As she stepped into the wine cellar, glass tinkled in rhythm with her footsteps. Nicolette and Caroline were already there and she smiled at them as she set her flickering candlestick on the table. “Please tell me there will be no sermons tonight, ladies” she joked, taking off her cloak and revealing the heavy bag slung over one shoulder. “The last two days have been boring enough to drive the most devout teetotaler to drink.”
  2. Anne-Elisabeth Devereux

    EASTER 1678 | Saturday Services (9th all day)

    Anne-Elisabeth wasn’t looking forward to yet another interminable day at church, but at least she could look nice while she was there. Not one to wear somber attire even during religious services, she had chosen a gown of red moire silk sprinkled with golden beads and trimmed with gold braid over a saffron yellow underskirt. Red fabric roses decorated the underskirt at various intervals. Her jewelry was made of rubies and topazes and real crimson roses adorned her hair. Their sweet fragrance wafted around her as she stepped into the chapel. Her eyes scanned the room for the handsome figure of Captain Ernle. After her conversation with Lord Beverley, she was eager to speak with him again.
  3. George didn’t seem too keen on her idea of a game. Maybe he only preferred the kinds of games he could bet on. Anne-Elisabeth supposed she could make a wager, but she didn’t want to force him into agreeing to something he had no interest in. “Then let us think on it,” she suggested, “and present our conclusions the next time we meet.” She was quite curious as to whether the way she saw him was the way he wished to be seen. She did want to see Lord Grey’s charts. Maybe she and George could make some progress that they could show the astronomer upon his return. The raven-haired Countess smiled when he invited himself to dinner. In truth, she was tired of dining alone too.” She lay one hand upon his arm. “You are not being rude at all. My definition of rudeness differs from the usual court standards. I shall be honored to host you for dinner." So there would be no public showing of her portrait unless she could convince him otherwise. That was, fortunately, not high on her list of priorities. She was perfectly fine with displaying it somewhere in her house where everyone could see it. Idly, she wondered if he would agree to paint her nude. Were not nymphs classically depicted free from the confines of clothing? “I would never be so indiscreet as to ask,” she commented about the identity of the nymph portrait he had already painted. There was a good chance the name would mean nothing to her as she was still so new to court. “Would you like to come for dinner on an evening before your exhibition or after?” she asked. “I’m sure the sky will be clear at least a few days next week.” (OOC: Fine with me.)
  4. Anne-Elisabeth Devereux

    Shhh... a party | rumours arriving saturday morning

    Anne-Elisabeth received Nicolette’s note while she was getting ready for yet another boring church service. Its contents gave her hope that not everything was going to be somber this weekend. While her hair was being arranged, she wrote a reply: After sealing it, she sent a servant to deliver it immediately.
  5. Anne-Elisabeth Devereux

    The Marvels Of Science | 6th April, afternoon (Open)

    He had not been certain that she had been jesting? Surely Lord Beverly wasn’t lacking a sense of humor? No, his next statement proved that he had one. Anne-Elisabeth chuckled. “You are right about that. Acrobats stand on their heads with ease, but they are usually quite lean.” Whether from the exercise or from lack of sustenance, she did not know. So His Majesty liked ladies who were accomplished on horseback. That was useful information. Perhaps she could impress him with her riding skills and show him that she could do more than spout spontaneous limericks on request. Maybe I should start composing limericks about horses. Reciting a limerick while Delilah prances in rhythm might dazzle His Majesty, if I can get that stubborn horse to cooperate. “I was advised once to hire a bodyguard. Perhaps I should, so I can ride safely in the countryside. The park is becoming a bit boring. I found the gazebo. Are there any other interesting places in the park that I might not have discovered?” Anne-Elisabeth didn’t want to detain Lord Beverly too long and it was becoming obvious that the sundial wasn’t going to move today. After he answered her question, she would take her leave.
  6. Anne-Elisabeth Devereux

    A Good Friday Morning Constitutional (April 8)

    Anne-Elisabeth had not recited a limerick about Swansea for three reasons. She had never been there and could not do it justice. She couldn’t find rhymes for that word instantaneously. And last but not least: kings weren’t the only ones who liked to be unpredictable. Did His Majesty sound almost wistful about Barbados? It was an English colony but not one he was likely to visit because of his duties, its distance, and the dangers of traveling by sea. She knew firsthand about the latter. The dark-haired Countess was adept at painting pictures with words, both in rhyme and in prose. “If you would like to hear more about Barbados, Your Majesty, I think I can describe it in such a way that you will be able to imagine yourself there. Every detail of my homeland is forever etched upon my mind." The King was willing to listen to her bawdy limerick if none of the other gentlemen objected. Her eyes spun from Lord Mountjoy, to Master May, Lord Ablemarle, and the other men present. “Well, gentlemen?” she asked with a mischievous smile and a saucy lift of one ebony eyebrow. “What do you say?”
  7. “Watch people,” Anne-Elisabeth suggested. “See how others react to them. Some courtiers probably believe those pompous arses are really as important as they think they are. We’re smart enough to see right through them, but not everyone is. That is the first step. The second step is to get people to react to us as we wish them to. We can both agree on how we wish them to see us and then we can sing each other’s praises to everyone we speak with and observe their reactions to us. We can make a game of it. What do you say?” Lord Grey had given George his charts? How fortuitous! He had already told her that he was going to illustrate them. And they were to be presented to the Royal Society? Had Lord Grey planned to include her in this when they had agreed to work together? It would be a splendid achievement for a woman to be recognized in that prestigious company of scientists. Anne-Elisabeth grinned. “We had planned to combine our efforts. Lord Grey's interest is in the moon and mine in the stars. We didn’t have time to speak much of it. I invited him to dinner to discuss it further but he never showed up. I believe we were to fashion charts that showed them both together. Since you have his, we should be able to combine them.” She gestured at the table again. “Those were made in Barbados. I have just started mapping the English sky.” She wished she could stop her scalp from itching underneath her wig. “On the next clear night, I’m going to set my telescope up in the garden and make some headway. Would you like to join me? If you don’t feel comfortable coming alone in the evening, feel free to bring a friend.” So George had heard her request. And he was willing to paint her himself! “You honor me, my friend. I would be thrilled to pose as one of your nymphs. Will you be displaying the paintings at court after the series is complete?”
  8. If George had asked, Anne-Elisabeth would have told him that her maid had informed her that some ladies disguised themselves as men successfully. Gossip was rife among servants. No names had been mentioned, and she had tasked Bess with finding out the identities of these ladies, if indeed they existed. It was entirely possible that those rumors were untrue or had been spread because there were some gentlemen at court who were feminine enough to pass as women. She had seen a few of those herself. Most had been dandies, Maybe women found it easier to play the role of a fop. She wanted to portray a manly man, but her youth and her pretty face would work against her. The young Countess laughed. “Oh yes, I have met quite a few of those, both in Barbados and in Cornwall. It’s so much fun to show them how utterly unimpressed you are by them. The expressions on their faces are priceless.” Lord Chichester’s humility was one of the things she adored about him. Perhaps a bit of it would eventually rub off on her. “Humility is a virtue, they say. My mother frequently told me that the way you see yourself is the way other people see you. She also said that there was no shame in demonstrating your talents and strengths. How else will anyone know what you can do?” The periwig’s itchiness was becoming extremely annoying, but she knew if she posed as a gentleman, she would have to become accustomed to wearing one. Some men preferred their own hair, but her mane of long raven curls accented Anne-Elisabeth’s femininity. She shook her head when George asked where Lord Grey was. “I have no idea. He seems to have disappeared without a trace. Maybe he was called back to his estate for some reason. If so, the situation must be severe if he left no word with anybody. I do hope he returns soon. We have a lot of work to do.” Anne-Elisabeth expected George to answer her question about portrait painters, but his suggestion made her forget all about immortalizing herself on canvas, as intriguing as that notion was. She waved her hand toward the table where her charts lay. “You wish to help me map the stars?” she asked with an enthusiastic grin.
  9. Anne-Elisabeth Devereux

    A Good Friday Morning Constitutional (April 8)

    Anne-Elisabeth basked in the King’s praise. There had never been a man she wanted to please more and she was delighted that he enjoyed her limerick. Master May … whose blush was, indeed, adorable … would hopefully understand why there were three verses. He had told her at the bachelor auction that his lucky number was three. Hers was nine, but she had yet to compose a spontaneous poem with that many verses, though she had written a few when she had plenty of time to think them out. “Thank you, Your Majesty,” she said, curtsying again. She chuckled at his jest about May, feeling that no response was needed. He didn’t seem completely comfortable with her complements, which surprised her. He had seemed so confident both at the auction and during their meeting a few days prior. Of course, she had gone a bit overboard, but he should have expected that after the tall tale she had told him at the ball when he had asked if she had ever run into pirates. Anne-Elisabeth laughed at the King’s comment about Dorset and favored him with a saucy wink. “He’s probably also rolling over in the bed of whichever lady he’s currently sleeping with.” Her smile widened into a disarming grin. “I am grateful to you for that consideration, Your Majesty, but if I ever visit Swansea, I might just be able to do it.” Lord Mountjoy appreciated her talent at too and she hoped the King would take note of his eloquent compliment. She liked being referred to as Calliope, the muse of epic poetry. “Thank you too, my lord,” she replied with a smile and another curtsy. [I hope you tell your wife about me, she added silently to herself. The widowed Countess didn’t think she had made a good first impression on Lady Mountjoy. She would much rather be a member of the King’s entourage than a part of the Queen’s household, but she would like to earn the older lady's respect. “Oh yes, there is a lot of music in Barbados. The natives sing in their own language while working on the plantations and they play their instruments and sing in the evenings when they’re done. I can’t say I’ve ever heard pirates bursting into song, but I have heard that they sing on their ships when they’re at sea. A traveling musician once entertained at a party I attended and he performed some songs that supposedly came from them. They were quite bawdy. “It is fortunate that I cab compose poetry because I can’t sing at all. I wrote a limerick about it, but ...” Her dark eyes turned to the King again. “It might not be appropriate this morning as it contains foul language. Dorset and the Merry Gang seemed to enjoy it.". If the monarch wished to hear it, she would recite it now or at another time. The decision, as always, was his.
  10. Anne-Elisabeth Devereux

    The Marvels Of Science | 6th April, afternoon (Open)

    Anne-Elisabeth loved to surprise people just to see how they reacted. This was not one of those situations, as she didn’t think wanting to be an inventor was at all shocking. Her charming companion had a different opinion and his expression was rather cute. As usual when she met a handsome gentleman, she wondered what he would be like in bed. Very proper, she decided, and he probably thanked his wife afterwards, which she wished more of her own lovers did. Then again, she had never thanked them either. Lord Beverley admitted that he was not mechanically inclined. Most gentlemen weren’t simply because they didn’t have to be. Perhaps one of the servants who worked on the grounds knew how the sundial functioned. She would eventually find someone who could explain it to her. When the dark-haired Countess had a goal in mind, she never gave up until she achieved it. She barely prevented wrinkling her nose at the thought of spending the weekend at church or in prayer. Not my idea of a good time. She was still too new to court to ignore any opportunity to make new acquaintances, so she supposed she would have to endure it. Being seen was more important than avoiding abject boredom. One eyebrow quirked upward when he revealed that the King had decided to hold an equine event after Lord Beverly’s family had given him horses for Christmas. They bred horses? How intriguing. She didn’t need a new one. Her stubborn and mischievous Delilah suited her quite well. “That’s what I heard as well. I hope ‘novel’ doesn’t mean riding while standing on your head. I’m a good horsewoman but I could never manage anything like that. I doubt the contest for ladies will be too unusual.” Men tended to underestimate the skills of the fairer sex. “I ride frequently myself, just not every day.” She smiled engagingly. “Perhaps we shall run into each other while riding. Where do you usually go? Can you recommend an interesting place to ride besides the park?"
  11. Anne-Elisabeth Devereux

    A Good Friday Morning Constitutional (April 8)

    Anne-Elisabeth glanced over at Abermarle. He had warned her against the bawdiness of the theatre and here she was offering to compose a racy limerick for the King. What must he think of her now? “There are quite a few of us, actually,” she replied to the monarch’s remark about nobility on Barbados.. It was an English colony, though mostly settled by commoners and younger sons of nobles like her father who wished to make their own fortunes. “And yes, there are many wonders in Barbados.” She grinned over at Lord Mountjoy. “Including lovely weather and more sugar plantations than you can count. In fact, I grew up on one. Unfortunately pirates do plague our shores but they generally stay out of our way. We English have proven time and again that they are no match for us. One day we will run them off of our island for good.” Perhaps she shouldn’t have suggested a bawdy limerick this early in the morning, but in her opinion, there was no set hour for risque rhymes. A ribald poem might even wake everyone up. She was a bit disappointed that the King didn’t want to hear a limerick about himself. She had prepared several beforehand for just this occasion, as well as made up a couple more while they were catching up with the royal entourage. There was a distinct possibility that His Majesty suspected she had already composed a few in advance, hoping to have a chance to recite them in his presence. Maybe he was testing her to see exactly how well she did in making up limericks on the fly. That ‘May’ rhymed with ‘Cambray’ made her task a lot easier. The vain Countess had composed many limericks about herself. She bent down to pet one of the spaniels. “Very well, Your Majesty. Perhaps you shall hear the poems I composed about you anyway … when you least expect it.” Anne-Elisabeth remembered May’s advice that she write flattering limericks about the King and spread them around the city. She’d had no time to put that idea into play in the few days since he had suggested it. Doing it right took careful planning, a process she had only recently begun to work on. “He has already inspired me. Composing a limerick about Master May will be a pleasure.” Petting the dogs gave her the chance to run a few verses through her head. It couldn’t be funny or May might be offended and call off their deal. She doubted the King would accept her as a member of his entourage today. She needed him to keep bringing her up and singing her praises so that His Majesty would be intrigued by her. Ahh, yes, she had it. Standing back up, she smiled mischievously at her collaborator. “A delightful chap called Master May Works in a spectacular way. He’s the best privy purse In the whole universe. And he should be praised every day. "He charmed me the day we first met. Impressed at the very outset. He is a real treasure, A man without measure, And one I shall never forget. "There are so many things I could say To compliment dear Master May. There’s much to admire. He will always inspire A truly poetic display.” I hope he blushes, she thought. He’ll probably look adorable if he does.
  12. “At the moment, I have no idea who those ladies are. If I do meet one, I shall definitely ask them for tips.” Anne-Elisabeth occasionally fantasized that one of the gentlemen who fancied her and wanted a fling would turn out to be a woman. Gender had never mattered much to her, and a lover who posed as a man might be willing to divulge some of her secrets. Maybe someday that fantasy would become a reality. She would have to be quite a bit older before she seduced ladies in disguise. No woman would be interested in shagging a mere boy. Libertarian. Yes, that was a very good word to describe the delightful Lord Chichester. Though he shared some of the views of a libertine … he had not been shocked by her interest in science, her behavior at the card game, or her male clothing … he definitely did not engage in licentiousness. He was compassionate and honorable and cared more for others than himself. A rare creature, indeed, and one she was pleased to have as her friend. “We are our own worst critics,” the young Countess agreed. “But it is possible to move beyond it and to look at oneself in a positive light.” She smiled playfully. “If you ever feel bad about yourself, just come to me and I’ll set you straight so quickly that your head will spin.” In her opinion, George had no faults at all. One dark eyebrow rose slightly as he recounted his experience … or rather the lack thereof … with Isaac Newton. How dare the man ignore him when he supported his work! Two hundred pounds a season was nothing to sniff at. Anne-Elisabeth could have told George that Lord Grey had promised to bring her up when speaking with the scientist and to tell him that she would like to have both of them over for dinner, but nothing had come of that. She decided not to mention it because ignoring a woman was trivial compared to ignoring a patron. “How rude of him!” she exclaimed. “Perhaps he’s busy but it’s completely disrespectful to ignore you for months on end. If I ever meet him, I shall kick him in the … shin.” Luckily, she was able to stop herself just before she uttered the word ‘nuts.’ “Perhaps he’s just an officious sort. Not at all like the amiable Lord Grey.” The dark-haired Countess shrugged. “I shall ask around. If I do hear of a scientist who is not biased toward ladies, I will contrive a way to put myself in his path.” This was the first time she had worn the periwig for more than a few minutes, and she was finding it extremely itchy. “I do have another question for you, my friend. Would you know of an artist who would be willing to paint my portrait? I will not be young forever and I should like to remember how I looked during this in my life.”
  13. Anne-Elisabeth Devereux

    The Marvels Of Science | 6th April, afternoon (Open)

    “Powerful relations can only do so much. One still has to prove oneself worthy of having honors bestowed upon one, which they seem to have done quite admirably. I hear that Captain Ernle distinguished himself at sea, which means he must be quite exceptional. There are a lot of ships in the fleet, after all, each with an ambitious captain. And yet he rose above them all.” Anne-Elisabeth chuckled. “Maybe he defeated the greatest number of pirates.” One raven eyebrow rose slightly. Some of the images were of His Majesty’s mistresses? She had figured that the ladies depicted on the crystals were cousins or other relatives. I wonder if Nicci will be added to them, she thought. Her friend was rising at court too, and the tanned Countess was happy for her. Lord Beverley didn’t appear too curious about the sundial. “Well, I am determined to figure out how it works. Complicated devices have always fascinated me. Had I been born a man, I should have liked to be an inventor.” Her cloak billowed upwards on a sudden gust of wind and she smoothed it back down. “Do you know of any activities that are planned for this season? I was told that there might be some sort of equine event. I do hope that was not just a rumor. I love to ride and brought my horse with me from my estate in Cornwall. Do you enjoy riding too, my lord?”
  14. “I figured I would stay in the background and try to blend in. I just want to learn more about science and new inventions. Sometimes I can’t stop myself from asking questions, but if I deepen my voice and stand behind a tall gentleman, maybe I won’t be scrutinized too closely. I have heard that some ladies are so good at pretending to be men that nobody questions their identities. If they can do it, why can’t I? It will take a lot of practice, but I’m willing to do whatever it takes to master the art of feigned masculinity." Anne-Elisabeth smiled when George called her a womanly woman. “I shall choose to take that as a compliment.” She was quite pleased that he found her attractive, and wondered again if he had wanted to kiss her earlier. “You already know me as a woman, though. Maybe those who have never met me might be fooled?” For once, she was glad she was not fashionably voluptuous. Slender women such as herself could pass as a man more easily than one with fabulous … assets. How would you hide a massive bosom anyway? He suggested that she find somebody to pose as her father. Now that was an idea she would never have come up with on her own. She had almost changed her mind about showing George her disguise, afraid that it would ruin their friendship. Now she was glad she had. He was quite clever to think of that option. “I think hiring an actor would be easier than finding a scientist to support me.” Lord Grey might have been amenable to that notion, but she hadn’t seen him for a few days and feared that he might have left court. “There are very few gentlemen who are as open-minded as you are.” She grinned. “Would you by any chance know of one who might be willing to at least speak to me? I’d be dressed as a woman, of course.”
  15. Anne-Elisabeth Devereux

    A Good Friday Morning Constitutional (April 8)

    One of the King’s spaniels challenged the new dog. The larger canine backed down. He looked as if he’d rather play than start a fight. Anne-Elisabeth chuckled at his name. The fluffy little creature was certainly fiercer than his namesake, and this Johnnie might actually be able to kiss his arse without hurting himself. There was a limerick in there somewhere. She would have to find it and use it the next time she encountered Rochester, preferably with Dorset and the rest of the Merry Gang in tow. Lord Mountjoy? Lady Mountjoy’s husband. The young Countess gazed at the gentleman with more interest as he was introduced to her. Maybe if this encounter went well, he would speak of her to the Queen’s Mistress of the Robes. Anne-Elisabeth was still interested in a position in Her Majesty’s presence chamber, but not as much as she wished to become part of the King’s entourage. Wouldn’t it be splendid to achieve both and have the best of both words? He did not react to May’s introduction. Had her naughty reputation preceded her? No, he didn’t want to interrupt her conversation with the King. He was, Anne-Elisabeth decided, more courteous than rude. She grinned mischievously at His Majesty’s observation. “Let me amend my statement. I almost always rise before dawn. I do enjoy sleeping past noon occasionally, usually after a late night spent in enthusiastic company. “I developed the habit of walking early in the morning when I lived in Barbados. The ocean is so lovely with the colors of the sunrise sparkling upon the waves. The scenery is just as delightful here … elegant and orderly instead of wild and untamed. I look forward to fully exploring the park.” Great. Now I’m going to have to get up almost every day just to prove I told the truth. I suppose I did, in a way. As a child, I often woke up early to sneak away from the house and walk on the beach. Oh well, It will be good practice. If I become one of his companions, I’ll be doing this all the time anyway. Anne-Elisabeth was pleased the the King wished to hear one of her limericks. “Now there’s one gentleman I doubt ever sees the sun rise,” she said of Dorset. “Perhaps he will hear of what happened today and rue his absence. Since I dethroned him at the New Year’s Eve Ball, I am certain that he will demand a rematch eventually. I hope you will be there to witness it.” Lord Mountjoy finally greeted her and again, the Countess curtsied and held up her hand to be kissed. “I’m delighted to meet you, my lord. Don't worry about my muse. It is especially lively today." Turning back to the King, she favored him with a saucy smile. “You have a choice, Your Majesty. Would you like to hear a nice limerick about yourself or a bawdy one?”