Jump to content

Charles Blount

  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

About Charles Blount

  • Rank
    Lord Mountjoy

Character Information

  • Title
    Hunting, Riding, The Law, Collecting Meissen Porcelain
    Solicitor General & Queen's Master of Horse

Recent Profile Visitors

78 profile views
  1. Charles Blount

    A Good Friday Morning Constitutional (April 8)

    He was about to answer affirmatively in the flattering way of a courtier when inspiration hit him. He was generally not one for prose or frivolity preferring reason and facts to make his points but the wistful talk of exotic lands had moved him and limericks always tended to embolden everyone into believing they were aspiring poets so he answered thusly. I assuredly give my consent For I never would wish to prevent The Lady from amusing the King With her bawdy rhyming For his Majesty’s enjoyment is frequent He looked around afraid he may have overstepped his bounds or made a fool of himself as he ‘Ahemed.’ In self deprecation. “I do believe my meager attempt at verse would not cause anyone to mistake me for a member of the Merry Gang
  2. Charles Blount

    EASTER 1678 | Saturday Services (9th all day)

    George and Caroline with Cadel and Charles Charles appreciated George’s admiring glances at his ensemble. Being a fashionable man of taste he was sophisticated enough to understand the subtitle allegory of his outfit. The apricot coat and auburn wig was an homage to the pink and browns of the miracle of the loaves and fishes and the green breeches emulated the grass that obviously nourished the ass that carried our Lord Jesus to Jerusalem. The frankincense was a bit trite to be sure but he was all out of myrrh and to be honest the Tudor buttons had no religious allegory but they matched and were a gift to his great grandfather from Queen Elizabeth herself so they did point out the family’s long service to the Crown. Lord Chichester was kind enough to mention the continental pocketchief having recognized it as the latest fashion from France but such avant-garde statements were apparently not favored by his tailor Mr. Maisonere who by all accounts was a superior craftsman if a bit understated which was not undesirable for an English gentleman. Introductions soon followed and a flurry of bows and hand kisses were offered. “Enchanté Mademoiselle.” And “An honor my Lord Athenry.” Was directed to both in turn. “The shortcomings of the French State notwithstanding France as a culture has much to be said for it and one can admire their sophistication and style without undue recriminations.” He opined indicating that although he supported the English position he was not one of those who saw need to demonize their current enemy for Mountjoy was as ardent an Englishman as one could be but did not believe that opposition led inexorably to distain Upon the news of the recent marriage he offered Cadel a complement “I give you joy for your recent nuptials Lord Athenry and hope your sojourn in France supplied you with many halcyon days to look back upon as you enjoy the future together with your bride.” He also spared a smile for Caroline and George thinking that their demeanor may herald yet more halcyon days ahead
  3. Charles Blount

    EASTER 1678 | Saturday Services (9th all day)

    Lord and Lady Mountjoy arrive According to custom Ursula, as Mistress of the Queen’s Robes, would normally accompany the Queen during events such as these while Charles’ status as both a Crown and Household official was more ambiguous. He had however made arrangements for the two of them to arrive together before taking their place next to the Queen. He did not want their current differences to become common gossip within Court circles so aimed to dispel such potential rumors with an outward show of congeniality. Things were not settled between them but their conversation last evening had resulted in an understanding of sorts wherein they recognized the importance of keeping up appearances during the Easter observances and agreed that their issues would be discussed later when they would have the time to deal with their personal concerns without the stress of Court politics complicating matters. Whether or not that discussion would be a gentle meeting of minds or a furious row remained to be seen .The carriage ride was rather quiet with both of them sticking to polite banal comments in a gallant effort to remain amenable for neither one of them wished to exacerbate the situation. It was thus that the couple arrived together disembarking from their carriage the very picture of marital and religious devotion. Charles was attired in an apricot coloured silk frock coat with gold braid and semi-precious stones in an ivy pattern along the seams and Flemish lace about the mint green velvet cuffs that hopefully would detract from the fact that they were two inches shorter than fashionable this season The buttons were rose gold with a single small diamond sent in the center of a stylized Tudor rose. His breeches were of mint green watered silk as was his waistcoat which was adorned with a more gold lace down the front. His cravat of ivory Alencon lace was held in place with a pin of gold set with a square cut emerald and his periwig was of auburn curls giving off the faint smell of frankincense. In the carriage he had been fussing with a newly obtained pockerchief which he had seen worn by a French Ambassador. It was a bit frilly and not common fashion in England but if he puffed out his chest and kept his arms behind his back it might detract persons from scrutinizing his cuffs so he decided to throw caution to the winds and wear the new French fashion, yet he was careful to do so meekly as Jesus would have done on such a holy day. Ursula chose a gown of silver grey tussar silk with pleated sleeves and a full ruffled skirt with a darker bodice of jacquard silk in a floral pattern adorned with pearls and a chemise of white Chelsea lace that modestly covered her lower arms and full Décolletage as befitting the tone of the occasion. The gown was accented by sapphire blue velvet ribbons edged in gold. Her hair was done up in English ringlets and for church she wore a small bongrace in cloth of silver set with seed pearls which she paired with sapphire and pearl earrings and a necklace consisting of a trio of teardrop sapphires. They entered through the flower entwined arch arm in arm and slowly made their way towards the front nodding and smiling at various acquaintances. Lady Oakham (Darlene Hamilton) looked particularly youthful as Charles nodded in her direction inwardly thankful for her support with his efforts to reconcile with his wife. Staking claim to a position that would be behind the Queen they spoke softly to each other for a few moments before Ursula was waylaid by some aspect of protocol Charles drifted off without realizing that he was still carrying Ursula’s prayer book in a white silk purse. It was too late however to return the burse directly so he mentally made a note to return as soon as the Queen arrived and present the book too her. In the meantime he fluffed up his lace and pockerchief and hoped the purse would not make him look girly. Casting about he spied George and thought to approach him but George quickly a woman and was as quickly joined by another man. The dynamic of the trio clearly claimed a subtext that Charles was not privy to but by the time he deciphered d it he was too close to be able to diplomatically veer off so with a flourish of lace and the whiff of frankincense he barged in. Approaching Chichester. Despanay and Mortimer “My dear Chichester, I ventured to seek you out in order to enjoy your company but see I have been anticipated by these charming persons.” He smiled and made a convivial gesture to Caroline and Cadell. “I pray your forgiveness Mademoiselle for my intent was to stalk old Chichester here and not propel myself upon you so."
  4. Mid-Morning, Saxony House Charles was an early riser, habitually up before dawn with a brisk walk or horse ride under his belt before breakfast, but today the sun had risen hours ago and he was still in his dressing gown. The gown was a classic… never out of style… of purple paisley Chinese silk with a profusion of red and yellow dragons cavorting about entwined with green trees laden with colourful fruits such as apples, cherries, peaches persimmons and a strange yellow fruit called a banana upon whose branches were perched multi colored song birds that vied for attention with a profusion of white, blue, orange and pink flowers which added to the sensory riot. One would be accused of rank understatement if one applied the adjective colorful to such a garment. To cast any doubts as to the garments subtlety it was closed with a braded silk cord of yellow red and purple amply festooned down the front with colourful braded frogs, tassels and pom poms and set off with a baggy night cap of like material lined with purple and white fur, the animal of origin of which was impossible to determine for no mammal was known to science that possessed such a coat. The cap was toped off by a massive purple gold and black pom pom that wiggled to and fro as he moved. His slippers were positively sedate being only of plush velvet striped purple black and yellow with the initials CB embroidered in gold. Although an intimate garment he sometimes would wear the robe when lounging about the back garden in the mornings as, for some unknown reason, the robe seemed to frighten the peacocks. A critical examination of his wardrobe resulted in the urgent summons of his tailor as his existing English suits were a season out of date and his German suits which were meticulously cut with precision from the finest materials and profoundly practical, lacked a certain richness of style, a je ne sais quo as the French would put it. Eagerly awaiting Monsieur Dalliard who vied with Mr. Masonieri for the title of premier tailor in London he ruminated upon his state of his wardrobe. At his feet lay strewn the pride of Dresden’s Haberdashery… a black suit with white lace… a black suit with a different kind of white lace… a black suit with mock white lace and a black suit without white lace. To be fair there were a few dark grey suits with varying lace and even a dark blue suit with white lace but they were undoubtedly chromatically challenged according to the dictates of London fashion. He did have a few French suits that were undoubtedly stylish and fashionable enough but those would need to be jealously husbanded for occasions at Court until Monsieur Dalliard could work his creative magic. Thank god his quarterly shipment of shoes from Paris had arrived as planned for although England and France were at war they were still civilized nations that understood that strife, destruction and mayhem should not deprive a gentleman of his fashion and thus turned a blind eye to the continued commerce of luxury goods across the channel therefore Mountjoy did not have to envision the horror and degradation of appearing at court without his red heels. The disturbing prospect of monotone heels was thankfully banished by the arrival of the afore mentioned Monsieur Dalliard who entered huffing and Puffing from walking up the stairs. M. Dalliard usually did not make house calls as he preferred to stay in the back of his shop but Mountjoy was a good customer so at his call he ventured forth with a satchel of pins, measuring tape, swatches and a little wooden box that his customers stood on when being measured. “AH, Monsieur Dalliard…” exclaimed Blount at the tradesman’s arrival. “I am glad you could come with such rapidity for, as you can see, I have no clothes.” Looking at several hundreds of pounds worth of the finest fabrics strewn about the Marquess’s feet he initially responded “No clothes?” but being accustomed to the whims of the wealthy and fashionable he piled on the French accent and wrung his long boney hands. “Alors Monsieur le Marquis, it is a good thing that you have summoned Hercule Louis Dalliard, for I shall not just make you clothes I shall create for you ensembles of fabric and lace that will make you the envy of civilized society from Paris to London.” He figured with such a claim he could charge a few extra pounds. Charles smiled and stepped upon M. Dalliard’s little box to be measured in case the strudel he consumed in Germany had altered his particulars. “Good, but nothing too fancy…ostentatious luxury will be quite sufficient.”
  5. Charles Blount

    Away & Here Notices

    Take your time, it is easy to get distracted or overwhelmed especially in days like these. I was distracted for 7 years and you guys were still here and welcoming when i found my way back. Please don't wait 7 years tho
  6. Charles Blount

    OOC: 4 days of easter threads

    I am a bit confused. I just started looking forward to the 10th to plan my RP and noticed that April 10th (falling after Good Friday on the 8th) is listed as Palm Sunday. It has been awhile for this lapsed Catholic but as I recall Palm Sunday is the Sunday before Easter with Easter being the Sunday after Good Friday. I know Henry VIII changed things with the Catholic Church due to the whole chopping the heads of wives thing but I don’t think he changed things that much. Not to be pedantic (as often said by people who are about to be pedantic) but are the dates as they are written an oversight or am I missing something?
  7. The Mountjoys approaching the Queen The tension that had been building between his wife and he since his return had been palpable and only growing due to their duties and obligations, especially during the Easter observances, denying them the opportunity to resolve their issues. The pot had boiled over… almost…but their inner affection allowed them to dissipate the tension enough to step back from the brink… for now. The stress had been great for Ursula but despite his outward show of calm it was no less so for Charles. As they made their way to the Queen the relief in stress combined with an ill advised plate of lamprey bordelaise eaten prior to his arrival combined to upset his stomach so it rumbled and gurgled akin to singing ice on a frozen lake. Charles paid it no mind as he was relieved to see that his assurances to Ursula were not misconstrued. “We shall speak of this anon when we have the liberty of privacy and time enough to give it the consideration it is due. Until then, I beg you; let us not harry ourselves unduly.” He wanted to say more but they were now close enough to the Royal party to make it impractical. He was himself enough not to be so distracted to observe the compliment paid to them by Dorothea and returned the accolade with a small bow and offered Kingston a nod noting the precedence his location confirmed upon the young Lord. He also gave a nod of his own to his left to acknowledge The Beverly’s, Agnes and von Bruhl. Sitting down after he squired his wife to her own chair he responded to Ursula’s comment. “My apologies Majesty, it must have been the lampreys.” Which could have been thought a peculiar way of addressing the Queen but he followed it up with a more conventional salutation. “I am delighted to see your Majesty so radiantly in good health and fervently wish you comfort and repose during your condition.”
  8. Charles Blount

    A Good Friday Morning Constitutional (April 8)

    Mountjoy tapped his walking cane lightly on the ground in applause. “It seems Majesty that Calliope has seen fit to grace your morning’s walk. I believe you have managed to turn our good Master May’s ears red with such praise. Well done my lady I must say.” He had wondered at the attendance of Ann for women usually did not partake in such early excursions but her presence or at least her motivation was starting to become comprehensible. Most attendees had some ulterior motive, as he had to admit he had as well, but he surmised he was one of the few who actually enjoyed such early morning constitutionals. “Are all from the islands so lyrical?” he asked the tropical beauty. I have heard that the Carabees are a lyrical lot with the workers gaily singing amongst the sultry breezes as they till the sugarcane with even the pirates lusty singing their sea shanties as they are aplundering.” Clearly Mountjoy had an idyllic impression of the islands.
  9. Charles Blount

    A Good Friday Morning Constitutional (April 8)

    He chuckled at the King’s observation but did not expand upon the topic of his hound as his Majesty’s second observation was more interesting. “Barbados? How intriguing. I have heard tell that the weather is always fair and it never snows… an exotic isle of sugar and pirates.” He did not know much about Barbados other than its increasing importance in the sugar trade and it being in the Caribbean so he naturally assumed that pirates abounded. He then cast a mischievous smile at May “Pray, I await only second to His Majesty in anticipation of your muse.”
  10. The Mountjoys From a distance it would simply appear that a man and his wife took a few moments from a public setting to say a few words of routine greeting to each other but in reality the exchange was much deeper. Navigating the minefield of social, professional, personal and emotional expectations in a public setting did not make for an conducive environment for addressing complex misunderstandings. They had but a few moments before such a scene would become socially awkward and that was simply not enough time to achieve what they both desired. Yet there was a ray of hope in the path offered by Ursula. It was a narrow path of uncertain direction but it was noticeably offered as a way forward and with so many things of late having been unclear and misinterpreted it was the one piece of floatsome to grab hold of in this maelstrom of emotion. His impulse was to tighten his hold and take her away where he could shield her from distress and they could come together as one like they used to be able to do. That would be the easier path, the sensible path, but their positions at Court, their status, their reputation and their obligations did not allow for such easy and sensible actions. It had been said that ‘The Mountjoys never shirked their duty to the Crown even when…’ Ursula, by means of her own effort and character, had established herself as the Paramount Lady to the Queen and as a force to be reckoned with at Court. Charles would not do anything to jeopardize her position or reputation even for his own personal gain and for her to be seen being spirited away could be construed as showing weakness. Although he longed to capitalize from her offered opportunity and take her away he could not bring himself to do so. His sense of duty and his regard for his wife’s prestige and position would not let him to benefit from her loss no matter how much he longed for such a resolution. They did have a few precious moments of relative privacy however and he took advantage of them as he steeled himself to do his duty to the Crown. He took her hand grasped around his own and brought it to his lips where he gave it a kiss. From a casual observer it would appear nothing more that a chivalrous gesture between a Gentleman and his Lady but in the flesh it was a tender kiss devoid of all subterfuge and pretext. “As it is so often our time is not our own.” He said cloaking his desires in familiar formality. “We must purge this dissonance between us but alas at present there is no time to do so. The Queen is in need of her Mistress and her need overrides our own. Fortify yourself my dear and take your place at the Queen’s side… show the Court the woman you have become…and be comforted and assured that I will be there standing at your side today, tomorrow and the days after that.” He slowly led her around and towards where the Queen was sitting, his arm steady and guiding but not forceful.
  11. The Mountjoys sans Kingston The succinct conversation between Charles and Ursula, if the two syllables of ‘Ahem’ and ‘I’ could be called a conversation, was as expressive as it was brief. First dispensing with the departure of Francis he gave a polite bow as the man withdrew. He bore him no animosity but was glad of his departure for it allowed him a modicum of privacy with his wife however brief. Her look, subtitle and fleeting, was like a knife into his heart for he had sworn to himself that he would never be the cause of disappointment and hurt for Ursula but yet he had and he did not know how or why. How could their relationship, for so long as steady and natural as the sunrise be in such disarray? There had been no ill intent but yet both of them were raw and battered due to nothing more than two simple syllables and a plethora of subtext. At that moment he despaired for what was there to build on if they both were so hopelessly incompatible that they could no longer say even two words to each other without giving offence or angst. As the blood drained from her face he was sure it was a prerequisite of her steeling herself to turn her back on him but that she did not do. Instead of that she offered a silver ray of light through the darkening clouds. The French were adept in the witty comeback that on its face appeared to be consolatory but was in fact a cutting retort. Her retort was worthy of such Gallic disdain but Ursula was not French. She was German which was perhaps as un-French as one could be. “If such an expectation would not be incommodious to her Ladyship…” The touch of her hand unleashed a flood of hope which quickly turned to alarm as first her touch then herself became unsteady. He moved to steady her, to be a rock upon which to find succor. The formality with which he cloaked his emotions shifted as his concern rent it asunder. “Are you Ill?” Was all that he managed to say as his eyes darted about her person to seek out a cause, the concern and yes even fear in his voice and expression unrestrained. So distraught was he that he neglected to offer a pocket handkerchief, he carried extra for just such contingencies, which, as every gentleman knew, was the proper reaction whenever a lady was in distress.
  12. Charles, well armored in his etiquette was quite prepared to stifle his inclinations and banter lightly with both his wife and the young lord. Or so he thought. Unconsciously or deliberately Ursula’s had went to her throat and traced the line of white pearls across her alabaster neck. His glance naturally followed the movement and a chink in his amour was exposed and penetrated as surely as the most skilled rapier thrust. Of the many fine features he attributed to his wife perhaps the most captivating to his mind was the paleness and curvature of her neck. He had many times before gazed transfixed at the play of light and shadow along its contours and many time had run his own hand across that desirable field. Such a sight, when having been denied its pleasure for so long, was something he could scarcely dismiss or defend himself against. Having been so careful to include Francis in his greeting at portray an attitude of polite interest he now not only forgot that the gentleman was standing less than three feet away but forgot that there were also other beings in the room his attention so fully fixed on his Ursula so. “Ahem…” he said, clearing his throat, not so much as a prelude to speech but because he had discovered that he had forgot to breathe so nothing either droll or mundane followed the ‘ahem.’ He was at the moment uninterested in speaking. However Charles was not so lost in carnal lust that a fragment of his brain did not register the unique sound of both doors being thrown wide which at the palace could mean only one thing. His reason fought its way to ascendancy and after a brief internal struggle he tore his eyes upward and his face resumed the all too familiar expression of an expectant courtier. “Ah… it seems we are yet again thwarted for lo, Her Majesty approacheth.” The public Mountjoy had reappeared. He gave a deep bow in the direction of the entering Queen. Having been away for so long this was the first opportunity he had of seeing her majesty heavy with child. The look suited her for she was radiant as always, perhaps a bit incommoded but such a condition had an attractiveness all its own to male perspective. His eyes surveyed her suite in an attempt to decipher the politics at play but he mainly sought to catch the Queen’s eye and gage her reaction to his reappearance. He had always thought that his position within her household was secure and perhaps it was from outside threats but he was saddened to realize that his calculations had now to include the possibility of internal threats. He may have been recently unnerved but his years and a barrister, politician and courtier had instilled in him resilience to personal foibles and a penchant for cloaking his actions in formality and etiquette. Naturally he and Ursula had the innate formality and reserve of their personalities and class but heretofore, to him at least, it had been an organic formality that carried an undertone of personal intimacy that highlighted their intimacy. This intimacy was severely strained in the present circumstances. “I believe it is expected for you to attend the Queen.” He had the good grace to sweep his glance to Francis and acknowledge him as a participant in the conversation. It was not the poor man’s fault that Mountjoy’s attention had been wholly absorbed elsewhere. Yet even in a situation such as this he could be shrewd and mindful of his own situation. His left arm was held at such an angle that it would be easy for Ursula to claim it, and him, as an escort when she joined the Queen’s suite. It was not so obvious however to force her to take his arm. The nebulousness of the gesture and his observation gave her license, to withdraw alone when she pleased without giving public offence.
  13. Charles Blount

    A Good Friday Morning Constitutional (April 8)

    Chuckling at the King’s jest he responded “I have often thought he was more of a size to keep in the stable rather than at my feet by the fire but your Majesty makes an intriguing observation. How thrilling would the chase be if we hunted astride wolfhounds like Norse demigods. Your Majesty may just have created the newest fad at court.” His attention was briefly taken when Johnnie the spaniel sought to defend his pack from the gigantic newcomer. Fortunately Blount did not have to intervene as bran instinctively knew that he was a visitor to the pack and was more interested in romping and playing with his canine brethren than vying for dominance as, despite their size and protective ferocity, Irish wolfhounds were rather quiet and loving creatures. Mountjoy let out his breath when the situation seemed not to escalate. “Johnnie?” mused Mountjoy wondering at the origin of the name, “How fearless and imprudent he is, I do hope they can get along. I have some terriers just as intrepid… and as for hard to control… why I deal with the Commons on a regular basis so am quite familiar with that problem.” After he had replied to the King’s initial questions he felt he had intruded into the conversation enough and bowed in response to the accompanying lady’s curtsey and waited as she finished addressing the King, it was her conversation after all. As a gentleman never presumed an introduction to a Lady when in company he remained silent until May did the honors allowing him to directly address the lady who seemed a bit put out at the interruption. Upon hearing the woman’s family name of Devereux he understood for he had heard tales enough of his (in)famous great grandmother* to grasp the fiery temperament of the Devereux women. “Glad to make your acquaintance Lady Cambray, pray do not let me distract you from your muse.” [* Penelope Blount nee Devereux, a favorite of Elizabeth’s court and muse for Philip Sidney’s sonnet ‘Astrophel and Stella.’ Involved in a scandal under King James.]
  14. Charles Blount

    A Good Friday Morning Constitutional (April 8)

    Blount had always enjoyed an early morning walk or ride to start out the day and had made it a point whenever he could to join the King on his forays. Previously he was want to bring along an Irish Wolfhound puppy named Bran for the King was known to be fond of, or at least tolerant of, dogs. This morning was no exception but the puppy, which at the time was just a little larger than the King’s spaniels, was now almost 2 years old and although not yet fully grown was almost three feet in height and dwarfed his former playmates. Bran had a sweet temperament belying his size and aside from growling at peacocks, a habit encouraged by his master, could usually be relied upon to act appropriately around strangers but Mountjoy still paid heed to his hound in case something untoward happened. The group did not consist entirely of strangers in Bran’s mind for he recognized the sight and smell of a person who had always been willing to give him a good scratch behind the ears so without any pomp or circumstance he approached the King and sniffing around in his doggy way encouraged the human to give him a pet. The Hound’s master was a bit more circumspect and provided a bow before joining the procession by matching the pace set for the King seldom stopped once he got going. “I bid you a pleasant morning Your Majesty.” He greeted then touching his hat to those accompanying the King. “Ladies…Gentlemen.” May and Ablemarle were familiar to Mountjoy being court functionaries but there was a lady amongst them that the king was addressing that he was not so readily acquainted. He briefly wondered if she was one of the King’s mistresses as he was not yet up to speed on the current state of Court politics. “I trust Your Majesty recalls my hound Bran although you would have good reason not to as he has grown substantially since you saw him last. Pray do not let him be a nuisance.” He added hastily as the dog sought attention. Blount was ready to give a command if his dog proved to be too forward but for now he allowed Bran to express himself. No doubt after a sufficient scratch Bran would wonder off to greet the spaniels. “There is something wholesome in the morning air of these isles that is lacking on the continent and I am glad to have returned both to the land and to the Court.” He interjected to the King before addressing the Lady “Beg your pardon ma’am for approaching so do forgive the interruption I prey.” He added not wishing to mindlessly barge into their exchange.
  15. Lord Mountjoy arriving Charles was late to the Queen’s function. He was not fashionably late as the nobles of France were want to be but genuinely tardy as was the habit of university students after a late night out. Charles prided himself on punctuality as he viewed it a manifestation of an ordered mind and was loathed to be unpunctual, but in dressing for the occasion he was beset by indecision. That it was his duty to attend was unquestioned but unlike the church services this was a social situation which would require an enhanced level of interaction and he was at a loss as to how to proceed with such interactions with his wife who would surely be in attendance. There had been no time to resolve their issues and with the scheduled services and ceremonies of Easter there was not likely to be time for such during the next few days. Those services and ceremonies would necessitate their interacting together and normally that would have been a delightful prospect but things were defiantly not normal at the moment so thus he was late to the Queens presence chamber. Taking a cue from a wise woman Mountjoy decided to risk looking pretentious and attend the function wearing the undress uniform of the Queen’s Master of Horse which consisted of a scarlet tunic with black facings, copious gold lace and a black embroidered baldric. To the tunic he added the rose badge and epaulets of a Lord Lieutenant of the Kingdom. Aside from ceremonial functions this was the first time he had appeared in military garb. He entered the Queens Presence room so familiar to him even with the additions made for the attendees and glanced about seeing the expected notables who were scattered about in little clumps conversing. Processing the divisions he noted Lady Oakham in earnest conversation with Mistress Wellsley but he really had eyes for only one group which contained the unmistakable blond coiffure of his wife the Margravina Ursula. Locating the desired group he instantly recognized another set of blond curls belonging to Lord Kingston both engaged together in a tete a tete. Such interaction was to be expected and indeed even required on an occasion such as this and normally such an interaction would not be of concern but, as had become evident, this was not normal and Charles spent the next few seconds in a personal but revealing state of inner debate. A strange feeling came over Charles as a red mist obscured all but the two blond beauties as a jealous rage flooded through his mind. Mountjoy was not a violent person and in truth bore no animosity to the young Lord but for a few seconds could think of nothing more than to advance upon the unaware gentleman and do him bodily injury. Such passionate and unreasonable emotions were foreign to him and aghast he quickly suppressed such feelings as he recoiled from such thoughts disturbed at his lack of ability to control such base and ungentlemanly feelings. He grabbed a wineglass from a passing servant and took a large gulp as he regained his self control. ‘No, this will not do.’ He thought to himself. ‘This must be resolved one way or the other, and soon, for such a state can not continue foe if my passions can not be governed they must be removed.’ The situation with his wife was beginning to take its toll and evolve into something untenable. But Mountjoy was an urbane and experienced courtier so this disturbing interlude lasted at most a half dozen seconds before his innate control and courtesy regained ascendancy allowing him to look upon the two in a proper frame of mind. Pasting a polite smile upon his face he advanced upon the flaxen haired duo. Joining Ursula and Francis “My dear Margravina,” he interrupted. “How radiant you look this evening. It is a shame our interactions have of a necessity been so restrained as of late. In church I have spent several glorious hours by your side but alias was unable to utter more than a few syllables in your direction.” He moved to place himself at her side facing Francis, his hand twitched as it unconsciously moved to take Ursula’s hand but he drew it back unsure if the touch would be welcome. Masking the move he gave Francis a small bow, the epitome of the gracious courtier, and interjected “I do hope you will forgive me for interrupting your conversation but I believe…” he said glancing at Ursula “…that you can understand and forgive the imposition.” He was all smiles and courtesy, his former lapse suppressed if not forgotten.