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The challenge of 5 Gold Rings | 24th Afternoon@Saint Marks- Xmas 1677


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#216 - Cordelia Lucas, Lady Lucas

A modestly appointed bedroom, decorated in almond toned cloth bearing a trelliswork of roses. Near the window stands a writing bureau and chair, an almond toned divan is situated closer to the fireplace appointed with plump rose toned pillows. Above the large bed hangs a large tapestry of a garden scene.


Through a discrete door is a smaller room that services both as a dressing room and bedchamber for a personal servant.


It could only be a matter of supreme urgency to prompt Constance Dunoore to a climb of more than two flights of stairs. That was not so say that she did so without an intermission. Indeed, at the first first floors foyer she rested upon a convenient salon chair, there (also conveniently) being a lovely Christmas arrangement to visually enjoy as she regained her breath. "Martha, please find out the name of the florist, I simply must have them make a centerpiece for my table." she advised her ladies maid at a pause.


When it became taxing to climb so many stairs, one might think that Constance was past her prime. No so! In fact this woman was of quite the opposite option, that she was upon the cusp of some new greatness, indeed, her plan for this particular Christmas season showed a mental audacity that only a woman of her advanced years might dare to have!


"Knock louder girl, we are upon important business." Constance advised after Mathas' barely audible knock.


*thud thud thud*


Cordelia might have heard an ominous pounding on her door.

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After a seemingly unending occurances of noise that had served to disrupt her attempts at 'doing nothing' to better nurse the chill that she had developed between noon the day before and now what was one more added in?


She sat in the one true comfortable high backed woodedn chair that had been padded with a forset green velvet no doubt in the decade past set before the hearth that had been well stoked while an iron brazer sat in the corner opposite filled with sea coal to add in even more warmth to the room. She supposed it was only to be expected after all being so close to the Park and not a great distance from The River.


And now that pounding upon the door set her already frayed nerves on edge and she finished the mulled wine in its pweter goblet in one swallow pulling the edges of the blue woolen blanket tighter about her person. Confident that whoever it was would be sent packing.


Her maid would know better than to admit anyone now .....

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After her girl knocked more firmly, she waited.






OOC: Please remember you are in control of you personal servant/s, ie; if you want to have the door answered you will need to write it not me!

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Despite everything the maid knew that if twas anyone of 'importance' and she had failed in her job to let them in the consequences would be far worse ....


She went quickly then and unlatched and opened the wooded door wide enough to visually see who had come to call.




Quielty said her eyes searching over the woman then moving to the older Lady that stood behind her mind registering that she'd been here before to call on Lady Lucas so it was a good thing that she'd been brave enough to open the door!



(ooc:point taken)

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"Lady Dunmoore here to see Lady Lucas," one servant addressed the other.


Meanwhile Constance's gave a sigh of being left in the hall rather than immediately recognized and escorted inside. That said, it was the power game, she knew, and would have relished keeping Cordelia standing in the draft too, if the shoe was on the other foot. It was simply the way women of their ilk were.

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Cordelia was just about to enter that in between stage of half awake half sleep content in body at last and willing to embrace it heartily.


Tis a funny thing that place for she could 'hear' clear enough still and yet thinking it had to be some dreamlike imaginings as the words floated across to where she was


"Lady Dunmoore here to see Lady Lucas"


Then the apapraoching soft shoed person who bent to whisper that same phrase which then caused her to utter "God's Death!" before opening her eyes half turning in her chair to view that person as they entered the room.

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Constance however was fully awake, along with being just a bit bothered over her stairwell climb, which perhaps propelled her steps with a greater intentness to find the nearest chair. So it was she stepped into the darkened room on the heels of the servant without any pause, and shocked it's resident into an outburst.


"Well that is not how I am usually greeted, but under the circumstances I hardly care, I shall take a seat and be done with it." she settled onto the prettily upholstered settee, almond tones with roses all over, releasing a great sigh of relief once she'd landed there and snatching for her bodice bound kerchief (with intent to dab her face). "I'll have a glass of cordial if you please."


No doubt Cordelia would regroup her senses presently, but meanwhile Dunmoore saw naught wrong with providing her servant with her needs.

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It was to be supposed that the absurity of the situation accounted for Cordelia's lack of a worded respsonse and the half, rather affronted laugh, that came instead.


"By all means Madam let let Your comforts be seen to - your Age demands it."


She herself then sent a telling glance to her own servant who had anticipated and quickly there appeared a small crystal glass etched with a floral design around its base which was filled with the requested liquid - Cordelia's maid having the sense to remove any of the solid matter that was floating still - for no matter how well it had been strained it almost always occurred.


It would be set on the small round table beside the Visitor who, it seemed, was busy with righting herself with a kerchief.


"I must apologize for my own State - so my Salutation was lacking - and the unexpectedness of course."


Lets not mince words but be candid.


"How may I help you Lady Dunmoore?"


Finally asked wih a small sigh as she settled back in her chair having allowed the 'blanket' to become more shawl-like as it draped her shoulders.

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"And you, now recovered, from your afternoon nap?" Constance sallied in reply, pleased for her part not to be caught out dozing in the mid afternoon.


Thankfully refreshments were swiftly supplied, and good humors begun to return, this court matron for one took a deep and restorative sip. "Therein the benefit of a townhouse, where one has a reception room to place guests while one prepares for them. I was surprised you are upon His Majesties pleasure." she gave a thin smile of the phrase, which usually applied to guests of the Tower rather than guests of Saint Marks.


"Next time we shall meet at my house of course, yet with the brevity of the season we simply do not have time to wait upon letters to-and-fro'ing over however many days to arrange a meeting. So it was Lady Lucas, I took the initiative."


Setting down her glass she met Cordelia's eyes then. "It is likewise an initiative that I am here about today... we are but days from a most auspiciously named date. The fifth day of Christmas of course, being the day of five golden rings." While her eyebrows had long faded into whispy pale things, it was never the less apparent by her expression that they now rose awaiting Cordelia's piecing of those thoughts together. For women of their occupation, namely matchmaking, it was not a great mental step to take.

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She let the 'nap' remark pass.


"I am afraid that I have taken a chill since yesterday and so you must take me as you have found me Madam. And as to ones' establishment, why, I can say that His Majesty did not think me wrongly placed upon our last conversation but I thank you for the concern."


Nevermind what the actual conversation ahd consisted of.


A gracious small nod of her head by way of acceptance to that invitation then a sip from her own goblet that held more of the mulled wine she had already partaken of as she listened to the older woman give the reaon for this call.


"Tis true that the fifth day is so call that and it will fall Wednesday next yet I fail to see what that has to do with ...."


She paused as it became clear and a small smile played about her mouth.


"And you intended to 'arrange' some sort of situation that plays into that if I have taken your meaning?"


She set her goblet down and leaned a bit forward in her chair her gaze remaining fixed on the others'.


"And will you tell me more about this then? And of just who has been singled out to be paired and why?"


This was unexpected and she felt suddenly a bit rejunivated!

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"The concept is in the bud." Cordelia replied, "though you must admit that there is a certain 'auspiciousness' to the date for persons of our interest. I cannot help but wonder if current suits growing might be put to climax upon that date. Though five. Five is quite a number indeed. So you see, I thought to share the task," she gave a taut anticipatory smile, "form a task force as it were."


"Lest you have some other ingenuity to counter?"

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'so she does not have an actual plan'


Came the first thought swiftly followed by her own small smile to show her intrest as she then reclied back into her chair her fingers playing absently with some fringe on the blanket appreciative of the softness and also some small distraction that would give her extra time to think .....


"The idea has Merit indeed and as you have said tis a thing we are both skilled at so putting our heads together might just be the best solution Lady Dunmoore. Yet you spoke of 'current suits' - have you then a knowledge of them - for I can only speak of those that I know are on the Hunt. If I name them might you then speak of what you know? And then add in those that you have knowledge of? Perhpas then a 'plan' shall be achieved and then how to implement it to achieve results - have you further ideas as to that part?"


Here she paused to sneeze with some gusto into her kerchief then continued on


"Item: Lord Maldon. He resides here and is in fact a relation - newly found - and he has some idea to mate his sisters afore Hmself yet I think can be persuaded out of that IF the right female is found.


Item: Basilsdon's 'cousin' the French girl named Mademosille Nicolette. I have made her acquaintance several times. No money is my guess but her connections are good so it would not be impossiboe to mate her. I have seen her with several 'Gentlemen'.


Item: There was a Lady attached to the Queen - dark haired and well pleasing to the eye - and from what I could gather much liked - yet I do not remember her name but The King himself knew her so mayhap she might be usable.


Item: The Duke of Newcastle-upon-Tyne has daughters and his Heir - what think you?"


Her last question meant for her entire list as she waited for her companion to reply.

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It did not take long for Constance to feel gratified that Yes, Cordelia was the right woman to approached about this.


"I have heard too that Maldon has both a brother and sister of marriageable age, that he is intent upon settling. In fact, rumor is that he affords their cases precedence over his own. As one of each, these might match into some other 'cases'?"


"Basildon's cousin being french is a shame, for the man himself is well placed, and would otherwise be an appealing family for someone to marry into. Do you think Maldon's Brother might do? Has the Earl indicated any preferences?"


"Ah, you mean Lady Sophia Costello, I think that is her last name. A fine and gentle creature, settled in Chelsea with an estate from the King. Surely not an objectionable match for any man, and someone who certainly could do with our help.


"Yes Lady Francis Cavendish is possible, yet to consider arranging a Duke's affairs for him may be seen as presumptuous, especially if uninvited. You might have a word with him perhaps, your family..."


"From my own catalog there is the poor Mistress Dwight, who'd tragic tale of misplaced suitors is comedic if it were not so devastating to her Aunt. Already her younger sisters have also come into their time. A set of three might be the lions share of the fifth day of Christmas, I well know that their dowries are very generous."


"Then there is Lord Baintree, a fine gentleman poised upon making the mistake of his life. Someone needs to save him from marrying another's discards, I have felt a natural aversion for Mistress Needham from the moment I first met her."


"Master Stephen is also worth considering. Of modest origins yes, but swiftly enough gained a position of some import. He's one to watch, that an ambitious minded family might appreciate some wisdom in backing, so to speak. After all, what is any marriage but a gamble Lady Lucas. Ours is the weigh the odds and minimize the risk."


Here she paused to draw breath, though plainly they had many more candidates to discuss.

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"Maldon's brother for Basildon's little cousin? No tis mismatched as she would be older but why not for the Earl himself? His impediments are clear but to his credit I have seen he manages well enough and has even caught the attention of The King and Buckingham. We would be foolish to put siblings afore the Eldest would you not agree?"


"And she can hardly be choosy can she! No Family of worth so her dowery must be funded by Basisldon as well as her Jointure and for her to aim higher is just, well, impossible."


"No that was not how she was called. I'd remember if it had been foreign. Black haired and blue eyed nicely dressed seemed to be already known to all present that afternoon ... This other girl you say is well placed? How so? Who are her Family? Has she been looked over already and if so by whom?"


Cordelia was hooked in and so intended to fire off her questions and get as many answers as she could!


"Yes the Duke will be difficuly but not impossible." She had to agree. "Yet I must get the timing of it right you understad afore any convers can be had."


"And why do you call her "Poor" - has she some impediment of her own then? Ah she's had Suitors then but rejected them all of They her? Three sisters you say - THREE! Well what a coup if all were mated can you imagne it ....."


"Baintree? No I have not heard this name. A Mistake you say? So he plans to make another's Mistress as his Wife - well twould not be the first time such a thing has happend nor the last yet you know of her? Just how might we two intervene then?"


"Stephen - so not a "Gentleman' then but wothy of consideration? Tell me what do you know of a Master Lucus Cole?"


The question slipped out

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"It would not be the first marriage of mixed ages." Constance replied, "While I agree one would prefer to arrange Maldon's own marriage, he has expressed an aversion and preference to settle his siblings first. Hmm, perhaps he thinks placing them well will then assist his own cause?"


"Quite so, she cannot be choosy at all, perhaps we ought rank her a little lower then, brother of an Earl may indeed be too high. Who would you suggest?"


"Ah, Sofia de Castelo, that is her name. Black hair yes, though of eyes I cannot say, she was devoted attendant to Queen Cathrine, and still remembered by many at court. That the King personally awarded her an annuity comes as quite a recommendation dont you agree? Ah, but perhaps you are thinking of the current queens companions. There are a number of maids, one of whom is Baintree's sister. Unwed, though I heard a German is paying her suit - am I mistaken perhaps?"


"Yes the Duke must be approached with all ones ducks already in a row. Hmm... who do you think would be a good resolution to put to him? Why I dare say Maldon would forgo his aversion to marriage if it were a Duke's daughter in the isle, but whether Cavendish has anything to gain there by is another question? No, I imagine the Cavendish daughter would be given very prudently towards an alliance to benefit his house."


"Poor. Why, have you not heard the stories. Thrice courted, and thrice abandoned. While yes the first was revealed to be something of a misunderstanding, a Scottish lad, one who later married Lady Catriona. MagGregor, you have heard the name. The second a military fellow, who was suddenly re-stationed, who neglected to tell our Lizzy where he was re-stationing to. Then just last spring, the Irish Viscount Dunrara. All her hopes were set in that basket, but his long awaited proposal never did eventuate. She retired to the country for the summer most despondent indeed. Still, one thing one must commend the girl for, is her ability to bounce back. Why I saw her just yesterday, bright eyed and bushy tailed, looking forwards to the Christmas ball."


"Yes, that would certainly be a coup." of the trifecta of Dwight girls she agreed.


"Well Baintree is otherwise an exquisite catch, well dressed, and devoid of ill reputation. There is not a stain upon him, unless you count that he's narrowed his vision so as not to look anywhere else. But who might we match with him then? Miss Dwight... I think not, I think he might need a girl with a little more panache. We need a woman who can rival a woman of experience." It would take a special lady to beat off the libertine gold-digger Eleanor Needham.


"Yes, Master Murray." she nodded, and then gave a laugh as Cordelia mentioned Master Cole. Leaning forwards conspiratorially she whispered, "I know only what I heard on the grapevine last Spring, that he was caught in a questionable situation with another gentlemen!" she gave an appropriately scandalized laugh, "I do not think we need add him onto our list."

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This dissertation of Names paraded before her was a bit disconcerting as she did not have any knowledge yet had to appear as if she did.


"Maldon has a misplaced sense of his Duty I think - he should mate himself which will bring new blood into his Family with connections that could provide matches for his siblings. I am sure that You know better than I who amongst those eligible here at Court would be a good fit."


"One marry's after all to advance ones' Family and Holdings and while most girls understand this Duty there are those that have the foolish notion that one needs to marry 'for love' and I have seen quite a few who then say they will choose for themselves!"


"That is why Maldon must marry first - I have no idea as to how his siblings have been brought up naturally - he needs must set the example. I am sure his Title will be a draw as well. His impediments can be overlooked as being his Countess has its benefits after all."


"I do believe this girl was amongst the current Queen's Household and all the better then if she is indeed being hunted after that woud only increas the interest! How might we create more?"


She did not offer comments relating to the Duke. That was a private issue and needed more thought.


"Goodness. Three times you say? Why tis a wonder that any man would look her way now and yet she acts as if nought matters? Prideful? Or is she adle-brained - if so put her together with Maldon and they shall complement what the other lacks."


"If not then let us together search out the right man who can handle her past. Someone older who's own Reputation would not suffer her history and yes, even as a second wife she could do well. What are their circumstances at present? Who is the Family?"


"But more importantly Who are the eligible Gentlemen in need of her?"


"He seems determined then to marry this Needham? It escapes me how men can pick up anothers' leavings without a thought to how it will be seen! Obviously if You know of this then so must everyone at Court! It will be ... Difficult .... But not impossible to find him a girl that is worthy of his Rank, has a Family that will not object, and one that understands that he will more like than not keep the other as mistress. Has he any bastards then? If so did he claim them as his?"


She had not expected the last part. Not at all. Taking a few moments she let it sink in before she asked


"I have his acquaintance and he is in need, great need, of help. Tis to be expected if tis a truth yet I'd wager there are many amongst those present that have married into that issue because an Heir is needed. Master Cole is no different. HE will be a challenge and I wonder if either of us are capable of it."

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"Yet who may tell a young Earl which way is up?" Constance sighed, "perhaps we best progress past until the gentlemen is convinced his marriage necessary at all, he shall not rush to it." A lamentable situation to women of their vocation.


Onward they pressed, sifting through the mental files held upon persons unmarried.


"Yes thrice!" Constance confirmed, "Hmmm... not prideful, I would say it a sort of youthful optimism, the sort that wisdom shall eventually reduce. But you must meet her for yourself, and form your own opinion." she gave a laugh then of Cordelia's idea of a 'balancing' match. "You might well be right... but do you think you might sway his plans for bachelorhood swiftly?"


"The girls are under Lady Veronica Campden's guardianship in London, Father was diplomat abroad but died some years back. There is a generous dowry, though not so much by way of familial advantages. Though no doubt a suitor would gain Lady Campden's full support, and as you and I both know the backing of one of Courts matrons is not to be sneezed at."


Yet the issue did seem to be a lack of eligible Gentlemen to work with. "Well, I hoped that you might help me answer that question." she returned with a serious expression.


Baintree, she nodded. "Well Monmouth was never the sort to keep his mistresses secret, parading Mistress Needlahm about at every ball. Then their... er... break up, was a public scene in the middle of Piccadilly street. Yes, it's all very well known." said she with utter confidence in the grapevine of Whitehall. Although Cordelia did bring up doubt of Baintree's impeccable-ness, suggesting that he too had his secrets. Leaning forwards with interest Constance replied, "I had not heard, do tell?"


Where Constance saw Lucas as out of the running, Cordelia only saw him as a challenge. "Then I must entrust Master Cole into your capable hands."



OOC: Re:Conflicts of interest - thanks for dropping Nicci out of the conversation, I likewise dropped Davina out - Onwards bound!

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Right. Time for Action


"What I might suggest is that we two set about to draw up some chart that will list all those Families that have eligible sons and daughters of the right age - and from that another list of those that are not themselves so well connected yet have Family that is. And yes we include those foreign-born as well for there shall not be a War forever if it comes! And terms will thus return to how they were before."


"Include all the names that have been mentioned here and as we progress we can then start to connect who best to match or not depending on sensibilities."


"I think too that t'would be a good thing to complie a list of those Gentlemen of certain ages and those that have children as well - for to toss a girl into that would be unfair unless the advantages outweigh ."


"What think you?"


"We've not much Time I fear and so must ask - can We do it?"


She felt better of a sudden and at last she was about to try her hand at the one thing she KNEW she could do - and what had happened in the Past would remain firmly lodged there.

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"A chart? Well certain, have you pen and paper." Which of course Cordelia did, the Saint Marks rooms were well equipped let alone any personal supplies brought along. Soon enough Cordelia was a work... this model of organisation was not the method Lady Dunmoore had used before. Hers was in part to sit back and learn (though she'd not have used those words).


"We might then highlight those that might be rushed to our date, oh now, I just remembered Peregrine Osborn has been courting that girl, so and so forever now. He's another who might be pushed. Mmm... and those that will need greater time. Why, perhaps those upon a slower pace might be marked for proposals in '78, for the fifth day of Christmas again of course. It would be a wonderful to make this a tradition don't you agree."


Cordelia was upon a roll. It was a delight to see, Constance could easily see her as a protegee, and under her steady mentor-ship she might go far (so Dunmoore's ego said)


"We certainly can." Indeed it was happening on paper already. Seeing names and families written down did indeed make it easier. Constance remarked of the overview: "Why, this must be how it feels for the gentlemen at their maps in the war room."

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Once ink and two quills had been fetched they had set about putting together all that had been discussed


"We have four Men with the same for ladies - this can not be all there is surely!"


"One Earl, one Viscount, and then two Plain Gentlemen hardly makes for anticipation Constance. And as for the girls - one is foreign and French to boot, a Duke's daughter, a plain 'Mistress' and then the Spanish sounding one Sophia something".


"Osborn? Ah, he is the son of the Earl of Danby, the one who has gone 'missing' or so the gossip says. Will that effect the son then? What sort of man is he - the son I mean. But of more import in who's Company does he associate with? And so he too is a Viscount so that would make five men."


She added his name to her list.


"What are his Politics? Sons do not always follow the Father after all. And this girl - was there a pre-contract do you think? They are not impossible to break if some impediment can be proved on either side .... Does he had a younger sister perhaps? If so let us then add her name to this list."


"This Baintree - has he sisters we might use to advantage? And what think you of some ladies aside from the Queen's own that might be worthwhile to look up? Have you any knowledge of the Duchess of York?"


"Yes. I should much like to have a successful pairing and your idea to expand for next Christmas is a worthy one and I think should be followed. Now, who else might we both look to for any support - the wives of the Peers can be useful after all."

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"The Earls siblings, we must add them in, and the Dwight trio." she went to take a sip of her tea as she gave the topic more thought. The tea was cold. Wrinkling her nose she swiveled passing the cup to servant, with a air of 'this needs to be sorted.'


"And... my dear lady isn't there someone you have forgot?" she suddenly recalled Cordelia's own son.


"Possibly the young falcon" by this she meant Peregrine, "would now be prudent to make his match with swift, better offers are unlikly to come forward now."


"No I am not acquainted with the young Duchess, though her contingent does seem filled with giggling girls. The one named Sarah Jennings seems to put herself about, perhaps it is time for her to be settled down do you think?"


"Wifes of peers..." her lips pursed, "yes you might be correct upon that. Who do you suppose?"

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Catching the gesture Cordelia indicated that the glasses of cordial be refilled instead as this discussion was hardly the stuff of a tepid beverage and so required something more fitting.


"By all means add then in to your list. Forgot? I? Well tis possible for as I have said I am not well acquainted with every name at Court so please so say who it is then and I shall note them down."


"I suggested the Duchess of York simply for the conection they have to the King and as the Duke's eldest is soon to wed elsewhere and the other is too young there might be amongst her Maids some suitable ones - Sarah Jennings you say - no that name too is a new one but if you thnk she will suit then in she goes."


"Well after all tis we women that think and plan after all and so there has to be some that will be eager to suggest - there is, after all, no harm in having recruits to Our Campagine and extra hands could well prove usefull. Who has a good position - that is one promenant enough that others' listen yet not overbearing in her attitude?"


"It would help if we knew what plans were set! No announcement of a Banquet or Ball yet we should presume either and so must turn our minds towards the actual 'meetings' of these pairs that are selected. It will raise an eyebrow or two Constance - this idea of yours - as well as objections from Fathers who have plans afoot."


"But this all depends upon His Majesty! I have heard the tales from when His Grace did take it upon his own mind to match and I am sure confusion resuslted. Tell me, was He successful?"

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"Thank you." Constance took a deep sip, this was thirsty work!


"We'll I believe you'd a son of your own who is of an age, who must surely be eager to make a good match." she filled in the gap in Cordelia's memory.


Sarah Jennings was added, along with consideration of the rest of the Dukes household themselves. "You might need to add the Churchill brothers then, though one is certainly preferable to the other, we do not want to scrape the barrel to low or the likes of Rochester shall appear on our list!"


"So true." she agreed about assistance, "and now we begin upon the 'how' portion of this topic, should we attempt the task upon multiple fronts, or might some manner of mixer be arranged do you think. True, mixers in themselves rarely spawn eruptions of proposals, but to keen eyes spectating there might be the benefit of seeing any natural affinities emerging, and a guiding hand might then later be applied."


She gave a chuckle to the gentle praise then awarded her, "I only hope there shall be more cheer than dismay launched." It was a fair caution that they might ruffle a father or two in the process. There was ever a need to carefully tread.


Cordelia then made mention of a royal precedent, Constance remembered it well and shook her head. "While done with the best of intentions of course, His Majesty is quite the romantic at heart, but the results were less than spectacular. Upon the night in question any number of gents put their foot forwards, although I fear their intents was to impress the King rather than lady fair. Dances were conducted, it then being left to the gentlemen to press on their suit. The result, well Fiona is still without husband." she blinked, "beter add her name onto that list."


"I think that it was follow-up that was the neglected factor there, and is where you and I shall surely shine in compare."

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She had understood well enough yet made no remark back.


John's potential bride would be a private matter that she would oversee alone. Her instincts would be on full play over this Season and if, by chance, some girl caught the mark then she would look deeper. After all why should some well-placed daughter be given away to another when she'd fit with her own son?


"Churchill brothers you say? Well add them in we are man short enough. And I see your point yet even Rochester is in want of a Wife Constance and his Title outweights his other path which no matter who she is the girl must overlook."


"What we were schooled in has not changed even if Times have. We were married off without thought to how once the deed was done we would manage what husbands had kept private and men have needs that are seperate from the Mariage Bed."


"That a husbands takes a mistress and begets bastards is the way of things and the DUTY of a wife is to accept that and to ensure that she gets sons upon herself who will have first place in the Fathers mind. No bastard can inherit afterall."


"Some carefull attentions must be given to these girls Constance. We must make sure they do not have the spark of rebellion hidden away beneath a calm face."


She listend as the Tale was retold .....


"Hmmm. So think you to repeat that same thing then? If there is some Banquet arranged then seating is oft times not held to precedence save for those that are due it - so that could offer some chance for discourse - and if the King were to lead first in some dance them others can join so there is another. Yes. We must pay close attention."


"But first how shall we start? Shall we draw pairs out now simply for the sake of a 'plan' then once something is announced we begin the Hunt in ernest? I have a fancy to see them as you have described the better to judge. What think you of this then - shall we two, being of like disposition, take to arrange ourselves in some good place that allows for it?"


"Would not our presence encourage the invitation of others' to pay court thus we can bring to our side any Lady that might offer her thoughts giving us greater knowledge on those fortunate ones we shall mate? Yet we disclose none of our plans."


She sipped her wine pleased with her thinking. Now if Constance would agree they might them begin. Really this was a most surprising turn of events!

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John and George Churchill were added, while Cordelia's own son was not. Constance decided not to make issue of it, though would quietly consider the young baron's prospects none the less. "Faith! I fear you speak truly, though pity the woman which would become Countess Rochester, all hope need be placed upon a finer generation next." Birthing an heir being the accepted responsibility of any who would be a wife.


"Hmm, those without greater ambition will be easier to match." Constance was inclined to agree. It was the clever ones that became trouble, far better for a man to have a wife that did not push her luck, and heaven forbid she even be (or think to be) smarter than he! "In this, the Dwight girl does qualify admirably." was her remark.


"Not a repeat no. Our asking for announcements of intentions is not likely to provoke a tide of applicants, as it did when His Majesty did so."


"But yes, the young ones do naturally gravitate towards each other at these functions. Perhaps ours shall be to deter tete a tetes between persons unsuitable, and to encourage it between those who are. My, but that would be a strenuous job, and we'd surely need lookouts, messengers and assistants to help with the task."


She nodded then as their plan begun to form. Shall we first relist the men and women by scales of ranks and presidence, and see who might be matched with who upon that entirely numerical order. Then to adjust by whichever other factors we are aware of.


"Yes yes." Constance uttered with barely hidden enthuse as Cordelia struck upon a possible method that they might gain assistants. "Yet we with the master plan." she agreed.


"Now how is our list looking?" she then bent to peer at the progress upon page, the chosen pairing being ultimately and supremely important.

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Her writings were in her ususal short-hand - mostly simply abbreviations - which allowed her to scribble away quickly. Now however she had to pause to review.


"Think you then that Maldon and this Dwifht girl might be worth the effort to pair up? Or at least put them together! She can hardly object at being a possible Countess yet his impediments could well cause her to balk - how much power does her Guardian hold over her I wonder? Do you know?"


"And who at Court is connected - that way there can be some added 'persuasion' appled to make her see reason. In fact might this not be another good idea Constance? If we were to have already on our side several Relatives of those we seek to match who are in agreement that might make others' take this Seriously."


"Yes. This idea to keep apart those unsuitable holds merit. Yes. I thnk we should list them all now - from your list and mine - unite them and prepair for step two. Shall we go lowest to highest or other way round?"


She was anxious now to start the pairings.

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"It is certainly worth a try, she is quite biddable when directed, Lord Dunrara insisted she take lessons for managing a household for instance, to which I heard of no grumbling . If he is seeking a wife to support his endeavors I should think she would be agreeable. As for his disability... the greatest qualification she would appreciate is steadfastness, and he is that, do you not think? Another fly by nighter suitor she does not need, and I would not suggest him to her is he is a gentleman 'player'. But then, let us not get ahead of ourselves."


"Highest to Lowest is my preference..." she looked over Cordelia's shoulder to see it growing, making little hmms, and oohs, 'no that wont work', and and 'yes yes's as it went.




OOC: if you want to compile it all and post it up for us on the next post that would be great!

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The only sound was that of scribblings as both ladies set about to make some order. For her part Cordelia set about with a determination to be as accurate as she could with the combined information that had been shared between them.


Constance peered over her shoulder until at last it was finished. Telling the other woman to resume her seat she planned to read aloud beginning with the Ranking Peers in descending order with available sons first -


"We have six Dukes....


Norfolk. His Heir Henry is naturally the best catch and at twenty two well past the age to have taken a wife! His Religion may be a problem yet not impossible. Then there is his brother Thomas at twenty as well. A second son in this case is not all bad.


Ormonde. Nothing.


Seymour. Nothing there.


Albermarle. The same.


Laauderdale. The same.


Newcastle-Upon- Tyne. One son and Heir at eighteen.


"Two Marquesses ....


Worcester. Charles the Heir at seventeen with Arthur the second son at sixteen. The are both young tis true yet of marriageable age!


Winchester. Charles the Heir at sixteen with a younger brother William at fourteen. As with Worcester they are young so any possibilities will have to be equally of an age.


"Eight Earls ....


Devonshire. None.


Danby. His son Peregrine at eighteen might have some difficulty with the recent events of his Father but Politics aside may do well.


Rochester. A widower at thirty. Yet he is the son of a Viscount and has the King's Favor still there is all that 'talk' .... But he cannot be excluded Constace for all his flaws.


Winchilsea. None


Basildon. None


Avon. None


Langdon. A widower as well so he too needs a wife and heir.


Maldon. Set to mate his siblings as he has said yet can be managed to wed first.


"Three Viscounts ...


Stafford. Has three sons with Henry his Heir.


Mordaunt. Charles his Heir at nineteen and a younger brother Henry fourteen.


Baintree. At twenty seven well past not having a wife and he is the one that seeks to wed another man's cast off mistress is that right?


I have not listed below the Viscounts yet I am sure there are some fine Barons that can be added in at some point. So. What think you and what changes?"


"Now we shall have to task ourselves to select the girls best suited for each. Then to add in Family Connection's as well.



(edited to add in those left out in error)

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  • 2 weeks later...

OOC: My appologies I missed your reply on last week's round of posts



Constance settled into place and attended with a serious pout on her lips as she mentally checked through the lists Cordelia was draping upon the air. A nod here a nod there, yet she reamined respectfully silent till the entire thing was done. "Commendable." she started, "Such a menu as this ought really be the start of any season, and I should think will assist this being a most successful one for ourselves - and courts families besides."


"Hmm... now I should wonder if we do not concern ourselves with the house holds of Dukes however, their's are a rank that we do not wish to offend. Unless we are specifically asked of course.


"Then the sons of our Marquises, while being of an age where marriage is not unheard of - they are young for their age, acting more like 12 year olds. You remember the shenanigans they got up to at Brighton, throwing a bag of fireworks into a fire. No, those boys need a mother more than a wife."


So, I suggest we concern ourselves with the Earls and sons of Earls, and beneath. What do you think?"

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She nodded her own head in agreement when Constance made the point regarding the Duke's offspring for she made a good point.


"Well the elder sons of the Marquises' are young tis true yet cannot some contract possibly be made with the girl that we promote? There is nothing out of the ordiary and the fact that they have reached seventeen and sixteen without a pre-arrangement already in place speaks for the lack of planning."


There are enough Earls that I shoud think we would have some success! And for the Viscounts as well. What think you then of this idea ..."


She leaned a bit forward the better to ensure that her companion heard it clearly.


"Shall we make use of the Ball to scout out the best prospects of those females attending that will best match the Gentlemen in question? We can observe under the guise of the Feativities without suspicions and perhaps even single a few out directly for some small speech."


"I am a firm believer in seeing then up close - too often some mark or other impediment has been concealed or they use some artifice or other trick - little will escape our gaze Constance and we should plan another meeting soon after so that we can compare and adjust the List."


She hoped that her 'Plan' would be agreeable to the other Lady. They had used quite a bit of energy already in composition and she was beginning to feel weary.


"If you find it so let us arrange a place to meet that night - a good central spot. Before we conclude shall we write down names of those females that we agree are best suited for this first stage?"

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