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Peers and their Principles | Late Afternoon 29/12- Xmas 1677

Robert Saint-Leger

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The Kings Presence Room was the first room of the Kings Apartments, and open to all those of the gentry and even well respected merchants. Built in Tudor style the room had a vaulted ceiling and lovely Gothic windows. More modern paintings by Lely among others graced the wall. The room easily held over 50 gathering courtiers and seating, lovely plum coloured chairs and couches provided for their ease. Here one waited, hopeful to catch a glimpse of the King. To guard what little was left of his privacy, Charles Rex had ordered that none may enter past the Presence room without his personal permission, save for those he considered family.


With a slight air of gunpowder about him, Beverley headed to the Presence Chamber to see if there were any lords or gentlemen there. He had been tasked by his master to see what the various positions were of the men at court in regards to the war with France. The Presence Chamber was the place for such discussions and with Christmastide many families were at court, so he hoped to be able to talk to a few on their thoughts on the matter.


Unlike his previous habits, Beverley was wearing his uniform, hoping it came off as patriotic to his position. Nobody need know he had a very limited wardrobe with the estrangement from his lord father, a personage he hoped NOT to run into here, especially when he was planning to go home of his own accord right after this and shortly before he knew his family usually dined. It was, at least, a good time to catch his lord father at home.


(Feel free to join me )

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The Earl of Chichester was in the business of snoozing - for various reasons, and all of them beneficial to himself.


But when he caught glimpse of the young uniformed figure, his eyebrows rose and a smile broadened his face. "Excuse me gentlmen, there is someone I need to see." excusing himself from present company, he approached the man in red.


"Lord Beverly, and in uniform!" George greeted with a cheerful smile. Once upon a time George had assisted Beverly with a pair of breeches from his tailor. That was such a long time ago now, back in the stage of the Earls life when just nothing went simply. Had Beverly even received those breeches in the end?


"But let me be the Last to offer you congratulations." he joked of his belated well wishes for the mans marriage, "I hope you received my gift. Oh I know, nonsensical really, but they were all the rave in Florence when I was there, and I thought you might find it amusing."


Settling into Beverly's proximity, George became aware of the scent of gunpowder about him. Being naturally on alert for trouble (just last Christmas there had been an assassination attempt) George lowered his voice and asked, "I hope everything is well?"

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Beverley was a bit surprised to find Lord Chichester in the presence chamber, but he smiled at the arrival of a familiar face. Politics had not seemed to go very well for the other gentleman the year before, but he had not heard much for some time about the earl. Nothing bad, at least.


"It is good to see you, Lord Chichester," he replied politely with a nod, the corners of his lips turning up.


He outright smiled at the thought of his marriage. "I thank you, my lord. We both thank you. It is a very happy state and my lady wife is very pleasing." They had been forced into something of closer quarters these last few days since living at the palace. Sharing a bedchamber! Who ever would think of such a thing! Although he had to admit, it did make taking care of his husbandly duties far simpler. No need to leave the warmth of the bed to return to his own. Although it did tempt him to attend to such things more than was strictly advised by the church. Every third day had turned into something like twice a day, when he entered the bed and before he left it in the morning.


"You are very generous." Beverley had, indeed, received the man's present as well as his breeches, but alas they were lost to him currently at his lord father's house. "And how have you been keeping?" He could not help but raise a cautious eyebrow. The rumor had been that the earl had been something in leave of his senses, but perhaps and hopefully he had taken the waters somewhere or some such thing. He seemed quite well to the viscount.


"Well? Well how?" He did not realize that the earl was alluding to the smell of gunpowder about him, but it seemed something sensitive the way the earl leaned toward him.


(OOC - I can't for the life of me find what George sent him. Refresh my memory? )

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“I am very well thank you, a half year in Florence and beyond have revived my artistic spirits indeed. And you, I can see you thrive.”


Marriage seemed to have matured young Beverly, although likely George’s own improved outlook saw all with increased positivity. The lean officer before him seemed grown in confidence and ease, even if he did do that startle thing, as though he did not expect people to talk to him. It was good to see him again.


“You make a fine advertisement for the state, with the winds at my back perhaps I shall attain a similarly… amicably settled state.” he flashed a grin, then pressed on, “it would be my honour were you both to attend dinner at my table some time over the Christmas season. Perhaps next week?”


Only recently returned, Chichester was behind upon any gossip of Beverly’s situation. He attributed the Viscounts thinness to a change of lifestyle, and his wardrobe to either the raising militaria-fashion, if not darker threat looming at the Palace.


Leaning closer with his quietly placed question (one did not want to risk hysteria, George remembered well enough what that was like last year, women screaming and running everywhere), “…we are under no threat as we were in Christmas-past?” George’s eyes scanned about the room. Were there other guards about, and looking edgy perhaps?




(ooc: since George was out of play at the time, I hardly know if a gift at this point is allowable or if we might deem it lost in the post? But if allowed, he’d have given euro-trendy trinkets: His and Hers matching ratskin gloves. (Paris's rival to chicken skin gloves (aka limerick gloves) )

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Beverley appeared a guileless sort of fellow, young and barely hitting an average height of five and a half feet, so his smiles did not have any falsity to them.


"Florence? I can tell that you enjoyed the trip. A, erm, fine place for art and artists." He might have commented on the Duomo but for not wanting to appear very familiar with Catholic monuments. They were amazing works that he was quite sure he would never get to see. "I am sure there are many magnificent things to see."


That seemed to him to be innocuous enough to say, but there was a certain admiration in his expressive brown eyes for what things might be seen in Italy. Hundreds of years prior so much money had been put into grand monuments, before that damnable Luther had set the world to one man against another. Or rather, one Christian against another, instead of all against the Heathens.


"I should think it your time, Lord Chichester," he added, of marriage, for the other gentleman was more than old enough for it and needed an heir; he had never heard tell of a brother.


"If my master does not wish to leave right away once more, we should be happy to," Beverley replied. "He may wish to survey ports or ships or any number of things which might, erm, call me away."


A look of recognition came over him as he realized what the earl was alluding to. "Oh no, no. I do not believe so. I had taken to firing some pistols on the range before arriving here. Is the smell of powder very thick?"

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Georges dark brown eyes were warm upon the man; Beverley was far shorter than he and still possessed a number of child like qualities that were rather endearing. His hesitation over finding the right word, for instance, or the flare of his eyes, modest smile.


"There is indeed." it did not take much to encourage Chichester to say more of his beloved Florence, "Galleria dell'Accademia, Ponte Vecchio, the Fountain of Neptune to name but a few. Yet it is the people of a place that truly set it apart don’t you agree. And even while Florence is the home of my second family, I boarded with them many years, my heart called me back home again. It is good to see you again Lord Beverley."


He'd thought they could have become closer friends - the confusion of life had just gotten in his way.


Of marriage, he replied "and I should think you are right."


"Yet he will remain till the twelfth day surely?" Although they were talking Cumberland here, a man who made his own choices, so perhaps he'd up and off immediately the new year came in. Or, perhaps the Earl was coming on too strong? A known fault of his. "Let me know if your Lady wife would enjoy it." he deferred easily.


Clicking his tongue with a chuckle, Chichester then righted himself as was explained, "Ah, the target range, yes of course. It's that scent of gunpower that rouses the imagination I suppose, from fire works to explosions, its all fascinatingly visual stuff. Far better it be for sport than of necessity."


"No, it's not strong at all, I am just alert to such things Lord Beverley." said the fastidious Earl.

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"I have not spent time out of England or Ireland, so I would have little comparison, but I do find England superior to Ireland." Then again, he had spent most of his life in England, so it made sense he would prefer it of the two. "Your second family? What are the people of Florence like?" He could not resist asking the questions, for the lead in begged such a response.


There had been nothing meant by Beverley's reply about dinner. His time was not wholly his own, and if he reconciled with his father, who knew what obligations that might bring as well. He did not enjoy disappointing people or needing to beg out of engagements. It was bad form.


"I cannot imagine differently, but in times of necessity, there are things other than one's personal tastes which must, erm, come first. Even for a prince." He nodded warmly. "His highness is very focused upon the impending war and readiness for such, ever since the summer."


He rested his hand gently on the hilt of his court sword, relaxing one knee as they spoke.


"Sport and diversion, yes, much preferred. Although, well, any use of such things has a practical purpose for any gentleman. One can never be too careful on the roads, so being a decent shot with pistols is needed." There had, over the year, been enough attacks on the road and the like for him to think of his preparedness; he did have a wife to be responsible for now too.


Unfortunately, the odds of Beverley ever using them on a field of battle was slim to none, and he was very aware of it. Not only did his master not actively campaign on either the land or sea, despite having command of it, Beverley was a sole heir. Until he had an heir and a spare, unless it was dire necessity like their civil war, it would be bad form to place him in such a way.

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"Ireland?" in such sociable circumstance the mention became a prompt. "Well I was in Ireland at the end of '76, I should have thought and called to your Families estates. Beautiful countryside, but yes, as you say, there is quit no place like home."


"On a whole, I'd call them... chaotic!" the Earl laughed of that, "with a love affair with long dinners and conversations. Their is very different to our fare, though there conversations. Well they have much the same challenges as any. The family I lived with own a foundry, artisans I'd call them, making all manner of cast and wrought works." He almost told Beverly about his gates he'd designed, still yet to arrive, but he'd told far too many people about it already!


"But have you ever tried their food before?" he thought to ask, while on the subject. Perhaps if a dinner did pan out, he'd have his cook make a sampler platter of some of the flavours popular there.


"Ah yes." George had missed out on a good deal of the hue and cry for war, time in the tower had perhaps sheltered him in a way. Now that was a new and unexpected thought. "I would be most interested to hear about that." said he of Beverley’s mention of preparations. "Is our fleet of warships being at last expanded?"


"So true." George concurred, "why would you believe that just yesterday a young woman of noble birth was knocked over in the street by a group of brigands as she stepped outside for a paper and pen. I was greatly relieved that I had my pistol on me then, charged and primed... although not to great use I fear. It is a sad day in England when criminals become as brazen as that, and a man of robust principle needs not leave home without his firearm."


George was not really a fighting man, but he did had a finely tuned sense of justice, and it was that which spurred him in such talk.

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"Chaotic, eh?" Beverley said, before rubbing his lips together. "Long dinners do not sound all that different, though, aside from the, well, the, erm, different fare." He had never contemplated what Italians must eat, but considering their large coastal range, he figured it was much things from the sea.


"How is the fare, Lord Chichester?" he queried. "I find I have a rather, erm, cautious stomach." Indeed, many things did not sit very well with him, but after over two decades their own cooks knew him near perfectly.


"Foundry? I had never much contemplated that such might be used for, well, artistic pursuits." He added quietly, "I have found I am not overly fond of the smell of a foundry."


War was a far easier topic for him to speak of, and it was the purpose for his loitering about the presence chamber. It seemed to put a gleam in his brown eyes.


"Yes, His Highness has been having things steadily prepared since summer, and he hopes to find all our ships outfit with his new namesake cannon. It, erm, gives quite an advantage, but they are very expensive over the old cannon. Some of our ships have them already, which is a great boon for our efforts." He smiled, "The mob seems more amenable to war with their old enemy, France, moreso than it ever, erm, seemed they were with other Protestants."


Craving French blood seemed to be a most unifying thing for Englishmen. If the commoners were so eager for such a war, they would not be as apt to complain of the funds needed to be raised to fight it. Or at least that was Beverley's thought.


"That is very brazen! It all, erm, turned out well then, I see? But you did not fire upon them?" Brown eyes were a bit wider at the thought of such a thing, but that was why much of the nobility did not go shopping but made the shop come to them, especially ladies. "Was the young lady unharmed?" He wished to ask who it was, but he was a bit shy of it.

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"There is a far greater sense of hubbub in Florence than in London." George nodded as he gave further explanation. He was tempted to suggest the lordling chance a visit, but newly married his focus was no doubt firmly upon the home front. It was not as though one would take a young wife gadding about Europe, although that said some men did just that. Different sensibilities, George supposed, feeling that Beverly's view on that would be more like his own.


"There is great use of tomatoes, oil and herbs like nothing we do." George commented of the food as Beverly expressed a cautious interest, "in fact their food is altogether more colourful. "Mmm, if I was to try think of something to compare the flavours to, I might say plum relish approximate the depth of flavour, but entirely different." Since his fellow had voiced tentative interest, George thought to put his thought out there: "if you and your Lady wife are able to attend for dinner, then I shall have my cook prepare a sampler platter. Yet rest assured the main shall be stoutly English. Does beef and bacon stew agree with you, Lord Beverly?"


"Truly?" It ever surprised George when people were less aware of thing that he took for granted. "But you may have merely forgot, for consider works such a bronze sculptures. These are for the most part sculpted in wax first, and then cast by the lost wax method. Fascinating to watch, though I will agree, the smell is less than pleasant, and fairly clings to clothing, and I've wondered if it gets stuck in ones nose?" his brows shifted as he voiced that puzzlement out aloud.


"Ah, but your Duke of Cumberland has his foundry at Windsor I recall. There was a tour that I regretably could not attend, for some reason or another." he could not remember what his distraction ha been. Though perhaps. Yes, very likely, it had been Damien.


"Are these new cannot very heavy?" As talk shifted onto the Ruperinoe, George asked, "I had wondered if it might slow out ships down? Speed during a battle must be important..." his look at that moment was questioning for no doubt there was an answer that Beverly knew.


"Hmm." the topic of the mobs current interest brushed closer to the Catholic issue. George had no idea of Beverly's family’s position on that regard, other than that they were a devout church-attending family, Anglican church that was. He felt a little uncomfortable at that moment, as he wondered if he ought sieze the moment and profess he was poised to recant his publicly Catholic faith. Though Beverly probably was not even thinking about that, it was high in the Earls mind, and so the topic seemed everywhere.


"Hmm... the mob... is a very visible indicator of public feeling, feelings that men who do not rally like that also share. And their past causes still hold much weight, even if currently out of the primary spotlight." he skirted about. Meanwhile it occurred to him that is was a more prudent time to convert, as it were, while they weren't calling specifically for Catholic blood. For right now, it seemed far more a course of free will, which the artist fellow had much affinity with.


"Her name was Lady Tamsin Faraday..." George volunteered, "I've not heard of her family before."




OOC: my bad to mention the action of the dagger collecting scene while it is still happening! Excuse me as I then shift focus from what happened to the identity of the new-at-court lady.

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Beverley did not have a strong tolerance for drink, but yet he still outdid himself sometimes; it was similar with food. He knew that his stomach was best suited for familiar things, and yet there was still a part of him that wished to try different things. Vegetables generally agreed with him very well, so he was hopeful. Maybe he would find this food of the Italians would suit him even more!


"I should very much like a sampling. That surely could not bother a sensitive palate," he agreed, with a hopeful glisten in his large, hazel eyes. "Beef and bacon stew is most agreeable." Especially with good bread.


"I confess my embarrassment in not realizing it was all done much in the same way, erm, but I never gave it much, erm, thought. That does make sense though." He smiled in his guileless fashion.


"I feel that it does stick in your nose or even on your skin like a most, erm, undesirable perfume," Beverley replied, with a light chuckle. "Yes, my master does have a foundry at Windsor. He allowed me to show my new brothers-in-law, so perhaps sometime he would be inclined to show you or for me to show you. He is most interested in lords who would support our forces in the coming war with France."


The viscount did realize that Lord Chichester had coin, and he was also aware that coin could go a long way in renewing the odds of one's favour at court. The gentleman had the sort of noble manners that could lend itself to most things being forgotten in the short memory of courtiers. Having a strategic mind and also liking Lord Chichester, he wondered if perhaps there was a mutual interest there which he could capitalize on.


"I do not know how to explain, fully, for they are of a different composition, but even were they heavier one could have less cannon on the ship and with the superior range, be able to fire long before another ship could fire upon you." Beverley was no metallurgist and while he had learned many things from his master, he was still no expert in such matters, though he could talk the advantages of it.


"Yes, erm, I should rather fight foreigners than Englishmen," Beverley said, also moving toward diplomacy of the issue, for he had no issue with seeing foreigners as foreigners, Catholic or not. As loyal Englishmen, and for his own personal reasons, he took no issue with English Catholics. "A foreign Catholic, erm, allows the mob to focus ire on something." The last session of Lords had proven that a popular sentiment of court.


"Hm, I have never heard of her, my lord."*


(OOC - I wasn't reading that one to know. Let's push that off to the side)

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"Then I shall hope that Cumberland’s schedule allows for our dinner." Chichester was well pleased to have enticed younger Beverly, though they were still at risk that the dynamic Rupert would up and off after the New Years, which would require his aide to leave the Christmas season early. "Perhaps Monday?" he narrowed down the possible date.


He did not linger over talk of casting bronze sculptures with the man of war (though the arts might have suited Beverly's gentle nature), rather Georges attention was absorbed with talk of these new cannons.


"I would be very pleased to gain a tour of his Foundry." perhaps during the recess, that would be a fine thing - though again dependant upon Rupert’s pre-war schedule. (Beverly spoke like war was a certainty, and no doubt the famed warrior Rupert was of the same view/desire.) A tour could always wait till more distant future, neither the foundry nor Chichester’s interest would be vanishing any time soon.


"And no doubt the formulations are a state secret." George appreciated. Why likely Rupert kept much of the knowledge safely in his head. "Aha." but Beverly revealed enough for a non-expert to feel satisfied. "Accuracy and range." George's eyes flared with appreciation, nodding his understanding, "then these warring apparatus shall save good English lives as well as delivering our message to those that would stand against our King." George considered himself a guardian of the voiceless, and the thought of saving sailors lives gelled.


"Yes, a Foreign-catholic." the term that Beverly came up was pleasing, George gave a tight-lipped smile of it, but thought not to linger as the topic flowed on, "So true, the mob are transitory in their attention - yet with such passion they might enlist freely. Hmm," with the thought an eyebrow rose, "which might be a sure method of clearing the streets? Ah, but that is no doubt a far too simplistic thought, I am no strategist, but depend upon those minds that are." His smile relaxed once more.


"Hmm..." nor had Beverley heard of her, and the topic slid into lesser importance (for now at least.)




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"I very much doubt we shall leave before Monday, so Monday would suit I believe," Beverley replied. It would also not preclude him from being with his family on Sunday if he was able to repair with Brooke. He found himself yearning for that in a hopeful, boyish way. He did miss his family.


"I am sure I could have my master very amenable to showing it to you if you wish to aid in the funding for the Navy and the cannon. Why, I would think any lord who took such a personal interest in them would merit a tour of the Foundry. His highness does enjoy to show it off and might be persuaded by any significant support to give you a tour himself," Beverley replied, a friendly smile paired with it.


"And, erm, yes, it is quite the patriotic thing to hate the French more than other Englishmen. If the French are taught not to meddle in our, erm, affairs, perhaps the mob will be less afeared of the papist threat they see in Englishmen here. Many, erm, families under suspicions might allay such things by voting in favor of measures against France or taking personal interest in aiding to fund Naval efforts like the Rupertinoe." He licked his lips and added, "It seems counter-productive to attack anyone in Lords who would support war against French papists and there is some peace that might be achieved in our country by such, erm, methods." He gave a hopeful look to the earl, his brown eyes larger for a moment as if to solidify that he had a meaning passed what he had said on the surface.


Many things took the limelight off those who were either friendly to English Catholics, were secretly English Catholics afraid of being discovered, or who had family who were Catholics. Being seen as against foreign Catholic influence was something of a safeguard, and, in Beverley's mind, would be a safeguard for a fine peer like Chichester who had embroiled himself in such a public way as to be in some danger of an irascible mob.


It could be a new beginning of English Patriotism for the earl that could allow him to covertly fight for religious freedoms in a quiet manner more in tune with like-minded nobles. Much of the nobility did, after all, have relations or allies who were Catholic or converted within their generation. Even Lord Worcester had been born and raised Catholic, though his family was now all practicing Anglican. It was one of the reasons Beverley had been more keen on the match.

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And so dinner was all but settled. What came as a surprise though, was the suggestion of funding the navy. (Beverley slipped that in quite casually, as though it had been on the cards all along.) George's eyebrows rose...


"Hmm... just how significant would that be?" He asked for a figure -- the military was something of a bottomless pit after all. He was by no means pinched for a penny, but he was not a fool either.


Then there was Beverly's other thought: that of the positive effect upon repute for a war-budget contributor in the House of Lords. "Shall there be some manner of disclosure of the families who contribute?" George inquired tactfully.


Usually any report of his good efforts had been quashed by the press, it had taken him years to realise what was happening. Now aware, he was wary of making another donation without gaining some kudos to his reputation.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Beverley smiled at the dapper Chichester, "The cannon are very expensive themselves, and I do not wish to tread on indelicate subjects like your income, my lord."


Based on the man's attire and other factors, he thought Chichester very wealthy.


He chewed his lip for a moment, "5 thousands would be a generosity I doubt my master could overlook. Even more would be very noteworthy indeed."


As to the notoriety of the thing, Beverley nodded, "Were you not at the Lords when my master spoke of Sir Francis Kirke's donation and encouraged other lords in being such examples of innovation? He has some peerage now, I think." The viscount licked his lips and tried to recall the name of it; he only remembered it was given to the mother which was something a bit odd. Then again, perhaps the donation had not hurt either!


"That is to say, erm, I think any who made donations above and beyond would be sure to get recognition from my master as aiding our efforts against the French Catholics. I would venture he might use such as an example and encouragement at the next Lords much like he did with those designs. Being included in such a thing would be very good for you, if you do not mind the, erm, audacity in saying so. I should not wish to see you the target of, erm, ill-will." Those who were public in their Catholicism had been quite targetted, and Beverley liked Chichester.


(OOC - I'm not one to mention Francis, but it's the only example of Rupert giving very public recognition that I can remember and Beverley was there )

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George whistled at the sum. "I had heard the Rupertinoe's price precluded their being generally adopted into the navy, but I'd not thought it would be quite that much. I can see why they need be privately funded, the House of Lords would never agree to that cost."


"No I was not present then in fact." Had Kingston donated such a sum, his impression of the newly raised man shifted. He must be very well funded indeed, to have donated so much (and to have purchased title in the same year also!) Where did his funds come from? George wondered privately. That sort of money was the entire of a nobleman’s inheritance in most circumstances, and yet George had not heard of anyone in Kingston’s family dying let alone his father. Who was the mans father by the way?


But that was little matter. The only thing that mattered to George was how to remedy his reputation. (Good deeds in London was obviously not it.)


"Perhaps I should meet with The Duke and discuss this further." Nor was throwing his money around doing anything, he needed to meet some of these people he never had. He needed to press himself upon them, in order to get ahead. He might die an old man known to nobody if he continued his previous 'do-gooder and hoping for recognition' course.


It was time to step up and demand the recognition he deserved.

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"Indeed, he donated designs of new ships, English designs," Beverley said, in explanation. "We are still using the Dutch designs which, of course, the Dutch know as well as everyone else and that means maneuvers can be very anticipated, just like the old cannon range. Like the Rupertinoe, my master likes innovation and concern for our ability to defend our, erm, island nation and, erm, merchants, trade, too." The viscount had not heard much else about it after that. How that blond youth, for he did not look older than Beverley to the viscount, had fared after that, he did not know to speak of it.


"I can speak of it to him if you wish, that way he shall be in the proper spirits to wish to meet with you," Beverley offered. Then he added a bit awkwardly, "I set up his correspondence as one of my duties." Which was to say that he sorted the priority of incoming mail and missives. He also wrote the replies to much of it that was humdrum.


"I daresay he will be quite happy to talk to someone who wishes to help fund our efforts. That is, erm, after all, what sets us apart from the merchants and commoners, erm, our ability to show our largesse in taking care of our fellow Englishmen and women." It was like an extension of one's tenants to Beverley. Lords funded private regiments and all sorts of things. If one did not wish to actively lead men, why not fund troops anyway for the favor and recognition of it. At least, that was how Beverley justified the entire thing in his mind. The reality was that he really had no idea how to raise money, but Rupert had asked him to aid in that, so he was trying to do what he could.


(OOC - we're playing with some weird inflated currency, bc B said the old cannon were about 300 pounds, the Rupertinoes 3X that, so one cannon is 1000 pounds LOL Just thought to put the coin amounts in some sort of perspective.)

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George did not comment on the change from Dutch designs to English. The old English ships had been slow and lumbering, the change to Dutch style ships had made the English fleet much faster and more manoeuvrable. He hoped that these 'new' English designs were not going back to the old style ships, that would be no progress. Perhaps he'd get to discuss this with Francis himself one day...


"Certainly." George had met Shaftesbury once, and knew that high ranked people did not like to meet on spur of moments. That actually, they did not seem to like meeting new people at all! But if they had to, he knew that they liked schedules and appointments for these things. This method that Beverly now spoke of, seemed in keeping with that.


George was a man of considerable income, and no woman in his life to have been spending it for him, he could afford two Rupertinoes if he wanted - but he'd pay for none if it did not impact his own reputation favourably.


He was (finally) getting with the programme.


"I must thank you for bringing this opportunity to my attention Lord Beverly."



OOC: Oh I did not realise our currency is inflated, but did know that the Rupertinoe was crazy expensive and that is why they did not become a standard - which was what I was playing into with my reaction from George. I would think that back in the day people would have been falling off their seats at the price also.

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Beverley was not entirely sure how to react to being thanked. He was not typically the one to come up with ideas that benefit multiple people, so he was rarely in a situation where something that helped his master also helped a friend. Or an ally of sorts. Well, Beverley did not wish to see anything bad happen to English Catholics, secret, not secret, or otherwise, so he was pleased that it would all benefit Chichester too.


So, what came forth was truthful in its own pleasant, awkward way. "It pleases me to help someone, erm, such as yourself, erm, in the course of my duties."


That was perhaps his way of attempting to convey that no thanks were necessary. It did lead to him being silent for a long moment, unsure of what to say and perhaps embarrassed of it. What did one say after being thanked unexpectedly?


So, he searched his mind for a change of subject. "Do you seek anything particular here today or just, erm, conversation?" He paused, "I wonder how many hope to actually see His Majesty..."

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Beverley’s youthful embarrassment of being thanked - it was one of those moments that made George feel old. Or was it more that it showed up how young the Dukes aide was. The Earl empathised with a nod and a smile, "then I hope that it become a recurring theme in your service."


Persons like Beverley become adept at altering topic away from themselves, and the young man showed his expertise now.


"Oh, yes." George turned and looked about the room, the greater gathering of a dozen different conversations having evaded his attention for some many minutes now.


"Now that is a good question." he chuckled at the humour he perceived in Beverley’s rhetoric, "I dare say it is enough for most of us, to simply be seen perchance opportunity of being seen." leaning closer he admitted, "I myself would hardly know what to say if His Majesty happened to stroll by."


Leaning back again, he recalled when he had spoken to the king. "Hmm, though this humble subject did place himself willing of Royal Service... I was ah, fortunate I suppose, to not have been called upon to perform. You recall the call for suitors for Lady Fiona? Or perhaps you do not." George laughed of it, he was pretty sure that the Kings urge to see the McBain girl married had long passed. He and however many others were off the hook.


Returning to the question he then answered, “It is my goal to grow my situation socially. What is the saying, 'no man is an island' -- and so here I am, intent to build bridges.” He explained.

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"And nor would I," Beverley said, exhaling a hint of amusement. "Erm, to be honest, His Majesty makes me very awed or cowed. Nor do I think that, erm, His Majesty has much interest in me."


No, Beverley's father was a noble of importance, with a grand position. Beverley, by comparison, was just an extension of that, more a curiosity or another quality by which to measure the father. At least, that was what the viscount thought.


"Ah, yes, I do remember the business with Lady Fiona...and I confess to not know the outcome. Is the lady yet, erm, unmarried?" Beverley blinked. He tried to imagine the lady with Chichester and could not. His face reflected this with one eyebrow popping up as he came to his conclusion.


It shortly spilled forth from his lips, "Perhaps it is better to have volunteered for this, erm, duty, that to have been...well...chosen to fulfill it, my lord."

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On that the pair were of the same opinion. Although from where George was standing Beverly's prospects with the King seemed rather better than his own. "Hmm." he replied "I dare say he's well entertained by his colourful favourites, and needs no others."


George then lapsed into a self mocking laugh, "I dare say, with no offense intended Lord Beverly, that neither of us would serve well a His Majesties jesters. But perhaps one day he shall want for a sober conversation, and then we'll be ready in spades." Realistically he knew that such a circumstance would not happen, but it was nice to suggest a consolation prize was possible, even if highly unlikely. The King had a different set of men to speak to on serious topics, men he’d rewarded with duchies etc.


"That was a long time ago." of Fiona's hand being touted by the king he replied. Since then George had become engaged and then lost Mina, and then courted Davina unsuccessfully. Perhaps he should have persisted with Fiona?


But the look on Beverly's face at the idea was enough to make George laugh again. "Enough said!" and he laughed some more.


Beverley’s comment was well done. "It is a rare and precious point in a life, when one is able to choose a duty, and I would now do so more prudently." George replied. He paused a little, and then admitted, "There is a certain lady currently who has given me permission to pursue her hand. A kind and gentle spirit, and entirely proper, such as one requires in a wife."


"You would understand, perhaps, that I feel a nervous excitement of it, a queer blend of terror and joy." he admitted with a grin that was a tad embarrassed (even though he was pleased to tell Beverly of it). "Tell me, in making your own match, how did you know it was right?"

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  • 2 weeks later...

"No offense at all," Beverley replied, his eyes crinkling as he chuckled. "I confess to be tongue tied enough and not witty like those, erm, the King prefers."


He had no delusions about being by the king's side, making him laugh. That was not his lot, but there were other ways to be useful and to have value.


Marrying well only aided such strategies.


"Ahh, indeed? That should be encouraging," he marveled of an acceptable lady being amenable. He recalled what it was like to wonder if the families of those he liked would be amenable to a match; there was a certain anxiety to it. His eyes reflected his thoughts and seemed to hold some seriousness for a moment.


Then he smiled again and said, "I think I felt something like that, so I understand the feeling. There is a good and a bad to it, very confusing." He licked his lips, "Well, I do not know what you mean by right, my lord. Of those my lord father would find acceptable, there were many things I thought about. I confess to not having known any of the ladies very much."

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St Leger was likeable in that way, George found a measure of equality in talking to him, almost as if they might actually be peers. Whatever it was, the Earl enjoyed his company. "There is too much cleverness in them I think, how can they keep track of all the double entendres, metaphors and plays on words. I prefer to know what it is I am saying, though I must admit I enjoy a good pun now and then." chuckled of the admission.


"So... both silenced in the presence of Royalty, perhaps our secret weapon shall be mime?" he winked with the tease of them both and laughed some more.


Yet onto the soberer topic of marriage, Beverly spoke his thoughts.


Nodding, George replied, "My own Father is passed, though in life he seldom approved of my choices, perhaps he..." but he fell silent on that thought, it was disquieting to imaging his father might be watching over his life from in Heaven. It did not beg thinking about.


"I suppose by 'right', I mean, how could you guess at what sort of life you would be creating? Women seem to be rather demanding, and the higher they are born the more insistent they seem. I feel uneasy at being peacekeeper to their whims, for fear that my own goals in life shall take second place."


His voice was hush at this point, in talking about such personal things.


"Your own Lady Wife, has she proved difficult to manage?" George was nervous he'd find himself with a woman like Mirtel, who'd been extremely difficult, even if he'd truly cared for her. Perhaps the difficulty had been because he cared about her?


"Yes naturally, I understand." George nodded as Beverly said how he'd barley known any of the ladies. That was understandable in a situation where a match was made on reason rather than passion. "I find myself contemplating how to approach the lady's Father. Ahh... did you do such a thing yourself Lord Beverly? Have you any advice to give?"

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Beverley took a bit of a deep breath at the (very) loaded question about "right." How did Beverley know anything about women at all would have been a more apt question, for he was not all that skilled in such areas.


He looked sideways with just his eyes, leery of eavesdroppers and added, "Erm, for my family's situation, good breeding was paramount and large families. We do not require coin, for the estate is in abundant health, but I am the only male-line heir in the entire family. Lady Worcester has many children with Lord Worcester, and sons." He rambled passed the topic a little.


Beverley's measures were entirely unromantic. He was very pleased with his wife, and he enjoyed his time with her, but he was yet far too inexperienced to have any inkling about love.


"Well, it is a husband's duty to be the leader, so that you must be I suppose? I have not found my lady wife to be a creature of pure whim. I am very happy with her and fortunate. As to her father, erm, I had written to Lord Worcester of my wish to meet his daughter, but other than a dinner, my lord father handled much of that with Lord Worcester." Beverley was now happy that it was so, because he was not sure how he would have gone about managing it all himself.


"I know that it is unseemly to speak to overly much to an, erm, very eligible lady without speaking to her father. It is very...cruel...to perhaps inspire feelings in a lady which could never come to fruition. So, erm, my only advice would be to write or see him sooner than later?"


On such matters, Beverley was not a man of firm and coherent speech. Women flustered him. Older men with impressive titles also flustered him. The combination of women and fathers was, therefore, not his most eloquent.

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However inexperienced Beverly may feel, he had a running jump on George still. Although on two occasions George had developed quite strong feelings for a female, he had never kissed or laid with one, but forcast his viewpoint on them in relation to his little sister Mirtel.


And so he attended Beverly's advice seriously.


"Ahh..." head nodding, he appreciated St Legers primary factor in choosing a bride. A family history of many sons was a keen factor. George appreciated the mans thinking and murmured, "a very prudent choice."


As to the other things, it sounded as though Beverly's wife was fallen into line. "Perhaps her good breeding wins out. I have heard, as no doubt you have too, that if you wonder what a woman will be like you must look at her mother. And Lady Worchester is not a flighty woman."


Yet Georges greater concern was how to approach a prospective father in law. He nodded slowly. "I have already met the lady, yet without the fathers permission to do so." he felt a concern of a breech of the perfect protocol. "Perhaps I remedy that now, with a letter advising the father of having met..." He hoped he'd not commenced with an overstep.


Truth be told, he was experiencing a few butterflies at the moment. Desirous of a good match, but, it was a very large step. And perhaps his match would not be as biddable as the newly made Vicountess Beverly.


"Your advice is wise, Lord Beverly." George appreciated the goodness of it. "The lady in question seemed to hold a more liberal view, and wished to meet again. But perhaps it was the excitement of the moment. Sense must rule. And no, I do not want to distress her, if, if her father comes to object." For a fathers say was final.


George's brow was drawn, and he rubbed his chin with thought now.


"Do you think there any thing in particular that a Father seeks in his daughters match?" he wondered to his qualifications.

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Beverley nodded, "Lady Worcester is a very fine lady indeed, and I have enjoyed all of her sons. One's future allies are as important as the man that is patriarch now." His reasoning for his marriage was no strange thing. It was quite a traditional viewpoint for the oldest of families; if you did not require money or an advancement in rank or station, you married for blood, alliances, and heirs.


It was a situation George shared with Beverley. He was a rich earl, aside from being Catholic which might limit things, he could marry for his family's best future.


Low on the viscount's end of the spectrum was personal preference or romance. A tolerable visage ranked higher than that! He was very lucky in Mary, and he was very aware of it. A rare moment of pride that made him a bit more at ease.


"Well, erm, I cannot imagine you set up this meeting with the lady, my lord, so if it was happenstance...then there is no fault in it. There is underhandedness if it seems you sought to seek the lady's favor purposefully, erm, without the father's permission. A letter saying that you had met and would like to further would seem sufficient if such is the, erm, case." He raised a brow. Chichester did not seem the sort to cavort around in secret with a maiden behind her father's back, so he banked on that. Little did he know Chichester had cavorted in secret with men!


"Ah yes, see I knew you were kind to a lady's sensibilities and propriety," Beverley nodded as Chichester mentioned not wishing to distress the lady.


"That depends upon their situation, erm...how well-placed they are at court and coin."

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George agreed with Beverly's sentiments, and found himself nodding as the other spoke.


"You have a level head upon your shoulders." he complimented at the end, "I myself am far too easily distracted by these other things. I blame my enduring love of my Mother, though she is long passed, I wish to honour her in my selection of a bride, for the future Lady Chichester to be worthy of her."


"Well that is true!" George agreed quickly, and with a measure of relief as Beverly discovered his own innocence. "I shall write to him this very evening." though a challenging letter like that might take the Earl more than just one evening to compose.


Rather than reply directly to George’s next question, Beverly provided prompts to discovering said answers. "Yes I see, when money and rank is not a concern, then the father would look to the benefits of an alliance, with what social or political gains might be afforded." Here George paused.


This was bad news for him currently, for he was not able to offer a catalogue of connections to a potential father in law.


He rubbed his chin. "Still, I might hope industry shall discover more, for there is a vast array of things that attract and absorb. I shall then do my due diligence upon the families interests and more, to try uncover what affinity may lay before. Ha, after all, if there is no basis for an alliance, then it would serve my household none either."


"Ah, Lord Beverly, thank you for sharing your perspective. It means a great deal to me." he turned and thanked.

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  • 2 weeks later...

"My lord father makes certain I have a level head," Beverley replied, with a quirky smile. That was to say that George had the luxury of doing as he pleased in all ways. There was a freedom in that which he envied. However, he loved his father too much to wish Chichester's situation for himself.


"Such are a father's concerns, I think. It is hard to think of how one measures. In such matters perhaps we are our, erm, own worst critic. I surely did not think to have the success which I enjoyed."


That was more based upon his social skills than on the other perks he could offer.


"You are welcome, for what little expertise it is." He smiled and then said, "There are gentlemen with far more experience and a far greater number of wives gotten." After all, some of the older men at court had lived long enough to have 3 wives.

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George gave a wry smile at that. "Does your Father attend many court events? I've not met him yet." the Earl imagined he was a man much like the son, carefully spoken and cautious, and with a fine head of hair.


"I shall keep you advised of my progress." of the rest he spoke with deceptively carefree air. George had a character flaw to be a bit too serious that he was doing his best to overcome.


"Heh heh..." George laughed of the last, "Don’t speak of multiples, securing a first is strife enough... and besides, I'd rather talk to you of this Beverly." Leaning forwards he made a smile then, and then leaned back away again.

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