Charles Audley Posted March 3, 2017 Share Posted March 3, 2017 The Residence of Barbara, the Duchess of Cleveland The house is a mansion by any standards. Upon several acres that leave it feeling quite secluded, the grand structure stands surrounded by pleasant gardens. It consists of several apartments, as well as the grand public rooms, an elegant ballroom, and a vast gallery. Adjoining the house is a large walled-in Dutch garden, with a summer-house in the north-western corner, in the rear. Berkshire House is most lavishly and sumptuously adorned and decorated in the latest fashion. The Drawing Room - A liveried Footman leads guests through several sumptuously appointed chambers, to a richly paneled salon, where the Duchess of Cleveland entertains guests in inclement weather. The Footman opens the double doors to the room, revealing a warm and welcoming fire burning within the great fireplace, and announces the arrival of guests to his mistress. Barbaba is often found awaiting her guests in a chaise lounge, situated near the fireplace and upholstered in deep burgundy velvet. A similarly sumptuous chair sits opposite her chaise. Between them sits a table, already set with a bone china service and nibbles for tea. It is a rich but welcoming room. Charles resisted the urge to re-check his appearance in his snuffbox mirror as the carriage approached Cleveland's residence. He was as well-dressed and groomed as he and Wodehouse could contrive. Blue had been the theme for this ensemble, cornflower waistcoat and stockings under justacorps, breeches and cravat of navy. Freshly washed hair had been carefully organised into affected disorder, falling loose about his shoulders. Though the wind is likely to reduce that to genuine disorder, alas. Charles shook his head irritably. He had successfully denied the impulse to sink a draught of laudanum before he left his apartments and was beginning to regret his fit of willpower. He felt uncharacteristically... skittish, and needed something to steady himself. Good God, am I nervous? Surely not. It had been so long since Charles had had any trouble from his nerves that he could not remember it, or recognise the symptoms in himself. He bared his teeth in annoyance at the temporary weakness. Why on Earth should he be nervous? Cleveland was exceptional amongst her type, but that was a type that Charles had dealt with a thousand times before. He was good at these little intrigues. What was one more? The carriage came to a halt and Charles dismissed the thought, adopting his customary courtly mask of forthright amiability. His hand reached up to unconsciously (and needlessly) adjust the fit of his patch. Lacking an appreciative audience for a pithy one-liner, he dismounted wordlessly and strode with firm, confident steps towards the door, whistling a half-remembered marching tune from Flanders. A brief pause for another unnecessary adjustment, this time to his cravat, and Charles rapped smartly on the door. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.