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George Hardwick III

The inner seam | 4th April @9am

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Half Moon House

A short drive ended at a carriage door that led through the soft, parchment-plaster facade of Half Moon House. Broken by numerous gleaming, white, sculpted window frames, the house cradled a matching coach house and a service round behind. Centring the front of the house was a pair of heavy doors featuring a bronze knocker fixed by an ornate network of celtic knots. Stretching out before the door was a set of white steps and a path of cut stones that angled through a phalanx of carefully trimmed hedges to the gate leading out to Pall Mall.

 

A message had been sent to Maisoniere the prior evening,  Chichester’s pocket weighty enough that any other prior engagement was rescheduled, a promise returned that the Tailor would be free to attend.  The man arrived by back door early, and was assisted by the servants to set up his paraphernalia and accoutrements in the lavender salon.   

George meanwhile took his coffee in his office, penning a letter to Peter Boyle.  It had been a great loss to the Earl when Peter had moved his hub of operations to far away Brighton, though he could understand the man's need for change of location was more than just the practical.  A part of George even knew that his continued correspondence with Mina’s father might cause Peter continued heart ache of remembrance too, but continue he still did.  Peter had been a cherished constant in the Earls life.    

He kept an eye at the window, looking out for his morning guest. 

 

 

Ref: Georges Fashionable Tailor: Mr Masoniere

Edited by George Hardwick III

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     At five minutes before the appointed hour a black berline, pulled by six blue roans of even temperament, entered Half Moon House’s drive. No arms were painted on the sides of the coach, but on closer inspection the arms of Grey could be seen carved into the wood. The carriage stopped as it reached the mansion’s front door, and the coachman jumped down to lower the step, open the coach’s door, and help his passenger alight from the vehicle.

     Henry was dressed in maroon brocade justaucorps and breeches, a moss green silk coat and white silk shirt, cravat and stockings. The day was windy, so he had been using a black bear skin for warmth. A gold watch chain came out of his left waistcoat pocket, and on his right hand he carried a walnut walking stick with spherical gold head. As usual, he wore no rings except for his signet, but there was a red coral pin on his cravat.

     The baron climbed the white steps, checked his watch, and used the heavy brass knocker twice, exactly at the appointed time of his visit. Reginald was at his left side, ready to announce his master to whatever servant opened the door.

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George had not expected such an ostentatious show from the humbly spoken Baron. 6 horses and in town!   For that was surely Lord Grey who was arriving.  In any case it must mean he had a tidy sum behind him, which was bound to make this morning session more productive.  Mr Maisonere would likely be pleased. 

George's man answered the door,  and was assisting with the removal and hanging of Greys outwear as George exited a door to the left to greet his guest.  "Lord Grey, so timely, I wonder if it is the heavens that synchronise their movements by you rather than the opposite." he cheerily jibed upon approach. Naturally his eyes took in the others costume, judging, as one of his fashion-conscious incline was prone to do. 

"But please, make yourself at ease, my home is your home. Come through to the Lavender room."  he gestured expansively. 

The lavender room was just that; predominantly a lavender floral wall paper with accents of sage green on a cream ground. Lovely blousy lavender curtains were plump and fulsome, augmented with sage tassels. The upholstery was another flowery design, on smaller scale to that of the walls, with fat cushions in a range of shades of cream scattered about.  A plush floor rug was in a deeper shade, with dark green leaf motif.  Centre to that was a wooden stool measuring perhaps a foot by a foot by a foot, and some few yards in front of that was a freestanding dress mirror.  A dressing screen was nearby, and near that a stand with numerous quarters of fabrics slung over it. A stack of books were piled on the floor near that.  The tailor was not in the room at that moment.

“Would a cup of broth be the thing do you think? Though I can send for tea, or something stronger if you prefer?” George walked across the room and tugged the (tasseled!) bell pull.  

Edited by George Hardwick III

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     Henry was handing over his black bear skin to the liveried servant when George appeared from a door to the left. “Lord Chichester, an honour to be a guest in your House”. It was a grand mansion, which spoke of the owner’s great wealth. Henry did not think he would be able to purchase or even lease such a house in London himself. Perhaps one day, Henry, perhaps one day…

     Turning to Reginald, he received a bottle from his valet, only to turn back to Lord Chichester and offer it to the man. “A humble present. A brandy from the town of Segonzac, aged in oak for ten years after distillation, and then left to age in the bottle in the cellars of Codnor Castle since before I was born”. It was Henry’s favorite brandy, and the baron hoped George would enjoy it too.

     The baron then followed his host into the Lavender Room, decorated with exquisite taste. He immediately noticed the stool, the dress mirror, the screen, and the fabrics. “I see your tailor comes prepared, my lord. Good! God knows I am in need of much help”. It was stated matter-of-factly, just as if Lord Grey had said something about the weather.

     “Broth would be perfect, Lord Chichester”, Henry accepted with a smile and a nod, “I have already had some coffee, but my stomach might be better served by the broth you mention”. Henry had been awake since before dawn, working on his designs. Coffee had jumpstarted his mind, but the broth would do wonders for his body.

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"Ah, very nice...." George received the gift with a careful hand, and turning the bottle about examined it's makers markings.  Henry explained the story of the contents within, while the artist wondered to the glass bottle’s origins.  He had an increased interest in glass currently, having just installed a furnace at Dulwich over teh winter for a glass Artist-in-Residence this year.  "I dare say it's makers have already passed from this world to the next." a comment that was applicable to either bottle of cognac. 

"Which meal do you recommend this drunk with, alas I rather doubt breakfast would give it the full respect deserved." George wondered if it would appear brutish to remove the lid to sniff the contents? He, so wrapped up in appearances, did not dare to do so unless it was a misstep.  He did not want to insult his new acquaintance with inappropriate behaviour.  He would take his cues from Henry.     

Somewhere deep within the house that bell pull created a noise and alerted, while in the Lavender room itself all remained pleasantly hush and calm. "Yes coffee is a fine drink indeed, though too much, I find, agitates." George agreed.   Quite like that a neatly dressed man in a dark brown suit with light brown pinstripe appeared through the door and bows - behind him a house servant. Neither looked out of breath, but they must have practically run!

"Ah, here he is, Lord Grey this is my marvel of fabric - Mr Maisonere.  Mr Maisonere, this is Lord Henry Grey.  Desirous of your expertise in making the right impressions for this his first court season."

Mr Maisonere uttered a "Pleased to meet you Lord Grey", while George turned to relay the requests from kitchen to the servant. 

 

 

OOC: I'm 'blounting; this npc, in as minor way as is possible.

Edited by George Hardwick III

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     “Most probably”, Henry replied to George referring to the brandy’s makers. “But the product of their expert labours yet remains, and while it does, they will be remembered”. Henry made a mental note to order a shipment from the descendants of the original makers. It would have to be done through a neutral Italian merchant, and that would increase the price, but it would be much worth the hassle.

     “I would drink it by itself”, the baron added. “It is not a claret or a rhennish to be a complement to a meal; rather it is to be savoured by itself”. A moment of reflection, and he continued, “if you are not partaking of broth, perhaps you would care to sample it and give me your opinion? Or, if you think it too early to partake of spirits, open the bottle in a moment of quiet reflection. It should help you ponder matters, especially weighty ones”.

     And then, Mr Masoniere arrived. Interesting... He was announced as Mr. Masoniere, not Monsieur Masoniere. Hmm… the name was most definitely French.

     “Pleased to meet you, Mr. Masoniere”, the baron nodded formally. If the man were to save him from social embarrassment, he would deserve much respect. “Lord Chichester has told me you can do miracles, even with one such as I…” Lord Grey lifted his arms to shoulder level, and slowly turned so that the tailor could have a good view of his prospective client. “So that you have a bit more to work with, Mr. Masoniere, I am a baron, two score and two years of age, and single, but hoping to find a wife within the year…”

     For the natural philosopher, accurate information was a must if one wanted to find the solution to a problem, so he gave as much information as he thought relevant: his rank in the peerage, his age and the fact that he would be seeking a wife seemed to be important. “I was a Fellow at Trinity College in Cambridge until recently, when I became Baron Grey”. Perhaps that last titbit of information would explain to the tailor why his clothing seemed to be so out of place… or time… or both.

     “Should I remove my justaucorps now?”

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“That is the only legacy that Artists truly desire.” George replied drawing his eyes upward from the bottle and wondering if it was true for him too. Perhaps he’d lost his way with thinking of an heir for his family title.  Art might be his legacy. Through art he might live on.

“If you do not me think me brute to do so, I shall indeed sample it here and now.” Broth would be along in good time, but for now the drinks cabinet was handy, and George secured to nip sized glassed and poured out samplings for them both.   In a moment of bold George toasted “Tee totlers be damned.” And too generous sip of his 9am shot of hard liquor. 

It was pure gold.  Glorious.

“Exquisite.” He uttered… and with a wry twist of lips added, “I indeed feel ready to ponder weighty matters Lord Grey!”

Mr Maisonere was a man with a French accent even is lacking the correct courtesy title Monsieur.  The Mister looked towards George briefly then nodded his head soberly to Lord Grey’s directions towards his desired ‘look’. 

“More specifically Lord Grey desires a set of costumes that reveal excellent good taste, with no small means , while avoiding the frivolities that are the hall marks of courts fops and rogues.”  George clarified, then to Hnery he suggested, “Perhaps items that are complementary to each other, so you can feely mix and match them around without fear of a clash?  I am ever fond of a bold jacket however, make those your statement pieces and you can never go wrong.  A man who knows how to choose a bold jacket is surely a man who knows what is what. Confidence Lord Grey, fashion is all about that.”

With his jacket removed Mr Maisonerere moved to drape a swatch of cloth over Johns shoulder for him to vie in the mirror. It was a deep plum brocade with softer tones highlights… over that he draped a length of pale blue satin cord (the type used in piping) with a darker blue paisley satin that might be a lining.  Maisonere looked to Henry for a clue to whether the combination appealed at all?

Edited by George Hardwick III

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     “Not only artists, Lord Chichester; scientists too. To create, or in my case discover, something that makes the world a better place, is a most worthy endeavour in my book”. It was. They both had additional duties, making sure they sired heirs to continue their family lines, but that was a topic for another occasion. "And I believe, perhaps foolishly, that aesthetics and usefulness can coexist amicably".

     “Brutes do not drink this, I assure you, my lord”, Henry said as he accepted the glass from his host. He sipped contentedly. “To weighty matters”, he toasted, referring to the morning’s sartorial activities.

     “Lord Chichester has it right, I think. It must look dignified. Expressing depth of pocket is acceptable, but I do not care much for frivolity…” the whole exercise was far too frivolous for Lord Grey’s taste, but it seemed to be necessary. He just did not want, nor need, excess. Complementary items made sense to the man of science. “I would say five ensembles that can be mixed and matched would be a good start. One for taking my seat at the House of Lords and for attending Lady Toledo’s recital at Whitehall on Tuesday, and one for an event I intend to host on Wednesday evening are my most pressing needs. The others can be delivered afterwards”.

     The natural philosopher would use his current wardrobe for less formal occasions, like when locked up working on his eyepiece design, while the new outfits would see social use.

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"Indeed."

'From the mouth of babes', is the saying often used; when someone left of field says something that profoundly relates.  Some thought that serves as a clarifier that enables anothers mind to see though the fog. Where one individual had been seeking a solution, and their question is suddenly answered! (though the answer-giver had not been trying to answer that question even, but have been making a passing idle comment.)

That is what happened at that moment for George - his mind whirring, and not due to the spirits at all.  He could suddenly see how his future might map out!   "To weighty matters indeed." George clinked glass against the others. 

 His mind was now only half on this mundane arrangement of clothing, though it was terribly important to Henry of course.  "Navy with grey , silver accents of buttons and lets get some embroidery worked into the waistcoat for that.  I like the dark plum, and it crosses over to work with the navy at a pinch.  Lets get three sets of breeches in various tones of grey.  Some finer detailing on the pocket, how about horseshoes for the riding jacket, and his family crest on the day wear.  No definitely no green, that is far too cliché, and avoid yellow at all cost. In fact, gold also. It's been far too over done by others in seasons past. Lets add a splash of periwinkle blue for that playful and lively touch. Silver buckles on shoes. Frothy lace on the shirts, with mother of pearl buttons, ah yes, those, exquisite..."

As Henry did not express any preference for the colours the Tailor showed, George spoke up on his behalf.  It was a simple thing for the earl, and expediently he planned out a number of day wear sets that might intermix for the most part. All very complimentary to each other except for one, a most particular ensemble, one designed fit for a ball or royal audience. 

"But sir, that is tomorrow!" Poor Mr Maisonere's eyes widened with alarm as the gentlemen requested the impossible!  

George was similarly concerned.  Lord Grey was truly oblivious to the time required to creat perfection! 

"Let us all calm down gentlemen." The Earl spoke up, his voice pitched with concern, "Mr Maisonere, perhaps you can work some with the pieces Lord Grey already has in his wardrobe? Some trim, a few adjustments here and there, tweaks that might make his costumes fit for the purpose required.  Workable, until you may complete these new getups."   The tailor was agreeable, George looked to Grey for his agreement?  

“Mr Maisonere shall need to visit your wardrobe in person of course.” Henry would need to set some time.

 

OOC: the rule has always been that it take a week to get clothes made from scratch.  I think that George’s idea the best way to work around that so Henry can make a finer display of himself until the new clothing arrives on the 11th   

Edited by George Hardwick III

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     Impervious to George’s thoughts, Henry allowed the tailor to hold swath after swath of fabric against his torso, holding it this way or that, adding piping, other pieces of fabric, and buttons made of ivory, horn, and other materials on top. The baron endured it all stoically, whereas the earl seemed to be enjoying himself quite a bit.  I do not think I will ever be as proficient in this as Chichester is; perhaps I should meet with him before every season starts…

     The earl mentioned colours, fabrics, etc. and the baron agreed to everything with a nod. Then, mother-of-pearl buttons were mentioned. At the detail, Henry’s left eyebrow rose, and he asked, “let me see those…” after inspecting them, he smiled. “Yes, yes, I like them very much. Do buttons come in different shades, like pearls do? If so, I would be partial to blue, grey, and black tones…”

     Then the bad news. Things just could not be done in time. Do I agree with altering my current wardrobe until the new pieces are ready? “Of course!” Henry had a pressing need, that much was true, but lens grinding had taught him that there were things that could not be hurried without ruining them. “If you were to call on me tonight at The Red Lion, my wardrobe and myself would be at your disposal. But if you don’t need me to be present, you can get there earlier and my valet, Reginald, will give you access to my wardrobe. Just tell him that I sent you and show him this...” he handed the man his calling card.

     Lord Grey did not know if he was needed or not, nor how much time Mr. Maisoniere needed, so he gave the tailor his choice. “I need an ensemble altered for noon tomorrow, but the rest could take a bit more time”. Henry was willing to be reasonable, but he did have the taking of his seat to consider. Other things paled in comparison.

     “Lord Chichester, you have my gratitude. I would not have known how to go about all this”. It was the understatement of the century. “As for you, Mr. Maisoniere, I can already see that we will have a long and profitable association…”

OOC: sounds good to me. Next season things will be done ahead of time :)

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True enough, George was having a grand old time! The broth arrived, but George waved it aside as they focussed on matter at hand.  “Yes, buttons to be matched!  You are getting the hang of this Lord Grey, and you may be assured that Mr Maisonere will caution you if he sees fit. We are his canvases, and he the artist; design away!”

And of course Mr Maisonere did have many ideas to add, with recommendations to mimic some of the military styles given the focus of the season.  He even suggested a sash, though perhaps that was taking the first blush of fashion a bit too far for Henry.  But for George, “I shall have one of those!”

 Designs were done, and a time was set for revision of wardrobe (the valets presence was all that was required) there was still the matt or measuring required.  Politeness had George volunteer to leave at that point, for it hardly seemed right to stay and watch that scene that often enough was disquieting to the subject being measured.  

Some time later George returned, trailed by fresh cups of hot broth.  “After a good mornings work you have certainly earned this.” He spoke to Henry, would you like to have these in the peace and quiet of my office? 

There was quite a mess for the Tailor to sort out now, and who would want to hang around to watch that.

Edited by George Hardwick III

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     Henry smiled. He had asked about the button colours because of his interest in the medicinal properties of gems*. But George had stated that it was a good question of his sartorial pupil, so the baron smiled. “I am afraid it will take me a long time to feel comfortable with all these new… concepts”, but the effort might have a profitable result, so he added, “Mr. Maisonere, do design away. As Lord Chichester so aptly puts it, you are the artist in this”.

     Lord Grey declined the sash, as to him it hinted at either royalty or military, and he was neither. But all other suggestions made by the tailor were gladly accepted. “I will look totally different, that is for sure”, he said as a form of compliment.

     Then it was time to be measured, and George politely left . Henry would not have, so he made a mental note of the fact. This earl is not only elegant, but also extremely well-mannered. I have much to learn from him…

     And without much thought, more than an hour had easily gone by. The earl returned, and the aroma of beef and bone broth beckoned from behind him. “It will be my pleasure, Lord Chichester”, he replied to the invitation, and followed his host to the privacy of his office.

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George’s office, when Henry entered it, was rather less a place of study and business, and more of creativity and art.  While there was indeed a desk and the expected chairs for it, that was pushed off to the side.  The best lit spot (near the window) was set out with a trio of easels, the paintings themselves covered with oil drenched cloths.   A bench-come-cabinet was against the wall furthest from the fire, there being a collection of bottles, jars, brown paper wrapped parcels, and any number of mortar and pestles there, all of these neatly arranged by the meticulous man. 

Order was plainly very important to this otherwise artistic soul. 

“Forgive my mess.” Claimed George as he directed Henry to a chair near a low fire, while he took up his mug of broth and took a sip.  “I dare say you have much else planned for the day, so I shall not keep you over long.  Yet I would like to speak further on this illustrated sky charts idea.  I am dreadfully interested in it, if you were quite serious, you see.”

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     The place was almost pristine. “If this is a mess, Lord Chichester, then I ought to be sent to Bedlam because of the way my study looks!” Henry sat at the indicated chair and sipped from his broth. It was meaty, not watery, just like the baron liked it. There was an approving “hmmm…” as he enjoyed the flavour, and his eyes unconsciously closed for a moment.

     “Our cooperation, yes”, Grey responded. “I was quite serious, my lord. My initial thought was a set of paintings depicting dark silhouettes of well-known buildings in London, with the stars in astronomically correct locations, in sizes and colours also carefully rendered. But your idea of making an illustrated sky chart is even better. So, if you are up to it, I propose we do both. I know the first might not be a popular style, but I think it could be a sort of teaching tool too, if used correctly. What do you think?”

     Another sip of the broth while Henry waited for the earl’s reply.

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“Oh.” George’s eyes flared briefly.

For a chap who appreciated order so keenly, Greys admission sounded like a not so silent scream for help.  But it was hardly the role he wanted to promote, though if one stopped to think about it there might be dozens of cluttered offices about that needed someone like George!

Thought aside, George focused on the topic at hand, the project of the stars.  The others nasal sound of appreciation drew the Earls eyes, he noted Grey as rather handsome, and there with his eyes closed he made an attractive sight.

With a mental shake George tried focus once more. ”Aha, I like your original vision, skylines might be as enjoyable for London folk to enjoy recognising as the stars themselves.” he likewise seated himself,   “Now if you will forgive my lack of knowledge of sure knowledge of such things, but doesn’t the sky shift season to season, so that the chart might only be accurate for a select few months of the year? I myself have little to no knowledge of such things, well, aside from orions belt, but I think everyone knows that one!”

 

Edited by George Hardwick III

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     Henry’s desk was an outward expression of his mind: a not so small number of ideas from many fields fired from a blunderbuss in one general direction. One or more, the baron hoped, would hit the target. He was staking his court reputation in that. It was a mentality shared with many other men of science, but one not many outside natural philosophy shared. Buckingham did, for example, but not many others.

     “Picture this: a sunset that has almost faded into darkness, perhaps a lone streetlight illuminates a window here, or a door there, but the sky is mostly dark, and the buildings likewise. Add to that the stars in their correct positions and, perhaps, there is an expression of today’s London that is worth preserving for posterity. It can be done with midnight or dawn too”. The baron was no artist, but he did have an eye for beauty in the least likely places. He was certain it would eventually be considered both art and science.

     “You have seen that the stars change position in the sky at different times of the night, and also at different times of the year. You are correct. But the stars keep their relative positions relating to each other. That is why a star chart can be made”. A pause, for more sipping of the delectable broth. “It is like if the earth were at the centre of an orange, and the constellations were painted on the orange’s rind…” an unexpected way to describe it, perhaps, but somewhat useful. “If the rind were to rotate around the centre, from it you would see different parts of it at different times. It is the same with the stars. The challenge is to portrait a sphere using flat paper. That is one of the things I need your help on. Your artistic training should make that part of it simple for you…”

     "I have some materials in my room at The Red Lion I could lend you. Descriptions may be terse and full of numbers and tables, but I think I have a copy of a star chart or two. It should give us a good place to start..."

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“Yes I see it.” George readily visualised Henry’s description, and was already imaging the methods required to translate the mental picture to the page.  As a single artwork at least. “What quotation might you think, I am partial to the phrase Microcosm of London, and of course you will appreciate why, perhaps in this case Macrocosm.”

“From the original I would then make an etching so as to create multiple copies, in which case we are working black ink only. Perhaps later to be hand coloured.”

Where the artist came undone was the talk of it being like an orange, and London being at the centre, which did not seem to deter the Baron.

“I would like to see these star charts you speak of.” George did not want to admit his mental block, but thought that viewing this other work might help.  “Err, and as to materials, to what exactly are you referring?”

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     Microcosm of London has a ring to it, Lord Chichester. I like it very much”. Henry would have thought that his host would have been more poetic, but the scientific-sounding quotation did appeal to the baron. “I had not considered making an etching in black ink from a coloured original, but it sounds quite logical, now that you mention it…” it did.

     “I will send you the charts tomorrow morning”, Lord Grey replied, “as to materials, I mean written materials. I have charts, books, diagrams, and tables with relative distances, angles, locations, etc. I will send some of those along with the charts”. It did not occur to the natural philosopher that the earl would thing about paints, pigments, canvasses, etc. at the mention of materials.

     The two men’s areas of expertise were quite different, but their cooperation might indeed produce something noteworthy.

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 Microcosm of London* it is then." George was pleased to agree.

"Making an etching from a painting is not common, but increasingly done these days with the modern presses being so available.  The number of true copies is little limited however, as with each pass of the ink the quality of the reproduction is less.  The same is true with books if one was to be pedantic, but it is far less noticible with typeface.  How many coppies do you think we shall need. Ah, but I am getting ahead of myself!"

He murmured greatful thanks to the promised delivery of charts etc, and then finally admitted. "Lord Grey, those materials may overwhelm me if not issued with instruction also.  Do you think you might find time to provide a lesson in how to read such things?"

 

* ha, Microcosm of London was the name of a Georgian Theatre game I made many years ago!  (inspired from the image in this book here ) it feels very nice to roll the mind over that phrase once again. 

Edited by George Hardwick III

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    “The times of writing books one at a time by hand are over, with Guttemberg’s invention”, Henry replied, “dissemination of knowledge is faster now than it has ever been”. It was true. “I do not know how many copies we will need, but I do hope it is a few hundred… perhaps one or two hundred. If demand is higher than that, I would consider us fortunate indeed”. To produce something that a thousand would want would be a huge success indeed.

     “As for the charts and other materials yes, some of them are a bit dense. I will confess they were for me too when I started studying them. Some even have inaccuracies I have marked and written over. They do become much easier to work with after some time”. The baron made a mental note to remember that the Earl of Chichester was not a natural philosopher. George would need training to use the books and charts.

     “Do you happen to rise early, my lord? I rise before dawn every day, and work on my… research... for some time before breaking fast”. It would probably not do for a court creature but it was a quiet time at the inn, and Lor. “I keep working most mornings too, so any time before lunch would be good for me, except on the Sabbath. I try not to do any type of work on the Lord’s day if I can avoid it”.

OOC: Microcosm of London sounds the coolest!

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 “A copperplate etching, or perhaps mezzotint then, hmm." Chichester commented quietly as Grey thought to 'kick off' with 1-200.  George was familiar with the Callot/Bosse method, while the Mezzotint was more modern. "I shall do some extra research into this."

"I could visit your workroom at the Lion at say nine of the morning?" which seemed early to go calling to George, “and, no, certainly not upon a Sunday.”  George was not a pagan, neither Catholic or Anglian worked on the Lords day!  It was a day for church attendance, and also time with family.  (Next week he anticipated time with extended family even, having been invited to the other half of Little Whitgroves.)

Edited by George Hardwick III

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     “Copperplate I am familiar with, although I have never done it myself. Mezzotint, on the other hand, is unknown to me, although I think I recall to have heard somewhere that His Grace Cumberland has looked into it some. Perhaps he would be amenable to enlighten us both?” The man would be extremely busy, with war being on the horizon, but perhaps he would be gracious enough to educate a couple of peers. Then again, perhaps not. "I have never had the honour to meet him, though".

     “Nine on the clock in the morning will find me drinking coffee and working furiously so yes, it would be a good time. Your visit would be a welcome reason to take a break. The only day I won’t be there is tomorrow. I am going to follow your advice and purchase a few choice pieces of jewellery before attending the session of Lords”. The next day would indeed be a busy day. “I hope that between Mr Maisonere’s alterations and some new shiny baubles I will not look like a country bumpkin”. It was a real fear of his, to let the name of Grey down.

     Out of his custom of being secretive with the details of his work, the baron did not mention that he would also be looking for a kiln to make his lenses in. His life would probably had been made easier if he had, though.

     “If this cooperation of ours is accepted by those who seek such works…” Henry did not want to use the word bought, “… I was thinking that we might want to donate the copper plates to the Royal Academy after we are done with them. It might give us both some standing among its members, I think…”

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"I have some small experience with it myself, and of course I have all the equipment out at the Dulwich Academy." George replied modestly.  It was product of what his father had called a misspent youth, a decade or more spent in various art schools in Italy had rounded and honed the mans creative skills.

 

"Well I am going to the printers on Fleet street Wednesday morning, so perhaps before then, I take it earlier the better would be your motto?"  George could call after picking up his printing just as easily.

 

"Now that is a fine idea." Henrys idea fo donating the plates afterwards shone up the Earls failing. He'd have never thought of that himself, he did not naturally think of way to improve his standing.  Yet it came quite naturally to Grey.  Briefly George wondered if he ought mention the looming exhibition to Henry also, for perhaps the man would know how to spring board from that into from event only into some personal success also.  But there was time for that yet, the exhibition would not be until the 14th.  

 

"You shall look just the part for your debut into politics." George assured the other as he got back to his feet, time was running along, and George appreciated Grey had further appointments.  "It is bound to be quite a lively session." 

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     “Well, if you have the necessary equipment, then I guess we have all that we need then”. That was indeed good news. “Perhaps I could visit Dulwich Academy when time permits?” The baron had no idea what type of setup the academy had, but he was curious about the mezzotint process. It did not have to be immediate, as it would take months to produce a finished product, perhaps even longer.

     “Before your errand to Fleet street would be preferable, I think. Quarters at the inn are rather cramped, so you will have to excuse the order by stacking”. By that Henry meant that boxes, coffers, and crates were piled up one above the other with hardly any semblance of order. "I promise that a cup of hot coffee will be ready and waiting for you".

     Lord Grey smiled. That the Earl thought the suggested donation was a good idea reassured him. George then stood, signalling that the meeting was at an end. Henry stood also. “If I do, Lord Chichester, it will be to your credit, not mine. As for the session, I agree with you. It will definitely not be boring”.

     With that, Lord Grey bid his leave.

OOC: Thanks for a very enjoyable thread! 😊

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"You may accompany me upon an inspection, perhaps some time later in the week." George suggested feeling no need to lock in a date yet. At the beginning of a court season it was easy to feel one had all the time in the world!  Besides, he'd be seeing Grey again in just a few days time; or even sooner if their paths crossed at the lords.

"Good luck on your tour of the City!" he wished the man well with cheery farewells.

 

OOC: si, perfetto! Grazie 

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