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To Master May | Delivered by Lord Athenry, Thursday


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After leaving her husband, the Duchess of Portsmouth retired to her study to write her letter to Baptist May.

 

Dear Master May,

 

I know you are busy and I am sorry to bother you, but I have a concern that I would like to bring to your attention. Since I have returned from France, I have … Louise paused, contemplating how to say that she had hoped to continue relations with the King without being indelicate.

 

Finally, she continued in her flowery handwriting. ...attempted to arrange an audience with His Majesty, but each time I was turned away. I have sent him many letters but have received no reply. I fear that he is either unaware that I wish to see him or that he has no desire to see me anymore.

 

There was such more she wanted to say. She wished she could tell May that she had heard that Charles had a new French mistress and had forgotten about her. It would also be nice to let him know that it wasn’t fair to keep her hanging forever and that she would like to have a normal relationship with her husband if she was released from her obligations. However, she did not want to give Charles the idea she might no longer be interested in him either. The very notion could have dangerous consequences for both Cadell and herself.

 

The feathers on her quill tickled her cheek as she read over what she had written. After finishing the missive and signing it, she read it once again.

 

 

Dear Master May,

 

I know you are busy and I am sorry to bother you, but I have a concern that I would like to bring to your attention. Since I have returned from France, I have .attempted to arrange an audience with His Majesty, but each time I was turned away. I have sent him many letters but have received no reply. I fear that he is either unaware that I wish to see him or that he has no desire to see me anymore.

 

Will you please look into this and let me know the result? I appreciate anything you can do to help me resolve this matter.

 

Sincerely,

 

Louise de Kéroualle,

Duchess of Portsmouth

 

 

It was short and to the point. Though she would have liked to include a note to Charles and ask May to deliver it to him, she was afraid that she would sound desperate and needy.

 

Louise sighed and wiped away an errant tear before it could fall upon the paper. At least she had not cried in her husband’s presence. After folding and sealing it, she called her maidservant to deliver it to Cadell. If he was resting, she did not want to disturb him.

 

It was only after she was alone in her room that she burst into tears.

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