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A Social and/or Moral Quandary - George and Caroline | 15th Sept pm

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George had been pleased to learn he was accommodated in the Main Tower, such that he failed to question the Steward's mention of 'Lord & Lady' being housed there.  He was cheerfully chuffed in fact.  His second floor was the roof of Dukes and Princes upon first, and on the other side of walls from important persons holding important positions. 

'What could I have done to be rewarded like this?' The usually serious faced Earl wondered as he mounted the steps two at a time. 'Ah, but it is Beverly, of course. ' Was his conclusion, upon account of a very generous donation he'd given Cumberland’s man, for wasn’t Cumberland in turn warden of Windsor.  This conclusion was satisfying, and he was pleased to think 'So all good things come around in the end.

But upon entering the room, his brow furrowed.   

It was not just his trunks sitting in the middle of the floor.  But another set also, a set that was also familiar, for he'd seen them arrive with his Fiancée-come-houseguest in the recess. 

It was at that moment that the Stewards words came echoing back to him, The Suite of Lord AND Lady Chichester. 

"Good Grief, they have made a mistake, We aren’t married yet."  He vocalised out aloud, a decidedly clammy sensation sweeping over him, as he turned to reopen the door... 

OOC:  Tag!  




Apartment of Lord & Lady Chichester

The apartment is small, but comfortable, with two rooms. There is a living room, with a small seating arrangement near the hearth and a table. A pair of windows is set into the south wall, overlooking the Long Walk and Castle Hill. A small carved walnut table and chair set rests between the windows while a small door, hidden behind a wine-colored curtain with thick tassels, beside the fireplace opens into a little closet. Candelabras rest on the table and mantel, casting long shadows over the polished wood of the floor.

In the next room a large walnut bed resting against the east wall. The bed is hung with wine-colored velvet, the fabric trimmed with gold tassels. Across from the bed is a stone hearth whose crackling fire keeps the chill at bay. Small silver bells have been affixed to the edges of the mantel with silver satin bows and to the tie backs of the drapes and bed curtains. A pair of windows is set into the south wall, overlooking the Long Walk and Castle Hill. A small carved walnut table and chair set rests between the windows while a small door, hidden behind a wine-colored curtain with thick tassels, beside the fireplace opens into a little closet. Candelabras rest on the table and mantel, casting long shadows over the polished wood of the floor.

The door opens into a narrow corridor that opens into the apartment’s drawing room. The room is furnished simply but elegantly in shades of pale green. A bank of windows along the south wall offers a view of the Long Walk and Castle Hill, letting in prodigious amounts of sunlight on a clear day. A carved rosewood writing table is placed against the windows while a handful of straight-backed chairs, cushioned in matching shades of green, are dotted throughout the room. Along the west wall is a deep-set stone fireplace that crackles merrily at all times to ward off the cold: it is draped with a swath of royal blue velvet, a wreath of seasonal flowers gracing the center of the swathe. An iron chandelier hangs from the ceiling, the light glinting off of the polished wood floors. Silver bows and bells adorn the tiebacks of the drapes..




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The Tower, so they were to be accommodated in that magnificent structure. Caroline was delighted. She knew one thing for certain, she would have not been accorded such an abode if she had still only been a baroness, technically a widow of a baron at that. This had to be because of George or rather important friends of his. For a long time she had been very happy to be a widow, it had given her much freedom of action. And she had taken advantage of it living a libertine life style. But now she was quite excited to know she was going to be a wife again, a wife of a very rich and important man. The first marriage had been a disaster but she was bound and determined this second one was going to work if she had anything to do with it. She would do her part and he had agreed to her terms without argument. She would be faithful to him as long as he was the same to her.

The tower servant ushered her to the specific room with the appropriate decorum. She nodded acknowledgement of his service and paused while he opened the apartment door for her then swept in confidently, like she owned the place. Much to her surprise, it wasn't just her luggage awaiting her within the room, it was George himself and that mound of luggage had to be his. Wait....what was going on? She waited those brief seconds til the tower lackey closed the door before speaking.

"George! My darling! Did I miss our wedding ceremony? Why are we in the same apartment?" even as she asked her questions she gave him her best rather bemused smile.

Personally it did not even bother her but then she was the libertine, not him. There would certainly those who would find this situation quite scandalous.


Edited by Caroline Despanay
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And there the lady was!

Caroline’s exclamation surprised the mostly serious Earl.  "The banns only have been being read..." he replied earnestly, before seeing her question was in witty jest, he gave a limp smile. 

Her ability to make light of a situation was no doubt a trait he’d come to value. 

"Goodness I hardly know what we are to do.  I have it upon good authority that it is Lord Beverly who is overseeing such things this season, perhaps he is playing a prank upon us, though I'd not have thought such his character." he worried at the problem with a hand rub to stubbled chin.  

His intent had previously been to clean up ready to attend the Welcome function, George was dishevelled still from travel.  (Possibly also was the lady?)

"Perhaps I stay at a tavern in the township... until, properly after."  


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She was about to say 'I was joking' but George realized by then and stopped mid sentence. Needless to say he looked very surprised to see her there. While she too had not expected this 'delicate' situation they now found themselves in, she was in all honesty more amused than bothered.

"Lord Beverly huh? I do not recall anything in the past about any reputation for pranks by the fellow but I do not know him well," was her assessment as she walked into the center of the apartment to give it a closer look. Very nice indeed.

"Well......none of this is OUR doing. So mayhaps we should bring up this matter with those in charge. Beverly or if he is not about, someone in his stead? Why can they not provide another room for myself.....or you? I certainly do not think you should be scrambling to seek accommodations in a lowly tavern. That is an insult to your dignity," Caroline huffed.

"Or..............." she spun about with a sly smile, "if you do not wish to make a fuss, I could be the one to seek out justice. I am not shy about such things. It might be rather fun even to get to play the aggrieved party?"



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"No, he does not play pranks." George nodded his head as further discussion of his young friends nature was confirmed, even by one who hardly knew him.  "More likly it's a mistake over dates, oh, or if there is another room reserved for one of us individually for prior, that they forgot to tell us about."  

Because, they would have a joint room shortly, which was a situation George knew they would face, just not so soon!

His fiancée then begun to inspect the room, and as with his own first impression seemed pleased. "It is a nice room, and that there is more than one room is a surprise. Usually these 'courtier accommodations' are quite cramped." It was true, just as Caroline said, he did not want to rough it after being allocated this!  He hardly want to pass over this fine 'recognition' from the powers above. 

He moved to one of the doorways and peered through.  It was the bedroom, and George blushed, looking for something acceptable to say to his soon to be bride.  Nervous eyes flitted from bed to windows. "We even have a view." 

"Perhaps at the reception, one or both of us can approach him. Though I'd hate to seem as to complain, it is truly a very fine room. I'd hate to seem ungracious."  he worried on how best to act.  

"But for now, perhaps we take turns refreshing and changing for the event? My lady need go first of course."  He gestured that she might have first access to the bedroom-come-changing room. She needed clothes of course, his eyes next fell upon her luggage.  "What will you need?" 


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Well, the two of them definitely agreed that this embarrassing situation was caused by some mistake rather than a prank by Beverly. Although the details mattered little, for the good of their reputations they should have at least one of them get moved - hopefully to another room - as soon as possible. Caroline was more concerned for her husband to be's situation than herself. She was a known libertine and truth was there had been times where she gloried in shocking people. But now she swore to be a good wife and put her husband's considerations to the forefront.

George glanced at the bed but then looked out the spacious window and remarked on the nice view. Caroline glanced that way and nodded, "Yes it is."

So far he had not made any reponse to her idea that she be the one to raise a commotion about this little mistake. She was genuinely willing to do so, no shy little flower her. She had to assume he did not feel comfortable with that gambit. Very well then, she would not push it. But he was thinking of what they should do as he spoke about it to her. His idea was to wait til they saw Beverly at the reception then bring it up. But he hedged on even that, due to worry they might sound 'ungrateful.'

"And just how grateful should we have to be for being put into such a situation like this. An unmarried couple allotted one single room. I can certainly bring it up to him if you'd rather not be the one," once more she ventured to take the lead. First though George made a good point, they needed to get dressed and ready to attend this reception. Gentleman that he was, George suggested she go first asking only what she needed.  He was referring to the luggage of course.

"Oh very well then, would you be so kind as to take that one............and that one too," she pointed out particular luggage.

"Oh and since I do not have my maid in attendance, I will probably need your nimble fingers to help lace me up. Will you be up for it, my dear?" she smiled at him.


Edited by Caroline Despanay
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"You are right of course, the situation is fuss worthy." 

"Were my sister still alive, you might room these few days with her. I wonder if Lady Habersham might..." he turned to look at Caroline, wondering if she thought that was a fine idea.    He was not certain of the two womens relationship, but they seemed to get along just fine.  And Carolines own mother was lost, so perhaps the older woman might fill an absence even?  

"I would far rather reach a remedy ourselves, while Lord Beverly still needs to be apraised of the situation." He did not want Caroline to think him unable to make stand up for himself, and certainly did not take up her earlier suggestion that she be the one to speak.  

"Oh ah." caught be surprise, he then gave an (awkward) laugh. "Why certainly I am able to assist."  he was still not used to being called her 'dear', while he thought he might come to like it, for the moment it seemed unearned.  Like she was trying out her prospective role as a wife, and future mother too. 

"You shall not find me clumsy when it comes to managing fastenings."  He tested out his future role as a husband by speaking familiarly, boldly, maybe even alluringly  - all as he set her trunk on the floor, and settled the other bag onto the bed. 


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"Oh Lady Habersham? I hate to bother her, George. I think my efforts have actually begun to have an effect on her, she might even tolerate me. I do not wish to spoil such progress,"  Caroline smiled.

He was plainly unwilling to make a fuss over this mistake and she would not press him on it. A wife was supposed to be dutiful to her husband's wishes so she might as well start practicing as much. They'd be married soon enough.

"Very well then, if you think it best," she simply nodded.

He then kindly agreed to move her necessary luggage so she could unpack and dress for the reception. She had purchased a new gown recently, using funds he had provided. This would be her first time wearing it on this occasion then. Hopefully he would approve of her choice. He also was amenable to aiding her with the fastenings since she did not have the services of her personal maid servant.

"You need not leave, it will only take me a bit, and then I will have need of your kindly assistance," even as she said so she began the process of undressing her current outfit. Caroline had never been shy, she wasn't about to start now.


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"I think you may be right, for I have not heard her speak poorly of you. And she is not of the nature to keep secret her opinions." George replied in a pleased way. He did want the women in his life to get along.  "No doubt it is your sincerity and forthright that won her over, I have been impressed by those character traits within you myself."

George felt pleased with himself to have slid that compliment in there, it seemed apt for husband and wife to say such things (after all she kept calling him Dear and the like.)  

"Ah, but failing that, what say your friend Mademoiselle Vauquelin?"  George was yet to meet Caroline’s best friend himself, but knew of her from his fiancée’s contributions to the wedding guest list.  

Caroline selected a gown, it had a tell tale crispness that spoke of it's newness.  "Oh my look at that fabric, a fine choice, I adore the embroidery too.  Is it eastern...." as a lover of fashion himself George was moved to approach and touch the fine fabric, and on account of her smallness he performed the honours of lifting the heavy material aloft and shaking it out that it plumped properly out.  First skirts and petticoats. Then an assortment of pieces that somehow hooked, tied and button fastened together.  "I do not see the instructions..." he murmured under his breath.  He would hope that she understood how it all worked. 

Caroline's industry commenced, and quickly the Earl averted his eyes with a bodily quarter turn to affect some privacy for her undress. As he moved his eyes caught another movement, and he realised it was the mirror - in which he now sighted her fully.  But in that 'covert' did not look away. 

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"Well, good to hear it...I mean about Lady Habersham. I did try to be on my best behavior our first meeting and since," Caroline smiled, "And also glad you find me sincere and forthright. Other people would say I am far too bold and careless of my behavior.  Cannot please everyone of course. But I do want to please you."

He brought up her best friend and Caroline's smiled faded, "Sadly we have seen each other in far too long a stretch. It will be a real joy to speak with her again. And I assure you I will introduce you to her. A most delightful woman. And from what I have heard, His Royal Majesty thinks so too."

He complimented her choice of dress then even she began the process of taking it off, "It was the color that attracted my eye to it at first. But delighted it pleases you. It was bought with your money,"

He hovered about as she pared down the layers of the ladies finery until it was now when she had need of his fingers to do as requested. She hoped he was liking what he was observing.

"Very well then, time for you to come to my assistance. It is not all that complicated really, you will do fine."

A quick peek back and she did notice his attention was on the mirror during this.

"Just think there will come a time and not that far off when we will both see each other in all our naked glory. One of the many benefits of marriage I believe."

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George chuckled as she stated 'it was his money that brought it', such frankness!  "That it was, and you shall find me generous with your allowance, if we shall call it that. Really I shall see that you have accounts at all the finest places, all as befits the Lady Chichester." 

There was no need for her to have actually money upon her!

"And as I did with my sister, I would provide a sum each season for you to sponsor causes or gift to charity as you see fit. My sister became a patron of science though funding Sir Isaac's work."  George spoke on topics not previously covered, while she peeled layers, and then paused. It was plain that it was time he moved to help.  "Erm. I had wondered if Sir Isaac would approach me following her death." his eyes slid down the curve of her shoulder, "but he did not.  I wonder if he was so greatly resourced that he did not need it." 


"Just think there will come a time and not that far off when we will both see each other in all our naked glory. One of the many benefits of marriage I believe."

With that he unhooked the fastening, and opened the garment at the back. There were indentations on her flesh where it had been fastened tightly.  "Though that time is not yet now, and I should think Lord Beverly to be dismayed if he knew his mistake threatened your honour.  To that matter, your honour is equally, I mean even more important to me."  Quickly loosening the rest of her fastenings, he turned his back as her clothing slipped to the floor.   

He did not imagine he’d actually be utterly unclad with Caroline once they become husband and wife.  There would be night shirts, and the hoisting thereof for making of an heir.  That should be more than sufficient, he thought.

But her skin was terribly soft, and he would like to paint her.  



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  • 2 weeks later...

Caroline chuckled, "Oh I did not agree to marry you for your money. Do not worry, I am usually rather frugal, I shall not be a spendthrift wife."

He even offered to give her funds so she could espouse causes and/or charities. Interesting!  She knew one use already for such funds.Those poor street urchins who had come to her last season. She still worried about them.

"Why thank you, how generous of you, George. I am impressed," she replied in all sincerity.

Now undressed, he was actually getting to see pretty much all of her now, at least from behind. She was not the slightest bit shy about it either. No one who knew her ever thought Caroline reticent. She was a libertine through and through.

"His mistake threaten my honour? With my already...........colorful reputation in court...I do not worry about that. But I am concerned only that yours might be impugned by something not your...not our fault," she declared.

He turned his back then for her to begin the process of dressing herself once more, "Oh you are so modest, George. Really, you must get over that...well, at least in our private moments. Did not our Lord provide us with these bodies? He must have expected we would appreciate them."

Alright so probably not religious doctrine but then she had never bothered about such things.



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“Obviously you agreed to marry me for my devastating good looks.” George replied with wry humor, not thinking himself all-that. Though the topic did make him wonder why she had agreed actually?  Previously he’d assumed it was her ambition to be a Countess, but as he’d come to know her more, she did not seem so fixated upon rank.

“Though a little excess is entertaining - ” He commented, “- especially if your lady friends might notice. The physical trappings of life is so oft how others judge our success. So I would be happy if those others consider you to have done very well for yourself.“

Then as Caroline expressed sincere thanks, he was moved to silence.  Her words touched his heart, in such a way that he realised he’d housed a lack there previously.  For all of his efforts to make a positive difference in the world, the words 'thank you' rarely came his way.

He flushed and looked away, “Oh it is nothing.” but it was everything, and he felt a happiness inside.  

So there she stood striped to chemise, a soft garment that hid not so very much.  He fought a compulsion to turn her a little to the side so that the light might fall just so, and then where was his sketchbook and pastels? Packed in one of the trunks.  “But you must redress, for I here discover a great need to draw you in this dishevelle, but then we might never get to the Reception. And we need sort this matter of the room.” said he.

Had he asked her already?

George was pretty sure that he had.

That she had agreed to sit for him.

He would have her sitting for him often.

Perhaps the Chichester house would become filled with paintings of Caroline in various states of repose.

Caroline referenced her previously tainted reputation.  “My own is not without some colour though of different kind.  Here we make ourselves over my lady, and in my own experience what we think and know of ourselves makes the greatest difference in that. So I wish to behave quite impeccably, just as we have done thought out our courtship. We shall ever have a fine sense of ourselves in this new togetherness we create.  What others think is really a secondary consideration, thought if one becomes lost it can seem like the most important option.”

George did tend to wax on a little at times.

“Let it be said, that you may know, that I count the past as beyond us, and a most honorable future before us now.  As for that descriptor ‘Libertine’, I am averse to it.  It is derived from the Latin surely, liberty must be it’s root, yet it has become a catchphrase for morally dubious behaviour partaken with disregard.  Why really I would relish an opportunity to debate it’s usage at Court. Hmm, perhaps I should suggest such as a topic for discussion with my friend Cadell.”

George seemed to be very talkative while his future wife was still rather starkers.  No doubt he would calm as she redressed.

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"Oh I did not mean to insinuate you were not a most handsome devil, George. Far from it, I am lucky in that regard. Gaining wealth, rank, and a handsome gentleman. I mean to do my utmost so you do not regret your choice of me," Caroline assured him.

The conversation was nice, she had found early on that they were able to talk to each other quite easily. Her first husband had avoided any such conversation almost completely. It had been a lonely sort of hell, that marriage. But not this time!

However George pointed out that the reception awaited them and she should really finish dressing. His short glimpses of her body would have to do, she hoped he found her enticing, desired. But she sped up the process then, though still talking as she dressed. He had reminded her, not that she needed reminding, of his earlier wish to paint her someday.

"Oh I have not forgotten. I look forward to that session and once you have finished your masterpiece I would ask we mount it on the wall of our study for all visitors to see. But that is the libertine in me. I cannot help it, I have never been shy."

George now spoke of both of them 'making ourselves over' as it were. She thought she knew what he meant. And as usual, when it came to anything involving George, she was willing to do her part. He did not seem to care for the use of 'libertine' though.

"Well, if you would rather, I shall not mention 'libertine' in future conversations, not that I would do it in public anyhow. But yes, I like that we are starting our lives all over. Though I will freely admit I have not been unhappy with my life since I became a widow, this new life will be even more exciting and pleasurable I hope. For the both of us. And...............any children we can produce. An heir, I hope to give you an heir, George. "

Was that not the primary duty of a wife?

He now was doing the last of the buttoning and fastening she could not quite get at. Then they would be ready to head to the reception.



Edited by Caroline Despanay
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It was an easy and relaxed conversation. Perhaps because of the way their courtship had begun, where he had been utterly frank and not trying to seduce. And she had been plan spoken also.  It had been a surprise to the both of them, he supposed, that ultimately they had both been wanting the same thing.  "We have been alike then, Caroline, for I have known an absence and searched for it's fufulment for some years now.  Together, we shall build this new life together, and upon as fine a foundation as I can possibly think of. Honesty, and true intent."   

"Well you are just being sweet now." he chuckled with a smile, "if you carry on like that, I can only see a happily ever after." 

He teased, knowing full well that there was no such thing. They would have tribulations one day, but thankfully the courtship did not commence with difficulty. 

"In the study? Yes, that would be the perfect place to hang that piece, a place of quiet and repose, for a pose where I should hope to capture you on canvas in complete and sumptuous relaxation.  What might we title the piece I wonder. Ah but that will come to us, no doubt." 

His dark eyes watched discreetly as she now hurried with the redressing, and he stepped forward to help with the finishing touches and primping.  "The fabric is a little crushed, we must see that th maid shakes out all you other dresses properly and sets them to hang out the creases in the wardrobe." fashion conscious George soberly advised.

But then she was all done, and George for his part decided to opt for a wash and fresh colour and cravat. He chose a justacorps in blue damask.  "I hope we are not the last to arrive, but better to be late than not at all."  

Turning to admire Caroline's presentation then, he moved and placed both hands on her shoulders and met her eyes. "I have decided my dear, that you shall have this room, and I shall reside elsewhere till our wedding."  he could not help but keep a hint of question out of his tone.  In the past, when he's made a decision, with his sister or infact any woman, he had been met with disagreement.  Would she disagree also?   


OOC: I'll post a joint arrival to the Reception, though we dont actually need to conclude thie thread yet really. 

Edited by George Hardwick III
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Caroline laughed, "Oh I can be sweet, I assure you. As for a happily ever after, that is my hope too but we shall see what fate brings. We can only try, right?"

George rather surprisingly (to Caroline anyhow) shared her enthusiasm for where they would display his painting of her, au natural. However that was a good surprise alright. He wondered about what sort of title they would give the work? She had not even thought of that detail.

"Oh, I have no idea. I will leave that up to you, for you are the artist. I am merely the subject. And delighted to be, by the way," she grinned.

It did not take much longer and the both of them were ready to leave their mistakenly assigned apartment and join the reception as a couple. He looked quite dashing in his outfit.

"Nice choice of color, I like it."

Before they left though he had one last thing to say. It seemed he had made up his mind on this whole issue of who stayed where for the night. It would be scandalous to stay together though, a bigger concern of his than hers to be honest. He stopped her then gently placed both hands upon her shoulders, quite solemn he was too. She waited.

"I have decided my dear, that you shall have this room, and I shall reside elsewhere till our wedding," he announced.

Caroline nodded, "Very well, husband of mine. I shall voice no objections."  She had, after all, vowed to be a good wife and a good wife was an obedient one.

"Now, onto the festivities!" she grinned.


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  • 3 weeks later...

That his future wife accepted his decision in this gave George a great sense of confidance in a trouble free future. He did not want a life full of arguments (such as he's had with his sister).  His smile was broad as he then set off with Caroline...


OOC: Sorry I thought I'd posted George tiding off our thread! 

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