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Fatherly pride perchance | Brooke's Apt Evening 15th

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A grand apartment with a magnificent view over the Upper Ward, and beyond, viewing the Great Park in autumn splendour. There is a separate bedchamber with beautiful curtains.


Beverley had been so very busy with seeing to things for the first day and a half of the season that he had barely seen a hint of his father.


He'd skipped morning prayers with Brooke that morning, even if he'd hurriedly said them himself. He hadn't even asked for his father's blessing before the start of the day, and he usually never failed to do that. It was, after all, the largest protection God afforded him other than communion, and Beverley had a healthy fear of God's wrath and intimately understood that one could die easily in this world. He did not wish to be remiss and unconfessed if he took ill, or got thrown from his horse, or caught some miasma on the loading dock because he had to ensure what his master wished procured was done properly. 


That was motivation enough to seek out Lord Brooke, but the truth also was that for all his father's overbearing watchfulness, Beverley loved him. There was a relaxation in familiarity and family, even if Brooke was a proper and strict father. 


The rooms were next to his own that he shared with his lady wife, and Beverley was allowed in by the servant who answered the door. He handed the man his soft grey justacorps, swordbelt, and plumed hat, leaving him just in his waistcoat and navy breeches.

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  • 1 month later...

Brooke looked up from a letter he was re-reading, the smile further growing upon his face at the sight of his Son. 

"Ah there you are, come sit down with me my boy. You are so busy these days, my man reports a stream of individuals arriving to your door."  Which was perhaps an admission that he had been intending to drop in on Beverley when coast was clear, revealing also some curiosity to what the visitors were about?   He could hope that they were all well wishes for the new Father.

"There is hot cocoa in the pot, have a cup and tell me about your seasons plans thus far."  the attentive servant, having now hung Beverley’s things, moved forward ready to pour him a hot drink should the young Lord indicate.

Moving the letter within his hand Brooke spoke, "A letter from your Mother arrived just this morn, I have already shared it with Mary. Here, read if you will." he offered it to Beverley. 

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Beverley bowed in greeting to his father.


"Yes, my lord, it has been very busy...All the many requests and complaints..." He paused in that fashion that he usually did when he knew he had done something wrong. In this case it wasn't so horribly wrong, but he had been remiss and was well aware of it. "My duties as Steward her during this season are, erm, no good reason for me to have not gotten your blessing this morning or to have not had prayers with you, but I am still acclimating to all the demands on my time now that the season had begun. Perhaps you will give me your blessing before I leave?"


He indicated with a gesture of the hand that he would have a cup of the hot chocolate. "A letter about our boy, Ulcombe?" he asked, with a smile. "I have yet to hear of it from Mary, our duties leave us much time apart." He took the letter to read it and sat down next to his father.

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"Not so may gifts and congratulations?" Brooke was disappointed on his sons account.  "You shall find that is often the way with office, some promotions might even feel like the opposite as you become thrust into even more persons service."

He knew however that the task his son had been given was an important responsibility, and one that the Prince did not hand out lightly.  Beverly’s performance of it was a honor to the family.  The Brooke family was very joint minded in that way. 

"The day is not passed yet" he forgave Beverley's faltered apology, and nodded to the request. "Your mother is not here with me, so you must know you can call in upo me earlier without disturbing her rest." Margret did tend to sleep in, meanwhile Robert was always an early bird. "Lets set a time shall we." 

"The new master of Lady Brookes heart." said he with a laugh.  Then as the servant fussed about pouring hot drinks, he fell silent allowing Beverly time to read.



Dear Robert,

I trust the roads gave fair passage, and you made it to Windsor in good time, we all miss you dreadfully. Though I have Little Ulcombe keeping me quite occupied.  He is surpassing all our expectations, why has already grown out of the bonnet, you know the one that Our Beverly wore when he was a new born. And yesterday I am certain he spoke his first word of Latin. I think he shall be a solicitor or scientist one day. But meanwhile I can attest that he is practising his vocal exercises daily, ready for when he need raise a strong voice to interject in the House of Lords. 

There is one matter I need your position on.  You do see I found nanny reading nursery tales to him, while might be all very well of mundane children, but not a prodigy of our bloodline. I asserted that she should read books such as The Works of Vigil. Nanny contested that too advanced for his age, we had strong discussion about it in fact.  But I say it did our Beverley no harm, so should we not repeat the exemplary education upon our grand child. My concession is to allow the illustrated book of bible stories, which all children, and indeed many adults, adore.

Please tell Mary that I hold up her likeness morn and night and bestow mothers kisses to his brow.  A very soft and sweet smelling brow at that.  I do the same Beverly's likeness as well in fact.  Upon that note, I have sent for Mr Walter from town, who is said to be quite clever painter, and he shall be arriving later in the week to make a small portrait of the babe so I can send it to all you there.  I wish I had thought of that before the family left for Windsor.   Meanwhile, I have made this small sketch of him myself, in hopes it may somewhat suffice until the professional rendition is completed.

I eagerly look forward to news of the season there, and of course details of the upcoming christening.  Would it not have been portentous if Our grandchild was christened upon the same day? But born in the same month shall suffice.

My prayers are with you and the family

With great affection



*There was another page with a charcoal sketch of the baby sleeping, it was rather amateur, and captured the love of the drawer more than the character of the babe. 

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"My close friends, of course, have provided their congratulations and felicitations, but I believe it's been overshadowed by the birth of our new prince, as should be," Beverley replied, putting on a smile.


The truth was that he did not have many close friends. One needed access to coin to do things and make friends, and after his fashion of extravagantly making friends and lying about it at Oxford many years prior, such access had been removed and was only now dwindling back. He still owed his father a great deal of coin in repayment and did not have access to everything Mary had brought to their marriage. 


And most young lords liked to do things which his lord father did not agree with, or at least did not agree with engaging in frequently and extravagantly like some libertine. A mistress was fine - Brooke had even arranged it - to keep his son out of other trouble at court. Even a brothel visit was acceptable. Being drunk and gambling like a loon was not, and Beverley had not proven historically the most trustworthy. He had learned to choose his moments to complain wisely, because it was generally not met with much tolerance from his father, who did not like being questioned.


"I know, Papa," he said of not needing to worry about waking his father. Brooke was almost always awake extremely early. Catholics did prayers very early at the required times. "Is there an earlier without it being at an hour when only servants should be awake?" It wasn't a concern of bothering servants but more a complaint that he did not wish to wake up even earlier. He rather regretted saying it the moment after he said it and hastily added, "But whatever you wish, of course."


Beverley read the letter and then looked at the sketch and blinked.


"He definitely does have Mama's heart. I will relish the day when he can read to her all her many books." His father was well-aware of how often his mother asked Beverley to read to her. Beverley was a good son and did so, but he was not by nature given to such sedentary pursuits like reading, being lazy with such things, and much preferred actionable duties and riding. It was why he had gotten into so much trouble when they had attempted to send him to Oxford.

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Brooke was well aware of his sons methods, so did not buy into the 'not too early to infringe upon servants hours' claim. 

"The hour before dawn then. There it is set.  You shall discover, if you have not already, that it is the earliest hours of the day in which the most can be achieved. With out the interruptions of others upon us, and there is a special sort clarity to be had at that time. 

"Oh, unless you already arise at that time, to make most it's advantage.  If so, then I would be agreeable to two hours before in which case."

To Beverly's comment upon reading the letter Brook huffed a laugh, "Then he will be your successor indeed." 




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Beverley blinked. 


"Sometimes there are other duties to be seen to in the morning before leaving bed, my lord. The business of which is very important to our family," he said. "But I shall do my utmost to make sure to arise early enough to see you before I go about my duties to His Highness."


He was mostly serious but also looking for reasons to be allowed some leeway. Sometimes in the mornings he was about the business of making children, because once one had a wife, one did not need to use other means of relieving oneself of encumbrances before leaving bed. Beverley very much doubted Mary would be amenable to that being any the earlier!


In an effort to change the subject, he began, "Will you ride with me sometime in the Park? It is far superior for riding than when we are in London. And perhaps Annie can join us when she arrives?"

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"Good grief Beverley!" Brooke exclaimed, his son having shared too much information.  "I hardly thought I would need to advise you upon the suitable time of day for such activities - which is in the evening most certainly.  When I suggested rising earlier, that was not the sort of raising I was speaking of."

Women needed more sleep than men, and Margret had made it plain early in their marriage that she was not the least bit interested in predawn romps (but he knew better than to say that to her son.) 

"You will be here an hour before dawn, there, it is settled."  

So Beverly spoke of Riding.  Egads the boys mind is lodged in the gutter. 

"Or perhaps we attend mass together.  Yorks Chapel can be discreetly approached, and, the times are changing son. There may even come a time when we can be more open." 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Beverley tried to keep a straight face as his father chastised him about his bedroom activities. Considering his father had deep discussions about mistresses and brothels, he did not figure that such a topic would evoke such a response.


"I should think, my lord, that considering the results, erm, whatever I am doing is quite effective..." He had, after all, gotten his wife pregnant with a son in no time at all!


"If that is what you wish," he agreed, though he was not excited about it, clearly.


But the next suggestion gave him abject pause, and he blinked in horror.


"Mass together with O'Brien is not good enough?" he asked, speaking of his father's secretary, who was secretly a priest, as was the fashion of pretty much every covert Catholic. "You know we cannot do that, Papa, without losing all of our positions and my commission to boot! The times are not changing that much, yet, my lord. Surely you would not risk your seat on the Privy Council, the Deputy-ship of Ireland, and all such things?" He blinked, his heart pounding in his chest. Beverley did not want to lose his place with Cumberland. Nor risk Mary's with the Queen. Not to mention it would make everyone suspicious of Lord Worcester, who was the first Protestant in his family, being a secret Catholic as well. He could see none of that going over very well. 

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Mistresses and brothels were one thing, but the intimate details of his sons 'dilligence' upon his daughter in law (whom Brooke had to sit across the dinner table from often enough) was not the sort of knowledge Brooke wanted freelancing about in his brain. 

"Yes very effective." he added, never the less proud of the families abililty in that regard, and added, "It's just a few weeks for the season, with these extra duties you currely hold." 

Whatever you might put it down to, Robert Saint Leger the elder then expressed hopefulness.  Much to the horror of Robert Saint Leger the younger (though not youngest).   

Beverly spoke swiftly, words that were plain and sensible - and in a tone he'd not used with his father, ever, before, though with kindness and consideration also evident. 

"Oh, oh." the elder did a mental jump, catching ahold of his thought processes with a frown; while no examination of it was neccessary at all to know that his son spoke correct.  "You are right." he sighed, and with a weariness sunk back into chair. "I wonder if that day shall ever come at all, when we shall be free to be completely honest.  It is a burden. A burden we jointly share."  Brooke also spoke in a different tone with his son.  His tone held respect - which was not recently won but slowly growing over the past year or so, with this little catalyst now a trigger to it's being shown. 


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Even if Beverley's words rang true, he expected some sort of rebuke. A sharpish word for how bluntly he had said what he had said. In truth, he had been too shocked to think of propriety and respect. He had just said what was in his mind. So when his lord father agreed and said that...he was right? 


Well, Beverley's hazel eyes grew large as his father sank back down to his chair in a weary defeat. Their family had been playing this game for a very long time, since before Henry VIII had executed Sir Thomas More.


He knelt down in front of his father's place in his seat and took one of those hands in his, "We do more good as we are for our people, Papa. His Majesty needs those who agree with and can further his ideals for Toleration without frightening the mob of Papists who wish to...sell us to France or Spain or whatever. If the day Catholics can be honest is to come, it is a burden we need to bear. I do not think it dishonesty if it's in the service of the one true faith."

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No man is stone, and here this morning Brooke showed a more vulnerable side. Beverley might have reacted any of a number of ways, but chose to lower himself, to take a hand and speak reassurance. 

Drawing in a deep breath Brooke met his sons eyes, and pressed his lips together in a type of smile. "When did you get so wise eh?" he forced a small laugh of that, and used his free hand to ruffle Beverly's hair.  Something he'd done often enough when Beverly had been a lad.  Then smoothing the hair back down again he bent and placed a kiss. 

"We do it for those who do not have voices, we do it for those most vulnerable from the mobs. And not only the mobs. But yes, and for Our King, who is a Tolerant man."  He was essentially repeating Beverly’s thoughts back, like an affirmation of the role that might yet stretch on for years more.  

It was in that opportune moment that Brooke shifted his pose slightly, and uttered a prayer of blessing upon his son, and during the words (mostly rote) he called Beverly ‘my most precious son’, before finally ending with a sombre Amen.

He was quiet a moment more, before adding, “Let us keep to our usual schedule, and if you do not make it earier (as with today) then I am happy for you to be later Beverley.  Either way I feel blessed.  Now god speed you about your day." 

Brookes manner shifted as he got back to his feet, having essentially dismissed his son, and feeling a need to adopt the robes of his usual manner. He had plans to meet with Cork later.  

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Beverley smiled at the affectionate gesture. 


"I have a good teacher and father," he replied. "Who provided me with good tutors and who knew best where to place me with His Highness. I am not one for most books or universities, but court and experience and strong mentoring has taught me much, my lord. And I do not wish to lose that over our faith. I have more yet to learn there from the prince." 

And he could only imagine the Duke of Cumberland having to acclimate to another at his age and expectation. It would be heinous. 


Not to mention Beverley had a deep respect and fondness for his father's princely friend.


Beverley crossed himself after the blessing and then stood when his father did so. 


It was shocking for his father to backtrack on the decree of not missing morning prayers and blessings and to receive a leeway he had not benefit from in many, many years. When he had gotten the leeway previously, it had been from an affectionate indulgence of the only son, but now it seemed...different. 


"I will try to manage the time better, Papa. I won't just use excuses of new duties to escape, I promise," he said. "Being in charge of the castle with all the courtiers is...simply rather ghastly." For Beverley was, in essence, a sedate person who was not overly social, so these new obligations of much talking and explaining were new for him.


With that he went to take his leave with a proper bow, feeling refreshed in having his father's blessing.

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