Jump to content


Your Stories Await Telling

Saturday Stroll Saturday afternoon (Open)

Recommended Posts

It had been stressful meeting with the King on Friday.  It had been more stressful having to plead for mercy from the Duke of York.  Charles was feeling his pulse quicken and he needed to walk off the nervous energy.

He chose to walk in the Upper Ward, as if he was on duty patrolling the apartments of the powerful.  His mind roiled with the advice he had been given.  To satisfy his ... urges, he needed to seek out whores, actresses and widows.  How did one do that in Windsor?  He knew of the place called the White, though had never been inside.  It was said to be an upper class brothel of sorts.  He supposed he could rent a woman inside; but, that seemed tawdry.  An actress would be better, but there was no theater in Windsor, and , even if there were, the good ones would be spoken for.  As for widows, there was Darlene ... that hated him, and there was Cat ... who hated him.  There were older ladies that were widows, but that seemed silly to encourage that.  

He was surmising that he might have to forget about intimate relations and focus on his coming courtship with Susan Herbert.  Was there anything special he needed to do beyond what seemed obvious?  How and who would negotiate his dowry request?  How should he deal with Pembroke?  He assumed he would just play it by ear unless there were someone well-schooled in it to take his side.  

He thought of Beverley.  The man had courter Worcester's daughter and done well for himself.  There were whispers that he had an actress mistress.  Perhaps he should visit him for advice.  There was also Kingston, he had the advantage of being a King's man and a Villiers, and had invited him to the yacht cruise with whores.  He would have good advice, even if he was reputed to be a blackguard, if the broadsheets were to be believed.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

She had thought to take advantage of Lord Grey's nice offer of his carriage but that was really for The Park after all and not really useful here  .....

She had already turned herself about several times in her own area of accommodation and so now was set on looking further afield. It had cleared from the mornings fog and so she was lighter dressed yet still weary of a 'chill' and so over her mulberry colored fine woolen dress she had draped a shawl in a soft shade of blue that was a nice complement. She had seen a lone figure of a Gentlemen and recognized him - The Earl of Langon or Major Whitehurst both were one in the same. But it was to the Earl that she wanted to approach. She had from her previous conversations with both the Duchess and Lady Basildon comprised a listing of 'Eligible Gentlemen' suitable to their separate needs. The Duchess, naturally, had priority and so too marry the younger Margaret the elder Frances must be first wed. An Earl of his standing was entirely approvable and he held a Position as well so it could be said that he also had the King's eye. He was not married and no one had said that he had his sight on any particular Lady. His income was good and he would provide well enough for a second daughter of a Duke who had a broken contract with another Earl but it was hardly her fault.

But she could hardly assume his thoughts without talking to him herself. She walked on and finally drew close enough but he seemed to be deep in contemplation. That was unfortunate but she could not miss this chance.

"Oh ...." She pretended surprise. "I am sorry. I did not know that anyone was here. I found myself just walking with no real destination just the desire to think ..."

"Lord Langdon is it not? Lady Lucas."

She gave him a self introduction as well as a small curtsey.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

She offered him a smile at his welcoming adding that

"We have indeed seen each other about but never had the pleasure of introduction until now."

"If you can provide answers to my questions that trouble me then I shall be in your debt."

She gave a small sigh followed by a small shake of her head.

"That is why I felt the need to walk .... as if the fresh air might offer some clarity."

She had to be careful. Hardly blurt out her questions from the start!

And this may just be an opening to further conversations and that would be fine. Then they would already share something and hopefully from that would grow a closer acquaintance which would allow her to probe deeper.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

She was silent for a few minutes as if she debated whether to continue or not. 

She gave a small nod of her head.

"I have been tasked with finding a 'suitable' match for a Gentleman. I am a widow so have no husband or even a brother in which I might seek answers from. I have a son but he has no time for me in this regard."

"I have not the ability to simply guess. But now this chance meeting between us - perhaps it is Fate that has put you in my path?'

"If you are willing  ..... might you assist me? Might you offer me some direction as to what a Gentleman or .... even Yourself might look for in a wife?"

"I can say what a Lady would look for naturally ..... but I am not certain that they are one in the same."

She was quick to add 

"But you must not feel obligated at all Lord Langdon. I should hate to leave an impression that I am a troublesome old lady."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This was not the assistance he had been expecting.  As such, it caught him by surprise.  This too caused him to collect his thoughts for a minute.  He had given the topic much thought for his own situation, but less so for other gentlemen.  Refusing to answer the lady was not an option as it was a gentleman's duty to assist a lady in need.

It was odd that she claimed to be looking for a suitable match for a gentleman, as if she was representing a gentleman, but that would make no sense.  She must have meant she waslooking on behalf of a lady, presumably not herself.

"Lady Lucas, I must assume that gentlemen are not easy to place into a single barrel.  Each is likely to have individual preferences.  If I must speak on behalf of all English gentlemen at court, I believe that they seek what they need.  A lord who is poor looks for a wife that is wealthy.  A gentleman without influence looks for a family with connections to the Crown.  A business man looks for a wealthy wife or the daughter of another business man to complement his own business."  It was true, but hardly informative to a lady who had likely spent time at court.

"I suppose we lords would prefer a wife that is wealthy, a part of a powerful family, and able enough to assist her husband in winning allies at court or in business.  Having a pleasant personality, pleasant appearance, and an understanding attitude is important," he added.  He had just described Susan Herbert completely.  Darlene did not have an understanding attitude and was not particularly wealthy or powerful.  But, her charm and sense of adventure was captivating.  Davina was a Catholic with little wealth or power in comparison to the Herberts, though she had the pleasant demeanor, appearance and understanding.

"I fear I have told you little that you do not already know my lady," he confessed.  "Is there a certain type of gentleman your lady is looking for?  Perhaps I could guess his outlook for you," he offered.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

She listened to his words smiling a bit inwardly as he obligingly gave her the information that she needed about him - even tho he had phrased it in the Plural sense.

"Yes. Yes. I see now."

"It is as you say Lord Langdon - that man and women are alike or at least share similarities when looking for a wife or husband. What a Logical mind you have."

"Gentleman?" She looked up at him. "Ah. You think I meant 'Lady" when in fact it is as I said - I am tasked to find a WIFE. At least for this person. I fear that there are others' that will soon follow."

"No my Gentlemen is of middlingly age and he is of a 'Scientific Mind' and as such tends to view the acquiring of a wife much like he would do with one of his experiments."

"If it were you would you wish for a wife that is younger or nearer to your own age? Naturally she must be able to provide an heir or two. My Gentlemen has an educated mind - would such a man expect his wife to be as well?"

She stopped herself as if she realized that she might well be over-stepping.

"Forgive me. I am pressing too hard on your Company."

"You have given me a clearer perspective and perhaps you are a little correct in your assumptions ....."

She did smile then as if she had been caught out a little.

"I have not got to this age by not having an understanding as well as some successes.

"And now I feel I must return this favor. If you are ever in need of a 'mind clearing' then you have but to find me. Tis only fair after all."

She would not detain him further. She had the beginnings of information on him. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How curious.  She was inquiring on behalf of an older gentleman.  He fought a perplexed look.  Why would not the gentleman tell Lady Lucas what sort of lady he wanted?  Why would she ask a stranger?

"Oh, I thought you would be looking on behalf of a lady," he apologized.  "Has not this gentleman given you his preferences?  I find myself in an awkward position."  A more suspicious person would think that Lady Lucas had an ulterior motive.

"I think there is always a preference for a younger wife so that she might have a longer period in which she could bear heirs, though not so young."  For the latter he was thinking of his ward that was barely reaching the age of consent.  "I should imagine that a highly educated man would want an educated wife, or else there would be little to discuss between them other than household matters."

 As she was ready to depart, she offered something that sounded like advice on marriages.  "You are a matchmaker then?"  He had heard of matrons who were skilled at finding suitable matches and persuading parents to accept them.  "I believe I have a good path for myself," he revealed.  He was coming to peace with his decision.  "But I thank you for the offer."  He half expected her to offer him some lady that he should consider.  Perhaps she only represented gentlemen.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Again you have insight that is helpful."

He then said that he had a 'good path for himself' which gave her a moment of pause.

"Really? Then should I offer my Felicitations and ask when the Wedding is to be and of more importance who the fortunate Lady is?"

"Well if that is the case then there will be many a disappointed potential Bride! It is a shame as I might well have had someone who might have fit to you well."

"But no matter. But you must offer me some consolation and send to me any that might need help."

She gave a small chuckle as if to say she teased but there was a sincerity behind her words.

 "I shall continue on my way then and return you to your solitude."

"It really is a shame that you are now set to marry."

"Heigh Ho  ...."

She would give a small curtsey and another smile adding that she hoped they might meet again.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lady Lucas seemed to think that a wedding was ready to announce.  Charles found himself laughing.  "I am merely planning to ask a parent for permission to court their daughter," he replied, trying to not give any clue.  "While I have reason to believe permission will be given and a happy outcome may follow, I cannot be sure of anything."

She piqued his curiosity.  "What lady did you have in mind for me pray tell?"  It would say much about what she thought of him.  "Why is it such a shame that I might merry?" he egged her on.

It seemed that she was less interested in speaking when learning that he was planning a courtship.  As such, he was prepared to let her depart if she so wished, but was interested in hearing her answers first.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

She waged a finger at him adding a smile as she answered him back 

"I shall say it was a daughter of a Duke and leave it there. There is no point in naming names for you are soon to be committed to another."

"Naturally it is a shame if you marry in the sense that there is one less suitable Gentleman from which a match might be arranged. You are very much qualified Lord Langdon as I am sure you already know."

"An Earl. Holding a Military position that brings him near The King as well as many others' of influence."

"You are well able to hold conversations as well as manage all your entitlements and properties."

"What is there NOT to find agreeable?" 

That she was so easily able to rattle off his attributes made her claim of 'knowing him from a distance' a bit hard to believe.

"I do not wish any ill will to happen but if things are not well received for you then  ....... you must not give up  ... and allow me to offer guidance - if that should sit well with you."

"I am not the prying type Lord Langdon. I watch and observe and wish only the best outcomes for any that I assist."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As Lady Lucas outlined why he was a good catch, Charles smiled, certain he would be repeating this, and more, to the dowager Countess of Pembroke.  He was beginning to think she would be a fool to discount what he thought to bring to a marriage, giving him greater confidence.

The daughter of a duke.  That would be enough to intrigue anyone, but he was certain that it had to be a Cavendish or a Butler girl.  He liked the former and disliked the latter.  But, the King had dismissed Ablemarle as a dunce and seemed little impressed with Newcastle.  The Duke had many daughters and likely had to pay a pretty sum to get his eldest married to Ablemarle.  With several more dowries looming, Newcastle could ill afford opulent dowries.  Susan, in contrast, was an only daughter, meaning Pembroke had but one dowry to arrange.  His brother Thomas would command an impressive dowry, so there was little worry about the plight of the Herberts ... other than they were led by a madman apparently.

"I shall keep your offer in mind Lady Lucas.  Things at court can surprise the unprepared."  He was left to wonder whether her intent on approaching him had been less about the match of some scientific lord and more about trying to sway him towards one of her clients.  If things did not work out with the Herberts, there were other choices, he supposed.  Darlene was always on his mind, of course, but she indicated that she did not want to see him again. Ladies never changed their mind, did they?  As for Darlene, certainly not, or so he imagined.  "I shall bid you a good evening then, unless I can be of further assistance."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

She nodded her head at his saying he would keep her offer in mind.

"I m glad to hear that you would be open to receiving help - not that you will have a need for you seem confident that you will be well received."

"Yes. As I have discovered Court can indeed be a surprise."

He would take his leave so she smiled again and sent him on his way.

"You are indeed a Gentleman for allowing me to trespass on your own thoughts and I am grateful for your help."

"We shall meet again."

She gave him a curtsey and then watched his retreating back   .....

well that went better than I had hoped it would. Lord Langdon is indeed a promising candidate and IF his arrangements do fall thru then I have obtained a little of how his thoughts are aligned

She turned to retrace her own steps her mind pondering which Gentleman she might approach next.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

."We shall meet again."

"I certainly hope so my lady," Charles replied gallantly.  The way she said it, however, almost sounded ominous, as if something bad was to befall his planned courtship.  Nevertheless, he gave the lady a small bow and withdrew.  It was time to head back to his room, which he learned was but a few doors away from Darlene's room.  Maybe he would walk by the door in the off chance that he might encounter her.  There was still some unfinished business in his mind.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...