the_comfortable_courtesan: image of a fan c. 1810 (fan)
[personal profile] the_comfortable_courtesan

My dear Viola

I would urge that before you fret yourself over the proper ton to manifest in a situation, you should be sure that it is a situation, and not your brother jumping to wild conclusions upon very little evidence. What if the Hahns display new curtains and paintwork about their house: now that Frau Paffenrath is no longer subject to her husband’s edicts and able to earn once more, I daresay they find they can afford to furbish up the place in the style they would wish – one fears that Herr Paffenrath was the kind of fellow that deems such matters unnecessary expenditure, womanish fal-lals.

Does your papa linger at their house rather longer than one might expect was he merely instructing Frau Paffenrath about the correspondence he wishes her to undertake, it may be that he relishes a little feminine domestic pampering of the kind that I am sure Frau Hahn dispenses to any visiting gentleman.

And my dear: would it be so very terrible if Mr Knowles had took Gretchen Paffenrath as his mistress? She is a good respectable young woman that has had the most atrocious fortune with men, between that monster of a fiancé and her dreadful husband: I am sure your papa would behave entirely well towards her, do the thing properly, and above all, manifest discretion. You and Sebastian might find that answers a deal better than had she become your stepmama. (Or perchance than that he gave you a stepmama at all, that is something he may yet do.)

Do you wish to ascertain whether there is indeed a situation, I confide that Clorinda would be able to sound the matter out – is not Mrs Lowndes still the bosom confidante of Frau Paffenrath? And Herr Hahn may have let somewhat drop in conversation. Or Mrs Nixon may have her sources of intelligence.

But indeed, my dear, I think you worry yourself unnecessary. I cannot suppose she will suddenly turn into a designing grasping harpy, though I concede it might create some awkwardness in German reading circles and the like.

By the bye, do you know any that has a genteel poor relation that would wish for a companion’s post? The crocodile has sent yet another one packing - and, sure ‘'tis distance lends enchantment to the view’, regrets the days when she was so well-served by Mrs Darton Kendall, and quite curses poor Edwin Collins for beguiling her to the Nova Scotian wilds.

Sir Barton and I go hold a small dinner-party very soon to convoke over the various matters that go forth in Parliament, and the presence of you and His Grace would be quite essential, so do you let me know what might be a suitable day.

Your affectionate friend

Susannah Wallace.

Date: 2017-05-30 11:56 pm (UTC)
rymenhild: Manuscript page from British Library MS Harley 913 (Default)
From: [personal profile] rymenhild
One quite understands Viola's feelings in the matter, but poor Gretchen deserves a decent, wealthy gentleman who will treat her kindly after all that time!

And of course Susannah is very sensible about the whole matter.

Date: 2017-05-31 12:19 am (UTC)
kore: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kore
I just screamed at [personal profile] nenya_kanadka over email "NENYA, NENYA, THERE'S A LETTER!" in the exact way a child might yell "SANTA! SANTA WAS HERE"

Date: 2017-06-01 01:18 am (UTC)
nenya_kanadka: Madame Nemesis (Comfortable Courtesan Nemesis)
From: [personal profile] nenya_kanadka
YESSS. <3

The idea of Susannah and Viola writing each other and talking about when Clorinda would have good ideas pleases me exceedingly. :D :D

Date: 2017-05-31 01:10 am (UTC)
annotated_em: close shot of a purple crocus (Default)
From: [personal profile] annotated_em
*delighted* Oh, I do hope Gretchen has found good luck in Mr. K!

Date: 2017-05-31 02:39 am (UTC)
brokenallbroken: (Default)
From: [personal profile] brokenallbroken
<3 <3 <3

Date: 2017-05-31 02:47 am (UTC)
contrary_cal: (Default)
From: [personal profile] contrary_cal
Get it, Gretchen! :D

Date: 2017-06-08 02:37 am (UTC)
rabid_bookwyrm: Black and white illustration of an anthropomorphized margay cat (Default)
From: [personal profile] rabid_bookwyrm
Hear hear!

Date: 2017-05-31 05:51 am (UTC)
el_staplador: (Default)
From: [personal profile] el_staplador
SUSANNAH! <3 <3

Date: 2017-05-31 07:54 am (UTC)
sharpiefan: Felicity Jones as Catherine Morland, writing a letter (Emma Vickery)
From: [personal profile] sharpiefan
*squees at news from Lady B's circle*

I confess it may seem strange, but I am so used to the initials of the various severall players that I found myself putting 'em back in as dear Lady B- was wont to write 'em.

Date: 2017-05-31 09:05 am (UTC)
questioncurl: (feminism)
From: [personal profile] questioncurl
This! I seriously wondered who these people were for a moment. but so good to hear about them, and good for Frau P!

Date: 2017-05-31 11:55 am (UTC)
arkessian: (Default)
From: [personal profile] arkessian
Me too. It was disconcerting not to know who the individuals concerned were immediately. But it lovely to hear more from Lady B's set, especially in their own voices.

Date: 2017-06-01 01:20 am (UTC)
nenya_kanadka: silence to the death! (Comfortable Courtesan silence)
From: [personal profile] nenya_kanadka
LOL, same. :D

Date: 2017-06-01 02:29 am (UTC)
kore: (Madame Nemesis - comfortable courtesan)
From: [personal profile] kore
Oh good, not just me.

I also missed on first read the reference to Thomas Campbell, the Scottish poet who helped found University College London, and the Literary Association of the Friends of Poland, and wrote a biography of Mrs Siddons --

At summer eve, when Heaven's ethereal bow
Spans with bright arch the glittering hills below,
Why to yon mountain turns the musing eye,
Whose sun-bright summit mingles with the sky?
Why do those clifts of shadowy tint appear
More sweet than all the landscape smiling near? —
'Tis distance lends enchantment to the view,
And robes the mountain in its azure hue.


And his poetry was constantly criticized by the artistic dudes of his day for being too perfect and effeminate, and they also thought he wasn't ambitious enough. *eyerolls forever*

Date: 2017-05-31 04:22 pm (UTC)
brigdh: (Default)
From: [personal profile] brigdh
Hee!

And Susannah gives excellent advice!

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