My dearest Harriet,
I beg that you forgive the tones of utter despair that concluded my previous correspondence. I am quite certain they will have given you the most acute pangs of nervous fever! For being the cause of such sufferings I am truly sorry. However I found that writing to you was entirely necessary to alleviate my own feelings of distress, which were becoming prodigiously devastating!
Following the incident of the passing ship and our inability to make our presence known, all among our society were cast into the lowest despondency. Indeed our resident apothecary became fearful that perhaps we might be prey to some dreadful tropical disorder. Though we all knew him to be a rather over zealous chap with a tendency to believe the worst, and who could blame him for he had been cursed with a nose of such magnificent proportions that one could not help but pity him. However we knew his conclusion to be incorrect and our malady was in fact the infliction of hopelessness, and an over indulgent inclination to enjoy the captain‘s wine cellar. Our feelings of dreadful misery as we stood amongst all the returned exotic birds, who still clasped our handwritten messages to them as firmly as a young girl keeps hold of her first dance card when it has been marked by some preferred beau. We were not a happy party as we returned to the wedding breakfast, which had been laid upon Monsieur De Toulouse’s fine lawn. Not one among us spoke for above two hours. As we ate our repast, that for my taste at least consisted of rather too much fish, our supply of finer foods was gravely depleted as we had of late been so very confident of our imminent rescue that we had given into to glutinous tendencies and over indulged our appetites (However I blamed the churls).
Whence the meal was concluded it became quite evident that the festivities of a ball planned for later would not come to fruition for no one was of a celebratory humour, indeed all present seemed inclined to disputatious melancholy. None more so than the peasants from Cheapside, whom we had taken into our employ to wait at table for the evening. These vagabonds who were all of agitated gouty constitutions seemed to be thoroughly discontented with their station in life, and could on frequent occasion be heard discussing reversing the natural order of polite society. They seemed to claim, dear Harriet, that they were equal to those above them. I am acutely aware of how ridiculous such a proposal sounds, unfortunately, however, for all those present, today was one such instance where the churls sensibilities could not be soothed by mere platitudes, and thus all about us were the sounds of dissent and disagreement. Being as lately married as I was, I found I was disinclined to sympathise with the rabble. Foreseeing, as I could, that there was little hope of a dance I suggested to my husband that perhaps some air and exercise would be refreshing.
“Oui Madame, en effet je trouve aussi les lamentations des paysans d’être intolérable. Une promenade serait une diversion agréable d’folie tels.” Was his reply. Hearing the word “oui” I needed no further confirmation nor Lady Foot’s translation which I know would have revealed the true meaning of his words to be ; “Why dearest Charlotte I can think of nothing more excellently calculated to bring me incandescent joy than escaping such formal conventions as we have had to endure thus far, and to be solely in your company.”
We took our leave of the assembly largely unnoticed, for now many were heartily engaged in trying to remind the churls, in the most animated language, of their true position in the social order. We promenaded along the shore, I confess I find my husband’s society to be greatly superior to anyone of my acquaintance. He listens with such intensity of feeling in a silence so deep and reflective that one cannot help but be in some considerable admiration of his intelligence.
We had walked for above three and forty minutes when I noticed Toulouse’s countenance become so suddenly dreadfully altered that I feared him to be in the grip of some terrible seizure.
“Bonjour, au revoir, je m’appelle… fromage?!” Said I desperately enquiring what the matter was. I was making all haste to summon the apothecary to tend to my poor possessed husband when I noted the direction of his maniacal gaze. Harriet, it was sea bound. I turned to follow it and saw, with a combination of sentiments that I do not feel are within my power to convey, another ship! A moments study confirmed that it was twice the size of the vessel that had so rudely slighted us hours earlier!
It was with a further flurry of abundant delight that I realised the ship was flying English colours. Hastening forwards we began to wave in a fashion more commonly associated with a wife being reunited with a husband in the militia whose absence has acutely suffered through. However it was not long before my own dear husband and I became aware that we were in all likelihood entirely imperceptible to the crew upon the ship. Confess, dear Harriet, that the re-occurrence of our best efforts passing entirely unnoticed by our sole hope of rescue was more than was within my power to endure, and I allowed myself, indeed I eagerly and decidedly abandoned myself to nervous hysteria and was quite inconsolable. My husband was not so prone to girlish folly as I, and seizing me with little or no pretence at propriety he placed me over his shoulder and pursued the ship along the shore in a manner indicative of one quite determined not to allow their quarry to leave his sight. I was grateful indeed that there was no one to witness so undignified a display for I should have lost all standing in society if anyone of rank or circumstance had seen me carried in a manner that undoubtedly likened me to a sack of flour.
As he ran I found that I had the pleasing diversion of an excellent vista of the ocean and the sky. The hue of which was identical to Monsieur De Toulouse’s eyes. Thus occupied in delighted raptures of the beauty of nature I was unaware of how long my husband had been running , until he came to so unexpected a stop that before he had handed me to the ground his altered gait conveyed to me that he, upon rounding a corner, had discovered a naval port! My dear Harriet, we had found a port.
To Be Continued …