We stood immobile for a moment that was in, all honesty, indecently short given the nature of our discovery. Before us lay a sea town to rival both Portsmouth and Southampton, and yet it also seemed it was as well appointed as Brighton for sea bathing.
“C’est incroyable!” Said he.
“Dearest, you are the very essence of correctness in your estimation. We have accidentally located the very thing we have longed for all this time! A port! Civilisation, ships, people! Oh happy port full of sea fairing vessels and ill bred sailors who are entirely sans genteel manners!” I was so overcome with joy that I displayed superiorly elegant lightness of foot in dancing a celebratory cotillion.
We did not defer our departure from that place for even an instant. We ran back to our party as fast as convention would permit without my risking my standing amongst society. However we held our encampment within our sights we were greeted with the unhappy noise of revolution. Amongst the wretched sound of unmitigated chaos, that seemed to consume all those we had left behind, the hum of a pleasing overture being played on the piano was also discernable. Though the execution of the music was the very essence of perfection, for Lady Winifred does everything well, the sound was peculiarly troubling it was not long before we were faced with the full and overwhelming truth of the matter; the peasants were revolting!
Violence had now been enthusiastically embraced by all, for the churls would suffer their inferiority no longer. They had found pitchforks from I know not where, and were attempting, with the strongest means at their disposal, to overthrow the genteel classes. Just as we arrived upon the edge of the hostilities the perilous nature of the rustics wrath was made as clear as the beauteous stone upon my engagement ring by one of the unfortunately clad fellows grasping Admiral Inkpen and throwing him through the air so that the poor man landed merely inches behind me.
I silently concluded that it was fortunate indeed that my husband and I had found the port when we had, for goodness knows where the churls’ revolutionary inclinations would have led had we not been able to interrupt it with felicitous news.
“Arretez , Arretez ce bordel la. Vous fous et idiots!” Was my husbands entreaty, his words did not, however, have the desired effect.
“My husband is correct, we have indeed found a port! A port I tell you! It right there! It has been there all this time, it would seem that it was mere complacency and a disinclination to venture forth that prevented its discovery!” I soon realised that my words had not had the pacifying result I had been desirous of. They chose only to hear the word ‘complacency’ and took it in excessively bad part. I am afraid to say that they suddenly fell prey to the notion that My husband Monsieur De Toulouse and I were solely to blame. They directed their vengeful hatred at him with redoubled determination and looked as though they were quite ready to launch themselves upon us in a manner much more suited to inebriated officers who wish to settle a debt.
Despite being French it would seem that my husband lacked any revolutionary tendencies, in fact it would seem he was utterly determined to avoid the conflict, thus at the first sign of attack my husband reached for my white veil from atop my head and waved it in an admirable gesture above our heads. Surrender is not always a sign of cowardice but of integrity of principle.
Unfortunately this action was perceived in some way to be a particularly crude French insult and had the effect of provoking the rabble further. It took but an instant for Toulouse to comprehend this, and placing me once more upon his shoulder, he turned in a flurry of excellent coat tails and ran as fast as his graceful and pensive gait would allow!
From my position upon my husband’s shoulder I was, this time, provided with a most advantageous view of the vengeful churls following him, and behind the rest of our small society pursuing them. Toulouse did not stop running until we reached the port; therefore I witnessed their visages as they saw the port and the full consequences of finding such a place were appreciated.
The day was not yet out before we had found an English captain who was all chivalrous gallantry in arranging safe and immediate passage home for all, save for the rustics who had displayed the most disruptive and aggressive inclination. Those unlucky fellows were to be dispatched to the Americas for their treacherous conduct toward their superiors, which had not only disrupted our own society but had grossly insulted all those polite conventions we hold in such high esteem.
My husband and I watched our companions and servants make their way toward the aptly named HMS Salvation, and for those bound for the Americas the HMS Atonement, we felt a surprising mix of sentiments that I would much more usually associate with a young girl on the night before her wedding; for they included the same remorseful sensibilities felt when she realises that she shall no longer enjoy every pleasure of a ball or begin each season in the anticipation of being the delight of all the young beau. And although she greatly longs to be married and form a respectable establishment of her own, she cannot help but mourn her folly filled youth. These delicate sensibilities mean that it is incumbent upon me, dear Harriet to tell you that despite our acute desperation to escape this cursed isle, now such a prospect is before us we do not wish to depart.
Thus I am writing this account of all that has passed to you so that you might share it with my family and our acquaintance in the hope that my poor mamma shall no longer concern herself with my marriage prospects, though I fear she will have a seizure when she learns I am now of the French nationality, you know how patriotic she is. I have entrusted my letter to Admiral Inkpen who is nigh on overcome with that feminine feeling he is so prone to. Indeed I can hear him this very moment dancing his way toward the vessel crying in delighted joy. He is all exultant raptures about the size and elegance of the HMS Salvation.
My husband and I have not yet settled upon a time for our return home, though pray do not dread an extended absence for you know I would not miss the opening of the London season, for there is nought in the world to rival it.
For now my dearest friend Adieu,
Yours Madame Charlotte De Toulouse.