Tuesday, June 30, 2009

June 8, 1779


Feeling compelled enough after my last entry to flee for home, I did just that. I left a note for my hostess early the next morning saying that I had business with the renovations of Saint Saturnin that I had to attend to personally, and that I would return in a few days. This time of year, especially on dry roads, travel is not so unpleasant, and the borders of Auvergne are not so far from Briancon. Taking the road through Lyon will put one there after hardly the better part of a day, and so in this way I was able to enjoy nearly two whole days at Saint Saturnin.
I am not currently renovating either the exterior or interior of the chateau, much as I wish I were, but I think that when the additional land is restored I will celebrate by utilizing the extra money to do just that. It seemed as likely an excuse as any to be made.

It is good to relax in one’s own home. Having not given much warning of my arrival, my servants were not really prepared to receive me, having shut up my room and covered things in expectation that I would be gone for the better part of the summer. I arrived in the evening and after changing my gown enjoyed a simple meal, while my rooms were readied. Conversed with Nanette and inquired of her if she thought she could spare her daughter so that I might take her with me for the season. The girl’s name is Pauline, which I had forgotten, and Nanette was very happy for the opportunity to let her travel, so I think that settled. I took the opportunity the next day to have her fitted for clothes so that I know she will be appropriately attired. I will order such items as necessary for her and Marianne shortly, perhaps as early as this week.
By some providence I had accidentally requested that the Galerie des Modes fashion plates be sent to Saint Saturnin instead of directly to Beau Monte, and they arrived the day after I did, so I was able to peruse them and have brought them back with me. Pelisses have not changed much, and yellow is very much in favor. The Polonaise style continues to be very popular, which is good as it means I will not need to have as many gowns remade.
Wigs are ever higher and more complicated, so the services of a good hairdresser and wigmaker are absolutely essential; much more so for when I am there as coiffures change daily it seems. I am not much in favor of these large bonnets and caps being worn on top of it all, but will probably purchase a few of those for my morning lever at least. There is a good picture of a mantelet au lever de l’aurore, upon which I think I will base the order my own. It is to be white and cream and light green, with lace and ribbon. I am trying to decide between a wide neckline, ruffled, or a higher neck closed with a parfait-contentement. As soon as I have decided I will send the order for that. Hopefully my chemises have been started by now.

I returned to Beau Monte this evening rather late, and we are fortunate that traveling mostly in darkness we encountered no wolves and none of the traces broke. Ascending the stairs to my room I was met by Msr. Saint Mikkael and several others, who seemed very happy to see me. My solitary respite at home has reminded me, however, of the affection I feel for T-, and the future I dream we may have. For my part, I would like a daughter of my own, but with his beautiful green eyes.

I also returned to find a letter from dearest Christine, which I read with much enthusiasm. She hopes to meet me in Paris or at Versailles after the summer, which she is spending abroad in Rome, hence the delay of her reply. I will take the time tomorrow to respond to her, and found her letter to be very comforting and with all of the amusements I have come to anticipate from her correspondence.

For now though the journey has tired me, and I’m sure I will have to give a full account of these supposed renovations to the company tomorrow. I will look at these Galerie copies once again and think on my new wardrobe before sleep claims me.
Olympe, Comtesse

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