Tuesday, July 21, 2009

July 20, 1779


The process of packing has begun. The household is bustling as it rarely does, and all sorts of people have been coming to wish me a pleasant journey. A committee of local magistrates arrived this morning around ten-thirty, but I was not awake yet, and so was obliged to rise and begin an impromptu levee. At eleven o’clock Abbe Veronde came to see me about the distribution of charity in my absence. I believe that thanks to this pious man I am now supporting half the village. I assured him that instructions had been left with my steward and that the appropriate alms would be dispersed. At half past noon my steward himself arrived as I was preparing to ride out, so I informed him of the charitable distributions and he troubled me with the financial details of the trip.

I took a long ride, the better to soak in the beauty I must soon depart from. Nothing is so desired but that which is impermanent. The leaves are just beginning to turn here and there. Marianne is proudly tutoring Pauline on the ways of the city, and how to cut a fine figure amongst the other ladies maids. I think Marianne may find that despite her assertions, nothing remains constant in Paris and she will have much to learn herself. As will I, no doubt.

I leave on the ninth of August, and we will stop for the night in Orlean continuing on early on the tenth to arrive hopefully before noon. Mme le S-B writes that it is the custom in Paris to pay some wages in advance, and so I seem to have no choice but to hire servants unseen and pay them before my own. I cannot arrive to an empty house, and I am bringing only two footmen, two maids, a cook, and my coachman.

As to M. Saint-Mikkael, I shall brave the icy reputation and insist that I am too busy with preparations for my own journey to entertain guests.
Olympe, Comtesse

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