Sunday, September 27, 2009

September 27th, 1779



It is almost October now and there is a chill in the air early and late. Autumn has always been my favorite season, which I believe probably is because of how undeniably beautiful Auvergne is at that time of year. It troubles me that I will miss the season at home; which would be a small price to pay if some success in our venture could be assured, but it is not. I am still struggling with questions of returning or staying. I have informed most of my acquaintance that I will be here until the end of the year, and so to run home sooner might indicate a defeat I am not willing to admit.

Mass yesterday was interesting in that I had offers from several gentlemen to accompany me home, all of which I refused for fear of showing favoritism. If I were more of a coquette I would favor first one and then another in a different way, thus holding them all hopeful but distant. Alas, I am not of such a mind! I miss T- but our letters have become less frequent. I do not lack for offers, and am all too aware that an unmarried woman with land and a title is desirable at any age. Is it wrong of me to believe that I may have the man I desire, and the future that I want? Must I compromise; or is that selfish of me? God seems to give little indication of the correct path. Maman, on the other hand, is not bereft of advice on the subject, but I will not tax myself with remembering that aggravation.

A letter from Christine last week brightened my spirits considerably, and I think I must answer it soon. She gives me great solace, even from afar, and as with people who do not offer their advice too pressingly, I am inclined to listen to the suggestions she makes.

Msr. Poisson's advice on the subject of the reacqusition is to wait. I have said to everyone I've met in the last several weeks "I will wait and see what happens." Again and again, the same phrase, but I long for soem decisive action. I cannot believe that any commander in history won a battle, much less a war, by waiting to see what transpired. Which reminds me, the gossip from the colonies is that we are doing well, but nothing more decisive than that has been heard.

I have new silk stockings and a red silk fan which is charming, but I am bored with my hair and must get my hairdresser to do something different with it. It is past noon and I should see to my appointments. There is a dinner party tonight given by the Countess of Rochechouart, who is a very interesting woman, and I should not be sorry to know her better.

Olympe, Comtesse

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

September 23, 1779



So much has happened, and yet nothing at all! The king read my petition and the answer is that he has already sent surveyers to Auvergne and Limousin to determine old and new boundaries. I expected upon hearing this that it might take some time to complete the work, but was not prepared for the answer that some surveyers have been working on areas of France for years! I now must decide if it is worthwhile to remain in Paris, and if so should I pursue a swifter course of resolution? Can I return to Auvergne without any sense of accomplishment?

More and more I begin to wonder if returning to Saint Saturnin holds as much appeal as it once did. Paris is the beating heart of France. Auvergne is beautiful and peaceful, but there is time enough in life to seek peace and stillness. In Paris I need never be lonely. It lacks only T-, and that could be easily rectified if we marry. There are opportunities for him here, and I can always return to Auvergne when I feel I miss it.

However, more fiscal concerns bind me. The harvest was not as expected, and so we have not made as much money as we had hoped. T- is out of money, and so I must support him myself, which neither of us enjoy in our present arrangement. If I do stay more permanently in Paris I will be near to Versailles to press my case when the serveyers are finished. Matthieu is also blossuming unexpectedly in a new city, which I would not wish to reverse given the trouble he has always had with his schooling. There are better opportunities here for everyone.

What if I have to give up the reacqisition? Should I stay or go home? Where is home now?
Olympe, Comtesse

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Quote of the week


"The first man who took it in mind to fence in a field and say this is mine and who found people simple enough to believe was the true founder of civil society...beware of such imposters."
- Rousseau

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Accused Has Something to Say


I thought that the picture The Complain of the Watch was appropriate for this defense, both because it is from the 1770s, and also because my whole case rests on the fact that I have been too busy to post.
I work for an Opera company which shall, for the moment, remain nameless, and we open the first show of the season tonight. I have been coordinating costumes for volunteers as well as actors, and preparing for the gala ball tonight. So basically I've been busy, and in real life that is why I have neglected to post.
However, I promise that coming up shortly I will resume both diary entries and tidbits from the eighteenth century world. I just have to get back into my research.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

September 4, 1779





I knew that once I reached Paris I would find my time so full that I would neglect my journal. My planned visit with Christine was wonderful, as we walked the Tuileries gardens, then had tea at l'Hotel de Sully, and then we attended the Comedie Francais, and finally we finished with a long conversation over some very fine wine at her residence. Dear Christine is much missed already, having determined to return to Sweden to visit her aunt and uncle who have been as parents to her since the passing of her own. As always, there are moments when her intelligence so far surpasses my understanding that I can only wonder at how different we are, but if distance cannot kill it then the friendship will remain, as it has to this point, unshakeable.

No word on the war in the colonies, but the general opinion in Paris is that it is going well, despite being a somewhat unpopular expenditure in certain circles. Perhaps by the end of the year it will be over, but there is hardly any more reason to suppose that than there was last year.

So many dinners, so many parties, theatre excursions, visits back and forth, how to tell of them all. I rise early, am busy throughout the day, and return home exhausted without the will to write of all that transpires. I have had a lucky run at cards of late, to the extent that I have nearly won back all that I lost previously, but am in fear of losing it all again. I dare not admit to my steward how much I have been playing, for he will only chide me. I know it is strange to fear what the man might say, but I feel my authority is truly very tenuous at times.

Next week there is a ball, and I am to be fit for a new gown today. I have asked Maman to be present, as I feel we hardly see each other, but I do hope she is enjoying her time in Paris. Matthieu has returned to his studies, and today has a music lesson. I believe his teacher has just arrived, which means that I am late. I had promised myself some time alone in the library this morning, and have not been at home to guests for that reason. It shall be a waste if I do not take the time now.

Olympe, Comtesse

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Does buying materials count as sewing?


I ordered a new fan and some boning for my next pair of stays. As these are both for outfits they count as sewing right? Right?
I think that if I have to convince myself, it's not really true. Tomorrow I am fabric shopping for some fabric for a Russian costume project. A little out of period, but I may post pictures anyhow if people are interested.