Friday, February 26, 2010

February 25, 1780


I have had a most trying day. I had written a few pages, idle gossip and little more, over the last few days, but Reinette became quite wild this morning and ran around and around my writing desk, causing the ink to spill over and consequently the pages which were on top have been spoilt. Not only that, but I have had to change my clothes many more times than usual today for she seems not to have remembered where she is to relieve herself, and has either done so on my lap, or else I have stepped into or dragged my skirts through her leavings. If she did not look at me with such dear and adoring eyes I should be inclined to take her back.

I have been meaning to mention that something in T's last letter has put me out of sorts. I don't know what he is doing or who he is talking to up there in Lille, but he said so little of any consequence to us, and then made a point of asking me what I thought of the peasantry! I hardly know what to answer. I am unclear as to the reason for the question, and cannot claim to have any great experience with them, as I have mostly my tenants to speak of, and I have contact with them so rarely. One might as well ask me what I think of innkeepers, or farmers, or lacemakers! What can he mean by the question? Our paths don't cross, and I should think they know even less of my life than I do of theirs. I think he must come back to me soon, so little time has passed truly since he left, and yet I feel as if in his letters he is someone quite different.

Aggravatingly, there has been little interest and no offers of employment for my "brother", but I have hopes of securing a position yet. I have requested of my steward that more money be sent, and if necessary I have a parure of rubies that I may part with, though they look well with my newest court gown. What will I do if he remains in Lille through the spring? Do I stay in Paris and await his return, or do I return myself to Auvergne?

Why is it that just when it seems as if everything will turn out happily, we are further burdened with disappointment? I suppose it is the nature of life. Some would say that God tests us, or that we in some way have merited misfortune by our conduct; but more and more I wonder if God has a hand in it at all, or if he is unaffected by our concerns. Perhaps I am only feeling lonely, abandoned without Thierry. It is hard to go out into society. People know of our liason and I feel that few approve. I do hear what they say; that I am a disappointing end to a fine family, that it is the result of women having their way, that I am too old and must marry so far beneath me, that I am a hypocrit and act virtuous while hiding a common lover. None of them know Thierry or his family at all, and that is a sin indeed in their eyes I am sure.

It has been a most trying day. Nothing for it but to seek the comfort of sleep if I can. I hardly hope to wake, feeling as I do.

Olympe, Comtesse

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