Monday, May 31, 2010

May 31, 1780

It is ever the same, no sooner do we solve one problem when another rises to take its place. Having escaped the eyes of Paris and the malice of the Marquis de Menars I am presented with more domestic tribulations in the form of a letter from my steward who informs me that the money I have been living on is quickly reaching it's end, though we are far from replenishing the coffers, as it were. The King's offer, naturally, springs to mind and I cannot help but muse that the Duchy would not only provide sustenance, but be a powerful position from which to gain other favors for more than just myself. I had hoped that the reacquisition of the land in Limousin would help, but that is tied up in legal disputes and looks to be long from resolution as the surveyors continue their work. As much as I have avoided those charges which others seek, it is one of the only ways to sustain my estates.

The other, of course, is to marry, and that brings me to the point. I received the letter on Friday last, and it put me in such a gloomy mood that I was ill-inclined to do anything, which could not go unnoticed by my guests. They were very understanding and T- did his best to console me, but he knows how desperate our situation always is. This morning F-; that is, the Marquis de Franconville-aux-Bois, came to me during my informal Lever, and proposed a most surprising solution.

He asked if Marianne might leave us, and seeing him so in earnest I dismissed her for the time being. He reiterated the very things which have been worrying  me for so long; the danger from being unprotected by a large and powerful family, having no position with the court, the lack of heirs for my family, my age, my inability to be with Thierry openly in society and the chance that I may lose him if I marry. These things have preyed upon my mind constantly over the years, and now the fact that I must answer the king, coupled with the lack of money and the apparent danger from unsuspected sources...Well, just as I was in as deep a despair as possible, F- made his offer.

His family, though not very large in its immediate branch, is connected as well to the Counts and Dukes of Lauragais and Villars, they have money, and it would be fairly simple to acquire a charge or at least a position with many of the departments. At first I did not understand his meaning, but presently he made it clear that his intention was that should we marry, he and I, that he could provide a solution to many of my problems.

Hardly knowing how to make answer I asked him the question I had never dared to confront before "Have you spoken to R- about this?" His determined demeanor dropped at this, and his color rose. He said "He is aware." For my part I could only feel ashamed at being so direct, and said that I would have to speak to Thierry, at which he was very understanding. I did not see either him or R- for the remainder of the day.

T-, to my great surprise, is considering the possibilities, to which I am not sure what to think.

Olympe, Comtesse

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