Tuesday, April 5, 2011

March 4, 1781

Last night I dreamt of my beautiful and peaceful Saint Saturnin, and was almost surprised not to find myself there upon waking. I ache to see it again and escape town with its troubles.

This morning over breakfast Maman suggested that we take a walk with Reinette at the Tuileries. It was pleasant enough at first, but presently I recognized a figure approaching from across the gardens as the Marquis de Franconville-aux-Bois. Turning to Maman she avoided my gaze and I knew that this had been arranged between them.

He offered his arm, and after a moment's hestitation I took it. Maman followed attentively behind, and for a while neither of us spoke. Finally, he began by apologizing, to my great surprise, for having given me no notice of his intentions regarding our marriage. He spoke of his heartache in losing R-, and said that the Comte de Rodez had seen himself as my champion, for it was in his nature to be chivalrous, and that he, F-, would be remiss if he did not honor his memory by protecting me as well. Placing a hand upon mine on his arm, he said that he hoped that we could begin anew to build an alliance that would bring joy to us and our families. When I hesitated he said that I need not answer immediately, but that he would hope to call upon me often and return to the days of peace which had been our custom.

I could not deny him this, and answered that he would be as welcome a guest as ever he had been. So we walked on some more, until F- announced that he must leave us to attend to some business; but before leaving he drew out of his pocket a small box, which he said was a gift he hoped I would accept. Opening it I found that it was a miniature portrait of R-, and F- said that he had been given it three years before.

I thanked him and he departed. Returning to Sully with Maman she looked very smug, but I remain much troubled. In many ways I would prefer his cruelty to his kindess, for that is easier to oppose. I wrote an impassioned plea to T- to return to Paris, or at least advise me on what to do, but he seems to be too busy to answer me. I wish that there was a way that I might go to Calais.

Olympe, Comtesse

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